Tuesday, September 21, 2010

10 comments Joe Morgan Wants You To Quit Your Stupid Debates About the AL Cy Young Award

Last time we heard from Joe we had a JoeBait-filled chat and he couldn't figure out why everyone thinks the pennant races are so interesting. We won't know the results of each division race until the end of the year so he doesn't get the fan's interest in hearing him predict the winner of each division. This week Joe tells us it is stupid to debate the Cy Young award for the American League and he introduces a new candidate for NL MVP because using his own logic that player's team is now contending.

Buzzmaster: We've got Joe!

The world rejoices...and then immediately stops rejoicing because it is too early to tell if they should rejoice or not.

Jeremy L (Philly)

Hey Joe, I've been a big fan for a while. Could you please weigh in on the CC vs. King Felix for cy young debate?

JM: I think it's a joke to have that kind of debate.

I think it must be a joke that Joe Morgan thinks to have this debate is a joke. I think it is rarely a joke to debate between two or three players for an individual award. It's sort of how the award can get decided.

What Sabathia has done is be the best pitcher in the AL from opening day to this point.

That's an opinion, not a stone cold fact. There are certain metrics that can used and arguments to be used to say David Price, Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, or even Francisco Liriano could win the Cy Young in the American League. He is 2nd in the American League in WAR, has a 14-8 record and his team is leading their division. That meets some of Joe's arbitrary conditions to be considered for the Cy Young. No one is saying Sabathia may not be the frontrunner, but the idea of a debate is not a joke.

I don't buy into the point that if Felix is pitching for someone else he'd have more wins.

Joe doesn't have to buy into that point. It doesn't mean the point isn't true though. Can Joe really say a guy who is 2nd in MLB in ERA, is 7th in WHIP, 1st in strikeouts, 2nd in innings pitched, 1st in quality starts, 4th in complete games, has a run support average of 3.89 (for comparison David Price has 6.88 and Sabathia has 7.39), and is 3rd in the sabermetric-inclined "tough losses" would be 12-11 on the Rays, Twins, or Yankees? I doubt it.

If Joe really believes that Felix would be 12-11 on the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees or nearly any other AL team he is plain and simple an idiot. He doesn't have to buy into anything, but its the fucking truth. Any pitcher that is in the Top 5 in that many categories (that I did not cherry pick, but just went with the ones that most people know) is not going to be 12-11 unless he has the worst luck ever or plays for a shitty team. Bottom line.

They said that about Cliff Lee when he left Seattle, but he's lost more than he's won since he left Seattle.

I can't argue this point, but Lee also hasn't been pitching as well out of Seattle. Does the ball park in Seattle make a difference for Hernandez? Possibly, but it doesn't take away from what he has done. Lee not pitching as well away from Seattle proves nothing about Felix Hernandez or him deserving to win the AL Cy Young. Lee is first in WAR and still has pitched pretty well in Texas.

The name of the game is to win and he's won. And if you're looking at a second guy, it has to be David Price. It's amazing to me that we have let computers define him rather than performance.

I don't even know what the fuck this means (this post has the "a lot of cursing" tag because it deserves it). David Price is in the AL Cy Young race and Joe Morgan is the one who says David Price should not win it, CC Sabathia should, so I don't know why he is trying to preach about how Price gets no respect. Joe's the one giving Price no respect by not even putting him close to CC Sabathia for the Cy Young award in the American League.

His job is to win the game, not just pitch 5-6 innings.

Sabathia averages 7 innings per start.

Price averages 6.2 innings per start.

Hernandez averages 7.1 innings per start.

So Hernandez is doing is job and Joe Morgan has no damn point. It's pure ignorance to try and make it sound like Hernandez is only going 5-6 innings per start when he has more innings in the same amount of starts as Sabathia.

Fine, pick Sabathia as the Cy Young winner. That's not a problem. What is a problem is saying there is no debate because there can be a decent argument made for Felix Hernandez, but after the bitching and moaning from the anti-statistics people about Greinke winning last year Hernandez will have no shot this year.

