Joe Morgan (10:43 AM)
Hello everyone. I'm ready for your questions.
Francisco Vicens, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
You stated that wins are most important for determining the Cy Young, yet the only statistic which depends completely on the Pitcher's performance is his ERA, whereas wins depend also on the teams' performance (run support, defensive support, relief pitching, etc.). How could wins serve as the most important statistic over ERA or opposition batting average if the Cy Young is for the best individual performance for a pitcher, not which good pitcher had good luck and a good team to back him up ?
Joe Morgan (10:46 AM)
Everything you have said depends on the team. ERA also depends on errors and how good the team plays. If the team makes mental mistakes, the pitcher still pays for it. The game is still wins and losses. The Pirates led the league in ERA in 1989 or around there. The finished last. I guarantee you those pitchers would have rather had wins. You don't send a pitcher out to the mound and say "get a good ERA." You want him to win games. A good ERA might come with wins, but the wins and losses are the most important. If you had a guy with a .001 ERA but never won a game and another guy had a 3.5 ERA and won 25 games, who would you give the award to? Wins and losses is the column that matters most.
Alvin (Bay Point, CA)
Hey Joe....the Giants are cruising in the NL west and are on there way to October baseball once again....Do u think that we are a better team this year than last??...and can we win it all this year??...cuz im concerned about our in-consistant offense...what do u think?
Joe Morgan (10:48 AM)
I think they are more versatile than last year. By that I mean they can manufacture runs in more ways and are a better defensive team. I'm not sure their pitching is better but overall they might be a better team. They are certainly a different team. They way they are set up now, and esp. before they got Ponson, you had to question how far they could go. They just didn't have the experience.
Walter, Mt. Vernon IL
Hey Joe! I love the way you don't take any lip from people in here! Can the Cubs get by on a 4-man rotation or is it too risky for their young pitchers? Who can they(cubs)add to the bullpen, if anybody, at this point?
Joe Morgan (10:49 AM)
I think the answer is yes and no. They could get by the last 2 or 3 weeks. I don't think they can do it from this point on, because of the young arms. I've noticed that anytime Kerry Wood pitches 9 innings, he just isn't as good in the next outing. I just don't think they can do it for a long stretch, but they could for the last couple weeks.
Joe Morgan (10:50 AM)
I don't take any lip because I do understand fan's frustrations ..
Hey Joe, great job this season. What are your thoughts on the rebuilding teams this year (Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Mets, Etc) which has the best chance to be competitive in a few years based on thier farm systems and history of making deals to improve?
Joe Morgan (10:52 AM)
Hard question to answer. You never know who is willing to take chances next year as far as bringing in new personnel or someone that will make a difference. You never know how minor league guys will perform once they get to the majors. There is no clear cut map as to how to rebuild in today's game. In the past you could always depend on your minor leagues but now I'm not sure there is enough talent down there to rebuild a system. Because of expansion, most teams just don't have enough in their minors to change things around. They have to get help from the outside.
Eric (Wheeling, WV)
Hi Joe! Love chatting with you! I was wondering who on the RedSox is the most crucial for them to make the playoffs this year? A lot of people would say Pedro, Nomar, or Manny. However, I think that Derek Lowe is. What are your thoughts on this?
Joe Morgan (10:53 AM)
Well, it depends on how you view the team. You know what you will get from Ramires, Nomar and you know what you'll get with a healthy Pedro. I guess in your terms, if Lowe can pitch like we know he can, he could be the most important piece. All of them are important, if you take Pedro away and add Lowe it doesn't do you any good. Same with the other guys. If all those other guys do their thing, then you will need Lowe to do his part to make it work.
randy, conover, nc
Patch work bullpens seem to be dominating the division leaders - Braves, Royals, Yankees, St. Louis just a few. Which teams / bullpens will make it through the Playoffs?
Joe Morgan (10:55 AM)
Very good observation. It's a strange phenomenon that's going on now. 2-3 years ago a lot of teams had good bullpens. I'm not sure if they have been overused or used improperly or what. Most teams now do have a bullpen problem. That in itself does not bode well for the playoffs. But since everyone is having the same problem, maybe it's a non issue.
