Man, I never thought leaving Moby Dick off the Klaw 100 would be this controversial. Apparently it's a popular book in St. Louis.
Hey Keith. Can you really justify putting Javier Vasquez on the Cy Young ballot over Chris Carpenter because of 30 innings?
No, because that's not the logic. It's the effect those extra innings pitched had on the overall value Vazquez provided to Atlanta versus what Carpenter provided to St. Louis.
I thought voters could list up to 10 names on a ballot...is that wrong?
That's MVP. Only 3 on the Cy ballot.
Now that he has wrapped up his second straight Cy, what kind of numbers will we see in Timmy's arbitration case? This has to be an unprecedented number, does it not? Is 17-18 million realistic?
Ryan Howard went to arb with a RoY and an MVP and won $10 million. Lincecum goes with two CYA; I think $10 million is a floor. Sky is the limit on where he could file - there is no clear precedent.
Have any BBRAA members contacted you/given you a hard time about your ballot? Any BBWAA members (non stats/bloggers division) showed support of your choices?
Not much of the former. A few of the latter. Lot of non-member writers have reached out to offer support.
hey keith, im really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but steve korancki had the best ballot of all time.
I know the meme's a little played out but that's pretty clever.
klaw, the best guy won the CY, so who cares how the voting went?
Cardinal fans. And I guess some radio hosts looking for arguments.
Did it officially become cool to bash people who use math and common sense to make decisions? Is it cooler still to use poor spelling and grammar while doing so?
So how screwed are the Giants with Lincecum's arbitration? Nobody's ever done what he has at this stage of his career. What kind of bid are we looking at here - 15M? 18M? If they go the long-term deal route, is 5/100M reasonable at this point?
If he was a free agent today, what would he get? $20 million plus? Probably. He could easily go 13-16-20-22 in arbitration, which is terrifying in what it could do to the system (under the theory that one big award to a top-tier player raises the ceiling for everyone below him). Not only do I think the Giants should long-term him, I think MLB will probably encourage them to do so.
Did Jason Bay and his agent misread the market by turning down 4/60 from the Sox? A lot of players made a similar mistake last year.
I think it's responsible to get to free agency and test the market. But I don't know that Bay beats that contract by much.
I find it funny how suddenly after years and years of dumb voting, the voters are calling you and Carroll out as moron sport's writers. If the kettle got any blacker you wouldn't be able to see it at night.
To be fair, I've only seen two or three voters criticize us. But why would anyone be surprised to see me value players differently? Thirty of the 32 voters are career journalists. I worked in an MLB front office and then came here to sort of mimic the old job, with the focus in both places being on player evaluation, not on writing or storytelling. Of course I'm going to think about players differently.
Do you think the vote for Mauer will be unanimous? Or will there be a disgruntled New York writer who still thinks breaking the Yankee all-time hit record is relevant to an MVP race?
I think he wins, but it's not unanimous. Jeter and Teix will get some votes. And there will be one stray vote for someone like Kendry Morales.
That reminds me - for the "east coast bias" crowd, my six award winners would be Lincecum, Pujols, McCutchen, Greinke, Mauer, and Porcello. Five Centrals and a West.
Was Carpenter fourth on your list? How about Haren and any others.
Yes, and Haren 5th, which leaves Josh Johnson and Ubaldo on the outside.
Did I miss Jermaine Dye on the top 50 list? I know he's not the best of the best anymore, but Juan Uribe is more desireable? JD can still DH somewhere and provide good value.
I think Dye's bat has declined to the point where he doesn't provide good value. He might be replacement-level. And he has to DH. I don't like Uribe - I wouldn't want at least 10 guys on my top 50 if I was a GM, probably 20 - but he's an average or better glove at a couple of positions and can hit a fastball.
Which was harder: deciding which novels would make it into the Klaw 100 or trying to fill out your Top 50 FA for this year?
The difference was that I had more than 100 novels and had to cut titles, while I struggled to get to 40 free agents.
I am from St. Louis and that is not even the point, the point is is that you voted for a pitcher with a 15-10 record and a higher ERA for the CY Young over a pitcher with a 17-4 record and an ERA of 2.24. Makes absolutely no sense.
