Chat with David Schoenfield
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield stops by to chat some baseball.
Schoenfield is a senior writer for ESPN.com and he's been with ESPN.com since 1995 and has served in a variety of roles, including baseball editor, Page 2 senior editor and writer, and even interim soccer editor. He grew up in Seattle rooting for the Mariners, believes Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame and had no issues with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young Award despite a 13-12 record.
Send your questions now and join Schoenfield Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
David Schoenfield (1:04 PM)
OK ... let's talk some baseball.
A fun and very competitive season right??
David Schoenfield (1:04 PM)
It's been very entertaining from start to finish. Let's hope we have two more games!
Matt T (Boston, MA)
If Cardinals players watch Koji Uehara's splitter on tape, shouldn't they have been able to catch up to it by now, or is it really that hard to hit?
David Schoenfield (1:06 PM)
It's all about the deception. If you can't read the release point, you don't know it's coming. You eyes tell you fastball and then bottom drops out.
This may have been covered somewhere, but I have not seen it -- on the obstruction call, why was the play allowed to continue and end with Craig sprawled out at home plate, tagged out, then ruled safe? With a foul ball, e.g., play is ruled dead immediately, runners stop running, etc. Here, a (weak) gesture was made indicating obstruction, but the home plate umpire waited to see how the play unfolded and looked in to see if tag was made, before saying, in essence, oh but there was obstruction back there. Why not step in, wave arms, and award runner home plate? Ump seemed not sure about it, had to think about it, maybe hoping run scored anyway.
David Schoenfield (1:07 PM)
Because the obstruction has to affect the outcome of the play. Maybe Craig scores anyway. Or maybe he's out by 45 feet. Or maybe he doesn't run at all (not sure what the umps have called then).
We all know your affinity for E. Martinez. "If" Ortiz wins another WS and adds WS MVP to his resume, does that equal his on-paper candidacy for the HOF to Martinez, or does he still have work to do in your eyes?
David Schoenfield (1:08 PM)
The big advantage Ortiz has is fame. If we look at marginal Hall of Fame candidates and who gets and who doesn't, it usually comes down to some factor of "fame." Jim Rice was more famous than Tim Raines. Andre Dawson more famous than Larry Walker. So, while Edgar probably has a better statistical case right now (check out their career WAR), Ortiz is probably the stronger HOF candidate.
Bobby G (Ann Arbor MI)
Any Tigers going to win gold gloves this year?
David Schoenfield (1:10 PM)
Austin Jackson may have a chance in CF. Not an obvious candidate there, although I would predict Ellsbury wins.
David, do you think the Tribe extends a qualifying offer to Kazmir? Ubaldo is a no-brainer, even though it'll probably only end up netting us the draft pick. I hate the idea that both of these guys who pitched incredibly down the stretch will most likely be taking major pay raises in different cities next season. Originally, I was really hoping we could keep 1 of the 2, but now I'm starting to doubt whether that is even realistic. Is there any way the Tribe can keep Ubaldo or Kazmir, aside from extending the $14 million qualifying offer to Kazmir, and hoping other clubs are reluctant to give him a lucrative, long-term deal?
David Schoenfield (1:11 PM)
I don't think so. Seems pretty risky to me. While Kazmir had a lot of positives, he still pitched just 158 innings and his adjusted ERA was below league average. Don't think that's worth $14 million.
Mike (San Diego)
Buster Olney sent out a tweet this morning that the Angels are looking for pitching and would deal Trumbo or Bourjos to get it. Wouldn't Bourjos to the Cardinals make perfect sense? What do you think it would take for that deal to happen?
David Schoenfield (1:12 PM)
How about one of those relievers? I also wonder if the Cardinals will simply look to bring Beltran back and play Oscar Taveras in center? It's not Jon Jay is a Gold Glover out there.
Can you please talk to the chat wizards about getting auto-update turned of?
David Schoenfield (1:13 PM)
Most people like it turned on.
Dan (Kansas City)
With the Royals aggressively shopping Billy Butler, do you see them preparing to transition Salvador Perez into at least a part-time 1B? They did start him there the last game in the season.
David Schoenfield (1:14 PM)
Isn't his defense very good? I don't see that happening other than an occasional start to give him a breather from catching. Plus, Eric Hosmer isn't going anywhere.
George S. (Asheville, NC)
I get the sense that compared to the regular season, Cardinals batters are striking out looking way more frequently in the postseason. (Know it's a small sample size.) What's your feel for this? Better pitching, a change of approach at the plate - or the wrong approach? This isn't a team that strikes out a lot, but they've been caught looking way too much in October. Agree?
David Schoenfield (1:14 PM)
Hold on, let's check the numbers!
