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G.I. Joe Morgan, A Real American Hero, Chat Day, Part II
2004-07-15 18:10
by Mike Carminati

[By the way, this is a compendium from the last two Joe Morgan chats, June 18 and July 2.]

The Good

[Mike: That's all there is, 'cause there ain't no more.

Onward and upward Mike Power…

The Bad

Aaron (cleveland): After seeing Pedro hit Sheffield last night, I have to ask--do you think an umpire should be allowed to eject a pitcher who he thinks hits someone on purpose even without a warning?

(10:39 AM ET ) The rule says he can. The rule says that if he thinks it was intentional, he can eject him. He doesn't have to warn him before he kicks him out. I think we put a lot of pressure on the umpire to decide sometimes whether it was intentional.

[Mike: Aaron Cleveland? Grover's son? No, not the "Hello everybody!" one.

Joe, actually that's not exactly true. From Rule 9.01(d):

Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field.

So if the ump sees the beaning as unsportsmanlike, he can eject the pitcher, not intentional. Even the major-league umps don't have the hubris to think they can read pitcher's minds. They would rather apply the "warn both benches" band-aid after the fact.]

Tim (Lincoln, NE): What is it that the reds need to do in order to stay alive with the likes of Houston and Chicago down the stretch. Our offense is fairly solid, but do we need to shop for a starter or a couple of relievers?

(10:40 AM ET ) The Reds' pitching needs to be more consistent. They have good arms, but they have to be more consistent. The Reds have done a great job staying in the race and giving themselves a chance -- and anything can happen if you give yourself a chance.

[Mike: Lincoln? Do you know Ana Ng (My 2nd They Might Be Giants reference today, a new record).

No, Joe, they need to be less consistent. Their pitchers need to stop sucking so consistently.

Are they "good arms" as Joe says? Paul Wilson came into the year with a 28-47 career record and 4.81 ERA, which is 10% worse than the adjusted league average. Lidle was 45-39 with a 4.32 ERA, 3% better than average, but he was coming off the worst season of his career: 5-9 with a 5.75 ERA (18% worse than average). Jose Acevedo had pitched just 146.2 innings in parts of three seasons, but was 11-9 with a 5.22 ERA, 17% worse than average. Aaron Harang had only pitched 154.2 innings but was 10-10 with a 5.06 ERA, 12% worse than average. Fifth starter Jesus Sanchez came into 2004 at 23-32 with a 5.26 ERA, 18% worse than average.

They aint the '71 Orioles. That's for sure.

Realistically, the Reds are probably two decent starters away from seriously contending. Acevedo's decent if short trial in 2003 looks more and more like a fluke. Harang and Wilson look like the only decent starters.]

Matt (Hartford, CT): The Red Sox didn't have the extra $ to complete the A-Rod trade. Will they have the money if Randy Johnson were to become available?

(10:44 AM ET ) First, I disagree that they didn't have the money to complete the trade. They made a business decision not to make the commitment -- and I respect that decision. Following that logic, they would have the money for Randy Johnson if they wanted to make that commitment.

[Mike: They didn't make the A-Rod trade because of the salary "cap". I'm not sure if Johnson would put them over. If not, I'm sure that they could get a special dispensation from Pope Bud so that the Yankees don't get him.]

Scott (Battle Creek, MI): Are the Brewers for real? Can they contend for the NL Central or the wildcard?

(10:47 AM ET ) They are playing great. And I repeat this -- there aren't many great teams out there anymore. Everybody has weaknesses. So it's easier for teams to move from last place to the postseason. So, yes, every team has a chance. There is a lot of parity right now instead of a lot of great teams.

[Mike: Parity? Is that what you call it when a team decides to cut its payroll by 25%, throws its front office into chaos, trades its best player, and somehow becomes a .500 team.

Realistically, can the Brewers contend for the NL Central crown? There are at least two better teams ahead of them, the Astros right behind them, and they are nine games out. No, I can't imagine they’ll be much of a factor.

How about the wild card? Well, they are just 2.5 games out. But there are at least three better teams ahead of them. I gets it's possible, but I can't imagine that this team will continue to improve enough to win it.

Finally, Joe, every team has some weakness, even your Big Red Machine. It doesn't mean there are no great teams (not that the Brewers are one). It just means that it's virtually impossible to achieve the kind of perfection that Joe has infused in his idealized view of the old Reds.]

