Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Remembering Hell

Note from Cyn: I wrote this on July 3, 2011.  It’s archived in the old posts but figured it couldn’t hurt to bring it out since the Cubs are finally in the NLCS again.

I reviewed the documentary “Catching Hell” without intending to. I wrote the below because while watching the documentary I started yelling at the television and then remembered I wrote a blog where I could vent my frustrations.  So here it is.

July 3, 2011: So I’m home and going through the On Demand listings and I come across “Catching Hell“, a documentary described as exploring “the phenomenon of scapegoating by examining what the fateful deflected foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS did to Cubs fans and Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series did to Boston fans”.  Sounds like 104 minutes of fun, right?  This was made for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and I almost didn’t watch it.  I really go out of my way, even now, to avoid watching anything from Game 6 but in buying this On Demand I made the decision to watch it.  No sense in paying to watch the documentary and skip through the painful parts, right?

I know that it is completely insane that after 2004 and 2007, watching the end of that game is still painful, but it is.  It hurt me physically to watch it.  Really made my heart and body ache.  There was never, ever, a time when I “blamed” Bill Buckner for what happened, never, but there is no denying that there were many who did (truth be told, more in the media and around the country than locally.  I’ve honestly never met anyone who held hatred or anger toward Buckner who lived in the area.  Hell, he got cheered when he came back to Boston as a player…that bit of information always gets left out of any discussions about Bill Buckner).

So I expected to watch this and be annoyed by comparing something that happened in the LCS to something that happened in the World Series (as far as the pain of the fans) but I wasn’t.  Alex Gibney, the filmmaker (and Boston Red Sox fan) did a wonderful job of showing in painful detail how scapegoating both Bartman and Buckner was so ridiculous and unfair that the personal pain kind of went away.  I’ll say this about the Cubs fans, I have a different view of them now.  I will never get over hearing the fans not only chanting “asshole”at him but yelling things like “we’re going to kill you!” and  “Put a twelve gauge in his mouth and pull the trigger” and throwing things at him.  Definitely not a high point for baseball fans.  I did NOT expect to be more upset by the Bartman incident than the Buckner one but the filmmakers really covered it in such detail that I couldn’t help getting upset for Steve Bartman (not the Cubs fans.  Definitely not the Cubs fans) like it just happened.  I was genuinely yelling “Oh my God!” at some of what was shown. How Fox and Steve Lyons hammered the visual of Bartman over and over and how the fans fed off of Moises Alou and instead of supporting the team after that, spent the rest of the game torturing Bartman.  (And, really, based on the audio and video, Lyons and Fox are as responsible for what happened to him as the Cubs fans are. )  Friendly Confines, my ass.

Ironically, anyone who blamed Buckner or Bartman seemed to forget that both games were game sixes.  Each team had an entire game to finish things off and couldn’t seal the deal.  I guess it’s more fun to blame folks than it is to accept that your team failed.

I have to tell you, too, that after watching the replay of Moises Alou’s reaction over and over, I take issue with how he acted.  His actions (or REactions) helped fuel the fire that changed Steve Bartman’s life forever.  It pleased me that Gibney says in a voice over “Moises Alou was NOT a great fielder.  Would he have made the catch [had Bartman not been there]?”  To this day, Alou is “…convinced 100 percent” that he would have made the catch.  Using technology where they erased the crowd from the shot, it does look like Alou would have made the catch.  But we’ll never know.  Is ruining a man’s life a good trade off for your favorite team losing?

The filmmaker wants to get your blood boiling and  he does.  Not only showing us Buckner and Bartman, but reminding us about Jeffrey Maier.  (Interesting that Maier gets treated like a God for legitimate fan interference while Steve Bartman is forever reviled for doing something all the fans around him were also doing.)

All in all an interesting, but also sad look at how fans protect their own feelings by picking a scapegoat so they can continue to root for the laundry.

The majority of the documentary covers Bartman and what happened surrounding what happened in game 6 but it is bookended by Bill Buckner and the Red Sox.  Fascinating to hear him talking about how he really didn’t know how he missed the ball and never watched the replay until recently where he studied in slow motion what happened.  (According to him, the ball went by his glove not between his legs. Not sure what he means specifically by that)  Buckner didn’t watch the 2004 World Series because Fox kept showing his error video.  (Yes, this film is full of more reasons to hate Fox.)

