Tuesday, August 18, 2009

12 comments 13 Lessons In Baseball Knowledge Idiocy

Everytime I watch ESPN Sunday Night Baseball it reminds me that Joe Morgan was a great baseball player but he knows very little about the game today and doesn't seem inclined to want to learn anymore about the game in the near future either. That leads me to want to do JoeChats, which is what I am doing today. Before you click away to go another super duper awesome blog like this one, I want to let you know I am turning things around from how chats are normally done here.

I get bored with the normal way I do the JoeChat and the chats are a pain in the ass to format on to this blog sometimes. So I am going to do something that will revolutionize blogging and change the entire business of sports blogging forever. I am just going to list the 13 dumbest and incorrect things Joe said in his chat and not list the original chat question. If everyone likes it then that is great, and if everyone hates it, then I will get negative pageviews for the day, become the laughingstock of bloggers everywhere and will be the only person commenting on the post that I myself wrote. That's a chance I am willing to take.

Before I get to that, I saw this post on The Big Lead. Tyler Kepner of The New York Times said on Twitter that Mark Teixeira is the MVP of the American League. Here are his sage words:

“By the way, this is probably obvious by now, but Teixeira’s the AL MVP. No question, as Joe Torre would say.”

I completely disagree with this idea and completely agree with The Big Lead on this issue. It's not even close. Joe Mauer should be the MVP quite easily. I am not giving my opinion on this issue, this is a fact.

Mauer's line is .377/.444/.626 for this year.

Tex's line is .285/.382/.557 for this year.

Mauer has the advantage in hitting. Teixeira plays great defense at first base but he doesn't play good enough to make up for the fact Mauer is a much better hitter this year, is more valuable to his team AND plays great defense as well. I realize Tex is having a great year and he will get some MVP votes but if he wins the award (and the numbers stay as lopsided as now) then there is something wrong. If Tex wins then the MVP, like the Big Lead post says, it will be a product of the voters being blinded by the fact he plays for the best team and has played well for them.

I have said previously that Tex is the best second best player in Major League Baseball and I still think that is true. Kepner is absolutely wrong, Tex is not the MVP in the American League and I think if Mauer continues to play at the same level he is now he should be absolutely be the American League MVP. Maybe I am trying to pass my opinion off as fact but I don't see how Tex wins it over Mauer.

Let's get on to the revolutionary JoeChat and here are some of the dumb and incorrect statements that Joe made:

1. (In his introduction to the chat)

I do not understand the Toronto Blue Jays. First they float Halladay out there and then they let a player go without any compensation. I just don't understand it. They say something about giving them financial flexibility. If you get another player, you'll have to pay for them too. I don't understand it, but then again I don't understand what they've been doing up there.

I guess my big question is still whether Joe understands it or not. He only said it four times.

Apparently Joe is not aware that certain baseball players make more money than other baseball players. The idea of trading a Roy Halladay who makes $14 million with one year left on his contract for three minor leaguers who earn a total of $1 million between them and the Jays will control through arbitration down the road absolutely blows his mind. I don't understand how he doesn't understand this saves the Blue Jays money to do other things. You do have to pay other players, but you don't pay them as much as you pay Roy Halladay.

Also, the reason the Jays got rid of Rios for no compensation is because no one wanted him for even a low level minor league player because his contract was such an albatross for his production. Again, this should be easy to understand...yet Joe doesn't seem to be able to do this.

2. (On the AL Central race)

If they get Peavy back at the end of the month as projected, they'll be a better team. I don't see the Tigers getting much better, but they don't have to because they're in first place. But I see Chicago getting better. I can't predict it, but it'll be a close race.

Let's get this straight...The White Sox will be a better team with Jake Peavy, the Tigers aren't going to get better but they don't have to because they are in first place and first place teams don't need to improve because they are in first place, but Chicago will get better, but apparently not good enough to beat the Tigers out for first place? Also, Joe can't predict anything but he predicts it will be a close race. Got it?

