Thursday, July 9, 2009

21 comments A Chat With Award Winning Broadcaster Joe Morgan

I have wanted to cover a chat with Joe Morgan for a while now but since patron saint Fire Joe Morgan had the "JoeChat" as one of its most popular features, I felt like I was stealing from them, plus they did the chats so well I was almost afraid to cover one for fear it would seem like I am copying them. Then another great site I read, when he posts which I wish he would do more often, Good Guy At Sports posted a JoeChat and I have decided that it may be all right to cover one. I can't write as well as FJMorgan did and I also don't have quite a grasp of the statistics, or don't choose to have a grasp as the case may be, they used but figured it would be fun regardless.

Besides, if we are going to claim to have a blog that talks about bad journalism, we can't leave off the man that is the lead analyst on the most popular sports network who can't give his opinion on anything at any point in time. If anyone who has a job that involved interacting with the public gave the answers to questions like Joe did, they would be fired. He should know something about baseball, yet claims to know absolutely nothing. We'll start with the June 30 chat and just soak in the knowledge.

K (philly)
If Rollins doesn't start coming around, what do you do? Isnt it time to drop him in the order for an extended period if the benching doesnt work?

JM: Since I'm not there to talk to him and see where his head is, it's hard for me to get a good reading. When I saw him in LA a couple of weeks ago, his enthusiasm was there, his passion for the game was still there.

I don't know because I haven't seen him play or spoken to him, but when I spoke to him a few weeks ago he seemed fine.

At some point Joe has reached the point of self parody. He must be a nightmare for the police to interrogate.

(Policeman) "Mr. Morgan, do you think that Ms. Coleman is capable of murdering her husband, especially after she called the police a few nights before reporting he had violently struck her. Again, please just give your opinion, we do not need facts. You are a character witness. Just tell us if she seems capable of murder."

(Joe Morgan) "I can't really say. I haven't spoken to Ms. Coleman lately or done a complete psychiatric analysis of her mind to see where her head is at. Though when I spoke to her two days ago she seemed pretty happy and she looked forward to her vacation in a couple of weeks. Other than that, I can't give an opinion."

(Policeman) "So she seemed happy and content?"

(Joe Morgan) "I haven't seen her today, I can't really tell you what her state of mind is."

(Policeman) "Thank you Mr. Morgan for your time. That will be all for today. Be careful driving home today, there have been several pileups on the freeway."

(Joe Morgan) "I can't really speak to that because I haven't seen them."

(Policeman) "No, I am just warning you for your own safety there are pileups and the roads could be dangerous at this time of day."

(Joe Morgan) "I can't say for sure that is true because I haven't driven on the roads lately. Anything I don't observe has never occurred."

(Policeman) "Drive dangerously home Mr. Morgan."

When those things are there, you'll usually get things turned around. It's like Big Papi. When a player loses his passion for the game, that's a problem.

So we can add hustle, grit and finally passion as the keys to playing baseball well. Skill level is still struggling in 15th place on the importance scale to Joe.

Ruby (Seattle)
Hi Joe--It seems like the Mariners finally have righted the ship. What is your take on the state of that franchise?

JM: They're going to need more offense than they've been getting consistently. They have some good players there, so they should be able to do that.

Yes, the man does love consistency. This from a guy who showed up at 11:10 am for an 11:00 am chat.

Joseph(Baltimore,Md.) I am 42 yrs. old! Do you think the Baltimore Orioles will ever be contenders in my lifetime?

The appropriate response as the responder (Joe) here would be to laugh to yourself, then say that the Orioles have great young hitting and if they can ever turn the pitching around they will have a great shot at competing...depending on what Joseph means by "contending" of course. Whether that means getting a Wild Card spot or just becoming a respectable team. The responder (Joe) would then say that the Rays are very young and talented and the Red Sox are built for the future with a great farm system, so it may be difficult for the Orioles not because of a lack of talent but because the competition in the AL East will be stiff.


JM: Yeah, in your lifetime you will, but not before you're 44 or 45.

"Not before you're 44 or 45?" That is two or three years from now. That's not that long of a wait at all for the Orioles to contend again, what's with the "but" in the sentence? Two or three years would be a great turnaround for the Orioles. If only we knew what Joe based this opinion on to come to this conclusion...

