December 27, 2013

Piers Morgan Bowled Over: I can't explain any of this, but CNN host Piers Morgan was pelted multiple times by a cricket ball thrown by a former pro, to the delight of an Australian audience. He suffered a cracked wrist and bruised ribs.

posted by rcade to other at 04:31 PM - 24 comments

I can't stop watching this. Santa may have come late, but he's making up for it.

posted by Etrigan at 10:09 PM on December 27

Binga didn't hit him enough.

posted by owlhouse at 01:39 AM on December 28

The origin of this event was Morgan saying publicly that members of the England team are scared of facing Australia's fast bowlers during the current Ashes series down under. Morgan is apparently a village cricketer at home.

So someone called him out and got the recently retired Australian fast bowler Brett Lee to text Morgan's own courage out in the practice nets. What you see is the outcome broadcast by Channel Nine, taking place during the tea interval of the Melbourne Test.

posted by owlhouse at 01:53 AM on December 28

What I don't get is how the pitcher is just throwing at Morgan over and over. How is that a valid pitch offered in, as they characterize it later, good-natured fun? Does Morgan get to hit him back with the bat in the same spirit?

posted by rcade at 09:44 AM on December 28

I agree, rcade. Morgan is a douche, but it's more this Lee guy appearing to be an ass in this ridiculous situation. Throw as hard as you can at a guy? Morgan should have been allowed to smash the guy in the side of the head with the bat. The crowd would have loved that too.

posted by dyams at 10:18 AM on December 28

If they had a subscription channel that just played Piers Morgan getting hit with a cricket ball for 19 hours a day I'd buy that.

What's Merv Hughes doing these days?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:59 AM on December 28

Oh, come now. Who among us could resist the urge to plant a few on Piers Morgan? Brett Lee would have to be a fucking saint not to have rocked him a few times. Pope Francis would have at least brushed him back with the first one.

posted by Etrigan at 02:49 PM on December 28

I don't know cricket. This looks to me like Jim Rome standing in the box to hit against a Major League pitcher and having the guy bean him four straight times. While that might be fun, it isn't baseball to just throw at a guy over and over so he never has a chance to hit a pitch. So I'm questioning what the cricket pitcher (bowler?) showed here.

posted by rcade at 03:15 PM on December 28

Unlike beaning a batter, bowling at a batsman is legal. However, a ball that ricochets off a batsman who's attempting to play or dodge it is still live and may result in a leg bye score, so it's not tactically sound.

Think of what Lee did as more like a baserunner slamming into the catcher at home plate -- it's one of those "This is what this sport is really like sometimes" teaching points.

posted by Etrigan at 03:32 PM on December 28

I don't's one of the only possible reasons I can even think of in which Piers Morgan looks like more of a man than the pussy throwing. Brett Lee looks to me like a complete idiot. Put his wuss ass in the batters box versus Aroldis Chapman with Chapman only looking to throw at him. I'd pay to see that.

posted by dyams at 10:59 PM on December 28

Sorry but Morgan looks like a brave but easily dislikeable idiot in this.

Ditch your baseball-driven ideas about aiming at the batsman - cricket has a long and legal tradition of fast bowlers looking to hurt people and great innings by batsmen against the barrage. Look up Michael Holding getting after Geoff Boycott in 1981, Rick McCosker coming back out to bat with his jaw wired shut after getting it broken by a bouncer, some of the footage here. One of the primary ways of getting a batsman out - Leg Before Wicket - can only occur if the ball hits the batsman.

The Piers Morgan bit would be like Jim Rome continuing to call out Jim Everett as scared of the pass rush and then telling all and sundry that he, with his experience as a QB at the local community college, knows how to deal with the blitz. After being obnoxious about it over a period of time a retired Strahan or Kevin Greene type signs on to show him what the pros face. He then proceeds to completely bail under the first hint of a pass rush while talking smack to the ex-pro, leading the ex-pro to bury him for his troubles.

posted by deflated at 12:53 AM on December 29

So I'm questioning what the cricket pitcher (bowler?) showed here.

Nothing. Exactly the same thing Lee yorking the off-stump six times would have shown.

The comparison to baseball doesn't stand up. Deliberately and repeatedly bowling at the body is a legitimate tactic in cricket, with a long history.

I'd be in favour of everyone who says something dumb on Twitter having to face six short ones.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:01 AM on December 29

He charged Lee's first ball, and in that case, the bowler has every right to follow him with the delivery. It jams into the batsman and stops him scoring. And should keep him in his crease after that.

