Chat with Rob Neyer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com MLB Insider Rob Neyer will drop by to chat some baseball.
Neyer's book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send your questions now and join Neyer on Tuesday at noon ET!
So when is the stat community going to do its mea culpa about Luis Castillo? Not that he was some superstar this year or is likely to ever be one, but the vitriol last offseason was really over the top. A little humility, please.
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
Danny, can you point me to some specific examples? While I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, my memory is that the reasonable analysis suggested that Castillo was probably due for a nice bounce. His defense was not good, though.
Steve (Middletown, CT)
Does anybody get into the Hall of Fame from the writer's ballot this year? Alomar, Larkin, Martinez all deserve to get in and maybe McGriff your thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
I think Alomar's going to squeak in, with Larkin coming up just short and Martinez and McGriff falling short of 50 percent.
Can any legitimate arguments be made that Felix really deserves the Cy Young over Zach?
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
Hmmm ... It's tough. If Felix had pitched for an American League East team, then you could probably get there. But he didn't, so I think it's a really tough case to make. That said, I think if he'd won 20 games he might have won the award.
I know its the wrong sport, but an issue close to you. Why can't national football commentators due fairly simple math. I hate the pats and Belichek but it was obviously the correct call no?
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
To their credit, I've heard a fair number of commentators -- including Jon Gruden last night -- say Belichick *did* do the right thing. Progress really is being made...
Thomas (LA) [via mobile]
Assume for a moment that you are Ned Colletti and the courts have not frozen your assets. Who is your first choice to play 2nd base: Hudson, Belliard, Blake DeWitt, Luis Castillo, or someone I haven't thought of?
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
Hudson's still the best player in that group, for at least another season.
Matt Holliday's career numbers on the road are barely above average for a corner outfielder. Why would a team want him over Jason Bay?
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
Holliday's younger and probably a tad better in left field. But your point is well-taken.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
If you had to guess (and I'm trying to force you), what percentage of votes does Bonds get when he comes up for HOF?
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
I don't feel that I can make even a truly educated guess on this one, Josh. But here goes ... 68.5 percent.
Rob, the rookie of the year awards were handed out yesterday, why aren't you telling everyone how dumb the voters are and how smart you are? Everyone loves "that guy."
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
I already did it! In such terribly smart detail! Check the blog!
Rob, I asked you this last year (I think your answer then was Santana, Sabathia, Halladay, Lincecum and Webb) so let's see how much it has changed this year: who are your top 5 pitchers to take for next year (next year only, and regardless of salary)? I have it as something like Halladay, Sabathia, Lincecum, Greinke and Santana (one last chance, before he drops from the "Top 5"). What do you think? Thanks!
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
I don't think I know enough about Santana's injury to include him in that list. I think I'd probably have your top four (though not necessarily in that order) plus King Felix. Other candidates include Cliff Lee and Jon Lester.
Tim (Basking Ridge, NJ)
I'm curious as to your rationale against Teixeira getting the Gold Glove at First Base. I believe you mentioned Youkilis as a more viable option, but he did split time at first, third base, and even a few games in LF. Maybe it was just because I've watched Giambi butcher ground balls and throws to second for the last seven years, but Teixeira was no doubt gold glove worthy based purely off watching him play day in and day out.
Rob Neyer (12:19 PM)
Everybody who watches Teixeira loves him. I will suggest that Youkilis's ability to play third base says something worth knowing about his ability to play first base.
One of the more intriguing individual stories last year was Garrett Jones. Can he possibly continue to be productive? He looked good, and even adjusted to the breaking pitches after pitchers figured out you can't throw him a fastball. He looked for real, but he spent nearly a career's worth of time in the minors...your thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
Jones has a .321 career on-base percentage in Triple-A, which does arouse the skeptic within me.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
Speaking of Gold Glove, I think most people believe Pujols was more deserving than Gonzalez, but was the difference big or just kind of one of those things where you shrug and say whatever?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
I'd be more inclined to shrug if this were an isolated incident, but Pujols is the best first baseman in the National League just about every year and yet somehow he's won just one Gold Glove.
Zack Greinke has the AL Cy Young hands down
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
I think it'll be close to unanimous, Mark, if only because three other guys won 19 but not 20. More later in the blog, probably...
Chase Utley is the best second baseman in the NL yet he has't won any gold gloves.....
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
I know. Crazy, huh? He might be the best fielder in 50 years without a Gold Glove.
Kenny (Scottsdale, AZ)
I've asked you this before, but since Alomar's candidacy is up now it's more relevant. Is the fact that Alomar is not associated with one team hurting his chances to be a slam dunk HOF? In other words, if Alomar had played 14 years for the Cubs would we even be having this discussion?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
I think that's hard to say, Kenny. But Barry Larkin's fate might tell us a little something.
Rob, with Aaron Hill manning 2B, is there any rational reason for the Jays to be looking at Brandon Phillips? Or is that just pure media speculation.
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
I'm not up to speed on that one, but with Marco Scutaro exploring free agency, couldn't they shift Hill back to shortstop, which is where he played in the minors?
Jonathan (Georgetown, KY)
How many more years will Jeter play? Do you think he will end up with 4,000 hits? Do you think he will retire a Yankee? I think he might be one of the last superstars to stick with one team his entire career.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
The answers to your questions all reside far off in the hazy future. All I can say is that Jeter probably won't be playing shortstop in five years, and in five years he might not hit enough to play anywhere else. But yeah, I think he does finish as a Yankee but falls a bit short of 4,000.
Rob, I finally got around to seeing "Sugar" the other day and I really liked it. (Spoilers ahead!) I was really disappointed in the terribly unrealistic finish, however. I know you liked this movie but didn't the fact that a 20 yo from the DR just QUIT during his first rough patch in pro ball kind of bother you?
