Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com baseball writer Jerry Crasnick will drop by to take your questions.
Crasnick is the author of "License to Deal: A Season on the Run With a Maverick Baseball Agent," which chronicles the ins and outs of what happens off the field.
Send your questions now and join Crasnick Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Hey everybody, Home for a big day of leave raking before heading to St. Louis for the World Series. Hopefully it will be a good one. Let's start the chat.
Rich (Sun Valley, ID)
Jerry, you were the one analyst of all the folks at ESPN to pick the Cardinals. Aside from your obvious brilliance and insight, what made you make the pick? As a Cardinal fan for 1/2 a century, this may be the sweetest of all the seasons....thanks, Jerry. PS: pick for the WS?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Rich, I need some smelling salts -- I usually don't hear the words "brilliance" and "insight" after my predictions. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Unfortunately for you (or fortunately, given my track record) I'm picking the Rangers in 6 games in the World Series. I think this is Texas' year.
Cardinals Fans everywhere celebrate...were gonna shock the world again!
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Garrett, It's amazing when you think about it. The Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 after going 83-78 in the regular season, and they're back again this year after being given up for dead in August. Those Tony La Russa teams have an affinity for playing from behind, I guess.
Ryan (North of STL)
Whats ur pick on WS? How do teams match up?
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Ryan, I covered the ALCS, and I love the versatility and depth of the Rangers' lineup. Nelson Cruz hitting seventh, seriously? They're better defensively than the Cardinals, and I love the bullpen with Ogando in the 6th and 7th. I do have some concerns about Texas' rotation, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Wilson, Holland and those guys pitch better in the series. I think they'll be looser than they were in the first two rounds.
Dfutoma (Rhode Island)
Congrats Jerry on being the only ESPN reporter to pick STL over Milwaukee, and in 6! World Series predictions?
Jerry Crasnick (1:06 PM)
Dfutoma, I just listed my reasons (albeit quickly) for picking Texas over the Cardinals. I also think the Rangers have the ability to manufacture runs if need be. Andrus can be a major distraction when he gets on, and Ron Washington can use Endy Chavez in the outfield if he's going for more of a speed and defense look.
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
By the way, I'm kind of shocked that everybody else picked the Brewers over St. Louis.
Hey Jerry I've heard some talk by fellow Rangers fans that this World Series will be a cake walk. Can you please inform them why the Cardinals will be a tough team to face? Also who you got? Go Rangers!
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
James, It's not going to be any cakewalk. But the Rangers just beat two teams -- Tampa Bay and Detroit -- that had a real "destiny" feel about them. The Rays were hot going into the postseason and had great starting pitching. And the Tigers had to feel something special was going on after that Miggy DP grounder hit the third base bag in Game 5. The Rangers disabused them of that notion pretty quickly with a 9-run third in Game 6.
does papi make it into pinstripes? hard to see the yankees picking him up with no real spot for him - if jorge hangs it up, i guess they can get him the ABs, but id rather see them put montero or romine in there.
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
Brian, I don't see any way Big Papi makes it to the Bronx in 2012 -- other than as a visiting player. As you said, they really have no spot for him. Montero can really hit, and they need to save some DH at-bats for A-Rod, Teixeira, Jeter and their other aging veterans.
Who benefits more with the DH in AL Parks or NO DH in NL Parks?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
Parker, If you have ESPN Insider, Buster Olney does a great job addressing that point today. The DH spot is not problem for St. Louis because the Cards can use Lance Berkman there. And in St. Louis, Michael Young can play first base and Mitch Moreland goes to the bench. It's not as big an issue as usual in this World Series.
brendan (st. louis)
Do you think this world series run helps or hurts resigning pujols?
Jerry Crasnick (1:14 PM)
Brendan, Well, his postseason performance bumps up his price significantly, but I think it helps, because the Cardinals know if they win and they let Albert walk, there might be a mass revolt in St. Louis. You can never discount the importance of public pressure on management decisions.
So, what happens if Boston and the Cubs can't reach an agreement as to player compensation for Theo?
Jerry Crasnick (1:14 PM)
Jay, I think the operative phrase is, "Hell will freeze over" before that happens. I can't imagine this thing would fall apart over which minor league prospect is or isn't included in the deal.
Evan (Auburn, Ala.)
Jerry: Any news on who might be the new Red Sox manager?
Jerry Crasnick (1:16 PM)
Evan, I wish I had some insight. I haven't weighed in on this yet, but I think it was a terrible mistake for the Red Sox to let Terry Francona go. That job is next to impossible, given the demands of juggling the media, ownership instrusion, big egos in the clubhouse and a demanding fan base. I don't think the Red Sox are going to find anybody who could do it as deftly as Terry Francona. He just needed to recharge his batteries and get more support from above
Jerry Eastwood (Haslett, MI )
And next year CC Sabathia will be pitching on opening day for......
