Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com baseball writer Jerry Crasnick will drop by to take your questions.
Crasnick 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 your questions now and join Crasnick Thursday at noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (11:58 AM)
Hey folks, I'm scrambling a little bit today, but let's get in some ball talk before I get ready to head over to the yard for Game 2 of the World Series.
Rich (Sun Valley, ID)
What happened to my Cardinals last night? I have never seen such a complete screw-up of a key game by that team in a half century of watching them. Is this a learning moment, or the end moment?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Hey Rich, I don't know, but that was one horrendous performance. They all said it wasn't a case of jitters, but it was shocking how badly they played from every angle. I do think they'll bounce back and play much better tonight. They seem to have a lot of confidence in Michael Wacha.
Chris (West Virginia)
The web is buzzing about the possibility of Lester doctoring the baseball, and there is video that is pretty damning. Any insight into this, and what if anything can MLB do at this point?
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Chris, I don't have any special insight into this yet, but I'm sure it's going to dominate the conversation when John Farrell does his pre-game newser. Stay tuned!
Jon (Palo Alto)
Do you think correcting the call yesterday was related to the move toward instant reply next year? Not really any reason now to let bad calls stand as a result of pride or embarrassment.
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Jon, No, I think it was just a case of a good umpire, Dana Demuth, making a bad call and the crew doing a good job of rectifying it without the benefit of replay. Let's give the umpires credit for getting it right, even if they did it in an unorthodox way. Hopefully, when replay becomes customary for situations like this, it will make life a lot easier on the umpires.
The Cardinals looked like the Cubs last night. And that's putting it lightly.
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Eric, I actually heard some Astros-related comments in the press elevator. Either way, it wasn't pretty.
Doctoring the ball?? If anything he was trying to get a better grip - which is something that Wainwright admitted to doing in an interview last summer. Nothing to see here....
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Greg, We'll see. The Kenny Rogers flap was big and ultimately didn't amount to much in the 2006 Series. But there's a difference between dirt or pine tar to get a better grip and a Vaseline-like substance to make the ball move a lot more. I'm sure this will be dissected ad nauseam in the coming hours, so we'll see how it works out.
Josh (St Louis)
Will any acknowledge that Lester cheated last night?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Josh, I seriously doubt that Lester or any of the Red Sox people will concede to him cheating. Funny, but I was in the St. Louis clubhouse last night, and they were all raving about how good Lester was. Either they didn't notice anything, or they were just adhering to baseball etiquette and keeping their suspicions to themselves.
Any insight to Beltran's status? Without him the Cards will be in worst shape!
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Hey Kent, As of late last nigh, Cards GM John Mozeliak was taking the "cautiously optimistic" route. The thing is, even if he plays, how limited will he be? Hanley Ramirez sucked it up and played in the NLCS, but if a hitter is so limited it kills him to take a healthy cut, how much good is he to his team?
Mike (San Diego)
The thing that the bad defense is going to cover up is the fact that Wainwright wasn't sharp at all last night. He had trouble locating all of his pitches, walked the leadoff man, and Pedroia reached base on a pitch that Molina's glove went up about a foot to try to catch it.
Jerry Crasnick (12:12 PM)
Mike, Wainwright definitely threw himself on the sword, but he was only one of numerous problems last night for St. Louis. That said, you could tell he wasn't the typical Wainwright when he walked Ellsbury to start the game.
Nothing to see here. I'm sure Kermit is apologizing at length for dropping that green glob in Lester's glove.
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Shannon, Thanks for the Muppets reference.
Thats a pretty sweet mustache you have in your chat profile pic... you still rockin that today?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Frank, Yes, I am, but I also have a little goatee thing going with it. Sad to say, but it's getting grayer every day.
Jon (Palo Alto)
Of the countless potential free agents (other than Robinson Cano) that the Yankees have been rumored to be interested in, which do you think would realistically help them continue the rebuilding process the quickest?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Hey Jon, I think Masahiro Tanaka from Japan is the big catch. The Yankees really need another impact starting pitcher, and people tell me that guy is the real deal.
fielding those tough questions from Shannon in the Phillipines and Frank in Chi....i thought this was World Series chat, not muppets and moustaches. my bad
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Hey Eric, Sorry. I'm a little loopy from being up past 3 a.m. Also, those serve as filler while I'm scoping out legit baseball questions.
Mike (Mission Viejo, CA)
Rumors in LA that the Dodgers are going to go after Tanaka and David Price. Where would a rotation of Kershaw, Greinke, Price, Ryu and Tanaka rank in recent memory? Thank you!
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Mike, I can see one or the other, but it's hard for me to envision the Dodgers adding both Price and Tanaka in the offseason. Are they planning to field a $300 million payroll?
This is basically a "Must win" game for the Cards right?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Hey Gabe, I saw the Braves outscore New York 16-1 in the first two games of the 1996 World Series at Yankee Stadium, then go home and lose the series in six. So I'm never going to declare a series over after two games. But with Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly up next, the Cardinals really don't want to be down 2-0 heading back to Busch.
just messing with ya! and hey, with "Wacha wacha" on the mound I guess muppets is fitting today!I cant get a feel for where Buchholz is right now, and his move to game 4 has me nervous. Just extra rest or something more?
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Eric, The sense is that Buchholz is going through some kind of "dead arm" phase right now. His velocity is also dropping pretty noticeably by the 5th inning or thereabouts, and that's a reflection of him missing so much time. I think the Cardinals have to be confident they can produce more offense against Buchholz and Peavy -- even though the St. Louis offense has been pretty uninspired for much of the postseason.
