Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4 comments Joe Morgan Thinks The Phillies Are the Best Team, Even Though They May Not Be, But It Is Likely They Are...Maybe

The baseball year is winding down now. Joe Morgan's lack of predictions are slowly fading into the distance until next year when Joe will refuse to make any predictions about what will happen over the 2011 baseball season, while taking credit for saying one team was the best team in baseball, but not including the fact he ended that statement with "but anything can happen and that doesn't mean they will win the World Series." There is a light at the end of this dark time when baseball ends. That dark light is a few more JoeChats. Let's take another spin or two with the Inconsistency Monster and try not to think about the fact Joe said earlier this year that starting pitchers determine which teams win playoff games and many of the playoff games in the LDS this year were decided by the bullpens of each team.


Joe's here!

(Into the chat room walks a naked Joe Morgan. He slaps the only other ESPN employee chatting with the public, Jim McCormick, on the ass and then texts naked pictures of himself to Brandon Phillips)

JM: Congratulations to the Phillies, Giants and Yankees for making it to the LCS. It will be great to watch the Game 5 tonight between Tampa Bay and Texas. The only one that surprises me the most is the Yankees' sweep of Minnesota,

Joe three weeks ago when asked if the Twins past performances in the playoffs could affect this year's playoff:

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.

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.

Joe over a month ago in a chat on who the Twins would rather face, the Yankees or the Rays:

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.

Joe last week when asked if the Twins can beat the Yankees:

JM: They haven't been able to beat them at home or anywhere else before in the ALDS, but the Yankees are a unique team in that they have so many guys who can carry them for a few games at a time.

I don't think the Twins have that much firepower to be able to carry them, but they play fundamentally sound baseball.

Needless to say, you could tell Joe was shocked the Yankees sweeped the Twins since he could only muster a compliment like "they play fundamentally sound baseball" when asked about the Twins chances against the Yankees in the ALDS.

but the Yankees get another break because tonight Tampa and Texas will have to use their aces and won't be able to use them in the opening of the ALCS.

So Joe Morgan is predicting another Yankees victory in the ALCS. Mark it down in ston---

But I still expect that whomever wins the Texas-Tampa series to still have a great series against the Yankees.

Oh...well...so the Yankees will get a break in that Lee won't be available until Game 3, but it is not a big enough break to make a difference in the series or allow Joe Morgan to make a prediction one way or another. I should have guessed this would happen.

"The Yankees are getting a huge break in that the Rangers AAA team will be forced to play the first two games of the series and the major league team won't show up until Game 3...but I still expect the series to go down to the wire and there's really no telling based on this information how this could affect the series. Is that a cookie on the floor?"

Mike (Attleboro, MA)

Can either the Rangers or the Rays beat the Yankees considering they?ll be so well rested?

Mike, once a team makes it into the playoffs anything can happen. As I always say, if a team makes it to the ALCS then they could very well end up in the World Series. The Yankees have a good chance of winning, but I wouldn't count out the Rangers. I expect the Yankees to win, though the Rangers will have something to say about that. I think the Yankees will win. The Rangers are a good team though, don't forget that.

That was my faux Joe Morgan answer to this question.

JM: I don't think the rest is the important thing. Sometimes you lose your timing with a few days off. We saw that with Detroit a few years back when they had all the time off and they lost their timing in the World Series.

Baseball is a lot like ballet or gymnastics in that sense. A team could lose its timing by having so much time off. Then they could end up falling off the balancing beam and be embarrassed when they run into their coach's arms crying.

Jason (North Wales, PA)

The Phillies pitching has to make them the favorites at this point. Do you see anything derailing their run for the title?

JM: Well you can never tell if a team will continue to play as well as the Reds or pitch as well.

Wha-----? Ignoring the abhorrent grammar and the fact this sentence not make of no sense, I think Joe Morgan may be in denial that the Reds were eliminated in the NLDS by the Phillies.

I have said for the last month that the Phillies are the best team in baseball. But that doesn't mean anything.

No, but it does. It doesn't mean anything as far as who will win the NLCS, but when asked his opinion on whether the Phillies are favorites or not, Joe's opinion does mean something in the context of the question. If I keep saying that Rafael Nadal is the best tennis player in the world, that means I think he is better than every other male tennis player. So when asked, "do you think Rafael Nadal will win the Australian Open," and I respond with,

"I have said for a while that Rafael Nadal is the best tennis player in the world," it insinuates that I believe he will win the Australian Open since I acknowledged him as the best tennis player.

If I ask a person if Chipotle is their favorite place to get a burrito and they respond with,

"I always have thought that Chipotle has the best burritos in the world," then I could safely assume Chipotle is that person's favorite place to get a burrito. So saying the Phillies are the best team in baseball makes a person believe that Joe believes they will win the World Series, or at least the NLCS, this year.

