Chat with Rob Neyer
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Send in your questions now and join Rob in The Show on Tuesday at noon ET!
With several publications picking the Red Sox to win the AL East, do you still feel that the Yankees are the clear favorite?
Rob Neyer (12:01 PM)
First, welcome to everyone listening; as always, I am filled with love for you all. Second, yes; that said, I haven't looked at enough numbers yet to start placing bets or anything. We'll talk again about this in a few weeks.
Rob-What do you think of Daniel Murphy basically being handed the everyday LF job for the Mets? My eyes like what they see but the better projection systems are none too kind (i.e. PECOTA, .263/.327/.405.) He's on-based very well recently in his career. Can't a guy learn something late and have it stick? I like the over wrt his OBP. You?
Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
The "problem" is that .327 seems about right if he's an everyday player. I believe he winds up platooning with Tatis (again). Whether that happens in April or June, I don't know.
How do you see the signing of Crede affecting the Twins this year?
Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
If Crede's healthy, his presence could make a real difference. Mostly because he's an excellent fielder.
Josh (Athens, GA)
Which defensive metric do you prefer? UZR?
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
I don't know a great deal about UZR's input, except that the guy who invented UZR is just unbelievably smart. So, yeah. And John Dewan's +/- is also excellent.
Fill in the blanks-- Best player in baseball in five years will be ___________. Best pitcher in baseball in five years will be ________.
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
Evan Longoria and ... Felix Hernandez? That's a tough one, five years out. I guess Lincecum would be the default answer, huh?
Gerrad (baton rouge, la)
Rob, does Carlos Quention pick up where he left off?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
I don't know that he slugs .571 again, but as long as he's healthy and playing in that ballpark, he's going to be scary.
Moneyball theory appeared to be based not so much on OBP but on figuring out what is undervalued and going after that. Assuming that OBP is now being more properly valued, what traits/values are smart teams like the A's now focusing more on.
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
There's really not a great deal left, which means now the smart teams -- and there are a bunch of them -- are just sort of playing around at the margins ... baserunning and defense mostly, I guess. You can always look for a player whose numbers would improve with just average luck...
I haven't heard any recent news on Orlando Cabrera. Is he going to be playing MLB this year?
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
He's still out there, but I suspect won't be for much longer. It's just a question of finding the balance between his financial desires and some team's need for a shortstop. Sure would look good in an A's uniform...
When are you baseballs writers going to start screaming for a double header comeback?
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
I've been screaming for more DH's for about as long as I've been doing this. Who knows? If the economy's in the toilet for long enough, the players and the owners might even decide it's a good idea.
Do you think the White Sox are going to have a chance winning their division?
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
After what they've done since Guillen arrived, I think it would be foolish to count them out in February.
WRT Orlando Cabrera, you thought the Dodgers playing him at 2B wasn't a bad idea. Any chance the Mets do this with him? They seem unwilling to eat Castillo's contract, however.
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
Well, they should treat Castillo's contract as a sunk cost, but he's also not a terrible player when healthy. The key really is his defense, which last year was simply unacceptable.
Mr. Neyer, Does Stephen Drew take another step forward this year? Is he better than Troy Tulowitzki?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
Drew's a good player if he can just maintain last year's production ... Because of the vast disparity in their defensive value, Tulo's the better player when he's at his best. But after last season I don't know when we'll see his best again.
Have you heard if the Orioles plan on putting Wieters on the Opening Day roster or if they're going to play arb clock games with him?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
It looks like they're going to do with Wieters what the Rays did with Longoria last year. Can you blame them, really? Could save a few million bucks...
Rob-Ney-The-Science-Guy...How do you see the Yankees' CF situation playing out this season? Is it a platoon with Melky and Gardner or will Austin Jackson make an appearance?
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
I used to live just a few blocks from the real Science Guy ... I don't know that it's Melky Gardner all season, but Jackson probably could use all or most of another season in the minors ... and I think Melky Gardner could actually be pretty decent, all things considered. But maybe that's my love for the Yankees talking...
Tulo went .327 .389 .469 after the AS Break. That seems to me he was "back" to his best once again.
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
Good point, Bird ... yeah, I would rather have Tulo than Drew. Because of the fielding thing.
Do you think the Ichiro bashes are justified? It seems familiar with what Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs used to get.
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
And Ted Williams and just about everyone who has ever obsessed about his batting average ... Though the real knock against Ichiro is that he won't try to steal a base unless he *really* believes he can make it ... seems like a small thing, doesn't it?
Dave (Flagstaff, AZ)
Rob, this John Garland deal has kindof flown under the radar. Is it just me or is this a huge pickup, solidifying a much more than average starting rotation?
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
Swap out Micah Owings' numbers for Garland's (NL) numbers? Yeah. Until the Dodgers sign Manny you have to love the D'backs in the West.
Opening Day marathon chat this year?
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
I don't know, Bobby ... Don't really see the point in simply topping myself for the sake of topping myself ... Maybe we'll cook up something else ... let me know if you've got any ideas.
Do you agree that Garret Anderson is a better pickup for the Braves then Ken Griffey?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Oh, sure. Anderson's just as good with the bat and you can actually play him regularly in the field.
Do you think MLB regrets moving the Expos to DC yet? Horrible attendance, horrible team, horrible(and likely criminal) front office.
Rob Neyer (12:32 PM)
I don't know if Commissioner Bud has ever regretted anything, but I do find it amusing that D.C. was supposed to be the absolutely perfect site...
Thoughts on the Oscars? I didn't see anything about it in your blog. I also thought your movie article was very well done and I enjoyed it, even if I didn't agree with your on your stance that Ironman was a better film than the Dark Knight. Thanks Rob!
