Chat with Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan (10:42 AM)
I am here and ready to go!
"Apparently, long and meritorious service is overlooked" Joe- We have the Hall of Fame to honor that, the All-Star game is about this season, thus far. Not the World Series teams from the previous season or the record holders or players in the last year. Nostalgia is nice, but let the guys who might have their only good year play in front of the best.
Joe Morgan (10:44 AM)
That tells me you don't understand what an All-Star is. An All-Star is not a guy that has 3 good months. An All-Star is a person that is best at his position or best in his league. It's not just about 3 months.
Joe, I don't see the point in not letting hitters vote for pitchers. First, I'm sure that Yankee pitchers are just as unwilling to vote for Pedro as the hitters are. Also, who knows a pitcher better than someone who faced them. While I'm sure that pitchers pay attention to other pitchers, hitters are the only one's with first hand knowledge of how filthy their stuff actually is.
Joe Morgan (10:46 AM)
Not true. Pitchers observe other pitchers better than hitters do in most cases. They want to know what makes them succcesful. If you don't believe there is antimosity when the voting comes .. the battle between pitchers and hitters becomes very adversarial at times. I'm sure there is someone in your workplace that you wouldn't vote for in a popularity contest. That is the point.
David (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Joe, do you think baseball would be wise to eliminate the "Every team must have one representative" rule? Football and Basketball don't have it.
Joe Morgan (10:47 AM)
Basketball there isn't as many players. Baseball has expanded from 25 players to 32. Every team should be represented. Fans support the Tampa Bay Devil Rays just like they do the Yankees. You are fans of a team, not always just players. The team you support all year should be represented so you will have someone to root for. It shouldn't be compared to other sports.
Justin (York, PA)
In your most recent column, you mentioned that the best way to determine home-field advantage for the World Series was the alternating advantage each year. Is this REALLY any more fair than any other method, especially best record? As we've seen in the past, home-field advantage can be truly an advantage in the Series. Is it something worth just randomizing? I think best record is the best way to determine home-field, because, even with unbalanced schedules, it's the fairest way to decide the advantage.
Joe Morgan (10:49 AM)
It's the tradition of the game. We are always trying to change the traditions for some reason. How can best record be fair when they are not playing the same schedules?
Thad Cox (Somerville, MA)
Hi Joe, I was thinking it might be a fun idea for MLB to take a page from the NHL or NBA and not only have the home-run derby, but also a skills competition. Events could include: 1) A race around the bases (Ichiro, Soriano, Furcal, Renteria, Pierre, Dave Roberts) 2) Throwing a ball from the outfield into a bucket at home plate, ala Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills video (Ichiro, Sheffield, Guerrero, Mondesi, Gonzalez) 3) Pitchers competing to knock the most cans off a wall with 10 baseballs (Maddux, Moyer, Martinez, Mulder, Zito) 4) Pitchers seeing who could throw a ball the hardest, ala the NHL's Hardest Shot Competition (MacDougal, Gagne, Prior, Wood, Schmidt, Smoltz, Wagner) I'm sure they could come up with some more fun events, and I think it would really entertain the fans.
Joe Morgan (10:50 AM)
They did that before. They had skills competitions and a couple guys got hurt. But that's when it started to become more of an exhibition than a competition. It was taking away from the game. But they have done those kinds of things in the past.
John (Stillwater, MN)
What's your take on Bond's childish remarks about being a "grown man and not having to be in the Home Run Derby"?
Joe Morgan (10:51 AM)
Barry has a right to decide what is right for him. At this point, he has competed in several HR derby's. He doesn't have to compete in all of them. Barry decided that Michael Jordan and Julius Erving didn't compete in the slam dunk competition all the time. He has done it enough in his opinion.
Joe, Don't you think Randall Simon has suffered enough? I mean, he plays for the Pirates. If I were him, I would have switched the uniform for the costume and run off.
Joe Morgan (10:52 AM)
(Laughing) It just wasn't a smart thing to do! There wasn't any violent intent or anything. But it wasn't a smart thing to do.
