We're getting Joe right now!
This Sunday Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson will be elected into Baseball's Hall of Fame. I've been thinking about the future of the Hall of Fame. I've been thinking about it because I'm Vice Chairman of the board and a Hall of Famer. I'm having a real problem with trying to decide with guys that have tested positive or admitted using performance enhancing drugs. I can't come to a definitive conclusion or solution to what should happen. I'm sure this is something that will continue to bother me until someone who has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs is put in front of the baseball writers. I guess the question is, what do you think the solution is?
Hey Joe. Other than Pujols, is there any 1B better than Justin Morneau? What a fantastic player he is...
You're 100% correct, with the exception of Pujols. Justin Morneau for the last 3 years continues to improve. That's the mark of a great player, that you continue to improve. He's considered an offensive player as much as anything. He doesn't run as well as Pujols, but he's a great hitter. Prince Fielder and Justin Morneau are the future stars at that position, though Pujols is still young.
Do you think the Astros can really do it?
Yes. I don't know what's the in water there in Houston, but it seems to energize these guys in the second half every year. I thought they could have made the playoffs last year, except for the hurricane that moved those three games from Houston to Milwaukee. I think they can make the run this year.
Joe, the Cubs can't seem to get on a consistent roll. Is there anyway for them to get any consistency this year?
Last year there was something about the Cubs personality of the team. There was something different. They were a fun team to watch. I enjoyed watching them. I enjoyed talking to them. THere just seems to be a different personality of the team this year. In addition, the confidence level has fallen a little bit. The injury to Ramirez set them back. Everyone talked about DeRosa and he's one of my favorite players, but Jason Marquis is also gone. It's just a little different now. The answer is, I don't know if they'll be able to re-gain that consistency of last year, but they still have a shot at their division.
With the trade deadline a little more than a week away, does the mood of a clubhouse change with the impending deadline? For teams that are likely to be sellers, such as my favorite team the Toronto Blue Jays, how does a manager keep morale up while familiar faces are being dealt?
That's an excellent question, because it's very difficult and a problem that goes throughout baseball every year. Players know that sometimes their tenure with that team is short. Or guys that have value know they can be traded. THe job of a manager becomes doubly tough, becuase they have to keep these guys focused and prevent their minds from wandering. Those kinds of things interfere with their concentration and focus. It's something that happens every year and you can't get away from it. To put Roy Halladay's name out there this early, I thought, was a mistake by the Blue Jays. But he's a competitor and he's kept it from changing his focus on the field. But he's a star, a big star. If the trade doesn't happen, you can't go back to him and just say you were kidding. So, Halladay has to be traded. It's unfortunate that it ends up like that.
Now that the Braves have played more consistently after the All Star break, do you seem them being able to overtake the Phillies for the NL East title? If not, do you think they have a shot at the Wild Card spot?
The Braves are a team that always seems to find good pitching and they're always lacking offensive punch. When Chipper Jones is healthy, he adds the punch that they need and the stabilizing force they need in the lineup. But any time he's injured, that lineup becomes offensively challenged. I just don't think they have enough offense to challenge the Phillies. THey have good pitching, but not enough offense. Pitching is great, but you still have to score runs to win.
joe, what are your thoughts on expanding replay after watching the bad call last night in twins/athletics game?
That's been my argument against instant replay in how they instituted it. They made it so that the home run is the only call they can look at. There are so many plays that affect the outcome of the game, more than just the home run. Two Sundays ago, we broadcast in Chicago and a ball was hit into the outfield and was trapped, but it was called an out. The bases were loaded and they could have scored two runs. So, my point is if you're going to put instant replay in, you have to expand it more than just home runs. THat's not the only play that changes the outcome of the game.
So Mr. Morgan, are the White Sox legit contenders? Because it seems most analysts still only think the Tigers or Twins have a real shot at the AL Central... and I'm not sure why they ignore the southsiders...
I definitely believe the White Sox have a chance. Any time you have Dye, Thome, Ramirez, you have a good team. I don't know when Carlos Quentin is coming back, but if they can get healthy, I think they definitely have a chance.
thanks joe, it seems like each team could be given challenges to use throughout a game on close calls.
The only problem with that, the games would last 10 hours. Guys would use up their challenges just to use them. One problem with instant replay, let's say the bases are loaded and a player catches it, but the umpires say he didn't catch it and there are runners going everywhere. Then they go and look at it and they find he did catch it, so what do they do with all those runners that scored? The play continues. It's a very difficult thing to use replay in baseball. It's not like football. Football is segmented. Here's a play, here's a play. But baseball has one play following another. They have to go by the call that's made at that moment. It's very difficult to use replay. I just don't think replay works as well in baseball as in football. Are you going to use replay for balls and strikes? Replay will not work as well with baseball as it does with football.
To your comment about HOF admission of steroid players: When did the substances that they used become illegal within the sport? When McGwire was found with Andro in his locker, wasn't it being sold over the counter at nutrition stores? (Now, the lying is a different issue,) but if it was not illegal, should they have a legit shot at the HOF?
I agree with you 100% in the Mark McGwire case, because Andro was not illegal as far as our country's legal system. But to say that steroids weren't illegal in baseball is wrong, because steroids have been illegal in this country. McGwire's situation is different. I was talking about guys that have admitted to using or tested positive. That's what I was referring to. Not guys that we suspect or guys that we think might have done it. It's hard to convict someone without proof. That's why it's such a difficult task.
In your opinion where is Halliday at years end?
Well, everyone seems to be talking about the Phillies. But I think the Phillies need him less than some other teams. The Phillies are widening their gap. And they don't need to give up their future prospects to get him. There are several teams that I think he could go to that would make them instant World Series contenders. The Yankees for one. Their starting pitching is suspect. Milwaukee. THey could get what they got from Sabathia. The Mets. There are several teams, the Dodgers, that would be instant World Series contenders. But I don't know who would be willing to part with their young players.
Joe, as to the HOF/PED question, since the hall is a museum of baseball history, simply not electing the best players of that generation seems like it's almost saying that era didn't happen. There were great players doing great things, it's part of baseball history, so I think the best answer is to elect the best no matter what and hold our collective noses, right?
That's the question. But you're correct in that it's a museum and it's here to chronicle the history of baseball. How do you cover that history, knowing that there were guys that enhanced their statistics with performance enhancing drugs? It's not easy. But your point is correct, that's it's a museum. Your solution might be to elect those that used steroids and put that on their plaque. But you're still putting them with guys who did not use, or admit or get caught using PEDs. There will be a lot of players on the border of being hall of fame players. If they had used, would they be getting into the hall of fame? You're putting in the guys that used and penalizing those that didn't. There's definitely not an easy solution.
I'm looking forward to going to the hall of fame this weekend. I always have a good time and rubbing elbows with other hall of famers. I always have some good stories. Looking forward to sharing some with you next week.