A Buck had been in the Cardinals’ broadcast booth for 47 consecutive seasons until Joe, son of legendary broadcaster Jack Buck, decided to pull out five years ago. But he might be back on an extremely limited basis this season, in a ground-breaking role, if the planets align correctly.
There have been preliminary discussions about him doing play-by-play for a handful of Cards games on Fox Sports Midwest, in a looser fashion than ever has been done for any big-league regular season telecast.
Nothing has been cemented, but possibilities include chatting with players while the game is in progress — perhaps someone on the bench or in the on-deck circle — talking to a relief pitcher who wouldn’t play until later in the game, having a microphone on a fielder or other such innovations beyond even what might take place for an All-Star Game.
“The idea would be to try some fun stuff within a Cardinals game that hasn’t been tried before,’’ Buck said. “I don’t even know what that entails, but we’d be looking for different access to the on-air product. I think it could be cool. It would kind of loosen the reins a little, make the broadcasts a little more compelling. It would be in the category of ‘something different’ (but) how that takes shape I don’t know.’’
...FSM general manager Jack Donovan likes the idea of getting Buck — the national Fox network’s lead baseball and football announcer — back on the local airwaves.
“Nothing has been finalized but the way I look at it, Joe is widely regarded as the best announcer in the business and if we’re fortunate enough to have Joe do some games we’ll absolutely take advantage of that,’’ Donovan said. “He’s the best in the business, fans would be delighted if he was doing some games. He’s in the Fox family, he makes his home in St. Louis. It’s an option that’s out there and we’d be delighted to have Joe on our telecasts.’’
Buck firmly emphasizes that he doesn’t want to intrude on existing Dan McLaughlin and Rick Horton, who do play-by-play for FSM, as well as analyst Al Hrabosky. And if the idea comes to fruition it would be for only a few games.
“It’s insulting to Dan, it’s insulting to Ricky,’’ Buck said of any idea of him trying to get back in a regular rotation in the booth. “I’m not just looking to do games, this is not my broadcast. This broadcast belongs on the air to Dan, Ricky and Al. I’m well aware of that and would never infringe on that.’’