World Series: Is Fox Sports' Joe Buck Deserving of 'Pro-Cubs Bias' Slams?

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?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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152 Comments
  1. Gretchen says:

    Yes. He is so incredibly biased.

  2. April says:

    He always has a favorite. As a Royals fan, the last 2 years of having to listen to his drivel about how amazing Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard are have made me want to puke.

    • c-mo says:

      AMEN! His NL (big market) bias makes for a very uncomfortable viewing experience. The best part of watching the WS last year (I think it was) was when something happened to the FOX broadcast and MLB switched us over to the MLB International feed.

    • dz13 says:

      This is crazy. I live in a huge Giants-supported area and a lot of fans say Buck hates the Giants. People hear what they want to hear. Buck is a great announcer.

      • April Livings says:

        Ummmmm…. I’m pretty sure he loves Madison Bumgarner so much, there are fan sites devoted to them. And if the Giants hadn’t made it past the wild Card Game, the whole world would have had to listen to Joe Buck talk about him again at length. In fact, the Giants weren’t even in the WS last year and he found a way to go on and on about Bumgarner

    • ingabobjoe says:

      To be fair… Madison Bumgarner kind of deserved it after his manhandling of the Royals in 2014. Syndegaard not so much.

      As a Giants fan, I have my own issues with Buck. He talked up the Rangers and the Tigers to no end in 2010 and 2012 respectively (just as all the sports media did), and I definitely don’t like listening to him as much as I do our announcers (which is why I’ll normally listen to the radio). But he’s really not that bad as announcers go.

    • luv2cook says:

      Right there with you! He has an obvious hate for the Royals and when they won last year it damn near killed him to acknowledge it. I hate this guy and I really, really wish Fox would fire him.

  3. Kelly says:

    Buck is awful-I am so glad I can switch to the MLB international feed so I don’t have to listen to him. He is especially biased when the Cardinals are in the World Series — completely nauseating

    • Ben says:

      I don’t know Buck at all, but I’m beginning to find it amusing how many different teams he is accused of being biased towards. This isn’t how bias works.

      • Marsha says:

        No matter what 2 teams are playing, if the announcer talks up ONE of the teams through the whole game, THAT’S BIAS!!

  4. Candace says:

    Absolutely 100% true. Schwarber doesn’t even play and Buck still talks about him.

  5. nhogan47 says:

    I watched last night and yes. He’s the worst. I actually checked to make sure I wasn’t watching the Cubs hometown broadcast.

    • amysue4772 says:

      He is actually not nearly as bad as the guys on TBS were when cleveland was playing boston, which is just depressing

      • DW says:

        Yes. Glad to see that others noticed the extreme Red Sox bias on TBS It was awful. And yes Buck is a terrible announcer and pro-Cubs all the way. I wanted the Cubs until I saw the Cubs bias. Now it’s GO Indians.

    • David Smith says:

      As a Cub fan all I hear from him is his gushing over Terry Francona.

      • avonbowhunter says:

        Really?

        First of all, Francona SHOULD be gushed over. He’s one of today’s game OUTSTANDING baseball minds! Maddon is no slouch, but it ain’t that difficult to manage a ball club that’s ranked 10 teams higher paid than the Indians!

        Secondly, you need to take the crap out of your ears because all we hear in Cleveland is Buck’s love of the Cubs and Wrigley…both awesome stories…but he really takes it over the top.

  6. Cobra says:

    Absolutely. He is incredibly biased.

  7. Jenny says:

    Really Pro-Cubs? More like he hates the Cubs. I had to listen to him go on and on about Krenshaw the last series and now all I hear about are how great the Indians are. He looks for every chance to slam the Cubs he can get. He switches on the drop of a hat to start bashing whatever team is struggling and then how great the other team is. The ONLY team he isn’t bias about are the Cardinals. Loves them no matter what.

    • Katie says:

      Buck’s anti-Cubs bias was painfully blatant during the NLCS. The historic nature of the Cubs’ World Series berth is the only reason Buck might be rooting for them now.

    • Jan Jones says:

      Truth! I can’t believe anyone would think pro- Cubs.
      He won’t stop talking about how the Indians are just going to walk away with it. Ugh.

      • Cobra says:

        I suggest you visit a doctor and have your ears checked. He’s always talking about Kyle Schwarber as if he’s the only guy to ever come back from an injury. And you can tell the increased excitement in his voice when the Cubs get so much as a double rather than the dryness when the Indians get a big hit. Joe Buck is awful.

    • Sylvia Cornejo says:

      omg I totally agree, where r they getting this from. Pro Cubs not, the whole fox team have anything barely good to say about the cubs, its all indians this and indians that, whatever, talk good about both teams dang!

