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September 28, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Rob Neyer

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Hey Rob, is Halladay a near lock for the Cy Young after last night's division clinching performance?

Rob Neyer
  (12:01 PM)

I think he was already a lock. But yeah, now we can definitely move on to other weighty matters...

Jack (SF)

On the subject of Buster Posey's triple A stay, I think the most forgotten thing about it is that the Giants also got a reliever and a decent pitching prospect out of it. Even if Buster Posey could have produced as much as Molina did during those first two months (not bad but not that good either), they Giants still wouldn't have gotten Chris Ray or Michael Main. While I think you are right that re-signing Molina in the first place was idiotic, it turned out quite well overall for the Giants.

Rob Neyer
  (12:05 PM)

Excellent point, Jack. As with most things, our impulse to judge quickly probably doesn't serve us well.

Rick (Philly)

Should Halladay get some MVP consideration? He is the best player on the best team in the NL

Rob Neyer
  (12:08 PM)

The MVP has unofficially been redefined to exclude starting pitchers who don't win 25 games, and of course nobody wins 25 games anymore. Based purely on wins and losses and impact on pennant races, Halladay is obviously a wonderful candidate. And he won't finish in the top 5.

Don (NYC)

Rob ... you have defended the Tampa fan (and market) with both passion and prejudice in the past. "It's the Stadium, not the market!" So where do come down today?

Rob Neyer
  (12:14 PM)

I have? It's funny, I don't remember bringing any particular passion to this subject. I mean, more than my usual. But yes, I do believe that (those) Bay Area fans would support a winning team if the ballpark wasn't so terribly problematic. More later on this, maybe...

John (Lexington, KY)

Having Posey up to split time with Molina would have accomplished both.

Rob Neyer
  (12:17 PM)

Yeah, but I think they wanted Posey hitting every day. Shoot, when they did finally bring him up they stuck him at first base until they could trade Molina.

Jordan (Philadelphia)

Rob, Now that the Phillies clinched, how does the rotation set-up for the playoffs, Halladay....then Oswalt or Hamels?

Rob Neyer
  (12:22 PM)

I think Oswalt is the slightly better pitcher, but does it really matter? There hasn't been a rotation this stacked since the Braves 10 years ago (and yes, I'm sure that's a reach but I don't feel like checking).

Craig (Chicago)

Pujols and Votto are neck and neck on fangraphs WAR with Pujols having about an eight run lead at baseball-reference. The voters will probably go with the division winner, but should they? Or is it close enough that it doesn't really matter who wins?

Rob Neyer
  (12:24 PM)

I'm sort of glad I don't have an MVP ballot of my own. Because I would probably spend this entire coming weekend trying to figure that one out.

Bruinsinruins (NYC)

We have ballpark adjustments. We slice and dice the nubmers every way possible to isolate "pitching." But why don't we have metrics that adjust for who a pitcher faces. Case in point, the Yanks have played 14 sereis against the 14 lowest scoring teams in the AL and CC has pitched in every one of those series. If we have ERA+ to adjust for park, why not ERA* to adjust for lineups?

Rob Neyer
  (12:26 PM)

I'm not absolutely sure that nobody's taken that step. Baseball Prospectus (and others, probably) do track opponent lineups, but usually we just eyeball those and make a mental adjustment. No reason why that couldn't be done systematically, though.

Doug (New Rochelle, NY)

Hi Rob - did Burnett pitch his way out of a playoff start last night. Do the Yankees even need 4 starters in round 1, or does it depend on the schedule?

Rob Neyer
  (12:31 PM)

Heh. If only you'd read this morning's blog entry ... No, they don't need four starters in the Division Series if Sabathia goes once on short rest. We'll see what Girardi does.

Joe (Tampa)

50 years today for Gods do not answer letters. The perfect send off for one of the all time greats. And all of 10,454 were in attendance at the Fens.

Rob Neyer
  (12:32 PM)

Yeah, and Yankee Stadium wasn't full when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run. Compared to the old days, attendance is booming everywhere.

Philly fans (Philly)

Rob, just wanted to say congrats for picking the correct NL East winner for the first time in four years. Welcome back.

Rob Neyer
  (12:34 PM)

Thanks, man. I do learn from my mistakes. It just takes me a while sometimes.

Jack (Washington, DC)

Do you think the Rays will be able to afford a new stadium in the near future?

Rob Neyer
  (12:36 PM)

Uh, it's got almost nothing to do with what the Rays can afford and almost everything to do with what the politicians can be convinced to afford. The short-term prospects are not good. Maybe when the Tea Party repairs our economy ...

Jay (Baltimore)

GREAT CHATS!!! What did you think of Matusz's performance against the Rays? Is this guy gonna turn the corner next season?

Rob Neyer
  (12:38 PM)

I think he's already turned the corner. He's been outstanding in his last 10 starts and I expect him to be good or better next season.

Eli (Chicago)

Have you already seen the 10th inning? If so, what were your impressions and if not, what are your expectations?

Rob Neyer
  (12:41 PM)

No, I haven't seen it. I will. Frankly, though, the early reviews suggest that the latest installment suffers from the same weaknesses as the original. I hope I'm wrong.

John (Lexington, KY)

Are ballpark adjustments skewed by the talent of the home team? I could be wrong but based on my reading on the subject, wouldn't the old Rockies teams have made the Coors effect looked even bigger? They had awful pitching and great hitting, so it stands to reason that the ballpark would be a very good park for offense by default.

Rob Neyer
  (12:45 PM)

That's not the way ballpark adjustments work, John. If you Google park factors, I'll bet you come up with a pretty good primer.

Brett Davis (Hot Springs, AR)

I agree with you that Jeter's act last week was unwarranted. But do you really think he should be suspended for 3 games if he does it again? I have not heard anyone else say that before about any player. I'm not sure where I stand.

Rob Neyer
  (12:49 PM)

Brett, my point isn't that Derek Jeter should be suspended. My point is that anyone who blatantly deceives (or attempts to deceive) an umpire should be suspended. I mean, after the Derek Jeter Rule is instituted.

Drew (Altoona)

Phillies over Yankees in 6?

Rob Neyer
  (12:52 PM)

Close. I'm going Rays over Phillies in 7.

chris (kc)

what did the first ken burns doc suffer from?

Rob Neyer
  (12:55 PM)

In a nutshell? Not enough levity, too many academics and pundits, not enough old players. Essentially, it was The Civil War redux, which made sense for The Civil War but not so much for the Baseball Wars.

Matt (Chicago)

All Zambrano needed to do was see a shrink to be arguably the best pitcher in baseball? 7-0 in 10 starts with a 1.27 ERA!

Rob Neyer
  (12:57 PM)

Nice, huh? If he can keep his head right this winter, maybe he'll win 30 next season...

Patrick (Washington DC)

What chance do you give the Giants against the Phillies in a 7 game series?

Rob Neyer
  (1:04 PM)

Well, not a puncher's chance because they don't have much punch. Not a pitcher's chance because they can't match the Phillies' pitching. That leaves ... what? A snowball's chance, I guess.Thanks for the questions today. Until next time, don't forget: "The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."