My wife is a huge Project Runway fan, and I've decided that judge Michael Kors is my new idol. I'm convinced that he spends his spare time cooking up new insults and awful analogies for the contestants' designs.He just has to show up once a week - and not even all year long - and offer opinions and make obnoxious comments, with no real accountability for anything he says. I want a job like tha ... oh.
On the front page of espn the poll question is "Who should be named NL MVP" with the choices of Delgato, Manny, CC, and Pujols...Is this a joke? Besides Pujols should any of those others really even be considered?
No. This isn't particularly close. But a single-option poll would be kind of dull.
Sizemore for MVP? What a joke. You gotta go with the guy who actually leads his team to the playoffs. That's what VALUABLE means.
Keith, I can't stand the thought of watching the Twins hit opposite field, turf aided singles all day in the playoffs while uneducated announcers tell me how great their bullpen (lousy) and defense (vastly overrated) are. Please tell me they will get pounded in 3 games by the Rays/Red Sox.
I would certainly pick them to lose either of those first-round matchups.
Did the Yanks make a mistake banking their future on Kennedy and Hughes!? Santana should be in pinstripes!
Don't hurt yourself jumping off the Hughes/Kennedy bandwagon there.
K Law: Love your work. Anyways, you said that Stephen Strasburg would be the for sure overall number one pick in next years draft. Who does he most resemble pitching now, and how good can he be, a 1?
He's not the certain #1 pick, but he is, right now, the #1 prospect. The #1 prospect doesn't always go first overall, though (cf. Bush, Matt; Anderson, Matt). Strasburgh and possibly White are the potential #1s in next year's draft, and I suppose you could put Crow on the fringes of that group (lower probability that he becomes a #1 than the other two guys).
If people are going to play the "2nd half surge for a playoff team MVP talk" and are bringing up Delgado in the talk. What about Dr. DRE in LA or Manny? Both have a higher VORP than Mr. Delgado.
The problem I have with that line of thinking - other than it being stupid - is that once you move into fungible criteria like that, you can slice it any way that suits your argument. Best second half? How about best two months? Best in games against contenders? Best on alternate Tuesdays? How about best for the WHOLE SEASON, people?
Thanks for all the great columns - what with stepping up the output come September, you'll surely be elected into the BBRAA due to your clutchness and intimidation factor. Andre Ethier - would an apt comparison of his potential peak be something along the lines of Trot Nixon's? 25-30 HR/35-40 2B/.360ish OBP for the next few years perhaps? I think you could do a lot worse out of a corner OF for near the ML minimum.
I think this is his peak right now - 127 OPS+, .367/.522 ... I didn't peg him as a .200+ ISO guy, more of a high-average/doubles guy who'd hit ~20 bombs in a peak year, and I don't think he's got THAT much more power than I expected. On the plus side, he'll be a lot healthier than Trot.
Could Bobby Parnell be a good option out of the bullpen? Power pitcher with a good breaking ball a la a Matt Lindstrom. (another former Met farmhand and coverted starter)
Yes, I think that's his future, although his breaking ball isn't good yet. He and Stokes are the best two pure arms in that Mets' pen.
From an objective (non-voter) point of view, if a guy leads the league in average, on-base and slugging, is there any way he is NOT the most valuable player?
Say that he's a DH, but the guy who finishes a close second in all three categories is a shortstop with a good glove. The shortstop is the more valuable player in that scenario.
Who has more power, Brett Wallace or Nolan Reimold?
Am I the starting SS in April 2010? Sooner? Later?
2011 ... could end up at 2b.
dr dre has not done anything worth noting since the chronic.
I can't argue with that.
Did the BBRAA set themselves up with a bad precedent last year with Rollins winning the MVP with a .340 OBP? Delgado is sitting at .349 right now with better power numbers in a harder park to hit; meanwhile, Pujols' BATTING AVERAGE is higher than Delgado's OBP. Would what the BBRAA basically be saying with a Delgado MVP win is, "getting on base isn't important"?
You act like they've never said that before. It's about heart! and clutchiness!
