Buzzmaster: Hey everyone. Joe's running about 10 minutes late. So we'll get started around 11:10 a.m. ET.
This should not come as a surprise to those who know Joe. He isn't a huge fan of computers, so to think that he would spend any more time than necessary on one is absurd. ABSURD I TELL YOU!
Buzzmaster: We've got Joe!
Yes! It was only a matter of time before he figured out that "internet" thing on his dial-up imac. Now let's brace ourselves for Joe's opening statement.
Joe Morgan: I want to clarify my position on the 103 list of people who tested positive in 2003. I do not view all the players as suspects, because I do not know who's on the list. The only time I'm suspicious of players is when it's been called for suspicion. Because I don't konw (sic) who's on the list, I do not look at Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter and Jason Varitek and think they are suspects. I do not use the lack of knowledge of names on the 103 list to form my own list. I believe people are innocent until proven otherwise.
So basically Joe will not be suspicious of players until they have tested positive. I'm not really sure why you would need to be suspicious of a player taking steroids if it's already been confirmed that the player took steroids. Whatever. Thanks for the heads up, Joe.
Gary (Buckeye ,Az): Joe, did you like the White Sox trade for Jake Peavey?
Joe Morgan: I didn't until I realized that he's going to pitch until the end of this month.
This makes no sense. Peavy won't be back until the end of this month. Okay, now we can move on.
When I first thought that he was out for the season, I didn't think it was a good move. But Ken Williams says they can get 6 starts out of him down the stretch. So then I think it's a good move. They're also looking at next year too.
A lot of things have to go right in order for Peavy to be back by the end of this month, let alone have six starts. Even so, I'm a little reserved about the move. His career numbers on the road, while pretty good, aren't nearly as impressive as they are at pitcher-friendly Yellowstone Park in San Diego. Peavy's thrown 114 fewer innings on the road throughout his career, yet he's given up 33 more homeruns. U.S. Cellular Field is also considerably favorable to hitters. Fangraphs did a nice piece on the trade. The White Sox gave up quite a bit, and Peavy's owed upwards of $15 million each of the next three seasons.
Anyways, at least Joe answered the question, even if it wasn't very helpful.
Sam (Boca): what moves can the Yankees make to improve their rotation before the postseason? one injury and they will have trouble brewing.....
Joe Morgan: Well, if they think they need that, they will make a move. I think they did a smart thing by not giving away players and making deals. Now if they get to September and have to do a waiver deal or something, they'll try to do it. I still think they need another starter, but I think they can get it done later without paying too hefty of a price.
Rook: Joe, what moves can the Yankees make to improve their rotation?
Joe Morgan: Well, Rook, they can make moves.
Rook: Perfect. Thanks.
Kent (Greenville): Do you think the Home Run Derby is the cause for Pujols' recent slump. Not a hit this past weekend. When was the last time that happened?
Joe Morgan: He didn't do well in the Home Run Derby either. He only had about 20-30 swings. I think he was on such a torrid pace and played at such a high intensity level, I think he needs a breather. I think he's mentally tired. He didn't get any time off during the all-star game, because he was the unofficial host. I think he needs a couple of days off and then he'll be back on track.
Gary (Buckeye,Az): Joe,what is your take on Milton Bradleys struggles this year?
Joe Morgan: I think it started when he first got hurt and the fans were expecting so much from him and he was expecting from himself and he put pressure on himself. He played maybe when he shouldn't have played. Baseball is a tough game to play when you're healthy, let alone when you're injured. I think he has time to regroup and get hot. I think between now and the end of the season he will get hot and raise his average. He's not a .240-.250 hitter. I think there's still more to come from him if he can get mentally focused.
Let's play a drinking game. Go back and read these last two responses from Joe and take a shot every time he says "I think." If you're not wasted by the fifth sentence then you are drinking water. If you don't have any alcohol, caffeinated beverages will also get you drunk. Good luck reading the rest of this post.
Edward (Nashville): Who is going to be the "under the radar" team in the playoffs this year?
Joe Morgan: I don't see anyone getting hot like the Rockies did a couple of years ago. But I do see some of the teams that are playing well now getting hot and maybe opening up a lead. I do see that happening. I don't think the races are going to be as close as they are now.
Rook: Joe, who is going to be the "under the radar" team in the playoffs this year?
Joe Morgan: A team that is playing well will perhaps get hot and open a lead.
Rook: Okay cool. Wait, you didn't say a team, though.
Joe Morgan: A team not like the Rockies.
