25. Jon Miller on Ruben Rivera’s classic base-running error
I’m not going to lie to you: I love Jon Miller. I search for games that he’s calling. I love listening to Jon Miller because he’s smart, and he’s worldly, and he’s funny, and he knows the games are important, but he also knows the games are not THAT important. He was fired by Peter Angelos for reportedly being too blunt, and that makes me love him more. He has worked for 20 years with Joe Morgan without losing his sense of humor and personal feelings for the game, and that makes me love him even more. He does drop-dead impressions of Vin Scully and Al Michaels, and that makes me love the guy even more.
His Ruben Rivera call from 2003 tells the story as well as anything else.
“The pitch, swing, and there’s a shot deep into right center, racing back Dellucci, still going back into Death Valley, it goes right over his glove, he missed it, but Ruben Rivera missed second base. Now he’s heading for third and they’re going to throw him out by plenty, but the throw to third is botched. Now he’s heading home, the loose ball in the infield, and he’s out by five feet at the plate. And that was the worst base-running in the history of the game. The game should be over, and Ruben Rivera just did the worst base-running you will ever see. Unbelievable. Ruben Rivera had gone around second base, and then for some reason seemed to assume that the ball was caught in the outfield. He got totally lost and confused out there, and started to go back to second base as Grissom was pulling in at second. Ruben Rivera was the only man in the ballpark, apparently, who did not know what just happened.”