Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez 'sad' that partner Pat Tabler was let go
Buck Martinez is preparing to return to the Toronto Blue Jays’ broadcast booth next season for his 36th year on the call, though he will be missing his regular partner.
Pat Tabler, who had been working alongside Martinez on television broadcasts since 2010, was let go by Rogers Sportsnet earlier this month, ending the duo’s partnership after 12 seasons. It was the end of an era for the longtime play-by-play teammates.
In an appearance on the Bob McCown podcast on Thursday, Martinez provided his thoughts on the matter, revealing he and Tabler were “blindsided” by the announcement and “didn’t see it coming.” The 74-year-old added that both their contracts expired after last season.
“It’s very, very sad,” Martinez continued. “It kind of reflects the world today where experience isn’t valued and consistency isn’t valued and loyalty isn’t valued. It was a sad call when I heard that Pat had not been renewed for next year.
“Pat may have been the best partner I’ve ever had. Worked hard. Prepared. Humble. Wanted to bring the best to the broadcast every night.”
In an interview with @FadooBobcat and @JShannonhl, Buck Martinez says he and his former partner, Pat Tabler, were "blindsided" when Tabler's contract wasn't renewed. "It kinda reflects the world today...Experience isn't valued, consistency isn't valued, loyalty isn't valued." pic.twitter.com/K3HDoTxP3U
— Simon Houpt (@simonhoupt) December 15, 2022
With Dan Shulman assuming a much larger role in 2023, committing to working all 81 home games and most road games, it was unlikely that Sportsnet would carry all three announcers next season. It’s unclear as to how many games Martinez will call, though.
The former Blue Jays manager - who began his broadcasting career with the franchise in 1987 - took a leave of absence in April while undergoing treatment for cancer. He did, however, make his triumphant return on July 26.
There is the belief that studio analyst Joe Siddall could fill in when needed, resuming the game analyst role that he previously served on the radio side from 2014-17. He has been working alongside Blue Jays Central host Jamie Campbell since 2018.
Tabler released a statement as part of Sportnet’s official announcement on Dec. 2, thanking everyone he came across during his 32 years in the business - which started as a studio analyst with TSN in 1993 - and all the fans who followed him along the way.
"For the last 32 years, first as a player for the Blue Jays and then as a broadcaster, it has been my honour to serve you," said Tabler in a statement issued through Sportsnet. "I hope that I represented you with the class and dignity that you deserve.
"It was a great run, but all good things have to come to an end."
Tabler ended his 12-year MLB career with the Blue Jays, helping Toronto win the World Series in 1992.
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