FIRE JOE MORGAN: Chatters, Unite


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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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Chatters, Unite

If you don't want to read the whole Joe Morgan chat, I'll just give you some highlights:

-- He hasn't been consistent
-- I'm not convinced they're going to be consistent
-- Small ball
-- Smart ball
-- I don't know
I haven't seen enough of him this year
-- Dice-K is considered a rookie, but I don't buy that.
-- If I had to pick an actual rookie, I'd have to say Dice-K will have the largest impact.
-- It's tough for me to answer that question from afar
-- I don't see how they go about their business on a day-to-day basis.
-- I'd have to think more about it
I don't know

That about sums it up. If you're a glutton for punishment, read on.

Brandyn S. - Chicago:
Joe - what are your thoughts on the success the Red Sox have had without major contributions from David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez to this point in the season?

Joe Morgan: I think Ortiz has contributed big hits, but hasn't been as consistent as he'd like...If you look at that team overall, you still have to wonder where the runs are going to come from, other than Manny and Ortiz, so I'm not convinced they're going to be consistent.

Ken Tremendous: How exactly has Ortiz not been "consistent?" he has a 1.046 OPS in 140 AB, with 9 HR and 28 BB. It's not like he put all that up in a 2-week stretch. He has been incredibly consistent. You can't just say stuff like that, man. Also, with Manny, Lugo, Crisp, Pedroia, and JD Drew all biting it hard, the Sox lead the AL in runs and have a .814 OPS. They are walking like maniacs (170, tops in the AL) and thus have a .369 team OBP. You know what that means? That means they have a very good chance at being "consistent," because their hot start is not based on flukey BA stats that will even out. This is why it's good to walk a lot. Because it allows your offense to be consistent. Hence: You are a moron.

Matt (Knoxville, TN): Would you name some palyers (past and present) who changed/are changing the way baseball is played?

Joe Morgan: I don't think there have been that many players that have changed the game.

KT: Yeah. You're right. Very few players have changed the game. Good answer.

Maury Wills changed things in the '60s bringing the SB back from where Ty Cobb put it. There was a change as far as pitching, with the split-finger fastball...but I'm not sure who gets credit for that. Hitting styles in the '90s changed when players started diving in. George Brett and the Royals got that going. That stayed for a while. And then, I'd say late '90s, everybody started with a slight uppercut like McGwire and Sosa took off. In the 2000s, pitching has gone more to offspeed pitches than ever before and I really believe now, small ball - or as Ozzie Guillen called it, smart ball - is starting to come back. I can't say who initiated those changes, but that's what I've seen.

KT: So, here are Joe's choices for Players Who Changed the Game:

Maury Wills
Split-Fingered Fastball Guy, Whoever That Is
George Brett
McGwire/Sosa (Uppercutters)

Here are some he didn't name:

Babe Mother-Humping Ruth
Jackie Robinson (both for breaking the color barrier and for his actual play)
Joe Page (some consider the first real "closer" or relief ace)
Rickey Henderson
Dennis Eckersley
Jose Canseco (for introducing steroids, mostly)
Cal Ripken
Barry Bonds

And hell, why not Billy Beane? Or Moe Berg, or Goose Gossage? Or Pete Rose and his gambling?

And for the record, Roger Craig is often given credit for the spread of the splitter. Bruce Sutter threw it a lot. Have you not watched a lot of baseball, Joe?

Mike (NYC): Do you see Roger Clemens making a serious contribution to the Yanks? I think a rotation of Wang, Pettitte, Moose, Rocket and Hughes can be tremendous.

Joe Morgan: On paper, you're right, Mike. But on paper, the Yankees looked good at the beginning of the season, too. Guess what? You still have to go out there and pitch and stay healthy. I don't know how many starts Rocket's going to get and I'm sure he'll pitch well. But to say that staff is going to match, say Detroits or Boston's when they're healthy, I don't see it that way. I guess my point is, Rocket's going to do his thing, but they have to stay healthy. That said, I don't ever discount what the Yankees can do, because they have such a good offense.

KT: Let's boil this paragraph down to its essence:

Joe Morgan: On paper, but on paper, guess what? I don't know, I'm sure, but, I don't see it that way. I guess my point is, but that said, I don't.

KT: Equally helpful.

Grady Sizemore (Cleveland): Joe what's wrong with my bat right now? People have said I'm as good if not better than Beltran, but I sure don't feel like it right now. Any thoughts?

KT: I'm guessing Grady is not going to get any actual analysis of his slump. I'm guessing he's not going to get: "You have a hitch in your swing," or "You're not taking outside pitches the other way like you did last year" or "Don't worry -- you're still walking a lot (26 in 130 or so AB) so the power will come back" or anything like that. Anyone want to bet me? You all do? You all think Joe will give specific and insightful comments about Grady Sizemore's hitting slump? You want to be me $100 each? Okay. Let's see.

Joe Morgan: I haven't seen enough of him this year to give a real good opinion, but hitters go through stretches where they're not swinging the bat well. If a guy gets off to a .400 start, at some point he'll hit .100 to balance that out...and vice versa. Remember, we're talking about a batting AVERAGE, and you're never going to have all great months. I wouldn't panic just yet and I think there's a long way to go. I'm sure he'll get hot, because he is a good player.

