It's always a joy when Joe handles an on-line chat. The most recent one on ESPN Insider isn't as mind-boggling as they usually are, but here's a nice exchange:Paul (Madison, WI): While there have been famous late bloomers (Koufax, Spahn, Johnson), it is common for the dominating, HOF type pitchers to first show their greatness at or around 23 years old and in their 3rd year in the big leagues. Clemens, Maddux, Seaver, Palmer, Pedro, Marichal all fit this description. Just how good is 23 yr old Rich Harden-- in his 3rd big league season-- with an ERA of 0.44 and a 98 mph fastball-- going to be?? Joe Morgan: Well, I wasn't aware of the third year thing, seems like you've done your research, but I've seen Harden pitch b/c I live out here. He definitely has unlimited potential, his problem is consistancy. At first he didn't give up a run for like three games, no he continuously does. I'm anxious to see how he will bounce back from a bad outing. Maybe consistancy and how he handles adversity does come with experience and maturity. IF so, he will be a great pitcher.
All spelling and typographical errors are [sic].
Let's look at it beat for beat:"Well, I wasn't aware of the third year thing, seems like you've done your research, but I've seen Harden pitch b/c I live out here."
A terrible run-on sentence. (Technically, it's a run-on run-on sentence.) But we'll chalk that up to the immediacy of the on-line chat format. It's the last part that gets me. You've seen Harden pitch b/c you're "out here?" You're also a baseball analyst, and fan, and you broadcast games for ESPN. I assume you've seen Rich Harden pitch by now. Also, now that I think about it, shouldn't you have done your research, Joe?"He definitely has unlimited potential, his problem is consistancy."
Again, spelling error is [sic]. As is run-on sentence. But the real issue here is the comment itself -- a typical Morgan non-sequitor. The thing to write about Rich Harden is that he's not consistent? His OBP against from 2003 to 2005 has gone from .351 to .320 to .267 (in a very small sample size, admittedly). His K/BB: 1.68 to 2.06 to 3.50. His three starts this year have been great. The thing to say about Rich Harden is that he's a 23 year-old pitcher who is getting better and better at an alarming rate. Or, that he K's more than a guy an inning, and gave up one earned run in his first 20 IP. "His problem is consistancy" is a retarded thing to say about Rich Harden."At first he didn't give up a run for like three games, no he continuously does."
I don't have any idea what this means. I assume he meant "now" he continuously does. But, does what? Give up runs? What? I don't understand. His last outing, on April 21, was seven innings of shutout baseball. Am I crazy? I literally have no idea what he means."I'm anxious to see how he will bounce back from a bad outing."
What? Why? And, also, he hasn't had one yet.
Now look at the last two sentences together:"Maybe consistancy and how he handles adversity does come with experience and maturity. IF so, he will be a great pitcher. "
These are the most convoluted, least meaningful, and worst sentences ever typed in an on-line chat -- and amazingly, they are absolutely par for the Morgan course. Read them again. Amazing. Verb tenses, antecedents -- everything is wrong. It's almost pure jibberish. And it sheds absolutely no light on the career of Rich Harden. It's worthless.
For all of my hystrionics -- which I believe are deserved -- Morgan was (for him) not that bad in this chat. But don't worry. There will be more. And "Fire Joe Morgan" will be there.
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