Free_AEC (South Jersey)
Brian McCann & Chooch are both 100 game catchers with platoon splits. Phillies should sign both or they have a hole in their lineup for 60 games when Kratz or Rupp start. They were 27th in runs scored in 2013.
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Free AEC, I think Brian McCann is going to sign with an AL club like Boston, Texas or the Yankees. He's looking down the road, and he sees some DHing in his future. Wouldn't be surprised if Chooch returns to Philly on a short-term deal.
Hey Jerry, why can't a pitcher catch a pop up? This is a great mystery and I've played ball for over 20 years (organized city ball, not MLB or MiLB) but baseball is baseball. That Cards play looked pathetic. Also, credit Molina for going out in the 8th to Martinez and basically telling him to watch what he does with the pitch to Ross. I know Molina could have been ticked, but that was great to see.
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Eric, This is definitely one of my pet peeves as well. For what it's worth, Wainwright was really ticked at himself for letting that ball drop. It was his play all the way. And he knew it.
Gordon (Vancouver, WA)
Did anyone the see the pic from Tyler Manning? ( Cardinals AAA Pitcher) It looked like Lester was using Vaseline on his pitches.
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Yes Gordon, It's all over the place. I guess this is the baseball equivalent of someone calling out Tiger Woods for taking a bad drop. In this age of Twitter and wall-to-wall video, there's always going to be someone at home who spots a transgression. Whether Lester was guilty or not, he and Farrell are going to be asked about this a lot when the media converges on the park later today.
Do you anticipate the next "reasonably arguable" play that Matheny comes out and requests that all 5 umpires congregate - or will he leave it alone going forward?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Todd, Matheny probably knew the umps got the call right. But a reversal on that type of play is extremely rare. If I'm a Cardinals player, I'm disappointed if my manager doesn't go out there and at least try to press the issue. This is the World Series -- what do you have to lose?
If Lester does end up getting caught cheating, what would the consequences be? I'm guessing that there's nothing that can be changed about last night.
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Jacob, I can assure you the answer to that one is a big fat "no."
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Sorry if I'm a little slow with a couple of these responses. This hotel internet isn't doing me any favors today.
What kind of deal do you see Ubaldo Jimenez landing, and what are some potential landing spots?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Bret, He's a tough one to figure. I think a lot of clubs would rather go relatively short, with a two-year deal or thereabouts, because he had a rough patch before re-emerging this year in Cleveland. I assume he's looking at north of $10M annually, just because starting pitchers of that quality are so hard to find. As for potential destinations, I need a little more time to ponder that one.
Wow, calling the doctoring of a baseball the equivalent of a bad drop? One is cheating and should get you thrown out of the game while the other is a minor penalty. Glad to see you have your East-coast blinders on.
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Mike, I'm not even sure what you're referring to. But thanks for hauling out the obligatory "East coast bias" comment. You probably didn't notice that I picked St. Louis to win the World Series in seven games.
Dirk Hayhurt (canada)
wait the Red Sox have no history of Doctoring the ball .. Clay Bucholtz this year????
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
Hayhurt? Yep, Clay Buchholz encountered his share of scrutiny earlier this year for ball doctoring. I think most pitchers experiment with ways to gain an edge, but you have to know where the line is drawn.
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
By the way, I think Mike the Cardinals fan was referring to my Tiger Woods reference. I just saw a story in which Brandel Chamblee, the golf analyst, has called him out for several rules violations and basically called him a cheater. So I'm not sure why this is any different from Jon Lester allegedly loading up a baseball.
"Mike, I'm not even sure what you're referring to."Quoted from one of your earlier answers:"I guess this is the baseball equivalent of someone calling out Tiger Woods for taking a bad drop."
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Yes, that's the question. If you Google Brandel Chamblee and Tiger Woods, you'll find all sorts of references to it. It's a big controversy in the golf world.
You commented "I guess this is the baseball equivalent of someone calling out Tiger Woods for taking a bad drop."Seems like you are brushing off the incident as nothing when it's forbidden by the rules. I called out the East-coast bias because ESPN (based in CT) appears to be the only site that has not picked up the incident.
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Mike, Do you honestly think we're going to ignore this whole Lester controversy because of East Coast bias. I've gotten about six emails from editors that it's something we're going to address at the park today. I think we'd just rather do it responsibly than hurl out some accusation from a minor league pitcher who's watching the game from his couch at home.
Jon (Palo Alto)
I'm pretty sure there were other reasons the Cardinals lost last night besides a doctored ball. Like, maybe the two errors, dropped popup, bobbled ball in center on Napoli double, and generally bad pitching and hitting?
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Jon, Yeah, that too. And I'm saying this as a guy who picked the Cardinals to win the Series. They played horribly in every facet of the game. To their credit, the St. Louis players all admitted it after the game.
Top 5 candidates for the Tigers for Skipper
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Shawn, I guess it depends on whether they go inside or outside the organization. I'm not sure about the Brad Ausmus speculation because you'd like to have a manager with at least some experience -- especially given the talent and expectations there. I'm a big fan of Lloyd McClendon (I covered him as a player in Cincinnati 20-plus years ago), but they might want to go with a fresh face and a break from the Leyland regime.
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Hey folks, I'm going to have to cut this short because my internet here is a disaster. To those who have made the point, trust me: You'll be seeing lots of coverage of Jon Lester and the contents of his glove on ESPN and ESPN.com through the rest of the day. Thanks for coming on, everyone. Let's do it again soon.