I don't remember if it was Jim Morrison or Peter Reinhart who said the immortal words, "Got my bread dough rising," ... but no matter, it's time for KlawChat.
how would you project the first 10 picks in the 2009 mlb draft?
I have no idea how I would do that. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.
Keith, I read your analysis of the DeRosa trade and I did not understand your statement that he would be worth 2 wins. Could you elaborate please ?
Everything a player does on the field offensively or defensively (fielding + pitching) has some value. People do disagree on precise values of these events, but in general, they're usually in the same ballpark. When I said, then, that Derosa would be worth an extra two wins to Cleveland, I was saying that Derosa's production (offense + fielding) would make Cleveland two wins better than they would have been without him, using whatever in-house options they had. That's two wins worth of value; maybe it only means one win in the standings, and maybe three, because wins are a function of timing as well as just sheer production, but I like to use a rough estimate of wins added to add an objective point to a subjective argument on whether a move was good or not.
You wrote recently that you liked the Penny signing in Boston. How about today's rehab acquisition, John Smoltz? Did the Braves have any business trying to keep him by giving him a guaranteed $5 million? I'm thinking no.
I agree. That's a lot of scratch for a guy who probably can't pitch until June, and who knows what he'll be at that point. It's fine for Boston - add four more Monster seats and Smoltz is paid for - but most clubs can't roll that particular pair of dice.
In your opinion, who are some of the better baragin free agents out there right now? I think Juan Cruz is a pretty solid reliever and yet there's no buzz around him at all?
It's the draft pick. People are blaming the economy, but it's really the draft picks that are killing some of these FAs - Cruz, Cabrera, and Sheets in particular.
KLaw, You have to love the bargain that the Indians got on Pavano, right?
I don't have to love it. And I don't love it. I don't see him missing enough bats to help them. Low risk, but low reward.
OK, it's great to see many of you posting questions via your phones, but if u use txt msg spelling im not answering ur ?s u drks.
Can you please pass along a public service announcement to other writers/fans who use this phrase: The Marlins might not spend much, but that DOESN'T make South Florida a "small market." Thanks.
Amen. How is it that in this economy no one in Florida is pointing out that giving a billionaire a few hundred million in subsidies, handouts, and tax breaks probably isn't a good use of tax revenues?
I love Grumpy KLaw!
I'm getting over a cold and I have a headache. I think my grumpiness gets at least a 70 right now.
The Dave Littlefield era is over in Pittsburgh. How excited should I be?
Apparently the chat software is giving me questions from September 2007.
Were the Sox really ready to give up Ellsbury, Buccholz plus some for Hanely? I wonder if Theo and crew have their doubts about Jacoby being a solid regular?
I'd do that in a heartbeat. Hanley's one of the ten best players in baseball and has a reasonable contract. Ellsbury's ceiling looks a lot lower now than it did last winter.
Thoughts on the Brewers inking Hoffman to a 1yr/$6m deal?
I don't know the guy, but he needs a kidney and I have two...
Do you think Frank Wren's job in Atlanta is safe?
Mostly, yes. This year might be the worst in the next five for Atlanta. Their system is strong.
So Henderson wont be unanimous, but the voter who omitted Henderson DID vote for Raines.
I've been swapping emails with the voter (Corky Simpson), and I get the impression that 1) he's a big-Hall guy and 2) he figured Henderson didn't need his vote anyway. He said Rickey is absolutely a HoFer. Now, I wouldn't roll like that, but there's some merit in the argument - I'd like to see a unanimous selection as much as anyone, but you don't get a bigger plaque for that, and he voted for three of my causes - Blyleven, Raines, and Trammell.
Do you think Trammell ever even gets close to making the HOF? He seems to be stuck between 15-20%
No, he'll never get there, not by the BBWAA vote, at least. I could never dream of predicting the Vets Committee votes, though. They put in Bowie Kuhn. Why not put in Idi Amin while you're at it?
Over/Under on Yankees winning 96?
Under. Never, ever bet on a team to win 95+..
Change in Padres ownership a good thing? I sure hope they spend some money
If the rumor that Moorad forced the Eric Byrnes extension on his baseball ops dept is true, then I'd call this a very, very bad thing.
