So here I am, just trying to mind my off-season business, when bam, here comes the (sigh) out-of-left-field news that Buck freakin’ Martinez is coming back to Toronto to do play-by-play for the Blue Jays. This can only mean that the “Flashback Friday” powder-blues will soon become the squad’s everyday choice. Though of all the dumb nostalgia moves that Rogers has pulled, this is one it’s tough to argue against… Shulman and Martinez, for those of you old enough to shave, were a money duo in the booth (yes, they used to be the Jays’ announcing team, believe it or not) and with ol’ Bucky back in that colour seat, maybe he can squeeze some blood from the stone that is Jamie Campbell.
Oh, wait. Martinez is the play-by-play guy, you say? Hmm. Guess Campbell’s out on his ass. Sorry, he’s been “reassigned” — though I know enough out-of-work journos to know what that word means nowadays.
That’s kinda sad, actually. Campbell was bottom-of-shoe-sole crap at times (read: his first few years), but you could definitely tell he did his best to grow into the role. His seemingly legitimate enthusiasm at the big plays (for both teams, sadly) was nice, even if he still didn’t think to look at an outfielder’s reaction to get a handle on whether we were looking at a long bomb or a pop fly. Plus his awkward, stilted rapport with Rance Mulliniks was the stuff of legend. Nothing would help cut through the tedium of another Jays implosion like hearing those two conduct entirely separate conversations while sitting three feet away from each other.
Wow, this ode to Martinez suddenly turned into a eulogy for Campbell. How did that happen? Oh, right, because we’ve now become inured to all the “nostalgia” moves and even the most naive Jays fans should see them as cynical ploys to latch onto past glories in a desperate attempt to drag people out to the ballpark… and to distract from the front office’s sheer inability to build a team that’s set to contend in the long-term.
But, did you hear that guy turned a double play with a broken leg? A broken leg!! And, if we go down to the ‘Centre on Friday, we can get Rob Butler’s autograph and a free slice of pizza if the Jays strike out seven batters! Wow!