I love Joe Morgan chat day. Morgan was and is one of my favorite players and sometimes has brilliant insights, but other times he says the most ludicrous things I have ever heard. He's turning into one of those old ballplayers who remember when they had to trudge uphill 10 miles in the snow to and from the ballpark-these young whippersnappers have it too easy. There's no way to predict what he will say. He's like the Schrodinger's Cat of baseball analysts. So without further ado let's open the box and see if the cat is dead or alive:
Jim (Cincinnati): Hello again Joe. There is all this talk of who is baseballs greatest living player right now after the passing of Mr. Williams. You wrote in a column last year that you felt Mays was the best ever. Mays was great, but Hammerin Hank was good defensively and is #1 all time in not only HR's, but RBI's as well. Who do you think is the greatest right now: Mays, Aaron, Musual, or Bonds even?
Joe Morgan: I've always felt it was Mays, even when DiMaggio and Williams were alive, but politics wouldn't allow that to happen.
Cole Parker: Hey Joe. I know not many people agree on Bud Selig's ending of the All Star game in a tie. But what I dont like is how they didn't announce an MVP. My mvp would have been Curt Schilling because of his pitching in the first three innings. He did great! What do you think of not having an MVP?
Joe Morgan: I think it went along with the ridiculous stoppage of the game. There could have been an MVP up to that point. I don't disagree with that.
[Mike: Yeah, why re-dub an award and not give it out? There were a number of deserving players to choice from.]
Eugene (NYC): I know this is not a fair comparison because Soriano has to do it for about 15 more years to be mention in the same breath, but just looking at this season, other than his lack of patience, does Soriano remind you of yourself in the offensive end?
Joe Morgan: No. He's a completely different player -- bigger and stronger. He has unlimited potential. I was limited in certain ways and made up for it in certain areas. The only player who reminds me of him is Juan Samuel. I'm a big fan of Soriano's, and I think he will be a great player. He will get better.
[Mike: Nice assessment. Soriano may turn into another Samuel, and then the Yankees will trade him to the Mets.]
EASY (DALLAS): I AM A BIG RANGER FAN IT JUST PAINS ME TO WATCH THEM PLAY. THERE IS TALK ABOUT MOVING SOME OF THE VETERANS. WHICH ONES ARE LIKELY TO BE TRADED? DONT YOU AGREE THAT THE RANGERS WOULDNT BE GOING THROUGH THIS SITUATION IF AROD TOOK LESS MONEY?
Joe Morgan: Don't blame A-Rod. And why should he take less money if they offered it to him? Your finger should be pointed at the people who gave him the money. I think they should ride it out too. Ivan Rodriguez is the only one who could be traded.
[Mike: Well done, Joe.]
Logan(Pensacola): Hi, I loved your coverage of the HR derby... I am a Sammy fan... I really think he is the best hr hitter of all time, what do you think?
Joe Morgan: He definitely has to be ranked with the best. I still think Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are the best I've ever seen. He ranks with them. Again, it's hard to rate today's players against past players because of the livelier balls, the pitching being not as good and the smaller ballparks. But Sosa is one of the best.
[Mike: Sammy Sosa has lead his league in HRs once in 2000. How could he be the greatest of all time? ]
Paul Bartosz (Michigan): Hi Mr. Morgan, If Bud Selig says he feels so bad about the All-Star game, why didn't he just let it continue. The game was a hell of a game but it turned out to be a hell of a disgrace. I was very disappointed by how he handled this.
Joe Morgan: I agree with your assessment, except I don't think everything should fall on Bud this time. It should fall on the managers as well for not managing the players better. They have 25 players during the regular season, and this never happens. They have 30 in the All-Star Game and they let it happen.
[Mike: What does the roster size have to do with anything? The AL had 9 pitchers the NL 10, 7 of which were short relievers. Neither team had any long relievers. Sorry, J.C. Romero. Most major-league teams carry more than 9 pitchers after April and all have long relievers or converted starters that they can go to in those sorts of situations. Besides there's no implied requirement to get a player from each team into the game in the regular seasons so that Pittsburgh can say it saw its all-star pitch.]
Victor (Harlem): Joe, isn't firing Charlie Manuel extremely unfair? You let go two of their best hitters (Alomar and Gonzalez) and you expect them to flourish?
Joe Morgan: A few firings have been unfair. I didn't think Baylor's firing was fair because he had no offense from anyone but Sammy. I agree, but it's happened more than once. I don't think the Lopes firing was legit because he didn't get much time to manage a bad team. But that's the way the game goes.
[Mike: Baylor's teams had a losing record three of the last four years. Lopes had parts of three years in Milwaukee and that team was progressively getting worse. Was it their faults that their teams failed? Not totally, but as they old adage goes they could finish last without them.]
Mac (Harrisburg): Joe, does the players' union ever ask for opinions from retired ballplayers such as yourself? The owners believe they are doing what is best for the owners and the players believe they are doing what is best for the players. But do they ever seek out feedback from outside sources? If they aren't, they should to get some perspective. Thanks.
Joe Morgan: I can't answer that. They don't talk to me. I don't know if they do with someone else. I agree with you. I do talk to Don Fehr, but they don't seek me out to answer questions about labor.
[Mike: He's toying with us, right? He really isn't serious, is he? Don Fehr is going to seek out the advice of retired ballplayers, men that have no idea what the labor situation is right now. And on top of that Fehr is going to seek out Morgan, who is now a journalist of sorts, and pour out his soul to him. Please?!?]