There's an old Saturday Night Live sketch with Leslie Nielsen where he's the host of a game show, and, somewhat akin to his Frank Drebin persona, he has mixed up the cards with the answers on them so everything is one segment off. He asks when America was discovered, someone says "1492," he says no, sorry, it's Coca Cola. He asks what famous beverage blah blah blah, someone answers Coca Cola, he says, no, sorry, it's Africa. You get the idea.
The point is, I think that happens to Joe sometimes.
Joe Morgan: Who's the surprise team? No one has really surprised. The balance that Bud Selig talked about seems to be prevalent now, because no one seems to be stepping out there.
Ken Tremendous: (looking around for help
) No one has asked you anything yet.
Anthony (LA):: Joe, what does having four full straight days off do to the Cleveland Indians? Do you think that MLB should open the season in roofed or warm weather stadiums? Joe Morgan: It affects them because they will lose some timing, but they have underground batting facilities and such. It's going to affect them, but they'll have to adjust.
KT: Here's how Hall of Famer and multiple Emmy winner for excellence in broadcasting just treated Anthony from L.A.
Q. What does having four straight days off do to the Indians?
A. It affects them.
Q. Do you think MLB should open the season in warmer climates or domed stadiums?
Q. Hello?Dave (Chicago): True or false: Cuban + Cubs = end of championship drought Joe Morgan: I don't know if baseball wants someone like Mark Cuban, someone who's sort of a rebel. I don't know if the owners would accept someone like him. But the players love him.
KT: This was a farking true or false
question. Binary. One word answer. And still, no actual response.
Bradford, Memphis: Hey Joe. Since A-rod is lighting up the homerun board, how do you think he will fare later on in the season with his early season stats? Joe Morgan: Pitching is the key. You can only outscore the average teams. But the Yankees need him in order to have a good year.
KT: Okay. Here's one of the examples of Joe mixing up questions. One more time: the question is:Bradford, Memphis: Hey Joe. Since A-rod is lighting up the homerun board, how do you think he will fare later on in the season with his early season stats?
Will ARod keep up his furious HR pace? Nothing about the Yankees. Nothing about the success of the team he plays for. Nothing about pitching vs. hitting. And the first thing Joe says is:
Joe Morgan: Pitching is the key.
You can only outscore the average teams.
The question was about ARod's HR pace in September.
But the Yankees need him in order to have a good year.
KT: And......................we're done.
Justin Nh: Hey Joe, you didn't say anything about Redsox slow start and struggling to scoring runs this 2007? Joe Morgan: Any time Manny's not hitting, they're going to struggle. Ortiz is struggling as well. The rest of the lineup is not that good. Those two guys have to carry the team. When they hit, they'll score runs. Manny and David are the keys to them winning.
KT: "The rest of their line-up is not that good?" They have JD Drew, Youkilis, Lugo, Lowell, Varitek, Crisp, and Pedroia. It's not the Yankees, or the Mets, but it's solid-to-good, if everyone stays healthy. (Yes, I am a Red Sox fan, but I do not look through rose-colored glasses. I would also be willing to bet that Joe could not name three other starters for the Red Sox, BTW.)
And as for the observation that the two best hitters on the team are the keys to that team winning, I would say: You're totally wrong. Those guys are going to do their thing no matter what, and the actual keys are the more marginal guys, like if Coco Crisp can have a good year and Youkilis can have a .390 OBP, and if Drew can stay healthy. Those would be the keys. How lazy is it to say, like, "The key to the Mets winning is if Delgado and Wright can hit," or "the key to the Marlins is if Cabrera can hit"? That is not analysis. That is first-thought garbage.Bryant (Columbia, MO): Hey Joe, thanks for the chat. I was wondering where you would rank Griffey on the list of best outfielders of all time? If he'd stayed healthy, do you think he could have been the best ever? Thanks Joe Joe Morgan: Well, you can't rank them 1 through 10, because there have been a lot of great outfielders. But he is in the top echelon. He was great defensively and he has over 500 home runs.
KT: (a) Didn't answer the question. (b) The question is where you
would rank them, not where they objectively rank in some kind of chiseled-in-stone-tablet delivered-from-the-Mount kind of way. (c) There have been a lot of great everything
, and people still find ways to rank things. (d) Stating that Griffey has over 500 HR is not analysis. It is fact. (e) You cannot -- you simply cannot
-- be a top sports analyst if you never actually voice your opinion on anything.
Dan (CT): If Jeter's neck problem is anything serious, what do the yankees have as far as minor league infielders?
KT: Haven't read ahead yet, but there is simply no way in hell Joe can answer this. He has no idea. Dan, from CT, if you're reading this. You want to do an ESPN search for Keith Law
, and ask him, when he does a chat. Or go here
and look stuff up. You never ask Joe a question like this. You are in grave danger.