The Boston segment ends with Bill Buckner’s trip back to Fenway in 2008 for Opening Day.  A quote from him at the pre-game presser that I had almost forgotten about gives us more proof of where the whole vilification of Bill Buckner came from.

“I had to forgive, not the fans of Boston per se, but in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through”

On the record for the film he says that he felt the crowd “wanted me to feel better”. We sure did, Bill.

It also gets pointed out that Bill Buckner, in becoming a professional baseball player, asked for the limelight and the good and bad that came with it and Steve Bartman didn’t ask for any of it.  I do agree with this in a sense. I can’t imagine having your entire life change over something you didn’t even realize was happening at the time.

To this day, Steve Bartman is in hiding from Cubs fans.  The stories are that he doesn’t even use credit cards because he doesn’t want to risk anyone recognizing his name.  In a sense, he’s lost his identity because people don’t know where to draw the line.

“There are many who say the city should forgive Bartman but it’s really up to Bartman to forgive Chicago.”  Can’t really say I would blame him if he never did.

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October 15, 2015 Posted by | 2015 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catching Hell

I’ve been pretty vocal regarding my feelings about the Cubs making it to the NLCS. Let’s just say it doesn’t make me happy.

A fair amount of people have asked me how I could possibly root against a team that hasn’t won a championship in over 100 years. Many are adamant that I’m just spiteful and have no good reason to dislike the Cubs. They bring up the Red Sox drought and how I should feel a companionship with the Cubs fans because as a Red Sox fan I know their pain. This is all too true.

In the 2003 post-season, I was much too involved with the Red Sox/Yankees ALCS to pay much attention to what was going on with the Cubs and Marlins. I probably had the NLCS on but I honestly don’t remember one game of it. So I have no memory of my own of the October 14th “Bartman” game at Wrigley Field.  All my memories of it come after, from the news, the Internet and the documentary “Catching Hell” that ESPN produced for their 30 for 30 series.

Which means I didn’t immediately hold the treatment of Steve Bartman against the Cubs fans. In my mind, initially, it was just fans giving another fan grief because he interfered with a ball in play and it seemed to affect the outcome of the game.  The fans acted like jerks, but all fans act like jerks at one time or another (even you St Louis Cardinals fans) so let’s note they acted crummy and move on with our lives.

Then in 2011 I watched “Catching Hell” on-demand and it changed my view of Cubs fans  forever. What they did went beyond giving a fan grief. They tormented Steve Bartman and ruined his life. Ruined it, genuinely, all over a baseball game. (I should note that “Catching Hell” doesn’t just cover Bartman but Bill Buckner as well.)

The argument from many is that ANY fans (maybe, especially Red Sox fans) would have reacted the way the Cubs fans did. I reject this false premise. I will always reject this because we haven’t seen it happen. There have been plenty of goats in Major League Baseball over the last 12 years and where is the next Bartman?

ESPN has been kind enough to post the documentary in its entirety. I’ll save you a click and share it below.  I implore you to watch it if for no other reason than to understand how some people. such as yours truly, will have a very difficult time ever forgiving the Cubs fans.

http://player.espn.com/player.js?playerBrandingId=4ef8000cbaf34c1687a7d9a26fe0e89e&adSetCode=91cDU6NuXTGKz3OdjOxFdAgJVtQcKJnI&pcode=1kNG061cgaoolOncv54OAO1ceO-I&width=576&height=324&externalId=espn:13883887&thruParam_espn-ui%5BautoPlay%5D=false&thruParam_espn-ui%5BplayRelatedExternally%5D=true 

October 15, 2015 Posted by | 2015 | , , , , | 1 Comment

About Pineda and Pine Tar

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Last night’s game was just another reminder of how as much as I love baseball, sometimes it frustrates the hell out of me.

For the second time this season against the Red Sox, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was found to have a foreign substance on his person, presumably to help him pitch. (It was not the second time this season he was caught by cameras with the pine tar. His outing in Toronto was also enhanced by the sticky substance.)

After the first time against the Sox I felt pretty ‘meh’ about it. None of the players complained, good for him he got away with something. But last night irritated me on a few different levels. So let’s give thanks to Pineda for causing my first rant of the 2014 season.

Before the game John Farrell responded to a question about pine tar by saying “I’m sure I would expect that, if it’s used, it’s more discreet than the last time.”

Yeah, not so much.

