Buzzmaster: Joe will be here any second!
Ken Tremendous: Yayyyyyyyy!Joe Morgan: I'm looking forward to today's chat! I'm in San Antonio for a friend's wedding!
KT: Irrelevant!David: (Lincoln, RI): Hey Joe, I am one of Barry Bond's biggest fans and i constantly get in arguements with my friends that if he played in Yankee stadium as the DH over a full season he could hit 100 hrs. With that short right field porch and say having sheff and arod batting behind him don't you have to pitch to him? Whats your opinion on this? Thanks JoeJoe Morgan: Three years ago he would have hit 60 or 70 home runs. At this point in his career, he would probably hit around 40 in that scenario.
KT: Brilliant analysis. Four years ago he hit 73, and for the last three years he's averaged about 44. So, you are saying...nothing. A better answer might have been: hitting 100 home runs in a season is insane and impossible, in any stadium. Or that, yes, he might be better off as a DH in an American league home park, though he has repeatedly said he does not want to be. Or anything that is not just...the thing that is
. Kerry Wood (Wrigley Field): How did I look live out of the pen on Sunday night versus the Cardinals? I was throwing some nasty stuff, huh?Joe Morgan: Coming in for one inning, Wood can look good as long as he throws a few strikes. When I watched him Sunday night, he looked great. But we'll just have to see how he handles it on a more daily basis.
KT: Classic no-answer. Also, anyone can look good as long as he throws a few strikes, if those strikes are not hit by the batter. That's meaningless. Cubs Fan: Joe, Are you surprised at how well Nomar has hit since his return? Is he now past the adrenaline phase and can he keep up the pace for the rest of the year?
KT: Pay close attention to Joe's answer here.Joe Morgan: I am surprised. But I said he would swing well the first week because of all the adrenaline of coming back. But it looks like he's getting his timing down pretty well, so I am surprised. But he's a special player so it's not too surprising.
KT: That is gosh darn poetry. Are you surprised at how well Nomar has hit since his return? I am surprised. Is he now past the adrenaline phase? I said he would swing well because of all the adrenaline (i.e., I am not surprised). Can he keep up the pace for the rest of the year? It looks like he's getting his timing down pretty well, so I am surprised. He's a special player, so I am not surprised. Joe Morgan contradicted himself three times in one answer.anthony,Kansas City, MO: Will the royals ever win again?Joe Morgan: When things start going downhill, it's hard to stop that momentum. You go to the park expecting to lose unlike the better teams who expect to win. I don't think they are nearly as bad a team as they look right now.
KT: So...yes, they will win? When? How? Where? Why? Which? Who?Mike (Hope, Arkansas): Are catchers just better at throwing out runners in today's game or have the base stealers really become worse?Joe Morgan: Catchers haven't gotten better. The real thing is nobody works at it anymore. It's just not part of their game. They don't work at reading pitchers. They just take off when they want to take off.
KT: "They just take off when they want to take off?" Is that the problem? I don't think that's the problem. I think the correct answer is: many teams have wised up and realized that stolen bases aren't really worth the risk, so they have deemphasized that skill in their systems in favor of plate discipline, and as such have been able to score more runs. Thanks for playing.Scott: Is Felix Hernandez the best pitching prospect you've seen in his teenage years?Joe Morgan: You can't help but be impressed by him. You want guys to have success right away so his attitude will stay positive. I'm just impressed with how he has handled himself. He will be a very good pitcher.
KT: So...he is?Patrick O'Brien--NJ: Mr. Morgan, In your book Long Balls, No Strikes you open up describing the Summer of 1998 as the year baseball came out of its coma. This was the year Sosa and McGwire chased Maris' 61 homers. You describe Sosa and McGwire as heroes and even stated.."They gave us a chance to celebrate genuine accomplishment." (Pg3) Have your opinions since then changed amid steroid allegations and the use of a corked bat? Wouldn't it be safe to say that summer was the start of a dark period for baseball, a period where alot of players stats will now be questioned?Joe Morgan: When I wrote the book, everyone thought it was a great year. To be blunt, I still think it's great. Baseball needed a year like that. Now, I guess to be honest the past is the past. I've put it behind me. The think that bothers me is the present, knowing guys are still being caught using steroids. But even knowing what I know now, it was still a great year in baseball.
KT: I, for one, am glad Joe has put it behind him. By that, I guess, he means that he is choosing to ignore it, since he has never publicly (that I am aware of) chastized the players involved for their steroid use. But at least he can sleep at night knowing that as a prominent baseball analyst and commentator, he has done everything he can (nothing) to deal with the past. Ian (MacLean, GA): What is the hardest pitch to hit in baseball? Also, is Clemens on steroids?
