Full o’ Buster

Buster PoindexterAs I watch ESPN’s promos for the tireless work of baseball reporter Buster Olney — constantly taking phone calls, talking in Japanese to Ichiro, passing himself as he walks out of a building — I sometimes pause to consider how improbable this would have seemed in the ’90s.

I worked with Buster when he covered the Orioles for The Sun in 1995 and 1996. In fact, it was a running joke with one of my former bosses that Buster was “my hire.” In actuality, I was one of the sports department managers who was involved in reviewing candidates and I kind of favored another writer over Buster — yet another example of my poor judgment.

Of course, Buster turned out to be a terrific baseball beat guy — smart, plugged-in, insightful. He wrote great game stories that focused on the pivotal moments and key decisions. And no one outworked him as a reporter. He was hypercompetitive. In fact, his relationship with one of his Sun baseball colleagues was strained by the fact that this reporter was very friendly with The Washington Post‘s Orioles writer, back when The Sun and Post competed on the beat.

The thing is, I never would have pegged Buster as a future TV personality. I used to wonder whether he ever even smiled. That same guy who was always so serious every time we spoke now can sit in and crack wise on Mike & Mike in the Morning?

Then again, maybe Buster always was funny, but I wasn’t sharp enough to realize it.

0 comments

  1. I have to disagree with you on Buster as well. He’s arrogent and not very brite. He and his fellow redsox fans at NESPN seem to have dropped the ball on the Ortiez possitive test. Arod was in the newscycle for weeks when Selena Roberts, reported his positive test. Now fourdays later, nothing on Ortiez no criticism or NOTHING. What’s going on with that?

    When the Mitchell Report came out two years ago ESPN did it’s best to poo poo the notion that Mitchell had a built in bias, in spite of the fact that NO members of the Boston REdsox were on the list and the name of Dennis Byrd, who was scheduled to pitch hours game seven of the ALCS against Boston, was leaked hours before he took the mound by someone close to the Mitchell investigation. Why didn’t ESPN do any follow up to that? Oh that’s right Mitchell was their boss, and they didn’t want to cross the boss.

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