I don't think anyone is guaranteed to win a championship.

No one asked Joe this. He gets all defensive and uptight when asked a question sometimes, doesn't he?

This is not a cut and dry situation right now.


Ted (Poughkeepsie)

Why can?t the Twins beat the Yankees in the playoffs?

JM: I have my own opinions about the Twins and it's not going to sound good, and I don't mean it in a bad way.

I am sure the entire Twins team is going to be incredibly insulted by whatever Joe is about to say.

They don't seem to be able to raise their intensity level in the playoffs. In the regular season, they're able to beat the Yankees, but in the playoffs, they're not able to meet their intensity.

I am sure Joe means that the Twins don't raise their intensity level in a good way. It's not bad. See, with the Twins intensity level staying low they don't run the risk of a heart attack or high blood pressure. The Twins may not get past the first round of the playoffs, because of their intensity, but this isn't a bad thing. Due to the fact they eat salads and don't raise their intensity too much they have a lot less stress than other teams like the Yankees and can enjoy peaceful October evenings at home watching the World Series.

What we have learned today is that timing and intensity level are as important in the playoffs as a team getting rest and that team's talent level. Also, the most important factor of all in the playoffs in Joe's mind is limiting the amount of bad breaks a team gets that could cause them to lose four games in a row. This isn't a reflection of the team's talent level, but is a reflection of bad breaks that team has received.

Also, Joe says the Twins have beaten the Yankees in the regular season...have the Twins been able to beat the Yankees in the regular season? The Twins record against the Yankees in the regular season for the past five years:

2010: 2-4
2009: 0-7
2008: 4-6
2007: 2-5
2006: 3-3

Over the last five years (not counting the playoffs) the Twins are 11-25 against the Yankees. Over a 162 game season that is 50-112. That's Pittsburgh Pirate-level bad against the Yankees over the last 5 years. Is Joe right in saying the Twins have been able to beat the Yankees in the regular season? It doesn't look like it.

Speaking of Halladay, I think his intensity level was higher than anyone's on the field that day. No one could match his intensity that day.

Here goes Joe with another Morgan-esque phrase. He is introducing the idea of "intensity" to explain why a team or player performs well. Halladay's intensity was higher than anyone else's that day, but he was also pitching much better than he usually does. That helped him pitch well too, the fact he is incredibly talented and was having a particularly good day throwing the baseball...you know, along with his intensity level being elevated.

Tito (Brooklyn)

Did the Reds make so many mistakes in the field due to playoff inexperience?

Tito from Brooklyn is back.

JM: A lot of people would look at that and say that playoff inexperience hurt them there, but their two best defensive players, Scott Rolen and Brandon Phillips, made mistakes.

Brandon Phillips has never played in the playoffs. That's what is called "playoff inexperience" no matter how good of a fielder Joe Morgan believes Phillips may be.

I can't say it was a lack of experience,

So it's not a lack of experience...

but guess what, it may have been.

...but it really may have been. Here's what we do know, it may or may not have been playoff inexperience that hurt the Reds fielding. It very well could have been, but it may not have also. It's too early to tell really.

Obviously, it could have been a different series if they could have won Game 2.

Yes, obviously. It would have also been a different series if the Reds won Game 2, 3, and 4. They may have made the NLCS and played the Giants if the Reds had won three games against the Phillies. Joe can't say for sure, but it is possible.

Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)

Do playoff pitching matchups get any better than the Giants and Phillies?

JM: Well, only if you're going to go Koufax against Gibson.

Not really. Both of those guys are nearing 80 years old. There's a good chance if they had a matchup there would be a Tommy John surgery or a broken bone in either Koufax or Gibson's future.

(Joe's wife on their honeymoon) "Does it get any better than this Joe?"

(Joe Morgan) "Well, only if you were in the United States when it was announced World War II was over or had an opportunity to meet Jesus."

Jan (Somers, CT)

How long do you think it'll be before we see another no-hitter in the postseason?

JM: Those things are unpredictable.

As opposed to those things in baseball that are so predictable? Joe finds nearly everything unpredictable. There are four teams left in the playoffs right now and Joe can't manage to pick one team and say they will win the World Series BECAUSE HE JUST DOESN'T KNOW YET!

You're basically talking apples and oranges. Larson in the World Series had not faced those hitters all year. Halladay had pitched against the Reds throughout the season and had a better understanding of who they were and how to pitch to them.

Yes, but the hitters had also seen Halladay so they knew who he was, what he liked to do and how he had pitched them in the past. Familiarity goes both ways with a pitcher and batter. It didn't just favor Halladay.

The World Series in the past was more important because of the unknown factor with pitchers and hitters having not seen each other.

