I’ve always defended Joe Morgan when people (including sites like firejoemorgan.com) told me he was a bad commentator. Yes, he is a little self-indulgent, like when he said, “He’s the best second baseman I’ve seen since…well…me.” But I think he knows the game and I enjoy hearing his stories about the old days…………most of the time.
Here is a full conversation that Joe started with Jon Miller, his long-time partner (in the midst of the absurdity I was somehow smart enough to hit the record button on my DVR, and boy was it worth it) during the eighth inning of the Cubs-Dodgers game Sunday night. Please enjoy Joe Morgan, redefining the word “trivia”:
Joe: Jon, I gotta ask you a trivia question. I was fishing with Matt Franco, who used to play for the Mets, and Ken Jowdy, I was fishing with ’em on a boat. And Matt Franco asked me this trivia question. He said he had talked to players past and present, and he said, and he asked me who, which guy, hit the hardest line drives most consistently of all the players I had ever seen.
Joe: Hardest line drives.
Jon: And that’s a trivia question?
Joe: Well it was for me and him. We were playing trivia on the fishing boat.
Jon: Where would I look up the answer to that?
Joe: Well, you should know the answer!
Jon: So, give me the question one more time. [this was Miller’s big mistake. should have just pretended not to hear him]
Joe: Alright, who hits the hardest line drives of any player you ever saw on a consistent basis?
Jon: Dave Winfield.
Joe: Alright, keep going. That’s one. See you– that’s A. A wasn’t right.
Jon: (Laughing in disbelief) Yes it was right! I beg to differ!
Joe: Alright, I’m gonna give you a hint. You even broadcast games for him. [nice hint…Jon Miller has been broadcasting baseball games for over 25 years!]
Jon: I broadcast Dave Winfield’s games.
Joe: No, that’s not– for the answer I’m talking about. I’m telling you what–he asked all the other players, I’m not saying…
Jon: Well I’m saying that this is a question for which there’s no correct answer!
[shot of Morgan and Miller in the booth…Miller laughing and Morgan looking like he’s starting to get upset]
Joe: Yeah, there’s a correct answer.
Jon: Well what did you say? What was your answer? Did you get it right?
Joe: Yes. [5 seconds of silence while Miller looks apologetically into the camera] Al Oliver.
Jon: Oh, Al Oliver? He was…
Jon: He was a very good hitter.
Joe: I knew you would say that…see I knew that you’d eventually come up with the answer. [Jon Miller never actually did come up with the answer…Joe told him the “answer.”]
So that was what I got to watch after I saw the Lakers play like my summer league team for 3 quarters. At least Joe Morgan’s nonsense provided 5 minutes of humor before the Dodgers lost too.
Bad day for L.A. Great day for the credibility of sports broadcasters.