Joe Morgan is a putz

On the national broadcast of Sunday night’s Cubs-Sox game on ESPN, Joe Morgan did it again. It’s well discussed that he frequently makes inaccurate statements, passed off as historical truth or informed analysis, but I doubt most of them are intentional, they are simply mistakes. I know, I know, Harry Caray often called the wrong player’s name or thought he saw a routine warning track out land in the bleachers for a home run. That is different than Morgan’s tendency to fabricate elaborate stories (as he did Sunday night) that are pure fantasy.

Seems like Morgan’s Cub hating was likely born of his days with the Big Red Machine when they routinely whomped the lowly Cubs in the mid 1970’s.  But in looking it up, I was surprised (impressed?) the Cubs actually fought the Reds pretty hard in the 70’s, and with some very bad Cubs teams.  Their overall record against Cincinnati in the 1970s was 59-61, just 2 games under .500.  My memory was that it was much more lopsided and I would be correct in looking at the 1975 Cubs who were 1-11 vs the Reds.  Take that season away and the Cubs have a solid winning record against what some view as one of the better teams in baseball history, Sparky Anderson’s Cincinnati Reds.

So maybe Morgan holds a grudge because some pretty bad Cubs teams held their own against his mighty Big Red Machine.  Whatever the cause, it is indisputable the Joe Morgan despises the Chicago Cubs organization and seldom passes an opportunity to disrespect any aspect of this storied franchise. 

On Sunday night, he entertained the national TV audience with a fanciful, imaginary tale of how the basket on the top of the Wrigley outfield wall was called “Banks’ Boulevard” because Ernie hit so many of his home runs there.  Wha???  I have never in all my years heard the term “Banks’ Boulevard” and seemingly from the callers and hosts on Chicago sports radio today, no one else has either.

In fact, the record will show that PK Wrigley installed the famous basket as a deterrent to Bleacher Bums who used to hang their legs over the wall to be tempted to jump down on the field. Furthermore, the basket was installed in 1970 – after our beloved Mr. Cub had already hit 497 of his 512 career home runs!  What planet is Joe Morgan from anyway??

What are the odds Joe Morgan will “man-up” and correct his absolute fabrication of history on this week’s Sunday night national game on ESPN at US Cellular?  I would guess similar to the odds of Joe Morgan showing up to Ryne Sandberg’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005.  As Vice Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Mr. Joe Morgan cited a “previous commitment” preventing him from attending the annual induction ceremony of the best Second Baseman in NL history, Ryne Sandberg.  Tell me how the 2nd highest ranking HOF official, the Vice Chairman, makes a “previous commitment” on the one day a year when the nation’s attention is focused on the Hall of Fame?  I contend he boycotted because he couldn’t handle – even for just one day – his own accomplishments being over-shadowed by a Cubbie.

Joe Morgan is a putz. And he is a mean-spirited, small-minded coward if he doesn’t set the record straight for the National TV audience this coming Sunday. I challenge you Mr. Joe Morgan to tell the country you lied to disparage Ernie Banks, the Cubs fans, and the Cubs organization.

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    June 24, 2008   Posted in: observations, oldschool, Wrigley Field

    15 Responses

    1. Cubs fans aren't feelin Joe Morgan right now | SportFiends - June 24, 2008

      […] his comments are blatantly wrong, there many bloggers who are pissed. They are trying to organize a boycott of ESPN until he issues an apology. Doubt […]

    2. Cubs fans aren't feelin Joe Morgan right now | SportFiends - June 24, 2008

      […] his comments are blatantly wrong, there many bloggers who are pissed. They are trying to organize a boycott of ESPN until he issues an apology. Doubt […]

    3. Cubs fans aren't feelin Joe Morgan right now | SportFiends - June 24, 2008

      […] his comments are blatantly wrong, there many bloggers who are pissed. They are trying to organize a boycott of ESPN until he issues an apology. Doubt […]

    4. Cubs fans aren't feelin Joe Morgan right now | SportFiends - June 24, 2008

      […] his comments are blatantly wrong, there many bloggers who are pissed. They are trying to organize a boycott of ESPN until he issues an apology. Doubt […]

    5. Cubs fans aren't feelin Joe Morgan right now | SportFiends - June 24, 2008

      […] his comments are blatantly wrong, there many bloggers who are pissed. They are trying to organize a boycott of ESPN until he issues an apology. Doubt […]

    6. admin - June 24, 2008

      Looks like the momentum to pressure Joe Morgan to recant his assertions is growing!

