Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 10/9/18

2:00
Meg Rowley: Hello, and welcome to the chat!

2:00
Meg Rowley: It feels strange to chat without the help and humor of my colleagues but I guess we must soldier on.

2:00
Nate: Angel Hernandez’s performance last definitely hurts his lawsuit, does it not?

2:02
Meg Rowley: Obviously, I don’t know anything more about his case or claim than what has been reported, but I think it is important to remember that his poor performance does not mean that he couldn’t have faced discrimination. I would hope (and imagine) that whatever judge or arbiter is hearing his case will approach it more dispassionately than sports fans watching a playoff game.

2:02
CamdenWarehouse: As we sit here watching Osuna pitch, do you get any sense that MLB has heard people about DV suspensions and post season play? Any chance of a change coming?

2:03
Meg Rowley: I don’t have a sense of how the league office is viewing this, or how much of the discourse online has gotten to them or the union.

2:03
Meg Rowley: I know that folks in the game I talk to are very aware of the discourse surrounding Osuna, for whatever that is worth.

2:04
Meg Rowley: For there to be a change would require both the union and the league, and I’m not sure how incentivized either party feels to act here.

2:04
Johnny Coconuts: Not a Yankees fan, but how do you not insta-pull Lance Lynn from the game after he fell over throwing ball three to Mookie Betts?

2:04
Meg Rowley: How do you go to Lynn in the first place?

2:05
Meg Rowley: I will admit to only catching the tail end of that game as I was helping a friend who is trying to pick her wedding dress, but man, the managerial choices in that one were… odd.

2:05
Cory: Being an umpire is difficult.

2:06
Meg Rowley: It really is.

2:06
Meg Rowley: They mess up, and sometimes badly, and they have their biases obviously, but damn is that a hard, thankless job.

2:06
Nick Mar – Cake is Good: Can we all agree that Atlanta’s blackout chop during Maeda’s mound visit last night was epic?

2:06
Meg Rowley: I am not a fan of the chop and that moment didn’t change my opinion of it.

2:07
My Mama Says: Can Trevor Richards and his magic changeup turn into an above average pitcher in Miami?

2:07
Meg Rowley: I will admit only a passing familiarity with Trevor Richards, who didn’t make the Marlins Top 29, though he is one of Carson’s guys and Carson’s guys can sometimes be good!

2:08
Meg Rowley: Also, shouts to you for living your truth and asking about a Marlins pitcher in this, the postseason.

2:08
Meg Rowley: Always be exactly yourself, My Mama Says.

2:08
Meg Rowley: My mama *does* say that. Wild.

2:08
Nick Mar – Cake is Good: The Dodgers’ platooning and Brewers’ bullpen mix and match should be interesting…

2:08
Meg Rowley: I am so excited for this series.

2:08
MLB Network: Do you want to call games for us next postseason? Simply pass this one-question quiz: Who is the Brewers’ All-Star 1B? A) Christina Aguilera B) Jesus Aguilar

2:09
Meg Rowley: I goof on announcers, and looking at the queue am sure to do so again, but I can’t imagine calling a game. It is so hard.

2:09
Meg Rowley: I am a nervous talker at times. It would be a nightmare.

2:09
Meg Rowley: You *would* get a lot of weird pop culture and political theory references, though.

2:10
NotGraphs Revivalist: I know you’re a Mariners fan and you have your own unique kind of pain that results from that. As a Braves fan who attended last night’s game, my emotions are ambiguous. On the one hand, it was really fun to care about my team’s performance again. My expectations couldn’t have been much lower entering a series against the much-better Dodgers so I wasn’t incredibly disappointed. I actually weirdly enjoyed Machado crushing us because I’m hopeful we will make a good run at him this offseason. On the other hand, this is now 8 playoff appearances in a row where the Braves have failed to advance even one round. And after 4 really bad years where I was able to enjoy all of baseball (and especially October baseball), I feel very uninvested in the rest of the postseason, which makes me sad.

2:10
Meg Rowley: I think that’s a fair and reasonable range of reactions.

2:11
Meg Rowley: I guess if you wanted to start turning the corner into feeling less sad about it, you could remember that this Braves team is good a little early. It has some really great young players. It has obvious places to improve, but that’s a good thing, too. You know what is wrong!

