Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today we attempt to answer several questions. Do people still try to bait Joe into stupid answers even if there is no Ken Tremendous to read them? Is Joe still providing the same stupid answers? Is Joe actually writing these or is it some ESPN intern? Let’s find out.

(11:02 AM)
We've got Joe!

If you’re the ESPN chat “Buzzmaster” do you get to put it on your resume? I totally would. You know all that buzz at ESPN? I was the master of that buzz. If you’re detecting less buzz now than in the old days, well, that’s because someone isn’t the ol’ Buzzmaster anymore.

Joe Morgan
(11:03 AM)
Congratulations to Dallas Braden for such a fantastic performance last Sunday. Now, maybe he can move on from the A-Rod incident and just concentrate on having a good career.

And thank you, Joe Morgan, for bringing up the A-Rod thing while at the same time claiming that Dallas Braden can move past the A-Rod thing. Why not just “Congratulations to Dallas Braden for his perfect game.” You just have to mention A-Rod, don’t you.

Xander (Philly)

I know its a marathon, but the Phillies have the best record in the national league AND smoked the Cardinals 3 out of 4 all while missing Jimmy Rollins and JA Happ. National league isnt even close...

1. The Phillies are tied with the Padres for the best record in the NL.

2. Winning a 4 game series 3 to 1 at home is what you’re supposed to do.

3. Those 3 wins were by the scores of 2-1, 4-0, and 7-2. Two of those are comfortable wins, but they’re not exactly blowouts. Smoked? Really?

4. The Mets and Nationals are only 2.5 games behind the Phillies.

5. Jimmy Rollins was a piece of shit last year (.250/.296/.423). Moreover, he was a piece of shit in a league leading 725 PAs. Missing him isn’t that big a deal (though he has been hot in the early going this year, in a very small sample size). It’s probably offset almost entirely by no longer having Pedro Feliz on the team.

6. The NL West appears to have several quality teams. There is baseball played in the Pacific time zone, believe it or not.

7. The apostrophe is right above and next to the Shift button, AND you clearly managed to find that.

Joe Morgan
(11:04 AM)
I don't think you can ever discard the Cardinals because of their pitching. The Cardinals are the closest to the Phillies, but I've said since the beginning of the season that the Phillies are the best team in the NL.

I’ve tried hard to discard the Cardinals, but they keep finding their way home from the dump somehow. And now I have this restraining order…
I’m glad that Joe found someone to support his preconceived notions. That’s just what we need.

Travis (Houston)
The Astros may have a bad record but upside is are pitching has been great but wins dont come what should the Astros do?

That Texas education system is doing a bang-up job. The Astros pitching has been OK, but it certainly hasn’t been great. There are 8 teams in the NL that have given up fewer runs than the Astros, which makes them the definition of mediocre. The Astros biggest problem is obviously offense. They’re the only team in all of baseball not to have cracked triple digits in runs scored yet. If Travis was literate he could have looked that up himself. Instead he needs Joe to tell him, probably while using some form of the word consistent. And he’ll probably repeat himself. And he’ll probably repeat himself.

Joe Morgan
(11:05 AM)
You have to have offense. Everyone can talk about how great pitching staffs are, but you have to score runs. To win consistently, you have to be able to score runs. The best teams can both pitch and score runs.

Did you know that you have to score runs? To be consistent? Score runs? Score? Runs?

John (Nevada)
Joe, what (if anything) can the Cubs do to get things turned around in the NL Central???

I’ll take one of your 3 question marks John. Joe can have the other. I’m not sure what to do with the third. Maybe I’ll leave it there and create proper punctuation. Seriously, what is it about online chats that turns people into complete dunderheads. Are they so excited about getting their little question in that they just type as quickly as possible? And if that’s the case, why add extra punctuation?

Anyway, the Cubs pitching has suffered this year. They’re given up more runs than all but 5 NL teams, and pitching has carried the Cubs for several years now, but to me it mostly looks like they’ve been unlucky and poorly managed. They have several bullpen arms with good numbers, but the bad ones have been in too many high leverage situations. Couple that with the fact that Alfonso Soriano has apparently stolen Aramis Ramirez’s supply of PEDs, and you come up with a slow start. Much as I dislike the Cubs, I think things will turn around for them in short order.
The Cubs are also one of the few teams that Joe actually watches!

