Joe Buck will be joined by Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci to comprise a three-man FOX Sports broadcast booth this regular season and through the World Series, as the network on Monday announced its talent plans for a new era following the retirement of Tim McCarver.
Reynolds, a two-time All-Star who played 12 seasons in the American League from 1983-94, had been a studio analyst for MLB Network since its launch at the start of 2009, previously serving as an MLB.com analyst. Verducci had served as a reporter for TBS's baseball playoff coverage since 2008 and worked previously for FOX and with Reynolds at MLB Network.
"I think it's great. It's an opportunity to do the World Series -- it doesn't get any higher as far as calling a game in baseball than that, so it's an exciting opportunity," Reynolds told MLB.com. "I love the fact it's a three-man booth. The only way it's going to work with three people is [if] you don't have an ego getting in the way. We'll share the time to speak. With rehearsals we had and the years we've known each other, this is going to be a really good combination."
The trio will debut April 5 for the second game in the Giants-Dodgers series in Los Angeles on the new Fox Sports 1 network.
FOX had used a two-man booth of Buck and McCarver previously as its lead broadcast team for jewel events. McCarver called a record 24 World Series, taking over for Howard Cosell as analyst for the 1985 World Series. Buck was accustomed to a three-man booth during his role as lead play-by-play man for FOX's NFL broadcasts, and he said that was hard at times.
"The golden rule," Buck said, "should be put in front of the three people working ... stop talking to the [production] truck and listen to each other, and that's when it makes sense."
"Replacing an icon is never easy, and there is no doubt Tim McCarver revolutionized televised baseball analysis," said John Entz, executive vice president of production at FOX Sports. "We're convinced that in teaming Joe with Harold and Tom, we've built a crew with an all new dynamic that is as fresh, informative, opinionated and very entertaining. Each is extremely talented and brings a unique voice and role, and we look forward seeing this team's chemistry develop throughout the season."
Reynolds said he will continue his MLB Network analyst role each weekday as well and will call eight regular-season games for FOX plus its postseason commitment. Verducci also will continue his MLB Network role as well as writing for Sports Illustrated and SI.com.
"It's quite an honor," Reynolds said. "I grew up listening to games with Tony Kubek, and obviously Tim at the World Series. I think the responsibility of the broadcaster is unique in that you're talking many generations. And I love that.
"I feel like at this time I'm well-prepared from doing instant analysis every night for 30 teams on MLB Nework. I've worked with Brian Kenny the last year with all the sabermetric conversations, and that has kept me current with what's going on in the game. All of that is important to today's game, as opposed to, say, 20 years ago. The game is continually progressing and changing.
"The thing that's always key is knowing the personalities in the game, whether it's knowing players, managers, umpires ... the Commissioner. Everybody has a role. I've been fortunate to be in a position to get to know a lot of people and have a lot of conversations."