FIRE JOE MORGAN: Straight From the Horse's Ass


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Saturday, September 03, 2005


Straight From the Horse's Ass

Joe Morgan: Hello! The races are heating up and they change from day to day! I'm ready for your questions!

Ken Tremendous: Why are you yelling at me?!

Mitch: joe, do you see ken griffey jr. finishing his career with 6-700 homeruns and reestablishing himself as one of the best players of all time?

KT: Tell you what, Joe. Right off the bat here, why don't you answer this question by firing off some crazy sentences, and some reasonable sentences, in no particular order, and then, after babbling for a while, answering the guy's question in one simple swift maneuver?

Joe Morgan: With Griffey it is all about health.

KT: Okay.

Joe Morgan: He never lost his ability to play.

KT: Probably true.

Joe Morgan: It's tough enough to play at 100 percent, so it's twice as difficult with the injuries he has had.

KT: I'd say it's more than twice as hard to play when you tear your hamstring. I'd say its infinity as hard to play, since, well, you can't play.

Joe Morgan: His potential is still unlimited as it has always been.

KT: His "potential?" We're still talking about Ken Griffey, Jr.'s potential? And not only are we talking about it, but we are saying it's "unlimited?" That's the thing we are saying about almost-36-year-old Ken Griffey, Jr. That his "potential" is "unlimited." Fine.

Joe Morgan: He's a phenomenon.

KT: Unclear why you added this. But you've done a good job by firing off like five weird sentences, so why don't you go ahead and just answer the guy's question easily and succinctly.

Joe Morgan: If he can stay healthy, he will hit into the 600's.

KT: Perfect. Thanks.

Dan (Philly): Hey Joe- Do you think the Phillies may take on Sidney Ponson for the stretch run? He might help the rotation and he would be auditioning for a contract from someone next season.

Joe Morgan: How many rotations has Ponson helped lately? He didn't help the Giants or the Orioles. Why would he help the Phillies?

KT: Kudos. Best answer you have ever given in a chat. Seriously. Nice job.

Drew (NJ): What has been the key as you see it as to why there has been so many tight division races? Thanks.

Joe Morgan: There just aren't any great teams anymore. Every team is mediocre and flawed.

KT: (a) That's his whole answer. (b) This is Joe's, like, cause celebre these days -- to make everyone understand this. He mentions it like four to six times per chat. I don't necessarily think he's wrong, but this is not the whole story. There are other factors. Maybe, Joe, you could try to tell us why there are no great teams. The unbalanced schedule, the dirth of dominant pitching staffs, free agency, the new salary's so short-sighted, and meaningless, to just keep saying "there aren't any great teams." There's no analysis there. It really bugs me.

Ray (Queens): Mr. Morgan, I know he got literally bashed pretty tough when he collided with Mike Cameron in San Diego, but it's now time for Carlos Beltran to step up in the Big Apple and justify his's Sept. now...supposed to be his time.

KT: Watch carefully how Joe screws this one up.

Joe Morgan: I don't understand why this is his time of year. He had one great October.

KT: Absolutely true.

Joe Morgan: Not only did the Mets overvalue Beltran's ability, everyone did.

KT: Preachin' to the choir.

Joe Morgan: What he did last October was phenomenal, but that was one stretch of games.

KT: I agree 100%.

Joe Morgan: He hit .260 during the season. He didn't do it over the course of the season.

KT: Right again.

Joe Morgan: The Mets will have to get to the playoffs first for him to do his thing.

KT: That is music to my...what? But...but you just spent all that time talking about how last year's playoffs was a fluke, and everyone overvalued him based on one string of great games, and how he is overrated...and then you close by saying that the Mets have to get back to the playoffs in order for him to be great again? As if Beltran is, somehow, magically great in the postseason? Oh, Joe. Joe Joe Joe.

Mike Longview, TX: In your opinion, has Buck Showalter lost the team in Texas? Do you think he will be gone after this season?

Joe Morgan: I don't see enough of Texas to really say. I haven't done a Rangers game since very early in the season. You have to be around them to really know if a manager has ''lost'' the team. You can't decipher that from news reports. The team has played poorly but I just can't say if it is because of Buck.

KT: Your basic "I refuse to voice my opinion, even though I am paid handsomely as an expert to voice my opinion." We need at least one per chat.

Sandy (Bryn Mawr): Have to say I'm really surprised the Phils are so in the pennant race. They haven't had Thome; pitching has been helter-skelter, and the fan support for this ballclub really hasn't been there...too much attention focused on the 'Iggles.'

Joe Morgan: I'm not surprised...

KT: Really? Why not?

Joe Morgan: ...because it's like the Mets, they looked really bad for awhile but now they are in the race.

KT: I see. You're not surprised the Phils are in the race,, because they are in the race?

Joe Morgan: ...The Phillies have as good as shot to win the wild card as anyone. Everyone talks about the Marlins pitching but they can't hit. If the pitching was that good, they would already have the wild card in check.

