Chat with Rob Neyer
Welcome to SportsNation! 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!
Rob Neyer (12:03 PM)
You know the drill by now, right? You ask good questions, I try to answer well?
Josh S. (Philly)
Who ends up winning the NL East?
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
I think the Braves are probably the best team in the division, particularly if Heyward comes back strong. But it's not going to be easy.
Matt [via mobile]
Is it me or are the Royals really showing some signs of life?
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
I think Ned Yost is better-suited to manage these guys than Trey Hillman was.
Brett (Hot Springs, AR) [via mobile]
Rob, do you believe in my White Sox 25-5 run? I have expected great things from them all year, and I think they will win this division going away.
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
I'm willing to be convinced that I was wrong about the White Sox, but I still haven't figured out exactly *how* I was wrong.
Mac (Columbia, SC)
Rob, quick All-Star question: if Cliff Lee had been Seattle's lone rep and was traded prior to the All-Star game, would they have had to go back and pick another player to serve as Seattle's representative?
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
There's some precedent here, right? I wish I could remember what it was. But you can go back and pick another player only if there's a roster spot available. No sure thing.
Why weren't a lot of home run derby contestants not wearing their team caps? You would think MLB would see the marketing impact of selling hats to youth of America there. Why does it seem NFL has a uniform police that really enforces the uniform laws while MLB is toothless in their enforcement?
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
Stu, MLB is toothless in many respects when it comes to the players, simply because the players have an incredibly strong position in the relationship, thanks to tough negotiating over the last 35 years.
Nick D. (New York)
Buy or Sell?: Big second half from CarGo and, more broadly the Rockies in general.
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
I don't know about Gonzalez, but I do think the Rockies will remain competitive. It's be nice to get their shortstop back, though. And I'm not convinced that Jimenez can continue going as he has.
Hey Mac in Columbia, MD, have you ever heard of Ichiro? He is representing the Mariners.
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
Well, there's that. But I think were discussing a hypothetical.
I know there is a logjam in the Philly outfield, some with good reason (Werth) and some because of contract (Ibanez) but can Domonic Brown continue to stay in the minors? As a consensus #1 prospect in the minors and the Philly offense needing a kickstart, I'm thinking it's time for Brown. Move Werth? Victorino?
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
Yeah. Or they could treat Ibanez's contract as a sunk cost...
Does Papi really think a year after he shows up on "the list" and has his worse season he's getting a long term extension? Theo would be crazy to do it, right?
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
I don't think the Red Sox can justify spending the money Ortiz will want on a 35-year-old platoon DH.
It was Jeff Shaw who made the all star game on one team (the Reds), but was traded on the first day of the all-star break (to the Dodgers). I'm pretty certain he was the Reds' only rep and the Reds didn't get a replacement.
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
Thanks, Matt. We've found the system in the flaw.
Josh S. (Philly)
Who do you think will inevitably win the Cy Young this year for both leagues?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
I'm not sure there's anything inevitable about it, but Ubaldo Jimenez will be tough to beat if he wins 23 games. If he doesn't, Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright should muscle their way in there. In the American League, it's wide open but my money's on CC Sabathia. Or Jon Lester. Or David Price.
Favorite Steinbrenner memory?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
Oh, I don't know. He was a part of my baseball experience for nearly 35 years. But the first thing that pops into my head is usually one of the all-time greatest quotes ... which I'm going to save for the end of this chat (though some of you already know what I'm talking about).
Bob Rooney (Worcester, MA)
Omar Infante, worst All Star ever?
Rob Neyer (12:23 PM)
Nah, I doubt it. There have been some really strange ones over the years, including a lot of catchers you've never heard of. But I'll bet Infante's in the top 20.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Rob, what's your best guess on Jeter's next extension? Olney actually predicted 4 yrs at 15-20 million per.
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
That seems exactly right to me. Obviously his performance won't match his salaries, but it's not like the Yankees need the money.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Did you ever hear Bob Sheppard when you were at Yankee Stadium? what did you think of Sheppard Passing Away?
