Nostalgia Reaches Its Nadir

Illustration for article titled Nostalgia Reaches Its Nadir

Oh, come on. Selective memory is a hell of a thing.

The person who emitted this sentiment—in public!—and the approximately 1,300 people who agreed with it believe that ESPN’s baseball broadcasts were better when Joe Morgan was in the booth. All of them should be institutionalized for their own safety.


If you want to make a case that sports were simpler when one of the villains of baseball was a Hall of Famer whose career would be even more impressive if you factored in the advanced statistics he loathed so much, fine. (“Simpler” doesn’t necessarily mean “better,” though.) Nostalgia like this is less about remembering something good, and more about how seemingly everything in your life, even the crummy parts, felt less harsh and less important when you were a kid. This is why people chuckle at the memory of having to rely on dial-up internet, and also why it is insane to get sentimental over Joe Morgan the broadcaster. Just to be clear, this is what you’re remembering fondly:

Tim D (Chicago): Why is everyone so hung up on on-base percentage? I think doing the little things and playing hard is more important. What do you think Joe?

Perfect question, Tim D (Chicago). You are in the right chat, my friend. The questioners are really impressing me more than Joe is today, frankly. Classic grammar error also: “doing the little things and playing hard is more important.” Tim D assumes that on-base percentage and playing hard are mutually exclusive.

Joe Morgan: Very good question. OBP is very important, BUT it is important for certain players and not so much for others.

Please, leave this in the dusty cardboard box where it belongs. No one should get misty-eyed about the era when ESPN employed a baseball commentator who irrationally hated any baseball statistic that was derived from a computer, and despised the book Moneyball but thought then-Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane authored it. I swear, soon some of you will be yearning for the days of Tim McCarver in the booth.

H/t to Alex Watt