I don’t have any idea if I should be mad that Pineda uses pine tar. Apparently everyone uses it and no one in the game usually cares. What annoys me is how everyone blows it off (including and especially the players) as if it isn’t a big deal when it is, regardless of how well it is hidden, against MLB’s rules.  This isn’t stealing signs. This is something specifically against the rules. If you want the rule changed, you’re in a union, go talk to them. But the rule is there and if the only time it’s going to be enforced is when it’s so bloody obvious my legally blind father with a 10 year-old NON HD television can see it then I think that’s pretty ridiculous.

I’m also annoyed by the way the entire Yankees team was only too happy to throw Pineda under the bus the moment the game was over and the questions came out. Sure, he’s an adult, makes his own decisions, blah, blah, blah. And it was pointed out to me last night that dugouts between innings aren’t exactly libraries so it’s possible his manager, the coaches, his teammates and everyone else in there didn’t notice the giant, messy blob on his neck before he took the field in the second inning.  But he’s done this at least two other times this season already. The media was all over it yesterday before the game. I absolutely do not believe that no one in the Yankees organization thought to maybe talk to this kid before the game and say “Gee, the spotlight is going to be on you, maybe cut the shit for one night, huh?”  And if they did and he ignored them you would think that the reaction from, oh let’s say Joe Girardi would have been a lot more angry than it was. Girardi responded like it was no big deal (although in fairness Brian Cashman seemed a bit more miffed – probably just that his player was stupid enough to ‘hide’ it on such an obvious place).

The word ‘mistake’ has been bandied about quite a bit regarding this incident. No. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a purposeful decision. A stupid one, mind you I won’t argue with anyone that what Pineda did was ridiculously stupid, but a specific decision and not a  mistake nonetheless.

As with most of my rants, I know I’m all over the place here. There’s a part of me that sympathizes with Pineda. He’s 25, English isn’t his first language, and he’s pitching for a team that, at least in theory, offers zero room for mistakes. Who knows what kind of pressure he’s feeling or what kind of support he’s getting? And what kind of mixed messages has he received? I mean,hell, if I can’t figure out why I’m supposed to be mad about pitchers using pine tar (given I keep getting told everyone does it), how is he supposed to know if he’s doing something wrong?  He knows it’s “wrong” in the sense that it’s against MLB rules but as long as you conceal it well it seems to not be “wrong” among his fellow players, coaches and managers. So in a sense it’s easy to see why he thought he could get away with it.

The players need to clean up their own mess. It sounds a bit hypocritical to hear John Farrell and  John Lackey and others essentially saying the only reason they brought the umpires into it was because of how blatant it was. Suddenly we have to defend the integrity of the game (or our own egos) just because everyone can see it? So if CC is hiding something between his fingers tonight and none of us ever get a look at it, does that make him better than Pineda because he hides his cheating better?* How’s this work? Do players get the rulebook and note the asterisks next to some of rules? “Pay no attention to the red asterisked rules, fellas. Those are just there for show.”

*In case a CC fan happens to read this, I’m not accusing him of cheating. But if everyone else is right, apparently chances are he probably is.

In an ESPN.com article about this debacle, Ian O’Connor amusingly wonders if this will “sink” the Yankees season. But that isn’t the most entertaining thing about the piece. Normally, I avoid the comments but in some instances the schadenfreude is too much to pass up.  My favorite comment came from someone named Joseph who wrote (and this is all cut and pasted, typos and/or misspellings aren’t mine):

I’m very disapointed in Cashman at the moment. i think he is letting the yankees get pushed around again. He shouldn’t have come out defiant. He should have denounced Farrell’s ploy for what it was: gamesmenship. He should have promised retalalition. Not say your sorry because Pineda’s only crime it seems was to try and get a grip of the baseball. The rule was designed to prevent people from doctoring the baseball not prevent a pitcher from being able to grip the ball on a cold night because that’s a safety hazard. Let’s be honest here John Farrel doesn’t give a darn about the rule. He just cares about giving his team an edge whether it is in the rules or not. Somebody should ask him if he thinks that Jon Lester should be suspended. Or if he thinks Clay Bucholtz should be suspended? My guess is that he’ll say no even though there is actual video proof that these guys cheated. If you suspend Pineda you have to suspend those other pitchers as well. Otherwise leave the kid alone.

