FIRE JOE MORGAN: I Don't Want to Chat With Joe, as I Don't Watch Him Chat Every Day, So I Don't Want To Chat One Way Or the Other.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I Don't Want to Chat With Joe, as I Don't Watch Him Chat Every Day, So I Don't Want To Chat One Way Or the Other.

Look at this.

John (New York, NY): Do you agree with other analysts that Derek Jeter's defense is overrated? With the number of errors he's made so far this year, it seems like everyone's jumping off the bandwagon.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I would not put myself in that group.

Ken Tremendous: Explain why.

First off, as a middle infielder, shortstop is the most difficult position to play on the field.

KT: I agree.

Any lapse of concentration or injury can throw you off.

KT: Same can be said of all positions, but I'm still with you.

I think with Jeter, he's been losing his concentration recently, but I expect him to get out of it. Middle infield demands that you have your highest confidence at all times, so a few errors can throw you off.

KT: It's a confidence problem? For Derek Jeter? Are you sure?

I won't say someone's overrated because I don't see him every day.

KT: All-time low for the Joe Morgan "I don't see him every day so I can't comment" thing. How many times have you seen Jeter in your life, Joe? A hundred? Two hundred? And you still can't comment on whether you think he's overrated? This is insane. If you are telling me you can't make a comment on Derek Jeter because you haven't seen him play enough, you are officially saying that you can never render your opinion on anything, ever.

Obviously, if he's won 3 consecutive Gold Gloves, he has to be pretty good.

KT: Opposite of true.

Rick in DC: Mr. Morgan: The Tigers are pitching well thus far, but all we hear about are the arms on the Red Sox. Do you think these teams will meet in the ALCS this year?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I actually feel like Detroit might win the American League again. Obviously it's early, so I can't make a real prediction.

KT: People make predictions all the time. Before seasons even start. Can you ever just offer an opinion without qualifying it? What is the point of constantly saying you can't give your opinion? Why do you have this job?

So far, with Boston, Schilling has bounced back, Beckett is capable but hasn't reach his full potential, and Dice-K looks like a stud. You can't say they have a great staff just yet; they've certainly made some good starts. The Tigers have more room for improvement than the Red Sox, as Schilling and Wakefield aren't getting any better. I still think the Tigers will prevail in the end.

KT: See? Was that so hard?

Tony (Weymouth MA): With all of the injuries to the Yankees starting rotation, will Roger Clemens lean to signing with the Red Sox as the best chance to win it all one last time? Does he stay in Houston or retire?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I know Roger pretty well, but I'm not going to predict what he will do.

KT: Oh my God.

Here's a play I just wrote:

(Scene: Joe is the blind Greek seer Tiresias. Oedipus approaches.)

Oedipus: Tiresias, priest of Zeus. I come to you to gain knowledge of the slaying of King Laius.
Joe Tiresias: Well, I knew Laius pretty well, but I don't want to say I know who killed him.
Oedipus: But your visions are never wrong, great seer. You see all.
Joe Tiresias: I have seen a lot of things happen, yes. I have been a seer for a long time, so don't tell me I don't know what's gonna happen in Greece.
Oedipus: (confused) ...I wasn't saying that. I am saying the opposite of that. I am asking you for your help in learning the identity of the slayer of King Laius.
Joe Tiresias: I knew Laius. I watched him be King for a long time. He was a great veteran King.
Oedipus: ...What?
Joe Tiresias: If you're saying that he is not as good a King as you, I wouldn't say that. You just started as King, and he did it for a lot of years. He knew how to rule.
Oedipus: ...Yikes. Okay. Listen. I want you to use your wisdom and sight and the power of the Gods to tell me who killed him.
Joe Tiresias: Well, I didn't watch him rule every day, so I don't want to comment. I don't want to say one way or the other.
Oedipus: (Blinds self out of frustration)

Personally, I believe the only place Roger Clemens can play is Houston, because Roger doesn't want to travel, and Houston is the only team of the three to allow him to do what he's doing. Neither the Yankees or Red Sox can allow him to do that. If he pitches again, as an analyst, I feel he will pitch with Houston.

KT: And again, he ends up answering the question after saying that he can't answer the question.

Shawn in Philly: Do you really believe the lack of African-American players in the game is a "crisis"? Does it matter how many there are in the league as long as the opportunity is there? To me, the real problem is the lack of African-Americans in front office positions.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Of all the people I've listened to about this percentage, you have the right understanding. I cannot find it in my heart to blame MLB for the percentages. The opportunity is there. Players are making a choice to go to the NBA or the NFL. If baseball wants to try to help persuade them to go that way, that's great, but it's not baseball's fault. Football is 70 percent African-American and basketball is 80 percent African-American. All those athletes are not playing baseball. I agree fully that the problem is in the front office and in the management, but if you do not have African-American players, where are the managers going to come from? They have brought people into the front office who have graduated from Harvard, but not African-Americans who have graduated from Harvard. You have guys who get two, three chances, but a guy like Cito Gaston, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor, Lloyd McClendon, Davey Lopes, Jerry Manuel who don't get as many chances. Yet a aguy like Phil Garner, who lost in Milwaukee and Detroit, found a good team in Houston. Not to pick on him, but the opportunity isn't there. Only Frank Robinson has managed more than three different teams; Cleveland, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Washington. You have a very good understanding of what I see as the problem.