Jerry Crasnick (1:18 PM)
Jerry, For all the inevitable drama, I still think he winds up back in New York. His departure would leave too big a void (literally and figuratively) at the top of the Yankees' rotation.
Are you disappointed you won't be able to watch "beast mode" again until next yr?
Jerry Crasnick (1:19 PM)
Dusty, I will say this: The Brewers this year were a heck of a fun team, with a lot of interesting personalities. I wouldn't have been disappointed at all to see them in the Series, since I've missed them all month while covering the AL playoffs. (As an aside, have a good offseason, Tony Plush)
Who's (whom's?) bullpen is more "suspect" in a close game at the end? Rangers or Cardinals?
Jerry Crasnick (1:20 PM)
Kent, Tony La Russa did an amazing job of using his bullpen in the first two rounds, but I would take Ogando, Adams and Feliz over the guys the Cardinals are running out there in the late innings.
Am I just a blind homer? After seeing TLR play matchups with his bullpen to nullify Braun and Fielder, I don't see Cruz terrorizing St Louis in this series. I also see no reason wht the Redbirds can't knock the Rangers' rotation around. Go Birds!
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Tim, You're in Philadelphia and you're a Cardinals fan. One piece of advice: Don't wear that Albert Pujols jersey around town, if you value your personal safety. As for the Series, I do think Nelson Cruz is due for a dropoff. There's no way he can stay this hot. But the Rangers have plenty of other guys to pick up the slack.
whats your take on fried chicken-gate in fenway? i think we all know baseball players are just overgrown children, so im not that surprised those guys were tossing back natty lights while waiting on the popeye's delivery boy. is this really that outrageous, or is this common clubhouse practice?
Jerry Crasnick (1:23 PM)
Brian, I think it's been overdone, because it's the Red Sox and everybody in Boston has a sense of entitlement now about the sports teams there. Look, the Braves experienced the same crushing end to the season, and there hasn't been 1-10th the residual drama there in Atlanta. To be honest, I'm pretty tired of hearing about it.
Tommy (Overland Park, KS)
Is it just me or did Marcum look scared out of his mind last night?
Jerry Crasnick (1:24 PM)
Tommy, I'm not sure if "scared out of his mind" is fair. But he did not look comfortable or confident in his stuff at all. That was readily apparent from the outset. (Well, maybe not so readily to Ron Roenicke).
Texas will be disruptive on the basepaths?Please do. With Yadi, I don't mind being given an extra out or 2 at second base.
Jerry Crasnick (1:25 PM)
Zuke, Good point. The Cardinals defend the run as well as anyone. But speed applies to more than just stolen bases. The Rangers are pretty good at going first to third and scoring from first on doubles, if you get my drift.
You think Doug Melvin is regretting that Marcum trade now?
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
Norman, Hey, Melvin gave it a shot, and the Brewers got all the way to the NLCS. And Marcum went 13-7 with a 3.54 ERA during the regular season. Without him, it would have been a lot harder for Milwaukee to get as far as it did. That said, I really like Brett Lawrie as a player. He would have looked awfully good at third base for the Brewers.
So...we're spelling words wrong in our introductions now? Way to go Jerry...
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
Jonny, Not sure what I misspelled. I'm doing my best to answer as many questions as possible, so that happens sometimes. By the way, I think you accidentally left the "h" out of your first name.
Texas will be disruptive on the basepaths? That is exactly what everyone said about Texas last year.
Jerry Crasnick (1:30 PM)
John, They have to get on base first to achieve that, obviously. I think it's a little easier against St. Louis' starters than Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and company.
Maybe Jerry really DID meant he was going to leave the raking!
Jerry Crasnick (1:30 PM)
Chris, No, I meant "leave raking," as in household chore, drudgery type of leave raking. Thanks for trying to bail me out, though.
I don't know how you can say the Rangers faced a harder road than the Cards in getting to the series. The Cards went through one of the most epic pitching rotations ever assembled and brewers team that had that sort of destiny feel that you described in the Rays and Tigers.
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Sean, I'm not saying the Rangers' road was more difficult. I'm just saying that Texas has already beaten two "team of destiny" type of clubs. So if you think St. Louis is on some sort of magic carpet ride, Tampa and Detroit felt that way, too.
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
OK, thanks. This is no excuse, but we spend a lot of long nights in the press box in October and take a lot of 6 a.m. flights, so the typo quotient tends to go up exponentially this time of year.
Will Texas be able to maintain its status at the top of the AL for years to come or is this ride going to end soon?
Jerry Crasnick (1:35 PM)
John, No, as a lot of media people have pointed out, the Rangers are here to stay. They have stable ownership, a smart front office led by Jon Daniels, an appreciation for both scouting and the statistical approach, and they're doing the job in the draft and the minor leagues as well. I think the Rangers will be good for years to come.