David Schoenfield (1:15 PM)
Cardinals had 17.9 percent K rate in regular season. 20.3 percent in playoffs. So up a little, which probably makes sense since they don't get to face the Cubs pitching in the postseason.
If they manage to win game 6, who do the Cards start in Game 7?
David Schoenfield (1:17 PM)
Has to be Joe Kelly, right? Could go with Lance Lynn on three days' rest, but I think you go with the mind-set of three innings from Kelly and then Johnny Wholestaff.
Mike (San Diego)
Taveras in center? Hoo boy, a Holliday/Taveras/Beltran outfield has the potential to be historically bad on defense.
David Schoenfield (1:18 PM)
Is Taveras really any worse than Jay? I don't know. But he started 34 of 40 games in center field in Triple-A.
Tom (St. Louis)
Interesting idea on the Nationals window closing. Seems to me the Reds window is closing sooner.
David Schoenfield (1:19 PM)
I was just raising the question, but a big reason for the Nationals' success in 2012 was (A) Bench; (B) Bullpen; (C) Big year from LaRoche; (D) Deep, five-man rotation. And you can't really count on all four of those things bouncing back.
David Schoenfield (1:21 PM)
As for the Reds ... possibly, but I think they have more time. Bruce and Votto in their primes. Latos, Bailey, Cueto Cingrani, Leake all solid/young. Need another bat, of course, especially if (when) they lose Choo.
do you agree MLB needs to do something to speed up the game? In todays world no one has 3-4 hours to commit to one thing, too much time watching catchers visit the mound and batters adjust their batting cloves and jock straps?
David Schoenfield (1:22 PM)
The biggest problem in the postseason is the length of the commercial breaks. We have a guy here who is keeping track of the time on commercials -- it's almost two hours per game!
This hasn't been the best WS but at least we may get 7 games. I guess 2011 was the best recent WS. Before that we have to go back to 2002 right?
David Schoenfield (1:24 PM)
We had a long stretch of really bad World Series. 2011 was very good and had that all-time great Game 6 (*maybe* most exciting baseball game ever). Game 7 was a snoozer though. 2009 was OK. But, yep, you really go back to 2002 as the only other good in the past 10-11 years.
What are the chances of Ellsbury staying in Boston?
David Schoenfield (1:24 PM)
I think slim. Let him go and play Jackie Bradley Jr. out there and spend your money elsewhere.
So we all know that the World Series ratings have been way down the last few years. I think the reason is that the commentators (they work for another networks so I won't mention them by name) are really tough to listen to. Not good baseball analysis, really makes a super long game sound even longer. To have to listen to them for 4+ hours, 6-7 times in two weeks, is very difficult for a person who has no horse in the race. Do you think MLB will try to change how the World Series is presented? or is that all on the broadcasting network?
David Schoenfield (1:26 PM)
I'm not sure how much influence MLB has -- on, say, who will replace McCarver. Good question.
Mark (Mpls., MN)
With Beltran finally making it to the World Series, I have been thinking about both those who never made it and those who came painfully close to winning and never did. The former group is easy to look up on Baseball Reference and includes a host of great players including Ken Griffey Jr. The latter group is harder for me to identify quickly. While watching the update to Ken Burns' Baseball the other day, I was reminded that Kenny Lofton was on that 2002 Giants team that came so very close to winning. Between Cleveland, Atlanta, and SF, he had a rough go. This seems like a good piece to cover over the long winter, but can you think of any others now?
David Schoenfield (1:27 PM)
Other than Griffey, Ernie Banks is the most famous great player to never play in the World Series. I believe his Cubs teammates Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams and Ron Santo all failed to play in as well.
John (Cincinnati, OH)
Re: reds window. I tend to agree with Tom. The Reds pitching is the only thing about the team that is outstanding. That pitching is about to get really expensive at a time that Votto and Phillips are set to do the same. Feels like Reds best shot got wasted.
Jeff (St Cloud)
The length of games this world series has been excruciating, and I fear replay will only make it worse. The fact that it's the same subpar commentators every game doesn't make it any easier to watch. If I was commissioner, I would make all reviews come from and be decided on by the league office, much like they do in the NHL. And add a pitch clock. The ratings aren't down so massively because of the teams or markets, it's because it takes more time and mental effort than a bad Monday Night Football game.
Any chance the Dodgers try to move Kemp (assuming they eat lots of salary)? This would allow them to bring up Joc Pederson, maybe gain some valuable prospects to try and make a move for David Price.
David Schoenfield (1:30 PM)
Sure, I could see that happening, especially if they think Pederson or Puig can handle center field (Andre Ethier is not a center fielder). Although to get Price you probably have to give up Pederson.
