at my computer, I might as well chat with Joe
. But today, we're going to do something different. I am going to assume the role of Joe's Brain, and try to give you, the readers, some insight into what is going on before he dictates/types his answers. Ready? Let's try it.Bart (Hartford, CT): With the Yankees starting to show signs of life, do you think they will be able to maintain there play the remainder of the season? If they do will they have a chance to catch the Sox?
Joe's Brain: Oh boy. A toughie right of the bat. Steady, Joe. Think this through. The Yankees are playing better. That means they will win more games. Good. That's good. Good analysis. But will they catch the Red Sox? How am I supposed to answer that? That's impossible to tell, because no one can predict whether the Red Sox will continue to win games. Wait a second -- that's it!!! Whether the Yankees catch the Red Sox...all depends on the Red Sox, and whether they
continue to win!!!! Okay. Start typing. Quickly, before you forget.Joe Morgan: Everything depends on the Sox. If they both play well, the Sox will maintain a big lead. I don't expect the Yankees to maintain a .700 winning percentage the rest of the way, but the Red Sox will still have to play well to maintain their lead.
Joe's Brain: Nice. One for one.
Mark (New Jersey): Do you think it was Bobby Abreu's super-slow start that effected the Yankees early on?
Joe's Brain: First of all, who the hell is Bobby Abreu? No one named Bobby Abreu plays for the Yankees. Okay, think. Run down the Yankees' line-up. There's Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Giambi, Sheffield, Louisiana Lightning, Jeter, Paul O'Donovon, Davey Concepcion, me, Jeter, Jeter, Bobby Bonds, Gerald Ford, and Jeter. That's it. Oh boy. Okay...you're going to have to fake your way through this one. Just assume he was some 6-hole hitter or something...maybe he hit between Sheff and Giambi.Joe Morgan: It affected them because he was right in the middle of their lineup. It wasn't the only reason.
Joe's Brain: Now you've done it, Joe. Now you have to list other reasons they weren't playing well. How are you going to do this when you haven't watched one single game they've played this year? Ugh. All right. Here we go. Fingers, do your thing.
A-Rod was hot, then cold. He wasn't the only reason.
Joe's Brain: You did it again! What is wrong with you? You totally answered the question with that brillliant "ARod was hot, then cold" gambit. Now you need more
reasons. Okay. Keep it together. Just keep typing.
There's only one guy on that team that can carry them for weeks at a time, and that's A-Rod. That's why they miss Sheffield and the Giambi of old. They were the only three who could carry the team for a while, and now they only have A-Rod to do that.
Joe's Brain: Nice. That is some good work, there. ARod is always the answer to any Yankee question.
Something Way Back in a Dark Corner of Joe's Brain: Don't they have other good hitters? Isn't Jeter having a good year? And their catcher, whatshisname, Jorge Munson?
Joe's Brain: Shut up. ARod is their best player. He's the reason. Next.
Ryan (Merrick, NY): Do the Mets have to make a trade to hold off the Braves in the NL East with Chipper Jones coming back?
Joe's Brain: This is just gibberish. There's no team called the "Braves." This must be some kind of mistake. This dude was in some chat for Arena Football and accidentally -- oh wait. Yeah. The Braves. Okay. What was the question? Should the Mets make a trade?Joe Morgan: The Mets have known they've needed help in the rotation for some time now. Let's not give the Braves too much credit; they are playing well following a very bad stretch.
Joe's Brain: You know what just occurred to me for the very first time ever? The key to winning is consistency
. Teams have to be consistent
. That sounds good. I'm going to write that down.They haven't proven they'll be consistent, although the Mets have been inconsistent as well. If the Mets do not collapse, I think they'll win. It's similar to the Red Sox/Yankees situation.
Joe's Brain: Let me just look that over one more time..."consistent...inconsistent..if the Mets do not collapse I think they'll win...Red Sox/Yankees." Seems good.
Nick (Cincinnati): Hey Joe, The talk here in Cincy is that the Reds are shopping Adam Dunn. Would it be in their best interest to unload him to an American League squad looking for a power-hitting DH?
Joe's Brain: Cincy. Cincy. Oh -- Cincinnati. The Reds! Big Red Machine. Me
. Okay. Got it. Now. Adam Dunn. He's that fellow who always strikes out and isn't as good as Eckstein. Excellent. I have a handle on this one. Should they trade him...? Well, it depends on what they get back. I mean, how can I know if it's a good idea to trade him unless I know what they're getting back? Wait a second...that's brilliant. That shizz is insightful
. I'm going to type that.Joe Morgan: Any time you make a trade, it'll depend on what you get back. That is a hitter's ballpark, and Dunn hits a lot of homers there.
Joe's Brain: Hey. Wait a second. I just had a thought, and it's very interesting and original, and it is definitely the first time anyone has ever thought this. In order to be a good hitter, you have to be consistent
. You have to consistently
be good. That's awesome. I'm going to type that down now.He's not a consistent hitter, so it'll depend on what they'll get in return. A trade is not always something to do to get rid of a guy or move a guy.
Joe's Brain: That last sentence might not make any sense.
Joe's Stomach: (growls
Joe's Brain: Man, I'm hungry. What was I just thinking about? Oh well. Can't be too important. Let's just give this next question a look-see...
