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 (12:01 PM)
Hey, I just turned on my computing machine and found out that I'm chatting two days straight. I must really, really like you!
mike kansas city missouri
Are the Royals finally gaining some direction for the franchise or are they just wandering aimlessly as in years past
Rob Neyer (12:03 PM)
It's not so much that they're aimless, Mike; it's that their aim looks like 84 wins rather than 90, and fans don't get excited about 84-win teams.
Is Roberto Alomar a hall of famer?
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
I haven't studied his candidacy yet, George. But I get the vague impression that the voters will be somewhat lukewarm about Alomar. Eventually he'll get in, because the electorate does get a little smarter every year (I know Christina Kahrl's voting for him!).
Thoughts on Furcal to the Braves? Reports are that they intend on moving him to 2nd base while keeping Escobar at SS. Can the Braves salvage this offseason and put together a contender for 09'?
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
I don't think they've done enough yet to seriously challenge the Mets. And moving Furcal to 2B makes sense only if he's an excellent defender there.
Matt Watson (Fayetteville, AR)
Where do you think Brian Fuentes ends up signing? And if not St. Louis, what kind of fallback plan do they have? A different reliever or a league-average starter?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
I guess they're out of money, but the Mets sure do need a lefty reliever still. As for the Cards, they already signed their lefty. What the Cardinals need are hitters.
Just heard the Red Sox offered Texiera a contract in the range of 8 years 175mil, is this true? And will he take it?
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
If that's true, now it becomes an auction, as the Angels reportedly offered eight years, too.
Fred (Long Island)
Would Juan Miranda add any value to the Yankees if he was the first baseman this year? I know that may not be a sexy choice to most Yankee fans but I'm thinking that it may still be a better choice than Nick Swisher (unless he regains form).
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
Miranda might eventually be useful, but he's not ready to play for the Yankees every day, and Swisher's fine; he was just terribly unlucky this year.
How bad was the Edwin Jackson for Matt Joyce trade for the Tigers? I'm saying at least a 7 on the bad trade scale where 10 is the worst trade ever (Renteria deal last year).
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
Dombrowski's not an idiot, and maybe he sees something in Jackson that we don't. But if I can have the next five years of Jackson or the next five years of Joyce? From here, that's an easy choice...
John - Philadelphia
Braves challenge the Mets? You did that on purpose didn't you.
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
Not exactly ... but I did think you might notice, John. Sorry, but the Mets are the team to beat. Doesn't mean they *won't* be beat.
Nate (St. Louis, MO)
How can you say the Cardinals need hitters? You must have not seen the Cardinals in 2008.... 31 blown saves! They need a closer and more pitching, pitching, pitching.
Rob Neyer (12:19 PM)
I know the bullpen was a mess, but that'll happen sometimes almost disirregardless of who your relievers are. The bullpen will be better. And yes, I know the Cards finished fourth in the NL in scoring. But their lineup's pretty thin after you get past Pujols and Ludwick. And Ludwick's not likely to repeat his 2008.
Arin - Bakersfield, CA
Agree with what you wrote yesterday about AJ. Did you happen to see the Bill James projections for Phil Hughes? 3.35 ERA. Great numbers across the board. What explains this?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
I don't believe projections for Triple-A pitchers are particularly useful. Maybe that's not true, or fair. But I've seen too many of them utterly fail.
Isn't that what everyone said last year when the got Santana? I don't see it, at least not till they show they can play as a team and keep their heads together for all 162 games...
Rob Neyer (12:23 PM)
Yes, it is. And the Mets *were* the team to beat. Then they did get beat. It happens. But it's objectively true that the Mets have improved this winter and the Phillies have not. I'm not sure how else to spin this.
Tom (Newburyport, MA)
Disirregardless...that's beautiful! Is that trademarked or can we, the great unwashed masses, start using it?
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
What's mine is yours, Tom. (Seen any good birds lately?)
Jason (Salem, OR)
Staying warm in icy Portland? Question about ANA . . . why would they be linked to Fuentes when they have 2 very capable closer options in Arredondo and Shields!? Who do you think ends up closing for them next season?
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
I think it's Arredondo, and if Fuentes becomes an Angel, he and Shields give Scioscia an excellent setup tandem.
Rob, stop baiting us Philly fans and actually tell me how you would have improved this club during the off-season... who else could have replaced Burrell and what other SP is available besides Moyer?
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
I'm just an old baseball writer, and couldn't improve a club if you handed me the keys to the kingdom. I'm just saying the Phillies haven't done it, either.
Rob, why are the Red Sox sitting back and not making any moves. Does Theo have something up his sleaves or are the really concentrating on Texiera a huge contract.
Rob Neyer (12:28 PM)
There's only so much the Red Sox can do this winter, considering that they're essentially set at every position. Of course they could find a place for Teixeira, but the Red Sox as they stand right now are good enough to win more than 90 games.
Howell (Memphis TN)
Except that the Red Sox as of yet have no catcher. Can Youk catch...
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
Varitek's probably going to bounce back some with the bat, but I do think the Sox should try to find a better hitter to at least share the job with Captain 'Tek.
