Long Balls, No Strikes
What Baseball Must Do to Keep the Good Times Rolling
by Joe Morgan
Nobody loves baseball more than Joe Morgan. He's proved it with his hall-of-fame performance on the field and his brilliant color commentary in the broadcast booth. Bob Costas says, "There may not be anyone alive who knows more about baseball than Joe Morgan.
In his playing days, Morgan was a key cog in the Big Red Machine, and he saw the game at its zenith. From his perch in the broadcast booth he watched as baseball self-destructed, culminating in the devastating strike of 1994. And in 1998, he saw the game come back with baseball's electrifying resurgence in the season of McGwire, Sosa, and the Yankees.
But as great as '98 was, Joe knows that baseball still has a lot of problems. And while baseball may be back, Joe wants the fans, the players, and the owners to know that some serious changes still need to be made. In Long Balls, No Strikes, Morgan draws on three decades' experience and passion as he dissects what has gone wrong and right for baseball. Some of his insights may seem unorthodox, some will be controversial, but that's never stopped Joe Morgan before.
How do we improve the game on the field?
Raise the mound
Abolish the designated hitter forever
Make the umpires learn the strike zone
And that's only the beginning. . . .
How do we improve the game off the field?
Erase the invisible color line that keeps African-Americans from holding management positions
Expand the talent pool by sending more scouts to the inner cities
Have all teams share equally from the same profit pool
And that's not all. . . .
Joe Morgan doesn't believe in "the good old days." Tomorrow's game can be even better than yesterday's. But at the end of the century, the game stands at a crossroads. One path leads right back to the troubles that nearly destroyed the game forever in 1994. The other leads to a new Golden Age. If baseball wants to continue to thrive, some changes must be made. But before there are changes, we need to ask the right questions. And if Joe Morgan doesn't know the answers, then no one does.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Crown/Archetype, October 2011
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