2:11
Meg Rowley: Literally none of us at FanGraphs, either full-time staff or contributors picked them to make the postseason, and we’re sometimes reasonably smart about baseball.

2:12
Meg Rowley: Losing is never *fun*, and this Braves team isn’t as good as it is currently constituted as the 2015 Cubs were, or likely to be as good at the 2016 Cubs were, but they arrived a little early and then were rad.

2:12
Gerald: Do you still like prospects? Baseball prospects, to be clear.

2:13
Meg Rowley: Who is this question for?

2:13
stever20: Why does David Price stink so much in the playoffs?  3rd worst starter in MLB playoff history behind Jaret Wright and Tim Wakefield.

2:13
Meg Rowley: Mostly, I think postseason narratives like this are just pretty goofy. It is a tiny sample compared to the rest of the time we watch guys, and if there is some postseason effect I mostly think it is fatigue.

2:14
Meg Rowley: I do think there is some interesting work to be done on the psychological effects of that kind of pressure, which I don’t think we should discount entirely, but I mostly think guys are tired in a small sample.

2:14
Meg Rowley: I feel badly for Price. It has to feel awful.

2:14
Pineapple: When I taught high school, it was always easy to tell who’d done the reading and who read SparkNotes on their way to class. Most of the broadcasters this postseason (lookin’ at you Costas) fall into the latter group. What an poke in the eye to players who’ve worked their butt off all year that you can’t even learn their damn names.

2:15
Meg Rowley: I think the playoff broadcasts, no matter who is in the booth, are always going to be a bit broader than regular season ones, because you’re playing to a broader audience.

2:16
Meg Rowley: That is a good thing! A lot of baseball fans get made in October, or at least, some do, and it is nice to widen the view.

2:16
Meg Rowley: But yeah, Pineapple, they should get the names right.

2:16
Meg Rowley: There is no excuse for that, just none at all.

2:16
Meg Rowley: They have a media guide right in front of them! It has a pronunciation key!

2:16
Meg Rowley: It’s so rude to get this stuff wrong. Afford people the dignity of their name.

2:17
carrotjuice: Do you think, as constructed in the postseason roster, the 2018 Astros are better or worse than the 2017 Astros? Also, same question for the Dodgers.

2:17
Meg Rowley: Better for the Astros, worse for the Dodgers. Mostly because of pitching in both cases.

2:17
Meg Rowley: The Dodgers are still good though.

2:17
carl: When will you apologize to Wade Miley?

2:18
Meg Rowley: carl, literally never.

2:18
Meg Rowley: (he’s pitched ok, but I still don’t think he is *good*)

2:18
wOBAseft: What percentage of non-Yankees/Red Sox/Astros/Dodgers baseball fans will be rooting for the Brew Crew?

2:19
Meg Rowley: I don’t know, actually. People love underdogs, but people also love feeling like winners and feeling certain.

2:19
Meg Rowley: There’s a reason winning teams attract bandwagon fans.

2:19
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: I’ve often complained about how late playoff games end on the east coast. How kind of the Red Sox to ensure that the game was over by the fourth inning.

2:20
Meg Rowley: I would say the solution is to move but housing is already too expensive here.

2:20
GraphsFan: Hey Meg, what are your favorite baseball books? I just started “The Only Rule is it has to Work” and am loving it so far.

2:20
Meg Rowley: The Only Rule is wonderful. So wonderful.

2:21
Meg Rowley: I really liked Russell Carleton’s book from earlier this year. The analysis was great and his prose was so lovely and lively.

2:21
Meg Rowley: I will admit to fatigue with the team-specific, post-World Series book.

2:22
Meg Rowley: It isn’t a knock on any one of them, but the genre doesn’t quite do it for me.

2:22
Dusty: Can you please provide an update regarding the upside of the Twins Wander Javier? He’s healthy and fielding grounders now.

2:22
Meg Rowley: I remain fascinated by how quickly you think human beings can change.

2:22
tb.25: Meg chats are great because sometimes we talk about butts

2:23
Meg Rowley: Only sometimes, and only in a funny way, not a dirty way. This isn’t WorkingBlueGraphs, after all.

2:23
Planet Dust: Why do you think Fenway is so much quieter than Yankee stadium, even accounting for smaller capacity? I am from Boston and could come up with some theories, I guess, but curious what others think.