Tony (chicago): Joe, Latly in chicago there has been alot of press on Sosa and him striking out. It seems to me that he's being less patient then in the previous couple years. Ron Santo says its because he's opneing his soldier to early and thats why hes missing or fouling alot of balls. What do you think?

(10:49 AM ET ) I haven't seen him play enough to give an opinion on what's wrong with his swing. But I will say that anytime you're injured, it's difficult to get your focus back after an injury. You come back and you're excited and sometimes too aggressive. It could be the shoulder, it could be something else. It takes time to figure out.

[Mike: I hate when I opne my soldier. It really hurts.

Is Sosa striking out more often in 2004? Well, he has struck out in 24.38% of his plate appearance. That's up .1% from last year and up 1% from his career average. But it's only up .36% from his 1999 totals. That's one of his 60-homer seasons.

Could it just be that he's 35 and he has fallen off slightly from his glory days? He still is a great player. He has a .939 OPS and all of his ratios are higher than in 2003.]

jeff, nyc: joe did you watch last nights yankee-red sox game. have you ever seen a better regular season game than that? it was a october atmosphere game in july. your thoughts?

(10:52 AM ET ) It's always hard to say that one regular season game is the best because there are so many great games. That's what makes baseball such a great sport.

[Mike: Way to go out on a limb there Joe. You could just have said, "Ah, a good rerun of Smallville was on that night, and I meant to TiVo the game, but I ended up recording I, Ro-Butt on Spice. I really didn't mean to record that movie. But since it was there already. I mean, not that I would have otherwise, but…what was the question again?"]

Curt (Haverford, PA): Joe, with half the season complete, the Phils still do not look like a dominant first-place team? I think they're setting themselves up for a September swan dive? Any comments as to what to look from them in the 2nd half to open this lead up a bit?

(10:55 AM ET ) I agree that they do not look like a dominant team, except at home, when they hit HRs in that small ballpark. But they can still win in that division.

[Mike: The Phils are 26-22 at home this year. They have hit 73 homers at home to 44 on the road. However, they have allowed 71 at Citizens Bank Park, too.

That's the problem with a hitter's park. The opponents get to hit, too.

They can still win in that division: Wow, you think? Just because they are in first right now? You keep creeping farther out on that limb, Joe.]

Kris (Boston): What is the deal with Terry Francona? Why does he continue to play Kevin Millar? Sure, he's a great "clubhouse commedian", but that's not what he gets paid to do. He hasn't been able to hit anything lately, and he makes routine "little league" plays look difficult. Isn't it time to look to another option, even if it just means improving defensively?

(10:58 AM ET ) I think they definitely need to improve the team defensively. It's mind-boggling to see how many errors they can make sometimes. I can't single out any one player, but I do know that Francona needs to shore up the defense to get them to the wild card.

[Mike: Kris, you just wanted to do your Jerry Seinfeld impersonation, right? What's the deal with Terry Francona? The "commedian" (sic) reference was tip-off, right?

How do they improve the defense? Just by concentrating a bit more? Or how about they take extra grounders like Corbin Berson in "Major League". Millar has never been a good defensive outfielder. He's better suited to first. But there's David Ortiz and David McCarty there. Ramirez's defense has deteriorated since his days in right for the Indians. Bellhorn has always been a below-average second baseman. The only real standout on defense is Pokey Reese and he has no set position with Garciaparra back.

By the way, why should the Sox settle for the wild card right now? They have plenty of time and if they can shore up a couple of holes, they still have a team that can catch the Yankees.]

Senator Baseball(washington DC): Joe, Where do you see the expos next year? Doesn't DC seem to make more sense than the Northern Virginia?

(10:59 AM ET ) Without researching the matter, I would say that D.C. makes a lot of sense because they have a stadium they could play in. Washington makes more sense to me, except for the problem with being close to Baltimore and taking fans away from the Orioles, which has to be addressed.

[Mike: Research? This is your research, Joe.

But you think a stadium could come in handy? Hmm, interesting.

As far as taking fans away from the O's, Joe, did you know that there was a team in Baltimore and in D.C. for 18 years. And did you further know that there was a D.C. team first and all the O's had to do was pay $100 K for the rights when the set up shop?]

Mike (Jersey City, NJ): Who is on pace to win the AL MVP? IROD, Vlad, or AROD?

