Chat with Rob Neyer
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Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
Last chat of the regular season. Wow, that makes me sad, sort of. Guess we'd better make it a good one...
Mike Las Vegas NV
The Angels have won 5 straight going into the last week of the season they seem to b cruising people are healthy... How do u like are chances to get past Boston this year?
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
They're good. One thing that would concern me, if I were an Angels fan ... One of the Red Sox's few weaknesses is Dice-K's tendency to walk batters. One of the Angels' few weaknesses is their tendency to not walk.
Rob: Please, for the love of God, no discussions or laments over the loss of that 1970s monstrosity that was Yankee Stadium.
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
Sorry, just one lament. In the interest of equal time ...
In your blog yesterday you agreed with the statement that Yankee Stadium was "one of those unfortunate 1970s-era ballparks that are now finally and mercifully gone." It's a shame that as someone who clearly has a love for the game of baseball you obviously have no sense of the history and tradition of probably the most famous sporting arena in the world. Sure it was remodeled, but it still was the location where so many historic moments took place. To say it is finally gone was beyond pathetic.
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
Okay. On to other, happier topics...
Near the end of the season, I'd suggest that you start your chats by reciting the following: "The best player is the most valuable player. The quality of his teammates is irrelevant when discussing a player's value." Do you think anyone would listen?
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
Sure. Just none of the actual voters.
Who will be the NL WS rep?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
I can't answer until I know which Carlos Zambrano is going to show up in October.
What's the worst batting average for an mvp winner ever?
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
I don't have the slightest idea ... Marty Marion in 1944? You think Ryan Howard's got a shot? He might.
There is no chance the Yankees bring back Jason Giambi right?
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
Why not? He's having a good year and someone has to play first base.
Rob, do you think MLB will expand the Division Series to 7 games any time soon? It seems that by expanding it, the better team would have more chance of advancing.
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
No, I don't think so. As things stand now, the World Series next year may well run into November, so I don't see MLB adding two more games to a postseason series. Granted, with a bit of creativity you could accomplish everything ... but the Commissioner's Office and the Players Association don't value creativity.
Griffey looks to be done and Swisher is horrible, should the White Sox go with Brian Anderson and the red hot Dewayne Wise the rest of the year in LF-CF?
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
Griffey *is* done but there's nothing wrong with Swisher that better luck won't cure.
Rob, as a White Sox fan, I'm terrified of this series in the Metrodome. It's completely irrational right?
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
Not at all, considering how well the Twins play at home (both this year and historically). Don't get swept, though, and you're still in pretty good shape.
Will Jorge Posada ever be an effective catcher again or is he a DH?
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
Not at all sure he can catch (effectively) again, which might be what keeps Giambi from coming back next year. Between Posada and Matsui there are plenty of candidates for the DH/1B time.
Mike (Edgewood, MD)
Rob, How can Alvarez and the Pirates still negotiate a contract at this time? Wasn't the whole point of the grievance that it was not completed before 8/16? If this is an amendment to a contract, what is to stop all teams and players into entering into legal contracts with termination rights before the deadline, then just extending negotiations with "amendments" to follow? Isn't this what Boras was supposedly upset about in the first place, post-deadline deals?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
All good questions, Mike. But if both parties agree to break the rules, is it really breaking the rules?
If you were managing the Rays, what would be your postseason rotation? Everyone has been solid, but it is hard to pull out three that have been great. Any chance David Price gets a start?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
I think it's doubtful, plus I'm not even sure if they can manipulate their roster to make him postseason-eligible. As for who would be in the rotation, their top three are pretty obvious: Shields, Kazmir, Garza. As for Sonnanstine vs Jackson, that'll probably be a last-minute decision, based on match-ups.
You're correct Rob. Lowest BA was Marty Marion of the Cards, who batted .267 in 1944 (btw, in the AL, Roger Maris batted .269 in 1961).
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
I'm reminded of blind pigs and truffles.
How tight is Webb vs. Lincecum for NL Cy? Is it gonna come down to the difference in their win totals? If it stays at 5, based on past history, does Webb win it?
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
I think Webb just might have locked it up when he struck out Pujols last night. But I imagine the voting will be close.
David (Houston, TX)
What do you make of Bud Selg taking out a page in the Houston Chronicle to explain himself to the fans here?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
I appreciate the effort.
David (Houston, TX)
What do you think about giving the AL MVP to Cliff Lee or K-Rod and Cy Young to the other?
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
I think the first is a terrible idea and the second is one-half of a terrible idea.
If the Mets don't make the postseason, who's neck is on the line? Manuel? Minaya? The whole team?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Minaya, perhaps, but he might be given credit for the team's big comeback in the second half. I guess if I were Minaya's boss, I'd want to know if he's learned anything from this season.
Bob (Tinley Park, IL)
Rob, Thanks for the chat. In looking at sabermetric type defensive stats, two players who I thought were solid defensive performers, Geo Soto and JJ Hardy, are ranked very low at their erspective positions. Any thoughts on these guys?
