If you think A-Rod's in trouble for playing poker, wait until Jamie Moyer's little canasta problem becomes public.
So a bunch of players are charged with DUI recently and MLB shrugs its shoulders, but A-Rod may have played illegal poker and they are launching an investigation? Crazy pills?
Absolute waste of everyone's time. Shame on MLB for pandering to the lowest common denominator in both the media (a large segment of which has long had it in for A-Rod) and the fans. They have NO cause to suspend him, and if they try, they will lose the subsequent grievance in embarrassing fashion. And as you pointed out, the inherent message that MLB cares more about whether and with whom you play "illegal" poker than it does about whether you drive drunk and endanger your life and the lives of others is even MORE embarrassing.
I've seen you use close/late situational stats on twitter before, but you were using them in a context that I couldn't tell whether you actually care about them. "Clutch" stats obviously aren't sustainable, but if a player has very good close/late situational stats, does that make him more valuable to his team on the season than any other player that otherwise has a comparable slash line?
I don't believe that performing better in "clutch" situations is a clearly identifiable skill. (Performing substantially worse might be for pitchers, though.) If such a player exists, and he may or may not, identifying him would require such a large sample of data that by the time you can identify it, it's too late to take advantage of it.
Intriguing article posted today by Howard Bryant. Basically it said that teams are sticking it to their fans when they dump their stars for A ball prospects that may or may not pan out 4-5 years down the road. He says another way that only the Rays and A's seem to do is play them until they walk and take the comp picks. What's your opinion on that point of view?
Those teams that "dump" their stars for "A ball prospects" are, in general, doing the right thing for their fans, rather than pandering (useful word today) to the section of the fan base that doesn't think any further ahead than today's lunch.
Worse managing move: Jim Tracy having Tulo lay down a sac bunt or Fredi benching Jason Heyward for George Costanza's cousin?
Far be it from me to defend either guy, but Tulo apparently was bunting for a hit (I didn't see the play but several of you pointed that out), and Heyward's swing is a mess right now.
Rather new to the whole Sabermetrics thing and am looking for a definitive answer - are Runs Scored as part of a player's stats important like OBP or a junk stat like RBI?
For an individual, it's a junk stat.
So Heath Bell claims he'll accept arbitration if offered. Do you believe him, or just a ploy to dissuade the Pads, thus increasing his FA value to new team?
I believe him. Might earn more in arbitration than he would in free agency.
Could Gary Brown be the next Jacoby Ellsbury?
I don't see Brown ever having the power Ellsbury is showing right now.
Keith - I have seen you mention on different instances that there are some scouts who believe both White and Pomeranz could eventually end up in relief roles. I believe you quoted one scout who said Pomeranz would end up in the pen "because he only has two above average pitches." If both guys ends up in the pen, did the Rockies give away 2.5 years of Ubaldo for a mediocre return?
I did quote one scout who said that on Pomeranz, but that is not my opinion on the player, nor is it a consensus opinion. I think Pomeranz will have at least a solid-average changeup and like the fact that he's already cleaned up his delivery. As long as the Rockies don't matzek him, he'll be a starter.
Keith, can you explain why the Dominican Republic and Venezuela (and Puerto Rico) produce the majority of Latin American ballplayers but countries such as Haiti (same island as DR), Brazil, Argentina or Peru, for example, produce none? Is there a historical and/or political reason for this? Are there attempts to begin producing baseball players from under-representing nations in the same way that teams are now going into Europe or China? Thanks.
The countries that produce players have long traditions of youth baseball, dating back fifty years or more - and most had a significant US military presence for some reason. There are some attempts to grow baseball at a grass-roots level in other countries - the Rays are involved in Brazil, where there's a sizable Japanese population, and the Czech Republic has started to produce some low-level talent - but that's a very long-term process, like basic R&D, that won't produce real returns for years, maybe decades. (I do believe it's worth doing for MLB, but I don't expect individual teams to make that effort.)
Will Alex Meyer be a reasonably easy sign? What is his time to the majors, and potential ceiling? Thanks.
I expect every first-rounder to sign, most of them on August 15th at around 11:58 pm EDT.
I know your not high on him but do you know why Michael Choice hasn't played since July 24th?