Mike (San Diego)
Yep, the length of baseball games is a reason for bad ratings. On a totally unrelated topic, did anyone watch the hour of football that was left after game 5 ended last night?
Is Koji the closer for Boston next year?
David Schoenfield (1:30 PM)
Yes. He has an option that will be exercised.
HI David, thoughts on why Cards did not use Shelby Miller throughout the bullpen as one of the 4 starters? not sure if I missed something about an injury or dead arm -
David Schoenfield (1:32 PM)
They haven't said anything, but the assumption is he looked tired at the end of the season and the Cards didn't want to push things in October. He's really been a waste of a roster spot. Probably better off carrying Adron Chambers than Miller AND Edward Mujica.
Bren (Pearl River, NY)
Molina's the best defensive catcher in Baseball, but how do you let your pitcher fall in love with the curveball against Ross and Lester like that?
David Schoenfield (1:33 PM)
And Wainwright threw three straight balls to Stephen Drew on the curve. As good as Wainwright's curve is, it did look like Ross was sitting on. Credit him for guessing right.
David, I asked Keith Law this the other day, wouldn't it be the best for Donnie to manage the Dodgers in 2014. Best case he wins a WS and can tell LA to stick it afterwards. No reason to bail on a last year of the contract. I bet he is the Mets Manager in 2015.
David Schoenfield (1:34 PM)
The risk for the Dodgers (if you call it a risk): By not extending or firing him, the first four-game losing streak the team has everyone will be calling for Mattingly's head. They better get off to a good start or his status will be a minor distraction all season.
Eddie (1313 mockingbird lane)
I would prefer Trumbo (or any other power bat) over Bourgos. Cards need a shortstop that can hit and another power bat, either 1B, 3B or RF. Jay, Kozma, Descalso, Freese - they don't scare anyone.
B Mand (Sarasota, FL)
Assuming the Reds lose Choo, who should they look to replace him in CF and in the leadoff spot?
David Schoenfield (1:36 PM)
Billy Hamilton. Although I'm conerned about what kind of offense he can provide.
Ron (North Dakota)
Hi David-How's this for predictions? Hicks gets another chance in May, Sano up in June, Willingham and Doumit are dealt in July (Just to make room, not contingent on return)Rosario in June of 14 and Dozier either traded or back to SS. (I think he hit his peak) Buxton in June of '15, Pinto taking over more of the catching. Could be an exciting offense in a couple of years, but need the pitchers! What do you think?
David Schoenfield (1:37 PM)
I like it. You try not to get TOO excited about prospects, but the Twins do have the makings of a great lineup in a few years. And cheap. So they can always go out and sign some free agent pitching when they're ready to contend.
the cardinals basically called up their a half dozen minor leaguers to put in the bullpen. What I want to know is why the red sox don't have Allen Webster, Matt barnes, de la rosa in their bullpen? I'm pretty sure those guys could help.
David Schoenfield (1:39 PM)
Over who? Webster was terrible in his time in the big leagues. Barnes isn't on the 40-man roster yet. Rubby had control issues in the minors.
Best player for the Braves to build around: Heyward, Freeman or Justin Upton? Maybe 2of3 or all 3?
David Schoenfield (1:40 PM)
I still go Heyward, although I get that Freeman has sort of become the emotional leader of the team.
@Eddie, then why trade for a Trumbo? you already have 2 First Basemen, you don't need a 3rd. Full year of Wong at 2B, move Carpenter to 3B, Tavares in RF, find a good defensive CF and a good defensive SS and that is an even scarier team
George S. (Asheville, NC)
It took the Pirates 21 years to get back to .500. Quick guess: how many years until the Astros get back there?
David Schoenfield (1:41 PM)
Astros are building their farm system. All these high picks means a lot of high-end talent being added to the system. GM Jeff Luhnow is the guy who ran the Cards' scouting system that produced all these players you're seeing in the World Series. So I'll say fewer than 21 years!
Gut feeling do you're M's get Choo or Jacoby this off-season?
David Schoenfield (1:42 PM)
Ellsbury. Mariners have money to burn. Desperate to do something. Need an outfielder. Ellsbury is from Oregon. Seems like a perfect fit!
what kind of trade value does Homer Bailey have?? Enough to get a big bat in return??
David Schoenfield (1:43 PM)
Only has one more season until free agency, so not that big of a bat, unless it's a similar guy in service time.
Am I the only one who thinks this has been a pretty exciting WS? I'm not saying it's better than '11 or '02 but I've been pretty interested and don't have a horse in the running...
David Schoenfield (1:44 PM)
I agree. Four good games out of five, including one classic game (the obstruction game).
What is your prediction on the next Tigers manager?
