Skip to content

Willie Mays did not say what Joe Buck said he said

Jul 13, 2011, 8:30 AM EDT

Willie Mays AP

During the All-Star Game last night, Buck and McCarver brought up the topic of players who didn’t show up for the All-Star Game even though they were selected.  At that point, Buck referred to a Wall Street Journal article in which Willie Mays had something really pithy to say about the ballplayers who didn’t make it. Here were Buck’s comments:

“Willie Mays had some interesting quotes today in the Wall Street Journal with regard to guys not showing up for this All-Star Game. He said ‘I was rewarded 24 times as an All-Star, and I went 24 times. It’s not jury duty, guys should show up.’”

Except, as Larry Brown Sports points out, Willie Mays did not say it. It was the author of the article who said it, after which he fancifully imagined a bunch of conversations between current ballplayers and Mays, in which he presumed that Mays would disapprove of guys not coming to Phoenix.  Mays was not interviewed for the story and there was no effort by the WSJ writer to claim he had been. Just sloppiness by Buck and/or his production team as they looked for material to paint current ballplayers as lazy and entitled.

In Buck’s defense, he does work for a Rupert Murdoch property, and as we’ve seen in the news this week, Murdoch people are privy to non-public conversations all the time. So, yes, perhaps Mays did say the line about jury duty. Just that he said it on his cell phone to his brother-in-law or something.

  1. Manni Stats - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

    One of about a million wrong things that was said in that booth last night. How about the Adrian Gonzalez is the unanimous MVP garbage?

    • Alex K - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

      Or when he said the Miguel Cabrera is 30.

      • Manni Stats - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:56 AM

        Or when he called Miguel Cabrera “Felix Hernandez” during the intros.

      • Alex K - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        I didn’t watch the intros so I didn’t know about that.

      • spindervish - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        I’m all for bashing Buck, but this is disingenuous. It’s entirely likely that he was reading from a script and there was some sort of mix-up with the listed player order and the actual order they stood in. It’s not as if he looked at Miguel Cabrera, in his Tigers jersey, and thought to himself, “There’s Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.” It was a simple production screw-up that was almost surely not at all Buck’s fault.

  2. uyf1950 - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Maybe just maybe some current announcers/commentators (not mentioning any names) should aspire to meet the same standards as their predecessors like Mel Allen and Red Barber. Just my opinion.

    • jimbo1949 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      or their parental unit.

      • nategearhart - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        BOOM.

    • Lukehart80 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      They don’t have to look up to dead guys, they could just listen to Dodgers’ games and hear what a great announcing job sounds like. Better yet, just get out of the way and let Vin call the All-Star Game and World Series himself.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    This does not suprise me. It was the Joe Buck show last night, with the All-Star game taking a back seat to his antics. I brought this up in last night’s live chat. First of all, I have never seen a play-by-play man ever emcee a pre-game 30 min. on-field intro of players and dignitaries, then go on air and perform play-by-play sounding like a broken voice, then have quarrels with a celebrity (Timberlake), then do another emcee in the 7th inning, then finish a game looking like he was ready to shoot himself.

    Fox should have just called it “The Jack Buck Show featuring the 2011 MLB All-Star game.” Who’s this guy think he is, Dick Clark?

    • jimbo1949 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      “The Jack Buck Show featuring the 2011 MLB All-Star game.”
      there you go confusing an amateur hack with a real pro again.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        Jimbo1949,

        It’s hard to think of the name Buck without putting the first name Jack in front of it. It’s in my subconsciousness. Joe doesn’t have 1/8th of the professionalism of his late father, Jack.

  4. catsmeat - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Joe Buck, you’re calling a great game, Joe! Just a classy guy, with a classy voice.

    • fellspointbird - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:03 AM

      His voice is like velvet, mixed with peanut butter.

  5. paperlions - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    I would bet this tidbit was fed to Buck by the production team. There were plenty of dumb things said last night that can’t be blamed on anyone buy McCarver….the crap about Gonzalez being a unanimous MVP when he isn’t even the leading candidate….the crap about Young being such a team player when all he has done is bitch every time he was asked to switch defensive positions because he sucks with the glove.

    Buck is boring and too sanctimonious. McCarver is just an idiot.

  6. sdelmonte - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I used to like both Buck and McCarver. Actually, I still like Buck on football. But those days are long gone.

    • paperlions - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      I can’t stand Buck on football because he doesn’t rise to the action and it is clear that he doesn’t actually like or understand the game…you can tell it is just a job to him, nothing more. He is just there, and largely in the way of the broadcast.

