Chat with Joe Morgan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:02 AM)
We've got Joe!
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.
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...
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.
The Astros may have a bad record but upside is are pitching has been great but wins dont come what should the Astros do?
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.
Joe, what (if anything) can the Cubs do to get things turned around in the NL Central???
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
So, was the biggest crime Griffey sleeping during the game or the 2 anonymous players going outside the clubhouse to the press?
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. 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.
Ben (New Hampshire)
Were you three amazed the Yanks-Sox finished in about 3 hours on Sunday night?!
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.
Marcus (Albuquerque, NM)
Do you think the Los Angeles Dodgers can pick it up and rise to the top in the NL West this season?
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
I'm not sold on the Dodgers pitching, as I was last year. Randy Wolf is gone now and he started their first playoff game last year. I'm not sure they have enough pitching. They have enough offense.
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
If you look at the Giants, their starting pitching is by far the best in the division, but they can't score runs.
Is there anyway Atlanta can make the playoffs?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
It's going to be very difficult. They've dug a deep hole for themselves not just in the standings, but mentally. They were expected to be very good. So far this year, their pitching has not been great.
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. 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.
Joe, who do you think would be a better DH at this point, Jermaine Dye or Gary Sheffield? It looks like the Yankees might need a DH with Johnson on the DL.
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
I think Sheffield burned his bridges in New York, but I do think Jermaine Dye is a guy they can look at. Nick Johnson, I don't think he's played more than 100 games the last three years. He's been injured a lot. He's already been hurt two times this year, in spring training and now. This shouldn't be a big surprised. They should have looked at his record before they signed him.
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 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.
Curt (Detroit-Rock City)
Do you think Johnny Damon can be a productive player for us beyond this season?
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.
Frank (Coram, NY)
Do you think that The Mets can compete for at least the wild card?
Joe Morgan (11:24 AM)
Yes, I think so. They have shown that on occasion their pitching staff can dominate hitters and that they can generate runs. They hope that Beltran can come back and play. If they can stay close and get to the trading deadline, you never know.
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.
Are Wright and Reyes ever going to be steady, productive players @ Citi Field?
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
Wright has been a steady player. His numbers just haven't been spectacular the last couple of years. I think him getting hit in the head has more to do with it than the ballpark. Yes, I think they can be productive at that ballpark.
How tough was it to hit Blyleven's curveball?
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
I didn't face him much, because he was in the American League. I faced him in spring training and when he was with the Pirates. I always felt that I could handle a pitcher's best pitch, because I'd look for it. I never dreaded facing Blyleven, but I could see where righthanded hitters would have a problem with him. The best curveball that I had to face was from Sandy Koufax. His broke so hard and went straight down.
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
Great questions today. Look forward to talking to you next week.