Chat with Rob Neyer
Neyer's new book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send in your questions now and join Rob in The Show on Tuesday at noon ET!
Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
Hey, good to see you. I've been away from my computer, my television, and my radio for the last few weeks. Is anything interesting happening?
Shawn (Cape Breton)
The Jays have currently the 2nd best run differential in the American league but sit 9 games out of a playoff spot. Also they are 6 games under their "expected" win total. Does the fact that they have scored so few runs skew the results or are they just unlucky?
Rob Neyer (12:03 PM)
They're mostly unlucky. If Ricciardi saves his job, it'll be because he was able to convince his employers that the Jays really were better than their record.
Do the Phillies make the playoffs? They are currently playing better than any of the teams with whom they are competing for a spot, but obviously a lot can happen in two weeks.
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
No man can say with any degree of precision.
Tim (San Francisco)
A challenge to you Rob. Go a whole chat without addressing MVP or Cy Young questions/comments. There are way too many more important events going on in MLB right now! (Besides, we all know Lincey's got the NL CY wrapped up anyway) :-)
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
There are? I'm going to be here for an hour, you know... ;-)
Johnny (LA, CA)
Rob, what's with everyone mad at the Cubs because MLB had the games in Milwaukee. The Cubs offered many solutions and just went where they were told. And why are people diminishing Zambrano's no hitter? Every no hitter has some good fortune behind it and Z was coming off an injury as well. I think the Astros decided before the series that they were wronged and played that way.
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
I'm pretty sure no one is "mad" at the Cubs, Johnny. Mostly, they're mad at MLB, and maybe at the Astros for agreeing to the injustice. I mean, has any decision in the history of the game worked out worse?
Jesse (Los Angeles, CA)
I know the Dodgers are playing teams with records under .500, but can they ride this wave into the World Series?
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
Anything might happen in October, but the Dodgers will be heavy underdogs if they have to play the Cubs.
What's the status of the Alvarez grievance?
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
We're just waiting for the arbitrator to find some time amongst his ever-busy schedule.
MW (GB, WI)
Rob, can we all just agree that the Yost firing was a panic move? I'm all for unorthodox ideas, but to me the real issue is that it doesn't make the team better. Seriously, what does Sveum bring to the table that Ned didn't?
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
I haven't the slightest idea. But there's nothing wrong with an occasional kick in the pants. As I mentioned yesterday in the blog, in 1981 two contending teams changed managers in early September -- well, one of them was on Aug. 31 -- and both teams finished in a rush and made the playoffs.
Mike (Saint James, NY)
Do you see the Brewers or Astros getting in as a wild card ahead of the Mets or Phillies? Seems like the NL East should get 2 playoffs spots
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
That's most likely, but there are three teams for two spots and the likelihoods can change a lot in 24 hours.
What do you expect the Red Sox to do about catcher next year? I bet Theo is slightly regretting the trades of Bard and Shoppach (though he has had a golden touch on most other moves).
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
My guess? They make a trade for one of the Rangers' young catchers. They also try to re-sign Captain Tek, but some other team trying to emulate the Sox makes him an offer he can't refuse.
Re: Yost. Perhaps Sveum brings bullpen management to the team, which obviously Yost lacked. IBB Howard with a LOOGY on the mound, while Howard can't hit lefties, to bring up the RH Burrell, but leave the LOOGY in to face Burrell AND Werth while you have Torres/Gagne/ and other RH pitchers in the bullpen? Should've gotten fired right at that moment!
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
Wow, that's pretty bad. Can you cite the specific game?
Steve (Lowell, MA)
Tina Fey's Palin? Best political impression ever?
Rob Neyer (12:19 PM)
Solid. But I'm going with Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford (not to date myself or anything).
Rob, that Yost move was game 1 of the DH on Sunday. Burrell singled in the go ahead run, and then Victorino hit a 3 run homer.
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
Thanks, Tony. Maybe that *is* why he got fired. The Brewers do have people in the front office who can add and subtract and multiply.
