Chat with Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan (10:30 AM)
Good morning everybody, Let's get going!
Dennis (NY, NY)
Good morning, Do you the Cleveland Indians get too good to quick? I mean I think they were so successful b/c they played w/no pressure and just played hard. Then being just 1 game back, it looks like they didn't let the game come to them and lost that innocence that made them successful.
Joe Morgan (10:32 AM)
It sounds like you've hit the nail on the head, Dennis. I haven't seen too much of the Indians, but I think you're right. Things are different when you are expected to win. They are a young team and they may not be ready for that yet. It's a lot of pressure to handle. We'll have to see how they respond.
Hey Joe, do you think Ichiro could have got MVP if he gets 257+ hits and the M's were little better?
Joe Morgan (10:33 AM)
Well, I think the latter is the key -- if the Mariners were a little better. I'm a big Ichiro fan but the Ms aren't really in the race so the award will probably go to one of those other candidates who are running right up there in the standings.
Joe, I know you're tried of answering questions about Billy Beane, but two weeks ago you opened the chat with this: "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 in mind, how you can not respect a man who has taken a team with a shoestring budget to the playoffs four (soon to be five) straight years?
Joe Morgan (10:39 AM)
Who said I didn't respect Billy Beane. I said we have a different philosophy on how to win in the postseason. They haven't won in the post season. We've had two teams in the last two years win the championship that were wild card teams. That tells me anyone in the playoffs can win. Just b/c I don't kneel down at Billy's feet, doesn't mean i don't like him. I like Billy personally very much, but until he can manufacture runs in the post season by playing some small ball and bunt and steal and hit and run -- produce and score runs -- I am not going to agree with his philosophy. Look at the history. There's only one way to win. I don't know what you want from me. You should think about how teams have won and realize THAT is the way to do it. SO for the final time. I don't dislike or disrespect Billy Beane, I disagree with his philosophy. .... Second, the Minnesota Twins have had a lower payroll and they've been in the playoffs 3-straight years. The Marlins have a low budget, they won a championship. THe Angles had a lower payroll at the time THEY won a championship. It's not about money. It's about other teams winning World Series and his falling short. Call me back when he wins the title playing with that philosophy and then I'll change my mind.
Joe, Do you think this years Braves team has the best chance since 95 to win the world series since they seem to play with more heart and desire than the past business type mentality type teams?
Joe Morgan (10:43 AM)
I'm a big fan of Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone. Both of them over the years have done a great job to get Atlanta those 12-straight division titles. I'm a big fan of their coaching staff, but I don't think this is the best team they've had there. They ARE playing great. Agreed. If you got back to my first column of the year, I said that the Braves would still win their division -- a statement a lot of people disagreed with. We'll see what happens when October rolls around. ... On a side note, I DO NOT agree with Bobby Cox -- or anyone else-- who says the post season is just a crap shoot. You are not respecting or giving credit to those teams who consistantly play "October baseball" -- which is very different than regular season baseball. Realinzing that is what brings success in the post season.
Ari (Newark, DE)
If San Fran. claims the wild card position to make it into the playoffs, does Barry Bonds get another MVP? or do you think the MVP comes directly from the big three in St. Louis : Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds?
Joe Morgan (10:45 AM)
Over the years I've watched Barry Bonds and I know that he has more impact on a game than any other player. I think this year St. Louis will have the best record, and that is directly related to the big three that you talk about. I think Rolen and Pujols are the two most likely MVP candidates at this point, but Barry Bonds is always the most valuable to me simply based on the impact he has on a game.
Jason Quincy Illinois
Can the Cardinals win 110 games?
Joe Morgan (10:47 AM)
I don't know about numbers. I know they are the best team in the league. Their line-up is awesome. They are good hitters, they hit for average, they hit for power and they have speed. It's a combination of all good things on offense. 110 wins won't mean anything once the post season starts ... but that lineup will.
Robert (Wash, D.C.)
Hey Joe, is Major League Baseball dragging the move of the Expos because they are trying to find any other choice option other than D.C. to move them?
Joe Morgan (10:48 AM)
They've been dragging their feet for three years. The Expos should have been out of Monteal years ago. I hear Washington is the number one choice, but their must be some roadblocks that we don't know about that are holding up the selection process b/c everybody wants them to go there.
Do you find the current trend of mound charging ridiculous? Why not just take your base and let your pitcher settle the score?
