Remember that petition the guy at The Daily ‘Stache put up, trying to get Fox to replace Joe Buck with Vin Scully for the World Series this year? Well, it has an unexpected supporter: Joe Buck:
Personally, I’d love it,” Buck said the other day. “We’ve always toyed with the idea of having the hometown guy involved in a World Series broadcast. I’m from that camp. In my dad’s era, we paid a nod of tribute to the greats. And there’s no one like Vin, or close to Vin.
“I’d happily step aside to hear his voice (on the World Series). I would not fight that at all. That’s just how I grew up.
Joe Buck is not my personal cup of tea as a baseball announcer, but he seems like he has pretty good taste and an awful lot of sense.
But a cautionary note to Fox: If you do anything with this idea, either go all the way or just forget it. I still remember a few years ago when Fox invited Ernie Harwell — who was retired — to do an inning or two in a playoff series. He came in, his usual professional self and just took off like it was 1965 or something. The other people in the booth — I can’t recall who, but one was a woman and I don’t think either Buck or McCarver were around — started treating him like a museum piece, interviewing him and acting in, what I felt anyway, a patronizing fashion.
If Scully is asked to join the World Series broadcast, you do with him what the Dodgers do with him: give him the mic, empty the booth and get the hell out of his way.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.