Hey everybody, I'm home catching my breath after the ALCS and waiting to see who'll play the Tigers in the World Series. Looking forward to a great game tonight in San Francisco. Let's start the chat.
who wins game 7?
Esteban, I'm the worst predictor in history (although I did pick the Tigers to win the World Series, and they're still alive). I have to think the combination of Matt Cain on the mound and that frenetic home crowd combine to get the Giants over the top. But I'll have plane reservations to both San Fran and St. Louis, just in case.
Do the Yankees keep Granderson, Swisher, or both?
Alex, Swisher is history. Despite his rough postseason track record, he'll find a spot somewhere for a decent deal in free agency. The Yankees plan to pick up Granderson's option, so it looks as if he'll be part of their outfield in 2013 -- unless Brian Cashman has some far-flung trade plan up his sleeve.
Chances the Phillies explore trading Cliff Lee for an impact bat?
Gerry, I don't see it. The Phillies have said they want to take another run at it behind the Big 3 of Halladay, Lee and Hamels. I don't think they'll entertain trade offers for Lee.
Who do you think will be the 2012 World Series Champions?
Chris, I picked the Tigers before the playoffs, so I'll stick with them, even though that bullpen really scares me.
The GM of the Orioles says he doesn't see any serious increase in payroll next year. Do the orioles think the Magic is going to work next year as well? Don't the Orioles realize they need some talent upgrades?
Cory, They have a ton of starting pitching candidates, the bullpen is relatively set, and the nucleus of the everyday lineup is also set with Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Manny Machado and Chris Davis. I can see them trying to upgrade in left field or at second base, and we'll see what happens with Mark Reynolds at first. But I don't think Dan Duquette will be going crazy in free agency. Nor should he.
Ryan Howard for A-Rod? The money owed is similar and A-Rod can play 3rd for the Phils and Howard can DH for the Yanks. Any chance?
Barry, I wouldn't do that if I were the Phillies. I know Ryan Howard was bad this season, but he still should have something left in the tank if he has a full offseason to recover from that Achillies injury. A-Rod is five years older and really looks close to finished as an impact player.
Any under the radar free agents you can think of that might make a bigger impact than expected?
Maximus, It'll be interesting to see what guys like Anibal Sanchez, Shaun Marcum, Cody Ross and Delmon Young fetch on the open market this winter. Those are a few who spring to mind.
Know why tonight is going to be unpredictable? We have NO CLUE which Cardinals lineup will show up tonight. I have been watching this team all year and can't explain how a team so talented goes cold so often. I'm predicting that we'll know within the first 2 innings whether or not this is the good or bad Cardinals tonight.
Mike, We also don't know if Matt Holliday will be playing (and how that back injury might affect him). Pete Kozma has also looked more like a rookie in this series than he did in the first round against Washington. But you're right: The Cards don't want to fall behind early and let that crowd take over. It definitely has the potential to get in their heads.
Do you have any concerns about the excessive movement in Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo's swing? Seems like the moving parts in their swings could explain partially their streakiness. Any thoughts?
Brian, Starlin Castro is 22 years old and he already has more than 500 hits in the big leagues, and Anthony Rizzo played well after his recall this season. Are they going to have to make adjustments while establishing themselves as big leaguers? Sure. But they're the least of the Cubs' concerns.
Hey What did u think of the redsox hiring John Farrell? Do you think he will get this pitching staff back to their 2007 through 2010 form?
Josh, At least the Red Sox know what they're getting with John Farrell -- and he's familiar with the media zoo in Boston. But I'm not sure I would count on him turning around the pitching in Boston that quickly. Just look at this season, with all the pitching injuries in Toronto. Certain things are beyond the manager's control.
Trevor Rosenthal has been lights out in the postseason striking out 11 versus allowing one hit. Is his long term future as a starter or reliever?
Zack, His short-term value is as a reliever. But a lot depends on the organization's needs moving forward. It's a good luxury to have. Sorry to punt on that one, but the St. Louis people are smart enough to figure out where he best fits.
