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, Let's talk some ball as we ponder who's the more versatile two-way player -- Yovani Gallardo or Jonathan Van Every.
Jason (Osan AB, Korea)
How do you think the Yankees will react to ARods return in a few weeks? The allegations of intentional pitch tipping have to be quite unsettling to his teammates. I have a feeling the Yanks bullpen and bench will be watching his movements at 3rd very closely.
Jerry Crasnick (12:01 PM)
Jason, According to a New York Daily News story, A-Rod has also made passes at several players' wives and girlfriends. So they'll be watching him for reasons other than pitch-tipping.
J.P. Ricciardi (Toronto)
Jerry, Should I consider Pedro for some pitching help? He can't be that bad, and our owners have billions.
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
J.P., You guys just made a bunch of changes today, calling up Brett Cecil and two others from Triple-A Las Vegas and sending down David Purcey, Bryan Bullington and Brian Burres. So I don't see a Pedro sighting on the horizon anytime soon. Cecil, by the way, was 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA when the Jays called him up. He wasn't exactly setting the PCL on fire.
Aside from Tim Wakefield, the Redsox starters can hardly manage five innings per start. The bullpen has been outstanding, and the offense has made some great comebacks, but how long can the Sox continue to win like this?
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Evan, Hey, a couple of guys are going through a rough stretch, but the Sox did just win 11 straight, didn't they? Dice-K will be back soon, and that bullpen is deep enough to help them weather some storms. As long as Beckett and Lester are healthy, they should be fine.
At what point do David Price and Wade Davis become part of the Rays rotation. Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Steve, The Rays are monitoring David Price's pitch counts, and he's pitched a grand total of 17 innings in 4 games. I think he'll be in Durham for at least a few more starts. Wade Davis has great stuff, but his control hasn't been very good. They need to get Kazmir and Sonnanstine going. Five starts each is a little quick to panic for a team that made the World Series.
Mitchell (Cleveland, OH)
First of all, it's got to be Gallardo because Van Every got hit pretty hard. Plus, part of Van Every's normal job is throwing, but Gallardo's job has nothing to do with hitting. OK, anyway, on paper, the Indians are a pretty good team. What is holding them back?
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Mitchell, Thanks for the scouting report. It's obviously going to come down to pitching for the Indians. Cliff Lee has been very good lately, which is a great sign, but we'll see how much consistency they can get from the guys behind him. And I don't know why, but Cleveland's bullpen seems to be a problem no matter what moves Mark Shapiro makes.
jerry what do yout think about the mets solving their starting pitching woes by trading maine church and a prospect like eddie kunz or nick evans for either roy oswalt or jake peavy?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Josh, Thanks for sending in this week's "Wishful Thinking Trade of the Week."
swisher has 7 HR's AND a 0.00 ERA...don't forget about him!
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Rerun, Yep, Swish is also an effective two way player.
Scott (White Plains, NY)
What are your thoughts on what to expect from Tommy Hanson when the Braves finally call him up. He has a sub 2.00 ERA with well more than a K an inning in AAA. They can't keep him down for too much longer can they?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Scott, I know that Tommy Hanson has been terrific, but from what I've heard, they're in no rush to recall him. Lowe, Jurrjens and Javy Vazquez aren't going anywhere, and they paid a lot of money for Kenshin Kawakami, so you have to give him more than 3 or 4 starts before you make a judgment. Plus, Jo-Jo Reyes was terrific in his last start against St. Louis. Atlanta's biggest problem is a lack of offense -- not the No. 5 start in the rotation.
Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)
What did Rodriguez ever do to Roberts? Yes, he was on roids and hurt the integrity of the game and perhaps should be kept out of the HOF. But this is ridiculous. Who cares how much he tipped at Hooters and the pitch-tipping stories sounds like nothing more than rumors from envious teammates. Get a life!
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Flemming, Selena Roberts wrote a book on Alex Rodriguez -- it's not as if she's stalking him for the fun of it. If someone can show that her reporting was inaccurate, that's one thing. But from what I've seen so far, everything she's written was thoroughly detailed and dead-on accurate. She's going to sell a lot of books.
Hey Jerry, do you think Jesus Flores can become a decent fantasy catcher?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Justin, Flores has some agility behind the plate and he can run into a fastball. But over the long term, I think his lack of patience and problems with the breaking ball are going to catch up with him. At least, that's what the scouts say.
JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)
Is Papi done? He's looked horrible.
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
JJ, I don't like to declare anybody "done" after the way Carlos Delgado rebounded in the second half last year. But it sure looks as if Big Papi is slipping. When he can't pull inside pitches over the fence or drive the ball consistently with authority, you sure have to wonder. And he doesn't have much value if he's not hitting 30 homers and knocking in 100-plus runs.