KT: Hilarious sneak-attack question. Love it.Joe Morgan: I haven't heard any rumors about Clemens. [...]
KT: Really? Because everyone else in the universe has. I mean, everyone. Do you still cover baseball? It's on the ESPN homepage right now. It's in every chatroom and website about baseball. Why don't you just turn on your computer and...oh. Right. Sorry. Continue.d (st. louis): Can you give Peter Angelos a few recommendations before he hires his next manager?Joe Morgan: I think he needs someone who is more respected in the game. Nothing was wrong with hiring Mazzilli at the time but moving forward, I think they need someone who is just more respected around baseball.
KT: Respect is the issue? Maybe it is. I don't know how much Lee Mazzilli was respected. But maybe, how about getting somebody good?Travis (Indy) : What about a good change-up?Joe Morgan: A lot of pitches are tough to hit .. a change-up is only difficult in the proper location. When you are pitching to your kid, you pitch underhand so he has time to hit. You don't throw straight and hard. A change up in the middle of the plate will get hit.
KT: So will a fastball in the middle of the plate, a slider in the middle of the plate, a curve in the middle of the plate, a knuckleball in the middle of the plate, and a foshball in the middle of the plate. Remember Mike Boddiker's "Vulcan" pitch? If it were thrown in the middle of the plate, it would be hit.Mark (Rutherford, NJ): What are your thoughts on how managers deal with their pitchers these days? Isn't it frustrating to see starters get pulled from a game that where they are pitching well just based on the fact they have thrown 100 pitches? Every playoff team right now has to question if their bullpens are overworked, wouldnt it make sense to get more out of starters and avoid this situation? It is killing me watching the yankees right now, Torre pulls his starters only to watch the bullpen collapse night after night!Joe Morgan: Very good question. I agree 100 percent. Managers protect themselves. If they take somebody out in the seventh and the reliever doesnt' do his job, it's not his fault. He can say he's doing what everyone else is doing. The bullpen is a security blanket for the manager and they're using it.
KT: That's insane, Joe. Managers are killed routinely for not yanking guys at the right time. They are also killed for yanking them too early. Come on. You're not even trying anymore.Peter (Albany NY): Joe, what's the most important function of a manager? Managing egos or handling a pitching staff?Joe Morgan: Another great question. People assume the manager's job is to take pitchers in and out. But the most important is getting every player pointed in the same direction. Making sure every player puts the first. That's easier said than done. It's' about preparation and dealing with these issues over a long season.
KT: [sic] [sic] [sic] [sic]Hogcard (St. Louis, Mo.): Joe: As of right now, who's your choice for the N.L. Cy Young award, Carpenter or Clemens?Joe Morgan: Well, it's difficult. Nobody has pitched better than Clemens.
KT: Then give it to Clemens. No need to continue. What? You want to continue?Joe Morgan: Carpenter has had better support from his team.
KT: Irrelevant. So, Clemens, then? What? You want to keep talking?Joe Morgan: But don't forget Dontrelle has more shutouts and is only one win behind Carpenter.
KT: So...Dontrelle? Or...oh, sorry. You weren't finished.Joe Morgan: No one has pitched better than Clemens though.
KT: So, I was right the first time. Great work.TJ (Los Angeles, CA): Do you think that anybody was doing steroids during your era Joe?Joe Morgan: No. The reason is they just weren't aware those things could help you. Same reason players didn't really lift weights before my era. They just didn't think it would help them.
KT: I will give anybody who reads this five hundred dollars for proof that somebody on the 1975 Reds did steroids, or anything of the kind. Go.Peter (Sudbury, MA): Joe, what's behind the A's surge in the second half?Joe Morgan: I think it's been the offense. Everyone talks about the pitchers, but they were next to last in runs scored when they started the streak and they have moved up in that category.
KT: Fine analysis. They scored more runs. My finacee could have told you that. (Hi, honey!) Phil(grand rapids, MI): Joe, do you think the BoSox have what it takes to win it all againJoe Morgan: I think they can win it all again. Every team that was in the playoffs last year is not as good this year, with the exception of St. Louis. Boston lost Pedro and don't have Schilling in the rotation. Every team except St. Louis is consideraby weaker this year. So Boston could still win but it all depends who gets hot on Oct. 1. Any team in the playoffs can win it all. Any team. Don't forget that.
KT: I won't, because, um, it's always true.Joe Morgan: Sorry to have to cut it short but my friend Jack Carroll is getting married tomorrow and we're having a bachelor party here at LaCantera in San Antonio. 16 guys playing golf! I enjoyed all the great questions again this week. I'll be back next Friday (on schedule) for more! Take care!
KT: I will give anyone who reads this five hundred dollars if (s)he crashes Jack Carroll's bachelor party and pantses Joe Morgan. Go.
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