Apparently, Cardinals fans didn’t appreciate Joe Buck’s comments about the Cubs in my recent Chicago Tribune column.
“If I could call Cubs games in the World Series, it would be the highlight of my career,” Buck said.
When pressed if he wasn’t being a bit hyperbolic given all that he has done at Fox, which includes being on the call for four World Series in his hometown of St. Louis, Buck reiterated his statement.
“When people say, ‘What’s the one thing you want to do?’ that’s my answer: Cubs in the World Series,” Buck said. “I don’t want to do an NBA Finals or a Kentucky Derby or moderate a presidential debate, as if that would happen. I want to sit at Wrigley Field, look out and know that a World Series game is about to start. It would be the cherry on top.”
Well, Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Buck’s Cubs dream didn’t go over well in his native St. Louis.
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.”
Buck responded to Caesar:
“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.”