Truth is one, but error proliferates. Man tracks it down and cuts it up into little pieces hoping to turn it into grains of truth. But the ultimate atom will always essentially be an error, a miscalculation.
—René "Johnny" Daumal
Truth is the silliest thing under the sun. Try to get a living by the Truth—and go to the Soup Societies. Heavens! Let any clergyman try to preach the Truth from its very stronghold, the pulpit, and they would ride him out of his church on his own pulpit bannister.
—Herman "Bob" Melville
You can't handle the truth.
—Jack "Don't Call Me Bill" Nicholson in A Few Good Men
Trufe! Yo, Check it out. Dis word be, aiii, somethin 'ardly 'eard today. Innit?
Me crew told me dat me main man Joe Morgan be da for real brainiest and most bestest mos' trufeful baseball bloke on da telly. But the geezers on the 'pooter be wonderin' wot he be bangin' on about all da time. Me man were part of da Big Red Machine, aiii, which were like da wicked robots wot been playin' wiv da Fresh Prince in da movies. Yo, obviously, dem robots be for real too smart fa us 'umans
Respek. West Side.
Da Wicked (Good)
Ali G: 'Ear me now, dis is. Mista Morgan. Big up to you.let's start wiv some questions from me boys.
Jake Fields (Los Angeles, CA): Do you think it is a waste of the Padres time and money to take a player like Finley who has at the most 2 years left in him?
If you are trying to win right now, it's not a waste. Right now is what everybody is looking at. If he can help them win a pennant, it's obviously not a waste.
Ali G: Yo, if da geezer going go bo in two years, he best be wiv dem padres. Aiii, they be tight wiv da old geezer. Ya know, da Jackie Chan, da main man's main man. Dem or da angel bruvers in dat Disney movie.
Nate (DC): Joe: I'm not familiar with baseball contracts from when you played, but what do think of the no trade clause that so many "average" players are including in contracts? Is this good/bad for baseball as a whole?
Well, it's something that they negotiate. In theory they are giving up something to get something. I don't understand why so many teams allow those clauses for ''average'' players. But once a guy has it, he has the right to exercise it.
Ali G: For real, way to support da bruvers. Dem wot's fought for diz right. Dey got it in da bit of paper and it be a bit thick to fink dey not gonna use it.
Matt (NY,NY): Joe, Mike Piazza said earlier in the week that he and Clemens had spoken in the trainer's room before the All-Star game about "personal stuff." Does anyone know what was said in that conversation? Any other All-Star game moments for us?
Idon't know exactly what was said, I'd like to hope that they did it privately so that there was NO one else there. They are both professionals. They will all do and say the right things at this time. But, make no mistake, Piazza will never like Clemens. If someone hits you in the head -- something that could end your career -- you're never going to like the guy. Anyone who thinks he should forgive Roger has never been hit in the head with a 90 mph fastball -- and I don't think Clemens expects him to. Roger has been in this game a long time. He knows what those types of situations do. I bet Willie Mays can remember who almost hit him in the head and I bet he doesn't talk to that person anymore. It's a serious situation. YOu can't expect them to be friends.
Ali G: For real. Once diz rank geezer acted all racialist, dissed me mam, and started a ruk down the boozer when we wuz yufes. Den me boys wuz in da house and he acted all respek. Now, he see me auto and me new westside turf and he wuz all spunkt wiv respek. But me don't dig it and I wuz all chill. But if he needed a bit of da 'erbal remedy and gimme a shout…But I digest.
The All-Star game for me was the Home Run Derby. When you have all the greatest living home run hitters in one park -- I mean, I had goose pimples watching them introduce these guys. I see them at the Hall of Fame, but I was still just in awe b/c this was just a different venue and the experience was just incredible with the all-time greats and active players. Wow. .... as far as the game itself -- it was a little anti-climactic to me. But the introductions and the derby, those were special to me.
Ali G: For real, when da most bestest batty boys, er not dem batty boys, in da house, itz like a speed garage selecta.
Rich (Columbus, OH): Hey Joe, can you give me a batter's standpoint on the difference between seeing a splitfinger fastball and a sinker? To me, they always seemed very similar pitches, and I wanted to know what they looked like from the eyes of a batter.
That's a good question. They are very similar. A sinker tumbles down. It starts to sink maybe 15 feet in front of the plate.. The split finger looks like a fast ball, it tumbles down and looks like it will stay straight but tumbles later in it's path -- maybe 10 feet from the plate.
