Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler will continue to be the soundtrack of summer for Toronto Blue Jays fans, as the two veteran broadcasters have signed new five-year contracts with Sportsnet.
Martinez will continue with play-by-play responsibilities on the Blue Jays broadcasts, while Tabler will remain in an analyst role. The tandem has been calling games together with Sportsnet since 2010.
“Buck and Pat have a front row seat to a pastime Canadians from coast to coast have not only embraced, but for many fans, Blue Jays baseball is now a staple of summer. Together they’ve become our soundtrack to a season of strikeouts, stolen bases and home runs.” said Rob Corte, Vice President of Live Events and News Production, Sportsnet.
“Armed with more than 30 years of Major League Baseball experience, Buck and Pat’s insight and baseball IQ is unmatched as they continue to inform and entertain fans young and old.”
Martinez brings extensive experience as a baseball player, manager and broadcaster. Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1967, he caught for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Blue Jays. Martinez later managed the Blue Jays from 2001-02, and managed the United States in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
The former catcher also has an impressive broadcast resume, which began in 1987 as Blue Jays radio analyst and includes stints with ESPN and TBS.
“When I started broadcasting in Toronto in 1987 I never would have anticipated I would be here as long as I have, but when I was brought back as the play-by-play analyst in 2010 it was a tremendous feeling to return,” Martinez said. “At that time, I stepped into the unknown as the play-by-play guy but now, looking ahead to the next five years I couldn’t be happier. When I look at the team we work with -– the team we have in the truck, the team in the booth and working alongside Pat Tabler -– it has been nothing but a joy.”
Tabler, a 12-year veteran of the big leagues, also played for the Blue Jays. He signed with Toronto before the 1991 season and was a member of the Blue Jays’ 1992 World Series winning team. The 1987 All-Star has a career batting average of .282 including a .489 mark in 88 at bats with the bases loaded.
Tabler became a full-time analyst on Blue Jays telecasts in 2001, joining Sportsnet in 2005.
“It’s a pleasure to bring the fans Blue Jays baseball,” Tabler said. “I am happy to be coming back. I played on great teams as a player and now we have a great team here. It’s awesome to come to work every single day and hang around these guys. We have the best jobs in the world, because we get to watch baseball, be around the team, and we get to talk baseball for three hours every night. You can’t beat that.”
While the 2014 Blue Jays ended up missing the playoffs, Martinez believes the current roster has promise.
“I came into the organization in 1981 at a time when things were starting to turn around and I feel like they are starting to turn around once again,” Martinez said. “They have a great core of young players and cast of new talent on the horizon, so I think in the next few years this will be a team that can contend and eventually win, like we all hope they will.”