Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/23/13

11:57
Dan Szymborski: There’s a spider
he’s deep in my soul
he’s lived here for years
he just won’t let go
he’s laying around
he’s got a new bit
now he’s ready to fight
11:58
Comment From GSon
or throw a hissy fit?
11:59
Dan Szymborski: I don’t need your trophies or your gold.
11:59
Comment From Dan
Blood for Ba’al! I mean Zips for Yusmeiro Petit…
11:59
Comment From JT
Even though the Blue Jays year blew up in their faces, they did do what was right last off-season, right? Better to have love and lost….
11:59
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, they aggressively improved their team. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees.

11:59
Dan Szymborski: Well, maybe fortunately. If there were guarantees, baseball would be boring.
11:59
Comment From Guest
So… ZiPs was a little off on Anthony Rizzo this season. Although my guess is most projection systems were.
11:59
Dan Szymborski: Lots of players going to be overrated or underrated. It’s the nature of projecting the future.
12:00
Dan Szymborski: Now for *that* I can say sadly, as least as it pertains to me.
12:00
Dan Szymborski: I don’t mind perfect predictability, as long as it’s limited in me, turning me into a Biff Tannen who doesn’t need an almanac
12:00
Dan Szymborski: Wouldn’t Biff have photocopied the pages of the almanac and put it in a safe deposit box or something?
12:01
Comment From Dan
Also, as a classical music fan, what do you think of Louis Farrakhan’s musical skills?
12:01
Dan Szymborski: Doesn’t Farrakhan play the violin? Never heard him play though
12:01
Comment From GSon
Is there a difference between a “must win game” and “close to a must win game”?
12:02
Dan Szymborski: Depends on terminology. Royals games are close to a must win until they lose, but they have 1-loss scnearios
12:02
Dan Szymborski: for O’s or Yankees, 1-loss scenarios are long shots
12:02
Comment From Izzy
David Wright has played at better than an 8 WAR pace the last two years. Odd player to project given his career trajectory. What’s your WAR projection for a full 162 game season.
12:02
Dan Szymborski: Well, going forward, you do expect more decline than advances
12:02
Comment From CMR
Yo Dan – Do you have a guess at what Matt Carpenter’s 2014 zips projection will be?
12:02
Dan Szymborski: Higher :-)
12:03
Comment From JEB
Last night as Gilligan won an emmy, I watched breaking bad and sipped a stout named after the nights watch. Last night was a good night.
12:03
Comment From zack
What is your take on Andy Petitte’s hall of fame case? I thinks it is better than a lot of people give him credit for. His career numbers are a little better than Tom glavine’s, who seems to be a consensus hall of famer
12:03
Dan Szymborski: He’s got a solid case, but there’s no such thing as a solid case with the Short Bus Writers Association of America voting.
12:04
Dan Szymborski: Cruel, but they had a dozen strong candidates and another 4-6 plausible ones and voted none in and almost voted in a player not in that group
12:04
12:04
Dan Szymborski: From the first 20 seconds, his vibrato’s a little mechanical
12:05
Dan Szymborski: But probably unfair to compare to guys like heifetz
12:05
Comment From Guest
What kind of contract would a non-retiring AJ Burnett get this offseason?
12:05
Dan Szymborski: Somewhat Lohsey, though an NL team
12:05
Comment From Izzy
Disregarding health, is Jose Reyes the best SS in the American League?
12:06
Dan Szymborski: Sorry, switched cover it live console temporarily
12:06
Dan Szymborski: and got scared
12:07
Dan Szymborski: It’s a little “Except for that, Mrs. Lincoln” but if guaranteed health, I would take Reyes.
12:07
Dan Szymborski: (and if $ isn’t an issue, for purposes of argument)
12:07
Comment From Aceathon
Why do the Rangers hurt me in my chest cavity so much?
12:08
Dan Szymborski: Most like Rangers-induced acid reflux or an unrelated cardiac issue.
