We're getting Joe!
If Rollins doesn't start coming around, what do you do? Isnt it time to drop him in the order for an extended period if the benching doesnt work?
They dropped him for a while and they thought he was OK. Since I'm not there to talk to him and see where his head is, it's hard for me to get a good reading. When I saw him in LA a couple of weeks ago, his enthusiasm was there, his passion for the game was still there. When those things are there, you'll usually get things turned around. It's like Big Papi. When a player loses his passion for the game, that's a problem.
Hi Joe--It seems like the Mariners finally have righted the ship. What is your take on the state of that franchise?
I've been disappointed in the Mariners, because I thought two years ago that they were going to be a pretty good team. They seem to be rounding into form, but I'm going to wait because we've seen this before. They're going to need more offense than they've been getting consistently. They have some good players there, so they should be able to do that.
I am 42 yrs. old! Do you think the Baltimore Orioles will ever be contenders in my lifetime?
Yeah, in your lifetime you will, but not before you're 44 or 45.
Hey joe, it is an honor! I was wondering, as a Red Sox fan living in Tampa. Do you think the Rays are able to make a run in the AL East to catch up to the Yankees and Red Sox, or do you think they need to do something serious about thier bullpen and pitching in general?
Well, the real problem is they got off to a slow start. I expected that. When you're a young team and you have a lot of success, you just think things will fall into place and you'll get better. But it doesn't work that way. You have to work harder to prove that last year wasn't a fluke. Now they're starting to play well and clicking on all cylinders. I bet they wish they had Edwin Jackson still. I think they'll be in contention the rest of the way. Four or five games is not that far behind.
Joe, Have you gotten a chance to watch Gordon Beckham? In the past 12 games he's hitting .300. What type of player do you see him turning into?
I have not had a chance to see him play. I've read that he's got all the ability. He was a high draft choice, so they thought a lot about him. The good thing is I haven't heard Ozzie criticize him. If he wasn't playing well, Ozzie would have already criticized him.
Do you think that right now maur is all star material
He's definitely All Star material. He's the best hitting catcher in the league. To say he's the best player, I can't say that. Even on his own team, Justin Morneau is the offensive force. But he is one of the best players in the American League.
Who is the biggest name to move before the trading deadline?
I think we'll see an active trading deadline. You have to remember that all the teams think they're still in it. So until we get to the end of July, we won't know who thinks they're in or out of it. But if it stays like it is, those teams won't want to make trades. Right now, the Dodgers have a real sizable lead but the Giants have a shot at the wild card. Until some of these teams start to fall off, I don't think you'll see many trades before the deadline.
With Mark DeRosa now in the fold, do you think the Cardinals are contenders in the NL? What do you think about the Indians only getting a reliever?
They were already contenders. Any time you have Pujols on your team, you're a contender. DeRosa is a very good player. I've always liked him. He brings a good bat to the team and he can play a lot of positions. I think the Cardinals really helped themselves by bringing him in. I think they can contend for the NL title. But there will be some other moves made by other teams to determine who wins the NL.
Hey Joe, I know Pierre deserves to play more as he's earned it, and he was awesome last night, but I'd hate to see him go somewhere else as the Dodgers have shown they can utilize him if an outfielder goes down. If you were managing the Dodgers, how would you juggle the outfield, and also how cool is it that Doug Mientkeiwicz is still dressing and in the dugout even though he won't be back until September?
That's a very difficult question. That's why I've said they owe it to Juan Pierre to trade him. He has a lifetime average of over .300. He was never an extra man, the Dodgers made him an extra man. I don't think it's fair to him what they've done to him the last couple of years. If you have a lifetime average of over .300 in the major leagues, you should be playing every day somewhere. The Dodgers should get some value for him.
Do you think the Astros have a chance to make the playoffs?
The Astros are a weird team. Every year, they play poorly in the first half and well in the second half. Last year, I think they would have made it but they had to play those three gamees in Milwaukee instead of Houston against the Cubs. If they play well like they do in the second half, they have a chance.
Are the Oakland A's trying to trade Matt Holiday? and if they are what place would be a good fit?
Well, they're not winning with him. It hasn't turned out the way they thought it would with him, Giambi, Garciaparra. If you look at him going some place, and I don't know what the A's would want in return, but there are a lot of places he could go. The Mets could use some help. But I do think the A's will trade him. They're still in last place and as the old saying goes, I can finish last with anybody.
Joe, the Indians are inventing ways to lose. It is getting downright painful to watch. I don't believe the spiral is Wedge's fault, but I do not believe he has a solution. Might this be the year for a change at manager? and maybe the rest of the staff as well?
There's no doubt that Wedge is on the hot seat. But so should the GM and everybody there. The whole organization. It seems like every year the Indians are the darkhorse or the one to contend. But it doesn't happen. There's a problem there somewhere. They have to figure it out. It's hard for me to give a real definitive answer there, because I'm not there every day. I don't know if it's the front office's fault, Eric Wedge's fault or the players. My suspicion is that it's all three. My answer is, you're right, something needs to be done.
Do you think Big Papi is really coming back into his own, or has he definitely lost something and as classy of a guy and as good of a player as he was, should the Red Sox start looking in another direction?
You're going to have good stretches. And he might have another bad stretch, because you can't stay hot for a whole 162 game season. I've been saying that I don't think he's done. I think he's back. We might not see the same Big Papi that hit 45 home runs, but we'll see a guy that's very productive and a very good guy to have in the middle of that lineup.
Joe, you played in Cincinnati. They tried to get DeRosa and failed but will they try again to make a big splash in a trade and if so who will they go after?
They definitely needed some offense and DeRosa is one of those guys that was available. I don't like to say who's available and who's not, because the GMs are the only ones that knows who's available. It's hard to say who are the bats available. I don't know of a lot of players out there right now that could step in and help. Offense is a problem for a lot of teams out there. The Cubs have had problems, the Mets. The offensive players are no longer enhanced, so we don't have as many great offensive teams as 5-6 years ago.
Joe, what do you think the Cubs will do to jump start their offense?
I've watched them play and done several of their games. They just don't seem like they've had the same approach as last year. They were aggressive when needed and patient when needed. This year, they're the opposite. They need Lee to get hot, Bradley hot and get Ramirez back. I've always felt that Ramirez was the key to their team. He's been out for a while. We'll have to wait and see what happens when he comes back. They're hope is that he can come back and jumpstart that offense. Bradley will get hot. He can hit.
Hey Joe love your work, is there any reason for the Mets to be buyers at this point? Seems like there's too many question marks as to who returns and how healthy they will be, should we just make do with what is available?
I don't think they can go with what they have. You are a New York team. You're fighting the Yankees for those dollars. You can't just wait for guys to come back. You have to show your fans you're trying to get better. You're going to have to do something to jumpstart this offense. If you're not going to get the injured guys back soon, then you need to do some trades. I just did the game on Sunday night and no one had an answer for when those guys were going to come back.
Joe, what you think about the playoff system only 8 out of 30 teams from make it. Do you think the system should be expanded?
If you look at all the sports, it is expanded. If you look at hockey, just about everybody makes it. The NBA, a lot of teams make it. I wouldn't be against expanding it if you could shorten the season so you could get it in before the November rains like we got in Philadelphia last year. I would support it if we shortened the season.
During our Sunday Night telecast, I through out a theory on why players got hurt more than before even though they worked harder to stay in shape. In track you're taught that once you reach your peak, you can only stay there for long before you go down. With these guys staying in shape year round, maybe they're working too hard. There has to be something going on with the injuries. Think about it and let's talk about it next week on our chat.
Thanks for chatting Joe!