Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9 comments Joe Morgan: Nudist or Misunderstood Genius Executive?

Joe Morgan decided last week that it was crucial to reverse his mid-July comments about how catchers don't do much but throw down fingers to give a pitcher a suggestion on what pitch to throw. After reversing his comments, he decided the catcher was the most important part of the infield and is responsible for knowing what is going on in the field of play at all times...or something like that. Joe also decided the offensively-led Phillies team just happens to also have the best three-man rotation in the National League, though he said the Reds were a close sixth place in this race (okay, he really said they were a close second, but I wanted to be more accurate).

There isn't as much evidence of Joe contradicting himself this week, but there is a good amount of Joebait and the question of whether Joe will make solid predictions on which teams will make the playoffs and win the World Series? Will Joe give up and finally admit he hasn't watched a baseball game that he wasn't broadcasting since Whitey Herzog's 1987 Cardinals team showed everyone what true grit and not clogging up the bases was about? It's really too early to tell.

Buzzmaster: We've got Joe!

I really hope Joe Morgan isn't chatting naked today. That story is probably the most frightening thing I have heard or will ever hear in my life. (During the post, a little skit took place about Joe Morgan acting crazy and this now causes everyone to think if I ever do a fake conversation or voice ever again that I am copying FJMorgan even more than I already may subconsciously be.)

The only thing more frightening than that story is if naked pictures of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller appeared somewhere on the Internet "Santonio Holmes-style." (and no, I am not linking that picture of Holmes)

I think we better move on. It was interesting enough to me to learn if you do an internet search for "Joe Chat" it is a gay men's chat site...not that there is anything wrong with that, I just didn't expect to do a search for Joe Chat and end up with the top hit being a gay men's chat site. Ok, I think it is better if we move on even more now.

JM: Things to look for this week:

How will healthcare reform affect the majority of the United States population, the homeless problem in America...is there a temporary fix, how much of the stimulus money is being misused, and is there a solution ever to be found in Afghanistan before the United States begins pulling troops out?

I am just kidding of course. Joe tells us to look for "things" and then lists one thing to look for.

I'm looking forward to the rematch between CC Sabathia and David Price.

Are they wrestling each or having a steel cage MMA fight or something? If they are wrestling, Mr. David Price you are fucked. CC Sabathia weighs at least 300 pounds. There are sumo wrestlers who wouldn't get in the ring with him due to his unnatural quickness and ability to pop his shoulder out of socket on demand. Consider yourself warned Price!

An important thing to note is that the best pitcher in the American League all year got hit hard by the Rays, while David Price got out of tough jams when he needed to. It's only one game, but I am sure Joe still won't even consider Price or Felix Hernandez in the Cy Young race for the American League.

I watched it the last time in Tampa Bay and it was great to watch.

Joe, you do know wrestling is fake right? Joe?

(Joe begins chatting via Skype while naked)

Even though I still prefer to watch hitting, that was a great exhibition from the two of them.

Joe, it wasn't an exhibition. It was real dammit. It counted in the standings and everything...and Sabathia clearly lost the matchup.

Julius (Atlanta, GA)


I believe the Braves are out of the Division chase, but can they hold on to the wildcard?

If the season started today, the Braves would have the same record as the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are playing terribly.

JM: 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.

In Joe's defense, the Braves had not choked away the two other games when he did this chat, so he couldn't have predicted they really were out of it. Of course Joe Morgan wouldn't have predicted this anyway since he refuses to try and predict or guess the results of any divisional or wild card race until the season is over. At that point, he feels free to predict. So in defense of Joe Morgan he couldn't have known the Braves would get swept, but not in defense of Joe Morgan he wouldn't have tried to predict this either.

Jason Thomas (Pittsburgh,PA)


With a total of 98 losses so far on the year...what are the chances of the Pittsburgh Pirates avoiding a 100 losing season?

JM: I guess the question would be, is that something new?

