Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/1/13

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys, and welcome to this chat.

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: In this chat, I will attempt to express more opinions than usual!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Come get some!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: First opinion: these pancakes are delicious.

9:02
Comment From Bob
1 minute off? That’s pretty impressive.

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: And only because I couldn’t open my kitchen window for a moment.

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I *don’t like that* about my kitchen window!

9:03
Comment From Marty
Ron Washington done?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Rangers already expressed assurances that Washington isn’t going anywhere. And I don’t think he should — he seems to have a good handle of everything there, and it’s not him who wilts down the stretch.

9:04
Comment From Dave
Gun to your head, who wins tonight?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates, because of Liriano

9:04
Comment From Guest
What’s your opinion of Derek Jeter?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I am glad he’s existed exactly as he’s existed in the game

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I am glad for his personality, I am glad for his strengths, and I am glad for his most visible weaknesses

9:05
Comment From Guest
Do you spend any time projecting offseason moves for the Mariners?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be fun to think about, but I can’t climb inside their heads. I suspect they’re going to try to allocate a lot of money to free agency, but I don’t know if players are going to buy what the Mariners are selling, on account of they suck.

9:05
Comment From Baseball Fan
i like baseball

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Rangers fans :(

9:06
Comment From Max
Opinion: Should i wear the blue sweater or the black sweater?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Blue

9:06
Comment From eknpdx
Well balance opinion piece at USSMariner on Wedge leaving. For a sport that is heavily invested in stats, the emotional side of fans and players of time.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Something about Wedge and being a lame duck:

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Ned Yost just re-signed with the Royals. His contract was up. He was a lame duck, and that didn’t seem to bother anybody

9:06
Comment From CC
Do you think Washington could use another shutdown pitcher?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well, everybody could. They’re no different. Haven’t loved their rotation depth lately

9:08
Comment From Dewey
Most overrated player of 2013 in your opinion?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Oof, this is so hard

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll have to go with Prince Fielder

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not wedded to it, but I dont’ know how to measure overratedness

9:10
Comment From Andrew
I have read the Pirates sub-group starting pitchers by different traits, beyond handedness, for match up purposes. Does anyone in the public do anything similar? I do not know if this would be more helpful than lefty/righty splits? It sounds laborious and would the payoff be significant?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: It makes sense to sub-group pitchers by factors that matter, even if they might be of different handednesses. I don’t know of anyone who publicly does this to any meaningful research extent. Payoffs would probably be small, but if nothing else I bet you could learn some things. Is a certain matchup because a guy is left-handed, or is it because of his weapons and/or his delivery?

9:11
Comment From Bret
If you were to look at JP Arencibia’s FanGraphs page or watched him play at all this season, you would likely say something like, “By golly, that man is having one lousy year.” But then yesterday JP Arencibia got engaged to a pretty lady from the Band Perry who probably has a ton of money too. So maybe he didn’t have that bad of a year after all?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: And he got better at framing

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Also, holy crap, forgot about The Band Perry, and it’s only been like one or two years since I recall them being a thing

9:12
Comment From Sirras One
Pirates or A’s as the “everybody loves an underdog/historically disadvantaged team”?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates are more sympathetic

9:13
Comment From Coodle
Breaking Bad. Opinion?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine I’ll never feel that way about TV again

9:13
Comment From Dave
“Pirates win playoff game because of Liriano” I’ll take Hilarious Statements in 2012 for $500, Alex.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: And this doesn’t even touch on potential Scott Kazmir stuff

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: FanGraphs is a website of baseball analysis experts!

