Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 7, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Joe Morgan

Buzzmaster
  (11:00 AM)

We're getting Joe Morgan right now!

Joe Morgan
  (11:02 AM)

Looking forward to next week's all-star game. It's a great time of the season. It gives a break in the season for the players and the fans. It's a great time.

Matt (Jacksonville)

Joe, do you think the Cubs will be more consistent with Aramis Ramirez back?

Joe Morgan
  (11:03 AM)

I definitely think they will be. He has been the key to their offense being consistent as far as I'm concerned. He's the most productive hitter on that team the last few years. With him back, I think they'll do beter.

Ed (Denver)

Hey, Joe. I was wondering your thoughts on Marquis getting into the all-star game? Don't you think his 11 wins are the product of run support and not that that he's a good pitcher? Thanks!

Joe Morgan
  (11:05 AM)

The name of the game, people always want to forget, for pitchers is wins and losses. If you beat a team 1-0, as he did recently, or 5-4, it doesn't matter. If you win, that goes on the team's side of the victory column. I'm not so much for a guy that has a low ERA and a losing record. That tells me that the other pitcher pitched better than he did, because that team scored more runs. Jason Marquis is a good pitcher. He's not a shut down pitcher, he's not a No. 1, but he deserves to be in the All-Star game.

Brian (Irvine,CA)

I'm a Giants fan and I hope Mr. Sabean will make a trade for 2B or 1B? Do you agree with me?

Joe Morgan
  (11:07 AM)

They need another bat. Another consistent bat. Kunfu Panda is their most consistent hitter right now. They moved Aaron Rowand to the lead off spot after paying him all that money to be an RBI guy. Where that bat comes from, I think it has to be a first baseman. They definitely need an RBI guy.

Matt (Boston)

Is Tulo ever going to become a consistent, power-hitting SS?

Joe Morgan
  (11:08 AM)

That's a very good question. He had such a great rookie year and they gave him a long term contract and he hasn't performed well since. I think the jury's still out on how good he can be, will be. When you play in Colorado, the ball carries better and it's easier to get hits and HRs. They were thinking he'd be one of the guys one of these days. Eventually, they were looking to be that slugger. But I'm not sure he's going to be that guy. We'll have to wait and see. That's a very good question.

Nick (Boston, MA)

Who do you feel should be the starter for the AL at the All-Star Game?

Joe Morgan
  (11:10 AM)

Hmmm. Another good question. I would say either Greinke or Hernandez. I think Hernandez would be a big story because of his age and Greinke had the good start to the season and has cooled off a little.

Joe Morgan
  (11:10 AM)

The game seems to be now more about buzz. I think you'd get a bigger buzz with a guy like Hernandez because he's a power pitcher.

Brandon (Albany)

What do you think the chances are the Astros can make another 2nd half surge and get the wild card only being about 4.5 games out right now?

Joe Morgan
  (11:12 AM)

The Astros are a very complicated team. Every year, I think they can't make a run and they do. Last year, I think they could have made the playoffs other than those three games in Milwaukee against the Cubs. But until they stop making second half runs, I'll say they can do it again. Carlos Lee is still getting back from injury. Oswalt seems to be rounding into form. I will definitely not disagree that it can happen.

Matt (St. Paul, MN)

Joe, who's your midseason AL MVP? I'm just assuming that Pujols is the NL candidate?

Joe Morgan
  (11:14 AM)

There's no doubt that he's the NL MVP. The American League is a little more complicated. Originally, I would look to someone from Boston, because they have the best team, but I don't see anyone. Youkilis was doing well and Pedroia isn't having the same kind of season as last year. Same thing for the Yankees. Right now, Justin Morneau, Miguel Cabrera are having good seasons. Their teams have a chance at winning. And I like Tori Hunter because of his defense. He plays CF and that's a tough position to play. But thre are a lot of other guys having good seasons as well.

K (philly)

Were you ever involved in a game like last nights Phils/Reds ?

Joe Morgan
  (11:16 AM)

No. Sparky would never let us to beat someone that badly. As an example, I drove in 7 runs in the first few innings and we were up 12-1 or something like that and he took me out of the game. I looked at the 8-9 inning last night and the regulars were still playing. Sparky would have never let that happen. When we got way ahead, he would take the regulars out.

