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, September 04, 2007



I have to say, it's nice to be back at ol' Fremulon Ins., Inc. The fluorescent lighting. The thin, ratty, light-gray industrial carpet. The sweet sound of my phone beeping with news of another downturn in our company's pension portfolio.
And, since it's Tuesday, the chance to ignore all of it and focus on another JoeChat.

Joe Morgan: The NL Central, it seems like it is going to go to the last day and maybe further! Let's get started!

Ken Tremendous: Picture that being read by a 13 year-old Russian boy who just learned English. It's funnier now, isn't it?

James (Charlotte): Hey Joe, this is probably the 100th time you see this question today but what do you think of Pedro's performance yesterday? Do you think he'll be good enough to be part of the playoff rotation and get the Mets to the World Series?

KT: Now, let's get off to a good start here, Joe. The question is: for the 100th time (probably), what did you think of Pedro's performance yesterday?

Joe Morgan: The difficult question is whether he will stay in the rotation.

KT: Yes, but the actual question -- the one you are being paid to answer -- is: what did you think of Pedro's performance yesterday?

I really believe that guys like Pedro, or Clemens, have an impact on a team even when they are not at their best.

Was he at his best? You can answer that question by answering the original question: what did you think of Pedro's performance yesterday?

Their toughness and confidence is something a team feeds off. I think Clemens has really helped the Yankees as far as mental toughness even though he is only 6-6.

Yes. Okay. That's an interesting comment about a man who is not Pedro Martinez. Quick refresher: the question on the table: what did you think of Pedro's performance yesterday?

So guys like Pedro and Roger bring more than just pitching. But no one can tell what Pedro will do the rest of the way at this point.

Hey -- I have a question, a propos of nothing. What did you think of Pedro's performance yesterday?

We need to see him pitch a few more games,

Other than the one he pitched yesterday? What did you think of Pedro's performance yesterday?

but I am sure the Mets are very glad to have him back even at less than 100%.

Me too, based on how he pitched yesterday, which was: pretty well.

Andy (Fountain Valley, CA):
Joe, the Red Sox, Angels, and Indians seem like virtual locks for the playoffs. Out of those 3, which one would you not want to face in the playoffs?

KT: As you read this answer, imagine an ant walking across a patch of ground, meandering this way and that, possibly in search of crumbs of food, but with no discernible goal, or target, or direction, or coherent sequence of cognitive stimuli.

Joe Morgan: I think Boston is the best team overall, if you are looking at 162 games. I think the Angles would be the toughest team to face in the playoffs. In the playoffs you do not often see a fourth or fifth starter, so when you look at it that way I think the Angels are the toughest team. So I would hate the face the Angels even though Boston is the better team over 162 games. I say this, because if you play the Red Sox in Boston it is really tough to beat them, and you have a better shot on the road. So it will comedown to who has the best record. So if the Angels and Red Sox meet it will comedown to who has homefield.

When you think of the ant, it makes it easier to read, doesn't it? Because there's no pressure for it to follow one continuous line of thought.

Josh W NY, NY:
Do you think any National League team has any chance to beat an American League team in the World Series?

Joe Morgan:
Any team that gets into the playoffs can win the World Series. The AL will be favored, but look at what happened last year. In a short series anyone can get hot and win; so yes an NL team can win. I think the Mets would have the best chance. I think the Padres would also have a good chance because of their pitching. Remember it is not always the best team that wins, but the team that is playing best at the time.

KT: And then just like that he turns on his brain and lets loose with a straightforward, cogent answer. Why can't they all be like this?

Sean (Boston):
Hi Joe, being the greatest second basemen of all time, what did you think of Pedroia's play to save the no-hitter for Buchholz on Saturday?

Joe Morgan:
Thanks for the compliment, but let me add "arguably."

This made me laugh out loud. What modesty. It's like in that famous "Five-Timer's Club" SNL cold open, where Tom Hanks addresses Steve Martin as "Mr. Martin," and he replies, "Please -- call me Mr. Steve Martin."

Tim (Pottstown, PA): Will the Phillies make the playoffs?

Joe Morgan:
The way the teams are playing now in the NL, you just cannot predict anything.

KT: Unless you are an Emmy-winning analyst who is paid to predict things. Take a shot. There are two choices. Yes? No?

I mean the Phillies sweep the Mets and now lose three out of four with the Mets earning a bunch of games back. You cannot do that and catch the Mets so now they need to focus on the Wild Card. They have a chance, but these teams need to get more consistent and right now none of the Wild Card teams are consistent.