  8. KL Cameron says:

    Please, Joe Buck hates the Cubs. He’s a Cardinal lover from way back. So he likes Schwarber, who doesn’t? What’s not to like? Joe Buck loves Joe Buck! The only reason he says he wants to call a Cubs World Series victory is because his voice would (unfortunately) forever be heard making that call. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s anything other than that!

  9. btm says:

    This is highly unlikely. Joe Buck comes from a Cardinals household, hated divisional rivals of the Cubs, and that is very much in his DNA. His point is well taken, I think. A Cubs World Series appearance is historical for baseball, and you should acknowledge that if you are a broadcaster. I’m no Chicago sports fan, but I think you have to nod to the significance.
    .
    He’s not a fan of the Cubs or the NL. As a broadcaster, Buck is simply a fan of story lines, of yarns that he can spin, and it would be nearly impossible for any AL opponent this year to measure up. The same would have gone for any NL team up against Boston in 2004.

    • btm says:

      Now that said, it’s the mark of a good broadcaster to be able to pivot fluidly. You have to enter with certain story lines to tell in the down times and the pre-game show, and then react appropriately as the series progresses.
      .
      At this time, Cleveland has a 2-1 series lead and is trying to take the second game in Wrigley and a commanding 3-1 series lead back home. As the top national broadcast team, you need to be able to pivot and tell Cleveland’s story if their players begin taking over the series. As long as you do that, I don’t think that dwelling on Cubs stories early on is necessarily a problem. Just tell the story of the series as it is unfolding. Adapt and evolve with the series, and throw out prepared story lines if they become irrelevant..

  10. GB says:

    He is always awfully biased AND he never knows what he is talking about. My least favorite sports announcer by a clear mile.

  11. Pat says:

    Hey Joe and John shut up and quit showing people that shouldn’t be on TV. Sorry BUT you both suck and I hope you too oo never do post season again thanks GO CUBS

  12. Mike says:

    He’s been like this since ’04 at least. The Yankee bias during the Sox/Yankees series was disgusting. You’d think he was kissing their collective asses or something.

  13. Tim says:

    I was a big fan of his dad Jack Buck, he acts like the cubs are the only team playing. I have been watching with volume off.

  14. Gina says:

    Putting aside the bias, he’s just not great at his job. During game 2, he was interviewing a Cubs pitcher and he made the poor guy sit through at least 15-20 seconds of dead air FOR NO REASON! Poor Hendrix was looking around, trying to figure out if the interview was still happening. I felt so bad for the kid.
    It just amazes me that he’s able to continue.

  15. KLS says:

    Been “waching the series”, not “listening”. Couldn’t tell ya’ if he’s biased or not with the mute button on. Can’t stand the constant yammering. At least he’s off the NFL broadcasts for a while.

  16. amysue4772 says:

    He’s horribly biased, but not nearly as bad as the TBS people were when the Indians were playing Boston and Toronto. Apparently, the networks got together and decided to spend the whole playoffs hating on cleveland

    • Candace says:

      What else is new?

    • Lindsey says:

      That’s hilarious. As a Toronto fan we though the opposite. I couldn’t believe how much the announcers were loving the Indians.

    • Cobra says:

      And people wonder why Cleveland says it’s “Cleveland Against the World.” We were counted out of the NBA Championship and we won it. We were counted out of the World Series before the Series even began, and how we’re up 3-1.
      The announcers love to hate on The Land, but it’s called “Believeland” for a reason.
      Go Tribe!

  17. Elisabeth says:

    Some may argue that this is my bias as an Indians fan talking, but he’s so incredibly frustrating to listen to. You’d think the Cubs were the only team on the field, and that we were some team that just dropped out of the sky to enable a Cubs win…like we hadn’t fought our way to the top just the same…yes, this series IS historic. For BOTH teams.

    I’m tempted to mute the tv and turn on a radio to listen to the Indians’ own Tom Hamilton call the game. He gives every team and every player his due…and he’s ours. At least then my coverage would be balanced.

  18. Aggrieved Baseball Fan says:

    I cannot stand FOX TV’s coverage of the baseball in general, and the World Series in particular. Baseball is a game of wide angles, it is basically slow paced with sudden movements and actions, yet their coverage jumps back and forth in quick cuts which destroys the pace, and nature of the game.

    They don’t trust the pace of the game. The quick cuts get dizzying, and shows that FOX TV has attention deficit, and are promoting it throughout the nation.

