Chat with Joe Morgan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Hall of Famer and ESPN baseball analyst Joe Morgan will drop by to take your questions!
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 1976 along with two World Series rings. He also is a special advisor to baseball operations for the Cincinnati Reds, where he will assist in player development and work on the Reds' community outreach and diversity initiatives and other promotional activities.
Send your questions now and join Morgan Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:01 AM)
We've got Joe!
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
I attended MLB's Civil Rights Game weekend in Cincinnati and it was fabulous. Three of my favorite people in the world were honored: Billie Jean King, the great Willie Mays and Harry Bellafonte. It was quite a weekend for everyone involed.
Jon E (Ankeny, IA)
What are your thoughts on Hanley Ramirez' future after watching him casually saunter after that ball last night?
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
I'm one to give a guy the benefit of the doubt, unless this is a trend. Remember, he fouled a ball off his ankle in his first at bat and it took him a long time to get back into the batter's box. That's no excuse for what happened, because if you can't run, you should come out of the game. What his future holds is up to the Marlins and how he responds to being taken out of the game.
hey Joe,how happy are you to see the reds playing well? Any chance they can build off this early success? thanks
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
I'm esctatic, because they've had a lot of losing seasons lately. They have a chance at not only a winning season, but a chance at winning the division. I think they can continue, because they have such a fine pitching staff. They will at some point get Volquez back and they still have Chapman at AAA learning to pitch. They could be a team that has an awesome starting rotation later this season.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Are the Phillies clearly the best team in the National League?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
The Phillies have been the best team in the NL since opening day. I said that last week during the broadcast. It's not just the talent they have. They play the game with such competitive fire every day. They have the right mix of guys with high energy, calmness under pressure. They're a great team. Their starting pitching is not the best, but they do have Halladay and Hamels. Yes, they are the best team.
Bradley (Cedar Rapids)
Joe, Do you see the Twins being content with their four righties, or do you think they will make a trade towards the deadline? Or bring Duensing in? He pitched great in game 1 @ Yankee staduim last Oct.
Joe Morgan (11:07 AM)
They have Liriano. He's one of their better pitchers and he's getting better after the injuries he's had. I would say that they would have to be content. You're not going to be able to pick up a lot of good pitching, because everyone's looking for that.
Mr. Morgan, is it time that the Astros cut their losses with some of their homerun hitters go for guys who play small ball?
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
I think all of the teams in MLB have to do that. I think we passed the era of guys hitting 60, 50, 45 home runs. We're passed that era. All of the teams are going to have to play regular baseball and not waiting for the 3-run homer. The best teams now are more complete. They can do a lot of things. Ryan Howard is probably the only player that you can count on to hit 45 or more HRs.
Curt (Trappe Md)
How is it possible that this years Orioles are worse than last years? Any chance the league will move them to Montreal please?
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
I have not seen the Orioles enough to give you a definitive answer. But it appears that they have some individual talent there, but it has not blended well as far as the team is concerned. They hit well, but don't pitch. When they pitch well, they don't hit. Then your confidence level goes low when those things happen. But I'm not close enough to it to give you a definitive answer.
Mr. Morgan,Do you think MLB should increase season & play-off rosters to at least 26? With so many relievers these days, it seems teams are playing short. Mlb increases the All-Star game rosters but not reg. rosters? why is that?Thanks
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
At some point, it has to be the test of the team. That team is put together over the course of the season. If we're using that logic, why not just use a 40-man roster? I don't believe in that. I think that's the test. Teams being able to overcome injuries. Being able to pick up the slack left by another player. I don't think the rosters need to be expanded any more. What you're really going to do is get more AAA players coming to the big leagues.
Is Miguel Cabrera your A.L. MVP right now?
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
I said last year that I thought he was going to be the MVP. I still think that the teams that win, in the end, that's where the MVP should come from. The writers don't always agree with me. I just believe that you can lose with anybody. The winners are special people. So, you have to wait to see how the Tigers come out this year before you decide if he's the MVP.