2:23
Meg Rowley: I would not dare speculate lest those dudes who “found” the Red Sox banner in the street find me.

2:24
Britt: Where do the Indians go from here?  I don’t know if you are an Athletic subscriber but there was a column in which Indians players made comments about how they felt they were ill-prepared when facing the Astros and how much better prepared the Astros were.  As a fan, that is not a good look and I think the organization needs to do some soul searching.  I don’t want to have a 100 years wait for that elusive ring.

2:24
Meg Rowley: I liked that they made moves at the deadline, and I liked those moves, but I wonder if this won’t be something of a lesson for them in that the teams they are trying to beat aren’t really the Twins and the White Sox.

2:25
Meg Rowley: The good news for you is that they will likely get a bunch more chances, given the division.

2:25
lunchmunch: seems like a weird time to be a dodger fan.  excited they are advancing in the postseason, but very nervous by the investigation going on in the background.

2:26
Meg Rowley: Totally get that. I don’t say this to in any way downplay the seriousness of the investigation, which sounds pretty bad, but it is just sort of a weird time to be a fan generally. Not a lot of ethical consumption to be had when you consider that no team stands up to its receipts.

2:26
wOBAseft: Is Sheryl Ring ever available to chat? I love her posts but I always have about a dozen follow up questions.

2:26
Meg Rowley: Sheryl is a busy law person, but I know she plans to participate in some of the playoff chats!

2:27
Morton Salt Girl: I was worried that, with the M’s being eliminated, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the suffering of M’s fans.  But then LL published their staff picks and I saw how much they’d dislike the Astros winning.  It really it the cherry on top of a very tasty sundae.

2:27
Meg Rowley: Do you feel good about being this person, and have you considered feeling less good about it?

2:27
Nitro Nic: The Braves fun times roller coaster hit a wall so fast into October. Baseball is harsh.

2:28
Meg Rowley: It is truly devastating sometimes.

2:28
GraphsFan: Meg, do you know how the tradition of giving foul balls or homers to kids at games evolved? Would an adult who keeps a ball with a child nearby get shamed?

2:28
Meg Rowley: I’m not sure how that started actually.

2:30
Meg Rowley: I don’t think the impulse to give cute kids free stuff is that mysterious, though we are very fussy about it, aren’t we? I don’t think most folks have the expectation that adults give home run balls away, and obviously *robbing* kids of foul balls is weird, but we might lean a little strongly on the shame bit.

2:30
H Town Melo: Who should the Astros want to play next?

2:31
Meg Rowley: Having to deal with Sale wouldn’t be fun, but both teams thump the ball, and I think I’d rather deal with that Red Sox bullpen.

2:31
Meg Rowley: It’s not a huge gap, mind you.

2:31
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Do you like pie? Pumpkin Pie to be clear.

2:32
Meg Rowley: Yes. I like pumpkin pie. I don’t need other foods and drinks to taste like pumpkin pie, which is all pumpkin spice is going for, but I like pumpkin pie.

2:32
Meg Rowley: It’s a good pie

2:32
bosoxforlife: Can we all forget offense for a moment and realize that Mookie Betts is as good at the other aspects of the game as we have seen, perhaps since Willie?

2:33
Meg Rowley: There is a thread of Red Sox fandom that thinks that we are not giving Mookie enough credit or attention, and I am honestly fascinated by it.

2:33
botchatheny: gerald has been asking that question to all chatters for weeks now.  he’s trolling at this point.  i think he’s referencing a “behind 2 ferns” episode when galifianakis asks “do you like websites?”

2:34
Meg Rowley: do you ever look at where culture is and wonder if we deserve to make it?

2:34
The Mandujar: Disappointing hype aside, do the Yankees actually have a shot at the AL East any time in the near future? The talent gap seems…large. And is the AL doomed to just having the Astros and Sox park in the ALCS for like the next four years?

2:35
Meg Rowley: Are you asking if the team with this level of success despite their injuries and a demonstrated willingness to spend money going into a couple good free agent classes has a chance to win their division?

