Sometimes I think Joe Morgan only does his ESPN.com chats to give me material. Anyway, a couple points from today’s chat:
First of all, we have this exchange:
Dave, Sacramento: Hi Joe, I love your work, but I’m wondering why you won’t read “Moneyball?” It’s short, readable, and the pages won’t bite, I promise.
Joe Morgan: I haven’t read a lot of books. I didn’t read Canseco’s book or Game of Shadows. I’m not sure the last baseball book I read. I form my own opinions because I played the game and have 40 years of experience in the game. There isn’t much that others can teach me about the game. I’ve been taught by the best .. the players I played with and against. I know what it takes to win out there. I’ve seen players who are winners and just good players. I don’t get enjoyment out of reading baseball books. I’d rather watch a sci-fi movie on TV.
Now, “I don’t like to read baseball books” is a perfectly acceptable and reasonable answer. But “I already know everything there is to know”? Come on, Joseph. I know you dazzled me last week when you spent two full minutes explaining that the reason submarine pitchers are hard to hit is because they pitch from a different angle (I mean, talk about insight~!), but there must be SOMETHING you don’t know already.
And then it gets better. Apparently, Joe Morgan recently said on a telecast that he would take David Ortiz over Albert Pujols because of Ortiz’s postseason success. A chatter called him on it:
Phil (Stl,MO): Last night you chose Ortiz over Pujols due to success in the post-season. I would encourage you to look at the numbers as it’s Pujols who comes out as the much better post-season performer.
Joe Morgan: Go look at the numbers! Pujols was OK in the World Series but Ortiz is a big game player. There is an element of luck involved but you have to be the guy who comes to the plate in big situations and come through. I say he is the best big game hitter in baseball but Pujols is the best overall hitter by far.
Now Joe, when your response to “look at the numbers” is your own “look at the numbers,” you should probably, ya know, make sure the numbers support your argument. Here is a table with postseason stats for both Albert Pujols and David Ortiz:
So Ortiz has more games played, at-bats, doubles, and RBIs, and strikeouts. Pujols has more runs, hits, homers, and walks, and a significantly higher batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. If you allow the fact that two of Ortiz’s series were when he played for the Twins and he was one of the worst hitters in baseball, then maybe the stats almost even out. But there is absolutely nothing that even Joe Morgan could misconstrue as clear dominance by Ortiz in these numbers. Of course, Joe Morgan has never actually looked at the numbers. Why does he need numbers? He played with Dave Concepcion!