The point is that won/lost totals are irrelevant. They tell you about run support, bullpen support, and defense, not how the starter pitched. (They tell you all four things, but too much of the first 3 and not enough of the last one.) If you say "17-4" you have lost the argument.
Will the A's go after any of these FA's, or are they too cheap?
Beane told MLB.com the other day that he didn't expect them to be players in free agency. They've got young guys coming who should be given opportunities to play anyway.
Chances the twins re-sign Joe Mauer this off season. Also what kind of deal?
Speaking as a fan, I hope it happens, but I would never blame a player who goes to the market for more money. That said, I'd value him as a DH or LF and not as a catcher, or at least consider his value off catcher for the bulk of the deal. Still a $20 million bat this year, though.
Is it possible for the Rays to land a legitimate power closer? Do you think Jacob McGee could be that guy?
I don't see them doing that. Relievers are probably the worst way for a low-payroll team to invest money. Yes, McGee could be that guy if he comes all the way back from TJ.
Which free agent do you predict will be most overpaid in both dollars and years?
Do you think G Beckahm will ever play SS?
Could. Don't think he will, not in the short term. I know it would be risky but I think he can handle it.
What is Gordon Beckham's ceiling? Top 10 at his position?
Yes, at either position. By the way ... Bacon? Really?
Keith if record does not matter, Why do they play the game? The pitcher's record is the most important stat, it shows up directly next to their name on every stat page. Why are you so set on proving your point?
I'm not sure if this is real or not. But, just in case: Team record matters. Pitcher record does not.
Do you like Phillip Roth? He's supposed to be great, but I don't see it.
No, I didn't like either of the Roth books I read.
Do you see STL inking Pujols to an extension? What is the cost?
I can't imagine they don't get him signed. $25 million a year? Just a wild guess.
I understand that you took "points" away from Carpenter and Wainwright for having a good defense behind them, but wouldn't the fact that Lincecum pitched in front of a centerfielder who gave it all he had, played hard every day, and led the clubhouse like no other be a distinct advantage for Lincecum that really has nothing to do with his ability as a pitcher?
$5. But bonus points for including an old bete noire.
How can you place Vazquez above Carpenter? Totally in love with strikeouts, are you? There is more than one way for a pitcher to get an out, you know. What a joke.
I like how I post an article explaining my logic with a handful of stats, and some fans just say "strikeouts." Yeah, strikeouts are great, and the credit goes to the pitcher as opposed to a mix of pitcher/fielder(s)/luck. But they're just one piece of the value puzzle.
Keith: I agree with you, for the most part, regarding Win/Loss record. However, there is a factor I am not sure you are considering. If a pitcher consistently has large run support that pitcher may "pitch to the score" and, in turn, give up more runs and hits than he might have if he had not had so many runs on the board. Not saying it applies in the NL Cy Young this year but did you consider this at all? Would you?
No. Pitching to the score is a myth, discredited a long time ago.
The bacon thing started because that's what his name sounded like when Ozzie Guillen first started pronouncing it. This may be the first time I think something would be better by having less bacon.
I guess it's better than Uribe's old nickname in Chicago, "Fatback."
I think what Mitch was referring to is you being upset that more people didn't vote for TL. He won, who cares by how much?
I was surprised by it, but not upset.
Why would a pitcher want to give up runs?
Where would you put Pedro Feliz in the top 100 free agents? Not on the list? top 70 maybe? just wondering because he seems to fit the category of declining hitter that can still field his position above average.
Started to write him up for one of the last spots, but he just doesn't bring enough bat to the table, and the metrics I checked had his defense declining, even though to my eye he looks as good as ever. Splitting the difference still left him on the outside
The Angels stand to lose a lot (figgins, lackey, vlade +); many of their rumblings indicate they plan to replace from within (wood, palmer/bell/etc.). Do you think they can reload mostly from within and still hold off TX and Seattle, let alone thrive in the playoffs? Or do they have to land at least 2 "biggies" (via FA or trade) to stay at or exceed their level?