KT: All right, look. Dabbling in racial discussions is always a dangerous thing. And I fully agree that all different types of people should have the opportunities to manage MLB teams, and I think it's probably true that MLB, like the NFL and the NBA, should have more minority managers and front-office types -- especially African-Americans.

But. Look at that list of guys who, Joe is insinuating, didn't get a fair shake. Cito Gaston won two WS, then went 56-88, 74-88, 72-85, and was fired. I'll quote from his Wikipedia page here...

He had failed to lead the team to a winning record since 1993 and seemed uninterested in keeping his position. Gaston forced [GM Gord] Ash's hand by telling his boss that he was taking a vacation at season's end and would not be around for the usual post season evaluation process, thus ending his Jays managing career in an undignified fashion. He was replaced by then-pitching coach Mel Queen on an interim basis for the last week of the 1997 season. Gaston rejoined the team as a hitting coach after the 1999 season but was not retained after a disappointing 2001 campaign and the sale of the franchise to Rogers Communications. In 2002, he was hired by the Jays for a third time, as special assistant to president and chief executive officer Paul Godfrey.

Given Gaston's impressive record and World Series titles, it is somewhat surprising that he never managed again in the Major Leagues. Nevertheless, Gaston was a final candidate for the Detroit Tigers manager's job in the 1999-2000 season and was the runner-up to in the Chicago White Sox manager position in the 2003-4 off season. Sox GM Kenny Williams, a former Blue Jays player, had Gaston as one of two finalists for the job but decided to hire Ozzie Guillen. Gaston had several offers to rejoin major league teams as a hitting instructor...but declined offers. His length of unemployment now makes it unlikely he will return to the major leagues as a manager. was African-American GM Kenny Williams who hired Ozzie Guillen -- a minority candidate -- over Gaston. Just sayin'.

And Lopes, well, he has a career record of 144-195. (Also, I don't believe he is African-American. Am I wrong?) Dusty Baker is the man who thinks that you shouldn't "clog up the bases." He probably ended the careers of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood by having them throw like 150 pitches a game even after DL trips. He stinks on ice. Don Baylor won more than 83 games once in nine years. Lloyd McClendon was 336-446 in five years. Jerry Manuel was better (500-471), and is currently coaching for the (African-American-coached) Mets, I think, and he's only 53. He'll get another chance.

A lot of these guys -- like McClendon, and Baylor to some extent -- had crappy teams. But they also didn't do that great, so it's not totally surprising that they haven't been handed other jobs. I don't know. MLB should do more to encourage front-office -- and, I guess, non-Harvard -- minority hires. But I don't think it's racism, necessarily, that has kept, say, Dusty Baker, from getting hired. I think it's good sense.

Doug (New Rochelle, NY): Joe - how do you assess Junior Griffey's legacy? The last few years have been marred by injuries, and yet he still has a great shot at 600 home runs and he is one of the few sluggers in this geneation without a steroid question hanging over his head.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: What you havre with Griffey is a Hall of Fame career, but unfortunately people may remember him near the end, when he broke down. Willie Mays was the greatest I ever saw, but he was average toward the end of his career. Fortunately, he's already built his legacy. His place in history is already set. He's one of the greatest to ever play the game.

KT: That part is kind of boring. But I love this next part:

SportsNation Joe Morgan: When you saw Griffey on the field, you knew he was having fun. You don't see that with all the other players.

KT: To me Griffey is kind of a famously sourpuss kind of guy. He always looked unhappy, to me. Am I crazy? And also: who cares?

Bob(Chicago): In your opinion, why didn't more teams interview Dusty Baker during the offseason? Has he been scarred by the Wood/Prior injuries since 2003 or is it just the residue of being a Cubs manager?

KT: Here's a quotation you might have read, that Dusty Baker once said, when his team was last in the league with a .318 OBP and was asked if his team should walk more: "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

That is why more teams did not interview him. It betrays a lack of understanding about baseball bordering on the criminally insane. But let's see what Joe thinks.

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I think all those things are in play. I don't think the Wood/Prior situation is as important as being in a losing situation in a big market. I'll go back to my answer before. Do you think if he was not African-American and had his same resume, would ha get interviewed?

