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 (11:02 AM)
Joe is here!
If you were the GM of Atlanta, what would you do to solve their offensive problems this offseason? Is there hope for next year? Thanks!
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
Everyone seems to think that the only problem they have offensively is power, but they don't have any speed either. You have to have impact speed or impact power to be consistent. They have the pitching, obviously, but they don't have the speed or power to be consistent. Their defense is OK. It's not the best, but it's OK. Those are the things I would look for, either impact speed or power and try to improve the defense.
Joe, can you talk about hitting while a runner is in motion? How does that change what the batter is doing, and how did it affect you specifically?
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
It depends on where the runner is. If he was on first and I didn't have 2 strikes, I would always take the pitch. When they tried to steal third base from second and I saw him in motion, that bothered me, because my eyes would shift to him and then back to the ball. I didn't like that, because he was already on second and was in scoring position. It also depended on if it was a hit and run or a straight steal. On a hit and run, you had to make contact on the ball and keep it out of the air.
Hello Joe. What do the Oakland A's need to do be competitive again? Maybe Billy Beane should quit writing books and start acquiring some athletes.
Joe Morgan (11:07 AM)
Become more athletic. Sometimes, when I look at the A's players, I think they're playing softball. They have some big guys who try to hit the ball out of the ballpark. They strike out a lot. They just are not in position to make things happen on the basepaths. They've never really been a team to run or steal bases, bunt guys over or hit and run. They've always tried to hit the big home run. Now they have one guy in Davis. Their philosophy was working for a while, but now that philosophy doesn't work any more. You have to be more athletic, steal some bases in order to be a well rounded team. You don't have to steal a lot of bases, but you have to have the threat there.
Joe Morgan (11:08 AM)
But overall, they're just not a very athletic team, while most teams are becoming more athletic.
Is it me ... or is everyone being a bit unfair about the Mets? No team be successful when so many of their players are hurt. I think they need to treat next year like it is spring training and see how some of their players come back from injuries and the young players develop. Your thoughts please!
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
I think people are being unfair. But tell me any team that could lose three of their four best players and still succeed. No one. If you take the best players off St. Louis, they couldn't win. The same for the Yankees. So yeah, they're being unfair. I don't understand why people want to criticize them so much. There's nothing you can do about injuries. There are some question marks about how some of those injuries have been handled. If you want to do that, that's OK. But I don't know why you want to criticize their performance when they lost their best players. Delgado, Beltran, Wright they all had over 100 RBI last year. Reyes had a lot of SBs. Without those guys in the lineup, Wright has suffered and he also missed time with the beaning. From May 29, they didn't have a chance at all.
Rob (Alexandria, VA)
Carlos Marmol has been named the closer for the Cubs for next season, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. He's got lights out stuff, but he's very inconsistent, and I think I'd prefer a closer who is good most of the time, to a closer who is amazing half the time, and can't find the strike zone the other half. What are your thoughts?
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
Your closer has to be consistent, if you're going to win. Like you said, he's going to have to be consistent most of the time. No one is going to be perfect like Brad Lidge was last year. Marmol beats himself sometimes by not throwing strikes. But Gregg threw strikes and it didn't work. Giving Marmol the closer's job at this point is a good move, unless you make a move to get someone else. He might surprise us all and throw strikes more.
Uncle Freddy (Chicago)
There are reports that Cubs GM Jim Hendry will look to trade Milton Bradley and/or Carlos Zambrano in the off season. Do you agree with getting rid of these players and what can they realistically expect in return?
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
They're in a very difficult situation. They spent all this money on all these players - Bradley, Soriano, Fukudome. They've spent a lot of money the last few years trying to build a team. I think they overrated some players and underrated some players that they let go. Therein lies the problem. They made some bad decisions in rating players. Getting rid of Bradley is not going to solve your problems. Getting rid of Zambrano is not going to solve their problems. He's one of the better pitchers in the league when he's healthy and focused. So you need to get him healthy and focused. When you're talking about getting rid of a star player, you have to think about who you will replace him with. Sometimes it takes 1 or 2 players to replace him. Sure he had a bad year this year, but the last couple of years, he's been good. I think it's more getting the players pointed in the right direction than it is changing the players. It's up to Lou Pineilla and the coaching staff getting them in the right direction. I've always said that Aramis Ramirez is the key to that team. When he's not in the lineup, they just don't play well.
kemis (east hartford)
how are the yankees chances of winning it all this season
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
I think the chances are very good. I think the Yankees are the best team in the AL, therefore they have a good chance to win it all. The Angels are a good team. The Red Sox are a good team. But I don't think they will beat the Yankees. The Yankees are the best team. Now, being the best team doesn't mean you will win, especially in a short series. And you have to play like the best team come October. They did that under Joe Torre.