After finding out he wasn't in the lineup yesterday, Heyward admitted that he thinks he's gotten into some bad habits with his swing while playing through his shoulder injury. Wouldn't it be a better move to send him down to AAA to work on the swing than to only play him 3-4 days a week in the majors?
Only if he's agreed to work on his swing - the player has to buy into the adjustments your coaching staff wants him to make.
When was the last time every first rounder signed?
Not sure offhand. But if you bet on every first-rounder signing, you'll be roughly 93% right, or better.
Regarding Jack Armstrong, do you think he will sign? Should the Astros go above slot for him given his level of production at Vanderbilt and in the Cape Cod league.
I think he'll sign, I'd go over slot, I wouldn't give him the crazy money ($3-4 million?) I heard he was asking for predraft. First-round arm if he can pass a physical.
The wave during a game, mild annoyance or the bane of a baseball game's existence?
Are you at the Cape yet?
Went to the All-Star Game on Friday. Worst crop of talent I've ever seen. Of course their omission of Appel and Zunino plus Marrero's injury removed three of the best players, but even they wouldn't have salvaged it.
Do you agree the sox gave up too much for Bedard?
I do not.
As you have written before, you don't have much faith in GCL stats - is this true for all prospects (IFAs v. Rule 4s)? Also, do you put any weight on SS stats?
Certainly more interested in what a 17-year-old from the Dominican does than what an 18-year-old US player would, and more interested in that latter guy than what any college product might do there. But in general, there's little value in complex league stats. Stats from higher SS leagues, like the NY-Penn and the Northwest, are more useful, although I'm still deferring to the scouting reports over the stats for guys that far away from the majors.
Regarding your Cape League comment - will 2012 be a bad draft or just a weak year down on the peninsula?
It's a weak college draft. Maybe a very weak one.
Wow... Farrel saying today that after skipping Villanueva's next start that either Perez or Henderson Alvarez will get the call up for the start, way to soon right?
I'm not getting the drive to promote Alvarez. Like him a lot as a prospect but he's not missing a ton of bats.
Pomeranz = Andrew Miller...lazy comp or fair comp? Avg. fastball, inconsistent hook, and, of course...Caucasian, tall, lefty.
Lazy comp. Miller had a lower slot, slider usually finished out of the zone, didn't show this ability to make adjustments. But he did have a bigger FB.
"You are biased against our players...our manager...blah blah blah...we have the classiest team in baseball who just happens to whine & bean people a lot. We are the classiest fans in baseball who also seem to whine a lot." Exhausting, isn't it?
I've heard from dozens of Cardinals fans who agree with my take on Tony Genius there, so I think your brush may be too broad - on the fans, at least.
Hearing anything on Nick Delmonico's signability for the O's as we approach Aug. 15?
My take on him predraft is that he was headed for school.
I saw on twitter you made fun of both the Nats and Twins for arguing over Steve Lombardozzi (I agree). Would you have traded Drew Storen straight up for Denard Span??
Doesn't any serious gambling open ARod (ar any player/Manager) to the potential of manipulation by gamblers?
If you have evidence of that, let me know. Otherwise, this is a waste of everyone's time.
What is the chance that the Jays sign all the picks Beede, Comer, Dean, Norris etc. If so what a draft again by A.A
Had a pretty senior scout wonder to me if this was what he called "a Roy Clark draft" - I guess Clark used to take a lot of backup picks, where if he couldn't sign player X, he had another guy later on who fit the same mold whom he'd sign instead. Beede is signing, clearly, and I think Comer will.
How far do you think Travis D'Arnaud is away, and do his defensive abilities far and away exceed those of Arrencibia?
Better defender, better hitter, not sure he'll have Arencibia's power though. JPA might be the best trade bait that AA has.
Hi KLaw! Does Todd Fraiser profile more to a utility player, or an everyday player?
Utility guy. Don't buy the swing, don't see where he plays other than an outfield corner.
What was the fastest reading you've ever recorded on your gun, and who threw it?
Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds on the same team. Thoughts?
Is there a window open? I feel a breeze here.
So the Tiger gave up too much for a pitcher who's cost controlled through 2014, but the Red Sox didn't give up too much for a rental in Bedard?
