While damning ESPN baseball analyst / former Mets/Ranger skipper Bobby Valentine (“cast out as a field manager in his own country, he relocated to Japan to prove that either he is a misunderstood genius, or that the job of manager could be handled by a trained marmoset with the basic ability to write out a lineup card”) Bugs & Cranks’ Kevin Chanel –a scribe who hopefully never had to wear the uniform number 5 during his little league days — considers the not-so-universally applauded side of Joe Morgan’s departure from “Sunday Night Baseball”. Namely, the end of Jon Miller’s tenure as the network’s primary baseball play-by-play announcer.
A lot will be lost without the muted whimsicality of Miller. As a San Francisco resident I have had the pleasure of being able to experience his expertise and extremely good-natured reverence and grace every year since his arrival in 1997. His humor truly reaches the back rows in his local gig. The odd insights, the brilliant Vin Scully impersonations, foreign and domestic language mastery…a real joy.
For ten years, Miller appeared under duress to rein in his more adventurous sense of humor by his proximity to the stern, by-the-book Hall of Fame second baseman. Still, though it is sad to lose the expert play-by-play and positive demeanor of the great Miller, it’s an acceptable price to be freed from the droning pedantic drang of yet another endless Morgan baseball lesson.