Ali G: Word. Back in de UK, we wuz playing cricket which you call soccer here. Den dere's football which you call American football, not dat's ruggy or somebin. Anywayz, we call dem pitches all wicked googlies coz they be wicked and nobody be hittin' dem but da game lasts all day so who cares? We just go down da boozer and watch da highlights on da telly.
Da Wicked (Bad)
Carol (Dayton, OH): Joe: With that unique, strong delivery, did you find it difficult to hit Eckersley whenever you faced him?
I didn't face him that much. I was a leftie and he's a rightie. But the thing that made him so great was his control. That is always a great asset for a pitcher.
Ali G: Well nevramind dat him wuz a right. Dat Eck bloke, he nevra pitched, checkit, in da same league as u, Joe. Him wuz in da American League until 1984 and u wuz in the National League, wot aint American, must be like Canadian, until da same year. Den u blokes switched leagues. And dis wuz before the intraleague games, wot Bush, da main geezer, been trying to eliminate in the Constipation. Dat's a problem for blokes dat getting older and been too much down the boozer. But dat's what Bush wants to give da country like Lincoln did give America da town car.
Alec (Washington): What do you think about naming the new team the Grays?
I have no idea. They have to get them there first! Last I saw they are still trying to decide. It's amazing that it's taken this long to find a permanent home for this team.
Ali G: For real, dat name iz a shout out to me crew, da Homestead Grays wot played in Pittsburgh and DC back in da day. Dat wuz when baseball be all racialist so dat dey can sell does cool old hats to the bruvers. Like me got a Brooklyn Royal Giants jersey wiv black down one side and red down the ovver. Dem geezers wuzn't allowed to play in da majors but dey looked wicked.
Len, Liverpool PA: Joe...I think the balls were juiced for the HR derby at the all star game. The baseballs were going much to far. Do you agree?
I wouldn't be surprised if they were juiced. But the regular ball is already juiced. In the Derby, they may juice them. But I have no evidence.
Ali G: well, i know there's a 'erbal remedy problem in baseball, dat iz stairoids, but I didn't know it was wiv viagara. I iz not orange juicing me mr. biggy for a game, innit fa sure. Like dat Sammy Sosa, den I 'eard it broke. Innit mingin!
Bob (Tinley Park, IL): Joe, thanks for taking my question. It was mentioned during a recent ESPN telecast that Ron Santo may someday join the Hall of Fame, and I thought you were conspicously quiet after the statement. I suspect you don't necesarily agree. Should Santo be a HOF'er in your opinion or was he just a very good player? Thanks.
That's not true and I'm not sure what you mean. I think he belongs in. I'm on record for that. I even voted for him. Maury Wills should also be in.
Ali G: For real, Santo should be in. Innit me main man Bill James proof dat 'bundantly?
Maury Will, tho'. I don't know what dese old geezers be bangin' on about 'im. After 'e stole 100 bases in 1962, da stolen base per game average went down da next year. 'Is decade wuz da Sixties wiv the wicked Jimi guitar and da Bob Gibson 1.12 ERA.
Booyakasha, here be da decade, what I'm sayin', averages and percent change since da Fifties:
Note dat Wills did help bring back da stolen base by leading da NL in steals from 1960-65. Howebber, it increased more in da Seventies when he innit led da league in steals for five years already. B-sides, 'is career OPS wuz 12% worse den da park-adjusted league average, aiii. 'Is most similar batter, checkit, be Larry Bowa, mingin! And another on da list be Kid Gleason, a converted tosser, not dat he go down da boozer too oftun, but ratha he wuz da geeza who threw da ball.
The Deege (Champaign): Joe, what is your takeon Carlos Delgado and his protests of "God Bless America"?
People have a right to protest a war. I may not like the way they choose to do so but they have that right. I didn't like the way people spit on the troops coming back from Vietnam. But people have a right to protest, if it is peaceful. The National Anthem is the symbol of our country. I would have a problem if he doesn't stand for that.
Ali G: Respek. if da geeza digs to sin' "Jackie Chan bless America", why not? Back in da UK, we changed it to "Jackie Chan save da main bitch", but da meanin' is da same. For real. wot makes america special from de rainforests of Arizona to de deserts of Alaska is da right to protest wot da government does, dig like we can back in da uk and, oh yeah, france and mostest of europe. wait, Yous say he iz not singing da song. Maybe he iz tone def. No crime in dat. I don't dig dat song much eitha. Don't know why dey made two versions unless a selectra, y'know a DJ, mixed da lyrics of one song wiv da tunes from da udda. fa real
But wot does dis geezer, Delgado, 'ave to protest givun dat da island he was born on was bombed back to creation, da radioactive material is still dere. But dem's wuz Americans, so I guess dat is ok.