KT: Well, no, because as you are so fond of pointing out, and in fact did point out in that very sentence, you have to score runs, too, and their offense isn't that great. What kind of bizarro comment is that?

Lucas (Chicago): Who are your votes for manager of the year?

Joe Morgan: That's a tough one. We still have a long way to go. We haven't seen some managers manage under the stress of a pennant race with 10 or 15 games to go. The favorites in the NL are Bobby Cox and Frank Robinson. In the AL, you have to give the edge to Ozzie Guillen. Next would be Ken Macha. Don't write in and say it's Beane and not Macha! Macha has done a great job with the team Beane has given him.

KT: Bobby Cox is a great choice. Frank Robinson is not a good choice. Ozzie Guillen is not a good choice. Ken Macha is a good choice. And yes, Macha has done a good job with the team Billy Beane has given him. But Billy Beane has given him a great freakin' team for $50 million. So, shut up, you ignoramus. How dare you say anything bad about Billy Beane -- the man who not only invented the calculator and discovered algebra, but also won a Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling novel "The Kite Runner"?!

Joe (Cambridge): In a recent article you mention that Giambi has been tried in the court of public opinion but he hasn't tested positive...however, if the leaked grand jury Balco testimoy is accurate he did admit to using steroids, and he has made no effort to deny this leaked report. Instead he apologizes for an nameless transgression. It seems pretty clear, that despite whatever strides he's made this season, he has cheated at the game of baseball and that should give pause to anyone considering voting him for an MVP in any season.

KT: An excellent, excellent point, Joe (Cambridge). And not just because I made the same point in last week's TGIF post. Let's see how Joe responds. I'm sure it will be rational and well thought-out and smart and interesting.

Joe Morgan: So does the same go for Mark McGwire? By the same token, the grand jury testimony should not have been made public. Is McGwire guilty for how he acted at the hearings?

KT: Oh. Oops. I was wrong. Joe's answer was not rational and well thought-out and smart and interesting. It was stupid, stubborn, ignorant, wrong, and mentally deficient. No, the same does not go for Mark McGwire...for now. Because maybe the testimony should not have been leaked, but it was, and in the testimony, Jason Giambi talked IN EXPLICIT DETAIL about the steroids he did. So, there you go. And as for McGwire, well, we know he used Andro, but it wasn't technically illegal, and in all likelihood he did much more, but he hasn't yet admitted to it, despite overwhelming circumstantial evidence. And, the hearings are not the same as the testimony...why am I still typing? This is so stupid. What a stupid stupid way to answer that question. I don't know if it is Joe's weird allegiance to the players, or what, but he just refuses to take a stand, or comment with any thought and consistency, on this issue. It makes me physically ill.

Justin (Toronto): If there were no radar guns, how can you say for certain that pitchers don't throw harder now than they used to? It would seem to make sense that advances in training would make pitchers stronger just as it's done to hitters.

Joe Morgan: Throwing hard is not about strength. It's about elasticity in the arm and timing.

KT: Huh? You have to be kind of strong, I think. And wouldn't it stand to reason that the advances in technology that have led to people being stronger might imply that similar advances in technology might have made people's arms more elastic, and/or made their...timing...more...timinger? And also, what the hell do you mean by "timing?"

Kevin (Columbus): Joe, I love hearing you broadcast games and wouldn't want to lose that, but if you were younger, would you consider managing again, or even now seeing what Frank Robinson has done? You have a great mind for the game and remind everyone what the "game" is all about with your great attitude and love for baseball!

KT: Hang on one sec, everybody -- Joe has to run from the computer where he is logged in as "Kevin (Columbus)" over to the other side of the room where he is logged in as "Joe Morgan." ...Okay, he's there.

Joe Morgan: I did consider it when I was ''younger''! But I decided against it. I went into business instead. I went to sleep one night as the manager of a team. I was going to tell them in the morning. But when I woke up I reconsidered.

KT: The 1987 Houston Astros don't know how lucky they are.

Lucas (Chicago): You aren't that old, are you Joe?

Joe Morgan: That's why I put it in quotes! I'm older than you think but not as old as the other guy thinks!

Joe Morgan: Jack McKeon is old!

KT: Awwwwwww, snappp!

Mike (Pennsylbamma): What team wanted you to manage and when was that.

Joe Morgan: The Houston Astros.

KT: I swear to God I answered that previous question before I read this. I'm kind of proud of myself.

Drew (NJ): Before you sign off: Clemens...does he retire at the end of the year? He certainly isn't getting any younger, nor more wins...thanks to 'Stros...(Thank you)

Joe Morgan: I have no idea. I don't see why not given how well he is pitching this year. But everyone's person life is different. We'll just have to wait and see how he feels.

KT: Joe, for the record, it is the definition of "bad job" for an analyst to answer a simple baseball question with the phrase "I have no idea."

Joe Morgan: I enjoyed the chat as usual. I'm looking forward to a real exciting finish to the divisional races and the wild cards. I'll talk to you again in a week!

KT: And we will try to fire you next week. And so it goes.

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