Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2008-07-07 05:55
by Alex Belth

I realize that Manny Ramirez is in a slump.  Still, it was a strange sight watching him look at three pitches against Mariano Rivera last night, before returning to the dugout.  After the game, Rivera told reporters, "I was kind of surprised, definitely, that he never took the bat off his shoulder," Rivera said. "I don't know what he was thinking. That's Manny."

2008-07-07 06:31:23
1.   Sliced Bread
Isn't that the famous Rodin sculpture of A-Rod on a rock in Central Park?
2008-07-07 06:52:24
2.   JasonO
Manny didn't swing in protest...that his night off was ruined by a pinch hit AB.

Noticed this during the broadcast, but just watched the replay of the game winning hit on to be sure...did you notice how muted Jon Miller was when Gardner won the game? I've watched walk off endings on ESPN Sunday Night where Miller was absolutely bellowing...

Was it because, for ESPN's purposes, the wrong team won? Hank hit the nail on the head re: ESPN and their anti-NYY bias. Perhaps it's good business, because the rest of the country dislikes the Yankees. Whatever the reason, it's as plain as the nose on your face:

Seriously, listen to Miller and tell me he's not being curiously restrained:

2008-07-07 06:57:11
3.   JL25and3
2 I think you're being way over sensitive. It sounds like a perfectly fine call to me. Jon Miller's a pro.
2008-07-07 07:02:11
4.   Sliced Bread
3 Oversensitive? I don't think so. Take another listen. First link here:

2008-07-07 07:12:22
5.   pistolpete
I don't know why Manny didn't swing and I don't care.

IMO, Miller was a bit restrained as he was describing the action after it was clear the Sox wouldn't be making a play. After "..that's up the middle!!", he sort of trailed off.

2008-07-07 07:30:05
6.   rsmith51
I was surprised that Mo was pitching to Manny. I didn't realize Manny was slumping.
2008-07-07 07:35:19
7.   Adam B
The real reason Manny didn't swing: He didn't want to break his promise to Joe Morgan that he'd break out of his slump tomorrow.
2008-07-07 07:37:53
8.   rbj
2 I agree that Manny wanted the whole night off. It was just such a weird AB by him, he didn't look like he was prepared to swing at all.
2008-07-07 07:55:19
9.   JL25and3
4 I'm at work now, so I can't listen to that yet.

I think Miller's call would have been different if the walk-off hit had been an ARod homer into the bullpen rather than a Brett Gardner seeing-eye squib up the middle. In any case, considering it biased because Miller was insufficiently orgasmic is, in my book, just silly.

Hell, he used the word "gritty." What more do you want?

2008-07-07 08:10:56
10.   JasonO
I can't find any video clips due to ESPN's crack legal staff, but I'm thinking (among others) about Zimmerman's walkoff hit for the Nats against the Braves early this year: Miller lost it.

Come on: A rookie, just called up and struggling for the big hit, who delivers in the 10th?

2008-07-07 08:23:12
11.   JL25and3
Fine. Miller deliberately gave a less-than-orgasmic call - a thoroughly appropriate call, animated enough, but you're faulting him because he wasn't histrionic. And he did that deliberately because of an ESPN mandate to downplay Yankee wins.

What's with all the bizarre conspiracy thinking on the Banter thses days?

2008-07-07 08:43:36
12.   monkeypants
11 Seriously. Thank you.

In any case, if I were a fan of one of the other 28 teams in the league, I would get tired of the amount of attention ESPN lavishes on both the Yankees and Red Sox. Well, unless I were a fan of the Cardinals...they do seem to have a bit of Cardinal fetish as well.

