Muting Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN

Tying down New York's most eligible bachelor
Rosenthal: I agree with RAB

In October, the rumors got my hopes up. Supposedly, Joe Morgan and Jon Miller were heading for a break-up. Sadly, the news is far, far worse. In a move that is somehow being defending as “beefing up its Major League Baseball coverage,” ESPN is adding Steve Phillips to the Sunday night slate and sticking Peter Gammons in the studio. ESPN’s broadcasting trio of Morgan, Miller and Phillips is now probably the worst in the game.

Tying down New York's most eligible bachelor
Rosenthal: I agree with RAB
  • Giuseppe Franco

    I’ve always thought Jon Miller gets a bum rap. I think he does a pretty good job. IMO, it’s his broadcast partner that has always brought him down.

    On the other hand, Morgan and Phillips deserve every bit of scrutiny they get.

    • Ben K.

      Oh, I agree. Miller’s fine by himself, and I wouldn’t remove him from the booth. It’s Morgan and Phillips — together and alone — that make ESPN’s coverage unbearable.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      Miller spends so much energy trying to work around Morgan’s complete incompetence and unlikability that we don’t really know what he would be like as a national announcer if he had at least a semi-competent analyst with him.

      So, after saddling Miller with hands-down the worst analyst in the history of national baseball broadcasting (yes, I said it), they reward him by … adding in another horrendous analyst. At least Phillips isn’t as grating as Morgan personally, but his “insight” is just as awful and useful. And while Morgan was a good player, Phillips was a crappy GM.

      Seriously, whoever made this decision has never talked with a fan who actually watches the games on Sunday nights.

    • Steve B

      To me, Miller is pretty good. He just gets dragged down by Morgan and his continuous stating of the mega-obvious and his far too defensive rants in favor of the mid 70’s Reds (who I actually believe were the best offensive teams I’ve seen in the past 40+ years).

      Phillips is a disaster.

      Good time to experiment with watching game while listening to Sterling. If nothing else, you’ll get a full appreciation of just how close fiction Sterling’s calls can be.

      • Old Ranger

        Morgan is the quintessential Yankee hater. He can’t seem to get over the fact that with all the offence they had in the ’70s, they only garnered two WS rings.
        Cinn and Clev. (big bats, so so defence) should be a lesson in building a team. It is very hard to win the play-offs/WS with hitting and mediocre pitching (Cleveland). The Yanks are just as guilty of the same thinking by King Geo., and the Tampa complex.
        We don’t need 8/9 power hitters, we need guys that play the game…all aspects of the game, not just hit the ball! We have enough power in the line-up.

    • Frank

      If ESPN had any brains, they would move Dan Schulman from radio to TV. He is a very good and under-rated as a baseball broadcaster.

    • THE KID (WI)

      Absolutely, I could listen to Miller alone and be happy. I don’t mind Phillips all that much, he’ll add some incite w/o sounding so GD pretentious like Morgan.

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    And we’re going to have to hear it every Sunday there’s a Sox-Yankees game, aren’t we?

    • Klemy

      Oh you know it.

      I don’t mind Jon Miller at all either. Joe Morgan though, his voice is like hearing fingers on a chalkboard. Much like listening to Michael Kay describe the Yankee uniform and hat in his radio days, I can’t stand it.

  • Cam

    I have a nice TV with a surround sound setup, and the thought occured to me last baseball season that sometime it would be nice, especially with Miller/Morgan to turn down (or off) the announcers and just listen to the crowd noise, kind of making an at-the-game experience. I thought this should be offered as an option through your cable provider, but I know it never will. But last week while watching football, it struck me that the commentary mostly comes out of the center speaker, so I decided to turn that specific speaker down as far as it goes. Worked like a charm. Joe Buck was whispering barely audible nonsense, and I was enjoying pretending I was at the game. Everyone should try it.

    • Klemy

      I had thought about doing this with my center channel as well! It’s a great idea, that I’m glad someone verified. I’m going to do this some this year for sure if the wife doesn’t mind. lol

    • pat

      They broadcasted a few of the olympic baseball games over the internet and they just had a few mic’s spread around the field with no commentary at all. It was awesome you could hear all the fans cheering and the pop of the ball hitting the catchers mitt. Thats pretty cool you could do it with your tv.

      • Cam

        Yeah, it just worked out so nice. Obviously the networks would never allow the cable companies to offer and option to turn off commentary, but this was definitely the next best thing.

  • Manimal

    They tried to match MLB network’s crew and ended up worse than before. Way to go ESPN.

    • Mike A.

      If Phillips was ESPN’s best shot at matching MLB Network, I suspect MLBN will be around for a very, very long time.

  • Chris

    Nothing can be worse than Tim McCarver.

    • Klemy

      You say that now, but wait until they unveil the trio of Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, and Steve Philips. People will be hanging themselves in their homes.

      • Okula67

        People will be hanging themselves in their homes.

        – Classic!

  • UWS

    Guys, guys: don’t you see the potential silver lining in this? Could FJM possibly be reborn as a result of this unholy alliance?

    • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      They should just get Doc and Chico to do Yankee games.

      Although Doc would be talking so fast when nothing’s happening, but it’d still be great fun to listen to.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I’ll dissent on that one. I could do without Chico blowing smoke up the catchers’ bums all night and talking about how much bigger they are than they were in the 80s and Doc telling me that Teixeira “ladled” a low/inside pitch into the right field bleachers.

  • steve (different one)


    Morgan is bad, but i will listen to him. i can tune him out.

    Phillips is one of the stupidest people in baseball. he is unbearable. almost everything he says is so wrong and stupid that sometimes i think he HAS to be doing it on purpose.

    he’s terrible.

  • Relaunch

    Although this team is very bad, I wonder how they would compare to a broadcast booth of Sterling, Waldman, and Kay. That maybe the worst team ever. Hopefully we will never have to see that happening.

  • E-ROC

    Orel Hershiser gets shafted along with the fans.

    • Arin

      Yep. I don’t know why no one at ESPN recognizes this fact.

  • WhizzoTheWize

    Whizzo says:

    Baseball is a thinking person’s game.

    Someone get that memo over to ESPN.

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    The answer:

    You’re welcome.

  • usty

    i’m going to have to put on sterling and waldman on sundays. Then pause my dvr until the action syncs up and play from there. Every sunday night Yankees game will be like Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon…just have to hope I hit it on the second roar of the lion.

  • Jay CT… Ben Sheets biggest fan

    I think I dislike Joe Buck more then Jon Miller. I HATE that bastard Morgan. However, the king of them all is Sterling and Susan. UGGGGHHHH, I long for the day that ass retires. There are so many horrible announcers in the game. Just another reason to actually go to the game.

    • usty

      I disagree with the assesment of Sterling. Yes his homerun calls are cringe-inducing awfulness, but he calls a very very good game. Having XM has allowed me to experience the thrills of away team broadcasters and while they lack the awful homerun calls, they also lack the ability to give you a good mental picture of what is going on on the field.

      (You’re also subject to insane debates, like the one 2 O’s announcers had when I was listening saying that Melvin Mora is every bit the player A-Rod is, just that Mora is underrated)

      If Sterling dropped the kitschy crap, he’d be one of the best in my book.

      • UWS

        “It is high…It is far…It is…a popup just behind the second-base bag.”

        I rest my case. Sterling is an awful announcer.

      • Zack

        And by best, you mean worst I can only assume.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        If you change “but he calls a very very good game” to “but he is absolutely incompetent, doesn’t accurately relay what is happening on the field, isn’t half as funny as he thinks he is, has an epicly distorted view of players’ abilities (two words … Miguel Cairo) and must have nude photos of someone in the Yankee hierarchy to allow him to keep his job beyond any objective measurement of radio play-by-play competency” then sure, I see your point.

        I remember listening to the Yanks-Sox game two years ago when Mankiewicz got run into and had his wrist broken on the radio, and then getting home and seeing the highlights and realizing that Sterling butchered what happened on multiple plays.

        And don’t get me started on his incmopetent partner …

  • Yankee1010

    “Probably” the worst in the game? I think it’s certainly the worst in the game. Even worse than Sterling and Waldman.

  • mike

    Miller is a really nice guy – I met him in NYC last summer on UES at a store and ended up having a nice conversation (not relating to baseball) and he actually made a comment on-topic as the game was going on that night pertaning to our chat.

    It was really out of place as he segued into the statement during the course of the game – i wonder how many other times he sounds like he is insane but he is trying to be cute?

    Old-man shout out, I suppose

  • Jamal G.

    Heh, this is great news. This train-wreck of a booth will be better than hearing all the fuck-turds comment about Joba Chamberlain moving into the starting rotation for the first time last May.

  • jsbrendog


  • jim p

    They should just call it “The Joe Morgan has Very Strong Opinions to Repeat Often Show” and be done with it.

  • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

    Phillips is by far the worst of the trio. I will gladly take Morgan over Suttcliff, but would prefer neither.

    Speaking of ESPN remember when Dave Justice was doing games for them? Horrible.

  • The Rock

    Mother of God. Why ESPN, why?

  • Tom

    I guess they were tired of MNF having the worst commentators in sports, now it has major competition.

  • Bruno

    ESPN’s broadcasting trio of Morgan, Miller and Phillips is now probably , by a margin wider than Madonna’s gap, the worst in the game.


  • Sean Armstrong

    It could be worse the could bring in McCarver. team him and Miller together and they’ll forget what they are doing. They are both senile by the third inning and Phillips just sees the game in a different perspective than the rest of the world. Why don’t they team him with the Duquette brothers and have “The Failed GM Hour” with the state of the auto industry I bet Ford would love to sign on as the sponser

  • Tony Mollica

    Mute it and listen to ESPN radio. I did that last year and it was way better than listening to Joe Morgan (who I loved as a player). Now with Steve Phillips there’s even more reason to do it.
    Miller is good without Morgan.