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 guys, Let's get started. All these postseason scenarios are making my head swim. (And speaking of swimming, there's a 90 percent chance of rain in NY today and tomorrow).
Jeff (Sturgis, MI)
Jerry, can you believe those THREE walkoff wins last night? Which team got the biggest lift from their walkoff?
Jerry Crasnick (12:01 PM)
Jeff, I'd have to say the Twins, just because that sweep was so demoralizing to the White Sox and Minnesota would have been 1 1/2 games out with a loss. But we're at the stage where every game is huge for all these clubs.
Travis (St. Paul, MN)
Simple question: Twins or White Sox and why?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Travis, You have to go with Minnesota at this point -- although Kansas City is playing well and the Royals have the edge with that Gil Meche-Glen Perkins matchup Saturday. Chicago is great at home, but Ozzie is going with a shaky Javier Vazquez on short rest Saturday, and Mark Buehrle will have to beat Cliff Lee on three days rest Sunday. Then it's possible Chicago will have to beat Detroit Monday to get in. The Sox have an awful lot on their plate this weekend.
Jason (Bergenfield, NJ)
If the mets end up playing 2 on Sunday, will-should Jerry bring back Ollie on 3 days rest?
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Jason, Normally I would say no. Perez really labored throwing 105 pitches in 4 1/3 innings in his last start, and when his mechanics get out of whack, he can be a disaster. But he's 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA vs. Florida this season, and I'm not sure Jon Niese is ready for this big a spotlight just yet. I'm sure Jerry Manuel will have to consider it.
Josh Beckett (Boston)
Yes or no, I'm the reason the other teams should not forget about the Red Sox in the playoffs and I'm the reason we should still be favorite?
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Josh, Trust me -- I don't think anybody has forgotten about you guys in the playoffs. You're not the sole reason that the Red Sox can be considered a favorite. But along with Papelbon, Ortiz, Youkilis and Pedroia, you're a very big one.
Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles
We're going to either Chicago or the east coast to start the NLDS. Where do we want to end up?
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Los Angeles, If you guys had a choice, I think you would book the next trip to New York.
Matt (St. Paul)
As a Twins fan, I'm very concerned about the let-down factor after a dramatic win last night to sweep the ChiSox....
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Matt, That's always something to consider. But Ron Gardenhire does a great job of keeping that team level-headed. The Twins suffered some excruciating losses on the road recently, and it never affected them mentally. Plus, that crowd will be out of its mind this weekend. I don't think the fans will allow them to have a letdown.
Bryce (Delmont, SD)
If the twins clinch the central will that guarantee Morneau the MVP?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Bryce, I honestly don't think a swing of one game should make a difference. That seems awfully arbitrary to me. But I suspect it might for the people who vote for that award. If the Twins win the division, it might be enough for Morneau to squeak past Dustin Pedroia and win the MVP.
Tim (Port St Lucie)
Do you think Ozzies rants and "challenges" have hurt the team more than help? Is he to blame for not winning the division?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Tim, I love Ozzie -- he's a great guy and extremely entertaining -- and sometimes his rants serve a purpose. But when he starts exchanging in give-and-take with his players and issuing "challenges" in the final week of a tight race, I don't think it serves any purpose. That team is tight enough right now, and he's not helping matters.
Birdman (Boston, MA)
Morneau has almost exactly the numbers that Raul Ibanez has. Just thought I'd point that out. I'm going Pedroia.
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Birdman, I don't think Raul Ibanez will be in the top 10 among MVP candidates, but he'll make up for it this winter on the free agent market.
Matt (St. Paul)
I know Joe Maddon's name is already being etched onto the Coach of the Year award...but Gardy has done maybe the finest coaching job of anyone this year...thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Matt, Ron Gardenhire has done an awesome job bringing that Twins team to the verge of a Central title, but Joe Maddon sewed up the AL Manager of the Year Award a long time ago. (Don't call those guys "coach," by the way. "Skip" is fine, but never "coach")
Tim (Chicago, IL)
What is the Cubbies playoff rotation goin to look like and do is the most favorable matchup?
