The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Further to my thoughts earlier this week on lazy broadcasters, I thought I'd share a gem from the ever-entertaining Fire Joe Morgan. The site is always full of examples of bad sports journalism, but this particular piece gives us a perfect example of the kinds of people who are being paid a shitload of money to watch baseball for a living and share their enlightened thoughts with us poor ignorant fans. In this case, it's the man himself - Joe Morgan:
Charlotte: Joe, you were such a great hitter. What would you do to help Andruw Jones get back on track. He's just lost up there. And I can't believe he's really this bad.

Joe Morgan: I can't either. I can't believe he's having the problems he's having. I have not seen him play this year, as we haven't done a Dodgers' game and he's never int the highlights, so I couldn't give him any specific advice, but I am shocked at how long this slump has extended.

I am officially a broken record, but: Joe Morgan, the #1 analyst on the #1 baseball network in America -- multiple-time Emmy Award Winner -- has not seen a fucking DODGER GAME this year? Not one Dodger game?

I have a full-time job, and a decently complicated life, and a young child. There is not a single team in the majors I haven't watched play this year. I have watched at least one game of every major league team. You know why? I like baseball. Like checking out a Reds-Cubs game on a sleepy Saturday in late April. Like flipping over to a Giants game and imagine what it must be like to be Brian Sabean watching Barry Zito serving 80 MPH cheese to the NL. I like baseball, so I watch baseball. I just...I don't know how saying things like this doesn't get you fired. I really don't.
People wonder why baseball's TV ratings have fallen over recent years. I don't know all the reasons, but I'm willing to bet that having nationally-televised games broadcast by idiots could well be one of them.

I sometime hear players complain about salaries or life on the road or having to live life in the spotlight and think: "Man - stop whining. I'd play for food money," but the reality is that I couldn't, even if you gave me an over-sized glove in center field or asked Livan Hernandez to throw me only 60mph curves at the plate.

Whenever I listen to Joe Morgan, however, I seriously consider drafting a letter to ESPN to ask if they'd like to innovate a little and take a chance on a 38-year-old English color commentator.

(If anyone from ESPN is reading this, I'm available right away, and I'll do the job for free beer and pizza. E-mail me at the address on the right).