All of the changes that were made at the deadline, with Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez, those two seem to be helping their teams. Those were two excellent additions. The rest, we'll have to see what happens over time. I do not understand the Toronto Blue Jays. First they float Halladay out there and then they let a player go without any compensation. I just don't understand it. They say something about giving them financial flexibility. If you get another player, you'll have to pay for them too. I don't understand it, but then again I don't understand what they've been doing up there.
Do you think the Tigers can hold on and win the Central?
It's going to be a race that goes down to the wire. I think Chicago will be better with Rios. If they get Peavy back at the end of the month as projected, they'll be a better team. I don't see the Tigers getting much better, but they don't have to because they're in first place. But I see Chicago getting better. I can't predict it, but it'll be a close race.
Joe,what are your thoughts on the White Sox pickup of Rios from Toronto?
I think it's great for two reasons: 1) Rios can do a lot of things on the field. He'll be very motivated to show Toronto that they made a mistake. They're taking some chances. They took a chance on Peavy and now they're taking a chance on Rios. Kenny Williams has been a guy that's taken chances. It's definitely a risk, but it's worth the reward.
Could Moyer in the bullpen could actually end up being affective... imagine him coming in after lee, hamels, or hap for an inning or two and the batters have been seeing 90 some mph pitches and then half to adjust to his low 80's pitch speed. Thoughts?
Obviously, that can happen, but the question is can he adjust to being a bullpen guy? He's been a starter and he's used to starting. If he's capable of doing that, it can work that way. You have to see how he responds pitching out of the bullpen.
Just when they Cubs look like they're going to start playing better they fall flat on their face. Add insult to injury by getting more injured.
It's the same way they've been all year. They take two steps forward and one step back. I agree with you. It looked like they were ready to get on a roll and move forward. Now, they're falling back again. With Zambrano hurt, it seems like they'll have to continue to struggle all year. It looks like Bradley had a good game the other day. They need him, but then they lost Zambrano.
I really believe that one of these years, they will make it. They will definitely be mentally tough by the time they make it to the playoffs.
How about the Pirates? Do you like how they are trying rebuild by getting rid of all of their players?
No. What I think about them is they've had 16 or 17 consecutive losing seasons. Right now, it doesn't look like they'll get any better any time soon. Getting rid of major league players for minor league prospects is not helping the team get better. These guys that you'll call up what do you do with them when they're major league ready? Trade them too? I don't know what their idea is going forward. I don't like what they did. If you go back to the Pirates and put Ramirez at third, everything started down hill when they traded him. If they had kept them all, they could be a better team.
With Sabathia, Burnett, Chamberlain, and Pettite starting to show a lot of consistency are the Yankees the favorites for the World Series?
I think it makes them the favorite to win their division. That team is built so well for that ballpark. The ball flies out of there. Jeter has 13 HRs now and his power was almost all gone last year. They have a lot of fly ball hitters. They have some strikeout pitchers, so they pitch well in that ballpark and their offense can win games for them in that park. I think it's going to be very difficult to keep them out of the playoffs.
Plus A-Rod hasn't gotten hot yet.
Brave's question Joe: Do they have enough offense to make a lagitimate run at the playoffs or are they at least a year away?
I don't know what a year's going to do. I kept thinking that they didn't have enough offense, but they keep winning and they keep closing in on Philadelphia. They do have enough to win, but their pitchers are going to have to continue to carry them.
Like everything else, it always depends on the health of Chipper Jones.
Ron Washington for AL Manger of the year?
He's definitely done a fabulous job there. He changed the whole mindset of that organization. It's been a 2-3 year process. If I was voting, he'd definitely get my vote.
Would you have enjoyed playing for a manager like Ozzie Guillen?
That's a great question! I always felt I could play for anyone as long as their No. 1 priority is winning. I think his is, but there's a lot of extra stuff you have to deal with there. I can't answer yes or no. It would probably be one of those situations where I could adjust to playing for him. There were a lot of guys that I didn't like playing for in my career, but I adjusted. My first few years in the big leagues, I played for some guys that weren't as outspoken as Ozzie, but they weren't as good a manager either. A guy he reminds me of is Billy Martin. He's always out front. I think the team should be out front.