What would happen if... A batter is pissed off with the umpire has words and gets close to being ejected. He gets a pitch that he hits for a home run. Before he leaves the batters box, he says something to the umpire to get himself ejected. Does the umpire have to wait until he rounds the bases? If the ump tosses him right there does the run not count? Will a pinch runner have to be sent in to circle the bag?
Joe Morgan (10:56 AM)
I'm not exactly sure. I think the umpire would wait until he runs the bases. Once a home run is hit, it counts. You can't take it off the board. They would probably have to send a pinch runner to run the bases.
how good does getting Giles make SD next year??
Joe Morgan (10:58 AM)
Hard question. It looks like they could lose 100 games if they don't lose well. Giles is a very good productive player. If they can keep the nucleus of the team, they can be good. I don't expect them to win the division next year but they will be a better, more entertaining club.
Hi, Joe. Matsui played 120 games per year in Japan, so I'm wondering whether fatigue is a potential issue with him down the stretch?
Joe Morgan (10:59 AM)
I'm told by people who have been there that Japanese players are in better shape overall than American players. They work harder all year round. Their training regimen is tougher than American players. He will feel some fatigue but I think he'll get past it. Ichiro was even more of a risk because he was smaller but he made it. I expect Matsui to do the same.
With Rafael Palmiero having another quietly productive season with 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs, it is worth remembering that the Cubs once traded him because they felt he couldn't hit for power. Yet whereas Palmiero learned to hit for power, the man who replaced him, Mark Grace, never did, even though Grace was a very good hitter for many years. My question is, how does one "learn" to hit for power, and if it can be learned, why don't more hitters (like Mark Grace) learn how to do it?
Joe Morgan (11:01 AM)
Good question. When he was with the Cubs he hit to the opposite field and it's hard to be a power hitter doing that. He learned to pull the ball more and when to pull it. I'm sure he matured as a hitter and learned which balls to hit for singles and which balls to pull.
Hey Joe, Is there anything you could look forward to in 2004 if you were a Reds fan? Thanks
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
Yeah, that the season will open on time. I can't give you much more encouragement than that. I wish I could.
Seattle, Oakland, or Boston. Who plays golf in October???
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
This is what makes baseball such a great sport. Two weeks ago it looked like Seattle was in easy. But things change. Right now the Mariners look to be on the outside looking in. There aren't any great teams anymore. Good teams but not great. Everyone has weaknesses. Anytime those weaknesses show up, you go on a losing streak. That's what we've seen with Oakland and Seattle lately. Boston's offense fell off for awhile but now it's back. Every team's weakness will show up again before the end of the season. Whoever is hot at the end will be in.
Joe, Is Aaron Boone pressing, is it tough changing leagues mid-season, or a combination?
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
It's a combination of changing leagues and trying too hard. You go to the Yankees, you want to impress everyone and your new teammates. Sometimes you try too hard. He is a good player and will be OK.
Are the Dodgers ever going to get any real offense? I mean, even if they should go and get top free agents this off-season...Do you think they're offensive skill will fall when they walk into the Dogers' clubhouse?
Joe Morgan (11:06 AM)
I don't think they can get enough this season. But I think they will over the winter. It depends on who will own the team. There will be some good players available and guys will want to play in LA. It's a good place to play.
It was a great week to be an Expos fan! It was stunning to see them sweep the Phillies and exciting to see fans starting to come back to Olympic Stadium! It would be even sweeter to see them stick it to Jeffrey Loria's Marlins this weekend! I know there's still a month to go until playoff time, and the whole NL Wild Card race is still a mess, but do you think the Expos have what it takes to get to the playoffs and cause some damage in the postseason?
Joe Morgan (11:08 AM)
If you are going to pass out kudos to players for doing a great job and overcoming adversity, Montreal is head and shoulders above everyone. It's a travesty how they have been treated by MLB. A 23-game roadtrip? If Vlad hadn't have been injured and they didn't have that massive roadtrip, they would be first in the wild card. It will be hard to overcome everything they have had thrown at them, but I'm pulling for them. They have shown a lot of charachter as a team.
