Enter Klaw, with a Chat and a Mariner.
This chat has....TEH FEAR!
Which is why it belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Keith,Can you give me an explanation as to why Adam LaRoche would turn down a 2 year 17.5 million dollar deal with the Giants, in favor of a 1 year 4-5 million dollar deal with the Dbacks? Is the ballpark to scary for Mr. LaRoche?
Excited that you are getting closer to 2010 draft preparation, or dreading the travelling? How far in advance do you plan your travel for draft scouting?
Both, I'd say. I've already got the first two trips sketched out, although I think I'm skipping one event in Puerto Rico because it's on the day my top 100 prospects list comes out.
Hi, Keith! In a recent New York Times article, Bill James uses advanced statistical analysis and comes to the conclusion that Andre Dawson belong in the Hall of Fame. Is it more likely that he's wrong, or that you are? And what do you think accounts for the difference in your opinions? Thanks.
I found that article and that's not quite what he says. He also relies on Win Shares (which only puts Dawson on the fence), a stat for which I have no use.
Worst part of scouting has to be time away from kids. Best part?
It's completely unfair to my childhood naivete that these players today are using steroids to break the records created by my amphetamine-using heroes.
Seeing a young player I feel very strongly is going to be a star. I always walk into a park wanting to like whoever I'm going to see.
Absolutely. All players pre-steroids were clean, right?
How are you enjoying Ulysses? Or have you already given up? You've read the Odyssey, correct?
I'm just past the 1/4 mark but I wouldn't call it "enjoying." I get that Joyce had to be brilliant to load his book with so many quotes and references, but it renders it all but unreadable. And it's not like there's a plot. (Yes, I read the Odyssey in high school and read a summary before starting Ulysses.)
Its seems to me that baseball believes that gambling is worse than using PED's. Just look at the Penalties: a Life time ban vs. 50 games. It looks like The steroid ERA guys will eventually get in and Rose wont.
Gambling is worse than PEDs.
Haven't heard much on the Bryce Harper front, is he still the leader for 1.1?
Yes, and the quiet is by design. The hype machine was out of control.
Dude, he's not going anywhere for 12 weeks.
K. Drabek arrives sooner, but who do you think has the better career? Him or Martin Perez?
Perez. By a wide margin.
Josh Outman: starter or reliver?
Reliever, when he's back.
P.S Can we just say gambling is WAYYYYYY more worse than PEDs.
It's worth saying again.
Do Giants fans have any reason to hold out hope that Huff will return to 2008 form? Or is this just a shorter version of the Edgar Renteria signing?
He's been terrible in 3 of the last 4 years. Good luck with that.
Your thoughts on Jeff Clement succeeding at 1b for the buccos? I mean at least the bat will play, right?
The bat will play but he won't be a star.
Nobody is pretending that baseball players were always clean, but when Brady Anderson starts hitting 50 HRs, it takes some of the magic out of those numbers. Are baseball statistics perfectly comparable over generations? Of course not. But steroids pooped all over it.
Oh, you mean like Roger Maris hitting 61 home runs? You want to explain that career path to me?
Buster Olney posted a link in his blog today about how the veterans committee should elect Roger Maris into the hall of fame partly due to him being the "true" single season home run king (even though Bonds has never tested positive). Looking at only his numbers since I'm too young to remember him playing, I disagree. What do you think about Maris' candidacy?
I just raised one point. Another is that I believe the Hall guidelines (for BBWAA voters, at least) explicitly state that the Hall is NOT for rewarding single-season accomplishments. And Roger Maris wasn't actually that good for his career. The Veterans Committee does enough stupid things on its own without our help.
When will your top 100 prospect rankings come out?
I think January 28th is the big day.
The ESPN article on the Giants said they were looking at a lineup 1-5 of Rowand, Freddy Sanchez, Panda, Huff, DeRosa. Bruce Bochy said this gives them a punch and a presence. FAIL. Is Sandoval due for a regression, or is he really that much of an outlier?
I'd rather look at Medusa than look at that lineup 162 times in 2010.
