Chat with Joe Morgan
An analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, Morgan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990. He won back-to-back MVP awards with the Reds in 1975 and '76 along with two World Series rings.
Send your questions now and join Joe in The Show on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:02 AM)
Hellooooooo! How's everyone doing? Joe will be here just as soon as he finishes up his weekly interview with Dan Patrick ..
Whats going on Buzzmaster? How about a little love for my Cubbies and Greg Maddux!
Greg (Norfolk, VA)
WE WANT JOE! WE WANT JOE!
I'll trade you Pudge for a beer, Buzzmaster.
Buzzmaster (11:07 AM)
What's for lunch Buzz?
Buzzmaster (11:09 AM)
Could use a big, fat, buffalo chicken sandwich right about now ..
Buzz, how come so much baseball chat today, cant we get one hour with you?
Buzzmaster (11:10 AM)
Baseball is HOT right now .. we'll try to squeeze in some Buzz time but things are going to get hectic with draft prospect chats coming up and NHL and NBA playoffs .. it's a busy time!
Bryan (Cincinnati, OH)
Buzz, Is Joe still expected to come....
Buzzmaster (11:12 AM)
Yup. He's standing by! We'll be starting any second!
The more baseball chats the better, no offense Buzz.
Buzzmaster (11:13 AM)
None taken! It's hard to offend the Buzz.
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
Hello! It's been an interesting week. A lot of people thoughts HRs would go down because of the testing but they have gone up for other reasons. We can explore those. I'm ready for your questions!
Chris Shelton: Over or Under 45 HR's?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
It's still too early to predict how many he will hit. He's on quite a pace. But those things have a way of evening out. I would say under 45. HR hitters hit them in bunches and go in slumps. So I would say under 45 but he will still have a great year.
What is wrong with Ken Griffey Jr.? why is he so pron to injury?
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
Some people are lucky and don't have any injuries like Cal Ripken and others have a ton of injuries, even more than Griffey. He's had several injuries but I can't answer that question. We just don't know.
Are pitchers going to start walking and pitching around pujols like they do to Bary Bonds?
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
I expect that to be the case, yes. He doesn't have many weaknesses you can attack. They will always walk him in clutch situations now. He will probably only be pitched to with the bases empty. I don't like it. You should always want to compete. I don't like it when teams give up.
Steve Dallas, TX
Joe, what's the secret behind the Mets hot start?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
Carlos Delgado. Simple as that. The addition of Delgado is why I picked the Mets to win their division. He is not only a numbers guy but also a great leader. He will do wonders for Beltran's attitude and help him to relax and play better. So far he has been the difference for this team. David Wright and Pedro Martinez have obviously also played a part.
Marc (East Rockaway, NY)
Is Mariano Rivera a first ballot Hall of Famer?
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
I'm not going to answer questions about Hall of Famers unless they have already been on the ballot. If I say yes, then people will wonder why I didn't say yes on somebody else. I'm Vice Chairman of the Board so I don't feel comfortble speaking about every single guy. I will say yes, that I think he is a first ballot guy but that's the last time I will talk about it.
Joe, can you answer this honestly? As someone who played the game the right way how will you react if Bonds passes Aaron? And how do you think Aaron will react, as well as your former teammates?
Joe Morgan (11:21 AM)
I won't have the same reaction I had when Aaron passed Ruth. But I will have a great sense of accomplishment for him. Obviously it is different now than when Hank was chasing Babe. It is easier now to hit home runs and accumulate numbers than it was before. But it doesn't take away from what he has done. It's just a different accomplishement than what Hank did. I've also said if Aaron, Mays or Ted Williams played in this era, they would hit far more home runs than they hit in their day. The parks are smaller and the pitching isn't as good.
Tom (Portland, CT)
Joe - Do the Braves really miss Leo? Or will their pitching turn around?
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
They are missing Leo a lot. He is the best pitching coach in baseball and he has proven that with his consistency and how he has helped so many pitchers become better. Leo was the best. Anytime you replace the best, it takes awhile to establish credability.
Nora (St. Louis)
Is this the year Albert breaks through and wins his first gold glove? He's been incredible!
