FIRE JOE MORGAN: JoeChat, For Reals, Yo

FIRE JOE MORGAN

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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Saturday, May 17, 2008

 

JoeChat, For Reals, Yo

The Great Fremp Controversy of 2008 is officially over. This is all Joe.

SprungOnSports (Long Island):
What's your take on the starts of the two Florida teams? The Marlins are surprising everyone, and the Rays are playing with surprising consistency.

Joe Morgan:
When you have players like Uggla and Hanley Ramirez, those are young players that other young players can look up to.

KT: Because...they're good? Or tall, or something?

Florida also has a quirky ballpark that the Marlins can use to their advantage. The Rays don't have that, but they have played so well so far that it hasn't mattered.

The Marlins' ballpark is currently 17th in runs scored. It is hard to imagine how a team might use this to its advantage, since .990 in runs means it's almost exactly average.

I think the Rays are a very good team that will continue to get better at a faster rate than the Marlins. The Marlins have proven they can put good teams together, even after losing so many good players each year.

The combination of weariness, confusion, and soul-stomping sadness I get when I read things like this means that I am truly listening to this site's namesake. Congratulations everyone.

Matt (Indy):
Joe, is the AL still superior to the NL or has the senior circuit finally caught up in terms of talent?

Joe Morgan: Tough question, because you're looking at individuals. I still think the best overall teams are in the AL, when you look at teams like Boston, the Angels, and the Yankees.

Teams with better records than the Yankees in the NL: Florida, Philly, Mets, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Houston, Pittsburgh, Arizona, L.A. [Edit: see comments for a "I'm dumb!" mea culpa here.]

Only Pitt and Milwaukee have worse RS/RA numbers. I know ARod and Posada have been hurt, but just because they're The Yankees doesn't mean they're one of the best teams in baseball right now. Boston hasn't exactly set the world on fire recently either.

They may be superior to the Mets, D-Backs, Cubs, and Cardinals. But overall, it's not a big difference.

There actually is a big difference, friend, between, say, the DBacks and the Yankees. The DBacks are way better. They have a +62 RS/RA over the Yankees. Hey! I have an idea! Look shit up before you answer these questions.

Justin (Baltimore):
What is your take on the Orioles? They seem to be able to avoid the long losing streaks that have plagued them for years.

Joe Morgan: And therein lies their big problem; will they continue to avoid that long streak? That's always going to be in the back of their mind.

Baseball: 100% mental. 0% how good you are at baseball.

The first time they will start a poor streak, the media will remind them of that fact. I live in the Bay Area, and the writers would always remind the Giants of a "June Swoon".

If the media were more supportive of Barry Zito, he would be 10-0. All the Mariners need to do is read How to Win Friends and Influence People. If I think positively enough, I can talk to animals.

Andy (Chicago, IL):
Should Josh Hamilton be at the top of the list of people getting consideration so far for AL MVP? He looks like he could be a triple crown threat and it would be pretty hard to say that another player was more valuable to their team at this point than Hamilton had been.

Joe Morgan: At this point, most of it is a matter of a couple of months. The Rangers aren't leading their division. The MVP has to come from a team that helps his team win.

Because the "V" stands for "VictoryMachine." The M stands for "MostWinsByA." The P stands for "Peace Out, Y'All!"

Jim (Franklin Lakes of the Garden State): Joe, HOF-elect Goose Gossage was reported on ESPN.Com today as saying he disagrees with Joba Chamberlain's display of emotion on the mound. Do you, too, come from Goose's school of thinking? Regards.

Joe Morgan:
I think for myself!

Let's try to figure out what just happened.

I think Joe actually got offended, because he thought that Jim from Franklin Lakes of the Garden State was like accusing him of something. He was asked whether he subscribes to the same school of thought as Gossage, and he got very angry, very quickly, because he wants Jim of the Franklin Lakes of New Jersey Metro Area to understand that he, Joe, thinks for himself in all matters. By this logic, no one can every agree with anyone else on any matter, lest he be seen as a "follower." If I say that I think the world would be better off with less murdering, and you ask Joe if he agrees, Joe will say how dare you! That is, technically, yes, he thinks that the world would be better off with less murdering, but only because he had that same thought independent of my thought. This is: a weird waste of time.

