Chat with Joe Morgan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Joe Morgan (11:03 AM)
As usual, there are a lot of omissions and a lot of players who are not happy with not making the all-star team. I can understand their frustration. It also happened to me on a couple of occasions. One thing to remember, when I was playing, there were 25 players on the roster and now there is 34. You have much better chance of making it now than before.
Joe, what is the problem with the Cubs? They have talent, but they can't seem to consistently put it together.
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
The Cubs have had this problem for the last few years. It seems they can't get the right pieces to match. For a while they hit well but didn't score. Now they're pitching better but not hitting. They have not been able to perform at the high level it takes to win the Central division. I think they've made some mistakes as far as evaluating some talent. In the long term that hurts you because a lot of the players there performing and you have some players getting paid a lot and not performing. It can drive a wedge between teammates.
do players really pay attention to the all star stuff?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
Every player pays attention to the all-star game. They may not watch, but they would all love to represent their league in the all-star game. I think people do not realize the importance that a player puts on his legacy. Part of your legacy is whether you make all-star teams, whether you play in the World Series and how you perform on the big stage. Every player wants to make the all-star team.
David Waddle (Park Hills, Ky)
Do you agree that Joey Votto was robbed? First in HR, 3rd in B.A, and 5th in Ribbies. If you are choosing based on First-Half performance, which the manager SHOULD be...I'm glad he's not an umpire! He would have never made it into professional ball.
Joe Morgan (11:11 AM)
I don't think there is such a thing as robbed. I think there is such a thing as being overlooked. First of all, I'm the biggest Joey Votto fan, because I'm a Reds fan. I've watched him grow into one of the best hitters in the NL. There are two ways of looking at this. First of all, the fans had a chance to vote him in and they didn't. Secondly, the players had a chance to vote him in and they didn't. So, how can you blame Charlie Manuel? Of all the first basemen, I would say that Adrian Gonzalez' numbers are not as good as Votto's. Howard has more RBI than he does and Howard has led his team to two World Series the last two years. He's been the MVP and ROY of the league. If that doesn't make him an all-star, then I don't know what does. It seems all of a sudden, we're only concerned with the first three months of the season. What's an all-star? The three months leading into the game or the full body of work. In any case, I think he should be on the all-star team. We'll leave it at that.
Pete (San Francisco)
Who are your AL and NL MVP's at the half-way-point of the season? I know we still have half a season to play, but if you were forced to choose someone from each league to be an MVP at this point in the season, who would it be?
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
In the AL, I would pick Robinson Cano. His team has the best record in the league and he's their leader, their star player. He's been their most productive and consistent player on their team. The NL is a little toughter. I would have to give it to 2-3 guys: David Wright, Troy Glaus, Pujols. Then I'd have to give Scott Rolen and Joey Votto a nod. I don't think it's as clear cut in the NL as it is in the AL.
Joe, Ryan Howard said the other day that he hasn't found a consistent groove at the plate yet. What do you think he needs to do to be more consistent?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
I think he has been a consistent hitter this year. His batting average has been over .290 most of the year. He's struck out fewer times and he's still hitting home runs, though he might not be hitting as many as he wants. It seems like people want to down play what he's accomplished. That's amazing to me. This is a guy who has averaged 40+ home runs and driven in well over 100 every year. He's won an MVP and led his team to the World Series the last two years. A first baseman's job is to produce runs. I don't understand why he doesn't get the credit for being the run producer that he is.
Neither Konerko nor Rios on the AL Squad? Paulie is THE reason the Chisox are in contention right now. his numbers compare favorably to antone in the AL right now. Rios' numbers project a 30/30 season.
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
Of the two, I thought Konerko was the more deserving for the Sox. He's been the guy that has propelled them back into the race. Alex Rios has had an excellent season, but I would give my nod to Konerko because of his HRs and RBI. That's not to say that Rios has not had a great year, because he has.
It looks like playoff baseball in Philly against the Braves. Can the Braves hold them off over the long haul?
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
The Braves can win, the Phillies can win and the Mets can win. The Mets are in the mix as well. They'll get Beltran back. Watching Santan last night tells me that he's going to pitch well the rest of the season. Don't dismiss the Mets. And if the Phillies can get all of their players back healthy, like Utley and Rollins can get back to his game, they can win. And the Braves can win. It's too early to decide.
