Buck Martinez doesn't know if he'll be back on Blue Jays call next season

Oct 1 2022, 8:49 pm

Buck Martinez doesn’t know if he’ll be back on the call next season.

Martinez, the beloved Rogers Sportsnet broadcaster who stepped away from the booth in mid-April after a cancer diagnosis in April, isn’t positive that he’ll be back calling Toronto Blue Jays games next season. 

“I don’t know,” Martinez told Simon Houpt of The Globe and Mail in a wide-ranging interview published Saturday.

“It has nothing to do with Rogers. It’s just me. You know, I’ve been through a lot. And, you know, my wife and I have had a lot of discussions about it. I don’t know.”

His contract expires at the end of the season.

Martinez, who spent 17 years in the Majors as a catcher with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Blue Jays from 1969-1986 and served as big-league manager in Toronto in 2001 and 2002, will see his contract expire at season’s end. 

The 73-year-old has been a broadcaster on and off since 1987 and has been a part of Blue Jays telecasts since 2010. 

“Longevity comes along with competence,” Martinez told Houpt. “Comes along with credibility, and it comes along with performance. People aren’t allowed to do things for a long time if they’re not performing, and that’s what always got me about people talking about the Hall of Fame: ‘Well, he was just an accumulator, because he played 25 years.’ 

“Well, he played 25 years because he could, and there’s no charity in professional sports. So, you know, they’re not just letting Jim Kaat pitch for 25 years because he’s a nice guy. And you know, that’s the way I feel about broadcasting.”

Martinez took a three-month absence before returning in July to a standing ovation after finishing cancer treatments in late June.

“I’ve been very fortunate in many, many regards,” he said. “Never been sick, and I know how fortunate I am, and I look at life a little differently now. I’m not concerned about it, I’m not worried about it. I just understand that I’ve been privileged and I will appreciate every opportunity I have going forward.”

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