    And for their information, the ball does not score runs, it’s the batters, yet, whenever there is a hit, instead of pulling back the camera to see the entire field and the players maneuvering into position, the camera goes extreme close-up, so claustrophobic that we see only one baseball player in a four foot field of vision, and not the other ten plus players moving around the wide baseball field. In football they show most of the field when there is a play, why not baseball?

    We see extreme close-ups of players clapping their hands, but we don’t see the field. We don’t see the beautiful and iconic baseball diamond, but lots of facial hair. And the constant close-ups of the players in the dugout, or the people in the stands, is way too much, and so obsessive that action on the field is forgotten, and then to make up for missed plays, FOX then doubles-down on the quick cuts.

    FOX bought the TV rights to promote their shows, and particularly NFL Football games, and their approach is that of football, and this is completely wrong. They exert overall aggressiveness to the broadcast, including Buck’s too aggressive, abrupt announcing. Why can’t he say “home run” instead of calling it “A SHOT!”

    At least I have not seen that stupid robot on baseball game which they use for football games, which shows they treat baseball as very second class to football by using the same robot, and music, for both.

    Major League Baseball, please give the games back to NBC, or even to CBS. It’s no wonder rating are consistently down for baseball, they are broadcast by FOX TV.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I noticed some of your comments, here, and the husband seems to suffer similar pain when he watches football on Fox, by what he’s said over the years during the games. As a fly on the stadium walls, here, wasn’t there some kind of bidding war to determine who got the sports broadcasting rights, some years ago? Fox won, and it makes sense to me that their camera work must reflect what they are paid, in other words, they could bid less because they were going to do less (they just didn’t tell anyone) I guess no one could imagine such a thing happening. Interesting.

    • Linda says:

      I agree. Fox is not a good sports station.

  19. Annie says:

    Although I have lived in western PA for most of my life, I have roots in Chicago. Most of my extended family (and many friends) still live there. The general consensus with them is that Joe Buck sucks as a sports announcer.

  20. Yebs says:

    I wish the hair plugs had won.

  21. PatriciaLee says:

    The husband asks, “I don’t know why he does not go back to football announcing. I liked him in football. He used to work with Troy Aikman, and I liked them together. I don’t know why he’s in baseball.” This from someone who is not watching the series, but loves football and saw Buck’s picture when I opened the computer. Maybe, Buck needs to work with different fans?

  22. meeob1 says:

    he spent hours coming up with Cub stories he would use if they were winning. He is frustrated that he cannot tell the stories.

  23. Matthew White says:

    Pro-Cubs? Seriously? I’m listening to the radio broadcast out if sync because he’s so anti-Cub. He is so terrible.

  24. Sara says:

    This is hilarious to me because Cubs fans were pushing a petition during and after the NLCS to get rid of him as an annoucer. Pretty sure he is hated by all.

  25. Diane says:

    He always goes to bat for his faves. I usually roll my eyes when he comments.

  26. Jen says:

    Um, the first ever world series game at Wrigley was in 1929 (and there were a few others between that and 1945, the most recent until now), so I’m pretty sure Joe Buck didn’t get to call it

  27. Tahoe Mike says:

    Joe Buck Sux.

  28. kitsunesaru says:

    So in other words, Joe Buck i being Joe Buck. He it’s less bias and more he gets over excited about what/who is most popular or biggest story.

  29. David Smith says:

    All I hear from him is gushing about Terry Francona and all the indian pitchers.

  30. Jeff hunter says:

    Not just him but the guys on ESPN except both topics and MLB Network there is a Cleveland bias!jeff

  31. Paul says:

    In Game 2 when the Cubs went from 1 run to 2 runs, Joe Buck commented, multiple times, “The Cubs just doubled there lead”! It was one stinkin’ run, period. When the Indians score runs, multiple times, he says NOTHING! Is that biased? ABSOLUTELY!
    Also, does someone want to tell Buck that it’s pronounced “Lindor”, NOT “Lin-Door”? I mean really, it just makes this CLE fan think he’s verbally inept. Go back to announcer school Joe Jr. (oh yeah, you’re only in the booth on a legecy pass), so you can be called OUT!

    • Cobra says:

      “Also, does someone want to tell Buck that it’s pronounced “Lindor”, NOT “Lin-Door”? I mean really, it just makes this CLE fan think he’s verbally inept.”

      THANK YOU! It’s bothered me all Series (except for the game I went to when I didn’t have to listen to his bulls—. I keep yelling at the screen “PRONOUNCE HIS NAME CORRECTLY!”

      • Candace says:

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s been driven crazy over the pronunciation of Lindor’s name. Although I swear last night he changed it from “Lin-door” to “Lean-door”. If there wasn’t such a delay I would mute the sound and listen to Tom Hamilton.

