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!
Please explain to me this Pedoia love fest. Cano has more xtra base hits and more rbi's. Pedroia hitting in front of Gonzalez and Pappi while Cano hitting in front of a slow starting Swisher and Posada has the same amount of runs scored. So please don't tell me OBP. He did not generate anymore runs. Yet I hear Pedroia MVP canidate. Oh it must be the grit factor**Please note my sarcasm!
David Schoenfield (1:07 PM)
Based on their hitting stats, Pedroia has created about 95 runs. Cano about 82. Pedroia creates 7.4 runs per 27 outs, Cano 6.4. Pedroia has been the more valuable hitter and the better defensive player. And OBP? It's only the most important number for a hitter and Pedroia's is 48 points higher. Cano has had a great season, but Pedroia's has been better.
Mike (San Diego)
Which potential first round series looks more interesting to you - TEX vs. NY/BOS or MIL vs. ATL?
David Schoenfield (1:09 PM)
Assuming the Brewers make it, I'll be interested to see how Greinke performs under the big spotlight. It would also be interesting to see if Milwaukee would start Randy Wolf in Game 1, making him ready for Game 5. The Braves don't hit left-handed pitching, so you make the argument that Wolf should be slotted for two starts. But I love the idea of C.J. Wilson and that underrated staff (Texas has the lowest road ERA in the AL) facing the Yanks or Red Sox.
Shane Victorino for MVP? He's only played 92 games and yet his fWAR is 4th highest in the NL. If he continues at his current pace he'll blow by everyone. I know the voters won't even consider him (they'll probably give Ryan Howard votes), but do you think he's a worthy candidate?
David Schoenfield (1:11 PM)
Definitely candidate. I think Eric Karabell ranked him fourth in Friday's MVP column on the SweetSpot blog and that sounds about right to me. But you're right: voters still love RBIs and the Phillies cruising to the East title actually works against him, since voters like "difference makers." (In their minds, a guy whose team barely makes the playoffs is more valuable, since he was "difference maker" in making the playoffs.)
What would you do with Yonder if you were the Reds? The kid can flat out hit but cannot play anywhere other than where Votto plays.
David Schoenfield (1:13 PM)
I think the Reds shop him around in the offseason. Like you said, left field is just too much of a stretch. His minor league numbers are nice -- .296/.374/.486 -- but don't scream big star, so I'm not sure what his trade value would be, beyond a similar type pitching prospect.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (@CheeseheadSN)
Sports fans are neurotic so we dissect every word that players, general managers, and owners make. I consider it more of a throwaway comment but what do you make of Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio saying that Prince Fielder likes it in Milwaukee?
David Schoenfield (1:15 PM)
I would say that's a lot less interesting than Prince Fielder saying he wants to stay in Milwaukee.
David Schoenfield (1:15 PM)
OK, first question to the readers: Where does Prince Fielder end up next year ... and for how much per season?
Plain and simple. Who wins the AL East? And is there a scarier team to face in a short series than the Angels? Haren and Weaver in 4 games? Ridiculous.
David Schoenfield (1:17 PM)
I think the Angels are just about done. Five back of Texas now. Rangers are just a far better and deeper team -- +118 run differential versus 7 for the Angels. What about Detroit: the potential of facing Verlander twice in a five-game series? That has to scare Boston and New York fans.
Prince Fielder. Chicago Cub. 6 years 148 million.
Prince Fielder to the Nats: 6 years 175 Mill.
There is no proven way to statistaclly rate defense. However I do know AL managers rated Cano better defisively and please explain how Pedroia has been more valuable. Cano more doubles, triples,homers and more rbi's. Pedroia with his obp has the same amoount of runs scored as Cano. I guess you could eschew numbers any way you want with all the silly baseball metrics. However it gets no simpiler then that.
Is Erik from Jersey going to ask every ESPN analyst about Cano and Pedroia? He asked the same question to Crasnik yesterday. How much validation do you need for Cano?
David Schoenfield (1:21 PM)
Erik -- Pedroia is better in 2011. Get over it. Cano has 22 more total bases than Pedroia. But Pedroia has 47 more walks. So Pedroia is on base a lot more with similar power numbers. Cano has used up 343 outs, Pedroia 344 (Pedroia has more plate appearances). They are similar offensively, but Pedroia is the better baserunner and the better defender.
Delmon Young to the Tigers: Like it, Love it or Hate it?
David Schoenfield (1:23 PM)
Indifferent for the most part. Lousy defender, poor OBP. Kind of what they had in Magglio Ordonez this year. Although Delmon has hit better over the past couple of months, so it could be worth an extra win for Detroit.
