Here are some of my favorite responses from Friday's reader mini-contest. The question, of course:
What might we hear from Joe during the Little League World Series?Little Johnny has an on base percentage of .200 but the kid has so many intagibles that help his team: he leads the team in hustle for his juice box and sandwich after the game, his mom makes his uniform look so sharp with Clorox and his second uncle played with me on the Reds.
-tyvanda(after little Bobby McDougal hits a HR)
I've always been a fan of Bobby, going back to 6th grade. He has this coolness about him. The coolness makes him swing better. The coolness makes the players around him swing better. When Bobby isn't driving in home runs himself, he's helping his teammates to hit them. I haven't seen enough games to comment on his fielding, but if you are are a baseball player, then you'll play well regardless.
-PatrickJoe Morgan: I'm surprised more of these little leaguers don't make the majors, because they all know how to play small-ball. In the little leagues, you can't wait around for the 3-run homer, you have to know how take a base and lay down a bunt.
Gary Thorne: ...but the Korean team has hit a record 17 home runs in 3 games...
Joe Morgan: ...well, I really haven't seen the Korean team play that much this year.
Gary Thorne: We worked all three of those games, Joe.
Buzzmaster: Joe has stepped out to take a very important phone call!
-BenBrent Musberger: What do you think of the USA vs. Japan match-up Joe?
Joe: Well, I don't know much about Japan because they play over there and I haven't really seen them play this year. But I've been told they are good (checking numbers would probably reveal they are 7-0, but Joe doesn't have time for numbers). The key for the US team is consistency. At first they were they were scoring alot of runs, but lately they haven't been scoring as many runs. I think being more consistent would help their play.
BM (left eye starting to twitch): What are the keys for the Japanese team?
JM (beaming with that stupid deer in the headlights, fake on I'm on tv smile): I think consistency is the key for them as well. If they can consistently play with more consistency, I think they can win consistently and take this tournament (remember, they are 7-0 at this point and probably the huge favorites to win this thing).
BM (his face contorted as if staring into the sun): (speechless and just looking at the camera)
JM: I like the US in this matchup because of their intangibles. They hustle and they play hard. You see them after their games, their uniforms are dirty and they look like ball players. I think their grit and determination will carry them against the Japanese team.
BM: (snaps back to reality, makes throat slashing gesture at producer off camera to go to commercial)
-ChadI've been saying since back when he was in 2nd grade that Tommy was the best shortstop in youth baseball.
-JeffOn the team from Taiwan/Japan:
Well, I haven't seen them play, but I know they wil be very fundamentally sound. They will take a regimented, almost mechanical, approach to the game. They will not make many errors, especially mental errors.
On the team from a Caribbean banana republic:
Well, I haven't seen them play, but I know that they are very passionate about baseball. They will play with a lot of emotion and will be fired up when they take the field. I would also look for them to be free swingers at the plate.
On the U.S. team:
Well, I haven't seen them play, but I know their game is based on power. They have a pesky little hitter leading off who does all the little things to get on base, and hitters 2-9 are all long ball threats looking to take a pitch out of the yard.
This 11-year-old from Great Falls, Washington lists his favorite player as Alex Rodriguez....however, it's way too early to be comparing him to A-Rod.
-JustinIn the graphic that displays the player name / position / favorite player, Joe will use the teleprompter to insert a new category, "Favorite Player Should Be: Tony Perez."
-MikeJoe advises all the kids to stay away from milk, not to lift weights, and to never eat so they can grow up weak and small like David Eckstein.
And finally, I thought I'd just print the end of Don's entry, which was about 5,000 words. By this point, of course, it has nothing to do with the LLWS anymore:Sidekick: We'll be back right after I clean up the melted brain goo running out of my ears and cram some of it back into my head. On second thought, maybe I'm better off without it today. Joe?
Joe: I'm not saying brain goo is good or bad. Just that it's tough to predict what it might do for you. Sometimes when you try to think too much, it can be a distraction up at the plate or in the booth. If you do clean up, you could use a sponge or a paper towel.
Sidekick: Which would you go with?
Joe: It's tough to say. You really have to look at the intangibles a sponge or towel have. I haven't really ever used a sponge or towel, so I can't predict what might happen. But be aggressive either way, because you can't just sit around, waiting for the three-run homer to clean up that mess.
Labels: joe morgan, little league world series