In your opinion does Mike Mussina deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?
I was on an MLBTR board where Sawx fans were trying to argue Pedrioa a better player than Hanley, than also got into it over Utley. Both are much better than Pedroia, who is not an elite player no? Just a hyped up guy on the media's favorite team
Utley > Hanley > Pedroia.
Is Andre Dawson a BAD choice? Great defense, hit for a lot of power. Low OBP, I know, but he did other things very well.
No, not a bad choice. He's #1 among guys I wouldn't vote for on the current ballot.
Is this the year Rice finally gets into the HOF
Yep. It's also the year the HoF becomes an open society - just play a few years, whine about your candidacy, and BOOM! you're in.
Who do you consider some of the tragedies of the one ballot and done HOF voting? Whitaker? Quisenberry?
Whitaker would be my first choice. One of the best offensive 2b ever, right? I think he's in the top 5 or 6 in home runs for the position. Perhaps he's not HoF-worthy, but one-and-done implies that he CLEARLY wasn't, and I don't think that's the case. I would have voted for him, for certain.
Before going to sleep at night, I check under the bed for Jim Rice. He's *that* feared.
I check under the bed for Dan Shaughnessy. Mostly because he's weird.
Hello Keith, speaking of the Hall... my friends and I were debating if Frank Thomas was a first ballot admission... your thoughts?
Thanks for the chats, Keith - easily the best thing on ESPN. Besides Murphy, who might be able to contribute to the Mets at some point this year? Evans, Niese, Parnell, Kunz, Fernando, Gee? Any other sleepers to keep an eye on?
I like Parnell in the pen. Martinez is probably a year off from any sort of contribution. Niese, at some point, although I think he might be a slow developer. I've really dimmed on Kunz, and I was never a huge fan.
Speaking of the whole Corky Simpson story, I think it was pretty harsh how Neyer shredded him on a national stage (ESPN.com) and then dozens of jerks post nasty emails on the poor guy's comments section. I think the whole thing was gross. Did you reach out to him b/c you wanted to know more about his backstory?
People love the anonymity of the Internet, because they feel like they can say anything they want. There's nothing like having someone named "Dr. Poopypants" call you stupid or an idiot or whatever. Anyway, back to Simpson, he didn't give his logic for omitting Rickey, and I don't think you can respond to a piece like that unless you know the whole story. He's been very gracious via emails, and I think he's a little surprised at the reaction to his ballot, because he feels like he was being so inclusive.
How can you argue that Utley is a better player than Hanley?
Because I understand that defense matters.
You're an idiot!
My day is complete.
Keith - I added you to my list of preferred columnists on my ESPN favorites. You have now joined an elite and distinguished group that includes Bill Simmons, Buster Olney, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. My question is - how does it feel?
Like I'm underpaid.
Does Ian Kennedy have a shot at being the #5 in NY to start the year?
No. Unfortunately, I think he's done in NY.
KLaw - Hanley's the better player, he's just playing out of position.
Hanley's the better athlete, but why is he the better player? Do we know, for instance, that at 2b he'd be a better defender than Utley (who is outstanding), or close enough to make him the better overall player? I don't think so.
Who would be your top 10 in the Nats system?
To be honest, after Jordan Zimmerman, it thins out extremely quickly. I doubt that they'll have a second player in the top 100. I liked Smoker and Detwiler last year, but both experienced Sudden Velocity Loss this year.
Biggest offseason move for Royals was bringing in Mike Arbuckle. Know him? Give Dayton a little credit for only tying up Guillen for 3 years.
I do know Mike a little, great guy, great old-school evaluator. The Phillies do not win the World Series without all his scouting/drafting work over the last seven or eight years. The funny thing, though, is that the Royals had a great draft in 2008, so it's not like that was a major weakness.
KLAW: Could you pinpoint for me the origins of the "Mike Lowell is done" theory? This is a guy who mashed in 2007 and had an OPS of 867 during the first half of last year. And then he got hurt. Do we now automatically assume that every hip injury these days is "Bo Jackson?" Or does that just apply to the 35 and over crowd?
I don't know any proponents of that theory. I think it's reasonable to be concerned about his hip, particularly as it relates to his significant defensive value, but who is saying that he's done?