A 100-loss season for the Pirates would be something new. The Pirates, as bad they have been, have only had six 100-loss seasons since 1882. Don't get me wrong, the Pirates have come close a lot recently, but the last 100-loss season they had was 2001. So as bad as they have been, they do seem to be getting worse and a 100-loss season is something new. That's a little bad news for Pirates fans out there.

I remember reading that they've had 18 consecutive losing seasons.

I remember reading something about there was a new President elected recently too...a man named Bill Clinton? And what's this about Alaska is now a state? I read something about that. Is that true?

Joe Morgan gets paid to broadcast baseball games. How should ESPN feel that Joe Morgan needs to read that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been terrible for 18 years and he can't just know this. Doesn't everyone just know this?

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.

Being small market does hurt them Pirates because they have less room for mistakes on personnel. These two issues go hand-in-hand. If I run Joe's Super Duper Discount Discount Super Store and I buy 1,000 pounds of crab meat to sell to my customers and I only sell 500 pounds, I am probably going to lose money on this. While if I am Wal-Mart and I only sell 500 pounds, I can absorb the cost of the crabs and make the money up somewhere else because I have enough income and more money to spend on other products to make up for the loss.

So the Pirates have made mistakes on personnel but they don't seem willing to pay the money or have the money nor the leadership in the front office to bounce back to ensure any bad moves don't sink the franchise...for 18 straight years.

Howard (New York, NY)


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.

This is a good JoeBait question in that it references a chat where Joe seemed to take credit for Major League Baseball focusing on hiring more minority managers. Joe may have had something to do with it, but he did not strut into Bud Selig's office, request more minority managers get hired, and then immediately have it get done.

This is a bad JoeBait question, at least for me, because I am not going to argue against more qualified minorities getting a shot at managerial jobs. Unless it involves Dusty Baker.

JM: 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," "you," or "we," it's all the same to Joe. First person, second person, or third person...it doesn't matter Joe will change points of view mid-paragraph. He's very inconsistent in that way.

But I'm an optimist. I think everything should be equal.

Socialist.

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.

Normally, someone who wants more minority managers to be interviewed would rattle off an entire list of minorities who should be in the running for managerial jobs, but this is Joe Morgan. He wants to take a stand, yet not do the research to find out what qualified minority managers are getting screwed over. It's like him protesting on the streets the lack of minority managerial hirings...except not actually being on the streets, but being in his office on Skype (what's my deal with Skype today?) complaining to a friend of his about the issue. Joe doesn't like how minority managers don't get a shot for front office or managerial jobs in the majors, and he may have a point, but he doesn't help the cause by not listing qualified minority candidates who haven't gotten interviewed and should have.

It helps your side of the issue to list minorities who have been hurt by a lack of an interview or passed over for managerial jobs.

Don Mattingly was with Joe Torre and he just assumes the manager.

Fine, this is a valid point. Who should get the job then? Joe? Joe?

Terry Pendleton has been with Bobby Cox for years, but he is not assuming the job when Cox leaves.

This is not a valid point for two reasons. No one knows who is assuming the job when Cox retires and the leading candidate to replace Bobby Cox is Fredi Gonzalez, who you can tell from his name is not American. He was born in Cuba. Of course when Joe is talking about "minority managers" he isn't talking about "minority managers" but "African-American managers." He doesn't give a shit about Fredi Gonzalez and the fact he may get the Braves job because he is just a "Mexican."

(Ok, Joe did not say Gonzalez was Mexican, but you know he probably would guess Mexico if asked where Gonzalez was from)

So a minority is the leading candidate for the Braves job and Joe ignores this because it isn't the minority candidate of Joe's choosing. It brings to mind my question of whether Joe really cares about minority hiring in baseball or does he just wants to bully teams into hiring the specific minority he thinks should be hired? I would doubt the second part is true because Joe can't seem to name a single minority managerial candidate? As I have always said, any team in any sport that doesn't hire a qualified person because of race isn't a team that will succeed in the long-run. So not hiring managers or making an effort to find minority managerial/front office talent is stupid, but solutions are what Joe should provide if he is really concerned on this issue. The solution in this case is telling us exactly what minorities should get interviews. It shows engagement with the issue.

