Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 11/16/20

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, welcome to the chat.

2:00
Ben Clemens: I guess we’re going to talk about Drew Smyly some, since he just signed with the Braves.

2:02
Ben Clemens: But given that it’s the offseason, I hope to focus on my favorite topics, namely board games and how I’m not very good at cooking but like learning recipes

2:02
See! You! Later!: $11 Million for Smyly? That’s more than double the median FG crowdsource or MLBTR’s estimate (Craig had him at two years). What are your thoughts?

2:02
andrew t: What do you think of the Drew Smyly signing?

2:03
Dave: $11M seems like a lot for a guy who doesn’t have any vowels in his last name.

2:03
Ben Clemens: What the heck, let’s just rip the band aid off

2:03
Ben Clemens: I kind of get it? I don’t know that I’d pay what the Braves did but they really want more pitching

2:05
Ben Clemens: They already missed Robbie Ray, which means the market for these types of starters is not huge

2:06
Ben Clemens: I think the idea is if you overpay for Smyly by $4 million, sure!

2:06
Ben Clemens: That’s not the best outcome ever but certainly not the worst.

2:07
Appa Yip Yip: Did you have “market being driven by Mets and Blue Jays” on your off season bingo card?

2:08
Ben Clemens: Surprisingly, kind of? I thought the Jays would be in the pitching market and the Mets in every market

2:08
Daron: Does seeing a team willing to pay Drew Smyly $11 million make it more surprising nobody claimed Brad Hand for $10 million?

2:08
Ben Clemens: I’m definitely not in the majority here, but I think I’d rather pay Smyly $11 million than Hand $10 million

2:08
Ben Clemens: Basically I don’t really buy Hand as an elite reliever anymore

2:09
Ben Clemens: He still had good run prevention numbers, but the underlying stuff is starting to slip and the drop would be severe

2:09
Ben Clemens: Also, his upside is that of a very good but not elite reliever

2:10
Ben Clemens: Whereas you can convince yourself that Smyly can unlock a little more, though I’m always shocked at how old he is. He still feels a bit prospect-y b/c he keeps not fulfilling his potential, basically

2:10
Captain Moonlight: Hey Ben! Enjoyed your pod segment with Eric. One thing that came up a few times that I’d like to hear more about (another pod segment?) is what Rule 5 game theory will look like this year. Seems like teams will probably hope to  through since they haven’t been seen, but then maybe there’s opportunities to be aggressive in drafting unusually talented guys?

2:11
Ben Clemens: It’s going to be really interesting to see what people do this year on Rule 5. My baseline assumption is that teams will be protecting more people this year because they’ll have more open slots, the result of the non-tender wave I’m expecting

2:12
Ben Clemens: If that’s the case, that’ll cool the R5 draft down b/c there will be less available interesting prospects, which is kind of boring but probably not a bad assumption

2:12
Dave: On the recipe front, there is a slow-cooker Pork Banh Mi recipe on Delish that will make you feel like a badass if you’re into that kind of thing.

2:13
Ben Clemens: I love slow cooker recipes, one of the biggest level-up moments I’ve had in cooking was buying a slow cooker

2:13
Ben Clemens: That sounds awesome, and though I don’t eat much red meat, I could see making an exception for some delicious pork banh mi

2:14
Uncle Steve: Did you see the Trevor Bauer YT video about Steve Cohen? Would it be disappointing at this point if he didn’t sign with the Mets?

2:14
Trevor Bauer: Who will I sign with?

2:14
Ben Clemens: It does feel like the tea leaves are lining up that way, huh?

2:15
Ben Clemens: That said, trying to predict Bauer based on a video seems foolish, he tweets out all kinds of random stuff that points to one team or another

2:16
Ben Clemens: I think that the Mets will be in on him, but I kind of expect them to prioritize Realmuto > Bauer > Springer

2:16
Ben Clemens: So if they get Realmuto early, or if he’s still on the market but telling them he’s interested, I dunno if they go for Bauer

2:16
Appa Yip Yip: Do you think the Astros scandal sticks to Springer, or does it just kind of wash away once he’s in a new uniform?

2:17
Ben Clemens: I think it’s going to wash away assuming he is decent for the next 2-3 years

2:17
Ben Clemens: If he’s an average hitter next year, it will only get louder

2:17
JC: smyly 2020 = rich hill 2015? might be rich in a depressed market for braves, but they’d surely take what hill did in year+1 for smyly.

