I'm not trying to start a rumor here. But for two weeks in a row Jon Miller has not been in the broadcast booth for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Dan Shulman, who is a very good broadcaster, filled for last week for the Philadelphia Phillies-Los Angeles Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium and again last night at Progressive Field where the Cleveland Indians hosted the St. Louis Cardinals in an interleague game. If you watched the game, Indians pitcher Cliff Lee regained his Cy Young form by taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning en route to a complete game three hit shutout.
Miller and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan have been broadcasting games on Sunday nights since 1990. However, this season Steve Phillips was added to the crew. Phillips, the former General Manager of the New York Mets, has been with ESPN since 2005 appearing on Baseball Tonight and doing color commentary on ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball.
It has made for a crowded announcers' booth. Two color commentators and one play by play guy just doesn't work. Morgan and Phillips are constantly one upping each other talking about everything under sun except what is going on the field. Miller can barely get a word in edgewise. It makes for a very annoying broadcast. I'd rather listen to Tim McCarver for crying out loud than to hear Morgan and Phillips go back and forth. I mean Vin Scully is 81-years-old and can broadcast games all by himself. We don't need three announcers.
Joe Morgan is very cantankerous in the first place but Miller's light hearted touch smoothed out those rough edges and made for a nice balance that I have enjoyed for the past 20 seasons. Steve Phillips has upset that balance and I don't think Jon Miller is happy about it.
Again, I don't want to start a rumor but Miller has never missed two weeks in a row. It is certainly not a health issue because Miller is still doing San Francisco Giants games on radio and TV. So something is amiss.
Let Steve Phillips remain on ESPN Monday Night Baseball and leave the Sunday night game to Joe and Jon. If ESPN can do that I will be in my happy place.