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June 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

I wonder what we're going to talk about.

Mike B. (Chippewa Lake, OH)

If MLB revises history and gives Galarrage the perfect game, would that more or less reduce the game to a kids soccer game in which the parents tell the kids not to worry about the score? To me, the perfect game would have as much merit.

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

Exactly. Do we really want any authority outside of the game to be able to go back, after the fact, and alter or tweak the results to suit popular sentiment? Why not just make it like American Idol and have each game result up for a vote?

Mitchum (Boulder)

Klaw - I think Joyce should be fired, not because he "missed" one call, but because the only way he made that call was a predetermined decision to call any close play in Cleveland's favor and hope it was right so that we would all be talking about him making the right call in that big situation. Officials trying to make themselves the story has become an epidemic in sports, it has already ruined the NBA for a lot of people and I don't want it to spread to baseball too. Joyce got what he wanted - he became the story of the game- now he should pay the price and see if it was worth it. Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

I think this is wildly ignorant of the situation and Joyce's history as an ump. If Joe West had done this, I'd say you have a point, but this sentiment is beyond unfair - it's completely unsupported by everything Joyce did before AND after the blown call.

Mike (Boston)

I'm sure you will be getting a million questions regarding the blown call last night but is there any chance that MLB can or will reverse the call and give Galarraga the perfect game that he deserves? The commisioner should have a chance to be able to right a wrong like this.

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

No, he shouldn't, because...

Bill (Washington, DC)

Keith, do you see the Commissioner overturning yesterday's call and awarding Armando Galarraga a perfect game? My problem with making such a decision - however correct it may be - would be where does baseball draw the line. For instance, you could make an argument that the MLB should also overturn the Jeffrey Maier Orioles-Yankees incident from the mid-90s and similar "unfair" calls.

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

... of that.

Oden (Motown)

I've a theory--I think the controversy around last night's game will give Galarraga fame beyond that of say Dallas Braden. Many baseball fans can tell you Haddix had the 12 perfect innings, even if he didn't throw one of the twenty perfect games. Fewer could tell you Jim Bunning had one of the twenty. What do you think?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Love this point. Wish I'd thought of it. 20 pitchers have thrown perfect games - how many can you name? How many from before you were born? I could have named Haddix - or Floyd Bevens, if you want to extend this - but when I tried the perfect games quiz on sporcle I got fewer than half of the ones from before I was born.

mike in MN (mn)

The fascinating thing to me is that people are more upset over a call that didn't effect the outcome of a game, than they are over the calls last post-season, or the call in the Twins' game last night. A perfect game or not, the outcome is what matters most, yet the stink over this is much larger than the stink over calls that effect who wins.

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

Also very true. The Walk Like a Sabermetrician blog has an excellent post up on this very subject. "It was a perfect game!" is not a counterargument. More important calls are blown every October, yet there's more hue and cry over this than there was over Eric Gregg's NLCS-altering strike zone.

Ben (Leland Grove)

Thoughts on Bryce Harper's ejection last night? He was clearly in the wrong by making a line in the dirt, but shouldn't there have been some sort of warning from the ump?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Speaking of umps trying to make spectacles of themselves ... that's how that one looked to me. Wanted to put the 17-yo phenom in his place, perhaps? The ejection was pretty quick.

Matt (Tampa)

Is the college kid with the hit streak a legit prospect. I know it's an inferior conference, but that many games in a row with a hit is still impressive.

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Not really - and he's not eligible till '11.

Jason (St Louis)

Had he gotten a perfect game, how crazy would that have been to have 3 perfect games at this point in one season?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

It would be crazier if there had been 21 perfect games evenly spaced throughout history. Don't be fooled by randomness.

Shawn (CT)

Can we please focus on the REAL story from yesterday: Ken Griffey Jr. and his amazing career? Please? It is a shame that such a day is being overshadowed by something so negative.

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

I could argue that yesterday was the day that Junior finally paid the reality bill that was about 16 months past due. Maybe Griffey gets away with less scrutiny because of the Imperfecto.

Jesse (Las Vegas)

What is your take on Kolbrin Vitek? Why is he being looked at in the top 10?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

He's being looked at that high because he's one of the best college position player-athletes - it's a bad draft for college bats and most of them project to corners rather than the middle of the field. Vitek is athletic with a chance to be a good centerfielder ... but there are some major concerns, for me at least. He's a guaranteed position change. He's hit well but not incredibly so in a bad conference. And we really have no wood bat looks - he played in a tiny wood-bat league last summer that is scarcely scouted and where the pitching isn't close to what a guy faces on the Cape. There's a lot of risk there for me.

