Chat with David Schoenfield
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield stops by to chat some baseball.
Schoenfield is a senior writer for ESPN.com and he's been with ESPN.com since 1995 and has served in a variety of roles, including baseball editor, Page 2 senior editor and writer, and even interim soccer editor. He grew up in Seattle rooting for the Mariners, believes Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame and had no issues with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young Award despite a 13-12 record.
Send your questions now and join Schoenfield Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
David Schoenfield (12:57 PM)
Hello to my legions of followers. Despite not having an incentive clause in my contract, I still decided to chat before tonight's All-Star Game.
I'm sorry, but due to mental and physical exhaustion, I will not be able to attend this chat.
Peter Huisking (Alpharetta, GA)
Has the All-Star Game lost its significance since most of these players would rather take the vacation days with there family then play in the game that should mean the world to play in and be an honor being selected?
David Schoenfield (1:00 PM)
I don't think it's fair to say "most" of the players. I've covered All-Star Games in the past and nearly every player is honored and thrilled to be selected, even the annual All-Stars. Obviously, Jeter's choice this year is controversial and I believe MLB should have made him attend the game (and start, as elected by the fans).
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
I like that MLB decided to shake-up the home run derby a little bit with the captains. Unfortunately since the NL struggled this year I fear that they are going to scrap the idea. What did you think of having captains? What would you do to improve the home run derby even more?
David Schoenfield (1:03 PM)
I didn't see the point to having captains. I thought last night's derby was exciting, probably the best in years. But I think it can be improved: (A) they need to shorten it from three-plus hours to two; (B) I'd open it up to non-All-Stars (Mike Stanton, for example); (C) Maybe have a couple Futures Game players it in. (You don't think having Bryce Harper in it would have been great?)
Nick (Dayton, OH)
What is happening to my Reds? Did they overachieve last year?
David Schoenfield (1:05 PM)
I still think they can get back in this. In some ways, they've been unlucky -- they have a +29 run differential but are 45-47; Cardinals are 26 but are 49-43; Brewers are -1 but also 49-43. I think Reds are a team that can help themselves the most at the trade deadline: they have some prospects they can deal and some holes in the lineup that can be improved (if the right guys are available, of course).
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Best & the Worst MLB Stadium that you have been to?
David Schoenfield (1:07 PM)
Best: Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Camden YardsWorst: No worst! (I'd say the old Kingdome, but that was the place I grew up going to.) All the new parks are nice, hard to criticize any of them too much.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Couldn't agree more about the home run derby. Fans want to see bombs - invite Adam Dunn, Mike Stanton, etc. and take cover.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
I also enjoyed the Derby more than in previous years..my favorite thing was being surprised by Robbie Cano's power..were you?
David Schoenfield (1:09 PM)
I was surprised by some of the length of his home runs, yes, not necessarily that he won. He has a nice, quick bat and in the HR Derby he doesn't have to worry about chasing pitches outside the zone (still his problem in real games).
James M (Ottawa)
Even if Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly and Reymond Fuentes ALL become All-Stars, the Padres got fleeced on the Adrian Gonzalez trade, right?
David Schoenfield (1:11 PM)
Well, if they all become All-Stars, I would suggest that will go down as a pretty good haul. Hey, the Padres had one year of Gonzalez. They weren't going to sign him. They got three top prospects that turn into 18 seasons of control. There's a pretty good chance the Padres end up winning this trade.
You know Derek, Cal never missed an all-star game, and boy, he must have been tired!
James (Athens, GA)
Jair Jurrjens is getting no respect it seems. People are down on him because of pitching to contact and a lot is made of his velocity. These people who are criticizing must not be watching because JJ hits 93-95 if he needs to. He just does not need too much. He has learned how to "pitch".
David Schoenfield (1:14 PM)
He's starting to get a little attention. I've written this before: With offense and power down, strikeout rate is a little less important for pitchers than it was the past 15 years. Check pitchers in the 1988-1992 period, and many were very good with K rates similar to Jurrjens'. That said, he's unlikely to maintain that 1.87 ERA given his peripherals.
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
Two teams would REALLY benefit by a Reyes rental- Tampa and Milwaukee- especially Brewers. With their pitching potential and already bat heavy line up- he would shove them over the Phillies this year, BEFORE they lose Prince. thoughts?