12:08
Comment From GSon
A ZiPs projection is like a budget. The end results show that you were either above or below the estimate and you have no reason for ending up in either situation..
12:08
Comment From Mozgov
Is health the most underrated “skill” a player can have
12:08
Dan Szymborski: Well, depends on if you can call it a skill.
12:08
Dan Szymborski: It’s less predictable than one would think.
12:09
Dan Szymborski: There’s a lot of luck involved.
12:09
Comment From Izzy
Sabathia done for the season. What’s his chance at 300 wins?
12:10
Dan Szymborski: Declining, but he still has a reasonable shot. He *is* already past 200 at 33.
12:10
Comment From Biff Tannen
I’m gonna make like a tree and get out of here.
12:10
Comment From Mike
Are there any recent managers (say, the last 10-15 years) who improved tactically from one year to the next with similar personnel?
12:11
Dan Szymborski: Suddenly? I’m not really sure off-hand
12:11
Dan Szymborski: Girardi seemed better in his 2nd year with Yankees, but I have nothing to back that up
12:12
Comment From Izzy
Will David Wright have 300 career stolen bases?
12:12
Dan Szymborski: No.
12:12
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
LOVE the Sunny Reference to kick off the chat….they really should have let Charlie sing his first song….
12:12
Comment From Guest
How could Biff photocopy the almanac as ahigh school student in the 50s? If he had a photocopy machine he could have patented that and made more than off of any bets from the almanac.
12:13
Dan Szymborski: Didn’t Xerox have photocopies in the 50s?
12:13
Dan Szymborski: I assumed he’d have the money from his first series of bets
12:13
Dan Szymborski: I guess there wasn’t much time between when he got it and Marty came back was there?
12:13
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t seen the movie in a *long* time
12:13
Comment From Fred
Did you watch the series finale of Dexter last night?
12:13
Dan Szymborski: I did not
12:14
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
would you rather keep Rios or Cuddyer (assuming you were in a setup where one of those two actually would be an OK 10th-12th keeper)
12:14
Dan Szymborski: Cuddyer, assuming you get Coors for free.
12:14
Comment From zack
Do you think the rays trade David Price this offseason or try and make one more run with him?
12:14
Dan Szymborski: It really depends on what the offer is. i don’t think they’ll go into the offseason with one “We Will Do X” in mind
12:14
Comment From JT
Farrakhan sang calypso: “The White Man’s Heaven is the Black Man’s Hell”. Also, how did this come up?
12:14
Dan Szymborski: I have no idea. I did know he did calypso.
12:15
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
I was at an amateur baseball game yesterday and they pretty much averaged a bunt per inning and it made me sad.
12:15
Comment From zack
Has anyone come up with an explanation for BJ Upton’s suckitude this year? Seriously, I have heard nothing.
12:15
Dan Szymborski: I sure haven’t.
12:15
Dan Szymborski: He’ll have a better BABIP, but it’s not like he’s having one of those freaky .210 BABIP seasons that are not remotely an ability
12:15
Comment From zack
The Nationals seem to have a poor way of handling health issues with young players don’t they?
12:16
Comment From Adam
What do the yankees do at SS this off-season? Is it simply a case of wait and see if Jeter recovers, or should they aggressively pursue some young talent?
12:16
Dan Szymborski: Wait and see. depends how intransigent Jeter turns out to be
12:16
Dan Szymborski: I think they want him back in a limited role
12:16
Comment From tehzachatak
how bad an in-game manager is Mike Matheny?
12:16
Dan Szymborski: He’s, not…uh…ideal
12:17
Dan Szymborski: I wonder if he would overmanage so much if he weren’t replacing la russa
12:17
Dan Szymborski: hadn’t
12:17
Dan Szymborski: replaced
12:18
Comment From zack
Who will sign michael young this offseason for his veteran leadership?
12:18
Dan Szymborski: I have this nightmare that the O’s heed my complaints and move Machado to short, Hardy to second, but it’s because they got Young for 3rd.