The problem I have will all the emotion is that when some guys do certain things, we say they're showing up the other team, but when we deem it to be legitimate emotion, we don't think of it that way. At what point is it showing up a team? If they get mad when a player poses after a home run, why shouldn't a batter get mad when they point or yell after a strikeout.

Someone cogent, meaningful, salient.

How much emotion can you have after getting one or two batters out? I hate to see a pitcher strike a guy out and point or yell, or a batter pose after a home run. Everyone has to decide for themselves where that line is. But I think what Goose is talking about is that the emotion may not be the same every time out, unless it's a one-run game.

Twisted, opaque, gibberish.

Joe Morgan:
But again, it's tough to define when you're crossing that line.

And a final flourish of insightless nothingness. Et voila!

Tony (Watertown, SD): Can the Twins keep up their quality play or will they cmoe back down to Earth?

Joe Morgan:
anytime you get off to a good start, your confidence level rises. There are no trulyt great teams in the AL, so it's easier to move up the ladder.

No truly great teams?!?!/!!? What about the Yankees?!??!?21231478324872317823uieghf

The Twins got off to a good start, and their young players believe in themselves. The AL Central is wide open. So yes, they can stay in the hunt.

Twins: -3 run differential. Indians: +30. White Sox: +23. So, actually, no, the Twins cannot stay in the hunt, based on current information. Unless they hit and pitch better.

Eric (NYC): Hi Joe. Why has Sheffield been so incosistant this year for the Tigers? Does he need to spend more time playing in the outfield to get his swing back?

An excellent JoeBait. Sheffield and Consistency. Well done.


Joe Morgan:
That's his feeling. I talked to him two weeks ago, and he said to me that he didn't feel part of the game as a DH. He said he felt more in the game when he was with the outfield. That was before he made this move. Now it's time for him to perform as he says he will.

Gary Sheffield: the only MLB player Morgan ever talks to or cares about or knows by name or follows or enjoys watching. Also, I like how it's not even a possibility that the reason he's not playing well is because he's 39 and if you hooked up a wind turbine to his bat you could power all of Detroit for a month off one of his swings.

Jeremy (Pittsburgh): How about those Buccos? I'm sure their little hot streak will end soon, but with Duke and Maholm giving them 4 solid starters it seems like there may be a little cause for hope. Does their new FO have what it takes to make them relevant again?

In case anyone is still wondering whether this is Bill Fremp and not Joe, here's the perfect test. The question is about the Pirates' new Front Office. If this were someone who watches and knows stuff about baseball, like Bill Fremp, he might say something about Neal Huntington, and how he worked for Mark Shapiro in Cleveland, and how maybe experience with that franchise -- which has been very well run for quite a while -- might help in rebuilding the once-proud Pirates, etc. etc. If it is Joe Morgan, and thus he knows absolutely nothing about the Pirates' new Front Office, he might say something like...

Joe Morgan:
When you have good starters, you always have a chance. Starting pitching is the most important part of your pitching staff. If they can take you deep into a game, it allows your bullpen to settle. I agree with your assessment--they do have a chance over the long haul to improve as a team.

"...starting pitching is the most important part of your pitching staff." See? Joe.


Andrew (Long Island, NY):
Joe- Not sure if you ever experienced this in your career, but how does it feel to be an accomplished veteran player on a team that is "rebuilding?" Do you embrace the chance to help influence the young players' future? Or, do you hope that the team moves you so you can have a chance to win immediately?

Joe Morgan:
I was in that situation in Oakland my last year. They had a lot of potential in players like Rickey Henderson. I welcomed the opportunity to try to pass on what I had learned over the years. It just depends on your personality. I relished the opportunity because I had veterans teach me when I was a young player. But I can also understand how some players want to finish out their career in a winning situation. There's two sides to it. I enjoyed trying to help the young players, and I like to think I had an influence with Rickey Henderson. It was fun for me.

