Moderator (10:38 AM)
Joe is here! Send your questions now.
After seeing Pedro hit Sheffield last night, I have to ask--do you think an umpire should be allowed to eject a pitcher who he thinks hits someone on purpose even without a warning?
Joe Morgan (10:39 AM)
The rule says he can. The rule says that if he thinks it was intentional, he can eject him. He doesn't have to warn him before he kicks him out. I think we put a lot of pressure on the umpire to decide sometimes whether it was intentional.
Tim (Lincoln, NE)
What is it that the reds need to do in order to stay alive with the likes of Houston and Chicago down the stretch. Our offense is fairly solid, but do we need to shop for a starter or a couple of relievers?
Joe Morgan (10:40 AM)
The Reds' pitching needs to be more consistent. They have good arms, but they have to be more consistent. The Reds have done a great job staying in the race and giving themselves a chance -- and anything can happen if you give yourself a chance.
Eddie (Jersey City, NJ)
Hi Joe, referring back to my question from 2 weeks ago: If players are convicted of steroid use, should they NOT be allowed in the HOF...did you happen to get any feedback on that?
Joe Morgan (10:42 AM)
I haven't heard back yet, but I'll be at the Hall of Fame on July 25 and I'll discuss it with the other players. I think that players who are already in the Hall of Fame will think that players should be banned in the Hall if they use steroids. But players don't set the policy. I'm vice chairman of the Hall of Fame board, and the board sets policy.
Matt (Hartford, CT)
The Red Sox didn't have the extra $ to complete the A-Rod trade. Will they have the money if Randy Johnson were to become available?
Joe Morgan (10:44 AM)
First, I disagree that they didn't have the money to complete the trade. They made a business decision not to make the commitment -- and I respect that decision. Following that logic, they would have the money for Randy Johnson if they wanted to make that commitment.
Tom (Wyckoff, NJ)
Joe: That suit you wore during last Sunday's Subway Series telecast was pretty 'fly!' Hey, speaking of broadcasts, I'm thrilled ESPN is finally going to break the monotony of the back-to-back weekends of NY vs. NY, when the country needs to get learn about the great rivalry between Chicago's North vs. South-siders! Your thoughts?
Joe Morgan (10:45 AM)
I agree that it's time to show more than the Yankees and Mets. I'm looking forward to seeing the White Sox and Cubs. In fact, I'm already in Chicago and looking forward to it. I think it will be great, especially at Wrigley Field.
Scott (Battle Creek, MI)
Are the Brewers for real? Can they contend for the NL Central or the wildcard?
Joe Morgan (10:47 AM)
They are playing great. And I repeat this -- there aren't many great teams out there anymore. Everybody has weaknesses. So it's easier for teams to move from last place to the postseason. So, yes, every team has a chance. There is a lot of parity right now instead of a lot of great teams.
Joe, Latly in chicago there has been alot of press on Sosa and him striking out. It seems to me that he's being less patient then in the previous couple years. Ron Santo says its because he's opneing his soldier to early and thats why hes missing or fouling alot of balls. What do you think?
Joe Morgan (10:49 AM)
I haven't seen him play enough to give an opinion on what's wrong with his swing. But I will say that anytime you're injured, it's difficult to get your focus back after an injury. You come back and you're excited and sometimes too aggressive. It could be the shoulder, it could be something else. It takes time to figure out.
Do you see Oakland making any more moves to add to thier bullpen?
Joe Morgan (10:51 AM)
I see a lot of teams making a lot of moves to help their bullpens. I don't know exactly what Billy Beane thinks his team needs. Billy Beane and I disagree on a lot of things about the game, so I don't know what he's thinking. Anytime someone tells you defense isn't important, I don't know what he's thinking. Anybody who watched the Red Sox-Yankees series knows that defense is important. But he may think he needs another hitter or something. I just don't know what he's thinking.
joe did you watch last nights yankee-red sox game. have you ever seen a better regular season game than that? it was a october atmosphere game in july. your thoughts?
Joe Morgan (10:52 AM)
It's always hard to say that one regular season game is the best because there are so many great games. That's what makes baseball such a great sport.
What do you think of the Devil Rays
Joe Morgan (10:54 AM)
I'm very happy for the Devil Rays, and especially Lou Piniella, because I think he's one of the best managers in the game. They're like a lot of other teams -- when they are playing to their strengths, they can win a lot of games. When they weaknesses come out, they can lose a lot of games in a row. I am happy to see their success because it shows they are improving as an organization.
Curt (Haverford, PA)
Joe, with half the season complete, the Phils still do not look like a dominant first-place team? I think they're setting themselves up for a September swan dive? Any comments as to what to look from them in the 2nd half to open this lead up a bit?
Joe Morgan (10:55 AM)
I agree that they do not look like a dominant team, except at home, when they hit HRs in that small ballpark. But they can still win in that division.
Ripken was the Iron Man and Ozzie was Ozzie, but do you think anyone is better overall than Jeter at SS?
Joe Morgan (10:56 AM)
Ozzie Smith was a better defensive player, and Ripken had more power. But as far as winning games and being a winning player, I don't think anyone surpasses Jeter at that position.
What is the deal with Terry Francona? Why does he continue to play Kevin Millar? Sure, he's a great "clubhouse commedian", but that's not what he gets paid to do. He hasn't been able to hit anything lately, and he makes routine "little league" plays look difficult. Isn't it time to look to another option, even if it just means improving defensively?
Joe Morgan (10:58 AM)
I think they definitely need to improve the team defensively. It's mind-boggling to see how many errors they can make sometimes. I can't single out any one player, but I do know that Francona needs to shore up the defense to get them to the wild card.
Senator Baseball(washington DC)
Joe, Where do you see the expos next year? Doesn't DC seem to make more sense than the Northern Virginia?
Joe Morgan (10:59 AM)
Without researching the matter, I would say that D.C. makes a lot of sense because they have a stadium they could play in. Washington makes more sense to me, except for the problem with being close to Baltimore and taking fans away from the Orioles, which has to be addressed.
Mike (Jersey City, NJ)
Who is on pace to win the AL MVP? IROD, Vlad, or AROD?
Joe Morgan (11:00 AM)
Right now you'd have to choose Vladimir Guerrero, with David Ortiz maybe 2nd at this point. In the NL, Scott Rolen, and Barry Bonds, as usual.
Joe Morgan (11:02 AM)
This being the last week of interleague play, I look forward to seeing some exciting play. Although, as I've mentioned before, I think they need to cut back on interleague play -- cut it out for a year or two. But I expect a lot of excitement, especially here in Chicago.
Joe Morgan (11:03 AM)
Thanks, everybody, for the questions. See you next week!