Joe Morgan Fired: 10 Guys Who Should Be on Sunday Night Baseball
At last, ESPN has come to its senses and made the move to replace the Sunday Night Baseball team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.
Miller will still be a part of the organization's baseball coverage while Morgan looks for other employment opportunities.
Morgan was never a very popular color man for ESPN's baseball coverage, especially among younger viewers. Morgan would drone on about the same topic for several innings, rarely contributing more than common knowledge.
Despite his success as a ballplayer, Morgan offered little insight into the game and often spoke in generalities.
ESPN should use this opportunity to try to incorporate younger people into the game. More entertaining, knowledgeable commentators means more young viewers, which baseball definitely could use. Here are my top 10 picks to replace Joe Morgan in the color booth.
10. Rick Sutcliffe
Sutcliffe is a very smart and opinionated baseball personality.
The former pitcher provided tough critique for all facets of the game. He was quick to get on umpires, players and managers for making poor decisions and mental errors.
Rick reacts to the game as a fan would.
Unfortunately, he was a little too "fanish" one night in San Diego and was invited into the booth only to release a drunken rant on why Matt Vasgersian hadn't yet moved on to greener pastures.
He still works for ESPN and has found his faith. He would be a good choice to replace Morgan.
9. Steve Phillips
Phillips was the GM of the New York Mets, and despite the scandalous allegations, he appears to be a very smart baseball man.
His career at ESPN saw Phillips cover several games as a color man, and he did a very good job incorporating his knowledge into what was going on on the field.
His ESPN career, just like his GM career, was cut short, in light of the fact that he had had an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant.
Although it may be the right baseball decision to hire Phillips back, it would not be a smart PR move.
8. Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn was one of the greatest hitters of all time and now uses his knowledge to groom young ballplayers at San Diego State University.
He has appeared several times on ESPN, as well as the local San Diego Padres broadcast.
Just by listening to him, you can perceive his in-depth knowledge about hitting, something he passes it down to others well.
His recent bout with cancer may keep him from working regularly, but otherwise he would be a perfect choice to take over.
7. Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone is still fresh in the minds of most baseball fans for his Game 7 walk-off home run in the 2003 ALCS. After that landmark moment, he bounced around the league before ending his career due to injury.
Boone now works for ESPN as an analyst and part-time color commentator. He would bring young fans into the game with his youthful look and enthusiasm.
Boone is very polished and knowledgeable whenever he appears in an ESPN broadcast, and it appears he's the heir apparent to Morgan's job.
6. Mark Grant
Mark Grant was a big-league pitcher and has been the color man in San Diego since 1997. He has since become a local fan favorite, given his enthusiasm and use of humor in the broadcast.
Grant provides a playful atmosphere with his banter and analysis.
He knows a lot about the game, and his demeanor allows that knowledge to come through in a more welcoming way. ESPN's broadcast has been a little too buttoned-up the last few years.
The addition of Grant would bring fans who watch simply for the amusement that Mark provides.
5. Orel Hershiser
The man with the way-too-easy-to-make-fun-of first name would be a nice addition to ESPN's regular Sunday night broadcast.
Orel's ability to communicate what he knows to the people at home has been displayed numerous times on ESPN.
His analysis is much easier to grasp than Morgan's simple observations.
Orel has proven himself in the booth time and time again for ESPN, and I would like to see him receive a shot at the job. Orel never plays favorites, which Morgan would do every so often.
4. Jerry Remy
Remy is a former All-Star second baseman and current color commentator for the Boston Red Sox. Along with his partner Don Orsillo, Remy provides good baseball language and humorous anecdotes of his baseball past.
The stories alone would be a reason for ESPN to consider Remy for the job. He is a man who has been on top of the baseball world as a division champion and in the cellar.
He could bring an interesting perspective.
Remy recently got through a bout with lung cancer and may not want to travel as much, although he did make it through the entire 2010 season for the Red Sox.
3. Al Leiter
Leiter spent this past season working as a color commentator for the regular New York Yankees broadcast team. He is a very entertaining baseball mind and has a ton of insight into the game.
As far as local color guys go, Leiter is as good as it gets.
He's professional without being uptight and knowledgeable without being arrogant. Yankees fans have been treated to a great broadcast combination of Kay and Leiter, and it's time for ESPN to take notice.
Leiter would be a perfect fit for the new Sunday Night Baseball team.
2. Barry Bonds
The only issue with ESPN bringing aboard Barry Bonds would be the past allegations of steroid abuse and his ongoing perjury trial. Other than that, he is perfect for the job.
He has stopped by a few times during the San Francisco Giants broadcast, and his knowledge of the game is unparalleled. He knows more about hitting, and pitchers reacting to hitters, than you could ever imagine. He is so interesting to listen to as a baseball fan because of his past success and present knowledge.
His current joyous demeanor is a rare glimpse into what Barry is really like, according to several former teammates.
If this is the real Barry, he would be the ultimate addition to any broadcast team.
1. Dennis Eckersley
Big league Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is exactly who ESPN should be looking for in their new color man. Eckersley has covered several games for the Boston Red Sox broadcast over the last few years and always does a tremendous job.
His sayings and language bring a youthful enthusiasm that ESPN's baseball broadcasts have been lacking for quite a while. He, like Remy, uses anecdotes about players, both current and former, to lighten up the broadcast.
Eckersley never gets too intense. It may be in his makeup as a former closer to never feel pressure, but Eck is always cool, calm and collected when he speaks.
His combination of professionalism with humor and excitement presents an excellent asset for any televised broadcast.