I mused yesterday that it seemed like Joe Morgan had been around Cincinnati a lot this season. Well, now we know why. Morgan will be introduced this afternoon as the Reds’ Special Advisor to Baseball Operations.

Nice to have the Hall of Famer back in the fold. Next up: Barry Larkin, I hope.

UPDATE: I love having Joe Morgan back in the fold. He’s one of the greatest Reds of all time, and we all respect what he’s done for this organization. I’m glad he’s a Cincinnati Red again.

I do, however, have some questions about this hiring that I didn’t note earlier. This piece over at Big League Stew enumerates my concerns nicely.

19 Responses

  1. Steve

    Very mixed feelings on the Morgan news. Yes, it’s wonderful to have the Hall of Fame players back in the fold.

    On the other hand, Morgan is incredibly old-fashioned when it comes to analyzing baseball. His will be another voice ala Dusty Baker that ignores on-base-percentage, values “clutch RBI guys” etc. He really has thumbed his nose at the sabremetric world.

    Again, it’s not like I want Bill James to be our GM, but we can’t keep tipping the scale in the direction of WAY old-fashioned views of baseball and hope to compete in the long run.

    My guess is also that Morgan will be a voice to retain Dusty Baker.

  2. The Mad Hatter

    While I was a fan of Morgan the player, just recently I have come to realize that Morgan the analyst is lost in his own world. It seems that this organization refuses to acknowledge there are things out there like the mystical internet and computers. It’s amazing what a database and a spreadsheet can do these days. Morgan is scary because he doesn’t value any sabermetric numbers at all. There have been times this year where I thought he and Orel Hershiser were gonna man up in the both they way they argue about modern statistics and Morgan’s complete disregard for them.

  3. Furniture City Red

    Is it possible that this move is getting Morgan in the door and eventually he will become the Manager of the Reds?…….Not saying I’m for that – Just wondering.

  4. Bill Lack

    Furniture City Red:

    Is it possible that this move is getting Morgan in the door and eventually he will become the Manager of the Reds?…….Not saying I’m for that – Just wondering.


    Wouldn’t be the first time that the “special assistant” ended up manager..I believe McKeon, Boone, and Knight all came via the route, but I’m not certain.

  5. davidmp2

    Furniture City Red:

    Is it possible that this move is getting Morgan in the door and eventually he will become the Manager of the Reds?…….Not saying I’m for that – Just wondering.

    I would think he would take over as hitting coach.

  6. jmcclain19

    I think it’s overstating it that he’ll be running the analysis arm of the Baseball Operations group. The real question is – is he a Johnny Bench Figure head Special Assistant, showing up to take photos and to occasionally comment on how a draft pick’s pitches compares to Tom Seaver? Or is he someone who will be in the organization meetings determining team policy?

    Maybe we find out the answers at the Presser today.

  7. jmcclain19

    @Furniture City Red: Frightening part about that – is he’ll be learning how to be a coach at the highest level. That usually ends in a disaster. This doesn’t happen in other professions.

    “Hey I know its your first day as an ice sculptor, but I have this job doing an elaborate angel that will be the centerpiece for the President’s Inaugural Ball tomorrow. I’m sure you’ll do fine – you can just learn as you go.”

  8. TC

    Two things… Joe Morgan wondering the streets of Cincinnati is only good for promoting Reds Baseball. Honestly, the city hasn’t had someone like that since Nuxy died. (That is unless you hang out at the Starbucks in Hyde Park that Marty frequents.)

    Second, perhaps Dusty will feel some pressure for his job.

    “Competing for a job brings out the best of people.”
    -D. Baker (every Spring)

    If this turns into something else… well, I guess we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  9. TC

    Would you rather have Dusty or Rick?

