Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel

I’m a little worn down from yesterday’s extra long post and a hectic day at work, so I’ve chosen to produce the easiest bit of content I know: a critique of a Joe Morgan chat. Enjoy these nuggets and – if you’re in New York City – stay dry.

Matt (New Jersey): Hey Joe. Other than Pujols, is there any better 1B than Justin Morneau? What a fantastic player he is…

Joe Morgan: You’re 100% correct, with the exception of Pujols. Justin Morneau for the last 3 years continues to improve. That’s the mark of a great player, that you continue to improve. He’s considered an offensive player as much as anything. He doesn’t run as well as Pujols, but he’s a great hitter. Prince Fielder and Justin Morneau are the future stars at that position, though Pujols is still young.

Justin Morneau was born on May 15th, 1981, making him almost exactly seven months younger than Albert Pujols. I will bet you a popsicle that Joe Morgan thinks Morneau is five years younger than he actually is. Also, I’m pretty sure that Fielder and Morneau’s 1.000ish OPSes make them current stars at the first base position.

Michael (Houston): Do you think the Astros can really do it?

Joe Morgan: Yes. I don’t know what’s the in water there in Houston, but it seems to energize these guys in the second half every year. I thought they could have made the playoffs last year, except for the hurricane that moved those three games from Houston to Milwaukee. I think they can make the run this year.

If Joe Morgan thinks the Astros can make the playoffs, then they aren’t going to make the playoffs. After this anti-endorsement, I’m more confident about this than ever. For more detailed explanations about the Astros forthcoming failure, look here and here.

Matt (Jacksonville): Joe, the Cubs can’t seem to get on a consistent roll. Is there anyway for them to get consistency this year?

Joe Morgan: Last year there was something about the Cubs personality of the team. There was something different. They were a fun team to watch. I enjoyed watching them. I enjoyed talking to them. There just seems to be a different personality of the team this year. In addition, the confidence level has fallen a little bit. The injury to Ramirez set them back. Everyone talked about DeRosa and he’s one of my favorite players, but Jason Marquis is also gone. It’s just a little different now. The answer is, I don’t know if they’ll be able to re-gain that consistency of last year, but they still have a shot at their division.

The Cubs’ mediocre record has nothing to do with a change in team personality. It has everything to do with this:

  • 2008: .354 OBP, .443 SLG, .797 OPS
  • 2009: .323 OBP, .403 SLG, .726 OPS

Their offense has gone from one of the very best in baseball to one of the very worst. But yes, let’s waste an entire paragraph attributing the Cubs’ decline to “a different personality” and not the inability to hit a baseball.

Ben (Lincoln, NE): So Mr. Morgan, are the White Sox legit contenders? Because it seems most analysts still only think the Tigers or Twins have a real shot at the AL Central… and I’m not sure why they ignore the southsiders…

Joe Morgan: I definitely believe the White Sox have a chance. Any time you have Dye, Thome, Ramirez, you have a good team. I don’t know when Carlos Quentin is coming back, but if they can get healthy, I think they definitely have a chance.

Carlos Quentin returned to the White Sox yesterday, as reported by Joe Morgan’s employer. He also played in last night’s game, going 1 for 4 with a single. But that’s okay, I’m sure Morgan’s professional responsibilities don’t include knowing about a 2008 MVP candidate’s recent return from an injury.

Time to grab some dinner, watch Sergio Mitre make his season debut, and wonder why the Yankees refuse to put Phil Hughes into the rotation. Until next time.


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