Joe Davis and John Smoltz

Monday night’s World Baseball Classic semifinal matchup between Japan and Mexico was a game worthy of big-time announcer calls.

And much like Japan’s Munetaka Murakami in the bottom of the ninth, Fox’s Joe Davis stepped up to the plate and delivered when it mattered most.

There’s been so much attention paid to Davis this past year as he’s stepped into the big shoes left behind by Joe Buck, calling the 2022 World Series and grasping onto the mantle of America’s baseball voice for the foreseeable future. He seems to have cemented that status during the 2023 WBC and baseball fans have been coming out of the woodwork to shower praise on him for the way he calls the game’s biggest moments.

Monday night, he had plenty of moments to choose from. And more often than not, he let the excitement on the field do the heavy lifting, preferring to set the table around them in order to provide context without making it about him.

There’s no better example than when Randy Arozarena became a whole mood after robbing Japan of a home run in the fifth inning. Davis shared his excitement at the moment and then, recognizing what the outfielder was doing, let everyone appreciate it.

When Masataka Yoshida tied the game up in the seventh inning, Davis gave the moment its weight by calling it “an iconic swing” and then let the crowd take over.

And finally, Davis’s call of Japan’s game-winning hit by Murakami, Davis gave audiences just enough information to understand everything that was happening before getting the heck out of the way to let the Japanese players’ celebration and Mexican players’ dejection tell the story in a way that no announcer could.

It may not seem like much, but in the world of baseball play-by-play, the delicate balance between too little and too much is something that so few announcers can master. And by all accounts, the baseball world seems to feel like Davis has got it down.

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About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to