(11:00 AM ET ) Right now you'd have to choose Vladimir Guerrero, with David Ortiz maybe 2nd at this point. In the NL, Scott Rolen, and Barry Bonds, as usual.

[Mike: David Ortiz? David Ortiz of the immaculate glove? You bemoan the Red Sox defensive woes and laud Ortiz? Ortiz is the myopic media's poster child for RBI today. He got plenty of indefensible votes last season. At least this year he's in the top couple of offensive players on his own team.

In the NL, Rolen is having a great year, but he is nothing more than this year's excuse for not voting for Bonds. He also has the RBI angle covered.

For the record, BP ranks the NL players by VORP as follows: Bonds, Helton, Abreu, Drew, Rolen.
Win Shares have them thusly: Bonds, Rolen, Abreu, Casey.

VORP in the AL: Ramirez, Guerrero, Pudge, Guillen, Young, and Mora
Win Shares: Vlad Guerrero, Pudge, Young, Ramirez.

Oritiz is nowhere near the top players in either category. He's a non-candidate who'll probably end up winning it. Can you say Mo Vaughn?]

Jason (Provo): Joe, if the season ended today, would Scott Rolen be the NL MVP?

He would get MY vote. We'll have to see what happens the rest of the way. Somebody may have a remarkable second half. You never know. But today, yes, it's Rolen.

[Mike: Thank goodness you get a vote, Joe.]

steve (fairfield, ct): everyone is saying beltran will eventually become a yankee, even gammons, but if he does make it to the bronx, say next year, where is bernie going ? DH ? and lofton ? hes got to be traded ?

Well, obviously, if Beltran goes someone will be eliminated. I think Lofton goes. BUT, I think Beltran may end up somewhere else. It is not blueprinted that he is headed to the Bronx.

[Mike: Lofton goes no matter what. He's a one-year rental at best. Given his recent history, who would expect it to be more?

Of course, it's not "blueprinted"--Selig only allows that for his buddy John Henry's team--, but who's going to sign with who needs a center fielder and can afford him? The Yankees and maybe the Phils if they are willing to continued their spending spree if after moving into the new stadium.]

Otto, (San Juan): Hi Joe, were do you rank Robbie Alomar on the all time great second baseman?If he retires today, is he an HOF?

I think Robbie is a HoFer, yes. I don't know how to rank him, I didn't see all the great second basemen, so it's hard to rank them relative to each other. Of all the ones I HAVE seen, he is definitely in the top 3 or 4.

[Mike: Recent Hall of Fame voting history has not been overly kind to second baseman. Sandberg was expected to be a first-ballot type but has been passed over twice. And Whitaker and Grich didn't get enough votes.

According to Win Shares the best second basemen since Morgan started playing are Joe, Carew, Biggio, Alomar, Whitaker, Sandberg, Grich, and Randolph.]

Jason (San Francisco, CA): Can you explain for me how the Yankees spend cash wisely? The Yankees payroll bills $180+ million while the Red Sox hovers above $125 million while you rate them about the same... Am I missing something?

Yeah, you're missing which team you would pick to win right now. the Yankees or the Red Sox? The Yankees have not always had the highest payroll, you know. The Braves had it, the Red Sox have had it, the Dodgers have had it -- but they haven't won. The Yankees win. They are efficient. They win with it.

[Mike: Well, I looked that up. I used Doug Pappas' data and aggregated per team. Here are the top major-league teams in descending chronological order: Yankees 1999- today, Orioles 1998, Yankees 1997, Orioles 1996, Jays 1995, Braves 1994, Jays 1992-93, A's 1991, Royals 1990, Dodgers 1989, Yankees 1986-88, Braves 1985. That's as far back as his data go.

Everyone forgets what a bust the mid- to late-Ninety O's were. Angelos gets a free ride and he gets to dictate where the Expos move.

Oh, but you'll notice that Red Sox never had the highest. That's what letting your star players leave as free agents will do for you.

Also, the Yankees were always so efficient. In 1988 they led the majors in payroll and yet finished fifth out of seven teams.]

Ryan (Miami): Joe, being one of the best young players when you broke in, what do you think of one of the best young players today Miguel Cabrera? Is there any limit to what he will accomplish in his career?