I don't think there should be a debate between Felix and Sabathia.

I do think there should be a debate because Joe's reasoning for choosing Sabathia sucks and his reasoning for saying there should not be a debate is a completely uneducated statement. There should be a debate.

There are a lot of examples where a pitcher pitches great on a bad team and then he gets traded to another team and he loses.

Any examples Joe wants to give us???????????????????????????????

Outside of Cliff Lee of course, which is the person he falls back on and uses in about every argument regarding pitchers who have declined as the season has progressed.

A month and a half ago, they were saying the Cliff Lee was going to win the Cy Young Award and no one else was close.

They, they, they, they...who are "they?" The voices in your head, your colleagues at ESPN...who said no one else was close to Cliff Lee in the Cy Young race?

Jose (The Bronx)

Hi Joe. Why are so many managers in the major leagues former catchers?

Probably because the position is so damn easy to play in Joe's opinion, the only solution to earn their major league paycheck is to manage after they retire from baseball.

JM: Part of it is the position behind the plate. They see the entire field. They have to orchestrate what the pitcher does in comparison to the position of the players. They're more into the strategy on a pitch to pitch basis. The catcher is more involved in game planning and involved in executing the game plan than anyone else other than the pitcher.

Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously?

(Bengoodfella jumps into a time machine and re-visits Joe's chat two months ago)

What about this chat? Doesn't Joe remember saying this exact quote when asked about what the hardest position to learn was:

"I wouldn't have said it if I agreed! To play shortstop properly is what I said. It's more difficult to make all of those defensive plays at shortstop, like learning how to be in the right cutoff position."

Here comes the doozy:

"Catching is putting the fingers down and catching the ball."

How about another quote about how catching is such an easy damn position...straight from the same chat:

"Veteran pitchers call their own games in the majors."

Maybe Joe was misquoted in his own chat and thinks the catcher works with the pitcher more than he has seemed to indicate:

"No one makes the plays for you at shortstop. You get help when you're a young catcher. Managers will sometimes call pitches, like a football coach calling plays."

That was two months ago and now Joe says the catcher has to,

"orchestrate what the pitcher does in comparison to the position of the players. They're more into the strategy on a pitch to pitch basis. The catcher is more involved in game planning and involved in executing the game plan than anyone else other than the pitcher."

This is a little bit contradictory, no? So what is it? Do catchers get help calling pitches, help from the dugout with fielding their position, and do veteran pitchers call their own pitches or is the catcher involved with strategy on a pitch to pitch basis and involved with game planning more than any other position than the pitcher?

It can't be both. To game plan and talk about strategy, the catcher has to talk to the pitcher about the pitches being thrown, have the trust of the manager to call the right pitches in the right situation, and know how to field his position without help from the dugout and other players.

Matt (Chinatown)

So does Colorado make the playoffs? Is CarGo MVP if they do? How far can they go in rocktober?

JM: He has to get serious consideration for MVP because they're in the race to begin with.

Now that the Rockies are back in the race, Carlos Gonzalez should be in the running for the MVP. If he put up the same numbers for a team that won 70 games he wouldn't be as valuable as when he put them up for an 91 win team because his teammates wouldn't be as good. That's the logic Joe uses. Carlos Gonzalez would become less valuable because the teammates around him aren't as good. You try to figure out how this makes 100% complete sense. How does it make sense to base an individual award based completely on the entire team's skill level?

By the way, Carlos Gonzalez's road/home splits are terrible. He's just a good outfielder away from Coors Field. I would encourage anyone who hasn't looked this up to do so.

Jay (Bloomington, IN)

Entering the final three weeks of the season who do you give the edge to take the NL West?

JM: That's a tough, tough decision. I picked the Giants to win before the season started. They looked like they were lost and now they've bounced back. I'm going to stick with the Giants because Lincecum is throwing the ball better now.

