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September 23, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

G (Boston)

It's Thursday. It's 1:00. Work is awful. Bring on a KLaw chat.

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

If you insist.

Kevin (San Diego)

Thoughts on the Kevin Towers hire? Right person for the job?

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

Probably a good place to start. I guess my main objection here is that the D-backs said they were concerned about their farm system and wanted a GM who'd rebuild it ... so they hired a GM whose strength was big league trades (and working with the media) and whose weakness was the draft and the farm system. And by the way, if Towers is going to recreate this supposed bullpen magic of his in Arizona, the first thing he's going to have to do is build a gigantic new stadium in a crevasse, because Chase Field ain't Petco East.

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

None of which is to say that Towers is a bad choice, just that the message is all garbled. They said they wanted a GM who would rebuild the farm system, then hired a different guy.

Douglas (Sadly, Bedford, MA)

Keith, I just moved here from St. Louis and I need to know if there is anywhere within a 10 minute drive of Bedford that is remotely worth eating at. McChickens and side salads are getting old. I hope you made it this far out of Cambridge at some point...

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

I actually liked Flatbread in Bedford.

Andrew (New York)

Thoughts on who the World Series favorite is at this point? Even split between Philadelphia, Minnesota, New York, and Tampa?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

I'd rank Minnesota fourth among those four. The other three are all pretty close.

Dave (NJ)

Are players better off going with whatever swing/throwing motion they've developed naturally, or changing everything to the 'perfect' motion?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

My concern on changing swing or arm mechanics is that the player's muscles/tendons have likely developed around those longtime mechanics, and changing them dramatically to avoid injury risk may in fact create a new injury risk.

Everyone (The World)

Per your article on wins, thank you.

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

You're welcome. Best response to that was when someone asked me on Twitter to comment on a TV analyst's view that wins were the most important stat in Cy Young voting, and suddenly I was being pelted with responses about how pitcher wins were useless. Uh, thanks!

Jason (St Louis)

The Cardinals have to get a young, high ceiling position player in the mix with their line up. Think anything is out there that could be had for Shelby Miller?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

You're looking to trade Shelby Miller?

The Common Man (Parts unknown)

Do you buy the notion that rebuilding Jose Bautista's swing turned him into a homer machine? Or is this season a Brady Anderson like fluke?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

The latter.

Jim (Boston)

To show you how much it misses you, it is 70-80 degrees and sunny in Boston for the rest of the week. Who's an easier first-round matchup for the AL East teams, Rangers or Twins?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Call me in January, tough guy. Rangers.

Dave (Somerville, MA)

Based on the music I listen to, The XX is supposed to be right in my wheelhouse and I thought the album was awful. I'm 70% certain the goofs from Evanescence just got really, really high and hit the record button.

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

I'm still trying to figure out how to turn the volume up to a point where I can hear the music.

Steve (NYC)

I don't know what hits me harder - the happiness of FJM day or the sadness when it's over. &$%* the heck.

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

It was outstanding.

Tim (STL)

Klaw,When should we expect Robert Stock to head back to the mound? Do you recall anything about his stuff in college?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Topped 91 for me with a bad delivery. I believe he threw a little harder than that, but it wasn't promising.

RBIs, Cluthiness (TEH FEAR)

Now that you've exposed wins as a fraud, are we next? We've done nothing to you and have a knack for showing up in big situations, so be careful.

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

I'm watching you. Get out of line again and I might have to put the smack down.

Jon (Ithaca)

Keith, have you ever interacted with Jerry DiPoto and what do you think of him as a potential future GM either this year or down the road?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

I've met Jerry and talked to him several times. I think he'd be an excellent choice for a team looking to rebuild its farm system through the draft, and I understand from his (former) colleagues in Arizona that he's a very open-minded guy with a strong interest in using data to increase the effectiveness of his team's scouting efforts. And he's a good guy who people would want to work for.

Andrew (centereach, NY) [via mobile]

I enjoy it when people aruging against the use of advanced metrics say..."why even play the games? why not just let a computer pick the WS winner?"

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

Me too. I believe that fallacy is known as the Argument from Stop Being an Idiot Already.

bang (ottawa, ont.)

Why don't more teams follow the Red Sox drafting strategy? Pick high risk/high reward players and sell out the bucks to sign these players. It seems to me that every time I read about prospects to keep and eye on, they seem to be from the Red Sox organization. Please comment.Bang

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

I don't know - they're not doing anything that other teams couldn't afford to do. Ten million dollars a year on the draft is small potatoes in a baseball ops budget. Just about every team wastes that kind of money on at least one veteran player.

