SprungOnSports (Long Island): Do you think Willie Randolph should be fired for the Mets' recent failures, or are his players or the GM more at fault?Once again, SprungOnSports (Long Island) gets there first. That dude is eager.
Joe Morgan: If you're going to fire Willie, you'd have to fire Jim Leyland, John McLaren, Bud Black, and Ned Yost. The list could go on and on. Why is he the one being picked on when so many other teams are playing below their potential. Maybe Willie's point of playing under more scrutiny is a valid one.
John McLaren doesn't seem that great, but Bill Bavasi is the one who put that team together. Jim Leyland won the pennant two years ago and has probably earned at least an ASB-type chance. Maybe Bud Black should go, though he did win 89 games last year. Ned Yost...maybe. That team should be playing better. I don't know. It seems to me that instead of anyone playing the race card, we should look at the obvious facts: the team has a $138m payroll, acquired Johan Santana in the off-season, was PECOTAed to win 93 games this year, and most importantly, had an all-time record collapse last year
down the stretch. Any
manager of that team -- in NY -- is, as Mike from Paradise Hotel 2
would say, going to be on the boilerplate if his team gets off to a bad start.
Alan (Philly): Joe, have you ever seen a second baseman or any player at that as versatile as Chase Utley?
Mention Cano. Mention Cano. Mention Cano.Joe Morgan: There have been a lot of really exceptional second basemen around. Robinson Cano has that ability of being versatile.
Robby Cano, or "RoCa" as Jim Kaat has surely tried out calling him at home before he announces games and then decided, "Nah -- AlSo was better," is an excellent
baseball player. But Chase Utley has 16 HR this season, and Cano's season high to this point in his career is 19. Just sayin'. He's also 51-60 in steals for his career, and Cano is an abysmal 11-24. I'm not sure what "versatile" means here, but Cano's not in his league for two out of the classic "5 tools."I think Chase Utley right now is the best of the group, but there are a lot of really good second basemen around.
The only one whose name I know, however, is Robinson Cano.
George,E.L.,Ma.: Hi Joe.Do you think that the Red Sox will make a move with Lugo(trade or release),or stick it out?Joe Morgan: He seems like he's been playing better.
He has a .684 OPS (not horrendous
for a SS, but that's after a pretty good May) and 12 errors in 44 games (horrendous for a SS). He's being paid eleventy million dollars a year through 2010 and is routinely lifted for a defensive replacement in the late innings. You can't release him, you probably can't trade him unless you Renteria it up and pay like $8m/year to some team that needs a 2Bman.I don't know if you can go find a shortstop at this juncture of the season.
Unless you have a decent prospect, Jed Lowrie, at AAA. (To be fair, I don't know that Lowrie is necessarily a better option at this point. His defense seems iffy. Though he did have an .862 OPS in 40 games at AAA last year. I think you're stuck with Lugo through the year at least.)There may be someone available at the all-star break.
Lugo for Kouzmanoff straight up?
Being honest with you, Lugo is not hindering the Red Sox right now. It wasn't his fault the Sox got swept by Oakland.
First of all, thank you for your honesty. Second: what a silly thing to say. It's never one person's fault when a team gets swept. Amount of light shed on the Lugo situation by this answer = .0016 candle power.
john (philly): Will Jay Bruce have an immediate impact for the Reds?Joe Morgan: I think he will. He brings energy to the team, and besides that, he is a pretty good hitter.
I like that the #1 reason he will help his team is: "energy," and the distant #2 reason is: "ability to hit baseballs."
Ross, Chicago: Is Jim Thome done? Any trade value?Joe Morgan: I never like to think of players as being done. Only the player will know. They said Frank Thomas was done in Toronto and he is doing well in Oakland. We've poured dirt on guys who have come back to play well before, and only Jim Thome knows whether he's finished or not.
Jim Thome is on pace to hit 32 HR and walk 94 times. Something tells me his BA will come up when his BABIP
normalizes a little. See how easy it is to answer questions with facts?
SprungOnSports (Long Island): You just saw the White Sox this past weekend, are they for real?Hey buddy! Welcome back.
Joe Morgan: I don't think there are any great teams are there.