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
My thoughts on the Oscars ... It'll be a good day when the voters get over their fixations on the Holocaust and homosexuality ... I mean, I'm on record (I think) as being greatly sympathetic to both causes, but it should be possible to separate sympathy from one's judgment, right? Am I allowed to say that?
Craig Lindsay Ontario Canada
With all the great players that have been involved in the Steroid Scandal over the past numbers of years, does it not further enhance the greatness of players like Jeter and Maddux? Will their legacies not be improved? Trusting of course that nobody connects the syringes to them.
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Well, yeah. Let's wait for a few years before we start beatifying anyone.
Rob, I think Mickey Rourke should have won instead of Penn, I would have even put Langella ahead of Penn, but who would you have picked for best female?
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
I don't know ... I'm sure Winslet was great, and I didn't see many of the Best Actress nominees ... I just ask myself if Winslet or Penn would have won their awards if their movies had been about something else, and I keep coming to the conclusion that they wouldn't have.
Maddux got LASIK surgery. Tell me that isn't a performance enhancing operation that was not available to the players 50 years ago. Just shows the ridiculous nature of specifying steroids as the *only* PE.
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
Sure, but there wasn't a rule against LASIK. Last I checked, anyway. Not that everything is black and white, but there are many shades of gray.
Minnesota-Man from Minnesota
Just how big of a star do you think Joe Mauer would be if he played in New York?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
Seems like a pretty big star to me already ... He's 6'5", you know!
Charlie (Bethesda, MD)
What kind of season do you think Jeter is going to have? PECOTA has him similar to last season, but he was battling hand injuries all year. Do you see a bit of a comeback, or more of the same?
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
Whenever he's not playing well it's because he's battling some injury or another ... which is fair, but I think we have to expect him to continue battling injuries as he explores his middle 30s...
Have you seen the documentary Bigger, faster, stronger? It addresses the gray area of steroids pretty thoroughly.
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
I haven't seen it, but I know Jim Caple loved it.
Bill W (Brooklyn)
Rob, the Best Picture would've been different too if Slumdog hadn't made Indian poverty look so exciting and fun. (And solved by a TV game show.)
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
True. I loved Slumdog but wouldn't have voted for it.
Another way to look at the Moneyball question earlier is to determine what is overvalued and trade that commodity. I think that helps to describe Beane's willingness to part with Haren (i.e., good young pitchers under team control for a number of years have become overvalued and thus you can extract more value from trading that oiece). Thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
Yes, that's right ... teams have shifted from skills that are undervalued to *contracts* that are undervalued (which is sort of a distinction without a difference but I think you know what I mean).
Do you think Alex Rodriguez is the last superstar to used roids or do you think there are more to come? If so, do you think these situations are even being properly handled enough?
Rob Neyer (12:50 PM)
No, of course he won't be the last; there are superstars right now using drugs and some of them will eventually be exposed. As for how these "situations" are handled, you have to understand that every player is an island (at least to himself) and will do whatever he thinks is best for himself.
"there wasn't a rule against LASIK" There wasn't a rule against roids either til 2003. Just sayin.
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
Neal, there's a lot of confusion about this and I don't want to add to it ... but I believe there was a blanket policy prohibiting illegal drugs.
Rob, when your turn to vote on the HOF comes around, how will you handle guys with positive "PED" tests? Vote as if they didn't happen or will they weigh on your decision?
Rob Neyer (12:53 PM)
Everything weighs on every decision; it's part of being "mindful" and applies whether you're walking the dog around the block or filling out your Hall of Fame ballot (not to get too heavy on you or anything). As for what I'll actually do, I'm just glad I have 10 years to think about it.
Why don't you and simmons chat marathon style simultaneously and see who drops first?
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
He's younger, stronger, and prettier than I ... which doesn't mean I wouldn't give it a shot.
Jon (LA, CA)
If not slumdog, what would you have voted for?! Your opinion absolutely matters.
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
I think you're kidding, but I'll bite ... I would have voted for Happy-Go-Lucky if it were nominated. It weren't. Same for The Wrestler. Frankly, I have a hard time taking seriously a process that leaves out my two favorite movies of the year. Among the five nominees, I suppose I'd have voted for Slumdog or Benjamin Button, both of which grabbed me and held me throughout. OK, enough movie talk. If you really care what I think about the cinema, check out the dialogue between me and Caple over at Page 2...
Rob, Is there any explanation that PECOTA continually misses on the White Sox? It is a useful tool and usually pretty accurate, but it has underestimated the Sox by an average of 10 games the last 4 years.
Rob Neyer (1:01 PM)
I can't imagine that it's systemic, Justin. Well, I can imagine. I just don't think it's the best explanation. Over the course of four years, any system is going to miss a bit on one team or another. Just happens to have been the White Sox. Let's revisit this question in seven months.
Over the last five years, what do you think the biggest Oscar snub has been?
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
Did I say no more movie talk? Sorry, but Heath Ledger not winning Best Actor for Brokeback Mountain was a terrible crime against the cinema.
Thomas (St Louis)
Hey, go to another website for movie questions, let's talk baseball please. Worldwide Leader in sports right? Who has the most saves for the Cardinals this season.
Rob Neyer (1:04 PM)
I don't know who has the most saves, but I suspect the name "Jason Motte" is going to be on the tip of our tongues for much of the season. Guy can absolutely bring it.
Hey, Sheehan hasn't started yet do if you could keep going until he does that would be great. Just trying to get through a day at the office.....Thanks!
Rob Neyer (1:05 PM)
Sorry, Jack, but our national economy needs you working hard! Until next time don't forget, "The statistics you don't compile never lie."
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