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
Anybody that gets into the playoffs can win the world championship. Any team that gets there has proven they can get hot for a two week span.
Daniel (San Francisco)
Is Tim Lincecum back in front of the NL Cy Young race after last night's gem?
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
No, I don't think so. I think the leader is Adam Wainright in St. Louis. He has the most victories. Most innings pitched of the guys in the race. His teammate Chris Carpenter was very close to him and he had a bad outing the other day. Lincecum has been good all along, but because of the offense in San Francisco, he went about four starts without a victory. I think Wainright is the leader, but there is still time for someone to make a run. There are a lot of guys in the mix, but Wainright, I think, is in the lead.
Back when you were playing, did managers pay attention to a batter's split statistics vs. lefties/righties? Thanks !
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
No, not as much. Some managers did use that to decide if a guy was going to play that day. But not as much as it is used today. I'm not as big a believer in those splits as some people are. Even when you're talking about splits, it's an average. It won't tell you what is going to happen that day. Statistics give you trends, not an absolute.
Is Mauer the AL MVP?
Joe Morgan (11:21 AM)
It depends on how you look at the vote. Mauer definitely should be at the top of any list. But also at the top of the list should be Teixera, Jeter. One of the guys that gets no credit is Kendry Morales with the Angels. When all those guys went down, he was the guy that supplied the power and run production. He should also be in that mix.
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
Then the next level down, you have guys like Jason Bay. There are a lot of guys up for consideration. And there is a lot of time left for guys to make their case.
The Angels seem to give the Yankees problems when they match up against one another in the post-season. Why do the Angels present matchup problems for the Yankees while Boston always finds ways to beat Anaheim?
Joe Morgan (11:24 AM)
The Angels matchup well with the Yankees because they put a lot of pressure on the Yankee hitters. They do a lot of things good offensively, they steal bases. That's what they've done in the past. But the Yankees haven't had an ace like Sabathia in the past. He gives them a chance to win the first game of every playoff series. What they do after that is another question. The Angels can't beat Boston in Boston. That seems to be their biggest deal. So, it's important that they have the better record so they have the homefield advantage. That advantage is more important for the Angels than any of those three teams.
What are your thoughts on a Yanks - Cards world series?
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
I think it's more than a possibility. If you're trying to pick teams now, which I don't like to do because there is still a lot of time left to go, but I think it's a high probability that the Yankees and Cardinals will meet in the World Series. I could see the Angels playing the Phillies. Boston playing the Dodgers. But I believe the Yankees are the best team in the AL and the Cardinals are the best team in the NL.
Dave Weston (Ukiah, Ca)
Mr Morgan, As a huge Giants fan, I am curious about your expert take on the Giants season thus far. We are trying not to get dissapointed if they don't make the playoffs this year since they were not even supposed to compete this year but if they can get back within 2 games or less from the wildcard, that pitching we have might be the difference. What is your "gut" telling you about their chances.
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
Pitching has been there all year long for them and have had great performances for them. But their offense has been inconsistent. The Phillies scored something like 4 runs in 3 days and won 2 games. That's still their problem, scoring runs. THey've been able to score runs at home. The Giants are just an inconsistent offensive team. That makes it difficult for them to win games. No matter how good it is, you can't win a 0-0 game. But they still have a chance because of their pitching. I think they'd be a team that no one would want to face in a short series.
Joe Morgan (11:29 AM)
As usual, the Wild Card races may look like they will go down to the last week. Boston looks like they have a good lead and if Colorado gets swept by the Giants, they may pull out in the NL. I think those will be the two Wild Card winners.
Buzzmaster (11:34 AM)
Thanks for chatting Joe!