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. He also is a special advisor to baseball operations for the Cincinnati Reds, where he will assist in player development and work on the Reds' community outreach and diversity initiatives and other promotional activities.
Send your questions now and join Morgan Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
Ryan Howard's $125 million contract has generated more than Joe Mauer's 180 million and Matt Halladay's contract. It should be mentioned that of the three, only Ryan Howard has a rookie of the year award, MVP award and a world championship to his credit. I'm a little confused at why he has generated such negative comments.
Tony (Boise, ID)
Joe, do you see anyone giving the Cardinals a real challenge in the NL Central?
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
The Cardinals have the best pitching, with Carpenter, Wainwright, Brad Penny at the top of their rotation. I don't think anyone can match that. The Cubs have the potential to match that with Dempster, Lilly and Zambrano, but Zambrano is in the bullpen now. Any time you have Albert Pujols in the lineup and surround him with role players as they've done, they have the best team. But it's a long season and other things can derail the best team in the division.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
Good Morning Joe. I wanted to get your thoughts on the Giants pitching staff this season? Also if you could compare Lincecum to one pitcher in baseball history who would it be?
Joe Morgan (11:07 AM)
The Giants' starting pitching, potentially, is the best in the division. When you have Lincecum, Matt Cain, Sanchez, who's coming into his own, and Barry Zito seems to be bouncing back. They have the best starting pitching in the division. Lincecum is special. He seems to be getting better and he's already won two Cy Youngs. The thing that he seems to be better at this year is he doesn't get into hitter's counts and doesn't have to throw a fastball. And when he does, he can throw his change. They've talked about him using his curveball more, but he doesn't. It's too early for me to compare him to the all-time greats. Those guys were fantastic pitchers and it's just too early to compare him. But if he continues like this in the next few years, we will have to start making those comparisons.
John P (Chengdu China)
How are all the small injuries going to effect the Yankees? Seems all the old Yankees are getting small injuries.
Joe Morgan (11:08 AM)
Well old and injuries go together. Obviously the Yankees aren't old, but older. You'll see that happen throughout the season. The problem with being older is that it takes longer to recover from those injuries. But if I'm a Yankee fan, I'm not worried about anything right now. Cano has stepped up to join the elite players on that team and the starting pitching has been great, other than Vazquez. The Yankees, unlike Boston, don't have a lot to worry about right now.
Despite Sunday's outing, Johan Santana is an excellent pitcher. Besides skill, what is the main attribute he brings to the table for the Fellas of Flushing?
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
I think his main strength is his mental toughness. He is a real tough competitor. Even giving up all of those home runs the other night, he never gave up and kept fighting. I always use the phrase with Bob Gibson. When he stepped on the mound and looked at you, his demeanor said to you as a hitter that you can't hit me. I see that in Santana. What I saw on Sunday was his fastball didn't have a lot of movement on it, even though he was throwing 91 and sometimes 92.
Mr Morgan: On the ARod-Dallas Braden spat a few weeks ago, do you think ARod does or says what he did if it'd been say Bob Gibson or Roger Clemens on the mound?
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
Well, he couldn't have said that because those guys had more than a handful of wins. As I said at the time, I had to be schooled on that in a way, because I had never thought about that. I definitely know you don't run across the mound if the guy is standing on the mound. I'm sure that when running out to my position, I ran across the mound. I never thought about it. But A-Rod is an easy target. There was one report that he stomped on the rubber and another report said that wasn't true. It's because he's A-Rod.
Patrick (Clovis, CA)
Joe, looking at how hot the Padres have been this year, do you see anyone contending with them for the division playoff spot, and if so who?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
Yes. The Padres have gotten off to hot starts before and have not been able to hold on. I see the Giants contending, as well as the Dodgers and Rockies. All of the teams in that division will be in the race.
Ben (los angeles)
Joe, it seems the Dodgers are in a bit of disarray.....no pitching, sporadic hitting and no fielding. any ideas?
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
It may seem strange, but when there are off field issues with players, we always seem to think that has an effect in the clubhouse. Well, there are off field issues with ownership and as we all know, things start at the top with an organization. I would not say that off field issues with ownership has not effected the players. The players are asked about the situation and there are questions about what will happen with the payroll this year and next year. But I think Joe Torre and his coaches will right the ship.