At the same development stage: Price or Strassburg?
Probably Price, but ask me again after I see Strasburg this spring.
Is Utley the best player in baseball? Throw everyone into a draft and is he your number 1 to start a team?
He would be first, and Pujols would be second.
Sudden Velocity Loss sounds like summer blockbuster.
But it's not as good as the original version from Japan. /film geek //not really
I don't understand why the Yankees wouldn't go after Griffey Jr for center. Yes he is aging but it certainly would bring more fans to the new ballpark and he would be relatively cheap as to a Mike Cameron. They've already showed everybody that they are going to go after whomever they want nobody what the media says so why sign Griffey to a one yr deal?
Let me help you: Griffey can't play CF any more.
K, you see Verlander bouncing back this year? Kept hearing that he was pitching hurt...did not look like it sitting in the stands...
I saw him live - his stuff was down, and his command was way down. That does not have to equal injury, but they're not good signs.
Keith, can you comment on what seems to be a growing trend of American players bailing on the WBC? I'm sure it's not as bad as it seems to me, but it sure looks like most international players are dying to play for their country while our boys want to take naps on piles of money. Keep up the great work!
It doesn't bother me that much, because 1) the WBC is about growing the game internationally and 2) I'd rather not see the US win. Seriously, if the DR wins, it might be like Italy winning the World Cup. (I believe Italy declared a national holiday after they beat France in 06.) That would be incredible, not just for the DR, but for the sport in general. Imagine news reports in the evening - not ESPN, but mainstream news - leading with video footage of a huge celebration in the streets of Santo Domingo after the Dominicans beat Japan in the title game in this year's WBC.
Please dont post Scott from Princeton, he is making us Yankee fans look bad. Here is a real question for you. Do you think the Yankees should trade Melky straight up for Peavy. I know Melky is young and I would hate to lose him, and Peavy is an injury risk, but I think it is worth it for the Yanks.
This is parody, right?
What is wrong with Delmon Young? Has his swing always produces so many ground balls? Is it that common for a scout to project power from a guy who may need a change in his swing? Who will be better in 09 (offensively) Delmon or alex Gordon
He has a massive and perhaps unfixable pitch-recognition issue. His entire approach at the plate is broken. That he hits as well as he does is a testament to his raw ability. Gordon in '09.
Do you think by firing their head coach, BC asked for the bad kharma of losing to Harvard last night?
How embarrassing was that? Honestly, every BC alum should send that AD a pacifier. Postage due.
Yea, parody. I miss FJM.
Whew. Starting to wonder if the headache was making me hallucinate.
Biggest pet peeve during these chats for you is...
Occasionally someone floods the queue with his question - hitting submit twenty times in twenty seconds, or something. I've received over 1000 questions so far - as it is, I don't see everything that's asked, but flooding the queue makes it much worse.
Brandon Wood > Mark Reynolds?
After Jim Rice, can we start a joint campaign for our rightful Hall of Fame inductions?
I made this argument on 890 AM here a few weeks ago - if we're just going to ignore the benefit a player got from his home park (since Rice was extremely ordinary on the road), let's give Dante Bichette his due and enshrine him in 2010.
Any chance Andruw Jones goes back to the Braves?
Sure, minor-league deal, low risk, gets him closer to his friends at the Gold Club.
Now that he's a free agent, where would Ty Wigginton rank on your Top 50 list? He sported his best-ever OPS last year, and he's only 31...considering that he can fake at least 5 positions in the field, is he a poor-man's Mark DeRosa? I'd love to see him return to the Mets as a super-sub. They need bench depth.
He wouldn't have made the top 50. RH pull hitter with a little power who goes bananas in a good park for RH pull hitters (.343/.390/.691 at home, .234/.316/.380 on the road). Never been a patient hitter. Not a good fielder anywhere. Sure, I guess as an extra guy on your bench, or part of a platoon at 3b, he's fine, but a player who's been a regular and projects as a backup is usually a bad investment, because he wants to be paid like a regular.
Hey Keith - I've read your thoughts on Viciedo from earlier chats, but assuming he makes his way to a stationary bike, what kind of player can he be in '09? '11?