12:19
Comment From JT
Of the positive offensive statistics, which one is least likely to help a guy make the Hall of Fame?
12:19
Dan Szymborski: BB
12:19
Comment From JT
Same question I just asked, but for pitchers……
12:19
Dan Szymborski: HR/rate
12:19
Comment From Mozgov
If the Rockies blew it up, kept Chacin, Chatwood, Brothers, Arenado, Rosario and Lemathieu what are the Odds they could get enough out of trades of Tulo, Cargo, Fowler, Cuddyer, De la Rosa to be strong contenders by 2015, 2016?
12:19
Dan Szymborski: They very well could be, but the Rockies always seem to go seat-of-the-pants
12:21
Dan Szymborski: I once described Dan O’Dowd using Homer Simpson’s plan to pass nuclear science 101. O’Dowd entered every offseason hiding under a pile of coats, hoping everything will just somehow work out. The Geivett/O’Dowd combo hasn’t made me change this outlook
12:21
Dan Szymborski: O’Dowd’s actually pretty sharp, there just never is any real sort of cohesive plan. Just tactical moves.
12:21
Comment From Dan
I’m still trying to figure out the most random tangent I can get you on…
12:21
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Why is Adienny Hechavarria such a bad defender (amazing catch the other day excluded)? I mean when he was with Toronto he was hyped up as the next Ozzie Smith. I get how the fans could be fooled but how could the scouts be so far off?
12:23
Dan Szymborski: Still too soon to shut the door on him, though it’s easier to scout postiively players with amazing physical tools
12:23
Comment From GuestWho
On a scale of worst to worstest rate Hurdle, Matheny, and Baker on in-game managing.
12:23
Dan Szymborski: That’s just cruel. Hurdle may be the best of the 3
12:23
Comment From Carlos
How much of Hosmer’s improvement do you think is just babip related?
12:24
Dan Szymborski: In Hosmer’s case, a .330 isn’t necessarily unsustainable – it ain’t .370.
12:24
Comment From Guest
Should the Pirates attempt to re-sign any of Burnett, Byrd or Morneau?
12:24
Dan Szymborski: Attempt Burnett/Byrd. I’d probably wave goodbye to Morneau
12:24
Comment From mattybobo
Old Biff took the almanac from 2015 and gave it to Young Biff in 1955. That resulted in Alternate Universe Rich Middle Aged Biff in 1985, when Original Universe Marty pops out. Biff had 30 years to back up that stupid almanac and he didn’t do it.
12:25
Comment From tehzachatak
re: GuestWho’s post, isn’t the NL Central absolute, conclusive proof that managers really don’t matter?
12:25
Comment From senorpogo
Has there ever been a one-dimensional player who was more terrible at his one-dimension than Herb Washington?
12:25
Dan Szymborski: He’s not a bad pick
12:26
Comment From Tom
Thoughts on the Cards’ closer situation? Something to worry about?
12:26
Dan Szymborski: I would not be overly concerned
12:27
Dan Szymborski: Too early to panic about Mujica
12:27
Comment From John
Do you really think that pitcher ligament health comes down to luck? I would wager a fair amount that there is a measurable skill/genetics to it. Obviously we don’t know how to measure it yet.
12:27
Dan Szymborski: Well, there’s obviously a genetic component to it, but would it really be called a *skill*?
12:28
Comment From tigs fan sometimes
Should the tigers have rested Cabrera and put him on the DL a month ago? Or at least given him some days off?
12:28
Dan Szymborski: I think they’ve been careful once it became clear that it was a problem
12:28
Comment From Mozgov
What would Cuddyer .334/.392/.537 including .318/.375/.498Road Bring in trade on a 1/10.5m? How about JDLR 3.49ERA 126ERA+ on a 1/11m?
12:28
Dan Szymborski: They’ll get something for Cuddyer, though I think it’s harder to trick most GMs with big seasons than it used to be
12:29
Comment From That One Fella
Genetics = luck of the deal
12:30
Comment From Guest
If there is a tie in the wild card standings where more than 2 teams qualify, is there a play-off or is another tie-breaker in place?
