Jon Miller wins the Frick Award

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Jon Miller.jpgI 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.

Dustin Pedroia leaves game with a sprained left wrist

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Bad news for the Red Sox today. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was involved in a collision at first base with Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Pedroia stayed in the game at the time but was replaced by Josh Rutledge in the second.

The injury: sprained left wrist. Which, no, is not good, but there was some initial concern that he may have aggravated the knee which has been bothering him of late. They’ll no doubt provide an update after the game. As of now, the Sox lead the Sox 1-0 in the bottom of the third.

 

Brad Ausmus is not a fan of the Tigers’ schedule

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Everyone in baseball has a tough schedule. The season is a grind. Some teams, however, due to weather and happenstance, have stretches which are a tougher grind than others. The Tigers are in one of those right now.

Detroit played the Astros on Thursday night, and lost in a three-hour and thirty minute contest. It was a getaway day, er, night, and they didn’t get to Chicago to face the White Sox until the wee wee hours of the morning on Friday. Waiting for them: a double header which was to start at 4pm. The first game of it was rained out, though, so they woke up after a short “night’s sleep for nothing. Then the nightcap was delayed over an hour, giving them another late bedtime. On Saturday it was another double header, so it was another early wakeup and another long day at the park. And, of course, another day game on Sunday, before a flight to Kansas City.

This stretch has made Brad Ausmus grumpy. Here he was after Friday night’s late finish:

“Give some credit to the White Sox pitchers, give some credit to the schedule we have. We’ll try to get about 5 hours of sleep and come back tomorrow and play two more.”

He was particularly miffed at the scheduling of two doubleheaders in a row:

“You can’t control the weather but I think it would have been prudent to play the second game tomorrow in August,” he said. “That would have made a lot more sense to me.”

Ausmus did note, however, that it’s not the White Sox’ job to make a schedule that is convenient for their division rivals.

You can look at this in a few different ways. One one level, Ausmus is understandably upset about a particularly arduous stretch of games. On another level he’s probably trying to protect his players, who have looked flat, by changing the subject from their play to the schedule. On a different level, you could say that he’s making excuses for a team that is underachieving. And, of course, those three things are not mutually exclusive.

The thing is, though, that the Tigers have lost seven of ten, are five out of first place, four games under .500 and could conceivably leave their series with the Royals this week in dead last in the Central. Ultimately, extenuating circumstances like the weather and an unfortunate schedule don’t save a manager whose talented and highly-paid team struggles like the Tigers have. If they don’t turn it around soon, Ausmus could be hitting the bricks and the Tigers could be fixing to sell off and rebuild.