9:14
Comment From Greg
What team is Girardi managing next season?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees

9:14
Comment From LarryA
In case no one noticed, Cliff Lee had a 54/1 K/BB in 37 innings in his last 5 starts. Will he start and finish the year in Philly?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think so, but mostly I wanted to enter this question because of the numbers that many people might have missed down the stretch

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: ARE YOU LOOKING

9:15
Comment From JB
If you had to provide tips to an aspiring baseball writer (more blogger/columnist not beat writer) what would you suggest?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Write something every day, and write with the goal of introducing something new in every piece. Basically, add value beyond what people already know and will be talking about

9:17
Comment From furLOLgh
Who do you like tonight, the Pirates or House Republicans?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: You could try to make an argument that they’re both pirates

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Fun thing about barely following anybody on twitter, and limiting it to sports: I published a quick thing about obstruction last night, and somebody asked if it was baseball or politics, and I didn’t know what was going on

9:17
Comment From Bill
Heads up: earthquake swarm in northern Iceland, being interpreted as possibly a “significant” magma intrusion. Got your plane tickets yet? More prosaically, how would you set up the St. Louis pitching rotation for the NLDS? They have interesting choices to make past Wainwright.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’m thinking Wainwright/Wacha/Lynn/Miller

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t have to worry so much about opponent identity given that they’re all right-handed

9:20
Comment From Ian
Is it wrong that I can’t justify the Pence deal? Just doesn’t seem smart to give him what he got, given his coming years. Why hasn’t baseball learned from historical contracts at similar ages?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Pence loves the Giants, the Giants love Pence, and they think they have unique insight about Pence’s chances of maintaining his level of play. And maybe they do, and maybe he’ll be fine after all for a long time. It’s clearly an overpay, but I wonder if people end up exaggerating the impact of those things

9:21
Comment From Guest
Would you rather have Francisco Lindor or Xander Bogaerts going forward?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Bogaerts

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: He’s done more at a higher level and I’m a sucker for increased safety/certainty

9:22
Comment From Andrew
I was surprised at how many ESPN writers picked Oakland over Detroit.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if they thought beyond Miguel Cabrera playing through pain

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: “Well Cabrera isn’t himself so therefore the Tigers don’t stand a good chance”

9:23
Comment From Guest
Is Ellsbury necesarily a bad buy for the M’s at his “market value”

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:23
Comment From LarryA
Just thinking while watching the last Indians game: Do you think players love getting to first against the Tribe because they get to bro it up with Swisher for a few minutes? He seems like the most talkative 1B

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine he is somewhat polarizing among his peer group

9:23
Comment From raul ibañez
Its hard because you dont want to hurt my feelings?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody outside of Seattle really paid any attention to you

9:24
Comment From Person
Odds that failing the playoffs on the FINAL DAY on in back to back years is going to result in the Texas front office doing something … drastic?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to make some bold maneuvers, I think, but I don’t think it’ll be because of these recent one-game failures. They’ll just be getting better

9:24
Comment From Bret
What would make you feel more optimistic heading into a season: A team with 4 or 5 proven, high quality starting pitchers but little to no reasonable depth behind them, or a team with an average 1-5 at best but another, say, 3 or 4 useful starters waiting in the wings?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: The first one. You can trade for decent depth if need be. The second one is destined to be unremarkable

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Depth is underrated, but high-end talent is huge

9:26
Comment From Tom
Someone the other day said that Morneau and McCutchen are the new M&M boys. This might be true if we consider Morneau to be the perpetually crappy pretzel M&Ms.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Why are there pretzel M&Ms?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: They have never not been the worst.

9:26
Comment From Guest
Assuming Billy Hamilton is an everyday starter next year and has an average OBP, how many steals could he get? 100?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Somehow, yeah, that sounds reasonable

9:27
Comment From Travis
Bold prediction: Jason Heyward plays all next season like he played in the lead-off spot this season, has 8+ WAR, and wins MVP.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if Heyward is the MVP sort. Too much value from defense

9:28
Comment From Smokes
Do you think a manager can be “bad enough” strategically or whatever to cost their team in the playoffs, even given such a small number of games?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s doable. A manager won’t be the whole reason a team gets eliminated, but a manager can certainly screw up at the wrong times with bunts or pitching changes or non-pitching changes

9:29
Comment From rusty
bench depth / value from part-time players seems like a major factor in team success (e.g. As, Cardinals)… but those players would seem to have more volatile performance from year to year. How do you build a team to not have sucky role-players?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Accumulate a lot of them and stash some in the high minors

