Submit your questions for Joe Morgan, who will be chatting at 11:00 AM ET!
Do you feel that the Nate McClouth trade was worth it for Pittsburgh? To us it seems like they are dumping salary. Thanks Joe!
The Pirates said it wasn't about finances, but that team has gotten rid of Nady, Bay, and McLouth, which is a pretty good outfield. McCutcheon seems like a good player, but I would have traded them after this season. I don't think they got enough for McLouth...he is more valuable than what they attained.
Hey Joe, what are the chances we see a Yanks/Sox series in the ALCS this october. Both look really good, and the Rays have been mired with inconsistency and injuries
I think the biggest threat of that not happening is from the Blue Jays. When they have their pitchers healthy, they could upset that picture. But right now, it is certainly a big possibility.
Joe, your old team the Reds have been playing well so far. Do you think they can keep it up?
They've had some injuries lately that really hurt them. The Votto injury really hurt them. They need him in the lineup. They have lost a lot of close-scoring games, and I don't think they can really win with their current lineup. They need more help.
Joe, what do you make of the Cubs? Do you think they'll get things back on track?
I think the Cubs overreacted to what happened to them in the playoffs last year. I thought they were the best team in the NL, but the Dodgers got hot and beat them, and they change the makeup of the team. They lost DeRosa, Marquis, Wood...all integral parts of the team. I think the biggest mistake they have made was giving Fukudome $50 million, and giving up some salaries to bring in Bradley. If they hadn't made that mistake with Fukudome, they wouldn't have had to dump salary to get Bradley.
What are your thoughts on the bats in MLB right now? Do they need to change the wood? Are they going to make a change?
They've investigated changing the makeup of a lot of bats, but they haven't done anything. We continue to see bats fly all over the place. I don't think we will see any change in the bat material.
What team has been the biggest surprise and the biggest disappointment thus far?
The biggest surprise is how the Dodgers have played without Manny. I didn't think they'd have the best record in baseball. Another big surprise is the New Yankee Stadium and how it's changed the way baseball is played in New York. Now you have a place like Colorado, and it changes the way the game is played there. It's like a home run contest every day. The biggest disappointment is the Cubs. I don't think they are the best team in the league anymore.
How many home runs would you have hit out of New Yankee Stadium, had you played there in 1976?
It's definitely a place that left-handed hitters would thrive in, and even right-handed hitters are hitting the ball out. Obviously I would have loved to hit in a place that would have helped my fly balls to right field.
What are the chances Big Papi turns things around? he's done right?
I don't think he's done, but I don't think we'll see the Big Papi of a few years ago. He's gone through so much from a psychological standpoint, and that takes a toll. I think he'll be better than he has been, but it's difficult to get back to where you were before after all the things he's heard and gone through.
Joe, do you expect any backlash from current or former players when Strasburg inevitably receives an enormously undeserved signing bonus?
I agree that it's undeserved. I've always had a problem in any sport...I remember when Michael Jordan was the best player in basketball, and Robinson came to Milwaukee and demanded more money than Jordan got, and he got it. A lot of players in the majors right now are playing well and not receiving nearly that much money. The association refuses to have a cap on rookie salaries and refuses to slot players, and I can understand that point, but I don't believe an unproven player should come in and make more money than a Roy Halladay. We don't even know if he will make it to the big leagues. There has to be a way to defer that money until he reaches the big leagues. The draft needs to be fixed...teams in last place sometimes cannot pay that money to get the best prospects.
Joe, who do you think will win the weak AL Central ? Do my Whites Sox have a chance ?
They definitely have a chance. The way Contreras pitched last night is promising. He is capable of reeling off a lot of victories in a row. That division is up for grabs. Anybody in that division can win. Detroit has played well and is on top, but can they stay there with the injuries to their pitching staff?
And they still have Jermaine Dye, who I think is the most underrated player in the game.
Joe, thanks for taking my question. What in the world is going on with the Cardinals? I am sure you have been on your share of teams that have hit a rough patch, but given that we arent even showing any signs of hitting, what do you make of it?
That was one of my surprise teams other than what the Dodgers have done. I didn't think they would run to the top of their division at any time, but they have played very well and were hitting well, and were in first for a while. But if you look at that team, it is still Albert Pujols and everybody else. They have found a way to get Pujols lately, and everything that affects him affects the Cardinals. I'm doing the game this weekend with the Cardinals, and I'll get a firsthand look at that.
It seems that Pujols is trying to do it all by himself these days, and that hasn't been the way he has played before.
With the Dodgers running away with the NL West, what are the Giants chances of hanging in for the wild card chase?
None. I grew up a Giants fan, and they are trying to right the ship. A wild card is a possibility, but they really do not have enough offense to be the third- or fourth-best team in the National League, unless they find a way to trade for some offense before the deadline, which brings me to another point. All these teams are costing themselves weeks of playing time if they wait until the deadline. The Brewers got CC Sabathia before the deadline last year and reaped the benefits. I don't know why you would wait if you need help right now.
Will the Sox tade for an SS? If so who?
I keep hearing about their shortstop problem. At shortstop, you NEED to have a player who can catch the ball and make the plays he needs to. We've fallen in love with offense at that position, but defense is a premium at that position. The Red Sox have an excess of starting pitching and could trade for one, but I don't know what they are looking for, in terms of offense vs. defense. But they've been able to win with the shortstops they've had.
What do you think of the rise in anxiety disorders among baseball players? Is this a new thing or do you think it has been around since your playing days?
It was probably around before, but they weren't diagnosing it. Athletes were always afraid of getting psychological evaluations. They would think it was a sign of weakness and did not allow themselves to be diagnosed. I think it's a good thing that they take the time to get diagnosed. The more examinations you take, the more types of stress you find. A guy may be stressed, or worried, or have a problem focusing.
Anytime a psychologist wanted to talk to a player in the past, the player would be afraid that people would look at him as if he had a mental problem.
Hey Joe, do think Victor Martinez is one of the current active players that could have a shot at hitting.400?
He's one of the best hitters in the game, but it's a slim possibility. Hitting .400 isn't going to happen anytime soon...the pitchers are so specialized these days. Sometimes hitters got to face a pitcher five times in a game back in the day, but you could face three or four different pitchers in one game, which makes it more difficult to hit. .400 is something we won't see for a long long time, if ever.
You basically have to go 2-5 every day. It's not easy.
Are you excited for Posnanski's new book, "The Machine?"
The only thing I think of when I think about the Big Red Machine are the unsung players who didn't get the publicity they don't get. Griffey should have won a batting title that year. Geronimo was the best center fielder in the game. Concepion would have been my choice to start a team at shortstop. Then you had such great pitchers, like Gullet, Billingham and others. I just hope the other guys get their dues in the book. In fact, I did not want them to retire my number in Cincinnati until they found a way to honor the other guys, and they did.
I think we're gonna have a very interesting baseball season. I know the Dodgers have the biggest lead in their division, but as Yogi Berra would say, it's never over until it's over. There's a long ways to go. I expect by the end of the season, we'll have a lot of close races.
Thanks for chatting everyone!