We've got Joe!
What a great comeback by the Yankees in the ninth inning on Sunday. To be four down in the ninth and to tie the game without the benefit of the home run was very impressive. It just shows how good of a team they really are. They will potentially get better, because A-Rod is starting to get hot.
Joe, do the Braves have enough offense to stay ahead of the Mets and Phillies? If not what are there options to improve?
The only team of the three that has a proven offense is the Phillies. Their offense has been suspect lately. The answer is yes that I think the Braves have enough because of their pitching. If they pitch up to their potential and Jurgens and Hanson get back on track, I think they can hold on. A lot will depend on what the Mets will be able to do offensively and if they get Beltran back.
How Special do you think Stephen Strausberg is
I think he has unlimited potential, kind of like I said about J.R. Richards on Sunday. I thik he had the potential, but then he had a stroke and that derailed his career. Any time you have a pitcher that throws as hard as Strasburg, injuries are always a concern. While he didn't strike out as many hitters last night, he was still impressive.
Where is the love for Joey Votto? Everyone talks about Pujols and not Joey but really compare their numbers: Votto: .312/.415/.559 16 HR, 51 RBIs, 48 Runs, 7 SBs, and only 2 errorsPujols: .305/.420/.542 16 HR, 52 RBIs, 41 Runs, 7 SBs and 3 errors
Obviously, I think Joey Votto is a very good player, but I don't know how anyone can compare him to Pujols. Pujols has won three MVPs, batting championship. You can't just compare someone to a great player because he's having a great year. That's part of my issue with Strasburg. Just because he's had some success in a short period of time, you can't compare him to Lincecum and those guys. But Votto is having a great impact on the Reds and he's one of the main reasons they're in first.
I want to thank Joe Torre for helping the Yankees win that game on Sunday. What was he thinking leaving Broxton in there that long?
It was obvious that he didn't have confidence in the rest of the bullpen. He could have started the inning with someone else and then bring in Broxton, but he didn't have any confidence in anyone else. I don't think it was the right thing to do, but he wasn't comfortable with anyone else and he paid the price for that. He's used to having Rivera to put out the fire, but there's only one Rivera.
Do you think the Reds need to go out and get help this year to hold off the Cards?
The first thing they need is one or two pitchers in the bullpen late. You can always use a veteran left handed hitter coming off the bench. You can say that about a lot of teams. They play great defense. Their starters will be good by the time the season is over.
Joe - I recently visited the HOF and I saw your glove on display -which was substantially smaller than any other glove I saw that day - I was just curious how you came to be comfortable with that size glove? Did you figure it out early in your career? Did you ever try a large glove?
I started using the small glove the second year of my big league career. The reason was that the small glove forced me to do things fundamentally correct, using two hands. It forced me to concentrate harder and it helped me on double plays. It was much easier to transfer the ball to my throwing hand. It was definitely smaller than any other glove in the game at the time.
The Twins made a great decision years ago by sticking with Terry Ryan through tough times in the 90's. He ended up building a perennial contender before handing things over to Bill Smith. Do too many teams give up on GMs too early? Should teams be more appreciative of the fact there might be growing pains?
Personally, I don't think they give up on GMs too early. I think GMs have not been held accountable for a lot of the bad trades they've made. I'm not talking about Terry, but just in general. There are a lot of teams that have a lot of dead money out there. I don't think the GMs have been held accountable enough. In the past, it was always fire the manager and not hold the GM accountable for not giving the manager good talent. But now, everyone's held accountable and that's the way it should be.
Hi Joe, who do you think will win the AL West, the Rangers or the Angels?
That's a very, very difficult question. Texas is playing great at home, but they'll have to play better on the road. The Angels, right now, are a very good team, but you just can't tell which direction they'll go in down the road. They've had injuries, but all teams have injuries over the course of the season. I just don't see the Angels being as good as they were last year. It's just hard to predict which team will win. If you force me to answer, I will go with Texas. A lot of good things are happening there.
Joe - an honor to chat with you! As a life-long NYY fan, I hear the payroll topic come up frequently. What's your opinion on how baseball should address the economic structure to keep a highly competitive environment AND satisfy the needs of the MLBPA?
I don't think you can just point to the money factor. In most cases, the Yankees have spent their money wise. I don't think you can change the structure, because the only way you can change it to a more level playing field is if you have a salary cap and the players are not going to accept that. I don't think it happens.