Joe Morgan
(11:06 AM)
I've been watching the Cubs for the last 3-4 years and I always thought they were a good team. Every year there seems to be something missing. This year it's the same. I just do not see them as being a really good team this year, unfortunately.

So he sees them as being a really good team, except for one thing which he can’t define, and also, they’re not a really good team.

That one thing?


Joe Morgan
(11:07 AM)
But things could change. Without Zambrano in the rotation, I don't think they'll be a good team. If he is in the rotation, he has to pitch up to his capabilities.

Ah ha! Maybe that one thing is Carlos Zambrano! But it looks like if he’s in the rotation he can still be missing one thing and not pitching up to his capabilities. But isn’t that two things then? D’oh! My brain!

Pete (NC)
Are you surprised by the Nationals being over .500? Can they keep this up?

Joe Morgan
(11:08 AM)
I think I'm pleasantly surprised.

What, are you Peter King now?

I thought they would be better. I am surprised that they've played so well. Part of the reason is Livan Hernandez has pitched great for them. He's a veteran and when a veteran pitches well, it gives the team a little more confidence. You know he can sustain it.

Oakland Athletic 1st baseman Daric Barton: Hey Eric, why so down? Another debilitating injury?

Oakland Athletic Utility Infielder Eric Chavez: Nah, it’s not that. I thought my 72nd comeback was going great, but I’m just not inspired by Dallas Braden.

Daric: Even with the perfect game and the sub-1 WHIP?

Eric: Yeah, he’s just too young and I’m not sure he’ll be able to keep it up! I wish we had someone more like 35-year-old Washington National SP Livan Hernandez. His 4-1 record really must instill Ryan Zimmerman with the confidence he needs to go out there and play his heart out.

Daric: And his unsustainable .188 BABIP and the fact that he has literally stranded 99% of baserunners so far probably doesn’t worry him at all. After all, this guy is a veteran. We know he’ll keep this up.

Eric. Yeah, I mean, sure, he hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.80 since 2005, and in most of recent history he’s been in the upper 5’s, but that’s no reason to think he won’t maintain his current 1.04 ERA. Livan Hernandez would magically heal all of my wounds if we had him.

Daric: Everyone knows that when you turn 35 you turn into some kind of pitching genius. Man, I sure wish we had Livan Hernandez.

RJ (Boston)
Mr. Morgan,Love your work, sir. Question... do you think we will ever see another speed renaissance, like we had in the 80's, with the Cardinals and Royals (and astroturf)? I miss those Herzog teams, terribly.

I’ll be the first one to admit that stolen bases are exciting. I’m a fan. But we’ve learned something about stolen bases, namely:

1. You have to have a high SB% for stolen bases to be valuable at all.

2. Stolen bases are less valuable in front of power hitters.

For these reasons I doubt we will ever see a true return to the speed game. When stealing, it’s much more important to pick good spots and make sure you are successful, and since we have far more HR hitters than we did in the heyday of the Herzog Cardinals, stealing just isn’t going to be as important. Players just aren’t going to be as careless about attempting to steal. In some ways it’s kind of a shame, but that’s the way it is.

Joe Morgan
(11:09 AM)
Those teams were very exciting to watch, because you knew every day someone could use their speed to win a game every day. We went through a spell waiting for 3 run homers to win a game, but they don't happen every day. Speed is there every day. But I like a little bit of everything, but there's no doubt that speed helps.

I hate it when Albert Pujols is going through one of his weakling days. And it sucks that he can only hit home runs with two men on base. An occasional 2-run HR or even a 2-run double would be nice. If only power translated in some other way…

Mike (Ohio)
So, was the biggest crime Griffey sleeping during the game or the 2 anonymous players going outside the clubhouse to the press?

While I am (obviously) not in the media spotlight, I think that sleeping on the job is pretty inexcusable. Maybe if you have a newborn kid or put in an all-nighter last night or something. If you are a professional baseball player, is there any excuse to fall asleep during a game? I know the clubhouse is sacrosanct and all that jazz, and perhaps this was best handled in-house, but is ratting on the sleeping worse than the sleeping itself?

