I totally missed an All-Star Break JoeChat
!Joe Morgan: I think this might be the day the National League breaks its streak of All-Star losses.
Ken Tremendous: It was not!The AL has a predominantly right-handed lineup, and I think LaRussa can counteract that.
KT: He can also counteract "good management" by allowing a decent
hitter to hit in the absolute most crucial situation you can ever have in a baseball game, instead of the best
hitter who has ever hit anything!Matt (Philadelphia): Joe, how seriously do these players take this game? Hopefully they know that the last 8 World Series Game 7's have been won by the home team. Joe Morgan: You don't have that many game 7's, first of all. How many times do we actually get to Game 7?
KT: In the World Series: 2002, 2001, 1997, 1991, 1987, 1986, 1985. So, 7 times in the last 21 series. Once every three years-ish. That's pretty often. Plus, home field also means you play the first two at home. That's a huge deal. What a weird thing to get huffy about, Joey. Can I call you Joey? We've been doing this for a while, you and me, right? Good. Joey it is.It's true that homefield advantage gives the teams an edge.
KT: Whoa whoa whoa. Careful. You'll be laughed out of the Institution with such outlandish proclamations.OF all the players in the game, there are very few who have a chance to play in the World Series.
KT: Objection, your honor. Relevance?I don't think it's about home field advantage, it's about pride in your league.
KT: Pride in your league? I mean, come on. These guys share agents, they switch teams constantly... I just glanced at the rosters and counted a dozen guys who have switched leagues in the recent past before I got bored. You really think Mike Lowell is playing in the All-Star game for AL Pride? Or Orlando Hudson, for NL Pride? If anything, they're playing because it's cool to be in the ASG. Or because they like playing baseball. But League Pride? Even the umps did away with those AL-NL hats.That's the only thing that can motivate the players. Home field advantage is four months from now, maybe. You have to depend on that pride to make it competitive. Guys from Tampa Bay right now are not thinking about home field advantage.
KT: Right, Joey, they are not, because they have a 0.000004% chance of making the WS. But the "guys" (plural is [sic]) from Tampa Bay are probably also not playing for AL Pride. Why would they want to help the Red Sox or Tigers play postseason games at home?
Here I will add: the decision to try to "make it count" by giving the winning league home field seems dumber and dumber to me every year. Who is watching this thing for that reason who would not watch it otherwise?
Paddy (St. Louis, MO): Hey Joe, After seeing the derby yesterday I was wondering, did you ever go through stretches where you crushed the ball in BP, but had trouble making good contact in live game situations? If so how did you get through it?Joe Morgan: That happens every day! You get accustomed to one speed in batting practice. In the game, they'll change speeds on you. They go hard, throw with a lot of different speeds. Batting practice is really just to get warm. some guys take it as an indication of how they're feeling that day. You always want to have good sessions, but I've had bad sessions and good games, and vice versa. It's not always an indicator of success.
KT: I include this harmless Q and A only to relate this anecdote: sometime FJM poster -- and the best man at the wedding between Ken and Mrs. Tremendous -- Mr. America's Sweetheart, once accompanied Ken to San Diego to see a Pads-Sox game. This is pre-Petco, many years ago. I think maybe like 2003? Anyway, you know who put on the most impressive show in BP that day? That's right: Doug Mirabelli. This led to America's Sweetheart dubbing Mirabelli: "Batting Practice Hero Doug Mirabelli."
That's it. Not a great anecdote. B-minus, maybe? C+? Whatever. Mrs. Tremendous is working late. I got alllllll night.
John (Boston): Joe, nice job picking Vlad, who do you think will be the team to beat in the AL in the 2nd half?
KT: I did not watch the stupid HR Derby, but didn't someone tell me that Joe picked like four different people at four different times?Joe Morgan: That's a difficult question. I think Boston has an edge in their division,
KT: What tipped you off? The ten game lead?but I think the Tigers could be the best team in the AL, especially when they get Zumaya back and when their young pitches continue to improve. I think the Angels, if their pitching doesn't stay consistent, will not have the power to be the best team in the AL.
KT: He thinks, just to reiterate, that the Angels -- if their pitching doesn't stay consistent -- will not have the power (???) to be the best team in the AL. That is one effed-up if-then statement.
Also, he was asked who the team to beat was in the AL, and he named the three division leaders. Well done.Frank (Washington, D.C.): Joe, as one of the all-time greatest second basemen, who is your favorite player at that position today? Utley? Cano?Joe Morgan: There are a lot of good young second basemen in the game today. Cano is not having as good a season as he did a year ago, but he is still good. Hudson, Weeks, Roberts, Kinsler, are all excellent. A lot of these guys have the potential to be great. I though Cano would continue to move to the top, but a lot of stuff goes on there in NY, and I don't know whether it's affected him or not.
KT: Yeah, it must be hard for Robby Cano -- his name always in the tabloids, private life being delved into. Can't go anywhere without paparazzi following him around. Ugh. I'd say, in NYC, in terms of fame, it's
The answer to the question "who is the best second baseman in baseball -- if you're interested in an actual answer, instead of a list of all the second basemen Joe can name -- is almost certainly Chase Utley, who has a 120-point OPS lead on the field and is third in ZR.Dave (Boston): Joe, do you think Goose Gossage should be in the Hall of Fame? He was just asked in his chat if he's upset that he wasn't voted in yet, and he honestly replied that yes, he was.Joe Morgan: I'm the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Hall, so it's not good for me to comment on every single player.
KT: It seems like every time Joey is asked a question about the HOF, he announces that he is on the board and that it wouldn't be proper for him to discuss specific players' candidacies. Then he does it anyway.I'll do it this time.
Yup. There we go.
I think he should be upset that he shouldn't be elected. The writers are the ones who are voting for Goose Gossage.
KT: The writers are the ones who are voting for everyone. Why is this worthy of inclusion in this chat?Bessie ( Staten Island, NY): Yesterday i was watching MLB live and the guy(sorry forgot his name) said that the reason the Yankees haven't won or aren't winning is because most of them don't care. Do you think that's true?Joe Morgan: No, I don't think anyone likes to go out there and lose. The Royals don't like to go out there and lose, even though they lose more than anyone.
KT: Except Tampa Bay, Texas, Washington, Houston, and Cincy, this year. But I get the point.
As a competitor, you hate to lose, otherwise you wouldn't have reached the Majors. There are a lot of reasons the Yankees aren't winning--their defense is not as good, their offense isn't consistent, and their starting pitching is not good.
KT: Second "consistent." And BTW, they have the 3rd most runs in baseball.All the names mean nothing. Last year I got caught up in the mania and called it the best lineup I'd ever seen, and they went to Detroit and got shut down. I think it's a lack of consistent play.
KT: Third "consistent."There are a lot of individual guys doing well--Jeter, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada--as individuals. Only A-Rod has been able to carry the team, though.
KT: There are a lot of individual guys doing well as individuals. Unfortunately, when Jorge Posada doubles, it only counts as a positive thing for him
, and the team gets no benefit. Right? I don't know how baseball works. Also, Joey frequently uses "carry the team" as if it is a definitive, tangible thing. This strikes me as: funny.Joe Morgan: I'm looking forward to the second half. It's like the beginning of a new season--whichever team gets off to a good start has a good chance of getting to the Series.
KT: Hear that, Nats? Win 8 of your next 10, and the World Series is yours!
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