Thoughts on Upton-Longoria situation?
I don't know exactly what happened. But I did see Upton go less than full speed after the ball, so someone should have said something. To me, the first guy to say something should have been the manager and he walked right past the manager and he didn't say anything. But sometimes, it's all about how you say something.
Who is the best defensive player in baseball?
That's a tough question. I think there are a lot of good defensive players. You have to rate them by position. One demands more than another. Catcher demands more than, say, second base. I think they've done a good job the last few years, if you look at the gold glove winners. There might be one or two exceptions, but I think they've done a good job.
Can u helpp clarify some things about Big Z and the Cubs. I thought he was in the right to try and light a fire under his team. He is soo important. He's like a Ryan Howard of the Phillies.
I don't see how Zambrano can play there any more. He came up with the excuse that he was trying to pump the players up. I thought it was a great response by Soriano when he said they didn't see it that way. It was an excuse after the fact. I just don't see how he can be a teammate of those guys now. What happens when you have a guy like that, everyone else has to walk around on egg shells. The problem is they owe him a lot of money on that contract. The Cubs are in a bad situation. That goes back to an earlier question we had on GMs. The Cubs have spent a lot of money the last few years. Fukudome is a platoon player. They gave $30 million to Bradley. Soriano's contract. They have spent a lot of money but have not gotten the results from that money. Who do you blame? Piniella? Hendry? Whose fault? I say it's the GMs. I happen to like Jim Hendry, but some of those moves have not paid dividends.
Joe - any chance the Giants make some moves at the deadline to improve their playoff chances this year?
The Giants are like all of the teams, they have weaknesses. Their offense is still suspect. You can't expect Lincecum and Cain, Sanchez, Zito and all the pitcher to hold the opposition to 2 or less runs every day. They still need some consistent offense. But with that said, if you look around the NL West, all of the teams are suspect. The Dodgers don't have consistent starting pitching. San Diego, you wonder how long their pitching can carry them.
Joe how much do you think the loss of Pedroia and V-Mart will hurt the Red Sox offense on the road?
If you take Pujols or anyone else out of the Cardinals offense, it will hurt. So, yeah it will hurt them. You'll miss their production. There isn't any team that can lose top caliber players like that and not be hurt. That's why these guys are paid a lot of money.
Joe, Whats your thoughts on Brandon Phillips? I believe as far as OVERALL he is the best 2B in the NL. No one is close defensively, he will steal you a base was a 30/30 guy and hits for power.
I think you're exactly right. He's the best overall 2B in the league at this moment. He's played much, much better the last few weeks. You're right, but Utley is leading in the fan balotting.
He has shown that he has great ability.
Why is Miguel Cabrera getting no love, all I hear is Cano, Hamilton, and the M and M boys?
He's had a great year every year he's been in the big leagues. He's been one of the most consistent players since he entered the league. He doesn't get the same publicity in Detroit, but everyone in the league knows how much of a star he is. I had him winning the MVP last year, but Mauer got it instead. He's one of the most valuable players in the league. He's one of my favorite players to watch hit. He has such great ability in the batter's box.
How do the red sox stay in contention with so many players out due to injury?
You have to look at them staying in contention with New York. The Yankees have been in first place without great production from A-Rod, who's getting hot, without great production for Teixiera. Jeter hasn't been consistent. AJ Burnett hasn't pitched well recently. Yet they're still in first place and will probably get better. They have to try and stay close to the Yankees and I think it will be difficult for them to do that, with those injuries.
Joe, Notwithstanding Zambrano's outlandish behavior ... seeing Upton and Longoria squabble in the dugout, did you ever have to directly or indirectly ever endure that sort of tension during your playing days?
I'm sure over the course of my career there were two players who had disagreements. I don't remember being directly involved. I'm sure it did happen, because players are human beings. We get upset over an incident. Players not hustling. But I don't ever remember a direct confrontation like we saw. I would bet there was one. I played for 21 years, so I'm sure there was one. Maybe not punches thrown, but a confrontation.
I think after the all-star break, we will have a better feel for the teams that could win their division. We'll see a little separation. Some teams will go to the front of the class. We'll see if I'm correct, but I do think there will be some separation.