What a week. Mrs. Tremendous and I moved last Sunday, to a slightly larger house right outside Partidge, KS, in South Hutchinson. The friendly confines of Partridge were a little too confining...because Mrs. Tremendous is expecting! That's right, friends. It is my great joy to announce that Mrs. Tremendous is with child, and that little Timothy McCarver Joseph Morgan HatBoy Tremendous will arrive in our world sometime next Spring. I am as proud as a basement-dwelling Insurance Pension Plan Monitor can be.
But back to what's really important: this blog. In my distracted absence, I have neglected my duties, and that ends today. Let's check in with Joe
, as he checks in with his perpetually-confused readers.Joe Morgan: It's been a very unusual postseason, with all the sweeps. They surprised me because most of the teams were evenly matched. It just tells how a bounce here and there or a call here or there can change everything.
Ken Tremendous: Please remember that when you talk about how important wins are as a pitching stat.Jon (Audubon, NJ): What should the Rockies concetrate on over the next 9 days until the World Series starts?
KT: Oh, Jon. Your use of "concetrate" warms my heart.Joe Morgan: It's going to be difficult to stay sharp, because hitting is something you need to keep your timing on. It's difficult to do because unless you're facing game action, it's tough to keep your timing. Intrasquad games don't do it very well because there is not the same intensity. It's probably easier for pitchers to stay sharp. In any case, it'll be difficult for them to stay at the level they're playing at now.
KT: Possibly. Also, their pitchers get a ton of rest and they can travel comfortably and have won 20 out or 21 or something, so they're sitting kind of pretty, I'd say. Who knows. What do you guys think of "Plaschke" as a first name?
Jug (Benicia): Which team has the best home field advantage Joe? Rockies, Red Sox or Indians? Each park is so unique?
Joe Morgan: I would say the Red Sox and Rockies because of the way the game is played in their parks. Fenway has the Green Monster, which they take advantage of, and balls fly out of Coors, so positioning is important. Those ballparks confer a unique advantage to the home team.
KT: Balls fly out of Coors Field...so positioning is important. It is important to position the outfielders in the left field bleachers. Then they can catch those balls. Also, the Indians, Red Sox, Rockies, and D-Backs had nearly identical
home-away records this year. For what it's worth.
Seth (Denver, CO): Mr. Morgan, how do you feel about the Rockies current run compared to what you and the Reds accomplished in '76? Even as a Rockies fan I must admit the Reds' run in the playoffs, at least to this point, is more impressive, but do you see similarities in how the Rox have handled themselves during this streak and the great Reds' team that went undefeated in the postseason?
KT: How is Joe going to claim that being 6.5 out on Sep. 15th and 2 out with 2 to play and then winning a one-game playoff and sweeping two postseason series is not as impressive than what the 1976 Reds did? Let's find out!
Joe Morgan: I have to say that the Rockies' streak is very impressive, because in my opinion, a lot of the teams that they played were equally matched up against them. To win seven games against teams that are your equal is more impressive than what the Reds did, because that team set a lot of records and were "the team". The only other difference would be that the Rockies did it against teams they were familiar with.
Ah. Very clever. He says that the 1976 Reds were so good that nothing they did was really impressive because they were just so damn good.
Jeremy (Blacksburg, VA): how long do you think the game will be between slow pitching byrd and wakefield?
Joe Morgan: I don't think it'll be five hours and fifteen minutes, but obviously it will not be played at a fast pace. Wakefield will throw a lot of pitches, will walk some guys, and let up some steals, and Byrd will pitch carefully. It will not be a faster-paced game like last night's was.
KT: Time of game: 3:12. Time of previous game: 3:28. Why do people keep insisting
that Wakefield is a slow pitcher?Ryan (San Francisco): These Sox are killing me. Their offense is just not playing consistent baseball. Maybe they should stop trying to blast HR's and try a little small ball. With the number of guys in that lineup who could potentially reach Coopertown one day, there is not excuse to only get two runs off of Westbrook.