Brian ((Hamden,CT))

what do you think of John Smoltz so far, do you think he will be a big part of the red sox plans in Sept/Oct

Joe Morgan
  (11:17 AM)

I'm actually surprised that he's pitched as poorly in both games. I thought he might pitch poorly the first game, because it had been a while. But last night he didn't pitch well again. We're going to have to wait and see if there's anything he can contribute to that team. It's not easy to pick up as a pitcher where you left off.

Bawb (Fairview, UT)

Who do you think is the biggest snub from the All Star rosters?

Joe Morgan
  (11:21 AM)

I don't know if the word snub is the right word. They added one more player to each team. It used to be a 25 man roster and it was tough. Now it's more of an exhibition and they're adding more players. We just keep adding players. Maybe soon it will be a 40 man roster. I'm surprised that No. 1 Ian Kinsler was not on the team. He's leading his team in RBI and at the time his team was in first place. Dustin Pedroia is not having the same year production wise. The biggest snub for me is Jermaine Dye. He puts up big numbers every year. He's an all star to me and he's not on there. In the NL, they have four first basemen. All of them may deserve to be there, but there are other positions where there are multiple guys that could be there, but aren't. And all four guys can't play another position. I'm not saying any of them don't deserve to be there. This is the All-Star game and the best couple at each position deserve to go. But they have four 1B, which means another position someone got squeezed out. Kung Fu Panda in San Francisco deserves to be there. I'm not saying which one of those guys shouldn't be there, but there is definitely too many first basemen.

Dan (FL)

Do you think GMs will think twice about giving Japanese pitchers big money after seeing most of them don't live up to expectations? Thanks.

Joe Morgan
  (11:25 AM)

They should think twice about giving any foreign players a lot of money because they haven't peformed in the big leagues. You asked about pitchers, but what about Fukudome and other position players? I don't think you can compare Japanese baseball to Major League Baseball. Fukudome is a platoon player at best right now. Matsui was Godzilla and was supposed to hit 40-50 home runs. No one has lived up to expectations, with the exception of Ichiro. It's not just Japanese players, it's foreign players overall. Dice-K has not been worth the $100 million they had to spend on him. I think they have to look closer on how they evaluate foreign players. I remember when Irabu came over, he was the next Nolan Ryan, because that's what he looked like in Japan. But he never lived up to those expectations. In some cases, we've done the same thing with some of the Cuban players. This latest left handed pitcher to defect is supposed to be the next Randy Johnson, but I don't know how we can say that until he plays against MLB players.

Joe Morgan
  (11:25 AM)

That's not to say that they don't make mistakes on American players as well. But I think more mistakes are made on foreign players on giving them money before seeing the production here.

David (WA)

Hello Joe, What are the odds that the Mariners get another bat and be more competitive in the AL West race?

Joe Morgan
  (11:26 AM)

They're going to have to get some more bats or a big bat in order to be competitive in that division. They're headed in the right direction, but they still need a more consistent offense to beat the Angels and Texas. The Angers are starting to play well. They're going to have to make a move soon if they're going to stay in that race.

Burt (IL)

Do you think Piniella was fair with Milton Bradley? I see Youkilis blowing up all the time and nobody disciplines him.

Joe Morgan
  (11:29 AM)

I have some of the smartest chat guys I've had in a while today. If you're Milton Bradley, your history is always in front of people. What you've done in the past comes up all the time. People forget that when Manny Ramirez was there and he and Kevin Youkilis got into it, he came into the dugout saying things throwing things and that's what, according to Manny, led to them pushing each other. But Youkilis doesn't have the history. Make no mistake about it, Bradley has earned his reputation, but you should treat each situation as its own. We've seen some blowups from Zambrano and other players. Part of it was because that's how their manager was, his personality. But you have to stop if you're going to be a good team and just play the game.

Joe Morgan
  (11:31 AM)

I'm looking forward to this year's home run derby because we have more bona fide sluggers than last year. Josh Hamilton saved the event last year, because of his great round, but Justin Morneau won it. This year, with some of the stars we'll have, I think it will be a great home run derby.

Buzzmaster
  (11:32 AM)

Thanks for chatting Joe!