Bryan (Boston): Joe - Why do we still have to watch so many of these pointless Interleague Games? Rangers Pirates, Phillies White Sox, Cubs Mariners - Who Cares? Not to mention the schedules are not fair in many cases. Will this ever be addressed?
Joe's Brain: Okay, now this is just someone pulling a prank on me. I'm not falling for this one. "Rangers?" "Pirates?" There are no teams called these things. "Hey, Joe, have you seen the Wingdings play? Hey, Joe, I was watching the Trundlebeds play the Germaphobes yesterday..." Please. Okay -- let's review the teams that exist. The Yankees, the Mets, the White Sox, and the Cubs. And the Reds, and Red Sox. And the Colt 45's, and the Cleveland Spiders. And the Antarctica MoonPirates. That's eight, right? Good. That's all of them.Joe Morgan: Do you enjoy watching Yankees-Mets? White Sox-Cubs? Many people enjoy those types of series.
Joe's Brain: You should stop typing. You don't have anything else to say.
Joe's Fingers: Watch my dust, brain!
Joe's Brain: Uh oh.There are a lot of matchups that work because of geographical vicinity. There are a lot that obviously do not work, but the schedule is never fair in any case. Each team doesn't have the same chance of winning because it depends on when you play a team--whether the team you're playing is more cold-weather or warm-weather.
Joe's Brain: What are you even writing?
Joe's Fingers: Who cares? I'm on a roll!There are a lot of inequalities in the system. It's not fair, but I think it adds a certain amount of interest for fans in one league who get a chance to see players they normally wouldn't.
Joe's Brain: That is actually a good point. But wrap it up.
Joe's Fingers: Will do.
I'm not a big fan, but it does work to a certain extent.
Jon (Phoenix, AZ): Which Pitcher would you rather have this year? Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson?
Joe's Brain: That's a very good question. Maybe I could cop out a little bit by saying it depends on the team I'm on.Joe Morgan: That's a very good question. I could cop out a little bit by saying it depends on the team I'm on.
Joe's Brain: Dude, I was just thinking! You typed that in and sent it!
Joe's Fingers: Sorry, man.
Joe' Brain: Oh boy. Backpeddle. Backpeddle.That's one of those almost coin-flip situations. The Yankees needed Roger Clemens more than they would need Randy Johnson.
Joe's Brain: Should I justify that somehow? No. I don't know how. Just plow forward.Arizona needs Johnson more than they need Clemens.
Joe's Brain: Don't justify that either. Just keep going.If you're asking which will win the most games from this point on, I would say Johnson has an easier chore than Clemens because he's in the NL, where it's easier to pitch. You can't go wrong picking either one.
Joe's Brain: Whew. Totally pulled that off. Definitely got away with that. Mental note: when someone asks you whether one person is better than the other, just say they're both good. Works every time. I mean, there's no way to actually tell who's better. There's no machine that has like everyone's statistics all compiled and everything.
Joe's Computer: You've got mail!
Joe's Brain: Shut up, you stupid toaster!
Patti, (Wash, DC): Hey Joe - first a shout out because you're one of my all time favorites - on the field and in the booth -
Joe's Brain: (releases endorphins; pleasure center goes into overdrive
; Joe gets dizzy
)Don't you think it's time for all the naysayers to show the Nationals a little love? They were predicted by most, to be the worst team in history - they're not even the worst team in the National League! Despite two terrible stretches of 1-8 baseball and 4/5 of their starting rotation on the DL the Nats have been playing over 500 ball lately - beating the likes of Smoltz (twice), Peevey, and Santana along the way, they play hard and are competitive - every night ... I think the job that Manny Acta has done with this team is amazing - so how about giving Manny and the Nats a little dap?
Joe's Brain: (slowly regaining cognitive power
) The Nationals. The Nationals. Nope. I got nothing. Okay. Fakey fakey time. Let's see if I can pick up any clues in the rest of the question...
(Joe's eyes flicker over the numbers 1-8, 4/5, and 500; optical nerve registers information as: statistics; fight-or-flight instinct kicks in; Joe runs to bathroom and hides under toilet
(Slowly Joe's heartrate slows to 140 BPM; Joe makes his way back to computer
Joe's Brain: Oh boy. Oh boy. That was scary. Okay. Just fight your way through this. Say something nice about the "Nationals." Say you like them. Maybe the scary numbers will disappear.Joe Morgan: Thanks for the compliment, and I feel badly, because I had a note to give a shoutout to the Nats, but we were doing a Yankees game and it got lost. I agree they've done a tremendous job despite expectations. It's my bad for not doing it two weeks ago as I had planned.
Joe's Brain: Please don't hurt me. Joe Morgan: Excellent questions today. Some of them I couldn't answer immediately.
Joe's Brain: Don't admit that! They'll find out about hiding under the toilet! Ugh. Just wrap it up. Say something awesome and specific and insightful.I think we'll end up with a lot of great races, and it'll be a fun baseball season, for me and all the fans as well.
Joe's Brain: Perfect. Another A+++++++++.
Joe's Computer: You've got mail!
(Joe smashes his computer with a sharp stick
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