ESPN ended its 20-year association with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan as the voices of â€œSunday Night Baseballâ€ on Monday. They declined to renew Morganâ€™s contract and have asked Miller if he wants to stay on as the radio voice of the Sunday night games. Discussions are ongoing.â†µâ†µâ†µ
â†µâ€œWeâ€™ve decided to make a change and introduce new voices and new perspective,â€ said Norby Williamson, an executive vice president of ESPN. He added: â€œTwenty one years is an eternity in this business. And today is about acknowledging the contributions they made to the franchise.â€â†µ
â†µIt is nearly certain that Miller will be replaced by Dan Shulman, who will be joined by Orel Hershiser, whom ESPN added to â€œSunday Nightâ€ last season. Bobby Valentine might be the third voice if he does not get a managing job. Williamson declined to talk about the new team.
This is outstanding news; Miller, loved by San Francisco Giants fans for his radio calls of their games, came across as pompous on national TV with his oh-so-precise pronunciations of certain names that often weren't how the player himself wanted it (especially the cringe-inspiring AHHHN-druw Jones), and Morgan made up an entire story about the baskets at Wrigley Field being installed to "help" Ernie Banks hit home runs -- completely ignoring the fact that the baskets weren't installed there until early May, 1970, and Banks hit only six Wrigley Field home runs after that, none into the basket. Morgan even made up a name, "Banks Boulevard", that he claimed fans and broadcasters in that era had called it; no one had ever used that term until Morgan invented it.â†µâ†µ
ESPN never retracted that story and Morgan never apologized for his lies. Good riddance.