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
Well, 1) it's a movie, and 2) are you that hasn't actually happened at least a few times over the years, in non-movie life? I do recommend the movie to anyone who's interested in such things.
Mike (San Diego)
What do you think the most indefensible gold glove was?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
Hrrmmm, so many possibilities ... I guess whoever finished just ahead of Franklin Gutierrez. Adam Jones, probably. It's not just that Gutierrez was excellent this year; a bunch of other losers were excellent. It's that he was so OBVIOUSLY excellent.
Who is the best bet to give a team 160-180 quality innings: Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard or Rich Harden?
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
Rob, What is your take on the NL Cy Young?
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
Tim Lincecum was the best pitcher in the league. He's not going to win, though.
If/when Zack Greinke wins the AL Cy Young in an hour and a half, which other Cy Young seasons from the past would you statistically compare to his?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
Ask me in an hour and a half, when I've had a chance to write something for the blog. Oh, and just to clear up something ... You guys know I've got a blog, right? On the baseball page? Sometimes I'm not so sure. I'll work harder...
Phil (New York)
After Lackey, are they any pitchers on the market that could be a legit #2?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
You know about Randy Wolf, right? I guess it depends on which team is looking for a No. 2 ...
Don (syracuse, ny)
If you were the GM of the Rays what would you do? You have depth at OF and Jennings and Joyce are ready to come up.
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
I would platoon Joyce with Burrell at DH and give Jennings the RF job before the Solstice. Or I might trade Carl Crawford, which changes everything.
Taylor (St. Joseph, MO)
I take it that you think Andre Dawson & Bert Blyleven fall short of HoF induction again this year?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
Dawson might actually get in ... the voters do love to elect old guys!
Should we push for instant replay when handing out awards/gold gloves? This may prevent errors in judgment.
Rob Neyer (12:44 PM)
If you want to "fix" the Gold Gloves, you have to take them away from the managers and coaches, who simply don't care about the awards (and by extension, Rawlings obviously doesn't care, either).
Wes (North CA)
What did you think of the AL/NL ROY awards? I am biased towards Bailey since I watched him pitch almost daily(in dominating fashion), but I was surprised he won and Coughlan for that matter.
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
Many blog posts about RoY results in last 18 hours, Wes ... Short answer: I would have voted for Brett Anderson or Elvis Andrus in the AL, and Andrew McCutchen or Randy Wells in the NL.
Jacoby Ellsbury had a fielding percentage of .994 this year. Ichiro's was at .988. Jones's was just less than that, but Ellsbury didn't win a Gold Glove. Do the voters just vote for what's comfortable as opposed to looking at the stats and getting it right? (ex. Coco Crisp having a percentage of .998 in 2007 but not receiving a Gold Glove in any outfield spot)
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
CHAT FOUL! You're not allowed to reference fielding percentage on this page, Andrew, unless it's with a disdainful sneer.
We all know you have a blog, Rob. It's just that it's so much easier to be lazy and demand you answer everything in 2 sentences here, as opposed to actually making the effort to read several paragraphs.
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
Fine, but then you have to send me three dollars.
Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)
The most feared pitcher of my life was Jack Morris. As a Brave fan, I remember watching Kirby Puckett hit his HR in Game 6, and thinking "the Braves just lost the WS." He was an ace on three different WS teams. Where is his HOF love? This one baffles me. If voters are gonna sing the praises of the everyday guys who have great postseasons, why not pitchers?
Rob Neyer (12:50 PM)
Voters do that? Can you name a single hitter who has been elected by the BBWAA largely on the strength of his postseason performance? Because I sure can't.
Rob what are going to do with $12?
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
Buy three packs of modern baseball cards.
Big Stevie Cool (Chicago)
Rob, Gordon Beckham was robbed of the RoY. He was clearly a better hitter than Andrus (espcially in the clutch) and was an everyday player unlike any of the pitchers. What do you think?
Rob Neyer (12:53 PM)
He was an every-day player for two-thirds of the season. Let's at least be honest here, Mr. Cool.
I'm sure you've talked of this and I missed. Does Edgar Martinez deserve to get into the Hall?
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
I've talked of this, but it's been a while and I honestly can't remember how I finished. At this moment, I'm an agnostic. Which I can be, since I don't get to vote. What bothers me is that most of the discussion I've seen doesn't grapple with the basic issue, which is that Edgar had almost zero defensive value.
Greinke was a 9.4 WAR players this year! (Imagine how bad the Royals would have been without him...) What are the chances he'll duplicate this season next year or in following seasons?
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
I think it's unlikely that he'll have another season like this one, because even the best pitchers rarely do. I do think he'll have other great, Cy Young-type seasons.
Britt Myers (NYC)
Who is the best TV baseball announcer? And not in terms of nostalgia or the magical quality of their voice... but in terms of knowledge. I find so many announcers seem to repeat the same media misinformation about non-saber aspects of the game. Not that announcers should throw out complex formulas, but just the fact that they are seem to think having your best hitter bunt in the 3rd inning... I would love to have a "modern" smart announcer calling my favorite team....
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
There are some guys like that, mostly (solely?) in the younger set ... Boog Sciambi is one of those guys, and next season we'll be enjoying him regularly on ESPN. Plus he's a good guy with a fine sense of humor.
Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)
You say that no player has been elected based on his post season performances. Will John Smoltz be the first?
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
No, I said no *hitter* ... Catfish Hunter probably got a boost from his World Series wins. As for Smoltz, he's got a pretty good case even without October. Schilling probably gets in due to his postseason performance. It's different for pitchers because they're more important in the postseason. Thanks for all the questions, and don't forget the Zen teacher's advice: "Do not be amazed at the true dragon."