2:17
Ben Clemens: That would be a pretty amazing outcome, obviously

2:18
Ben Clemens: That’s what they’re hoping for, but the floor of ‘semi-competent innings eater’ isn’t the worst either

2:18
Adam: I would love for the Dodgers to bring back both Joc and Kiké but I’d also be happy for each of those guys to get a full-time gig somewhere.  Do you think there’s a market for either/both of them as more than just a platoon bat/super-utility guy?

2:19
Ben Clemens: I think yes to both, actually. Some team is going to try Joc out as an everyday outfielder, because if he can do it, he’ll be value

2:20
Ben Clemens: Hernandez, I’m less sure of, but I think someone will offer him a utility-ish number but also the chance for everyday PT

2:20
Ben Clemens: and if I’m him, I jump at that

2:20
pitch_out: Pork, it’s the other white meat… did you forget your 90’s ad campaigns??

2:20
Ben Clemens: My wife separates pork from red meat, lol

2:20
Ben Clemens: She considers them two different categories

2:20
Ben Clemens: I do not

2:20
Ben Clemens: Seems like those ads were effective

2:21
Dodger Fan: Favorite online strategy game?

2:21
Ben Clemens: Hm, I don’t play any RTS things, but if by strategy you just mean a competitive game with decision making

2:21
Ben Clemens: I really enjoy OOTP Perfect Team mode, if you want a baseball one

2:22
Ben Clemens: But I play a decent amount of Magic: The Gathering, and it’s decent online these days. Used to play some Eternal CCG, which is really good, and someone got me to try LoR for a month or two this year, though it didn’t really grab me in the end.

2:22
Tom: How much do the Cardinals really need to do to compete for the NL Central title? Seems to be a weak division in 2021.

2:23
Ben Clemens: I think they need to add one impact player. One nice thing about the team’s setup, even without Wong, is that they project as pretty close to average in a lot of spots across the diamond

2:23
Ben Clemens: So they could add really any 4-5 WAR projection type person

2:23
Ben Clemens: And that would be the upgrade they’re looking for

2:23
Ben Clemens: Even if it’s a shortstop, you could probably shift DeJong to 2B and feel okay about that

2:24
Ben Clemens: If I’m them, I just pick the player I think is best regardless of position, and try to build my offseason around them

2:24
Uncle Steve: Are you a fan of Hearthstone at all? I know Dan is a fan. Have you heard about the recent XP track controversy?

2:25
Ben Clemens: I played for a bit when Battlegrounds came out, but not really

2:25
Ben Clemens: And nah, hadn’t heard about it, but i get the sense that there are a lot of controversies in Hearthstone these days

2:25
Dave: I wasn’t actually very familiar with Smyly, so I had to look his #s up- the floor that he descended to with TEX in 2019 was not very appetizing.

2:25
Ben Clemens: Yeah if he’s that again, oof

2:25
Ben Clemens: That said, even that terrible year he managed a 5.21 xFIP

2:25
Ben Clemens: Still reallllly bad

2:26
Ben Clemens: And boy his fly ball based pitching strategy is not great in the old Texas stadium

2:26
Moose_Bolton: Have you read any good books lately?

2:26
Ben Clemens: I recently read The Black Hole War, and I like pop science books in general, b/c I wish I were smarter than I actually am haha

2:27
Ben Clemens: Fiction-wise, I am rereading the Chronicles of Amber at the moment, a nice old fantasy series

2:27
Ben Clemens: Next on my non-fiction list is Stamped from the Beginning, but it’s kinda heavy, so I’ll probably keep reading some pop science books to mix it up

2:28
Adam: Will we be lucky enough to have another season with Rich Hill in it next year?

2:28
Ben Clemens: I am cautiously optimistic

2:28
Ben Clemens: He’ll be 41 for all of next season — a minus

2:28
Ben Clemens: He was acceptable in eight starts this year — a plus

2:29
Ben Clemens: I don’t think he’d cost much, and he might make the most sense with a team that expects him to pitch maybe 15 games, but someone would pay for that

2:29
Inaccessible Rail: Does anyone sign Cespedes this year?

2:29
Ben Clemens: Huh

2:30
Ben Clemens: This is a good one!