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Tim, I haven't looked that far ahead, but with Ryan Dempster starting the ALDS opener, I assume that Zambrano and Harden will come after him, then Lilly. (If I'm wrong on the sequencing, I hope some Cubbies diehard will correct me).
Gallardo's start went on without a hitch and not only did he pitch well but he gave the Crew another emotional boost. This Pirates series woke this team up, and I think they are going to take the WC. I hope Sveum and Yount are back next year, too.
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Nate, You're right -- Gallardo was terrific, throwing 92-93 with exceptional control given the layoff. It's funny about Sveum: The guy was run out of Boston for his third base coaching mishaps, and now he has a chance to be a mega-hero in Milwaukee. Good for him.
Kyle (La crosse, WI)
What's wrong with Carlos Zambrano?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Kyle, Who the heck knows with that guy? Remember, he recently went on the DL with some arm crankiness before coming back and pitching that no-hitter. It wouldn't surprise me if he's something less than 100 percent physically.
Mauer has better or similair stats than Pedroia in every major catagory except HR, and he has 130 less AB's. Just wanted to point that out to Birdman.
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Brandon, Joe Mauer has been great, and he deserves a lot of credit for nurturing that young staff. But just about everyone I've talked to thinks that Morneau is clearly Minnesota's MVP just because of his power production with so little help in the middle of that order.
Nate (Las Vegas, NV)
Jerry, if Tim Lincecum wins his last start has he done enough to win the Cy Young? He leads the league in K's and ERA. Plus he did this on a losing team.
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Nate, I don't have a vote, but if I did, I'd take Lincecum over Brandon Webb by a nose (or an elbow, if you prefer).
With CC and Sheets gone where do the Crew go in the offseason. Hardy for Cain??
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Greg, Most of the speculation we're hearing is more along the lines of a Prince Fielder for Matt Cain swap. There's no way Brian Sabean gives up Matt Cain for JJ Hardy.
Johan CY young??
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Joe, He's probably third behind Lincecum and Webb.
Kyle (La crosse, WI)
Jerry, Do you think Mark Derosa was the cubs mvp this year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Kyle, You could pick any number of guys on that team, but I'd probably lean toward Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto ahead of DeRosa.
will robinson cano be a yankee next year? is the trouble in the clubhouse between him and Girardi enough to trade him? what about Cano for Kemp?
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Rerun, As I mentioned recently, Cano is an offensive second baseman who hit about .260 this year with a .300 on base percentage. He doesn't steal bases, he's not very good defensivel, he just got benched for dogging it, and he's in the middle of a $30 million contract. He's a lot better player than he showed this year, but his value is so low right now, this isn't the time for the Yankees to trade him. They're not going to get much value in return.
Would a 20th win on sunday put Mussina in the HOF?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
John, Personally, I'm about 80 percent sold on Mussina as a Hall of Famer regardless of whether he wins 20 this season. A guy's entire career shouldn't come down to a single start.
Daniel Murphy=Effective 2B next year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Andrew, I asked a scout about this last week, and he was very dubious about Murphy being able to make the switch to second base. But the kid's bat is so good, and he's so professional, the Mets will find a spot for him somewhere.
What's your take on Micah Hoffpauier? He's kind of old (28), but has looked great in AAA and in brief stints in the Majors....he had more HR's last night than DLee had in August.
Jerry Crasnick (12:28 PM)
Bill, The kid is a nice story. He may not be anything more than a Daryle Ward type off the bench, but he can really swing the bat. Hey, Mark Sweeney has had a productive career and made some money that way for more than a decade.
Nate (Antioch IL)
Who do you see making the playoffs first the Royals, Pirates or Giants?
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Nate, Oh my gosh. Kansas City plays in the toughest division, so that rules them out. So I guess that leaves the Pirates and the Giants. My temples are throbbing just trying to come up with an answer, so I'm afraid I'll have to pass.
Nate McLouth(Pitsburgh PA)
Jerry, Will I be playing CF for the Yankees in 2009?
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Nate, I don't think so.
