We've got Joe!
Things to look for this week: I'm looking forward to the rematch between CC Sabathia and David Price. I watched it the last time in Tampa Bay and it was great to watch. Even though I still prefer to watch hitting, that was a great exhibition from the two of them.
I believe the Braves are out of the Division chase, but can they hold on to the wildcard?
They're not out of the chase yet. They have two more games against Philadelphia. They play Philly five more times. I would say they're not out of it yet. They've just put themselves in a tough situation where they have to win nearly every game.
With a total of 98 losses so far on the year...what are the chances of the Pittsburgh Pirates avoiding a 100 losing season?
I guess the question would be, is that something new? I remember reading that they've had 18 consecutive losing seasons. They've traded away some fine players that have gone on to help other teams. You can't just give them a pass because they say they're a small market. A lot of teams say they're a small market but they make mistakes on personnel and that's what hurts them just as much as being a small market.
In light of the Colvin incident, what should MLB do about maple bats?
Well, why wait until someone got injured? Bats have been flying into stands for the last few years. They did a study and I guess they felt like it wasn't the cause. So, I guess in their minds this doesn't change their investigation. But it seems like there is a cause and effect with the maple bats.
Hi Joe! Are you satisfied with the progress that has been made since you alerted the commissioners office to the lack of African-American managers in major league baseball? I know progress has beenmade but it's still hard for good baseball men like Cito gaston and Willie Randolph to find jobs. Thanks!
Well, it seems that it always is difficult for minorities, whether it be in business, TV or any facet of the American dream to gain equality. But I will say that I think the commissioner did make an effort to help minorities, not just in managerial jobs, but other high quality jobs in baseball. Now, you're question was am I satisified. I don't think you're ever satisfied. I am pleased that progress has been made. The answer is that yes I'm pleased, but not satisfied. I don't think I'll ever be satisfied. But I'm an optimist. I think everything should be equal. There will be a lot of teams that will be looking for managers this offseason, but I've only seen maybe two or three African-American names mentioned. Don Mattingly was with Joe Torre and he just assumes the manager. Terry Pendleton has been with Bobby Cox for years, but he is not assuming the job when Cox leaves.
Hi Joe, what do you think of the Dodgers naming Mattingly as their manager for next year? This is two times in a row where they have not interviewed a minority candidate.
First of all, let's make it very clear, I do not have a problem with Don Mattingly. I think he will be a good manager. But I think there are a lot of African-American guys who would do a good job if given the opportunity. I do believe that they should follow the commissioner's rule that they need to interview minority candidates beforehand. There have been a couple of times where minorities have been interviewed because of the rule and they have gotten the job. They should have to follow the rule. But I hear that was part of the contract to get Joe Torre to go there. If that's the case, then the commissioner should have never approved that contract. That's against the rules that the commissioner set. I think we should look at all of the other situations where this is happening, not just the Dodgers. The one where they get around it is they name someone an interim manager and then at the end of the season, they name him the manager. Therefore they don't interview the minorities.
Hi Joe! Who's your pick for the NL Wild Card and Who's your pick out west? Thanks!
I picked the Giants to win the NL West before the season, so I'm going to stick with them. The wild card is another story. It changes from day to day. Colorado, San Diego, the Braves. Colorado had a great run and they're playing great, but they're just not as good a team on the road and that may catch up with them in the end.
I would probably say the Braves, but they have to play Philly 5 more times.
A week or so ago we have journalists writing articles about how the Red Sox can catch the Yankees and the Yankees have no pitching. - Will we see the same articles this week with the Rays now in 2nd place and Garza/Shields/Niemann struggling for the last month??
Well, the Yankees are the Yankees and they find a way to win. They outhit you if they need to. And CC Sabathia is there to steady the team. I still think if Pettitte is healthy, the Yankees will win the East and the Rays will win the wild card. I'm disappointed in Boston's lack of consistency with their top pitchers. Only Buccholz and Lester have been consistent. Lackey and Beckett are the highest paid and neither one has pitched well. I also don't know why Boston didn't go out and acquire more talent when some of their talent went down with injuries.
Were you happy to see Joe Torre finally return to Yankee Stadium yesterday?
Yes I was. I did the final game in the old Yankee Stadium and I said on the air that the only thing that would make this a better night would be a Joe Torre appearance or reference. There was no Joe Torre or reference of him being there. I think he deserves to be honored as one of the great Yankees' managers. The Yankees always honor their history. I think it was great.
I think it's great because remember Yogi Berra would not go to Yankee Stadium for many years after he was fired and the Yankees brought him back into the fold. It's good that Torre was brought back as well.
Have you ever seen anything like Tulowitzki's streak of 14 homers in 15 games? It's incredible, especially from a SS.
I think it's incredible coming from any position. I have never seen anything like it. He was just on an unbelievable streak of getting the ball in the air and hitting it solidly. I've seen hitters go through streaks of hitting solid line drives, but few home runs. No, I've never seen anything like it. It had to be pretty special for him. I've had one-tenth of that kind of streak and was happy.
Joe do you think that the abundance of information and statistics out there can have a detrimental effect on a player's concetration? If so, is this bad for the game?
I said that on the air about a month or two ago. Sometimes you can have too much information when you step into the batter's box. You've seen information that this guy likes to throw a fastball 2-1, but he will occasionally throw a changeup. So you're mind automatically goes to that pitch. But it's never 100% that he throws that pitch. If he throws something else, you're in trouble. Sometimes you can have too much information to process when the pitch is coming or between pitches. That's a good question, because I think it happens too often now. When you see hitters take a pitch right down the middle with two strikes, you know something was wrong.
Joe, I noticed that you had a birthday over the weekend. Just wanted to wish you a belated happy birthday
I had dinner with my family on Friday night before I went to Chicago. In Chicago, I didn't do anything. I enjoyed the day, watched baseball and football on Sunday. We had such a late game that I didn't even have dinner after the game, just went back to the hotel. A day of watching baseball and football is a pretty good day.
Joe, what do you think the manager landscape will look like by this coming spring?
We'll definitely see a lot of action over the winter, because there will be a lot of vacancies. I believe that you'll see more first time managers given opportunities, because I don't think ownership wants to pay a lot of the high salaries of the veteran managers.
If you look around, some of the more successful managers are not the high priced managers. Bud Black. Joe Maddon. They've done a good job, but aren't the high profile managers.
Joe, anything scarier than the trio of Hamels, Halladay, Oswalt come playoff time? Do you think the Phils are the World Series favorite with those three aces lined up?
I can't think of anything off-hand. But remember this, the best teams will be in the playoffs. A lot of times, they will be facing good pitching on the other side as well. It won't be automatic that those guys will win their starts in the playoffs. Those are the top three in my opinion, but nothing is assured once you get to the playoffs.
One mistake in the field and anything can happen.
Do you think the Twins past losing performances in the playoffs against the Yankees could have any bearing on this year's playoffs if those 2 team runs into each other in October?
I don't think the past will have as much of a bearing on it as much as the fact I think that the Yankees are a little better at playoff baseball. The Twins are a very good team over the course of a season. They don't make a lot of mistakes. But in the playoffs, you won't see the Yankees make a lot of mistakes and they're a veteran team. They're built a little better for the playoffs.
I'm looking forward to the last couple of weeks of the season. Thanks for chatting.