Is there something MLB should do to avoid the farce of every first round pick signing on the same day? Can they just give up on slotting?
David Schoenfield (1:24 PM)
Yeah, pretty clear the whole slotting thing hasn't worked out the way MLB intended. In the end, teams are still signing these players for far less then they would see receive on the open market (see: Stephen Strasburg vs. Aroldis Chapman).
any chance you admit you were wrong trolling twitter on mariano rivera last week
Before you write or tweet something, do you do any research? I assumed professional pride would make that answer a "Yes", but then we get ignorant tweets like "Mariano Rivera PROBABLY gets more easy saves than anyone else" Which is inaccurate. You know you can look stuff up on your phone right? Mr. Professional sports writer. If we could raise the bar a little it would be appreciated
David Schoenfield (1:26 PM)
It's Twitter, not investigative journalism. I would never write an article without doing the proper research. But I certainly didn't realize Yankee fans had such thin skin.
Do you agree with the the rumors about having two wild card teams for next season, if yes, do you also agree with the one game clinch benth spot?
David Schoenfield (1:29 PM)
It certainly appears the two-team/one-game wild card has a good chance of getting incorporated for next year. While no doubt exciting, imagine something like this year: the Yankees win the wild card with 12-15 more wins than the Angels ... and have to face Jered Weaver in a loser-go-home. That's the problem I have: You play 162 games to determine the deserving playoff teams. On the other hand, it would make a Red Sox-Yankees pennant more meaningful/exciting.
David Schoenfield (1:30 PM)
But imagine that scenario: The Red Sox and Yankees are battling for the division title the final three games and have to use their best starters. Meanwhile, Detroit wins the Central easily and gets to rest Verlander for Game 1. Is that fair? That's the problem players and managers have with the one-game scenario.
Please ask Joe how to statistically quantify "probably getting more easy saves". Otherwise, let's stop hiding behind the word "research" when trying to say one's opinion is for some reason more valid.
Matt (St. Paul)
Jim Thome...so humble that he doesn't even allow for the buildup from #599 to #600.....are you in the camp that says he's a sure-fire hall of famer?
David Schoenfield (1:32 PM)
I think he *should* be a first ballot guy, but I actually think it may take a couple years before he gets in. I wrote on Thome's HOF case here: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/14999/thome-should-be-slam-dunk-for-hof
David Schoenfield (1:32 PM)
What do you guys think? Thome gets in first ballot ... or maybe somebody thinks he's not a Hall of Famer. If so, let me know why.
Mike (San Diego)
Wow, lots of sensitive fans out there. Maybe you need to start handing out hugs a little more often Dave.
David Schoenfield (1:34 PM)
Where's Mariano? I'd give him a big hug right now if he was sitting next to me.
I don't understand how they can even call it slotting with how much and how often teams give in to these agents/players. Before the new CBA, the NFL may have been overpaying its first-rounders, but at least there was consistency. Things wouldn't be as bad right now if baseball actually had slotting.
David Schoenfield (1:36 PM)
Why is it giving in to the players? If the players were allowed to negotiate with all 30 teams, they'd get MORE money than get now. More than a decade, a a few first-rounders become free agents due to a draft loophole and all received the biggest bonuses ever handed out (at the time). See Travis Lee and Matt White, both of whom received $10 million bonuses, I believe -- more than the Pirates just gave No. 1 overall pick Gerritt Cole. So the players are still getting shortchanged compared to a true free-market system.
Ken (Palo Alto)
I have this fantasy of the Tribe ending the season like they began it -- with a 30-15 run over their final 45. Please tell me that I am not just deluding myself. Please?
David Schoenfield (1:38 PM)
Well, I don't see any signs that's going to happen, but I think they'll hang in there. Nine games left against Detroit, including three in Detroit to end the season. Let's hope those games mean something. (And don't count out the White Sox).
If you could quantify; how much have the Giants messed up Belt's development by see-sawing him so much without always being able to justify the moves?
David Schoenfield (1:39 PM)
At least he was playing in Triple-A. It would have been worse if they had sat him on the bench in the majors. Long-term, I think he'll be fine and I'm still optimistic about his star potential.
The Phils are considering a six-man rotation for the rest of the season. Good idea or bad idea?