My biggest problem with this group of sentences is Joe says the Tigers don't have to get better because they are in first place but he also says he sees the White Sox getting better. So if the White Sox get better, doesn't that mean the Tigers would probably have to get better also to keep the lead in the division...or is there no way the White Sox can improve enough to beat the Tigers?

3. (On the pickup of Rios by the White Sox)

I think it's great for two reasons: 1) Rios can do a lot of things on the field. He'll be very motivated to show Toronto that they made a mistake. They're taking some chances. They took a chance on Peavy and now they're taking a chance on Rios. Kenny Williams has been a guy that's taken chances. It's definitely a risk, but it's worth the reward.

Great for two reasons, though the second one will remain a mystery in Joe's mind, so he doesn't even bother listing it. I think the second reason Joe thinks it was a great move for the White Sox is that Rios is now away from the Moneyball type built team in Toronto. Joe believes Rios was probably like Matt Holliday and just got bored because all the Blue Jay hitters wanted to do was hit home runs and strikeout. We all know Moneyball teams are so boring.

4. (About the Cubs possibly doing well in the playoffs)

I really believe that one of these years, they will make it. They will definitely be mentally tough by the time they make it to the playoffs.

Joe believes at some point in the future, whether it be 100 or 200 more years, the Cubs are going to win a playoff series or two. These are bold predictions from a bold man.

5. (Joe's analysis of the Pirates and their struggles)

What I think about them is they've had 16 or 17 consecutive losing seasons...If you go back to the Pirates and put Ramirez at third, everything started down hill when they traded him. If they had kept them all, they could be a better team.

The Pirates really started to go downhill when they traded Aramis Ramirez in 2003 according to Joe Morgan. Of course this doesn't explain what happened the other 10 or 11 years the Pirates had losing seasons. I assume those years were a product of bad luck or maybe a lack of grit and consistency on the Pirates team. It doesn't even matter in Joe's mind, because the Pirates' decline started in 2003 when they traded Ramirez.

Some people may think the Pirates started going downhill in the early 90's when they did not re-sign homegrown talents like John Smiley, Doug Drabek, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Denny Neagle, or pretty much anyone involved in the core of the successful Pittsburgh teams. I would call these people very smart, but Joe disagrees. It all started with Aramis Ramirez in 2003. The other 10 or 11 years of losing seasons were just bad luck.

6. (His thoughts on the Braves chances to make the postseason)

They do have enough to win, but their pitchers are going to have to continue to carry them.
Like everything else, it always depends on the health of Chipper Jones.

At the time Joe was doing this chat the Braves were fresh off winning 3 out of 4 games from the Los Angeles Dodgers, without Chipper Jones, and had gotten 10 hits in 5 straight games, without Chipper Jones. It's like Joe doesn't even bother to actually watch baseball games, he just names the first veteran player on the team mentioned he can think of and goes from there.

7. (Whether he could play for Ozzie Guillen or not)

I always felt I could play for anyone as long as their No. 1 priority is winning.

I guess that rules out Joe playing for his Big Red Machine BFF Pete Rose. Rose was always more concerned with covering the spread as a manager. OOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhh, rimshot!

8. (Just insane rambling about the Boston Red Sox's chances to overtake the Yankees)

It's going to be very difficult for them to come back and overtake the Yankees. Right now when you get past Lester and Beckett.

Yes, that second sentence was supposed to be a complete sentence. Joe must have been distracted by something shiny.

But if they can win enough games on the road without too many losses, they can beat the Yankees.

There you go Red Sox fans...instant brilliant analysis from Joe Morgan on the Red Sox chances. Just win more games on the road, and just try to minimize the amount of losses, they will overtake the Yankees. It's almost so simple and easy, it is borderline obvious and should not be mentioned.

