Senile: Not Just a River in Egypt
Anyone watching ESPN’s broadcast of the Red Sox-Royals game Monday afternoon was treated to a remarkable display of broadcasting by Jon Miller during the top half of the 9th inning.
It started out when the conversation turned to KC pitcher Odalis Perez, who was scheduled to pitch the Royals’ second game of the season. At essentially the first mention of Perez’s name, Miller described Perez as the epitome of the Spanish left-hander, a phrase he didn't go on to explain in any way.
It must be noted that we can’t say that this is a 100% direct quote because our cable box completely messed its trousers as we were trying to DVR this segment of the game, but if it’s not 100% accurate, it’s very close to word-for-word.In any case, the point is this: What the hell was Jon Miller talking about? And more importantly, how can any broadcaster feel justified saying something like this without even attempting to explain it? Did he really think this was self-explanatory, or made any sense whatsoever?
And for the record, we’re not even trying to focus on whether this was or wasn’t politically correct – first and foremost, we just want to know what in the blazes he was trying to say.
Shortly after this comment, the camera cut away to the Royals' dugout and showed three Royals standing together, at which point Miller said, There you see Perez in the middle of that group (once again, maybe not a direct quote but very close).
This made absolutely perfect sense, and it was helpful that Miller pointed out who we were looking at, since there were three guys pictured on the screen. The only problem of course was that it wasn’t so much Odalis Perez standing in the middle of the group, but rather, Octavio Dotel. Making matters worse (or perhaps better), Perez wasn't even in the camera shot.
Soon thereafter, the Red Sox pinch hit for J.D. Drew with Wily Mo Pena, and Miller went on to talk about how last year the Dodgers did everything they could to keep Drew rested, while all the while the camera was cutting away to J.D. Drew sitting on the bench talking to Terry Francona.
Then, a minute later, when Pena (who you’ll recall was hitting for Drew) struck out, Miller pointed out that Kansas City reliever Joel Peralta had now struck out four straight red sox – Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and… J.D. Drew.
Listen, we’ll hand it to Miller – the man has an impressive set of pipes (if you’re into that sort of nauseatingly soothing, I-sound-like-your-scary-uncle way of talking). But just because you have a great voice doesn’t mean you get a free pass for making absolutely no sense.
We’re willing to chalk this up to a rusty opening day, but let it be known right here and now, we’re watching you, Jon Miller. For years you’ve hidden behind the wall of Joe Morgan’s senseless drivel, but now we’re beginning to believe that you too have either completely lost it, are on the verge of losing it or never really had it in the first place.
And if you don’t get it together soon, one of these days, we might be forced to storm the broadcast booth and stage our own bloodless coup, ousting you and Joe Morgan to broadcasting purgatory for the sake of preserving the already dwindling integrity of the baseball airwaves.
If it comes to that, we don’t expect you to cause a huge stir or put up much of a fight. That would require you to have some kind of clue as to what’s going on in the first place.