I have invented a name for the ESPN intern whose job it is to type in/clean up/invent Joe's answers to these chats. It's Bill Fremp. He's 22, he went to Conn College, but he's originally from Edgewood KY and is a diehard Reds fan, which is why he's covering for Joe by judiciously editing Joe's comments and stream-of-(lack of)-consciousness ramblings, and entering semi-coherent versions of same into the record. Let's see how Bill does today.
Joe Morgan: I may be the only one that feels this way, but I still believe the weather has had an adverse affect on some of th ebest hitters in the game.
Nicely-placed typo, Bill. You can't fool me. Joe's not typing this.In places like Detroit and Boston, hitters are struggling. But you have to give credit to the guys who have persevered and fought through the cold weather. But as it warms up, there will be more offense coming from some of the best hitters in the game.
You've studied old chats, haven't you, Billy m'boy? You remember that sometimes Joe says "but" at the beginning of every sentence. You're good, I'll give you that. You're very good.
Randy(Knoxville,TN): Good morning Joe!! My question for you is about Alfonso Soriano...what are your thoughts on him as the lead-off man for the Cub offense? While he can provide instant offense with the long ball, he also strikes out a bunch and doesnt draw many walks. Last year he struck out 99 more times than he drew a walk(130 K's vs 31 BB). I love him as a hitter, but not at the top. What do you think?Thanks, Joe.Joe Morgan: I have never felt like he should be a leadoff hitter, but both Torre and Piniella used him there because he felt more comfortable. But if I'm paying a guy millions of dollars, I'm going to hit him where he can serve the team the best. His on-base percentage is not where a good leadoff hitter's should be at.
Oh, Billy. Billy Billy Billy. You've already screwed up. The real Joe would have talked about how Soriano can steal bases and make things happen. The real Joe would never admit that there is such a thing as "on-base percentage," because the real Joe thinks "on-base percentage" is a made-up stat relating to Quidditch matches. The real Joe could not recall off-hand two teams Soriano has played for, much less their managers. This is far too good an answer. Ease off.
John (Toledo, OH): The Royals got back to back complete games from Bannister and Greinke, if they keep pitching well, are the Royals a .500 team? Are things finally turning around?
Joe Morgan: Things are turning around. They are getting better players there, and therefore they will play better. .500 is definitely a possibility for the Royals this year.
Dude. The first two sentences are reasonable facsimiles of what I'm sure Joe said. But. I know you want to make Joe look good, because your Pa told you lots of great stories of watching him hit when he, your Pa, was growing up in Edgewood KY and he'd skip school to go to Reds' games and watch Joe hit. But when you read Joe this question, and he said:
"Well I haven't really seen the Royals play enough to know. But they have been bad for a long time and maybe now they'll be good. It will all start with their pitching. You can't win without pitching. But there aren't any great teams out there, so maybe they have a chance. But I haven't seen them play enough to know if they can win on a consistent basis."
you should've just typed that. Don't have him make an actual prediction that makes it seem in any way that he has any idea what kind of season the Royals will have.
I'm going to suggest you go ahead and let Joe answer the next one, to remind yourself of his characteristic tone and style.
Jeff (Columbus, OH): Joe, what effect do losses like the ones the Indians have suffered against the Angels and Red Sox have on the team? As a manager, can you keep sending a closer out there that no one (other than yourself apparently) has faith in without damaging the team? ThanksJoe Morgan: Their pitching has not been up to par. Teams like the A's were expected to be last in the west, but they're overachieving right now. The Indians and Tigers are underachieving, so you have to keep things in perspective.
There we go. Doesn't answer the question, makes a weird comment about the A's overachieving (and "teams like the A's [being] expected to be last in the west," which = ???), then drags the Tigers into it, and never mentions the issue of Borowski at all. There's your template, Bill.
Michael (Orlando, Florida): Hey Joe I love listening to you call games. What do you think we can expect from the Atlanta Braves this year. Do you think that we just dont have enough starting pitching. We know we will score runs. I think they already have seven 1 run losses this season.
For this answer, I'm going to put this symbol:
when I think Joe actually said or typed something, and this symbol:
when I think it was Bill Fremp of Edgewood, KY. The symbols will follow the text in question.
Joe Morgan: I'm actually surprised at the Braves. (!!!) I thought they would sneak up on the Mets and Phillies, and they still may. (!!!) They are a team you have to contend with. (!!!) Their defense is a little suspect overall, (???) although I must say I love Yunel Escobar (????????) as a shortstop. Their starting pitching needs to be better, (!!!) as it puts pressure on a mediocre bullpen. (???) Starting pitching is still the key to a pitching staff, (!!!) because they get you deep into the games so you can set up your rotation (!!!) of relievers (!!!!!!!!) to your advantage. (!!!!!!!!!!) You need innings from your starting pitching. (!!!)
All in all, I guess Joe said most of that. But there's no way he knows that Yunel Escobar is their SS, or that he's good, or how to spell his name.
Joe (Toronto): Last week you said Hanley Ramirez was the most productive player in the league. He doesn't lead in any major statistical categories, so why do you think that?This is what we in the business of baiting Joe Morgan call: JoeBaiting. It's a reference to the last JoeChat, wherein Bill Fremp totally gave away that someone else was helping Joe with these chats when he declared that H-Ram was the best offensive player in the NL last year, and insinuated (in so many words, if you read between the lines) that he was using something like VORP to make such a decision. Thus, my buddy Joe here is trying to dig a little, to maybe find out whether Joe indeed was shown a VORP chart or something. Let's see what happens. It's exciting, isn't it, America?
America: (in unison) No.
Joe Morgan: If you consider everything---power, speed, defense, batting average, on-base percentage, RBIs, runs scored--then he comes out on top.
So far, so bad, for VORPies like me. Seems like Joe is using "traditional" stats. But wait...
Look at it from that perspective. Plus, he plays the toughest position on the field.
Could this be a coded message from Bill Fremp, of Edgewood, KY? Obviously, VORP is somewhat dependent on a player's position, as it is easier to replace a LF's production than a SS's. I think there's a chance Bill is trying to send us a message, that he is out there, somewhere, typing away. I'm here
, he's saying. I'm at the keyboard. I can't speak out loud. He'll hear me. Help me.
SprungOnSports (Long Island): With Randy Johnson putting out a good start, and Webb and Haren making a great 1-2 how much do you like the Diamondbacks right now?Joe Morgan: I was already a big fan of the D-backs before Johnson's outing, but you have to wait to see how he bounces back from this outing. But Johnson will not win or lose the division for them--they won it last year without him, and their young players are getting better. I like them even if Johnson doesn't pitch well. They were outscored by their opponents last year--that will not happen again this year. Justin Upton looks like the next Albert Pujols.Joe Morgan citing RS/RA? No way. Joe knowing who Justin Upton is, and comparing him to anyone but Gary Sheffield? Iffy.
Joe Morgan: Thanks for your questions, and I'll see you next week at 10:30!
Joe knowing when his next chat is, down to the minute? Forget it.
I'm on to you, Fremp.
Labels: bill fremp, joe morgan, joechat