KT: Send your $100 checks to:

Ken Tremendous
c/o Area 62
Secret Coast Guard Whale-Monitoring Program
Ejeisseurleunde-Trei Weather Station
Transfeille, Greenland FS-6

Norman (NY): Good morning Joe. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the fast starts for both JJ Hardy and Prince Fielder. Can Hardy keep up this MVP like pace and do you think that Prince Fielder can already be considered one of the elite power hitters in the game?

Joe Morgan: I think I said this on our first chat this year. When I went to Spring Training this year, the only game I saw was Milwaukee-Chicago Cubs as a practice game.

February 27, 2007

Joe Morgan: That was a good game. The Brewers are a fun club.
ESPN Talent Handler: You want to head over to the other field? The Reds are playing a split-squad game against the Padres.
Joe Morgan: No, I'm good.
ESPN Talent Handler: ...Okay. Well, I'll drive you back to the hotel. Tomorrow, the Giants play the Braves, we have the Dodgers-Angels, and at night the DRays are playing the Tigers. Where do you want to go?
Joe Morgan: I'm good, I think.
ESPN Talent Handler: You...don't want to see any of the games?
Joe Morgan: Nah. I saw this one. That seems like enough.
ESPN Talent Handler: For the whole Spring? Just one game?
Joe Morgan: It was a long game.
ESPN Talent Handler:'re just going to head home?
Joe Morgan: (inexplicably furious) I saw a game! Get off my back, Phillip!
ESPN Talent Handler: Jennifer.
Joe Morgan: Whatever.

Wade: (Nashville, TN): Joe, what rookie do you think will have the biggest impact on their team the rest of the season?

Joe Morgan: Just off of what I've seen Travis Buck and Jack Cust, although not a total newcomer, are strong candidates for impact guys the rest of the way. Dice-K is considered a rookie, but I don't buy that. He's played in Japan all these years, and although it's correct that it's his first MLB season, I don't think it's the same as a Phil Hughes from the Yankees. So, if I had to pick an actual rookie, I'd have to say Dice-K will have the largest impact.

KT: Jack Cust is 28 years old and has had 29 AB this year. Let's hold off on the coronation a little, can we? Also, I don't need to point out why this is stupid, right Joe? I don't need to point out that you said that you don't think DiceK is a rookie, and then immediately -- like in the next sentence -- said that the rookie who will have the largest impact is DiceK. Do I? I do? Okay.

David (RedLegs Nation): Hey Joe Whats up you see any thing turning the reds around or are we stuck in the basement?

Joe Morgan: I'm disappointed in the Reds, because they got off to a good start and I thought their confidence would be high. But things haven't gone well the last two weeks, so they'll need to straighten it out.

KT: How about this one? Do I need to point out that the question was "will anything turn the Reds around? and your answer was "they'll need to straighten it out"? Do I have to explain why that is not a good answer? Or, more accurately, not an answer at all?

Sam Perlozzo (Baltimore): Joe, I had a horrible 9th inning in Boston Sunday followed by a near fight in the dugout last night between Mora and Payton. Is my time as manager drawing short?

Joe Morgan: It's tough for me to answer that question from afar, because I don't see how they go about their business on a day-to-day basis.

KT: You are a baseball analyst. This is unacceptable. Get off your ass and start researching these things. Or at least fake it, for Crissakes. It's pathetic.

Brian(NY): Joe here's a tough one for ya...if you we're to start a franchise from scratch for the next 5 years who would you're infield team be , mine would be Pujols,Kinsler,Reyes and Wright.

Joe Morgan: I can't argue with that. I'm not sure I'd put Kinsler ahead of Cano. He's hitting home runs, but is he a better hitter than Cano, who hit .340 last year. I wouldn't argue with that infield other than 2B, but I'd have to think more about it.

KT: I know it's early this year, and he was great last year, but are you sure you want Cano? And his .226 EqA? Even though he's older, I think I'd take this guy and his .326 EqA.

Dave (Richmond VA): Hey Joe! How good do you think that Phil Hughes can be this year? Is he a legit number 2 or 3?

Joe Morgan: I don't know how good he can be, since he hasn't pitched enough games.

KT: You are a baseball analyst. This is unacceptable. Get off your ass and start researching these things. Or at least fake it, for Crissakes. It's pathetic. (This answer is now F2 on my keyboard.)

He doesn't have enough starts to gauge whether he's a 1, 2, 3 or 4. That's the problem sometimes is that people want to slot guys. Paper doesn't make you a No. 1, 2 or 3. Handling adversity does.

KT: Also making you a #1, #2, or #3 pitcher: how good a pitcher you are.

Joe Morgan: It was a good chat. Excellent questions and I look forward to talking to you again next week!

KT: Every time one of these things ends, I pray he will sign off with: "Thanks for the questions! I have realized I know nothing about baseball and have decided to retire!"

Until he does, I'll just keep rolling this rock up this hill.

Labels: ,

posted by Anonymous  # 11:37 AM
"Paper doesn't make you a No. 1, 2 or 3. Handling adversity does."

I assume Joe's all-time starting five would look something like this:

1. Anne Frank
2. Washington at Valley Forge
3. A Spartan from "300"
4. Harriet Tubman
5. Scott Norwood
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