Sal (Westport): Mr. Morgan, do you think the Ortiz suspension of five games was fair or do you think it should have been a harsher punishment being that he threw two bats aiming right at the umpires?
I don't think he was aiming at the umpire. He was throwing them in that direction, but not trying to hit them. His andrenaline was flowing and he went too far. Five games is a lot of games, may not seem that way to fans though. When you are the hottest player on the team, that's a big penalty. The fans, his teammates, everyone is hurt by them. I'm in favor of less suspension time and bigger fines so it hurts the individual more than the fans.
Ali G: Wha'? He stuck 'is batty out on da field and it like hit dese two umpires, righ'? Checkit, if 'is batty be that large 'e mostest definitely need to git on da steroid master and like reduce a bit. Dey should not like suspend da geeza in mid-air. 'E'll just get fatta. For real.
Garth (NY): Barry Bonds swings one of the lightest bats in the league, as I understand. Why don't more players choose lighter bats for quicker bat speed, especially when some players are thought to have lost bat speed (like what I've heard about John Olerud)?
All the players use light bats now. Very few bats over 32 ounces now. Barry's bat is not that light, around 32, which is average. Sosa swings a little heavier. McGwire swung a light bat. Griffey is around 31. Soriano used the heaviest bat on the Yanks last season at 33.
Ali G: Check a smalla batty is betta.
Now, if da average bat is 32 ounces, 'ow can it be dat there is well few ova 32? It doesn't like make sense, Joe. And why u iz going around measuring batty iz beyond me compression.
Peter O'Neill (Albany): Joe, I'm only an hour away, so if you want to meet for lunch...but seriously, do you think closers after eck will have any luck geting into the Hall? Who do YOU think is worthy?
I think this sets the stage in a way. Eck was more than a closer though, he was also a good starter. I do see more closers getting in, although I'm not sure I like that. The way the save rule is now, there are a lot of soft saves. Three outs with a 3 run lead is a soft save. That doesn't display HOF credentials.
Ali G: Dat respek. The bruva gonna drive a hour to 'ave grub wiv Joe. Dat iz.
More closers getting in…Joe forgot dat the all-time mostest save-wickedest, checkit, pitcher, Lee Smif is on like the writers' ballot and he ain't got in yet. There be just three closers in da 'All, aiii, and I doesn’t check many today wiv a wicked chance of goin in except fa Mariano Rivera.
Chuck A. Hanover, Pa.: Minor rule change: With two out and TWO OUT only. Shouldn't a runner on first base be allowed to score on a ground rule double. He is running at the crack of the bat because he can't be doubled up. I remember espn's opening game about 7 years ago [the one with new Angel Mo Vaughn falling in the dugout and out for the year] and Joe Morgan on a drive over Buhner's head mentioning what I have heard a 100 times. "Well the Mariners got a break on that one as the Angel player would have scored easily". Thanks, Mr. Morgan!
You get the base you are going to plus one. He's not at second base yet, so I don't see that changing. No matter whether he is running or not, he's still at first.
Ali G: Chuck A? Is yous related to Chuck D? Tell im alo, big up.
No, Joe, da point is if it is a correct dig assumption dat he would 'ave scored. Like, wot if da ball would 'ave bounced right off da wall to a fielda wiv a strong arm who would ave 'eld da runna at third? Or maybe da runna would 'ave 'eld thinkin' dat da ball might get caught and only end up at second. Wot thun?
Utek (LA): Hi Joe. Adrian Beltre is having a monster season, despite playing on a bad ankle. I've heard an opposing coach say that he believes that the ankle injury has helped Beltre, in that it keeps him from lunging at pitches. What's your take? Have you ever heard of an injury that actually improved a player's performance?
I've heard people say things like that, keeping a guy from lunging. It can help in the short term, but you just don't want to play injured. It's tough enough to play this game at 100 percent, any kind of nagging injury to you feet or hands will hurt you. He is having a monster year and he should have been on the All-Star Team. That was a huge injustice.
Ali G: Right, dey shoul 'obble da players slightly to 'elp them play betta and to keep them from leavin' dig as a free asian.
As far as Beltre not bein on da All-Atar crew, Rolun did 'ave to start and it's a toss up betweun Beltre and Lowell fa da backup (19 win shares each)
jon (atlanta): I was thrilled to see the 500 club at this year's Home Run Derby! I was especially glad to see Hank front and center, where he belongs? Why do so many sportswriters (not you of course) overlook what a transcendant player Hank Aaron was? Does the 755 block out everything else?
