"Buck should commentate funerals." "Fire this emotionless prick." "Buck makes Jim Nantz sound like Gus Johnson." "Tired and lame." The criticism of Joe Buck from the Internet peanut gallery is harsh—and even our friends at The Classical used this very space to describe his announcing as "fistful-of-Ambien disinterest."
This is to say nothing of Tim McCarver, who even mild-tempered baseball scribe Joe Posnanski skewered earlier this week.
I'm certainly guilty of blasting the Fox baseball broadcasting battery, going so far as to once create a tutorial video on how to selectively mute them while keeping the crowd audio. But is that even necessary? After all, how they say something happens only matters when something that matters happens—not every moment demands a call like the one Buck's father made in 1988.
The above video—of Mitch Moreland's homer in Game 5—should illustrate how for whatever criticism Buck & McCarver deserve for the dumb things they do say, they at least understand when it's time not to say anything. Is the second portion of the clip, in which the crowd audio is isolated, really a marked improvement?
For comparison's sake, the third part of the video above features Fox Deportes announcers Cos Villa and Miguel Morales. They embrace the same subdued approach of Joe Buck—but talk over the entire event, sapping the broadcast of any emotional energy that might have been provided by the natural sound. They aren't rookies to the World Series, either, having broadcast it several years now. If talking over a major play is necessary, can I suggest SBN announcers Rickie Ricardo and Danny Martinez for future broadcasts en Español?
I'm not defending Buck's terrible jokes or McCarver's inability to count. I'm simply highlighting that when it matters most, they know how to get out of the way.