Actually he himself probably doesn't know what he bases his opinion on.

Brian (Hudson, FL) Joe, Have you gotten a chance to watch Gordon Beckham? In the past 12 games he's hitting .300. What type of player do you see him turning into?

There is no way in hell Brian is getting an answer that has any type of substance in it to this question. Joe Morgan thinks that Gordon Beckham is a soccer player or a designer of very expensive shoes.

JM: I have not had a chance to see him play. I've read that he's got all the ability. He was a high draft choice, so they thought a lot about him.

Why would anyone ask Joe this question in the first place? Gordon Beckham is only one of the top prospects in all of baseball, what do you expect from Joe? He can't watch all the baseball games that are on television, he's too busy doing his job as a baseball analyst. Joe has literally told us absolutely nothing here that knowing Beckham was drafted high in the draft would not tell you first.

So when Joe Morgan calls a White Sox game, how the hell does he analyze the game if he has never seen the players play? He bases all of his opinions on him watching games first hand, since he apparently watches no baseball on television, so how does he analyze the game? Don't they have to do some type of research before the game? Wouldn't the analyst need to know something about the rest of the players in Major League Baseball so he would know how to compare the players he is currently watching to other players in the league?

Again I tell you, if he was in any other profession and admittedly had no clue about the questions being asked him, he would be fired. How he is not fired? More importantly why has no one started a blog called FireJoeMorgan Part Deux?

The good thing is I haven't heard Ozzie criticize him. If he wasn't playing well, Ozzie would have already criticized him.

There's your analysis. Joe doesn't know anything about the player so he can't comment on Beckham, but the fact Ozzie Guillen hasn't criticized him is a good sign. Not taking five seconds to look up Beckham's stats, that's too much and proves nothing. Whether Ozzie Guillen has criticized a player, now that is the ultimate proof of a player's skill. Just ask Alexei Ramirez or A.J. Pierzynski.

joedog (minnesota) Do you think that right now maur is all star material

JM: He's definitely All Star material. He's the best hitting catcher in the league.

There we go. Simple answer to a simple question.

To say he's the best player, I can't say that. Even on his own team, Justin Morneau is the offensive force.

Who the hell asked any question about "the best player?" Joe is now answering questions that weren't even asked. I think Joe always feels like he has to cop out on every answer so he just makes up a question and then cops out on that one.

Frank (St. Louis) "How many home runs do you think Pujols will hit this year?"

"To say that Albert Pujols is the greatest first baseman in the history of the game is a bit much, though I honestly haven't seen him play, so I can't comment."

Tanner Athens TN: Who is the biggest name to move before the trading deadline?

JM: I think we'll see an active trading deadline. You have to remember that all the teams think they're still in it. So until we get to the end of July, we won't know who thinks they're in or out of it. But if it stays like it is, those teams won't want to make trades.

Let's follow this: He thinks there will be a lot of trades. Many teams still think they can make the playoffs. We won't know until the trades actually happen who is going to trade players and who is not going to trade players. If things stay like they are right now, there will be few trades because every team will still think they are in the playoff hunt.

Paddy O (St. Louis, MO) Hey Joe, I know Pierre deserves to play more as he's earned it, and he was awesome last night, but I'd hate to see him go somewhere else as the Dodgers have shown they can utilize him if an outfielder goes down. If you were managing the Dodgers, how would you juggle the outfield,

JM: That's a very difficult question. That's why I've said they owe it to Juan Pierre to trade him. He has a lifetime average of over .300. He was never an extra man, the Dodgers made him an extra man. I don't think it's fair to him what they've done to him the last couple of years. If you have a lifetime average of over .300 in the major leagues, you should be playing every day somewhere. The Dodgers should get some value for him.

There are so many problems with this group of sentences. Even if Pierre is a great player, which is arguable because I would go with "good player," the Dodgers don't owe it to him to trade him. That would clearly weaken their team. It's not fair they gave him a massive contract that he has not even come close to earning, sure that's not fair. He is fast, but he also led the league in getting caught stealing bases 5 times, and other than this year, he has OPS'd 0.717, 0.685, and 0.655. He is playing great this year but he is also exceeding his career averages in regards to hitting and he STILL doesn't have a lot of trade value because his contract his massive. Joe of course doesn't know anything about Pierre's contract, he just knows people who love "numbers" hate him, so he loves him.