Shawbler (Hillsboro, OR)
Rob, How is the weather where you are? The next week looks pretty gnarly for us.
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
I'm about nine miles east of you, Shawbler. So, about the same.
Ryan (Worcester, MA)
Rob, As a member of the BBWAA, you aren't nearly grumpy enough. I'm disapointed.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
I don't have my membership card yet, Ryan; eventually I'll be railing about bloggers in their mom's basements and all the rest of that fun stuff. Promise!
Do you think Jorge Posada can still find his way to the HoF?
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
Sorry to say no. Posada's done a lot of wonderful things, but he got sort of a late start and probably needed another one or two good/great years. And time's running out...
Mark (Clark, NJ)
With Furcal going to the Braves, is this a blessing in disguise for the A's where they're not spending $40 million on a player who might miss half the games in each of those 4 years? And do you think Beane has a backup plan for the likes of J.J. Hardy or Escobar or signing Cabrera, or do you think he'll just go with either Crosby or Pennington?
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
I'm sure there's a backup plan and Hardy would be fantastic, but I don't know that the A's are in prospect-trading mode. My guess is that Crosby is the Opening Day SS and Beane tries to get better somewhere else.
Scott (Nashville TN)
Now that Furcal has signed with the Braves does that mean that dodgers might be willing to spend more money on Manny? Thanks Rob
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
I'm not sure there's any connection there, Scott. The problem for the Dodgers is that Manny wants five or six years and a contract that long would be insanity for whoever signs him. And particularly in the NL.
What do you reckon this means for Kelly Johnson. He's been one of the better 2b's in the league for the last couple of years. Does he hit enough to move back to the outfield?
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
Sure, he won't kill you as a left fielder. He's still young and might hit a little better if he's not in the middle of the infield. No real star potential there, but he'll do for a while.
Which album would you recommend for someone's first foray into Wilco?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
My favorite is still "Being There," but "summerteeth" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" are also highly accessible. And the first "Mermaid Avenue" record -- with Billy Bragg -- is brilliant.
Lloyd (Pottstown, IL)
The two most recent stories at ESPN are the A's offering Furcal $40M and him signing with the Braves. Seems like this happens a lot. Am I too cynical in thinking that teams intentionally up an offer for PR reasons when they know it is not good enough? Previously the A's had said their $9M a year offer was "final".
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
I absolutely believe the A's were serious about signing Furcal. They're smart enough to know that fans aren't showing up next spring because the club *talked* about spending $40 million.
As you pointed out, Ibanez < Burrell, and Moyer '09-'10 < Moyer '08. Why do you hate the Phillies?
Rob Neyer (12:50 PM)
I know you're joking, Pete. Which is appropriate because I actually sort of like the Phillies. I like their scent. The way they smell. The cut of their collective jib. And the little stars they use to dot their i's.
Justin H (Boulder)
The best wilco album is Sky Blue Sky, and Impossible Germany is the best song on that CD and maybe the best song they sing....
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
I'm not saying you're wrong, Justin. I'm just not sure SBS is the best starting point for a newbie.
Dale (Calvert City KY)
Why would the Cubs sign Gathright? Is there any upside here that I can't see? Pie is better right? And so is Fukudome? and most of baseball?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
Speed kills, Dale. Speed kills.
Jeff, Houston TX
Rob, wouldn't it make sense for Drayton to at least consider trading Oswalt. Their farm system being what it is, Oswalt being here is such a waste
Rob Neyer (12:53 PM)
Jeff, after the Astros' second-half surge there's no way you'll convince any of the suits to give up on a season.
But Rob, it's NOT the next five years of Edwin for five years of Joyce. Edwin is arbitration eligible already and Joyce doesn't have close to a full year of service time yet...
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
Right. There's that, too. My take was that somebody -- Leyland, Dombrowski, whoever -- just doesn't see in Joyce what I do. Which is a legitimate point of view. Now we'll see...
Your opinion on the proposed Melky, Cameron trade? I think it's a good idea but some Brewers fans think its a salary dump like in past years.
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
It is a salary dump, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. This might be a good time for the Brewers to pause, take a deep breath, and build a winner in 2010.
Rob, please rank the following: The Office, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, Arrested Development. Thanks.
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Each is brilliant, but at the moment I have The Office on top because I think they're trying to transcend the genre. It's like the difference between The Godfather and GoodFellas.
Jeff, NY, NY
Does the team that signs Tek force him to give-up switch hitting? His splits show he is more productive as a right handed hitter. Is it more valuable to have a slightly better right-handed bat in your lineup or have a switch hitter?
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Nobody's going to ask -- let alone force -- him to give up anything.
Rob, what's making that smell in my refrigerator?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
Not sure, but in mine it's old tofu.
Chris, San Francisco, CA
Will the Giants be a better team next year or should I give up before the season starts?
Rob Neyer (1:01 PM)
Better? Yeah, maybe a little bit. My advice is to enjoy each win as it comes, and try not to think about October. Thanks for all the questions. You were even better than yesterday's audience! Until next time don't forget: "All that's beautiful drifts away like the waters."
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