Losing Figgins' OBP and Lackey's bulk innings hurt. They have to replace one of those, if not both, and I don't see internal candidates to do either.
There has been some talk amongst Bluejay fans that maybe Aaron Hill should also be shopped if Roy Halladay is going to be traded. Aaron Hill's value is quite high right now but in your opinion is it better to hang on to him as part of the rebuild or try to get top value for him after a big season?
Hill's contract is a screaming bargain. I think the price on him should be exorbitant right now, even though we all know the HR total was partly a fluke.
I don't agree with you with Vazquez but what do I know? I can't believe people get this crazy about it. More importantly, what do you see the Yanks trying to do this offseason?
CF, and retain one of Damon/Matsui.
Chris Carpenter had more wins, allowed less runs, and less hits than Vasquez. Do the math and that should equal the 6 votes he needed. Good riddance.
Wouldn't a full season of Kazmir account for some of Lackey's innings, assuming Lackey signs elsewhere? Also, what is your opinion on Kazmir, will he ever be a #1 type pitcher again?
I doubt it - more of a mid-rotation guy who flashes better stuff, and probably can't do 200 innings regularly. I'm probably the low man on Kaz.
First of all, ERA does not reflect the defense behind a pitcher, if there are errors then that has nothing to do with a pitcher's ERA!!!!
But isn't there a lot more to defense than errors? Did you notice all the extra plays Brendan Ryan made this year? Or Pujols? Or Rasmus, when he played?
these StL fans are acting like THEY would get the bonus check if Carpenter won
He's a nice guy, maybe he'd spread it around...
While I have no problem with your vote or the logic behind it, I do somewhat disagree with your dismissal of the "pitching to the score" point. First, when pitchers have big leads, they do tend to not worry so much about hitting corners and are more likely to opt for pitching to contact rather than strikeouts, which can lead to more runners and runs. Second, if a starter is still in the game late with a big lead, defenses play differently when a runner gets on (not holding a man on first, opting for the sure out than risk a throwing error on a DP), which can also lead to more runs. It's at least an arguable point.
Pitching to contact should also lead to fewer walks, right? You're changing the shape but not the end result. And I've seen a few studies - I know Joe Sheehan did a long thing on Jack Morris a few years ago - that argued against it, but never one that argued for its existence.
Is this where I go to complain about people going against conventional wisdom? If so, what was Belicheck thinking?!
Belichick might be the happiest guy in Boston. WEEI was still talking about him yesterday afternoon but apparently Dale & Holley were talking about me today. (They called and asked me to come on but it was right before this chat.)
Is there a better way to show that closers are overrated than the last two Phillies years? '08 92 wins +119 /- and '09 93 wins 111. Brad Lidge blew ZERO saves in '08 and TEN in '09 and it had no effect on the overall record.
Hadn't thought about that, but it is interesting.
Keith:What do you think of Barry Larkin in the Hall of Fame?
I'm on the fence. I'd vote for Alomar and Edgar, and I'm guessing I'd probably vote for Larkin at the end of the day.
You stated in the FA report that R Soriano should be seeking a K Rod type contract. I agree with you premise that he is as good as KRod, but that KRod contract was stupid right, so nobody should give Soriano that type of deal.
Right, so I'm not saying I would give him that, just that he should ask for it.
Chris Carpenter 5.6 WAR, value was $25.1. Vazquez 6.6 WAR, Value was $29.5. You obviously really blew that one with your biased thinking.
I know WAR isn't the be-all and end-all, but we're not talking about a tiny gap in value.
Your exclusion of Carpenter has fostered a new insult, "idito". How does it feel to be such a pioneer not only in baseball, but also in the world of cutdowns?
I'm still 17 neologisms behind the leader, Joe Posnanski, but I hope the voters look beyond the stats when considering my candidacy and think about what I meant to these chats and how I performed in the chats at the end of the season.
KLaw, I just scanned your FA Top 50, and did not see the name of one Rod Barajas. Coupled with your Cy vote, that's 2 (two) miscarriages of justice this week. For shame.
