Chat with Rob Neyer
Welcome to The Show! On Tuesday, ESPN.com MLB Insider Rob Neyer will drop by to chat some baseball.
Neyer's book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send your questions now and join Neyer on Tuesday at noon ET!
I'm sure you're going to get hounded in this chat by some frustrated Denver fans, but man - we can't even make the main page after 17 of 18? Rant over - what do you think about this team? How closely have you watched this run...we've beat some good teams on the road...
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
I think this team is fundamentally better than I thought it would be, and I think it might be because a bunch of guys who have been less than healthy in past season are healthy this season.
Hey Rob, your thoughts on Fehr retiring? Do you think there's a chance he was actually forced out because of the steroids/not really anonymous testing? How much power would an agent such as Boras have in making this happen?
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
I think it might not be completely coincidental, though I don't know that Boras alone would have much to do with it.
Greg (Gainesville, FL)
Hey Rob, Have you watched the Orioles' Brad Bergesen pitch yet? Keith Law was hating on him, during his last chat- but he keeps coming out and performing.
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
Bergesen's control has been excellent, but it's difficult to win consistently if you're striking out only 4.1 batters per nine innings. You can bet on this: If his strikeouts don't go up, his ERA will.
Jake (Easton, PA)
Adam Kennedy has been hot, but the 2B job for the A's belongs to Mark Ellis when he comes back, right?
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
That's what everyone is saying. And it's not like the A's don't have room in the lineup for anybody who can hit even a little bit. Maybe Ellis can play shortstop when he gets back?
Mike (San Diego)
Rob, not a diehard fan here, but how is it that Manny can "rehab" in triple A, when they have the same steroid policies? Shouldn't he have to wait to do anything baseball until July 3rd? I'm confused.
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
I'm a little confused, too, Mike. But if it makes you feel any better, Manny is not being paid for these "rehab" games.
If you were DD, what would you do with Magglio? Would you release him before his contract vests, in essense picking a fight with Boras and the MLBPA?
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
They don't have to release him to prevent his contract from vesting; they just have to play him sparingly for a month or so. Considering how thin the Tigers' outfield is, they probably should keep him around, if only to play against lefties.
Rob, what do you make of Dice-K? He's got stuff, but other than wins, he has zero stats to back the money that Boston put up for him. Is it time to break out the big red BUST stamp?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
Is his stuff that good, really? If it's so good, why is he so hesitant to throw the ball through the strike zone?
Hey Rob, is Felix a Cy Young candidate? Do the Mariners need to win the division in order for him to get serious consideration?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
It's not so much about the M's winning the division as it's about scoring enough runs in his starts to get him 18-20 wins. But yeah, he's probably one of the five best pitchers in the league, so he's a candidate.
Rob, do you think the Royals should look to trade Meche or Soria? What kind of return would each bring?
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
They should trade everyone except Greinke, but the point is moot because the Royals don't trade veterans for prospects, because they are perpetually unwilling to admit that they're not about to win 85 games.
Rob, Carlos Zambrano has been pretty solid this season. What has changed from the end of last season that has brought him back to a top tier starter?
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
Last year his strikeout rate was the lowest of his career; this year it's back to almost exactly his career average. It's really that simple.
Rob are you working on another book anytime soon? If so, can you spill any details on the topic?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
I have a few ideas kicking around in my head, but blogging's sort of a full-time job and I haven't figured out Posnanski's secret yet. Maybe, someday.
is it me or is sabermetric research less interesting these days? For awhile there, it seemed like major revelations were happening every 6 months, but in the past 2-3 years have we learned anything fundamentally new about the game through statistics?
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
Oh, gosh. I think the work's that's being done with the Pitchf/x data -- and now the Hitf/x data -- is as interesting as anything that anybody's done in a long, long time. The truth is out there, my friend.
Home Bailey is tearing it up in AAA again. Will this guy ever translate it to success at the ML level or has that ship sailed?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Health permitting, he's going to be a good major leaguer. Exceptionally talented pitchers often don't succeed when we think they're supposed to, but they usually do succeed (again, if healthy).
Rob, if the Yankees or Red Sox had won 17 of 18 games like the Rockies they would be the top story every night. Why the disrespect?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
You specific charge is probably unfair, as x-of-x isn't generally going to be a headline. If they'd won 18 straight, sure. Your general question is fair, as of course it's true that teams between the coasts often don't get the coverage their performance might merit. But performance isn't the only thing that goes into coverage. Do you have any idea how many fans the Yankees and Red Sox have, compared to the Rockies?
Rob, the remainder of Tiger Stadium was knocked down yesterday. What are your thoughts on the "corner of Michigan and Trumbell" and where does it rank all time among stadiums?
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
I was there only twice, but for me it's No. 1 among the dozens of ballparks I've visited.
Jesse Fischer (Chimacum, WA)
What do you think the Mariners are going to do with Jeff Clement? It seems to me that he could be really good, why is he still down in AAA?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
Clement hasn't forced his way back to the majors this season, though he may well do that soon. The Mariners simply have too many guys at the wrong end of the defensive spectrum, what with Branyan, Griffey, Clement, Sweeney, and now Mike Carp. Meanwhile, they don't have anyone who can play left field. Oops.
Ben (Lincoln, NE)
Scott Podsednik... did anyone see this coming?
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
Let's give him another month or two, Ben. I'm reminded of a line from Pulp Fiction ...
Mark R (Moscow, ID)
Brett Gardner is looking more and more like a viable major league starter. Where does that leave the Yankees outfield upon Xavier Nady's return?
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
Well, Nady will be extraneous ... but then, wasn't that always the case? He's not the worst insurance in the world, should someone else go down. But right now there's really no obvious role for him.
Nerns (Fells Point, Md)
What happens to Magglio if his "little rest" does nothing to boost his power numbers? Does Wilkin Ramirez get a look?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
Ramirez's Triple-A stats don't inspire a great deal of confidence ... I've looked at all the Tigers' corner-outfield options, and I just don't see much in the organization. I think a trade's in order.
Chris (Los Angeles)
Has Ichiro's performance since he came into MLB changed your opinion about him as top hitter in MLB history? Do you think Seattle has a chance this year to win the division?
Rob Neyer (12:50 PM)
Do you remember what my opinion about him was in the spring of 2001? Because I sure don't. And no, I don't give the M's a great shot at the division.
robby ray (cheese city)
any thoughts on eckersley's broadcasting skills?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
I think learning that job at the highest level is pretty tough.
Will Branyan's success this season convince someone else to take a shot on him next year? Maybe Oakland?
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
Oh, he's certainly done enough to get another full-time job next season. He might even be too expensive for the A's.
Mark R (Moscow, ID)
You should check out what Michael Saunders has done in Triple-A before you conclude that the Mariners don't have anyone who can play left field. I think Saunders' ultimate destination is center, but the guy is really putting it together year.
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
Fair point, Mark. Saunders might well be the M's best option in LF at this point. I think with two or three tweaks the M's could actually hang around in the race for a while longer.
Luke Scott = Russell Branyan? Why do some guys just never seem to get a shot?
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Those guys tend to have low batting averages during their relatively limited trials. Managers and executives still get stuck on low batting averages.
Thoughts on Khalil Greene? He seems to be more relaxed on the field and is swinging the bat better since he came back.
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
I'm happy for him. Maybe he just needed to get his head together. We've all been there, right?Thanks for all the questions, and each week I'm getting closer to figuring out the new chat tool. Until next time, don't forget: "One can always do what one wants if it takes people by surprise. There is not time for plotters to develop their nefarious plans."