Tim Lincecum's ERA by month...

April: 1.27
May: 4.95
June: 3.09
July: 3.02
August: 7.82
September: 2.36

Lincecum really helped the Giants turn it around in August, didn't he? What time period is Joe talking about that Lincecum is throwing the ball better? June? Three weeks ago at the start of September?

Their starting pitching overall might be a little better than San Diego's and Colorado's. We talk about bullpens and everything else, but starting pitching will determine who wins.

Which explains why Mariano Rivera has been so useless in the postseason to the Yankees. It is all about the starting pitching, not the bullpens. I can't even think of a time, other than nearly every World Series, when the bullpen has determined who won the World Series.

Conshy Matt (Philly)

How bout them Phillies?! Best record in the NL, despite roster depleting injuries all year. Cholly for NL Manager of the Year???

JM: But I still think they're the best team. When they got Oswalt, that solidified their pitching. It doesn't get any better than Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.

How about a little bit of Joe Morgan slightly contradicting himself? Good, you'll get some of that right now. Joe when he was asked about the Phillies two weeks ago in the chat I covered:

"They are definitely an offensive led team."

They are offensively led except they have the best three-man rotation in the National League...other than, they are purely offensively led.

"They do not have four great starters nor a great bullpen."

But I thought the bullpen didn't matter because starting pitching is what determines who wins? That's what Joe said this week, yet he didn't believe his own words just a couple of weeks ago.

Matt (IN)

If you're the Twins, are you rooting for TB or NYY?

JM: 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.

The Twins have played the Yankees three times in the postseason since 2003 and lost every time, including last year. The "recent years" part of Joe's statement bothers me a little because the Yankees and Twins haven't played recently enough to really say THIS specific Yankees team has consistently beat THIS specific Twins team every time they've faced off in the playoffs.

Check out the rosters for the 2004 ALDS. They are completely different teams now. So I would only consider the Twins and Yankees to have played in the playoffs once recently and think the Twins should not really care too much who they play because they will have to possibly beat both the Yankees and Rays to make the World Series anyway.

Tito (Brooklyn)

What do you think about the conflict between Rasmus and LaRussa? Who has been in the wrong?

JM: Well, I'm not close enough to the scene to make that kind of determination.

Joe is not close enough to say for sure, which means we are about to hear him say for sure who was in the wrong.

I had a long talk with Tony before our Sunday night game. I've known him a long time. He wasn't holding any grudges against Rasmus. Tony felt like it was his job to help a young player gain experience and understanding of what was expected from him. After a couple of meetings, they both got on the same page, but what happened was it was reported later that he had asked for a trade and Tony said he didn't ask for a trade. That's why Pujols made some statements. He thought Colby had asked for a trade at that time, but the meeting had actually happened a week or two earlier, but he hadn't asked for a trade. So, it was a lack of communication.

I would love for Joe to explain to me again how he ISN'T close enough to the scene to make a determination. He just laid out the entire story, in-depth, for us to hear about. Anything we needed to know about the situation, Joe just told us, but then he tells Tito he can't make a determination because he isn't close enough to the scene...though he is close enough to give a seven sentence, detailed description of the situation from a long discussion he had with Tony LaRussa.

I'm not sure how much closer to the scene, outside of actually playing for the Cardinals or be on the coaching staff, Joe could be.

Obviously, with the team losing, Pujols was upset because he thought it had just happened and that's part of the miscommunication there. A reporter went to Pujols and asked him what he thought about Colby asking for a trade.

Pujols was probably upset because as long as the team loses there is NO WAY he can be considered an MVP candidate. An MVP can't play for a team that isn't in the playoffs, can he?

HA ((Bakersfield))

Volquez, Cueto, Arroyo... As good as any possible playoff rotation?

I hope this is a JoeBait question. The Reds have a deep rotation, but I would take Garcia, Wainwright, and Carpenter over these three pitchers. The Giants have Lincecum, Cain, and pick whoever you want (Zito, Bumgarner or Sanchez) over these three guys from the Reds.