2008-07-07 08:58:37
13.   williamnyy23
2 3 4 Miller's call was definitely more muted, as it usually is when something happens in favor of the Yankees. I don't think it's an ESPN mandated bias though. I just think that Miller, a long-time Oriole announcer (during the Yankee/Oriole battles of 1996-97), and Morgan, a rival of the Yankees with the Reds (both as a player and an announcer trying to defend the Big Red Machine's legacy against the recent Yankee Dynasty) have a very normal dislike for the Yankees.
2008-07-07 08:58:43
14.   Max
2 11 No conspiracy, but I've heard calls from announcers of the opposing team that were more enthusiastic than that. I don't have a beef with Miller generally, but I will say that the call was a most unsatisfying conclusion to a very strong at-bat and a tense game. Miller and Morgan sounded like they had a plane to catch.

Couple that with going to Sportscenter, where Gardner's interview was never shown, and the focus was tennis (fine, because it was an awesome match), but the highlights shown of the game consisted of 1) A-Rod's home run, 2) Pedroia's two run single 3) Gardner's single.

ESPN doesn't have any mandate to be YES, but they sure did a good job of sweeping the game under the rug as soon as it ended.

2008-07-07 09:06:34
15.   51cq24
considering mo threw manny 3 nasty cutters that clipped the strike zone, i'm not that surprised manny didn't swing. if mo had thrown 3 pitches down the middle i'd be surprised (that he threw 3 pitches down the middle and that manny didn't swing at any of them).
2008-07-07 09:08:33
16.   51cq24
also, i guess i was too happy to have won a close game we needed to win to notice or care that a non-yes announcer wasn't as excited as i was.
2008-07-07 09:49:00
17.   Schteeve
Miller's call was muted because he was off mic trying to tell Morgan that CORA not LUGO was playing shortstop for the Red Sox. It didn't work, Morgan called the Sox SS "Lugo" three times in the 9th. I don't know why it bothered me so much.
2008-07-07 09:50:02
18.   Schteeve
15 In fairness, he didn't throw three down the middle, strike three was off the plate. Too close to take for sure, but it was off the plate.
2008-07-07 09:52:51
19.   Raf
14 That's just the way they do things over there. Compare and contrast the coverage of the Yankees 114 win season and the M's 116 win season.

The "hot" team will always get more ink. The Red Sox recent successes dictate that they will get more coverage.

2008-07-07 10:21:07
20.   Chyll Will
Still, I agree that there is a slight personal bias in Miller and Morgan's coverage of the Yanks, as they have had no loss for words or emoting in Yankee losses. It was definitely a noticible space of dead air, but not something that indicates a strong anti-Yankee bias as with other broadcasters and reports.

Hey, even the sportswriters in NY come off as fairly anti-Yankee, with some having axes to grind (Madden, Gollum), some annoyed at change (Bondy) and some having a genuine rooting interest in a different team (Lisa Olsen when she was there.)

Fact is, it shouldn't matter at this point; the Yanks will do whatever they want, win or lose, and Hank will say whatever he wants and the reporters will write whatever they want and the papers will publish what sells, regardless of fact or opinion. Anti-Yank sentiment is more obvious when the team is doing less-than stellar in the standings, even after a blowout win. Shouldn't worry about the phonies in the industry, whomever they work for.

19 The "hot" moneymaker will get more ink. Tampa Bay is the new IT team if they keep their current pace in September, and the hottest ticket in ESPN's mind right now is Rays vs. either Boston or New York, screw the Central or West. If ESPN where as devoted to parity as the MLB, they'd be located in the Midwest, not in the Northea$t.

BTW, which one am I supposed to be "interested" in right now, Manny not moving his bat off his shoulder in a tie game in the last inning or Cynthia suing A-Rod for divorce? Am I wrong for not caring the least about either?

2008-07-07 11:32:45
21.   Jen
In the past I've heard Miller make more exciting calls for a Red Sox single in the 4th inning than his call for the game winner last night. That's why I always perceived a bias. A little consistency would be nice.
2008-07-07 11:52:48
22.   OldYanksFan
21 I agree. Jon Miller is usually extremely animated in walk off hits like that. If it had been Ellsbury, we would have heard how he was only 3 for 21, and how young he was, and how he was part of Boston's youth movement, and what a great farm Boston had, and how Ellsbury fed the poor during the offseason, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

As it was, we got treated to a 'Hows about that and goodnight'.