Tito (Brooklyn)


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.

JM: First of all, let's make it very clear, I do not have a problem with Don Mattingly.

Yes you do!

(Bengoodfella calls Don Mattingly) "Joe Morgan has a problem with you."

(Don Mattingly) "Fortunately, I don't pay attention to my critics who say I am not qualified to be the manager of the Los Angeles Dingoes. By the way, who the fuck are you and how did you get my phone number?"

(Bengoodfella) "Ummmm...this is Frank McCourt. I'm winning my divorce battle and I plan on owning the team next year."

(Don Mattingly) "Hey Frank, women can be a pain can't they? I had a question for you. Who do you think we are planning on going out and getting to be the DH next year? I was thinking of maybe getting a LH/RH platoon going to DH, but wanted to run it by you. I hear Bill Plaschke wants to trade Broxton and Loney for a power-hitting bat. Where are we going to find another starter to replace Broxton?"

(Bengoodfella) "Don, the Dodgers are in the National League where there is no DH. Shouldn't you know that? Also, Broxton is a closer, not a starter."

(Don Mattingly) "Hell yeah, Broxton better stay closer and not get traded far away. Anyway, I was kidding. I was just checking to see if you knew the National League did not use the DH, of course I knew it. Is there any trade market for Shawn Kemp? I'm thinking we could package he and Franklin Stubbs together to get a veteran bat for the lineup."

(Bengoodfella) "You mean Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier?"

(Don Mattingly) "No, Shawn Kemp. Guy used to play basketball but now plays baseball and Franklin Stubbs, the black guy who plays first base. I can't wait to manage this team next year."

(Bengoodfella speechless just hangs up the phone)

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.

Again, what are the names of these candidates that should be interviewed? It would really help the argument Joe has.

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.

Where else has this happened?

Baltimore with Joe's SBFF (super best friend forever) Buck Showalter? Hasn't Joe gone on and on in his chats about what a great manager Showalter is? Does Joe really believe, if he believes Showalter is a great manager, a minority candidate should have gotten a token interview? What's the point of a token interview? Sure, maybe it gets the potential-manager's name out there, but I am not sure if talking in his chats about how great Showalter is as a manager and then saying the Orioles should have interviewed a minority candidate makes a ton of sense.

Florida did not interview a minority candidate, when Gonzalez was replaced by Edwin Rodriguez. He's from Puerto Rico and therefore considered a minority.

There were other teams that replaced their manager mid-season and did not interview a minority. That's true and probably not right. Which minority should have gotten an interview though? That's all I care to know.

Joe (NYC)


Hi Joe! Who's your pick for the NL Wild Card and Who's your pick out west?

JM: The wild card is another story. It changes from day to day. Colorado, San Diego, the Braves.

Joe picked the Giants to win the NL West and then he predicted one of the three teams not mathematically eliminated from winning the wild card would end up winning the wild card. Classic Joe Morgan attempting to give as little information as possible.

Zack (CT)


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??

JM: Well, the Yankees are the Yankees and they find a way to win. Well, the Yankees are the Yankees and they find a way to win.

I'm glad Joe answered a question about the Red Sox and the Rays with comments about the Yankees. They "find a way to win." That's some good old-school analysis there. No real statistical data or anything like that, but just a gut feeling.

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.

Because the fiscally responsible thing to do when you have highly paid pitchers who aren't performing well is to trade prospects for more pitchers to put in your pitching staff. The Red Sox should have traded prospects, increased payroll and then bloated their pitching staff or lineup so they could have a chance at winning this year.

"Who gives a shit if Dustin Pedroia will be back next year, let's go get Rickie Weeks."

"Jacoby Ellsbury is out for a while. Let's go trade some prospects for David DeJesus and watch him sit the bench if Ellsbury comes back, while blocking any prospects the Red Sox care to develop who are cheaper and may have a higher ceiling than DeJesus."