12:30
Dan Szymborski: Three teams for division or wildcard results in 2 game playoff
12:31
Dan Szymborski: While there are tiebreakers for *seeding*
12:31
Dan Szymborski: It gets more complex if a division’s wrapped up in it
12:32
Comment From Spencer
Field of Dreams, or Sandlot?
12:32
Dan Szymborski: Sandlot
12:32
Dan Szymborski: I’m not a fan of Field of Dreams, honestly.
12:32
Dan Szymborski: There’s just so much emotional manipulation in there.
12:33
Comment From Graham
Can we start calling Paul Goldschmidt the best offensive first baseman in the game?
12:34
Dan Szymborski: No.
12:34
Dan Szymborski: He hasn’t established that he’s clearly better than Votto, etc. yet.
12:34
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Do you think there will ever be a real good baseball TV show? That new one on ABC looks terrible.
12:35
Dan Szymborski: No. Baseball’s too loaded with apple pie and mom and all that.
12:35
Comment From JT
You don’t like Field of Dreams? Why you make the Baby Jesus cry?
12:35
Dan Szymborski: Next comment answers!
12:35
Comment From GuestWho
Field of dreams beats you over the head with forced Epicness
12:35
Comment From Tribe Fan
Cleveland’s lost their best pitcher for all of September. Now they are putting him in the pen the rest of the way. Pretty amazing what they’ve been able to do in September without him though
12:36
Dan Szymborski: In fiarness, they have had 8 games against white sox and astros!
12:37
Comment From Rated Rookie
Does Sano make enough contact to be more than the next Pedro Alvarez?
12:37
Dan Szymborski: He’s still young, but I do think his contact problems limit his upside
12:37
Comment From Ryan Proust
With teams setting up rotations for playoffs, which 2 of these SP would you rank highest for fantasy title week- Lester @Balt, Latos vs PIT, Cueto vs NYM, Minor vs MIL (and possibly PHIL)
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Probably Cueto, Minor, but Latos is very, very close
12:38
Comment From DTSS
Why are you insulting to people with mental disabilities? Using the term “short bus” to mean “stupid” is not very respectful. Being willfully ignorant, like the BBWAA, is a very different thing from being born with a mental disability. Seriously, don’t use the term “short bus” or “retarded” like that. It’s not nice.
12:40
Comment From Dan
Does Zips think Mookie Betts is the next in a long line of Major league Mookies?
12:41
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t run Betts projections at all
12:41
Comment From Tribe Fan
True, but all the pundits were saying that the Tribe lacked the pitching to compete and were predicting doom when Masterson went down. That didn’t happen. The Tribe’s rotation is much better than it is widely given credit for being – that’s the point.
12:41
Comment From stuck in a slump
greetings from Bolivia! what do you make of cole kalhoun’s season? do you think he can be an above average hitter, or is he a 4th OF getting lucky/playing over his head?
12:41
Dan Szymborski: I came into the season thinking he was just being lucky.
12:42
Dan Szymborski: errr
12:42
Dan Szymborski: just a 4th outfielder
12:42
Dan Szymborski: But he crushed the ball in the minors this year, even by PCL standards
12:42
Dan Szymborski: so it’s not completely out of nowhere anymore. I don’t think he’s going to have a long shelf like, but I think throughout his prime, he’s a legitimately useful starter for a few years at least
12:42
Comment From stuck in a slump
I’ve heard good things about Eastbound and Down, so that’s possibly (I have yet to watch it though I have season 1 on loan) one decent baseball TV show
12:43
Dan Szymborski: embarassingly enough, it’s on my watch list but I’ve never gotten to it
12:43
Comment From John
genetics is not luck, and its not unmeasurable. Couldn’t a study be done to look for polymorphic differences in those with strong vs weak ligaments? It also isn’t implausible to imagine some type of biomechanical testing of ligament strength that could predict durability.