Chris (NY)

I am 97% agreed that wins are useless, but don't you think pitchers pitch differently by game situation? The guy with the 7-0 lead may have his ERA take a hit because he stays around the middle of the plate and avoids the big inning

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

That's a variation on "pitching to the score," which has been studied (I know Joe Sheehan did a big piece on Jack Morris) and has never panned out. Besides, your guy with the 7-0 lead may give up more home runs (maybe two on a bad day), but gives up fewer walks, and the tradeoff in ERA will probably be minimal.

Jeff (Princeton, NJ)

Ruben Amaro Jr. recently said that the Phillies are more of an "old time scouting" front office and that the league is shifting back to this method and away from the numbers. It's been working for them, thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

Well, it does work, and it doesn't. They draft that way, swinging for the fences on almost every pick, and they develop enough of those high-tools picks to make it a successful strategy. On the big league roster, though ... I mean, it's an "old time scouting" strategy to trade for Halladay and Oswalt? Really? Pretty sure the stats guys were down with those deals too.

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

And no, the league is not shifting that way.

Chris (NY)

Thanks klaw. I dug up the link on Sheehan/Morris for anyone interested.http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815

JAYPERS (IL)

Lots of differing opinions as to the ranking of the top 3 prospects in KC's system (Hosmer, Moose, Myers). Could you rank them for us?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Probably Hosmer, Myers, Moustakas. Definitely Hosmer first.

Darren (UK)

Kipnis going crazy in the playoffs..... All-star bat, who knows defense a fair reflection on his potential going forward?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Not an All-Star Bat, and everything I've heard on his defense has it below average but ultimately playable at second. ("Anyone can play second base.") So an above-average bat for 2b who's maybe 5 runs below average on defense? Good player.

Adam (SF)

Long term: Bumgarner or Latos?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Latos.

John (Cincinnati, Oh)

I understand the value of advanced metrics. And here comes the BUT, isn't the goal of batters to score and pitchers to not allow them to? ERA and runs produced pretty much cover this.

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

"Runs produced" is not an individual statistic - it gives full credit for a "run produced" to a hitter who scored it or drove it in but (outside of HR) didn't do the whole thing himself. You're crediting a player with actions that are partly the responsibility of his teammates.

Boose (Louisville, KY)

Votto still your NL MVP?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Last I checked, yes.

September Callups ((Riding the Pine))

Does it bother you at all that september games are played under different roster rules than the rest of the season? So many pundits say these games mean more, and we play them with 40 man rosters? Why not expand the rosters in April instead and have the minors play through september?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Yes, it bothers me - and it's why you often see players have "strong finishes" because they're facing AAA competition too often in September. At the least, just make teams specify 25 players who'd be available for each game, with any extra guys inactive for that particular day.

Tom (Boston)

Baseball is, always has been, and always will be a numbers game. Is your attempt to take the fun away from the game? I see no real point to discrediting statistics..

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Well, a lot of people are afraid of math, or science, or anything they just don't fully understand. We still live in a country where some people voluntarily refuse to vaccinate their kids.

Steve (Milwaukee)

What are your thoughts on Jonathan Singleton? Is he the player we saw in the first half, the second half, or somewhere in the middle?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

Somewhere in the middle. Talented, good swing, good body, seemed to tire early, but even if he hadn't tired he wasn't going to hit .400 all year in the Sally.

The Earth (Space)

I am flat!

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

You're a pale blue dot. Go back to your corner.

Jim (Denver)

Are you going to read "Freedom" soon?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

I need to read The Corrections first.

Jeff (Princeton, NJ)

Follow up: Amaro also said "Here, we believe in scouting heart and head and using our eyes and ears and baseball sense to analyze players. Maybe more than most."So isn't it impossible to deny that "old time scouting" has worked when they're about to go to their 3rd straight World Series? If I'm starting a franchise I want it run by the Phillies and their scouts, not the A's and their computers.

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

The A's are actually run completely by computer, but a dropped semicolon resulted in that terrible offense they ran out there this year. Seriously, that question wouldn't come from Cambridge, MA, or even New Haven, CT.