Rob Neyer (12:36 PM)
Oddly, my last memory of Bob Sheppard is sitting in the upper deck and not being able to understand a single word he said, because the speakers up there were so lousy.
How long until The Boss is in the Hall of Fame?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
Good question, Doug. It'll be real interesting to see how that plays out, because (obviously) there are still some people in the game who weren't among Steinbrenner's biggest fans.
Rob, not trying to be a trolling NY fan (really), but you willing to say you were a little reactionary with your "Sabathia isn't what the Yankees thought they were getting" post from 6 week or so back?
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
I'm not sure you know what "reactionary" means, Stuckey ... But if you can convince me that the difference between Sabathia's strikeout-to-walk ratio this season and two years ago is irrelevant, I'll happily concede the point.
Wait, in all seriousness, if Jeter bats .300, scores 100 runs, steals 20 bases, and hits 12-15 HR while playing middling defense, he's not worth 15 mil/yr for 4 years?
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
In all seriousness, why on earth would you think he'll still be doing those things in 2013 and '14? Shoot, he's not doing them in 2010 (well, except he'll probably score 100 runs).
Scott Boras had a quote in the local paper saying that he thinks Carlos Santana needs to get out from behind the plate to truly blossom as a player. 1. I've seen the kid catch close to 100x and he's really not that bad. 2. Wouldn't he bring that much more value to a lineup as a C who can rake...due to the simple scarcity of such creatures?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
Of course. But Boras doesn't like his guys catching because catchers don't tend to still be making huge amounts of money when they're 35-40. Give him credit: He takes the long view.
Should the Braves make a move for Corey Hart? Do you believe he is having a fluke season so far?
Rob Neyer (12:44 PM)
A little bit, maybe. But I think last season was the bigger fluke. Hart's a legitimate power hitter and could help a lot of clubs.
A little unrelated, but what do you think the chances are that the Red Sox retire Tim Wakefield or Jason Varitek's numbers a few years down the road?
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
As long as those guys hang around the organization for a while, they've got a shot. But remember how long it took them to honor Johnny Pesky.
Stanley (Duluth, MN)
Rob--who creates the schedule for MLB? I'm curious because, looking at the second half, the Twins have a much easier schedule than both the Tigers and the White Sox--the latter two play something like 41 and 44 of their games against teams that are better than .500, while the Twins only play 33 against teams with a record better than .500. Not that I'm complaining, but does whoever creates the schedule try for as much balance as possible?
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
I'm sure they do the best they can, but balancing the schedules in that way is just one of many competing interests.
Will the M's call up both Ackley and Pineda by seasons end?
Do you think MLB should go back to the balanced schedule in both an effort to increase fairness for the wild card, but also so fans can see more of teams outside their division?
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
Andrew, when we had the balanced schedule, everybody complained that teams played too many games *outside* of their division. So you're never going to make everybody happy. For me, the first step would be cutting back on the interleague games, and go from there.
Do you think the Braves have the pitching to win in the post season, or are they set up to win a lot of regular season games? Other than Tommy Hanson, it does not seem like a bunch of power arms...
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Power arms are nice, but they're not a necessity if you're doing everything else well. I would take that rotation to war in October.
Help me settle a bet. Would Bench and Carter have been HOFers if they didn't play a value position like catcher, but instead played the outfield?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
Carter, maybe not. Bench, yes if he'd been able to stay healthier than he was.
Who do you see the Tigers going after before the trade deadline? If Porcello comes back from Toledo and is effective it would be akin to a trade pick up, but I think they need more than just him, thoughts?
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
Oh, I don't know. I think a good Porcello might be enough, I'm just not sure if Porcello is actually good.Thanks for all the questions today. I'd like to leave you with this quote from George Steinbrenner, shortly after he purchased the Yankees: "We're not going to pretend we're something we aren't. I'll stick to building ships."