Saturday, December 04, 2010

Quote of the day

Joe Morgan the announcer seemed utterly detached from Joe Morgan the amazing ballplayer. Morgan is a smart man. He lives in the moment. But, strange, it’s like he never understood his own genius for playing baseball. I’ve heard this same thing about a certain brilliantly funny Saturday Night Live actor who was in some of the funniest skits ever — that he didn’t entirely know WHY they were funny. He just did his part. He followed his instincts. And it worked.  ...
He was great because, as Bill James wrote, he was the best percentage player ever, and the irony is that it takes someone like Bill James — a non-player who loves the game enough to study it intently — to fully appreciate just how good Joe Morgan really was. I mentioned Hornsby on top. Well, I’ve written before that Bill ranked Joe Morgan the best second baseman ever, and ranked Hornsby No. 3. Bill later told me that he had heard that someone mentioned this to Morgan, who immediately said something like: “That’s crazy. Rogers Hornsby hit .358. I didn’t hit .358.”  As if that’s what all of baseball comes down to: batting average.
--Joe Posnanski

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