I don't even know why he is calling Pierre "an extra man" when the proper baseball usage is a utility outfielder or a 4th outfielder. Are we sure this is the same Joe Morgan that is in the Hall of Fame as a second baseman?

Rob (Tampa) Are the Oakland A's trying to trade Matt Holiday? and if they are what place would be a good fit?

Why would you even ask Joe this question? If you are familiar with Joe Morgan, you know there is no way in hell he can answer this question.

JM: It hasn't turned out the way they thought it would with him, Giambi, Garciaparra. If you look at him going some place, and I don't know what the A's would want in return, but there are a lot of places he could go. The Mets could use some help. But I do think the A's will trade him.

It's turned out exactly the way I thought it would with Giambi and Garciaparra. It is not 1999.

We are all aware Matt Holliday could actually go a lot of places because there are many baseball teams in major league baseball who would want him. Joe then just throws the first team he can think of out there. The Mets. There, he has done his job. Mission accomplished.

Mark (Allentown) Joe, the Indians are inventing ways to lose. It is getting downright painful to watch. I don't believe the spiral is Wedge's fault, but I do not believe he has a solution. Might this be the year for a change at manager? and maybe the rest of the staff as well?

JM: There's no doubt that Wedge is on the hot seat. But so should the GM and everybody there. The whole organization.

Everyone should be on the hot seat! Including the ushers, the hot dog vendors and that bitch ticket taker Marjorie who works right outside of the side entrance near Section 113. She says she wants me to enjoy the game but I don't believe her...she's so snide. She should be on the hot seat too.

There's no doubt that Wedge is on the hot seat. But so should the GM and everybody there. The whole organization.

Perhaps having better players would be the answer? Or not trading away your better players and trying to resign them?

It's hard for me to give a real definitive answer there, because I'm not there every day. I don't know if it's the front office's fault, Eric Wedge's fault or the players.

It's hard to give a real answer Mark. How the hell would Joe know? The Indians games are not televised in any fashion and there are no public records of the results of the games. Joe doesn't work for the Indians front office. If he did they would have a record of 70-11 right now because Dave Concepcion would be the hitting instructor, Johnny Bench would be the manager, and Tony Perez would be the pitching coach because he could do it all and should be in the Hall of Fame.

What do you expect Mark? Joe is just an analyst for the largest sports television network and website in the United States. He is an analyst, it's not his job to analyze.

Mike (Chicago) Joe, you played in Cincinnati. They tried to get DeRosa and failed but will they try again to make a big splash in a trade and if so who will they go after?

Really? You think this will be answered?

I don't like to say who's available and who's not, because the GMs are the only ones that knows who's available. It's hard to say who are the bats available.

Not it is not hard. Pick a team with a bad record. Then look at the roster and see what good hitters are on that team that could be traded. Matt Holliday, Adam Dunn, and Adam LaRoche. There I just named three off the top of my head. Just because you don't know EXACTLY who is available doesn't mean you can't speculate. It's actually your job when asked the question to try and give an answer.

These JoeChats remind me of press conferences that John Fox, the Panthers head coach or any head coach has, except they are trying to go through the press conference without saying anything of substance while Joe Morgan is supposed to be answering with a substantive answer. Yet, there are still similarities.

The offensive players are no longer enhanced, so we don't have as many great offensive teams as 5-6 years ago.

Here is where I wish I had the energy to do a big look up and check out the numbers on this. I would suffice to guess that there may not be as many individually great offensive players as there was in the Steroid Era, but teams are still scoring as many, if not more, Joe is wrong.

(Fred, who is not lazy like me, went ahead and emailed me some numbers comparing offense in 1998 and this year's offensive numbers for teams...his words as follows in red)

2009 so far: 11,601 Runs Scored and 2,588 HR scored. So they are on pace for 23,202R and 5,176 HR this year

1998: 23,297 runs scored and 5,064HR hit.

