Cue the band! Call a press conference! After two terrifying weeks, Joe's kidnappers have released him, and he is now free to do his chats the way he always has -- with a minimal amount of coherence and reason!!!! Let's take a look!Buzzmaster: Hellooooooooo! Joe Morgan will be here shortly. Happy Friday!Joe Morgan: Good morning and welcome to the chat!
Ken Tremendous: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!Joe Morgan (Chicago): Hi Joe, are the White Sox choking? Joe Morgan: I don't use the word choke. Everybody reacts differently to pressure situations. Once things start going poorly, there are no breaks in terms of luck. You can make it worse by trying too hard. They are just trying too hard right now and aren't getting any breaks.
KT: I'm not so sure that their problems are due to bad luck, but I admire that you don't use the word "choke." I don't think it's choking, either. I think it's regression to the mean. So, good job not using the word "choke." What's that? You have more to add? Go ahead.Joe Morgan: It looks like they are choking, but I don't think in those terms.
KT: Fantastic. Thanks for not using the word "choke."Vagner, Columbia MO: Hey Joe, a friend of mine tried to claim that Garrett Anderson is not a good hitter because he only has a .330 on base...i tried telling him that as a #5 man its his job to drive in runs, not walk...what are youre feelings on this?Joe Morgan: I agree with both of you. Your job is to drive in runs. But your job as a team player is to get on base so others can drive in runs. I have to laugh at anyone who thinks Garrett Anderson isn't a good hitter. It doesn't always equate to OBP.
KT: How about SLG? GA's is .430 this year. How about BB/K ratio? GA's is 23/79. Also, his OBP is .312, which is horrific. His numbers are only slightly better than Edgar Renteria's. he has had good years in the past, but like all hitters with no plate discipline, his numbers are in a freefall now that he's on the wrong side of 32 or so.Sir Sidney (Baltimore): Should I buy my one-way plane tickets to Japan yet? Joe Morgan: Japan has rules over there, too! I guess the point is if you can't play here because of off-field problems, I think they are less-tolerable than we are.
KT: I think you meant "tolerant." Or, maybe you are a racist and hate Japanese people.Joey (Cleveland, OH): Hello, Mr, Morgan. I'm a big fan. There's a little talk around here of Eric Wedge getting the manager of the year. Who do you think is the frontrunner for it? Joe Morgan: I think he is a serious candidate. I've thought all along it was Ozzie Guillen's. I still feel that way. But obviously if the Indians catch the White Sox and win the division, that would change.
KT: Why? Don't you think what Eric Wedge has done is as good, if not better, than what Ozzie did? Especially since Ozzie's whole philosophy is backwards and self-defeating? What if the Indians, with a six-dollar payroll and a ton of young no-names, finish a game out? Ozzie is better, even though his lead has shrunk from 15 games down to 1? What kind of sense does that make?Joe (OKC): Do you think Robinson Cano's recent hot stretch has gotten him back into the ROY debate, or is this thing already going to Oakland? Joe Morgan: Cano is a candidate for sure but he will have to continue to play this well in the remaining games. I'm more for an everyday player winning these types of awards than pitchers, closers, etc. I'm prejudiced because I played every day.
KT: "Prejudiced" is a good word. With pitching in such short supply, I'd say that, for example, what Houston Street has done in stabilizing the A's bullpen as a rookie is far more impressive than putting up a .760 OPS sandwiched between Derek Jeter and ARod in the Yankees' line-up. Also, "...he will have to continue to play this well in the remaining games?" There are like 11 games left. Is he really going to do something, or not do something, in the next 11 games that will win or lose him the award?Goose (Chicago): Joe, do you find it odd that with these great races coming to an end, people are worried about post=season awards? Priorities..... Joe Morgan: That's part of the game! The awards will go along with the postseason winners. To the victors go the spoils! If the Yankees win the division, ARod probably has the edge. If it's the Red Sox, it might swing to Ortiz. I'm sure we'll talk about awards on Sunday night .. so I can fudge on it!
KT: What if, in the final series of the sason, Ortiz goes 11-17 with six HR, and ARod goes 0-20. But the Yankees take 2 of 3 and win the division. ARod still the MVP? Why do you insist on having the MVP and Cy Young be team-dependent awards? It should maybe be a factor, but not THE factor.Tyrone (LA): Watched any college football this year, Joe? My Trojans are on fire! Joe Morgan: I saw the Texas-Ohio State game. That's the only one I've watched. I'm always traveling on Saturday's. The Trojans, in my opinion, are heads and shoulders above everyone else. I picked them to win it all last year and they were awesome .. and they're awesome again! They have ARod at QB and Ortiz at RB!
