Monday, February 23, 2009

Buck Martinez Negotiating Return to XM Radio

Emmy-winning baseball broadcaster Buck Martinez -- who formerly served as co-host with the departed Mark Patrick on XM Radio's morning baseball program -- has entered into talks to return to the satellite network, according to a report from a network colleague.

Weekend and evening baseball talk show host Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton -- describing Martinez as a "free agent" -- recently disclosed that Martinez and XM-Sirius brass were trying to work out an arrangement for Martinez to return to the financially struggling network to cover the upcoming baseball season.

Martinez appeared at Tigers camp in Lakeland, Fla., Sunday while working as a commentator for TBS, a position he would maintain even if he returns to XM. It would be Martinez's fourth year of service with XM if the two sides can agree on a contract.

"I don't know whether they'll be able to get it done," said Hamilton in response to a question from a telephone listener.

In addition to his work on XM, Martinez has served as a baseball color analyst for ESPN, TBS and The Sports Network, and as game analyst for the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles. He was awarded a 1995 Sports Emmy for ESPN's coverage of Cal Ripken's record 2,131st consecutive game.

Martinez -- who resides in Bellaire Beach, Fla. and Cape May, N.J. -- managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001-02, and was a major league catcher for 17 years, including time with the Royals and Blue Jays, before injuries to his knees forced his retirement.

He and Patrick inaugurated XM's "Baseball This Morning" program with former Phillies manager Larry Bowa in 1987, and formerly shared the program's microphone with former Yankees first baseman Orestes Destrade. All of them abruptly left the network with little explanation despite their having gained accolades from listeners for high standards in originality, creativeness, entertainment and informativeness -- achievements largely unmatched since their departure.

Bowa now serves as third base coach for the Dodgers. Estrada has served as commentator for ESPN television's "Baseball Tonight." Patrick continues to seek work from his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Brownsburg.

3 comments:

Ski Sullivan said...

Judging by how post-Patrick broadcasts went, I wouldn't be surprised to see Patrick back as part and parcel of the negotiation. There were times when it sounded as though Buck wanted to just "get on with it," rather than entertain Mark's directions, but bottom line is the morning show worked because of the chemistry (did you ever hear Buck really laugh on-air after MP was gone) between these two, and a mutual respect for each other's knowledge and ability to contribute equally when the show needed them.

How interesting that one of the other hosts would "leak" this info.

I think the whole scenario is screwy, especially given how the whole "merger" of talents and programming was handled this last fall. Complete lack of professionalism amongst management ranks, and an inferior programming line-up as a result of the "shuffle." MLB in particular has seemed lost, but the music side is floundering as well.

Steve said...

XM 175 is former shadow of good baseball coverage.

With a few exceptions, it all NY radio all the time...

Geno said...

MLB on XM has reduced itself to every other bad local sports radio show on the air. Buck and Mark were the perfect mix in the morning. They deluted The Show by separating Dibble and Kennedy and pairing Dibbs with that hack Jody McDonald. Charlie Steinner also added a nice dimension with his discussions with writers throughout the country. I find it hard to listen to with the new programming