Chat with Joe Morgan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Hall of Famer and ESPN baseball analyst Joe Morgan will drop by to take your questions!
An analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, Morgan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990. He won back-to-back MVP awards with the Reds in 1975 and 1976 along with two World Series rings.
Send your questions now and join Morgan Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:01 AM)
We've got Joe!
Joe Morgan (11:03 AM)
My new favorite team to watch is the Texas Rangers. They reall hustle as a team, not because of the 8 bases that they stole against Boston the other day, but the entire team really hustles. They play the game the way it is supposed to be played and I enjoy watching them. Ron Washington has done a great job of instilling that type of great attitude in his team.
Cam (Seneca, PA)
How long do you think it will be before the Pirates have a winning season?
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
I can't even forsee them having a winning season any time in the near future. They've traded away all the good players they've had over the years starting with Aramis Ramirez. Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez. They've traded them away and not gotten anything in return. I just don't see them being a good team any time soon.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
Joe, it looks like the Cubs migth be done. I know there's games left, but it doesn't look like they can turn it around and play well. Do you think Lou or Hendry or both jobs are on the line with the new owner?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
I agree with you. I thought they would turn things around. They started to, but then they went backwards. Every time they started to, it seems that they had some injuries. I don't know if they can right the ship, especially since the Cardinals are playing so well. I don't think they can bounce back. I don't know about Lou and Hendry, but someone has to be blamed for the fact that they spent hundreds of millions of dollars the last few years on players and haven't been able to get it done. Some of those players haven't performed as they thought they would. Those decisions were not good decisions. We'll just have to see who they blame for that.
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
But it's clearly someone's fault.
Hello Joe. Why do the Red Sox have so many guys that keep the bat on their shoulder? They strand so many runners and squander so many opportunities by not being agressive.
Joe Morgan (11:08 AM)
It seems they fell into the mold of trying to make the pitcher throw a lot of pitches. They go up there to take a lot of pitches. The way to thwart players who take a lot of pitches is to throw strikes, you get the batter in the hole. I think they fell into that situation of taking a lot of pitches. I don't think you take pitches just to take them. If you go up there with the idea to take pitches, you'll have a problem if he throws strikes.
Dylan (St. Louis)
Is there any other real MVP candidate in the NL other than Albert Pujols?
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
You have to put Prince Fielder in the conversation. He's led the NL in RBI. He's having a great season. He has 30 HR and is hitting over .300.
David (Spokane, WA)
Joe, Why is no one really talking about the Braves? It seems they are the team that has the best chance at winning the NL East, besides Philly. With the pitching they have and the new bats, they seem to be the team to watch.
Joe Morgan (11:11 AM)
I don't agree. I think the Braves have helped themselves and are a better team than they were in the first half, but I'm not sure they are good enough against the better teams to catch the Phillies. They've beaten the Phillies 8 of the last 12, but this is a different Philly team than earlier in the year. I'm just not sure the Braves can hit good pitching. Therein lies their soft spot. Pitching can take you a long way, but I'd still like to see the young pitchers, Jair Jurjens and Tommy Hanson before saying if their pitching is as good or better than Phillies. As good as the Braves pitching is, you put Happ, Lee and Hamels up against their three top guys and I wouldn't say the Braves have a big edge there. But the Phillies definitely have an edge offensively and speedwise as compared to the Braves.
Mose (Beet Farm)
Joe! The Red Sox fell out of the Wild Card lead, their inconsistency is killing me. Maybe they should play a little small ball, do more hit and run with Ellsbury and Pedroia, rather than sit back and wait on the 3 run HR. What do you think?
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
I think you're a smart baseball person. They have the fewest sacrifice bunts in MLB. They don't hit and run. The only guy who will steal a base is Ellsbury. Pedroia will every once in a while. But they just sit and wait for the home run, which doesn't come around as much any more. I don't think they'll catch the Yankees by doing that. They might not even hold on to the wild card. They might have to change the way they play on offense.
nick (des moinesf)
does mauer win the al MVP? it looks like he's going to hit over 30 homers and bat close to .400. he's on fire. can we call him the best player in baseball. he's also a great catcher and defensive player.
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
I can't call him the best player, because it's hard for a catcher to be the best player. The reason I say that is that he's not the best defensive catcher in the game and he doesn't run as well as some of the other players. But he's definitely the best catcher in the game. And he's not better than Albert Pujols. However, Mauer is an unbelieveable talent. We've never had a catcher win a batting title before. Now he's on to his, what?, 2nd or 3rd batting title? He is by far the best hitter in the league. But as an MVP, the Twins might finish 3rd or 4th in their division.
