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Fox is making World Series broadcasts less infuriating

Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes the new World Series broadcast team, the future of the Yankees, and a possible Joey Votto trade.

The World Series booth is getting a thorough cleaning...
The World Series booth is getting a thorough cleaning...
Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

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The sky is bluer, the air is sweeter, and the angry throng of holiday shoppers seems a little less threatening. Why? Fox has given Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci the boot from the baseball broadcast booth. This is excellent news for any person who watches baseball and has ears, since Reynolds (and Verducci to a lesser extent) has been stinking up the airwaves during baseball’s most significant games for two years now. The pair joined Joe Buck in the booth after Tim McCarver retired at the end of the 2013 World Series. Verducci’s contributions were often hacky and smarmy, and Reynolds' color commentary was at best, simple, and at worst, completely and totally wrong.

While Fox blew their first post-McCarver opportunity to improve the quality of their World Series broadcasts, their second try is much closer to the mark. They’re ditching the three-man booth and hiring one man, former Braves pitcher and recent Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz, to replace both of them. Smoltz has called games for MLB Network and is genuine, likable, and can distill the on-field action in a way many fans can enjoy. Those are valuable skills, and Fox is hoping Smoltz can bring them to World Series games.

Why did they do this? I can only assume that Fox finally heard the deafening cries of millions of baseball fans and the brain cells they’re desperately trying to save. Though perhaps it was Joe Buck himself who sparked the change, intentionally or unintentionally. At times this postseason, Buck seemed almost delighted to toss a tough question to Reynolds and watch him flail. With Smoltz in the booth, it'll hopefully seem more like a conversation between equals instead of Buck beating up on someone he can't stand. And there's no way that fans won't benefit from that.


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