Breaking this evening, we learn that ESPN has decided not to renew the contracts of long-time Sunday Night Baseball voices Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. The pair have been on Sunday Night Baseball since ESPN obtained the cable rights to Major League Baseball in 1990 and have been the main voices for ESPN until this season. When ESPN Radio obtained the rights for the MLB Postseason in 1999, the pair picked up the World Series assignment.
Miller was inducted into the Broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame this season, so the news that his contract was not renewed comes as somewhat of a surprise. Morgan has come under consistent criticism throughout his tenure at ESPN, sounding distant, detached, dry and humorless on broadcasts.
Miller may stay with ESPN Radio to call Sunday Night Baseball, but that is not confirmed. Possible replacements for Miller on television include Dan Shulman, Gary Thorne and Dave O’Brien, but most likely, Shulman will be tapped.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says ESPN decided not to bring back Morgan and possibly reassign Miller.
Jon Weisman of Variety also has a story about the ESPN decision to say goodbye to Miller and Morgan.
It ends an unprecedented era in sports television as broadcast teams especially on national television rarely last that long. We’ll have more as the night develops.