Most analysts do not believe Aumont can hold up as a starter, and thus project him as, at best, a top closer. If the belief he cannot handle starting is incorrect, what is his realistic potential in the rotation?
If you start him, he's got number-two potential, but I am one of the analysts you cite who currently project him in the pen.
Keith Law your an idiot!!!!!
The boy provides his own punch line.
Klaw, please tell me you think Jay Bruce will still be a stud hitter eventually.
Keith, With the realization that the Mets will now be without Beltran for AT LEAST a month to start this season, would the best course of action be to just go ahead and give Fernando Martinez another shot at playing every day in the majors? He has to have the most upside of their options and its not as if Angel Pagan is going to put up all star numbers out there anyway.What would be the most optimistic projection that you would give for FMART stats wise right now if he had a full season? .340 OBP? 20 HR 20 SB?
Martinez has to be healthy and show up in shape and ready to go in March for the Mets to commit a full-time job to him.
How would you fix the rule 4 draft?t
Line for Aubrey Huff nexy year?
You don't want to know.
Do the Cardinals go in house for a fifth starter or do they pick up a free agent?
I'll say in house. Garcia may not be up for a full season, but he should be good for 10-15 of those starts.
Hi Keith, I'm curious as to your position on steroids and their perceived affects on hitting performance. How significant a relationship do you suspect there is, if any?
I think we simply don't know what effect they have, and pretending that we do is foolish. Their effects haven't been studied, and we can't just extrapolate from a few outliers on the positive end of the spectrum, especially since we know a lot of sucky players took steroids and still sucked.
Eliminate the rule 4 draft? Explain. I get the free market thinking behind it, but doesn't that hurt small market teams in the long run?
The small-market teams that have signed top guys in international free agency, like Ynoa (Oakland), Arguelles (KC), Chapman (Cuba), Kepler (Minnesota)? I think what hurts, or has hurt, small-market teams is MLB's soft slotting system and internal enforcement mechanism, with teams dependent on shared revenue/discretionary money more reluctant to break with the system.
Just wanted to say that as a Cardinal fan I hold no grudge. Licecum in my opinion was the Cy Young winner after that does it really matter what order each writer places his or her candidate?
Thanks - there really is nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you.
Do you have McGwire in the HoF? I see a guy who excelled in only 2 areas: HR and walks. Granted, these are important but dude provided little-to-no value in other phases of the game (defense, baserunning). And in what were ostensibly 3 of his prime years (91-93) he was barely replacement level. I'm saying no.
I would vote for him. He excelled in only two areas: OBP and SLG. Those are ... well, that's just about it for a hitter, right?
Who are your top 5 prospects for this year?
You have to wait two weeks for the answer to that.
When you finish a book, do you crack a new one right away or take the rest of the night off?
Right away. Especially when I finish a book I didn't love and am eager to get to the next one.
I believe Elvis Andrus got snubbed for the AL Gold Glove. Thoughts?
I care about Gold Gloves slightly more than I care about steroids.
Licecum was mistake he shouldnt of won the cy young. Carpenter or waino should had won. A 15 game winner won the cy young PLEASE!!!!! WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!!
I didn't know they had Internet access in Missouri elementary schools.
I read that one item for discussion for the CBA might be elimination of the DH. As an AL fan, I would not be happy. What do you think both sides want/will get out of the new CBA?
I think you're more likely to see the universal DH than elimination. The DH is good for the union. I hate watching pitchers hit and managers screw up in the NL.
What do you do when you are on TV or radio for ESPN and they ask you questions you think are absurd or irrelevant? I'm guessing they don't want you telling Stuart Scott what you think about gold gloves if he asks you who got snubbed.
It has rarely happened, and if I know ahead of time they're asking a question I don't want to or can't answer, I ask the producer to take it out. When it happens on radio, I'll just pass.
I don't get why people are so upset about steroids as performance enhancers but don't care to mention all the other medical advances that make today's ball players better than those of the past.
It's an arbitrary distinction, especially since baseball and the media can't seem to figure out the difference between steroids (some effect, but unquantified) and HGH (no effect, at least for men of playing age).
