Hey, I’m on the Radio

February 13, 2014

                I just did a 90-minute interview with Joe Morgan for either Conversations with Joe Morgan or the NBC radio show . .not sure which. . .which I honestly thought was one of the best shows of its type that I have ever done.   We got into discussions of a lot of the things that he and I have disagreed about over the years. ..Brandon Phillips, Dick Allen, Jack Morris, the value of won-lost records, the value of strikeouts. ..etc., and I may not have defended "our" position the way that you would have done it or the best way that it could have been done, but I did the best I could with it and I thought it was good radio.   I wanted to post this notice here:

                a)  to alert you to look for it, if you want to do that, and

                b)  to create a space to allow you to post comments (below), particularly in case there was something you think I got wrong or something you thought I didn’t say the way it should have been said.

                Also, my ‘pologies to Brian Kenny; I should have posted a notice like this about my opportunity to appear on his show—on which we also argued about Brandon Phillips and the value of won-lost records, etc.    So you can react to that (below) as well.



Bill James

                Also, do you notice that all of the names in this note can be serviceably reversed?

                Kenny Brian

                Morgan Joseph, attorney at law

                Allen Richards

                Morris Jackson

                Phillip Brandons

                James Williams


                That’s why I didn’t bring up Rob Neyer, Ben Cherington or John Dewan; you can’t reverse their names and make any sense out of it.


COMMENTS (25 Comments, most recent shown first)

He didn't have to interrupt him; he rambled on and on. Joe has always liked to hear himself talk.
9:16 PM Feb 21st
My impression was that Bill's responses were on the terse side. If he'd wanted more air time, he could have had it: Joe didn't interrupt him even once.
7:44 PM Feb 18th
Jeez, Bill, easy with the F-bombs. That thing had more bleeps than a Roadrunner cartoon. It sounded like Quentin Tarantino cut himself shaving.
6:31 PM Feb 18th
My impression is that Joe Morgan does too much talking himself. Seems like he talked 80% of the conversation.
4:50 PM Feb 18th
Bill (if you're still looking): Do you know about the mistake they made at the end? (among others)

I almost hope you don't -- i.e. that you didn't listen to their "post-mortem," because it's awfully annoying.

They thought that when you said there are more SB's vs. righty pitchers than vs. lefties, you weren't taking into account that more innings are pitched by righties.

I hope and trust that most listeners knew that you weren't the one who got that wrong.
1:10 PM Feb 18th
(Doing a detailed thread on Reader Posts.....)
1:09 AM Feb 18th
....and thanks from here too!!

Interesting already what Morgan said at the beginning, something like "I don't often agree with these sabermetrics people * but I rarely disagree with Bill."

(How do you like that: ".....these sabermetrics people....") :-)
12:19 AM Feb 18th
Thanks tommyr!
9:26 PM Feb 17th
Here it the podcast:

7:48 PM Feb 17th
The reason I'd say it does have to do with sabermetrics (although in this case obviously not directly because Rizzuto said that thing before the field existed) is that a big principle coming out of it is the lesser value of "playing for 1 run" than had previously been believed. It's the same as the Earl Weaver things; they didn't directly have to do with sabermetrics but they related to principles that were to be a major part of it.
12:41 PM Feb 17th
Marisfan61, that is an OLD bar bet. The winning team will score more than or as manny runs in one inning than the loosing team will score in the whole game. Try it out. Go to a couple of days of boxscores and see. You will win about 55% to 60% of the time. Got some free drinks that way. Got nuthing to do with Sabermetrics or antisabermetrics.
3:24 PM Feb 16th
Steven Goldleaf
I think it was the vehemence with which Joe Morgan attacked any suggestion of sabrmetric thought while at the same embodying many of those same principles in his playing days. Simply the act of refusing to read a book (Lewis's MONEYBALL) that he so viciously attacked (and to which he attributed the incorrect author) marked Morgan as a deliberate champion of ignorance, but he also assumed the players-know-best position on many other issues. IOW, he was often wrong but seldom in doubt.
8:05 AM Feb 16th
A similar irony: Phil Rizzuto, of all people, often argued for big innings over small ball (long long before sabermetrics came along). For a while he was hammering on the point (which I think he attributed to someone, forget who -- maybe to himself) :-) that it seemed the winning team usually scored more runs in one inning than the other team scored in the whole game.
8:41 PM Feb 14th
On aagcobb's point, that was always the saddest part of Morgan's anti-sabermetric rants. There was a stunning lack of self reflection.
7:02 PM Feb 14th
jdewan... It doesn't matter what your name is! :P
7:00 PM Feb 14th
I always found it somewhat ironic that Joe Morgan, a sabermetrician's dream player, is no fan of sabermetrics.​
6:47 PM Feb 14th
Re what Steve just said:
I'll be doing a Reader Post (in the next couple of days) that's sort of along that line.
4:39 PM Feb 14th
OldBackstop, thank you for that link. I've just listened to a very nice conversation with Bob Costas and will probably waste countless hours going through the archives. And of course I'll look forward to the conversation with Bill.

Let me just add this: those of us who are sabermetrically inclined often underrate Joe Morgan as a broadcaster because we perceive him, not without reason, to be innumerate. But I've learned a lot about baseball from listening to him over the years. I'm not sure anybody has been better at explaining the cause-and-effect of the game: why did that happen the way it did?
4:12 PM Feb 14th
OK, I admit it. My real name is Dwayne Johnson. Sometimes people call me The Rock.
3:11 PM Feb 14th
(I don't imagine y'all got into your possible disagreements about Joe-Morgan-as-color-commentator....) :-)

I'll eagerly be looking out for it.
1:43 AM Feb 14th
So when and where is this airing?
1:02 PM Feb 13th
DeWan John is the son of Damon John, fashion mogul and creator of the internationally recognized brand, FUBU. Well, he isn't that I know of, but he could be.
11:11 AM Feb 13th
Maybe it will show up here: podcastone.com/Conversations-with-Joe-Morgan
9:51 AM Feb 13th
Will any of these programs be available online, for the benefit of people like me, who don't live within reach of American radio?
9:04 AM Feb 13th
What, you don't think Dewan Johns and Cherington Q. Benjamin sound like minor characters from The Great Gatsby?
8:20 AM Feb 13th
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