Monday, April 18, 2005

More on the Score

I'm trying not to make this a daily feature here, but Mike Murphy is again pissing me off. Following tonight's loss to the Reds, Murph started his postgame show by touching on several points where Dusty Baker could have been second guessed, and also questioning whether something was amiss with Kerry Wood. That's fine, except after going over these things briefly, Murph then turned to his new agenda, ripping Bob Brenley and stumping for Steve Stone. First Murph hammered on Brenley for being too much of a homer, then he sarcastically asked if Dan Plesac was going to be fired for 2nd guessing Dusty Baker on Comcast's own postgame show. Murph's got an agenda, and it's getting a little tiresome. Stone serves as a baseball analyst for the Score now, and it's no secret that Steve and Mike are friends. But the fact is, Steve Stone resigned his position with the Cubs, he was NOT fired. And I'm a little sick of the woe is Steve crap that's coming from Murph and his ilk.

Look, I like Steve Stone a lot as an announcer, and I challenge anybody to name better color analyst in baseball or any other sport. I don't say this lightly, I mean I suffered through the Joe Carter Epoch like every one else. But I don't think it's right for fans to judge Brenley right off, when he's been thrown into a bad situation, where he's got to replace a beloved former broadcaster, and work with a play by play man who's also new to the team. You see there's a reason that Stone could make the criticisms he made on air-he had over 20 years of credibility built up with Cub fans(and a lot of non-Cub fans who watched the games on WGN over the years). People seem to forget that Stone's whole career basically hinged on whether Harry Caray liked him. Had Steve worn the wrong shirt to their first broadcast, he likely would have gone the way of Josh Levin. But Harry liked Steve, so the fans like him too, and Harry would actually let Steve talk sometimes, so what Stone had to say must be important, to make Harry actually stop spelling names backwards for a minute.

So Steve had lot of credibility, and he had a great job that paid him a good amount of money. And after a series of confrontations with Baker and Jim Hendry and several players, he quit. Some people say that he had no choice, that he was forced out. That's bullshit. Steve Stone had a very rare opportunity, one that most people rarely have both the financial standing, and personal courage to pull off, he quit a high paying, high profile job, soley because he felt keeping it would violate his principles. That's something you can do, when you know that people will come running to hire you. So don't feel bad for Steve Stone, he's got a job, and he's got his principles. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't quit.


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