JM: The only one that I wouuld say might be better is the Phillies.

"Might" say is better? If either Oswalt, Hamels or Halladay joined the Reds rotation they would immediately become the best pitcher on the Reds' pitching staff. The Phillies are better. No disrespect to the Reds, but they don't have the best three-man staff in their division, much less the National League.

And we know what Cueto and Bronson have done this year.

Cueto has been great and Bronson Arroyo has been merely an average to slightly above average pitcher. So yes, we know what they have done and it doesn't impress me as much as it impresses Joe.

If Volquez is healthy and at the top of his game, I would only give an edge to the Phillies and that's a very slight edge.

You sir, put words in your head and type them on the Interwebs that are nonsense and false. The Phillies have way more than a slight edge. They have a three-man rotation that is better than the Reds by a pretty decent margin in my mind.

Steve (Blacksburg, VA)

What's your theory on the Rangers? Think they can hang in the playoffs?

JM: I don't see them with their starting pitching being able to be the dominant team that they've been in the West. But as I've always said and I continue to believe, any team that gets into the playoffs can win the championship.

Among Joe's many annoying catchphrases, I think the phrase "any team that gets into the playoffs can win the championship" is near the top of the list. The obviousness of this statement, when Joe seems to act as if he is saying something profound, always puts a direct arrow in the part of my brain that causes me to become annoyed.

I always say that any team that any team that plays in Major League Baseball can win the World Series. It just depends on who gets hot for 162 games during the season.

If you get hot in that short period of time, you have a chance of winning. The playoffs is a very short season.

Very deep. It's like a season by itself...only shorter.

Ted-o (Brooklyn)

Now that the Red Sox are unofficially eliminated from the AL Wild Card Race, making the AL East just a two-team affair, do you think the NL West has taken over as the best playoff race in baseball?

JM: Well, it's the only race.

Unless you want to include the NL race for the Wild Card, the NL East race, and the AL East race, then yes, the NL West is the only playoff race. Outside of those other three races, it is the only race, much like outside of every other analyst on every other network, Joe Morgan is the best analyst in baseball.

The Phillies and Braves are battling, but the West has a three team race, so it's more compelling.

The Phillies and Braves really aren't battling anymore, the Phillies are abusing the Braves at this point, but the race for the NL Wild Card is pretty exciting also.

I'm in Chicago this week and I will see the guy who I think has had the best year in all of baseball - Miguel Cabrera.


It's unfortunate that his team is not in the race, because he has had a fabulous year.

(sips his martini and pets his lap dog)

And that's on a team that is not an offensive juggernaut.

As opposed to Felix Hernandez who is pitching incredibly well, but his team isn't an offensive juggernaut and Joe will just completely ignore this fact. Joe feels free to judge Miguel Cabrera separately from the rest of his poor hitting teammates, but can't see to judge Felix Hernandez separately from his poor hitting teammates...and Hernandez is a pitcher, while Cabrera is a position player. It doesn't make sense.

Buzzmaster: Thanks for chatting Joe!

This weekly chat post writes itself.


Matt said...

that was a DOOOOOOOOZIE! would it be fair to say that Joe Morgan may be the smartest person with Down Syndrome currently alive?

love the contridictions you pointed out. i was laughing during that chat when Joe went on about the catcher position being so involved. hilarious.

my girlfriend knows enough about baseball to know that that any of the phillies H20 would be the ace of the Reds. yet Joe thinks it's just a slight advantage for the phillies. that's like saying that a lineup featuring pujols at every position is just slightly better than a lineup consisting of just Ike Davis. ridiculous.

i already ranted on this space about the CC cy young debate, or lack of it's necessity according to Joe. talk about your close minded human being. but it's not Felix's fault, it's those newfangles computers that have taken over the game! (joe looks down at his keyboard and realizes that he must have entered a parallel universe) Hewlett Packard for MVP!!

btw, Joe never answered my question about Charlie Manager for manager of the year. funny, that's exactly why i asked it. i figured he'd go on about the phils and forget to answer my question. joebait success!

rich said...