Rook: Alright, that's better. For a second I thought you weren't gonna answer my question. That would've been funny, huh?
Joe Morgan: Well I can't say for sure whether or not it would have been funny because there's no way of knowing. And I don't want to speculate. There is perhaps a possibility that it could have been borderline humorous.
Rook: (**searches for upcoming Rob Neyer chats**)
Chris (Cincy): Why are there no consistently great teams like your Reds teams of the 70's? Even the top teams this year (Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Dodgers) seem to struggle with their consistency. What do you think is the cause of this?
Chris is definitely baiting him here. Two "consistents" in the middle of a comparison to the "good 'ol days." Nice. My guess is that Joe is going to hold a great deal of bias for his era while giving almost zero credit to today's MLB teams.
Joe Morgan: Well, that's a great observation. The point is that there aren't any great teams any more. Great teams have speed, pitching, defense, hitting, power. You don't have anybody with that combination any more.
Yankees, Angels, Rays.... Usually the teams with the best records are the ones that can hit, run, play defense, etc. The correct answer is the developmental progress of free agency. It is more difficult to keep a team together in today's game than it was in the 50's 60's or 70s. There are still great teams year in and year out, it's just nearly impossible to sustain that success within a franchise unless you have unlimited access to money, which I'm pretty sure is not the case with any team in professional sports. Yes, I know that includes the Yankees, but even they have a limit.
You have good teams, not great teams. The weaknesses show up more. Any time that happens, you'll lose 3-4 in a row. When your strengths show, you win 5 in a row. That's why the good teams have stretches. The Yankees won 9 in a row, but then lost 3 straight in Chicago. One thing to watch the rest of the way is whichever team can shorten their losing streaks, that team will win the division.
Teams that win more games than they lose will be more successful if they win a lot of games in a row and don't have long losing streaks. Grade "A" analysis brought to you by an Emmy Award Winner from your Worldwide Leader in Sports.
Elvis (Graceland): Do you think Matt Holliday can keep it up? Why was he not playing like this in Oakland?
Joe Morgan: Well, first, it's kind of like what I said about Milton Bradley. Holliday is a good hitter. He struggled early on, but he started to get hot right before he left Oakland. That doesn't mean he'll hit like that the rest of the season. Playing in Oakland was a downer for him, because you're playing on a team that doesn't excite you. It's a boring team to watch. They either strike out, walk or try to hit HRs. Jack Cust is a typical Oakland hitter. He either walks or hits home runs. It's just not an interesting team and that had an effect on Holliday. Plus the ball park is not easy to hit in.
2009 Oakland Athletics
694 Strikeouts--24th most in MLB
363 Walks-- 19th most in MLB
89 Homeruns-- 27th most in MLB
The A's have had 4,228 plate appearances so far this year. All of 1,146 of those plate appearances have ended in either a strikeout, walk, or homerun. That's good for 27 percent. Joe also said that Cust either walks or hits homeruns. This has happened in 18 percent of his plate appearances this year and 22 percent over the course of his career.
Oh, and since when were homeruns not exciting?
Kevin (Connecticut): Who are your AL and Nl Cy Youngs/MVPs right now?
Joe Morgan (11:37 AM): Well, the one thing to remember, there's a long way to go. In all of those awards, someone can still step forward. I think Pujols is the MVP in the NL. I still think Prince Fielder and Braun are legit candidates if the Brewers can win the division. As far as Cy Young, that's even more difficult for me, because I think people want to lean toward Tim Lincecum, but they ignore what Matt Cain has done. I think he's pitched more consistently from his first start to his last start than Lincecum. He's not going to get a lot of votes, but I think Jason Marquis has done a great job in Colorado. You always have to look at Santana, because of what he does for his team. He can get hot down the stretch and win many games in a row. It's hard to make a call, but those would be my leaders at the moment.
Cain has been more consistent than Lincecum..... Sometimes I think that Joe would prefer "consistency" over anything else. Even if the player is consistently bad, it seems like Mr. Morgan would give him credit and say stuff like "well you always know what you're getting with this guy." Lincecum leads Cain in the following categories: ERA, K's, K/9, BB/9, HR/9, BAA, WHIP, K/BB, FIP, RAR, and WAR. Also, while I'm not really a fan of the statistic, he leads Cain in Quality Starts as well (19 to 15). I guess you could kinda use that as a measure of consistency. Whatever.
Buzzmaster: Thanks for chatting Joe!
I don't think that these chats serve any real purpose for humanity, other then to entertain the blogosphere. For all our sakes, I hope ESPN never realizes this.