There are always limits on a guy's ability to mature and improve -- there have been a lot of players who have come into baseball and their first two years are their best years b/c the opposition gets to know him and how to play him and they don't make adjustments so they plateau. You just never know how their potential will pan out. Injuries of course come into play. Look at Ken Griffey. He'd be chasing 600 HRs right now. Before we annoint a young player with HoF credentials, you have to wait and see how he improves and adjusts and maintains his health. Stil, I do think that Cabrera has so much to offer and certainly has a great deal of potential.

[Mike: No, Joe, not really. If you project Griffey's last three, partial seasons to 150 games, you get an extra 30-31 home runs. But it sure sounded good.

By the way, Cabrera looks good but he's still the third best right fielder in his own division.]

Fly oh mighty Mike Power! Fly!…

The Ugly

Kevin (Schaumburg, Illinois): The Tribune Company and the Chicago Cubs need to start telling fans the truth! When do you think Wood will be back?

I don't know if they are not telling the truth. What is the truth? Only Wood knows. Maybe the doctors. I don't understand the question, b/c I mean, who knows that they are not telling the truth. Who knows. Elbows and arm injuries can linger longer than originally anticipated.

[Mike: Schaumburg, home of the Flyers?

Joe, that's a great Bush impersonation. But it goes, "You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet…I hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." Nice try. You don't win but we have these nice parting gifts and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni. Thanks for playing our game.]

Chris, Chicago, Illinois: Joe, the Cubs just swept the Astros in 4 games and have won 6 in a row while the Cards swept the A's, now that Sosa, Grudz, Wood, and Dempster are all expected back soon, do you see a team (esp. the Cubs) pulling away in the N.L. Central or do you think the division will be bunched up all season? thanks.

Well, like last year, I think it will go down to the end. The most important addition for the Cubs is to have Sammy Sosa back. His effect is huge. He plays everyday. He is by far the most important return. That said, I still don't see them pulling away. With their pitching, they may be the best team in the East, but I don't think they will significantly pull away in that division.

[Mike: No, but the Cardinals could.

And Joe—ooh, this is embarrassing—they realigned in 1994. The Cubs are now in the Central Division…in the National League. Ah, they won the division last year. Ring a bell?

To quote Senator John Blutarsky, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"]

Josh (Miami): Joe, I have two questions for you. The first one is What do you think of the Koch trade to the Marlins? And does AJ Burnett have the best stuff in baseball! Thanks!

I don't know how you can say that Koch has the best stuff. He's one guy with good stuff. There are a lot of guys out there with great stuff. Matt Clement for one. Pedro when he's healthy. There are several. Maybe I haven't seen him enough, but I don't think he's played enough. ... As far as Koch, obviously, he wasn't working in Chicago. I think a change of scenery could be fery good for Billy.

[Mike: A change of scene be fery fery good for Billy Koch.

By the way, the question was if A.J. Burnett had the best stuff. But they are both pitchers. And it was the questioner's fault for confusing you with two names. And two questions at once is just unfair.]

Chris (Cincinnati, OH): Joe, you are the man. Is Juan Castro the Reds shortstop of the future? He is a Gold Glove quality shortstop, but a .220 career avg isn't too strong. With Concepcion and Larkin at short for the last 30 years somebody is going to have some big shoes to fill.

Well, I haven't seen enough of him, but he is very good defensively. It takes players a while to learn to hit. Look at Cesar and Cora in LA. You can learn to hit with experience and swing adjustments. Once he plays every single day, I think his offensive production will come around. I think we have to hold off judement for now. Wait and see. But defensively, from what I've seen, he looks very strong.

[Mike: Looks like Joe picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue... Juan Castro?!? He is 32 years old! He isn't the Reds shortstop of the future. He isn't even the Reds shortstop of the past.

How many 32-year-old middle infielders with .226/.271/.327/.598 career ratios, ever turn their careers around? Most of them don't get to be 33-year-old middle infielders.

Besides, he's playing mostly third—how are the Reds coming close to contending?—He was supposed to wrest the job away from Larkin four years ago and has yet to do it.

As far as Izturis is concerned, he's just 24, has just two and one-half previous seasons under his belt, and isn't exactly lighting up the league. He is batting .294 but his OPS (.701) is barely passable even in LA. Cora is 28, which is a great age for a career year, and is basically matching the numbers from his injury-plagued 2002 season.]