I don't buy into the point that if Felix is pitching for someone else he'd have more wins.

Someone tell Roy Oswalt that he wasn't supposed to have a better record once he got traded.

starting pitching will determine who wins.

I love how Joe calls out the stat guys for wanting to play the game on paper and then says that starting pitching determines games. Why not just line up before the game and compare starting pitchers?

Cholly for NL Manager of the Year???

Charlie is a terrible in game manager. Danys Baez has an ERA above 5 and yet has pitched a ton of innings, many of them in games yet to be decided.

Figure this out: Ryan Madson comes off the 60 day DL and is now on pace to hit 60 innings. When you miss a third of the season, are coming off an injury and are crucial to the team's post-season success, maybe it's not a good idea to strain the guy.

Same with Lidge. He's not the 2008 Lidge, but he's been significantly better than last year. He's been on the DL multiple times.

So what does Charlie do in a 7 run game? He fucking throws Madson (who at that point had thrown in 20 of the Phillies' past 25 games) and Lidge (Who had pitched in 3 straight games since being activated off the DL).

Charlie's loyalty to certain players (see 2009 Lidge and Pedro) kills the team and his complete lack of sense (Roy Halladay is going to hit 270 innings before the playoffs even start) cripple the team at times.

The question is if some random fan were the manager, how much worse off would the team be? In the Phillies' case, probably not much. Ya, he dealt with injuries, but guess what, every Phillies fan would've done the same thing Charlie did, which is play the next best thing you've got.

You said Joe didn't answer your question Matt, but hopefully that's the answer you were looking for.

And we know what Cueto and Bronson have done this year.

I saw Cueto has really good form on his bitch kicks. that's very important in the playoffs.

It's unfortunate that his team is not in the race, because he has had a fabulous year.

Just don't tell Joe that if Cabrera got traded he'd have more wins.

Matt said...

Rich, first off, manager of the year is a BS award. who really cares, seriously?

lets face it, baseball managers in general are a bit overrated. a genuinely knowledgeable fan could probably manager a major league club. that's not the case w/ any other sport.

years ago, before the phillies started to win a friend's girlfriend was seriously intrigued as to how charlie manuel got hired in the first place. she asked me if she could interview for the job when he inevitably got fired. i gave it consideration.

the job is more of a player management than game management job anymore. yes, there's in game strategy but it's almost a coin flip or dice roll type call. you can make the stupid call and it can still work out for you a lot of the time. bullpen usage, etc. are factors, and i've had my issues with how manuel has handled those over the years.

ultimately, he's got the job done very CONSISTENTLY (that's the proper usage, right ben?) and has done a very impressive job this year sticking with his guys through slumps (ibanez is right back to career norms, lidge looks lights outish again) and maximizing the talent at his disposal. he won't win the award b/c he'll be docked points for having halladay, hamels, and oswalt, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't win it. ya know, if anyone actually cared.

rich said...


The loyalty thing goes both ways. He stuck with Lidge for a year and change before he righted himself. It cost the Phillies quite a few games last year and I can't forget that.

The thing with Ibanez is this: who do you replace him with?

Francisco was playing even worse than Ibanez and the only real alternative was Brown and Charlie didn't like playing Brown against lefties. Then Victorino got hurt and Charlie really had no choice but to keep playing Ibanez.

Like I said, he's dealt with injuries, but he hasn't dealt with them any differently than any Phillies fan would have. It's not like Utley and Rollins went down and there was a debate about using a veteran or the hotshot rookie, because our hotshot rookie who could have been called up is now playing in Cleveland.

I absolutely hate how Charlie handles the bullpen. He'll leave a guy in to get lit up, but pull a good reliever after pitching to one batter. It'd be one thing if it happened every once in a while, but honestly he leaves a guy to get blown out at least once every other week.