You act as if the packages they gave up were equivalent ... which they weren't.
Keith, love the podcasts. What are your thoughts on the Nationals bringing Strasburg back to pitch this year with only a few months remaining? Is the logic to see what he looks like this year so both he and the organization have a better sense of what to expect next year?
I'm fine with it if the doctors are. Doesn't hurt him to get some innings in, building up some durability and getting used to being back on a mound. And they'll make some cash when he starts in September.
Josh Bell or Nick Williams?
What are your thoughts on Billy Flaimon? Is he worth a (relatively) large bonus?
Crazy bat speed but bad swing mechanically, gets locked into a long path and couldn't adjust it when I saw him.
KLAW, did you see that Puerto Rico launched on the IPad today, with Multiplayer?
I had not, but that is good news.
I believe Pete Rose had an issue with gambling. While not the same kind of gambling, it is the appearance of any impropriety that MLB looks to avoid. NBA had an issue with the referee if I am not mistaken.
Both of your examples involved gambling on ACTUAL GAMES.
Keith, you ravaged Cito Culver in a blog piece a few weeks ago including calling his left-handed swing basically a disaster. In your experience, is the coaching in the low minors good enough to help a player with a flaw as significant as Culver's? Or are the staffs at that level essentially guys collecting paychecks and reading out of the textbook, so to speak? Abridged version: is the coaching in rookie/low A any good, generally?
He's showing an enormous platoon split so far in Staten Island, too. The best coaches in a system are typically at the higher levels - do a good job, get promoted - which takes them away from the players who might need the most help or who are young enough to make adjustments more easily.
okay so I can threaten to kill police officers and drink, drive whenever... but no poker... got it...
As long as we're clear on the priorities here.
I tried making a Dark and Stormy with Goslings Black Seal, and Goslings Diet Ginger Beer. It was just "a guy" as the scouts say. What else should I add?
Tell me you did not despoil Goslings rum with DIET soda.
Thoughts on Cory Luebke? Is he a viable 3/4 going forward?
In that park, sure.
Thoughts on Liam Henriks?
Good command/feel guy, but don't see a real out pitch. Fourth starter upside.
Have you found out from the BBWAA what you're voting on this year yet?
Not yet - next week, maybe? I'll let you guys know when I get the ballot.
Who is currently in your Top 5 for next draft? Do you think the Cubs will get one of those 5 since they'll likely be drafting 2nd overall?
Best college bat I've seen is Marrero. Best pitcher is Appel. Will see most of the top HS guys in the next ten days.
Robbie Erlin in Petco is scary. agree?
It's a great fit.
Who do you like better: a corpse or Alex Rios?
How old is the corpse?
Who wins NROY -- Freeman or Kimbrel? Gotta think Espinosa's case slipped.
Right now, Freeman.
Do you take your radar gun through security at an airport or check it? I imagine you get some strange questions.
I have, many times. Many TSA folks recognize it, or figure out. One asked me if I was cop. (Least intimidating cop ever?) Often it just holds things up for a minute or so, which is justified given the shape of the object and the electronics inside of it.
Could you please just say something about Ned Colletti and that ridiculous Robinson trade? I know Trayvon wasn't/isn't perfect, and the Dodgers needed catching (though I've heard once or twice about this guy they traded a few years ago). As a fan, I've just had it with him. Why do we need all of this on top of the already messy Dodgers. Couldn't Selig take control of Ned Colletti, at least? Maybe replace him with Kim Ng?
I imagine Colletti will go when the team is sold. If you're staying internal, Logan White is the call.
Is Joe Panik the next great hope for a long term solution at shortstop for the Giants?
I see him as a utility guy. Interesting stat note: He hit 3 HR in his first 9 games in pro ball, 0 in 127 AB since.
What award are you hoping to get a vote on? Do you have a preference?
No preference, although I'd love to do one I haven't done before (MVP or ROY). I've told Jack O'Connell, the BBWAA secretary, I'm up for any award, either league. Just happy to participate.
Dylan Bundy or Trevor Bauer?
What got you on that roll on twitter the other day about publicly funded stadiums?
