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 (11:01 AM)
We're getting Joe right now!
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
The Mets have had a lot of injuries the entire season to some of their main players. Beltran just got back. Reyes was out for a while. The latest is K-Rod being out for the season. You just look at the Mets and wonder how they will regroup for next year. This year is just about shot.
Hey Joe, big series starting tonight between the Twins and White Sox. If the Twins sweep do you think there will be much of a race in September between these two teams?
Joe Morgan (11:05 AM)
It's still too early to count anyone out who's in contention. There is still a lot of time left and games left. No matter what happens in this series, it's not going to be over. They will have a lead if they sweep, but it won't be over if it happens.
Hi Joe, do you think the Mets should try to void K-Rod's contract?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
I don't think you should do that. I think you should fine him. They're not going to void the contract of Coghlan, when he hurt himself trying to put a pie in his teamamte's face. One was on the field, but the result was still the same. You fine him and move on. Other people have had domestic problems and their contract doesn't get voided.
Do you think that the Phillies catch the Braves?
Joe Morgan (11:07 AM)
If Howard comes back right away, he may be able to come back today along with Utley. If they get their full team back healthy, I think they will catch the Braves.
Harold (Wausau Wisconsin)
Joe-You are one of my favorite people in baseball. How do you feel about expanding replay in the playoffs and not the regular season?
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
That would be better than trying to expand it during the regular season. If it were in the playoffs, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I'm not a big fan of it to begin with it, but in the playoffs, I don't have a big problem with it. A lot of people are saying to have a replay system with challenges like the NFL. That's OK if you're just trying to get more of them correct and not all of them correct.
Do the moves the Dodgers made at the deadline look a little silly now considering that their playoff chances are close to zero? They got older and more expensive and lost a few cost-controlled younger players just for a couple of rentals in Dotel and Lilly.
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
The one pickup I liked was Ted Lilly. I know he's going to be a free agent and they may be renting him, but at the time they were in it and had a shot. But I agree some of the other pick ups, I don't like as much as the Ted Lilly one.
Does Minaya have to consider "blowing up" the Mets? This core doesn't seem to be able to get it done.
Joe Morgan (11:11 AM)
Because they're in New York, you can't just blow it up and rebuild. The fans will not stand for it. That's the problem. You have to keep trying to work things around. You can't just blow it up and start over. But they do have a situation where it looks like they should.
Dave (Ashland, OH)
Joe, big fan of the Reds and Big Red Machine! It seems that base-stealing is not as emphasized as when you played. Is the smaller parks (i..e, more home runs, play for the big inning) or lack of discipline by the players learning the pitchers?
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
Its a lot of things that's caused it. Remember, we went through a stretch there, the Steroid Era, where we were playing for the 3-run HR. There aren't a lot of people that can coach base stealing. I blame it more on the era of the three-run homers and not wanting to take chances. But we are turning the corner now and more teams are trying to steal bases. Even the Oakland A's, who never tried to steal bases, trying to steal bases.
With the season winding down, who do you see as the 4 NL playoff teams?
Joe Morgan (11:14 AM)
I picked the Giants to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season. I'm not sure that prediction is going to come true now. I definitely think the Padres will make it. The Padres, Reds, Cardinals and I'm still thinking Philadelphia might sneak in there. But it's still hard to pick because there are still a lot of games left.
Joe, what do you make of the close division races this year? Just a cycle or a change in the game?
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
I don't believe it's cyclical in that the game has changed in that there are no great teams any more. There are a lot of good teams, no great teams. There have been a lot of teams that were grea, the Yankees, Cardinals, Red Sox in the past. But now they're all going to stay close together with the parity.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Hey Joe, does Roy Halladay have a legit shot at the Cy Young Award?
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
He definitely has a chance, but he has a lot of losses. I don't know what they look at for the Cy Young Award any more, because last year Adam Wainwright should have won the Cy Young. I think he should win it again this year.
What's your thought on why pitching has been so dominant this year?
Joe Morgan (11:18 AM)
There are a lot of reasons. The hitters have something to do with it. Part of my thoughts is that the hitters have too much information at the plate now. There is too much what going on in their heads. Also, the pitchers have widened their repertoire. Every pitcher coming up now has a change up. That's been the biggest plus for pitchers in years.
Joe Morgan (11:19 AM)
I think hitters will make adjustments over the next couple of years, but right now the pitchers have the edge.
Do you think about the punishments given out for the Reds/Cards melee? Were they appropriate or fair in your view?
Joe Morgan (11:20 AM)
I don't know what the fines were, how much they were. If they were all equal, then I disagree. There were more guys who were instigators, like Carpenter, than other guys. Things were calming down, but then he erupted it again. As far as the games given to Cueto, I think they had to make a point. But if you look at the situation, and I was there, he was pinned on the net with no where to go and guys were swinging at him. That's not what we like to see, but when you're in a situation like that, we all react and that's how he reacted. There was no place for him to go and he was backed up and guys were swinging at him.
Sean (Kansas City)
Mr. Morgan, I've been a life long Royals fan! What in the world do they need to do to be a contender?
Joe Morgan (11:23 AM)
Well, I think it's easier now more than four years ago when there were some great teams out there. They beat the Yankees and shut them down a few games ago. I think they can move forward now because the bar is not as high as it was. If they make the right decisions with personnel, which is always the key, they have a chance. KC has made a step in the right direction by signing their No. 1 draft choice.
Joe, I really appreciate a HOFer taking the time to chat with fans each week during the season. If you were GM for an expansion team - which current player would you take - assuming everyone was available?
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
Very good question. First of all, the toughest positions to fill, and to fill with superstars, usually is shortstop. If you're starting a team from scratch, and using that philosophy, I would look at Starlin Castro and Elvis Andrus, but, that said, Jason Heyward, Austin Jackson, Mike Stanton would probably make me change my mind and I probably would take one of them. Right now the edge would go to Heyward.
Mr. Morgan, although the red sox are still dealing with major injuries and 5 1/2 games out, do you see them making a playoff apperance
Joe Morgan (11:26 AM)
Yeah, the Red Sox are definitely going to get better. Especially when they get Youkilis and Pedroia back. They'll have a run in them. I definitely don't think they're out of the playoff race.
What do you think of the job that Buck has done in Baltimore?
Joe Morgan (11:27 AM)
I'm a big fan of Buck Showalter as a manager, but let's wait and see. I think he's done a good job of trying to change the mindset of the team. But you still have to have talent and be consistent. They've done that, but let's be honest, this is not a great team. They went 7-1 at one point, but I can guarantee that at some point they will go 1-7.
Joe Morgan (11:28 AM)
But he will definitely make them a better team over the longhaul.
Joe Morgan (11:29 AM)
I want to reiterate the fact that none of the races are over yet. There are still a lot of races to be played and a lot can happen. We still have a long way to go. I think there will be interesting races down to the last weekend or so. Don't count your team out.