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Treat it like a bullpen and in time you’ll find the mix that works

9:30
Comment From Prich
Ever been up to Salvador Molly’s in PDX? I thought it was the best food in town…

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Jotting a note right now

9:30
Comment From Greg
How soon can the Cubs be good again? Is it unreasonable to expect them to push for a wild card next season?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: They’re about to reach the next phase of their organizational development, where they start bringing in more established major-league talent. Next season would be a stretch, but 2015 is promising

9:31
Comment From Jay
Does Brian Roberts get a starting gig handed to him next year?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: nope

9:32
Comment From Guest
Hey Jeff, I enjoyed your recent piece on Joey Votto but thought you were a little unfair to Dusty Baker. There has been a lot of criticism of Votto’s approach this season, but I can’t really remember Baker having any problems (publicly).

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I swear I’m not trying to sound like a hotshot, but yeah, this goes beyond Baker’s public stuff

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: There is a real sense that Votto isn’t what he ought to be and people get frustrated

9:33
Comment From Billy
We strive for context neutral stats in determining value. However, there’s value in being able to control context. Pinch hitters, pinch runners, and relievers are generally used when they are used because the situation dictates it. What is the value in being able to focus your resources to those higher leverage moments?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: There’s probably not a lot to gain from pinch-hitters and pinch-runners, but if you can optimize your bullpen usage with the best talent at the most important situations, you’re going to win a few more games

9:33
Comment From Nick O
Would you try to “fix” the playoffs by making it easier for the best teams to win? Or should we just enjoy the ride?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Enjoy the ride. No reasonable postseason tournament is going to conclusively identify the league’s best team. The regular season tells you more. The playoffs are madness and that’s why they’re awesome

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Whole seasons coming down to single games? I mean, what??

9:35
Comment From zack
How awesome would it be if Delmon was the back to back ALCS MVP?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I still can’t tell what we’re supposed to make of Tampa Bay bringing him back. Want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but…

9:35
Comment From Marty
How should I feel about Rob Manfred? Do we know if he is as photogenic as Selig?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know enough about him as an ear-cupper

9:35
Comment From Guest
What kind of deal will Beltran get next year?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Short and similar to the last

9:37
Comment From LarryA
RE: Pence. Is it still true that power/speed players tend to age better than average?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think it is, but the differences are going to be slight. It’s not like there are groups of players who last forever, and others who fall off the face of the earth. Aging curves look similar, and also, aging curves are general rules, while Pence is one player in particular. And maybe he has more particular characteristics that would put him in a different group anyway

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: For example, he is not a human being

9:38
Comment From fats
josh johnson had elbow surgery

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Bone spurs. ehhh

9:39
Comment From Tom
Do you think Wacha/Lynn/Miller have showed enough for the Cardinals to use Wainwright on normal rest in the playoffs rather than short rest, in an attempt to give him more starts?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s very rarely the right idea to use guys on short rest so I think the Cardinals should stay normal

9:40
Comment From Jordan
Logistical question: If Josh Johnson is a FA, who paid for the (minor) elbow surgery he underwent this morning? Does the union pick up the tab or is it out of his pocket?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s still the Blue Jays?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a good question, though.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how to look this up

9:41
Comment From Prich
How much/What kind of prospect can the Dodgers get for Ethier if they A) Eat a significant portion of his contract, B) Eat none of it?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Decent prospect/indecent prospect

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: well indecent probably isn’t the right word

9:43
Comment From Blue Myself
Theo Epstein says the Cubs have free agent money for one significant player. Care to guess who it might be?

