Congrats to Chris Capuano for getting a win after persevering for a few years trying to get back to star status. Let's get started.
Hi Joe! Armando Galarraga was sent to the minors not long after his "perfect" game and Dallas Braden has not won a game since his. Do you think throwing such great games can hurt a pitcher because he becomes over confident in his stuff?
I don't think that's the case here. It helps his confidence, but I don't think a pitcher becomes overconfident like that. Dallas Braden was not a winning pitcher before he pitched a perfect game, and did not have overpowering stuff. Galarraga was sent to the minors so he could continue to start during the All-Star break and work on a couple of things.
Baseball has a way of evening things out ... you have a lot of success early, and maybe later on some ground balls find some holes that they didn't find previously. I don't think overconfidence will be a problem going forward.
Do the Yankees need to make a trade before the trade deadline and will they?
It depends on how Mitre pitches, but if they NEED to make a trade, they will, or if they need the makeup of their pitching staff to change by the deadline, they will. One thing Brian Cashman has tried to do recently is build his team and pitching staff from within.
Hey Joe, big fan. John Kruk recently wrote about how Prince Fielder is a good fit in Texas. Do you think he is? What is the Rangers' interest level and what would they have to give up?
Fielder would be a good fit in most places. A guy who hits the ball out of the ballpark is a good fit anywhere. That's like asking, would Albert Pujols fit with the Mets.
Hey Joe big fan of you. Hey Ubaldo Jimenez has had a bad summer. Since June 6, 5-0 with 4.87 ERA. His next game is against the Phillies. Against NL East teams he is 3-0 in four stars with a no-hitter and a 1.85 ERA. Is his next start a turnaround attempt?
He set the bar so high that every time he goes out there now will be a turnaround attempt. We expect him to do that throughout the season. Baseball has a way of humbling even the great players. Jimenez has hit a bad stretch. You always judge a pitcher by how they respond to tough times. I listen to him talk, and I think he still has his confidence. He understands he won't shut people down every day. I still think he's the best pitcher in the NL and will continue to be for the rest of the season
Mr. Morgan, what did you think of last Tuesday's all-star game? (It didn't seem one of the better ones, and the ratings sure indicated that.) Thanks / rgds.
If you're a National Leaguer, it was one of the better ones. I'm not sure why the ratings were so low, but I'm not a fan of the rule where if a pitcher pitches on Sunday, he can't pitch in the ASG. We had a great matchup to start, but we didn't have the Sabathias of the world pitching, or Jered Weaver pitching as a hometown hero. You have to find a way to let the best pitchers pitch and the best players play. I'm not sure we're doing that right now.
Joe who impressed you most in the all-star game?
I thought Marlon Byrd had a very good game defensively, also working an important walk and scoring a run. It's hard for me not to be impressed with most of the players there. They perform pretty well for the most part -- not many mental or physical mistakes or bad pitches.
You have to be impressed with Brian McCann getting the game-winning hit as well.
Maybe some people were correct about adding Stephen Strasburg to the team, in terms of garnering more viewers. I still don't think he would have deserved to be there, but his presence might have brought more viewers to watch the game.
Mr. Morgan, Did Girardi mess up royally by not getting the best player in baseball into the midsummer showcase?
I'm assuming you're talking about Alex Rodriguez, although I wouldn't say he's the best player anymore. I find it hard to believe that in a close game, that he didn't get in to the game. He certainly should have had an appearance in the All-Star game.
The camera had a shot of him at the end of the game talking to Cano, and he did not look very happy.
Are the Braves good enough to get to the Series with their current roster or do they need another outfield bat?
The Braves do need another bat, although they are good enough to make a run because of their pitching staff. They would have a better chance if they could come up with another bat. You can't expect Troy Glaus to keep driving in runs, or Heyward to stay healthy, or Chipper Jones to get healthy.
To me the NL played the ASG like you guys did back in the 70s and 80s...they appeared to come together as a team and really root each other on. I hadn't seen that in awhile. What do you think?
I definitely believe they came together as a team. They were tired of losing. That's the way we were told to play the game. The first all-star game I made in 1966, the league president, Warren Giles, said to us that we weren't here to have a good time or as an exhibition--you're here to win the ballgame and show the other team you're better. I was fortunate in that I never lost an All-Star Game...I was on ten winning teams. Part of it was the way the players approached the game. Guys like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron would always point out that we were the best league and that we needed to prove it. I'm not saying it wasn't that way on the AL side, but that was what was done on our side.
Do the Padres make a trade or stand pat and hope to hold on for the rest of the season? It certainly seems that they could go either way.
I'm not sure that they can take on another big contract. In this economy, it's about whether they can take on another large salary rather than whether you need to take on more players. Everyone but the Yankees thinks about that first. They could go either way. It always helps if you can bring in one more piece to solidify your team. You don't get in this position every single year.
Joe, do you think that Joe Torre is working Broxton too hard? He seems to have been fatigued lately and is less effective than normal.
I very rarely question Joe Torre, but I'd say yes. When the Yankees were there, he pitched him with a five-run lead on Saturday, then with a four-run lead on Sunday. He threw I think around 50 pitches on Sunday. Joe Torre has been spoiled by Mariano Rivera's ability to be sharp day in and day out. It's just not that way with every other closer.
Sunday in talking about Starlin Castro you said shortstop was the toughest position to learn how to play in the majors. I love ya Joe, but we see 19 year olds come up an play shortstop, (Andrus and Castro) but no 19 year old catchers. Cather is the most difficult position to learn, don't you agree?
I wouldn't have said it if I agreed! To play shortstop properly is what I said. It's more difficult to make all of those defensive plays at shortstop, like learning how to be in the right cutoff position. Catching is putting the fingers down and catching the ball. Veteran pitchers call their own games in the majors. No one makes the plays for you at shortstop. You get help when you're a young catcher. Managers will sometimes call pitches, like a football coach calling plays. There's more you have to do as a shortstop--it's not the hardest position to play as a young player, but there's more to learn. Catching is difficult for young players, but they get more assistance than shortstops.
Joe do you think the Red Sox will pick up the 12.5 million option for Ortiz next year?
Very difficult question. If they could get someone like Adrian Gonzalez, they would not. Every year, Ortiz will be viewed as possibly near the end of his career. I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season: for Boston to win this year, they need Ortiz to be the guy he was back in his glory days. He's still the toughest guy on that team to pitch to with the game on the line. Youkilis is their best fundamental hitter, as he can handle pretty much all pitches. But it's been Ortiz who's gotten those clutch hits over the years, and they need him to be able to do those things under pressure.
Who is your MVP for the AL and NL?
Too early to tell. I thought it was Cano for a while in the AL, but Cabrera and Hamilton are in the conversation now as well. I always feel like the MVP should come from a winning team, one that's in the pennant race. You always have to start with Pujols in the NL. He's the best player in the game and it's his award to lose. For a long period, David Wright was the leader, but he has cooled off. Andre Ethier was one of the top candidates for a while, and you have to mention Adrian Gonzalez because the Padres are winning, and he's the reason they're in first place. But it's still too early to tell.
I think the last question points out how many teams are capable of still winning their divisions or the wild card, and therefore it's going to depend on which player steps to the forefront, or which team steps up to take control of a division or the Wild Card. We'll be in for great races down the stretch, and I don't really see anyone running away from the field just yet.