Jon Miller Talks Criticism And The Internet

Friday, June 05, 2009


Dan Steinberg, now of the Sporting Blog, sat down with Jon Miller recently and specifically asked him about the criticism that both he and Joe Morgan receive(d). Not only did Miller discuss blogs and the internet as a whole, but he specifically addressed the whole Fire Joe Morgan issue as well....

Hey, speaking of Joe, do you get irritated with some of the criticism?

Well, I figure for any of us in this business, the fact that there are critics, radio/TV sports critics, it’s all a positive for us. Because if you go back years ago, really before my time, Walter Winchell had the big column. In San Francisco, it was Herb Caen. I know here in Washington, in the Style section they’ve always had columnists. PR people are trying to get showbiz people and clients in those columns, so that they’re around town, getting their name in the paper. And now the sportscasters have these critics, and we get talked about.

What about the Internet stuff, do you read blogs?

Oh no, I don’t even understand what the point of it is. I mean, I know people are communicating, but it’s not interesting to me. I like the blogs that the beat writers have now. Henry Schulman with the Chronicle, in addition to whatever he’s writing for the paper, he’s got other stuff on his blog. And Bruce Jenkins is a great columnist for the Chronicle, he’s got other columns on the blog.

But for the rest of it, I don’t really care about it. I mean, for me, if there’s criticism, and it’s about something that I could do something about, or at least something that I could say that’s a good point, or no I disagree with that for this reason, well, that’s good. I mean, we all need feedback, and maybe somebody makes a good point. You know, I was a terrible English student in high school. I couldn’t probably diagram a sentence today. I mean, if somebody uses the phrase dangling participle, I’m going 'Huh?' I don’t have a clue what that is.

But over the years, people would send me letters, saying you said such and such, and that’s really improper usage, the proper way to say that would be this way. I'd say Eddie Murray awaits on deck, and the guy wrote me and said it would be awaits his turn on deck. You couldn’t say "'awaits' without 'his turn;' you have to say what he’s awaiting. So that was good, so I learned from that. A lot of stuff, that’s how I learned it. I thought that was very instructive.

But if somebody just says, this guy sucks, or he stinks? Well, that’s not interesting to me. You know, there’s nothing I can do with it. With Joe, you know, Joe knows a LOT about the game. Whether occasionally he mangles the language or says something that maybe comes out different from what he meant to say, like a million other ballplayers, that all could be. But they told me that there’s a Web site called FireJoeMorgan.com or something. Well, what’s the point of that? That’s just mean, mean-spirited. I mean, what is the actual point?
I guess Miller has a point. If someone doesn't "get" blogs, then there's really no point in trying to convince them over their validity or entertainment value. It's taken me awhile myself to understand the difference between an opinion, and something that is just "mean spirited" as Jon says, but I can understand how maddening it can get listening to certain people. Especially Dr. Joe Morgan.

Jon Miller on 300 Wins, Spanish Accents and FJM (The Sporting Blog)

17 Comments:

You have to feel for Jon...he has the worst job on the planet working with those two dipshits.

GMoney said...
Jun 5, 2009, 1:21:00 PM  

The criticism with JM isn't usually that he mangles the language, it's that he mangles the game, which is unfortunate considering the knowledge of baseball he is sure to have.

Every time ESPN/NBC/FOX/etc. hires a newly retired player to become an "analyst," someone should show them a picture of Joe just to remind them that being good at the game doesn't mean being good at calling the game.

Patrick said...
Jun 5, 2009, 1:24:00 PM  

I've heard Jon mangle the language on Giants broadcasts. His broadcast partner Dave Flemening usually has to correct him. It's just who Jon Miller is.

49er16 said...
Jun 5, 2009, 1:29:00 PM  

"But over the years, people would send me letters, saying you said such and such, and that’s really improper usage"

Who convinced him to start saying Juan "Oooh-ribe?"