With what little we know, it doesn't sound like he's a good bet to produce in '09. His numbers in Cuba were actually going down, not up; he hasn't faced much high-caliber pitching; and there is the little issue of his blubber. There is the potential there for him to become a #5/6 hitter, moderate-to-low OBP but big power, but I'm assuming he'll need at least a full year in the minors (or a year or two of struggling in the majors) to get on track.
You ranked Uehara higher than Kawakami on your FA list, then wrote that Uehara wasn't a good fit for the O's. Would Kawakami have been a better fit (not considering price)?
Maybe, but it would be marginally better at best. Uehara's value isn't just in his plus control, but in the fact that he can pitch deeper into games because of it ... except that Camden Yards + very tough competition in the AL East may dilute that part of his value if he's getting blasted out of games in the third inning. I wouldn't be worried about that in the NL, or in the AL West, with him.
How do you see Carlos Gomez doing this year? Does he hold the leadoff spot in Min all year? Is he all spead or does he have some power also?
You don't want him anywhere near the leadoff spot. He does have power potential, but like Delmon, he's got a pitch-recognition issue to address first.
Hey KLAW! I host a semi-popular radio show at my school York College. After the Putz trade my callers flamed me for saying getting rid of Endy and Joey Smith was a horrible decision. Im sure you agree with me cause great minds think alike.
You criticized the Mets for getting rid of a fourth outfielder and a RH specialist? I wish I'd heard it live so I could have called in too.
I know he's still young, but how good do you think Angel Villalona can be?
His ceiling hasn't changed (middle of the order hitter, 40+ HR power, probably low OBP), but his probability looks lower now than it did last winter.
Please rank the 5 farm systems in the NL.
I'll do all that stuff with the top 100 prospects list in two weeks.
What's your favorite Jim Rice argument? Mine is "it's not fair to judge him by today's statistical analysis." Yeah, cause advances in knowledge should be ignored instead of celebrated and applied
That's the Dawson argument that kills me. "They didn't know OBP was important." Really? Players in the 1970s and 1980s didn't realize that IT WAS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN TO BE OUT??? How unbelievably stupid were ballplayers back then? Did they need help to tie their cleats? Did the manager have to point them to first base? Did the umpire have to inform each team after nine innings that the game was over, and identify the winner? OBP measures one thing: How often a hitter reached base safely - that is, how often he didn't make an out. This is not high concept. So stop making lame excuses for Dawson's low OBP. He had a low OBP because he was NOT CAPABLE of posting a higher one.
The coffee is not working, by the way.
Do you like Ben Revere to play in MLB this year or is he a 2010 prospect?
Ben Revere, the Twins prospect? Who played all of 83 games in the Midwest League, four levels below the majors?
Hey Keith - why did the MLBPA let Andruw Jones' contract restructure, but not A-Rod's back in 2003? Is it because he is actually not losing money?
I believe it's that, as well as the fact that the player actively wanted to leave LA to get more playing time somewhere else. That is, the departure had value to the player.
Haven't we already done that question from the "semi-popular" radio show host? I swear that was from a month ago.
I had the same thought. But what do I know? There's a lullaby on repeat coming down from the monitor in my daughter's room. I'm not sure I'm awake right now.
Five favorite short stories?
I don't think I've read enough of a variety of authors to give you a ranking. I do like Fitzgerald's short stories, and just bought a book with a half-dozen of Chekov's.
What do you think about the Romero situation?
He took a banned supplement. I feel bad for him, but the rules were pretty clear.
Do you see Alderson and Bumgarner both starting the year at AA this year? Or Bumgarner to high A?
I'm assuming Alderson to AA and Bumgarner to high-A.
Any quick comments on Kavalier & Clay?
Good, not great. Those of you who said that Chabon needed an editor were spot on.
Vonnegut has a great compilation of short stories titled "Bagombo Snuff Box." If you haven't read it, you should check it out.
I've read "Welcome to the Monkey House." "Harrison Bergeron" and "Long Walk to Forever" are classics.
You seem to bash Rice and Dawson a lot, Rice will probably get it this year, what are some of the positives you can say for his enshirement. He has to have redeeming stats in order to make it in, you can't be negative about all of his stats?