    “”He pitched very, very well. I don’t think we had very good at-bats, but you have to give him a lot of credit. He was aggressive. When he needed to, he made us look bad.” – Louisville manager Rick Sweet on Toledo’s Armando Galarraga (7ip, 3h, 0r, 0bb, 6k). (Louisville Courier-Journal)”

    That’s classic. 😆

    -Taken from Jamie Ramsey at Better Off Red.

  10. per14

    I don’t see how this possibly could be good. Let’s face it: the guy is stuck in 1975 when it comes to analyzing what it takes to win baseball games.

    As to him managing or coaching: he’s older than we realize. What is he, at least 65?

  11. Mr. R

    Jeez, you guys understand a “special advisor” doesn’t do much of anything.

    He’s not going to be around the ball team all the time, he’s not going to have much of an impact on anything outfront. There’s a marked difference in “special assistant” and “special advisor.” The special assistant actually has field assignments. The “special advisor” is almost ceremonial. Basically, the team calls and asks his opinion or evaluation of a matter. That’s it.

    Morgan has had 20 years he could have been a manager or GM. He’s got a great gig at ESPN, makes a ton of money, has lots of freedom, and at age 67, doesn’t need the day-to-day of a major-league team.

    If Morgan weren’t a legend and HOFer, there wouldn’t be a news conference today.

  12. Steve

    A bit of good news on the Joe Morgan front. Fay is reporting that Morgan will stay with Sunday Night Baseball. That certainly argues for a mostly ceremonial role with the Reds. No way he could stay on SNB if he was actively involved in day-to-day Reds decision making. Jockety compared Morgan’s role to Johnny Bench, who has been a similar Advisor (who knew?) the past few years. Seems, thankfully, like this is more of a business decision to help the Reds swing events like the All Star Game instead of something more involved, or even grooming Morgan to be the next Reds manager (ugh).

  13. pinson343

    In that the news is that Joe will be keeping his job with espn, it’s probably mostly a matter of what the article said: “It’ll be a way for the Reds to stir up warm fuzzies among their fanbase by strengthening their ties to a Big Red Machine hero.”
    I don’t believe Joe has any interest in managing.

    So this is fine with me. I know that Joe says dumb things as a broadcaster, but on the field he was one of the smartest baseball players I’ve ever seen. He knew how to read a pitcher’s pickoff move and steal on the pitcher. He also knew how to work a walk better than anyone I’ve seen except Ricky Henderson. (His shortness helped.) He would of course turn walks into doubles.

    As for OBP, you should take what he says with a grain of salt. When I’ve heard him discuss it, he’s just said it’s not the “be all end all” and gone on about the importance of situational hitting. That is, a walk has more value in some situations than others, which is obvious.

    As a player, he knew all about the importance of drawing walks. In his career he drew 1865 walks, with a .392 OBP.
    He led the NL in walks and OBP 4 times each.
    His walk totals in his first 6 years with the Reds: 115, 111, 120, 132, 114, 117. His OBP those same 6 years: .417, .406, .427, .466, .444, .417. I definitely would not mind him as hitting coach.

    Bottom line, it’s great to have Joe back in the fold.

  14. pinson343

    PS Joe would be best as a baserunning coach. He was the unofficial baserunning coach of the BRM.

  15. per14

    Well, okay, if it’s essentially a ceremonial thing, I’m all for it. Joe was a great Red.

  16. jmcclain19

    Yeah per John Fay – it’s a ceremonial role.

    “Morgan’s big role will promoting African-American participation in BB.’I’m not making baseball decisions.'”

    Nothing to really get excited or upset about.

  17. preach

    It’s not that Joe’s “Old School” that bothers me. Heck, I’m old school, actually. I still think there is a strong place for it.

    Joe is not just old school, though,……he’s crazy. His analysis makes me cringe. I constantly shake my head in amazement with some of the things that come out of his mouth.

    Please don’t lump all old school analysts into Joe Morgan’s class.

    Oh, OBP is old school, BTW. It was on the back of some baseball cards a loooooong time ago.