Chat with Page 2's Jim Caple
Caple is a senior writer at ESPN.com, with his weekly baseball column "Off Base" for Page 2 among his contributions. Before coming to ESPN, Jim worked in Minneapolis and Seattle. His first book, "The Devil Wears Pinstripes," can also be ordered through his Web site, JimCaple.net.
Send your questions and join Caple at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday to chat!
Jim Caple (1:32 PM)
OK, the World Baseball Classic has started and we're 30 days from the first pitch of the regular season. Let's get the chat going.
Brandon parma mi [via mobile]
this last year was going to be the last year for baseball at the olympics with the wbc now happening every 4 years how about giving olympic medals to 123 in the wbc
Jim Caple (1:35 PM)
I don't think that will happen because it would cost money to mint the medals. But I do think baseball will be back in the Olympics for 2016, especially if Chicago or Tokyo get the bid for host city. The new head of the International Baseball Federation is Dr. Harvey Schiller, who is a former president of the USOC and knows all the important players in the IBC and the networks. He says he is very confident it will get voted back in this fall.We'll sse.
Any chance Canada makes it out of the 1st round? 50,000 plus fans for the US-Can game!
Jim Caple (1:39 PM)
They're missing some of theirr best pitchers (Harden, Dempster, Francis) but yes, Canada has a good chance to advance. Espcially if they can somehow get Fergie Jenkins out there. Seriously, I thnk the U.S. and Canada should advance from that pool.
Do you think the WBC should be played after the season so players don't get injured?
Jim Caple (1:43 PM)
It's an interesting thought but it has its own issues. They would have to wait until after the World Series -- no way does MLB (or fans) want to see the WBC competing with the postseason -- which means they would have sit out an entire month before playing. I think that could lead to some injuries. Plus, you would have all sorts of issues regardng free agents not wanting to get hurt while trying to get a contract, etc. Plus, I know players get paid a lot of money but that would be a very long season for them. The money is great, but that doesn't mean the body will perform up to the usual level if it's tired..
Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)
How is Cody Ransom not on the US roster? Plenty of people saying that Yankees are better off with him than A-Rod.......should be a no-brainer!
Jim Caple (1:46 PM)
Flemming -- You live in a beautiful city. Is Tivoli Gardensopenin the winter? But who is sayng the Yankees are better off with Ransom than A-Rod, othr than Cody's mother? A-Rod could miss half the season. How is losing the league's best player for that long good for the Yankees? Actually, with this injury ad the way the Yankees still depend on a lot of older players, i could see them sinking again. Maybe a .500 club.
What was the first thing that went through your head when you heard Brewers pitcher Braden Looper missed his turn in the rotation because he sneezed too hard?
Jim Caple (1:46 PM)
I was shocked it wasn't A-Rod, the way he seems to be in every possible headline.
What are Pittsburghs chances of repeating next year
Jim Caple (1:47 PM)
I like the wya you phrase that. I would say excellent. Last place in 2009 and 2010.
Eagles Fan (Philly)
Can the Rays Repeat this year with such a great breakout season or will they just come out flat
Jim Caple (1:49 PM)
Geerally, I thnk it is very hard tor repeat but given that the Rays are young, they could. I don't think they will come out flat but I could see them struggling against guys who have studied their tapes all winter.
Kyle (Ottawa, ON)
Why not a mid-season break for the WBC. The NHL does it for the olympics every 4 years and cancel the all-star game that year. Best on best is better than pointless exhibition. And you could drop the total games to like 154 which needs to be done anyway.
Jim Caple (1:52 PM)
The owners would be opposed to cutting eight games out of the revenue pool. If you average, say $30 per fan per game, and 30,000 fans per game (which is probably low for some teams), that's about a million dollar a game they would lose. I would like tos ee them drop the All-Star game in WBC years and play the final rouds then. I think that would be more compelling than the the way the WBC ends now and certainly more exciting than the All-Star Game.
ok jason giambi admitts to using steroids and misses about fifty games that season.now arod admitts to steroid use and is about to miss about 50 games.can u say suspension cover up
Jim Caple (1:53 PM)
No, because neither admitted to steroid use when steroids were banned so they wouldn't be suspended.
Why is it so important that A-rod tell everybody where and who got him steroids, I thought once you told the truth everthing suppose to get better
Jim Caple (1:55 PM)
I'm a little puzzled by that myself. I think it's a bit of a feeding frenzy by the media. I suggest a moratorium on all A-Rod stories until he plays another game,
if u get caught using steriods u should be banned from the game for an entire season that will make them think twice about using steriods
Jim Caple (1:55 PM)
I think getting suspended for half the season already makes them think twice
I love the idea of having Ichiro pitch. How fast do you think he would pitch?
Jim Caple (1:56 PM)
think he would be around 90 for a batter or two, then his arm would start to ache. He has a very godo arm and he pitched in high school.
Who is going to win the WBC?
