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!
Buzzmaster (11:02 AM)
We're getting Joe!
Joe Morgan (11:03 AM)
We've got Texas and Minnesota this Sunday. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the other teams. Seems like I've been seing a lot of the Yankees, Mets, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Boston. I'm looking forward to seeing two contenders.
Jon (Bristol, CT)
Alex Gonzalez has gotten off to a terrific start, and is on pace for about 40 homeruns. How do you explain it?
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
One thing about hitters, they actually change a little bit every year. Hitting is about timing. I would say right now his timing is perfect. He's hitting the ball solidly and the balls are going out of the park. It's more about timing. Hitters do change. For his sake, let's hope it lasts.
Joe, what do you make of all the uproar about Pujos have a "down" year? The guy is still hitting above .300! Has just been to good that everyone expects him to hit .320-.350? What was your worse year average wise?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
People may not remember this, but last year he got off to a fabulous start, then had a bad spell, rebounded and won MVP. This year, I see the same thing. He got off to a good start and pitchers have stopped pitching him. There's not one hitter that's hit well from the start of the season to the end. It's impossible to hit line drives every single day and get hits. I am not worried about him.
what do you think the chance of roy oswalt going to the mets is?
Joe Morgan (11:08 AM)
I read in the paper that he asked to be traded, but then I heard another report that he didn't ask to be traded, just that he said he would waive his no trade if it would help the Astros. However, there are a lot of teams that could benefit from him, the Mets being one. I don't know if there's any team that wouldn't want him, but I think the Mets would change their whole season around if they could get him. Texas, he would help them even more.
Pat [via mobile]
Joe- I defiantly think Brett Gardner will lead the league in stolen bases. What do you think??
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
I think he's a very good player and improving all the time. If he continues to have a high OBP, he has chance to lead the league. Jacoby Ellsbury led the league last year because he was on base a lot.
tom* (parkville, md)
Mr. Morgan, should Baltimore keep Dave Trembly for the rest of the season or make a change now?
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
I think the situation is horrible. To say what they should do, I don't see them enough to make that determination. But it seems like it's a mess over there and has been for a few years. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Kansas City have all been rebuilding and so far it hasn't worked.
Scott (Sioux Falls, SD)
Joe! Any chance my Giants will make any moves via trades/free agent signings to try to bolster their offense? I think we all knew their pitching staff was going to be good, but they can only do so much. Thanks!
Joe Morgan (11:11 AM)
They thought they made some moves in the offseason to improve it, with DeRosa and Huff. I thought Huff would be a difference maker and he has been at times. But the big issue with their offense is they have no speed. And they have little power. It's hard to score runs without speed and power.
Who do you think is the best young pitcher in the MLB?
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
I'd start probably with Mike Leake in Cincinnati. He doesn't overpower the hitter, but he knows how to pitch. I'd start with him. A lot of these guys are really young. Tim Lincecum is still young, but he's already proven that he's a star. Jaime Garcia.
gee (san diego)
hey joe, when do the padres stop being a fluke and become a legit contender. 1st place with june right around the corner.
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
I think you have to say they're a contender because of their pitching staff. Any time you have pitching, you have a chance. I still believe the Giants and Colorado will finish in front of them. I don't think they're the best team in that division.
Steve (Blacksburg, VA)
Do you think the Rangers can win the AL West?
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
I do, because the Angels have struggled. They're the team that has the experience of winning and has the veteran players. The A's have pitching, but they're a young team. They're not an offensive juggernaut either. I think Texas can hold on, especially if they get one more pitcher.
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
The other reason that Texas can hold on is that no one is having a career year, they're just doing what they normally do. They're not playing over their heads.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Joe, you might be able to see the flame thrower Neftali Feliz. Im sure durring your days you might have batted against some flame throwers (maybe Nolan Ryan). My question is, When batters ar up against a Fastball that quick are they reacting to it or are they figuring out the timing and then guesing on location?
