FIRE JOE MORGAN: First JoeChat of 2007!


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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Saturday, April 07, 2007


First JoeChat of 2007!

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

SportsNation Buzzmaster: We're getting Joe right now. Send in your questions!

Ken Tremendous: Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God!

Jay (Hermosa Beach, CA): Will ARod be AL MVP this season?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: A couple of years ago when he won the MVP, I felt that everything would fall into place for him. This year, I'm not sure. There is so much riding on every pitch, every at bat, every ground ball he fields, I'm not sure how he'll react. I think we'll have to wait at least a month into the season before we get a reading.

KT: Booo-ring. Get crazy. And fast. I waited six months for this.

Brent S. (fjm): what are your thoughts on josh hamiltons comeback story?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I think it's great that a guy can straighten his life out and try to move forward.

KT: I said get crazy! How long do I have to wait before you say something--

Joe Morgan: I'm not sure baseball is the right place for that.

KT: Ahhhh. Here we go.

Joe Morgan: My first thought is that he's been out of the game for three years, due to substance abuse and I worry because there were so many other players in the minor leagues at the time trying to make the big leagues and doing all the right things and he has jumped over them. No matter what we say, he's taken someone's place who was trying to get to the big leagues. I always pull for guys trying to get their lives straight, but playing in the big leagues is a privilege, not a right. As happy as I am for him, I feel bad for some player that is in the minors and doing all the right things and not get a chance in the big leagues.

KT: don't always pull for guys trying to get their lives straight. You think that baseball should not be a skill-based meritocracy. You think that if a kid screws up and has drug problems when he is like 22, he maybe should not be allowed to join the papacy -- er, sorry, the professional game-playing league -- because he was not a snow-driven angel like yourself. Okay. Well, you just retroactively invalidated the careers of like 1000 guys. Like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds (whom you no doubt still will defend to the death) and Mark McGwire and the entire 1986 Mets. Enjoy baseball without flawed people, Joe.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: All that said, let's hope that he can keep his life together this time.

KT: Way to buy it back.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Baseball has had some disappointments from players in the past that its given several chances to and it hasn't panned. Maybe he should have started in AAA to prove he deserved to be in the big leagues.

KT: If he can hit, run, and field, or even do one of those things, at the MLB level, he deserves to be in the big leagues, you snob.

Carl (MA): Hello Joe. I always look forward to your first chat of the season! What do you think about J.D. Drew's $55 million contract? Do you think he will be successful in Boston? Thanks.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Well, I was shocked that JD Drew would opt out of a contract that still had $30+ million left on it. That tells me he knew he had some place to go.

KT: Pay attention. Joe is accusing the Red Sox of tampering, using for evidence what the Irish call "fuck-all."

Joe Morgan: In my opinion, Boston was the only place that could give him that kind of money.

KT: The Astros, a mid-market team, gave Carlos Lee $545 kabillion dollars over eleventy-six years.

Carlos Lee lifetime EqA: .284
J.D. Drew lifetime EqA: .306

And Drew can even field the ball!

Joe Morgan: In my opinion, that means something was up before hand.

KT: This is dangerously close to slander. Or, libel, I guess. Well -- Joe is probably dictating this to someone, so I'll say it's slander, with the typist being an accessory to the crime of libel.

Joe Morgan: Last year was the first year JD Drew drove in 100 runs.

KT: J.D. Drew had a WARP3 of 9.8 in 2004 with Atlanta. He scored 118 runs. His OBP was .436 and his SLG was .569. He walked 118 times and hit 31 HR. His career OBP is .393. It's 2007 and Joe Morgan still thinks that a player's teammates' ability to get on base in front of him is a good measure of that player's abilities. (Although -- and how's this for full disclosure? -- I just checked BP's RBI% page and in 2004 J.D. drove in a weirdly small % of runners from 3rd -- like 31% or something. So he should have had more RsBi. Whatever. It's still a dumb stat.)

Joe Morgan: I think he will help Boston, but a lot of suspicious things are involved as far as him leaving LA to go to Boston.

KT: If I were John Henry, I would sue. Seriously.

Josh (DC): With all the focus on HR and RBI can a middle infielder win the MVP again?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: That's a great question that I've wrestled with the last four or five years. I've discussed in on Sunday Night Baseball. With the big numbers they're putting up, I think it's very difficult for any middle infielder to win the MVP. Look at last year's MVP voting. Morneau won, but he basically won for his offensive production. David Ortiz had a fabulous year offensively. The only one who was different was Derek Jeter, who plays the toughest position on the field defensively. He had a fabulous year as well. Statistically, though, home run wise, RBI wise, he's never going to add up to an Ortiz, Morneau, Dye, but that doesn't make him any less valuable.

KT: This is all very true. Jeter should have won the MVP last year. His WARP3 was like 3.5 higher than Morneau's. This is because of the relative value of his position on the field to Morneau's. So, good, then, we agree, Joe -- Jeter should have won last year.

Joe Morgan: Now I'm not saying Jeter should have won and Morneau shouldn't have, I'm just pointing out the differences.

KT: Oops.

