A few weeks ago Joe Morgan told a story on Sunday Night Baseball about a Don Wilson no-hitter that was true in almost no way, shape or form. After last year’s Banks Boulevard fiasco, it is well known that Morgan is prone to telling a stretcher now and again.
Tonight, while the crew was talking about Ian Kinsler’s prolonged slump, Joe chimed in that he had a story that Nolan Ryan hates for him to tell. I got excited at this point. The story was about how in 1983 with the Phillies, he was going through a terrible slump, 0 for 32 or 37, he could not remember. He said that his manager told him he was still being pencilled into the lineup because he was getting walks and scoring runs so he was still contributing. Either way, he broke out of the slump by taking a Nolan Ryan curveball out of the park to win the game 1-0. As with anything that comes out of Joe Morgan’s mouth, I was a little sceptical, so I decided to look up the facts.
On July 26th, 1983, the Phillies did in fact defeat Ryan’s Astros 1-0 on a Joe Morgan home run. From June 29th until July 24th, Morgan also went 0 for 36. I do not know in which at-bat he hit the home run, or during which at-bat he got his last hit before the slump, but 0 for 37 is pretty accurate. At this point you are probably saying, wait a minute, those numbers do not add up. 37 AB’s in almost a month is not playing regularly. You would be correct. Morgan started a whopping ten out of a possible twenty-six games during this span. He also scored a grand total of five runs, so I am not sure where this whole “contributing to the team” comment came from. His twelve walks in fourty-eight plate appearances is actually pretty impressive, but when you remember that he had no hits, his OBP is still a paltry .250.
I think it is fair to say that Joe was only a quarter full of it this week. Congratulations.