2:35
5 Run Homer: The upside of the Rockies and Braves being eliminated is we don’t have to hear Ottaviño and Acuna anymore

2:35
Meg Rowley: Don’t let those booths win

2:35
juliooo: Imagine if the Dodgers had traded Verdugo & change for Yelich…

2:36
Meg Rowley: I mean sure, though their outfield isn’t the area I’d choose to reinforce

2:36
Andrea’s Fault: Isn’t it quaint to remember the WS just three years ago was Royals over Mets? Simpler times.

2:36
Meg Rowley: My blood pressure was lower then, it is true.

2:36
Billy Beane: Home team announcers should do playoff broadcasts. Some home announcers are bad, and some national announcers are good, but it would be more fun that way.

2:36
Ar0d: They should just make a broadcast crew consisting of a mix of each team’s regular season crew. Maybe choose the best one from each team so we don’t have to listen to Joe Simpson.

2:37
Meg Rowley: I think there could be some merit to this, but I also think a lot of broadcasts are pretty not the best.

2:38
Paul: Being an umpire thankless??  I, for one, love Hernandez when my pitcher gets a backwards K for a slider 3 feet out of the zone

2:38
Meg Rowley: yuck yuck yuck

2:38
v2micca: Going to sound like a bitter fan, but don’t care.  Did fangraphs realize that the Braves actually played in the post-season this year?  Because, given the absolute silence on the topic of anything Braves related, I’m actually beginning to wonder.

2:38
Meg Rowley: WAIT WHAT?

2:40
Meg Rowley: In all seriousness, it’s valuable feedback, but sometimes folks just aren’t moved by game action.

2:40
Meg Rowley: I imagine you’ll get another shot soon.

2:41
Morton Salt Girl: I can totally understand why a M’s fan might get tired reading the genre of team-specific post-WS books.

2:41
Meg Rowley: Like, who is this bit even for? I’ll stop posting it, sure, but I’m fascinated anyone would look at the last couple years and think no, be meaner, that’s what is missing.

2:41
Adam: Is baseball heading toward a sort of reckoning between Astros/Dodgers-style analytics and moral concerns?

2:42
Meg Rowley: There is a tension at the heart of any method of analysis that is (at least partially) predicated on exploiting inefficiency. Sometimes those inefficiencies are of a much worse, icky flavor than others.

2:43
Meg Rowley: I don’t think we should let anyone off the hook for designing a system in which those inefficiencies exist, nor should we count on teams self regulating.

2:43
Strelok: Does any other team stand a chance against the Astros? It seems like they’re #1 in every category.

2:44
Meg Rowley: In short series, stuff can get weird, but they are the strongest team remaining imo.

2:44
TKDC: Is the Community Blog dead? I mean, this has been asked in chats before, but it still seems dead.

2:44
Meg Rowley: I think it remains mostly on hiatus until we get past October. It is not dead. It is just sleeping

2:45
Eminor3rd: Bob Costas SHOULD pronounce names correctly. And he has the tools. So it’s lame that he messed it up, but

…are we not over-reacting just a LITTLE? People pronounce MY name wrong every now and then, and I’ve never taken it personally. I’ve never felt undiginified as a result. I guess I just feel like there’s a lot of legit stuff to be up in arms about, and this maybe feels like one we should let slide.

2:46
Meg Rowley: I don’t know your name, so I’m not sure how difficult or run-of-the-mill it is, but I think there is a not unimportant difference between someone getting your name wrong every now and again, and a national broadcast, possessed of a media guide and literally paid to say words, repeatedly getting the names of mostly but not always nonwhite players wrong.

2:47
Strelok: Who do you think the Cubs would be better off pursuing: Harper or Machado?

2:49
Meg Rowley: I think the Cubs could use some pitching help, but I guess if I had to pick between those two

2:49
Meg Rowley: It’s weird with them because of how they move guys around, and we don’t know insistent he is going to be about position but I think I’d rather Machado.

2:50
NotGraphs Revivalist: On the topic of mispronunciation, I’ve heard a lot of “A-coon-uh” instead of “A-coon-yuh” this October. The Aguilar one seems to get much more attention, I guess because of the reference to the musician.

2:50
Eminor3rd: Does Costas or anyone from the network have a history of pronouncing Aguilar or other names wrong? Legitimately asking, as I don’t watch many national broadcasts

2:51
Meg Rowley: Both names got roughed up pretty badly. I’m not sure whether those names in particular have been issues for them in the past.

