Chat with Jayson Stark
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com senior MLB writer Jayson Stark will drop in to chat some baseball.
Jayson Stark has been a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com since 2000. His regular contributions include the newsy Rumblings and Grumblings column and his tilted look inside baseball's numbers and quirks, the Useless Information Department.
Send your questions now and join Stark Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jayson Stark (1:01 PM)
What's happening? If you'd like to second-guess my award picks, this is the place. I only have a half-hour to chat today, so let's get started.
sorry haren (dc)
how did you not consider dan haren for CY YUK??? more HRs given up than any pitcher and one of the highest ERAs, if not the highest???
Jayson Stark (1:02 PM)
I considered him. I try not to pick on pitchers who log disabled-list time for the Cy Yuk. That's the only reason he evaded that list of finalists.
Joe McG (Ridgefield Park, NJ)
No love for Joe Girardi for AL Manager of the [half] year? No Granderson, Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira, Youkilis... the list goes on. And the team is still in contention, only 6 games back and 8 games over .500
Jayson Stark (1:04 PM)
I had a bunch of names I looked at for AL manager of the year. He was definitely among them. This might be his best managing job. But I also left Joe Maddon off the list, and look at the names on his roster and their record. It's a tough job, Joe. Somebody has to make these picks.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
Terry Francona has done an AMAZING job in Cleveland. How much was he in consideration for Manager of the Year?
Jayson Stark (1:05 PM)
He was my runner-up. And a close runner-up. What he's done to get that group on the right track has been amazing.
Is it possible that Chris Davis could hit 50+ HRs and not win AL MVP just because the O's may not win the AL East?
Jayson Stark (1:06 PM)
It's possible he could hit 50 homers and not win the MVP just because Miguel Cabrera is one of the greatest hitters of our lifetime.
I'm just wondering why you included Walt Weiss as one of the people listed under "apologies to" for NL manager of the half year. Seems like an ... interesting choice to me.
Jayson Stark (1:08 PM)
Considering the way that team played last year and considering where Walt came from, he's done an incredible job with that club. I only issued an "apology" for not picking him first!
Ben G. (Los Angeles)
Now that Josh Hamilton is finally starting to heat up, do you still give him the AL LVP?
Jayson Stark (1:09 PM)
If he hits over the next three months the way he's hit over the last two weeks, there's no chance he'll be the LVP. It's actually rare that the half-season LVP wins it at the end of the year. Wait. Is "wins it" the right terminology?
Was there any consideration for Jim Johnson for "Cy Yuk" with all the blown saves?
Jayson Stark (1:10 PM)
Thought about it long and hard, actually. My in-laws are big Orioles fans. I know he was their pick. He was a not-quite for me. He's been good enough for the most part to avoid Cy Yukkery. It takes more than six blown saves!
How is Bob Melvin not the AL Manager of the Year so far? Led the A's, lacking in talent and star power and very young to the best record in baseball the last 2yrs by a huge margin
Jayson Stark (1:12 PM)
He was on my list of finalists. That, to me, is one of the toughest awards to pick. What are the standards? Nobody seems to know. I just thought the job that John Farrell did in erasing all the ugliness of last season in Boston got him extra credit. Bob Melvin's team did finish first last year!
Did Machado play too many games last year to be considered a rookie this year?
Jayson Stark (1:12 PM)
That's correct. He's not a rookie. Otherwise, there wouldn't be much of a debate!
How ironic is it that Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in history will retire without a CY or MVP? The Yankees do not win in 98, 99 or 2000 w/o him.
Jayson Stark (1:14 PM)
You're preaching to the choir, man. I'm the guy who has pushed hard for a separate award for relief pitchers - and what's my argument? Him! If Mariano Rivera can go through his career and never win one BBWAA award, it's a sign we don't consider relief pitchers to be part of the species or something. But I've been shot down. So this won't be changing any time soon.
Any consideration for Jose Valverde as AL "Cy Yuk"?
Jayson Stark (1:15 PM)
Wasn't around long enough!
Charley (South Bend)
Another interesting thing about Cabrera is that he is currently leading the AL in both bWAR and fWAR. The reason why that's so significant is because his WAR is so heavily penalized by his defense. Which means his offense alone has been worth more than anyone else's "total package" this year, according to WAR.