Tim (Nutley, NJ)

Klaw,I saw your post about the Mets considering Matt Harvey. Who do you think the Mets should be considering with their pick?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

Harvey makes some sense to me as a real upside play - I see a lot of risk, but a lot of reward, since he's got a big fastball, generates groundballs, and has had a good breaking ball in the past (but not this year). A team like the Mets, given their market and payroll, should be shooting for stars in the draft, not average everyday guys, and Harvey has as much star potential as anyone they're likely to get there, albeit with more risk than guys like Cox or Workman.

Matt (NJ)

Why is Austin Wilson projected as a late first rounder? I know he's a strong Stanford lean, but with AROD comparison and having the notoriety of being one of the best prep hitters why wouldn't a team take a chance on him a little earlier, say mid first round?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

Because he hasn't really hit this spring or last summer. He has tools, but hasn't had the wow performance.

Bill (Detroit)

I don't understand you baseball purist talking about reversing the call as starting some sort of slippery slope reversal of past calls. This was a PERFECT GAME! I think a one time exception should be made. Don't punish Galarraga just because an umpire messed up on a call that if anything should err in his favor if it's close.

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

The umpires should err in favor of the guy doing something historic? Really? Is that in the rulebook? (Not that the umps follow the rule book anyway; cf. zone, The strike.)

JAYPERS (IL)

Your thoughts on Boras being vocal about Harper not remaining a catcher once he turns pro?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

If I'm the Nats, I want him to catch, but I understand Boras' POV. Moving him to third makes him less likely to get hurt and speeds his time to the majors.

Lin ((Walnut, CA))

Keith, if Choice and Cox are gone, do you think the A's pick 3B Yordy Cabrera? Especially with Covey's struggles.

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

No, they'd take Justin O'Conner in that situation. I don't think they're on Cox, either.

Lewis (Spokane, WA)

First assignment and ETA to MLB for Harper (assuming he signs)?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

Instructs this fall and then probably low-A next April, although I'd be stoked if they sent him to the Arizona Fall League.

Eric (LA)

It seems ridiculous to hear radio and TV people saying that these perfect games/no-hitters CLEARLY mean that steroids are out of the sport. Are they not aware pitchers used them just as often?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

They're telling you, subconsciously, to change the station, because that assertion is flawed on so many levels that I'd have to spend the rest of the chat tearing it apart.

Dennis (Chicago)

Keith, where is Mike Foltynewicz likely to go in the draft? How high would justify skipping Texas for pro ball?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Sandwich/second round - but the entire class of prep RHP is sliding as teams flee to the (perceived) safety of college players.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Bill from Detroit: A one time exception? Oh really? Until the next "one time exception", that is.

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Yes. And - repeating my tweet from last night - what if it had been the 26th out? The 25th?

Byron (Toledo)

Thanks for only posting pro-revision questions from people with blatant factual errors. It must be exhausting wading through all the people making cogent points.

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

I'll let you know if I find one, sparky.

Allyson (Dallas)

Any chance the Rangers take one of the Texas HS arms, Lee or Jenkins, at 22? Which one has a higher upside in your opinion?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Jenkins has more upside for me and I think he's more likely to be picked in the first round. Lee feels like a late signability pick who might shock everyone on August 14th by signing.

Dave (Detroit)

Keith, what if dinosaurs were still alive? We can play what if games all night. The fact is that Armando G. pitched a perfect game and should be recognized for that.

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

You're right. There's been a terrible lack of recognition of Galarraga in the last 14 hours.

Rielly (Richmond)

What do you expect from Jarrett Parker as a pro, the #'s from last year's Cape Cod League, the #'s he put up as a sophmore, or somewhere in between?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

His current swing and approach make him a non-big leaguer to me. He's got a ton of changes to make if he's going to hit with wood.

Bill (Toronto)

What kind of upside does Christian Colon have? Can he stick at SS and have 20 HR power down the road?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Plus defender who hits for average and a little less power than you're projecting. Very solid, safe pick.

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

By the way, the main knock on Colon in HS was that he couldn't run, and therefore wouldn't stay at short. Now he's a college junior, primed to make 2-3x what he wanted in high school, and everyone knows he's staying at short. I hear the same criticism of Marcus Littlewood - that he's a 40 runner (Colon was more of a 30) and won't stay at short. Whatever you say.

