Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Jerry is the author of "License to Deal: A Season on the Run With a Maverick Baseball Agent'' which chronicles the ins-and-outs of what happens off the field.
Send in your questions now and join Jerry in The Show on Friday at noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:00 PM)
Hey folks, Great to be back after a mini chat-sabbatical. How about that Cristian Guzman?
I know the Giants are not very good, but with Lincecum having the lowest era and most strikeouts he has to be in the talk for Cy Young right?
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Matt, Heck, you could make the case that a pitcher with a lousy team is even more deserving of the Cy Young than a pitcher for a good team. (Remember Steve Carlton winning 27 games for a club that won 59?). Lincecum has more strikeouts than Brandon Webb and a better ERA, and they've pitched almost exactly the same number of innings. I think Lincecum is right there in the conversation.
The Cubs finish the season MIL, STL, NYM, MIL. How will the grind of those last two weeks affect them in the playoffs? Is this a recipe for a first round disappointment?
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Kevin, I don't see why. They're 6 1/2 games up on the Brewers, so they should probably have a significant enough cushion that Lou Piniella can rest some guys in the last week and set up his rotation the way he wants for the first round. They should be fine.
Mark (Bangor, PA)
Jerry, who do you think will be the Indians 3B next year? The farm is bare and Marte is not cutting it.
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Mark, The Indians haven't given up completely on Marte, but it's hard to envision going into next season with him as the starting guy. They like Wes Hodges, who is having a pretty good season in Double A ball, and they may just want someone to keep the seat warm until he's ready. There's been some internal debate about moving Jhonny Peralta to third base, but that's probably a reach.
Hi Jerry, Thanks for chatting. I'm wondering where the Yanks are going to find someone who can make a pinstriped coffin. They were discontinued in 1993!
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Jimbo, How about Boston? I'm sure somebody there would be happy to make a pinstriped coffin.
Eamon (Thule AB, Greenland)
Jerry, if the the season ended today, where would Pedroia finish in MVP voting?
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Eamon, Pedroia is probably going to lead the AL in runs scored, and he'll be either 1 or 2 in hits. I have to think he'll finish in the top five, or at least on the fringe. We'll see whether he splits the "scrappy, gritty Red Sox player" vote with Kevin Youkilis.
Hey Jerry, does the potential injury to Josh Beckett secure Tampa Bay's AL East division win? If so, do they have what it takes to get through the Central Winner/Wild Card in the first round?
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Rytor, If Tampa plays .500 ball the rest of the way, the Red Sox have to go 20-9 to finish ahead of the Rays. That's going to be tough for Boston to do with or without Josh Beckett. If Longoria and Percival come back from their injuries and the Rays can get Carl Crawford back in time for the postseason, I don't think you can discount them from making a deep October run. It's tough to predict when you're relying so heavily on young starting pitching.
KO (Pittsfield, MA)
Any September call-ups that you are excited to see even for non-contenders?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
KO, As Keith Law mentioned in his September callup piece the other day, you're looking at guys like Max Scherzer with Arizona, Jose Ceda with the Cubs and David Price with Tampa. Scherzer is really interesting to me, because he throws in the upper 90s and Arizona's bullpen is a mess. He could really play a pivotal role.
Justin (abilene, Tx)
Jerry, do the rangers have any chance of moving Kevin millwood or Padilla before the end of the season?
Jerry Crasnick (12:12 PM)
Justin, Millwood has been great lately -- Padilla, not so much. But Millwood is guaranteed $23 million over the next two seasons, and Padilla is guaranteed almost $14 million for next year. That's a pretty heavy tab for a month's worth of pitching help in a pennant race, don'tcha think?
What can Matt Stairs do for the phillies that someone from down in the minors can not do?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Aaron, As Karl Ravech likes to say, Matt Stairs is a "professional hitter." And like Scott Eyre, he's a fun-loving guy who can help reduce the tension in the clubhouse when the heat is on in September. I won't be surprised at all if he hits a big home run or two in the final month to help win a game. What's the downside for the Phillies?
Gary (Roanoke, VA)
Will the Orioles ever give me anythin to get excited about?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Gary, What, you're not excited about Aubrey Huff?
Assuming the Mets win the East (humor me) -- does one of Wright, Reyes or Delgado take home the MVP? While Delgaod's resurgence has been remarkable, it doesn't discount his terrible play the first two months. Do Wright and Reyes split votes to allow someone else to win it?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Zach, I still think you have to go with Albert Pujols. The guy has a .466 on base percentage, and about half as many strikeouts as walks. He's a man apart from the rest.
Top 5 for Pedroia? No doubt he is good, but who is going to finish ahead of in this group: Hamilton, A-Rod, Morneau, Mauer, Quentin, Youkilis, Sizemore? Pedroia's season is only marginally better than Johnny Damon.