I thought about making a top 20 DO NOT WANT list, but it seemed mean.
True or false, the best thing Vernon Wells could do this offseason is get a nutritionist and a yoga instructor, lose 20-30 pounds and gain some flexibility. The nagging hammy/groin injuries are a flexibility issue. The extra weight hampers his OF and basepath speed as well as changing his swing plane. Or he just sucks.
He's gotten really thick, and he's never been a great athlete (he's been called one, and we all know why). So yes, adding some flexibility might help.
I don't really care about the CY this year, but how much bias is there towards young players in recognition for awards? Take Lincecum, he's still very young and it seems like that always gets mentioned as if youth is one of his skills (like fastball velocity). Although impressive, shouldn't his age be independent of evaluating his production? Seems like this happens with all young "phenoms" where people perceive them as what they can be instead of what they are at the moment. Again, I have no preference, I'm just wondering.
If true, it's a big turnaround from ten years ago or so, I think.
Keith, Halladay is starting to remind me of Kevin Garnett, who was "going to get out of Minnesota" every year until... he finally did. Will Halladay finally escape Toronto, or is he destined to be an amazing pitcher on a team that can't contend his whole career?
I think he starts 2010 somewhere else.
Are you aware that somone in the comments section said you gave Vernon Wells his contract? How do you feel about that?
Dude, kills me every payday when I see those automatic deductions.
Keith, I posted a Top Chef comment on one of your blog notes about Bros V & Kevin and you responded how you think the food should win out and not because Kevin is a ncie guy. I agree that the food should win out and it shouldn't matter who's nice or a jerk. But while the Bros. V are clearly more advanced chefs in terms of the difficulty of the food they cook, it's not like Kevin is a Robin or Eli and has no business winning. He has been pretty consistent each week and has won a lot of the Quick Fire and Final Challenges. I wouldn't be upset if either of the V Bros. or Kevin won. Thanks.
Agreed - that's fair. But I think I'd pay a lot more for Michael or Bryan's food, which is challenging and unusual and pushes the envelope, than Kevin's, which is more "normal" cuisine expertly done. I could probably make Kevin's food. I wouldn't even think to come up with the stuff either Volt brother does.
Do you think Jon Garland would be a good candidate for Dave Duncan to make look way better than he is, if the Cardinals were to sign him for next year? If Duncan can get Jeff Weaver a World Series win, he should be able to do wonders with Garland.
It would be interesting to see a guy who's always been called a groundball pitcher without really being one go to a pitching coach who loves to get guys to generate more groundballs.
What's the difference between stuffing and dressing, I'm trying to settle this with the cafeteria manager at my school
Same thing although common parlance has dressing cooked on its own and stuffing cooked inside something else.
How much money is Vlad Guerrero going to make considering he just came off a terrible year? In 2004 the marlins and vlad had mutual interest in each other, and Loria has been know to make big splashes in the off season (Pudge, Delgado) so any chance whatsoever that Vlad could end up in Florida?
I don't see that happening, but I do think Vlad signs for one year somewhere for a deal that will seem shockingly inexpensive to the mainstream.
What is the ETA on Darryl Jones, OF prospect for the Cards, and what type of player does he project to be?
More than a full year away. Above-average everyday corner outfielder. I think there's power to come in the bat, even though he hasn't shown it yet.
Curious, were you in Toronto the same time that Carpenter was there?
We overlapped by a year. Nice guy, talked to him maybe two or three times.
Keith what is your ceiling for Casey Kelly of the Sox
#2 starter. Maybe more, but I should probably let him go a full season on the mound first.
Hey Keith, is Roy Halliday more likely to stay in Toronto, become a Yankee, or become a Dodger?
I'd be very surprised if he became a Yankee.
YOU didn't put (player on team I root for) on the ballot for (award said player was eligible to win), probably because YOU are a stooge for ("rival" of team I root for, or team of guy you put in my team's players space, or the Yankees/Red Sox), and/or a(n) (idiot, dunce, moron, nerd)! RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!
Enough about the Cy, I thought you were right on to vote the way you did. Anyway, Thomas Neal and Roger Kieschnick, what's your opinion of each and could they be the corner OFs in SF by 2011?
