Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Are ESPN baseball announcers required to lie?

First ESPN announcer Joe Morgan completely made up a story during the network's telecast of the Phillies 1,000 loss as a franchise. As reported first by New York Post's Phil Mushnick and then reported all over the net, Morgan simply lied when he told an charming story about how he affected the Phillies' great collapse in 1964.

Mushnick wrote:

"The year, Morgan told us, was 1964, that calamitous season when the Phillies blew a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 games left by losing 10 straight. Morgan said he made his major-league debut late in '64, against the Phillies. And it was in that game that his RBI single beat the Phillies, extending their infamous losing streak to eight or nine. Morgan added that Phillies manager Gene Mauch was so upset he threw over the buffet table in the clubhouse, hollering that his club had just been beaten by "a Little Leaguer!"

Great story. But unless Morgan was confusing himself with Reds rookie infielder Chico Ruiz, it never happened. As several readers were moved to write, the Phillies played the Reds, Braves and Cardinals during that losing streak; Houston wasn't in the mix. Furthermore, Morgan, though called up in 1964, did not have an RBI that season for Houston."

Morgan amazingly was not fired. Encouraged that Morgan was allowed to make things about ESPN's other great blowhard Chris Berman during the Giants/Dodgers game tonight or last night by the time this is read. Told a story about how Babe Ruth told the Boston Braves to stick it. He played one last game, hit three homers and then quit to drink beer. I paraphrased. Berman and Morgan laughed at that delightful tale about how the Babe homered in his last at bat. Except of course it isn't true.

Compliments of Wikipedia:

"On May 25, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Ruth went 4-for-4, drove in 6 runs and hit 3 home runs in an 11-7 loss to the Pirates. These were the last three home runs of his career. His last home run cleared the roof at the old Forbes Field—he became the first player to accomplish that feat. Five days later, in Philadelphia, Ruth played in his last major league game. He struck out in the first inning and, while playing the field in the same inning, hurt his knee and left the game."

ESPN is always hammering athletes about the truth. Wish it would hold its "talent" to the same standards.