Eamon (DC)

Klaw, MLB does have precedent to go back and make this a perfect game: the George Brett home run game. MLB realized that a rule had been incorrectly enforced, went back, allowed the home run and played the game out from there. Similar thing here, except that if the rules were correctly applied, the game is over, and the 28th out never happens. That said, I'm not for doing this on a regular basis, but this was the final out. If it happens in the 7th, or even with 1 out in the 9th, I'd let the game stand, but as this is the final out, you don't have to replay anything, and you don't have to make any assumptions on how the proceding at bats would have played out. It's a simple solution to a unique (so far) event.

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

Not the same thing. In the pine tar game, a rule was incorrectly applied - not a safe/out or ball/strike judgment call, but a flat-out misuse of a rule. I also wouldn't call any part of that pine tar fiasco a shining moment for baseball. (BTW, the culprit-ump in that incident? Tim McClelland, Mr. "I felt in my heart" from last October. Accountability FTW!)

Andy Mcphail (Baldwin)

Great info Keith as always if you were me who do you take with the third pick in the draft... Tallion or Machado

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Machado if he's there, otherwise Taillon over anyone else.

Brian (richmond, VA)

Both teams have a Hit in the Cleveland vs Detroit game no worries of a blown call for the Tigs again. Any word on how the Detroit fans treated Joyce before the game?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

Given how he comported himself after the game, they should treat him with respect. He couldn't have handled it any better.

Jason (St Louis)

I've noticed J Paxton isn't in mock 2.0. Would he be a steal in the sandwich round? I'd love to see the Cards grab him.

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

He'd be a solid pick in the late first or sandwich. He hasn't blown anyone away this spring, so I don't see him going in the top 20 right now.

Jason (NJ)

What are your thoughts on the Mets considering Harvey at #7? Another Brad Holt?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Holt was/is a one-pitch guy. Harvey had a good CB in HS, now has a good CH but has lost the CB to some extent. Not the same guy at all.

Brad (NJ)

KLAW, has your opinion of Smoak changed? Is he still a young Teixeira capable of .300 35-40HR seasons consistently? Is this just a normal adjustment to major league pitching ala Longoria, or can he just not cut it at the big league level? I know small sample and low BABIP, but at some point it is what it is. Thanks

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

So, you know it's a small sample and that his BABIP is flukishly low, but you're worried anyway in the face of your own reason? Have you tried therapy?

Bill (Detroit)

But it wasn't the 26th out- it was the 27th! That's why an exception should be made. The game was over if the correct call had been made.

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

There's no rule whatsoever allowing the Commissioner or anyone else to overturn an incorrect judgment call on the 27th out of the game. If you want to make such a rule - I don't, but if you do - then you can't apply it ex post facto to last night's blunder. That's an even bigger error than just reversing a call in a completed game.

Byron (Toledo)

Separate but related issue: what's your take on having Joyce behind the plate for today's game? I certainly don't expect him to be biased against the Tigers, but isn't it reasonable to expect he might favor them a bit, even unconsciously? And isn't it just cruel to stick him back there today?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

Put him back on the horse? You can't just have him hide from the job. At some point he's going to have to make another tight call at 1b - might as well get him back out there.

Nel (NYC)

Klaw,For those in favor of overturning the call, should the commish also overturn double play rulings where the 2B never touches the bag and a man on third would have scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth? Those calls actually affect the outcome of games not individual feats. Thanks

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

Something else I don't understand - some fans are in favor of reversing a call that doesn't affect the outcome of a game. In other words, you can reverse trivial calls, but not critical calls. That seems backwards to me - not that I favor reversing any call, but the ones to get right are the ones that impact game outcomes, not individual outcomes.

Adam (Atlanta)

Have you seen Deck McGuire pitch in person? Is he anything more than a middle of the rotation starter?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Yes - check the draft blog from May 21st. He's a number 3 or 4 for me. I've had scouts talk to me about his slider being above-average, but it was absolutely below the day I saw him.

Shawn (DC)

Lost in this whole missed call and perfect game debate is how Armando Galarraga has handled this situation. He never yelled or confronted Joyce, in fact, after the game he forgave him and even hugged him. Talk about classy.

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Very.

Brian (Orlando)

Keith, in your evaluation of Manny Machado, you indicate that he has a 70 arm. Are there any current non-pitchers with 75 or 80 arms? I'm guessing Ankiel has to be close. Any ex-players who clearly met this standard? Thanks for the chat.

