Chat with Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan (10:30 AM)
I am here and ready for your questions.
With the Cubs getting Nomar, what do you think their chances are to make it to the post season? If so, can they make the World Series?
Joe Morgan (10:31 AM)
Anyone that makes the postseason can make it to the WS, you just have to get hot at the right time in the short series. Getting to the playoffs is the priority. With that staff, assuming they are all healthy, can go far. Nomar is important because they need offense. But it's still about the health of Sammy and those pitchers.
Joe - Should the Yankees be concerned come October about starting pitching?
Joe Morgan (10:32 AM)
Yes, because the Yankees won championships with dominant pitching and good offense and defense. Their pitching is not as dominant, the offense isn't quite as good, etc. They don't have guys like Clemens, Pettitte, that dominant guy.
Eric, Freehold NJ
Joe, Do you think that an asterisk should be placed next to a player's record who has tested positive for steroids?
Joe Morgan (10:33 AM)
Kevin Maloney Yelm, WA
Ichiro is quietly putting together one of the best 2nd halfs in baseball histroy and is now a threat to break the single season hits record. I'm wondering how come no one is making a big deal out of this. The man went 3-6 yesterday and you don't even know that it happened. He is hitting .359 and nobody really knows. So are poeple gonna catch on?
Joe Morgan (10:34 AM)
Ichiro has always been one of my favorite players so I've noticed. But Seattle is 40-68 and that is why no one is noticing. What he is doing is not turning the team's situation around. He is just a great player.
Good morning Joe, what exacly is wrong with marlins this year??? the major injury they have is the josh beckett and they only lost urbina and putde to free agency. they still have most of the team from last year. it looks like they wont even be in the playoffs this year?? whats your thought on the fish??
Joe Morgan (10:35 AM)
I guess you need to look a little closer. They lost Ivan Rodriguez, a leader, they lost Lee who was a big RBI guy, they lost Encarnacion who drove in 90 runs. Their problem has been scoring runs.
Jake Fields (Los Angeles, CA)
Joe, did the Mets make a mistake by trading their top prospects for guys like Victor Zambrano and Kris Benson? Or is it a plus for the Mets? I am a depressed Mets fan, how should I be feeling Joe about this??!!??
Joe Morgan (10:36 AM)
I can only give you my opinion and that's that I would not have made the trade.
Why do you dislike and misrepresent Billy Beane so often?
Joe Morgan (10:37 AM)
I don't dislike Billy. He wrote his thoughts, not me, in that book. My only thought on the A's is they have never won anything other than the division. They have lost five years now in the first round. That is my only concern.
If the Cubs make it in the post season, do they become the instant favorites regardless of the Cardinals record? To me, the Cardinals mirror the 116 win Mariners in which it looks like they were built for the long haul and not a short series, whereas the Cubs look like the opposite.
Joe Morgan (10:39 AM)
That is some kind of philosophy that has come up lately, being built for the long haul. I'm not sure I understand that. If you have dominant pitching in a short series you will be successful. But if you don't have that it doesn't mean you can't win. The Angels did it.
Joe Morgan (10:40 AM)
Many people said the Yankees were built for the postseason because of their No. 1 and 2 pitchers and Rivera in the bullpen. But the Marlins won it without have a really dominant guy during the season. There isn't any perfect scenario for postseason. Ideally you want to have two dominant starters like the D-Backs had and a good closer. That is a great situation but you can still win without it.
Craig (Tucson, AZ)
Hi Joe love your work. Hey I've heard of guys like Terry Pendleton moving up in the batters box when facing sinker-ball pitchers in order to get to the ball before it breaks. Why don't more guys move up in the batter's box on Mariano Rivera? Seems like that would be the perfect way to guard against that quick cutter.
Joe Morgan (10:42 AM)
Moving up on Rivera would not work. His cut fastball sinks right over the plate. You should move up on sinker, curve ball and change up. You cant move up on a cutter because it just cuts too late. People have tried everything against Rivera's cutter but he is just the best at what he does. You have to hope he makes a mistake.
Dennis, Santa Clarita, CA
Well, the Dodgers "chemistry" seems to be in tact after the trade (5-1) and now starting to put some distance between themselves and San Francisco (who seem to be in real trouble) and San Diego. D you still think the trade was ultimately bad or could we see the return of Dodgers-Yankees in the series?
Joe Morgan (10:43 AM)
I never said the trade was bad. I thought they were a better team before the trade than after. They got some good players but I just thought they were a better team before. We'll have to wait and see but I still feel the same way. I"m not hung up on chemistry as much as leadership.
During the last game of the '76 season, Ken Griffy Sr. was 3 points ahead of Bill Matlock for the batting crown. Rumor is that you suggested that he sit during the game (which eventually lost him the batting title). Any truth to that?