Josh (safety harbor, fl) [via mobile]
Hey Jerry love the chats! What's the long term future of Jason Bartlett once Tim Beckham is ready? Does Beckham shift to second and we sign JB long term?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Josh, I just checked. Tim Beckham, who's 19, has a .673 OPS with Bowling Green in the low-A South Atlantic League. I think it's going to be 2-3 years before he's ready.
Jerry, not to have you defend journalists, but isn't there something unethical about reporters pursuing "stories" when they plan to write a book? Same thing is happening to Clemens with reporters from the Daily News. Reporters have incentive to write and run stories, even when there is nothing there, because it is all material for a future book deal. Doesn't pass the sniff test to me.
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Nick, To my knowledge, Selena Roberts has been working on this Alex Rodriguez book for quite a while now. All the excerpts and details that are now "stories" leaked out before the book hit the stands. So I don't think it's the same thing.
Duke Lacrosse players
Everything Selena Roberts has written is dead-on accurate? Please. And guys in the Yankee clubhouse now are defending A-rod against the allegations. She doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Duke, If Selena Roberts wrote something knowing it was inaccurate, she could be subject to a lawsuit, so I think her standards had to be pretty high. The big revelation was that A-Rod used steroids, and she sure was right about that. All the other details -- like the amount of money he tips at Hooter's -- just make for good gossip. Like it or not, A-Rod is a mega-personality and he's in the public eye. That's the risk you run by being famous.
Are the Cardinals for real? Should they be considered the favorites in the Central at this point?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Mike, I talked to one NL person today who said the Cards are the best team he's seen this season -- and that's without Chris Carpenter and Troy Glaus. I'm not sold on Joe Thurston and some of their other guys, but La Russa and Duncan sure seem to have a team they like. And it doesn't hurt having Albert Pujols, the best player on the planet.
This book makes Rodriguez look even worse, dude makes 30+ million a year and he cant tip more than the minimum, what a loser?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Jerry, Let that be a warning to you: If you're famous and a regular at Hooters, make sure to spring for at least 20 percent.
Tanner Hayes (Evansville IN)
Do you think the reds have a chance this year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:28 PM)
Tanner, I picked them as my NL darkhorse knowing they were offensively challenged. That's been the case so far. I think they can win 85 games, but they could use a veteran RH run producer in the middle of the order. Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion appear to be miscast there.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Since everyone seems to have a take on the start of Zach Greinke and the Royals, what's yours?
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Sprung, Greinke is an amazing talent and the Royals are a nice feel-good story, but I don't think the Royals have enough bats or depth in the rotation to be a postseason contender.
Adrian Gonzalez has to be the most underappreciated player in baseball, no?? Could you imagine the numbers he would put up with the short porch in Fenway? I mean .333/9/20 in Petco with no protection isn't too shabby!
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Travis, I'll buy that. There are a lot of parks you could transplant Adrian Gonzalez to -- like Philly or Pittsburgh or Yankee Stadium -- and he would benefit greatly. The guy is a stud hitter, no question.
Jack in Denver
I'll play stupid or maybe I am...........pitch tipping is what?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Jack, Supposedly A-Rod is letting guys from other teams know what pitch is coming during blowout victories in hopes that they'll return the favor and help him out down the road. I'm not 100 percent sure I buy that, but it obviously doesn't make him look good.
matt (sacramento, ca)
zimmerman pitches for the nats tonight? do you think he can be a future ace, or just a very strong #2?
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Matt, We'll see. I talked to a scout in Philly last week who told me Zimmermann is a "young John Smoltz." That's a lot to hang on a kid. But he's one of the few reasons for Washington ball fans to get excited. I'm not sure there's much of a difference between a staff ace and a strong No. 2. If Zimmermann turns out to be another Dan Haren, that's pretty good.
Francoeur's plate approach is much better but his power is gone. What's his outlook? I'm concerned.
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
CC, Jeff Francoeur was really enthused in early April because of his offseason work with Rudy Jaramillo, but he's been a mixed bag so far. Not many strikeouts, but not many walks or HRs, either. I still think Francoeur is going to be a pretty good player because he has such athletic ability and works so hard at it. But he's 25 now, and it's time to start getting it done.
Jerry, Happy Friday! Keith Law said in his chat yesterday that if he had to start a team, Albert Pujols would be his second pick. His first choice? Chase Utley. Thoughts???
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
Jeff, I can see where Keith is coming from, because Utley gives you such tremendous production at second base, while there are a lot of great first basemen. But I'd still go with Pujols. Remember that the guy is a Gold Glove first baseman and a terrific baserunner. He's not just a bat.
Jeff (Los Angeles, CA)
I beg to differ if you just called Dan Haren a #2 starter. He's a #1 on a team that happens to have two of them (when Webb is healthy).