It was more important? I'm not sure this is even close to be the correct wording for what Joe is trying to say here. If he is trying to say that Don Larson's perfect game was more impressive simply because neither the batter or hitters had faced each other before, he's wrong. The Reds hitters had seen Halladay before and knew how he had pitched them in the past. Other than his talent level, Halladay had no other advantages over the Reds hitters. Don Larson had not seen the Dodgers hitters that year and the Dodgers hitters had not seen him. Pretty much both Halladay and Larson were on the same level as the batters they faced concerning personal knowledge about each other. Larson's is more impressive because it was a perfect game and not a no-hitter.

Connor (Philly)

Phils and Giants in the NLCS! Whose gonna win, and in how many games?

JM: I said the Phillies are the best team in the NL and they are. They're the most complete team.

So the Phillies are the answer then.

If Lincecum is able to beat Halladay, not once, but twice, that will turn the series around. Cain will matchup with Oswalt and Sanchez will matchup against Hamels. How Halladay and Lincecum do, if they split, I give the edge to the Phillies. There's no doubt in my mind that the Phillies are the best team.

If Joe were in 6th grade he would get an "F" for this answer because he gave an incomplete response. He was asked who would win, and in how many games? He responded with a rambling answer that gave the matchups for every game and then Joe saying again the Phillies are the best team.

Matt Martin (Hattiesburg, MS)

Much has been made of the blown calls this postseason. Why can?t baseball adapt to the technology available today and make the game a more even playing field? They?re doing it with drug testing, why not instant replay?

JM: I have been a guy that has said we do not need more replay, because I always felt the umpires should be held accountable.

This is terrible reasoning for not having replay expanded. The umpires can still be held accountable for their calls, that won't change, but with expanded replay the umpires are held accountable AND teams will get an opportunity to turn around bad calls. See, the only ones getting hurt by the lack of replay are the teams. The umpires are currently being held accountable, but why does a team have to be penalized for the umpire to be held accountable for a bad call? If an umpire misses a call, it still goes against him with in the grading system set up for umpires, but the bad call doesn't have to hurt one of the teams. The umpires grade doesn't change with instant replay, but the impact on both teams when a bad call occurs does change.

But watching the playoffs this year, if the umpires, this is the best that they can be, then there needs to be more instant replay.

I can't handle the ebb and flow of Joe Morgan's opinion. So now he favors expanded replay, assuming the umpires still suck at their job. Why do the umpires have to suck to get expanded replay? If there aren't bad calls on the field, the replay won't get used. Expanded replay is either a good or a bad idea, it shouldn't be used reactively and expanded once a bad call has made a difference in an important game.

I have come to not see the problem with it. If there are bad calls on the field, use it, if there aren't any, then it doesn't get used. Baseball replay could be used quickly to resolve on-field issues easily. It's not like the NFL where the official has to see if a player had control of the ball and had his body inbounds or the official has to try to figure out when the ball came out of a player's hands. Replay in baseball would seem to be more cut-and-dry and wouldn't take but a minute to resolve an issue.

Tito (Brooklyn)

A lot of people say the Phils have 3 aces, but was Cole Hamels really all that good this year? His W-L record was just 12-11.

Just shameful Tito. We all know Joe loves W-L records. This is ultimate JoeBait. Of course it doesn't matter because Joe completely avoids the question.

JM: He pitched well down the stretch.

Irrelevant to the question asked.

I know he was 4-0 at one point in September.

Slightly less relevant to the question asked, but this still isn't an answer to the question.

He was fabulous in Game 3 against the Reds on Sunday. I say he's an ace and he's back to being an ace.

Unfortunately, this JoeBait attempt failed. We don't get a rant about how Hamels wasn't good because he didn't win many games. Joe just talks in generalities and uses the word "fabulous" in a sentence.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that we will see a repeat of the 2009 World Series for the 2010 World Series?

JM: Everybody seems to think that way, but it's too early.

Joe Morgan earlier in this chat:

I said the Phillies are the best team in the NL and they are. They're the most complete team.

"Everyone" seems to include Joe Morgan.

The Yankees aren't a shoe-in against Texas or Tampa Bay. And the Phillies are not a shoe-in against the Giants.

Joe Morgan earlier in this chat:

There's no doubt in my mind that the Phillies are the best team.

It sounds like Joe is not conflicted.

But the odds do favor that matchup in the World Series.

Well naturally after saying this Phillies-Yankees matchup may not happen, Joe says the matchup may happen. I don't know if the magical, mystical odds (which are essentially the expectations people have) really favor this matchup. The Yankees and Phillies are considered the two best teams and Joe seems to think we will see a rematch of the 2009 World Series, but until these two teams make it, Joe can't give his opinion...though he will freely tell you the Phillies are the best team.