    7. houroc - June 25, 2008

      Thanks for the link. I am not a big fan of the cubs, nor did I ever have anything against Joe Morgan… BUT I respect great players and thats not right what he said…!!!

    8. Joe Morgan Making Up Facts Once Again | Larry Brown Sports - June 26, 2008

      […] Hub has more details correcting Morgan, and Awful Announcing even has the video if you want to hear the b.s. for yourself. I don’t […]

    9. Bob Zani - June 26, 2008

      Morgan’s know- it-all attitude on SNBB has gone on long enough. He needs to be replaced by a younger,more objective explayer- Sutcliffe? Grace? Brenly?

    10. desertfour - June 29, 2008

      Joe Morgan’s putz history goes back a long way. Back in the mid 70’s my mother and father came back from a trip and reported their “Joe Morgan is a putz” story. They’re in the airport and my father tells my mother “You know who that is? It’s Joe Morgan.” (the putz) I put that part in there. So my mom, being the social one in the family goes up to Joe Morgan the putz and asks for an autograph or something. The guy denies he’s Joe Morgan the putz. My dad was sure of it. So begins the notorious legacy.

    11. joe morgan - July 13, 2008

      […] joe morgan once again is fabricating history to support his obvious bias against the Chicago Cubs. Morgan Statistics – Baseball-Reference.comJoe morgan batting, fielding and pitching major league […]

    12. Lamar Miller - August 24, 2008

      Hi, friends

      To me, Joe Morgan is a mostly humorless individual who completely over analyzes every controversial play in every game he broacasts for ESPN.

      I also think he is entirely too critical of the fielding plays made or mislpayed by the fielders. Sometimes, he carries over some relatively nondescript movement or error by a fielder, usually a middle in-fielder, to the next inning. He’s always indulged by the network crew to continually show, over and over, his point of view. I find him dull.

      I like Jon Miller because he is the complete obosete of Morgan. Although upbeat and willing to put up with Morgan’s ego, he (apparently) has to sometimes play the fool to the HOF ensconced Morgan, often asking transparent and simple leading questions so that Morgan can appear the more knowledgeable reporter.

      In Jon Miller, you have a smart, seasoned and professional baseball announcer who has been teamed for what seems forever with a self-centered, and in my mind, very marginal HOF 2nd baseman.

      I don’t know when it happened but at some point the athlete took over from the professional and the much more entertaining heroes of my youth.

      Although Dizzy Dean is in the HOF, he never criticized players the way Morgan does. A free spirit, we was too busy singing the Wabash Cannon Ball song when things on the field got less than interesting! His pal reporter was Buddy Blattner, a true professional and like Harry Caray and Steve Stone, they happily entertwined past baseball history with the events currently transpiring on the field and my TV, or up in the stands. And please don’t forget Vin Scully, a totally entertaining announcer who traditionaly never worked with a “color” man, which is how the ex-baller initially entered broadcasting. Skip Caray comes to mind too with his quick wit and zingy one liners! Too bad his son, Chip, is one of the current breed and overly serious about himself and his profession.

      It was fun listening to the old time announcers. Where did the joy go?

      Somewhere, somehow, other people like Morgan got hired by ESPN and the other sports networks. As I write, Morgan is describing exactly how a fielder misplayed a ground ball. He may talk about this for another inning or two if he holds to form. He’s been doing this for about 25 years!

      Can’t we get back to a time when listening to the announcers was not some brutal form of instruction? When they simply set our imaginations in motion and their words were more about the game and less about when “they” played the game, or how they think it should be played?

      I think some past players can honorably sit in the broadcast booth and call a game, so as to make it fun for the listener. Joe McGrane and the “Rays” comes to mind but, as Howard Costell was castigated because he “never played the game,” I think it reasonable to also assume that the average minded, retired professional ball player has no business in the broadcast booth.