Aside from old Joseph not knowing how to spell Farrell or Buchholz, he misses the point of why Pineda will be suspended and Lester and Buchholz only got spoken about in the media. No one on the opposing team called out Lester or Buchholz during the game (I almost wish they had. I mean I’d be interested to see how the umps reacted to the stuff on Clay’s arm and in Crabby’s glove.) which means there were no reprimands.  Which brings me to another thing that makes no sense to me in MLB…why is it on the teams to police themselves? Why didn’t one of the umps approach the mound (or the Yankees dugout) and say “Yo, what up with the neck gunk?” It seems to me that MLB is as accepting of this practice as the players are – as long as the pitchers aren’t obvious enough to get caught.

The mixed message is annoying. If I’m going to be outraged, dammit, tell me why I should be!

I’d rather the media focus on how amazing the Red Sox pitching was last night – especially John Lackey. For schadenfreude, how about Derek Jeter’s absolutely horrendous defense or Mark Teixeira’s Golden Sombrero?  All interesting baseball stories.  Instead we get to listen to the likes of Karl Ravech say things like “There is no joy in Pinetarville” (he really said that – and then went on to say that John Farrell couldn’t really enjoy beating the Yankees last night because he knows his pitchers “cheat” too). And tonight we’ll be subjected to discussions about the length of Pineda’s suspension (10 games, equalling 2 starts – the iron hammer of Joe Torre seems a little weak) and concerns that the Red Sox opened a can of worms that their pitchers will have to pay for.

I mean hell, I’ve written almost 1500 words about the damn subject and I don’t even really know how I feel about it. I don’t like cheaters and I’m a bit of a good two-shoes when it comes to rules…so in theory I should be mad that Pineda pulled this again. But really I just wonder, if it really is being done by all of them, why more pitchers don’t get caught.

I’ll say this much, the theater of John Farrell coming out of the dugout, the umpire practically strip searching Michael Pineda and Joe Girardi almost dismantling an ESPN dugout camera wouldn’t have been quite as amusing had the Red Sox lost last night’s game.  So I thank John Lackey for being outstanding and really wish the rest of it would just go away.

April 24, 2014 Posted by | 2014 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Mets lost the game and my respect

I’m not going to write about the Red Sox today because, well, I just can’t.  Okay, I will just say these two things: 1) It blows my mind that the fans and the media are writing things like “I guess they don’t care about winning” as if that is why every team goes through slumps…because they don’t care and 2) Unlike, seemingly, a lot of fans, I’m disappointed we have an off-day today because I really just want them to keep at it.  I suppose, in theory, off days can be good for the team but I don’t feel like that’s the case this time.  I’m eager for them to get back at it.

And that’s all I’ll say about the Red Sox this morning because I’m so mad about the New York Mets not being able to wear (and not fighting to wear) the FDNY/NYPD baseball caps for last night’s game that I had dreams about it all night.

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September 12, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Cow, I’m happy

Yes, tell me it doesn’t mean much given the Red Sox have dominated the Yankees this season and are only one game ahead of them in the standings. All I know is the Red Sox held the Yankees to nine runs this entire weekend and beat not only CC Sabathia but Mariano Rivera as well (well, Mo didn’t get the loss but he blew the save). They were an uncharacteristically bad Jon Lester inning away from sweeping the Yankees, yet again, and they clinched the season series. Add to that the two wins this weekend happening on national television and Josh Reddick proving me right (I kept telling people that I’m not “afraid” of Mariano Rivera when it comes to the Red Sox facing him) and my lack of sleep this weekend was totally worth it.

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August 8, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Remembering Hell

So I’m home and going through the On Demand listings and I come across “Catching Hell“, a documentary described as exploring “the phenomenon of scapegoating by examining what the fateful deflected foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS did to Cubs fans and Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series did to Boston fans”.  Sounds like 104 minutes of fun, right?  This was made for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and I almost didn’t watch it.  I really go out of my way, even now, to avoid watching anything from Game 6 but in buying this On Demand I made the decision to watch it.  No sense in paying to watch the documentary and skip through the painful parts, right?

I know that it is completely insane that after 2004 and 2007, watching the end of that game is still painful, but it is.  It hurt me physically to watch it.  Really made my heart and body ache.  There was never, ever, a time when I “blamed” Bill Buckner for what happened, never, but there is no denying that there were many who did (truth be told, more in the media and around the country than locally.  I’ve honestly never met anyone who held hatred or anger toward Buckner who lived in the area.  Hell, he got cheered when he came back to Boston as a player…that bit of information always gets left out of any discussions about Bill Buckner).