Matt (Minny)

I like your point about how traditional metrics give credit for things that aren't individually earned to individuals. Newer stats do a fantastic job of accounting for individual contributions. But does that adjustment for individualism do a disservice to the team element of the game? That is, a team is more than the sum of its individual contributions, right? I don't mean this as a knock on advanced metrics, just as an expression of their limits (which most people who utilize them realize exists).

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Depends on your goal. Are we discussing teams or individuals? The context of that article was individual awards, so whether the team is more than the sum of its contributions is beside the point.

russ (utica, ny)

yes because the A's have never developed any talented players. ever, i think.

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

And they don't employ any scouts, either.

Steve (Lincoln)

Do you think Medlen will be able to bounce back from Tommy John? He was shaping up as a solid 3.

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Saw him as a strong bullpen guy pre-surgery. I always assume pitchers will bounce back from TJ, since recovery rates are so high.

Andrew (Durham)

Why do people oversimply the numbers v. scouting argument. I find it dubious that any teams go strictly one or the other. Isn't the point of any large organization researching anything to accumulate all knowledge possible and distill the most useful information from such knowledge? Numbers and scouting reports would just be two variables of the same equation. No point in excluding one or the other. Why the need to oversimply the "battle"

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Because the fabricated conflict makes good fodder for mediocre columns. Most successful teams use both approaches. And whether the Phillies use statistical analysis or not, they seem to employ a lot of players who rate very highly through that lens, including that second baseman and those three starting pitchers.

Jay (Dallas)

WTF happened to Taylor Teagarden? Is it fair to break out the "bust" label yet??

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

Health - can't stay healthy enough when catching every day.

Erich (CT)

Can we put Cito's head on a stake? I can't, for the life of me, understand why he's not playing Arencibia. Since his call up hes played 3 times and started twice at DH. It's ridiculous. Cito wants to "finish .500," and "get Buck 20 homers," before he plays him. He's killing the development of his young guys, like he already did with Snider.

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

Yes, it's ridiculous, and I think it's the job of the GM - or perhaps the President in this case - to step in and say, "You're playing Snider and Arencibia, period. We are here to develop players, not to meet some arbitrary W-L goal."

Cliff B. (Chicago, IL)

For the next 4 years, who performs the best out of Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw, David Price or Brett Anderson?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Tough call. I'd probably take Price, with the understanding that he's going to be facing the toughest competition.

Howie (Seattle)

Keith, (first off thanks for the chats!) how much stock do you typically put into one scouting session you have with a pitcher. Specifically I am speaking about Dellin Betances. How much of a possibility do you think it is that he had an off night when you saw him and he is much closer to his upside than you thought? Of course the answer can be somewhere in the middle of two reports I suppose. Regards.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Two answers to that. One, part of why I look at deliveries and swings is to help me extrapolate from a small sample of at bats or pitches to draw a larger conclusion about long-term potential. Two, I do talk to other scouts all the time, and out of three I talked to about Betances at length, two lined up closely with me - one put a Daniel Cabrera comp on him, both greatly preferred Banuelos - while the other felt that I was light on Betances and he saw more of a #2 starter. Part of learning to evaluate players is separating the tools you see from the performance.

TJ (NYC)

Is Hellboy the Rays #3 starter come 2011? If so who gets the door, Shields, Nieman or Davis?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

I prefer "The Music Man" for Hellickson. Have to be concerned about Niemann's health, no?

Jeremy (DC)

Keith, I've wondered this for a while: what is it about the Marlins organization that seems to provide them with a ROY candidate almost every year? Do they draft well, know when to sell high in trades, invest money in good scouts, etc. Thanks!

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

They play rookies. Playing time is a huge factor in ROY results - it could be the main variable giving Heyward the award this year over Posey.

Rob (Philly)

A lot of people are making a big deal out of Halladay's innings this year, and I agree it is getting up there. But do teams take into account actual pitches thrown instead of innings? If Clayton Kershaw throws 100 pitches in 6 innings and Halladay throws 100 in 8, aren't they equal even though by the end of the year Halladay will have 60 more innings?

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

I'd rather have the 100 in 8, since the pitchers are spread out over more time with more breaks.

Nick (Milwaukee)

As I write this question on Tuesday afternoon, Logan Morrison is sporting a streak of 39 consecutive games reaching base (3 short of year's high). How impressive is this, especially for a 23 year old rookie with all of 49 games under his belt? He has shown limited HR power, but his 2b and 3b so far speaks of some to come, yes?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

I do think there's future power there, and the ability to get on base has even exceeded my high expectations. He's also just a year off a hand injury, and power can often take more than 12 months to return after something like a broken hamate bone or broken metacarpal.

ml (IL)

Keith- Will Josh Vitters ever make an impact in the majors?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

The complete lack of development in his plate discipline is a major concern. I'm inclined to say "no" on the impact question - right now he's headed for a Francoeur-like offensive line.

