June 22, 2003

The Adventures of Little Joe


"What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."


---Principal, "Billy Madison"

You may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I gave Joe Morgan a very hard time because he mentioned in several places how upset he was about Billy Beane writing Moneyball. When, in fact, Billy Beane did not write Moneyball. A best-selling author named Michael Lewis did.

Joe Morgan went on and on about the subject - in articles, on ESPN broadcasts, in his chat sessions - everywhere. And all of it was based on the "fact" that Billy Beane wrote a book that he didn't write.

Morgan does a weekly "chat session" on ESPN.com and, in back-to-back weeks, he answered the following questions:

Week One:

Maria (Wimberley, TX): Joe, enjoy your work. Have you read the new book "Moneyball" about Billy Beane? What do "insiders" such as yourself think about what the book says?

Joe Morgan: I read an excerpt in the NY Times. It's typical if you write a book, you want to be the hero. That is apparently what Beane has done. According to what I read in the Times, Beane is smarter than anyone else. I don't think it will make him popular with the other GMs or the other people in baseball.

"It's typical if you write a book, you want to be the hero. That is apparently what Beane has done."

Week Two:

JB (Danville, CA): Joe - The A's offense is scuffling, Dye comes back this weekend and Tejada is starting to hit a little. If you're Billy Beane where do you look to add some pop? I'd love to see them go after a corner outfielder or even a move for Roberto Alomar (the Mets have to be looking to dump salary). Thoughts?

Joe Morgan: I wouldn't be Billy Beane first of all!! I wouldn't write the book Moneyball!

"I wouldn't be Billy Beane first of all!! I wouldn't write the book Moneyball!"

I made it perfectly clear (in this entry and this entry) that I thought Joe Morgan was, in this particular instance, acting like a complete moron. He not only had his facts wrong and he not only was upset with someone as a result of something they didn't do, but he was making a big deal of the situation, on a national stage(s), over and over again, based on his incorrect facts.

It wasn't the first time Joe Morgan has said something really stupid and it won't be the last. In fact, just about every time Joe Morgan makes an appearance, whether on TV, in an article he writes or in a chat session, he says at least one thing that is really dumb.

For instance, just the other day, Joe said the following about his favorite whipping boys, the Oakland A's:

"Their struggles this season prove how valuable reigning AL MVP Miguel Tejada was last year."

See, in Joe Morgan's world, the Oakland A's are struggling much more than last season, because last year's American League "Most Valuable Player,' Miguel Tejada, is having a poor season thus far.

Now, in reality, the Oakland A's actually had a better record at the time Morgan wrote that than they had at the same time last season:

Through 70 games:

2002 - 39 wins, 31 losses, .557 winning percentage (Miguel Tejada - .295/.332/.493)

2003 - 41 wins, 29 losses, .586 winning percentage (Miguel Tejada - .232/.288/.423)

Ah, the wonderful world of Joe Morgan - where facts don't matter, especially when ignoring them lets you say something dumb about the Oakland A's.

Okay, so we've established that Joe Morgan often says things that don't make a whole lot of sense. But now, I think Joe Morgan has officially started to lose his marbles.

In addition to doing his chat sessions, Joe also writes a weekly column for ESPN.com. In last week's version, written on June 19th, he discussed the amazing start the Seattle Mariners are having and said the following:

"On offense, the Mariners are getting hits in clutch situations while featuring the hit-and-run, the sacrifice bunt and the sacrifice fly. This is in contrast to the Toronto Blue Jays, who rely mainly on home runs."

"This is in contrast to the Toronto Blue Jays, who rely mainly on home runs."

Okay, got that memorized? Now, take a look at what Joe said in his chat session, just one day after that article appeared on ESPN.com:

Stevie Ridzik (D.C.): Dig your work Joe...But one bone to pick, how can you say "the Blue Jays rely mainly on home runs." when they lead the league in BA-SLG-OBP-OPS-RUNS-RBI and are only 3rd in taters?

Joe Morgan: Listen to what I say and do not put somebody else's words in my mouth. I said they have a chance of winning because they have a great offense. I'm not sure where you got that. It seems that people want to put words in my mouth.

"Listen to what I say and do not put somebody else's words in my mouth."

"I'm not sure where you got that. It seems that people want to put words in my mouth."

In case you forgot already, here is what Joe wrote, just a day earlier:

"This is in contrast to the Toronto Blue Jays, who rely mainly on home runs."

As if that weren't enough, Joe was so upset about people "putting words in his mouth" that he made a special statement at the end of his chat:

"I guess once a year I have to remind people to listen to what I say and not hear what you want to hear....I never said the "Blue Jays rely on HRs." All I ask is you listen to what I say and don't put words in my mouth!"

Once again, in case you forgot, here's what Joe Morgan said, just a day earlier:

"This is in contrast to the Toronto Blue Jays, who rely mainly on home runs."

Joe is a smart guy, so I don't know what the heck is going on with him lately. He has been saying weird stuff for years now, but lately it is getting very weird. First he goes off on weekly rants about Billy Beane and Moneyball, ripping Oakland's GM for writing a book he didn't write. Now he makes a statement in an article and then, about 24 hours later, denies he made any such statement and actually scolds people for "putting words in his mouth." Nevermind the fact that he has been putting words - no, make that an entire book - in the mouth of Billy Beane.

Speaking of books, Joe Morgan is actually an author himself (although he likely denies everything he wrote)...







Joe Morgan's Baseball For Dummies

A more fitting title there has never been...

Today's picks:

Arizona (Webb) -130 over Houston (Villone)

Pittsburgh (Suppan) +140 over Montreal (Vargas)

Texas (Mounce) +200 over Oakland (Zito)

Detroit (Bonderman) +230 over Boston (Wakefield)

Total to date: + $1,720

W/L record: 145-137 (4-0 on Friday for +410 and inching my way back to 2,000...)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.