Chat with Rob Neyer
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You really love chatting, don't you?
Rob Neyer (12:01 PM)
I do! I love me some chatting, would do it all day every day if they'd let me. It's great exercise!
Hey Rob. Do you think Baldelli can still play center, or are those days behind him. Wouldn't he be worth taking a flier on for a mil or two, instead of going with Melky or Gardner if you're the Yanks?
Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
Well, I thought he could still play center ... and then I'm saw him being replaced by Gabe Gross for defensive purposes, and I started wondering. Baldelli might play 150 games next year, but I doubt if any team is going to enter next season counting on it.
Howell (Memphis TN)
Does it make sense to offer Jason Bay an extension. I know there is talk of Holiday, but I don't think he is nearly as good away from Coors (and neither do the numbers)
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
Howell, Bay's already signed through next season. He just turned 30, and I don't think the Sox would seriously consider extending him for more than two or three years, as the one thing that brings down rich and successful teams is having too many high-salaried guys in their mid-30s and older.
Any comments on Conseco coming out and apologizing for naming names in "Juiced"? He seems to have hit rock bottom.
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
Oh, no. Canseco hasn't come anywhere near rock bottom yet. Just wait.
Rob, you're starting a team and can choose between 24-year old LHPs Cole Hamels and Jon Lester. Whom would you go with?
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
Lester, if only because he's done what he's done in the Big Boy League. Hamels does have a better, longer track record...
Rob, would you consider the Red Sox season a success or failure? Although the ultimate goal is to win a World Series considering all of the drama with MannyB, the bad timing of injuries and the Rays being a team of destiny I feel as though Sox fans should look at the season as a success. Agree or disagree and why. Thanks Rob.
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
Big success. You can't win the World Series every year, and they came with a couple of big swings from at least getting a shot at it.
Hey Rob, Traditionally, a team with a long lay-off in the playoffs has a hard time getting back into rythem. The Phillies have had a week off, and the rays just 2 days. Do you see this affecting the series, and if so who does it favor this time around?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
We've had this conversation before ... I don't think it's a good thing, though a bit of rest may do Jamie Moyer some good. And I'm not sure we've seen enough teams after long layoffs to know anything for sure.
Hey Rob. What realistic chance do you give the Brewers of resigning C.C? There is a little something in me that thinks he'll at least consider their offcer, but I am also realistic in knowing that it would be hard turning down Yankee dollars or his comfort of being on the West Coast. Do they have any legitimate shot, or is any hope that I have false hope? Thanks
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
Ryan, I'm not sure how to put this . . . The Brewers have no real intention of signing Sabathia. They're bringing up the possibility just to convince fans that they care about the 2009 Brewers just as much as you do. It's a necessary PR move. But that's all it is.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Mr. Neyer: Should any more be made of Joba Chamberlain's little run-in with the law other than a kid making a mistake or is it much more than that?
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
Adults make the same mistake. Many times. Every night. Chamberlain should be punished appropriately, then allowed to get on with his life, which we can only hope will be conducted with a bit more intelligence.
Hey Rob! Love the chats, even read 'em when I miss them. Speaking of, did you chat during Game 7? Can't find the link anywhere on espn.com, including the chat schedule page, what's the story?
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
I did chat during Game 7, J. I'm sure it's still out there somewhere, but I have a devil of a time finding those suckers myself, sometimes. Anyway, yesterday's news and all that . . . I believe I'll be chatting during Game 1 tomorrow night, hope to see you then.
Rob, Why is that when different teams make the Super Bowl it is good for the game, but when teams not from NY or Boston make the World Series, the media thinks the exact opposite?
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
I don't know about this "media" of whom you speak, but it's true that football games have national appeal -- think about the Super Bowl, or even Monday Night Football -- while baseball is more parochial. What I don't understand is the media's fixation on TV ratings. Trust me: The Game will survive a low-rated World Series.
Rob, assuming the Rays bring back the very key guys from this year's team (which they will) do you see them as a potential dynasty because of their age and strong farm system or do you think it's just too hard due to the divison and league they play in as certainly the Yankees and Sox will both upgrade their teams in the off season.
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
The Rays aren't going to win 95 games every year, Mark. But I see them in the 88-94 range for the next few seasons, and picking off one or two tournament berths. The key will be keeping most of their young pitchers healthy.
