We're getting Joe!
Baseball and the sports world lost a great man today in George Steinbrenner. I had the honor of knowing him personally and not just the newspaper accounts of who he was. The George Steinbrenner that I knew was not only a great owner, but a great caring individual. We served on the hall of fame board togeter and we exchanged letters through the years when big events would happen in our lives. One of the most comforting letters that I received when my father passed away came from George Steinbrenner and I will always remember him in that way. For me, he was a special man that most of the world didn't know.
Thoughts on Steinbrenner's legacy? What is your lasting memory of him going to be?
I think it will be an owner who revitalized a championship organization. When he took over the Yankees from CBS they were down. No one was going there. Now, it's probably the most valued franchise in sports. It's all in how he managed the franchise. He reinvested profits to the team, bringing in players through free agency and reinvesting in his business. That's what business is all about.
Hey joe what was it like being called up to the plate by Bob Sheppard
I'm sure I did, I played in the World Series there and the all-star game there and when I played for the A's. I remember the distinct voice. I know him more as a fellow broadcaster. When I went to Yankee Stadium we sat and talked for a while. I never knew him as a player.
One of my favorite all star memories is Pedro mowing down hitters in the first 2 innings in 1999. But can Ubaldo even K one guy in the first inning? Ichiro, Jeter, and Miggy are no joke.
It's no joke of a lineup, but he's no joke of a pitcher. I would say that he will strike out someone in the first inning. He has unbelievable movement on his pitches. I think he will be successful.
Hey Joe, that was a great series between the Phillies and Reds. Have you ever seen a series like that?
It was a great series, because the Reds could have won all four of the games, but they lost all four. That's where the home field edge comes in. The Phillies had the final at bat to win. It was a great series.
Did you ever tease George about how you garnered your '76 title vs. his yanks?
No, I didn't tease him about losing. The one thing I will tell you that when I left the Reds in 1980, one of the first calls I received was from George, asking me if I wanted to come to New York and play for the Yankees. My answer was when I was younger and a better player, I would have taken him up on the offer, but at that stage of my career, it wasn't the right spot for me. We laughed about that over the years.
Mr. Morgan, nice job with the HR Derby last night. My question to you is how come none of the big time sluggers like Ryan Howard backed out of the event? Shouldn't the players feel a certain responsibility to be in it? I mean Howard is a lock for 40 HRs and over 120 RBI each year, he's also a former ROTY and MVP winner and lead his team into 2 WS. Fans want to see him in it instead of someone like Chris Young, Corey Hart or Nick Swisher, who aren't big HR hitters or award winners like a Howard. Your thoughts?
I agree with you 100%. Baseball has to do something about that. It reminds you of the slam dunk contest in basketball. It used to be the Michael Jordan's of the world. Julius Erving. If baseball's not careful, that's what will happen to the derby. Players are afraid that it will effect the second half of their season. I don't see it that way. It's one day of home runs and then you get back to normal. I believe, as you do, that they owe something to the game and to the fans.
If you were the phillies GM, who would you re-sign at the end of the year: Rollins or Werth?
Well, I think if they're going to have a good team, they're going to need both. They provide different things. Rollins was the MVP a few years ago and he was the catalyst to their team winning the championship. Werth is a very good player and he fits in well in Philadelphia. It's always harder to find a shorttstop that can perform and help your team offensively and defensively than to find an outfielder that produces runs.
Hi Joe, how much "potential" do you think Matt Kemp has? What can he do to concetrate harder to prevent mental mistakes?
Matt Kemp got off to a great start last year and he showed all of his tools. He can run, hit, throw, everything on the field. Because he didn't play baseball at an early age - he played basketball - he's still learning the game. The last couple of weeks he's been playing well. He has unlimited potential. I think he's one of the best young players in the league.
Joe, do you think the Mets and Braves should watch out for the Phillies since they are heating up and a second half team?
I don't think that's the reason you start to worry about them. You worry about them because they've won 2 NL titles in a row. And Ryan Howard usually is a second half player.
What is your favorite all star memory
In 1972 in Atlanta, I had a walk-off hit in the 10th inning, I think, to win it for the NL. Also, I played a game in Yankee Stadium and I led off the game with a home run. I was on 10 all-star teams, played in nine as I was injured for one of them.
joe do you think the n.l.central will go down to the last day?
I actually believe that either the Cardinals or Reds are going to get hot. The Reds are going to get Volquez back. Chapman is in the minor leagues and might come up. They have a chance to get better. If you look at the Cardinals, people thought they'd run away with it in the first place. At any time they can get hot. Those two teams are the ones you have to look out for. Teams like the Cubs still have a chance. It's a long season. The Brewers too.
Joe, do you think the AL all-star team is better equipped to win with small ball since they have guys like Ichiro and Jeter and Crawford?
They definitely can play small ball. But they also have Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez. They have power as well. They're a well rounded ball club.
Joe, who do you think is the best overall CF in the NL?
Well, I guess the question would be defensively or offensively? CF in the NL, you have Shane Victorino is a good defensive OF. Matt Kemp as well. That's an interesting question, because I don't think there are a lot of great CFs in the NL. Those are two that are exceptional. Drew Stubbs has a chance to be a good CF.
Your thoughts on how Matt Holliday fared in the HR derby...
I thought the guys who were in the derby had good derbys. Holliday, Corey Hart. Those guys hit well. I thought Matt Holliday would have a good derby, because he started to heat up prior to the break. But David Ortiz was special. I said that park favored left handed hitters.
Well, Mr. Morgan, with all of this All-Star Game talk, do you think the AL will be successful in keeping their winning streak tonight? Which league do you like? Regards.
For the good of the game, I pull for the NL, because the AL has won so many in a row. I'm not a fan of the winner getting homefield advantage in the World Series. No matter how you look at this, it's still viewed as an exhibition. I don't think something as important as that riding on the game. I like the alternate format better.
Joe, since Mariano is out for the All Star Game who should close for the AL?
They have a couple of really good guys to go to: Soriano and Soria. I think they can get the job done. They have an array of good closers.
Joe, why do you think Matt Wieters has struggled this year? What can he do to be more consistent at the plate, like Buster Posey or Carlos Santana are?
Remember last year when he came up, he was heralded as the next Johnny Bench. He got off to the great start. But you still have to learn how to play in the major leagues. You're facing good pitching every day. It takes a while to learn. It will take some time where he reaches the status where he's a star behind the plate and at bat.
was the boss the greatest owner in sports?
I can't say that, because I don't all of the owners in the other sports. He was a great baseball owner because he pushed the other owners to be better. He pushed his players to the limit.
He was one of my favorites.
I don't think we'll see another owner like George Steinbrenner. I don't think the times, the players would allow an owner to be as involved as he was. Most of the owners now are letting their baseball people run their teams. I don't think we'll see anyone like him again.