      Joe Morgan and a host of other ex-players who routinely tell you exactly what went wrong on the field and how it should have been done must be exorcised from baseball broadcasting, or somehow made to understand that we’re tired, real tired of their methods.

      I look forward to a new breed of talkers who will entertain while also letting us know what’s happening on the field without being overbearing about their past major league abilities. Thank you and Best Wishes to all you great baseball fans, Lamar

    13. Lamar Miller - August 24, 2008

      “Joe Morgan is a Putz”

      Everything you said is true to me and in my mind about Joe Morgan. I find him such a narrow minded individual. I know he was a ML ball player, but does he really deserve to be in the HOF? He obviously wears that honor as a part of his personality, and preens when Jon Miller invariably mentions his membership in that hallowed gallery.

      I just don’t know. Back then 2nd basemen weren’t supposed to do much offensively, and Morgan set the career record for HR”s over 2nd basemen who came before him, but Sandberg broke his record in a relatively short period of time after he set it. I always figured he was very upset about that and that Howard Johnson broke his 1 season record for HR’s too. I foget how many HR’s it was, but it was over 40. Infielders were beginning to really hit the ball for doubles and hr’s!

      So, as my esteemed and aforementioned writer documented, why did “Mr. Joe Morgan, VP to the HOF, not show up for Ryan Sandberg’s induction to the HOF?

      I watch it every year, and evey year Joe’s there and during the last one he was seated at the end of a row of seats near the podium. He made a point of shaking hands with most everyone that left the podium. Yet, he couldn’t be there when the “greatest 2nd baseman,” Ryan Sandberg, got in? Sandberg is so humble by comparison, rarely even coming out in public, let alone spouting his brand of baseball every Sunday for ?decades!

      Tim McCarver is another one who needs to go. I won’t even go into that right now… Sutcliffe is another one who should be fired. They just over, over analyzed every little thing that happens on the field. And call me NOT politically correct, but Sut stutters, which is not very endearing and certaininly not conducive to effective broadcasting. Give it up Sutcliffe!!! Sorry about that cancer. I had it and you can beat it too. Just quit giving me a headache with your whining style of broadcasting!

      If that isn’t enough, then there’s people like Steve Philips who want to tell you how friggin’ smart they are at knowing the “behind the scenes” baseball trades, etc. Unless you’re in a virtual baseball league, who gives a crap?!!!

      Sorry, I just want to watch the GD game, folks!!! And would you please put the center field camera just off the pitchers shoulder, so that I can at least have some idea if the ump was right? Right now the site pic is about 5-6 feet to the right shoulder of the pitcher. And why don’t they routinely show pitches from behind the plate. Huh? You get the true break and speed of the pitches (like the catcher and umpire). Plus, if the guy hits it you can see immediately where it’s going, and also see the runner as they break for the next base. Too simple I suppose.

      Why do we have to get a distorted view of every pitch? I used to be a pitcher and I know this is not what it looks like. It’s a whole lot closer than what the cameras portray.

      If they’d move the cameras closer to the pitcher and the action it would really show what’s going on. It’s pretty anticeptic right now. I’m quite sure most people don’t know what a good fastball looks like as it sings by!

      Thanks for your indulgence, Lamar

    14. Joel - January 9, 2009

      I remember towards the end of this past season, I was reading a chat that Joe was hosting on He said “You don’t have to be the best team in the league to win the World Series. You just have to get hot in the playoffs. The Cubs proved that last year.” I guess I didn’t realize that Joe had found a time machine and gone back to 1909 to do the chat.

    15. Joe Morgan Sucks - December 10, 2010

      Joe Morgan just plain sucks. He isn’t fit to carry Ryno’s jockstrap. Ryno should be glad that over-hyped piece of crap “couldn’t” attend his HOF induction. Without Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, and Tony Perez, no one even knows who the hell Joe Morgan is. He and Marty Brennaman can both stick itup their keysters.. What exactly have the sucky Cincinnati Reds done lately??? Cincinnati’s not even a real major-league market. The Reds should move to Columbus. I love when the Cubs play in Cincinnati and half of that dump is filled with Cubbie blue.

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