9:43
Comment From Bret
I’ve seen Dave Cameron predict a one-year, $8M deal or so for Carlos Ruiz, and today MLBTR predicted a two-year, $14M deal for Chooch. Thing is… isn’t Ruiz really good? I’d love to see the Blue Jays add him, but worry the cost would be much higher than either of those predictions.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: His numbers just fell apart post-suspension and he turns 35 years old in January

9:44
Comment From ralph
Another number that people may or may not have noticed: Cleveland finished 1 game behind the Tigers in the AL Central.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that one floored me

9:44
Comment From Guest
The Pirates just swept the Reds and finished the season 4 games ahead of them. Now they have to beat them again to the Wild Card.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Every playoff matchup has a better team and a worse team

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals finished well ahead of both the Pirates and the Reds. Soon they’ll have to beat one of them to get to the NLCS

9:47
Comment From Marty
What does the future hold for Dan Haren? A series of 1-yr deals for the next three years?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Seems the likelihood, yeah

9:47
Comment From Jontler
Pretzel M&Ms are awesome and your comments undermine your overall analytical abilities.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In my defense I haven’t actually had a pretzel M&M in years. But I have terrible memories

9:48
Comment From Guest
How happy are you that the Obstruction/Smart defense poll results are very close to 50/50?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I love it. Even I can’t really tell, but it probably *ought* to be obstruction if it isn’t by the rules

9:48
Comment From Dustin
Terry Ryan doesn’t think the rotation was a big problem, going so far as to crow about Pelfrey and Correia. He then talked about the good old days of having Baker, Pavano and BLackburn anchoring the rotation. Is the Pirates bandwagon full yet?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Strikeout rates should always be what they were in the days of Terry Ryan’s youth, according to Terry Ryan

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: If it is full you could always just start a second bandwagon

9:50
Comment From Guest
Does a pitcher’s effectiveness correlate to the amount of work on his last outing? (ie. Does David Price going the distance affect his effectiveness in the ALDS? Game 3 would be essentially normal rest.)

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: In a situation like this it shouldn’t be anything to worry about

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: If a guy really throws way too many pitches, it might have a carryover effect, but Price was normal

9:50
Comment From Jontler
How soon can the Twins be good again? Is it unreasonable to expect them to push for a wild c [breaks down sobbing]

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Couple years if they do things well, so, more than a couple years

9:51
Comment From Irate Royals Fan
Dayton Moore just now: “In a way I feel as if we won the World Series.”

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: In his defense he probably doesn’t remember what the actual playoffs look or feel like

9:53
Comment From Reddickulous
Your choice playoff rotation for the A’s?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Colon/Parker/Gray/Griffin

9:54
Comment From Greg
Would Hamilton be worth more as a pinch runner who could be used strategically than as a regular player?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, yeah, probably

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: In the long run, doubt it

9:55
Comment From Mike
Happy new NHL season Day Jeff! Did you see this story on your favorite new Senator Bobby Ryan? http://www.sportsnet.ca/magazine/searching-for-bobby-ryan/

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I did see that. Only real bad thing about the MLB playoffs is that it gets in the way of watching new hockey

9:55
Comment From Jeff
Juan Uribe — What’s up with that? Not only did he have a great season, but he’s also always been regarded as a plus fielder? This blew my mind.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Not *completely* unprecedented http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=454&position=SS#value

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There’s probably a lot of noise in that signal, but I love trying to reconcile the image of Juan Uribe with the reality of Juan Uribe

9:57
Comment From Billy
“There’s probably not a lot to gain from pinch-hitters and pinch-runners”… Billy Hamilton (or anyone who watched the Reds since he came up) would like a word.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: pinch-runners, plural. find me another one!

9:58
Comment From Kyle
Line for Salazar tomorrow?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: 5 innings, 3 runs

9:58
Comment From George
Given how well the Dodgers played without Kemp (not saying his absence was a reason), can you see LA being willing to trade him?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: That one’s not happening

9:59
Comment From Guest
Worse move, firing Sveum or extending Yost?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think I’ll ever have an actual strong opinion about any manager. We just…it’s…ehhhhh. They’re managers. So uninteresting to me.