(a) Not the question. (b) Typo makes it sound like drunk Yoda.the White Sox had been shut down before we got there for two days. Carlos Quentin saved them when I saw them. They can win the division because they have pitching. You will see pitching dominate the league more this year. More teams will struggle to score runs. Teams that have pitching definitely have the advantage.Honestly, man -- when was that not the case? Teams with pitching have an advantage? When...did that...not...make...blorp...grrrrnllll
Willy (Cincy): Hi Joe. Any thoughts on why junior is struggling as much as he is this year. Can you lose your bat speed that quick?
) I know this! Call on me!Joe Morgan: Part of it is trying to chase 600 home runs.
No! That's not it! Call on me!I'm just shocked that he has struggled as much as he has, as he still possesses that sweet swing.
(straining; tipping chair-desk combo unit forward toward teacher
) Yes...but...just call on me, and I'll--The player knows whether his bat speed is gone, and if you're worried about your bat speed,
No, he's not worried about his bat speed, there's something else...call on me! Call on me!
you'll start starting your swing too soon and getting out of position.
He's 38, is the answer. He's 38 years old. You should have called on me.Blake (Aberdeen, MD): After 50 games thus far, what do you think of the Orioles 25-25 ? What could the Orioles get for Sherill at the All-Star break?
Time for the KT Odds Report
Odds that Joe says "there are no perfect teams" -- 1 in 4
Odds that Joe says he hasn't seen the Orioles enough to know about how good they are -- 2 in 5
Odds that Joe knows who George Sherrill is: 1 in 12,500
Odds that Joe actually suggests a trade the Orioles might make using George Sherrill at the ASB and names the specific player or players they get back from a specific team, which would fill a need that the Orioles have that Joe has identified: Sorry, a system error occurred. Abort (A), Retry (R), Fail (F)?Joe Morgan: You have to give them credit for bouncing back. It's too early to start talking about trading or getting rid of people, as you are still trying to build a foundation. I would say, let's wait before we do anything. The Orioles have to be happy at where they are, as everyone thought they would be a disaster.
Just hit F and we'll try again.
Ryan (Bristol, CT): If you were to choose the final AL East standings, what would they look like?Joe Morgan: Boston would be the only obvious one at the top. The rest of the teams could be interchangeable. But I could go out on a limb and say Boston-Tampa Bay for the top two.
A prediction! Good for you, man. Well done.MJ (Edmonton): Joe who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced in your career?Joe Morgan: I faced so many good pitchers, and at any given day, that pitcher could be the best at that moment. Koufax, Gibson, Seaver, Carlton, Ryan--any of them at their best was the toughest.
I really have no beef with this answer. I am 100% sure that facing those five guys -- obviously -- was miserable for even a hitter as great as Joe. But I'd like to add that I love it when a guy gets asked this, and the answer is someone insane. Like, hey, Tony Gwynn (for example), who's the toughest pitcher you ever faced? "Danny Darwin, bar none. Danny Darwin owned
me." I love that. I wish that happened more.
That's all. Back to the chat.Jeff (Norwich, CT): What is up with the Red Sox problems on the road? They have great pitching and hitting. But no one is stepping up on the road! Any explanations?Joe Morgan: The team is built so well for Fenway. They all know it so well, and Fenway is a great-hitting park to begin with. It's always been that way for the Red Sox--dynamite in Boston, and not so good on the road.
Last year they were 45-36 on the road, which ain't bad. And in 2002, they were far better
on the road than at home. Other than that, you're exactly right.
I expect this team to make adjustments. As I've said before, they are the best team in the game.
The Cubs have a better team ERA and a better team OPS. For the record.Jeff (Cleveland, OH): Joe, how does a team like the Indians break out of an offensive slump? This is a time when team chemstry plays a role? If you were Eric Wedge, other than continuing to say we need to grind it out, what might you do to help a team like Cleveland start hitting?Joe Morgan: You have to see them on a daily basis to have an answer--are they overly aggressive, are they not aggressive enough, etc.--but when it starts to happen, players take it on themselves to perform better, which puts a lot of pressure on them. There are a lot of different things a manager can do--manufacture runs, put the hit and run on, or many other things.
Put the hit and run on. Bunt. Be stupider.
That's the only way to be better.I would have to see if somebody is pressing, or if it's just one of those cycles the team is going through. The Yankees had one of the worst batting averages with RISP at the beginning of the year and now they're doing better.
Odds that Joe uses the term "regress to the mean": 1 in [my computer blew up. I am now typing on a new computer. I'm still going to hold out hope that he uses the term "regress to the mean" here. Wouldn't that be something? I mean, it's so crazy, it just...might...]The best team keeps these low points to a minimum. They do indeed have to grind it out, even if it seems like a cliche.
