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Are Buck and McCarver really rooting for anyone?

Nov 3, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

Believe it or not — and my psychiatrist clearly does not believe it — I read every comment posted to this blog.  And based upon reading every comment posted to this blog, I have learned two things:

1. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Phillies; and

2. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Yankees.

Really, the passion with which many of you believe that those knuckleheads are rooting for the other team is incredible.  It’s rendered even more incredible in light of the fact that so many of the same people who think that Buck and McCarver root also say that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In an ideal world, the statements “McCarver knows nothing!” and “McCarver roots for the other guys” would represent complementary concepts that shouldn’t bother anyone (after all, if they guy truly is a moron, and truly is rooting for the other team, doesn’t that bode well for your team?)  But the former notion seems to make the latter notion all the more intolerable for many of you.

Personally, I don’t think that either of those guys root for anything other than high ratings and a long series.  In this, they are no different than so many of their predecessors, including Bob Costas, Tony Kubek, and Joe Garagiola, all of whom have been accused of postseason bias over the years (they’re also all NBC guys . . . hmmmmm), erroneously so in my view. But still the perception persists, and I really want to know why.

Those of you who think that the broadcasters are in the bag for the other team: why do you think so? Give us examples of alleged bias in the comments.  It’s an off day and we don’t have to listen to them bleat, so let’s talk about their bleatings a bit, shall we?

UPDATEThis post on the excellent Fack Youk! blog is a week old, but it’s a much more thorough handling of the subject.

  1. Kendall - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    My two favorite comments from McCarver last night: (quotes are probably not exact, but close)
    1. “That’s the scouting report on Jason Werth. Get ahead with fastballs, then get him out with a breaking ball out of the zone.” Who knew Jason Werth was so different than every other hitter in baseball?
    2. “The Yankee’s have never faced this Cliff Lee. He’s a different pitcher than he was when he was pitching with Cleveland.” He completely changed the way he pitched since he was traded? I find that somewhat hard to believe.

  2. Cru11 - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    Tim McCarver is without a doubt a babbling bafoon. He just keeps rambling then Joe Buck comes along with his ultra dry tone and brings a damper on every situation. I highly doubt Joe Buck ever wanted this series to go more than 4 games. Anyone remember where he was quoted as saying he didn’t enjoy the game anymore because it’s not the same and it takes way too long to play?

  3. jonny5 - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Joe Buck can’t stand Philly. Never Liked them. Never picked them to win one play off series. Never had any enthusiasm for Philly when they won. Last night when Utley hit that 3 run bomb, you could hear Buck was disappointed by it. He has no right to be calling the world series, he should be a funeral director. It’s a shame he’s his fathers legacy.

  4. Omega - Nov 3, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Joe Buck has no place being at a ballpark with a microphone in his hand. And if it weren’t for his father’s name, he wouldn’t.

  5. RP - Nov 3, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    I’m a Phillies fan and tend to think Buck dislikes Philadelphia in general, whether it be the Eagles or Phillies. But I also think Buck is a terribly overrated announcer and shouldn’t be the lead for FOX in either sport, so maybe some of my feelings regarding his work are affecting my view that he’s biased.
    I don’t think McCarver roots for either team so much as he likes hearing his own voice. Well, that and he does have a man-crush on Derek Jeter. It’s a close call as to whether he has a larger crush on Jeter than Peter King has on Brett Favre.

  6. Old Gator - Nov 3, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    The real shame of it is that Tim McCarver is a very knowledgeable scholar (Heh, I almost said “hobbyist,” didn’t I?) of the American Civil War. No, I don’t mean the 2000 election, I mean the one that ran from 1861-1865. He has been interviewed about this several times and comes across as both knowledgeable and erudite – sort of like a Shelby Foote without all the Colonel Beauregard pretenses. What I would really like to see is for Tim to call it a baseball career and wait for the Old Timer’s Committe to get around to him eventually, they way they did for Buck O’Neill. He should invest his winter passion in getting together with Ken Burns to re-do that great Civil War documentary that ran on PBS years back, this time with McCarver calling the plays at each major battle. Howard Cosell conclusively proved that this could work in his Wide World of Sports segment on the assassination of a banana republic caudillo at the beginning of Woody Allen’s “Bananas.”