12:43
Dan Szymborski: From the point of view of the person, the genetics you end up with are chance.
12:45
Comment From Hsh
Has anyone looked at series-after effects? Ie if you look at the team with offense making other team throw most pitches, dot heir opponents do worse in he following series (as result of tiredness)?
12:45
Dan Szymborski: Haven’t look at it and am unaware of any research
12:45
Comment From Rated Rookie
What positives and negatives have you taken from Bogaerts’s late-season audition?
12:47
Dan Szymborski: Well, it’s very small, but he hasn’t embarrassed himself defensively,
12:47
Dan Szymborski: And he’s looked a little raw on some good pitches, but he’s hung in there
12:47
Comment From dbet
I have 8 starts left for the season and it’s very close. Should I rely on Verlander/Greinke/Wainwright at the end of the week? Or are they droppable in a redraft league for relievers
12:48
Dan Szymborski: It’s hard to tell as I don’t know exactly where you stand.
12:48
Comment From Guest
Do you think all platooning caused projection systems to understate the quality of the A’s roster. Do you think it’s something that needs to be addressed?
12:48
Dan Szymborski: Again, I’ll have to look at this issue in the post-mortem.
12:48
Comment From Tom
Odds Trout has another 10 WAR season next year?
12:48
Dan Szymborski: Fairly strong, but still <50%
12:48
Comment From Catoblepas
no, because he’s biff. also, YESSSS B^F REFERENCE
12:48
Comment From Carlos
Agree with DTSS’s comment about those remarks. You seem like a good guy. Please make an effort not to use these terms. If even one reader has a relative with a mental disability then you have made somebody feel bad for no reason, and it’s not necessary.
12:49
Dan Szymborski: I in fact have a friend that was brain damaged in high school in an accident.
12:49
Dan Szymborski: Semantic shift doesn’t spare anybody’s feelings.
12:50
Comment From Tribe Fan
Some baseball writer — can’t remember who — predicted that Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched his way into an 80 million dollar contract in free agency this off season. Are owners really that crazy? I think the guy will get paid. But 80,000,000???
12:51
Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure about 80 million, but he’s done himself a lot of good.
12:52
Dan Szymborski: And given that there are very few qulaity pitchers on the market, he’s probably going to be overpaid
12:52
Comment From John
RE:genetics, yes but not from the point of view of the employer whic would be a hug breakthrough in player valuation.
12:52
Dan Szymborski: True. I dont’ think a team’s been able to measure this yet.
12:52
Comment From stuck in a slump
Genetics is biology’s random number generator. Go ask an MMO player about loot drops and you’ll hear it’s all luck, same with the magical combination of genes that makes you a great player.
12:52
Comment From Josh
World Series prediction?
12:52
Dan Szymborski: Check ESPN Magazine and my article tomorrow.
12:52
Comment From Seattle Slough
Has any baseball player “misplaced” a body part in a glove before?
12:52
Dan Szymborski: If Lonnie Smith hasn’t, then nobody has.
12:52
Comment From Pinkman
Do you think Profar will end up being a greater offensive contributor than Andrus?
12:53
Dan Szymborski: I do.
12:53
Comment From Richie
From the point of view of the person, the fast-twitch muscles you wind up are chance. So speed isn’t a skill now? You bozo. Szym-bozo-ski. (I like that)
12:53
Dan Szymborski: You can do a lot of work to increase your speed.
12:53
Dan Szymborski: You have limited ability to affect your height.
12:54
Comment From DTSS
Bull Durham is the best, right? We’re just taking that as a given.
12:55
Dan Szymborski: The best baseball movie ever is The Bad News Bears
12:55
Comment From DTSS
Sorry, I phrased that as a question and I shouldn’t have. Bull Durham is the best baseball movie. It’s not close.
12:55
Comment From GSon
PC correctnees and sensitivities as they are.. avoid if you care. be yourself at all other times.. If someone doesn’t like you for being you, have them join a face book chat..