I don't think you have expressed your views on the Alvarez situation. May we please read the opinions by a sports writer that *actually* gets it?
I think I mentioned it in last week's chat, but my take is that MLB clearly violated the CBA by unilaterally granting deadlines, and the union is right to file a grievance. The question is the remedy, and my guess is that the most likely remedy is Alvarez going back into the draft, which really wouldn't make anyone happy. The way the kid has been demonized in this isn't fair, though.
How come no one ever talks about the stupidity of having a four team division and a six team division in the SAME sport? All the Angels need to do is beat three fairly cruddy teams. If I was the Brewers or the Astros (scratch the 'Stros, Ed Wade doesn't know how many teams are in his division), I would be pretty peeved.
Add two teams and go to four eight-team divisions, two division winners and next two best teams make it.
Should I get Pedro Alvarez an application. I get $10 for a referral.
You ended up with a nice settlement check from your lawsuit.
Does it bother you when people on here mock your assement of a player, Kyle Kendrick and Aaron Harrang for instance, even though you are usually right on. its like almost like you get paid to scout ball players
That reminds me - where's Matt from Philly? Come on, Matt: Tell me with a straight face that Kyle Kendick is a mid-rotation starter. You can't do it, can you? Not with that 82 ERA+ staring you in the face.
Keith: This question is asked quite often in Rays forums but never seem to get a decent response. What are the Rays going to do in the next 2 years with all this pitching? Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, Mitch Talbot, Jeramy Hellickson, David Price, Matt Garza, Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir, James Shields. All should be pitching in the bigs next year. What do the Rays do without losing a potential Ace? Can they flip some for hitting? Thanks in advance man as no one has an answer.
You're assuming everyone 1) stays healthy and 2) shows he can start. Niemann's a reliever. Talbot might be too. Sonnanstine pitched his tail off last night, but he's way behind the rest of the starters on this list and he should either be trade bait or a long man in TB. The "too much pitching" problem has a way of working itself out.
Player 1 - leads league in OPS for a 4th place team. Player 2 is 2nd in OPS (behind an injured DH) for a 4th place team. Player 1 wins MVP, Player 2 gets booed. Player 1 = A. Pujols. Player 2 = A. E. Rodriguez. How's my math?
That's an 800 SAT math score right there.
Masterson. Permanent fixture in the pen or eventual SP?
Reliever. Reliever's slot, stuff plays up in the pen. I think he's going to be excellent there - might be that elusive 100-IP reliever I'm always wishing for.
Keith could you settle a dispute. Next year, one year only, contracts equal. Teixera or Morneau?
Teixeira. Switch-hitter, much more defensive value.
Are there rules against the Nats selecting Crow again next year?
He has a sign a "consent to re-select" card.
Could you bullet point the most crucial factors you consider when giving your MVP opinion? Thanks.
I am assuming that you saw Lester in the minors before he go diagnosed but, even before then, he never really projected to be this good. What clicked?
I did see him in the minors before he got cancer, and I did think he'd be this good. (And got ripped by Yankee fans for saying I liked him over Hughes.) Big lefty with a great frame, above-average fastball, good secondary stuff, good feel given his age, etc. Last year, he was a little too cutter-happy, but this year he's back to using his fastball and curve more. Plus I'm sure he feels stronger now that the cancer/treatment are further behind him.
I have read some crazy comps thrown out there for Grant Green (Longoria and Tulowitski, to name two). Is his bat really Longoria good? Is his glove really Tulowitski good? Or are we talking Tulo's bat with Longoria's glove?!?
I wouldn't compare him to either of those guys. Tulo was a far better defensive SS, and Longoria was a more polished all-around player.
Should we make anything out of the Jays recent 10 game winning streak or is it more a function of it being September and there being less pressure to perform and diluted rosters (although all the teams they beat were fighting for the playoffs)
Cleveland won 10 in a row a few weeks ago. I wouldn't read anything into it - even a .500 team will rip off a long winning streak (or losing streak) every now and then.