2:30
Ben Clemens: Yes, but I think it’s going to be a prove-it deal

2:31
Ben Clemens: I would guess that he isn’t all that interested in that kind of deal, but that he’ll eventually have to take it

2:31
Adam: Rank these Cubs 2021 outcomes by likelihood: 1) extend the core, 2) one last run before a rebuild, 3) fire sale

2:31
Ben Clemens: 2 -> 3 -> 1

2:32
Ben Clemens: But 3 and 1 are close, and I think 2 is the most likely by far

2:32
Appa Yip Yip: Pork is for suckers real men eat Longpig. The most dangerous game.

2:32
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: What’s the Thanksgiving cooking plan? WaPo has some excellent-looking smaller sheet pan recipes.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/voraciously/thanksgiving-…
We’re thinking of the roast chicken with potatoes and sprouts, some buns from whatever King Arthur recipe strikes our fancy, and pumpkin creme brulees for dessert.

2:33
Ben Clemens: I’m actually going to be on vacation (driving down to see some friends in SoCal), so I think we’ll have to play it by ear

2:33
Ben Clemens: Big fan of sheet pan recipes in general

2:34
Ben Clemens: So even if I don’t use these for Thanksgiving, I’ll use them for something

2:34
Ben Clemens: The harissa turkey legs look awesome

2:34
Inaccessible Rail: Are we going to have to wait until the end of the off-season to see any free agent signings this year?

2:34
Ben Clemens: I don’t know exactly how long, but I think that the majority of deals will be signed in 2021, and potentially even in February

2:35
Ben Clemens: Teams are just going to want more knowledge (not certainty b/c lol) about the likelihood and magnitude of attendance next year

2:35
Marko from Tropoja: I didn’t realize until last week that Kershaw was almost drafted by Detroit. Him, Verlander and Scherzer would’ve been the best top three of a rotation ever, right?

2:36
Ben Clemens: The rotation that springs to mind with a Big 3 is the 90’s Braves

2:36
Ben Clemens: I’m surely missing some from history, but I feel like most storied rotations were more duos than trios

2:36
Ben Clemens: I think I’d take Verlander/Kershaw/Scherzer over Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz, but that’s close

2:37
Curtis: If the Mets were to sign all three aforementioned players…(i.e Big Splash) where does that vault them to in the NL? understanding other teams have chances to improve of course…

2:37
Ben Clemens: I’m always worried I’m going to forget someone, but I tihnk it would lodge them right in the middle of the tier just below the Dodgers

2:38
Ben Clemens: Right now Tier 1 is the Dodgers, and that second tier is the Padres and Braves, to me at least

2:38
Ben Clemens: I don’t tihnk they’d get clear of that level even with all three, and I think they fall short if they only get 1

2:38
Gashouse Gorilla: Cubs and Red Sox both possible tankers/unload salary types.  Any other against-the-grain teams?

2:39
Ben Clemens: The Jays might spend more than we expect, I think there’s some risk that the Cardinals are actually about to tank and we just don’t know yet

2:39
Adam: Suppose you could force any two CBA changes, one benefitting each side and roughly offsetting in their financial impact.  What changes would you implement?

2:39
Ben Clemens: Hm

2:41
Ben Clemens: I think I would impose a revenue split that mirrors the average of the revenue split over the last 20 years after requiring full disclosure of team financial situations (this would be really tricky, but we’re in a hypothetical world so bear with me)

2:41
Ben Clemens: It’d be NBA style where the share of the revenue that goes to players is fixed and trued up at year end

2:42
Ben Clemens: That’s an owner-centric rule change, at least per their public comments on it, because it imposes cost certainty

2:42
Ben Clemens: If they have a huge down year in revenue, player salaries go down

2:43
Ben Clemens: That’s obviously the biggest thing owners have mentioned as a negative in 2020, so let’s fix that

2:43
Ben Clemens: On the other side, I’d shorten time to free agency. Given that the total amount of money spent on player salaries is fixed, this isn’t going to have a net financial impact, but I think it gets the money to the players who a)merit it based on skill and b)actually derive more benefit from it

2:44
Daron: Which NL Central team is most likely to trade away a key contributor this offseason? Some possibilities that come to mind include Bryant, Hader, Bell, etc.

2:44
Ben Clemens: I have Cubs first, though I’m not really sure Bryant has any value at his arb salary

2:44
Ben Clemens: Then Brewers with Hader, though it’d be a retooling kind of trade, not rebuilding

2:44
Ben Clemens: Then Pirates, then Cards, then Reds

2:44
Chris: Smyly 11 million? Whoa

2:44
David: Holy crap, just showed up and seeing the Braves way overpaid Smyly. Thats nuts.