Courtney jackson (Lindenwold, NJ)
Hi joe, who was your biggest pet peave while playing in th mlb as a hitter. basically who did you hate facing while at bat?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
A pitcher taking too long to deliver the pitch.
Joe Arod is starting to heat up and is 3 homeruns away from 600. Is he going to go down as one of the best in the history of the game?
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
All the time that A-Rod was climbing the home run list, everyone would try to place him in the top players of all time. I feel the same way. I feel he's one of the best players in the history of the game, especially if he would have stayed at shortstop. I think the jury is still out on where his legacy will take him. Obviously, he's been one of the best. I won't say that he's the best.
The AL Central is pretty much up for grabs at this point. Who do you think comes away with that division?
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
For a long time I thought it was going to be the Twins. They just have a knack for winning and knowing how to play the game and not making mistakes. You have to look at the fact that Joe Mauer has only four home runs. His run production is down and therefore that's going to effect the Twins more than people realize down the stretch. I really think it's going to depend on who makes the right deal at the deadline. If Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago were, to say, get Cliff Lee, then that's the team I would favor.
Joe, Jim Leyland said that team chemistry isn't important at all, and that talent is the most important thing by far. Do you agree with this?
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
I don't agree that talent alone can let you win the championship. I think it's a combination of the two. Over 162 games, the players have to be accountable to each other and want to stand up for each other. Without that kind of committment to each other over time it effects wins and losses. Of course you need talent, but all players, to get to the major leagues, need talent. Some are more talented than others. You need talent, but you need some team unity where players are responsible to each other.
Ethan (Berkshire County)
Do you think there is any correlation to the decrease in offensive statistics and the elimintation of PED's?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
We'd all be less than truthful if we say that hasn't had an effect. A lot of people and players would have you believe that PED's didn't help them. But if they didn't help them, then why were they taking them?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
There's no doubt in my mind that has had an effect on some of the offensive statistics in the game. And it's had an effect on some of the pitchers in the game, especially relief pitching.
Josh S. (Philly)
Hey Joe, How did matt Holiday make the all star team over Jayson Werth?
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
I thought about this myself when Charlie Manuel was picking the team. Normally you give the nod to one of your players. I thought Jayson Werth's first half along with him having some productive years that he would make the team. But remember, Matt Holliday was a choice of the players, so he had to take Holliday.
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
But I agree. Worth fits my image of an all-star.
Hey joe lets get a LeBron prediction from a fellow beloved ohio ballplayer
Joe Morgan (11:27 AM)
First of all, I am a HUGE NBA fan. But I will say this: I am personally turned off by all of this. In my opinion, if LeBron goes and plays in Miami and Wade and Bosh, then he's throwing his teammates in Cleveland under the bus as if it were their fault that they didn't win in the NBA last year. I've always talked with Bill Russell, the greatest champion in team sports, and he always said it was his duty to make his teammates better. If LeBron goes to Miami, he's saying it wasn't his fault, it was someone else's. I would not want to have that opinion of LeBron.
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
If Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Dwight Howard all went together, they'd probably win a championship. So, if you can orchestrate who you can play with at the right time, anybody can win a championship.
Am I the only person who would prefer players from their team not make the All-Star game? I would rather have them have a couple days rest, especially the pitchers from the team I route for.
Joe Morgan (11:30 AM)
I think you're the only one that thinks that way. Players will tell you that when they do not make the all-star team, they prefer the days off. But guess what? If they were selected to the team, they would happily go. Any player, who's a good player and wants to be the best that he can be, wants to play in the all-star game. The all-star game solidifies your place as one of the best players in the game. I wouldn't want to be on a team where players didn't want to be their best. In this new age it seems that we don't take the all-star game as seriously as we did in the past. Willie Mays told me that one of the things that he misses the most about not playing is not playing in the all-star game. He said it was his time to show everybody how good he was by playing against the best.
Joe Morgan (11:32 AM)
Next year at this time, there will be a lot of players who feel they were slighted as far as the all-star team was concerned. It has happened every year there has been an all-star game. There will be players who deserve to go and did not get to go. That's the nature of the game. At this time there are 34 spots and I think there are more than that number of all-stars out there.
Buzzmaster (11:32 AM)