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
I never guessed on location. My thought was be quicker with the bat. It doesn't mean swing harder, be quicker. Use your hands more to get the bat to the spot. It's harder to handle that high velocity fastball. You don't have a lot of time to react to the pitch. That's why I didn't believe in looking at one spot. It's far more difficult to hit that fastball than a mid-90s ball or a guy in the 80's. And I should have included Feliz in that list of young pitchers. He's one of the top young relievers.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Joe, The Rangers have lost around 10 games that they have been tied for or led going in to the 8th inning. I also think they lead the Majors in the most 1 run diferential games. With this said I feel they are close to leaving the teams in their division and getting a huge lead in the standings. Your thoughts?
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
Teams go through spells - one year you win a lot of close games and one year you lose a lot of close games. I think that's just the nature of the game. I think you're right that they can open up a lead if they can turn those games around. In those games, one play here or there gives them a win. Can they make those plays? I still think they'll win the division.
Joe-what would be your strategy with the Cubs going forward? They have a huge payroll so I doubt they will be looking to add someone like Cliff Lee or Adrian Gonzales, but in the same breath, it will be difficult to trade some of their "stars" because of their high salaries (Lee, Zambrano, ect). Any thoughts? Thanks
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
I think that's the biggest problem is trying to trade their high priced players. I think the Cubs are just going to have to play out the string this year and either come together and play well as they have in the past or they'll finish third. I don't see them making a lot of moves or a lot of things changing. They'll have to win with what they have or not win at all.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Joe, growing up what other sports did you play? Did you consider playing pro in any others?
Joe Morgan (11:21 AM)
I played all of the sports, but I never thought of being a professional in anything other than baseball. I played running back, basketball, golf. I played them all, but just wasn't good enough in any of them to think about playing professional in any other than baseball.
Lucas Bentley (Greenup, KY)
Hey Mr. Morgan, Just wanted to seek what sort of ideas you have to bump up the interest of baseball at the youth level in the Cincinnati/NKY area. I hope to one day be involved with youth and baseball in this respect. It's a huge passion of mine. Best of luck and go Reds. Do you think Clint "Hawk" Thomas should get into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
One of the main projects that I'm working on is to build an academy there. They have one in Compton and one in Houston. They already have a lot of good programs in place. I'm there to help promote them. The academy is my main goal right now. I'm not there just to help African-American kids. I'm there to help all of the kids that want to play baseball. We've lost a lot of kids who can't afford to play the game any more. There are some poor Latin kids that don't get a chance to play. There are poor Caucasian kids that don't have the money to play. I'm interested in giving the kids the opportunities to play the game.
Courtney Jackson (Lindenwold, NJ)
hi joe, the braves have been doing bad so far this year, do you see them making the wild card playoffs this year?
Joe Morgan (11:24 AM)
I see them making a push, because they're now playing like I thought they would. They have a fine rotation. They have an exciting young player in Heyward. They just had a horrible stretch there and now they're bouncing back. I do believe they'll be in contention.
Ryan Dayton [via mobile]
Thank you for the chat Mr. Morgan! What are your thoughts on the hometown reds hot start? Do you think they can sustain the success and contend come September and October?
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
I think they can because of their young pitching. THey still have Volquez who will be available in the second half. And they have Chapman who's in AAA. Their pitching will carry them, but I've been surprised that their offense has been doing well too. I do think they have a shot.
Joe, who is going to be the NL Wild Card?
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
That's a very, very good question. I would say that one of the teams from the West would be in the mix. The Mets will be in the mix. The Braves. Cincinnati. I think there are a lot of teams that have a shot at it.
Joe Morgan (11:27 AM)
Something for you to think about until next week. Why should all of the kids born outside of America be free agents and all the teams can bid on them, but the American kids are put in a draft and are slotted so they can only make so much money? I don't think that's fair. Why aren't all of the other kids put into the draft?
Buzzmaster (11:28 AM)
Thanks for chatting Joe!