Yesterday, in his excellent article, Bill Hanstock said that Joe Buck
absolutely nailed the call of the Morse homer. He nailed the Ishikawa call later.
And he's right! Those were very good calls. But then, lately, most of Joe Buck's calls have been pretty good. In fact, I'd go so far as to say nice things about Joe Buck broadcasting baseball games. I think he's good at it now. I also think his poor reputation is because he wasn't always as good at it as he is now. I will illustrate this with every Giants postseason homer he called over the past few years, to show how he's different now than he was then, and how now he does a good job.
This call starts out fine. There's plenty of tension and excitement until he gets to "at the wall" and then it just dies. The problem is that the call needs to build and it just never does. Buck gets a little louder, but it's not enough.
Cody Ross again
This call sounds like someone pretending to not be bored, which has been what detractors have said about Joe Buck for a long time, and I get it, everyone. I totally get it.
Not Cody Ross a third time because the video on the Internet of his homer against Oswalt only has Jon Miller's call because during this at bat FOX was airing an in-game interview with the Phillies hitting coach, and Jon's call is great but in this context it doesn't really help me out
I mean, I'll include it, but it's not really relevant
For such a big moment in the series, this sure is a lackluster call. To an extent, it's understandable: off the bat, it looked like a fly out to right, and just like Jon Miller and the Phillies announcer later in this video, Buck had no idea. Where Jon especially excels is in letting the excitement build in his voice, which Buck does a little, but not enough for such a pivotal event.
Juan Uribe again
(It starts at 2:20:26, if the embedding doesn't work right)
This is a great call. Excited, stunned, bringing some of the energy in the park to you, the viewer at home. I don't love the verbiage of "shoots one out" but that is the nitpickiest nitpick that ever was nitpicked. Joe Buck did a fantastic job here.
Edgar Renteria (not that time)
Buck gets excited about this ball off the bat, but instead of building his excitement, he just kind of leaves it at the same pitch for the entire call. It might be his way of trying to let the moment speak for itself a little bit, or here it may be hesitation because while it's an important moment, it's hard to tell how big it'll end up being in the context of the game. A solo homer in the fifth to take a one run lead, while an exciting play, isn't the end all and be all of baseball, so he may be trying to leave somewhere to go if there's a more dramatic moment later.
(If the timestamp doesn't work, skip to 2:27:28)
This call is a bit muted, but there's a little excitement there. Probably, Buck was balancing the low likelihood of a Giants comeback with the amazement of watching Cody Ross continue his spectacular postseason. Could it be better? Sure. Does that make it a bad call? Probably not.
Another one where Buck sounds kinda bored. This wasn't an especially big moment in the game, but you still want more out of an announcer than that.
(Starts at 1:20:21)
This is a good call. It's not flawless – the pause before saying "gone" detracts from it, but Buck is appropriately excited and it's fun to listen to.
Whoops! When you think a home run is just a routine fly ball, you're gonna look a little silly. Buck honestly did his best to recover, but the damage was done.
Edgar Renteria (that time)
You want this call to be great. You want to convey that this was a series-defining moment, that decades of frustration are about to come to an end because of this one swing. Instead, it was...fine. This is about as big as Buck got in 2010, maybe tied with the Huff homer, and he needed to go just a little bigger. Compare his call with Dave's that plays right after it, and, even putting aside Flem's voice cracking, it's not a contest. Dave wins, hands down.
Honestly, it seems like Buck's biggest problem is not being able to recognize when balls are going out. Here, he gives it the regular fly ball approach until he notices that Carlos Beltran wasn't jogging casually to the spot the ball would land, but instead jogging halfheartedly because he knew it was going out. Once Buck became convinced it was a homer, the call was fine.
Embedding's disabled, so here's the link. It starts at 40:25, though if you come in at 40:12 you can hear Tim McCarver saying he doesn't like players being called "the goat" which is a fun time for everyone.
This is a good call! I like it. Well done, Joe.
(Also, Pence was hitting behind Hector Sanchez in the lineup, which, lolllllllll)
This was a well hit ball and everything, but it was utterly meaningless. Buck's call reflected this, and was good.
Pablo Sandoval again
Another victim of the "I don't know if it's a home run" problem Buck has. In case you think I'm making excuses for him, I'm not. Subpar calls on all but no-doubt home runs are bad. For a good example of how to do these right, Jon and Kuip both do excellent jobs in that situation.
Not a lot of drama in this home run or, by the 8th inning, this game, which means that the call was appropriately celebratory. A good job.
Pablo Sandoval (3)
I found one video with all three dingers, so that's exciting. Also exciting: listening to Joe Buck's voice here. The first call carries the awe of someone touching the untouchable Justin Verlander, and the second does a great job in exactly the area I criticized him for above. The second was an opposite field shot that wasn't at all a no doubter, and Buck's call carried the tension and excitement of the moment. And for the third, it was a historic moment, and he couldn't have been more excited. These are big, big improvements from 2010.
Now that I've just said something nice, let me say something not as nice: this should have been better. Buck lucked out that this wasn't the winning run in the World Series, because replaying that call over and over would have made him look bad.
I wouldn't say that this is a perfect call, but it's definitely a good one. The same way he built the excitement on Sandoval's second homer in the 2012 World Series, he does it here, and the improvement from Uribe in Game 6 is noticeable and impressive.
THAT'S HAMMERED INTO LEFT. MORSE. OFF THE BENCH. TIE GAME. It's a perfect call.
Travis Ishikawa...HITS ONE INTO RIGHT. THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT. It's also a perfect call. Try to tell me the guy who let us down on Renteria's homer would have nailed it like this. He wouldn't have.
In 2010, Buck stumbled when he couldn't immediately identify a fly ball as a home run. Here, it's a natural part of the call. Improvement. Progression. It's probably because we all complained so much. Good job, us!
And we end with a call that's pretty good. I'm not a fan of the "You wanna silence a crowd?" kind of call, but there's nothing inherently wrong with it, and if Duane Kuiper had said it, I'd have probably found it delightful. But as is, this was a good "Here we go!" type call for a game that was competitive for a while before the Royals ran away with it.
There you have it: an article ostensibly about Joe Buck that's really just an excuse to watch a bunch of Giants postseason homers. I hope you enjoyed the dingers. Dingers are fun.