I like Charlie as a character manager, he's very good at that and while I'd say that managers don't do much game wise, it sometimes seems like Charlie actively tries to lose games. Like leaving Pedro in during the WS when he couldn't even must up the energy to catch the throws back from the catcher.

Matt said...

rich, no dissagreement from me. on anything that you said.

are you from philly?

btw, this must be killing ben being a braves fan. this series looks like a sweeeep.

rich said...


I'm from Texas actually, but my dad was a Phillies fan, so I became one by proxy. Was in Philly for my undergrad, now back for grad school.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, don't make fun of people with Down Syndrome like that and compare them to Joe.

I couldn't believe what he was writing about the catcher position. Really? It was just a couple of months ago he went on about how the position is easy to play because veteran pitchers call their own pitches.

The Reds have great depth, but I don't believe in regard to a three-man rotation any team can match up with the Phillies.

Don't say Hewlett-Packard for MVP, Murray Chass will think you are serious.

I am glad you didn't expect to get the question answered. It would be disappointing to see you let down like that.

Rich, I am sure the fact Oswalt has a better record once he got traded is just a coincidence.

It's interesting how you and Matt disagree on Charlie Manuel as a manager. I think he is like Bobby Cox in that he has his favorite pitchers and tends to overpitch them. I think Jonny Venters and Peter Moylan have appeared in every game this year.

I agree that Charlie Manuel more manages the team better rather than being better at strategic decisions. He is, again, like Bobby Cox that way. Bobby Cox is great at managing players and running the clubhouse. I tend to wonder about some of his strategy sometimes, but I also know after he retires I will say the same thing about the next manager.

I couldn't believe Joe could look past the Tigers offense to see Cabrera is a great offensive player, but he can't see past the Mariners bad offense to see how that affects Felix.

This isn't killing me. I gave up on the Braves winning the division in early July. I knew the Phillies would come back and the Braves can't expect to throw two rookies and Tommy Hanson at them in Philadelphia and win the series. The Braves lack hitting and it catches up to them. I think the Phillies are the superior team. I just want to see them make the playoffs and then get swept. I haven't seen the Braves choke in the playoffs in a while and it will be nice to see again. I never thought I would miss it.

I have a lot of Phillies fans who read here. I have two good friends that are Phillies fans as well. I feel like I am surrounded.

rich said...


At the least you can take solace in the fact that the Braves have the second best record in the NL.

I honestly think that MLB should institute a new policy:

If you win your division and are the only team in it to be above .500, you play the second place WC team.

It's stupid that Cincinnati will make the playoffs in a division that has three teams below 70 wins (as of right now). The NL Central is the only division in baseball with more teams below .500 (four) than above it (two).

The NL Central has quickly become baseballs version of the NFC West.

rich said...

I should clarify:

Play the second play WC team for the lowest seeding in the playoffs.

Cincinnati has no business being in the playoffs. Whoopee they beat 4 craptastic teams and one team that gave up.

That said I hope Cincinnati goes on a huge losing streak and finishes with the worst record. I'd love to see the Phillies waltz into the NLCS again.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I don't think the Braves even deserve to make the playoffs, but I appreciate the sentiment. I am sure they will find a way to lose that 2nd best record in the NL. They have been playing above their heads all year. Injuries and just overall ineffectiveness have really hurt them and they haven't been able to make the moves necessary to show they are a playoff team.

The NL Central is having a tough time of it. I have to admit. I think the policy through the playoffs should be that the team with the best record gets homefield advantage in a series. That's pretty much what I think. It may favor teams in poor divisions like the NL Central, but I think a team like the Rays should have homefield advantage if they play the Rangers. I think if MLB changes anything to the playoffs, that is what they should change.

It looks like the Phillies are going to waltz into the World Series again this year. There's no team that can beat them when they are playing like they currently are playing .