I somehow missed this yesterday, but Giants/ESPN announcer Jon Miller was selected
as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, which is given annually to recognize
excellence in baseball broadcasting.
First, a digression: There is no “broadcaster’s wing” in the Hall of Fame. Indeed, broadcasters — even Frick Award winners — are not considered members of the Hall of Fame, even though it is the Hall of Fame which gives out the award. True, the winners are honored in an exhibit
near the Hall’s library, but that no more makes them members of the Hall of Fame than my name on a plaque at the Beckley, West Virginia Rotary Club makes me a Rotarian. They gave me an award once when I was a kid. Miller has one now too. That doesn’t make him a “Hall of Famer” or put him in the “broadcaster’s wing,” and anyone who writes differently — which appears to be everyone — is full of beans on this point.
That aside, congratulations to Miller on what — no matter what you call it — is a major and prestigious award. It’s totally deserving in my view, as I find Miller to be a wonderful play-by- play man, even more so on the radio than on TV. While I appreciate that there are some people who don’t care for him, I can’t help but think their view is clouded by the fact that he has to interact with Joe Morgan every Sunday, which takes him off his game a bit. That’s on Joe, though, not Miller.
Indeed, if Miller wasn’t there, we would be subjected to a much more concentrated dose of Joe Morgan on a weekly basis, and I don’t think any of us could handle that.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.