2008-07-07 12:18:17
23.   JL25and3
I have to say, I'm astonished that so many people are taking that seriously. I'm particularly amused at the comparison with the hypothetical call of an Ellsbury hit.
2008-07-07 12:25:33
24.   JL25and3
22 Here's a more plausible explanation for why they cut away quickly: it was a long game, and ESPN had a big lead story on Sportscenter, with a big audience waiting for it.
2008-07-07 12:27:15
25.   OldYanksFan
23 You think it's impossible that Miller is not a big Yankee fan? I really don't care much, I was just agreeing based on my observation of games announced by the M&M boys.

I expect many fans to hate the Yanks. We are big money and NY. But I wouldn't mind if these national guys were a little more impartial.

I watch most of the Sox Games. While Remy is head of 'Red Sox Nation' and obviously a Boston fan, he is very fair in his broadcasting. Actually, Remy and Orsillo do a better job with Sox/Yanks games then the national guys do. Maybe that's because Remy and Orsillo know something about the teams?

2008-07-07 12:31:34
26.   JL25and3
25 Mostly, I think his call was just fine.
2008-07-07 12:36:26
27.   JL25and3
25 And also, no, I don't think Miller is biased.
2008-07-07 13:43:12
28.   YankeeInMichigan
According to, Ponson will be pitching Tuesday, and Wednesday's pitcher is TBA. Has anyone heard bad news regarding Pettitte? If Pettitte were okay, there would be no reason to pitch both Ponson and Rasner this week (and now they are setting up to pitch Ponson twice).
2008-07-07 14:15:04
29.   nick
As a Yankee fan, to worry about media bias is supposed to be beneath you--it implies that you give a fuck what the fans of other teams think--"why don't they treat us better?" Don't give other teams that satisfaction.

There is a basic fact that you all are aware of: we spend much more $ on player salaries than any other team. Many people can never get over that fact. The desire for media love/respect, sensitivity to criticism, these are not things that serve Yankee fans well--they just make us seem whiny.

2008-07-07 14:41:01
30.   horace-clarke-era
Have to say I'm with JL on this - the call sounded fine to me, they cut away at some speed because the game ran long (Bosox-Yankees ... run long? Pshaw!) and they had arguably the greatest tennis match ever played to cover.

I also agree with nick ... there has been a fair bit written about the Yankees losing their Ruthian swagger, their expect-to-win cockiness (even meanness, a la 1978). If the fans of the richest team in the game get antsy about a PERCEIVED lack of announcer joy at a single that wins the game it really does sound like we want 'you like us, you really like us!' ... As a baseball team I'd rather be feared and resented for excellence by other teams, and maybe even by some announcers who get 'bored' by yet another Yankee triumph.

I don't think he was last night, but wouldn't faze me in the least if he had a deep dark secret love of ... the Phillies? If he gets unprofessional in any significant way on a national telecast he'll lose the respect of his peers. (On the other hand Morgan in the 10th was going on about how Boston would be afraid to see the great Jeter come up, how clutch he was, how many times he'd beaten them ... made me grin a bit, since hereabouts we've been SO on the Captain's case!)

2008-07-07 19:54:51
31.   JasonO
Once again, Nick, horace and JL25 make the mistake of attempting to ascribe the motivations of those reacting to the evidence of Miller's obviously muted call vs. other samples of his excitement for other walk-off hits on Sunday Night:

Add this to:

Gammons's close relationship with Epstein/BOS.

The "Baseball Tonight" circus and their opinions on the Yankees. Steve Phillips and Jon Kruk, anyone?

In any case, bring on the Rays!

2008-07-07 19:56:44
32.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
My problem with the call extends to the entire game of every game shown on ESPN. I despise their crews - the voices, the words, the works.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.