  32. K2 says:

    I wouldn’t know if Buck is biased, because I always mute the TV. The man never shuts up. He rarely if ever lets the game speak for itself, it’s like he has to fill in every second with some sort of comment, factoid or observation. Probably why he comes off has having a favorite, because his research is more detailed on one team versus the other (or in his mind, more interesting).

  33. booger71 says:

    In his tone…every Cubs single (when they happen to get a hit) is a home run. Most of all he is very biased against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    • Juan says:

      I agree. Sounds like he is jumping out of his seat as soon as the cubs get a single. Come on man its just a single. While Ramirez hits it into the outfield seats and no type of emotion from him.

  34. Jorge says:

    Joe Buck is NOT a sports announcer…Joe Buck is a biased fan with a mic..
    Joe IS NOT making his dad proud.

  35. Katie says:

    If Buck is making people hate the Cubs, I dislike the man even more! His commentary during the NLCS was appalling… Dodgers were up 1-0 in the 2nd inning and he’s talking like they have the game sealed up; next game, Cubs are winning 10-2 in the 8th and he’s talking about how close the Dodgers are to taking the lead. I have no idea how he feels about Cleveland, but he definitely has no love for the Cubs!

  36. Mike White says:

    I refuse to listen to him announce a baseball game. Not only is he bias, he is so damn arrogant! Compared to his Dad, this apple fell far from the tree!!!

  37. Greg says:

    I assume some where down the comment list it was pointed out that these past two games were the FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH world series games at Wrigley. Cubs are now 2-14 in the series at Wrigley and playing number SEVENTEEN tonight.

    Just because it’s been since 1945 doesn’t mean it didn’t happen then and before that. Yet you’ve made a huge point that these were the first and second ever games there.

  38. Danmanray says:

    I’m not a Buck fan, but I don’t think he’s biased. Rather, I believe he is as much a baseball fan as he is a professional announcer. And his over the top enthusiasm for historical performances (such as Bumgarner’s) and events (the Cubs in the World Series) makes him appear biased at times. He did mention last night that the Indians hadn’t won the World Series in 68 years, themselves, and that if they win, it will also be historical. But let’s be honest. A Cubs win would be a much bigger deal. Buck knows this, feels this, and shows it in his announcing.

  39. William says:

    He did the same thing when the cubs played the Dodgers. He’s in love with Baez also

  40. Gary Skogen says:

    He is doing a great job I think he is favoring the Cubs GO CUBS GO

  41. Ridiculous to accuse a St. Louisan born and raised as a Cardinals fan to favor their traditional most-despised close rival, the Chicago Cubs. Only reason he might like the Cubs is their hiring of former Cardinals announcer Harry Carey, because his father took over as the voice of the Cards.

  42. KLS says:

    Can’t wait until they have 3 simulcast broadcasts like CBS/TNT/TBS does for the men’s college bball finals. One national, one local for team A, one local for team B.

  43. I’m rolling my eyes at so many of these comments. “He hates my team! He loves the other team! It’s so obvious!” EVERY SINGLE FANBASE thinks Joe Buck has a bias against their team/bias in favor of the other team. Even Cardinal fans think this, and Buck grew up a Cardinals fan. It’s ridiculous. So which is it? He praises a lot of players. He praises a lot of teams as part of his job. It doesn’t mean he’s bias. Get over it people.

  44. Asdf says:

    He definatly has a giant hard on for Madison Bumgardner. After seening that i cant stand to watch him

  45. Bob says:

    On national broad casts any NY team is praised more Han any other region. If a NY team isn’t in a championship game the game isn’t covered as much. Buck has two teams in the World Series that are there for first place Ike in many years so he points this that part of the story. This spells true with the Cubs who have a young team and might be back in future years.

    • Bmj says:

      I disagree that ny teams get more praise than any other region,since the ny media is harsher on its teams than any other city is. As for your other point, of course games get more coverage if a ny team is playing. In addition to being the financial capital of the world, New York is the media capital of the country. It’s also the largest/most lucrative market in the country.

  46. harvey says:

    I have been saying this for years. He loves the National league.

  47. harvey says:

    It is to bad because he has a good voice, but needs to shut his trap.

  48. scott says:

    I guess I am missing something as I would say Buck is a Cleveland Butt Kisser. I haven’t heard any Cubs bias.

  49. toocram says:

    I also thought that his father Jack Buck was bias in his broadcasts of post season games.

  50. Phil says:

    As a Cubs fan, I can’t really say if he’s biased or not. All I can say is fox sports is awful in all aspects and I wish we didn’t have to listen to him. I tend to mute the tv and listen to the great Cubs radio announcers anyway…