Tito (Brooklyn)

Do you think the 3 out of 5 format is the best way to handle the 1st round of the playoffs?

JM: I would say no, but I'm not making those decisions.

Trust me, I am fully aware that Joe is not the one making decisions like this. I am pretty sure Joe Morgan in any type of executive position in MLB management is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

I think four out of seven is best. You play 162 games to determine the best teams in the league. The longer the division series goes, the better chance you have of having the better team win.

Is that the point of the playoffs though? To make sure the "better" team wins? Isn't the point of the playoffs to find out which team is the best? Wouldn't whatever team won 3 out of 5 games actually be the best team? How would we determine what the "best" team is? How about a playoff? Does five games work for you? Great, let's do it.

Shorter series allows for upsets. Best four of seven would be a better format.

But how do we know it is an upset if a team won 3 out of 5 games? What if (and I know this is shocking to Joe) the perception of Team A being better than Team B is wrong? Wouldn't a 5 game series prove that? It is entirely possible the entire season can go by and we all think the Phillies are the best team in baseball, but if they lose in the LDS it is entirely possible the best team won the series.

Yes, after a 162 game season five games seem like a small amount of games to determine a playoff series, so that would be the best reason to change it, not so the "best" team could end up winning.

Tito (Brooklyn)

Has Joe Maddon tinkered too much with his lineup in this series? It seems like he has a different lineup each night.

JM: He feels that pitching changes every day and therefore his lineup needs to adjust to that pitching.

Pitching does change everyday. The same pitcher doesn't pitch every single day. Except for Roy Halladay. I am pretty sure he pitched in at least 90 of the Phillies 162 games this year.

I hope tonight's matchup between the Rays and Rangers ends up with a hero rather than a goat. I hope someone steps to the forefront, a pitcher or hitter, to help their team win. I felt very bad for Brooks Conrad. He didn't play a lot this year and all of a sudden he's in there and has a bad game.

Conrad had 156 at-bats this year. That's not a lot of at-bats, but it was his fielding that stunk. I am pretty sure fielding doesn't go into a prolonged slump. He either can catch a fly ball and field a ground ball or he can't. No matter how much he plays, that really doesn't change all that much. I am assuming he practices his fielding everyday.

We've all had bad games, his just happened to be in a crucial situation.

He committed 7 errors over a six game span. That's more than just a bad game. That's a record of being a terrible fielder.

Buzzmaster: Thanks for chatting Joe!

Joe should just predict a Yankees-Phillies World Series. We know he wants to.


rich said...

I am pretty sure fielding doesn't go into a prolonged slump. He either can catch a fly ball and field a ground ball or he can't. No matter how much he plays, that really doesn't change all that much.

I'll agree to an extent, but Conrad played a whopping 9 games at 2B this year. In a critical moment doing something you've done 9 times... it's not an ideal situation.

The errors were bad, but I can't say that I wouldn't shit myself in his situation. I mean I've given presentations and just completely wrecked myself, so I can see how a baseball player could let the pressure get to him, even if he is getting paid a ton of money (I think that actually raises the stakes a little and adds to the nerves).

As for Joe, he can kiss my ass for picking the Phillies. I had hopes that the Phillies could turn it around in game 4, but I know now that the series is over.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, here's the thing though. Conrad's "natural" position is 2B. He's played more games there than he has at any other position in the minor leagues.


So yes, it was not an ideal situation, partially because he and Infante shouldn't even be starting, but were because of the injuries to Prado and Chipper Jones. Conrad was terrible at 3B in the playoffs and down the stretch of the season and he got moved to 2B because that is where he is more experienced and he sucked there too. By my count, Conrad had played 915 games at 2B in his minor league career. He should be able to field his position in the majors.

The errors were terrible and I do feel bad for him, but that being said he was paid to perform and he didn't do it. Of course that being said, he wouldn't have even been on the field except for the injuries that caused him to be on the field. Of course that's why you have good backups.

I think the Phillies will be ok. Joe did pick them a lot and if there is a jinx, I am pretty sure he just put it into effect. The Phillies bats won't stay quiet the whole series and I think if it goes back to Philly 3-2 in favor of the Giants the Phillies win the series.

Anonymous said...

"I have said for the last month that the Phillies are the best team in baseball. But that doesn't mean anything."

I LOVE that Joe blatantly admits that his opinions don't mean anything. Is anybody working at ESPN actually reading these things? You would never hear Ron Jaworski give a long explanation of how great some quarterback is and then follow that up with "oh but none of what I just said is meaningful at all."

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I've never looked at it that way. ESPN hires Joe as an expert and he discounts his own opinion! I would love to see how that works in the real world. I give my opinion at work to someone and then tell them that my opinion doesn't mean much.

When you are hired as an expert, I am pretty sure you opinion on the subject you claim to be an expert in should mean something.