David Schoenfield (1:16 PM)
I still have doubts the Mets will deal Reyes. Doesn't it seem imperative that they need to re-sign him? And that becomes less likely if they trade him away. Brewers have no top prospects to trade anyway. Tampa and Cincy could use Reyes and have deep farm systems if they wanted to try and make a deal (and take on his salary).
I'm quite sure Jurrjens put up a full season similar to this year back in '08 or '09, so maybe he can keep it up the rest of the season.
David Schoenfield (1:18 PM)
2.60 ERA in 2009. But 4.64 ERA last year. (Yes, had some injuries.) Jurrjens actually had a higher K rate in 2009 than this year. Anyway, I think he's very, very good ... but a lot of research says that 1.87 ERA is highly likely to be unsustainable.
If the all-star game is "supposed to count," then how does MLB allow the starters to skip it? Doesn't Jeter owe it to the rest of the AL to play since home field is on the line? (Not that he's the best option anyways, but that's beside the point)
David Schoenfield (1:20 PM)
I agree. NHL has a rule that if you "skip" the ASG, you have to sit out a game (before or after). A couple years ago, two Red Wings (Datsyuk and Lidstrom) had "injuries" and had to miss the first game following the ASG. I think MLB will have to institute a similar rule. So if Jeter and others want to skip the game, they'll have to pay a small price.
To James, he doesn't get respect because this is his first year of this kind of success. Ubaldo Jiminez learned how to "pitch" last year and look what happened in the second half and in this year. The Indians finally figured "it" out at the beginning of this year and have been playing sub .500 ball for a while now. Respect is earned, and it just hasn't been long enough. Roy Halladay has earned his place as perennial Cy Young Award Winner - All-Star Starter
I keep hearing a lot of 'Beltran to SF' rumors. I don't think it helps that he and Reyes flew down with the Giants players after their series in the Bay this past weekend, either. Do you see that happening, and if so, what do the Giants have to give up?
David Schoenfield (1:22 PM)
Giants have two top prospects: Brandon Belt and Zack Wheeler. One of those guys would probably be the starting offer and I don't know if SF would be willing to do that, especially since they can win the division as is.
How about this derby lineup: Josh Hamilton, Mike Stanton, Wily Mo Pena, Bryce Harper, Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Justin Upton, Prince Fielder.
David Schoenfield (1:23 PM)
I thought it was a shame MLB didn't at least let Upton in it. Give the hometown fans a little more bang for their money; those tickets aren't cheap. Terrible PR on MLB's part.
Why can't both teams have won the A Gonzalez trade?
David Schoenfield (1:24 PM)
Good point. I don't think the Red Sox are having too many regrets. Similar to the Smoak/Lee trade last summer. The Rangers were happy -- Lee helped them to the World Series. And the Mariners are happy with Smoak. Many traded can indeed be win/win.
Doesn't Jeter owe it to the rest of the AL to play since home field is on the line? This game is no longer an exhibition (Not that he's necessarily the best option at SS, but that's beside the point)
Asdrubal (The Shadows)
If MLB fans had voted for someone who both wanted and deserved to start in the All Star Game- like one of us- in a game that is supposed to matter instead of a big name having an inferior year, then their choice would have shown up...one of us!
David Schoenfield (1:27 PM)
That's the problem with the ASG: Who is it for? On one hand, you're saying it's for the fans by letting them vote in the starters. On the other hand, you're saying it's for the players because World Series home field is on the line. On the third hand, you don't let the best players pitch (Verlander, Felix, Hamels, etc.), so how can you see "it counts." Why not play the game on Wednesday and that way the Sunday pitchers would be ready to go.
Mike (San Diego)
If the game really counts, shouldn't that plucky First Baseman in St. Louis, aka the best hitter in the league over the past decade, get a chance to play on the team? I feel like there should be a "MUST ALWAYS BE IN THE ASG" clause for certain guys.
David Schoenfield (1:29 PM)
It used to be that way. Mays, Aaron, Yaz and so on -- those guys were All-Stars year after year. Hey, Pujols played 3B this year ... make him the starter instead of Rolen!
Was at the derby last night, and the fans were all over weeks and fielder to an extent with boos and "we want upton" chants. personally i loved it, but when i got home to watch highlights, they didnt even show it. And considering weeks swinged and whiffed, I figure it would at least get a Not top 10 nomination
The Evil Empire (The Bronx, NY)
Jeter is skipping the All-Star game because he is 38, plays short, and just went through an intense period of scrutiny to reach some abritray milestone number. His team is in a dogfoght for the postseason, and he says he's exhausted. Yankee fans woudl rtaher see him playing in Ocotber than tomorrow night, so if MLB wants to make him play, fork voer $20 million to the Yanks and then they can use Jeter as they want.
