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Fox-TV Replacing Harold Reynolds And Tom Verducci With John Smoltz

Good news for TV baseball viewers!

John Smoltz in Cooperstown before his Hall of Fame induction last summer
John Smoltz in Cooperstown before his Hall of Fame induction last summer
Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure how many complaints were registered here and at other online baseball discussion forums about the awful Fox-TV postseason booth combination of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci.

Personally? I can take or leave Buck. He calls games with reasonable competence.

But Reynolds and Verducci were just bad; further, there's no reason ever, in my view, to have three people in a sports broadcast booth. There just isn't enough on-air time for three people to create reasonable discussion.

Good news! Fox appears to have listened to the complaints!

After two years, Tom Verducci and Harold Reynolds are out of the Fox broadcast booth, and John Smoltz will be the network's lead game analyst, two people familiar with the plans told the Daily News. Smoltz and play-by-play man Joe Buck will be the new World Series team.

A Fox Sports spokesperson confirmed the change. An official announcement is expected later on Tuesday.

If you have heard Smoltz on the air (and you likely did during last year's playoffs, when a Fox TV truck glitch had the network put the international broadcast with Smoltz and Matt Vasgersian on their air for a while), you know he's very good at commentary, not an easy job. He and Buck will likely make a good team, and I especially like the fact that Fox is going to a two-man booth (they'll still likely have field reporters, though). This will make the game commentary much smoother, without extra voices trying to squeeze in comments in too little time, and Smoltz's presence might even make Buck better.

I concur with Craig Calcaterra's take on Reynolds and Verducci:

Reynolds is generally likable, but he is painfully out of his depth as a commentator, offering up the most superficial and oftentimes contradictory analysis imaginable. He is far better-suited to being a studio host of some kind than the person baseball viewers hear first when it’s time to explain what just happened on the field. Verducci, while an excellent writer and journalist, has never seemed comfortable in the booth, often deferring to Reynolds in immediate analysis (he may have been better in a two-man booth) and, more recently, seemingly retreating to jokes or would-be memes or catch phrases rather than analysis.

Let's hope Buck and Smoltz are calling games involving the Cubs in next year's World Series.