9:59
Comment From Brendan Ryans Normal
Without being entirely flip, but in 15 words or less, what is the best thing that could possibly happen to the Mariners this offseason?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: They generate actual fan excitement by showing a commitment to winning in the near-term future

10:00
Comment From zack
Who should the Indians have more confidence in: Kazmir or Ubaldo?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Ubaldo, seems like

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: /activates time machine

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: /goes back to March

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: /shows that question to March self

10:00
Comment From Eastern NC
Did Dale Svuem lose his job for how he dealt with Starlin? That’s my take. Gotta have love first to have tough love.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Important young players didn’t seem to progress and that’s as good a reason as any I suppose

10:01
Comment From Forsyth
Can the Red Sox, with a lot of high end prospects, acquire Stanton without giving up Bogaerts or Bradley? Would an offer of Cecchini, Swihart, Barnes, and Betts be the best offer the Marlins would receive?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: You gotta give to get, and Stanton is a lot to get. A trade for Stanton would probably hurt you a little, emotionally. It would be steep.

10:02
Comment From Eric R
“Pence loves the Giants, the Giants love Pence, and they think they have unique insight about Pence’s chances of maintaining his level of play.” — If the Giants have some unique insight that suggests he’ll be the kind of player that is worth a 5/$90M deal, then why pay it? If no other team is likely to have that knowledge and the market values him at 5/$70M, doesn’t that still make 5/$90M an over-pay?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I just mean I dont’ think the Giants are as worried as analysts might be, and they didn’t want to risk Pence being exposed to the open market given his skills and leadership ability. This way it’s warm fuzzies all around. No way for the Giants to predict who might’ve made a big offer

10:05
Comment From Guest
Lots of money coming off the books for the Cardinals. Assuming they don’t bring Beltran back, what do they spend on?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Starter and a shortstop, one would hope

10:05
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Do you think Francona will be telling Masterson “Do the routine that you normally do for a start, just start it an hour and a half later than usual”?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Masterson was a reliever some years ago, so at least this shouldn’t be completely unfamiliar

10:06
Comment From zack
If Liriano looks like he might blowup should Burnett or Cole get the call? Cole has been the most consistent.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I like the idea of Cole potentially playing up in the bullpen

10:06
Comment From Tito
How quick of a leash should I have with Danny Salazar tomorrow? He has been on a pitch count for half the season and seems to go high in the zone when he nears it.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: 80-90 pitches, even if still effective

10:07
Comment From Andrew
I do not understand the compliant about unbalanced schedules made by an AL East ex. Within the current division structure the goal should be to win your division, thus play teams in your division frequently and have common opponents outside. Is he really arguing for a structure like domestic European football? (Which is the most equitable scheduling in sports) Should I just assume its self-serving and let it go?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: There’s another way into the playoffs, though, and as long as the wild cards exist, you’d think MLB would have an interest in leveling the playing field. The fact is that the Rays contended against a team with an easier slate, and with equivalent slates, the Rays probably would’ve finished clear of Texas in the standings. That’s the gripe, and I think it has legitimacy

10:09
Comment From Catoblepas
What did you think of your poll question? I don’t think anyone’s complaining about the call the ump made, but with the benefit of replay, what would you say?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: By the rule, I think you let that go, but I think the rule should be adjusted because I don’t think the base should be blocked before the defender has the baseball in his possession

10:09
Comment From Guest
Re: Swisher chatting at 1B… I remember an article with quotes from Youkilis saying one of the hardest things about playing first was talking to people. That seems to characterize Youk perfectly.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Introverts and extroverts

10:10
Comment From Guest
could we ever see a 300 inning pitcher again?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not any time soon

10:10
Comment From Devil Ray
Any word on Hultzen’s vaporizing labrum?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing official, but assume bad news

10:10
Comment From Devil Ray
Why don’t more players succeed with Colon’s arsenal?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Most people don’t have Colon’s ability to locate

10:11
Comment From Bruce
Erasmo: Whatup wit dat?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I just assume his elbow isn’t quite right still

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: That would explain the significant drop in strike rate

10:12
Comment From aaron
Who do the braves throw in game 4? Freddy Garcia or Maholm. Yuck

