ESPN and the Downward Spiral

Monday, May 3rd, 2004 @ 8:24 pm | Sports

For somebody who grew up watching ESPN, it’s somewhat disheartening to see the downturn that the network has taken of late.

What makes this worse is that I’m not thinking about dreck like Dream Job, I’m thinking about the actual sports coverage.

For a while now, Joe Morgan‘s been an easy target. Between his holier-than-thou attitude and his apparent lack of knowledge of whence he speaks, it’s hard for anybody with a passing interest in accurate information to take him seriously.

Last year, it was Morgan claiming that Billy Beane shouldn’t have written Moneyball. After it was repeatedly pointed out Moneyball was actually written by Michael Lewis, Morgan was forced to admit he hadn’t gotten around to reading the book.

Now there’s this bit of wisdom, from Morgan’s April 30th chat:

The Giants struggles… they’ve lost Kent and Reggie Sanders and Renteria. Now it’s a one horse team. It’s all on Barry’s shoulders. I think it’s going to be a tough season for the Giants. I don’t expect it to get much better.

Sounds good, if you don’t look too closely. Sadly, for Joey, Nathan Higgins spent a few moments considering Morgan’s comments over at the Lost in Sox weblog:

Reggie Sanders hasn’t played on the SF Giants since 2002. Renteria has never played for the Giants. EVER. I assume that he meant Aurilia, but thats just me. Finally, Jeff Kent has not played on an SF Giants team since Reggie was there.

As Higgins later mentions, the Giants won 100 games last year, playing with none of the fine fellows mentioned by Morgan.

Umm… care to give it another shot Joe?

Recently, some folks have started questioning the quality of Baseball Tonight. I was in denial about this one. Joe Morgan chats are only a few years old, but I’ve been watching BBTN since I was a kid.

Last night, I was forced to confront the truth. That show is capable of some serious suckage. If I’d not been waiting for the start of the Red SoxRangers game, I would have changed the channel. The combination of Harold Reynolds and John Kruk is truly cringe-worthy.

Let’s see, Harold Reynolds doesn’t want players with high OBPs, he wants players who are fast. I wonder how much of that statement comes from Harold Reynolds, analyst, and how much of it comes from Harold Reynolds, former player. Former player, I might add, who never had a particularly high OBP but appears to have had decent speed?

Aaron Gleeman has more on last night’s BBTN and the show’s decline in general over at The Hardball Times.

Update: Jay Jaffe, over at The Futility Infielder, has a lengthy post that uses actual statistics to refute the Harold Reynold’s Theory. Damn, I wish I’d put together something similar to the table Jaffe includes in his posting. Things like that might fool some people into thinking I know what I’m talking about 🙂

He also rips into Buster Olney for pushing the idea of Productive Outs. I haven’t mentioned this particular invention in the past, but suffice it to say, I’m not a fan of the statistic. I may write more at some point, but right now other are doing a fine job of poking holes in Olney’s (and Elias‘) newest toy.

As much as I dislike the Yankees, writers like Jaffe and Alex Belth make it really difficult to not read certain Yankees-related weblogs.

Comments are closed.