Jim Caple (1:57 PM)
Geez, I pick the questions first then see the names and I realize I've been having a personal chat with Steiny. Anyway, I pick Japan. Excellent pitching and they take the WBC very seriously.
Josh (Dallas, TX)
What are the chances Yu Darvish comes over from Japan to play in America? If he does, what do you think his bid will be? Somewhere around what Daisuke was offered?
Jim Caple (1:59 PM)
It's tough to say. One guy tells me he expects him after this season. I'd say he will get Dice-K money,probably more, depending on the economy. He's the real deal.
Which team has the strongest rotation? If beckett is healthy again, lester continues to improve, and dice-k can have the season he is capable of, is that not the best 1-2-3 in the game?
Jim Caple (2:02 PM)
If, if, if. If Felix finally develops as expected and Bedard is healthy and Brandon Morrow continues to improve ... If Lincecum repeats, Cain is heatlthy, Zito comes back and the UNit has a great season .. . . But yes, Boston should have one of the league's best rotations.
Chevel (San Juan, PR)
Any reason a Cubs fan should be optimistic this season after the underwhelming off-season performance by Jim Hendry?
Jim Caple (2:03 PM)
Many reasons. They have a very good team. They play in the NL Central which is down this year. And they were better than they showed in the postseason. I think they'll win the division.
If you were Japan's manager would you start Ichiro or Fukudome in center?
Jim Caple (2:05 PM)
Ichiro. Wouldn't even have to think about it.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
The Phillies under-acheived at the plate last year (no one hit .300, Utley was hurt and Howard only showed up in August). Assuming that the pitching comes back to earth a bit, do they have enough offense to repeat?
Jim Caple (2:07 PM)
Yes, they clearly have enough to repeat. But will they? I would bet against it. One of these years the Mets will realize that there 162 games on the schedule, not 154..
How much do you think it will help Prince Fielder, with taking off some weight?
Jim Caple (2:14 PM)
it should help in the long run to keep him healthy and uninjured. But doesn't it seem like we see often see fat guys drop weight and then lose their form at the plate or on the mound?
Jason: (hackettstown, nj) [via mobile]
Do you think the phillies should have done more to bolster their rotation?
Jim Caple (2:15 PM)
I just love that they gave a two-year contract to Jamie Moyer. How awesome is that?
Will anything good come out of the Holiday trade for the Rockies?
Jim Caple (2:16 PM)
Well, they save some salary.
"One of these years the Mets will realize that there 162 games on the schedule, not 154." You sure about that?
Jim Caple (2:16 PM)
I'm not sure -- what do their pocket schedules say? Maybe that's the problem.
Starting today, what rotation would you take? As is, non of this LaLa land if's.....Where would you rank the Yanks roatation over all?
Jim Caple (2:20 PM)
For this season? If I had to bet I would take Boston's in the AL. And just to be different, SF in the NL. As far as the Yankees, I would rank it in the top 5 but I anticipate injuries.
Jj new York new york [via mobile]
what's the chances USA wins the WBC ?
Jim Caple (2:22 PM)
Pretty decent but it would have been better if a lot of guys hadn't dropped out at the last minute. How would you like LaTroy Hawkins holding a late-inning lead for you? But the U.S. has the best lineup and some pretty good pitching, ad i Think most of the guys i it will take the series fairly seriously. I pick a U.S.-Japan final.
What do you think of the irony of Cabrera and Garciaparra joining the same team?
Jim Caple (2:24 PM)
Hadn't considered that until you mentioned it but that is pretty interesting. Billy beane picked upa lot of nice bargains out there by waiting until the other teams ran out of money. Oakland is going to be very interesting this year.
Dee corpus christi texas [via mobile]
Who do u think is the team to watch for this season?
Jim Caple (2:29 PM)
I say this in part because they were my team as a kid, but I really think the Giants could be pretty decent. Everyone was predicting 110 losses for them last year but just didn't see it with that pitching. And the offense should be improved -- I hear fantastic thngs about Sandoval. And that'sa weak division. I also look for teh Mariners and Oakland to bounce back. Cleveland, too
Rob Todd, Pittsburgh Pa [via mobile]
I'm from pittsburgh the pirates stink and the only good thing associated with them is pnc. How if anyway could they change this losing culture?
Jim Caple (2:32 PM)
It's as if they have never recovered from not re-signing Barry Bonds, is't it? The thing they need to do is get good people on staff and then stick with a plan. They have a fantastic stadium. They're in a division that is competitive but not dominated by a big market club. But they need to keep the good players they develop, not trade them all away. That Jason Bay trade was just scandalous.
Where would you rank the Twins rotation? Not many teams go 5 deep like the Twins do.
Jim Caple (2:32 PM)
I pick the Twins to win the division and send the Metrodeom out in style. Admit it, you'll miss it when they leave.
Jim Caple (2:33 PM)
OK. I gotta go and score the WBC brackets in the office pool. Thanks for chatting.