Joe should be here shortly, everyone!
We've got Joe!
What a great finish in the National League West and the Wild Card. San Diego made a great run, but San Francisco and Atlanta were able to hold them off and get into the playoffs. In this instance, the wild card and everything seem to work perfectly, as MLB would have wanted.
Do you think the Padres choked down the stretch?
I don't think they choked. They had bad luck at the wrong time. It is very difficult for any team to lose 10 games in a row -- everything has to be going against you. You can go back and look at the worst teams in the league -- they don't lose 10 in a row often. It's almost impossible to lose that many when you're a good team, which they are. Just bad breaks here and there. They bounced back against San Francisco and were within one game of making the playoffs.
Who do you think is the best team out of the teams that made it to the playoffs?
Philadelphia. They have the experience of being in the playoffs the last four years, and the Yankees' starting pitching is in disarray. They go in as the best team, although it doesn't mean they will win. Every team right now is capable of winning the World Series.
Do we have any real chance against the Phils??
You always have a chance, and the Reds do because they play hard, are aggressive, and believe in one another. The Phillies are not a perfect team -- they are prone to team-wide hitting slumps, and even Roy Halladay lost ten games on a good-hitting team. I think the first game is real critical for the Reds. If they win the first game, the momentum shifts.
C'mon Joe! Your ardent chat fans wanna know who you think is going to win this World Series... (and why so?) You da man!
Last year, I picked the Yankees because they were head and shoulders above everyone else, and they had three excellent starters. This year, only CC Sabathia really retains that title for them. Philadelphia has the best rotation right now, so you have to favor them, but all this is on paper. The game is played on the field. I can't pick a winner right now. The first round offers a chance for a lot of upsets because it's such a short series.
Now that the Twins have homefield advantage in the ALDS, do you think this is the year they finally beat the Yankees?
They haven't been able to beat them at home or anywhere else before in the ALDS, but the Yankees are a unique team in that they have so many guys who can carry them for a few games at a time. I don't think the Twins have that much firepower to be able to carry them, but they play fundamentally sound baseball. Over the course of a whole season, the fundamentally sound team usually wins out, but in a short series, it doesn't matter as much. I think the Yankees are favored for now.
When he's healthy, Josh Hamilton is the best position player in the playoffs this year. True or False?
You can argue that point, but if I were picking someone at this point, I'd go with Robinson Cano. Hamilton is a dynamic player when healthy, but we don't know how healthy he is, and how missing all that time will affect his timing.
Now that the season is over, what are your picks for AL and NL MVP and AL and NL Cy Young awards?
For the AL Cy Young, I pick CC Sabathia, and Robinson Cano for MVP. In the NL, I pick Joey Votto for MVP, and I think because of innings and everything else combined, Roy Halladay for Cy Young. For the rookies, I picked Jason Heyward of the Braves because he was excellent for the entire year. In the AL, it's very difficult because I give an edge to Neftali Feliz, because he helped the Rangers win a division, but Austin Jackson was my favorite rookie to watch.
Hey Joe, what was your most memorable moment from the 2010 regular season?
Watching Jim Joyce blow that play ... I was watching live on TV and couldn't believe it. Additionally, the perfect game from Halladay and all the no-hitters this year. I couldn't believe there were so many.
What is your favorite post season moment from when you were playing?
Winning the 1975 World Series, which was my first, and getting the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning of the seventh game.
Joe. Is Brandon Phillips the best Reds 2nd Baseman since your tenure?
He's great. He makes unbelievable plays at second, and for a stretch there, he was the best Reds player I've seen in a long time. He got hit on the hand by a pitch and didn't get his offense back, but he says it's well now and he expects to play well. I would say yes, but there have been some good players there.
Joe, do you think the Yankees should "give away the farm" to Jeter this offseason?
Not the farm, but I think they have to sign him. If you're the Yankees, you have to be concerned that you have many years left with A-Rod at a high number, and with Jeter being 36, I don't know how long you give him or how long he can continue to play shortstop. His offense has suffered from past performances. I don't think there's any doubt that they have to sign him. It depends on how hard he pushes. I can't imagine him being anything but a Yankee.
Your thoughts, please, on Ken Burns' "Inning Ten" ...
I haven't seen it yet, but Bob Costas and I had dinner together and he told me how great it was. I'm a big Ken Burns fan.
Do you think Don Mattingly will be a good manager?
It's difficult to say how good someone will be when they're starting a new job. He's been around some good managers so he's likely picked things up from them. It's something you never know until you're thrust in that position. If you're a player, you look out for yourself. If you're a manager, you look out for 25 other guys plus coaches. You have to be a good listener and disciplinarian, and I think he has those good qualities.
What would be the most interesting World Series Match up? Who wins?
For me, it'd be the Reds playing the Rays.
Do you think the Mets needed to get rid of the both the GM and the manager?
I have been a fan of Omar Minaya's for a long time, and I though Jerry Manuel had done a good job in the past. The organization kind of self-destructed -- players getting hurt, underperforming -- so it was a tough situation. I don't see how they could have told their fans that they were going to do this again and hope their players were healthy. Both of them were undermined by players not performing to their capabilities.
Basically, I'm still a fan of both Manuel's and Minaya's, and I think they should be given opportunities elsewhere, though probably not together.
This is a great time of the year. This is where players show how good they really are and how they can perform under pressure. If you watch the Ryder Cup, you saw a lot of guys succumb to the pressure of the moment. We'll see who can handle the big stage.