07/23/2005: Thought for the Day:
"I think he's a good broadcaster," [ESPN.com analyst Rob] Neyer says. "He knows a lot about a lot of stuff. If I wanted to have somebody come in and teach how to hit, turn a double play, steal a base, he'd be the guy. But stats analysis is not what he does well. He certainly has a blind spot."
A small community has developed around that blind spot. Not long ago, a man named Mike Carminati found himself reading Joe Morgan's ESPN.com chats and routinely deconstructing them in e-mails with a friend. When he started a blog in 2002, Carminati moved the chat recaps online, and so began Joe Morgan Chat Day, in which Joe would be compared to some of the world's great thinkers. The site, while not the first to titter at Joe's many fallacies, at least epitomizes much of the Morgan-bashing: bemused, mordant, and, above all, a little disappointed. Joe, these people seem to be saying, many of them the geeks playing video games, should be one of the good guys. Joe Morgan: Judas of the nerds. The blog Athletics Nation now offers a T-shirt that reads "Joe Morgan can kiss my bunt!"
"When he started broadcasting," Carminati says, "there were things he'd say that were completely counter to the way he played the game. It was the way he'd combine certain ideas. He'll make a reasonable statement, then combine it with a totally outlandish statement that makes no sense whatsoever." How do you think we got Enron? "His logic takes this leap. It's kind of ingenious in its own way." (Surprisingly, Carminati enjoys the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts. "You have to be in the right frame of mind," he says. "It's like watching Reefer Madness.)
--Tommy Craggs [SF Weekly on HoF 2B/ESPN analyst Joe Morgan]
Len on 07.23.05 @ 11:35 AM CST