I think you are correct. The 755 clouds over everything else. He didn't do things with a flair like Mays or Clemente. Hank just got the job done as well as everyone. Even his HRs weren't 500 ft. bombs. He just hit a HR and trotted around the bases. Nothing fancy. He did everything a player could possibly do, just without that special flair. He was just Hank doing his thing. I was as guilty as anyone when I talked about the great players. I wasn't as fair to him as I should have been early in my broadcast career.
Ali G: Right, Aaron iz so underrated, 'e's overrated. If yous don't think Aaron is overlooked, just ask 'im.
Eric (New York): With the addition of prospect David Wright, is this enough for the Mets to get to the top of the NL East?
At this point, the NL East is ready for someone to take it. I think all the teams need to add something before the deadlien to seperate from the pack. Florida has the makings of a good team if they can get another bat. I think whoever improves the most between now and August 1 will win the division. The Mets still need another player.
Ali G: 'Ope springs eternal, aiii. Didn't David Wright come up last year wiv da name Jose Reyes? Besides da mets need a starta, not a replacement fa Ty Wigginton. If dey move Wigginton to first, do dey for real dig Pizza to move back behind da plate afta naggin' 'im to like move to first fa ova a season?
I think whoever improves the most between now and August 1 will win the division… Me crew told me dat dey extended da season, right, and will play until octoba dis year.
Lee, Dallas TX: is there anything in particular you can point out as to why this season has backfired on the astros plans to contend this season? thanks.
I think in the past Jeff Bagwell was more important to the lineup than they thought. He was a rock in the middle of the lineup. He is not the same Bagwell anymore. Another reason is they had no other way to win other than hitting it out of the park.
They have a dysfunctional offense. I've never used that term before until now. They have a lot of double plays waiting to happen.
Ali G: Double plays? Dey is sixf in da NL wiv 79. Dey is as close to elevenf as dey is to third, which is to say dey is about average.
Bagwell is on da wrong side of thirty and 'is OPS 'as dropped every year since 1999. Probably a little more dis year, but consida he did 'ave just 17 westside runs and a .832 OPS in da first 'alf last year, and dey were bemoanin' 'is like demise evun as he ended up wiv 39 'omers and a .897 OPS.
Of course, Adam Everett's .311 OBP mostly in da numba two batty ain't 'elped da Astros offense dis season. And da batty, dat iz bottum, of da orda as bin a aminal (Morgan Ensberg .697 OPS and Brad Ausmus .606). It iz not dysfunctional to be not all dat wicked.
Tim (San Jose): What has happened to Barry Zito? I don't buy the theories about him missing Rick Peterson, he should be able to stand on his own two feet. Can he bounce back?
I'm always surprised with Zito doesn't pitch well and win games. I've said a million times if you are left-handed and can throw strikes you should win games. He has great stuff also so he should be a star. Some said he was tipping his pitches. Who knows. Some guys are more dependant on pitching coaches or hitting coaches than others. Coaches can have a big effect on a player.
Ali G: Maybe all da innings 'ave caught up wiv 'im. Maybe da severe drop off in strikeouts pa nine innings last year (from 8.61 in 2001 to 7.14 in 2002 to 5.67 in 2003) should 'ave bin a warnin' sign. He sure be givin' up da long ball dig neva before: 'is 19 dingers allowed so far in 2004 match 'is total last year.
Dusty Baker (Chicago): I can't help but think that I've lost control of this team. Should I start demanding they take responsibility for their actions on the field and stop blaming the other side? ( See the actions and my response to Zambrano and Hawkins during the two-game series with the Cards)
Major League players should always take responsibility for their actions on the field. Sometimes they dont' like it when I say they made a bad play, etc., but most players do take that responsibility.
Ali G: A wicked play is one fin'. Plunkin' batters and goin' buzzark on umpires is anotha. I don't if it's dis geezer Baker's fault but dis crew self-destructed against da Cardinals.
Scott (Sacramento, CA): Joe, assuming that the Yankees don't land the Unit, can they still win the WS with their current, ailing, staff? If they don't get Johnson will we see them go after someone like Millwood, Ortiz, or maybe Livan Hernandez to add some depth to the rotation?
They wouldn't be favored to win with this staff as is. If you get into a short series, the team with two stud pitchers (Pedro, Schilling) you will win. Who would be those two guys for the Yankees? I don't think they would have the guys who can just walk out and shut the other team down. I think they feel like they really need Randy to win this year.
Ali G: Checkit, it iz not as if dey could win da world series in 2000 wiv no starters wiv an era unda 3.70 and only one unda 4.35. Except it is.