I really believe that Rice's improving vote totals are evidence of older voters raging against the dying of the light: Once, their opinions on baseball players were esteemed, but as the fan base has become more educated, that respect has faded. But they can still show us by voting for players the intelligent portion of the fan base doesn't consider HoFers ... even if those same players weren't respected by the writers when they were actually playing.
With the massive amount of money spent by the Yankees this offseason, buying them some of the game's very best players, do you believe that a strategy of developing young players and augmenting them with free agents (a la the Red Sox recently) can be effective on a consistent basis? Or, conversely, will this force the Sox, Angels et al to adopt a strategy more in line with what the Yankees have done this offseason?
Let's see some evidence that the Yanks' strategy works first. They haven't won anything. And every team, regardless of budget, can draft and develop players and at least compete by building internally.
What do you make of Fernando Martinez's impressive winter ball performance (save his struggles the past few games). There's a video of him on YouTube where he absolutely murderizes a ball.
Winter ball competition is too variable to allow us to glean much from the stats, but it's better than having him struggle. He's still a potential superstar.
Do you store your unsaturated oils (vegetable, olive, etc.) in the fridge?
No. They don't last that long here anyway.
Roy Halladay for Jesse Foppert, Kurt Ainsworth, and Jerome Williams? That's got to be the ultimate example of "good process, bad result", right?
Indeed. Foppert and Williams were arguably two of the five best pitching prospects in the game at that time.
Most feared... I still don't quite get that. If someone is the most feared, but he doesn't have the stats to back it up, doesn't that just make him the most overrated?
You know what "most feared" means? It means this: "I can't come up with a statistical argument to support my vote and campaign for this player, so I'm going to make up something so intangible that it's irrefutable."
You are an economist; what is you prediction on the nations economic recovery?
I am very much not an economist.
Mr. Law, I have 2 questions for you today. First, do you see any reason the Yanks would trade Nady or Swisher? Second, I just finished "All Quiet on the Western Front". What is a good follow up to that book?
I'd think about dealing Nady, since he had a pretty big problem hitting RHP before mid-2007 or so, and he's not a great defensive player. I hated AQOTWF.
Ok, I understand that Rice isn't the best candidate for the Hall, but he is at least a borderline guy and if he gets in he won't be the worst selection by a longshot. What I wonder is how much the milestones that he missed by "lacking longevity" (16 years with 12 very good-great years) should matter? What if he had limped back for one more year, and hit .260 with 18 HR and 49 RBI, to get to 400/1500 respectively? Would that have made him more worthy?
He will actually be one of the ten worst players voted in by the writers, maybe one of the five worst. I don't care about his RBI totals. The fact that you're bringing those up is just Part of the Problem.
KLaw, tell Nick from Albuquerque to check out "Band of Brothers" if he hasn't already.
There you go. I'm not sure I've read a war novel I really liked.
Keith, I'm enjoying cherry picking books from the KLaw100...how long did it take you to realize that the plot of Emma was the movie Clueless? 20 pgs for me, completely ruined it.
I knew it before I picked the book up. The movie diverges plenty from the book, though. There's no casual mention of cocaine or technical virginity in "Emma."
Any thoughts on the Kindle or other e-readers?
I like paper. Plus you can't swaptree an e-book.
Hello Keith, This past winter season in the DR was the best in history offensively speaking. The previous record for runs per game/per team was beaten by exactly a full run, and there were new records in collective slugging and OBP, so you have to take Fernando Martinez's (end everyone else) numbers with that disclaimer. This was not the typical run -starved environment the league's been known from years. Otherwise, he looked very good though. Saludos.
Good to know. Carlos does some announcing in winter ball.
Come on, Keith, really? "Catch-22" didn't entertain?
OK, I'm thinking dramatic war novels. I guess Slaughterhouse-Five is sort of a war novel.
The most relevant, brilliant thing produced in the last 20 years is BAR NONE- The Wire from HBO. If you haven't seen it, you can get the whole series (5 seasons) on DVD for $89.99 on Amazon- it's the biggest bargain there is. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out.
It's 60 hours long. I could watch the Wire ... or read seven to ten novels. Thanks, but I'm busy.
Gordon Beckham is comparable to ?
