Wednesday, 2 October 2019

You're Going To Miss Them When They're Gone.

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Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler (Image Credit:

As I am writing this I don't know for sure but it's a damn good possibility that Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler will not be calling Toronto Blue Jays games together in 2020. Both of these gentlemen have a long history with the organization and will more then likely be replaced with younger talent.

If you look in my previous article I provide an educated guess as to what that talent may look like.

I know a lot of you never loved this pairing. You felt that these were 2 Colour Analysts repeating what each other said. You felt they stated the obvious many of times. You took issues with Buck's Home Run calls or Tabler telling the audience about a superstar players "Big Muscles"  "Soft hands" or my favourite how he was "Big and Strong"

There was a time when I was watching a game on the MLB.TV app. There was an outage with the lights at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay). I heard Tabby speak in excitement because the mic was still hot. " WOOO! We're off the air, may I please get a coffee ? With cream and sugar"

So my co-host for The Cardy Show, Brett Gard and I ran with this on our podcast. We kind of turned Tabby into this Pre-Madonna villain type . We would do our Tabler impressions " I need a coffee, with cream and sugar!) We'd even go to Tim Horton's and I'd ask for a Pat Tabler special. Yes folks I am an adult!

I was used to many tough years of coverage on Sportsnet when it came to Blue Jays baseball. TSN was always better. TSN had for many years Dan Shulman and Buck. Then when Buck went into the Manager's uniform in 2001 Tabby took over. Tabby and Rod Black finished up the TSN game coverage. People don't like Rod Black apparently either.

Sportsnet had a rotating list of Play by Play men and Colour Commentators. I remember Rob Faulds and Jerry Howarth. Then the late John Cerutti came over to work with Faulds from the CBC.People didn't like Faulds work either. I don't blame him for moving on after Cerutti passed. Which again was sad. Still to this very day. I remember talking about it at work with Eldon Dunseith. Well known Umpire and a Colour Analyst on Rogers Television in London. He said it perfectly when describing Cerutti's passing  " It's like you knew the person because you saw them all the time even though you never met and it still hurts."

Jamie Campbell took over the play by play duties and had a rotating team of analysts. Tabler was included in that. Rance Mulliniks and Darren Fletcher were the other 2. I remember Tom Candiotti in the mix as well.

In an interesting move Buck returned to the broadcast booth for the Jays as the Play by Play man. Tabler would be his primary Colour Commentator. Alan Ashby would sprinkle in here and there. Later on after Ashby left Joe Siddall would spell off Tabby and Matt Devlin would spell off Buck.  In 2016 Dan Shulman returned part-time  and Martinez slid over to do Colour with Tabler. Buck and Pat carried the majority of that season. Shulman did 30 games

This year we noticed that Shulman was around a lot more. He took the back end off of Jays game in September to focus on his ESPN duties. There was very rarely a three man booth. An indication of Sportsnet wanting to stay on budget.

When Tabby and Buck came to Sportsnet I got excited. The credibility I felt was there. I loved the idea of having two ball players call a baseball game. At the end of the day we are all ball players. Even though some of us had to hang up our cleats it doesn't mean that we don't think like a baseball player.

Buck and Pat worked very hard on their craft. Broadcasting is not easy. There is so much work to do. You just don't go in and talk about Baseball. You have to gather stories and look up stat packs and be on your game. Those guys knew that. They knew people like some of you were bitching and moaning about the way the called the game because you told Sportsnet you didn't approve of their work

You are the same people who bitched about the U.S.A. broadcasters during the Jays playoff runs. I would have loved to have Buck and Pat call those games in a heartbeat. I like having broadcasters who root for the team. Everyone else has that so I think it's okay for us to get on board. Get off your damn high horse.

You people cried about the horrible commentating of the Facebook games last year and the You Tube games this year. I don't think there is anyone out there. Not even Dan Shulman that can make you people happy.

I hope I am wrong about Buck and Pat. You will miss those guys in the coming years when they are gone.

" Swing and a drive! Get up ball get out of here and gone!" Find me a better call. Even though he may have used some of it from Bob Uecker LOL

Brent Cardy

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