Brad(NM): Hey's great to have you back sir. Given all teams stay relatively healthy, who do you think will win the AL West?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: That will probably be the most division to pick, because the Angels have so many variables they have to deal with in order to win. If Vladimir has another great year, I think the Angels will win. The A's are very close. I still think before the season is over, the A's will be more offensively challenged than the Angels. Losing Frank Thomas and Jay Payton hurt them. My darkhorse in that division are the other two - Mariners and Texas. I think either one could get hot and win. That's the most difficult division for me to pick a winner in.

KT: I only include this because the question was "who will win the A.L. West" and Joe named every team in the A.L. West. He even wrote "my darkhorse" (singular) and then snuck two teams in there when you weren't looking.

dave (Buckeye Lake,ohio): Joe, How do you see the Indians doing this year? Can they win it all?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Well, they definitely can win it all. CC Sabathia is due to have that great break out year and if he does, they have a chance. They have a very fine offensive team. Their defense is suspect, but I could see them winning that division. I see Detroit winning, but Cleveland has a chance. There will be a lot of teams involved in deciding who goes to the playoffs this year.

KT: And I only include this because the last sentence is the least insightful thing anyone has ever said about baseball in the history of ever and ever amen. Let's reprint it in large, bold, italics:

"There will be a lot of teams involved in deciding who goes to the playoffs this year."

Well done, sir. Well played.

Jason (DC): Joe -- all the new-fangled focus on stats is ruining baseball.

KT: I'm getting tingly.

they fail to account for the value of awesome players like erstad or eckstein and their scrappy winning plays. agree?

KT: I think this might be one of our spies sending this in. If so, identify yourself via email, please.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: We have become a stat-oriented game. Everyone has looked at stats to prove a point. I believe that stats should only embellish a point, not be a point. For instance, I agree there are a lot of players that contribute to their teams winning, but it doesn't show up in the statistics - guys moving base runners, etc. There are so many intangibles that goes with winning that are overlooked. Honestly, I don't see it getting any better because statistics are what we base everything on now.

KT: Standard stuff. But then, this little gem:

It bothers me because I see little things going on in the game and I try to point them out on the broadcast, but there are little things going on every day.

KT: What, what what what, what, and what?

Darius(Minneapolis): Joe, Wondering if there is a player of today who reminds you of yourself as a ballplayer

SportsNation Joe Morgan: As I just pointed out, the game is different now. We're more about statistics now than anything else.

KT: The question had nothing to do with stats. Joe is just still hopping mad and had to get more bile out.

Instead of saying someone reminds me of myself, I'll choose someone that I like to watch. Among the players that I love to watch at second base is Robinson Cano. But there are a lot of really good players out there in the game.

KT: The last sentence, again...we need experts for this?

Utek (LA): What's your take on the K-Rod cheating allegations? Remember, his bullpen mate Brendan Donnelly was suspended last year for doctoring baseballs, so he could have picked up tips from him.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Players are always looking for an edge whether it's pine tar on his body somewhere. It didn't help him last night, giving up that home run to Mike Piazza.

KT: 20 minutes or so after saying Josh Hamilton kind of shouldn't be in his sainted MLB because he had drug problems, Joe kind of condones cheating in baseball. I guess in Joe's world, the rules don't apply after you make the bigs.

SprungOnSports (Long Island): Which managers do you think are on the early hot seat?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I think there are a lot of those. I think you can start with New York and Joe Torre. Manuel. Mike Hargrove. John Gibbons. I think all of them plus some more are on a hot seat. Everyone's in a win-now situation.

KT: Hey Joe, which managers are on the hot seat?
Joe Morgan: Well, KT, I'd start with Joe Torre.
KT: Okay.
Joe Morgan: Maybe Charlie Manuel. Then I'd say Mike Hargrove...
KT: Okay.
Joe Morgan: Then maybe John Gibbons, some more guys, and everybody.
KT: So, everybody? All managers?
Joe Morgan: Correct.
KT: Thank you for your wisdom.

Brent S. fjm: Joe do you think the cards were the worst worldseries champ ever? Also, is ecksteins intagibles important?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I can't answer if they're the worst ever, because I didn't see all of the others that didn't win.

KT: You should hang out with Carl Everett. He can't believe in dinosaurs because nobody ever saw them. And he has no interest in the scientific instruments that allow us to analyze them. You guys are sympatico.

They certainly weren't favored, but when you get to the playoffs, all you need to do is play well for two weeks. They did that. The Yankees used to do that a lot. They played well for those two weeks and they won four championships. The key now is to get into the playoffs and then you have a chance.

KT: That's the key now. The key to winning the World Series before now was to not get into the playoffs and not have a chance. How times have changed.

Dan (NY, NY): Question about the infield fly rule. I know it's called to prevent a double or triple play on a routine fly ball out in the infield. Has there been any thought of changing the rule so all runners advance a base and the batter takes first if the fielder drops the ball?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: No, not with the infield fly rule called, once it's called, he's out even if he drops it. The rule is to protect the offensive team, so you're protecting him by calling the infield fly and not getting a double or triple play. So you call it and not penalize the defense too much. The game is already a good game, we don't need a lot of changes.

