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About Joe Buck’s voice

Aug 29, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

Joe Buck

People have noticed Joe Buck’s obviously weakened voice since the beginning of the season. As it was revealed last month, he’s the victim of a virus that has affected a nerve in his throat, and in turn, his vocal cords.  It’s killing his high register — wasn’t aware he had one, but hey, you learn something new every day — and is affecting his overall tone.

There was a story in the New York Times yesterday in which Buck talked all about it. He’s getting better, it seems, though the whole recovery process could take many more months.  All of which makes me wonder about why he’s still calling FOX’s top games in both baseball and football.

This is not some personal shot at Buck, a pile-on bash of his broadcast style, or some cold-hearted jab regarding his medical condition. It’s simply a realization that this condition is adversely affecting FOX broadcasts.  It is his job is to be the voice of the sports he’s broadcasting and his voice itself continues to be a distraction — sometimes a serious distraction — from the game itself.

If he had some sort of illness that affected his ability to work a full schedule but which would not substantially impact his ability to do his job when he could work it would be a totally different story. But this is different. This isn’t a matter of making an accommodation for someone whose temporary medical condition makes the logistics of doing the job a bit more challenging. It’s a situation in which the temporary medical condition is adversely affecting the quality of the work itself and for which there doesn’t appear to be an accommodation which can fix it.

Maybe that’s insensitive. I don’t know. But the product really is suffering. And it will only become a bigger problem once the playoffs start and the games themselves get bigger.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Joe Buck is anti-Philly with all his broadcasts, whether they are baseball or football related. Also, his play-by-play calling is suspect. I never liked him. You could replace Joe with a computer voice synthesizer and that would suffice.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      As I think about it more, Bob Costas would be an excellent hire to replace Buck. The guy knows baseball, is not biased with his anchoring like Buck, and can do play-by-play really well.

      16 thumbs down to my comment at this time. Must be a lot of Joe Buck lovers out there. I don’t understand why. He not really too good.

      • mikeinthevine - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        Bob Costas isn’t biased? You’re kidding right? He’s a Yankee homer through and through. He carries a Mickey Mantle baseball card in his wallet. I think he’d have Derek Jeter’s baby if he could.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM


        I remeber Costas very well when he did baseball play-by-play for NBC. I know he is a fan of the Yankees. However, I never once heard his bias come out when calling a game. Never. He loves baseball above everything else and respects the game. He’s no homer when it comes to bradcasting a game. Too professional for that.

    • ThisIsBaseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      He is also anti-NY. But has love affair with Boston. I listen to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman instead of Joe Buck when NYY games are on Fox… that’s how much I can’t stand him.

      • happster - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        Are you kidding me? It’s precisely the opposite – Buck is a complete homer for the Yanks.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      “Joe Buck is anti-Philly with all his broadcasts.” Are you capable of having a discussion WITHOUT mentioning the Phillies? As a baseball fan first and foremost…please know my allegiance with the Cardinals is second to noone. However, I am fully aware the sun does NOT rise and set in the Cardinals’ ass. Can you say the same with the Phillies?

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        If you want to have a discussion, I’ll answer your questions. (1) I am capable of having a discussion about other teams besides the Phillies. See the ATH thread. I spoke on the Nats-Reds game. You probably didn’t see that because you didn’t bother to look (2) Yes, I am a Phillies fan first and foremost and will speak about them as it is relevant and to my choosing. As having the best record in baseball, I have the right, just as anyone on this site, to comment anyway I choose.

        Is that all you got?

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        @ Roy: Is that all I got? Not sure what you are referring to. I was simply pointing out that (yet again) it’s “all phillies…all the time” with you. It is an article about Joe Buck NOT about the Phillies. Also not sure what W-L records have to do with anything. I axiously await your Phillies related response.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        stlouis1baseball ,

        Seems like you don’t like how the Cards are playing this season. Vent your frustration on them, not me.

        This is a post about Joe Buck, a national announcer. Any fan of any team can chime in on this discussion. Do you see me coming onto a St. Louis Cards thread and posting Phillies stuff? No. So, stick it.

    • xmatt0926x - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      I’ve only heard him be complimentary of the Eagles and Phillies and the sports complex in south Philly as a whole as being one of the best. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t have any special love for Buck but I just don’t get the hate for him. I don’t find him to be as long winded as McCarver and he doesn’t explain in detail the most basic and most obvious plays of the game like McCarver does. I just think Joe Buck falls into that category where people have been told that he’s a bad guy so many times for no reason that they now just say it themselves because they think they are supposed to. and if I only had a dollar for every fan who says about a broadcaster “he hates my teams dude!!” when it’;s extremely likely they’ve never actually heard the guy utter one bad word about their teams, I could retire today.

    • dfensfelix - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Open discussion: Who would you choose to replace halladaysbicepts?

      • dfensfelix - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        My choice (off the top of my head) is Corky from “Life Goes On”

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        Hahahaha! Corky. That is great.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        You are a loser with that type of comment. Never saw you post before. I would say I would replace you with nothing, and nothing would be lost.

      • ditto65 - Aug 29, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        I would replace him with Jetersgroint.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      In defense of Bicepts, They weren’t hating him for being impartial.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        Is this just prior to them overturning cars and torching businesses? Not sure you helped Roy with this one. All I saw were idiots.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        SMH……. I was just saying there are plenty of Philly fans who saw the NLCS and all came to the same conclusion about Buck, which carried over to the WS.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        Jonny 5,

        Don’t need defense from you. Actually, I think you are a bit of an instigator as well towards me. I really don’t like you, to be honest, from a commenter perspective.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        lol… Whatever, paranoid much?

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Not really, Jonny 5. I just think you are a joke of a commenter. In other words, you suck. Got it? Understand? Comprende?

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        10-4 bicepts…. 10-4. Coming from you that’s a pretty big compliment actually.. Thanks.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        Yeah, Jonny 5, stay classy and undereducated about baseball, the Phillies, and the city of Philly. It suits you well.

  2. JBerardi - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    “All of which makes me wonder about why he’s still calling FOX’s top games in both baseball and football.”

    I’ve always wondered why Joe Buck calls FOX’s top baseball games, and it’s got nothing to do with his voice.

    • bleedgreen - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:26 AM

      Isn’t it obvious why? Its because he shares a last name with his father.

      • Joe - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        I share a last name with MY father. I should get to call games on Fox, too!

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      Because Baseball is secondary to football for Fox. Joe Buck doesn’t even like watching baseball games, yet he’s the guy calling the big games Fox bought the rights to….. SMH. Honestly, and I’m trying to be as nice as I can about it, I don’t like mixing my baseball with Fox or Buck. The baseball Gods are angry with you Joe.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        I wouldn’t say that baseball is secondary to football for Buck. He seems to be a big baseball fan, growing up in St. Louis. Harry Kalas loved football and did voice work for NFL films for years. Obviously, though, baseball was his primary sport.

        I don’t question Buck’s love of baseball. I question his ability as a play-by-play guy and his anti-Philly angle that clearly come through in his broadcasts.

      • joeyhepatitis - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM

        In 2008, Joe Buck was being interviewed and he talked about how bored he was with baseball. From awful announcing

        “FOX’s national voice for Baseball openly admitted to not enjoying the game he covers, cramming for weekend matchups, thinking that the games are too long and that the game just isn’t the same. Unbelievable. You’re getting paid millions of dollars for watching a game three hours. Cry me a river! What’s even worse than that was the fact that he was on for another 4 or 5 minutes talking about a Cubs-Red Sox World Series. Are you kidding me?!”

        I don’t know if his interest in baseball has been rekindled, but I think it is safe to say that baseball is far from his top priority.

      • kellyb9 - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        @Joey – I would argue that it takes much more talent to call a baseball game. I prefer local announcers to the big network guys any day of the week because they have far more insight into whats going on during the game. Football is easier to call than any of the four or five major sports.

      • seanmk - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        you do realize that joe buck’s dad is the late great Jack Buck, who was the cardinals broadcastor for many years. he did the “i dont believe in what i just saw” gibson home run.
        Joe buck himself did play by play for the cardinals from 1991-2007, and has done baseball LONGER then he’s done football. You saying they are “football” or “baseball” guys is a bit off. This is the equivalent of saying al michaels is a “football” guy. along with saying any of them are biased, they are just trying to be objective and give equal time to both sides. i’d like to see you try and do their job and come off as neutral, it isn’t easy. if you don’t like them then mute them and listen to your radio broadcast, which will be biased toward whatever team it is because the team pays their salary to not be objective.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Actually all, I said Baseball was secondary to football to FOX, not Joe Buck. But to address the point Joe Buck has already alluded to his level of disdain for baseball himself. That isn’t a rumor, that’s fact. And just because he announced baseball for a longer period of time than football doesn’t mean he enjoys it more either. Myself, I think he does the game no justice while announcing baseball games, but tends to shine for NFL games.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      He got the job because of his father.

  3. cerowb - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Only one thing to do…come playoff time, replace the Buck-McCarver team with Vin Scully. Win-Win (Win!)

    • Cris E - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      I’d prefer him on football as well.

    • kellyb9 - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      Since I believe that anyone who loves baseball would agree with what you just said… I have to conclude that 9 people don’t like baseball.