Chad (Baton Rouge)
Mr. Morgan, what do you make of the Red Sox at this point in the season? They have a tough schedule in the coming weeks, and this could be the turning point of their season. They're already way behind the Rays/Yankees, and might not have time to catch them once Cameron and Ellsbury come back. Should they pack it in and get ready for 2011?
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
They have plenty of time. We're still very early in the season. The only weakness I see is on the road, they have problems scoring runs. Their road offense is where they're going to struggle. And their starting pitching, starting with Beckett, has not been consistent. The only one who has pitched well is Lester. They were supposed to have an abundance of pitching. Lackey hasn't been the shut down guy they thought he would be. If Big Papi doesn't come around and be consistent, the offense suffers, because they don't have a lot of power there, despite hitting 5 home runs last night.
Gabe (St Paul, MN)
Hi Joe,How important was it for morale when the Twins finally got a win against the Yankees. There is talk around here of a curse being broken, does it make a big difference for a team to break out of a streak like that?
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
Definitely. They may end up playing the Yankees in the playoffs. Success breads confidence. If you're not successful against a team and you have to play them in the playoffs, that hangs over your head. It's very important to the Twins, especially winning the game over Rivera.
Can you explain the Cardinals' recent poor play. To me they have the second most talent in the NL and they can't score any runs.
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
I think it's too early to pass judgement, but they changed hitting instructors with a new philosophy. It may take them a while before they adjust or for him to see the kinks in their swings. Don't underestimate this point.
Brett (Athens, GA)
Do you think Jerry Manuel will once again be able to work past this latest round of being put back 'on-the-hot-seat'?
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
Well, the Mets are just up and down, up and down. Whether that's Jerry Manuel's fault or the lack of consistent players on the team, that's up to ownership to decide. I think he's a good manager, now whether he's a good manager for that group of guys is for someone else to decide. He has managed well in the past.
For the first time in several years Albert Pujols hit 4th instead of 3rd last night. How much of a change is it for a hitter to be moved in the batting order?
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
For a guy like Pujols, I don't think it matters. But there is a different mindset for each position in the batting order. I don't think there's a big difference between third and fourth, but I do think there's a difference between first and third. I don't know why Tony did it. In the past, he's wanted to get as many people hitting in front of Albert as he can.
Joe Morgan (11:21 AM)
I think with the Cardinals having trouble to score runs, he just wanted to change the lineup.
Adam (San Francisco)
I agree with Fredi Gonzalez pulling Hanley Ramirez from the game last night, but I'm pretty surprised how open he was in his comments to reporters after the game. Doesn't that seem like something that should stay in the locker room?
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
Yes. I've always felt that way. The great managers, and I played for a great one in Sparky Anderson, he called me, Pete Rose and others to the carpet, but he didn't do it publically. He didn't manage publically. I think that was definitely something that should have been handled in house.
Preston (Dallas, TX)
Do you think the Rangers have the potential to win the AL West this year?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
Yes, I can think they can win the division, because it's not as strong as it has been in the past. The Angels aren't as strong as they have been in the past. So, Texas has a chance.
Have you had a chance to work with Brandon Phillips at all? What do you think of him as a player?
Joe Morgan (11:24 AM)
I watch him play. I went to spring training with him the past couple of years and talked with him. I think he's a very good player. A lot of potential. He can run, hit, hit with power. It's just a matter of him being consistent.
Who is to blame in Cleveland? The Indians went from a game away from winning the 2007 World Series to one of the worst teams in baseball. They traded everyone away for nothing. Who is to blame?
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
You said it right there. They made a lot of trades that have not worked out. But in my mind, you should have seen that those were not going to work out in the first place. You were not going to get the value for CC, Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee. It seems like every year they're rebuilding.
Do you think Javier Vasquez can only succeed in the NL?
Joe Morgan (11:27 AM)
I am really shocked at how poorly he has pitched this year. When he went to New York the first time, I thought he would be a big star, but it didn't work out. This time around, I thought he would be more mature and would handle the pressure of New York, but he has not been able to get over that. I'm just surprised that he hasn't pitched well.
Joe Morgan (11:38 AM)
Next week, I'll have a better feel for the Mets. I already know the Yankees are good in New York. We'll get a better read on the Mets and Jerry Manuel.