Joe Morgan (10:45 AM)
That is correct. Matlock sat on Saturday and didn't play in hopes that Griffey would go 0-4 and he did. I suggested he not play on Saturday since Matlock wasn't playing. I felt if Matlock wasn't playing then he shouldn't play. Griffey played a lot more games that season than Matlock. But then I felt he should have played the last day!
Joe Morgan (10:46 AM)
That's one of the things that bothers me still. Griffey deserved to be the batting champ that year. I wish I would have exerted more energy to get him to sit that Saturday that Matlock didn't play.
Hey Joe, I know Nomar has been one of the top ballplayers since the mid-90's, but is he HOF material? Comparing the the big three shortstops: A-Rod, Jeter and Nomar; Jeter seems to be a lock as does A-Rod, but I'm not totally sold on Nomar. Is he more hype than reality due to playing in Boston for years?
Joe Morgan (10:47 AM)
You shouldn't be sold on any of the yet until they finish their career. I think you have to look at Nomar who has won a batting championship and his offense has been as good or better than Jeter. I think it's too early to say he is not a HOFer.
Elaine (San Diego)
So Joe, you are admitting that you were concerned about an individual record instead of what was good for the team? Wow.
Joe Morgan (10:48 AM)
We had already won the championship. We had cinched the division and were getting ready for the playoffs. I took that Sat. off as well so we would be fresh for the playoffs.
Brian (Long Beach)
Hi Joe -- I don't understand guys like Randy Johnson, Larry Walker, Charles Johnson, enforcing their no-trade clauses to remain on teams going nowhere. Don't they play this game to win? To win it all? Is moving teams that much of a deterrant to playing meaningful games?
Joe Morgan (10:51 AM)
Is that the only reason you play or do you play for the competition? If your theory is true, everyone should play for the Yankees. Randy thought he would finish his career in Arizona when he signed the contract. A couple years late they tell him maybe he should leave. He did not ask for a trade so we shouldn't be criticizing him. They asked him where he would want to go and he said the Yankees. You can't fault him for that. It was Arizona that changed their mind, not Randy.
I read the recent articles on ESPN.com regarding the umpiring. Do you feel the umpires have become to "visible" during the games, or is this more a factor of an increase in complaining by the players and managers. Also, what is the accountablility for umpires. The other night in the Indians game v. the Blue Jays, an umpire called a ball that was clearly a strike. Are they reprimanded for costing a team the game with a bad call? Thanks!
Joe Morgan (10:52 AM)
I don't think you can ever lump all umpires together. Some are more confrontational than others and some are more visible. I have a problem with umps at times but other times I think they are doing a great job. It's a tough profession so that's just natural. It's not easy to be an umpire.
Do you consider Rafael Palmerio a HOFer? Also Do think 550 homers is the new 500?
Joe Morgan (10:54 AM)
500 is 500. No matter what we say about it being easier, it's still not easy. You have to be really consistent to hit 500 HRs. I try to avoid the HOF question when I guy is still playing. I am Vice Chairman of the Board so I try not to give my opinion too often. Other than Maury Wills, who should already be in the Hall. He has left the Writers's Ballot and is on the Veteran's Ballot so I can talk about him.
Laura, Mineola NY
Joe, as always you are my baseball idol. Your color commentary on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball is excellent. But I'm curious, could you ever see yourself doing the play-by-play? Is it more difficult or not as fun? And why is it that a lot of play-by-play guys are people who never played professionally? Just wondering...thanks!
Joe Morgan (10:55 AM)
I did play by play for the GiantsVision for about five years. I enjoy being an analyst more than play by play. You get a chance to see more as an analyst and try to help bring the fans closer to the game.
With the ChiSox getting Roberto Alomar, is that really going to help them. Do you think that they can still make a push for the Division?
Joe Morgan (10:56 AM)
He can't hurt! He knows how to play and has been on winning teams before. He brings experience and knowledge. But they did the same thing last year and then let him go. I think his winning attitude will certainly help.
Mr. Morgan: Thanks for considering this question. As your Reds teams were one of the all-time greats, do you (and your former teammates) ever feel regret about not having won more World Series titles? Are there certain years you look back on as years you perhaps should have won?
Joe Morgan (10:57 AM)
You always wish you would have won more. But it's hard to regret winning two when guys like Ernie Banks never won any. There are many guys in the HOF who never won. So yes, I think we were good enough to win more but two is pretty good. I'm happy.
Joe Morgan (10:58 AM)
I would have been very disappointed with just one. We were the best team for a long time and we lost two and won two. To win just one would have been very disappointing.
Joe Morgan (10:59 AM)
Correction, with the Reds I won 2 out of 3 .. lost one with Philadelphia.
Do you think Leo Mazzone deserves to get in the Hall of Fame?
