Forbidden Love is a Cubs DNA series where our staff waxes poetic about a player on a team other than the Cubs. Maybe even one you think they should hate. In this installment, Staci prattles on about her new favorite baseball analyst, ESPN's Jeff Passan!
I know what you're thinking. "Jeff Passan? The Yahoo! guy? The guy who's on Twitter? The one who looks like an unholy amalgam of Alfred E. Neumann and Mr. Chuckle Teeth from the X-Files?"
First of all, Passan hasn't been with Yahoo! since January 2019. No, my friends, Jeff packed up his virtual stuff and moved up to the bigger pastures of ESPN. The fun thing about that is that while he always had great insights into the world of baseball, stats, players, and all the other good things us baseball fans care about, the move to the big sporps network seemed to flip a switch that turned on Extra Sassy Jeff Passan. It's like that episode of What We Do In The Shadows where Colin Robinson gets promoted to a management position and suddenly becomes extremely powerful.
Instead of sucking energy though, Passan is demolishing fools on Twitter on the regular. To wit:
That one too succinct for you? If you're not into the whole brevity thing, this one has a little more snark to it:
He even got Jomboy!
It's not just Passan's Twitter game that's made him great, either. His television presence has also become a sort of Must See Snark TeeVee. Note this recent exchange with the patently ridiculous, overly loud and often underinformed Stephen A. Smith regarding the malfeasance of two Cleveland starters partying in Chicago and possibly exposing themselves to COVID:
I honestly doubt I'd be able to stay that cool. Passan is also a strong advocate for Fun In Baseball, and after the kerfluffle over Fernando Tatís Jr.'s grand slam where even his own manager whined like a baby over baseball's unwritten rules, Passan had some fun on-air the next day:
I'm sorry, but that's funny right there. What's even funnier is that this is currently on Passan's Twitter profile:
Subsequently, when Danny Mendick of the White Sox groused on Twitter about an ESPN chyron misspelling his name during one of Passan's segments, Passan made amends by changing his own Twitter handle:
(And seriously, Mendick, people misspell my name, like, ALL THE TIME, even people I've known for years. And you're currently sporting a 97 wRC+... you're not exactly carrying your team. Let's not put the DICK in "Mendick," mmmmkay?)
Outside of the fun stuff, Passan is also a super stand-up guy. Recently, when Thom Brennaman totally said an LGBTQ slur that he probably says in casual conversation on the regular but accidentally got caught ON AIR saying it when he didn't know he was on, Passan reported it and quoted the slur in his tweet. After some replies pointed out that there was no need to perpetuate the slur by repeating it, Passan not only deleted his original tweet but came back with this:
Yes, friends... that's what accountability actually looks like. So say what you will about journalism, the media, and sports coverage in this day and age, but Jeff Passan is a treasure in our little baseball world. He can even deliver baseball news in the voice of Elmo, and you really can't ask for much more than that.