Hi Joe, Do you think the Red Sox will come back and win the AL east division? If not do you think that they will hold off the Rangers for at least the wild card?
It's going to be very difficult for them to come back and overtake the Yankees. Right now when you get past Lester and Beckett. When their offense gets on the road, it struggles. Jason Bay hit a home run last night that was a routine out somewhere else. They're going to struggle on the road because they don't have a lot of power. But if they can win enough games on the road without too many losses, they can beat the Yankees. But I don't know if that will happen. I definitely think that they can win the wild card.
How do you think Pedro will do tomorrow?
It's going to be a difficult task for him because he hasn't pitched to major league hitters since the WBC. His biggest thing will be his control. That will be the key. Can he stay on the corners. If he can do that, he knows how to win. That's the big thing for Pedro. It will be interesting to see how his control is. After the second inning, you'll see how he's going.
Which Stadium do you look forward to broadcasting in every season?
I broadcasted in Yankee Stadium the other night for the first time. I enjoyed that. I used to enjoy Seattle, because it's more about the TV box for me now than the field. There are very few places that I don't like. I usually look forward to watching the teams now more than the park. Last year, I liked doing the Cubs games, because they were fun to watch. The Cardinals are a fun team to watch.
A baseball field is a baseball field and it's a thing of beauty.
After the weekend Texiera had, and the fact that he plays for a winning team do you see him as the favorite to win the AL MVP? Also who do you think is in the running for the AL Cy Young?
I see him as the front runner at this point. Remember there's still a long way to go. There's still a long way to go. Right now, he's the front runner.
Did you watch the special on ESPN about Luis Tiant?
I didn't get a chance to see the special. I will watch it in the next couple of days, I have a copy of it. I played against him in the minor leagues. He reminded me of that the other day. He was a fun pitcher to watch. He won a lot of games. He's really one of the really good pitchers that I had to face in my career. I only speak on veteran committee guys, but I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm on the board, so I don't like to speak about the other guys, but sometimes I speak about the guys on the veteran committee, because I have a vote.
Do you think the Red's bringing in Rolen was a smart move or not?
He's a veteran player. That's what they wanted, I think. A professional leader. He's going to have a lot of success in that park. He got injured when he was hit in the head, so that might change. But I think it was a good move.
Do you believe that instant replay should be allowed on plays made at home plate?
I think that would be a good idea. It's kind of the finality of the play. Either you scored or you didn't. It's tough to make it on short hops in the outfield, because it's in the middle of the play. But at the plate, you either score or your don't. Just like a home run. I'm not a fan of replay because there are so many plays in a game that have a bearing on the game. Does a guy catch a ball in the outfield? If he doesn't catch it and they say he did, the runners stop running.
Do you agree with several ESPN analysts that this 2009 season seems reminiscent of the 2003 season with regards to the progress of both the Yankees and the Marlins?
I can't remember back to 2003. I can't remember where I was yesterday. But they are definitely getting hot at the right time. A couple of years ago, the Rockies peaked at the right time. There are still a lot of games to go. They will have some tough times along the way. The Marlins swept Philly to get back in the race. I don't know about the NL East right now. I thought the Phillies had it but they're coming back to the pack. It's hard to be hot for 40-50 games. All teams have weaknesses and all teams have strengths. Boston beat the Yankees 8 straight times, now they've lost 4 straight times. Its hard to call this far out.
Joe,Do you see Joe Mauer staying in minn,or do you see him later going to a big market team??
If he continues to play well, I don't think Minnesota will trade him. The thing he has to be leary of is at the beginning of the season people talking about him hitting .400. There's no way a catcher can hit .400. The wear and tear on the body of a catcher is too much. He's one of the better players in the league and he'll probalby stay that way. I don't think they'll trade him in the next 4-5 years.
Keep your eyes on starting pitchers. Now that we're going toward down the stretch and see if they can keep their velocity up and strength up and continue to pitch well. Otherwise we'll see a lot more home runs hit. You see that as we get to 25 starts or so.
Thanks for chatting Joe!