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Jeff, OK, maybe top 10, then. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Pedroia finish ahead of one of the Twins guys. And I don't think A-Rod will get a tremendous amount of love considering where the Yankees are going to finish.
On the chance that the Dodgers' season may be over by Sunday night- what are Ned's chances of keeping his job? And if he is gone, do you see McCourt hiring either Kim Ng or Logan White from within the organization?
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Joe, Somebody is going to have to take the fall if the Dodgers' free-fall continues, and it's not looking great for Ned at the moment. As far as potential replacements, you never know with Frank McCourt. I suspect Joe Torre will also have some input in the process. Kim and Logan are both highly thought of in the industry, so they'd have to be in the picture. Let's wait and see if the Dodgers can right the ship before we speculate on the next GM.
Brian (Durham NC)
Which team should the Cubs be most afraid to see in the playoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Brian, A lot of people mention Arizona because of the Webb, Haren, Johnson trio at the top of the rotation. But Haren has had a bad August, and he's historically a slow finisher. And the D-backs have a lot of problems with their offense and bullpen. At this point, Milwaukee is probably the second best team in the NL.
Brian (Columbia, MO)
Shouldn't Aramis Ramirez get mentioned a little more in the MVP talks than the zero times he is mentioned? He's the best hitter on the best team in baseball, and his numbers in situations where the Cubs are down a few or tied are huge. Shouldn't he be at least mentioned?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Brian, Aramis Ramirez will get some votes. But that's a pretty balanced offense in Chicago, so I think he's going to get lost in the crowd. Again, it's hard for me to argue against Pujols as the man.
Web ERA+ 154, Santanna ERA+ 153. Santana has pitched 1 more inning then Webb. The two have performed nearly identically, yet Santana is not mentioned and Webb is the overall favorite. When will reports admit that Ws shouldn't matter for the CY?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Phil, I saw Tim Kurkjian and Brian Kenny hash this out in ESPN recently, so I know it's a hot topic. I concede the point that wins and losses are deceptive sometimes and can be overrated, but I don't think they're completely irrelevant, as some stat freaks suggest. If the numbers for Webb and Santana are very close and Webb finishes 23-6 while Santana is 14-9, do you really think Santana should finish ahead of Webb?
What is the Twins' biggest issue down the stretch: the lack of an experienced starter, an elite set-up guy, or a right-hand bat?
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Dave, Well, they acquired Guardado, who's not an "elite" setup guy, but gives them experience and is better than what they had. And they're committed to the young starters, so I'll go with the RH bat. I keep thinking Michael Cuddyer will return and make a contribution, but that sure seems to be dragging, doesn't it?
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
What do you think the one big key is in the AL Central race and who do you see winning it?
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Sprung, I think the Twins have to at least tread water and play close to .500 ball on this mega-road stretch. But they've dropped 5 of their last 6, so it doesn't appear to be happening. I picked the Twins recently because their karma and young legs, but I suspect I'm in the minority with that prediction.
Mike (Rutland, Vt)
Jerry, How do you see the Alvarez contract mess playing out? Thanks for your time.
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Mike, It depends on which side you talk to. (And believe me, I've talked to quite a few people about it in the last couple of days). I know that people close to Alvarez are trying to prevail upon him to relent and just sign with the Pirates. Scott Boras would probably beg to differ, but I wouldn't be shocked if that happens between now and the Sept. 10 grievance.
Jerry, Great Chat! Do you see the Braves bringing Smoltz, Glavine and Hampton back next year even with Hudson out? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Steve, As Jayson Stark pointed out in his Rumblings and Grumblings column, Smoltz and Glavine might be interested in returning, only because this season has been such a huge disappointment and they don't want to go out on such a sorry note. But it would have to be for low base salary contracts with a lot of incentives. I have a hard time seeing Mike Hampton back in Atlanta.
Derek, Fredericton, NB, Canada
Jays are set to call up Travis Snider to replace Stairs on the Roster. From all reports he is going to be real deal but is he going to be limited to a life Time DH'er?. Can we expect to see Wells, Rios, Lind, Snider full time next year or does one of Lind/Snider get dangled to land a legitimate power hitting infielder?
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Derek, Interesting question. Wells' contract is too big for the Jays to move him, and they're not going to get close to equal value for Rios because of his mysterious power drop. And I think they envision Lind and Snider as long-term building blocks. So that's 4 guys for three outfield spots. Maybe they can do the whole rotating DH thing, but it can be tough for managers to make that work.
Isn't about time that Torre loses the nice guy act and drops the hammer on his pathetic team? It's the home strecth and these guys just got swept by the lowly Nats!
