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Joe Buck In Tough Spot With St. Louis Fans

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It’s October in St. Louis, and with the Cardinals in the playoffs for the 12th in the last 16 seasons, it’s time for some local television journalists to throw away objectivity by putting on the Cardinals’ colors — or even gear — while on the air. It’s also time for some in the team’s fan base to believe the Redbirds are being intentionally slighted on the national scene.

First, there were Joe Buck’s comments published this week in the Chicago Tribune, in which Fox’s lead baseball and football broadcaster told Ed Sherman that calling Cubs World Series games “would be the highlight of my career.”

Some Cardinals fans took that as blasphemy from the St. Louisan and son of legendary Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 117 comments on a story about it that was posted on STLtoday.com, the Post-Dispatch’s website.

While some stuck up for him, there were plenty of biting remarks. Among them:

“Buck said that to the Chicago fans because he’s a hack and a sellout who is only in it for the money.”

“Stupid comment Joe. Disappointing to dad.”

“No way he is Jack Buck’s kid! I think he forgot where he came from.”

Whoa there.

Sure, he grew up and still lives in St. Louis. But so what? He hasn’t been on Cardinals local broadcasts since 2007 and has been on the national stage for more than two decades, calling four Super Bowls and 17 World Series — including four with the Cards, highlighted by their epic 2011 matchup with Texas.

Some have perceived his comments, which included saying doing a Cubs World Series at Wrigley Field “would be the cherry on top” of his career, as a slap at his roots. That’s ridiculous. Broadcasting something that hasn’t happened in the lifetime of anyone under age 70 would be a career milestone anyone would relish — nobody ever has done the TV play-by-play of a Cubs World Series game.

“This has nothing to do with the Cardinals. Zero,” Buck said Thursday. “It has to do with an opportunity that nobody has had in the history of television … let alone an organization that is beloved and hasn’t won the whole thing since before World War I.

“To anybody who has an issue with somebody saying that, I would say, ‘If you were given tickets to go, would you go? If it was on TV, would you stop and watch it?’ I think the answer’s probably yes, because of the significance of it.”

Buck is in a tough spot in St. Louis, where some expect him to follow step by step the path his revered father walked.

“I think some people are always going to see me as the little kid that got his chance with the Cardinals and got in on his dad’s coattails in this town,” he said. “I understand that, but it’s been a long time since 1991. I think some people, for obvious reasons, look at me as the son of the success story and somebody who was beloved in this city. And I respect that more than anybody here realizes.

“But I look at it from a different perspective and when I was saying that to the Chicago Tribune, that was said as a baseball fan. That was not said in any way having anything to do with St. Louis. Any baseball fan would jump at the chance to go to see, let alone call, a World Series at Wrigley Field on television — which never has been done. And that’s where it comes from.

But I get it. I get why people feel that way. To a certain amount of people in the city, no matter what I say their (opinion) isn’t going to change.”

Another key contrast: Jack Buck was a Cardinals announcer first, a national broadcaster second. Joe is strictly national now. Quite simply, they are vastly different jobs. To Jack, the Cardinals were “we.” To Joe, the Redbirds are “they.”

Some fans have trouble making that distinction.

“There are certain segments of Cardinal fans, baseball fans, sports fans — especially here in the city — they’re going to have an opinion of me; they think they know me,” Buck said. “They didn’t know my dad; they think they knew my dad, what he would say. And when you get comments like, ‘Your dad’s rolling over in his grave,’ come on. I’ve heard, ‘You’re not your father.’ Well, you’re right. I’m not. We’ve had two different careers.”

Buck’s opinion about Wrigley Field actually respects the baseball roots he inherited from his dad. And I’d bet his father, who did the World Series on TV in the early ’90s and on radio for many years, wouldn’t disagree with his son’s assessment. After all, the Cards win often. The Cubs don’t.

Jack Buck loved big moments, and there would be nothing bigger in sports this year (this decade?) than the Cubs making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945 — unless, of course, they won it for the first time since 1908.

To read more visit STL Today where this article was originally published

 

Sports TV News

Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+

“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group have tapped Michael Schneider as the chief operating officer and general manager of Bally Sports+ when it launches this year.

Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.

Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.

“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”

Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.

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Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+

“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”

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As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.

Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.

Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.

“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”

The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.

“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”

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Laura Rutledge Celebrates Chemistry Of NFL Live

“It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

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Laura Rutledge is very happy with where NFL Live is as the current lineup gets set to enter its third season together. She told The Big Lead that there is genuine chemistry between herself, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Dan Orlovsky and that is why she doesn’t feel the need to emulate any of sports television’s many debate shows.

“You don’t want to see people yelling at each other all the time and I’m really proud of the chemistry that we have struck and just letting that breathe on air and having so much fun. It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

The 2022 NFL season will have a very different feel for ESPN. The addition of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football adds new expectations to the network.

Rutledge said that the attention on the network means that she and her colleagues have to raise their respective games, but that shouldn’t be hard. There is always material to work with in this league.

“We’ve seen this offseason, we saw the previous offseason, how the NFL news cycle never stops. It’s funny because the news cycle becomes such a big piece of the story, but we’re like, we can’t wait for the games,” she said.

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