John W. (Aurora, IL)
Hey Joe. I was wondering what your opinion is regarding Frank Thomas's absence from the All-Star team. He has the highest OPS of anybody not on the team, and if you ask me, OPS is the best indication of a hitter's productivity. Plus, the game is in Chicago, and he (and Ordonez) truly represent our Sox.
Joe Morgan (10:53 AM)
I agree with you 100 percent. I thought he should have been on the team. I don't understand Mike Sweeney being selected. Thomas has played almost every day, he has great numbers, and the game is in Chicago. I'm at a loss also.
Geoff (Copper Canyon, TX)
Why has Randall Simon tapping a sausage gotten more attention than a fan throwing an M-80 out of the upper deck in Oakland?
Joe Morgan (10:55 AM)
It's because Randall is a celebrity and the guy that threw the firecracker isn't. The media pays more attention to what a player does. We love negative things though. Anytime a player is involved, it just makes it more exciting to the media.
Hey Joe, Do you think Pujols has a realistic shot at .400 or the Triple Crown?
Joe Morgan (10:57 AM)
He doesn't have a shot at .400. That would be almost impossible for a right-hander. I don't think we will ever see that again. Also I don't think we will see a 56-game hit streak. Everyone wants to hit HRs now. It's hard to hit .400 while hitting HRs. Also with so many pitching changes, hitting in 56 in a row would be almost impossible. Especially for a right hander, there are too many dominant right handed pitchers. As for the Triple Crown, will Barry Bonds quit in the middle of the season? If he keeps playing, it will be tough for Pujols. It's so difficult, that's why you only see it every 50 years or so.
Joseph (San Jose, CA)
hey joe, whats your take on the dontrelle willis situation? Although he was largely unproven until this year(some might say he still needs a full season to prove himself) he's been arguably the best pitcher in the first half of the season. do you think he deserves to be an all star?
Joe Morgan (10:59 AM)
Normally with players I think they need a year to prove themselves. But sometimes young players, like Willis or Kerry Wood, prove themselves quicker. Pitchers are a little different than everyday players in that regard. I was hoping he would be on the team. I was also hoping Roger Clemens would be on the team.
How can Dusty Baker get away with such racial comments without getting much media scrutiny, while if a white person or any other race would not be allowed to get away with making such statements in this "politically correct" society.
Joe Morgan (10:59 AM)
I thought he did get some scrutiny. He did take some heat for it. Otherwise you wouldn't know about it.
Koby (Boca, FL.)
Mr. Morgan, who do you think the NL MVP is for the first half of the season?
Joe Morgan (11:00 AM)
Very difficult choice. Albert Pujols would be the logical choice but the Cardinals are struggling around .500. Sheffield and the Braves have the best record I believe. I think it's between those two. It's up to your philosophy as to who you would give it to.
Martin (Dunsmuir, CA)
Hi Joe. Thanks for taking my question. I don't know how much of Barry Zito you've seen this year, but he seems to get burned a lot on two-strike pitches. He got outs last year, batters get hits this year in those situations. Is he too predictable, or does this just show how fine a line it is between being a good pitcher and a great pitcher?
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
Somebody critcized me when I said they were not as strong this year as last year. That is what I was referring to. They are not as dominate. It's all of them, not just Zito. They are having trouble finishing off hitters. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is with Barry, but they have time to fix it and let's hope they do.
What do you see as the most likely scenario for the Royals and Beltran as the trade deadline approaches?
Joe Morgan (11:03 AM)
I have no idea about K.C. I hear they want to add players and then I also hear they don't. We really just have to wait and see.
I've been seeing a lot of attention around Dontrelle Willis, yet not a single word about D-Back Brandon Webb. While Webb doesn't have the cooky itching style the media loves, he has more innigns, less walks per nine innings and a lower BAA. I'm not saying he's necessarily better the Willis, since I'vre never seen him pitch, but I do think Webb is comparably good young pitcher. Why is Webb universally ignored everywhere outside of Arizona?
