At Least One Dude Thinks ESPN Goofed In Firing Joe Morgan

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So, ESPN canned Joe Morgan and told Jon Miller that his aging face reminded them of the grim specter of death, pushing him forever to the radio. Most people are glad to see Joe Morgan go, because he was full of donkey dust, but there are some outliers! Meet Milton Kent:

With all due respect to Williamson, Miller and Morgan contributed greatly to the success of "Sunday Night Baseball" in the same way that Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers contributed greatly to the success of the sitcom "M*A*S*H." Sure, someone else could do the job, but certainly not better.

The pairing of Morgan and Miller was originally an odd one, as Miller's puckish sense of humor frequently went over the more strait-laced Morgan's head. However, over the years, the duo settled into a solid groove, and made the Sunday night telecast an entertaining one.

So to Milton, the magic in the Miller/Morgan marriage only came after a shoulder shrug and years of "getting used to" one another in the booth. That's the only reason Kent gives to back up his enjoyment of the announcing pair. "The duo (eventually) settled into a solid groove."

We, as baseball fans, deserve more. See, Joe Morgan was a very productive ballplayer and one of the all-time greats at his position. But for a person paid to opine about the game on television, he was horseshit. To sit in the pressbox and tell tall tales that can easily be disproved with historical records, and to make sweeping statements about strategy that can easily be disproved with advanced statistical methods specifically robs the viewer of a chance to enjoy baseball and learn about it. There was once an entire blog devoted to pointing out Morgan's malapropisms and falsehoods. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Some contrarian-minded people (hiya, Craiggers!) today are going to tell you that hey, Joe Morgan wasn't all that bad and even reminded us of our folksy great-uncles. But that's misguided hokum! Morgan presented a dangerous level of anti-intellectualism on the air that threatened to prevent nerds like me from watching Sunday Night Baseball.

And I hadn't watched it at all over the last five or so years, unless my favorite team was participating. Even then, I watched in protest. So I encourage ESPN not to go deep and hire some dweeb who can recite the formula for WAR and VORP, but at least hire someone who won't crap all over statistics and, if they were a former player, won't tell old stories that have little basis in fact.

So basically, anyone but Bobby Valentine.


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7 Comments

Don't get me wrong, I'm not changing the subject to grouse. I am wearing my Joe Morgan's dead hat and dancing around the shop. But why is the Duck name dropping without linking a relevant post?

Because there was no relevant post. Just a chat.

"The Miller/Morgan combo is a lot like M*A*S*H . . ."

Stop right there, grandpa.

M*A*S*H sucked worse than Joe Morgan. ESPN should have hired Jim Kaat. Way to fuck it up again ESPN.

Hey Kent, invite Morgan over to your house every Sunday for dinner and let him talk at you for three hours.
See how long that lasts.

threatened to prevent nerds like me from watching Sunday Night Baseball

An equally large threat? HGTV's Design Star moving to Sundays.

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