Joe Morgan has become an embarrassment. For further proof of this, take a look at this article in the SF Weekly, about Morgan’s strange relationship with Moneyball and sabermetrics:
Me: It seems that you almost take [the book] personally.
Joe: I took it personally because they had a personal thing about me saying Durham should’ve stolen second base in the game that they lost — he stayed at first base, and they hit three fly balls, and the A’s lose another fifth game.
Me: And that’s the chief reason you don’t even wanna read the book?
Joe: I don’t read books like that. I didn’t read Bill James’ book, and you said he was complimenting me. Why would I wanna read a book about a computer, that gives computer numbers?
Me: It’s not about a computer.
Joe: Well, I’m not reading the book, so I wouldn’t know.
Me: I’m not —
Joe: Why would I wanna read the book? All I’m saying is, I see a game every day. I watch baseball every day. I have a better understanding about why things happen than the computer, because the computer only tells you what you put in it. I could make that computer say what I wanted it to say, if I put the right things in there. … The computer is only as good as what you put in it. How do you think we got Enron?
How do you think we got Enron?
What the heck does that mean?
There are lots of silly statements like those contained in the rest of the article, and it’s just sad. Poor ole Joe Morgan, perhaps the greatest Cincinnati Red of all time, has gone off the reservation. And it’s such a shame, because he has no clue that the traits that made him great as a player are exactly the traits that are most admired by proponents of sabermetrics.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.