Kevin Henderson, WASH DC
Hello Mr. Morgan... I grew up in Michigan, thereby making me a lifelong Tigers fan. It is one of the hardest things to do. For over ten years they have been horrible at best. I continue to cheer and hope but I see no change. What is going on with that organization? How can we have no decent farm system, and so many big money, no game players evry single year for over a decade? Is it because Mike Ilitch puts all his money in the Red Wings? Or is it because they haven't had the right people in the front office and in the dugout? Thanks
Joe Morgan (11:09 AM)
Without being close to the situation I can't say you don't have the right people in the front office. It's hard to be fair in evaluating an organization.
Hey Joe, considering the travel, injuries and uncertainty, involving the Expos this year, does Frank Robinson have a decent shot at Manager of the Year in the NL? Thanks.
Joe Morgan (11:10 AM)
I think he has a shot. It depends on where they will finally finish. If I was voting, you have to look at Bobby Cox, Felipe Alou, Dusty Baker. The Cubs lost 95 games last year! A lot of managers have done a great job and Frank is one of them.
Mr. Morgan, you rock by the way...I've become a Pujols fan even though I root for the Yankees. Do you think this kid will eventually post Bonds like numbers by the time he's done?
Joe Morgan (11:12 AM)
I think he will have a great career. Barry Bonds like numbers? No. People think you can have a couple good years and be like Bonds but you have to have MANY GREAT years to be like Bonds. The only guy who might have a chance is Alex Rodriguez.
Hey Joe, do you think Bagwell and Biggio will be the 1st Stros in the HOF? And if you never got traded do you think you could have won any MVP's or made it to the HOF eventhough we had bad teams in the mid 70's? Your still one of are top 5 players ever!
Joe Morgan (11:13 AM)
To answer the first question, they definately have a shot. Bagwell a better chance than Biggio. And I doubt I would have made the HOF if I had stayed there. My talents were showcased better on a team like Cincinnati.
Ron, Boston, MA
Hey Joe, I just wanted to change the tune from MLB to LL for a second. I was watching one of the games last weekend I believe, and I saw one of those little leaguers topping out at around 100 pitches. How do you feel about how little leaguers are managed in big LL games like that?
Joe Morgan (11:15 AM)
I can't really address LL. I did college games and the better pitcher was used constantly. Started one day, relieved the next, started two days later. They were overrused. Many think that is what happened to Ben McDonald. Many times pitchers are misused in those types of tournaments.
Hi Joe. I was at one of the White Sox-Yankees games earlier this week, and some of the White Sox were using aluminum bats during batting practice. How widespread is this, and is just to "put on a show" for the fans?
Joe Morgan (11:16 AM)
I don't know what the purpose would be there. I don't think it was to put on a show. It must have been for some reason I just don't know what it would be.
Hi Joe, Do you think Jose Reyes is the most exciting position player right now?
Joe Morgan (11:17 AM)
I think he is a really good player. He has a lot of energy and a lot of charisma. I still think Ichiro is probably as exciting as you are going to get. Reyes definately has stardom written all over him.
Mark (Bangor, PA)
Joe, do you think there needs to be some change in what constitutes a rookie? I know there has been a lot of debate about the Japanese players really being rookies. I think MLB needs to acknowledge the professional service over there to keep ROY award true to rookies.
Joe Morgan (11:22 AM)
Originally I agreed with you. I didn't think Ichiro or Matsui deserved the award. But Japanese baseball is not MLB. It's like going from AAA to MLB. The other part of my argument was Jackie Robinson and others who played in the Negro Leagues and were able to be Rookie of the Year. If you have been a professional player you should not be ROY but I'm not saying I'm right. The writers voted for those guys. I want to make sure people understand why wins and losses are more important .. ERA is like a batting average. You judge a player by how he scores runs, drives in runs, etc. The batting average is just a personal thing. In the case of a pitcher, the only way you can truly judge a pitchers is his wins and losses. Take Gagne as an example. He may have 60 saves this year. Would you give him the award for his ERA or for how many games he has won? I've talked to pitchers over and over and they all think innings pitched and wins are how the award should be judged. I feel the same way. Thanks for the questions.. they were great as usual. I'll talk to you again next week.
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