Ben B. (Detroit)
Miguel Cabrera for MVP?
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
With Cabrera, there's always a shot. He's such a good hitter and run producer. It depends on what happens with the Tigers as a team. I still think that he's going to continue to improve.
Hi Joe wuth the Phillies reasserting thier dominance over the Mets do you see any team in the east challenging them?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
I don't think they asserted their dominance over the Mets, they won 2 out of 3. Even in the losses, even if they were lopsided, there was one crucial play that turned it around. On Sunday, it was the walk to the pitcher with 2 outs. They scored 9 runs after that. The game before that, there was a misplay in the field that opened things up. You figure next time Santana won't pitch that poorly. I think it will be the Mets and Phillies, but don't forget about the Marlins. They always seem to put a pretty good team together in Florida.
Whatever the Cubs reasoning is Zambrano to the bullpen, a soft middle infield, huge contracts, no trade clauses, the way Jim Hendry runs the team has to be questioned. No? Time to start rebuilding for the future?
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
I'm wondering why you're questioning the moves now, when what they've done the last three years hasn't worked. Start with Fukudome and the money they gave him and he's a platoon player. Milton Bradley. They've made some mistakes the last few years. Getting rid of some players who were important to the makeup of the team. I don't think they've made a lot of good decisions lately. It seems like the players they've brought in has not performed up to the level they expected.
what,s the sunday night baseball game of the week this sunday?
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
Other than a four-hour game? It just seems like when the Yankees and Red Sox play, it's been chronicled that it's going to be a long game. The other thing I'm looking for is how well the BoSox offense continues to play. That's been their problem this year, other than their starting pitching not playing up to their capabilities.
will the Pirates ever have a winning season without a salary cap?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
Other teams have winning teams without salary caps, so let's not make that the excuse. They've made a lot of bad decisions over the years. Gotten rid of a lot of good players. Put a lot of those players back there and they have a good team. I think it's those decisions, not the salary cap, that's prevented them from losing all these years.
Hi Joe - I am a big fan. Tell me - who would you pick as your starting pitcher for a key game - Jiminez, Lincecum or Halladay? And why (or better yet - how do you chose?)
Joe Morgan (11:24 AM)
All of the above. On any given day all of the best guys are capable of shutting down a team. But the consistency of Halladay over the years, not just this year, I think I would go with him.
Steve (St. Louis)
Mr Morgan. Do you relly think the Cards are going to be able to afford Carp, Wainwright and Pujols in 2 years?
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
We go back to the conversation I had in Milwaukee. Small market, medium market? St. Louis sells out every night. But if you can give Holliday 100 million, then they must have a big vault.
Mr. Morgan, I don't get the hate for Howard. The guy hits 40 HRs and drives in 140 every year. Plus, like you said, he has the awards to back it up. I really don't understand it, Joe. Outside of Pujols, who's a better power hitter than Howard? I mean 140 RBIs each year! He's a leader and helped the Phils win the WS one year and get to the WS in the other. thanks Mr. Morgan.
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
That's why I brought it up at the beginning. I do not understand. You have a 7-year, 100 million-plus contract for Matt Holliday. I don't see why his isn't questioned and Howard's is. You made my point for me, 40 HRs a year, 140 RBI. Plus he's taken his team to the World Series twice. There is one thing that happens in baseball - you get a reputation early in your career and it sticks with you. Maybe they're looking at him as a one-dimensional player. But he's improved. I don't understand it. I don't like the strikeouts, however. But it seems to be more prevalent these days, there are a lot of players that strike out.
but the owner is not willing to spend money so how are they suppossed to keep good young players when the owner pockets all the money?
Joe Morgan (11:30 AM)
That gets back to the main problem, not the salary cap. If the ownership doesn't or won't spend the money, then that's where the problem is. In my opinion, they've also made a lot of poor decisions personnel wise. But if you're waiting for a salary cap to bail them out, it's not going to happen. They also get money from the revenue sharing to spend on players as well. There has been a lot of money paid by teams like the Yankees over the year.
Joe Morgan (11:30 AM)
I enjoyed the chat today. Looking forward to talking to you next week.