Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Night Baseball Liveblog #2: Joe Morgan Likes Manny Ramirez... A Lot

PNoles and I are watching the game again tonight. Should be a real bundle of laughs.

7:14 CST: I just turned on the game, like 45 seconds ago, and Joe has already praised Joe Torre for calling a hit and run with Manny Ramirez on first and James Loney at the plate. He mentioned that if the Dodgers want to make the playoffs, they're going to need to do more of that and stop "waiting around for the home run." Sending Manny Ramirez: pretty much asking for an out. (Too bad it worked and Loney managed to slap a single through the left side. Bah humbug.)

7:21 CST: Casey Blake clubs a 3 run bomb on a pitch that K Zone shows as being about three inches above the knees. Joe insists that it was "up in the zone... for a sinkerballer." Maybe he missed his location and wanted it to sink out of the zone, but buddy, it doesn't matter what kind of pitcher you are. Three inches above the knees is three inches above the knees.

7:22 CST: Jon Miller praises Blake for "coming through in the clutch!" I don't know how clutch you can possibly be in the top of the first, but I guess whatever the upper limit of that categorization is, Blake hit it.

7:31 CST: Stephen Drew gets thrown out trying to steal second. Joe does not approve. Well, which is it, Joe? You don't want them to wait around for the three run bomb, do you? (Actually, Joe's probably right here. It's just funny to hear him not approve of a SB attempt, regardless of context.)

7:35 CST: Joe's analysis re: Brandon Webb's struggles: "Make no mistake about it... when you're going for your 20th win, a lot of things go through your mind. Especially in this day and age, when so few guys get there." I'm awarding him zero points for this one.

7:40 CST: According to Joe, the name of the Diamondbacks' starting pitcher is actually Brandon Wells.

7:47 CST: Joe, re: the Brewers' petitioning of the league to change the scoring of the Pirates' only hit in today's game to give C.C. Sabathia a no hitter: "I've always thought it was in the rulebook, from back in my umpiring days, that the first hit had to be a clean hit."

1) Can you imagine how awful Joe would be as an umpire, what with his complete inability to make tough decisions?
2) That's not in the rulebook.

7:55 CST: Jon praises Casey Blake for squibbing a grounder past Webb (Wells?), allowing Matt Kemp to advance from 2nd to 3rd. He calls it good "situational hitting, to get the ball past the pitcher like that!" Call my crazy, but I don't think there's a situation in the whole game of baseball where your goal ISN'T to hit the ball past (or away from, in the case of bunting) the pitcher.

8:04 CST: Joe is sure that acquiring David Eckstein will help the Diamondbacks because they "need a little more leadership on the field." Hopefully they also need more mediocre defense and poor hitting, because Lil' Eck will be bringing those to Phoenix as well.

8:13 CST: OK, guys. Webb isn't keeping his sinker down in the zone and Lowe is. We get it. You can only talk about that for so many straight half-innings (going on five at this point) before it gets stale.

8:17 CST: Joe, re: Andre Ethier's RBI double with 2 strikes: "Well, with two strikes, he changes his mindset and just wants to drive the run in." What was his mindset before he had 2 strikes? Try not to drive the run in? Foul off as many pitches as possible? Check out the hot girl sitting behind the dugout?

8:26 CST: And Webb is out of the game. Earlier today, the front page headline on was his picture, with the headline "Oh, What a Webb!" Any guesses about that one? Anybody? Is it a play on that oldies hit "Oh, What a Night?" What am I missing here?

8:33 CST: Jon has a theory as to why Joe Torre is such an effective manager: "He has the ability to phrase something, and not make it sound like a cliche!" (I use an exclamation mark because Jon always sounds like he's excited about everything.) If it even exists, I'm not sure that ability is more or less important to a manager's ability level than filling out a lineup card. We'll call it a push for now.

8:50 CST: PNoles's apartment has several visitors in it right now, so I'm having trouble hearing Jon and Joe over the awful racket going on in here. It is helping me enjoy the game a lot more, though. Every cloud has a silver lining.

8:57 CST: Going back to the Eckstein trade: how the hell did he clear waivers? The whole AL let him get away? Really? Haven't these teams ever heard of winning?

8:59 CST: Since I'm grasping at straws here, I might as well offer commentary on the commercials. I kind of enjoy these Mike's Hard Lemonade spots that are obviously ripping off Tommy Boy, but what demographic are they going after? There can't be a huge overlap between Chris Farley fans and sugary malt beverage drinkers.

9:05 CST: Speaking of how excited Jon gets when pretty much anything happens, Tony Clark just missed a catch in foul ground during an 8-0 game. "HE DROPPED IT! HE HAD IT, AND IT BOUNCED OUT!" Easy, tiger. Easy now.

9:12 CST: As the third out is recorded in the top of the 6th, Joe reveals that he'll be pressing Jon for Jon's MVP and Cy Young picks during the next half inning. Hopefully Joe is willing to give his own opinions as well- I'm already getting tingly thinking about the possibilities.

9:15 CST: Obviously Jon has his finger squarely on the pulse of pop culture; after a brief K Zone montage of Lowe's sinker tonight, he manages to funkily blurt out "Derek Lowe, 'get down' tonight!" Hopefully Kool and the Gang will be visiting the booth later in the evening.