David Schoenfield (1:41 PM)
I like it -- keep the arms fresh -- but it depends on the individual pitchers. If Halladay prefers to go every fifth day (for example), then you pitch him every fifth day. Charlie Manuel has room to play with, so I'm sure he and his staff will deal with each pitcher individually. BTW, any more updates on whether Hamels had an MRI on his shoulder?
teddy (schenectady ny)
if i was a sportswriter like, had a decent amount of followers and i talk trash about dustin pedroia, what kind of comments would you expect to get
David Schoenfield (1:42 PM)
I wasn't talking trash. I put forth some factual statements about Rivera blowing some very important games in his career.
So Dave, When that WNBA Player made those comments about the Japanese deserving the Tsunamis, I guess you supported her comments, since, ya know, its just twitter not investigative journalism, right?
David Schoenfield (1:42 PM)
C'mon, guys, that's your argument? You're comparing that statement to me pointing out that Rivera blew Game 7 of the 2001 World Series? Really?
True, amateur talent in baseball is definitely worth these relatively minor investments. I guess I just don't understand what the point of the system is if the recommended numbers are not used the majority of the time (or at least it seems that way).
David Schoenfield (1:45 PM)
Right, it doesn't work unless all 30 teams adhere to the system. But they don't, so it doesn't work. Obviously, baseball would like to control spending, but the smart teams will always spend more money on amateur talent -- because in the long, an $8 million investment in Gerritt Cole, while not a sure thing, is probably a better risk than, say, $82 million or whatever in A.J. Burnett.
Mike (San Diego)
Long term, Belt or Hosmer? Who ya got?
David Schoenfield (1:45 PM)
Prince: Seattle Mariners! DH/1B. Who cares, its not my money!
David Schoenfield (1:45 PM)
Definitely what they need!
David Schoenfield (1:46 PM)
OK, question to everyone: Like/hate the two-team wild card idea?
JP (Columbus, OH)
Jim Thome - underrated, even with the 600 HR's. The guy has maintained an OBP above .400 while playing for 20+ years. Forget magical numbers like 3,000 hits and 500 HR...a career .400 OBP is my magic number. Adding 600 HR's makes it a simple choice.
Why don't we use a true slotting system for lawyers and doctors. I mean, these guys and gals just have graduated from school and haven't PROVEN anything. Why can't we limit their salaries and restrict their rights to bargain? I mean, it sure would save make the legal system and medical field more accessible to the average consumer. Absurd, right? I don't get why people are so rabidly communistic when it comes to sports salaries.
David Schoenfield (1:47 PM)
Exactly. Good post, Patrick.
craig (so cal)
No imagination guys... Fielder to the Rays 6 @ $175m
David Schoenfield (1:50 PM)
Rays had $40M payroll this year. They can lose Damon ($5M), trade Upton (4.8), let Shoppach go ($3M). That's $13 million in money without even increasing the payroll. Pump the payroll to $50 million and you can afford Prince!
Jason (St Louis)
Why do fans get so up in arms about draft picks getting paid? The soonest they'll see anymore money will be after three years in the bigs. Until then it's pb&j sandwiches and long bus rides for an who knows how long and the odds are they won't get to the show. Teams SHOULD have to pay to get a kid to forgo college, which are the ones that get paid the most.
Chris (Frankfort )
Do you think it'd be smart for Arizona to bring up Bauer now that Marquis is out? 5 shutout innings in his debut at Double A....
David Schoenfield (1:53 PM)
They're going to start Wade Miley, who had 3.64 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Reno. 56/16 SO/BB ratio. As for Bauer, good question ... my guess is they give Miley a couple starts, but Bauer may be next on their list. They don't have much more down at Reno -- 5.89 staff ERA -- although that's a tough place to pitch. I love teams who are willing to take smart risks, and Bauer seems like a smart risk to me.
Neil (DC )
My morbid curiousity wants to see the Giants win the NL West with the worst run differential in the division. That would have to be a first right?
David Schoenfield (1:55 PM)
Trouble is, the Dodgers are 21 runs worse. So the Giants would have to "catch" them -- which would seem difficult to do and still win the division. (Unless the Dodgers play a lot better, of course). Hmm, seems like a very slim possibility.
So let me see if I understand this. When it's Pedroia vs. Cano, OBP is the most important statistic. But a couple weeks back when you compared Granderson and Ellsbury, who have nearly identical OBP, it was significant that Ellsbury had a higher BA?
David Schoenfield (1:59 PM)
I may have mentioned their batting averages, but I would never say -- or mean to say -- that one player is better strictly because he has a better batting average. (Or I may have written that the actual VOTERS will consider batting average.) Anyway, those guys are very close offensively, probably slight edge to Granderson, but defensively I'd give the edge to Ellsbury, as Granderson rates very poorly. (Check out Steve Berthiaume's post from Friday.)
