Chat with Rob Neyer
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Buzzmaster (12:01 PM)
Rob Neyer will be here to chat soon!
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
Let the cartoon begin!
Rob, let's get the obvious out of the way - with Rice in, the Vet committee has to vote Dwight Evans in now, right? The Rice vote was solely designed to right this wrong by forcing the issue onto the vets after the writers initially screwed up by dropping Evans from the ballot too soon. It just makes too much sense.
Rob Neyer (12:19 PM)
Hmmm. Maybe. But I don't think so. I think the election of Rice doesn't mean anything except exactly that.
Charlie (Bored at work)
What are your thoughts on Vin Scully being named Top Sportscaster of All Time?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
They have that? I have a hard time thinking of a better candidate.
What do you make of the Subpoenas being issued to the Yanks for their use of Public Funding?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
Look, the teams have figured out a racket, no question. But I'm not sure it's an illegal racket. For one thing, there's been a clear precedent established.
Michael (Evansville, IN)
If you were Lou Pinella, would you feel comfortable with the Cubs bullpen of Vizcaino, Gregg, Marmol, Cotts, Gaudin, Samardzija, etc.? I think their offense should score enough runs and if Zambrano and Hardin were to have completely helth season, the bullpen really would be the only major concern.
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
There are different levels of comfort, but I'd be fairly comfortable with that bullpen, and of course the bullpen's the easiest thing to fix during the season.
Nick (Arlington VA)
Can you believe that the Braves are willing to drop 4/60 on Lowe, but couldn't pony up an extra million or two on Smoltz? The Braves have had a bizarre offseason...
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
Yeah, but we're not them. Last year they spent $14 million for 3 wins. You can understand why they might be a little gun-shy.
Adam (CS, TX)
Did you post your movie reviews yet? Did I miss it?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
No, I'm still waiting for The Wrestler to arrive in my city. But thanks for asking.
Randy (St. Paul)
Does Blyleven finally get in the HOF next year, with a somewhat weak incoming class?
Rob Neyer (12:28 PM)
Highly doubtful. He's behind Dawson and a few of the new guys next year will get some real support. I do think Blyleven will make it, but not until 2011 or '12.
Rob, What is keeping Jack Morris from the HOF? In my opinion the biggest measuring stick should be is "was the player dominant for an extended period time in his era"? To me Morris passes that test very well considering he was the winningest pitcher of the 80's and also won three WS rings. Thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
I think you and I define "dominant" differently. Morris never won a Cy Young Award or finished better than fifth on the ERA list. Fifth. Never. I will also point out that Mark Grace led the majors in hits in the 1990s.
Trevor (Mesa, AZ)
Would signing Pedro as a candidate for the 5th spot be a good signing for the Yankees? At the very least, he could push Hughes into elevating his game
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
I don't think the Yankees need another circus in town.
Stephen (East Greenbush, NY)
Rob, if 28 writers left Ricky off their ballots for being Ricky (or because they don't vote for someone their first year), how many do you think will leave Roberto Alomar off next year for spitting at that umpire?
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
The number should be zero. The umpire forgave Alomar many years ago, so it would be churlish for the writers to still hold that against him.
Steve (Fleming Island, FL)
At this rate, it looks like you'll get a chance to vote for Tim Raines. I thought he was the second best player on the ballot (after Rickey). Do you think he'll ever make it?
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
I do believe he'll make it. Or at least come fairly close. Look at how Blyleven and Gossage started out. But Rice benefited from an aggressive push by the Red Sox organization and the Boston writers, and Raines will have neither sort of thing helping him. All he's got is a bunch of guys in their moms' basements.
Dave (NY, NY)
With Lowe destined for Atlanta, how do the Mets improve their starting rotation?
Rob Neyer (12:44 PM)
You must have missed the Tim Redding news.
Any chance Maddux gets close to unanimous in 5 years? No steroid questions (though he did excel in the steroid era), everyone seemed to like him, oh, and he might be the most best pitcher in the last 50 years ....
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
It's never going to happen and we might as well stop wondering if it will. There are just so many voters that you're always going to have a few cranks and fools.
Tyler (Carlsbad, CA)
Who do you think will be the better hitter over the next eight years, Ryan Braun or David Wright?
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
Braun the (slightly) better hitter, Wright the better player.
Greg (Philly, PA)
Hey Rob, other than ESPN, give me a website you check out for baseball info/discussion (not just news). thanks!
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
Greg, check my blog roll. It's free!
Rob, what do you think are the top 10 baseball books?
Rob Neyer (12:49 PM)
Jim, I don't have the list handy anymore, but you can't wrong by starting with Jim Bouton's "Ball Four", Bill James's "Historical Baseball Abstract", and Lawrence Ritter's "The Glory of Their Times". Once you've read those, I'll have some more.
Why is Adam Dunn still a free agent? Seems like a lot of clubs could use some power and patience. Plus he's still just 28.
Rob Neyer (12:49 PM)
My guess is that he and his agent haven't yet come to grips with the new reality of the market.
Shouldn't they just cut to the chase. One time on ballot. If there's a debate, your not a HOF.
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
One year's not enough, but 15 years is probably too long. Though there's no point in cutting the eligibility period if the voters won't become more conscientious.
Do Kendry Morales' huge winter league numbers mean anything for next season? He is destroying right now. Thanks.
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
I think all the previous numbers mean more, and I think they mean that he's good enough to play regularly for a good team.