John (Lexington, KY)

Morrison is also a Twitter champion

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

He is. One of my new favorite follows.

Christiaan (London)

Dear Keith, Madison Bumgarner (MaBum?) has pitched effectively recently. Do you think that his problems with his decreased velocity that he had late last season and early this year are over and that he can fulfill the potential he showed previously? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

I think the ceiling we saw after 2008 is gone; his velo is back part of the way, but now I think you have to factor in the probability that it will disappear again, since we never heard an actual explanation for what happened the first time. More of a solid mid-rotation guy now, rather than a potential ace.

Kevin (NH)

How badly did you want to bang your head against the wall reading those user comments for your top 20 prospects moving forward?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

After the 800th person asking about Chris Johnson I lit my computer on fire.

Jason (St Louis)

Like you, I'm a Top Chef fan. Are you a Hell's Kitchen or Gordon Ramsey fan? I've never been able to get in to his shows.

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares - the BBC version - was tremendous, with more emphasis on food and a lot less on drama and personality conflicts than the contrived US remake.

MRA (Pasadena, California)

To the extent you are still a baseball "fan" what would you like to come out of the Dodgers Divorce?

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

New ownership. It's a flagship franchise for MLB and deserves stable ownership willing to run an appropriate baseball ops budget.

Nils (Stamford)

Feliz going back to the rotation next year? If not, then ever?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

History says "probably not."

nathan (nyc)

KLaw, I find it a little awkward to read that Amaro quote. He has basically traded away 10 of their top prospects developed under the Gillick regime and seems to garner all praise when all he did was cash Gillick's cheque.

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

It's hard to argue with that. The scouting engine that drives that team largely predates Amaro anyway.

Oscar (Los Angeles)

Non baseball related question, I know, but what do you think about the BCS? The "old-school" way teams are ranked are just as asinine as the "old school" folks who defend the old baseball metrics.

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

I think the BCS is a joke. Looking forward to the "Death to the BCS" book coming out next month. But I also think the NCAA has too much power over student athletes, and that those athletes should be compensated for all the money they earn for their schools.

ryan (Indy)

Beachy or Minor?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

Minor.

AA (Atown)

True or False: If Mattingly was just a regular ex player he would have been canned as a hitting catch midway through the year.Instead he has been promoted. As an LA fan, I'm scared...

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

More true than false, I'm afraid.

Steve (Vancouver)

Who is the real Aaron Hill. BABIP of .199 is supressing his numbers for the year but what are reasonable expectations for 2011?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Got too homer-happy - last year was a pleasant fluke, but his game is short to the ball/hard line-drive contact.

James (LA)

In my mind Liriano has been the best pitcher in the AL this year...am I off on that? How does he not win the Cy Young?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Best is a stretch, but top 3 would work. I'd have Felix number one.

Bill (Toronto)

Where you as impressed by Hechavarria's defense as some seem to be? Worst case scenerio is he Johnny Mac?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

Raw ability is there - good hands, good arm strength, good feet. He sidearms his throws, which is somewhere between annoying and dangerous. And he doesn't get after the ball like good infielders do - compare him to Tulowitzki, who isn't half as agile but gets after the ball like his life depends on it. Everything I said about Hechevarria can improve with work and maturity, though, so long-term I'd project him to be a plus to plus-plus defender.

Luke (Saint Paul)

So I take it you do not subscribe to the whole Twins dont have the Ace needed to play in the playoffs theory you hear all over the place.

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

No. They have the ace. They're just not as deep as the Yanks or Rays.

John (Lexington, KY)

What do you prefer for pitcher WAR? FanGraphs? B-R? Or a mixture?

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

Fangraphs.

Wins (I still count in fantasy)

Where can I find your article about me?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

http://klaw.me/bpPTXG

Brian (Minneapolis)

You refer to the Twins lacking the depth necessary to beat Tampa or New York. Is Morneau that depth difference between a legit World Series run and just mere hope?

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

If you're in the playoffs, you have hope. Even a huge first-round mismatch would still give the underdog a 40% chance or more to win the series.

