Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Joe Buck Doesn't Like Baseball

When you tune into the FOX broadcast of the World Series this week and get the sneaking impression that play-by-play man Joe Buck is bored with what is going on, it's because he is. This actually broke a few months back, but Awful Announcing caught a short interview Buck did with Colin Cowherd (a reprehensible case of his own) in which Buck essentially states that he doesn't watch sports anymore and that he isn't much of a baseball fan anymore because of a variety of reasons.

Now, Buck makes a good point about how Americans are turning away from baseball on television and turning more towards football. I don't disagree. Baseball is a horrible sport for TV. It's too leisurely to captivate TV audiences for long and there are way too many things going on on the field to be captured by one camera (it doesn't help that Buck's own network, FOX, is making a mockery of the game). I also totally agree with Buck when he says that there are too many things that slow the game down. Whenever a batter steps out between pitches to go through a bizarre dance sequence a la Nomar Garciaparra it makes me want to scream. I also wish they would limit teams to just two pitching changes per inning and cut down on pitcher-catcher conferences.

However, since Buck is perhaps the most recognizable baseball announcer on the national stage, and in turn acts as the face of the sport for so many fans, shouldn't he really like what he's doing? Isn't it his job, as a sports announcer, to, you know, watch sports? To actually be informed about the players and teams he's covering? When millions of fans hear his voice and realize he doesn't even care about the sport he is representing, what message does that send? If I'm an MLB marketing exec, I'm doing a major spit take upon hearing that interview.

If Buck were anybody but the son of Jack, he'd be gone. It's as simple as that. Is it really too hard to find an announcer who actually loves the game of baseball and put him in front of the microphone for seven games? Why can't FOX get Vin Scully to announce the World Series and add some much-needed integrity to the proceedings? Hell, get Kruk and Kuip, the world needs them right now.

This does give me one career idea, however. If Buck can do well in a medium he doesn't like, maybe I can too. Since I think golf is the most gawdawful boring thing out there, maybe I should develop a cursory knowledge of its players and history and forge a lucrative career as an announcer for that sport.

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