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10/11/2011

Tuesday morning drive through: Where is all the hate for Joe Buck coming from?

Joe buck I have watched and re-watched the Fox replay footage of Nelson Cruz's walkoff GS about 20 times, and one of the reasons it is so compelling is the call of play-by-play man Joe Buck. This is a man who clearly grasps the medium.

Click here for the MLB.com replay of the grand slam.

This is a transcript of Buck's call of Cruz's grand slam: "In the air to left ... down the line ... this ball ... ends it."

Buck's last word comes at the eight-second mark of this clip. He does not speak again until the 1:17 mark. His silence allowed the images to speak for themselves, from Cruz's jubiliance to the fans to everything in between. No words from color man Terry Francona either, who, BTW, has been outstanding working with Buck.

This clip is what makes Buck the very best TV play-by-play man in the business today - nobody grasps the visual element of his position any better. You simply do not need the words.

Today, far too many TV sports announcers are just dying to talk when they don't need to. It's not an indictment on their skills or their ability, but often times the best is the one where you don't say a thing.

There is a rather large legion of sports fans who believe Buck is awful. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to bagging on the son of the legendary former St. Louis Cardinals radio announcer.

Can Buck come across as a bit smarmy and in love with his own words? Yes, and that would make him different from nearly no one in this business. Most of us have long since forgotten it's not about us.

Is Buck going to be the next Bob Costas and make a cross-media jump into something other than calling games? It's rather obvious from his attempts at hosting late night talk shows to his own HBO specials that he would prefer that, but it has not clicked.

I vividly recall him saying in an HBO Real Sports profile that he did not want to be an old guy calling games. Maybe he doesn't, but for the time being there is nobody any better at what he does. 

 

@MacEngelProf
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Comments

Jay Hawk

Great to see someone else give Francona some props. He is so much more professional and current than Tim McCarver. Keep Terry; give Tim the boot -- to a retirement home.
Dale

Todd

Joe is much better at baseball than he is at football.

John

Couldn't agree more with everything you said. After being subjected to TBS's crew, these two are far superior. It's amazing that Francona can jump from the bench and instantly become a non-biased booth member. The Ticket makes fun of Joe, but his appearance of smarminess is really just how he physically looks, it's not really what's in his mind. His casualness and as you mentioned, knowledge of when to keep quiet is a breath of fresh air(from both of them actually).

James

After watching MLB post-game - what's up with Mitch Williams? Does he have Parkinson's? He twitches more than Michael Jay Fox did on Curb. I ask this not in jest. Something really does appear to be wrong with him.

Chris M.

Personally, I don't love Joe Buck. However I agree with everything you wrote. He is a good sports journalist. He is always respectful and knowledgeable. Nice article. Buck deserves props.

Tom, Dallas TX

Joe Buck's a moron ... end of story.

Cheap North Face

i went to the same school as patrick. i remeber those girls from my school who wrote in. they were white trash...i always felt so bad for them.

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