Is it me or is David Price's stuff just that nasty? After seeing him in Game 7 I'm amazed Maddon didn't go to him in Game 5 when they were blowing it.
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
I get the impression that Maddon's still trying to figure out who he can trust in his bullpen, and who he can't. As for Price, it's all about throwing the ball near the strike zone. He does that and you're not going to beat him.
Leigh St. Pete FL
Hi Rob, what would be your decision-putting in Hinske for the WS roster or Price?
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
Can't I have both of them? Price has to be on the roster now, and Hinske would be a mighty useful pinch-hitter. I'm not sure who's the odd man out ... Fernando Perez? If Maddon really thinks Gross is a good right fielder, I'm not sure what purpose Perez serves.
Justin (St. Petersburg, FL)
Rob, What happens to the starting rotation of the Rays next year? Jackson and Sonnanstien did well but Price is supposed to be a number 1 guy. Plus they have a lot down in the minors.
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
My guess is that Jackson either gets traded or moved to the bullpen, with Price entering the rotation. As for all that talent in the minors, these things do have a way of sorting themselves out, plus Price probably won't be expected to pitch more than 140-160 innings.
Rob, let me start out by saying I think the Rays were the better team but if a healthy Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell showed up for the ALCS do you think we're talking about a Sox/Phils WS right now?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
Maybe ... but probably not. Let's give the Red Sox Game 3, with a healthy Beckett ... but if you change *anything* about the lineup, you probably don't make the comeback in Game 5. And I don't know that Lowell alone makes a difference in Game 7.
EricN Erie, CO
What are those rope thingies that some of the guys (e.g., Lester) wear around their necks? They look heavy and stiff.
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
They're made of titanium, and developed by the same people who brought you Scientology and Intelligent Design. I'm sure they make a real difference on the field, and I'm surprised that every player doesn't wear them.
In response to the injuries. Do you think the yankees would have went 162-0 if Wang, A-rod, Jeter, Matsui, Posada, Hughes and a hand full of other important players didn't miss extended periods of time. I'm tired of hearing about injuries. They are a part of the game.
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
Sure. But you have to admit that the Rays were healthier than the Red Sox this month, and that it might have made a difference in this particular case.
nick (albuquerque, nm)
Mr. Neyer, would you let EricN know that they are made by a company called Phiten. it helps with shoulder and neck issues.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
No, it doesn't. Except maybe as a placebo ... "Hey, suddenly my shoulder and neck feel better!" ... OK buddy. Whatever works for you.
KO (Pittsfield, MA)
If the Sox had made it to the WS could they have brought in Buchholz from the AFL or would that have been against the rules?
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
I believe they could have. But of course wouldn't have.
Tim (Wilmington, DE)
Hey Rob, You picked the Rays in 5. Care to explain? I just can't agree with you there. The only edge the Rays have over the Phils is their starting rotation. And even that is ever so slight. I'd take Hamels over Kazmir, Myers and Shields are a stalemate, Garza over Moyer, Blanton and Sonnanstine are pretty close. That actually seems like a push now. Phils in 6.
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
Really? The only edge I see the Phils having over the Rays is defense up the middle, and that's just because of Utley. If the Rays and Phillies played 162 games the Rays would win 90 of them.
Actually Rob, Gammons yesterday said the Red Sox WOULD have added Buchholz to the WS roste.r
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
Really? Well, he would know. You can color me shocked.
What's your stance on the Phillies "Why Can't Us?" slogan? Stupid; hilarious; something in between?
Rob Neyer (12:36 PM)
Hilarious. And more memorable than "Cowboy Up."
And somewhere in those 162 games b/t the Rays and Phils, of which the Rays win 90, the Phils probably rattle off 4 straight wins. It's October, folks. Crazier stuff has happened.
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
Of course. But you can't go around predicting the crazy stuff unless you don't care if you're right. Which I suppose is defensible.
So I assume you like Kazmir over Hamels in Game 1, or you're predicting the Rays sweep in Philly, beating Hamels in Game 5?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
I won't go so far as to predict the outcome of each game, but I think Hamels will beat the Rays once and the Phillies will lose everything else. Specific enough for you?
Carl Crawford is a FA after '09? what about upton?
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
Gus, Upton's locked up for a while yet. I believe he won't be FA-eligible until 2011, or maybe even '12. And that's assuming the Rays don't lock him up like they did with Longoria and Shields.
