We've got Joe!
The Padres showed a lot of mental toughness by going into Colorado and breaking their losing streak last night. I think it tells the world that they're not going to go away.
Hey Joe, I've been a big fan for a while. Could you please weigh in on the CC vs. King Felix for cy young debate?
I think it's a joke to have that kind of debate. What Sabathia has done is be the best pitcher in the AL from opening day to this point. I don't buy into the point that if Felix is pitching for someone else he'd have more wins. They said that about Cliff Lee when he left Seattle, but he's lost more than he's won since he left Seattle. The name of the game is to win and he's won. And if you're looking at a second guy, it has to be David Price. It's amazing to me that we have let computers define him rather than performance. His job is to win the game, not just pitch 5-6 innings. I don't think there should be a debate between Felix and Sabathia.
There are a lot of examples where a pitcher pitches great on a bad team and then he gets traded to another team and he loses. A month and a half ago, they were saying the Cliff Lee was going to win the Cy Young Award and no one else was close. He gets traded to Texas and he hasn't won games and Texas is a better team than Seattle.
Hi Joe. Why are so many managers in the major leagues former catchers?
Part of it is the position behind the plate. They see the entire field. They have to orchestrate what the pitcher does in comparison to the position of the players. They're more into the strategy on a pitch to pitch basis. The catcher is more involved in game planning and involved in executing the game plan than anyone else other than the pitcher.
So does Colorado make the playoffs? Is CarGo MVP if they do? How far can they go in rocktober?
He has to get serious consideration for MVP because they're in the race to begin with. I'm not sure they'll make the playoffs. We'll have to see what they do on their next road trip. But he definitely should be in the race for MVP.
Entering the final three weeks of the season who do you give the edge to take the NL West?
That's a tough, tough decision. I picked the Giants to win before the season started. They looked like they were lost and now they've bounced back. I'm going to stick with the Giants because Lincecum is throwing the ball better now. Their starting pitching overall might be a little better than San Diego's and Colorado's. We talk about bullpens and everything else, but starting pitching will determine who wins.
How bout them Phillies?! Best record in the NL, despite roster depleting injuries all year. Cholly for NL Manager of the Year???
I said at the beginning of the season that the Phillies had the best team in the NL. It was theirs to win. Due to some injuries and other complications, it's taken them to this point to get to the forefront. But I still think they're the best team. When they got Oswalt, that solidified their pitching. It doesn't get any better than Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.
How do you like theTwins chances of making it to the World Series if they continue to play good baseball like they have been playing. Also with the return of Justin Morneau to the lineup hopefully in the near future will only make them stronger in the hitting category.
There is something about the Twins that leaves me wondering. I don't know what it is. They seem to do everything they're supposed to do. They pitch well, hit well, play defense. But there is something about them that keeps me wondering about if they can go all the way. There's just something there that I have questions about. I don't think they can beat the Yankees in a short series, especially if the Yankees have the home field.
If you're the Twins, are you rooting for TB or NYY?
If I was the Twins, I would root to matchup against Tampa Bay. The Yankees have beaten the Twins just about every time they've faced off in the playoffs in recent years.
What do you think about the conflict between Rasmus and LaRussa? Who has been in the wrong?
Well, I'm not close enough to the scene to make that kind of determination. I had a long talk with Tony before our Sunday night game. I've known him a long time. He wasn't holding any grudges against Rasmus. Tony felt like it was his job to help a young player gain experience and understanding of what was expected from him. After a couple of meetings, they both got on the same page, but what happened was it was reported later that he had asked for a trade and Tony said he didn't ask for a trade. That's why Pujols made some statements. He thought Colby had asked for a trade at that time, but the meeting had actually happened a week or two earlier, but he hadn't asked for a trade. So, it was a lack of communication.
Obviously, with the team losing, Pujols was upset because he thought it had just happened and that's part of the miscommunication there. A reporter went to Pujols and asked him what he thought about Colby asking for a trade.
When you played, did you make constant adjustments at the plate during a game or did you do your work afterwards? I see guys now who get constantly pounded in one zone and it looks like they never notice.
I agree with you 100% that guys don't make adjustments until after the fact. We had to make adjustments from pitch to pitch, because we didn't have the video available like they use it now. Now, they can watch every pitch of every at bat. We didn't have the ability to do that, so we made adjustments on the fly during the game. But I think that made you a better hitter. Also, we didn't have all of the charts they had, so we had to learn to play defense by remembering where a guy hit the ball. Now, they have charts for every pitch, every count, so the guys are moved around by the scouting report. I think that's good, but it's just not something that we had.
Volquez, Cueto, Arroyo... As good as any possible playoff rotation?
The only one that I wouuld say might be better is the Phillies. But when Volquez is healthy and at the top of his game, he's one of the best in the game. And we know what Cueto and Bronson have done this year. If Volquez is healthy and at the top of his game, I would only give an edge to the Phillies and that's a very slight edge.
NYY vs Tampa. Sabathia vs Price. What else do Tampa fans need to actually go to a game?
I don't know what they're thinking of. We all look at this lack of attendance and I think we need to take it a step further. The economy has forced a lot of people to make a lot of choices and sometimes that choice comes down to whether you do something for your family or go to a baseball game. I think we have to be more leary about judging the fans, in this economy. If I remember correctly, Florida was hit harder than most places. But that's one matchup I'd pay to see.
What's your theory on the Rangers? Think they can hang in the playoffs?
If they have homefield advantage, I think it will really help them. I don't see them with their starting pitching being able to be the dominant team that they've been in the West. But as I've always said and I continue to believe, any team that gets into the playoffs can win the championship. If you get hot in that short period of time, you have a chance of winning. The playoffs is a very short season.
Now that the Red Sox are unofficially eliminated from the AL Wild Card Race, making the AL East just a two-team affair, do you think the NL West has taken over as the best playoff race in baseball?
Well, it's the only race. Both the Yankees and Rays will be in. The Twins are way ahead, as are the Reds. The Phillies and Braves are battling, but the West has a three team race, so it's more compelling.
I'm in Chicago this week and I will see the guy who I think has had the best year in all of baseball - Miguel Cabrera. It's unfortunate that his team is not in the race, because he has had a fabulous year. And that's on a team that is not an offensive juggernaut.
Thanks for chatting Joe!