Joe Morgan
(11:10 AM)
That is a great fan question. For me, it's the two guys going outside the clubhouse. If you have something to say, say it to the guy you're talking about.

What if he’s asleep?

Or, if you feel like you have to go to the newspaper, at least be man enough to put your name on it. But that clubhouse in Seattle has been in disarray for the last couple of years.

Wow, I actually basically agree with that, and we even got some insight into the working of the Seattle clubhouse. I wonder who Joe’s source is for that information?

Ben (New Hampshire)
Were you three amazed the Yanks-Sox finished in about 3 hours on Sunday night?!

I had the sound on so it seemed like an eternity to me.

Joe Morgan
(11:12 AM)
To be honest with you, I did not time the game. I only look at the time when the pace of play is slow. If the game is a good game, I don't look at the time. I didn't even know what the time was on Sunday. I thought it was a pretty good game and it moved along well, especially early.

Will someone teach Joe how to tell time please?

I’m going to skip ahead, because a few of these questions were boring and Joe gave basically correct if banal answers. Good for him!

Todd (Philly)
Hi Joe - I tend to believe Ken Griffey Jr - but I was curious if you were ever put in a situation where something wrong was said about you - or what you said - what was your immediate reaction as a player/professional? Did you feel the need to immediately protect your reputation, or are you more inclined to step back first and assess what was going on?

Joe Morgan
(11:18 AM)
I've been misquoted. There have been some people that said things about me that were incorrect as well.

This is 100% true.

I've been in both situations. From my perspective, I've always said that when I wake up the next day, it was a new day. I don't dwell on it. Just like I don't dwell on the positive stuff that people say. The Ken Griffey Jr. thing to me is just awful. I don't know the circumstances, but I do know over the course of 162 games that each and every player does something wrong or something that you can criticize. I don't know why that happened.

Apparently his sources in the Seattle clubhouse have their limits.

Adam (Midtown (NYC))

Do you believe you might have been able to extend your playing days (say - thru the '88 season) if there were more ballparks that had natural grass? 20/20 hindsight -- just do not how you, your peers were able to stand on that 'covered concrete' at great lengths during the summer months ...

Joe will not be defeated by mere Astroturf!

Joe Morgan
(11:21 AM)
I played long enough. I played 20+ years in the big leagues. Very few players got to play that long. No doubt, it did take its toll on me to play on the astroturf. I had a regiment to keep me playing. I lifted weights with my legs. I got in the whirlpool before and after the game. When I retired, my knees and legs were in good shape. It definitely took its toll on a lot of other players, whose careers were shortened. I don't think my career was shortened.

I lifted weight with my legs, just like Pat Robertson! I lived in the whirlpool! I am invincible!

Curt (Detroit-Rock City)
Do you think Johnny Damon can be a productive player for us beyond this season?

Johnny Damon is still putting up pretty good numbers, but…

Joe Morgan
(11:22 AM)
Johnny Damon is a veteran hitter. He can hit and handle all types of pitching. Therefore, I think he will be valuable past this year.

1. What does being a veteran have to do with it?
2. Doesn’t this logic support the idea that he will be a good hitter forever? Even when he's like 80? Maybe he's been doing leg lifts and using the whirlpool too!

Now we have to give some credit where credit is due. Two years ago Joe would have made an ass out of himself on this clearly Joe-baiting question. Joe, it appears, actually has learned something. Either that or they have a Joe-baiting detector that alerts one of the interns that a question needs answering. Anyway:

Joe, who do you think is a better pitcher right now, Zack Greinke or Carlos Silva? Carlos already has 3 more wins and 4 fewer losses than Zack.
Joe Morgan
(11:25 AM)

Zack has had some games where they just didn't score some runs for him. He hasn't pitched poorly, but they haven't scored runs for him. But like I said earlier, if they don't score runs, the pitching will suffer. Chicago scores more runs and Silva has been able to benefit from that.

That’s not half bad. Well hell, if Joe can learn that Wins are a lousy stat, maybe there’s hope for everyone.

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