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Anthony, If Joe Torre came in and tipped over the clubhouse food spread, it would be completely out of character, so I don't think that's going to work. I know "chemistry" and "leadership" and intangibles like that are difficult to define, but something is missing in that clubhouse. You'd like to think the veteran players could help address the problem and provide a sense of urgency, but guys like Kent, Nomar and Manny just don't have that type of personality.
The easy solution would be to try to move Overbay and then move Lind to 1B, the position he played in college.
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
Greg, There you have it. Thanks for the input, big guy.
Do you think galarraga had a chance at rookie of the year? if not who will win do you think?
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
James, Armando Galarraga has done a really nice, under the radar job for the Tigers, but if Evan Longoria can come back and do anything in the final month, the award is his to lose.
Tom (Kansas City)
Would it make any sense to never buy a glove for a child, teach them to hit lefty, and spend all of their time on hitting? It seems to me that you can concentrate on one thing and be a good DH in the AL.
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Tom, Just look at the 6 or 7 left-handed hitting first base types who got picked so early in the draft this June. A lot of parents are already thinking in that direction.
Andreas (concord ma)
I understand cliff lee will be the cy young winner...however if dice-k can get 20 wins with a 2.9 era those are very much cy young numbers as well and i think people have not given him enough credit for keeping the sox in this. Would you consider him a cy candidate?
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Andreas, Dice-K has some nice numbers, but he's only pitched 132 innings. He'll finish behind Lee, Roy Halladay and Ervin Santana, to name at least three.
Mike (Amityville, LI)
Mr Crasnick, I think Met fans in general are not as concerned with John Maine's injury as outsiders are. I think the rise of Mike Pelfrey has eased our nerves. Are we justified?
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Mike, The Mets would be OK without Maine if they were assured of making the postseason. A playoff rotation of Santana, Pelfrey, Perez and Pedro would be fine. But with that horrendous bullpen, you need a rotation that's going to take the pressure off the relief corps. For what it's worth, I think Maine is going to be OK. The guy you should be more worried about is Billy Wagner.
Not to mention Dice-K's horrible 78-117 BB-K ratio and his .266 BABIP (well below the league average of .300 - showing a combo of luck and good defense to get all those balls that don't miss bats)
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Glen, Yeah, this really is a case where the win-loss total is deceptive. Cliff Lee's secondary stats are all terrific, so that's why he's the clear Cy Young pick.
Jonny West Ripon. wi
I understand Pujols is an outstanding player this year but what Soto seems to be doing as a rookie catcher is above and beyond what we have seen in baseball. Where does he stand for the MVP? Or maybe rookie of the Year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Jonny, Soto is definitely Rookie of the Year. He might finish top 10 in the MVP balloting, but I don't think he'll be among the leaders.
Should the Rays consider trading BJ Upton this offseason? He just doesn't seem to fit in with this team and he isn't signed long term.
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Andy, Let's wait and see whether the Rays make the postseason (and how far they go) before we start trading away BJ Upton. There are some elements missing right now (look at that .391 slugging percentage, and the occasionally half-hearted approach to running out groundballs). But he just turned 24, and he plays a premium position. The Rays already traded Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes, and I think they see BJ as a kid who'll get the message eventually. I'd be very surprised if they trade him this winter.
Mike G (nyc)
Sorry, to backtrack - but what do you make of Pelfrey long term. seems the Mets at least have some reward for not trading him..
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Mike, I thought Pelfrey could be a good back end of the rotation guy, but now it appears he'll be better than that. He can really pound the sinker -- a la Brandon Webb. We might be looking at a solid 2-3 guy for years to come.
Jeff (St. Louis)
Come on Jerry, answer one questions about St. Louis. I think the Cards have a shot, especially since the Brewers have a tendency to blow things down the stretch. What do you think?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Jeff, Unless Carpenter comes back and gives them a big lift in September (a dubious proposition), I think the Cards are going to fall short in the wild card race. Sorry -- they've made a valiant effort.
FIX THE TIGERS...PLEASE!
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Jim, It's going to take a lot of work. I talked to a scout who told me half the guys on that team are sleepwalking and look as if they're dying for the season to end. Hey, I picked them to win the World Series. Can I get a mulligan on that one?
Brewers have a tendency to blow things down the stretch? They have one time, last year. They were a young team with no vets that have been there before. They do now, and it has shown.
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Nate, Yeah, there's a different feel with that club, especially when you have Sabathia and Sheets in the rotation. As I mentioned in my story on strong September players the other day, Sabathia is historically awesome in the final month. I think he'll carry them to the finish line.
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. It's time for Jayson Stark's chat. Let's do it again next week.