2:51
ScottNC: The Astros’ team OPS vs. Cleveland was 1.037 — basically a team of Mike Trouts. Cleveland’s team OPS was 0.418 — basically a team of pitchers batting. Largest OPS differential in a playoff series ever?

2:51
Meg Rowley: Woof, hold on a second.

2:53
Meg Rowley: I am sure there is a way to Play Index this, but it looks like not quickly. I doubt it is the biggest because I’m always tempted to take the field, but it wasn’t great.

2:53
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Being the intellectual that you are, have you ever gotten into chess? It’s a stretch, but there’s sort of a similarity with baseball that’s theres a lot of nuance and strategy in the game.  Just without the physical exertion.

2:54
Meg Rowley: Am I an intellectual? Hmmmm. I am not a huge chess player. I know how to play chess, but am not into chess, perhaps because people who are into chess are often SO into it.

2:54
Ar0d: You’d have to imagine that there is a producer on these broadcasts telling Costas that he’s pronouncing it wrong all break, right?

2:54
Meg Rowley: I would think. I did notice that he shifted on Acuña midway through.

2:55
Meg Rowley: I’m not ascribing some malicious intent to it, but it’s not something we should be indifferent toward.

2:55
HappyFunBall: Sometimes the universe laughs: The Braves, Indians, and Redskins all lost on Columbus Day

2:56
Meg Rowley: I don’t tend to think the universe has much to do with these sorts of coincidences, but it didn’t suck that they all converged onto Indigenous People’s Day.

2:56
Ryan: What is your take on pecan pie?

2:56
Meg Rowley: A very, very good pie.

2:57
Muad Dib: So, the Pitching Romine Brothers! That’s kinda cool. As an oldest brother (of three) myself I can understand how Andrew probably feels with his little brother copying him. Get your own thing, Austin! Little brothers stink (not really). Any idea what the final regular season count was for total performances of position players pitching? I know the record was broken way back in the summer but now that the season is over I haven’t seen a final tally. Thanks!

2:57
Meg Rowley: A little, given how wonky this stuff can get, though I suppose it is good to remember that just because good teams lose to less good teams somewhat often doesn’t mean a small sample assures that they will.

2:58
JW: The universe can laugh at things it did not cause

2:58
Meg Rowley: The universe can’t laugh at all.

2:58
David: If you could convince Dipoto to do a single thing this winter (in regards to the Mariners, always have to specify in these chats), what is it?

2:59
Meg Rowley: I think the rebuild should probably commence, and then continue until morale improves, which means they should trade Edwin Díaz. They should just do the one thing because trading just him and not doing the rest is doofy, but I’d ask around.

3:00
Theo Maddon: I imagine a guy like Bob Costas is pretty busy.  Why not give him some time off and let local broadcasters call games on the national level?  Obviously not all team broadcasters are equal, but if given the chance to listen to Len Kasper instead of A-Rod during the NL wildcard I totally would.

3:00
Meg Rowley: You’d have to do a blended booth, or fans of the unrepresented team would riot, which means there is no guarantee that they would broadcast well together anyway.

3:00
Meg Rowley: Also, he has a pronunciation guide and they go through a ton of prep for these.

3:01
Meg Rowley: He is paid to broadcast. Saying Acuña correctly shouldn’t be viewed as anymore voluntary or inessential as saying Atlanta correctly.

3:02
AC000000: Can you explain the blackout Chop of Maeda to someone who missed it and doesn’t know what that means?

3:02
Meg Rowley:

This is awesome @Braves
8 Oct 2018
3:03
tb.25: In reference to the blackout portion of the chop – I can’t recall seeing a team ever mess with lights during a game, even when the play is dead. Can you?

3:03
tb.25: Lights as in the stadium lights

3:03
Eminor3rd: Wow I’ve never seen stadium lights that could turn back on that quickly!

3:05
Meg Rowley: I have to think this doesn’t violate the rules since they did it and the Dodgers didn’t say anything, but I was surprised they could do it when it wasn’t a pitching change and just a mound visit.

3:05
Morton Salt Girl: Getting a chance to tweak rival teams’ fans is a tradition going way further back than our current social dysfunction.  I’d even argue we’d be better off as a society if, instead of insulting one another over sincere political disagreements, we insulted each other for sports preferences.