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Vlad at his peak. Shin-Soo Choo, at least before the surgery - he was up to 95 as an amateur pitcher.

Mark (Madison, WI)

So, obviously you're not in favor of overturning this call (or future missed calls) .... but, what about using this call to completely usher in instant replay into baseball. I think for the umpire's sakes if nothing else, there should be replay. It's a bit rediculous to allow all of the fans to watch a replay over and over of a missed call, and then not let the umpire have the same tool at his disposal.

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Fix the umpiring first. Don't put a band-aid on a compound fracture.

Todd (Philly)

Can't we just tag the game "the most perfect game ever pitched" by citing there were technically 28 outs performed without a hit or walk (giving Galarraga due in a unique manner), and let the Commissioner use this opportunity to review implementation for additional replay? I think things happen for a reason...

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

Actually, Haddix's effort (36 up, 36 down) probably deserves that moniker, if anyone does.

Henry T (Sausalito, CA)

Has A.J Cole's stock fallen to the point where he could fall out of the first round?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

His stock hasn't fallen much, but he's expected to be an over-slot guy, and that may push him out of the round - but there's still a good chance he'll get first-round money.

Mike (Oakland, CA)

Hey Keith, hope all is well. There seems to be a Bay Area media frenzy of late to defend Brian Sabean. One particularly erudite and senior member of the Bay Area media says that he is not accountable for decision made "over his pay grade". Am I wrong to assume that not planning for life post-Barry, ignoring position players for roughly a decade (the time between Arturo McDowell and, sigh, Wendell Fairly), institutional ignorance of anything remotely related to pitch selectivity, and bidding against yourself for Barry Zito are all NOT his fault? And if so, then what exactly is his job?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

I haven't seen these articles, but there's a healthy stack of indefensible decisions on Sabean's resume. If ownership isn't willing to give him the authority to avoid these bad decisions, then they need to hire someone to whom they WILL give that authority. Because Aaron Rowand is even worse than I said he was when they gave him that deal.

kevin (maryland)

I'm not sure that I agree that a blown call on a perfect game is less important than a blown call that affects the outcome of a regular season game. Winning isn't the only thing that I want to see when I go to the ballpark. Seeing great plays and historic performances makes me just as happy, maybe happier.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I don't get the argument that what Galarraga did last night wasn't historic. It wasn't a "perfect game," but it was still historic.

Max (New Brunswick)

Hey Keith, I'm really hoping the Jays pick Whitson @ 11. Though I'm a little concerned that they may pass him over (if he in fact gets to them). Is Toronto now leaning more towards a bat for their 1st pick?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I'm told it's unlikely they'll take a prep arm at 11, although not completely out of the question.

Philip (Huntsville)

Are you going to do a chat during the 1st round of the draft so we can get your take as it happens or will you be on TV?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Current plan has me chatting Monday afternoon, then Jason & I will live blog the first round and sandwich, with me jumping in and out of the ESPNEWS studio during that time. I may do some post-draft TV that evening, and I'll write up a first-day review with Jason's help. Then I'll chat live during day two on Tuesday.

Bob (Detroit)

Another bad thing is that the blown call overshadowed what could have been the best catch of the year by Austin Jackson in the 9th inning.

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Which is part of why I think people miss the point on perfect games ... why does the pitcher get 100% of the credit? The defense has a tremendous amount to do with it. I mentioned this on the radio somewhere in the last 24 hours: Is it possible that the rise in perfect/near-perfect games is a function of increased emphasis on acquiring and playing fielders with above-average range? That, to me, is the best counterargument to my view that this is just random.

Brian (richmond, VA)

If this can happen; "In 1991, a panel headed by then-commissioner Fay Vincent took a look at the record book and decided to throw out 50 no-hitters for various reasons." Why can they not give someone a perfect game. There is already a standard in place/

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

Not even remotely similar. They just changed the classification. No box scores were altered.

Shraga (Jerusalem)

I've been watching baseball for 28 years, and that was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen. I was physically in tears for the kid. And yes, MLB should overturn.

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

You were in tears for that? Man, when you watch the actual news, you must want to slit your wrists.

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

I'd like to see an editorial cartoon that shows an oil-drenched seagull talking about the "tragedy" in Detroit last night...

Jason (St Louis)

I'm sorry to keep posting this but who is this Stetson Allie? Ceiling? BTW, loved your quote about the Cards taking a prep pitcher two years in a row. Walt Jocketty would have rather cut off his own foot then do that.