Remember, Joe Morgan is an executive with the Reds. I am assuming they don't run personnel moves past him. I know the Red Sox had a ton of injuries this year, but at a certain point it doesn't make sense to trade prospects for players with little regard for what the team will look like the next year. What did Joe expect the Red Sox to do? Trade away young talent and increase payroll because injuries hit hard? That's why they have backups. Teams can't just go get other players any time there is an injury.

Tito (Brooklyn)


Were you happy to see Joe Torre finally return to Yankee Stadium yesterday?

JM: 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.

Would calling it, "The Last Night in Yankee Stadium Sponsored by Joe Torre" have worked?

Tito (Brooklyn)


Have you ever seen anything like Tulowitzki's streak of 14 homers in 15 games? It's incredible, especially from a SS.

JM: 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 has apparently hit 1.4 home runs in 1.5 games before. You may ask yourself how a player could hit 1.4 home runs in 1.5 games. Well, the Big Red Machine could do it. They were so unselfish sometimes Pete Rose would hit a home run and then threaten the official scorer until he credited it to Tony Perez.

The 1.4 home runs Joe hit over a span of 1.5 games was actually one home run hit by Joe and another home run hit by Cesar Geronimo, but because Pete Rose and Joe Morgan were on-base the pitcher was distracted by Rose rolling dice at second base and Joe Morgan walking around naked at first base and he gave up a home run to Geronimo. Rose and Morgan decided that in the clubhouse Morgan would get 4/10 of a home run, Rose would get 4/10 of a home run and Geronimo would get 2/10 of a home run because he probably didn't speak English and wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Tito (Brooklyn)


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?

When the term "JoeBait" was created, it was created for questions just like this one.

JM: 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.

Which pitch does your mind go to? A batter has narrowed the pitch down to two pitches he may throw, that doesn't sound like a bad thing to me. The opposing way of looking at this is going in the batter's box and having no clue what the guy likes to throw in a 2-1 count and having to look for a slider, changeup, fastball or any of the other pitches the pitcher likes to throw. Naturally, and not from a statistical point of view, it is better to limit your choices in guessing what a pitcher would throw.

Joe disagrees.

But it's never 100% that he throws that pitch. If he throws something else, you're in trouble.

But a batter is perfectly fine walking into the batter's box on a 2-1 count with no clue what the pitcher may throw. At least if a guy knows the pitcher likes to throw a fastball or changeup he can look for those pitches and adjust if the pitch is something else. With no knowledge of what the pitcher may throw, a batter could think there is no way a pitcher throws a changeup in that count and finds himself looking like Jeff Francoeur and dribbling a ball back to the pitcher.

When you see hitters take a pitch right down the middle with two strikes, you know something was wrong.

Yeah, the batter got fooled. A batter can still get fooled with a clear head that isn't thinking of one pitch a pitcher might throw at that point. A batter has to have some idea before the pitch comes of what the next pitch could be and no matter if he is zero information or complete information a good pitch can fool him.

Jeff (Indianapolis)


Joe, what do you think the manager landscape will look like by this coming spring?

JM: 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.

So the formula consisting of a lot of vacancies and more first-time managers has to be good for minority hiring, no?

Also, I am not sure what the deal is with Joe assuming the ownership of every MLB team doesn't want to pay a lot in salary for a manager.

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.

They are also newer managers. Just wait ten years from now when these two guys have more of a track record and then they will be the higher priced managers on the market. Joe must not understand newer managers can't demand a huge starting salary. The more successful Black and Maddon are, the more their salary will be increased.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)


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?

Cosmo must be following up on Joe's comment last week that the Phillies have the best three-man rotation in the National League, barely beating out the Reds (in Joe's opinion) for this honor.

JM: I can't think of anything off-hand.

Joe can't think of any staff scarier than the Phillies three-man rotation. I can. Joe Morgan as the General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

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.

Joe can think of a staff scarier than the Phillies three-man rotation.

It won't be automatic that those guys will win their starts in the playoffs.

No one said it would be. The question was if there was anything scarier than Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt in the playoffs and you answered no, then immediately began babbling in an effort to undermine your own answer.

One mistake in the field and anything can happen.