(Sigh.)MJ (Edmonton): Joe are you for or against instant replay in baseball?
Buckle up, people.Joe Morgan: I'm against it for the reasons they're talking about it.
...Who? Are there voices in your head, Joe? You need to call a doctor if there are voices in your head telling you to do things.It's only because of the bad HR calls recently.
The only reason we want to introduce a solution is because of all the problems we've been having.There are so many other plays that have an impact on whether the game is won or lost.
Probably, though, home runs are at the top of that list, no? As far as single plays that affect games? I mean, you're talking about plays that by definition score at least one run.It's the same thing with steroids--people only focused on the home run hitters
I am a relatively smart person. I majored in Knowledge Acquisition at the University of Science. I cannot for the life of me figure out how wanting to institute replay for HR calls is the same thing as people focusing on HR hitters in the steroids scandal. Yes, in both instances people are "only focusing on" something involving home runs. But: "it's the same thing?" Da-wha?Everyone influences the game, so why are you looking at one area.
I'm sorry...I thought your objection, as noted in last week's chat, was that soon people would insidiously start expanding replay to other areas. Now you are complaining that it only focuses on one area?I wouldn't want the K-Zone calling balls and strikes. The reason the umpires called these incorrectly was because they were still running when they made the call.
Yeah, dude, we know why
they were called incorrectly. They're not introducing replay so the cameras can follow the umps to get video evidence of why they called HR incorrectly. Willie Randolph didn't go running onto the field to argue that the reason Bob Davidson called Delgado's home run foul was not because he has bad eyesight (as Davidson was asserting in this hypothetical and absurd alternate universe) but rather that he got distracted by a low-flying plane. He ran out to argue that the call was incorrect. Get it?Your eyes are bouncing when you run,
Someone with artistic skills: please draw a picture of an umpire running towards the outfield fence and show his eyes "bouncing" in a comic way. I will put the winning drawing up on this site in a separate post.so you can't see with the same precision, and you won't always get a correct view.
You know what doesn't bounce when an umpire runs? An instant replay camera, trained on the path of the flying ball, with the ability to zoom.There has just been an unusual amount of incorrect calls this season.
If only there were a way to prevent such things in the future.Once you open that replay box, where do you stop?
At home run calls. Or at some other point, if you want more plays to be reviewable. Like the NFL did.The game would slow down even more than it does now,
I don't think that's true.and baseball came out with a new set of rules to speed up the game. I'm concerned with dead time.
Then stop doing analysis on live TV. Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh snappp! (high-fives no one; is alone in mom's basement
)Igor(Yonkers,NY): Joe, When will the best player of all time, Barry Bonds, be back in uniform and with whom?Joe Morgan: If I had a team, Barry could play for me. It's pretty obvious to me that there has been some kind of effort to keep him from playing.
, even, of Barry having made his own bed, steroidically speaking. And another wild accusation of collusion from Joe. Frequent readers of this blog will remember similarly unfounded claims being made against the Red Sox for tampering with J.D. Drew in his option year. No evidence is given, because apparently, when you're Joe Morgan, you need not have any.
He hit 28 home runs last year, and there are a lot of less-productive players playing this year. They could use his legal problems as an excuse, but they would not keep him from playing.
dak/Junior and I disagree on this. I can't imagine having that dude on my team. Sorry, everyone. I know he'd OPS like .900, but he'd clog up the metaphorical organizational basepaths with his slowfootedly awful personality and his knee injury of misanthropic distraction. Call me crazy. Call me a hypocrite. That dude doesn't play for my team.MJ (Edmonton): Joe, which of today's players is the most fun to interview?Joe Morgan: I enjoy talking to most of the guys.
Gary Sheffield, Robby Cano, Sheffield, Derek Jeter, Sheff, Gary S., Sheffieldio, Top Sheff, Sheffenpopper Incorporated, The Right Honourable Garibaldy von SheffenPfeffer...all of them.I really enjoy talking to Jim Thome, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz. But I don't get a chance to interview them like I used to.
Because... (everybody now)...
...I don't really see that much baseball.Joe Morgan: Thanks for all your questions.
--SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Labels: barry bonds, clogging the metaphorical organizational basepaths with a slowfootedly awful personality and a knee injury of misanthropic distraction, joe morgan, joechat, paradise hotel 2