So I expected to watch this and be annoyed by comparing something that happened in the LCS to something that happened in the World Series (as far as the pain of the fans) but I wasn’t.  Alex Gibney, the filmmaker (and Boston Red Sox fan) did a wonderful job of showing in painful detail how scapegoating both Bartman and Buckner was so ridiculous and unfair that the personal pain kind of went away.  I’ll say this about the Cubs fans, I have a different view of them now.  I will never get over hearing the fans not only chanting “asshole”at him but yelling things like “we’re going to kill you!” and  “Put a twelve gauge in his mouth and pull the trigger” and throwing things at him.  Definitely not a high point for baseball fans.  I did NOT expect to be more upset by the Bartman incident than the Buckner one but the filmmakers really covered it in such detail that I couldn’t help getting upset for Steve Bartman (not the Cubs fans.  Definitely not the Cubs fans) like it just happened.  I was genuinely yelling “Oh my God!” at some of what was shown. How Fox and Steve Lyons hammered the visual of Bartman over and over and how the fans fed off of Moises Alou and instead of supporting the team after that, spent the rest of the game torturing Bartman.  (And, really, based on the audio and video, Lyons and Fox are as responsible for what happened to him as the Cubs fans are. )  Friendly Confines, my ass.

Ironically, anyone who blamed Buckner or Bartman seemed to forget that both games were game sixes.  Each team had an entire game to finish things off and couldn’t seal the deal.  I guess it’s more fun to blame folks than it is to accept that your team failed.

I have to tell you, too, that after watching the replay of Moises Alou’s reaction over and over, I take issue with how he acted.  His actions (or REactions) helped fuel the fire that changed Steve Bartman’s life forever.  It pleased me that Gibney says in a voice over “Moises Alou was NOT a great fielder.  Would he have made the catch [had Bartman not been there]?”  To this day, Alou is “…convinced 100 percent” that he would have made the catch.  Using technology where they erased the crowd from the shot, it does look like Alou would have made the catch.  But we’ll never know.  Is ruining a man’s life a good trade off for your favorite team losing?

The filmmaker wants to get your blood boiling and  he does.  Not only showing us Buckner and Bartman, but reminding us about Jeffrey Maier.  (Interesting that Maier gets treated like a God for legitimate fan interference while Steve Bartman is forever reviled for doing something all the fans around him were also doing.)

All in all an interesting, but also sad look at how fans protect their own feelings by picking a scapegoat so they can continue to root for the laundry.

The majority of the documentary covers Bartman and what happened surrounding what happened in game 6 but it is bookended by Bill Buckner and the Red Sox.  Fascinating to hear him talking about how he really didn’t know how he missed the ball and never watched the replay until recently where he studied in slow motion what happened.  (According to him, the ball went by his glove not between his legs. Not sure what he means specifically by that)  Buckner didn’t watch the 2004 World Series because Fox kept showing his error video.  (Yes, this film is full of more reasons to hate Fox.)

The Boston segment ends with Bill Buckner’s trip back to Fenway in 2008 for Opening Day.  A quote from him at the pre-game presser that I had almost forgotten about gives us more proof of where the whole vilification of Bill Buckner came from.

“I had to forgive, not the fans of Boston per se, but in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through”

On the record for the film he says that he felt the crowd “wanted me to feel better”. We sure did, Bill.

It also gets pointed out that Bill Buckner, in becoming a professional baseball player, asked for the limelight and the good and bad that came with it and Steve Bartman didn’t ask for any of it.  I do agree with this in a sense. I can’t imagine having your entire life change over something you didn’t even realize was happening at the time.

To this day, Steve Bartman is in hiding from Cubs fans.  The stories are that he doesn’t even use credit cards because he doesn’t want to risk anyone recognizing his name.  In a sense, he’s lost his identity because people don’t know where to draw the line.

“There are many who say the city should forgive Bartman but it’s really up to Bartman to forgive Chicago.”  Can’t really say I would blame him if he never did.

July 3, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Did you miss the baseball game?

Very happy for the Bruins.  Happy for all the fans, especially for folks like my dad who never stopped paying attention to their team, and I’m really happy for Cam Neely (and Tim Thomas and Mark Recchi and Nathan Horton and, hell, the whole lot of them!).  Living in the Boston area and being a sports fan is an entirely different experience in 2011 than it was in, let’s say, 1991.  It’s a wonderful feeling and we’re quite the fortunate fan base.