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Thank god for deep bullpens

10:12
Comment From Boston Phan
Regarding “getting to good pitchers early,” I think the theory is that if the good pitcher is off his game early, he has a better chance of finding himself and hence improving than a mediocre pitcher. This should be testable – take a sample of above-average pitchers and if they in general improve over the course of a game that they started poorly.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Well, you’d just be observing regression

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: And you’d be excluding games in which they got yanked before they had a chance to improve over the course of a game

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: The idea is really “seize what opportunities you get against good pitchers because good pitchers yield fewer opportunities.” Which, okay, sure

10:15
Comment From BX
Choo at $100MM guaranteed is a far worse deal than Pence for 5/$90M, right?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t say far worse

10:15
Comment From Bruce
Wow, baseball fans are so worried about their owners bank accounts!

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: They’re worried about team budgets, because team budgets directly affect team success, and fans like success more than failure

10:15
Comment From Gila Monster
Do you think Profar’s inability to perform at the major league level has significantly hurt his trade value? I mean 325 AB is not a large, but decent sample size. It has to, right?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s done more to his perception among fans than to his perception among MLB execs. I think Profar’s value is mainly intact, just as Giancarlo Stanton’s value is mainly intact

10:16
Comment From Guest
Is St. Louis the favorite to land Stephen Drew?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Looking like it

10:16
Comment From Daniel Carroll
Is it even worth it to try to figure out what Jack Z is going to do with the Mariners next year?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Have to assume he’ll spend, because if he doesn’t spend, payroll will be tiny and people will actively avoid the ballpark

10:17
Comment From Guest
re: unbalanced schedules — the Indians finished the season against the Astros, White Sox and Twins. Not saying they don’t deserve to be where they are, but some teams have it a little easier, y’know.

10:17
Comment From Timofey
Ubaldo’s second half 10.71K/9 2.89BB/9 2.17FIP is that enough to get him a 80+M contract?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: No, I don’t think teams will see him as being that reliable

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: but he is still going to cash in

10:19
Comment From Sleepless
Can you think of any rational reason why the Mariners went from stat-based player analysis in the beginning to seat-of-pants?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: “Chone Figgins” would be the short answer

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: THE SHORT ANSWER

10:20
Comment From Bruce
Will Kimbrel get some 2-inning saves this postseason?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why he’d start now

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I know *why*, but consider me skeptical

10:20
Comment From Catshark vs. Dogfish
Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton still on the books for a few year. How does that feel?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Some consolation for the Angels: a healthy Pujols should bounce back some, and Hamilton posted an .801 second-half OPS

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: But the first years were supposed to be the best years

10:21
Comment From Steve
Is Joe Buck the worst baseball announcer ever? Or am I being hyperbolic?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: There are some regional TV guys who are worse but I don’t really know what Buck’s target audience might be. Nobody really likes him

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I also get the sense Buck is self-aware, based on his Twitter foray, which does make me like him a little more

10:23
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Where was all the complaining when the Indians opened the season @Tor, @Tampa, NYY, CWS, Boston?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: The Indians’ schedule was almost equivalent to the Rays’ schedule. It’s the Rangers’ schedule that was easier

10:23
Comment From Max
Should the Padres feel better about the rotation going into next season or this is only a mirage other than Cashner? btw, how much is Headley in the FA market?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: There are some bits there, and I’m really hoping for the return of a healthy Luebke. I think Headley ultimately ends up re-signing

10:24
Comment From The Oberamtmann
What’s more awesome? That I have a girlfriend who has happily learned to make rugelach at home? Or that she’s really, really small so I get to eat two thirds of them?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: The consumption imbalance is an underrated aspect of dating

10:26
Comment From Tom
Does Dioner Navarro get a full-time job next year? His offense was surprisingly good this year.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with semi-regular. Not to keep talking about the Mariners, but he’d make some sense for a Mariners team that wants to let Zunino develop some more in the minors out of the gate

10:27
Comment From Doug
How much money does a team give Josh Johnson this winter?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Low base

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Something kind of like the Liriano contract, but a bit bigger