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
I don't know about Soto -- catchers are tough to rate -- but Hardy's doing quite well this season in at least one reliable metric (+/-). What are you looking at?
Ryan (Burbank, CA)
Wow, a semi-positive comment about the Angels, hope that didn't cause you too much pain, although it came with pointing out a weakness rather than discussing any of their strengths. If they play in the postseason as they have down this stretch of meaningless games, you will have to give them at least a small opportunity to beat your beloved Sox, won't you?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
I don't love the Sox, which invalidates the rest of your question. Try again?
Is Brad Lidge having the most underrated season in baseball this year? 40-40 in save chances in a hitter's park and hostile environment that many doubted he could survive in.
Rob Neyer (12:36 PM)
I'm on record suggesting that he deserves MVP consideration. I don't think I would vote for him. But I think he'd be in my top five. Does this make me a bad person?
Mark (Clark, NJ)
If Pujols doesn't win MVP, I will be livid. Howard and Delgado don't come close to the production and value to their respective for an ENTIRE season for which Pujols did.
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Not to mention Lance Berkman, and at least two of Delgado's teammates and two of Howard's teammates. It's going to be an interesting election, that's for sure.
Bill W (Brooklyn NY)
Mauer a reasonable AL MVP choice? As fine a year as Pedroia has had, he's been about the same as Brian Roberts as second basemen go.
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Absolutely. But if Mauer couldn't win in 2006, how's he going to win in 2008?
Indians in 2009. That's all I'm saying.
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
I'm saying the same thing.
How the hell did Marty Marion end up winning the MVP? His OPS+ that year was 91!
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
He's one of the less astute choices. At least from this distance.
Blake (East Lansing)
Can you think of a team more disappointing than the Detroit Tigers? Go a few years back if you have to.
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
How about the Mariners right now? The expectations weren't as great, but the failure is greater.
Noonan (Philly, PA)
How about Lidge for Cy then? Phils fans are just praying that his first blown save of the year isn't going to happen with the season on line. It can't happen, right?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
It can but probably will not. And yes, he deserves serious consideration but apparently isn't going to get it. It's funny, I think relief pitchers are wildly overvalued, generally. But specifically, they're sometimes wildly undervalued.
Matt (Arlington, VA)
Why Indians in 2008? They've routinely shown an unique ability to play below their run differential. We can't honestly consider them to be as good as their stats say they are.
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
Gosh, I don't know ... it wasn't all that long ago that they came a few pitches from reaching (and probably winning) the World Series.
Jason (sioux falls, SD)
Morneau MVP? Espcially if he has a big series against the White Sox?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
Sure. He and Mauer are both excellent candidates, and I might wind up supporting whichever of them plays better in these next six games.
Twins have to win 2 out of three this week agains the Sox in order to have a chance right?
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
Yeah. Otherwise they're 98-to-2 shots. At best.
I'm admittedly biased, but I feel that both Morneau and Mauer are undervalued. Not necessarily buy voting members, but by "experts" outside of Minnesota. Am I crazy?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
I think that's a tough case to make, considering that Morneau was the MVP just two years ago.
Ryan Howard is fifth on his team in VORP, behind Utley, Rollins Victorino and Werth. He is also about 60 points behind Pujols in VORP. He would be the worst choice in history, right?
Rob Neyer (12:53 PM)
I doubt that. Top 20, probably. But not the worst ever.
Rob, how realistic is a Pedroia MVP Award? I find it hard to believe that a line drive second baseman near the league lead in hits would be a candidate, but such is life I guess when you play in Boston or NY. Didn't Michael Young have a very similar statistical season a few years ago? How many MVP votes did he get?
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
Pedroia's a solid candidate, but in the absence of any sort of historic seasons in the AL, there are a dozen solid candidates.
Rob, congratulations on your preseason predictions, second only to PECOTA. http://vegaswatch.net/2008/09/evaluating-april-mlb-predictions-2008.html
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
Thanks, Adam. I'm reminded of blind squirrels and acorns...
Rob, I love the fact that Lidge has become "Lights Out" again, even moreso considering he has done it in Philly, not the easiest place to play. But why should he get MVP consideration when a) there are MANY other viable candidates, and b) he'll participate in about one half of one percent of his team's innings???
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
Because he's been roughly six wins better than an average full-time closer. Six wins is a LOT.
I get the "best player is the most valuable" argument, and that all the games count the same in the standings. But the games in September, for a team in the playoff hunt, are more intense, there is more pressure than games early in the season or for teams that are out of it. Shouldn't the performance in those sorts of games, if excellent, give a player like Howard or Mauer an edge in the voting when competing against a player whose team is not competitive?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
I think it's a fine tie-breaker. But I don't believe Howard's tied with anybody. Thanks for all the wonderful questions. As I've said a thousand times, you're the best studio audience in the Internets.
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