Last night’s Midsummer Classic didn’t thrill the executives over at FOX Sports. The game turned out to be one sided and didn’t have any of the late inning drama to keep the average television viewer from flipping off the tube and hitting the hay. Is Johnny Johnson willing to stay awake past 11PM ET to watch the garbage game that went down last night? Not a chance. Overall, the game was a snoozer. The best action came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately, FOX decided to do a ridiculous interview with Justin Timberlake during, what turned out to be, the key inning of the game. Why FOX?? WHY??!!
First of all, it just doesn’t make any sense to do the interview at that juncture of the game. Adrian Gonzalez had just hit a homerun to give the American League a 1-0 lead and the National League was bringing their 2-3-4 hitters to the plate in their half of the inning. It didn’t seem like a good spot in the telecast to have Mark Grace interview Timberlake, did it? You would think that someone in the production truck would have said, “the NL has some big daddy diesel hitters coming up, maybe we should hold off on the Timberlake interview?” After Carlos Beltran led the inning off with a hit, FOX should have adjusted their plans by pushing Timberlake to another inning or bumping him completely. I hate when FOX does these celebrity interviews to begin with, but if they’re going to do them, can they please use their noodle and do them at a time of the game that is more sensible?
As for the interview, it was awkward. Grace looked like and sounded like a fool. He really came off as a creep when he put his arm around JT and said, “why don’t we come over here and get a shot of the pool?” He might as well have just said, “let’s move over here so we can get these girls in their skimpy bikinis on camera.” Timberlake’s joke about the beer was a big fat Cheese Doodle. Also, I have to admit, his sarcastic comments directed at Joe Buck actually bothered me. He had no business poking fun at Buck. Timberlake basically criticized Buck’s ability to call a game and commented on the voice troubles that the announcer has had to endure over the past several months. I don’t think JT should have done that during the telecast, it was a little unfair and cheap. Buck did what he was supposed to do and bit his tongue; I give him credit for that.
A few pitches after the disastrous interview with Timberlake concluded, Buck was given a chance to prove to JT and the television audience that his voice was actually in fact “getting there” like he previously declared when he was told by JT that he had a "classy voice." Buck didn't deliver (link here in case the video goes down)....
I’m sorry Joe, but I could barely hear what you said. You were completely drowned out by the crowd and sounded hoarse, flat, bland, raspy, lethargic and old. Clearly, your voice isn’t as wholesome as it should be. Why not take a break? You can come back after Vin Scully calls the 2011 World Series on FOX. What do you think?
***Ed Note: While Tweeting about Buck's voice during the ASG last night, Dan Bell, VP of Fox Communications, Tweeted us this response...
danpbell @awfulannouncing for the record, Joe has our full support as he gets back to 100% and he is staying on the air.
Fox's position comes as no surprise, but is no less disappointing. At least they took the time to publicly address their support for Joe Buck though, so thanks to Dan. In spite of what countless fans have said on Twitter, there is seemingly no scenario where the network will even consider sitting or resting Joe Buck. It was clear that Buck's vocal cord virus (and again, we wish him the best in recovery) took away from the game last night. The question has to be when Fox will listen to the fans that are wanting something new in the Fox booth.
As for Vin Scully, he respectfully declined an interview with AA through a Dodgers spokesman, citing the countless interview requests he receives and the need to choose amongst them. He is aware of the World Series movement, and we're still hopeful that it happens with both Fox and Joe Buck publicly on board with the idea.