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: One year

10:29
Comment From pinch
disagree re: consumption balance strongly. having a girlfriend who isn’t stupid about food is awesome. not that everyone who doesn’t eat a lot is stupid, but way more likely too cook a ton of food when we’ll both eat it.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a difference between not eating and not eating as much as the boyfriend

10:30
Comment From Max
the Marlins got a no-hitter in the last day of the season and their fans weren’t there to watch. this made me sad.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: actually attendance wasn’t awful

10:30
Comment From Guest
Jeff, are you running the wild card chat tonight?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Tonight is Dave, with some Swydan. I’ve got tomorrow, with or maybe not with help

10:31
Comment From Steve
In re: Buck, my buddy met him last night at his (Buck’s) engagement party… Says he’s a pretty nice, unassuming guy. I still think he should stick to the NFL though.

10:31
Comment From The Oberamtmann
Buck is self-aware how? IF he knows he is awful, why not, y’know, work to improve?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think he knows people think he’s awful, but it’s not like he’s getting negative network feedback. He’s been Joe Buck this long and it’s worked out well for him, so he doesn’t need to change to satisfy people who’ll never like him regardless

10:32
Comment From Camerons Pup
Have you given thought to flying out to N. Carolina simply for the purpose of meeting me?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I most definitely have!

10:33
Comment From Emmett
In a seven game series, do you support a 3-man rotation or a 4-man? It’s a debate about the importance of a rest day for a starting pitcher, so I’m wondering where you stand. I’m sure the Dodgers would much rather have Kershaw in game 4 and 7 than pitch Nolasco and throw Ryu out there in a winner take all game.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not real big on using starters on short rest. It’s always going to be a case-by-case basis and it also depends on the depth of your rotation, but it isn’t as simple as adding another Kershaw start. You have to assume he wouldn’t quite be Clayton Kershaw, so then what’s the difference between him and teh guys he’d be replacing?

10:34
Comment From Catoblepas
How much have you met the other writers on the site in-person? Are you guys friends? I hope if you’re answering this it’s to say yes, cause it’d make me sad otherwise.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I consider Cameron and myself good real-life friends. Friendly with everybody else to a lesser extent, in that Cameron and I talk about stuff that isn’t just work. Carson used to live in Portland. Have seen Dave the most

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Many of us get together during spring training in Arizona

10:36
Comment From cistullifanatic
Any chance Carson Cistulli stops by to chat today?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Carson doesn’t believe in the playoffs

10:36
Comment From cistullifanatic
Why so little Carson Cistulli content these last few weeks?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He moved to Europe

10:36
Comment From Guest
If every DLS, LCS, and the WS all went to deciding Game 5s/7s…would Twitter explode?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when Twitter used to fail like every single day?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Man, the things we take for granted, now.

10:37
Comment From Catshark vs. Dogfish
Bigger impact on franchise: GM or ownership? And, are there clear lessons one can take from a successful Friedman?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, ownership, since they’re in total control of the budget, but in reality given what owners make available I’d say GM. The lesson of a successful Friedman is that money is less important than people assume come wintertime

10:38
Comment From Whiner
Is Chris Carter the new Adam Dunn?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Worse

10:38
Comment From Greg
Anybody who says Joe Buck is the worst announcer ever has clearly not heard Rob Dibble speak. A few years ago during a Nats/Mets game he said the Nationals had an advantage over the Mets (starting a then-prime Johan Santana) because Hernandez had a WS MVP

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Rob Dibble might be the actual worst

10:38
Comment From Prich
Who wins in the following contests between you and Dave: Arm Wrestling/Thumb wrestling/Leg Wrestling?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: me/me/sounds uncomfortably intimate

10:39
Comment From Guest
Quick, where is Mike Trout playing in 5 years?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Anaheim

10:39
Comment From guest
What are fangraph writers like in person? Is Dave as sarcastic or Carson as charismatic as they seem online?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Dave smiles a lot and Carson is a very entertaining and engaging conversationalist who looks weird

10:40
Comment From guest
Who wins tonight?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates

10:40
Comment From ralph
As it should be: Billy Hamilton on the roster for tonight’s game.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Thank god

