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Joe Buck Says He’s Done Calling Network Baseball

Also in Traina Thoughts: Al Michaels on how Amazon will cover Taylor Swift; Braves radio broadcasters were so salty; Jason McCourty speaks for all parents and more.

1. The latest episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina dropped this morning and this week’s show features an interview with the Monday Night Football broadcast crew, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

With the Major League Baseball playoffs in full force, Buck’s voice once again has been missed this postseason. With ESPN airing the wild-card round, it would seem like a natural fit to have him call some of the games.

Buck made it clear when he left Fox for ESPN that baseball wasn’t going to be part of his new gig. He also had said he was going to leave his job as Fox’s lead voice on MLB games if he had stayed at Fox. 

But now that he’s had a couple of years away from the sport and with many fans missing Buck during October baseball, I peppered him with questions about once again getting behind the microphone to work some games for the national pastime.

Here’s how the exchange went.

Sports Illustrated: Why can’t you just cut the nonsense, stop this charade and do some baseball for ESPN?

Joe Buck: Yeah, it’s not gonna happen.

SI: Stop playing this game. People on Twitter during the playoffs have been like, ‘Where’s Joe Buck? We want Joe Buck.” I checked.

JB: Well, Joe Buck’s been gone for two years now, and he ain’t coming back.

SI: Stop.

JB: I’m not!

SI: You will never ever call a baseball playoff game? They had four games the other day, ESPN. They’re trotting out A-Rod. You can’t do one game for us in the playoffs?

JB: They’re trotting out A-Rod ...

SI: Nobody wants to hear A-Rod.

JB: They’re trotting out A-Rod …

SI: Why can’t you just stop the charade?

JB: They’re not gonna trot me out. They trotted me out in the [NFL] pregame show a couple nights ago. So I’ll step in in a pinch in that case. If there’s a playoff game in St. Louis and somebody shows up and they forgot their suit or they can’t talk and somebody needs to run down there and do it … 

I will tell you this: I am lost on who’s who. I’m giving Troy crap about “can you name four Rangers?” there’s been so much turnover in two years that getting out of it, I watched some of the playoff game last night and I don’t know who 70% of these players are. I’ve never heard of any of them. If I were to go back and be like, “Oh yeah, just go call a game,” well that requires a hell of a lot of work because you’re catching up for, it’ll be years by that point. So if the Cardinals need me or want me to come down and do a game someday with Chip Caray to have Buck and Caray together again, maybe I would do that just for fun, but I just don’t have any desire to call network baseball anymore.

It’s a shame Buck doesn’t have the desire anymore because he was THE voice of MLB for so long and now, at least for the moment, the sport doesn’t have the voice.

Other topics covered with Buck and Aikman on SI Media With Jimmy Traina include their reaching a broadcasting milestone by surpassing John Madden and Pat Summerall as the longest-tenured broadcast crew in sports network history, Aikman’s opinion on the Push Tush, Tom Brady asking Aikman for broadcasting advice, Aikman’s philosophy when it comes to criticizing players and officials, how Aikman would bust Buck’s chops and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.

2. TMZ reported that Taylor Swift will be in attendance at tonight’s Broncos-Chiefs game in Kansas City. Given that NBC went completely overboard the last time we saw TSwift at a game, I asked Amazon’s Al Michaels whether he could tell us how his crew plans on covering this enormous development.

“What we’re gonna do tonight, everything in moderation,” said Michaels. “Our crew talked about it this morning. You can’t make a sideshow the show. The vast majority of the audience are tuning in to watch a football game. There are people, I don’t know how many, it could be a sizable number, but it’s certainly not a majority, that if you trained the camera on her all night long, they’d be satisfied with that. This is not what we’re doing to do.

“There might be an appropriate shot or a couple. I don’t know what the number is going to be. If Kelce scores six touchdowns, who the hell knows what we’re going to do. But for the most part, just in moderation. The game is still the important element here, by far. That’s our thought. After that, you sort of make it, one of my favorite words, farcical.”

I asked Michaels whether we’ll see more of Swift if the game turns into a blowout since the Chiefs are the Chiefs and the Broncos stink.

"Moderation. That's our word. Everything in moderation. What do you do at a certain point? 'There she is.' O.K. Got it.”

Before I ended the conversation with Al, I asked him whether he had a favorite Swift song.

“Not necessarily, but my granddaughter and her friends are completely obsessed. They went to a Taylor Swift concert in L.A., and they prepared for it for a month.”

3. This was such a ridiculous stretch from the Braves’ radio broadcasters, who got all salty about Bryce Harper doing a throat-slash gesture after he hit his second home run of the game in Wednesday’s 10–2 win. Clearly, they were salty that Atlanta was getting pummeled and Harper dominated, so they used the throat-slash nonsense to take a shot at Harper.

4. Once again, on Wednesday, the Phillies’ Nick Castellanos hit a home run while announcers were discussing a serious topic.

If you are not familiar with this trend, you absolutely should read Jon Wertheim’s excellent story about it.

5. Good Morning Football‘s Jason McCourty spoke for every single adult who has ever had to endure those atrocious dance recitals that last 52 hours.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: With talk this week of some sort of Seinfeld reunion possibly happening, we should never forget that there was a Seinfeld reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm,and it was awesome.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

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