It appears that the Yankees are almost unbeatable in the new Yankee Stadium. With CC Sabathia at the top of their rotation, I think they have to be the favorite to win the World Series this year. But remember, anyone that gets into the playoffs has a chance of winning and getting hot for the postseason.
Morning Joe. I'm curious: how do you think this season's Yankees stack up to the 1998-2000 squads. As a fan, I get the same 'we're going to win tonight' feeling every night I used to have (unlike the past 3 seasons.) How does it look from where you sit? Thanks
First of all, you're playing in a different era. I don't think there are as many good teams today as there were in that era. I definitely think that this team is as good as any Yankee teams that I've seen in recent years.
But remember, I thought they were the best hitting team I had ever seen when they went against Detroit in the playoffs and Detroit beat them. So even though I think they have a great team, it's still the playoffs. Anybody that gets into the playoffs can beat another team 3 out of 5. The shorter the series, the better the chance of the underdog.
Do you think Ron Wahington is Manag. of the Year? I do, he doesn't have the payroll that Boston and New York has but he does a great job.
I agree 100%. You take it a step further and when you watch Texas play, they hustle and play harder than anyone else. They never shortchange their fans. That's a reflection of their manager.
Biggest disappointment? Mets or Cubs for their inability to perform in the big markets or the Rays for not being able to follow up on their dream season?
I think the biggest disappoint is the Cubs. They won their division by a wide margin last year. They were the best team in the NL. No matter what you think of the Mets, they lost three of their best players for most of hte season. And then they lost David Wright for a good part of the season as well. If you take 3 or 4 of the best Yankees out of their lineup, they wouldn't be doing well at all. The bigger disappointment is the Cubs. And as far as payroll, the average per player, the Cubs is second only to the Yankees. Last year, I thought the Rays needed to take advantage of being there. I didn't think they'd get back to the playoffs. The Yankees got better and the Red Sox got better. The young players on the Rays had to realize that it wasn't going to come easy. They got off to a slow start and they were never able to catch up. The Rays didn't surprise me because they are in the tougest division.
Should I be worried about my Phillies?
You'll have to worry when the playoffs start if they're playing like this. But the Phillies are a different team, personality wise. They're able to wratchet it up at the right time. Come playoff time, I think they'll be playing at their highest level.
The Phillies basically live by the home run. Home run hitters go through dry spells. When they come out, they usually go on a tear and overpower the other teams. That's why I don't think you should worry about them at this point.
Joe, love you on Sunday Nights. What can Jimmy Rollins and Pedro Feliz do to gain some consistency to prep for October?
I think Feliz has done a good job. He is not Mike Schmidt. He plays great defense and drives in runs in clutch situation. I think he's one of the better guys for what he does in the game. I think Jimmy Rollins needs some more consistency. I talked to him when we were there last and will talk again this weekend. He strikes out to much and not try to pull as much. He needs to stay up the middle, because there are more gaps there in the defense. He definitely needs to be more consistent for the Phillies to be at their best.
Are the Braves done?
Well, I don't think they can catch the Phillies. The Braves' inconsistent offense has been their problem all year long. They do not have enough power, enough speed. Therefore, they're just not able to score enough runs and not able to catch Philly.
Hi Joe,Do you think the Marlins can hang in the wild card race?
At this point in the season, when you're that far back - 5.5 games back - it's very difficult to jump over two teams. We're running out of games. Unless they go on a tear like the Rockies did a couple of years ago, I don't think they can make up that much ground. The Marlins have done a great job of staying in the race. I think they've done very well with those young players and will do very well in the future.
Will anyone who gets to make decisions ever notice that Joba Chamberlain doesn't have the mental makeup of a starter? His stuff may be electric, but if he can't keep his head on straight, he's never going to be a starter of note. While we're at it, how many seasons of inning limits do we need on this kid? 4? 5?
He obviously pitched well in relief, but that was a short period of time. We don't know if he would have kept that up. At this time, Hughes has done a great job in the 7th inning role. They decided this year that Joba is a starting pitcher. I'm sure they'll go the rest of the year with that in mind. Maybe next spring they'll go with something different, but the remainder of this year, he'll remain a starter.
Joe, do you think the Cardinals and their front office have what it takes to resign Holliday for about 5 years and be able to keep Carp and Waino?
No one should ever just open up the bank and say whatever you want to stay. I think they should try to keep him and decide what they can pay him. I think at one point, he was asking for more than Pujols and he is not Albert Pujols. He turned down a big contract in Colorado. After his big performance in St. Louis, I'm sure he hasn't lowered his asking price.
In your opinion, if the playoffs began today what would the phillies rotation look like if you were managing the team. Lee being number one is a pretty safe bet, what do you think it looks like after that?
I would go with Cliff Lee and then Hamels, because he has proven he can do the job in the postseason. At third, I would put Joe Blanton. He's done a good job for the Phillies and done well. Then you've got Happ. I don't think any team wants to run 3 straight lefthanders out there. If you put Lee, Hamels, Happ in a row, the other team gets used to the left handed pitching. So, I put Blanton out there to break that up. Happ has pitched well, but he hasn't had the pressure of pitching in the postseason. Hamels has.
Depressed Mets fan. For the stretch run I need a team to root for down the stretch and in to the playoffs. Obviously, the Phillies are out of the question. Who has the best bandwagon to jump on? I'm thinking the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are a good pick. They are definitely a team that can go all the way to the World Series. They ahve the hitting, the pitching, the defense. I think they are the best team in the NL because they are consistent. The Phillies could get on a roll, but the Cardinals are more consistent.
Hey Joe, What are your thoughts on Ernie Harwell and Vin Scully. Baseball always moves on, but it sure won't feel the same without them calling games.
There's no doubt it will be a big loss for baseball when they are gone. But remember it was a big loss when Mantle retired, Mays retired. It's always a big loss when the superstars are gone. Baseball always moves on. Others will move into their places and they may not be great, but they will endear themselves to the fans. When all the superstar players retired, it was bad for baseball.
Where do you rank Ichiro among the all-time greatest hitters(the ability to get hits home runs excluded)? And how does he compare to Tony Gwynn?
That's a very good question. They are completely different hitters, even though they both have hit for very high averages. Ichiro runs well, gets a lot of infield hits. Tony Gwynn didn't run as well and didn't have as many infield hits. Line drives were his calling card. Ichiro has been a fabulous player since the first time I saw him play. He has great instincts, at bat, running the bases. He's been a great player and still going great.
What do you think LaRussa's intentions will be with the rotation come post season? Do you think he will have Smoltz in the bullpen or starting ( like i think he should)? I dont know if you can really beat a rotation of Carp,Waino,Piniero, and Smoltz. All i'm worried about is a first round series with SF.
I don't think you can keep Smoltz in the rotation. You have Carpenter, Wainwright, Pineiro. I think he'll be a reliever and a good one. Those three are your three best starting pitchers.
We talked about the Mets earlier and how disappointing a season it's been because of injuries. The one thing I will say is that they have never quit. You have to give them credit for that even though they have not performed as well as we thought they coudl because of the injuries.
Thanks for chatting Joe!