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
That's difficult to say. A lot of things are involved in a Gold Glove. It's not always just not making errors. Derrek Lee is built like a perfect first baseman, long and lean, and it will be hard for Albert to supplant him. But he is a Gold Glove quality first baseman for sure.
Hi Joe, is there any doubt whatsoever that the Red Sox have supplanted the Yankees as the class of the AL East?
Joe Morgan (11:24 AM)
There is still some doubt. Boston is more interesting to watch. They are fun to watch and they seem to have more joy in how they play the game. But you can never discount the Yankees lineup. They throw a group of stars out there everyday. Boston may have 3 stars and the others contribute well. Boston is a really fun team to watch.
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
The Yankees are more business-like. I guess its like watching a TV drama vs. American Idol.
Hi Joe, I love your work, but I'm wondering why you won't read "Moneyball?" It's short, readable, and the pages won't bite, I promise.
Joe Morgan (11:27 AM)
I haven't read a lot of books. I didn't read Canseco's book or Game of Shadows. I'm not sure the last baseball book I read. I form my own opinions because I played the game and have 40 years of experience in the game. There isn't much that others can teach me about the game. I've been taught by the best .. the players I played with and against. I know what it takes to win out there. I've seen players who are winners and just good players. I don't get enjoyment out of reading baseball books. I'd rather watch a sci-fi movie on TV.
Keith (Fort Worth)
Joe: Are you suprised to see how average the AL West has started this year?
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
I'm surprised by Oakland. I thought they were the class of the West and play well. All of their pitchers were healthy and ready to go. I am surprised they haven't taken the lead in the West but I do think they are still the team to beat.
Eric: Aliso Viejo,Ca
Joe. There was a story you guys spoke about on a telecast the other night, stating that Black Baseball Players have dropped off significantly. Where do we draw the line in suggesting this country is holding back the black athlete? Is it really America's fault that South America seems to be producing more Baseball athletes? We definately can not blame social economics here. These players come from some pretty dire circumstances to make it, and I applaud anyone who works hard to get to where they are. Im sure it is athletes from the U.S.A. in general that have dropped off, not just black athletes. Your thoughts?
Joe Morgan (11:30 AM)
It's not America's fault that Latin countries are producing more players. But the field is not level. You stand a better chance getting to the majors from Cuba or Latin countries than you do the USA. They have the academies and the players can really learn how to play the game. We don't have that in urban areas. We don't have as many African American players getting to college to play on scholarships. There are lots of socioeconomic differences but we just built our first academy in Compton recently. We are behind in that area.
Is this the real, motivated, Josh Beckett that we're seeing? I guess what I'm asking is, can he be expected to pitch well all year? What about his blister problems?
Joe Morgan (11:32 AM)
I don't know Josh Beckett personally so I can't speak to his attitude. But he will be surrounded by guys like Schilling and Wakefield who are very serious about their craft. I did a game in Boston last week and Beckett and Schilling were sitting together all game and you could tell Schilling was teaching him things throughout the game. It was great to see. But I can't really speak to his attitude.
Joe Morgan (11:32 AM)
Another point.. you never hear me speak about a players attitude on TV unless I know them personally. You hear analysts saying guys have bad attitudes but many times they have never talked to the player. How can you say that if you have never spoken to him or know them?
Joe, In a recent broadcast you said that you didn't believe in the term 'keeping your hands inside the baseball'. I would like you to elaborate on why you do not and how you describe a player's ability to be short to the ball, especially when being crowded. Thanks.
Joe Morgan (11:35 AM)
You are reading it backwards.. you can't keep your hands inside the ball on an inside pitch unless you are hitting to the opposite field... they are talking about not rolling your top hand over on a ball that is away from you. We always come up with catch phrases in basball and keeping your hands inside the ball is one of them. To hit an inside pitch, the barrel of the bat has to get out in front. Your hands are always going to be inside the ball so it's kind of a misleading phrase.
Joe Morgan (11:35 AM)
Maybe I can show you what I mean on the telecast next week .. maybe easier to explain that way.
John (Portland, ME)
Does Pujols compare to anyone that played back in your era?
Joe Morgan (11:36 AM)
People won't remember this but the first at bat I ever saw Pujols take was against Houston .. I saw him swing at the first two pitches and I told Jon Miller on the air that he reminded me of Tony Perez because of how aggressive he was and how he attacked the ball. He struck out but homered and doubled later in the game!