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
That's usually what happens during a season. Someone becomes a media darling and the blue collar guys kind of get overlooked. It will always be that way.
i take my hat off to pedro for pitching both jeter and soriano inside the other day. Soriano's left elbow is over the plate!!!!!!no one talks about this. why dont mroe pitchers throw inside against him?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
Both Jeter and Soriano stand close to the plate. Jeter dives into the plate. The reason more pitchers don't do it, it may appear they are throwing at guys and they don't want to get kicked out of the game. The game has changed that way. A lot of guys pitched inside years ago. Only a few do it now. The hitting styles have changed as well. A lot of hitters are diving into the plate .. going outside to get the ball.
What are your thoughts on the Pirates' chances of making a run in the NL Central? They seem to be heating up, and have managed to stay within striking distance in the standings. They have also played some descent ball against the 'Stros and Cardianals. Thanks Joe!
Joe Morgan (11:07 AM)
Their manager Lloyd McLendon said a while back they are a good team that just needs to play together. They have done that at times but they need to be more consistent. To pass other NL Central teams, they need 3 consistent weeks in a row.
Hi Mr. Morgan, do you think Matt Morris is playing injured right now?
Joe Morgan (11:08 AM)
I have no idea. It would be unfair for me to speculate. If he says he is not injured, you have to believe him.
Mark (Kansas City)
Is Dusty right? Do black players play better in the hot summer months than white players?
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
I'm not a scientist. I haven't kept any stats. I have no idea.
Brice (Ducktown, TN)
What can the Expos do to stay in the wild card race?
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
They tried to get another bat with Guerrero out for so long but they can't get anyone to come to Montreal. They are in a tough situation. It will be hard to add a good hitter without adding payroll. I'm just not sure where they will find the hitter they need.
Abhay (Ephrata, PA)
Hey Joe, I noticed that teams are pitching more and more to Barry rather than walking him. What's your take on this? Thanks
Joe Morgan (11:11 AM)
A lot of times what you are seeing is Barry getting pitches when the Giants are way behind. I agree he is getting more pitches to hit, but it's usually when the pitchers HAVE to pitch to him.
Where is Pujols long term position? If he were in the AL would he just be a DH?
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
I think he has too much to offer to be a DH. He has made great plays at all his positions but I think 1B is his best position and would allow his maturation as a hitter.
where have the fundementials gone?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
I agree 100 percent. A lot of it has to do with players coming in too early. They don't learn to run the bases properly, where to throw the ball, etc. If you don't have the fundamentals, it shows. We have seen some horrible baserunning this year, guys otherthrowing cut off men, etc. We are force feeding guys into MLB before they are ready.
Mr. Morgan, how do you feel about "us", the fans, getting to pick the MVP of the All Star Game?
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
I don't know. (Laughing). The one problem I have with all the changes is you only make changes when you feel something is wrong with the game. TV can't make this game exciting. Only the players can. The fact that the ads for the game is "Now it really counts." To me, that is a slap in the face to Ted Williams, Willie Mays, all the great players. They already played the game like it counted.
Have you heard anymore about Piazza moving to first base and what do you think about this move if it does happen?
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
I think that is still in the gameplan. How soon I don't know. He is close to a record for HRs by a catcher. I'm sure he wants to break that record. In my opinion, he might be the best hitting catcher every. He may do a little of both before he moves there full time.
Why don't you ever appear on Baseball Tonight?
Joe Morgan (11:21 AM)
They do Baseball Tonight from Bristol, CT and I live in Calfornia. To be blunt, I have a lot of other obligations with ESPN.com, broadcasting games, writing columns. Traveling to Bristol would be a little too much. For those of you who read my column about the All-Star game, there has never been a perfect system. Mine is not perfect either. I do believe a guy like Roger Clemens who is in his final year of playing should be there. A guy like Sammy Sosa who has contributed so much to the game should be on the team. Those are strong feelings I have about what the game should be about. The fans would be excited to see those two players. I still believe we will look back and guys that had a good first half will not all be All-Stars at the end of the year. In fact, in my last column I will take a look at the All-Stars and see how they ended the season. Take care and we'll talk next week!