10:41
Comment From guest
Where do you go to read about baseball?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly the statistics. But I have a few favorite writers, like Sam Miller and Grant Brisbee

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: otherwise, a lot of the reading is just to look for ideas or find support for my own theses

10:42
Comment From guest
How great could Mike Trout be? Realistically could he be the GOAT?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll never be what Babe Ruth was, but he’s a better actual player than Babe Ruth was, so there’s that to talk about

10:42
Comment From guest
What does Billy Hamilton do next year?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Run almost all the time

10:43
Comment From Arthi
If I ever make it to Portland, wanna go to Salvador Molly’s?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I almost certainly probably do!

10:43
Comment From PCE
Should Edward Mujica and his gas can be left off the post season roster?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: No, but he should be treated very carefully

10:44
Comment From Prich
Is there anything at which Dave could defeat you, besides a staring contest?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: A talking contest

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: An opinion contest

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: A find-your-way-around-Winston-Salem contest

10:44
Comment From Guest
how often do you find stats/info that steer you away from your original theses?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I usually let the numbers determine those theses because to approach things otherwise would be biased

10:45
Comment From Jeb
Will we ever see hypotheses that failed in FG articles? It would be pretty interesting…

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe we could do more of this

10:45
Comment From meat
as a Pirates fam, sould I ditch work to watch today’s game? game is on 9am here in S.korea. what’s a good excuse to tell my boss? thanx

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: You hurt your back getting ready in the morning and now you’re bed-ridden. Hurts too much to move. Taking pain-killers, should be okay before long, but right now it would be downright irresponsible to try to drive to worok

10:47
Comment From Leighton
I actually like Joe Buck. I’m probably the only one :(

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: holy wow

10:47
Comment From Bruce
How much faster is Hamilton than Joey Gathraight?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if he’s much faster, but he might get better/quicker reads

10:48
Comment From Guest
This has probably been discussed before, but does Mike Trout have any actual historical comparisons? Like, is it fair to compare him to Willie Mays given the WAR they each produced in their first few seasons?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Not going to be many people who compare at all to Mike Trout. Just have to compare him to other good young players, and then inflate the numbers when you’re done

10:48
Comment From Guest
Saw the comment about Dave being a prick and a jerk last night…and it’s not the first time I’ve seen that from a commenter…why is Dave always a smart alec?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He isn’t always, but chats and comments demand short and instantaneous replies and that’s what comes natural to him

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Typically even his smart-alec replies contain answers

10:50
Comment From Leighton
Tigers unable to hit in the last series against the Marlins (a No-Hitter is pretty big evidence, but the other games weren’t impressive, either). I’m afraid they won’t hit against the much-better-than-the-Marlins Athletics, and get swept. Thoughts?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: They didn’t have a DH, they weren’t playing regular lineups, and they weren’t playing for any meaning. I”m not real concerned about that part, but a lot really will come down to how healthy Miguel Cabrera is

10:51
Comment From Baltar
Johnson isn’t an FA yet. There are procedures after the World Series to become one, so Jays are responsible for his surgery.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: thank you for addressing that!

10:51
Comment From Nick O
Can you please tell me my favorite team will win its first round playoff match-up? It will comfort me.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I have good news!

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Congratulations, Nick O.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: All right guys, I need to get running, by which I mean I need to get to other tasks while sitting in the same place on my sofa.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Thanks for coming by, I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address, and we’ll do this again next Tuesday. In the meantime, we’ll have some playoff liveblogs, including tonight (Dave) and tomorrow (me). We’re to the playoffs, finally. Enjoy them, be wonderful, and have great days



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Guest
Guest
Guest
2 years 9 months ago

Mike Trout is not a better baseball player than Babe Ruth. He has never pitched in MLB, much less been dominant. (29 2/3 consecutive inning scoreless streak in the World Series for Ruth.)

Reminds me of an article here where interviewed players said Bonds was better than Ruth because of defense and speed. What about pitching?!?! I don’t think I’ve ever heard the players making more ignorant comments.

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