Mets-Phillies-Brewers all tie, what happens?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Dave, The Phillies have a one-game lead. They're at home and play three against Washington, so there's no earthly excuse for them to come up short. As for Mets and Brewers, I'll have to take Milwaukee. New York's bullpen really scares me, and Florida is running out some really tough pitching against the Mets. Plus, the rain in New York could complicate matters for Jerry Manuel with his pitching. So I'll go with the Phils to win the NL East and Milwaukee to take the wild card. Sorry, Mets fans.
So you say the AL Central is a better division than the AL East? Look at the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Al East has to be tougher.
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Phil, No, the guy asked which team is going to make the playoffs first -- Pirates, Royals or Giants. I ruled out KC because the AL Central is tougher than the NL Central or the NL West.
PJ Bristol VA
Do you think it is fair that Chipper Jones will probably win the NL batting title (while sitting on the bench so much this season)?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
PJ, As long as Chipper has the requisite 502 plate appearances, it's not a question of "fair" or "unfair." That threshold is laid out in black and white, and he's surpassed it. For what it's worth, I'm sure Chipper would prefer to be playing. He's just not healthy enough.
Jerry, I have tickets to the Mets game on Sunday. They are calling for rain all weekend. Can you break down the scenarios of what will happen if Friday and or Saturday are rained out? Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Dan, Sorry, afraid I can't help you with that one. If they're rained out tonight, I imagine they'll try to double up tomorrow. I'm sure the Mets are watching the Doppler closely and assessing all their options at the moment.
Shane (Algona, Iowa)
The Twins are for real! It's exciting watchin this very young team come through in the clutch, like they have all season, and deliver a huge win to put them on top in the AL central. When the playoffs roll around, how far do you think the Twins will make it? World Series? They have shown they can come up big, and from behind, to win the big games. Plus, they have the potential MVP and Batting champ again, like in 06, when they had a huge comeback to take the division! You can never count these guys out.
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Shane, It's great to see a team like the Twins consistently churn out contending clubs each year on a small payroll, thanks to great scouting and player development. They could play Tampa in the first round, which would be a heck of a lot of fun. But I'd have to take the Rays based on the fact that they'll have 3 of 5 at home, where they're just as tough as Minnesota is in the Metrodome.
Jerry give me your world series picks.
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Shankia, Well, my preseason pick was Tigers over Mets. I can take a mulligan on that one, right? If you pushed me to make one today, I can see Red Sox vs. Cubs. Would that be fun, or what? Don't mean to diss the Angels, but they haven't played a meaningful game for a while, and that could hurt them in October.
Hey Jerry. You missed Phillip's question. You answered a different question. Let's hope that your Met forecast is just as inappropriate.
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Mike, Sorry if I messed up. I'm really flying through these today, and the opening for these questions is about the size of a thimble.
Jerry, I believe Dave in Boulder was asking about what sort of scenario would play out if the Phils, Mets and Brewers finished tied (i.e.- would they have a 1-game playoff between Philly & NY with the loser playing Milwaukee for the wild card). The question wasn't if you thought they all would finish tied.
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
John, OK. Yes, I think the NL East clubs would play off for the division title and the loser would face Milwaukee for the wild card. If I'm wrong on that, somebody feel free to let me know.
Do the voters take into account he ballpark factor when looking at MVP? Pedrois has a big wall 310 feet away in left field to knock doubles off of but if he played in the metrodome, where left field is 343, his numbers would be much worse as evidenced by the fact he has 33 home doubles and 19 away doubles.
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Mike, Dustin Pedroia is hitting .342 with seven homers and 43 RBIs at Fenway, and .309 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs on the road, so I don't buy the premise that he's benefited that greatly from the park in Boston.
Charles - Las Vegas
Is there any chance the Brewera could make a successful run at CC? Also who is going to give a big contract to Sheets. 13 gme winner (finally) in his highest win total ever.
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Charles, I just don't think Milwaukee has the wherewithal to play with the Yankees and some other big market clubs for CC. As for Sheets, I wonder if some team might give him a shorter contract with a higher annual value just because he's such an injury risk. This late season problem he's having isn't helping his marketability any.