Jayson Stark (1:16 PM)
You know what's interesting? For a while there, Chris Davis actually was ahead of Cabrera in offensive Wins Above Replacement, but Cabrera led him overall because of defense! Who knew!
Jayson Stark (1:17 PM)
OK, let's shift gears away from awards for the second half of this chat. Lots to talk about!
Larry M (Athens, GA)
So has ESPN finally received - and understood - the message from baseball fans that we don't like being told what we should like and want? The fans spoke loud and clear - Freeman not Puig. ESPN really lost a lot of journalistic integrity on this one.
Jayson Stark (1:19 PM)
One of the things that always puzzles me is that so many fans think there's this mammoth ESPN entity that forces all of us to think the same thoughts and espouse the same opinions. No one has ever told me what I was "supposed" to think about Puig on the all-star team. What I said just a few days ago was that Freddie Freeman "deserves" to make it more than he does, but that Final Vote wasn't about who deserves it. It's about who fans want to see. I thought they'd vote Puig. The fact that they voted for Freeman is great. He SHOULD have been an all-star. I've said that 100 times.
Any Chance the O's go after Cliff Lee?
Jayson Stark (1:20 PM)
They're still chasing starters, but I have a hard time finding any team that seriously believes Cliff Lee is getting traded this month.
What if anything can the Giants do to get back in the race after the all star break?
Jayson Stark (1:21 PM)
What else? Need to stabilize their rotation. Other than Bumgarner, the other guys have an ERA over 5.00. That's not what the Giants were constructed to be.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Should the Rockies be buyers, or just content with what they have?
Jayson Stark (1:23 PM)
Depends what happens over the next week and a half. If they can narrow the gap, I think you'll see them do some modest buying, along the lines of what they did to deal for Mitchell Boggs. If they fall further behind, they'd listen on about 20 of the 25 players on the roster. Stay tuned.
So wait, you think the fans voted Freeman in? Can we honestly say there are more Braves fans then there are Dodger fans?
Jayson Stark (1:24 PM)
He won the election. He and his team were able to mobilize the vote better than the Dodgers. Obviously, any election where you can vote multiple times online and then vote some more on Twitter isn't a test of which team has more fans. But whatever the system, he won. So end of discussion.
Polanco, Hansen, Kingham, and Heredia for Stanton. Deal or no deal
Jayson Stark (1:25 PM)
Let me say this one more time: Giancarlo Stanton is not getting traded this month. Ignore all rumors that suggest he is. They've told everybody: Don't even ask.
Hi Jayson, according to reports at the time, Manny Ramirez "retired" from MLB to avoid a 100 game drug suspension. if so, shouldn't he have been suspended upon signing with the Rangers? Thanks
Jayson Stark (1:27 PM)
They negotiated a compromise suspension last year when he signed that minor-league contract with Oakland that enabled him to serve 50 games. The other 50 were wiped off the slate because he "retired" and missed way more games than that. So his slate is (ahem) clean. Unless he tests positive again.
Petey Pete (Motown)
Do you see the Tigers going for bullpen help at the trade deadline or before? What a roller coaster!
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
They're definitely looking, but not necessarily for a Jonathan Papelbon kind of guy. In fact, I said on Baseball Tonight last Sunday that they can't take on Papelbon's money beyond this year ($26M, plus a vesting option for another $13M), because they're going to have something like $80M a year committed to three players (Fielder, Cabrera, Verlander). So if they make a deal for a reliever, it's likely to be someone lower-profile and cheaper.
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
Hard to believe the time has gone by this fast. But I only have time for one more.
From the Marlins perspective it would be smart to trade him since there is a very very slim chance of him signing when his contract is up. He value might be as high as it will every be since he still has those 3 and half years left.
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
They know he isn't likely to sign there long-term. But there's no sense of urgency for them to trade him or sign him now. They actually want to let the year play out and point to all the talented young players around him and say, "See where we're headed?" And don't underestimate Jeffrey Loria's need to say the same thing to all his "fans."
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
Thanks to everyone who checked in. See you down the road in Chat Land.