Monday, September 10, 2007

joe morgan awkwardly word vomits his way through yet another telecast

anyone who watches sunday night baseball regularly must be the kind of person that enjoys sticking their tongue on a 9 volt battery for long periods of time or banging their head against a wall. however, by putting themselves through 3 hours of pain on a weekendly basis, they also have the good fortune of being able to enjoy joe morgan's stumbling bumbling rumbling fumbling (sorry, too much chris berman today) attempts at baseball analysis.

see, joe doesn't like the way the game is played these days. to use a popular figure of speech, it's not being played "the way it was meant to be played." many managers have been eschewing the hit and run, the steal, and the sac bunt in favor of a station-to-station approach to offense. or, as joe would put it, these days teams are often "waiting around for a three run homer" as opposed to the his preferred and more traditional "small ball" tactics. (for some reason, whenever he derisively uses that waiting around line, it's always for a three run homer. no one is waiting for grand slams or two run shots.) anyways, joe always uses any possible opportunity to commend teams that steal/bunt/hit and run/ground-to-the-right-side-of-the-infield-with-a-guy-on-second-and-no-outs, while being sure to denounce those that choose not to in light of statistical evidence that bunting and stealing are rarely wise. it's like clockwork- even as the play is happening, you can hear him formulating his next sentence; it sounds kind of like a washing machine. sure enough, 5 seconds later: "see that's how you play the game right there. that bunt moves the runner over into scoring position. that's just great baseball." or conversely "i have no idea why the manager let him swing away instead of bunting here. that's just terrible baseball." now, i don't want to try and settle the argument between proponents of these two schools of thought right here and now. instead i'd rather just highlight one of the dumbest things i've ever heard come out of joe's mouth (which is saying a lot).

the situation: earlier tonight, angels batting, indians in the field. bottom of the second. rob quinlan leads off with a single. the next batter, casey kotchman, hits a hard opposite field double to left. quinlan goes to third in the process. joe, your thoughts:

"That's 'Angels baseball' right there. Getting guys on base and then moving them over."

right. the angels are the only team in the league that coaches their players to advance around the bases when other batters on their team get non-HR hits. you just don't see that anywhere else. for example, "braves baseball" consists of batters getting on base, and then sitting down and refusing to move anywhere except in the event of a home run. no way in hell chipper jones goes from first to third on a jeff francouer double; that kind of thinking is too outdated even for bobby cox. "astros baseball" involves running the bases (backwards) if and ONLY if a batted ball reaches the gimmicky hill in CF at minute maid park. "royals baseball" actually looks a lot like capture the flag. and so on and so on.

sorry. this post probably has the worst ratio of critiquable journalism to firejay blogger's babbling in our brief history. still, the point remains- joe morgan is so desperate to highlight how great his method of thinking about baseball is that he sometimes says ridiculous things that make zero sense. and i enjoy that a lot.


Anonymous said...

Apparently it's a bad thing, in an era where offensive stats (particularly home runs) are higher than normal, to play for three runs instead of one. Screw the three run homer, I want my guys to score on ground balls to second base!

I wonder if Joe was feeling a bit conflicted, though. Kotchman didn't bunt the guy over, he doubled to left. He didn't even hit behind the runner! On the other hand, he didn't hit one of those obnoxious home runs, either.

In Joe's world, that's a wash, I guess.

dan-bob said...

Can we add a label for "running the bases backward"? I feel like it's getting to be a catchphrase around here!