Full disclosure: I like Joe Buck. I like his wit. I like his scent.
Believe it or not, I CAN stand Tim McCarver. In fact, I’ll come close to shedding something of a nostalgia tear when he signs off with FOX for the final time at the conclusion of this series.
Now, my appreciation here has little to do with whether or not Buck and McCarver are actually good at their jobs.It hasmore to do with the fact that I’m a sucker for just about any sort of play-by-play announcer.When it comes to sports broadcasting, I’mlike the 13-year-old girl who likes Lady Gaga AND Katy Perry.
I like Jim Nantz’s wholesomeness. I like Marv Albert’s old-schoolness. I like Ian Eagle as an up-and-comer (even though he’s been up and, ahhh, coming since the late ’90s). I liked Dick Enberg, pretended to hate him for a while just to save face when talking with othersabout the pros and cons ofcertain announcers, and then just finally gave up and liked him again. Simply put – whatever the sports announcer flavor, I’m liking it.
Therefore, my opinion on this matter doesn’t mean much. Still, I’m well aware that Boston loathes Buck and McCarver and that railing against them has become a sport in and of itself since 1996 when the duo first began as the No. 1 baseball team on FOX.
The claims against Buck: He never, ever gets excited. He hates Boston. Every fibre of his body is smarmy. He doesn’t care about sports anymore, he’s just auditioning for a late-night talk show gig that exists somewhere in hell.
The claims against McCarver: He hates Boston because, at one point, he was a Yankees announcer. He is delusional. He is old and out-of-touch. His family doesn’t allow him around Scooter, the talking baseball, because things eventuallyget creepy. His favorite former Red Sox pitcher is named “Brandon” Arroyo. He over-analyzes the game to death.
Now, it is true that Buck and McCarver do have ties to one organization. But it’s not the Yankees. It’s Boston’s opponent in this year’s Fall Classic, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Buck’s dad Jack (who, FYI,was born in Holyoke, Mass.) was the voice of the Cards for decades, and Joe himself was the lead play-by-play man in St. Louisfrom 1991-2007.
McCarver, of course, made his bones in the Majors playing catcher for St. Louis and helped defeat the Red Sox in the 1967 World Series (though it should be noted that McCarver actually played for the Red Sox for a season and a half in the mid-1970s).
So, Buck and McCarver will obviously be openly cheering for the red birds throughout the 2013 World Series, right? Well, it may be perceived that way in Boston, but as Buck has pointed out numerous times -EVERY fan base, including the Cardinals fan base, has – at various times – thought the Buck/McCarver team was rooting against them. Buck summed things up nicely on thebias claimswith this tweet back in August, on a day when FOX colleague Kenny Albert was announcing a Yankees game:
“Getting ripped for my ‘biased’ calls for AND against Yankees in today’s game. Only problem is I’m not doing the game – proves a point – wah.”
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS