I love Twitter for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the foremost is that it reminds us we are not alone. In a world of merging media conglomerates, when top-down communication seems increasingly tone-deaf — words and images shot out into a void with no attempt at connection or relatability — Twitter confirms that there are others like us.
Watching the World Series, and following along on Twitter, I can see that I am not a Joe Buck-hating island. There are thousands of us.
And only one of him.
I used to watch postseason baseball in a vacuum, with the assumption that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were well-liked. After all, they stayed on the air year after year, with renewed contracts and probably substantial salary increases. I believed that my all-encompassing loathing for them (and especially Buck) was just another sign of my misanthropy.
But now I have proof that others loathe Buck too. Other people — smart people! — get irritated by the same hideous phrases and analysis. Other people dream of a world where we could watch the most important baseball games of the year without the spectre of Joe Buck hanging over us like a poisonous radiation cloud. Other people watch games on mute or turn on the radio and deal with the annoying delay between picture and sound. One life. With each other. Sisters. Brothers.
Fox’s coverage of postseason baseball is an abomination. We’ve been over this before, but each year brings new horrors. This year, we’ve got fucking thermal imaging cameras to contend with.
We’ve got Fox’s trademarked forced narrative of the year, which is that Nolan Ryan built the Rangers and only through the sheer force of his will have they succeeded. Which means we have to contend with cutaway shots to Ryan at least 35 times a game. The scene before Game 4 of Ryan and George W. Bush embracing while a capacity Texas crowd screamed their approval and waved state flags has me more convinced than ever that David Simon Cowell was right to escape this country when he did.
We’ve got Tim McCarver saying things like, “In baseball, you hold the bat with your hands, but you can’t hit without your legs!”
And, as ever, we’ve got Joe Fucking Buck.
I used to think that Joe Buck was merely indifferent to baseball. That his true passion lay with football and that baseball helped pay the Brooks Brothers bills. That would explain his obvious boredom when calling any baseball game, even though it is quite literally his job not to sound bored on the air. World Series Game 7? ALCS extra innings? Whatevs. Buck has more pressing concerns. He has a call scheduled with Troy Aikman to prep anecdotes about the Panthers’ offensive linemen!
This year, though, I’ve finally figured it out. Buck isn’t just indifferent to baseball: he resents it. He loathes it. It frightens him. Because baseball was his dad’s sport, and Buck knows he’ll never be one tenth the announcer that his father was. So he passive-aggresively takes out his inferiority complex on every baseball fan on the planet by constantly making the sport sound as dull and workmanlike as possible. Joe Buck is doing his best to destroy baseball.
This year, Buck’s just out there Bucking. He’s doing things like calling OPS a “new stat,” which is true in the same sense that the United States is a new country. He’s endlessly extolling the virtues of Michael Young, who plays the game the right way — which in Buck’s world, means he’s white and can’t hit for power. He’s tracking when Zooey Deschanel leaves the game after singing the national anthem. And his somnambulant delivery is making a very good World Series sound very dull.
But baseball will in the day and have its revenge on Joe Buck. Because I, as baseball’s designated protector, am going to begin following Buck around and announcing his personal life the way he announces ballgames.
“Joe Buck, preparing to retire from broadcasting now. You have to wonder how Buck’s legacy will be perceived because of how much of his career took place during the steroids era. Was Buck clean? We’ll never know.”
“Here’s Joe Buck, getting ready for the birth of his child. Big event. Big day. Almost as big as what happened just across town earlier this afternoon, when the St. Louis Rams won a pre-season game over the Atlanta Falcons 31-14.”
“Joe Buck died today, but he really lived his life the right way. He just….hey! Is that Lea Michele here at the funeral?? Lea! Lea! Glee: what a wonderful show.”
Bonus List: The Top 5 Things Joe Buck Masturbates To
1) Recording of himself doing warm-up vocal exercises. “Hi, He, Ha, Ho, Hu”
2) Recording of his father announcing Game 1 of the 1988 World Series (for special crying masturbation sessions only)
3) Tim McCarver’s easy listening CD
4) Slow-motion footage of Randy Moss pretending to moon the Green Bay crowd
5) A blank wall