3:05
Meg Rowley: What if you were just a compassionate person though?

3:05
Meg Rowley: Saying you enjoy people’s suffering over something you perceive to be trivial doesn’t make you less of an ass, or terrifically discerning.

3:06
E: Were the Indians good process, poor results? Or should they have done more in the offseason and at the trade deadline?

3:06
Meg Rowley: I think they should have done more in the offseason.

3:06
Eminor3rd: I used to work for a minor league baseball team, and we would have to start turning the lights back on after fireworks a couple minutes before the show even ended just so it was safe for people to leave the ballpark

3:06
Meg Rowley: I think (hope? expect?) it’s a bit better a set up at SunTrust

3:07
Billy: I get the mispronunciation of Acuna since people often leave off the dingy-bop over the N (like I just did because I can’t figure out how to make it in this chat program).  As for Aguilar, that seems the more egregious error, and hence it got more attention.

3:08
Meg Rowley: It’s called a tilde, first.

3:09
Meg Rowley: And while folks might forget that, the media guide doesn’t.

3:10
Meg Rowley: It also spells it out phonetically.

3:10
Meg Rowley: People make mistakes but it is a persistent problem across broadcasts, and it is a good thing to point out and then do better.

3:11
Mattyb: Which mariners minor leaguer are you most excited to follow next year?

3:11
Meg Rowley: Evan White, because he has a weird profile and got better and those things both appeal to me.

3:12
Meg Rowley: He’s a backwards guy- not like, in his opinions, he bats right and throws left.

3:12
Meg Rowley: And is a first baseman who could legit play the outfield

3:12
Meg Rowley: Julio Rodriguez is also intriguing.

3:13
James: Alt-164 does the trick. ñ

3:13
v2micca: hold alt while typing 164 to get the ñ in Acuña.

3:13
Meg Rowley: Good helpers, both.

3:13
j-bones: i’ve never seen one of these mythical “media guides

3:13
Meg Rowley: The beats generally tweet them out or the team PR folks do, and the broadcasters are given them.

3:13
Dusty: I’m sad to read that you don’t have faith in people to change, and change quickly. It happens all the time. Just remember, Wander Javier’s will is stronger than your grim outlook on humankind.

3:14
Meg Rowley: Dusty, you ask this question of every prospect writer (and me, apparently) almost daily. You did so when Wander was hurt and out for the year. Things just don’t change that much that fast is all.

3:15
PalkSmash: Is it possible that Aaron Boone and the Yankees were confused about what time the game started last night?

3:15
Meg Rowley: I know this was reported or speculated about and it… it just can’t be real. It… it can’t be real.

3:16
Nascent: Didn’t the Padres and Brewers turn the lights off for Trevor Hoffman/Hells Bells?

3:16
Meg Rowley: Maybe? I’ve never seen it done mid conference like that.

3:16
j-bones: is 16 runs good? i feel like it’s good.

3:17
Meg Rowley: Not if your opponent scores 17… but absent that.

3:17
Meg Rowley: I suppose then it would still be good, just not good enough.

3:17
Meg Rowley: Alright all, I have to get going.

3:17
Meg Rowley: Apologies for what I didn’t get ot.

3:17
Meg Rowley: Or to, rather.

3:18
Meg Rowley: As you consider your rooting interests for tonight, just remember that if Boston wins tonight, we get no baseball until Friday.

3:18
Meg Rowley: Makes you think.

3:18
Meg Rowley: Have a great day/week.

3:18
Meg Rowley: Bye!

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Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the host of FanGraphs Audio. Her work has appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing and Just A Bit Outside.

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trevise-en
Member
trevise-en

Different times, different reactions:

I remember back in the early seventies, Jorge Orta was the White Sox regular second basemen for probably two seasons before all the announcers in baseball got on the same page and started pronouncing his first name as “Hor-Hay” rather than “George”.

Tea_Wreck
Member
Tea_Wreck

In my early days in the Army I ran across a dude whose named was spelled “Jorge”. Being from Texas I pronounced it “hor-hay”. He corrected me, said it was “George”. I thought he was joking with me. Nope. Totally serious. Blew. My. Mind.