So they are on pace to score a few less runs and hit 100 more HR in the process. STEROIDS!!!!

Chris (Yorktown, IN) Joe, what do you think the Cubs will do to jump start their offense?

JM: They need Lee to get hot, Bradley hot and get Ramirez back.

They need to get two of their top hitters hot and get their arguably best hitter back from injury? That is not exactly a leap of faith in predicting there Joe. That would go for about every team in baseball. If the top hitters get hot and they get their great hitters back from injury, they will most likely have a better offense...that rule goes for nearly every team in baseball in the entire history of baseball.

I've always felt that Ramirez was the key to their team. He's been out for a while. We'll have to wait and see what happens when he comes back. They're hope is that he can come back and jumpstart that offense. Bradley will get hot. He can hit.

This is a clusterfuck of words. I would say a guy who hits like this is the key to a team. We all know Milton Bradley can hit. Why did he just randomly throw that in there? Sometimes I think Joe believes the entire audience is as stupid as he is in regards to baseball.

I think I am close to giving up on Joe.

Daniel (Las Vegas, NV) Hey Joe love your work, is there any reason for the Mets to be buyers at this point?

JM: Hey Joe love your work, is there any reason for the Mets to be buyers at this point?

Nevermind trying to win the NL East, it's more important to be in a fight with the Yankees over signing free agents after the season is over. The Mets should focus more on that.

You have to show your fans you're trying to get better. You're going to have to do something to jumpstart this offense. If you're not going to get the injured guys back soon, then you need to do some trades.

If you see the season is going down the drain because of injuries, you have to trade away some prospects to get players to replace the injured players so the team can still win. Who cares about next year, when the injured players are coming back and may play the same position as a guy the Mets traded for last year? That and depleting the farm system for no apparent reason doesn't matter, it's giving the illusion of trying to win games so you can compete with the Yankees for free agents. That's way more important. As long as the fans know the team is throwing away the team's future on a potentially lost season, they will be happy.

I wonder how Joe would feel if the Mets traded for Juan Pierre to play centerfield to prove to the fans the Mets are committed to winning and then next year Carlos Beltran would come back and play centerfield, forcing Pierre to be "an extra man?" Would he think that was unfair to Pierre? He suggested the Mets do something like this, how could he?

JM: During our Sunday Night telecast, I through out a theory on why players got hurt more than before even though they worked harder to stay in shape.

He "through" out a theory, when most people would have said they "threw" a theory out there. Edumencation is important kids...unless you plan on working for ESPN, in which case just make sure you have a catch phrase you can repeat over and over or don't know anything about the sport you will be covering...then you will be fine.

With these guys staying in shape year round, maybe they're working too hard. There has to be something going on with the injuries. Think about it and let's talk about it next week on our chat.

Let's not do that. I like how Joe can speculate all the injuries in baseball are caused by the players working too hard, even though he is not a trainer or doctor of any type, but he doesn't feel comfortable speculating who will be traded on or before July 31st this year even though doing so would fulfill the duties of his job.

He chatted for 24 minutes. That's it.


Martin said...

Only a response to the guy from Baltimore. He's 42, the Orioles contended several times in the 90's, and won the series onec when this guy was a kid. That should sort of define "lifetime".

Bengoodfella said...

I didn't even think to look back. The Orioles did contend several times in the 90's and the guy was 15 or 16 when they won the World Series. Maybe he was trying to be funny but they have done something in his lifetime.

I bet he is like many annoying fans and think his team has a "curse." It seems like ever since the BoSox broke their curse every team wants one.

KentAllard said...

It's very sad to watch Joe Morgan the announcer. It's hard to believe in his playing days, he was widely regarded as one of the smartest players in the game.

RuleBook said...

Yeah, as a Rangers fan, consider me unsympathetic to the Orioles fan.

Also, I think those hitting statistics from 1998/2009 are quite interesting. First of all, I'd be curious about the spread of homeruns. I think (and this is pure speculation - no facts in honor of Joe Morgan) that the 1998 season had a larger number of players hitting huge totals of homeruns (i.e. fewer players were responsible for more of the season's HRs). Now, I would wager that the average player is hitting more homeruns, but you don't have these obscene totals any more. Again, just speculation.