Quick question - What exactly is the difference between Vizquel and Smith other than All Star Games which is a joke anyway?
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
Exactly? Smith was the better hitter and the better fielder.
What will the Red Sox do with all those starters? Do you think Penny and Smoltz had some misgivings about pitching there since the Red Sox had, like, 7 guys who could fill rotation roles already?
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Money and winning go a long way toward soothing doubts. I think they know they'll pitch if they're healthy and effective.
Sam (Santa Ana, CA)
After watching Rice get elected and Raines turned away again, I could care less about who is even IN the Hall of Fame, let alone the unanimity of the farce.
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
The institution's credibility took a hit yesterday, no question. But it's not the first time, and the place is still standing.
Can you play devil's advocate and explain how the Ibanez/Burrell swap was a good move for the Phillies? I don't get it.
Rob Neyer (1:03 PM)
Ibanez strikes out less often? Maybe Burrell wasn't willing to take a pay cut to stay? I don't know.
Sorry Rob but I STRONGLY disagree with you about Smith being a better hitter. Vizquel finished with more career hits, a better batting average, more home runs, an even OBP. and better slugging percentage than Smith. So how was Smith a better hitter?
Rob Neyer (1:08 PM)
You're missing the context, my friend, as there's a real difference between hitting in the 1980s and the 2000s. Ozzie has a slighly higher career OPS+ and he was a much better base-stealer. But really, what makes Ozzie the better player is his edge with the glove.
Grant (MPLS, MN)
Is it possible that Blyleven could be hurt some by old time writers being resistant to the pressure by bloggers and internet journalists. In this same way, did this turf war over sports coverage give Rice the votes he needed just to piss people like you off.
Rob Neyer (1:09 PM)
Is there an anti-sabermetric backlash? Maybe there's a little of that, but not enough to matter much. There have been strange voting patterns for a lot longer than there's been sabermetrics or the InterWeb.
John (Jamaica Plain, MA)
Hi Rob, have you heard of any new ways players are trying to cheat? I'm thinking, new ways to tinker with equipment, using technology to try to steal info, etc. You heard anything good recently?
Rob Neyer (1:12 PM)
I'm told the Yankees are implanting listening devices inside their ear canals, and will be getting advance notice of the catchers' signals.
And Ozzie got MVP votes in 6 different years, while Vizquel received votes in only 1
Rob Neyer (1:15 PM)
Good point, Doug. There's literally never been a moment in Vizquel's entire career where anyone thought he was a great player -- anything like the best player in the league -- and now suddenly he's a Hall of Famer? It just might be the strangest argument yet.
Mike (Lake Forest, CA)
I knwo the economy is bad but shouldn't owners be spending MORE this offseason? You can get all star players for a fraction of what they would cost in a couple of years. Sign them now and then take the next couple off-seasons off.
Rob Neyer (1:17 PM)
I'm not sure there are all that many bargains out there; more, I think that players are being more properly valued. It's probably true that some clubs are being too timid. You're supposed to be bold in tough times!
Nelson (San Juan, PR)
How is it possible Manny Ramirez is still a free agent and not too many teams seem interested? I mean, he is the best hitter in the game, he is clutch, and he is a winner. So, what the heck is going on?
Rob Neyer (1:20 PM)
Every team's got a limit, and as good as he might be, he's probably not worth $25 million per season. Not for three or four years.
What's your estimate on the next time MLB expands? Over or under 10 years?
Rob Neyer (1:22 PM)
Over. I'm afraid the clock doesn't start ticking until Commissioner Bud retires.
Your argument against Vizquel is the opposite of your argument against Dawson. For his entire career Dawson was considered a great player, now suddenly he's not a Hall of Famer. Not that I'm not supporting Vizquel.
Rob Neyer (1:23 PM)
The difference is that everyone was right about Vizquel, and just half-wrong about Dawson.
Are you bored today at work? this chat is going pretty long today...
Rob Neyer (1:24 PM)
I got a bit of a late start. Late night writing.
Wait, you think MLB should expand?
Rob Neyer (1:25 PM)
Sure. Baseball should go where the people are.
NASA Nate (Houston)
Boras will find someone to go 4 years and $40M+ on Oliver Perez, won't he?
Rob Neyer (1:28 PM)
It's smart to assume he'll wind up getting what he wants, but I suspect if that deal was going to happen, it would have already.
....and contract out of the places where the people aren't?
Rob Neyer (1:28 PM)
Yes, ideally. But that's not going to happen anytime soon.
Juan (Puerto Rico)
Do you believe my fellow countrymen Edgar Martinez and Robbie Alomar get into the Hall of Fame?
Rob Neyer (1:29 PM)
Alomar yes, Edgar no.
Is Adam Dunn actually worth $14mil/yr? Where does he ultimately end up?
Rob Neyer (1:31 PM)
He's not (quite) and won't get it. If Burrell gets $8 million, Dunn probably gets $10-$12.
If you were voting for the HoF this year, who would you have voted for?
Rob Neyer (1:32 PM)
Henderson, Blyleven, Raines, Trammell. With apologies to McGwire and Murphy.
How many more shots does Blyleven get at the Hall? What chance do you give him of getting in?
Rob Neyer (1:37 PM)
I believe he's got three more shots, and I think he will get in under the wire. Thanks for all the questions. See you next week, and until then don't forget: "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."
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