Who do you think will be the CY winners in the NL and AL?
Alono, If I had to guess, I think David Price will win in the AL and R.A. Dickey will win in the NL. I would probably go with Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw, but Price and Dickey are both deserving as well.
Am I the only one who thinks Aviles is a solid return for Toronto? An MLB-calibre player (and a very good utility guy) for a manager who was likely bolting in a year and did not warrant a contract extention.
Damian, I guess, but if I'm a Toronto fan, I'm probably not jumping up and down in exhilaration over it. I'd rather have a mid-tier prospect.
Your thoughts on Dusty being extended? Personally, I would liked to have seen Reds go another direction.
John, I don't have any problem with it. People were raving all season about the job he did holding the Reds together with the Votto injury, etc. I know a lot of people bashed him after the NLDS. But if Johnny Cueto had been healthy, I still think the Reds would have won that series.
pls help settle an arguement. is bryan lahair going to be a major league roster next yr or in AAA?
Howie, I think he'll be a handy LH power bat off the bench for somebody in the big leagues. How's that?
Jerry, with the injury, can the Cubs trade Garza before the season starts? Or is it a case of him having to prove he's healthy, even if other teams are allowed to look at his medicals?
David, You can only tell so much from the medicals. I think it's in the best interests of both the Cubs (for a potential return) and the acquiring team to see how Garza looks in spring training.
Why do people seem to think that the DBacks might trade Justin Upton? He's young, had one rough season, and Arizona should be in contention for the playoffs next year. I don't get it.
Zack, People think the D-backs might move Upton because Arizona's front office and upper management has made it clear they would be willing to entertain offers for him. I don't think it would be as big a story if the Diamondbacks hadn't perpetuated it the way they did. Some people think they did it because they were frustrated with Upton's play and wanted to give him a wakeup call. Now that his name has been bandied around twice, the D-backs have a little fence-mending to do if they decide to keep him.
The most aggrevating thing about these playoffs is the strike zone - the calling of strikes that are in the left or right handed batter's box .Any chance that Selig gets together with the head of the Umpires union and tells them - this is the strike zone- there is no interpretation? PS: the stupid TBS box- once size fits all doesn't help.
Dom, It's been that way since the beginning of time (or at least, since Ty Cobb was quibbling over balls and strikes). I don't think anything is going to change.
With Avisail Garcia pretty much winning out the RF spot for the Tigers, do you see the Tigers moving Boesch? ALso, do you see any value in moving V-Mart?
Brian, As impressive as Avisail Garcia has been, I'm not sure if he's a lock to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day next year. Jim Leyland has all but conceded that they've rushed him up to the big club. I wouldn't be shocked to see him start the season in Triple-A and come up in May or June for good. As for Boesch, the fact that he hasn't even made the postseason rosters doesn't bode well for his future in Detroit. But he doesn't have a ton of trade value at the moment. Finally, V-Mart is not being moved. He'll combine with Prince and Miggy to give the Tigers a killer middle of the order next season.
Hunter Pence has looked beyond lost in the playoffs. If you are Bochy do you go with the lineup that got you there or make a change for the biggest game of the year?
Tim, You're right. He's looked awful. But Bochy has faith in his veteran players, and Pence is an integral part of that team in the clubhouse, and I don't see Bochy making a change in Game 7 after they've come back from 3-1 to tie it. Look for Pence to be in the lineup tonight.
Matt Cain and I will be driving balls in to McCovey Cove before tonight's game. The last time we did this, Matt pitched a perefect game...
Dustin, That's a cool story, but I think the Giants would settle for seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball from the Cainer.
Does anyone realize the Giants pretty much rebuilt their team in one year? Belt, Scutaro, Crawford, Blanco, Pagan, Pence, Theriot, Sanchez, Vogelsong - none of these guys were here 2 years ago. And Lincecum and Bumgarner aren't even in the rotation anymore. And now they're one win away reaching the World Series again. It's really amazing.