Jason (St. Louis)
Cliff Lee could've stayed with the Rangers, made more money, AND pitched in the World Series. Did he make a bad decision?
Jerry Crasnick (1:36 PM)
Jason, In hindsight, I guess you could say Lee would have been better off staying in Texas. But he didn't have the benefit of knowing this when he signed with Philly. He got a $120 million deal, he went where his wife and kids were happy, and he gets to pitch before a packed house every time out. And the Phillies are still going to be good next year. It's not as if he's resigned to a life in baseball hell through 2015.
Mark Weber (Tempe, AZ)
JonnyBaseball, if you spend your spare time pointing out other people's misspellings on the internet you need to take a long, serious look at your life. Keep up the good work Jerry!
Jerry Crasnick (1:37 PM)
Thanks, Mark. We'll move past this portion of the chat now. I'll stay on and answer a few more to compensate for the time we lost discussing it.
Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)
Ha! The end will come faster if they lose CJ Wilson & can't replace him!
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Gene, I'm interested to see how C.J. Wilson's postseason will affect his contract negotiations. No offense to Wilson, but I'm not sold that he's a $100 million, top of the rotation guy. I can see him getting $70-80 million from the Rangers or somebody, but anything beyond that would be a reach to me.
Who say no this offer? It gives all three teams what they could want- Jays get Votto (Canadien Superstar), Nationals get Bautista (superstar anchor for the franchise) and Reds get Lind (good hitter), Brad Peacock (top starting prospect) and Anthony Gose (top CF prospect). They also can move Alonso to 1st.
Jerry Crasnick (1:41 PM)
Rich, Interesting trade, except that Toronto has Jose Bautista under contract for four more years at a reasonable price. Why would the Jays move him to get back Votto, who is only a year away from free agency? You're telling me that Alex Anthopoulos is going to trade both Bautista and Lind for one year of Joey Votto?
So looking at Nelson Cruz, Mike Morse, and a few good years of Jack Cust, I realize teams need to stop giving up on prospects with high power potential before Age 30. Then I think about Andy Marte and cry.
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Steve, It's also worth noting that Jayson Werth blossomed in Philly after stops in Baltimore and LA, and Jose Bautista broke out in Toronto in his late 20s. Sometimes all it takes is the proverbial "change of scenery" and a team to have some faith in a guy. You can usually chalk that up to a really smart scout or two advocating for a certain player.
Love the chats Jerry!Hope you can give me some insight with your coverage of the AL playoffs.How will the Rangers running game be effected by Yadier Molina?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Thanks George. Yadier Molina shuts down the running game as well as anyone, so he'll definitely have an impact. The beauty of the Rangers' offense, of course, is that they can hit the ball over the fence as well as manufacture runs. There's no way to defend against what Nelson Cruz did in the ALCS.
Next year! (Milwaukee?)
For all the talk about the Brewers' window now being closed, are they really going to be that much worse after the (probable) departure of Prince? They'll still have some pop and pitching, right?
Jerry Crasnick (1:46 PM)
Next year! The Brewers have some good core pieces. But the left side of the infield is an issue, they need to upgrade the defense, and the starting pitching isn't quite as good as it was cracked up to be. Plus, they're also losing K-Rod from the bullpen. And there's not much in the farm system. So Doug Melvin has his work cut out for him this winter.
Bobby (Oklahoma City)
As a Rangers' fan for 30 years, I'm daring to dream that this could be the year that Texas finally wins it all. My glass-half-full perspective tells me that C.J. Wilson eventually will resemble himself in a postseason (or All-Star) game. Plus, the rest of the rotation is better than they have looked in the postseason. Which team has the better rotation?
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
Bobby, St. Louis' rotation looks better on paper, if only because Chris Carpenter is at the top. But Texas' bullpen is so good, the Rangers just need to be in the game for 5 or 6 inning to have an advantage. And Scott Feldman played a huge role in the ALCS as Washington's long man. I wouldn't be surprised to see him help Texas win a game again in the World Series.
Brewers = Jose Reyes sweepstakes?
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Nate, That's an interesting one. The Brewers could use an upgrade at shortstop and at the top of the order, and Mark Attanasio is going to want to do something bold if they lose Prince, so I can see them being in the mix for Reyes. I have no idea how the thought of playing in Milwaukee appeals to Reyes. But they've got a very enthusiastic fan base and a good group of guys, so maybe it could work
MW (GB, WI)
Was Roenicke's decision to start Marcum (clearly 100% a mistake from even before the first pitch) a result of a lack of creativity on his part, or more of a "human element" issue at having to tell Marcum he was getting shut down? I can see a bit of both here.
Jerry Crasnick (1:53 PM)
MW, In hindsight, what was his alternative -- Chris Narveson? He didn't exactly light it up either. I'm sure Roenicke had Marcum on a short leash. But when a guy gives up a three-run homer, the leash is already broken. Remember, though, the Brewers fought back to within 5-4 and were right in the game until the bullpen and the defense both collapsed.