Jerry (Queens): Is there anything like the combination of smells of glove leather and real grass? Can we bottle this smell, send it to everyone who has become so uptight with the game (Interleague/All-Star issues) and tell them to relax?

Well, that's a good suggestion, but with all the modern points of view about everything and people wanting to change everything, I don't think that's possible. The grass and the leather are great, but the sound of the bat -- wood meeting the ball -- was also great. Some kids will never get a chance to feel that with aluminum bats in high school and college and minor leagues. What can you do?

[Mike: Ah, Jerry, I guess not.

It's amazing: Joe gets this feel-good fluff of a question and he still has to go on about "people wanting to change everything". And then takes a break from reality to rant on about aluminum bats!?!]

Dan (Brooklyn, NY): Joe, You have always been a proponent of watching the game and not analyzing numbers. Can numbers and stats reliably predict season outcomes (runs scored vs runs allowed) or is there a "luck factor", say in one run games, that is really the difference between a pennant and a World Series?

Statistics are always important, but I use them to emphasize certain points, not to MAKE a point. I've never said stats are not important, I just dont' use them to gauge if a guy is a good player. I use it to emphasize that. Look at Barry, he didn't have the CHANCE to drive in 100 runs this year, but he's still the best hitter. Runs scored are always important. There are things that are important. Your philosophy on how to win a close ballgame is more important then your stats there. Your approach is the telltale sign of success.

[Mike: ……………….Sorry, I had an aneurysm. I'm speechless. This is true Joe perfection. When is his reality show coming out?]

Tom, San Jose: Do you think Frank Robinson has mellowed any as he has aged? His blood pressure certainly went up when the umpiring crew blew that home run call the Expos the other night.

Frank has definitely mellowed since the end of his playing days and the beginning of his managerial days. I don't know any manager who wouldn't have gotten so upset the other night. The Expos aren't a good enough team to give games away on account of a bad call. I'm a big Frank Robinson fan. As a player, I think he is the most underrated player of all time. He won an MVP in both leagues, he was 12 hits shy of 3,000, he hit 586 HRs, he won a Triple Crown -- and he wasn't on the All-Century Team!

[Mike: But, Joe, according to you the All-Century team is the be-all and end-all of player evaluations. Let's read what Joe said a few weeks ago to justify his selection of Ken Griffey, Jr. as the player of the Nineties instead of the superior Barry Bonds:

Griffey was the player of the decade in the 90s. Bonds is definitely the player of the millenium. I agree with you. Bonds is definitely one of the best players of all time ... but so is Griffey. Griffey was the only EVERYDAY player voted onto the All-Century team.

And later on:

Remember, he is the only active player, other than Clemens, on the all-Century team. So I"m not the only one that feels that way!

So going back a question, Joe uses statistics, data, information to support an opinion not form it. So a piece of info can be used to support a position one moment and then be ignored if it contradicts a position the next. He uses stats like a drunk uses a lightpole, to prop himself up.

Oh, and Barry Bonds was the better player in the Nineties and Frank Robinson, not Joe's old teammate Pete Rose, should have been in the All-Century outfield. But no one but Joe takes it seriously anyway, so who cares?]

Jeff, CT: Do you see Oakland making any more moves to add to thier bullpen?

(10:51 AM ET ) I see a lot of teams making a lot of moves to help their bullpens. I don't know exactly what Billy Beane thinks his team needs. Billy Beane and I disagree on a lot of things about the game, so I don't know what he's thinking. Anytime someone tells you defense isn't important, I don't know what he's thinking. Anybody who watched the Red Sox-Yankees series knows that defense is important. But he may think he needs another hitter or something. I just don't know what he's thinking.

[Mike: Nice way to hide your derision, Joe.

When did Beane say defense wasn't important? Oh, maybe in the book he wrote, Moneyball.

I don’t think there's a higher compliment to someone involved in baseball than Joe saying, "Billy Beane and I disagree on a lot of things about the game, so I don't know what he's thinking."

Have another drink, Joe.]

Jay, Raleigh: Ripken was the Iron Man and Ozzie was Ozzie, but do you think anyone is better overall than Jeter at SS?

(10:56 AM ET ) Ozzie Smith was a better defensive player, and Ripken had more power. But as far as winning games and being a winning player, I don't think anyone surpasses Jeter at that position.