David Schoenfield (2:00 PM)
Here's the link: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/14868/grandersons-defense-hurts-his-mvp-case
As a Jays fan, I have no choice but to absolutely love the idea of another wild card.
Anthony J (Toronto)
As a resident of the AL EAST (not Boston/NY), Yes to the two-team wildcard.
What is wrong with a slotting system? My wife dad was in the military, my wife works for the Gov't. They have a "slotting system. MLB is a private company. If they want to have a slotting system, they can. I have yet to see someone put a gun to a HS or college kids head and say "You are going to play baseball for a living". The company can have a slotting system the same way NONE of these kids have to play baseball.
Fielder to the White Sox 7 @ 214 (that includes the 39 million that they owe to Adam Dunn for the next 3 years).
Fielder to the Jays for whatever AA says.
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
IF I am Cardinals I sign Fielder to BIG money and less years than Pujols- he is younger, as proven, healthier, etc. Pujols is asking for money they can't and shouldn't pay. IF they did that- where else is Pujols going for 10 yr/$300 MM??? exactly... PLUS it would crush Brewers to not get Prince back.
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
Interesting. I haven't seen anyone mention that idea and it does make a lot of sense.
Who's "rabidly communistic" in this discussion? It's a matter of claiming you're adhering to a system, when you don't. Otherwise, baseball can do whatever it wants; heck, I'm not an owner.Also, for your information, doctors and lawyers DO end up having their incomes determined in a very, very rough slotted manner. Although, there are many variables more than for athletes.
No, it's not a "slight edge to Granderson" offensively. His SLG is way higher than Ellsbury's. And Berthiaume cherry-picked one defensive stat for one season, ignoring that defensive stats are nororiously changing often. Last year, granderson rated the much better defender. In all likelihood, they are about the same.
David Schoenfield (2:06 PM)
I think all the defensive metrics rate Granderson poor this year. But, yes, Ellsbury rated poorly in 2009, his last healthy year in center (which is why Boston had signed Cameron to play CF in 2010). Using the runs created method, Granderson has created 94 runs, or 7.2 per 27 outs. Ellsbury is at 94 runs, or 7.1 per 27 outs.
fielder to cubs 8 yrs 170 mil last half of which will look awful as fielder ballons to 300+ pounds
Mike (San Diego)
What do the Angels do with Bourjos when Trout is ready to play every day? I would think neither of those would have the power you'd want from a corner OF, but if you put those guys in the same outfield? You might be able to put 5 guys in the infield because they could prbably cover the whole outfield by themselves.
David Schoenfield (2:10 PM)
That's a really good question. Bourjos is SO good out there that he's playable even if his bat doesn't improve much. Now, Trout is supposed to be a terrific defender as well, but as good as Bourjos? You could play Trout in left (if you're willing to, umm, admit Vernon Wells isn't any good). His combo of OBP, speed and moderate power should still play well for a LF. Or maybe you trade Bourjos?
David Schoenfield (2:10 PM)
Some more posts on slotting/doctors/lawyers ...
David, Newly-minted doctors and lawyers do essentially have salary slots. For doctors, it is a relatively meager salary in their residencies and for lawyers, all the top firms in any given city pay the same. Slotting is more appropriate for sports because teams have to be able to compete against each other (though I am still against it).
New doctors out of med school do have hard slotting and a draft - it's called the National Resident Matching Program.
As far as the argument for slotting/not slotting....are people angry with the current system where a team has control of a players first 6 years? The initial 3 with no arbitration?
Don't like the one-game wild card playoff idea. I'd like to see other methods used to increase a team's motivation for winning the division. Like, say, making the wild card team play ALL of its LDS games on the road.
David Schoenfield (2:12 PM)
Personally, I like that idea more than a one-game playoff.
Dan and Bob to the rescue! :-)
If Granderson and Ellsbury have the same OPS, granderson's slugging is way higher, and they still have very similar runs created, what does that tell you about the value of the runs created statistic?
David Schoenfield (2:16 PM)
Runs created works, trust me. For example, they have essentially the same OBP. Granderson draws more walks, Ellsbury gets more hits. A hit IS a little more valuable than a walk. In slugging percentage, a home run is weighted four times the value of a single. In reality, a home run is not four times more valuable than a single. So even though Granderson's slugging is higher, Ellsbury has other edges -- more hits, more doubles, a few more steals. Run it through the mixer and they're quite similar in offensive value.