David Schoenfield (1:32 PM)
Jeter's decision makes 100 percent sense from a personal point of view. But your logic is flawed: There are 50-60 other players in pennant races as well. Couldn't Gonzalez and Halladay and Fielder and Weaver and other guys make the some excuse? What if they all decided to skip the game? You'd end up with Yuniesky Betancourt and Brendan Ryan as your starting shortstops.
Please remind Bruce Bochy that if the NL loses it will be becasue he chose his "own guys" over more well deserved players. Sandoval over Headley? Lincecum really? Wilson closer over Hanrahan, Bell, and Kimbrel?
David Schoenfield (1:34 PM)
We'll see what happens. I don't have an issue with Lincecum, who has proven himself as one of the best pitchers in the game. Vogelsong is unlikely to pitch. If Wilson closes and blows the game, then Bochy will pay the price. Although I doubt he'll lose much sleep over it.
Of course the Yankees want someone with a .683 OPS playing in October, why wouldn't you?
David Schoenfield (1:35 PM)
Nice one, Clay.
Monroe (Chelsea, Ohio)
Since starting pitchers are apparently too fragile to play the All Star game, how about letting Robinson Cano's Dad pitch?
Maybe if a player has made a certain number of all-star games then they earn the right to skip it? This is hardly Jeter's first rodeo.
Mike (San Diego)
I also love Bochy's logic that he picked Kimbrel over Hanson because he is a "better bullpen arm and we wanted a reliever". He does realize that pitchers become relievers because they can't cut it as starters, right?
David Schoenfield (1:38 PM)
Well, obviously you are correct, but for one game you are asking a starter to break from his normal routine, etc., so I can't necessarily disagree too sternly with Bochy there. I was on vacation last week ... how did Correia make it over Hanson? That one seems weird to me.
David Schoenfield (1:38 PM)
or Ian Kennedy for that matter.
Jeter is in a no win situation. He opts out before Saturday when he goes 5-5, he was recovering from an injury and he's worn out. No one cares then. Now, he has one great day, a so-so day, and everyone's complaining that he isn't coming to the ASG. Makes zero sense.If he shows up, the ASG becomes the Derek Jeter show instead of the ASG. If he doesn't show up, he's a bad guy for not coming. What's a guy to do?
David Schoenfield (1:41 PM)
Definitely fair points. I'm sure he didn't want to sit there and deal with 500 questions on not getting 3,000 hits at home (if he had failed to reach the milestone). However, he was voted in as a starter by the fans. By Yankees fans, to a large extent. Who pay his salary. When you're one of the biggest names in the sport (maybe the biggest), you have added responsibility, fair or not. And some of that responsibility is dealing with the media when you don't want to and attending All-Star Games if you get elected.
Phil (SF, Ca)
Tell Mark in Ohio that Bochy has proven to be the best manager in baseball over the past season and a half...he knows what he's doing. And Sandoval is one of the hottest players in MLB right now, Bochy is definitely playing for the win!
So Jeter should show up to the all star game so he can play in front of fans that constantly put him down and take joy in him getting older. His responsibility is to the yankees and yankee fans. Not, people who relish in his failures.
David Schoenfield (1:43 PM)
That's a cop-out. Like I said, who voted him as a starter? Again, what if Roy Halladay just said, "Screw it, I'm trying to win a World Series, I don't care about the All-Star Game, I'm not going to pitch." Stars have larger responsibilities.
Then tell Yankee fans not to vote him in!!!
The Evil Empire (The Bronx, NY)
No, your logic is flawed- Halliday, Fielder, etc, chose to be there. Jeter chose not to. If Halladay, Fielder, etc, felt they needed the rest to be better down the stretch, so be it. If they don't feel they need the beak, so be it. They know their bodies better than anyone else. Would anyone out there be willing to sacrifice a pennant because their All-Star was forced to go play in a fancy exhibition game? (as for the .683 OPS comment, you would if you didn't have anyone better than Eduardo Nunez behind him...)
David Schoenfield (1:45 PM)
I'm missing your point. By your logic, they should just not hold the ASG at all. Is that what you're saying?
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
Jeter should go to the ASG, swing at one pitch, reach down and grab his calf muslce, then sue MLB for forcing him to play in ASG/slander by a MLB official, and settle for that officials release/and an undisclosed amount of money which he gives to the guy who caught the 3000 ball-- solves multiple issues- TA DA!