Doug (Santa Barbara, CA)
Jerry, playing for HFA isn't meaningful? How can you say that not playing a meaningful game will hurt the Angels, and they say the Cubs will be in the World Series? Didn't the Cubs clinch awhile back, too? If you think the Sox are better, that's fine, but that's pretty weak reasoning.
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Doug, It's different scuffling for a playoff spot and playing for home field advantage when you have a 20 game lead in your division. I'm not ruling out the Angels as a World Series candidate, by any means. But that's something I'm sure Mike Scioscia has to be conscious of -- making sure they don't go stale. Plus, they've played an awful lot of games against Texas, Oakland and Seattle this season. That's not exacly the stiffest competition.
Hey Jerry do you think Albert Pujols has a legitiment shot at winning the NL MVP? He leads the NL in batting, 1st in slugging, and 1st in home runs how do you feel about that ? And Ryan Howard's dismal 30 homeruns?
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Jeff, I was in Bobby Cox's office the other day, and he said they should give it to the best player -- and that's Pujols. Albert would be my choice this season. I know the Cardinals aren't going to make the playoffs, but they didn't fall out of contentionb completely until a week ago, and Pujols has been sensational. To me, he's the guy.
Stephen (Sacramento, CA)
Why such a lack of repect for the Angels from most of the ESPN staff? Could there be pressure from the higher ups?
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Stephen, Believe it or not, nobody upstairs tells us what to say. Last year I picked the Angels to go to the World Series and I got burned when they flopped against Boston in the first round. Maybe I'm just a little gun shy.
Jerry, you are right about the 3 way scenario. Mets and Phills would play Monday in Philly (coin toss). The loser would then host Milwaukee on Tuesday(Milwaukee lost the coin toss) with winner of that game as the WC team
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Kevin, Thanks for sharing that.
Do you think it is fair the the Marlins are going to do play their best players against the Mets. Don't you think after last year, the Marlins should give the Mets a break?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Steiny, Yeah, maybe the Fish should go in the tank just to spare Mets fans from another bout of late September angst.
Matias (Buenos Aires)
Is Jason Bay an overrated baseball player or is it that he replaced a high profile player like Manny that makes him fly under the radar? And why is he constantly batting 5th or 6th for Boston?
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Matias, I think Bay ranks fourth among major league left fielders in OPS at just under .900. He's not Manny with a bat in his hands, but I'd take the guy. The Red Sox have a pretty nice lineup with Ortiz, Youkilis, Pedroia, and Lowell and Drew when they're healthy. Is there any shame hitting 5th or 6th for that club?
Jeff (Sturgis, MI)
Relating to Doug's question, I think the Cubs are in a very different situation than the Angels because their remaining games have all been against teams that are still very much in contention. The atmosphere at Shea this week was intense, and I know it will be just as electric at Miller Park this weekend. It's like the Cubs are already playing postseason baseball, whereas the Angels have been playing some relatively "meaningless" games.
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Jeff, Thanks for coming to my rescue and stating this more artfully and concisely than I did. The Cubs may not have much to play for, but I watched those Mets games on TV the last few days, and the tension was coming through the screen. You hit it right on the head with your description. I don't think the Angels have been involved in games at anything close to that intensity for a while now.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
How bad do you think this Ichiro thing is? How far do you see it going?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Steve, It's not great, but I think some of these Mariners need to shut up and worry about their own performance. Ichiro has his own way of preparing, and some of his teammates apparently regard him as "selfish." But I remember hearing the same thing about guys like Tony Gwnn and Pete Rose. Let's put it this way, Ichiro isn't going anywhere, so his teammates better learn to come to grips with his approach to the game.
Do you Carlos Gomez can cut down on his swing (and Ks) and play consistently like he did last night? And will he get any gold glove consideration, he shoud.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Patrick, I don't think Gomez has the plate discipline to ever be a high OBP guy. But if he can get his on base percentage up to .330 or .340, he'll be a weapon with that speed. You're right about the Gold Glove. If the coaches and managers are paying attention, he should get a lot of consideration.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. This was a fun chat. Keep your eyes on the games this weekend. It should be a blast to watch this play out.