Tonight is a night I've been looking forward to for a while, because it is the start of the baseball season. Yes, I dragged my butt out of bed at 3:00 in the morning last Tuesday (I'm on Spring Break, thankfully), but this is when it counts because it's followed up by even more games the next day. And tonight seemed like it would be fun, because the Nationals are opening up a new ballpark. So I got all the stuff I needed to do out of the way early today so that I could come back and watch the game.
And then it all came back to me - uh oh, Sunday Night Baseball means Joe freaking Morgan! I think in the off-season, he withdraws into the recesses of my mind, but then, BAM, he's back! The reason I can't stand him is because he talks as if we're idiots. Honestly, John Madden thinks his observations are obvious. And it's sad, because if you listen to him on sports radio or any other interview (outside of ESPN), he is very insightful and erudite. But when you get him at an actual game, let's just say he takes the whole "get more kids following the game" too far and assumes that everyone in his listening audience is under the age of 10 and/or tuning in thinking "what is this game that is played on the grass and dirt?" My old roommate and I used to watch Sunday Night Baseball in Spanish on ESPN-Deportes to avoid him. Neither of us could speak Spanish, but it allowed us to hear the sounds of the game without the blood in our ears that were caused by the drivel emanating from Joe Morgan's mouth. But I don't think I have "The Ocho" anymore.
And I don't even think the game had started tonight before he did it again. The camera showed a quote from Joe DiMaggio in one of the dugouts. The quote: "There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best." Great quote. The camera showed it once, maybe on the way to or from commercial, because nobody said anything about it. Then they showed it again, and this time Jon Miller said it out loud. That's fine, some of us might be listening instead of watching. No biggie. And then, about a second and a half of silence (you know, maybe we want to reflect upon it), Joe freaking Morgan says "Always try your best... I think... is what he's trying to say."
Really, Sherlock?!? Thank God for your insight, because here I was thinking he was ordering a double scoop ice cream! Seriously, why is your talent being wasted on baseball? George Bush was at this game, so why not set Joe Morgan up with the CIA? The Allies that cracked the Enigma code are jealous at this kind of clarity at cracking what must be one of the most cryptic statements ever. Who needs the Rosetta Stone? Let's just send Joe Morgan over to Egypt to read the hieroglyphics.
Look, I'm used to Joe acting like we don't know about baseball and breaking everything down to simple and hyperbolic language. I was listening during a homerun derby in the late 90s when he said that the ballpark they were in was a ballpark that you really had to get the balls up in to hit a homerun (to which I think it was Chris Berman thankfully replied "Yes, you will see very few ground ball homeruns in this ballpark"). But, honestly, have his handlers told him that he now needs to start assuming we don't know the English language, too? Maybe next season he can describe to us how Greg Maddux ties his shoes...
PS Props to Nationals fans for not booing the President. At least not much. There was a smattering of boos, but the cheers drowned them out by a large margin. I mean, I know a lot of the people that were cheering don't like him (I mean, my God, it's Washington, which is, like, 99% democrat), and I was worried that a round of boos would ruin the beginning of the baseball season. Thankfully you all realized that there is a time and a place to let your dislike of him show, and the opening of the baseball season isn't it. Besides, y'all live there, so you can drive by the White House and flip him off anytime you like. Those of us in the rest of the country can only flip him off on the TV, which isn't nearly as fun. Of course, it's less likely to get our phone tapped, too, but that's a discussion for another time.