David Schoenfield (1:48 PM)
Sorry, Yankees fans, you're coming across as whiners in this affair. I can't think of ANY voted starter who has ever skipped the game for anything other than a legitimate injury. If you think he should be applauded by putting himself and his team above the sport, then I think you're missing the larger point: no player or team is bigger than the sport. There are certain obligations and the All-Star Game is one of them.
He doesn't have to play! He should show up and wave and answer a few questions...and then spend 5 million at an Arizona spa and relax, whatever he wants
Please...I beg you...STOP with all the Jeter dialogue. Please.
David Schoenfield (1:49 PM)
OK, we'll move on ... but nearly every question/comment was Jeter related! What's your on mind, Jonny????
What if the Giants absorbed all or most of Beltran's contract, what type of prospect would they need to give up?
David Schoenfield (1:52 PM)
Right, that's the million-dollar (or multi-million dollar) question. But if several teams are pursuing Beltran (Red Sox, White Sox, others), then I think a top prospect will have to be included in the trade. Brandon Belt is similar in value to a Justin Smoak last year. Beltran isn't quite the valuable trade bait that Cliff Lee was, but using that as a baseline, absorbing the salary by itself probably won't be enough.
Mike (Belmont, NC)
Should the Braves be looking for a long term solution in LF?
David Schoenfield (1:54 PM)
Now? No, I'd say a stopgap solution there (moving Prado to 3B with Chipper out) is fine for 2011.
Larry (Hartford, CT)
A glorified exhibition game is not bigger than a pennant race, LDS, LCS or World Series. But if think a spring training game is more important, than you are definitely missing the larger point. Jeter playing in the Post season is way more valuable then Jeter playing in a meaningless game at the beginning of July.
David Schoenfield (1:57 PM)
OK, one more post, but this is about the ASG, not Jeter. The ASG is VERY important to MLB: Fox pays a lot of money for the rights. Outside of the World Series, it draws BY FAR the highest rating of any game of the season (in fact, it may outdraw World Series games). It draws a high rating and attracts millions and millions of sponsorship money because advertisers know the biggest stars in the game will be there. So, yes, it's a glorified exhibition game, but don't understand the financial impact the game means to the sport.
Monroe (Chelsea, Ohio)
Beltran makes about twice as much as Lee did last year.
David Schoenfield (2:01 PM)
Right, that's the big variable. Belt isn't quite the prospect that Smoak or Jesus Montero was, but maybe he would be too much to include in a Beltran trade. Maybe the contract scares off everybody but the Red Sox. I really don't know. So if Belt or Zack Wheeler are too much, you go down the list. Gary Brown was SF's No. 3 guy before the season. He's having a good year in Class A. Brandon Crawford has a good glove but can't hit. Or those guys enough to beat an offer from the Red Sox or White Sox?
What do we care what Fox pays!
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
You don't have to care. I'm just saying MLB cares. And if MLB cares, the players should care.
Paul (San Francisco)
Still think the Mets should trade Reyes - they both aren't competing this year and have a relatively barren farm system - they can tell him when they trade him they want to re-sign him and that they're just improving the team long-term, which they still want to be a part of - Cliff Lee's return to Philly shows there's at least some basis for that kind of decision, plus if they trade him to a team like the Rays they probably won't have to compete with the team that has him.
Luke (Wilmington, NC)
Really, the Trop isn't the worst stadium in baseball?
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
Never been there, but, yes, I'm sure it would have to rank No. 30!
I'm sorry you have to put up with these whiners. Holy moly. If Jeter wants to put winning above everything else, maybe he'd consider moving off shortstop since he's not very good there anymore.
What are your thoughts on the M's second half prospects?
David Schoenfield (2:04 PM)
Not good, no offense, but at least Ackley looks like the real deal. Will be interesting to see if they try and deal Bedard, Vargas or Fister.
Your point, David, about the ASG being very important to MLB is well stated, and as you've clearly laid out, the problem here really ISN'T Jeter, it's MLB's lack of a clear position on the game. Either it's really important and if you're selected, you go, or it's not because it's just for fun. MLB should clarify what the obligations of those selected are because it's clearly a grey area. (good chat, btw).
David Schoenfield (2:06 PM)
Well put, Sarah. That's a good one to end with. Enjoy the game tonight, everyone. I'm picking the NL to win, with Scott Rolen taking home MVP honors.