  4. 4d3fect - Aug 29, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Vin will have plenty of free time right about then.

  5. hooks024 - Aug 29, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    This is a blessing to all fans. Joe buck is so disgustingly pro red sux, it’s almost criminal that he is allowed in the booth when they’re playing. Plus it’s sickening watching him gaze longingly into troy aikman’s eyes during giants games. Go virus! And go giants!

    • Jeff M. - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:07 AM

      Wow. You stay classy, pal.

  6. boston25rocketman - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    I saw the article title here and resolved to join just so I could express my pure joy at this news and hope that Buck loses his voice and stops ruining my enjoyment of MLB/NFL broadcasts on Fox.

    And as for the idiots that say he is always pro-Red Sox, as a Sox fan I strongly disagree. The guy is so anti-Boston sounding that I had every game of the 04 world series muted so I could listen to the radio guys instead, even if there’s a delay between the radio call and what I saw unfold. If anything he is pro-St. Louis just like his daddy. But all in all, he’s just garbage.

  7. sparkycon - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Joe Buck is a decent broadcaster, he suffers from not being JACK Buck. I’m a Yankee fan, and i like John Sterling, but i’d rather listen to Buck than Sterling/Waldman. I can’t stand Tim McCarver, but he’s a damn site better than Suzyn Waldman

    • seanmk - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      i can’t stand mccarver as much as the next guy, but mccarver isn’t in the fox booth for me. Fox has me regardless of who’s broadcasting, it’s for the casual fan that doesn’t watch baseball as often. Fox doesn’t care what i think, they have me regardless because there is no where else i can watch this game, they are trying to get casual fan for the ratings. we’d have to test casual fans to figure their opinion

  8. memphisyinzer - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    I think Buck is pleasant enough to listen to and he’s very knowledgeable. I just hate looking at him…. While he’s listening to his partner speak (whether it’s McCarver or anyone else in the booth) and they are on camera, he does that little look into the camera every 20 seconds or so and his expression makes him look like someone is giving him a “short-arm” inspection at the same time. He looks like a real pansy when he does that. Pay attention to it the next time he’s on and talking to someone else.

  9. 18thstreet - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Every announcer hates my favorite team! I’m completely objective, and I know that they’re all biased toward my hated rival! That’s why I prefer to listen to the local broadcasters.

  10. nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    What I dislike about Buck has nothing to do with perceived bias. It’s what seems to me to be his general inability to signal with his voice that the play is exciting, which I think is a key to good PxP. When a play is rising to a momentary crescendo, besides your words telling us it’s a big moment, your voice should also rise to the occasion. You know, like that new kid out in L.A. the Dodgers are trying out, Scully, I think. “She is GONE!!!” “Swung on and missed, a PERFECT GAME!!”

  11. stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Good post.

  12. stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    @ Roy: Look Man…I am not trying to necessarily start an argument over something as frivolous as this thread. I was only pointing out that your M.O. typically lends you to force feeding Phillies drivel down everyone’s throat. Your 1st sentence proves as much. However, based upon your W-L comment, your stick it comment, your Cardinals aren’t playing as well as you would like comment, it’s pretty obvious you are typically obnoxious, over-bearing Phillies fan. It’s really kind of dissapointing too because I like to take in a couple of away games a year. Unfortunately, I can’t do that in Philly cause’ I would end up in Jail.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      Well, then don’t start an argument that you can’t finish. The thread was about Joe Buck, the national broadcaster. I gave my opinion from a Philly angle. Then you started jumping down my throat about being all Phillies in a non-team preferencel post. So, what did you expect? I would take you comment and let it be? I responded, and correctly in my estimation. You instigated this whole thing.

  13. bigtrav425 - Aug 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Everytime i hear Bucks Voice i literally wanna burn my ear drums with a rusty fork he is THAT bad…Costas…dont even get me started on that pompous arrogant a-hole!!

  14. sawxalicious - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    I have to say…there are a few things that irk me about the playoffs….

    3) games starting super late.
    2) all the pre-game hoopla crap
    1) Joe Buck

    If we can be relieved of 33% of the irkiness, I call that a win. Buck is SO annoying to listen to. Maybe it’s because I am subconciously comparing him to other announcers that seem 10 X better…Steve Stone (The best ever), Jon Miller (even though we also have to listen to Joe Morgan), Harry Caray (one of the worst play-by-play guys, but boy did he make watching a game fun) etc.. Buck shows no joy for the game (or real knowledge, I know all the facts he spews are coming from what staffers wrote down in his notes). Buck is just too robotic and I would rather turn the TV down and search for a radio station w/ a different announcer calling the game (damned you, time delay!) Overall, I do not dislike Buck as a person and wish him no ill, but I hate him as a baseball commentator.

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