But I’m not here to write about hockey* because I was one of what seemed like only a handful of people who actually watched the Red Sox game as well.  Josh Beckett threw a complete game, shutout, one-hitter last night against the Tampa Bay Rays last night.  His pitches were filthy ridiculous and save for a cheap single he had what everyone considered “no-hit stuff”.  He only faced one batter over the minimum at the Trop and while Jeremy Hellickson pitched a heck of a game too, Beckett dominated like we fans knew he could.

At 3:30pm today, NESN will air the two-hour version of last night’s game (given the game only took two hours and twenty minutes to play, they won’t be editing out much)…take a few minutes off from your Bruins joy (if you are a Bruins fan) and take a look at some amazing pitching.

*I feel terrible for diehard hockey fans because this playoff season has shown me how little coverage the sport gets nationally.  Unless you have hockey blogs bookmarked, finding coverage is tough. When you have to wait for “news” about how the NBA and NFL might not be playing to get Stanley Cup coverage, it is obvious the sport is all but ignored by the World Wide Leader.  Poor form, ESPN.

June 16, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , | 2 Comments

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

ESPN deserves a tremendous amount of thanks because, honestly, they pay to have exclusivity on Sunday night and aside from good publicity, I don’t imagine they get much out of allowing NESN to cover the game (they’re also allowing Detroit to air the game locally) yet they gave the okay…not too shabby of them even if it looks like the tornado scene from “The Wizard of Oz’ in Detroit right now.

So we get another rain delay…Gordon Edes tweeted around 6:50 that there is no way this game begins on time (as I write this, there are tractors holding down the tarp in Detroit…that’s how strong they are expecting winds to be) but as soon as the game begins we’ll be here live chatting.  That is, IF the game begins.

Oh well…whatever ends up happening, thanks, again to ESPN because at least now we have the HOPE that we’re going to see a game.

The “Thank You ESPN” Live Chat

May 29, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Live Chat 2011 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to Watch Tonight

Sure, you could watch the Red Sox and you SHOULD watch the Red Sox but if you have another television or just even a DVR this needs to be on your viewing list tonight at 7 o’clock:

Ryan Westmoreland, the No. 1 outfield prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, was on the brink of fulfilling his lifelong dream when he suddenly began losing feeling in his fingertips, hearing in one ear and even his eyesight. Jeremy Schaap follows him during months of rehabilitation as he courageously fights to make it back.

April 12, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 3 Comments

Goodbye Joe

Normally, I try to go out of my way to make sure that whatever I’m blogging about isn’t being blogged about by all the other bloggers…but today I don’t care. It’s absolutely impossible for me to not blog about this since it’s something I have complained about for so long.

ESPN as finally cut ties with Mr. Joe Morgan.

Now let me say this:  I’m never happy (well, usually never happy) to see someone lose their job.  A lot of people have their entire self-worth wrapped up in what they do for a living (something tells me Morgan is one of them) and I think it’s sad when that gets taken away.  So I do not celebrate anyone losing their job today.  What I’m celebrating is the fans being given something back.

On the first Sunday of baseball season in 2011, baseball fans everywhere will turn on their televisions in anticipation of something GOOD instead of worrying about how long they can last before they have to hit the mute button.  We get a clean slate.  Maybe throughout the season we’ll decide we hate the new guys too…but at least we get our chance to find out.  “Ken Tremendous” hit the nail on the head (as he often did at Fire Joe Morgan) last night when he tweeted:

Farewell, Joe. You were never my favorite announcer, but at least you were stubborn and unreasonable.

I don’t deny that Joe Morgan loves (loved?) baseball. But his refusal to embrace anything new about the game and to happily acknowledge his ignorance…these are things I won’t miss.  His ability to make up a fact on demand while Jon Miller happily laughed along side of him instead of correcting him…this won’t be missed.  Joe Morgan was a great ball player and a much less than great baseball analyst and broadcaster (although, I will always marvel at how he could tell you a story about his career that didn’t happen as if there were no way to ever check on it).  It took ESPN over 20 years to realize this and while I feel sketchy about being happy that today a man has lost his job, in this case, the needs of the many definitely outweigh the needs of the few.

Godspeed, Joe Morgan.

November 9, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , | 5 Comments