Greg (Philly)

Thome has to be a Hall of Famer, right?

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Yes.

Jeremy (NYC)

"I need to read The Corrections first"Trust me. You don't.

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

It's on the TIME 100, and I'm going to read them all or close to it. So I need to at least tackle it.

Jamie (Indiana)

Keith,I've seen some of your contributions to mentalfloss.com, what is your connection with them?

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

I'm a reader, and it turns out a few of their guys were readers of mine. I think I'm scheduled for a few more pieces this offseason on the topic of boardgames.

Andrew (NYC)

Would you interview for the Mets GM job?

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

Everything I've read indicates that they're more likely to go for GM candidates with experience in the role.

Chris (Alabama)

Halladay is at 241.2 IP this year. He could get two more starts, although the second will likely be a short one if he does. That could easily get him to 250 IP. Then let's say he pitches two games in the NLDS, NLCS, and WS each. Six more starts equals at least 40 more IP. If Halladay throws 290 innings this year, he has to have a subpar (for him) 2011, right?

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

Why?

Brian (Minneapolis)

How far along are you on that Time 100? I just looked over the list, and I have to be thankful I'm just shy of 30. I have 81 to go.

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

86 - but I sort of frontloaded them, so that the last 14 include a lot of long/difficult reads like Gravity's Rainbow, The Recognitions, and the book that has taunted me since I used the Cliffs Notes in AP English 21 years ago: An American Tragedy.

Joel (Quincy, IL)

Keith, your quick wit makes me laugh on Twitter and I believe you're a good scout. What is your take on Shelby Miller? Is he going to be a front-line guy, or is he just another over-hyped prospect from our system?

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

Thanks, although I wouldn't call myself a good scout. I think Miller's an ace, a true #1 who'll end up with two knockout pitches.

Ron (Chicago)

Any truth to the rumors that you are Old Hoss Radbourn?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Absolutely zero. But Hoss tells me I am the most frequent guess. I'm honored.

Mike (Rutland, VT)

Keith,How many more losing seasons for the Pirates? The pitchers are going to take a few years to develop? Best wishes to you and your family in Arizona.

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Thanks. Yeah, it's a couple of years there because the pitching is behind the hitters, and the hitters themselves may be a few years from hitting their strides. Sanchez' injury didn't help - I have to think that pushed him back at least half a year.

jim (rockville md)

I'm curious as to why Washington seems to feel they're better with Espinosa at 2B and Desmond at SS, rather than the other way around. Espinosa's range and approach to the ball seems better, and his arm isn't that far off Desmond's. Is it a case of first-come, first-serve, or do they know more than I do (which is really possible!)Thanks!

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

I agree - Espinosa has always been a plus-glove/light-bat SS, and I think they may be extracting less value from those two guys with Desmond at short.

Don (Lincoln, RI)

Klaw - How would you compare Hechevarria vs Iglesis? Primarily, from a defensive perspective. Thanks!

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Iglesias is more sure. Hechevarria is a better athlete, flashier, more highlight ability.

Michael Choice (Oakland)

Am I a future major league slugger? Am I another Chris Carter?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

I see raw power but trouble with contact and batting average. Given what was on the board for Oakland, though, I don't dislike the pick.

Chris (Alabama)

flank steak on the gas grill - what temp and how long?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

High heat, just a few minutes per side. Don't cook past medium. Slice thinly on the bias.

John (Lexington, KY)

Is O'Dowd's good record of success with young guys canceled out by his refusal to trade downward trending assets until they have lost all of their value? Atkins, Hawpe, Baker, and I'm blanking on the 1B prospect they had a few years ago. Shealy maybe?

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

Koshansky? None of those guys ever had big trade value. Minor league sluggers with defensive questions don't fetch much in trade. Not a fair criticism of O'Dowd. If you want to pick on something, pick on him for retaining Jim Tracy.

Luke (Cerritos, CA)

Fluke or not, Bautista deserves to be in the MVP discussion. He's not a one-trick pony, he's got a 15% walk rate to go along with that ridiculous .350+ ISO. I'm curious why he's not, other than people still not buying what he's done.

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

Because other players have contributed more value, notably Hamilton.

Rick (West Orange, NJ)

Your number 1 prospect Domonic Brown has struggled in the MLB and has an awkward swing. Have you changed your opinion on him?

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

Based on 56 at bats? Seriously?