  7. Andy L - Nov 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    WAY too many people confuse “not liking a team’s chances to win” with “hating a team.” I don’t understand. My favorite was when Joe Sheehan picked the Rays to beat the Phillies last year, and when the Phillies won a fan demanded that he apologize.
    People are ridiculous.

  8. Shely - Nov 3, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Your comments are way out of line. You don’t know of what you speak. These two guys are trying to call a game without a bias. If one is on one side or the other, you can decipher this as not liking one team or the other. When The Reds (yes the old days) were in the 90 series, McCarver was seen by the people in Cincinnati as not liking the Reds. I really didn’t see where this came from, as he called plays as he saw it. The people here thought he was really a Philly fan and could not say any good things about the Reds. This was silly, but it was a natural outcome of trying to be a neutral game caller, and not a local homer as is Marty here in the Queen City. I am sure that no one but your own Philly announcer would be acceptable for you and the fans in your city.

  9. Saintlouie - Nov 3, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    They BOTH root for St.Louis. CHECK THAT OUT

  10. RD - Nov 3, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    I’am rooting for someone, besides McCarver or Buck. Very boring

  11. John - Nov 3, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    If they were smart both Buck & McCarver would be rooting for the Phillies as they are going to repeat! PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  12. Crash - Nov 3, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    I’m a Phillies fan. I’m also a baseball fan. I am just plain sick and tired of Buck and McCarver. McCarver thinks he has to impress the viewer with every comment he makes. During one game he said words to the effect, “Ron Fairly once told me that when an outfielder charges the ball runners tend not to take as many bases.” I guess now all outfielders will not stand in their position waiting for the ball to come to them. I have been suggesting since the early 1990’s that during all playoff series, that for the first home game, each team’s announcers do that game. I’d rather listen to the Yankees announcers than Buck and McCarver. I am sure the technology exists to let the each team in the games listen to their own announcers while the rest of the country listens to whomever the networks are pushing at the time. Buck and McCarver, being nuetral, show no excitement when a big play happens. And the other thing about Buck & McCarver, they really have very little local knowledge.

  13. John - Nov 3, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Tim McCarver – In the 9th inning of game six of the ALDS he said “How appropriate is it that Mariano Rivera begin each pitch with a bow?” LMAO! PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  14. Shely - Nov 3, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    In the sixties, many of the W-S telecasts were with one of the home team’s announcers in the booth with the networks guys. It didn’t work out too well so this is the change. On the other hand, you really have to rethink your comments. Did you ever play baseball? Or did you play it professionally? I didn’t think so. However, you think you know this game better than a pro who played for St.L., and Philly. They thought so much of him in Philly, that he was the PERSONAL catcher for Steve Carlton. (REMEMBER HIM?) That is the only reason he was there. If you don’t like the guy that is your right. However don’t bore us with how much more you know than McCarver. It ain’t so.

  15. Heelmar - Nov 3, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    And the old Cliff Lee won the Cy Young in the AL, didn’t he?. Why would he change?

  16. Shely - Nov 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    Did you guys get out of grade school yet? He meant that Lee is not the same pitcher as he was in Cleveland THIS YEAR. No Cy winner in 2009. No wonder you think he is stupid. You can’t understand how English is used to drive home a point. To answer Kendall the expert’s first question, many hitters are not fast ball hitters. They actually like to see breaking balls (curves and change ups). Oh you didn’t know that? Well no wonder you made the comment.

  17. Crash - Nov 3, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    I remember watching the World Series where the home team announcers did all the home team games. It wasn’t that it didn’t work out, or was necessarily bad. Baseball controlled its game, not the networks. It was just different. I don’t think Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, Jack Buck ever played an inning of major league baseball. They do / did a fair job announcing the games. I just don’t happen to believe that an announcer has to fill in every second with commentary. The great ones let the play paint the picture. It’s free country and I’m entitled to my wrong opinion. Smile, enjoy the balance of the Series.

