Stumpy Joe 

That's my new nickname for Joe Morgan. Not because he's short, which he is, but because half the things he writes for ESPN are complete stumpers. He makes me feel like the AFLAC duck after it's spent five minutes with Yogi Berra in a barbershop.

To add to my Stumpy collection:

"Pedro (16-9, 3.90 ERA) usually pitches better in warm weather. If it's cool, I think Colon has a big edge. Wednesday night's weather forecast in Anaheim is for temperatures of about 60 degrees, so that bodes well for Pedro."

In Alaska, Joe, 60 degrees in early October is warm weather. In Anaheim and many other places, 60 degrees would qualify as "cool," even at night. Last night in the Bronx, it was 52 degrees, only eight degrees lower, and the pitchers were allowed to blow on their hands.

"If Game 2 becomes a pitcher's duel, the offenses will need to step up, and the Red Sox have the advantage in that department."

The corollary to this would be, "If it becomes a slugfest, the team with the better pitching should come out on top."

Speaking of bad ESPN columnists, Idiots Who Write About Sports has tallied Jim Caple's comedic tropes, and it ain't pretty.

At various times, I've complained in this space about Ray Ratto (smug, too-clever-by-half, unreadable), John Donovan (world-class doof), Murray Chass (crotchety dinosaur), Eric Neel (unbearable fake hip-hop verbiage), Jayson Stark (mind-achingly boring--at least the Useless Info stuff), Peter Gammons (really needs a copyeditor; ridiculous musical shout-outs)...at which point someone needs to ask, "OK, Lefty Malo, are there any baseball columnists you actually like?"

You mean other than Rob Neyer, who's now $5-a-month beyond my means?


Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Steven Goldman of The Pinstriped Bible and Baseball Prospectus. Most writers at Baseball Prospectus, for that matter. Brian Hoffman of the Chronicle's Fishing Report. OK, that's not baseball. Waiting for Boof.

I've enjoyed pieces by Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald and the late Ralph Wiley.

Any other suggestions? (And explain yourself, please.)


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