Now that the Yankees are out of the race, why won't they recall Hughes to at least get him a few starts? There's no point in pitching Ponson anymore.
I agree. I can't believe Ponson is still going out there every fifth day.
Is it time for Maddon to shut Percival down? He's obviously hurt, right?
That was the fakest injury delay I've ever seen. His back hurt? Or was it just his ego? He shouldn't be out there in save situations, period. If they want to let him mop up rather than release him, fine, but let's stop pretending he can handle high-leverage innings.
With Longoria down for the season is there a chance Denard Span takes home the AL ROY?
Longoria's supposed to play this weekend.
Who did Harrington sue, Boras?
Tommy Tanzer, the agent who turned down the $4 million offer, which is absolutely EPIC ADVICE FAIL.
You watch the sox game last night on the NESN feed? Remy illustrated a called strike to Bay on that video strike zone thing, and the ball wasn't even on my TV screen. How bad was that ump? Ever a situation where after a game or series of game MLB tells an ump that he's done for the year?
The HP ump was horrendous, and the crew blew at least two calls in the field. It was like having Doug Eddings at every position. Not that you'd want a competent crew in a game that unimportant.
Your assessment of Lester sounds similar to Sean Marshall
If you ignore the 8 mph difference in their fastballs, I suppose.
Taylor Teagarden is playing very well and it seems like he will be the future catcher for the Rangers. What will the Rangers do with Salty, Laird, and Ramirez?
Laird ends up traded. Saltalamacchia probably should end up at 1b, but they have Davis there, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him return to AAA. Ramirez spends most of the year as their AAA catcher.
Jayson Werth thoughts?
LHP-destroyer with a good arm, capable of filling in CF if needed. I like him better with a platoon mate vs RHP.
Keith any comment on the poorly informed shot Rob Dibble took at you in his chat over on the rival network's site?
It was so cute to see him try to raise his profile by attacking a better-respected analyst. Keep trying, Rob.
So you like the idea of bigger divisions and more wild cards? Instead of going 8 divisions with 4 teams and only division champs go to the playoffs?
I'm a realist. WCs are never going away.
Are you an idiot? Werth as a platoon man? What's the matter with you? He clearly can be an everyday player who can make major contributions with the bat and in the field. And Alexei Ramirez is obviously the ROY. Idiot.
There's that great Twins defense...
Keith - Did you see the recent item mentioning you on the Big Lead? Here's my question: I read your stuff and you've never slagged Jeter's offense or denied that he is an all-time great, so why do you have to be the straw man for this fight? I mean the Jim Rice thing you kind of inserted yourself into, but Jeter...
Doesn't faze me. I'm happy to carry the torch for intelligent baseball analysis as opposed to the usual "he's the clutchiest clutch to ever clutch!" dreck.
Keith, please tell me Morneau's not going to win the MVP. It's ridiculous that he's even a candidate.
If they win the division, he's got an excellent shot.
Are the Dodgers going to get burned by the Casey Blake deal in two years? Is Carlos Santana going to rock in the majors?
Yes. It will turn out that they gave up more for Blake than they did for Santana.
Keith- Be honest, I might be a better option to pitch the 14th inning over Mike Timlin
How do you not use Chris Smith there? Timlin couldn't get my cat out right now. He can't pitch in the zone with the stuff he showed last night (obviously). I know it's a tight spot for a rookie, but I'd rather roll the dice on Smith (who has a potential swing-and-miss pitch in his changeup) than Timlin.
Any point in the Giants calling up Gillespie?
That had to be an oral agreement made when he signed his deal. There's no other explanation for it. In effect, he got a major-league deal (since he's on the 40-man now), but he got his bonus payment up front.
Batali or Flay?
To watch on TV, Batali. Both of Flay's restaurants were better than Otto, but I haven't been to Babbo.
SportsNation Keith Law: (1:34 PM ET ) Yes. It will turn out that they gave up more for Blake than they did for Santana. Santana? Do you mean MannyBManny or what the Mets gave up for Johan? Right now it looks like both are true.
You're right, I meant Manny there when I said Santana.