Mike (PA)

Votto MVP, Doc CY, Heyward ROY... Cabrera MVP, Felix CY, Feliz ROY... what should be.. disagree?

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

Fine with your NL. AL MVP wouldn't be Cabrera for me. Feliz ... AL ROY crop is just not strong and while Feliz wouldn't be my pick, I have a hard time killing that one because there's not some obviously better choice.

Kevin (Boston)

It's like some of these people have never read you before.

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

Every day of my life.

Brian (Long Beach, CA)

After a crummy April, Grant Green has really hit well this year. Has he made any progress with the glove, or is he still going to have to move off SS?

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

Still has work to do, mostly with his feet, but I would not rule out him remaining at shortstop. I hate the idea of moving a guy because we think he has to move, rather than letting his performance over a period of a year or two or more dictate where he plays.

Vince (Hoboken, NJ)

Thoughts on Boardwalk Empire? Will you be watching?

Klaw
  (2:26 PM)

I did. Liked it, was a little disappointed, will keep watching it. Review went up on the dish last night.

Jim Rice (Boston)

Now that you left the east coast, who will you fear in Arizona? Luis Gonzalez?

Klaw
  (2:26 PM)

Those four giant heads the Diamondbacks use in the in-game sideline race. Nightmare city.

Rich (NYC)

Why does Rob Neyer have Ryan Zimmerman third in his MVP vote?

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

As in, why not first or second? Any of those spots seems reasonable to me, although putting him first over Votto represents a degree of faith in defensive numbers that even I, sitting here in my mother's basement*, do not have.

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

* I am not actually in my mother's basement**. My parents still live in NY.

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

** There are no basements in Arizona.

What (huh?) (Where?)

How long does it take you to read a 350 - 400 page book of "moderate" difficulty?

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

Six to seven hours of dedicated reading time if I like it. A year and a half if I don't.

Chris (Alabama)

Any chance you'll get to see Bryce Harper in the AFL this year?

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

Sounds like 50/50.

Jared (Cambridge)

KLaw! How could you leave Cambridge without meeting me at the Hong Kong and punishing some scorpion bowls???

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

My days of scorpion bowls ended a long time ago...

Mik (Denver)

You were at the Rockies game last night, yes? Ubaldo clearly looks like he's tiring. I think the way Tracy has handled him is finally catching up.

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

I have no idea how that happened. First inning, he made one bad pitch, and looked after that like he'd make it a quick night. Well, it was a quick night, but that's not what I meant.

Thom (Across the Pond)

I'm Thom Yorke by the way.

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

Great. Love your work.

Johnny (Seattle)

So Felix has given up a just hr and an infield single, looks like he may lose 1-0 thanks to the hapless M's offense. Do you think his CY candidacy improves or gets buried if the score of this game doesn't change?

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

I asked two voters, Tre Ceratops and Terry Anadon, and both said they can't vote for Felix he just doesn't know how to win.

Roger (CT)

How much do we really know about preventing pitcher injuries and how much is just teams and managers guessing at what they think might work?

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

I'd call it educated guessing. There are clearly bad things, like running your 19 year old pitcher out there for 200 innings in A-ball, and there are better things, like having pitchers use their lower halves more to generate velocity. But the idea that, say, a certain arm action, or that adding 30 innings one year over the previous one, is a guarantee of injury, is just mistaken.

Catfish (DC)

Is ERA the best stat for pitchers? Sure it doesnt factor in defensive range or park, but isnt that better than using league average assumptions like FIP of xFIP? Clearly, the better the pitcher the fewer hard hit balls he gives up.

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

I don't think that's clear at all. The question is whether you are more comfortable giving all of (luck + defense some small pitcher ability to limit hits on balls in play) to the pitcher, or more comfortable crediting the pitcher only with the things we know the pitcher mostly or completely controls. I choose the latter.

Josh (Phoenix)

Welcome to AZ!The good: Mexican Food 24 hours a day)The bad: The D-BacksThe Ugly: All the republicans out here!

Klaw
  (2:35 PM)

I have enjoyed the fact that I have gone from being a relative right-winger to a relative left-winger by relocating without changing any of my views.

Nicholas Martino (Winthrop, MA )

Can you explain your lack of Hemingway in the Klaw top 100?

Klaw
  (2:36 PM)

Don't like his prose, his stories, his somewhat nihilistic views, or his characters. Does that cover it?