Can you expound on the Panda "outlier" comment. I know his babip is insane, but consistent for his two years in the majors. Can't find his minor league splits...has his babip always been so high? I mean, players do have some control over babip, so without more evidence I think it's hard to just write that off as luck. No?
Hitters do have some control over BABIP - or they have some innate BABIP with annual variations around it due to luck, quality of pitching faced, etc.
What impact do you think Vlad has on the Rangers?
I'm not thrilled with the move. He's been hurt and increasingly ineffective for two years now, and I don't see why we should bank on the man's legs suddenly getting back to where they were even two years ago. I'd rather see Davis get at least a half-season of full playing time without blocking Smoak if and when the latter is ready.
Finish this sentence: Chapman will make his Reds debut on....
Well at least kid would of voted better then you did in the cy young voting
I'm starting to think this is a joke. Your command of English is Neighborgallesque.
How can you not conclude that steroids can help immensely when you observe McGuire's body turning into a modern day Paul Bunyan and he suddenly became a historic hr hitter? Are you not blind?
Correct. I am not blind. And the biggest body does not produce the best hitter.
Keith, I'm glad you think the Reds might contend for a division title in 2011 or 2012 - I think next offseason is the biggie. Arroyo and Harang fall off the books. Off the top of your head, any big-time SS they could target in free agency in the winter of 2011?
Derek Jeter. (I kid.) Seriously, they're well-positioned for a run at some point in the next decade, but they'll probably have to trade for a shortstop. And they do have the depth to do so.
Hey Klaw, if you read something convincing with regards to steroids and other PEDs having a massive effect on the statistics of certain players, would that change your mind at all or would you file them under "part of the game" (alongside spitballs, Ty Cobb's spikes, etc.)
I think the ethos of the game has changed enough since that era that we should take PEDs more seriously if we had hard evidence that they made a significant difference in performance. I think it's more likely that they made a significant difference in the performance of a small number, maybe an insignificant number, of players, but we're blowing it out of proportion because when a guy hits 70 home runs we notice, and we forget that Manny Alexander was on the list too.
Klaw - isn't reyes a FA next offseason too? if i was a small market team i'd gamble on a speed SS with bad hammies.
I thought he had a club option for 2012.
I meant 2011 - and I see yes, Cot's has him with an option for 2011.
Cot's Baseball Contracts, by the way, rocks.
which cub prospects besides sterlin castro has a realistic chance at stardom
Vitters has the potential if he draws more than a walk every two weeks. I love Jay Jackson as well.
A few years ago, the cards had one of the worst farm systems. They changed their philosophy (part of the reason Jockety was removed), and quicly jumped up to 6th? last year.do you see them sustaining that kind of success, or was that a flash in the pan?
They're going to fall back a good bit because of all their trades and the promotion of Rasmus. There are good and bad reasons to fall in the farm system rankings. St. Louis has a good reason - a series of moves that contributed to a division title.
If the Rule 4 draft was eliminated, you'd expect that franchises would spend more money on signing prospects and would also start spending $10M+ to sign the top prospects. This would probably lead to some teams deciding to spend less on major leaguers since most teams would have some sort of budget they'd need to stick to.Considering the flame out percentages for prospects, quite a few of them would be unlikely to succeed. And if these minor leaguers who fail to produce continually take away money from "proven" major league players, it might be likely that this would engender resentment among the union members. So, in a few years, the union might want to reinstate the draft to transfer a larger percentage of the compensation pool to themselves rather than the young whippersnappers.It probably wouldn't turn out exactly like the NBA of the mid-90s and the rookie scale but it might be close.
I agree that the union would react that way - but I don't think you'll see that kind of escalation in amateur bonuses because those figures would quickly exceed the projected value of those players. You don't just give $50 million to any amateur player unless you think his future performance and probability merit it.
Keith, can you explain Jay Jackson's season? It looks like he went from AA to A to AAA? While his numbers weren't great at Tennessee, why would he have gotten demoted? Or is everything just ordered wrong on MiLB.com?
He was demoted for a violation of team rules, and then was promoted to AAA after the matter was resolved. All sides involved agree it's not a big deal.
So if PEDs only help the best of the best (Bonds, McGwire) and not all players (Manny Alexander, FP Santagelo), we should just not care about their effect on the record books or on the game?
