Because I am too cheap to pay for cable, last night’s World Series game between the Cubs and the Indians was the first one all season I’ve been able to watch on TV in the peace and comfort of my own living room. Usually it’s my custom to listen to Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer on the radio, WSCR (670 AM). Though I still miss the original Ron—Santo—Pat’s voice never fails to comfort and soothe me, even when the Cubs are irrevocably losing.
Still, the prospect of being able to see one of those Javy Baez saves for myself was seductive. But halfway through the first inning, I started to feel depressed. It had something to do with Corey Kluber’s string of strikeouts, but mostly it was the Fox announcing team.
What is the deal with Joe Buck? Is he secretly an Indians fan? Did he absorb so much Cubs hatred from growing up with his father, former Cardinals announcer
Joe Jack Buck, that he is not only constitutionally unable to report partially on a Cubs World Series game, he also has the capacity to suck joy from every Cubs fan?
Yes, Kluber’s streak of Ks was impressive. But is he really more impressive than the entire Cubs pitching staff?
And then there was Pete Rose, yammering on about how he totally expected Kyle Schwarber to strike out at his every at-bat this game because he’d been out all season. At least Schwarber proved him wrong in his very next at-bat with a resounding double.
But really, what do these guys have against the Cubs?
It wasn’t just me. NPR’s Scott Simon tweeted that he had switched over to the Spanish-language broadcast. Apparently, that was no better, because after the game, he vowed to find one in Bulgarian. And my friend Annie Zaleski, a lifelong Indians fan, reports that she also found Buck annoying and that, in her opinion, he was biased in favor of the Cubs.
Fortunately, friends of the Reader Judith Sherwin and Bill Savage, plus friend of Savage Peter Moskos, have been watching these miserable TV broadcasts longer than I have and have found an elegant solution to the TV problem.
The old-school solution of just turning down the sound on the TV and turning up Pat and Ron on the radio no longer works because of the TV delay, so it sounds like Pat is calling the game from the future. But, like so many things in these miraculous times, there is a free app to fix that. The program is called Radiodelay, though, alas, it is only available for PCs. If you have a Mac, you’ll have to pay 99 cents for BatCrack Radio Delay (which one happy Giants fan calls “the Joe Buck filter,” so I guess fans in other cities find him annoying, too).
If you have any other solutions, please feel free to share them in the comments. I mean, solutions that don’t involve killing Joe Buck.
Update: Alert reader Peter Holland has tweeted about the SportsSync radio, which, at $69.95, is a slightly more expensive solution, but still cheaper than buying a laptop. Extra bonus: the website explains why TV lags behind radio.