Ali Nagib (Chicago)
Sheehan: "Think about this for a second. Yost had a 481 OPS pitcher facing a 697 OPS hitter. He elected to issue an intentional walk in that situation to allow an 817 OPS pitcher to face a 905 OPS hitter with an additional runner on base. That's when you start looking around the roof of the stadium for snipers, because gunpoint is the only place where that kind of decision makes sense."
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
Good one, Ali (and Joe).
Adrian (Libertyville IL)
So let me guess your picking the Indians or the Tigers to win the AL central next year right?
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
I don't pick anyone until I see the projections, Adrian. My guess is that all four non-Royals teams will project at between 82 and 88 wins, though.
Bill B (CT)
Rob, you seem a little slow today, are we going to need to rest you the next couple of weeks to make sure you're fresh for the playoff?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
Touch connection today, don't know why. I would like a couple of weeks off, but I think the pennant races might get in the way.
David (Houston, TX)
IKE survivor wants to know why Astros had to play a home game of theirs at a neutral site deep in CUBS country?
Rob Neyer (12:28 PM)
I've addressed this in my blog. Suffice to say, I don't buy any of the supposed rationales MLB has provided.
Who do you think will be playing CF for the yankees next year? Free agent list looks bad. Are they going back to Melky or going to get creative?
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
I think it's slightly too early to give up on Melky ... Maybe the Yankees could trade for Gary Matthews? [jk]
you mentioned seeing the projections before you decide on contenders next season. what projections are you referring to?
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
secret projections, available to only me and anyone else who's paying attention
Ryan (Ferndale, MI)
C'mon. You didn't love Will Farrell as W? "Strategery" That's all you have to say.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Why does ESPN insist on treating the AL East race as though it matters, since both teams are in regardless?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
You're right, it doesn't matter much ... but it's still sort of interesting, right? I just wish it were *more* interesting.
James (Philly, PA)
True or False? Brad Lidge deserves to be on a majority of the 3 man Cy Young ballots at the end of the season.
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
I'm not sure about the math, exactly, but I do think it's unfair that nobody's talking about him. Lidge has been four or five wins better than an average closer, right? I think that's quite possibly worth a third-place vote.
Is the best team any more than a 1 in 8 shot to win the world series when the playoffs start? And if they aren't, does any team or player really choke or step up, or is it just the noise of small sample sizes writ large? i.e. do I have to believe the 2006 cardinals had something the 2001 Mariners lacked, despite the 33 win difference?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
Yes. Much better than a 1-in-8 shot. Without doing any math at all, my guess is that the best team has roughly a 20-percent chance of winning the World Series rather than a 12.5-percent chance.
Joe Sheehan did an article about the strength og competition that both Halladay and Lee faced, with Halladay's being much stronger. Would you say then, that Halladay is the best pitcher in the game this year?
Rob Neyer (12:36 PM)
No. But it's a lot closer than it looks.
Which catch do you see the Red Sox getting fron Texas? My guess is they would like Teagarden, but Texas would rather give Salty. Which do you see as a Theo type player (OBP, work the count, etc...)
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
There's also Max Ramirez and Gerald Laird; the Rangers actually have five viable MLB catchers, which might be some sort of record. Laird would actually be the safest option for the Red Sox.
Did I miss something? Why are we talking about Boston getting a catcher from Texas?
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
It's best to start at the beginning of the chat and get caught up. It's both fun and profitable!
Why are people talking about Delgado for MVP but not talking about Howard?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
That's a fine question, Kevin, as Howard's resurgence began at roughly the same time as Delgado's, and of course the Phillies and the Mets are now in almost exactly the same position. I think it's because Delgado's hit a few more dramatic homers in the last three or four weeks. But that's just a guess.
Nick (Allston, MA)
But Salty's got the most upside, right? People were talking about him as a 30 home run catcher when he was coming up.
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
There still seem to be some serious questions about his defense, and I don't see the Red Sox accepting a serious downgrade from Captain Tek.
Wait a minute here! According to Sportscenter, Juan Pierre hit a home run yesterday?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
It happened. I saw it.