How much you care is a personal matter. I don't like pretending that we know how much they affected the record books, if at all, and I don't believe they affected the game negatively.
klawwww! for Carcassonne, do you just wing it with rivers? i do, and mixed with makers mark, its too awesome... you have any fun variations with that game? love ya bro!
I think you hit the Makers Mark before the chat since you submitted that question with Settlers and confused the heck out of me. We use the river expansion that came with the game, and then Traders & Builders as well. Love that game because it's so easy to pick up.
Hey Keith, thanks for chiming in. Just wondering if you could give me your prediction for Dice-K in 2010... do you think he will fair as he did when healthy in 2008 or do you think hitters have figured out that he relies too heavily on "junk" pitches that he has trouble locating (which explains their sitting on fastballs for HR's in early 2009)?
He looked as good late in 2009 as he did early in 2007. I'll take the over, so to speak.
Klaw, Carlos Triunfel? Still a great prospect or damaged goods?
Still a very good prospect. Not a top-25 guy any more, of course.
KLAW, iv always had a hard time getting any value from OBP or Slugging% because i have never know a good benchmark number (such as .300 batting average) to give myself a basis for comparison. To try to solve my problem I sort of cross referenced those 2 stats with batting average bench marks i know and counted the number of players in the league that reach those benchmark (ex.10 people batted .322 or better, 50-.300, 100 .275) then i arranged the list by those 2 stats and counted down that many players and pulled the OBP and the Slugging. These are the numbers i got for benchmarks. OBP: top 10-.400, 50-367, 100-.342 and SLG: 10-.550, 50-.489, 100-.425. Do those numbers seem like reasonable benchmarks to go by in determining the value of those 2 stats. I hope this made sense.
I think looking at the top 10 or 50 guys in a year, or the top 10% or 25% in a year, or even over a two- or three-year period, are all good ways of establishing benchmarks for yourself.
Hey, Keith. I'm reading The Risk Pool by Richard Russo. A little episodic, but otherwise good stuff. You fond of any of his work?
Huge. Loved Empire Falls, and liked Nobody's Fool. I think I have four of his books in the queue, which is now about 40 books deep, which means I need to figure this Ulysses problem out quickly.
Same question as Jay from Seattle, just now for Madison Bumgarner.
Definitely concerned about the velo drop.
In regards to draft and FA, remember the 1996 loophole, those players got pretty big deals, and who ended up being the best of the bunch Travis Lee? ouch. All teams will pay for premier talents? But do you really think that the Nats would get Strasburg for $25-30 million if the Angels (a closer to home option) or the Yankees/Sox were in the mix?
Exactly, the volatility around amateur players will either hold bonuses down or result in a lot of teams wasting money. Strasburg was a once-in-a-decade talent. He's not the barometer. If you're that concerned about parity, what about a right-of-first refusal draft? You don't get the exclusive rights to the player, but you get the right to match his best offer on the market. I haven't thought about this before ... the last 20 seconds. But it answers your specific concern.
Can you tell me anything about Paul Carlixte? Can't find anything on him. You're not an idiot. LOL.
Only what I had in the Rumor Central post - soft hands, quick bat, athletic kid - from a source who has seen him play, which I haven't. Talked to another international guy and said KC is going to sign Carlixte, and he said, "Which one, Wilson or Orlando?" Always a good sign for a guy with an age or identity "irregularity."
Purchased the board game Ticket to Ride - great game for all ages! Thanks for your breakdowns at the dish!Who are the Cardinals going to add to SP staff?
Only a late-offseason bargain, if anything - although I should add the caveat that rumors are not my beat. Agreed on ToR. Best intro or gateway game for people looking to get into German-style games.
Buster Posey or Matt weiters
Did I answer this already? Wieters.
What do you make of the MLBPA calling out the Marlins? Do you think they are pocketing money or is it going to other areas like the draft and player development? Does the MLBPA care about those areas or just MLB payroll?