12:56
Comment From Dan
Your chat is a place of healing. Let’s have a constructive dialogue and turn this into a teachable moment…
12:56
Comment From Dan
ooh! a “hug breakthrough.” Judah Friedlander in the Dave Matthews video for “Everyday” is listening.
12:56
Comment From Voice of Geddy Lee
Machado has really sucked at the plate lately. Would you call his first half of the season his offensive ceiling?
12:57
Dan Szymborski: He had already cooled off a bit by June or so. I do think that people overrated his likely offensive contributions as a result of his hot start
12:57
Comment From Chin
Would you rate Wilson Ramos as a top 10 catcher going to ’14?
12:57
Dan Szymborski: Yes
12:57
Comment From Andrew
This discussion of genetics, has failed to mention the role of gene expression and the large factors environment has on it.
12:58
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but there’s a limit.
12:58
Comment From GSon
Major League is the best baseball movie.. and it’s not even close…
12:58
Dan Szymborski: Fight!
12:59
Dan Szymborski: I should have said Ed or Summer Catch were the best baseball movies ever, just to cause a riot
12:59
Comment From jasper
Donaldson is tied with Cabrera in WAR. He’s gotta finish top 3 in MVP voting at this point, right?
12:59
Dan Szymborski: Don’t bet the mortgage payment on it.
12:59
Comment From Rated Rookie
What about Gung Ho with Michael Keaton? Japanese vs. American baseball!
1:00
Dan Szymborski: Wait, I think you got your movies crossed
1:00
Dan Szymborski: Wasnt’ that a car factory movie? Maybe I got it confused with somethign
1:00
Comment From Yanks200910
How screwed are the Yankees going into next year..?
1:01
Dan Szymborski: Very. If they lose Cano, it’ll be a disaster.
1:01
Comment From Chin
What about A League Of Their Own? It features a woman who later went on to kiss Brittany Spears in public.
1:02
Dan Szymborski: It also features a woman who went on to be in a Pauly Shore movie.
1:02
Comment From GuestWho
Jessica Biel probably throws harder than Freddie Prinze Jr
1:02
Comment From Rated Rookie
From IMDB: The workers become agitated and their relationship with management becomes adversarial. Hunt, acting as employee liaison, tries to smooth it over, but is unable, and when a worker intentionally knocks over one of the Japanese managers during a company baseball game, the situation appears beyond repair.
1:02
Dan Szymborski: I think I saw that movie once on Cinemax maybe 20 years ago.
1:02
Dan Szymborski: I didn’t remember any baseball connection.
1:03
Comment From Rated Rookie
You saw it one too many times then.
1:03
Comment From stuck in a slump
didnt LoTO also have rossie o’donnel? thats at least a wash
1:03
Comment From Rated Rookie
Gerrit Cole: the September unveiling of an ace?
1:04
Dan Szymborski: I can’t even remember the last time Cole had a weak start
1:04
Dan Szymborski: Has he even been knocked out of the box at all?
1:04
Comment From Chin
They should do a baseball-themed version of “Saw.” Guys would be chained to a fence and be forced to watch Dice-K pitch vs the Marlins, or have the choice of sawing off one of their legs and escaping.
1:04
Comment From Tribe Fan
Just watched Money Ball again last night. What odds do you give Billy Beane’s A’s of finally winning their final game? Guy is some kind of baseball genius, obviously. A’s winning it all would be a great story.
1:05
Dan Szymborski: It would be fun for Beane to finally shut up a whole bunch of sportswriters.
1:05
Dan Szymborski: OK, on that note, time to shut it down for a week. Hope to see you all next time!



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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

4 Responses to “Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/23/13”

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  1. Biff Tannen says:

    I’m gonna make like a tree and get out of here.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Baltar says:

    “Bang the Drum Slowly” is the best baseball movie ever, and none of you have ever even seen it, have you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • baycommuter says:

      Yes, and BTDS is an even better book… but movies about dying teammates aren’t exactly what people mean when they think baseball movie.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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