The voters of Nassau County correctly rejecting a ballot question to fund a new arena for the Islanders (who were, incidentally, my favorite hockey team as a kid ... I still remember the "Deprived of Five" Newsday headline when some upstart kid named Gretzky cost them a fifth straight Stanley Cup).
I know you like Fangraphs version of WAR, but do you think it needs any additional tweaking? Like rating defense too high for some positions, as an example?
I like to look at its components, yes. UZR has one-year sample size issues, and I don't think it (or any other defensive stat) does a good job at 1b. UZR also produces strange results in left field, which I talked about on today's Baseball Today podcast. Even this year - Pedroia's advantage over Ellsbury is more than half explained by a huge number on Pedroia's defense this year. Is your faith in UZR, or any advanced metric, strong enough that you would base an MVP vote strictly on that?
Will Owens and Bradley be 8/15 signs for Boston?
I'll say yes on both.
With AAA increasingly losing relevance and the importance of developing pre-college draft picks in the low minors, how should organizations re-allocate their resources to attract better coaching talent to Low A? What's stopping them from doing this?
If I was a GM, I'd completely change the way coaches are traditionally assigned and compensated. You need your best coaches with the players who need the help. That might be in extended spring training in some years.
AL ROY is Pineda's, right? Even though M's are going to ease up on him? I see a lot of Angels fans trumpeting Trumbo, but while HR's are great I don't see a well-rounded player.
I think at this rate it's going to be Ackley.
Love the Chats and Your Blog. Do you think a pitcher should ever hit eighth like the Braves are doing?
I've seen studies that point both ways. Mostly that is just overmanaging.
Do you think the Royals get Brickhouse signed? Best name in the first three rounds?
I do. Yes, in part because it reminds me of a character from the Thursday Next novels.
Keith, it has been speculated that teams with GMs on the hot seat such as in Baltimore (McPhail) and Chicago (Hendry) that the reason such highly sought after pitchers such as Guthrie and Garza were not dealt at the deadline was so these teams could win a few more games down the stretch so that these GMs could some how save their jobs. Isn't this the reason why these teams haven't won in the first place? Short term veiw vs long term in terms of getting good prospects for these guys?
Hendry, yes, although I've also heard that Ricketts promised him the 2012 season to turn things around (which would be so Cub-like if true). I keep hearing that MacPhail will step down after the year, so I don't see why he'd be motivated to win a few more games this year. He's not the type of guy to deliberately do something against the franchise's long-term interests just to let himself leave on a higher note.
I should clarify what I'm hearing on MacPhail is not from him or from Baltimore sources, but from other FO guys around the game.
Sorry, but I missed the twitter convo. Why was the correct vote to reject the funding? Wouldn't the revenue generated far exceed the $400M cost?
Publicly funded stadium deals are almost universally losers for the local authorities that fund them. The primary beneficiaries are the privately owned sports teams themselves; the stadiums do not bring in new spending, but merely shift it from other businesses; and the permanent jobs created by a new stadium are few, unskilled, and low-wage.
Are you a Barenaked Ladies fan?
Yes, of cou... oh, you mean the band? Not really.
Have you seen Xander Bogaerts play? Will he stick at short?
Have not. Doesn't sound like he'll stay at SS.
Have you done a column or podcast where you spelled out each of Jim Tracy's terrible decisions?
No one wants to listen to a five-hour podcast.
You think the voters would give ROY to somebody who only plays half the season?
I was referring to my choice, not the actual winner. But didn't Posey only play four months?
Klaw I sent you a WSJ article from last year on Twitter detailing just how sickening the publicly-funded football stadium in Cincinnati has been for taxpayers. Have you read about this?
Yes, thought I RT'd that. Great stuff.
Looks like the yanks have signed Jordan Cote. What kind of upside does he have? Have you personally ever seen him? If so, what did you think?
Have seen him, good body/frame, good arm strength, very raw, think they got him in a good spot in the draft. Deal is for something like $700K, very reasonable for his upside.
*Lives in the land of new Cowboy Stadium.* Publicly funded stadiums very bad news.
It's the same story across the country.
I haven't heard any updates about Gerrit Cole, and the deadline to sign him is less than two weeks away. Should this be a concern?