Joe, what is wrong with the Dodgers? Is it that Chad and now Khoroda went down or is it that Torre over used the bullpen and it's coming back to bite him now?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
I think both of those things are issues. Billingsly and Kuroda, he got hurt earlier in the year as well. The Dodgers were playing over their heads for a long time. They are a very good team, but they were playing like a great team. Don't underestimate the loss of Juan Pierre from that lineup every day. He brought a lot of energy to that lineup when Manny was out. And Manny hasn't performed since he came back. It's a different kind of lineup with Pierre not in there. The bullpen could use some rest, but they're not going to be able to get any right now. Joe's going to have to think of something.
Hey Joe, is John Smoltz's career over?
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
No. I see too many teams knocking on his door. The Dodgers, Cardinals. He might be a good addition to someone's bullpen. When he was starting, he would do OK for a couple of innings and the roof would fall in. So, he could be a bullpen guy and give an inning or two there. He could go to the Dodgers or Cardinals and help them. Those two teams have a chance in the playoffs, and he'll want to go somewhere with a chance.
Has Carpenter moved past Haren for 2nd in Cy Young for the NL? Frankly besides K's he has just as good as number as Lincecum.
Joe Morgan (11:21 AM)
I think they're all still in a bag there to be picked out of. There is still lots of time left. The thing with pitchers is that they can get hot and cold. Haren was great, but then he struggled a little bit. Lincecum has never struggled since the early part of the season. Due to circumstances, he hasn't gotten wins. We'll just have to see.
Dave (Kansas City)
Hey Joe, If the Dodgers and Cardinals were to be in the NL Championship Series...Who would you take?
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
I would give a slight edge to the Cardinals because they have Carpenter. The Dodgers do not have a true No. 1 like that. I would give the edge to the Cardinals because Wainwright, Carpenter and Pineiro have a little more experience than the Dodgers. And the Cardinals have Pujols, who always gives you an edge. But I'm a real big fan of the Dodgers three young hitters - Ethier, Kemp, Loney.
David (Spokane, WA)
When will the Nats throw Strasburg into the rotation? They are paying him a lot of money and with their record, any chance we see him in the next couple of weeks?
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
I'm glad he signed with the Nationals. They were able to keep some sense in the draft. He didn't get the $60 million he wanted. I would think he would be in the rotation before the year's over. But I'd think that he would start in the minor leagues to just see him get his feet under him. But they are paying him all that money, so they might want to get him into the rotation quickly. But as a college pitcher, your preparation is completely different than in the major leagues. The Nationals might want to see what they have and fill the stadium by bringing him in. I would like to see him start in the minor leagues first.
Joe Morgan, love when you do the games on ESPN. I have a question for you. Is Robinson Cano going to be one of the best 2nd basemen for years to come? His defense is slick and he makes a lot of plays that he shouldn't. And his bat is not bad either..
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
I think Cano is going to be a star. It seems like he's finally been able to focus all the time on the field. It seems like he was making mistakes before because he wasn't focused on the field. He makes good plays in the field. And his offense is turned around. He had an off year last year, but has improved this year. I think he'll be the best second baseman in the AL for a long time.
Jennifer (St Petersburg)
If you were the Yankees what would you do with Joba? and what do you think about "Joba rules"?
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
They have created a big problem for themselves because they tried to treat him differently than any pitcher who comes to the big leagues. I understood the Joba Rules in his first year, but at what point do you just become a big league pitcher and let him go. They have to decide if they want to keep him as a starter or in the bullpen and let him go. This kid glove stuff doesn't play well with the other players, I guarantee you that. Why is he so much different than Phil Hughes or some of the others that have come through the system?
Joe Mauer is batting .380. Why is no one discussing .400!!!!
Joe Morgan (11:30 AM)
Because he can't hit .400. What you don't understand is how much wear and tear a catcher goes through in the season. I'm just amazed that he is hitting .380. As a catcher, balls get tipped off his hand, his arm. Catchers play in pain. That's one reason catchers have not won batting titles. The wear and tear has far more effect on a catcher than it does on any other position. For him to hit .400, right now he's at .380, he has to raise his average 20 points, which is hard to do. He'd have to hit over .500 or something to get his average up. Then he'd have to sustain it for the rest of the season. Now that he's added some power to his game, you could be talking about him as one of the best to every play the game. But not yet though.
Joe Morgan (11:31 AM)
Looking forward to watching the Yankees and Boston play on Sunday in Fenway. One of the chatters earlier had a good piont about asking if the Red Sox were going to continue to play long ball or add diversity to their offense. We'll see.
Buzzmaster (11:31 AM)