David Schoenfield (1:51 PM)
Brad Ausmus interviewed the other day. If the Tigers don't hire him, somebody else will.
What do you think Cleveland is trying to achieve by reaching out to fans to find out their opinion of the Chief Wahoo logo? Even if the fans are against it, its the ownership that has to take on the flak and/or responsibility in the media to (somehow) justify the logo in today's world. Is this just a feeble attempt to make it seem like they are concerned with it?
David Schoenfield (1:52 PM)
That's what it sounds like to me. What I don't get: Is there some Indians fan out there who is going to quit going to games because you dump the Chief Wahoo logo?
If you were Jon Daniels, would you rather have another year of AJ/Soto behind the plate for 12-13 mil, or would you rather have McCann at 4 yrs/60 mil?
David Schoenfield (1:53 PM)
I'd probably go McCann. Since neither he nor A.J. throw all that well, defense isn't a huge factor here and McCann is younger.
John (Los Angeles)
Agreeing with Matt (Steinway) with regard to declining ratings. Over the past 10-15 years, baseball's signature events, the only games that non-fans ("potential new fans") are likely to watch, are carried by a network that has an underlying assumption that baseball is boring. The Wong pickoff happened while the network was showing people in the stands. During the 9th inning of the ALCS near-no-hitter, the network was showing so many crowd and dugout shots that it was easy to forget that, you know, a game was going on. Perhaps fewer people might avoid baseball if the networks with the broadcasting rights show less contempt for the game.
Les (East Windsor, NJ)
Re: Edgar vs Popi for the HOF - Let's not forget that the initials PED do not appear next to Edgar's name
David Schoenfield (1:54 PM)
Yes, could be a factor for Ortiz, although I think the PED stuff will start fading with time.
Do you expect the Red Sox to trade one of Peavy or Dempster or will Dempster end up in the pen? Thanks.
David Schoenfield (1:55 PM)
You need rotation depth, so they probably keep both (Dempster has little trade value). But you probably bring somebody to challenge Dempster for a job. Maybe it's Workman, maybe a second-tier free agent. Maybe Tanaka.
Tony the J (Decatur)
Pittsburgh Mike: Big Cardinal fan here agreeing with you. Just make sure the SS is not a total offensive zero like Kozma/Descalso. That way you don't have to trade one of the golden arms.
Next year Nationals and Red Sox World Series. Book it!
How good really was the Orioles season defensively? I mean they'll probably only win 3 GGs.
David Schoenfield (1:56 PM)
Could be four, no? Machado, Hardy, Adam Jones, Wieters. Jones doesn't deserve it, but won last year.
Matt (Charlotte, NC)
No question this week - just a comment. You've done a phenomenal job with SweetSpot. I got into advanced stats in the late 90's, mainly from reading Rob Neyer. I read every article he wrote, for years, and then I started reading Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, etc. I was initially disappointed when I saw that Neyer was leaving ESPN a few years back, but you've done a really great job at filling his shoes. Keep up the great work, David!
David Schoenfield (1:58 PM)
Thanks, Matt. Appreciate the kind words. People don't realize how important Rob was to the sabermetric "movement." Bill James had stopped publishing his yearly books by the time Rob started at ESPN in 1996, so Rob was the national voice in the early days of the Internet spreading the sabermetric gospel. He influenced a lot of readers and writers.
Tony the J (Decatur)
John Farrell has some stones, doesn't he? Imagine if he lifts LH Lester for RH Koji to face LH hitting Adams and Hoss hits one a mile! Quite an unsung gamble, huh?
David Schoenfield (1:59 PM)
Caught me off guard a little as well, but Farrell did say after the game that Lester's back was tightening up a little.
Harpertown? Is that a college town? Clown College
Since Matt from Charlotte said something nice to you I will just say Heathcliff Slocumb.
David Schoenfield (2:00 PM)
At least you didn't say Bobby Ayala. Or Arthur Rhodes versus David Justice. Or Alfonso Soriano vs. Sasaki.
I mean, who cares who wins the gold glove? The award is pretty much a joke. Chris Davis is one of the three best 1B? LOL
David Schoenfield (2:01 PM)
Just something else for us to argue about.
Doc (New Hampshire)
If the series goes to a game 7, should the Red Sox start Dubrount over Peavy since the Cards do not hit lefties as well as righties, and Peavy has not been at his best recently ?
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
I think the Red Sox would have to consider that, definitely. You're always wary about starting a lefty at Fenway, but as you said, the Cardinals' splits are pretty extreme.
David Schoenfield (2:03 PM)
OK, everyone ... that's it for today. What do we watch tonight? Maybe I'll dig out my VHS tape of the 1995 ALDS! Enjoy the game tomorrow.