No. You won't hear any updates on most of these players until the signing deadline or a day or two before it. I'm not even calling any sources on this stuff, because I know none of those negotiations are going anywhere till the 15th and I don't like wasting my friends' time like that.
Erlin and Wieland a fair haul for Adams? Either have a chance to make the top 100 next year?
Yes. Erlin maybe. The top 100 is park-neutral, so while I like both guys' futures in Petco, in an average park they're more back-of-the-rotation types.
Also look at the cost of the SkyDome. Cost $570MM to build (largely tax funded) and sold to Rogers for $25MM
Wasn't the Silverdome a similar deal?
Stringer from Baltimore...isn't he dead?
Pretty sure I just saw him and Jimmy Darmody in some Tanqueray billboards.
$725K on Cote.
Did you think the Nationals got a decent return in the Hairston and Marquis deals?
Since I think Marquis is kind of terrible, yeah, anything they got is a good return.
How is the scouts view of Profars defense at short. Gold gloveish??
My own view is that he'll be no worse than above-average, chance to be plus.
No Trumbo consideration for AL ROY?
With a .295 OBP? I'd submit a blank ballot first.
"...in an average park they're more back-of-the-rotation types."Shouldn't the park just be affecting their raw stats, not actually making them better pitchers? If they're just back end guys in another park, then the Pads still just got back end talent.
Not entirely true. In a ballpark with an extreme characteristic, you might extract more value from certain players.
Did you see that Ryan Westemoreland is ready to take live BP?
Hadn't seen that. I'm pulling for the kid, but this is a real longshot at this point.
Garret Richards has to be a better option for the Angels rotation than Joel Piniero, right?
I'd love to see him get the chance.
Is it your opinion that Nick Franklin will be able to stick at SS and that Dustin Ackley will be able to stick at 2B?
More like I wouldn't rule either out. Have seen both guys in the last year, neither was polished at his position, but neither looked to me like he'd HAVE to move. Several scouts told me this spring they thought Ackley would have to move, however, probably to LF.
Saw your twitter back-and-forth with Andy Baggarly. Is he not the best beat writer in the game?
Andy's awesome. A real coffee geek too.
Does Gary Sanchez stick at catcher? Is he ever going to hit more or are we just to expect low avg with decent power?
Like the bat, but I couldn't have gotten worse reports on his glove this year.
KLaw, at your suggestion I bought a Lodge, cast iron grill pan. My only issue is it gives off tons of smoke, and I live in a condo. Is my oil too low of a smoke point? Am I doing something wrong?
Hm. Are you cleaning it well? No soap, but use something like a Dobie and hot water after each use. Smoke is either from residue or just getting the pan too hot before you add oil.
Please rank: twitter, facebook, google+, foursquare.
Twitter, google+, facebook. I won't even repeat the name of that last one, because it's such a ridiculous concept.
Is Alexi Ogando part of the AROY talk?
Doesn't Ogando fit into the AL ROY conversation?
In the Volquez division, perhaps. He's not a rookie, though.
Can you describe what you like about the prospects traded in the Fister trade. Your article didn't paint a very glowing picture of each, yet you said they gave up too much. Seems like they are all run of mill players that every organization has, aside from Martinez.
Put it this way: Would you rather have four run of the mill players, or one run of the mill player?
What are you reading now?
The Corrections, by Franzen. 130 pages to go.
Are we ready to include Aaron Hill in the conversation about Rios and a corpse?
I'd take a shot at Hill if I was GM of another club - unless there's a physical issue I don't know about, I think there's still plenty there to work with
How have the seasons of Thornburg and Peralta affected your long-term outlook on each?
Peralta up a little bit, Thornburg no change. Thornburg since his brilliant high-A debut has 20 BB in 32 IP and a pretty low G/F ratio, which is a concern given his short stature.
Look i know Dunn has been bad but why call him a corpse? Thats just rude.
Rude to the corpse?
Don't feel bad , Foursquare- Klaw hates us, too. Come joinus- we're heding to St. Louis to live with everyone else Klaw hates- we might pick up David Eckstein along ther way...
Do you have Oreos?
Thanks for all the questions, everyone. I'll be back next Thursday, and you will see me at some point on ESPN3 on Tuesday during our broadcasts from the ESPN Area Code Games that day.