9. (On the MVP award in the American League)

I see him (Mark Teixeira) as the front runner at this point. Remember there's still a long way to go. There's still a long way to go. Right now, he's the front runner.

No, no, no. As I explained above, Joe Mauer is having a better year than Mark Teixeira. I realize Tex is a bigger name and Mauer only plays for the Minnesota Twins, who probably don't count as a real baseball team in a lot of people's minds, but Mauer has been absolutely incredible this year at a premium position. I just can't see how he isn't the MVP in the American League simply because he doesn't play for the best team in the American League.

Also Joe, there really isn't a long way to go. The season is almost 75% of the way over.

10. (Discussing Luis Tiant)

I played against him in the minor leagues. He reminded me of that the other day.

Joe mentions he played against Tiant in the minor leagues, yet two days earlier during the Sunday Night Baseball game between the Yankees and the Red Sox they showed video of Morgan striking out against Tiant in the 1975 World Series. Joe watched the video and laughed at himself striking out against Tiant. I wonder if Joe remembers he played against Tiant in the 1975 World Series also...he has probably already forgotten this. I just think mentioning that he played against Tiant in the World Series is more interesting than mentioning he played in the minors with Tiant.

I only speak on veteran committee guys, but I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm on the board, so I don't like to speak about the other guys, but sometimes I speak about the guys on the veteran committee, because I have a vote.

Let's not get carried away Joe. He was a very good player, but not a Hall of Fame player.

Actually you know what, fuck it, let's just let everyone in the Hall of Fame. Why the hell not? I have never heard Joe Morgan say a player doesn't deserve the Hall of Fame, so let's just let everyone in.

11. (Whether the 2009 Marlins are similar to the 2003 Marlins)

I can't remember back to 2003. I can't remember where I was yesterday.

Nice...This from the guy who has a good enough memory to remember that Luis Tiant was a great pitcher and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but he can't remember the 2003 Marlins and how similar they are to this year's Marlins team.

It's hard to be hot for 40-50 games. All teams have weaknesses and all teams have strengths.

I sometimes find it hard to believe Joe Morgan is the lead analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball crew. Who did he beat out for the job? Forget the list of 103 steroid user names, I want to know the list of people who Joe Morgan beat out for the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball job...that is a much more embarrassing list.

I like to think Joe has pictures of Peter Gammons in a compromising position and ESPN is afraid to fire him for fear he will reveal these pictures...or ESPN doesn't really have any standards when it comes to hiring analysts for games they broadcast. I think either option is fairly likely.

12. (On Joe Mauer re-signing with Minnesota...or actually this is Joe making up his own answer to the question)

If he continues to play well, I don't think Minnesota will trade him.

I guess Joe Morgan has never heard of free agency. I find it absolutely inexcusable that a baseball analyst is asked a question about Joe Mauer staying in Minnesota and the analyst answers the question by only talking about the Twins trading Mauer at some point and not discussing where Mauer may go as a free agent. If you get paid to know baseball, you should know the person asking the question is not asking about whether Mauer will be traded or not, the questioner is asking where Mauer will go as a free agent.

He's one of the better players in the league and he'll probalby stay that way. I don't think they'll trade him in the next 4-5 years.

This guy needs to get fired. There is no excuse for shitty commentary such as this. Maybe dementia or some sort of short/long term memory loss. That would be the only excuses I could accept.

13. (Joe's parting shot of knowledge)

Keep your eyes on starting pitchers. Now that we're going toward down the stretch and see if they can keep their velocity up and strength up and continue to pitch well. Otherwise we'll see a lot more home runs hit.

I am 95% positive Joe Morgan made up the idea there are more home runs at the end of the year because pitchers are more tired. I would bet the hitters are probably are tired just like the pitchers.


(11:32 AM)

Thanks for chatting Joe!

We are all dumber because we have been subjected to your chatting.

Jon Gruden said on Monday Night Football last night that Jake Delhomme led the NFL in "grit." As if watching him overthrow receivers wasn't enough torture, I am subjected to hearing how "gritty" he is.