Joe Morgan (11:01 AM)
That's an interesting question. Coaches don't get much consideration. I don't get to vote for the HOF, that's writers. Leo, as I said a lot of times, is the best pitching coach I've ever had the chance to sit and talk with. He's proven it time and time again. But I'm not sure how much weight he carries with the writers. I try not to comment on the players because if I say one guy belongs people think that means another guy doesn't. And that's not what I'm saying.
Samar (Philadelphia PA)
Page 2 has a list of songs PA announcers play for current players before at bats. What would your song be?
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
You know what, I think I would use Start It Up.
Joel Rivera Moca Puerto Rico
Do u think Roberto Alomar is has three or four years to play?
Joe Morgan (11:03 AM)
I can't make that judgement, it's up to the player to decide that. One of the most difficult things to do is decide when enough is enough. Players make so much more money now and it's hard to walk away from that. I'm not sure what his thought is on that right now. But he's been a great player for a long time.
Mitch (Chicago, IL)
In your recent column, you mentioned players get mentally down during the season. Sorry, but if I were making millions of dollars (thousands of dollar/plate appearance), there would be no way I'd be "mentally drowsy".
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
Well, if we are only going to decide on whether we get tired based on money, I'm not sure I see the correlation. When you are on the field, you aren't thinking about money. At least you shouldn't be. I'm not sure if you work 7 days a week or not, but no matter what you make, you would wear down at some point. Playing major league ball takes a toll on you mentally. Just the travel alone can wear you down.
Juan (San Antonio)
Hey Joe, I loved the episode of "Married...With Children" you did (where you kept referring to Al Bundy as "Al Birdie"). Anyway, did you have fun doing that spot? Also, how did you feel about the show parodying the 1994 baseball strike?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
I loved doing the show. I wish I had a copy. I'm not sure what happened to mine. All the cast was great. I was there for almost a week and had a great time with all of them. I've done a few shows here and there but that was the most fun.
Charlie (Hickory, NC
Hey Joe, Can you tell what is wrong with Barry Zito? Where has the swagger gone? Thanks
Joe Morgan (11:07 AM)
Ray Fosse is the A's radio guy and a good friend of mine. His opinion is that he is making bad pitches with the fastball. He is getting it in the hitters zone instead of the pitchers zone. He looks good but he's just making mistakes. I've seen him hanging the curveball of late. Pitch location is the problem right now.
Jimmy (West Allis, WI)
Joe- Billy Beane did NOT write his thoughts in any book. He did not write Moneyball! He cannot be responsible for Michael Lewis (the author) and what he writes. I bet over the years your thoughts and quotes haven't always been presented by writers exactly as you've wanted. Please reconsider your response about Billy Beane.
Joe Morgan (11:11 AM)
First of all, the quotes in there were of Billy Beane talking to other GMs with Lewis in the room. That is a baseball no-no. I talked to some of the GMs he talked to and they didn't know Lewis was in the room. I don't have a problem with Billy it's just my philosophy differs. We are on opposite ends but that doesn't mean I don't like him. I said you can't win the postseason unless you can manufacture runs. You can't wait for the 3-run homer. The teams that have won like the Angels, Yankees, D-Backs, Marlins, they are all as I described. They can steal bases, bunt guys over, hit and run, do something to create runs. Billy's philosphy is to not bunt, not steal, all those things. We just differ. I don't have anything against him though. I just don't think his way works. If Billy's way turns out to win the next couple WS's, then that would be great. Tony La Russa told me the other day that nothing has changed in this game in over 100 years. He's right. That just doesn't seem to be Billy's philosophy. He obviously doesn't agree with me, does that mean he doesn't like me?
Craig: London, England
Joe: Long time fan of yours. Regarding Barry Bonds, do you think his OBP over the last 3.5 years is even more impressive than his career HR totals?
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
Offhand, I would say no. The HRs create his on-base percentage because he gets walked so much. They go hand in hand. As a player you think OBP is more important but they do go hand in hand. He wouldn't be getting walked so much without those HRs.
Eric Belin, New Orleans
Can the Rangers win the AL West on the back of their bullpen?
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
At the beginning of the season I thought the Angels were the best in the West. But they don't have the same confidence now. The As have been impressive of late. It's somebody different everyday getting it done. You have to like Oakland right now. I think they will win the division. It should be a good race though. I'm proud of what Texas has done because they really picked themselves up after A-Rod and have played great ball. In closing, I just want to say again that I have nothing against Billy Beane personally. I've never disliked anyone ... well, I take that back, one of my managers with the Astros I disliked .. but I can disagree without disliking someone. I will continue to disagree with his philosophy until he wins more than 1 championship and shows that there is a new way of winning championships. I would build a team differently than Billy. That's all. I really enjoyed the questions today. Very stimulating! We'll do it again next week. I'm looking forward to it! Take care.