  18. Shely - Nov 3, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    Yes, we are tired of all the comments in the booth. That is not Buck and McCarver. That is the whole industry. They think we want it that way. Did you look at an event on ESPN lately? Besides all the chatter, they try to give you comment on all plays and comments between plays etc.. If you don’t want to hear about all of that, too bad it is coming anyway. These two guys are far less offensive than the ESPN crew. I have turned off those people so not to go through all of the stupid comments and interviews etc. while the game is going on. You won’t get the same type of call during the season as we used to get. It is the same here in Cincinnati with the HOF broadcaster (Marty) we have. It is now necessary for us to hear about everything, without a second of silence during the broadcast. I am tired of it when it never used to be this way.

  19. bh0673 - Nov 3, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    I have heard first hand from somone who was working in a restaurant Buck was having dinner he is not a Philadelphia fan in fact the comment he made made that waitress want to punch the cr*p out of him. I can’t believe that a national network can’t come up with anyone better then these two boring morons. Nepotism and brain dead are the only things that come to mind when I hear or see them. McCarver was clueless when he did play by play for the Yankees even after being there every day. I will listen to the radio when ever possible when I watch a fox game even though the radio is slightly ahead of the picture.

  20. bh0673 - Nov 3, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Shely, I am a Yankee fan and I know Buck hates Philadelphia a little more then New York. The only teams he loves are out in St. Louis and that is where he should stay. Buck is biased, has always been and will always be. This is the first time he hasn’t been as negative toward the Yankees but prior years of obvious disdain for the Yankees have caused me to harbor much resentment. McCarver on the other hand was fired by the Yankees as a play by play announcer and I am sure he still harbors resentment to the Yankees.

  21. you suck joe buck - Nov 3, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    Think back to last years w/s, when it was raining I thought Joe Buck was going to cry, he was so upset that the rays had to play in the rain and mud. He makes it a little too obvious that he hates all things Philadelphia

  22. Donn - Nov 3, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    Yes, McCarver is a bumbling idiot* but to suggest that he and Buck favor the Yankees or the Phillies is ridiculous. No matter the sport and no matter the teams playing, fans from team A will always complain that the announcers favor team B and fans from team B will always complain that announcers favor team A. What a joke.
    Whether or not these announcers are any good is a completely separate issue. Buck is clearly better than Chip Caray but that is damning with faint praise. And McCarver is a joke. My favorite McCarverism this fall is when he told us that la ligne is the Spanish word for line and team x was hitting lots of la linges. As a posted on this site said, McCarver is Spanish for moron.

  23. Alvaro Fernandez - Nov 4, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    I don’t like Buck nor McCarver and don’t like Joe Morgan. Jon Miller isn’t that bad. Maybe it’s just that you might want to hear something balanced but maybe it’s too much info that they can’t manage so they fall back into cliches and this annoys the hard core fan.
    Now, Fox in Spanish is VERY bad and biased. In game 4, the announcer stated that the Yankees were going to be in deep trouble in game 5 facing Cliff Lee with the series tied. And this was in the top of the 8th, with the Yankees leading 4-3. The game hadn’t even tied yet!

  24. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    Shely, My comments are spot on, for two years during the playoffs and WS I’ve had to hear Buck announce games for Philly. He has no enthusiasm when Philly makes a great play. NONE. But when the opposing team has a play he’s get excited. I’m not making a personal attack on the guy. Just stating the obvious. Now go back and read others posts and you can apologize to me later. ;>)~ If he wants to be a great announcer like his Pop was, he needs to get excited when any good play happens for either team. Instead of sounding as if he’s teaching A statistics class in a monotone until his favorite to win makes a good play.
    McCarver on the other hand seems fair, yeah he talks out of his butt some times, but you can tell he’s a fan of the sport, not of the Job like Buck.

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