It’s no secret that Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck is not universally loved in Kansas City.
Some Royals fans are still bitter about Buck’s perceived preference for Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series, which Buck called for Fox.
Buck also is the lead play-by-play man for Fox’s NFL coverage, and there are a legion of football fans who are not Buck fans.
Well, the end of Buck’s broadcast is near — maybe. Last week, Buck chatted with Tim McKernan of 590 AM in St. Louis about Buck’s new book “Lucky Bastard,” his time in St. Louis and many, many other things.
Toward the end of the discussion, Buck seemed to indicate that he’s ready to step away, even though he is just 47 years old.
“I love it,” Buck said, “but I’ve been doing it for a long time and I feel like somebody else should do it. I’ve done enough, and I’m signed (with Fox) for three more World Series, and that’ll be 22, which is stupid to even think about.
“If somebody said right now, before I walk outta here, you’re done, I’ve had the greatest career, miles beyond anything I could have ever dreamed.
“But I would like to get some of my time back and be home, be in St. Louis, and be with my wife and watch my kids, even though they’re 20 and 17, and doing their own thing. I’ve been gone a lot this year, and I’m not crying about it, I love it. But I need to take stuff out, not put stuff in.”
That would take Buck through the 2019 World Series. In addition to his work with Fox Sports, Buck has an interview show called “Undeniable With Joe Buck,” and he might want to focus on that.
McKernan asked if Buck would continue calling football games if he stepped away after the 2019 World Series.
“If they want to sign me,” Buck said. “I mean, I don’t know. Or I wouldn’t do anything, maybe just do the interview show.”
Now, before you start doing cartwheels at this news, it’s worth noting that whoever follows Buck will likely face the same criticism.
During the 2015 Amercian League Championshp Series, I asked Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre about the scrutiny Buck faces. Lefebvre said NFL fans are irked because national broadcasters don’t seem tuned into their team.
“With baseball, it’s even more extreme because for six months all they’re hearing is the same two or three voices with the same team slant basically,” Lefebvre said then. “Now with the stakes so high, here come these guys who are trying to be unbiased, but they never come across that way. Whatever complaints Royals fans have, I’m sure Blue Jays fans have the exact same complaints. But fans in the other 28 markets, I’m sure feel like they are getting a balanced broadcast representing both teams.”