Hey everyone...hang on a minute. Joe was traveling this morning but I don't think he's reached his destination yet. He may have run into some travel delays.
Joe is here everyone! His plane was late.
The wild card races are really heating up. I think that's where the most drama will be by the end of the season.
should mark reynolds get mvp consieration
Well, I think he should get some votes, but I don't think he should get any first place votes. You get to pick 10 people. I would say he'll get some votes. Because of his team's place in the standings, I don't think he'll be in the top 3 or 4.
joe do what do oyu think the chances of the phils repeatin are? what needs to happen? do you think cliff lee is the best pitcher in baseball right now?
They definitely have a chance of repeating. I think the key will be Cole Hamels. If he can get back to being the pitcher he was at the end of last season, with the addition of Lee, I think they have a chance. So, with Hamels and of course Brad Lidge.
Are the White Sox finished. I know they are not that far out but with their inconsistency I just don't see them being able to make a run and take the lead. Your thoughts?
I think that's the problem they have. They're inconsistent. For four or five days they look great. Then they can't hit or pitch. But the Tigers are inconsistent on the road. They still have a chance. Minnesota has had some ups and downs as well. I think those three all have a chance at the division, but Chicago is going to have to be more consistent.
what is the biggest concern for the reds, pitching or hitting? and can they ever be a contender in the central? thanks joe
All of the above. For a while they were hitting very well, scoring some runs and pitching well. Now they look like a team that needs both, pitching and hitting.
A month ago today, the Dodgers were 9 games up and the only team running away with their division. As of today, they are in the closest divisional race in either league. Any chance they fall behind Colorado AND the wild card chasers?
Colorado has done a fabulous job of playing well under Jim Tracey. The Dodgers were performing a little above their heads. Things were breaking right for them. It's been more Colorado than the Dodgers falling off. I think it will be a good race. I still lean toward the Dodgers, but it's going to be a good race until the end.
Mr. Morgan, since it's been 20 years since Pete Rose was banned from the game, there has been renewed talk about him. I know you support him and have been asked about this a million times, but do you feel that he will ever get in? Thanks.
That's a difficult question. I don't like to use the phrase never. To make this perfectly clear, I'm not concerned about Pete Rose getting into the Hall of Fame, or managing. As a friend, I'm concerned about him being reinstated to the game and having his head held high about his accomplishments. The Hall of Fame and managing again should not be his priorities. Just getting reinstated should be his priority.
What kind of changes do you think the Cubs are going to go through in the offseason? It's tough to imagine how to improve the team when the biggest failures seemed to be in players who should have excelled and didn't, how do you fix that?
Well, the question is, did they overevaluate certain players? Did they mismanage certain players? Those are questions the ownership has to think about. They spent money to purchase players as free agents. The problem lies somewhere in the evaluation of players or in the management of the players.
Hey Joe, when you think of all the players in MLB, who do you think is the perfect example of playing the game the right way?
First of all, I think there are a lot of players who play the game the right now. There's a long list I would have to give you. I was in Anaheim last night and Tori Hunter is one of those guys. I was in Boston over the weekend and Derek Jeter is one of those guys. There are a lot of them. We hear that players don't play well or hard, and I disagree with that. Dustin Pedroia. I guarantee I could name you 40 or 50 guys that I think play the game the right way.
what was the secret of your batting stance with your elbow? thanks
My elbow, the way I used it was to remind me to get my elbow away from my body. If you're a golfer, you keep your elbow in to get the ball in the air. When I was batting, if I got the ball in the air, I would remind myself to keep the elbow away.
which was more exciting for u winning the world series or being inducted into the hof
That's a tough question. Politically corect, I should say winning the World Series. But being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the greatest thrill you can have as a baseball player. There are a lot of guys that win World Series. Less than 1% of guys end up in the Hall of Fame.
For me, nothing can replace the moment that I was standing on that podium with Ted Williams, Stan Musial, all these great players standing behind me. I just have to say that was the greatest thrill for me.
Joe, who do you think is best at the catcher position in the history of the game? Do you think by the time Joe Mauer retires he will be the best catcher ever?