I think they were pocketing it - it is hard, if not impossible, to spend that kind of money in scouting and PD. I also think this was the union's warning shot to other clubs, picking the most extreme (lowest payroll) example: Don't mess with us.
keep on readong james joyce Ulysses- read it with a guide- a chapter of a guide- a chapter of Ulysses- It is well worth it
I picked up Gifford's on the recommendation of a reader over on the dish. It's helping, but there are so many notes it's distracting. And, really, "Jampuff: A puff pastry filled with jam." Thanks, Giff. I really needed the help on that one.
Best player you ever seen? Albert or Bonds 2000-2004?
Best overall player? Peak A-Rod. Best power is Bonds - he put on a BP show in Toronto in '03 that was unbelievable. Best pure hitter ... probably Pujols.
Keith, love your chats, baseball, cooking, books, with a big helping of sarcasm. Funny stuff. Who do you like better longterm Price or Brett Anderson?
I'm leaning Anderson, but I do still believe in Price.
Jacob Turner or Rick Porcello
Porcello. You're comparing a top-five-in-his-draft (quality-wise) guy who is already in the majors and doing well to a top-ten-in-the-draft guy who's in Z-ball.
When will ESPN give you your own podcast?
I am pushing for a draft podcast starting next month. Feel free to let ESPN know if you'd like one.
A-Rod a first ballot HoF-er for you? Will you have a vote by the time he's eligible?
Yes. Assuming he plays through 2013, yes.
Not to turn this into the Jay Jackson hour, but what does he project as? #2?
2 or 3. Or an ace reliever.
Is Colby Rasmus a future all star?
Yes. Many times.
Should Rangers fans be concerned about Justin Smoak's pronounced platoon splits in the minors (.394/.520/.613 vs RHP, .196/.268/.314 vs LHP)?
No. It's an outlier/small sample.
Keith, am I nuts to think the Red Sox offense should be very good in 2010? In 2009, the RS were 2nd in OBP, SLG & OPS and third in runs. Offensively, I think Lowell v Beltre is a wash and the upgrades (Scutaro and a full season of V Mart) should offset the net loss of Bay v. Cameron. All in all, isn't it reasonable to think the Sox's 2010 production will approx 2009 levels?
How about "better than widely believed?" We're all harping on their big expected RA improvement, but I don't think they're in the tank in RS.
Worst player you have ever seen? Adam Eaton maybe?
In the big leagues? He's probably the worst pitcher I've seen. Jorge Sosa was pretty awful, although he had stuff. Yuniesky is probably the worst everyday player. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone from '02-03 when I started with Toronto. That was a lifetime ago.
A. Escobar Or S. Castro
What do you think the cardinals need to do about 3rd base?
Hey! I'm fine with giving Freese the job in baseball terms, although the DUI is a pretty significant concern. The FA 3b crop isn't that appealing.
Avila or Flowers?
Avila can catch, but Flowers has more bat.
Not liking Escobar's bat?
He doesn't walk and isn't going to hit for power. Castro's bat is special.
Do you play Agricola or Puerto Rico? They're the best under two hour Eurogames?
PR yes, own it, only played twice. Still haven't played Agricola.
Carlos Santana for real? Can you see him as a Top 10 MLB catcher for 2011?
Yes. Leaning yes.
Can we get rid of the whole "first ballot" Hall of Famer thing? It sounds like a nice distinction and all, but if everyone voted that way, then players who weren't slam dunks would be off the ballot after one year.
It doesn't exist. There is no such thing as a first-ballot Hall of Famer or a unanimous Hall of Famer - you're in, or you're not. The plaques are all identical. Writers who refuse to vote for first-timers should lose their votes for arbitrarily making up their own rules.
What's up Klaw? Just saw your Top 40 Songs of the 200's list and I like it (for the most part). I do think you needed to include "The Importance Of being Idle" and "Falling Down" by Oasis. Judging by which British bands you like, I'm not surprised Oasis isn't on there, but you can't deny that they have been the biggest British band since the Beatles.
Loved Oasis through their third album. After that they kept pumping out stale remakes of their earlier hits.
Hey KLaw, I have been digging through your blog and absolutely love it! My question: what is your favorite plantain dish? I have been trying to work on new things in the kitchen and I want to try out some different dishes with plantains, but all anyone ever recommends to me are tostones. Any other suggestions? Prefer them green, dark brown, or in between?