Okay. The question is: who, in the Yankee farm system, could chip in to help the Yankee infield in the event of a long-term injury to Derek Jeter. Dan (CT) wants names. Your analyst: Joe Morgan. Joe Morgan: Jeter's the captain of the team. He's the leader of the team. It's like anything else. If they take A-Rod out of there, they'll suffer. If you take anyone out, they'll suffer. It will depend on who plays SS in his stead.
KT: I imagine Joe sweating a lot while typing/dictating this. I imagine him looking at the first five sentences and saying, "Oh man. I really
didn't answer this one. Yikes." I imagine him thinking about the question again: "Who from the Yankees' farm system could take over for Jeter?" and then I imagine him gingerly typing, "It will depend on who plays SS in his stead." And I imagine him exhaling loudly and thinking, "That seems like I addressed the question. Good. Dodged another bullet, Joey m'boy!"
FRED (MIAMI,FLORIDA): JOE WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM TH YOUNG MARLINS THIS SEASON ALSO WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE THERE CLOSER FOR BOTH THE SHORT TERM AND THE LONG TERM
KT: Easy, Fred. Eeeeeeeasy, boy. Relax. (Also: "their," not "there.") (Sorry.)
Okay, Joe: question is: what do you expect from the Marlins? And who will be their closer, now and later? Joe Morgan: I think they should be better anyway.
KT: "Anyway." "Anyway," what?
They should be better because they're a year older. I don't think they're worried about sneaking up on anyone.
KT: Not the question, makes no sense, not the question, what about the closer?
I talked to Tony Perez and he said they have some good young players there.
KT: Joe, you're a baseball expert. What do you think of the Marlins?
JM: Well, KT, I talked to someone else, and he thinks they're good.
KT: Okay. But what do you think?
KT: Yes, Joe, what do you think?
JM: ...Oh my Gosh. I'm sorry, I'm just...taken aback. No one's ever asked me for my opinions before.
KT: Yes they have, Joe. That's what all these chats are. People are asking you for your opinions.
JM: What? No. That's incorrect. People write these questions and then I am just supposed to write whatever I feel like or maybe tell them what other people think.
KT: No, Joe. Sorry. That's false. You are supposed to know stuff, and do research, and have facts at your disposal, and then you are supposed to answer their questions and provide your own analysis.
JM: ...Excuse me. I have to contact my attorney.FRED (MIAMI,FL): JOE WHO DO YOU THIK CLEMENS WILL RETURN WITH OR IF AT ALL
KT: Freddy. Pal. Take it down a notch, man. You okay? Can I get you some water?
FRED (MIAMI, FL): NO THANKS KEN I AM FINE THANK YOU I JUST CANNOT MODULATE THE SOUND OR VOLUME OF MY VOICE AND IT COMES THROUGH IN MY TYPING BUT I AM REALLY FINE THANK YOU
KT: Okay. Let me know if you need anything. Joe Morgan: I saw Roger in the winter and he hadn't made up his mind and I don't think he has yet. In my mind there's only one place he can go and that's Houston, but they're not playing well right now.
KT: He can also go to the Yankees or Red Sox. And he will probably go to the Yankees. But excellent analysis, Joe.
Scott (Flint Lake, Michigan): Do grittier players like David Eckstein do better in the cold weather?
KT: Thank you, Scott.
Joe Morgan: No. I don't think there's any specific type of player that will play better in the colder weather.
I think the player that can focus better will do better in the adverse weather.
Direct contradiction to your previous sentence.
Jason (DC): Joe -- true or false: a good manager alone can make the difference between a baseball team making the playoffs or not? Joe Morgan: I think a manager's more important in today's game than ever before. I think you have to have playoff type players before you can make the players.
KT: Second sentence makes no sense. (I am tired, so I am now just pointing out the errors in Joe's answers as briefly as I can.)The manager can make the difference in close games, but I don't think they can turn everyone around.
KT: Seeming contradiction to sentence #1.
Pat Howard Beach, NY: How many teams are going to win 100 games this year? Joe Morgan: I still think someone will move out ahead of the pack. Some team will get hot and things will fall into place for them. 100 games will be difficult for a team to attain this year. I would say the Mets have the best chance.
KT: All sentences except the last one are unnecessary and dull.Josh (Sheboygan, WI): Hey Joe, how many people will be at the 3 Cleveland games in Milwaukee? (I just bought tickets for tomorrow night, and I'm only two sections from home plate) Did MLB do the right thing moving these games to Milwaukee? Why not just play them later this year? Joe Morgan: To be honest with you, I haven't thought much about it.