Jun 5, 2009, 1:35:00 PM  

@RJBO, The Giants once had a player on their team in the 80's named Jose Uribe. The SF fans would scream "Ooooh-Ribe" everytime he came up to bat.

Well with Juan Uribe, his cousin, on the Giants, Miller and the rest of the Giants broadcasters start reminicising about Jose Uribe and that chant.

49er16 said...
Jun 5, 2009, 2:00:00 PM  

someone forgot to tell JM FJM.com is, sadly, defunct.

thermal54 said...
Jun 5, 2009, 2:32:00 PM  

JM here means "Jon Miller."

thermal54 said...
Jun 5, 2009, 2:33:00 PM  

Thanks for the clarification.

Jun 5, 2009, 3:38:00 PM  

Hey, jon miller I think it is constructive criticism to point out someone doesn't quite understand the game of baseball. Joe Morgan was a good player and he is a terrible analyst.

Other analysts are annoying. Madden acts like the viewers are watching their first football game.

Joe Morgan is an absolute fucking idiot. He tries to act like statistics are an insignificant part of the most statistically driven game. You can isolate an individual player's value much more accurately in baseball as opposed to any other sport yet he acts like you should ignore OPS because he played the game and just knows Eckstein is the greatest player of all time.

Math Geek said...
Jun 5, 2009, 5:47:00 PM  

RIP FJM. You were a magnificent SOB.

JFreak said...
Jun 6, 2009, 2:23:00 AM  

What about the Internet stuff, do you read blogs?
Oh no, I don’t even understand what the point of it is. I mean, I know people are communicating, but it’s not interesting to me... But they told me that there’s a Web site called FireJoeMorgan.com or something. Well, what’s the point of that? That’s just mean, mean-spirited. I mean, what is the actual point?
Here's the thing: I have no problem with Jon Miller, and yet he's managed to put himself into exactly the sort of position where many people can't respect him. By all means, rail against how you don't understand the point of something after experiencing it, but he basically acknowledges that he hasn't. Of course he doesn't get FJM. I wouldn't if I hadn't read it either. I'm willing to kind of give Miller a pass on this, but these sorts of statements are usually the product of beneficially "selective" reading habits. Not reading blogs absolves you of "getting" them. Not reading absolves you of not engaging them. Not reading them absolves you of ignoring the challenges issued in them. It's such a lovely swaddling, protective ignorance that preserves exactly the aura of unaccountability that these people need to perpetuate in order to keep getting away with reiterating unsubstantiated conventional wisdom in oracular and self-congratulatory tones.

Basically, I started reading this post dreading I'd feel bad about this:

http://bit.ly/160EcH

but, yep, there's that "lalalalalalala—I will not insulate myself from all but the conventional phenomena I'm used to" thing again that removes all remorse.

Jun 6, 2009, 5:05:00 AM  

One thing's a certainty...if it weren't for the ignorant things Morgan has said (re: "the basket at Wrigley was called 'Ernie's alley,'" I would have never discovered FJM and AA:)

thermal54 said...
Jun 6, 2009, 11:11:00 AM  

I agree with GMoney on this one.

Admin said...
Jun 6, 2009, 7:03:00 PM  

Do you think Miller sometimes lays back so that Joe will hang himself?

I swear, I can hear it when Miller does that.

"Go ahead Joe, what did you mean by that?"

WTF is it with AA, did he find a new gig?

hollywood wags said...
Jun 8, 2009, 9:21:00 PM  

Maybe he's on vacation.

thermal54 said...
Jun 9, 2009, 8:20:00 AM  

Joe Morgan is like the late playwright August Wilson. He takes one point, beats you to death with it and then keeps repeating it.

Steve Smith said...
Jun 9, 2009, 2:57:00 PM  

I disagree with everything against Joe. Many of us revere him as the best color man in baseball.
Where is Jon tonight?

chatgris said...
Jul 5, 2009, 11:39:00 PM  

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