Ruben Amaro Jr. lands on MLB Network, Joe Buck ends Fox career on ‘The Masked Singer’

Over the past two years, former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has reinvented himself as a Philadelphia media figure.

Amaro’s been surprisingly good as a Phillies analyst on NBC Sports Philadelphia since joining the network in 2020, and has let his hair down a bit as a recurring co-host on 94.1 WIP’s morning show alongside the retiring Angelo Cataldi.

This season, Amaro is adding a new gig – he’ll join the MLB Network as a studio analyst beginning next month, according to sources at the network. Amaro will appear across the network’s studio programming, and will probably get most of his work by him leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.

Amaro will also have the opportunity to team up with former Phillies pitcher Dan Plesac, who threw the last pitch in the history of Veterans Stadium and part of the team when Amaro was an assistant general manager.

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Amaro joined the Phillies front office after retiring as a player in 1998. He was promoted to general manager in 2009, and held the role through early 2015, when he was fired by former team president Andy MacPhail.

Over the past few seasons, there have been reports that teams have spoken with Amaro about their vacant GM positions, including the Colorado Rockies in 2021. If his goal is to return to a team someday, the MLB Network would be a good launching pad – the Phillies hired manager Joe Girardi after a two-year stint as an analyst on the network.

MLB Network recently added former pitcher Alex Avila and former outfielder Cameron Maybin to their studio lineup, and the network’s morning show MLB Central will start an hour earlier this year, at 9 am

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On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN finally announced the worst kept secret in sports media – that Joe Buck was leaving his longtime home at Fox Sports to join Troy Aikman in the Monday Night Football booth.

Awkwardly, Buck made what in all likelihood will be his final appearance on Fox Wednesday night, when it was revealed he was Ram on The Masked Singer after singing a poorly-received version of “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters.

Not surprisingly, Buck wasn’t available to talk to the press about the episode, and we now know why. After calling six Super Bowls and 24 World Series for Fox, his tenure di lui ended with an encore performance of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.”

Buck and Aikman will make their debut on Monday Night Football on September 12. We won’t know which teams will face off until the NFL releases the schedule, which usually happens in May.

Fox has yet to announce who will replace Buck and Aikman in the booth on Sundays. It seems likely that Fox will elevate Kevin Burkhardt and former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who did a solid job last season in the network’s No. 2 booth. But longtime Sunday Night Football analyst Al Michaels is still available, and Fox will broadcast two of the next three Super Bowls, so anything could happen.

»READ MORE: ESPN officially steals Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. Here’s what’s happening at Fox, NBC, and Amazon.

  • I thought it was a classy move for longtime ESPNer and former Monday Night Football announcer Steve Levy to publicly welcome Buck, his replacement in the booth. Levy will continue to act as the network’s main NHL studio host, and could end up calling some NFL games next year, due to ESPN’s expanded schedule.

  • Speaking of Buck and Aikman’s departure, their former colleague Erin Andrews said she was taken by surprise how quickly things went down. “I wasn’t expecting it. I’ll be completely honest, I don’t think a lot of people were, “Andrews said on her podcast, Calm Down with Erin and Charissa. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that Andrews is also set to become a free agent.

  • ESPN announcer Doris Burke was caught off guard when her broadcast partner, Ryan Ruocco, brought up the new Star Wars TV series The Book of Boba Fett during Monday night’s Bucks-Jazz game. “I don’t know if you get a bonus in your paycheck for the Disney + pop,” Burke said in response. “I’m glad you explained it because I’m like, ‘What is he talking about? Book of Bobette? ‘”

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