You said that the Rays would win around 90 games per year, but they have all of thier key players coming back (except maybe BJ Upton) and honestly he didnt really do a whole lot for us during the REGULAR season...and they are adding a few pieces to the puzzle (Talbot, Price, Niemann, Perez?) so why would they not get better? If you are picking them to win the Series, wouldn't they be able to win 100 games in the next few years?
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
Because they overachieved a bit this year, particularly on the pitching/defense side of the equation. I'm not saying they won't be good next year. I'm saying it's hard to improve on 97 wins and an American League pennant.
Gerry Seattle, WA
Hey Rob. Can you explain defensive stats to me a bit? I know that Fielding % is pretty irrelevant, but how are defenders graded properly? Thanks!!
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
There are a lot of smart people doing interesting work, and coming up with mostly the same answers. You just have to look around. I tend to rely on John Dewan's Fielding Bible data, which is available at Bill James Online.
Stephen (Granite, OK)
What are your thoughts on the Pads looking to deal Peavy? Granted, they need some new blood, but at the cost of giving up your best player?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
I think if somebody offers two or three Grade A prospects, that's a deal you have to make if you're the Padres. Peavy's not worth much to them if they don't have enough talent in the pipeline to back him up.
BJ Upton had a 9.6 WARP3 this season, I think saying he didn't do much in the regular season is an oversimplification.
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
Did I say that? I hope not. Between the walks and the steals and the defense, he brought a lot more than just a good batting average. Once he adds 25-30 homers per season -- and I think he will -- he's an MVP candidate.
Carol (Largo, FL)
Hi Rob--the link for the game 7 chat is http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=23094. ;o)
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
I thank you, Carol, and my mom thanks you.
From the Phiten website: "We will never offer an item that might have an ill effect on your health, no matter how convenient and useful it may be. That's our philosophy." Good to know!
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
Thanks, Daniel. I just placed my order.
What is your opinion on Cole Hamels now? I believe it was either you or Keith Law who said they would take Clayton Kershaw over Hamels.
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
I can't speak for Keith, but I believe the last time I wrote anything negative about Hamels might have been two years ago, when I wondered about his long-term durability. I don't have any real doubts about him now.
Jonathan (Boston, MA)
You've said a bunch of times that the Indians are favorites for next year. Aren't some of their problems from this year likely to last into next? Isn't Hafner probably finished? Is Carmona likely to recover after getting his arm destroyed by the 2007 season? Can Victor get healthy?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
I see a team that suffered through all sorts of devastating injuries, traded their best pitcher in the middle of the season, and still won 81 games. They have some work to do this winter, and I'm not saying they're in the World Series next year. But I do think they'll win the Central.
Jake (St Pete)
Did Garza's Game 7 performance chance your view on him in any way? Potential ace someday?
Rob Neyer (1:01 PM)
I've considered him a potential ace since 2006 when he blasted through the minors.
Would you trade Kershaw, Kemp, and McDonald for Peavy? That seems to be the names being thrown around...seems like a lot especially after seeing McDonald in the playoffs.
Rob Neyer (1:05 PM)
No, I would not. Kershaw and McDonald, maybe, based on the old bird-in-the-hand theory. But Kemp's going to be an outstanding major league hitter for many years. If the Dodgers don't re-sign Manny, they're going to need Kemp.
Any insight on the Mariners GM situation?
Rob Neyer (1:06 PM)
Nope. I just hope Kim Ng gets the job, because it would be a great story.
Hey Rob, if the WS goes to Philadelphia tied at 1-1, do you still think it will be over in 5? Meaning the Phillies lose all three at home.
Rob Neyer (1:08 PM)
Seems unlikely, doesn't it? I think the Rays will win the first two, then Game 3, then lose Game 4 to Hamels on short rest, then finish off the Phillies in Game 5. How's that?
Where will Jake Peavy be pitching in 2009?
Rob Neyer (1:10 PM)
Don't be shocked if the Red Sox get him, because they have the prospects to trade and the money to spend. And age isn't an issue, as Peavy's will be in the prime of his career for the length of his existing contract.
How do you pronounce Ng?
Rob Neyer (1:11 PM)
I'd always wondered that, until I met her. It's "ing" or "eng" (or maybe somewhere in the middle).
There's no chance Jacoby Ellsbury might be traded this offseason, right?