I hate the comparisons game. There's really nobody like him in the majors right now. Decent defender at ss, gets the most from his tools because he has such great instincts and game awareness, good pull power, hitch in his swing does worry me but it wasn't a problem with metal.
Okay...you hate RBIs, but doesn't Ibanez knocking in 110 in a bad lineup say he's better than Burrell knocking in far less in a potent lineup?
No, it doesn't.
Wieters or Price for AL ROY?
I'm guessing Wieters. One, I'll take the bat over the pitcher; unless I'm counting wrong, 22 of the last 30 winners have been hitters. Two, Price only threw 130 innings last year; with most clubs cognizant (too much so?) of the risk of a major year-over-year innings increase, I doubt he'll throw 180 this year.
Why hasn't a team like Seattle oferred a 3 year big money offer to Adam Dunn considering how well he fits what they need: Power and OBP?
They're not going to contend this year, so investing in a player like Dunn doesn't make a ton of sense.
KLaw, enjoyed your recent post about your "freezer pantry." Are you of the opinion that canned tomato paste is of higher quality than tubed?
I've actually never tried tubed. I don't use it that much at all, which is why freezing unused portions seems like a great idea.
Could a guy like Juan Cruz be a bargain for the Yankees since at this point they would only have to forfeit a 4th round pick for him (and not a first)?
Can Hoffman struggle through one more season or will the move from Petco finish 'em off?
I think the move from Petco is going to result in a lot of action in Miller Park bleachers.
How can you read 7-10 novels in 60 hours? Do you actually read the each word or skim? Have you taken a speed reading class? I am actually interested as I am an avid reader but it takes make a while to get through books. Thanks
60 hours is roughly 3600 pages of reading, right? If I'm not reading a page a minute, either 1) the novel is boring or 2) I'm reading Faulkner.
Klaw, who would you start at SS if you managed the Red Sox? Lowrie or Lugo?
Hola Sr. Law, como esta? Me costo mucho encontrar el chat con el nuevo formato pero sus chats son muy buenos, asi que lo encontre por el search engine. Which teams are your favorites to win their division: CLE, LAA, NYY,TB?, NYM,PHI?, Cubs, LAA?
Lo siento que tienes dificultades para navegar el nuevo formato. Cleveland, Cubs, Dodgers all seem like decent favorites right now. AL East is too close to call among three teams. Angels and A's are getting closer in the west, nod still to the Angels. Mets over Phillies on paper, but hasn't that been the case the last two offseasons?
I doubt it was a big secret but the Yankees definitely have uncovered a pretty good loophole with the draft compensation system this offseason. It is clearly superior to take a year or 2 off and then overspend on 2-3 guys in the same year than to sign one guy per year. Do you think that the system will be changed or will this be a trend moving forward?
There seems to be a growing impetus to change the system on both sides of the aisle. As long as MLB/Selig don't insist on tying this to a hard-slotting system, it will be changed in the next CBA. Don't hold your breath.
Any chance of MLB ever expanding into the Dominican consider the level of passion in that country for the beisbol?
It wouldn't work financially.
k-law i heard recently that, bobby cox of the braves, last year september called the marlins rotation the best in the n.l east and peter gammons says "nolasco, johnson are best 1-2 punch in the n.l east" do you agree?
I'd take Hamels or Santana over anyone on the Florida staff, so it's sort of an arbitrary endpoints question, right?
Beltway Battle...Who will be the better offensive player going forward, Adam Jones or Lastings Milledge?
Jones. But I like both players.
Why do you think Ian Kennedy is done in NY? He can't hack it? Or not enough patience on the part of the Yanks?
The Yanks are no longer in a mode where they can afford to let a command guy like Kennedy develop in the majors.
Keith, I'm a college kid looking to transfer to a good culinary school. The CIA is at the top of the list. Any thoughts on it or any other culinary schools?
A cousin of mine went there; she says for the pedigree you get with that name on your resume it's well worth it. I doubt that the quality of the education differs that much between CIA, Johnson & Wales, etc.
Is Papelbon in the long term plans? It wouldnt seem so, is he bait after this year if Bard is still throwing well?
I can't accept any argument that Bard is the next Papelbon.
I love the chats but today seems weak...
Well in that case, I'll leave. Bye.