KT: He just restated the infield fly rule and failed to answer the question. Then he made a stance on baseball that the Académie Francaise would greatly admire: no changes! Write it in stone! No new thinking! Give me back that calculator, friend. It's abaci and slide rules for you.

Jon (RI): What do you think was the greatest team of all time?

KT: Any guesses, people? No cheating. I'm going to guess 1975 Reds. Second place: 1976 Reds. Third place: All other Reds teams.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I put a lot of thought into it. But I'm prejudiced. I think the 76 Reds were the best team ever. It's hard because I didn't see the 27 Yankees. But the Reds are the greatest team I ever saw.

KT: You know you were on the team, right?

Not just because I was on the team, but they did everything right. People will say that our pitchers weren't that good, but if you look at our ERA, it is better than when the Yankees were winning their championships.

KT: It's hard to compare the teams because I never saw either of them. Oh wait...what's this thing I am typing on...a whatputer?

1927 Yankees Team ERA+: 120
1976 Reds Team ERA+: 100

SprungOnSports (Long Island): What are you looking forward to the most this season?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I'm looking forward to a lot of teams playing well and a lot of players playing well.

KT: So...this year in're looking forward to..."stuff."

That's what makes baseball so great. Watching A-Rod in New York. Watching Barry Bonds in San Francisco. Those are interesting things to watch. Then watching teams perform - how will the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets perform? I just look forward to all the things that can happen during the season. There will be a lot of ups and downs, but that's baseball. It's a long, long season.

KT: You know what I'm looking forward to the most in baseball? People hitting. Also there will be pitching. Just people basically running around in organized ways. Score will be kept, and various outcomes will occur. My favorite thing about baseball is the playing of it (baseball), includings of all the mens and the happens. Baseball equals a series of goings and also there make happiness of celebration at end! English not my native languages, sorry, I never see game.

Rick H. (Selah, Wa.): Joe, Who was toughest lefty and righty pitcher that you ever faced?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Well, there were two guys - John Matlack from the Mets and probably Bob Viel who pitched when I was a rookie. But there were a lot of other ones.

KT: I wish he had named every pitcher he had ever faced. That would have been amazing.

Danny (Philly): Joe what young player in the league do you look most forward to watch in the league for years to come?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I'd probably say there are a couple of players - Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder. I want to see how they get to where they're going to go. They're two different players.

KT: (Slowly, like to a frightened child) Yes, Joseph, Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder are two different players. That's right, Joseph. Very good. Sleep, now.

SprungOnSports (Long Island): When Ichiro faces Dice-K next week, how much of an impact will that have on baseball and the international dynamic in the future?

KT: This is SprungOnSports's like fifth question. Is nobody writing in?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I think that they will have an impact, I don't know if it will be as great as people think, the international part. The Latin countries are producing the most players now. I think they'll have the most impact. Matsuzaka has a chance internationally, of course. We've seen Ichiro. Hideki Matsui. That's three that we've seen have a big impact, but overall I don't think internationally there will be as big an impact as people think.

KT: Everything I have read and heard about DiceK, and the throngs of reporters following him, and the ads in Japan, and the people staying up until 3AM to watch him pitch against the Royals, says differently. But I'm only basing that on things I have read. Joe is basing his comments on the time-tested device known as "nothing."

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I'm glad I'm back and I'm glad baseball is back. I look forward to a lot of discussion with the fans. Next week, hopefully I'll remember to discuss the Hall of Fame Veteran's Committee voting.

KT: We're glad you're back, too, Joe. Truly.

Labels: ,

posted by Unknown  # 10:56 AM
Kudos to Brent S, who not only snuck "fjm" into his handle, but asked my favorite question of the chat, "Also, is ecksteins intangibles important?"

Our readers are awesome.
The Latin countries are producing the most players now. I think they'll have the most impact. Matsuzaka has a chance internationally, of course.

Has a chance to ... make an impact? What?

We've seen Ichiro. Hideki Matsui. That's three that we've seen have a big impact

Remember, he said Matsuzaka only has "a chance internationally." So the "three" he's talking about are Ichiro, Hideki Matsui, and the Latin countries? I'm going to say that's the first time those two people and that group of countries have ever been lumped together and referred to as three of a kind.
I think it's important to note that Joe is wrong about the '27 Yankees / '76 Reds comparison, even without using adjusted ERA.

1927 Yanks team ERA: 3.20
1976 Reds team ERA: 3.51

Obviously, ERA+ is a better metric to choose -- but Joe's even wrong about the stat he chose himself.
As many of you have pointed out (Matt and Colleen were the earliest) in re: Josh Hamilton and being in the majors vs. AAA.

Hamilton is a Rule 5 pick. Meaning, if the Reds want to keep him at all, they have to have him on their major league roster. Demoting him to AAA is tantamount to offering him back to his old club, the Cubbies, who would probably gladly take him.
My apologies -- as reader Kenny pointed out, Hammy would go back to Tampa Bay, not the Cubs. Chicago was an interim stop in his long and twisted career. Anyway, Tampa would probably take him too, so it's a wash, and Joe still ends up being kind of ignorant.
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