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LegallyMinded
03-05-2012, 08:49 PM
It's almost time for March Madness, which means publications and news outlets of all sorts will be busting out bracket-based articles of all kinds. Never one to disappoint, ESPN's MLB section has put together a bracket (http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/feature/sweetspot/2012/sweetspot) asking fans to vote for the greatest individual season by a baseball player of all time.

Joe Morgan's 1975 is one of the candidates, and reading David Schoenfield's write up (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/21354/joe-morgans-1975-best-season-ever) really puts it in perspective. He was a full 5 wins better than any other NL position player that year, which is pretty hard to fathom: There are All Stars who don't put up 5 wins in a season, let alone blow away the competition by that kind of margin. It really makes me sad I missed the glory days of the Big Red Machine.

Anyway, Morgan is up against Mike Schmidt's 1980, which isn't exactly a slouch. I'm sure he'd appreciate a vote or two from RedZone.

RedlegJake
03-06-2012, 12:46 AM
I liked Morgan when he played but can't stand him as an analyst for Baseball, hated Schmidt as a player but really like him since he retired and I've gotten to know about him. And actually I didn't hate him but respect/hated him - know what I mean? So Joe got no hometown love from me - but I picked Joe anyway.

bellhead
03-06-2012, 01:11 PM
Knew he was good, just didn't realize he was maybe the best player in the 70's. Based upon stats he was and by a large amount.

Also add in the Reds had at least one other player in the top 5 more than once, and in one case 3 times. That was a pretty good team.

corkedbat
03-06-2012, 01:53 PM
Knew he was good, just didn't realize he was maybe the best player in the 70's. Based upon stats he was and by a large amount.

Also add in the Reds had at least one other player in the top 5 more than once, and in one case 3 times. That was a pretty good team.

Morgan was a joy to watch in his prime. His 75 season was one of the best ever and likely the best season ever by a 2B with little doubt. Offensive strenth up the middle (not to mention Gold Glove Defense) is what set te BRM apart. Ceasr Geronimo was considered a "glove only" guy by many, but that was mostly because of the prodigous production around him. He was actually pretty solid from 1974-77 at the plate too.

_Sir_Charles_
03-06-2012, 02:38 PM
A quick question about Little Joe. I watched him play a ton back in the 70's, but I'll be the first to admit to homer-itis when it comes to the BRM. I know Joe won mutliple gold gloves, but here's the thing...was his defense really that good? I don't remember him as being a very "rangy" second baseman or even showing off a particularly good arm. Heck I don't recall him being very quick on turning the DP. Davey compensated quite a bit IIRC, but is Joe one of those cases of getting gold gloves based on his stick? Thoughts?

cumberlandreds
03-06-2012, 03:28 PM
A quick question about Little Joe. I watched him play a ton back in the 70's, but I'll be the first to admit to homer-itis when it comes to the BRM. I know Joe won mutliple gold gloves, but here's the thing...was his defense really that good? I don't remember him as being a very "rangy" second baseman or even showing off a particularly good arm. Heck I don't recall him being very quick on turning the DP. Davey compensated quite a bit IIRC, but is Joe one of those cases of getting gold gloves based on his stick? Thoughts?

From what I remember he had a lot of range on pop outs. He got a lot of balls in short right field and even in CF. I always thought he was excellent at turning the DP. His throws had some juice to it. I remember him having a really small glove too. This was talked about a lot on the TV games. Also I don't remember any other exceptional defensive 2nd baseman in NL during his time. That may have helped too. IMO, he still wasn't nearly as good as Phillips is now. Phillips makes a highlight play nearly every night.

_Sir_Charles_
03-06-2012, 03:33 PM
From what I remember he had a lot of range on pop outs. He got a lot of balls in short right field and even in CF. I always thought he was excellent at turning the DP. His throws had some juice to it. I remember him having a really small glove too. This was talked about a lot on the TV games. Also I don't remember any other exceptional defensive 2nd baseman in NL during his time. That may have helped too. IMO, he still wasn't nearly as good as Phillips is now. Phillips makes a highlight play nearly every night.

Yeah, considering his 2b competition, maybe he did deserve all the defensive awards. I'm just having a really hard time picturing any spectacular defensive plays by Morgan.

757690
03-06-2012, 03:41 PM
Yeah, considering his 2b competition, maybe he did deserve all the defensive awards. I'm just having a really hard time picturing any spectacular defensive plays by Morgan.

I remember arguments that Rennie Stennett of the Pirates was a better fielder than Morgan, but it wasn't by much. Stennett was flashier, but Morgan was more solid. Morgan also had a reputation of being the captain of the infield, which was rare for a 2B. Morgan probably did get some votes for his offense and high profile, but it's not like he didn't deserve his gold gloves.

Roy Tucker
03-06-2012, 04:00 PM
From what I remember he had a lot of range on pop outs. He got a lot of balls in short right field and even in CF. I always thought he was excellent at turning the DP. His throws had some juice to it. I remember him having a really small glove too. This was talked about a lot on the TV games. Also I don't remember any other exceptional defensive 2nd baseman in NL during his time. That may have helped too. IMO, he still wasn't nearly as good as Phillips is now. Phillips makes a highlight play nearly every night.

Yep. All this. Made all the plays but nothing flashy or highlight reel. He was more quick than fast. He also positioned himself well.

He had very fast hands too.

http://waswatching.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Joe-Morgans-Glove-224x300.jpg

corkedbat
03-06-2012, 05:13 PM
From what I remember he had a lot of range on pop outs. He got a lot of balls in short right field and even in CF. I always thought he was excellent at turning the DP. His throws had some juice to it. I remember him having a really small glove too. This was talked about a lot on the TV games. Also I don't remember any other exceptional defensive 2nd baseman in NL during his time. That may have helped too. IMO, he still wasn't nearly as good as Phillips is now. Phillips makes a highlight play nearly every night.

That small glove was alnost like having a webbed left hand. It was easier for him to get the ball out of the glove and into his thrwing hand quick. He felt it particularily helped him in turning DPs.

redsmetz
03-06-2012, 06:21 PM
I have to say the 2nd round of voting on this had some extremely difficult choices to make.

Also, I'm not a great student of the WAR stat, but isn't it hard to compare replacement value between eras, or does Wins Over Replacement stay steady as a stat?