In a move already being hailed as “a long time coming” and “GREAT news,” ESPN’s longtime top baseball announcing team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan is no more, according to upcoming ESPN tell-all co-author James Andrew Miller. The network didn’t renew Morgan’s contract, while they offered to retain Miller as a radio announcer.
ESPN’s executive vice president of production, Norby Williamson, wasn’t taking about potential replacements (though the best guess from the New York Times‘ Richard Sandomir involved Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, and Bobby Valentine, if the latter doesn’t get a managing job). Here’s what Williamson did say:
“We’ve decided to make a change and introduce new voices and new perspective. Twenty one years is an eternity in this business. And today is about acknowledging the contributions they made to the franchise.”
And it was one eternity in this business too many for most people. Today’s news essentially fulfills the titular demand of Fire Joe Morgan, formerly one of the funniest sports blogs in existence, and they were far from the only ones who disapproved of Morgan’s work. Witness SI‘s Jimmy Traina, who said in no uncertain terms that his problems started and ended with the Morgan half of the Morgan-Miller duo.
Yet, as Williamson’s statement acknowledged, Morgan endured. Someone must have liked him. As in this epic testament from TV critic Alan Sepinwall to the inexplicable durability of Jim-Belushi-led sitcom According to Jim, some must have wondered if Joe Morgan’s run at ESPN was indeed eternal.
But just as According to Jim’s original run is no longer with us (the show ended last year), so too did Morgan’s reign over our Sunday-Night-Baseball-related lives pass. It had to. After all, it’s like the saying goes: all near-universally loathed things must come to an end.