FIRE JOE MORGAN: Let's Think Positively


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

FJM has gone dark for the foreseeable future. Sorry folks. We may post once in a while, but it's pretty much over. You can still e-mail dak, Ken Tremendous, Junior, Matthew Murbles, or Coach.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Let's Think Positively

So, some of our loyal readers have mentioned that we should spend at least a little time discussing writers who are good at what they do. So, here's the FJM Check-Plus of the Week, from's (!) Dayn Perry:

The following is an exercise in craven subjectivity.

We're talking overrated and underrated. Any time these two words are introduced into the discussion, you're taking into account individual perceptions, however skewed and adulterated those might be...

If they were a band, they'd be Coldplay. Yep, it's the top 10 most overrated players for 2005...

All right. I am ready. Tell me how Adam Dunn is overrated, so I can kill myself.

1. Scott Podsednik, LF, White Sox

Oh my God, I am so excited. My heart is beating at like 4x normal rate right now.

To hear many in the media tell it, Podsednik is the catalyst for the best team in the American League. To hear the numbers tell it, Podsednik is a below-average performer by left-fielder standards. He has his merits — good defense, solid on-base skills, speed on the bases — but his failings are more critical. To wit, he can't hit for power. At all. Podsednik's .337 slugging percentage is appalling for a corner outfielder playing half his games in one of the best power parks around. A left fielder with no home runs this late in the season isn't doing his job, no matter how many bases he steals.

It's to my ears. Someone is actually saying it. I might start crying.

3. Hank Blalock, 3B, Rangers

Blalock has loads of ability, but his levels of offensive production are illusory. That's because Ameriquest Field is drastically inflating his numbers.

Consider his career batting line on the road: .241 AVG/.300 OBP/.401 SLG. Now contrast that with his work at home: .316 AVG/.386 OBP/.566 SLG. Until he learns to hit away from Arlington, Blalock won't be the All-Star he's passed off as.

Okay...not the best grammar there at the end, but you convinced me. I didn't think of Blalock as overrated. Now I kind of do.

4. Kevin Millar, 1B, Red Sox

Folksy and likeable? Sure. Idiot, Cowboy Up and all that stuff? Sure. Productive? Nope. This season, Millar is putting up a batting line of .270 AVG/.357 OBP/.367 SLG, which isn't adequate for a defensively challenged first baseman. He's had a couple of very good seasons in his career (both as a Marlin), but he's been unable to produce at all on the road in recent seasons (Fenway is a haven for right-handed batters). Regardless of clubhouse chops, he needs to be benched for road games and cut loose altogether after this season.

Fish in a barrel, but he's right. Although, I don't think there is really anyone who overrates Millar these days. Ditto his #5, Victor Zambrano.

6. C.C. Sabathia, SP, Indians

In some circles, Sabathia is regarded as an ace. He's not. In only one season has Sabathia worked at least 200 innings while maintaining an ERA better than the league average. This season, his ERA has risen to a career-worst 4.75. Sabathia's still only 25, but the time has come to realize his promise.

Fair enough.

7. Zack Greinke, SP, Royals

Fits and starts for a pitcher this young are to be expected, but a 6.28 ERA? Greinke was once hailed as the best pitching prospect in baseball, but it's not likely he'll ever live up to those expectations. Why?

Greinke posts low strikeout rates in tandem with fly-ball tendencies. That's a dangerous mix. No matter how good a pitcher's command might be, if he's allowing a lot of balls in play and a lot of those balls are in the air ... well, that's bad. Press clippings aside, don't expect future greatness from Greinke.

Ignoring the nebulous "command." Talking about K-rates and GB/FB ratio. I might have a crush on Dayn Perry.

8. Ichiro Suzuki, RF, Mariners

Ichiro is a cultural luminary, an important figure in baseball history and a thoroughly likeable and engaging athlete. He also hits for average, runs the bases well and plays an exceptional right field.

However, Ichiro lacks secondary hitting skills. That means he doesn't draw walks and doesn't hit for power.

Because of these deficiencies, he's a player who needs to hit .330 or higher to be effective. Some seasons, he does that, and some seasons he doesn't. When you consider all Ichiro signifies and his global popularity, he's worth the attention he gets. However, through the prism of on-field performance, he's not.

Ichiro is overrated! Ichiro is overrated! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The last two are Sean Casey and Klesko. Whatever. The point is, Dayn Perry, we salute you.

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posted by Unknown  # 11:44 AM
I just want to go on record and say that I only want to cover people who write and say dumb stuff. But, whatever.
I hear you, dak. This was just a little palatte cleanser. Overall, I'd like to go 99% bad, 1% good -- so look for the next FJM Check-Plus, a review of a Peter Gammons chat, coming to the site in March 2008.
Do we really love Gammons that much?

I could see a Neyer article or something.
Sure, Neyer, fine. I picked Gammons because his chats are the exact opposite of Joe's -- succinct, fact-based, and directly in response to the posed question.

The point is, I hate Joe Morgan.
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