Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Saturday, May 10, 2008



Or JoeChat? You decide. (This is last week's -- I'm a week behind. Sorry.)

Jim (Chicago):
Do you think the Dodgers' Matt Kemp is the "next Dave Winfield" like scouts have been saying? He may not get as much press as some of the other young hitters in the game but I think he may in fact be the best offensive prospect in baseball. Your thoughts?

Joe Morgan:
He's got a lot of ability. If he continues to improve, that's the key. How far he'll go depends on how hard he works and how much he improves.

KT: I'm excited. I'm optimistic. "How far he'll go depends on how much he improves" is exactly the kind of trademark tautological drivel I've come to expect from Mr. Morgan. Let's see if it continues.

Brick (Brooklyn):
Predictions on how the AL east will turn out this summer? Are the Yankees a third place team?

Joe Morgan:
I felt Boston was the best team at the beginning of the season, and have done well despite some rough stretches. Toronto has good pitching, but they do not have the offense that Boston has. The Yankees, you can never discount them because they are the Yankees. I do think the Yankees may have overestimated their contributions from Hughes and Kennedy.

In the "Is this Fremp or Morgan?" debate, this is a push. It contains a little too much direct-answer-to-the-question to be purely Joe, but there's no actual prediction made, which reeks of Joe. I'm lost now.

Kevin (Memphis):
Hey Joe. Thanks for taking my question. Can the Cardinals sustain their success, or will Pujols alone not be enough to carry them to the playoffs?

Joe Morgan:
When you have an Albert Pujols, he will make everyone around him better. If you get off to a good start when you were supposed to be a bad team, it builds a lot of confidence. The Cubs look like the best team in that division, but they are not the best team. They can win the division, I think, but the Cubs have to be favored.

Wait a second...Pujols..."confidence"...insane contradiction within a single sentence...nonsensical conclusion...?

Holy crap you guys. Joe's back!

Ryan (NYC, NY):
Do you think the Tigers can put their start behind them and have a "successful" season? Joe Morgan: I think they can definitely put the poor start behind them. Inconsistency is their problem right now.

Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe!

Even though he's lost a few games, they have to feel good that Verlander is looking good now, but I heard Willis had a setback in his recovery.

Uh oh. Too many specific facts and actual news. Fremp?

I do believe they will have a successful season. Everyone is bunched up there in that division. It's a long season and Detroit will definitely have a chance.

... I'm lost again.

Derek (St. Louis):
Hi Joe. I watched the piece you did with Pujols Sunday night. When talking to today's hitters about their approach to the game, what similarities/differences do you find when compared to when you were playing?

Joe Morgan:
Pujols is more similar in his approach and the way he talks about the game. The difference is the parks being smaller, the ball is livelier, and the pitching is not as consistent.

You know what's never talked about? In all of the "it was tougher in our day" griping you hear, it never gets mentioned that in the old days starters not only threw their arms off with like 500+ innings a year, but also: no split-finger FB. That pitch wasn't around when Joe played (or, it was when Bruce Sutter started throwing it, but let's say it wasn't around like pre-1976 or something). That's a huge weapon for pitchers, and it didn't exist. People should talk about that more, on their metacritical sports blogs and such.

There are more guys trying to elevate the ball, and more guys trying to dive into the plate as opposed to staying straight away. The approach that we had is not better than the approach today's players have. Some of the parks were bigger, and some were gigantic like the Astrodome. Albert Pujols' approach is simply attacking the ball and doing what he does best. He knows exactly what he's doing every time he steps in the batter's box.

I fell asleep like four separate times during this answer. Can someone just tell me whether it was Joe or Fremp?

Steven (Phx, AZ):
How will Scott Kazmir do the rest of this year?

Joe Morgan: It depends on whether he feels like he's healthy.

Not whether he's actually healthy, mind you. Whether he feels like he's healthy.

If you don't feel like you're healthy, he may hold back at times. The first thing to answer is whether he feels 100 percent. That will be the tell-tale sign.

I don't know...that doesn't seem like the best way to figure out if he's going to pitch well...

He'll pitch well if he's actually healthy.

There it is.

How long until Robinson Cano breaks this slump? I know he will, but it's killing me waiting around for it.

Joe Morgan:
I am shocked he's been in it this long, because he's such a fine hitter. Two years ago he came close to winning a batting championship. I'm shocked it's taken this long. But when he comes out, I think he'll hit well--just not up to .340.

I'm only leaving this in because I want to make a prediction: when Gary Sheffield retires, RoCa will be the hitter Joe talks about the most. Every single time his name gets brought up, Joe talks about how he, Joe, predicted that someday he, Cano, would win a batting title, and then he, Cano, almost did. This is the kind of happenstantial fact that can keep Joe talking about a player for 30 years.