Listen. Joe Morgan was a wonderful baseball player. Amazing. Legendary. And I have no doubt that there is a lot he could have taught Rickey Henderson. But they played together in 1984. By 1984 Rickey Henderson had been in the top 10 in MVP voting three times, including coming in second in 1981. He has stolen 100+ bases three times, including his 130 year. I'm sure Rickey learned a thing or two from Joe, but let's not make it seem like a Clemens-Schilling type deal.

SprungOnSports (Long Island): Andruw Jones is batting .170 for the Dodgers with 5 RBI, isn't it time that Joe Torre gave him some time off and played a young guy like Andre Ethier everyday?

Joe Morgan: I say no. You know the upside for guys like Ethier.

Yes you do. .296/.359/.464/.823, which are his career #s. Jones is currently at .176/.283/.288/.571. Last year Unduruw rocked HotLanta to the tune of .222/.311/.413/.724 in 154 games. So, the upside for Ethier = far better than Jones has been since 2006.

Andruw Jones is struggling, but even last year he drove in 90 runs for the Braves and has a superstar's upside.

That is a gooftastic thing to say.

He may need some time off to get his mind right. When you give a guy a day off, it should be a day completely off--no practice, just relaxing and clearing your mind.

Okay. Well. Let's just call this what it is. They're playing him because their bonehead GM gave him $14.1m (including signing bonus) to play baseball this year, and he's the same bonehead GM who gave Juan Pierre $44m to bunt 120 times a year through 2032, and it's too embarrassing to have $23m+ of shitty outfielder sitting on the bench every day, so they have to play him, because at least he can throw.


Kurt (NYC):
What are your overall thoughts on the Mets this season?

Joe Morgan: I've been asking myself the same question.

You've been asking yourself what your own thoughts are on the Mets this season?

They can't come up with any consistency.

I would like someone who knows how to do such things to go through every one of Joe's chats since he started chatting and find out how many times he has used the word "consistent" or any of its noun/verb/adj./adv. forms. My guess: the highest number calculable by machines.

They can look like the best or worst team in the majors. That has marked them this year and at the end of last year. Their players are not producing together. I don't know how good they can be, if they can be the team that I picked to win this year. They're an enigma.

Perfect Morganian anti-analysis. I dunno. Something's wrong. "Their players aren't producing together." I don't know how good they can be. Huh. Weird. Geez. Gosh. Heavens to murgatroid. (Shrugs.)

I will now answer this question without looking anything up.

I think the Mets are underperforming because Reyes, Beltran, and Delgado are underperforming, though I think Beltran's OPS is actually pretty good, like low-800's. They're being carried by Ryan Church, which is nice, but probably not the recipe for success that Minaya had in mind. Their starters are fine -- Santana is Santana, and will only get better as he adjusts to the NL parks. Pelfrey and Perez are serviceable-to-good, and Maine is having an excellent year so far. Wagner is still lights-out. So, with a solid pitching staff and a decent pen, you'd expect them to speed up their winning ways over the next few months, because you assume that those good hitters will anti-regress to their means -- if I remember correctly, PECOTA had them at like 92 wins with a +100 run differential.

Delgado might be done, but Reyes and Beltran will heat up. And they'll be fine.

Joe Morgan: I'll get a close-up look at them this Sunday against the Yankees.

I'm sure your analysis will be much more in-depth.

Joe Morgan:
I think the fact that most teams have not been consistent

Unreal.

this year is going to be the thing we remember most about the first part of the season, at least until teams start to play better week in and week out.

Once again, I must ask: do you actually watch baseball?

Labels: , ,


posted by Unknown  # 11:32 PM
Comments:
John makes a good point:

You can't compare the quality of teams in 2 different leagues that don't play (many) games against each other by looking at records and run differential and stuff like that. Think of it this way: my son's Little League team has a much better record (31-2) and run differential (354-6) than the Yankees. That doesn't mean the Deer Park Lindens are a better team than the Bronx Bombers (unless they manage to get Farnsworth into the game).

Fair. I would say, however, that there are several NL teams I'd take over the Yankees, and maybe the Red Sox right now -- that league is better than most people give it credit for being.
 
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