KT: Wha?Steve Jobs (Cupertino, CA): Joe: do you have an iPod? What's on it? Joe Morgan: I own one but I don't use it! I have a computer also that I don't use.
KT: Yeah, we know. Try using it.Isaac (Peoria): Can I buy your Ipod off you? I've wanted one forever!:-) Joe Morgan: I'm not selling it! I have a few songs on it so I'm saving it.
KT: Why are we talking about this?Chris (Tampa): Joe, an off the wall question here, but have you ever used a question you've been asked here during an interview or with a manager/player or owner? Basically, are we asking interview caliber questions. . . Joe Morgan: I've used it in my broadcast for sure. I've also mentioned things to managers and players that you guys have said. I've said to managers ''Someone in my ESPN.com chat asked why this happened ..'' What would you like me to ask Buck Schowalter or Ken Macha this weekend?
KT: Ask them if you should sell your iPod to that guy. Jim (Cleveland): Will Dontrelle WIllis' bat get him additional votes for the Cy Young. He batted 7th last night. 7TH!!! That is just plain silly. He has been even better on the mound. Joe Morgan: I don't think that will help him get Cy Young votes. It goes to the best PITCHER. A pitcher that can't hit shouldn't be hurt by that. So I don't see it helping Dontrelle.
KT: Cool. Good answer. I just, real quick, want to print an answer you made to a similar question in last week's chat:Stephen Smith, East Greenbush, NY: Joe, I can't understand why Dontrelle Willis isn't even getting mentioned in the talk for the Cy Young... Lucas (Chicago): D-Train is only the 3rd pitcher to ever have 20 wins and 20 hits in the same season!!!Joe Morgan: That's right. And you have to take EVERYTHING into consideration when you are voting for the Cy Young award. Best pitcher must take all things into consideration. Sure pitching statistics come first, and Carpenter is leading those categories ... partly because his Cardinals score runs.
So, to sum up. Last week: you should absolutely take D-Train's hitting stats into consideration when voting for the Cy Young. This week: you should under no circumstances take D-Train's hitting stats into consideration when voting for the Cy Young.Matt (Boston, MA): Joe, if Bonds comes back at full strength next year, tests negative for steroids, and winds up hitting 50 hrs, is his reputation restored at all? or is always going to be linked to this whole thing? Joe Morgan: I don't think his reputation will ever completely be restored, no matter how many times he tests negative. He will never test positive again. IF he ever used before, there is no way he's using them now...
KT: He used them before. He admitted it.Danny (Silver Spring, MD): Any chance of a comeback, Joe? You could still bat better than Christian Guzman, can't you? Joe Morgan: We laugh sometimes in the booth because I"ll say ''I could hit that guy!'' But I'm only fooling myself. Guzman was one of my favorite players to watch. But it has been a disatrous season for them.
KT: The fact that an historically terrible player was one of your favorite players to watch validates everything we are doing on this blog. Also, it has not been a "disastrous" season for "them," the Nats. Did you mean "him?"Arvind (Tacoma): Do you think the media just piles on Bonds now, whatever he says? Would they pile on him if he said nothing? I think he's in a lose-lose situation. Joe Morgan: Yes. I don't quite understand why this is the case. Maybe it's the Palmeiro case and the impending suspicion. But yes, there is a pile-on effect without any proof. We have our suspicions, but no proof. People think Barry said he used steroids unwittingly but that's not what he said. He never said he used steroids in any capacity. It's misinformation. Maybe that's why they keep piling on. But you either have to accept what he's done or condemn it. You can't have it both ways. That seems to be where we are. One day they are hyping his HRs, the next day they are talking about steroids.
KT: This is so tortured. He did
use steroids. He admitted
he used steroids -- under oath. Why do you keep insisting he didn't use steroids? Why do you keep insisting that he never said he used steroids? Also, you say we have no proof, that he never said he used steroids. Then you say "...you either have to accept what he's done or condemn it." What are you talking about? If he never used steroids, what do we have to accept, that he's done? Also, frankly, we can have it both ways. We can condemn his acts but still follow his play with great interest.
Welcome back, Joe, you lovable little dunderhead. We missed you.
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