Hey Jerry. Give me your top 5 destinations for Prince!
Jerry Crasnick (1:55 PM)
JJ, That's a tough one. I'm sure we'll hear Cubs, Angels, Nats, Mariners, Orioles and possibly even the Rangers among the clubs looking at Prince. Let's wait until the World Series is over, and everybody will start taking more of a realistic look at his options. I still wouldn't rule out the Brewers. They have a competitive team there and they draw a ton of people, and the owner is committed to winning. That's a healthy start.
John (Cincinnati, Oh)
the trade is ridiculous. But the Reds are trading 2 years of Votto not 1.
Jerry Crasnick (1:57 PM)
John, Thanks. Joey Votto is signed for $9.5M in 2012 and $17M in 2013. But your basic point is still correct. The deal makes no sense from Toronto's end.
Do you think the Theo deal gets dont today? Deal done today, annucment Tuesday, WS Wed...sounds good to me!! Everyone is happy then.
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Aaron, I hope it gets done in the next day or two. Can't see any reason to drag it out much longer over compensation.
brendan (st. louis)
Jerry, please ensure me that all your collegues pick against the cardinals again. We really relish the role of undersquirrel.
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Brendan, Undersquirrel. That's tremendous.
What does Bob Geren bring to the table as Mets Bench Coach? Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Enough of this boring World Series stuff. How do we fix ATL's offense? Is it just hope for Heyward to return to form or are serious changes needed? You'd thing a core of Bourn, McCann, Uggla, Heyward, Freeman with players like Prado and Chipper should be enough.
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Adam, I've talked to some baseball people who think the Braves have to start looking beyond Chipper and find another middle of the order bat who's going to be good for more than 120 games, 18 homers and 75 RBIs a season. But the pieces are there for that club to be better next season. Prado and McCann were terrible in the second half, for assorted reasons, and if Jason Heyward can stay healthy, there's no way he can be that bad again.
ted (cape cod)
there's no way seattle would spend money on Prince Fielder. Those Japanese owners are more worried about TV revenue from Japan than signing players.
Jerry Crasnick (2:02 PM)
Ted, Beyond that, I have a hard time seeing Prince going out there and resigning himself to walking 220 times a year with that lineup around him.
Steve (Chicago, IL)
Who is at the top of Theo's manager list for the Cubs?
Jerry Crasnick (2:04 PM)
Steve, This is just my opinion, but I think a new GM is almost always best served letting the guy who's in the dugout keep the job for another year. Say Theo goes in, fires Quade and hires Sandberg, and Sandberg turns out badly. Theo is already moving on to his second manager, and it won't be long before people start getting on Theo. Know what I mean? What's the harm in letting Quade start the season in the dugout in 2012, since the Cubs probably aren't going to be a contender, anyway?
MW (GB, WI)
I'm certainly not saying the Brewers would've won with Narveson instead of Marcum, but when the choice is between slim chance (Narveson) and no chance (Marcum), you take the slim chance. Also, Marcum was already losing 1-0 with two on when Freese stepped in. That's a fairly long leash.
Jerry Crasnick (2:06 PM)
MW, I'm not disagreeing with you at all. I'm just saying that Ron Roenicke's options werent' great either way. And despite how terrible Marcum was, the Brewers fought their way back and might have had a chance to win this game if their bullpen and defense didn't go AWOL.
JT Dallas, Texas [via mobile]
What do you think Ron Washington will do against pujols? He led the league in double play balls. I wouldn't want to pitch to him but yet there could be some advantages.
Jerry Crasnick (2:07 PM)
JT, I'm from the "Never let Albert Pujols beat you' school. But I'm from the same school when it comes to Miguel Cabrera, and the Rangers' game plan of pitching around him didn't work so well in the ALCS. The advantages of a Pujols DP ball are outweighed by the risks of watching him take one into the seats. He's pretty good at doing that.
Jason (St. Louis)
I can't explain to you how sick of all this rally squirrel nonsense I am. Is it getting a little carried away?
Jerry Crasnick (2:09 PM)
Jason, Hey, whatever works. I love the Rally Monkey in Anaheim, so I'm probably the wrong guy to ask.
Do you see the red sox unloading josh beckett somewhere else?
Jerry Crasnick (2:10 PM)
Ryan, I think they'd prefer to unload John Lackey, but it's hard to see that happening.
Jerry, quick question will David Ortiz be with yankees on openning day like he says.
Jerry Crasnick (2:10 PM)
Kevin, As I mentioned earlier in the chat, no way I see that happening.
Jerry Crasnick (2:10 PM)
Thanks for the questions and comments, everybody. Looking forward to the Series. Talk to you again soon.