Last night you chose Ortiz over Pujols due to success in the post-season. I would encourage you to look at the numbers as it's Pujols who comes out as the much better post-season performer.
Joe Morgan (11:39 AM)
Go look at the numbers! Pujols was OK in the World Series but Ortiz is a big game player. There is an element of luck involved but you have to be the guy who comes to the plate in big situations and come through. I say he is the best big game hitter in baseball but Pujols is the best overall hitter by far.
Of all the new ballparks sprouting up around the country, which one would you most want to play in?
Joe Morgan (11:41 AM)
Probably Cincinnati. Not just because I played there. It just seems like a great park to hit in. But then again, so do so many of the other new parks. They are just built that way now. Houston is almost a joke how easy it is to hit in. But I would choose Cincinnati. I like red! I haven't seen the new Busch Stadium yet.
Joe Morgan (11:42 AM)
This is why the numbers are up the way they are.
As Vice Chairman, do you have many insiders (former and present players, managers, etc.) lobby on behalf of those yet unelelcted?
Joe Morgan (11:45 AM)
Great question. I'm glad you brought this to the surface. Unfortunately, I get many letters from people thinking I get a vote for players after they retire. I don't. I do get a vote for the Veteran's Committee and I get lots of letters on that. I say it is unfortunate because if I don't agree with them, I'm not going to change my vote. This is not a popularity contest like the All-Star Game. This is about who should be honored with a plaque in Cooperstown. Everybody that votes takes it very seriously. I take it more seriously than others because I am Vice Chairman. I wish I would have had a vote in the Buck O'Neill voting. Justice was not served there.
San Jose, CA
Why is Bonds struggling i've watched every at-bat of his season and when he swings it looks like it used to when he was hitting tons of HRs i don't get why he isn't hitting them know
Joe Morgan (11:51 AM)
Injuries slow your bat speed down and makes you try to compensate. I haven't seen that many at-bats but his front knee is not as solid as before. He has a sore left elbow now from throwing the barrel of the bat at the ball. He hit a nice line drive off the wall the other night. He will be just fine. Pitchers are still afraid of him.
Joe (Portland, OR)
What do you think about the Twins' strategy of easing Francisco Liriano into the rotation? Do you like Seattle's strategy with Felix Hernandez more?
Joe Morgan (11:52 AM)
It's hard for me to say because I haven't seen the Twins this year. Gardenhire knows how to handle young players very well and has done a great job. If he feels this is the right move, I would have to agree with him at this point.
Max (San Antonio)
Joe, Do you think the Marlins move to Texas or does the Miami Gov't finally come to their senses and offers the Marlins a fair legit stadium package?
Joe Morgan (11:53 AM)
I don't think they will be in Miami. But I have no idea where they might end up.
Joe, do you feel that constant comparisons to previous seasons -- almost always negative comparisons -- undermine the game and detract from some of the great play that's happening now? I'd love to see more focus from all announcers on the huge positives of the game today -- there are some historically great pitchers and hitters playing today.
Joe Morgan (11:58 AM)
I've said before that what I admire most about the players today is how hard they work at their craft. Yes, we are looking at some great great players in todays game. But it's hard with all the steroids accusations, the change in pitching (not being allowed to pitch inside), and the fact that hitters show no fear anymore. All the guys who do use intimidation and try to pitch inside are better pitchers. Any of you who are old enough to have watched Mays, he was knocked down all the time. But overall, players are bigger and stronger now and that equates to more home runs and more solid contact. I still know because I played against Mays, Aaron, Musial, etc., the hitters today aren't any better than those guys. Baseball was easy to compare eras before but you can't do that as easily now. It's just a different game.
Joe Morgan (12:00 PM)
Good questions today! Make no mistake about it, in pro sports all the players are good. It's a thin line between good and great. But many times it is intimidation. If pitchers could throw inside more, it would be easier for us to seperate the good hitters from the great hitters. Talk to you next week!
Buzzmaster (12:01 PM)
Hey everyone! Sorry for the tech problems there. Not sure what happened. We'll keep Joe's wrap free this afternoon so you can read it.