Kevin (KC)

Klaw, how did you get into reading? Something you picked up on your own, or did you parents read to you at a young age? I've never gotten into it/never could stay focused with a book long enough to finish one. Just never had the appreciation for it that lots of others do.

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

Parents encouraged it, but I started reading really early and just took to it. Fell out of the habit after college, then read the first two Harry Potter books in 2000 and rediscovered how much I enjoyed fiction. Haven't stopped since.

Erin (NYC)

What do you seeing Yu Darvish being in the MLB, front line starter or just a product of hype like Dice-k

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

Better than Dice-K. Probably not a true #1 over here.

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

And that's based in part on how badly Dice-K's stuff and command (what command?) translated.

Cesare (Jet City, Wa)

Just read Dreiser's "The Financier." It was highly entertaining. Also a fan of "Sister Carrie." What's so scary about "An American Tragedy"?

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

It's 800+ pages with tiny print.

David (New York)

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research people are predisposed to vastly underestimating how long it will take them to learn how to use a new tool (or concept, or statistic in this case) and then when it takes them longer than they anticipate they become hateful of the new tool and become resigned to the fact that the old one was the superior product. This is often seen when an office upgrades its software, but doesn't it sound an awful lot like what is happening with the "new" statistics versus the old ones such as Wins and RBIs?Link to the article about the study: http://www.physorg.com/news198305778.html

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

No comment, just passing it along.

It's Me Again (Over Here)

Do you ever have any non-baseball chats?

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

I will this offseason. Been meaning to for a while, just never quite got around to it.

Paul (SF, CA)

So is Danny Valencia a keeper at third base for the Twins or is he just on a really good hot streak?

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

A keeper, but nowhere near as good as he's been in the majors this year.

Dan (Boston) [via mobile]

As a new parent I am interested to know what tv shows you recommend. I know you are a Sesame street fan, and that you are NOT a Barney fan. Any suggestions for worthwhile tv?

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

My daughter's 4 now, and the best shows we've found are Word World, Dinosaur Train, and Sid the Science Kid.

Dave (Solon, OH)

Ever tried to conquer Proust? We got about 400 pages though his first novel in an advanced French lit class before we collectively agreed we had had enough.

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

I got halfway through volume 2 and decided I could check Proust off the list. My chats are shorter than some of his sentences.

LKF (NJ)

Does Joe Leonard have the potential to be a productive MLB hitter?

Klaw
  (2:41 PM)

I lean "no" on Leonard.

Jim (Doylestown, pa)

What's your take on Julio Rodriguez of Lakewood and JC Ramirez of Reading? Potential #2 starters?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

I saw Rodriguez work several innings in relief, and thought he'd make a solid mid- to late-rotation starter. Ramirez is probably just a reliever at this point.

Steve (Fort Lauderdale)

I wouldn't totally discount Wins, and I do believe in "pitching to the score" to an extent. Tom Glavine was a classic example of that, a bulldog sort of competitor, who would rather walk in a run than risk giving up a lead. He was nothing sensational in terms of fancy stats, but he won alot of games, with five 20W seasons.

Klaw
  (2:45 PM)

The fact that Glavine won a lot of games is largely because he spent nearly his entire career on great teams.

Jennifer (Tampa)

Just wanted to thank you for including Watership Down on your Klaw 100. Vastly underrated book!

Klaw
  (2:46 PM)

You're welcome. Looking forward to reading it with my daughter some day. I picked up "The Borrowers" two weeks ago and started reading it to her last week, even though I'd never heard of it before I found it at the bookstore. Then yesterday I discovered Studio Ghibli adapted it for their latest film. Win.

Morgan (Baltimore)

Settle an argument I've been having for a friend - which would have been better for the Orioles long term: getting the #1 pick in the draft or having a winning end to the season under Buck?

Klaw
  (2:47 PM)

I don't care about their record, but if the winning involves more young players (re)starting their deveopment, that's a good thing.

LKF (NJ)

If you were an HOF voter, would Glavine be on your ballot?

Klaw
  (2:47 PM)

Yes.

Dave (Somerville, MA)

(Can someone with a B-Ref subscription see if Tom Glavine ever walked in a run?)

Klaw
  (2:48 PM)

22 times if I'm reading his splits page right. I'm not sure when walking in a run would ever be a good idea, by the way. It's hard to see that as anything but a failure on the pitcher's part. The bases are still loaded, and now your lead is one run smaller.

Klaw
  (2:49 PM)

OK, that's all for this week. Thanks for all the questions.