The later deliveries aimed at the body are a response to Morgan claiming that the England batsmen have no courage. Lee wanted to demonstrate to an amateur/armchair critic what it is like to face someone like Mitchell Johnson - i.e. bowling short at 150 km/hr this Ashes series and trying to intimidate. Lee felt Morgan needed to see it up close and personal, and show some respect, even if they are Pommie bastards.

posted by owlhouse at 06:39 AM on December 29

Or maybe one of Morgan's Fleet Street mob hacked Brett Lee's phone.

Who knows?

posted by owlhouse at 06:40 AM on December 29

owlhouse has it: Piers Moron has been twattering off about the supposed cowardice of England's batsmen against genuinely fast bowling, and so Brett Lee offered to demonstrate the experience.

to the delight of an Australian audience

ITYM 'to the delight of an audience'. I'm an English cricket fan, and it's the one highlight I'm taking from this series. (Why worry about Mitchell Johnson in the form of his life when you can throw away your wicket to a very ordinary spinner?)

posted by etagloh at 11:13 AM on December 29

Cricket bewilders me more than any other sport I don't follow. The players look like Great Gatsby-era beekeepers holding frat paddles.

What's the nearest jumping-in spot to watch this sport on TV live and figure it out?

posted by rcade at 12:24 PM on December 29

ESPN has the rights to the New Zealand - West Indies tour (first ODI here), so that's an easy way to watch for free from the US.

As deflated says, this ain't baseball. A short-pitched ball has a trajectory that should allow a good batsman to take evasive action or play a shot, but raw pace on a decent surface generates more bounce and compresses the reaction time.

A high full-toss (aka beamer) is the true equivalent of pitching at a baseball batter's head and is considered dangerous play in cricket -- here's Lee bowling one of those by mistake, apologising immediately, and receiving an official warning. Nothing he bowled at Moron fit that category.

posted by etagloh at 02:58 PM on December 29

ITYM 'to the delight of an audience'

Indeed. Shane Warne tweeted that Brett Lee had an entire country behind him in his assault on Morgan. "And I don't mean Australia."

I have some admiration for Morgan taking his lumps, but if he actually stood his ground, (like he was accusing England of failing to do), then he wouldn't have been hit at all. The only way Lee hits you bowling four feet outside leg stump is if your sphincter has tightened and you're trying to run away.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:05 PM on December 29

Cricket bewilders me more than any other sport I don't follow. The players look like Great Gatsby-era beekeepers holding frat paddles.

What's the nearest jumping-in spot to watch this sport on TV live and figure it out?

During this past Summer's ICC tournament, a South African co-worker sat in our part of the office (we have a big screen HDTV with a computer hooked up to it) and watched/explained the game to us. He got me to understand the game and explained some tactics and now I'm hooked on cricket. I love it. I want more of it. Too band the Ashes isn't shown on ESPN 3.

posted by NoMich at 08:03 PM on December 29

Too bad the Ashes isn't shown on ESPN 3.

Or South Africa - India, which is the really interesting series going on right now, as both sides are clearly better than England and Australia. (Only two Tests, proving that the ICC are idiots with their scheduling.) have scooped up the US rights to most of the international fixtures, especially those with a south Asian audience, so they're behind paywalls.

posted by etagloh at 08:27 PM on December 29

Someone so inclined could stream almost any of these matches at a place like crictime dot com, for example.

posted by rumple at 02:12 AM on December 30

What's the nearest jumping-in spot to watch this sport on TV live and figure it out?

If you have an Xbox 360 (or one assumes an XBone), the ESPN3 app provides live cricket on the HDTV you have. I've postponed my cricket learning for a few years. I (re)discovered soccer via this site's members during the 2006 World Cup and realized I've had a heck of a time learning the game, the history, rivalries, gossip, etc. and I'm holding cricket in abeyance so I can go through the process again when I feel the need. I've got a copy of Beyond a Boundary and a fast pitch brother-in-law ready to go as soon as I've completely understood futbol. May take a bit . . .

posted by yerfatma at 09:27 AM on December 30

I'd recommend going onto YouTube and searching out for some Twenty20 matches from the IPL. It will give you a chance to watch a "condensed" version of the sport with some of the highest skilled players in the world.

posted by grum@work at 09:35 AM on December 30

ESPN has the rights to the New Zealand - West Indies tour (first ODI here), so that's an easy way to watch for free from the US.

Thanks for the heads up, etagloh, I'll have to watch at least some of it. Some of my mom's family played cricket for clubs in Barbados and Trinidad, but I don't think any were good enough to make the West Indies squad. Still, I have to root for the team from my Bajan mom's home.

posted by Howard_T at 06:04 PM on December 30

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