I was wondering what you could tell me about the cardinals minor league system. It seems like they have some good prospects but other then maybe ramus are any of them impact players?
Wallace and possibly Vasquez. Plus you could say Motte is a potential impact arm in the pen.
What's up with all the Twins haters today? It's incredible that they are even in contention after losing Santana and Hunter. Not to mention all 5 starting pitchers are 27 or younger. Of course their pitchers are only winning games and putting up incredible era #s because of their crappy and overrated defense. I bet Tom doesn't even know Morneau's first name.
How about this: Where would they be if they hadn't dealt Santana? Three games up? Five? Their good season is, to some degree, an indictment of their baseball philosophy - they may have traded away a playoff berth and a dominant postseason rotation (you want to face Johan-Liriano-x-x-Johan in a five-gamer, no matter who solves for "x?") and took a disappointing package of prospects rather than shoot for the playoffs and take two picks at the end of the year. I haven't seen anyone else take that line.
Might be a stupid question, but when a MLB team's salary is talked about (say $140M for Detroit) what does that encompass (26-man roster? 40-man roster? entire farm system?)? Thanks.
25-man roster - really, total expenditures on major-league players.
Hey Keith, What are the phillies going to with Jason Donald? He has had a great year, but seems to be blocked by Rollins and Utley?
I've been assuming for a while that he'll be trade bait. They could move him to 3b, I guess, but the bat doesn't profile well there.
Dukes or Milledge for next 5 years? Will either go 25-25?
I'd rather have Milledge.
Not one mention of what Houston is doing with what seems like 29 different names in the box score every day?
Because it's a fluke. They're a mediocre if not an outright bad team, having a hot streak.
Robo-Keith, my main man! Do you project Hughes to still be a solid starter? Should we be patient? Or should the Yanks have sold high?
Yes. You can't write him off until you see him at full health again. If he gets there and his velo is gone, or his feel/command have regressed, or his curveball isn't as sharp, then you can think about giving up on him.
Why is there such a delay between meetings at the Pedro v Pirates hearings? Couldn't they have picked a mediator with an open schedule?
How long do you think it would have taken the two sides to agree on a mediator?
... arbitrator, actually.
Hey Keith, Are you going to make it out to any Arizona Fall League games this year?
Yes, some time in October.
Keith, do you have a preference on espresso makers? What's a good model to buy?
Gaggia has two legit models for around $200-240. I have a Carezza and it's been great.
What is the one attribute that teams look for in a player when switching him from the field to behind the plate?
A strong arm.
I love me some Project Runway too... Go Leanne from Portland! AL MVP... no one really seems overly deserving. If the Twins get in, Morneau seems the likely choice. Why do my Twins always seem to get the bad MVPs? Morneau in 2006, Zoilo Versalles... why no love for Mauer?
I am going to reach into my television and cut that girl's bangs ... what Mauer does well doesn't get him credit with MVP voters - get on base and play great defense at a critical position.
Alway look forward to your chats Keith. I have a couple pitching prospect questions: 1) Beyond Price, who are the next projectable #1 or #2 starters who can help out their major league teams next year? 2) The fact that Boston didn't call up Buchholz for September, does this indicate that he may not be a lock for the rotation next spring? I sure hope he makes the neccessary adjustments.
Price and Buchholz for starters. Matusz at some point. I don't think it's out of the question that Neftali Feliz would show up next year. I think Buchholz has to "earn" a rotation spot for next year.
Please give your opinion on a debate that was recently started - top Mets prospect MArtinez or Flores?
Martinez, which is no knock on Flores.
Hey! I was at lunch...but did actual intend to apologize for my assessment of Kendrick... Speaking of which, is he done as a Phillie considering they have Hamels, Moyer, Myers, Blanton, and then a combination of Happ, Carrasco, and random free agents in the starting rotation??
I'm impressed. I think you keep a guy like Kendrick in your org as long as you can - he's a 6th starter, and it's good to have someone like that in AAA or as the 12th man on your staff for when a starter has to miss a turn or gets knocked out in the second.