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Jeff, I guess it's just a matter of semantics. If Webb is 1(a) when he's right, then Haren is 1(b).
have you ever heard of pitch-tipping before, even a rumor? i've been a baseball fan for 25 years and didn't even know that this pracice existed.
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Ryan, I think there's a famous story about Denny McLain grooving a fat pitch to Mickey Mantle that the Mick hit for a home run. You hear about it here and there, but it's pretty rare.
sam (pelham) [via mobile]
If I'm not mistaken, pedroia went first overall in the battle of the budgets thing on ESPN. What do you think about that?
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Sam, I think that was because of his salary and the fact that he's a second baseman. Again, Albert Pujols is the best first baseman in the business. But when you also have guys like Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman et al, it's not hard to find a first baseman who's 80-90 percent as good as Albert.
Jerry, How can you say that everything you have seen in Selena Robert's book is "dead on accurate"? Does she offer proof that he used in HS? Proof of HGH use with the Yankees? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Abe, Maybe I was wrong to use the term "dead on accurate." But it was sort of galling to see A-Rod trash Selena Roberts after the initial steroid reports, when it appears that her reporting was completely accurate. I know she has a good reputation in the business, and people say her reporting is impeccable. If it's not, believe me, A-Rod will have plenty of ammunition to come after her. All he's doing now is "no commenting." What does that tell you?
Milt Pappas told Maris before Game 154 in Baltimore that he was throwing all fastballs because he hated Ford Frick. That might've been more of a political statement though.
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Steve, Hey, hatred for Ford Frick will make people do some strange things, for sure.
Carl (Malibu, CA)
Andruw Jones - a) back to being an All-Star caliber player, b) just a hot start, but will be ok, c) just a fluke 30 at bats?
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Carl, I'll take (b). I don't think he's ever going to be the old Andruw again. But I have a hard time believing his skills had completely eroded at age 31. He wouldn't be the first guy who's been helped by Rudy Jaramillo. The guy is a heck of a hitting coach.
Selena Roberts is also the one who buried all the kids in the Duke Lacrosse scandal, and then refused to apologize about it when the whole house of cards fell down. She has an agenda against athletes- please look that up.
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Terrence, Fair point -- although I think there's a difference between trying to sell a book and having an "agenda against athletes."
Carl (Malibu, CA)
Jerry, more of a general question for a reporter/columnist. What is your opinion on the use (or overuse) of anonymous sources currently? In certain instances an identity does need to remain hidden. However, it is hard to know the validity of reports if nobody knows where the information is coming from.
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Carl, It's done a lot in news reporting. If I'm reporting that a player is signing, for example, there's no way the agent or team official is going to tell me beforehand and put his name on it. So we'll call it "sources." I try to be careful and make sure my source is impeccable -- or ideally, get at least two sources.
mkunne:(Omaha, Ne): [via mobile]
R the cubs really bad in ur mind? Will they turn it around?
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Mkunne, They're not this bad, but there are reasons for concern: Milton Bradley's penchant for getting dinged up, Derrek Lee's lack of production, and the bullpen problems, to name three. I still think they'll hit their stride soon enough. They've got more pitching than most clubs.
To follow up on Carl's point. It's also very hard to take the reporter seriously when she ignores the 100+ other names on the steroid list, seemingly for the purpose of selling her book.
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Jack, How do you know that she ignored the other 100+ players on the steroid list? What basis do you have for saying that?
rob (long island )
what should the mets do with oliver perez
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Rob, He's on a pretty short leash right now. If he stinks it up for another start or two, I suspect he'll get a bullpen sabbatical to try and work out his issues.
Ben (NY, NY)
I am a little surprised at the media defending Serena Robers. Anonymous speculation is not reporting. A-Rod ha a lot of enemies in baseball, so an anonymous source believing he is still do sterois or that he did it in high school is not just not-believable, it's shoddy journalism.
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Ben, I'll say this one more time: When the initial reports came out about A-Rod and steroids, Selena Roberts was putting her journalistic reputation on the line. A-Rod publicly characterized her as a "stalker," pretty much, and said (inaccurately) that she was nabbed for trying to trespass on his property. And then -- all of a sudden -- he held a press conference admitting that, "Yeah, I used steroids, but it was only for three years in Texas, when I lost my head." So how much credibility does he have? Selena Roberts was right on the big question -- the steroid question. If you don't like what she wrote, then don't buy her book.
Ben (NY, NY)
Where do you fall on the whole Joba to the pen debate (especially since his start was pretty good)?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Ben, The Yankees like Joba as a starter, and now that they've committed to him there, they should stick with it. If they decide he's a reliever, then just put him in the pen and don't flip flop. It doesn't do him any good.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Lots of strong feelings about A-Rod out there. Let's talk again next week.