Maduros - but I've never cooked them. Don't see many decent plantains in grocery stores up here.
Because when you take the bus... you GET there.
On the serious 2 1/2% tip: the second letter of the English alphabet is B. Think about it.
Would you mind posting your link to the top 40 songs of the aughts, please? Do you mind my asking how your musical tastes run? You've not really mentioned this before in previous chats over the last year or so.
http://meadowparty.com/blog/?p=1144 - should give you a decent sense of my tastes, actually.
As of today, who is your prediction for the #1 pick in the 2011 draft? Gerritt Cole? Anthony Rendon? Someone else?
Rendon more likely than Cole, certainly. Ton of guys in that draft - Gray, Armstrong, Meyer, etc.
Keith...I'm about to finish "The Magicians" which was picked up partly because of your recommendation. I noticed you liked "Codex" as well, which has me leaning towards picking that up too. How would you compare the two?
Magicians was better. Codex was solid for its style, Magicians was brilliant for any style.
Do you think Mulder can contribute at a big-league level in 2010?
Keith,Good luck with Ulysses. I forced myself to finish and I can tell you it doesn't get any better.Can you elaborate on your issue with Win Shares? You used a word in a previous chat that I had never heard of.
It's more than one issue, but the use of team wins as a starting point is a problem, and the ridiculous use of constants without any evident derivation caused me to put the book down before I got through the entire explanation. You can't just divide everything by 2.4856109132 because it makes the final numbers look purty.
Zach Cox or Yordy Cabrera?
I'd probably take Cox, but could easily go the other way by June.
Will Harper be in the 2011 draft? Or is he back to 2012?
2010. He's in junior college.
CUBBIESSS Better Jackson.... Jay or Brett???
I say Jay. I think the Cubs would say Brett.
No Radiohead while Coldplay makes the list. Stone cold, Klaw, stone cold.As consolation, will you reveal whether or not Castro tops your SS list?
I haven't ranked them all yet, but I'm very high on Castro and if he's not the top ss he'll be close. I loved Radiohead through OK Computer, but their second act hasn't done it for me.
Whose are falls off first under Dusty's watch? Chapman or Cueto?
What would be considered a successful season this year for Austin Jackson?
I'd settle for more contact and better pitch recognition.
Acquiesce was Oasis' best song........and that was a B-side. How big will Jeter's extension be? Your best guesstimate, please...
That is a great song. I'm not sure how many years - they'll overpay him per year, but I think they'll draw a line on the length of the deal at maybe 4 years.
Thoughts on expansion as a significant reason behind drastic changes in offensive output from one season to the next?
Absolutely. Quick, one-time dilution of pitching.
please check out Athlete. Given your Klaw music list, I think you'll really dig them
Re: "Ulysses"...if people have to read a companion guide to follow a novel, then the writer has failed to communicate his or her ideas. In other words, Joyce sucks.
I don't disagree, but at the same time, so many later novels reference Ulysses in some way that I feel the need to read it for the sake of future reading. I've had Mrs. Dalloway on the shelf for two years, waiting for myself to have time/patience for Ulysses first.
Domonic Brown = Cliff Floyd?
More athletic. Floyd's career path was totally stunted by Todd Hundley, though.
klaw, can you compare Adam Lind and Travis Snider? thanks!
Snider has more upside and will play a position. He's not a slug. Lind's best position is "hitter."
I've got the simple, clean solution. No one who started their careers between 1989 and 2007 is eligible for the HOF. That way, we can keep things pure by keeping the cheaters out. Simple. Elegant.
Simple. Elegant. Inane.
Why so much critical acclaim for Joyce then? Some kind of groupthink, or are there people out there smarter than me (seems unlikely)?
What he did was (may have been) brilliant. But it's not accessible. A book can be hard but accessible, but this isn't.
Is Billinglsey going to turn it around this year?
I wish I knew.
OK, time to get back to the phones. Thanks for all the questions - just 14 days left till the top 100.
(Exit, pursued by a bear.)