"RoCa" is in honor of when the YES guys tried to get people to call Soriano "AlSo," and nobody bit.

Zach Rastall (Marinette, WI):
Hi Joe you're awesome. What should the Brew Crew do about there horredous relief pitching?

Joe Morgan:
There's not much they can do. They invested a lot of money in Eric Gagne, and if he doesn't work his way out of his problems, it will be a disaster. It hough they should have re-signed Cordero, but they lost him to Cincinnati. They'll have to live with that decision. Very few general managers will admit their mistakes. Gagne can turn it around, but who knows?

Here's the thing, man:

No, actually, here's the things:

They didn't invest a lot of money in Gagne, relatively speaking. It's one year, $10m. Now that's obviously not cheap, especially for an homme who suces as mal as he does, but they can cut him if they want to and next year, it's back to the drawing board (in a good way). Frankie Cordero, on the other hand, got $46m for four years from the dumbass Reds. He is 33 years old as of last Sunday, and he has walked 11 guys in 15 IP this year. The Reds are going to be paying this guy $10.5m when he is 36 and on the shelf with his eleventh TJ surgery. (Yeah -- eleventh. A lot happens to Cordero in the next few years.) And you think the Brewers should have signed him? And you think they're having a hard time living with the decision not to?

Gagne stinks, and he's not their closer anymore. They took a risk on a short-term contract and it didn't pay off. At least it's not a hamstringingly bad 4 year deal for a mediocre 33 year-old.

Logan (Reno, Nevada):
I am heading back home to Houston for the summer...I know the astros are light on starting pitching, but if their offense keeps them around 500 do you think they might make a move for a decent SP? I would sure like to see a contender at minute maid this summer.

Joe Morgan:
That's always a possibility. Make no mistake, people seem to underestimate the impact of Miguel Tejada.

Fremp is out. I'm calling it. This is all Joe. Q.: The Astros are light on starting pitching. If their offense keeps them at .500, do you think they will make a move for a starting pitcher? A.: Maybe. People underestimate Miguel Tejada.

They had a group of laid-back and quiet players, but Tejada is an energy guy, who helps them from that standpoint.

You know how else he helps them, fonebone? By hitting .340/.375/.532. (Though he's only walked 8 times in like 135 AB, so expect those numbers to go down, and soon...)

They have pitchers who are capable of winning, but add another pitcher or two and they have a much better shot.

Oh, Joe. I've missed you, buddy. Can you name one Astros starting pitcher? No. No, I don't think you can.

Joe: You were such a great hitter. What would you do to help Andruw Jones get back on track. He's just lost up there. And I can't believe he's really this bad.

Joe Morgan:
I can't either. I can't believe he's having the problems he's having. I have not seen him play this year, as we haven't done a Dodgers' game and he's never int the highlights, so I couldn't give him any specific advice, but I am shocked at how long this slump has extended.

I am officially a broken record, but: Joe Morgan, the #1 analyst on the #1 baseball network in America -- multiple-time Emmy Award Winner -- has not seen a fucking DODGER GAME this year? Not one Dodger game?

I have a full-time job, and a decently complicated life, and a young child. There is not a single team in the majors I haven't watched play this year. I have watched at least one game of every major league team. You know why? I like baseball. Like checking out a Reds-Cubs game on a sleepy Saturday in late April. Like flipping over to a Giants game and imagine what it must be like to be Brian Sabean watching Barry Zito serving 80 MPH cheese to the NL. I like baseball, so I watch baseball. I just...I don't know how saying things like this doesn't get you fired. I really don't.

Brian (Philly):
I know Chase Utley is getting all the MVP love in Philly, but what about Pat Burrell? The guy is tearing it up at the plate!

Joe Morgan:
It's great to see him get some love somewhere, because everybody's been down on him. He could be a kind of a late bloomer. [...]

Pat Burrell, 2002 (age 25, 3rd year in the majors): .282/.376/.544. 37 HR, 116 RBI.

Mark (Bangor, PA): Hey Joe, have you picked out anything mechically wrong with Hafner's swing or has he lost his eye or bat speed?

Joe Morgan:
I've only done the one Indians game early in the year, where it was cold and not conducive to hitting. [...]

And since I only watch games I am actually announcing, and thus only see one game a week, everyone with a specific question about a specific player that happens not to play for one of the eight teams I have covered so far can go fuck themselves.


the #1 Booth Analyst on the #1 Most Important Weekly Baseball Broadcast on the WorldWide Leader in Sports,

Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan:
I think that it'll be a very interesting summer, because there are teams in the race that we didn't expect to be playing well. Teams like the Diamondbacks have shown what they are made of.

That's it. That's how it ends.

Oh well. At least he's back. Fremp, we hardly knew ye.

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