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!
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
After the trading deadline, it seems the Yankees did more to help themselves in the pennant race than anyone else. But that remains to be seen, because most of the players that were traded will have to perform better for their new teams than they were performing for their old teams in order to make an impact. Oswalt's record wasn't good. Berkman wasn't good. Lilly's record. Most of the players that can make an impact will have to improve on their first half performances.
Josh S. (Philly)
How much trouble are the phillies in if howard has to go on the dl?
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
He has been the one that has led the Phillies back to the World Series. If he's out for any extended length of time, they won't have any chance.
Clay D (NY)
Who is the best manager in the NL out of the current playoff teams?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
A few years ago, I wrote a book and listed my top 5 managers: Dusty Baker, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Tony LaRusa and I think the fifth was Cito Gaston. So, in the NL, Baker, Cox and Torre are the best managers.
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
Along with Tony LaRusa.
Clay D (NY)
Other than St. Louis, which team in either league has the best pitching staff for the post-season?
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
First of all, I don't think St. Louis has the best pitching. They have the best two or three guys, but then where do you go? As far as depth and bullpen, I don't think they have the best pitching. I think the Reds have the best pitching with the least amount of pitching experience. I think they have the best 5 starters. They're not as good as Carpenter or Wainwright, but they have 5 good starters. Depth wise, I think the Reds have the best depth.
What did you think of all of the Dodger trades? Isn't Ryan Theriot actually a slight downgrade from Blake DeWitt at 2B?
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
That's a good question. I have always felt that Blake DeWitt would be pretty good, but he has not performed. Theriot is a guy that consistently hits for a good average and they felt that they would give him a shot. That's a toss up, but obviously the Dodgers didn't think so. I was a DeWitt fan from the first time I saw him play. He hustles, plays the game hard. Theriot does as well, but the Dodgers obviously felt that Theriot was a better fit.
Joe, in your experiences playing and covering the game, would you agree or disagree with ozzie guillen's comments?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
Some of his comments are valid. How he threw them out there, in my opinion, was wrong. Remember when Dice-K came from Japan, not only did they bring interpretors, but they brought chefs, but they also got him memberships in the top country clubs in the Boston area. Same deal with Matsui when he came to the Yankees. I think that's one of the things he's referring to. The thing with those guys was that they were already professionals. With some of the Latino players, they're younger and they're not going to spend that kind of money without knowing how they will perform in the big leagues. So, he has some points, but I don't agree with how he did it. For example, I once thought that there weren't enough African-American managers in the game. I went and talked to the commissioner and he agreed with me. They then put in a rule that whenever there was an opening, they had to interview an African-American for the job. The good is that it brings attention to the subject. The bad part is that there could be a backlash from people just saying that it's Ozzie popping off again.
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
But there is definitely some validity to some of the points he made. But I disagree with others, for instance, him saying that he's the only one trying to help the Latin players. That's a joke. There are many people trying to help them.
Do you think Roy Oswalt will help the Phillies? I mean he has more losses than wins this year and JA Happ has a winning record for the Phils. Seems like it's a downgrade.
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
Roy Oswalt, when he is healthy and pitching well, is one of the best pitchers in baseball. That's what the Phillies are counting on. But like I said earlier, the players traded will have to perform well. But they feel that Oswalt is the better fit for their team.
Cole Hamels only has 7 wins this year. Why do you think he is struggling so much this year?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
It started last year. He had an injury early in the year and he never really got his confidence back to where it was the year before. I think pitchers who throw basically fastball and changeups - which is also the problem I see in Santana in New York - need a third speed or hitters will adjust. Santana had that third speed when he had his slider, but he doesn't any more and now the hitters have adjusted.
Ryan (syracuse, NY) [via mobile]
When do you think A Rod will hit his 600th home run?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
It could be the first swing today or the last swing today. That's the tough thing about trying to reach a record. After a few days, it starts to wear on you and you start to try too hard. I'm sure he will get it, but knowing when is anybody's guess.
Joe, how much prep work do you put in before a broadcast of a game for ESPN?
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
I'm a fan all during the week. I'm sitting here reading the box scores and reading about all the teams and not just the two on Sunday. I'm a fan first. I read the box scores like anyone else. As we get closer to the game, I'll watch their game on Friday, so I can see how they're doing with my own eyes. Then I watch what happens on Saturday while traveling to the game. Then I narrow it down to a couple of individuals on the team to watch, who is hot and who is not.
Joe B ((Aiter, NY))
Do you think the Dodger offense is really bad right now because Manny Ramirez is on the DL?
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
That's a big part of it. He was swinging the bat very well before he got injured this last time. He has a track record of driving in runs. They're missing that. Right now they're struggling to score runs. He has an impact on their success. But if you look, Ethier got off to a great start before getting injured. Only Loney has been consistent in terms of driving in runs. Everyone else is below their norms. Matt Kemp hasn't taken the step forward I thought he would.
Ben Goodfel (LA)
Why didn't the Reds make a move at the deadline?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
I would have liked to have seen the Reds add some bullpen depth and another left handed bat, but it's not always easy to go out and get what you want. I know they tried. A lot of teams try to make deals and can't get it done. The Yankees were probably the only team that went out and got the deals they wanted done.
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
It is not easy just to make deals with contracts being what they are and free agency. It's much more difficult than it was before.
As a player, how did it feel to play in a blowout? Generally, I feel like both teams just want to get the game over with so they mail in their at-bats. As a player, how did you react?
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
There's no doubt both teams want to get the game overwith, but you never give up an at-bat. No one stops playing. You shouldn't stop playing. You just take it one pitch at a time as a hitter. As a fielder, you have to play the same way. I've been in blowouts, but a lot of times I would be taken out because I was an every day player and the managers wanted to get the every day players some rest. It's difficult, but you have to push yourself like it's a 0-0 game, as far as your concentration is concerned. I don't think you should be jumping into walls, but you should still be concentrated on that game.
Drew (Franklin Lakes, NJ)
Are you able to get a read on this Mets squad? And Big Pelf -- he seems like he's a 'tale of 2 tapes...'
Joe Morgan (11:27 AM)
I don't think anybody can get a read on this Mets team. I saw them at the beginning of the season and they looked horrible. Then they got hot and played great. But now they're not playing well again. Santana has not been the Santana that we've been accustomed too. Pitching is a problem. Offense is a problem. They're just not a good team. But that doesn't mean that they can't get hot again. If they get hot then their confidence level will grow.
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
They're also one of those teams that should have picked up another starting pitcher, but they didn't do it.
Joe do you think Joey Votto is the MVP of the NL right now?
Joe Morgan (11:29 AM)
No. I think it's yet to be decided who's the MVP of the NL. We don't know what Pujols will do down the stretch. The MVP is always Pujols' to lose. If he gets hot and leads the Cardinals to the division and the playoffs, he wins it. But Votto could do the same. It's too early to tell.
Joe Morgan (11:30 AM)
I don't think any team really changed their fortunes at the trading deadline. I think they improved in some areas, but that doesn't give them an automatic spot in the playoffs. I think the biggest trade was with Cliff Lee, but even he hasn't been dominant with the Rangers. I'm not sure that the trades that were made will have the effect that teams expect or wanted the trades to have. But that's why baseball is such a great sport, we'll have to wait and see.