I have to admit I didn't hate the MNF crew last night. Of course they got on my good side when they talked about Mark Sanchez and brought some sanity into an insane Sanchezian loving world. Mike Tirico was bored with the Panthers-Giants game and decided to start talking about Mark Sanchez, so Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski chimed in with their opinions. Jon Gruden used to collect quarterbacks, so you know if he has concerns about one then that must mean something.

Here is the paraphrased transcript that warmed my heart:

(Tirico) "We will get our first look at Mark Sanchez during that game. What do you guys think about him so far?"

(Gruden) "I would liked to have seen him stay in college one more year and get more experience at the QB position. He looks good and seems to throw a good ball but I don't see how staying one more year would have hurt his development."

(Tirico changing subjects back to the game because he thought it would all be Sanchezian love...and then Jaws interrupts)

(Jaworski) "I want to say something about Mark Sanchez, and he has looked good so far, but I noticed some things when I watched tape on him before the draft. He had the benefit of playing in a pro style offense at USC but he also had plenty of weapons around him. There were times when I saw him on the tape and he had wide open receivers on the field and he was a little tentative in hitting them. It made me a little nervous that he had tons of protection in the pocket as well and the game was so easy for him. He tends to be a little tentative in his decision making at times and I haven't seen him in any type of pressure situation."

(Gruden) "He didn't have to comeback from a deficit one time last year, except against Oregon State and they lost that game."

(Tirico changes the subject again, knowing the ESPN head honchos will be angry with him for talking bad about Mark Sanchez on the air)

After one round of preseason games, I am completely ready for the NFL and college football seasons to start. No more preseason, I want the real season to start.


KentAllard said...

Although Jaws seems to have been forced to dumb things down and stick more to the party line, the guy is sharp.

Bengoodfella said...

Yes, I find him to be fairly sharp. I like when he breaks down game film and will show how things on the field actually happened.

Plus, I just can't help but like it when an analyst says (no matter if I like his conclusion or not), "I broke down the film and here is what I noticed..." because it at least shows he is putting some work into getting ready for the game. Last night, he and Gruden were using technical terms and I liked that as well.

I see some potential in him for MNF, but I don't want get too excited because I know he can probably be stupid at times, but he at least seems to enjoy calling the game. I like it when he calls out a player, like after Delhomme missed a pass he said, "he was under pressure but you have to stick that pass in there and complete it," and did not let him off the hook because it was a tough pass.

Dubs said...

Jaws is really as anti-Joe Morgan as we'll probably ever see at ESPN. Watching game film, keeping up with current players, remembering allllllll the way back to 2003!

Bengoodfella said...

I know. I don't know what Jaws would want to look at game tape for and actually prepare for his job.

His glasses are a bit weird for me and I don't think he is the greatest analyst in the world but I have to at least show him a little respect for breaking down game tape. If I insult Joe Morgan for not making an effort, I at least have to acknowledge Jaws makes an effort.

There is no excuse for saying you don't remember what happened in 2003 when asked a question. Seriously, it's a cliche now, but Joe Morgan has to be fired.

KentAllard said...

Annnnnd...Favre's back. Peter King is reaching a happy ending right about now.

AJ said...

I don't get why everyone is saying Peavy is Chicagos trump card. He hasn't pitched good all year, he's hurt, he'll be coming back off an injury...yet he is expected to somehow get back to his old form and quick and be what pushes the Sox over the Tigers? Not to mention he is pitching in the AL now and pitching in a ball park made for hitters. I'd be surprised if the guy wins half his remaining starts, which at this point is looking like a small number. Whats the max amount of starts he can make? 8 if he comes back today, which he's not.

To me trading for Peavy means nothing to the Sox, it was a complete waste this late in the season.

AJ said...

holy crap, Peter has his MMQb-Tuesday up...and it does not disappoint!!!!!

