Bob Raissman of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reported last weekend that ESPN may be considering breaking up the Sunday night baseball broadcast team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan after 19 years.
Raissman claimed in the report that ESPN staffers, on and off-air, had tired of Morgan’s arrogance and lack of preparation and were pushing for a change.
Prior to Game 5 of the World Series on Monday, Miller guested on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles on “Mason and Ireland“ and was asked about the possible Sunday night breakup.
“The ESPN people, one of the executives, called me on Friday and said a reporter had called him an asked him about that, to let me know it was out there. He said ‘we thought it was kind of ridiculous because you both have it in your contract that you have to do Sunday Night Baseball. I don’t know the TV network can do whatever they want. Nobody said anything to either one of us about it.
“I don’t think there’s anything to it. But who knows? I’m not going to worry about it as long as they continue to pay my contract. With the stock market the way it is I’m going to be very content to get paid whether I do the games or not.” (audio link)
Sounds as though ESPN would have to make some financial concessions to make a move with Morgan. You also wonder how much the announcers really impact the ratings anyway. Usually good, competitive matchups drive viewership. A personality who can add viewers regardless of the teams playing comes along about once a generation, and we haven’t had ours yet.
I can’t see any movement unless Miller initiated it. And he doesn’t sound inclined to.