Our old friend "consistent" makes a double-appearance. And "they have a chance" is not a good answer to a yes or no question. Acceptable answers are: yes, no.

Rob (Portland, OR):
AS a former player, can you tell people just how tough ti is to get 200 hits in 7 straight seasons? Is Ichiro a hall of famer even if he doesn't get 3,000 hits?

Joe Morgan:
I cannot tell you how tough it is because I never got there. But I did play with Pete Rose who reached 200 hits in a season a couple times. The keys are you have to be a good hitter, avoid injuries, and be a guy who does not walk much.

Unless you are the last person who had 7 straight seasons of 200+ hits, Wade Boggs, who averaged 102 walks per year for those seven years. #1 in the league in times on base, 1983-1990. 23rd all-time in walks.

Pete Rose averaged 71 BB for every 162 games, FWIW. Ichiro is at 47.

Jason (DC): Joe -- Will the Tigers be able to find the necessary consistency to sneak into the playoffs again?

Tigers question. "Consistency." I smell a Joe-baiter. If Joe hits us with some Sheffield action, we have a live one.

Joe Morgan:
A week ago I thought they would, but now I am not sure, especially with Sheffield out.


He was a big part of their offense, and their personality. Gary is a tough guy and when you lose a guy like that it has an effect. I am not sure about them, losing that 7 run lead to the As was a big loss. But again, everyone else is incosistent as well, so it is hard to tell.

Everyone is inconsistent. Gary Sheffield is awesome. I don't know, I'm not sure, I'm not sure. A perfect JoeChat answer. Kudos, Jason from D.C.

Liz ( Big Apple):
Do you think Mike Mussina will Retire? Al Leiter said he knew it was time for him to retire- same with David Justice. Wouldn't Moose want to go out on a high note and not like this? Thanks Joe

Joe Morgan:
Well the answer to this is only Moose knows.

Yes, but the question was: do you think he will?

He has to look into the mirror and decide that. But he may not be able to go out on a good note if he is finished. The worst thing is if you lose your ability but try to hang in there. I have only seen him pitch on tv so it is hard for me to tell if he can still win or not.

You see, people, TV distorts the results of play significantly. If Moose gives up 19 runs in three starts on TV, well, thats fine and good. But if you were there, in the park, you would have seen something different. You would have seen him gutting out three straight 7IP, 5H, 1-run performances, wriggling out of jams with GIDPs and setting up hitters beautifully with a dastardly melange of off-speed breaking stuff, making his 84-mph FBs look like Verlander's best. TV is a lie. Do not trust it. Always check the box scores. Often times, what appeared to be a 9-2 loss on TV is really a gritty 6-4 win.

He does not have to be as dominant as he was before, he just needs to get people out, and only he knows if he can do that.

Oh -- no, sorry, I know too. Because I watched him on TV. He's got nothing.

KL - NC: Is Jake Peavy the best pitcher in the NL, MLB>

Joe Morgan:
At the first half of the season it was Webb, and then Young, and now Peavy. Peavy has been the most consistent, so you can make that argument for the NL.

June 4, 1944. Bonham, TX.

Joe Morgan's Dad: Are you hungry, Baby Joe? Want some food? Okay. There we go. Here comes the airplane! Brrrrrrrrrr--

Baby Joe: Comsistent.

Joe Morgan's Dad: Wha-- honey! Honey come here!

Baby Joe: Comsisterg. Gheeeeee!

Joe Morgan's Mom: What is it? Is everything okay?

Joe Morgan's Dad: Baby Joe said his first word!

Joe Morgan's Mom: What? Oh my God! What was it? Mama? Dada?

Joe Morgan's Dad: No. It was...something else. I couldn't quite--

Baby Joe: Cormsistent.


Baby Joe: Consistent.

Joe Morgan's Mom: "Consistent?" What the hell kind of first word is "consistent?"

Joe Morgan's Dad: Was that it? I couldn't quite--

Joe Morgan: Sheffield.

Joe Morgan's Mom
: What are you saying, Baby Joe? Mommy can't understand--

Baby Joe: Cormsistent. Sheffield. Big Red Morchines. Concepcion should be in Hall of Farm! Gooooorrrrrrm. Bee bee bee! Slidepiece. Billy Beane wrote "Moneyball."

Joe Morgan's Mom: What is he saying? Who's Billy Beane?