I think Joe just threatened to run on the field in Philadelphia and try to injure one of the Phillies players (but not Ryan Howard) if the Phillies and Reds end up playing each other. That's how I read this comment at least.

Paco (Queens)


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?

JM: 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.

Let's see from last week's chat how much of a bearing on the past playoff performances against each other Joe thought a Twins-Yankees series would have. This is when he was asked if he were the Twins, would he rather face the Rays or the Yankees:

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.

It sounds like Joe is basing his reasoning entirely on the past times the Twins and Yankees faced each other. In this week's chat, he bases it on the Yankees performance in 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.

So neither team makes mistakes, but it is the veteran leadership of the Yankees that will help them win the series? This sounds like as close to analysis we will get from Joe, even though it is analysis based on intangibles, I will accept it, but I have set the bar really, really low.

I'm looking forward to the last couple of weeks of the season. Thanks for chatting.

No, thank you for making me feel smart.

9 comments:

rich said...

They have two more games against Philadelphia.

Against Halladay and Oswalt. Good luck Braves ::snickers::

I think everything should be equal.

No. Everything should be more along the lines of population figures.

Therefore they don't interview the minorities.

Owner: You're a minority.
Candidate: Yes, sir.
Owner: Good. Get out.

I also don't know why Boston didn't go out and acquire more talent when some of their talent went down with injuries.

Because they lost like half their team? Because they didn't want to deplete their minor league roster?

Joe, anything scarier than the trio of Hamels, Halladay, Oswalt come playoff time?

The Yankees offense? The Rays? Jason Werth's beard?

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I saw somewhere the Phillies can pitch Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels 17 out of the 19 playoff games. That's not good for any team playing them.

Your skit was a lot shorter than one I would do, yet made the same point. I'm angry.

I can't imagine how anyone could criticize the Red Sox for not going out and replacing many of the players who got injured. They would have no minor league depth and 30 guys who should be on the 25 man roster next year.

That rotation scares me. I am really looking forward to the Yankees-Phillies World Series this year. Like really looking forward to it.

Martin said...

Halladay just looks wicked going into the playoffs, and once Oswalt got off that piece of crap Astros team, amazing how less his hip is bothering him, and how his fastball has jumped a couple miles an hour. I love Roy, and he's a perfect example of giving 92% for a team that's going nowhere so as to not hurt themselves. I have no problem with it, just wish more analysts and writers would have the guts to say what's really true.

"I'm not sure how Oswalt is feeling, but I know if I was on that Astro's team, I'd be protecting myself against a maximum effort injury."

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, Halladay and Hamels look great, Oswalt looks great. It's going to be exciting watching them pitch.

Analysts probably aren't going to rip Oswalt for that because they don't have proof, but it had to enter his mind that he is on a team that is going nowhere so he isn't going to give 100% out there. He worked hard probably, but he knew he was getting traded and didn't want to ruin a shot at a WS.

I haven't heard anything a/b Oswalt being injured but I may not have been paying attention. Derrek Lee's back also hasn't acted up as much since he got to the Braves team.

Martin said...

Mostly it's been the last year or so, I've heard people talk about his hip bothering him and that he's had a couple shots. To me, Oswalt was doing what any sensible person would do. If it's Sept. 25th and your team is 15 games out of first, don't go crashing into the wall to make the catch against the team that's 18 games out. Play hard, but play smart.

Bengoodfella said...

Really I can't blame him either. I am not usually in favor of a player being lazy and not giving 100%, but the Astros have destroyed that team and not rebuilt the farm system. It's inexcusable. I wouldn't want to pitch for them either.

Anonymous said...

noticed that tito got his question into another chat as well. take a peek at the 12:58 and 1:03 timestamps.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/fangraphs-chat-92210/

Bengoodfella said...

That's great. I may put that in a post so everyone can see it. He did directly copy and paste the question and Cameron pretty much bitch slapped the idea. Then at the 1:03 mark it was just classic when someone pointed out that is what Joe said was a reason for hitters not doing as well and Dave Cameron responded:

"Seriously?"

Yes, seriously.

Anonymous said...

yeah he even addressed the question to "Joe", lol