[Mike: I disagree completely, Ozzie Osbourne was the Iron Man. He even wrote a song about it in which, "he said in freakadelic surround, "I am Iron Man". The song launched the careers of thousands of air guitarists whose "Nah..Nah..Nah Nah Nah...Nana Nana Nanana Nah Nah Nah" are still floating in the troposphere somewhere.

Oh, and Joe is absolutely right, Jeter has won more championships. Therefore, he is a better player than either of those players. Luis Sojo is better than them, too. And that bum Hans Wagner won only one World Series.]

bryan, sandiego: if a player gets caught with or taken steroids, what do you feel a proper punishment is?

That's a very good question. My first thought is I want everyone to get caught if they are using. My second thought is the punnishment. The first time, it would be suspension -- maybe 30 days or 60 days. the second time, I would suspend them for at least a year. If there is a third time, I would suspend them for 5 years which would effectively end their carreer pretty much. They say the punnishment has to fit the crime, well I think the only way to stop this is to enforce a stern punishment. They've already been warned. They've had one free year of testing without any punishment. Now it's time to do something.

[Mike: Wait for it…]

Eddie (Jersey City, NJ): If a player is found guilty of steroids, should he not be considered HOF eligible regardless of his career?

These are great great questions that I really don't konw the answer to. I have an opinion. I think now that we have given everyone a warning, a grace period, and we're trying to catch them now -- if you get caught, you pay your penalty and then you are judged. Part of the HoF mantra is CHARACTER and personal contributions to the game. I would think that steroids use is a NEGATIVE contribution that I'm sure will factor in to the voting process. It is something that I am anxious to ask a lot of people and hear their opinions on.

[Mike: Oh boy, there goes Gestapo Joe. Unfortunately, he's also the vice chairman of the board of the Hall.

No one's ever been found using steroids. We have no idea how bad the problem is. But Joe is already getting the ball rolling to ban some players from the Hall. Well, not "ban", I guess he'll just blacklist them. Does it remind you of another Joe who liked blacklisting people?]

Ok everybody, I have to run. Great questions this morning. I am going to ask the Board of Directors about what they think about steroid use and Hall of Fame eligibility. I will follow up on that for you. We'll do this again next Friday. Same time, same place. Till then, take care.

[Mike: Sounds great, Greg.

Great, Joe has a new pet project. His old hobby was spreading misinformation about the importance of the Big Red Machine. Hey, he may bar Bonds and McGwire someday from the Hall but at least he'll give up his ludicrous attempt to enshrine Dave Concepcion.

Eddie (Jersey City, NJ): Hi Joe, referring back to my question from 2 weeks ago: If players are convicted of steroid use, should they NOT be allowed in the HOF...did you happen to get any feedback on that?

(10:42 AM ET ) I haven't heard back yet, but I'll be at the Hall of Fame on July 25 and I'll discuss it with the other players. I think that players who are already in the Hall of Fame will think that players should be banned in the Hall if they use steroids. But players don't set the policy. I'm vice chairman of the Hall of Fame board, and the board sets policy.

[Mike: So why talk to the players then? I wonder what open minded individuals like Bob Feller and Mike Schmidt will think. Hmmm….

And why hasn’t the Hall gotten back to him? It looks like maybe Joe is just meaningless figurehead. Given his past responses regarding the Hall, that's at least reassuring. Hey, he did at least know who sets procedure. The man is a font of information.]

Pedro Martinez: Will I make the Hall Of Fame...? Let's say I pitch 2 more good years of 17 wins and a 3.00 e.r.a.... C'mon... Let me have it...

I don't know if you'll get in or not. I don't vote. What would 34 more wins do for you? I don't think there is anyone right now who is still pitching that will indefinitely get in. The only cinch situation is Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson at this point. Nobody else is a given right now. Greg Maddux, yes. But no one else.

[Mike: Pedro, that depends. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the steroid-using party?

Welll, 34 more wins would get him to 200 for his career (166 to start season). There aren't too many 200-game winners in the Hall though his winning percentage is excellent. His peak may have been as good as anyone's but I think the low win total will hurt him. I'd say he has to pitch another 5 decent seasons for the voters to go after him.

That is, unless Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, and Glavine admit to steroid use.]

Oh no, it's one of the Intruders! I bet he uses steroids.

Bullet (Headed) Man to the rescue

And away we go, Mike Power…

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