Joe Morgan's Dad: I don't know. But we have a genius on our hands!

What are David Wright's chances for MVP? He's been on an absolute tear the last couple of months...

Joe Morgan:
This is a year when the NL MVP is very open. Usually you have a sure guy like Pujols, or Howard last year.

Last year's NL MVP voting:

Howard 388
Pujols 347

Drew, Wisconsin: With the increasing struggle of the Brewers bullpen/starting pitching, do you see any way for them to actually regain the central lead?

Joe Morgan:
The difficult part is they have lost their confidence in both areas. Ben Sheets being back may help the starters as far as relieving pressure, but the bullpen is still a problem. It will be difficult. But the Cubs should have a bigger lead than they have, but that is a result of the way Zambrano has struggled. So the Brewers still have a chance, just because the division is so inconsitent.

September 10, 1953. Bonham, TX.

Joe's Teacher: Okay, class, we are going to read our essays on what we did over our summer vacations. Joey? Why don't you go first?

10 Year-Old Joe: This summer I went swimming every day in the pool. I was very consistent in my swimming. I swam consistently from one side to the other. The key to my swimming was consistency. After that I would consistently have lunch with Bobby, my friend. I always had ham and cheese but Bobby was all over the place. Some days he had peanut butter, some days he had a banana, some days he would eat ham like me. Bobby was not very consistent with lunch and that is why I am not friends with him anymore because he was not consistent. Then I would go home and my mom would consistently be there waiting for me and consistently every night would make me dinner and she would read to me consistently from the same book which was called "Are You There God? It's Me, Consistency" and I would sleep for the same amount of time every night in the same PJs. My summer was consistent.

Joe's Teacher: A-plus!

Joe Morgan: I am sure when we talk next week we will still be talking about all the same teams and their chances. And that can be good for the game, but I think we have a lot of average teams competing for poastseason spots, rather than a lot of great teams.

See you next week, you ol' consistent sourpuss!

Labels: , ,

posted by Anonymous  # 1:05 PM
Aaron writes in with an excellent point about Joe's inconsistency:

Joe Morgan this week: “Any team that gets into the playoffs can win the World Series.”

Joe Morgan last week: “That is why (the Oakland A’s) have struggled in the post season. They may win the division with that philosophy, form time to time, but they will never win a World Series like that.”

As a diehard A’s fan, I’d like to know which Joe is right.

KL - NC: Is Jake Peavy the best pitcher in the NL, MLB>

Joe Morgan: At the first half of the season it was Webb, and then Young, and now Peavy. Peavy has been the most consistent, so you can make that argument for the NL.

This is just wrong. Brandon Webb's been fine, but he had an ERA over 3 all year until that insane scoreless inning streak he just ripped off.

"At the first half of the season it was Webb"?

Webb Pre-ASB ERA: 3.37
Peavy Pre-ASB ERA: 2.19

In the second half, they've both been incredible, with Peavy still just a little bit better.

Webb Post-ASB ERA: 2.10
Peavy Post-ASB ERA: 1.92

Looking at these numbers, you might say that Peavy has been more consisteblarg, a word meaning "constant," "invariable," or "unchanging."
If anyone is curious, reader Devin also compiled some more hot Morgan-on-Sheffield action:

"You're not going to get much better with Matsui, you will with Sheffield. I say that because Sheffield can dominate a game and carry you for days at a time."
-August 30, 2006

"Sheffield generates a lot of power with a quick bat."
-May 27, 2006

Joe defending Sheffield for throwing a tantrum:
"Well, I was in NY on Sunday and Sheffield threw his helmet down and was ejected immediately. My understanding is, if you throw equipment, you get fined for each piece of equipment you throw. It's not an automatic ejection like some people think. I didn't think Sheff should have gotten ejected for that, because, you know, it's in the heat of the battle, the Yankees were on a four game losing streak and Gary was upset. The umpires have to understand that their is emotion in baseball."
-July 1, 2005

Same chat, defending Sheffield again "First of all, I don't think that he would be a cancer, but it's his way of telling teams that he doesn't want to go any place because he doesn't have a no-trade contract... BUT, I guarentee that IF he gets traded to another team, he will play and he will perform."
-July 1, 2005

Apparently Sheffield's problem in the HR derby is that he's too good...
"It's true. Anytime you have a great stroke, if you're swinging a hot bat, it can be harder to hit the ball out of the ballpark in a contest like this."
-from the 2003 HR Derby

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