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

I've got a report up on Allie - and over 100 other players. Probably the second-best arm strength among HS pitchers this year.

Stephen S (East Greebush, NY)

Keith, I don't want to misquote you but I seem to recall your being pretty dismissive of Ike Davis shortly after he came up. Has that opinion changed any? Thanks for the chat! (P.S. - Wodehouse is my favorite author!)

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

"Dismissive" seems strong - I had the guy in my top 100 in January. What he's done so far hasn't changed my opinion of him. I certainly don't expect him to continue to show a pronounced reverse platoon split.

Steve (VA)

Why doesn't the Detroit official scorekeeper go back and just classify that hit as an error? Technically, there was an error. That's about the only loophole left to consider. Stupid? Yes. Legal? Probably.

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

No. Another terrible idea. I see this and I wonder what's wrong with you people. You just throw out the rules when it's convenient?

Chris (Minny)

"the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen" -- more heartbreaking than Nick Adenhart's death?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Or Mike Coolbaugh? Really?

Manuleito (Tijuana)

Who is the best fit for the Padres at #9" Grandal, Choice, Whitson, Colon? Muchas Gracias Carnal

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

I'm a big Whitson fan - I'd probably take him of those four.

Jimmy (NYC, NY)

[Updated at 12:36 p.m.] Michigan Governor's has thrown her weight behind local fans in trying to get Detroit Tiger's pitcher Armando Galarraga the perfect game many feel he deserves.Governor Jennifer Granholm has issued a proclamation declaring Galarraga did pitch a perfect game, CNN affiliate WXYZ reported.Apparently all of Michigan's economic woes have been solved and the Governor can focus on what's really important.

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Your tax dollars at work.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Keith, referencing your Mike & Mike appearance - would Travis Wood or Yonder Alonso be enough of an "impact prospect" to get Cliff Lee for 3 months? How bout both of them?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Alonso's wrist injury seems to be dragging down his performance - I don't think he's the centerpiece of any deal this summer.

Noonan (Philly)

Where do you stand on replay?

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

I hate seeing that used as a cover/solution for the lack of accountability in umpiring. There's no reward for doing it well, no disincentive for guys who do it poorly. This outrage glosses over the fact that calls are blown every night. Unless you intend to use replay 20+ times a game, fix the umpiring first, please.

John (New York)

Keith:I've read reports that H.S. OF Reggie Golden has shot up draft boards where he might be able to sneak into the first round. Any chance the Yankees take him with their first pick?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

I've written that. That's a seriously raw HS athlete, more raw than what the Yanks typically go after.

Jeff (Ohio)

If the Indians take Pomeranz at #5, where would he rate relative to White, Knapp, and Hagadone?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Ahead, ahead, and if Hagadone is (as I've said) a reliever long-term, ahead.

Jason (St Louis)

So now is about the time you start hearing real concerns about signability. Is AJ Cole the only one that may drop because of this? What are you hearing?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

I've heard a slew of numbers and general demands. Grandal asking for "Buster Posey money." Sean Coyle asking for mid-first round money. AJ Vanegas asking for a figure that makes him completely unsignable. Players throw out huge numbers now, see how teams react, and then adjust, usually on draft day.

Matt (NYC)

How does one, in your opinion, fix umpiring?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Accountability. Grade umpires, set incentives for good performance, terminate umpires who consistently perform poorly (or who try to make themselves the center of attention...). And get the best-performing umps in the postseason.

Rob (LA)

Can you say something about Dodgers' farmhand Jerry Sands? He's having a huge season in A-Ball but he's 23 or 24 years old. Can he make it to the bigs?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

He's in low-A. Way too old for his stats to have any meaning whatsoever.

Tim (Charlotte, NC)

In my view, this IS a special case. While team D is hugely important, we talk about *pitchers* throwing a perfecto, not teams. There is no cost to Cleveland, no cost to Joyce (if he hadn't fessed up, I would say let the result stand). It is entirely relevant that this was the final out and that the very next guy was out. It isn't even a sympathy vote for the pitcher -- this is just righting an egregious, incontrovertible wrong. The kid deserves his name in the record books. All of your other "what if" worries about precedent are relevant in the context of a zero-sum game (e.g., Jeffrey Maier), which this is not. Kid gets perfecto, no one is hurt.

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

In my view, this is not a special case. Wow, that's nice and clear, isn't it?

Dan (NYC)

Umpiring is just as good or bad as it always has been. it's that technology has gotten better and the media is a lot bigger. No?