KT: Oh, Ryan. Such lovely Joe-baiting. Coopertown. Small ball. Maybe I'm just emotional because my wife has produced an heir to the Tremendous family name, but...God love ya!Joe Morgan: I talked to David Ortiz yesterday, and this reflects back to the question about the Rockies and their 9-day layoff. David Ortiz told me they'd only played five games in 14 days. That doesn't keep you sharp as a hitter, although he's hit the ball as hard as possible each time. That could be part of the problem, having that many layoffs of games in between. They'll have another off day after today. It will be a problem for the Rockies as well.
KT: Indians don't seem to be having a problem. Maybe it's...good pitching? Nah.Pete (Miami): Is Todd Helton a Hall of Fame player?
Joe Morgan: A Hall of Fame player is supposed to be the dominant player at your position during your era, so you could answer the question yourself using that criteria. Has he been the dominant first baseman in his era?
KT: I'm thinking Joe means: no, he is not. Now, Helton is only 33, and obviously the next few years will tell us yea or nay. But his career line is .332/.430/.583, and his career EqA is .315, and he's an excellent fielder. I'd say he has a decent shot. How about "Big Red Machine Tremendous?" Is that good?Brosef (NJ): Is Kaz Matsui this years David Eckstein in the playoffs?
Joe Morgan: Any time you go into the playoffs or World Series, guys who are unheralded have a chance to stand out more, because they will pitch to them more. David Ortiz has walked a lot of times, for instance, so they will not pitch to him like they will to a guy like Kaz Matsui.
KT: For the last time, (not really), David Eckstein is heralded. He's wildly heralded. Everyone in the sports journalism world heralds David Eckstein. He is actually way way over-heralded. How else can a guy who was 8-41 with 2 extra-base hits in the 2006 NLDS and NLCS emerge from that postseason and be considered a clutch playoff hitter?
Andrew (Toledo): Does Ryan have a counting problem, I only see one sure fire bet for the Hall from the Sox (Manny) and one maybe (Ortiz). Is the Red Sox lineup overrated?
Joe Morgan: I'm starting to wonder if a lot of lineups are overrated during the regular season. The Yankees scored tons of runs not just this year, but last year as well, and they got shut down in the playoffs both years.
KT: You think the Yankees' line-up was overrated? Seriously? How? How can that be? They had seven regulars score 90+ runs. They led the league in runs. They led the league in hits. They led the league in HR and were 3rd in walks. They led the league in OBP, SLG, and thus OPS, and OPS+. They hadn't seen Carmona or Sabathia at all during the regular season***, and lost a best-of-five series to those dudes, and your conclusion is that the Yankee offense is overrated?!
Mike, Brunswick Ohio: Who do you think wins? Cleveland or Boston?
Joe Morgan: The edge goes to Cleveland, because I think their pitching is set up better than Boston's is.
And because when you wrote this they were up 2-1 in the series.
Jon (Audubon, NJ): Why do some players like Eric Byrnes get a pass when they have a bad series because they play the game hard, but guys like Alex Rodriguez get blasted by the fans and media for not being clutch? Shouldnt all players be judged the same way, as one series is such a small sample size of overall performance?
KT: Jon, you're insane. Take this "logic" and shove it, friend. Leave baseball analysis to the experts, and go look at some birds or something. Am I right?Joe Morgan: Unfortunately, the world is not fair, and baseball is the same way. If you look at it another way, Jeter was three for 17 and grounded into three key doubles plays, but there's nothing said about him because he's done well before. You're right; Byrnes and the other players should be judged the same way on a series-by-series basis, but it's not the way of the world. Personally, I think all players play hard, especially in the playoffs, but players like Byrnes, who I like a lot, have effort that is easier to see than someone else's.
I'm suspicious. I don't think Joe wrote this. I think he had a coughing fit and Rob Neyer snuck into the booth or something.Joe Morgan: The one thing I have noticed is that I don't think the umpiring has been as consistent in these few games that I've seen. I'm not used to it being this inconsistent. The umpring has been a little erratic in the games that I've seen, though I have not seen each and every game. Even some of the calls on the bases have not been consistent. Thanks for your questions!
If this is the last JoeChat of the year, I am very glad that we got a send-off with three "consistents" in one paragraph. At least he's consistent.
Also, by "consistent" here, I think he means "accurate."
How about "Jay Mohr Tremendous?"
Labels: concetrate, coopertown, joe morgan, joechat, mother's basement, smallball, tim wakefield