1. Four months later, Opening Day is finally here.
The Yankees face the Nationals at 7 p.m. ET. The Giants and Dodgers will play at 10 p.m. ET.
Joe Buck will call the Yankees-Nationals game this Saturday night for Fox with his partner, John Smotlz.
Buck appeared on this week's Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and explained how they'll be doing the game.
"We're not only not in the stadium or in separate booths, we are not in the same city," Buck said. "I will be in Denver. John will be in Jersey at the MLB headquarters. Our producer, Pete Macheska, who is phenomenal at what he does, will be in L.A and we will make it come together."
While that arrangement sounds bizarre, this is the coronavirus world we live in right now. However, don't expect Buck to complain or make an issue of it Saturday night.
"I remember when my dad and I were driving to spring training my first year of doing Triple-A Louisville and I was skipping out of college and going to Triple A, we had a lot of talks in the drive between St. Louis and St. Petersburg, Fla., and I remember distinctly him saying I want you to remember one thing when you get into this business," Buck explained on the podcast. "Nobody cares if the announcer is cold, nobody cares if you as the announcers is hot, nobody cares if you're tired. Nobody cares if your vantage point stinks. Nobody cares if you played golf that day, and certainly nobody cares what you shot. So do the game realizing people just want to watch the game and enjoy it and you'll be fine. And that has stuck with me. And I don't think it's been more important to remember than now when I'm just doing a game off the monitor."
"John's doing the game the same way. I'll be able to see him on a side camera, I'll be able to talk on talk back with my producer Pete and with John, but we're just gonna put it together and we're not gonna act like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe we're doing a game this way.' He and I cannot wait to get back and I can't wait to watch baseball. We'll muddle through it as best we can, and the world will keep spinning and the sun will come up the next day."
I asked Buck who made the decision to have him and Smoltz not call the game from the stadium and whether he'd have any issues doing a broadcast inside a stadium.
"It's a Fox decision at this point with regard to broadcasters being in the stadium. I don't know what MLB's policy would be, but certainly the home announcers are allowed to be there, so I don't think that would be an issue. So that's a Fox issue.
"And then because I'm out there, my wife's mother just moved into a retirement center, I think is the politically correct term these days, so we're gonna visit here. We're in Denver. I'm not gonna fly home to do a game on my computer. I'd rather just do the game from a studio and have as much at my disposal and the cleanest connection I can. Would I be worried about going to D.C. to do the game? Absolutely not. I feel like with the number of hotel rooms and plane flights and dirty ballparks that I've been in since I was about 2, I feel like, and I'll say this and I'll probably regret saying it, but I feel like I'm doing everything I can, with every guideline that's been put out there from masks to washing my hands to social distancing and all that, at some point you have to go on with your life and be smart about it, so no, I would have absolutely no issue going to D.C. to do the game."
Other topics discussed on the podcast with Buck include the various rule changes for the MLB season, how he feels about piped-in crowd noise, what will happen with the NFL season, Buck's NFL Week 1 game between the Bucs and Saints, why Andy Cohen and Howard Stern are great interviewers, getting a play-by-play offer from a webcam company and much more.
2. I kind of feel bad saying this about Fox after Buck was so great on the SI Media Podcast this week, but I have to be honest. This is so stupid.
I've written this many times before. Sports are the ultimate reality show. We don't need the networks messing with reality. Just broadcast the games as is, and let the chips fall where they may.
3. This is Jon Hamm's best work since Mad Men.
4. You knew J.R. Smith in the bubble would make for some great material. And right on cue, we have the Lakers guard revealing that for his three-month stay in the Orlando bubble, he packed a grand total of seven pairs of underwear–one for each day of the week.
5. This is so, so good.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: It's all about baseball today, so I had to post this.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: You owe it to yourself on Opening Day to spend seven minutes consuming Vin Scully's best calls.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.