Ben (Omaha, NE)
Why won't anyone answer questions about the AL central race? Too close to call? Too boring to call?
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
It's certainly not boring, and it's not too close to call; at this moment you have to pick the White Sox, if only because a 1.5-game lead on the 16th is significant.
Rob - I'm at work, and just had an argument with a coworker about which young player (1st Base was the discussion) we'd start a franchise with. I said Pujols, he says Howard b/c of the home runs and rbi's. What is your take?
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
That competition is not close. Pujols is the better player *and* he's younger.
Dave (Kent, OH)
Hey Rob. Any chance we see division realignment anytime soon? I'm a struggling O's fan who just doesn't see a way out of the basement for the foreseeable future.
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
No. And isn't that what Rays fans were saying, six months ago?
Clearly the Cubs are the favorites in the NL right now, but who do you like to challenge them in October? Dodgers? Mets? Phillies? Brewers? What will be their biggest obstacle?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
Rich Harden's body. If that doesn't get in their way, the Cubs may breeze into the World Series.
So we really do believe that Pujols was actually born in 1980 still?
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
Given that he's showed no real aging pattern at all, I'm beginning to wonder if he's not an immortal, like Thor or Hercules.
Jack (Milwaukee, WI)
I heard some rumors that the Brewers may make a serious offer to CC. I know it's risky to give a big contract to a pitcher, but isn't it riskier to lose your two aces with a young, talented lineup?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
The Brewers will make an offer, just so they can say they made an offer. But it won't be serious.
Regarding the Cubs' obstacles in the playoffs...The Cubs are clearly a better team than the Phils and Mets, but don't forget the Cubs don't have an effective lefty on their roster besdies Lilly. That could be a major factor in a short series.
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
What's wrong with Neal Cotts and Sean Marshall?
Is this a Cubs chat or something?...How bad to the Braves look right now? Their "gotta tip your cap" philosophy seems to be wearing thin on fans, and they look unmotivated and talentless. Will it be 4-5 years before they are a contender again?
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
Hey, it's hard to look good at the end of a 72-win season. Granted, it's hard to see things getting much better anytime soon...
Clearly a better team? Im not sure about that. They have a better bullpen. But in a playoff series Id take Johan, Ollie and Pelf over the Big Z, Harden and Dempster.
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Okay. But most of the time you would lose.
Paul (Chelmsford, MA)
Rob, give me your scouting report, Thor or Herules in the first round of my ancient gods turned comic book heroes fantasy draft.
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
Thor, big time, because Mjolnir gives him an unfair advantage. And I'll close with that geek-out. See you next Tuesday!
SportsNation on Facebook
THIS WEEK'S CHATS
- 11:00 AMNoleNation's David Hale
- 12:00 PMNFL with Dan Graziano
- 1:00 PMDallas' Jean-Jacques Taylor
- 1:00 PMSweetSpot's Schoenfield
- 1:00 PMCubs, Sox with Levine
- 2:00 PMGeauxTigerNation's Laney
- 2:00 PMNFL blogger Kevin Seifert
- 2:00 PMBoxing with Brian Campbell
- 2:00 PMNASCAR with Newton
- 3:00 PMFantasy's Stephania Bell
- 4:00 PMNFL with James Walker
- 4:00 PMHornsNation's Wilkerson
- 11:00 AMFantasy's Matthew Berry
- 12:00 PMPatriots with Mike Reiss
- 12:00 PMTideNation's Scarborough
- 12:00 PMWolverineNation's Rothstein
- 12:00 PMMLB Insider Keith Law
- 1:00 PMNFL blogger Mike Sando
- 1:00 PMGiants with Youngmisuk
- 2:00 PMNASCAR with Terry Blount
- 2:00 PMBuckeyeNation's Ward
- 2:00 PMSport Science's Brenkus
- 2:30 PMNFL with Bill Williamson
- 3:00 PMNFL with Paul Kuharsky
- 4:00 PMFootball Scientist KC Joyner