9:19 CST: Joe finally settles the age-old debate about the relative levels of passion for baseball expressed by fans on America's two coasts. "A lot of people say people on the east coast care more about baseball. But I'm a west coast kind of guy! I really think the guys in Los Angeles... the fans in San Francisco... I think fans on the west coast really care about baseball too." Good to have that all cleared up.

9:27 CST: Jon has told Joe to back off the end-of-the-year award questions. Oh nooooo!

9:28 CST: Wait, wait, wait, wait.... whoa. We're back on topic. Jon says some wishy washy crap about the Cubs' whole lineup. Joe then takes the reins. He helpfully reminds us that we won't know until the season is over (thanks a lot), but then reveals his dark horse candidate: Carlos Delgado. His OPS+: 122. Pujols' OPS+ (not that I'm saying he's necessarily the best pick, just that he's one of many potential better picks): 191. Cue up the laugh track.

9:41 CST: Jon and Joe discuss NL Cy Young candidates without saying anything especially dumb. Of course, Joe was quick to point out that many guys have had excellent seasons. As opposed to 2007, when one and only one guy had an excellent season.

9:44 CST: I am shocked MLB didn't bring Dane Cook back for their playoff promos. Why not? Part of advertising is getting people to remember your message, and I don't think Dane could possibly have done a better job in that capacity. Everyone say it with me: there are only how many Octobers?

9:58 CST: I just realized, we didn't have any Joe-less half innings tonight. Either he's holding it, or tonight he managed to take his bathroom break(s) during a commercial break(s).

10:01 CST: Joe and Jon wax poetically about the alleged HOF credentials of one Maury Wills. The comedy of this doesn't really need to be expanded upon much: let's just leave it at his career OPS+ of 88. Although, I have to say I'm surprised that Joe would be in his corner. It's not like Wills was part of the Big Red Machine.

10:11 CST: Sorry, I kind of tapered off at the end there. That's enough nerdery for tonight. We'll be back next Sunday as Joe and Jon continue their elaborate dance of idiocy. Remember, as unfunny as I am, at least I have two working eyes! (I really wanted to end on a high note, and taking a shot at Stu Scott seemed like the way to do it.)


Anonymous said...

Hearing Morgan talk about how Dunn walks a lot for a four hitter and how "usually, only lead off guys draw this many walks" is painful. Morgan refuses to acknowledge that four-hole hitters are now paid to get on base and slug. well, walking happens to be part of getting on base joe.

Bengoodfella said...

Pnoles' apartment has visitors? Don't you mean his mother's basement has visitors?

I think you are doing God's work Liveblogging Joe Morgan, I think Fire Joe Morgan should have done this years ago.

dan-bob said...

I agree; this is a good feature. If you can get pnoles to spring for TiVo, it would be great to get actual quotes for it. But he's probably too broke, being a White Sox fan and all.

That said, "Oh, what a Webb" almost certainly refers to the Walter Scott quotation:
"O, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!"

Which certainly merits the "unnecessary literary allusions" tag, or the "what?" tag, or "ESPN is staffed by brain-damaged marmosets" tag.

Larry B said...

Thank God one of us was an English major.

dan-bob said...

Thank God one of us knows how to google.


Venezuelan Beaver Cheese said...

I thought "Get Down Tonight" was KC and the Sunshine Band?

Jack M said...

Pnoles, you don't have Tivo? Are you, pNUTS!?

JimA said...

Sorry, I'm not buying the Sir Walter Scott reference. I don't think anybody at ESPN is smart enough, plus it doesn't fit.

I'm thinking it came from a quotation from Elmer Fudd, "Oh, you wasklwy wabbit!"

Chris W said...

the first hit of a no-hitter IS generally supposed to be a "clean hit"

however, you're right

a.) that certainly isn't in the rulebook

b.) even if it WERE it's not the UMPIRE'S call.

Chris W said...

Jim A:

I'm with Dan-bob. I'm pretty sure that's what the reference is.

Fun fact*: The Method Man song "PLO Style" features a verse by a rapper named Carlton Fisk that begins with a verbatim quote of that selfsame Sir Walter Scott phrase.


*note: fun fact may not in fact be "fun"

Tonus said...

re: four-hole hitters walking a lot-- if Adam Dunn's walks were converted to singles and his batting average was .387, would Joe Morgan be complaining about it? Would Dusty Baker whine about how Dunn clogs the bases? Would they piss and moan about all of those singles, or would they praise him as an amazing hitter with great power?

Larry B said...

VBC- You got me. I was thinking of "Get down, get down... *horn hit* Get down, get down... *horn hit*" in "Jungle Boogie." But KC and the Sunshine Band would have been the more appropriate reference.

Martin said...

And here I thought it was just a bad take on Jon Miller from whn he says "Ohhh what a CATCH!" Then Joe says somthing about how Dave Concepcion used to make a half dozen of those catches a game, and why isn't he in the Hall of Fame....

dan-bob said...


Is the rapper named Carlton Fisk in an homage to Carlton Fisk?

Chris W said...


Unless some black dude from New York City just happens to be named Carlton Fisk and refuses to adopt a rap pseudonym, I'd say it's quite likely.

pnoles said...

I read through these comments fairly quickly, and the only thing I picked up was "rah rah rah Tivo rah rah rah."

I'll work on it.

Larry B said...

24 hours later, I have to say that this post has the worst title in the history of this blog. I (very) incorrectly assumed Joe would spend more time on Manny's nuts.