Rob Neyer (1:14 PM)
I think it's unlikely, Dan. The Red Sox have now been nursing him along for two seasons. No reason to deal him now, as he's about to hit his peak seasons. No, he's not going to hit 20 homers. But he'll get on base, he'll steal, and he'll play Gold Glove defense. There's some real value there, already.
Rob, you mention Peavy going to the Red Sox. Why not the Yanks?
Rob Neyer (1:14 PM)
Yanks don't have the prospects unless they decide to deal Hughes and/or Kennedy. Which might not be a bad idea, come to think of it...
Have you looked at the starting rotation for the Indians next year? Lee and a bunch of question marks. Plus their BP was horrible this year.
Rob Neyer (1:16 PM)
Their batting practice was horrible? Oh, you mean their bullpen. Yeah, but that's a point in their favor, because the bullpen is the easiest thing to fix. Remember their bullpen in 2007?
Cano and Kennedy for Matt Kemp? Yankees need a center fielder and reports say the Dodgers love Cano.
Rob Neyer (1:18 PM)
One sticking point: I'm not sure Kemp is a center fielder for much longer. I think he's about to grow out of the position (if he hasn't already). Also, do the Dodgers need another young starter? Can't Jamie McDonald be that guy if they want one?
Mr. Neyer, You obviously have not been following the PHillies closely this year and solely base your decisions on the fact that the American League is "stronger". Follow the Phils through 162 games and you'll realize the Series will go 6 with the Phils winning.
Rob Neyer (1:19 PM)
Gosh, when you put it that way ... Is it too late to change my pick?
Rob, considering the amount of influence a GM has on the direction of a team, are they woefully underpaid?
Rob Neyer (1:22 PM)
It's a good question, Greg. Julio Lugo makes $9 million, and Theo Epstein gets, what? A third of that? A quarter? But that's the established pay scale, and it's hard to bust out of that. Billy Beane does own a chunk of the Athletics.
John (Portland, ME)
How do you think Peavy would do in the AL and/or away from Petco?
Rob Neyer (1:23 PM)
His numbers would suffer in the AL for all the obvious reasons, but his career numbers away from Petco are surprisingly excellent. Or were, the last time I checked.
Steve, Portland, OR
Kim Ng would be a great story, but would she be a good GM?
Rob Neyer (1:24 PM)
I don't have the slightest idea, Steve. Which is why I can't actually recommend that she be hired.
These Phillie fans need to relax. Of course they have a chance to win. The fact that the '06 WS trophy is sitting in St. Louis instead of Detroit should be all the proof they need that all it takes is one hot week (and/or one bad week) to make it happen. Seriously, all Rob is doing is giving his opinion on how he thinks it'll go down. And yes, I'm still bitter about '06.
Rob Neyer (1:25 PM)
I would be, too. Tigers had no business getting blown out by the Cards.
Dave (Raleigh, NC)
What do you think about the rumored Castillo / Guillen headache swap for KC and the Mets? Me, I'd rather the Royals splash at Burrell, and get Kelly Johnson from the Braves to man 2B.... What's KC to do this offseason?
Rob Neyer (1:26 PM)
Just thinking about Guillen gives me a headache . . . Can you do me a favor and not mention him again until next April?
Do you think Melvin should trade away Prince or Hardy this year? I know they aren't resigning CC or Sheets.
Rob Neyer (1:27 PM)
Hardy, definitely, because the Brewers have a hot shortstop prospect. Fielder, sure, if there's somebody to play first base. Maybe wait a year, then trade the big guy and move Braun to the infield?
Carmona's arm was not destroyed after his 2007 workload. He suffered a groin injury covering first base.
Rob Neyer (1:28 PM)
Thanks, Rick. Carmona did pitch a lot of innings in '07, compared to '6. We'll see...
Bullpen Cart Bob (Pgh)
Is Joe Kerrigan a good fit with the Pirates as pitching coach? Can he drive the cart?
Rob Neyer (1:29 PM)
I love the move, surprised it took him this long to get another job. Thanks for all the questions, and I'm going to hand you off to Mr. Olney (in another room). I hope to see you tomorrow night during Game 1. Until then, don't forget: "The past has a vote, but not a veto."
Can you make a public service announcement about the difference between "resign" and "re-sign"?
Rob Neyer (1:30 PM)
p.s. I'm afraid all I can do is what I do, because nobody else seems to care.