I've been a big promoter that Halladay at least deserved some consideration for the AL Cy Young award, even though I know the voters will give it to Lee because of the win totals. But did Halladay kill any chance he had during his start last night?
I don't think Doc had a chance anyway, but he's got to be the clear #2 in the AL right now. He may end up a Pujols-type - finishes his career with one award, but was good enough for consideration in several other years and probably should have had more than one.
Keith, why did Papelbon ditch the splitter? You addressed this in your blog, but never said why.
Because I don't know why. The Boston Globe had an article yesterday where John Farrell said they were trying to get him to use his fastball more to improve his "efficiency" and reduce his pitch counts, which is so utterly ridiculous that I can't believe he said it. He's a one-inning reliever. If he throws 15 pitches per inning instead of 16, how exactly does this make a difference?
Re: Jason Donald - Does it matter if you have a bat that doesn't profile at 3B when you have a guy playing 2B whose bat does?
Yes, it does, if you want to field the best team you can.
Baseball Prospectus said Clay Buchholz is better than Joba - didn't turn out that way in 08 - what do you think long-term?
I had Joba slightly ahead of Buchholz and I'll stick with that.
YO!! i heard some guy on WEEI say that Jason Varitek was clutch..HAHAHAHA and that was the reason for him wanting to the sox to sign him for an extension- could anything be further from the truth, and could this be a reason to totally discount "clutch" forever as purely subjective? his stats in "clutch" situations lifetime are ATROCIOUS ( 2 outs, 2 outs RISP etc)thanks
That one AB he had last night with Lowrie on second and none outs ... that was as un-clutch as it gets.
Mr. Law, I have a business meeting at one and will not make the chat. Give a guy something to look forward to. Did you ever get a chance to see Daniel Murphy? I know he's cooled off but he still goes up there with a great gameplan, and his K/BB is almost 1:1, which for a young kid really impresses me. The Mets are going to try him at second in winter ball this offseason. Your thoughts on his future and the feasibility of him playing second?
That seems like a stretch - how many players go from a corner OF spot to 2b? Kenny Williams tried to go OF->3b without success. Good approach, good ABs, moderate power, probably needs a platoon mate (which he has now).
KLAW, can you tell me what these chips are all about? I keep looking when I go to Trader Joe's but I forget which ones you talk about.
Barbecue-flavored potato puffs (air-popped potato chips).
Please rank Lester, Liriano, Kershaw and Kazmir? Are there any other young lefties who you would rank with these guys?
Kershaw probably has the best stuff and the highest ceiling, followed by Liriano. Lester is by far the most advanced in approach and feel. If I had to take someone to pitch tomorrow, it'd be Lester.
Cmon Keith. Murphy played 2b in high school and a little in college and played 3b in the minors. Was he a good 3b? Not really. But he's not an OF.
Sure, but lots of major-league corner OFs played short in high school or college. Doesn't mean they can handle it in the majors.
Came to your chat just now & sent your opening PR salvo to my girlfriend. Her response: 'Funny, but I slightly disagree. He DOES have accountability because he is at the helm of a HUGE fashion house and if he is perceived as rude or overly obnoxious, his sales could be affected.'
He's not overly obnoxious now? In that case, I feel like I've failed to sufficiently push the envelope.
Back to Murphy for a second ... I never saw Murphy at 3b in the minors, so I can't comment on whether he was good/bad/indifferent there.
So, how would you fix the draft in order to avoid situations like Pedro Alvarez's?
You know, if MLB would, like, follow its own rules, that would be awesome. Or just eliminate the draft entirely, since it's just a way to cap amateur bonuses.
Edwin de Puerto Rico - se tu escribes la pregunta en espanol, tratto de responder. No la entiendo como la escribiste.
Klaw, Does Yu Darvish get posted this year?
I have no inside dope on that, but I'll guess not.
Daniel Murphy was more of a 3B in the minors than OF, and a lot of guys have successfully made the switch from 3b to 2b (i.e. Jeff Kent). It's an easier throw.