Iridescence said...

in fairness to Joe a lot of people don't get the Rios thing which i don't understand because it is quite simple as I see it:

-Rios makes a lot of money. As a corner outfielder he is probably overpaid for his production. He is better in CF where the White Sox are going to use him but the Jays have Wells who they insist on playing in CF even though his CF defense is no longer very good.

-For $11 mil/yr they can get a corner outfielder or DH who hits much better than Rios and will not be tied up as long.

-They did not trade Halladay because they feel they still have a shot with him in 2010 and didn't get a good enough prospect offer to give up that shot. Freeing up the money from Rios and Rolen's contracts, hopefully to bring a couple of better suited free agents for 2010 will help them in their playoff goals.

That is what Ricciardi means by financial flexibility.

Dubs said...

It actually seems that PK was butthurt by Favre this time...

Martin said...

Morgan is terrible. The best part about his chats is that you can see the same idiocy that he says on Sunday Nights, but in written form, so it takes on even stronger meaning. With the spoken word, sometimes the pace and timing can throw a listener off, along with a steady stream of inane B.S. By being able to look at Joe Chat, it is easier to see that either 1- he's insane, 2- incredibly lazy and doesn't give a shit or 3- he IS suffering from some sort of dementia.

"They do have enough to win, but their pitchers are going to have to continue to carry them."

Ok, one could call this analysis. Lazy, not very specific,, analysis, that might even be wrong, but analysis all the same.

"Like everything else, it depends on the health of Chipper Jones."

WTF?! Chipper Jones isn't a pitcher , so is it up to him, or is it up to the pitching? For God's sake, have a clue Joe. If he wants to be lazy, just say "The Braves starting pitching has to remain good, keeping scores low, because Chipper Jones is the only weapon they have."

I do have faith and hope that they are using this as a transition year to show him the door at the end of the season. I'm not sure I like the idea of Steve Philips being the replacement, but right now, anybody is a welcome relief.

Iridescence said...

Yeah he is awful. It is the sort of thing if you were watching baseball with a 6 year old kid and he said some of this stuff you'd pat him on the head and tell him how smart he was but it's hard to imagine an adult, let alone an 'analyst" even seriously coming out with some of this crap.

For example:

"But if they can win enough games on the road without too many losses, they can beat the Yankees."

Yeah, very good Joey! See they are seven games behind the Yankees so they need to win 8 more games than the Yankees win to beat them. Luckily the games the Sox win at home count too though Joey! Not just the ones on the road. You're a very smart little boy though! Want some ice cream?

Bengoodfella said...

I am not happy Brett Favre is back. I knew he would be back and I am pretty sure everyone else did as well.

I knew Peavy was hurt but I haven't really heard when they expect him to come back. The White Sox were obviously also counting on having him around next year at a minimum as well. I guess Peavy would get 8 more starts in this year, which would be very helpful, but even if he wins all 8 of those games, I don't know how much that would help the White Sox. You have a point there.

Personally, I get the Rios thing pretty simply. He was very expensive for the production they were getting from him, just like you said, so if someone wants to take that contract off their hands they are all for it. Then they will spend more money on a productive player or two.

Dubs, I think it is pretty predictable what I may cover tomorrow...I hate being predictable but the MMQB-Tuesday is too good.

Martin, I hate being critical of Joe Morgan because he does seem like a nice guy, but you are right. His answers are just stream of consciousness crap. First, the pitchers of the Braves are the key, the next minute it is Chipper Jones...but there is no connecting statement between those two statements that make sense in the context of the answer...like the one you provided.

Iridescence, you are absolutely right he is like a child. He makes these simple statements that are accurate but are just very simple. As an analyst's opinion it is just crap though. Useless, useless crap. That's the problem with him, he has to be held to a higher standard than the one he displays. It's like he has no interest in baseball, yet he still wants to be perceived as an expert on the sport.