Rich, Yeah, Brian Sabean is an "old school" guy, with a tight circle of scouts and advisors. But he certainly has a feel for how to put a club together and take advantage of his home park. Props to him for the team's recent run of postseason success.
Yankees obviously need to do something to get younger and it seems the only openings would be of (not resigning swish),c (russell) and p. They are soo old. Who can they get to better thmselves while getting younger for next season?
Esteban, It's going to be awfully tough because they'd have to eat so much salary to dump A-Rod -- and he can block any deal. Jim Bowden mentioned Brian Cashman moving heaven and earth to get rid of A-Rod and going after Chase Headley, Anthony Rendon or Mike Moustakas to play third base. Good luck to Cashman in trying to pull off that combo.
looking at both SF/StL's rotations, the Tigers really seem to have an advantage there. both teams have some big holes (Carpenter for StL, Lincecum/Zito for SF). fair to say the Tigers 1-4 is a cut above either squad?
Ben, Yep, I covered the ALCS, and Detroit's starting pitching has been great. I just think they're bound for a setback or two in the World Series with that bullpen. Phil Coke struggles against righties, and who knows if Valverde is ready to reclaim his job? Other than Verlander, I don't see the Detroit pitchers going deeper than seven innings in any game, so Leyland is going to have to piece together 6-8 outs from his pen in the World Series.
Would the Dbacks really trade Upton now that they've unloaded Young? I know they have a logjam out there, but that seems like a lot of subtraction
Kirk, Kevin Towers would need to get a mother lode of young talent for Upton. But if the D-backs have already kicked around the possibility twice, I don't see why the right package wouldn't prompt them to consider it again this winter.
Mr. Crasnick I really respect your opinions. I would like to know your position regarding the lack of interest from MLB for more instant replay: I know that MLB is making good $$$ and in part that is thanks to Mr. Bud S., but I also know that refusing to embrace the current technology is really hard to justify.
Famavizca, The momentum is moving toward expanded use of replay for trapped balls and fair-foul calls in addition to dispute home run calls. I don't think we'll see it for safe-out calls anytime soon.
What does the A's starting outfield look like next year?
Mike, Well, they've got Cespedes in left and Reddick in right. I'm not sure what the Chris Young addition means for Coco Crisp (and where Seth Smith fits in the equation). I assume Billy Beane and David Forst have a few more deals in the works this winter.
What is your take on the layoff the Tigers are enduring? Will it effect them? It really seem to kill the Rockies momentum in 07.
Patrick, It didn't help the Tigers in 2006, either. At the very least, the experience helped Jim Leyland and his staff figure out a way to try to overcome the rust. If the Tigers go on to win the World Series, I'm sure we'll be reading lots of stories about those instructional league scrimmagers and the role they played in the big club's success.
How do you like the Indians with Francona as their new manager?
Jay, I have a lot of respect for Terry Francona as a manager and a communicator, but I just don't think he has the horses to elevate that team beyond third place (or even fourth) in the AL Central in 2013.
You are named the GM of the Royals, Give us an idea of what you would do this Winter. What would your pitching staff look like?
Bill, They have so many young pitchers in the pipeline (Jake Odorizzi, Yordano Ventura, Kyle Zimmer) or coming off injuries (John Lamb, Danny Duffy, Felipe Paulino), I don't see Dayton Moore jumping into free agency too heavily. It would be nice form them to bring back Jeremy Guthrie, and Luke Hochever and Bruce Chen could be around as No. 4-5 guys. Maybe they make a run at a moderately priced free agent like Anibal Sanchez or Shaun Marcum. Who knows what qualifies as "moderately priced" once teams start spending money in the offseason?
Jerry, with the World Series almost here do you think it's harder for an AL team to adapt to NL rules or the other way around?
David, As a rule, I think it's tougher for the AL team either losing its DH or having to play a defensively-challenged offensive piece in the NL park. It certainly makes for an interesting storyline for a couple of days.