Another way of looking at those statistics is to consider that while you may have had better hitters because of PEDs, you also had better pitchers for the same reason. As PEDs are diminishing, individual hitting anomalies are diminishing, but hitting may be up because the no longer enhanced pitchers are giving up hits to more average players.

Then again, you could also come to the conclusion that maybe steroids didn't screw up the game as much as everyone claims.

If I had time, or cared enough, I would love to dig deeper into this. Then again, I'd probably be written off as a stat nerd with no insight into the intangibles.

Then again, I'm not taking into consideration that every time Eckstein plays, he considers The Jeter's entire amazing career, including how he nearly stole the base that one time, and it motivates him to be that much more gritty. That is the real reason that hitting numbers haven't diminished.

ivn said...

the best response to the Orioles fan would be, "yes, if Peter Angelos dies soon"

but there's something to keep in mind when busting Joe's chops: 9 out of every 10 pro athletes are really fucking stupid. it's not that they're bad at what they do, but they're just not that bright. baseball players especially, because thinking a lot is a detriment in baseball.

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, it is very sad isn't it. I am not ashamed to admit this is the most fun I have had blogging in a few weeks. I just enjoyed the heck out of reading the JoeChat.

This may come as a shock since I come off as lazy but in college and in my job I deal with numbers all day but this is exactly the type of thing I majored in during college. Economics, which of course had a lot of statistics. I 100% agree with you on your perception of the home run numbers. I would think their were more outlying home runs in 1998, or like you said more players responsible for more home runs, but there are just as many home runs being hit today. I would like to see a study that showed similar information to see what the deviation from the mean of home runs hit in 1998 were as compared to today. I would imagine our thoughts would be correct.

I like how you turned the tables on the pitchers, they used PEDs as well and that could cause average hitters to have somewhat lower HR totals during the Steroid Era. The lack of steroids in the game may have enhanced certain player's statistics but it would be interesting to see the net effect and whether it balanced out when the pitchers and hitters quit using.

I think The Jeter through some of his failures have caused players to rethink the way they have hit the baseball and hustled, causing a dramatic increase in grit in MLB. Eckstein is just a completely white, less talented version of Jeter. Sort of the Lenny Kravitz to Jeter's Jimi Hendrix.

As a Rangers fan, you should give the Braves all of the prospects we gave in the Tex trade...also we are ready for Andruw Jones to be back as well. Actually, please just send Feliz and Andrus with Andruw Jones. Thank you.

Sadly, Orioles fans are probably screwed because that division is going to be a two team race every year for a while, with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays competing for the division title and Wild least that is how it looks to me.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, you have touched on a common problem. Many baseball players actually are stupid. If they can manage or coach on a team because they are too stupid, they get a broadcasting job. That goes for front office types as well. That explains Steve Phillips, Joe Morgan, John Kruk, and various others.

I have to say I like Orel Hershiser a little bit but Rick Sutcliffe can stay away from the booth for all I care.

Fred Trigger said...

I dont think Joe Morgan is stupid. If he was, dont you think he would've been more of a David Eckstein type player, I.E. a hacker that has an empty .300 BA ala Juan Pierre, instead of the 2nd baseman that drew walks and hit for power. Even Posnanski says there are old articles with Joe preaching about OBP and how Slug % could be very telling. It was something about Joe being frustrated because everyone thought he drew walks because he was small, even though he tried to explain to them that he had great command of the strike zone. I'll have to see if I can find the article and link to it.

Fred Trigger said...

Fred Trigger said...

I think you have inspired me to try to do a mammoth post over the weekend looking into the spread of HR's over 98/09, Rulebook. I think I might have to use 08 instead of 09, because it is a full year, so it will provide better numbers. If I get some time I'll look into it.

Bengoodfella said...

I always found it interesting that Joe Morgan would have been the type of player "statheads" like and he seemed to hate statistics so much. I read the Joe P. article and it still doesn't explain to me why he absolutely refuses to answer a question that he is asked on a chat...but I guess that is to be expected by now.

