‘I’m happy being here’ – Joe Buck at peace with life after baseball broadcasts

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ST. LOUIS – It wasn’t too long ago that Joe Buck stepped down from baseball broadcasts. His last one, to date, came as the Atlanta Braves clinched the 2021 World Series title.

In March 2022, Joe Buck left his longtime broadcasting home of FOX Sports for ESPN. He serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football broadcasts. Baseball, for now, is no longer in his playbook.

During a public appearance Thursday at Busch Stadium, Buck offered some interesting insight to FOX 2 and others on life beyond baseball broadcasts.

“I watch it religiously,” said Buck on baseball. “I don’t miss doing it as much as I thought I would because I feel like I’ve put my body of work together, and I’m proud of it.”

He continued, “But when you see a Game 7, and the first pitch flies through the air, it’s like, ‘Ahh, I wish I was doing that.’ But it takes a lot of work, not just for the players, to get to game seven. So I’m happy being here in my home in St. Louis, watching it instead of doing it.”

Months earlier, in an interview with Sports Illustrated, Buck noted, “I just don’t have any desire to call network baseball anymore.” He also hinted that he’s not as attached to the action as he used to be, acknowledging that he didn’t know 70% of the players in one MLB postseason game he watched last year.

Billy Joel and Sting coming to Busch Stadium for September concert

There is one situation, however, Buck told SI he might be willing to call a baseball game in a pinch.

“If the Cardinals need me or want me to come down and do a game someday with Chip Caray to have Buck and Caray together again, maybe I would do that just for fun,” said Buck.

Jack Buck and Harry Caray, joined forces to broadcast St. Louis Cardinals games in 1954. The father of Joe and grandfather of Chip, the duo worked together for 14 years and through two World Series championships. The St. Louis Walk of Fame considers Jack and Harry “the greatest broadcast team in baseball history.”

Joe Buck followed his father’s footsteps in sports broadcasting and had the opportunity to broadcast for the World Series and MLB All-Star Game more than 20 times, in addition to his decades of experience in football. Chip Caray joined Cardinals broadcasts last year as the lead play-by-play announcer for Bally Sports Midwest.

Buck is preparing to call a Houston Texans-Indianapolis Colts on Saturday that could have major implications on the NFL playoff picture. For now, football remains his biggest focus.

Beyond his comments on baseball broadcasts, Buck offered plenty of interesting insight on Thursday when he visited Busch Stadium for a Billy Joel and Sting concert announcement.

On the St. Louis Cardinals’ offseason

“They needed pitching, and to me, it’s a good start. And hopefully, and I would imagine that’s not it, but I think the honest answer is, there still work to be done. I think Sonny Gray is a great addition and goes right to the front of the rotation, and it seems like they’re going with strength in numbers. But I still think more work can and should be done, and we got a while before spring training kicks off.

It seems weird, like the whole market is stagnant, not just with the Cardinals. It’s really across baseball, so the log jam will break, prices, I assume, will come down, and additions will be made to this team, is my guess.”

On the upcoming Billy Joel-Sting concert in St. Louis

“I think it’s really cool. It’s cool for this city. I know both will get a kick out of the reception that they get.”

“I had a chance to meet Sting one time, and I told him what I did for a living. And he said, ‘You know, I went to a football game. I did the Super Bowl, and I sat in midfield, and I wondered why they were wearing crash helmets.’ So I’m not sure how big of a baseball fan Sting is, but I know Billy Joel is. And I know they’re both Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and will be amazing. And a great time of year to be on stage here at Busch Stadium.”

“The beauty of both guys is they can still really sing. It’s not talking through lyrics. It’s not. ‘Oh, I’ll save the high notes for another day.’ They both hit all the high stuff, and I think that’s what makes it that much cooler.”

As for Bily Joel: “You can put a list of his songs on a wall, just throw a dart, and hit one of the all-time greatest songs ever written. He’s also so good with a crowd. I saw him at MSG this past September, and he just has the audience eating out of his hand. For as great of a singer as he is, he’s also an entertainer, and so it’s the between-song stuff too that that kind of hooks you in. And then it’s like, ‘Oh my God, here comes another hit, and then another hit.'”

On the Battlehawks

Asked whether he would consider broadcasting St. Louis Battlehawks spring football games on ESPN: “Ka-Kaw. No. I’ll just stick to what I do and and go down and root on my Battlehawks. Yes, in the UFL.”

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On the current NFL season

“It’s been a fun year to cover because these games have been crazy. We did that game in Dallas with the reporting, non-reporting thing that went on. You don’t love the controversy, but in the end, it’s good for the sport because people are talking about it all week long, and then you kick off again.”

“As we talk here, I’m headed to Indy to do the Colts and the Texans. And if history tells us anything, it’s that we should expect a good finish at the end of that game, and the winner goes on to the playoffs.

As for several quarterback injuries: “These teams, I think it’s become very obvious that you better have a second-tier guy who can play, and not just a roster filler. The teams that have found those guys are in a much better position.”

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