As Game 4 of Fox’s World Series coverage got underway on Saturday, criticism of play-by-play man Joe Buck had reached a fever pitch.
Most recently, claims of Buck’s bias had been creatively embodied by a wedding registry set up (by a fan) for him and Cubs player Kyle Schwarber, as well as a petition to sub in player-turned-broadcaster Bob Uecker (who famously played the Indians’ homer in Major League).
In addition to any Cubs favoritism he has been accused of displaying in the booth during the Fall Classic’s first three games, Buck himself stoked the fires with a Sports Illustrated essay in which he said that calling the first-ever televised World Series game at the Cubs’ Wrigley Field home would be “the No. 1 highlight of my career.”
The Cubs of course had not made it to the World Series in 71 years, and haven’t won one since 1908 — both record “droughts” for an MLB team.
Buck immediately acknowledged that by making his “No. 1 highlight” declaration, “Indians fans will think I hate their team. (I don’t.).” He then urged baseball fans to “put your allegiances aside for a moment” and “understand. This is history.”
Bias claims have dogged Buck regularly over the years, to the point that even his Twitter bio quips up front, “I love all teams EXCEPT yours.” As he calls Game 4 aka the second-ever televised World Series game at Wrigley, keep your ears peeled and tell us: Does he deserve to be beaned by fans of the equally plucky Cleveland Indians, as well as baseball purists?