Kent has never been good at 2b, and the last few years he's been awful. (You could argue he was kept there too long.) Utley's a good example of a guy who's bounced between the two positions and settled in as a plus defender at second. Easier throw, yes, but tougher position to play overall.
Where do you see Ryan Howard's career in 3 years?
In a clear decline.
Keith. How is it that starters back in the 60's and 70's and even before that could go on 3 days rest and pitch 120 or more pitches every time, and starters now routinely get pulled after 90-110 pitches going on 5 days rest? Is their a reason for this? If a manager decided to use c.c. sabathia like he has been used for the whole year, would his arm just fall off now? I just dont understand what has changed between now and then. Is it how players prepare and workout? I watch baseball with my dad and he is continually amazed by how pitch count determines when you get pulled instead of how effective you are. Please enlighten me to the best of your abilitly. Thanks
Pitchers today are throwing harder - not velo, but with more effort - on every pitch. In the '60s and '70s, a typical lineup had several soft spots, like the great defensive SS who couldn't hit a lick. Most lineups today are stronger and deeper. All that aside, I'm not sure that starters back in those halcyon days could handle it as well as we think - we just don't remember all the major arm injuries as well as we think.
2nd is not a tough position. You're getting rockets hit to you at third, it's a longer throw, you've got cutoffs and whatnot to worry about, and you're saying 2nd is a harder position?
I'm not sure how you ignore the double play in that equation.
Prospect that makes the biggest leap in 2009 is _______?
Jarrod Parker or Matt Dominguez.
And cut offs to right... and stolen bases...
And just more balls to handle, period, right?
Perhaps you would have been accepted into the BBRAA if you used such vivid images as I. Separately, for admitting my Rockies' run last year was a fluke, would you be so kind to evaluate our 2-5 year future?
That was the line I was thinking of, actually. The Rockies' future depends on what they get as they turn the roster over - Atkins and Holliday in particular. They've got some good Latino arms in their system; they may have an impact CF in Fowler; Stewart should obviously be their everyday 3b. Morales' lost year is a big hit, and other than Weathers the '07 draft isn't off to a strong start. Solid draft this year. It really comes back to what they get if/when they trade their current veterans, because I don't see the current core as a potential contender.
A Player can have a clutch hit but a player can not BE clutch. Right?
That is essentially my position.
Saw Brett Anderson make his first AAA start 2 nights ago...he seemed to have trouble locating his pitches. Random one night event, or something I should get used to seeing next year? Thanks for the chat!
That surprises me, actually. Maybe it was jitters ... command isn't normally an issue for him.
KLAW, Feasting on Waves last night before Project Runway? Melancon: Real deal closer prospect, reliable late inning guy or roster filler?
He's definitely better than filler. I haven't seen anything from last night ... fourteen bleeping innings or something.
The Padres 3B next will be _______? Should be _______?
Yeah, but are certain players better at getting clutch hits?
This is the central question: Who? Show me that player.
Do you think the O's could pry Brandon Wood away from the Angels this winter?
I doubt that Wood is going anywhere.
Keith, I'm sad...first the Pirates pass on Wieters and now they have botched the Alvarez thing. What's worse is that it was 2 different managements screwing up 2 different situations. Will they ever figure it out? They can never draft a Boras client again, and let's face it, he represents a lot of the good ones.
I don't see why they wouldn't take another Boras client. The Royals had a very tough negotiation with him last year on Moustakas, and even told some people this spring they weren't going to take another one, but they did.
What's a more valuable property, A rich harden that you can only count on for 100 or so excellent innings, or a jason marquis+10% that is likely to give you 200+ league average innings a year
I'd rather have Harden, because it's not 100 innings but usually 100 innings +/- 50 or so.
The A's signed Dusty Coleman for about a $700,000 dollar signing bonus. What do you see his potential being and was that about right to sign him?
That's second-round money ... I didn't have him near that high for the '08 or '09 (had he gone back to school) drafts.
That's all for this week ... vacation next week, then I'll be back for the final week of the regular season. Thanks!