I'm not sold on either guy as an everyday player yet. Both have potential, but I'd project both as below-average regulars right now.
What's the "idito" story? Tried to google but no luck...
Posted it on Twitter - an email from an angry Cardinal fan that said "you're an idito."
Is it just me...or is Billy Wagner a great fit for the Phillies? I know there's alot of history there, but it's a different vibe in Philly than back when he left...
I think he's a good fit for any team that needs a late-game reliever. He threw really well at the end of the year despite being fresh off TJ surgery.
There's this bar game conversation surrounding teams or groupings of players that "would have played" together if all stayed/didn't leave for whatever reason. It works very well for college basketball: UNC could have had a starting lineup of Wallace, Carter, Stachhouse, Jamison and McInnis. Thinking about Carpenter as a Jay, might the Blue Jays have had a similarly crazy pitching staff? Carpenter, Halladay, others?
I guess the Cardinals' doctor went into Carpenter's shoulder after he'd had surgery with Toronto and felt that the original operation should have been done differently - that is, he needed to go to St. Louis to get back to 100% health. And you can't discount Duncan's work with him either.
How does Casey Kelly profile as a number 2 when he barely hits 90 on his fastball? Is the movement on his pitches or his command that good? Also which Sox prospect do you think will make an impact this year? Thanks.
"Barely" isn't accurate. And you don't have to throw hard if you command everything and have a pitch that misses bats.
No doubt the Freak is a great pitcher. I guess my question is this. In all of the MVP debates you always hear who was more "valuable" to their team and how successful that players team was. I look at the Cy Young as the MVP for pitchers. So how is the criteria different for MVP's and CY Young's?
If I had an MVP ballot, I'd treat it the same way, ignoring the old-guard criterion of team performance (e.g., only voting for players whose teams made or nearly made the playoffs). The fact that this year's MVPs should be two guys whose teams made the playoffs is just a happy coincidence.
So at midnight, I openned my Christmas Present to see the KLAW's top 50 toys for 2009/2010... well done again... I really like how you do your thorough analysis. So would it be a better for the Yankees to sign Cameron (CF) and Nick Johnson (DH)instead of Damon and Matsui? So this would push Melky to LF where I imagine his numbers would look unproductive when compared to other Left Fielders. Isn't there extra value to have a fairly strong left-handed hitter (as in Damon/Matsui) because of having 81 games at Yankee Stadium?
Melky can't be an everyday player in LF. I'm not sure he can be one in center, and I've never been a Gardner fan.
Dave Duncan is not all that great. i.e. Rick Ankiel, Anthony Reyes, and just about every single pitcher to come thought the cards system. One exception is Wainwright.
Pineiro too. Kile. Lohse, for a time.
Kelly, Westmorland, Bard for AdGonzalez...who says no
Would it make any sense for the Orioles to offer Lackey a four-year deal in hopes that he can still be the 'ace' of the young rotation around 2011/2012? Also, why would they want to pursue Chone Figgins or Uggla if Josh Bell will be ready in a year or two?
I could buy them signing Lackey on the thought/hope that they'll be contending in those two years, but it's probably still premature. And I don't think they'll acquire either of those bats. Bell's pretty good, chance to be a star.
I heard you on the local ESPN radio station and was appalled at your treatment. Though most everyone in STL is disappointed that one of the Cards didn't win and few understand your logic, we are not all the cavemen that you were exposed to on that show. I'm sorry you had to endure that.
I've gotten a pretty good number of these notes from St. Louis residents, actually. Thanks.
How much money do you think Chapman ulimately gets and what team gives it to him?
I have zero feel for his market. More than Contreras, which is not a great answer.
Following up on the trade proposal for AG: Is that enough quality that the Sox could just add some prospects or does the trade have to start with Buhholz or Ellsbury?
I don't think anyone gets Gonzalez without one and probably two major league players with upside and under two years of major-league service. Hoyer isn't taking a pile of prospects.
Who do you like more, in the long-term: Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown. I think you might be one of the few in the Taylor camp, and if you are, why?
