Longtime Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster and former manager Buck Martinez said he was blindsided by the decision by Sportsnet to part ways with partner Pat Tabler.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Tabler and Sportsnet had parted ways after the 1992 World Series champion with the Blue Jays had spent 17 years with the network.
“Pat may have been the best partner I ever had. Worked hard, prepared, humble. Wanted to bring the best to the broadcast every single night, and he was blindsided. As was I,” Martinez said in an appearance on The Bob McCown Podcast on Thursday. “We didn’t see it coming. We both were at the end of a contract, and his wasn’t picked up, and it’s very sad.”
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
The 64-year-old Tabler had been with Sportsnet since 2005.
“After 17 seasons as a celebrated contributor to the network’s Blue Jays broadcasts, today Sportsnet and Pat Tabler are parting ways,” Sportsnet said in the announcement on December 2.
“Tabler endeared himself to Canadian viewers for more than three decades by bringing his love and passion for the game of baseball to every broadcast. Whether due to his work on the field as a player or behind the mic in the broadcast booth, Tabler will forever be synonymous with the legacy of the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Tabby, thank you for your tremendous contributions to Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays and to growing baseball across Canada. From all of us, we wish you the very best.”
Both he and Tabler had one year remaining on their contracts, Martinez said.
“It kinda reflects the world today, where experience isn’t valued and consistency isn’t valued, and loyalty isn’t valued,” he added. “It was a sad call when I heard that Pat had not been renewed for next year.”
Dan Shulman will pick up a larger role with Sportsnet on Blue Jays broadcasts next season.
Shulman, who gave up his ESPN radio gig to pick up a larger role with Sportsnet, has committed to all 81 home games and is expected to work around “the 130s” for total games.