      • spindervish - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        That’s interesting, considering one of the most-repeated complaints about Buck heard from baseball fans is that he clearly doesn’t like baseball and would obviously rather be doing a football game.

      • paperlions - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        Maybe he doesn’t really care for either game….they are all just jobs, necessary parts of his career path.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        That said, I can think of a perfect solution to make everybody happy.

      • SmackSaw - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        He tried the talk show on HBO and that was a disaster.

  7. bigharold - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    An employee of FOX bending the facts, (or just plain make Sh*t up), to fit the narrative? Who’d a thunk it??

    Remember, it FAUX not FACTS!!

  8. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    God, I can’t wait for baseball to resume. Bashing Buck is like beating a horse corpse with another horse corpse while eating horse corpse with a side of horse corpse.

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Lol!!! This is the comment of the day.

      I agree. All-Star week is OK, but doesn’t make up for watching the regular season on a daily basis.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        Agreed. I’m also very happy the NL won again. That’s good news for the Braves in the World Series.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM

        Bravo, did you hear Brian Wilson thanking McCann for hitting the home run to give his team home field advantage last night? I laughed.

      • bengunby - Jul 14, 2011 at 8:27 AM

        I laughed because it was double, Jonny, lol.

    • Old Gator - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      What, no Velveeta on the horse corpse?

      Oh, sorry – they don’t put Velveeta on their horsemeat in Atlanta, do they?

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Hey there, I have a fresh chicken here, not attached to a hook or anything.. Want some Gator?? hmmm? smells good….

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        There’s Jonny 5, the Old Gator Master Baiter

  9. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    It’s not jury duty, guys should show up

    Wait a second, jury duty is a civic obligation. You can’t decide to just not show up. This comparison makes zero sense (which is par for the course for Buckarver to be honest).

    • spindervish - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      There’s no big mystery here. I’m pretty sure it’s meant in the sense that most everyone perceives jury duty to be a burden, while an All-Star selection is meant to be an honor and something that should be appreciated.

      • Old Gator - Jul 13, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        I think it also has inferences of “everybody throws their jury duty notice in the garbage and in the unlikely event that they get contacted about it four years later claim they never got the notice.”

  10. adenzeno - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Buck is Fox’s insidious attempt to undermine the joy of Baseball for the youth of America. Fortunately, the Game has survived Selig,Steroids, Cocaine, Steinbrenner, a Fixed World Series, Player Strikes, Owner Lockouts, Collusion etc. It will survive Buck.

  11. thekcubrats - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    FREE WILLIE!

    • thekcubrats - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      Dang, Calc, love your stuff. That last paragraph is indelible. I can’t, and won’t, wipe it off my screen. Thanks.

  12. Jonny 5 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Although McCarver gets a bad rap, Buck makes him seem, well pretty awesome at times. You can just hear it in his voice that “Buck don’t give a &^%#” . Seriously though, he got where he is off of his dad’s coat tails and has NOT A FREAKING CLUE about how fortunate he is to have that gig. It sounds as if he’s reading a book and glancing at the game, calling it as if it’s a chore or an interruption.

    • paperlions - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Oh, I think he knows exactly how lucky he is….just because he’s a boring announcer who can’t help moralizing along the way doesn’t mean he’s stupid.

      But really, how many good announcers are there that are under 70 yrs old? Not many. Almost all of them think we need to hear their opinions about everything instead of them conveying insights to enhance the viewing experience.

  13. Lukehart80 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Free Vin Scully!

  14. The Rabbit - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I mute the Fox nationally broadcasted games for the obvious reasons; however, in fairness, some of the filler in sports broadcasts is suggested by production and are not the original thoughts of the announcer. You all have local announcers and know which ones are really informed and which ones…well…suck.

    “It was the author of the article who said it, after which he fancifully imagined a bunch of conversations between current ballplayers and Mays, in which he presumed that Mays would disapprove of guys not coming to Phoenix.”

    One of the sad legacies of Murdoch ownership: The WSJ has become the distributor of financial (and other) urban legends. As soon as I saw it was a WSJ article, I had exactly the same thoughts that Craig wrote in his last paragraph.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM

      A FOX employee quoting a News Corp entity is like Whisper Down the Lane.

      • The Rabbit - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        Exactly. Great description!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (3675)
  2. Y. Molina (3278)
  3. R. Castillo (2932)
  4. B. Posey (2146)
  5. D. Murphy (2093)
  1. D. Wright (2077)
  2. B. Colon (1991)
  3. M. Wacha (1952)
  4. A. Rizzo (1888)
  5. E. O'Flaherty (1798)