Joe Buck’s presence in an MLB broadcast booth has been missing for two years now.
Last season, Buck admitted ESPN asked him to call a baseball game, but he declined, saying, “I don’t have that itch.” More recently, Buck admitted that he anticipates getting the itch eventually. And now, the renowned play-by-play voice admits he misses calling local MLB games.
But that doesn’t mean that Buck has the same feel for the game he once did. In fact, Buck recently joined Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take, and during the interview, he said that it was “stunning” to him that he didn’t recognize over half of the players at the MLB All-Star Game in Seattle earlier this month.
“I don’t know who any of them are and I haven’t been out that long,” he said.
Buck still follows the sport as a fan, but is no longer “in the weeds” as a broadcaster, so his knowledge of the everyday happenings of Major League Baseball aren’t what it was once
“It’s amazing how when you get off the train, it leaves you and you are standing at the station and it’s gone. Nobody cares and the game moves on. It’s a weird lesson to learn that way, but it’s the truth. It’s passed me by. I’m off the carousel here.”
With Buck essentially admitting that the game had passed him by, Dan “Big Cat” Katz pressed the 54-year-old announcer and asked him if he was saying he wasn’t going to call baseball games anymore.
“I don’t know who those people are that want me back on baseball,” Buck said. “And I sure as hell don’t know where they were when I was doing baseball. But now it proves the old adage that either have to die or retire for people to go, ‘Oh you know, that guy was OK.’ The national baseball stuff, I don’t see how that ever comes around again. Like I said, you’re gone. You’re done. It’s beyond.”
Buck acknowledged that there are headlines out there that indicate he isn’t done calling games and took issue with an article in the New York Post, which he referred to as “clickbait crap.” The interview that the Post article references is Buck essentially saying that he anticipates he’ll get the itch again to call games.
And while he doubts that happens on a national level, Buck did say that he misses doing local baseball.
Buck recently joined The Zone with Jason Anderson on Kansas City’s 810 WHB radio from the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. During the interview, Buck was asked whether he misses being an MLB play-by-play voice in the wake of departing Fox to lead ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth last year.
“You know what I miss? I miss how I started. I miss doing local baseball. I miss putting on a headset and being the eyes and ears of Cardinal fans, Royal fans, Rangers fans, whatever. That’s more fun than being in Switzerland and getting all the junk that comes with it.”
But even now, as Buck watches games, he sees umpires make signals and pointing at their watches.
“This was my life and I don’t even know what the hell they’re signaling with whatever they’re doing,” he said. “So, I’d have to do a lot of work to get back in the booth and call a baseball game…I could do two innings, but I don’t see it anytime soon.”
So there you have it, if Buck does do any local baseball games, he doesn’t see it happening anytime soon. It sure sounds like he has to get himself up to date on the new rules that have been implemented in his absence.