And give Wild Cards just 2 home games in the LCS and World Series.
MLB is a private company? No. MLB is a cartel, like OPEC. They are a group of 30 businesses that should be competitive with each other. Instead the 30 owners of these business fix prices (charging the consumer more) and restrict the rights of their employees. The simple fact that baseball players are not allowed to negotiate with more than 1 potential employer in their field for the first 6 years of their careers is absolutely communistic. Lawyers and Doctors would have absolute conniptions if their rights to bargain were similarly restricted to a single hospital or law firm (and that would artificially depress their salaries). Doctors can apply for any residency program they choose. Big law firms pay more than small law firms. That's not slotting. That's the free market.
Hamels had the MRI yesterday. Still waiting for results...
I'm late to the party here, but I just wanted to offer a box of tissues to Yankee fans. I can't believe all of the crying going on in here. Whhaaaaaaa people don't like our players. Grow up
Before they add another wildcard team, they need to balance out the leagues. It's already something that needs to be fixed, but adding another WC team will make it all the more unbalanced
David Schoenfield (2:18 PM)
I agree with that. The fact that we have a four-team division and a six-team division is absurd.
Does Sale ever get a chance to start in Chicago? Should he?
David Schoenfield (2:19 PM)
I think he should. To me, you should always let a young pitcher prove he can't start before you move him to the bullpen. Relievers are easy to find; good starters are not.
Due to the recently changed look of the Mariners and recent successes of Franklin Guittierez, Mike Carp, Casper Wells, and Trayvon Robinson; Is it time to get rid of an aging Ichiro for some more talent and let these young guys build? I've never been much of a fan of Irchiro though due to the fact that he puts himself and his body before the team. He never dives head first, he is a terrible baserunner, and this year he hasn't been the Ichiro of the past.
David Schoenfield (2:22 PM)
He's under contract for one more year and isn't going anywhere. Ownership would never trade him ... and, frankly, the way he played this year, nobody would want him. Logically, yes, he's not an aging former star with little value. Emotionally, he's a Mariner for life. The only hope is following 2012, they'll sign him to a deal that won't hammer the payroll. And how about Carp! Is he for real?
@Billy, I'm not even a Yankees fan, but if you weren't so new you'd realize that whenever David compares a Yankee to anybody else, he always picks the stat that makes them look bad, whether its wins (Joba vs. Early Wynn), BA, (Granderson vs. Ellsbury), OBP (Pedroia vs. Cano). Ellsbury has more doubles, but Granderson has way more triples and homers. And he ignores peopel who call him on it, instead putting up posts from people who haven't been following.
David Schoenfield (2:25 PM)
Frank -- Let's use total bases. That's another way of adding up singles, doubles, triple and home runs. No picking and choosing. Granderson has 255, Ellsbury 248. According to my math, that looks pretty similar.
I was thinking about the sign stealing story in Toronto, and it seems like Rios got worse once he left, Wells got worse once he left, and Bautista hasn't hit since the story came out (although it is a very small sample). Thoughts?
David Schoenfield (2:28 PM)
Rios was OK last year. Wells definitely had a big home/road split last year. Hmm. If something WAS happening, my guess it happened in the past. And the fact that opposing teams clearly had some issues (changing signs, etc.) shows you that THEY thought something fishy was going on.
"Runs created works, trust me" sorta like when you said Mariano 'probably' gets more easy saves than other closers? See the problem here?
David Schoenfield (2:29 PM)
Runs created works on a team level -- if you add up all the individual runs created, it comes out very closely to the team's actual scored. That's why it "works."
@Leo...the reason Wells and Rios were available is because they weren't hitting in TOR. The pitcher could tell them what was coming and they would still miss it.
As a yankee fan I must say one thing to my fellow yankee fans... Shut up you whinny crybabys... Goodness gracious!
Justin (Boulder, CO)
Don't you guys listen to the Baseball Today podcast?! Save the kittens!
I think this chat is proof that we need to contract the Yankees. Everyone calm down. Ryan Howard is consistently named the most overrated player in baseball -- who is rating him highly? -- to prove (yet again) that RBIs are overrated. Can we lay off of him? No one, except children and the most vulgar and ignorant Philadelphians consider him "elite." Talk about terrible contracts...
David Schoenfield (2:31 PM)
The readers have spoken! No more Yankees, at least for today. In fact ... next week, I promise: Let's make a completely Yankees-free chat. Until then ... enjoy the games and thanks to everyone for the great questions and comments.