We're getting Joe right now!
Hang on everyone. Joe's at the airport and will join us in about 10 minutes, as soon as he gets through security.
As we approach the trade deadline, I don't think we're going to see as many stars move as people might think. It's getting more difficult to make those trades now, because most teams want to keep their young players and not give them up to get the veteran players.
Whaddya think of your colleague, Jon Miller, receiving the Ford C. Frick award?
Well, the Ford C. Frick award is given for long and meritus service in broadcasting and he deserves it. Most people know him from Sunday Night Baseball, but he also does some radio and TV for the San Francisco Giants, and he's worked for some other teams like Baltimore and the A's. It was an honor for me to introduce him.
Hey Joe, Braves to the World Series or do they need more help?
Every team that's in first place can reach the World Series. If you get into the playoffs, you can make it. But there's a long way to go. Every team has a weakness. The Braves are the same. They need a little more consistent offense and their pitching could use a little help.
Do you think that the Red Soxs can overcome all their injuries and make a run at the wild card over the next couple months? Who needs to step up to make that happen?
Boston is going to have to get all of their players healthy and play to their full potential. Tampa Bay and the Yankees are not going to go away. Therefore, Boston is going to have to move forward, those teams won't fall back to them. It will be a difficult road for them, but they're capable. If they can get their starting pitching on line and healthy, they can they be led by their pitching. I don't think their offense is consistent enough to lead them.
Joe, now that we have seen 5 no-hitters this season, it is easy to wonder why so many in just over half a season of baseball. As sportsnation asked, do you credit this trend mostly to better pitching talent, weaker hitting, or is are we just whitnessing a fluke here?
I don't think it's a fluke. I think it's a combination of better pitching and some hitters not adjusting to the better pitching. Everything goes in cycles in baseball. We've gone from an offensive decade and now maybe we'll go into a pitching era. I don't think the hitters have adjusted yet, but they will.
Hi Joe. Do you think the Mets should give more playing time to Jeff Francoeur? They've been struggling to score runs since he's been benched for Beltran's return.
He's been hot and cold all year. He got off to a great start, then he struggled after that long game in St. Louis. Then he got hot again and cold again. He's been very inconsistent. I believe Pagan needs to play and Beltran is your star, so he needs to play. I'm just not sure how much they can get out of Francoeur. I've been a fan of his for a long time, but he's been very up and down this year.
Joe, how big was Matt Garza's no-hitter last night for Tampa as a city and as a franchise?
No-hitters are great, but as Garza said last night, a win is what it's about. They needed to win the game. Winning the game comes first, anything else is icing on the cake. There are not many guys that would be happy to pitch a no-hitter and lose. The win was important and it was great for the franchise.
i know that there i still a lot of baseball to be played but how do you see the NL central shaking out come playoff time?
I think that's a tough call. Obviously, I'm a Reds fan and I think the Reds have a lot of really good young players. They have good defense and pitching. I'm not sure about the experience factor. They lost last night on a home run by Jim Edmonds. I definitely think they have the talent to win their division or wild card.
Joe,What do you think about the fact that Arod continues to fail to hit number 600. Do you think this failure is because he is trying too hard?
Any time you get to a number like that, I would think that you would press. He's getting ready to become part of history. That's a big deal. Anybody presses at that number. I'm sure it's on his mind. You have to be thinking about it. I was thinking about it when I was trying to get my first one. He's gone through this before and he'll adjust.
Are there any big deals made at the trade deadline this year? Or have we already seen all the excitement for this year? (Lee, Haren)
I don't think we'll see the big trades. I don't think teams are willing to part with the young players. The game is changing and they need to deal from within. I don't think we'll see as many. They're not as many players out there that can make that big of a difference. I think Cliff Lee was the No. 1 guy on the market and the Rangers gave up a lot to get him.
Joe, do you think that the Yankees failure to trade for Cliff Lee, with the recent injury to Pettite and the Yanks now being forced to used Sergio Mitre as their 5th starter, their first place standing in the AL East is in jeopardy?
Any time you have an injury to one of your top players you're in jeopardy of losing some games. But the Yankees have always been able to add someone at the trade deadline and pay what they need to get him. I wouldn't be worried about the Yankees until after the deadline.
How much of a catalyst has Juan Pierre been for the White Sox this year?
I thought he would be better. I'm a big Juan Pierre fan. I actually thought he would have a great season there, because he had such a good season last year with the Dodgers. He has not hit for the average that I thought he would and his OBP is not that good. But he has added that element of speed and I think that's helped in close ball games.
Why is the Angels bullpen so inconsistent this year?
I don't think it's just the Angels. A lot of the bullpens have been inconsistent. Guys who are great one year, it doesn't mean that he will be great the next year. A lot of the closers have struggled.
You mentioned that things go in cycles (hitting, pitching, etc.). How about umpiring? Is this just a really bad year for umpires, or does MLB need to do something to address this problem?
This may be the best question I've had in a long time. Everyone talks about replays. I don't believe in replay, I think we have to hold the umpires more accountable. I think MLB needs to step in and force that to happen. They made a change and Frank Robinson is now in charge of the umpires. He said that there will be some changes. I think we will see some changes.
Hi Joe. The Tigers are really struggling and now they've been hit HARD by the injury bug. Should they try and acquire another bat (Adam Dunn maybe) or just stay with what they've got and hope a couple of guys get hot?
What they have is not enough right now. They just lost Ordonnez. I think they need some help. A lot of teams have had injuries. You have to be able to make adjustments or get better play by guys off the bench.
Their offense hasn't been that good all year.
Any thoughts on why the Reds can lead the league in offensive categories but have everyone go so cold on the ssame night?
The problem is, when you talk about leading the league in runs scored and all of those things, it's realy a lot of averages. THey have scored a lot of runs in certain situations, but then look at the series against the Phillies right before the all-star break. They have a good offense, but it has not been consistent, especially lately. I can't give you an exact reason, but hitting, like everything else, is contagious.
How do you explain Jeter's down year?
Well, no matter who you are, at some point, you hit line drives that they catch or pitchers pitch you well. That year hits you and it doesn't go your way. You just don't get the breaks. It happens. I wouldn't say that he's getting old. I would just say it's one of those years. There is still a long way to go.
Do you think it is easier for a pitcher to win a 1-0 game than it is to win a 6-5 game? If so, why?
That's always been an interesting question. I don't believe that it is. I think it's just as hard to win a 6-5 game. There will be more guys on base and you'll have to make a lot of tough pitches. In the minors, a pitcher told me that he liked the 1-0 games, because he was on and controlling the game.
Looking forward to the trade deadline. We'll know which teams are set after that the rest of the way. I don't think there are many big difference makers out there. We'll see if the GMs agree with me.