I definitely think he will be in that discussion before he's done. I'm probably prejudice a little bit, but I don't think there's any catcher better than Johnny Bench. There may be a guy with better numbers, but I don't think statistics tell the whole story.
how long do u think it will be before stratesberg will be pitching for the nationals in the big leagues
I think he would tell me when he's ready. There's a big difference pitching in college against college hitters and overpowering them with your pitches. There are a lot of guys that throw hard in the major leagues. He will tell you when he's ready just by going out and pitching and watching him pitch. The last thing you need to do is rush him into the big leagues, just because he was your No. 1 pick.
Joe, of all the divisional leaders, no one is talking about St. Louis. If Carpenter stays healthy, I believe this is a World Series team. Your thoughts?
I think at this time St. Louis is the best team in the NL, Carpenter, Wainwright, Pujols, etc. That doesn't mean they're the best team in baseball, but the best team in the NL right now.
What do you think about Ben Zobrist for AL MVP consideration?
There are a lot of guys having a good year on a lot of different teams. But to say that he's an MVP candidate, I don't think so. I think you're looking at Teixiera, Morneau, Mauer. There are guys ahead of him as far as MVP is concerned. But Zobrist is having a good season.
Will the Yankees' pitching hold up for a long October run this season, or will they deteriorate before the World Series?
I don't know of any team that you can sit here and say at this moment that their pitching holds up. If something happens to Carpenter, then St. Louis' pitching doesn't hold up. The same with Sabathia and the Yankees. You can say that about any team. No team has 5 good starters. You can get a good understanding when the playoffs start and the health of all the teams pitchers, that's the first time you can say that a team has the pitching to go all the way.
Joe, do you think it was a mistake to bench Juan Pierre right when Manny came back? The Dodgers were so hot with him and he was playing some of the best ball of his life. Do you think they should have found something else for him?
Kevin, you are the first guy that thinks like I do. I've said all along that Juan Pierre brought an energy to that team that they didn't have with Manny in the lineup. He's a lifetime .300 hitter, so he wasn't just getting hot with Manny gone. I'm not saying they should have benched Manny, but they should find a way to get him more at bats and get him more time to play. He needs to have more of a chance to play now that they're struggling. Maybe Joe Torre will do that. Manny's not hitting well either. And when he's not hitting well, he's not helping you that much.
Joe, how do you explain a guy like Smoltz being unable to get anyone out in Boston and then going to the national league and pitching a gem?
Well, he pitched against San Diego who has a lot of young hitters that strike out a lot. I think you have to wait and see him pitch against another team. That wasn't a good test.
Joe, are the Pirates doing the right thing, essentially starting all over (again), spending aggressively on draft picks?
They've been starting all over for 17 years. They've had 17 straight losing seasons, if my memory serves me correctly. They've been trading players for 17 years and haven't gotten any better. If they had kept some of their players that they traded away, they'd be a pretty good team right now. They just keep having turnover after turnover. I just don't see them getting any better any time soon.
Joe, I know you were recently very complimentary of the way the Texas Rangers play. With the AL East teams having to beat up on each other, shouldn't the Rangers be considered the favorite for the Wild Card?
I don't think you can say they're the favorite, because they're a couple of games behind Boston. I think Boston is the favorite to win the wild card, but Tampa and Texas have a chance.
Do you feel that some pitchers are just better off in the national league though from a comfort standpoint. Getting an at-bat, even it its only to strikeout or bunt, seems like it keeps pitchers heads in the game during the batting half of the inning.
That could be. I'm not going to say it's not true, but I think as a pitcher, you're supposed to adjust to your environment. If you don't get to hit, you don't get to hit. Your job is to pitch. Some guys like the NL better. I think CC Sabathia wanted to stay in the NL because he likes to hit, but the Yankees made that impossible with the contract they offered. It's a personal thing. Some guys feel more comfortable there.
do u think pedro will continue to pitch well for the remainder of the season
I think he's pitching well. He should get a little better. The plus you have with him is that you don't have the innings on his arm. He should get better in his next two starts and he will be fresh. I don't think you look at him as the leader of a staff.
Looking forward to seeing the Phillies this weekend. I think they're an interesting team and I think they can repeat as NL champions.