Fans tuning into the 2022 MLB All-Star Game experienced what can only be described as the unfamiliar: a very high-profile baseball game on FOX that did not feature the voice of Joe Buck. It's now obvious that this was an overlooked side effect of Buck and Troy Aikman being lured away from FOX by ESPN. The voice that has called the last 24 World Series is no longer doing baseball. Last night was the first time that FOX or viewers had a chance to miss Buck and judging by Twitter, many did.
Now, none of this is a criticism of the man who replaced Buck, Joe Davis. The 34-year old broadcaster from Michigan is no stranger to stepping into the biggest shoes possible. Davis took over for Vin Scully on Dodgers broadcasts when the legendary broadcaster retired following the 2016 season. Now he's doing the same for baseball fans across the nation. The big difference is that Buck is not universally loved the way that Scully is. There are plenty of people who are vocal critics of Buck, despite the fact that he's undeniably great at what he's been doing the last three decades.
It doesn't matter how good Davis was last night, he was different. Considering the three-ring circus FOX turned the game into, Davis did as good a job as anyone could have hoped under the circumstances.
I thought he - and partner John Smoltz - did a particularly great job navigating all the miked-up up segments. Particularly when Alex Manoah talked to the broadcast for the entire inning he pitched which was unprecedented. Davis and Smoltz sat back and let Manoah take control and he gave FOX some of the best live sports television you'll ever see.
While we'll probably never see anything like that outside of an All-Star Game, we will continue to hear Davis who is the new voice of MLB on FOX. After a few years, fans will probably love and hate him like they do Joe Buck. That's all an announcer can really ask for.