July 27, 2007 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Blog gives healthy Fisking to the worst sportswriting around, with a focus on Joe Morgan, perhaps the dumbest baseball analyst ever. (previous oblique MeFi reference.)
posted by klangklangston (26 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This will User 206.
posted by ORthey at 1:29 PM on July 27, 2007

It feels like it needs some robot silhouettes sitting in front of it.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:34 PM on July 27, 2007

Woah, woah, woah. It's not the worst sports writing around unless Dan Shaughnessy is involved somehow. This whole thing is suspect now.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:38 PM on July 27, 2007

I'm a big firejoemorgan fan, though it's amazing what levels they go to (dissecting chat transcripts line-by-line).
posted by drezdn at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2007

FJM rocks, even if you aren't a MoneyBall-reading, sabremetric-crunching, Tim-McCarver-hating geek.

My secret wish is that the phrase "fuck the heck" becomes a permanent part of idiomatic english.
posted by googly at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2007

unless Dan Shaughnessy is involved somehow.

He's actually mentioned in the second link.
posted by drezdn at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2007

He's actually mentioned in the second link.

Oh, ok, carry on.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:42 PM on July 27, 2007

I've been muttering "fuck the heck" around the office and gotten nothing but blank stares.
posted by klangklangston at 1:45 PM on July 27, 2007

(You're a Slytherin, Michael Ventre. A Slytherin.)

posted by mullacc at 1:47 PM on July 27, 2007

Fire Joe Morgan is required reading for people who like sports, humor, and/or statistics.

I will join the "fuck the heck" movement.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:58 PM on July 27, 2007

Ugh! Joe Morgan is the worst! Every time I have the misfortune of having to watch my Red Sox on ESPN, I marvel at the fact that someone who played the game and even managed teams knows so little, and worse, feels compelled to talk so much.
posted by horsemuth at 2:09 PM on July 27, 2007

Yeah, I never thought I could love my Tigers team of Rod and Mario so much until it became hard to see the Tiges without Joe Morgan on the national games. He says so many words, so few of them meaning anything. It's like he constantly perceives a vacuum of banalaty around himself and works to fill it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:32 PM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

My favorite Joe Morgan moment:

During a Sox game where Daisuke Mutsuzaka had a couple of hit batters, he mentioned that it was due to inexperience-- the Japanese game has less pitching inside to brush batters back. Perhaps that's true. As evidence of inexperience causing this, he cited Pedro Martinez's early career in LA, and how Martinez hit a lot of batters at first because he wasn't experienced with pitching inside.

He didn't mention why someone with Martinez's legendary accuracy continued to be a league leader in hit batsmen through his 10 year career with the Expos and Red Sox.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:55 PM on July 27, 2007

I don't read any sports writing or listen to any sportscasting on purpose, but if NPR's Wednesday (or is it Thursday?) morning commentator, Frank Deford, is any example, the entire profession has an average IQ of dirt. And not that really smart dirt, I mean the stupid kind.
posted by DU at 4:38 PM on July 27, 2007

I hate to tell you this, but Frank DeFord is above the mean for sports journalism intelligence.
posted by dw at 4:44 PM on July 27, 2007

I don't read any sports writing or listen to any sportscasting on purpose, but if NPR's...

I swear I'm psychic. I knew someone was going to get pretentious in less that 15 comments. I was going to mention it, but then it might not have happened.

And I'm allowed to point it out because I work in public broadcasting. (And still prefer baseball.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:26 PM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Frank Deford is not above the mean for sports journalism intelligence, he just thinks he is - thus resulting in commentary that is insufferably pretentious and moralizing without offering any insight whatsoever. I'd rather watch the same episode of "Baseball Tonight" 10 times straight than listen to one of DeFord cram 12 hours' worth of pontificatory bombast into one brief NPR segment....
posted by googly at 5:31 PM on July 27, 2007

I'll take DeFord's bombast over John Kruk trying to do any baseball analysis.

The best former player they had there was Harold Reynolds, and they fired him.
posted by dw at 6:09 PM on July 27, 2007

I still like that flap move Joe used to do.
posted by jonmc at 6:25 PM on July 27, 2007

I agree with googly-- DeFord is unlistenable. I have to switch the station on Wednesday mornings. Give me Kruk over that any day. Was DeFord any good 15 years ago? Has he fallen prey to overpraise that was once merited?

FJM's takedowns of Morgan's chats are the best. He studiously avoids giving anything resembling a direct answer to anyone. He's scared to give opinions, and has no knowledge about anything. I never really bothered to form an opinion about Morgan before reading this blog-- he's generally soft-spoken and innocuous on TV, not grab-you-by-the-shirt-and-shake-you annoying like Tim McCarver-- but now I hate his guts.

Here's one of my favorites:
Paddy (St. Louis, MO): Joe, How do you and other veterans feel about the armor that a soon to be record holder wears on his elbow? I would like to have seen the numbers Mays and Frank Robinson would have put up wearing a shin guard on their elbow and standing on the plate.

Joe Morgan: Well you cannot compare anything anymore anyway.

KT: Shut it down, people. It's over. Word just came in -- we cannot compare anything anymore. Nothing. There's nothing we can compare to anything else. So shut down the chat, shut down the internet. See all your clothes and burn the money in your bathtubs. There is no point in making observations of the world around us. And there are certainly no stats in baseball like OPS+ or ERA+ or WARP3 or something that would allow us to compare players of different eras. And there is definitely no way to just use our brains and analyze things and make educated guesses as to how events in baseball might be different in different situations.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:29 PM on July 27, 2007

Listening to Frank DeFord is like watching someone use an Econoline van to kill a cockroach. It's a worthy cause, but surely there's a better way?
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:47 PM on July 27, 2007

Nothing can be worse that the whole air of dark, underlying scandal that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver bring to a ball game. It's a huge innuendo-fest with them, with each pitch being delivered with a large dollop of editorializing featuring Buck's patented "getting a serious scolding by your father" delivery.

Yeah, Joe Morgan may not be the greatest color man in the game, but at least I come away from a Joe-and-Johnny game feeling good about watching the game. After sitting through a Buck-and-McCarver game, I feel like I've been paddled and sat in a corner for 3 hours for some unknown transgression.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:03 AM on July 28, 2007

Yeah, Joe Morgan may not be the greatest color man in the game

Yikes! I believe the preferred term is "African-American."
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:14 AM on July 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Was DeFord any good 15 years ago?

Yes, he was terrific and can still be. In my younger, meaner days I used to phrase this as, "He was great. Until his kid died." He still does fantastic work from time to time on NPR and Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and has a body of work that puts him comfortably above the mean, intelligence-wise. The degree from Princeton back when college was hard probably helps as well.

Recent favorite Joe Morgan incident was during a Sunday night game (this year or last) where a player was a hit away from hitting for the cycle . . .

Jon Miller [looking around the booth feverishly for something to commit suicide with]: "You ever hit for the cycle, Joe?"
Joe Morgan: "I don't remember if I did or not."


And some of those books aren't even written by computers.
posted by yerfatma at 5:22 AM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

And yet Jayson Stark still walks free.
posted by notmydesk at 1:44 PM on July 28, 2007

DeFord was decent writer for SI back in the 70s, but today, is a reactionary douchebag. I can't remember the last time I heard him talk about anything other than how things were so much better in some version of the past that only DeFord knows about.

By sporting standards he's like an Andy Rooney without the wit, and a Bill O'Reilly without the likability.
posted by psmealey at 4:39 PM on July 29, 2007

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