KT: I think that no matter what ethnicity a man is, if he believes that walks "clog up the bases," he should not be a major league manager, because he is ill-suited for that job.

The same goes with Cito Gaston. We can say we shouldn't look at it that way, but you tell me another way to look at that, and I will.

KT: I just did. But here it is again, same guy (Dusty), same subject, different quote:

“No. 1, I’ve let most guys hit 3-0 (in the count). That’s one reason. . . . I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time he’s clogging up the bases for somebody who can run.”

And this one:

“Who have been the champions the last seven, eight years? Have you ever heard the Yankees talk about on-base percentage and walks? . . . Walks help. They do help. But you aren’t going to walk across the plate, you’re going to hit across the plate. That’s the school I come from.”

For the record, the Yankees' championship teams were very much about OBP and walks.

Want more?

“Everybody can’t hit with two strikes, everybody can’t walk,” Baker said. “You’re taking away some of the aggressiveness of a kid if you’re telling him to go up there and try to work for a walk. . . . It’s like when I see kids in Little League and they make the small kids go up there and try to get a walk. That’s not any fun. . . . Do you ever see the top 10 walking (rankings)? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk, but the name of the game is to hit.”

How in the world is any sane GM going to let that guy manage his team?

There's no way that you can win like Dusty and Cito and not get another job. If you're an honest man, you realize there's something wrong with that picture.

KT: I actually take offense at this. Joe Morgan is calling me a racist. Or at least, not an honest man. That's wrong. If he's not careful, my friends and I might create a blog that ridicules him and people like him who don't know what they are talking about.

Bob (Tinley Park, IL): Joe, what do you think of Henry Aaron and Bud Selig's stance on Bonds breaking his record? Should they be there in your opinion or is Bonds a cheater and therefore not worthy of their presence?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: I don't ever call anyone a cheater unless I know for sure.

KT: Okay. Fair enough.

Barry Bonds told a federal grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream supplied by the Burlingame laboratory now enmeshed in a sports doping scandal, but he said he never thought they were steroids, The Chronicle has learned.

Federal prosecutors charge that the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, known as BALCO, distributed undetectable steroids to elite athletes in the form of a clear substance that was taken orally and a cream that was rubbed onto the body.

Bonds testified that he had received and used clear and cream substances from his personal strength trainer, Greg Anderson, during the 2003 baseball season but was told they were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis, according to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by The Chronicle.

Federal prosecutors confronted Bonds during his testimony on Dec. 4, 2003, with documents indicating he had used steroids and human growth hormone during a three-year assault on baseball's home run record, but the Giants star denied the allegations.

During the three-hour proceeding, two prosecutors presented Bonds with documents that allegedly detailed his use of a long list of drugs: human growth hormone, Depo-Testosterone, undetectable steroids known as "the cream" and "the clear," insulin and Clomid, a drug for female infertility sometimes used to enhance the effect of testosterone.

The documents, many with Bonds' name on them, are dated from 2001 through 2003. They include a laboratory test result that could reflect steroid use and what appeared to be schedules of drug use with billing information, prosecutors told the grand jury.

In a September 2003 raid on Anderson's Burlingame home, federal investigators seized documents they said showed Bonds was using banned drugs, according to court records. Anderson was indicted in February on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to distribute steroids in the BALCO case.

Now can you say he cheated?

(Did you not hear about that, Joe? it was a really big story.)

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Hopefully this will be a better week for all of us, and baseball will help us move forward in the aftermath of what happened at Virginia Tech. It has not been a good start to the week. I'm concerned because my two daughters will be going to school two years from now. It's almost like the Imus situatiion; kids and people going to get educated and being hit from the outside with negative comments and threates on their lives. I guess if you're not safe in college, where are you safe?

KT: I'd just like to say here that the Imus situation was horrifying and despicable, and I'm glad he was fired. But how on God's green earth do you even begin to compare that with the Virgina Tech massacre? That's not even apples and oranges -- it's like apples and hurricanes of murderous insanity that destroy entire communities.

Sorry this chat was so downerish and sad. Hopefully next week he'll just go back to saying he can't comment on anything.

Labels: , ,

posted by Unknown  # 6:23 PM
From Nick:

i wouldn't expect joe to know this, or do any research, but mike hill (assisstant general manager for the florida marlins) is an african american harvard graduate. he played football and baseball for the crimson and was recruited by a coach i work with, which is the reason i know he's a harvard grad. additionally, his race should be fairly obvious from his picture.
From Andrew:

Don't know if you heard the Dan Patrick show today but Joe Morgan was on and had the audacity to compare the VaTech massacre to the Don Imus comment. He said, "Here are kids going to school, not bothering anybody; trying to make something of themselves, trying to be better--and this is what they're subjected to."

I'll let that sink in for a moment...

Anyway, here's the link:
You need to be an ESPN insider to access it.

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