Joe Morgan (10:50 AM)
First of all, the pitchers do not get a chance to settle the score. There is a warning issued immediately and the pitcher may not get a chance to even things out. I don't believe in charging the mound -- i never did but I think that's b/c I was too small -- but I can understand why guys do it. If you think somebody threw at you and could have seriously injured you or injured you or worse -- end your carreer-- you want to retaliate. You want to get after the pitcher, I mean, they are the one that hit you. Not the second baseman or the shortstop who your pitcher could hit next inning. I understand why guys do it.
Nick (Greensboro, NC)
Hey Joe!! What's your opinion of a World Cup of Baseball? Thanks
Joe Morgan (10:52 AM)
I think it's a great idea ... with a lot of drawbacks. I'm not sure if they are going to be able to remedy those in order to make it the fun and successful event that they hope for. Any time you can put your sport on a world stage, it really helps the marketing. I really hope this comes together.
Joe, that was a great article you wrote about Ken Griffey, Jr. Part of me agrees with you that Junior needs to move on for his sake and the Reds. Junior would make a great DH in the AL, but if I were the Reds I would ask a lot for him because he's still very valuable, especially at the DH position. He's proven he can still hit. Do you think the Reds could get some top-quality pitchers in return for Junior going to an AL team?
Joe Morgan (10:54 AM)
I'm trying to figure out which part you don't agree with, Tom. Except, you can't get too much for him if he's not healthy. My point about Griffey is, you can't wait till he's healthy. AL, NL, whatever. I think he needs to be out of Cincinnati and everybody needs to just move on.
Jeff (St. Louis)
Joe - agree with your assessment of Griffey Jr needing a change of scenery. (Anything to get him out of the division!) With Edgar Martinez retiring and Junior still beloved in Seattle, would he be a perfect fit to DH for the Mariners? Less stress on his body not having to roam CF, perhaps?
Joe Morgan (10:56 AM)
There was a time during the early part of the season that they were talking about trading him back to Seattle, I thought that was a pretty good idea -- at the time. But now, it looks like Seattle is not going to have a good team for awhile. I think he needs to go to somewhere in contention to be his best, but, you're right, Seattle is not a bad fit for Jr.
Noonan (Philly, PA)
Big Joe, Is there a bigger disappointment in baseball than the Phillies? They're killing us here in Philly! What changes should they make this off season to improve?
Joe Morgan (10:58 AM)
I haven't seen the Phillies enough to say whether Larry Bowa should be fired, which I know is a hot topic. What I see is the injuries in Philly. That takes its toll. (That's why I have such respect for the Angels). The Phillies have gone through a lot. I haven't seen the atmosphere in the clubhouse first hand, so I'm not sure what else is going on over there. They need their guys healthy.
Hey Joe. If you could change one thing about modern day baseball, what would it be?
Joe Morgan (11:00 AM)
Probably the practice of building smaller and smaller ball parks. I think that's one of the problems Philly has. The other teams come in and it feels like they have an advantage rather than playing on the road. The balls are just flying out of the stadium.
Joe, can you give a "baseball for dummies" definition of a balk? I can identify the obvious ones, but most of the time I have no idea what just happened. Thanks.
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
Well, there are so many different ways to balk. One of the keyes is from the wind-up, starting your motion and then stopping. Another way is not pausing at the belt in your stretch. In general, it's a start-and-stop without stepping off the wind up. There are many ways to balk. Throwing to an un-occupied base is also one of the many.
Ryan (Albany NY)
It's ironic that you don't believe in Beane's theories when you were a perfect player for his system.
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
Well, first of all, I'm not a perfect player in his system. I stole bases, I bunted, I did the little things -- and so did my teammates at the Big Red Machine -- to score runs. When you start with Zito, Mulder and Hudson and you lose in the post season time after time, that HAS to tell you something is wrong. I am not a perfect player in that system -- don't ever accuse me of that. I was a complete player, I did NOT wait for the three run homer. Now, Ken Macha has instituted some changes on the A's offense. I give him credit. But somebody has to do something to figure out why they have lost in the first round 5-straight years and more importantly how to change that. Bottom line of all this is I respect Billy Beane, I respect Billy Beane, I respect Billy Beane. I don't like his philosophy. End of discussion.
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
Let's understand one thing, what you do in the regular season, you are often playing against mediocre teams so you can walk and hit home runs. In the playoffs, good teams aren't going to walk you and they are not going to give up a lot of homers. If you are counting on that -- even if you have the best pitching in baseball -- you're going to lose. It's that simple. I can't see what's not to understand. The problem is obviously coming from the offensive side. You must make adjustments in October.
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
Thanks for all the questions everybody. We'll do this again next Friday, same time, same place. Take care!