Brown. Raw but superstar potential.
What sides are you cooking up next week? Are you more concerned with a good bird and great pies?
Stuffing (dressing, technically), mac and cheese with gruyere and fresh herbs, maybe a Yorkshire pudding, green bean casserole (wife insists), homemade bread, apple and pumpkin pies. And a salad we had at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando.
Love reading your blog and chats. Immediately after the draft you were really high on what the D-backs did, what do you think about the draft now that the season is done? Is wheeler legit? And who looks more likely to stay at 3b, Borchering or Davidson?
Was not wild about Ryan Wheeler. Davidson more likely to stay at 3b but I could see both ending up at 1b.
If Edwin Jackson doesn't get traded, who do you think pitches better for the Tigers next year between him and Porcello?
Hey Keith, Jayson Stark wrote a column yesterday about MLB having a minimum payroll threshold. We know your thoughts on a salary cap, what are your thoughts on a mimimum salary threshold?
It would force rebuilding teams to buy and pay for veteran players who would either block prospects or get paid exorbitant salaries to sit on the bench.
What is your take on skip schumaker staying at second base? The offense is a plus and he seems to make the routine plays but little range.
Pretty bad on D - really stood out between two plus defenders in that infield.
Hi Klaw: Just got back from out of the country and didn't get to read your analysis for picking Vazquez 2nd. Im just going to assume it has something to do with his mound presense and ability to carry team on shoulders.
They call him Big Game Javy for a reason...
Keith, One ballot and you're already under the skin of the blue hair and typewriter crowd. I assume you consider this a great success?
No, but I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.
Keith, please don't think the Cardinals fans that posted comments on your Cy Young blog respresent all of us. I was initially shocked Carpenter didn't make your ballot, but then I looked at Vazquez's numbers and I really can't fault your choice. If Lincecum was a Cardinal there would be no complaints in STL. I do have a question about how you weight defense when evaluating a pitcher. Do you give the pitcher any credit for using the defense to get outs rather than strikeouts? Your phrasing in your blog almost made it sound like Carpenter and Wainwright get points taken away for that, like it was just good fortune that the fielders made the plays. You don't think trying to induce ground balls is a legitimate strategy/talent?
I do think it's legitimate. But some of Carpenter's and Wainwright's performances this year were a function of defense (and luck, for that matter), and I looked at metrics that try to isolate what part of a pitcher's performance is truly credited to him.
What do you see happening with Ben Sheets? Seems like he could be a great 4th or 5th option for any team.
I think someone gives him multiple years. He's more than a 4/5 option, in my opinion.
"So tell me Keith, when I look at the back of a baseball card, where are these stats at? You suck." This was in the comments below, Baseball cards also include date of birth and hometown, can these become Cy Young voting tools as well?
Won/lost record is roughly as useful as shoe size.
Would you rather have Edwin Jackson or Brandon Morrow?
I'd rather roll the dice on Morrow. Jackson is what he was in the second half this year and all of 2008, and he's more expensive.
Are you in favor if simply awarding the Cy Young award to whoever has the highest WAR?
No, but it was a major criterion for me. When a pitcher has a WAR lead like Lincecum's you need a really compelling counterargument; won/lost record or team performance don't qualify.
do you see any of the players the phillies won't part with (brown,taylor,drabek) on the team at any point this year
Not Brown. Could see the other two debut.
Can you tell these dopes that as long as you keep Timmy first you didn't effect the outcome?
And there was no debate in my mind about Lincecum being first.
Where is Derek Lowe going to go this offseason or do you see Frank wren Trading someone else like Javy or Kenshin.
I think they eventually deal Lowe, but put all three on the market and see the demand.
I think Rob Neyer might have summed up your best defense in a tweet. Something like "It is perfectly acceptable for 7 voters to have Carp 3rd, but an outright travesty for 2 to have him 4th?".
I like that. And I'll end on that note.
Thanks for the questions - over 2800 in a short chat - I'll be on Outside the Lines today shortly after 3 pm EST and on our radio affiliate in Seattle at 12:40 pm PST.