Who should the Blue Jays go after to manage the squad? Would Jim Tracy be a good fit?
Kent, Alex Anthopoulos has the luxury of thinking "outside the box" and trying to find the next great managerial star, so he can afford to look at a Sandy Alomar, Tim Wallach, Dave Martinez, Brad Ausmus or somebody who's never managed before. I have my own personal favorites -- guys like Jamie Quirk and Lloyd McClendon who I think could make good managers, but no one has asked for my opinion lately.
Jerry, what is your gut telling you regarding where Josh Hamilton ends up? I have a terrible feeling my favorite player will no longer be on my favorite team....... Also as much as I like Andrus isn;t now the time to trade him? Profar is reday and should play SS not 2B or CF, thoughts?
Dexter, I keep hearing it's "50-50" that Josh Hamilton returns to Texas. I assume that means he'll be back only if he's willing to accept something relatively short. Unfortunately, for him, his late season fade didn't help his chances to land a huge deal on the open market. Other teams have the same concerns about Hamilton's injury history and personal issues that the Rangers do.
Has Andy Dirks secured himself a spot as a starting OF next year or is he someone that will be platooned?
Matty, He's a nice player, but he doesn't hit for much power or steal bases, so I think he's more a No. 4 guy than an everyday 500-600 AB guy on a roster.
Sorry to be somewhat redundant, but Kent (above) stole my thunder to a degree. Look around the show at all of the managers, look at the managers of the last 15 WS. Catchers make up a disproportionate amount of them. That said, Sal Fasano is the clear choice. He has a history with the prospects coming up, was respected as a player whilst playing, and would easily have the best 'stache in the league. Seeing as no one has asked you for your opinion lately Jerry, what are your thoughts on Fasano?
Greg, That's another great name. I got to know Sal Fasano when he was with the Phillies, and I was always impressed by his people skills and the respect he elicited in the clubhouse. Thanks for mentioning him.
Admit it. You chuckled when Delmon Young, who once threw a bat at a minor league umpire, was called a class act when he was awarded the ALCS MVP, right?
Ted, I chuckled a little bit, yes -- although I think the general reaction at Comerica Park was one of stunned silence when Jackie Autry used that phrase to describe Delmon. She might like a do-ver on that one.
Andrus, Mike Olt, Leonys Martin, and Matt Harrison to Zona for Justin Upton and Tyler Skaggs- who says no?
TJ, I think Texas says no on that one. That's an awful lot to give up.
Do you think Strasburg signs elsewhere in a few years due to being shut down this year? I'm worried about losing him because of that decision.
Lance, I hope not. Wouldn't you think a player would be more inclined to sign a long-term deal with a franchise -- rather than less inclined -- when they go to such great lengths to safeguard his future? But Stephen Strasburg and Scott Boras would be better equipped to answer that question than I am.
Jerry, do you think Pujlos was an owner driven move ? Given that LAA already had two 1B and ended up bidding against themselves in terms of length and $, it seems this was Arte buying high at the top of the market again. Which really isn't a good idea, anywhere - anytime.
Hot Stove Angel, Yes, it was an owner-driven move designed to give the Angels a "franchise face" in conjunction with their huge TV deal. Pujols is still a very good player, but it'll be interesting to see how we're assessing that deal five years from now, never mind 10.
Forget about throwing the Bat at the ump, how about getting arrested in NYC earlier this year. Its the year of Delmon Young, and someone in the off season will regret giving him a 3 year 12+ million dollar a year deal!
Tarek, Yes, Delmon also has that off-field transgression on his resume. As for free agency, his biggest obstacle might be his glove in left field. If teams view him as a DH, that's going to limit his market considerably.
Who is going to offer me the best contract?
BJ, It's a crowded outfield market, but the Nats, Phillies, Braves, Reds, Giants and Rangers are among the teams in search of help. I think you get a five-year deal for $60 million plus. The years and the price always rise once things start heating up in November.
Thanks for the emails, everybody. It should be a great game tonight in San Francisco. Talk to you next week.