I don't think I should call Joe Morgan dumb but I do believe he is a massive disappointment as an announcer, not only because he tends to make things up or misremember things while he is broadcasting, but mostly because he doesn't seem to care about learning anything about the game of baseball. He just wants to coast on his previous knowledge. That may not be true, but that's the perception I have.

I don't know what to expect when Fred gets challenged.

KentAllard said...

Morgan was the sabremetrician's dream of his day, for all the reasons stated, plus a high stolen base success rate. In one of the early Baseball Abstracts, Bill James opined that Morgan might be the best ever at reading whether the pitcher was going to home or first with the pitch.

Larry Bowa was the David Eckstein of the same period.

Bengoodfella said...

All of which doesn't completely explain why he has become a guy who hates statistics and can't seem to give an opinion on anything. His chats are horrible. They are not even chats...they are questions asked by readers of FJMorgan to see if they can get the word "consistency" in there and mention Gary Sheffield as much as possible.

All of which I condone but he in no way shows why he has the job as the Sunday Night Baseball analyst.

KentAllard said...

There isn't any explanation for it - except that when he retired as a player he stopped paying attention to baseball completely.

Fred Trigger said...

The more I'm looking into this, the more intrigued I am becoming.

Let just call 2005 the end of the steroids era. Here what I found and I'll tell you what really sticks out to me at the end. I will seperate the totals up by NL and AL. It will go R and HR.

2005: NL 11535 2580
AL 10790 2437

Total: 22325 5017

2006: NL 12337 2840
AL 11262 2546

Total: 23599 5386

2007: NL 12207 2705
AL 11114 2252

Total: 23321 4957

2008: NL 11741 2608
AL 10844 2270

Total: 22585 4878

There no real big significant dropoff that I notice. But what really stuck out to me is that in all of those years, the NL had more Runs and hit more HRs than the AL. I wonder how that happened, considering they have the pitcher hit and no DH. Maybe smallball really does pay off.

Oh well, I just thought that was interesting. Stand by for a possible mammoth post on the subject that rulebook brought up. I make no promises, because I might be going, playing world of warcraft in my moms basement this weekend.

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, I think it is highly probable that when he retired, he quit paying attention to baseball that may explain it.

Those are interesting numbers considering the NL has essentially one less batter than the AL. I wonder if it could be because the AL has better pitching overall? That may not be it. Those are interesting numbers and I think we know there weren't as high of individual home run totals during the post steroid era. Fred, you and Rulebook may be on to something...or have something already.

Martin said...

Wait, wait. Joe, who can't tell you about any team that hasn't been on Sunday Night Baseball, gauge the value of any prospect, or has a clue about who might trade for going to discuss injury theories?? Did he go get a medical degree that we aren't aware of? Besides the "Too many muscles" concept, what the hell could Joe Fucking Morgan contribute to an in depth discussion about injuries in baseball? Sweet Jesus, this makes my eyeballs hurt.

the right reverend said...

Joe Morgan sucks for saying Justin Morneau is the "main offensive force" on the Twins. He believes this because Morneau was awarded the MVP by the media. He will be confused if Mauer wins MVP this season.

Fred.. the NL has more runs and home runs than the AL because they have 16 teams, the AL has 14.

Bengoodfella said...

Hey look Martin, being a doctor is a whole lot less scientific than being a baseball analyst. He can predict the reason behind injuries because there are only so many muscles and bones in the human body. Do you know how many baseball teams and players there are? There's no telling who may get traded or who this Gordon Beckham fellow is.

Reverend, I think you may have gotten us there. I got so excited, I did not even think of the basic reasoning that the NL had two more teams than the AL.

What was great about the Morneau answer, other than you are correct and Joe thinks because he won the MVP he is the main offensive force, is that it did not even answer the question. Joe is such a mystery. I want Mauer to win the MVP and watch Joe Morgan's head to explode.

Martin said...

but those two extra National League teams are the Nationals and the Padres, and I'm not sure either team has hit a homer this year....

Bengoodfella said...

Adam Dunn and Adrian Gonzalez may actually have more home runs than some teams...I know what you are saying though. I would say that the Pirates and the Nationals don't really count as real baseball teams.