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Sure - but the technology is also there now for increasing accountability, and perhaps training as well. Use it for prevention before you use it for cure.

Danny (St Louis)

Hi Keith. Mike Moustakas is having a phenomenal season so far after two somewhat iffy years. The bat seems there, but does he stay at 3B long term? With the Alex Gordon Farce it seems open for him if he can stcick.

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

I don't think that's his ultimate position, but it's looking like his bat will play anywhere on the diamond, which is a big step forward from where he was last year.

James (Tampa, FL)

After the injuries to Grady Sizemore these past years and his lackluster play this year, is there legitimate concerns Sizemore may be done?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

Done is a stretch, but the first step is moving him out of CF.

Adam (Santa Barbara)

a hint: your umpiring fixes would get more attention if they were accompanied by exclamation marks and a few sentences about how the future of the game depends on it and how it's all a big disgrace.

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

I should have theoatmeal draw it up with one of those cartoon guys with his mouth wide open.

Armando (Detroit)

Accountability eh? Ok. So, fire Joyce? Is that your answer? What should be done to Joyce in your opinion. Don't tell me he feels bad enough already either.

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

I didn't say anything about firing Joyce - nice use of a straw man. Good and bad calls should be used to evaluate umpiring performance. That was a bad call, so it would count against him.

Nate (Green Bay)

In a recent BA.com post, Callis called Harper the "best power-hitting prospect in the history of the draft." Would you agree with this, and if not, who is?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

I'll defer to Jim. He's been doing this way longer than I have, and in my experience I don't have a name to argue in Harper's stead.

Hector (LA)

Do you seriously think umpiring has been that bad just because of a couple bad calls that stand out? That's called selection bias.

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

I watch a lot of games for a living and see bad calls all the time that don't earn this level of outrage or even mention. Try again.

Kirk (Modesto, CA)

Shouldn't the people that insist on the "human element" also oppose asking for help on checked swings and any conferencing of umpires to get the call right? Or is consistency just the hobgoblin of small minds?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

A good point.

Joel (Memphis)

Thanks for the chats, Keith. I know you tend to value metrics and measurables over so-called intangibles ("leadership ability," "clutch" performance, etc.) in your evaluation of a player, and rightly so. Do you ever see a player with useful qualities that can't necessarily be shown on paper?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

If the qualities are useful, they should show up in his performance somewhere, right? I think there are intangible things that matter, like command, effort level, and instincts, but they affect performance.

Chris (NYC)

"Award umpires incentives for good performance". Shouldn't they already be trying to good? Why give these guys extra to do what they should be doing in the first place?

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

It's true in any line of work, or even life. I just heard a clip on the local news radio station (WBZ) yesterday about how overweight employees lost more weight when they received some financial incentive to do so, but that the weight came back when the incentives stopped - even though you'd think that once the hardest part (losing the weight) was over, they'd be able to keep it off and motivated to do so by improved energy, health, life expectancy. People respond to incentives. It would be a better world if more of the population realized that.

John (LA)

How do we really know that the umps are worse than ever compared to 20 or 30 years ago? We now can scrutinize every call since we see every game in HD with multiple camera angles and replays.

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

We don't know that, and I'm not arguing that. Thirty years ago I was in elementary school, so I certainly don't have the memories to justify such a statement.

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Alexander from Sikandar: I go to games in person, usually sitting behind the plate.

Rob (Nutley, NJ)

Hi Klaw, is this the kind of stuff that everyone thought Phil Hughes had coming out of the minors. Do you think he can keep this up, he seems that he is mainly a fastball pitcher, with a lot of cutters and a few curves sprinkled in.

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

This isn't the stuff he had coming out of the minors. It's a lot better.

Ryan (Arlington, TX)

Where exactly does power come from? Michael Choice is roughly 6'1 180 and Anthony Rendon is listed at 5'11 180. It seems logically strange that they are such power prospects.

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Hand/wrist/forearm strength and swing path (hip rotation, leverage) are the most important things for me.

John (St Louis)

You should let Byron (Toledo) know that they did offer Joyce the choice to sit out today's game, but it was his decision to get back on the horse and ump.

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Good for him.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Have you been paying attention to the MLB draft? Is Bryce Harper good?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

No. Who?

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

I'll have another projected first round up tomorrow and a final one on Monday morning, plus the aforementioned chats, live blogs, and so on Monday and Tuesday. Thanks for all the questions!