KT: Sums up every answer to every question Joe has ever been asked. Should be engraved on his tombstone. (When he dies peacefully in his sleep at the age of 106. I wish no ill will towards the man.)Terry, Atlanta, Ga: Hey Joe, the Astros may be in trouble because of their pitching situation... do you see a solution when it comes to their closer? Joe Morgan: The closer is always important. You don't want to lose games that you've won. But their offense is inconsistent too. I think Oswalt is as good a pitcher as there is in the league.
KT: First sentence is bland, self-evident, and meaningless. Question had nothing to do with offense. Question had to do with the closer, not Oswalt. Did not answer question.John, New York, NY: Good morning, Joe. Who are you surprised about the most after the first week? It can be an individual player or an entire team. And do you think we saw the real Carl Pavano last night in Minnesota? Joe Morgan: Probably Milwaukee. I thought they would get off to a good start. If you're going to pick a dark horse, it's them. They have a lot of young players.
KT: Did not address Pavano question. Here's the best one ever, maybe:
Rick H. (Selah, Wa.): Do you think King Felix has a shot at the AL Cy Young this season? Or, will it be another year or two? Joe Morgan: Dwight Gooden is the best young pitcher I've ever seen. He was better than all of them at a young age.
KT: Very very simple question, for an analyst. Will Felix H. contend for the Cy this year, or will it take a little longer. Answer is to a completely different question, namely: "Who is the best young pitcher you ever saw?"
This is amazing. The man should be fired immediately, for this answer. This is a fireable offense, to me, if you are supposed to the #1 analyst on the #1 baseball network in America. Shocking. (Sorry this isn't funny, or even really attempting to be. I am just stunned into earnestness.)Cameron (Marietta, Georgia): Joe, do you think that the Braves have enought pitching to win the division? Also who do you think is the best canidate for ROY? Joe Morgan: Yeah, I think the Braves, they have a good team, but I still think the Mets are the best team.
KT: Didn't answer ROY question. (I'm so sad. I don't want to do this anymore. I should give up blogging and become a full-time nurse. Help people, or something. Maybe do Doctors Without Borders. Send suggestions in via e-mail. Because this is just too depressing.)
Steve Chicago: With Lidge being removed as closer...do you think the Astros trade him, keep him in a setup role, or does he earn his spot as closer with the Astros? Joe Morgan: It's difficult because he's tried to get back on track ever since Pujols hit that home run in the playoffs. It has to be a mental thing and he says he's tougher than anyone else out there.
KT: Didn't suggest course of action for the Astros. (I like to travel. Maybe I'll just take a year off from Fremulon Insurance and travel. Have any of you been to Africa? My friend Aaron went to Rwanda and looked at monkeys. He said it was great. Maybe I should do that. They might throw their feces at me. Do monkeys really do that? Whatever. Being covered in monkey feces can't be any worse than reporting on Joe's chats, I guess. Oooh -- what about Scandanavia?)Roger (Florence, S.C.): Are baseballs' programs in the inner cities having any influence in getting kids interested? Joe Morgan: Well, we can say that we need more programs, but one of the things we need to think about is we need to get the fans back. We need to get families coming back into the parks.
KT: Baseball set an attendance record last year. (The other option would be maybe just moving to a different city. Maybe write a book? I took creative writing in college. Maybe I could write the Great American Novel. It will be called, like, "Dreams of a Dreamer." Or "City of Dreams." "The City of Imagination." Something. I'll figure out the title later. It's gonna be awesome.)
Jason (San Diego): Who would you rather have, a player like Erstad, who puts up mediocre stats but plays hard, or a player like JD Drew, who can put up monster stats but doesn't have a reputation as a gamer? Joe Morgan: That's a tough question. You have to have people to produce to win. Everyone should play hard at all times. You shouldn't have to make a choice that way. Everyone should play hard.
KT: Everyone plays pretty hard, I think. And JD Drew is way better if he's healthy. Erstad is terrible. (I just sold my house. Mrs. Tremendous and I are moving to Montana. I have already written the first chapter of the book. I feel alive! More alive than ever!) Joe Morgan: Thanks for chatting. Sorry about the delay earlier, I was having phone problems and now I'm off to fly home after my Easter weekend. Thanks for chatting!
KT: You said that already. Anyway, I will never have to do one of these things again. And for you loyal readers, to thank you, here is an excerpt from my new novel, "Dreamscape of Imagination." I haven't reread it since I typed it a few seconds ago, but I'm sure it's good.
I awoke with a start. My heart was racing. I had just had the most amazing dream. I sent in a question to a Joe Morgan chat on ESPN.com and he answered it with intelligence, forethought, and expert analysis. It was thrilling. I was in the quick of my skin. I raced to my computer and logged on to see if the dream had come true.
It had not.
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