2:45
Ben Clemens: Definitely higher than our projection, but I see the fit for Atlanta in particular… they need to sign probalby two SP’s in free agency and they already missed Stroman, Gausman, Ray

2:45
Ben Clemens: Maybe they’re out on Walker

2:45
Ben Clemens: Gotta get someone

2:46
Ben Clemens: I think accepting the QO made sense for both Gausman and Stroman, and it’s also funny that it has definitely put pitching-needy teams under pressure

2:50
Inaccessible Rail: Braves have done well with their FA signings last few years. Don’t know if this is good scouting, analytics, or dumb luck, but maybe they know something about Smyly that we don’t.

2:50
Ben Clemens: Well, yes and no

2:50
Ben Clemens: They’re into taking a lot of bites at the apple, which is smart

2:50
Ben Clemens: But hey,s ometimes they sign Felix and Hamels

2:50
Ben Clemens: I do like their strategy of getting multiple people though

2:51
Go Ms: Dipoto says playoffs are in reach with bullpen upgrade… do you agree?

2:52
Ben Clemens: Uh…. not really?

2:52
Ben Clemens: Or well, it depends on what ‘in reach’ means

2:53
Ben Clemens: With steps forward from two starters plus finding two real outfielders (Haniger is just a mystery at this point) plus Evan WHite and Shed Long realizing 75th percentile outcomes, yes

2:53
Ben Clemens: Is that in reach? Unsure

2:53
Dave: It’s easy to forget about paying Hamels $18M for 3.1 inning when the team wins. Hard to forget about paying Jed Lowrie $20M for 7 AB over 2 seasons when the team loses.

2:54
Ben Clemens: Totally agree with this

2:54
Ben Clemens: I think both of those signings were fine, though

2:54
Ben Clemens: The Braves are going about things in an intelligent way; they have a young core that they’ve locked in at below-market levels, and they take a lot of cracks at filling the space around it

2:55
Ben Clemens: If I had the Freeman/Acuna/Albies/Soroka/Fried core, I’d be doing more or less what htey were doing

2:55
Dan: Have we passed the point where a team with unlimited money could build a WS favorite with only free agents?

2:56
Ben Clemens: Let’s do this in real time for some random reason

2:56
Ben Clemens: I like doing realtime queries b/c eh, why not

2:56
Ben Clemens: C Realmuto

2:57
Ben Clemens: 1B Santana, 2B LeMahieu, SS Semian, 3B Turner, LF Brantley, CF Springer, RF Joc/Puig platoon, DH Ozuna

2:57
Ben Clemens: rotation Bauer/Tanaka/Morton/biiiiig drop off

2:57
Ben Clemens: bullpen Hendriks/Hand/Treinen/Rosenthal/Soria/others

2:58
Ben Clemens: I don’t actually think that’s better than the Dodgers even then lol

2:58
Ben Clemens: I guess you’d be taking Turner away from them, which helps

2:59
Ben Clemens: But nah, you’d be a contender but not a favorite

2:59
Guest: I was hearing DJ wanted 5/$125 but fangraphs has him around 3 years $30-$40MM, seems like a HUGE disconnect.  If he would take the 3/$40MM he is an easy yes, if he wants the 5/$125, yanks should sign simmons and move torres back to 2B, thoughts?

2:59
Ben Clemens: If he wants 5/125, yeah, I don’t think that’s happening

3:00
Ben Clemens: I honestly think they should consider making the Simmons/move Gleyber play anyway

3:00
Ben Clemens: But if he wants, say, 4/60

3:01
Ben Clemens: I could see him coming back and they just have Gleyber fake it at short for another 2-3 years

3:01
Go Ms: Do Mets go for Theo Epstein?

3:01
Ben Clemens: I do not think so

3:01
Ben Clemens: That’s not how I picture Cohen wanting to make a splash

3:01
Guest: I don’t know if that’s better than the Dodgers either, but it’s a lot easier to build a World Series favorite when we stipulate that no other contenders get to sign anyone substantial in free agency.

3:01
Ben Clemens: Part of the beauty of signing everyone is that no one else gets to!

3:01
Tacoby Bellsbury: Christmas is near. The better half and I have played Ticket to Ride, Azul, 7 Wonders Duel and Fluxx to near our burnout points. Do you have references for other good quarantine two-player games for semi-competitive play? (We do have to share a living space after all.) If so, what baseball player would the game or games be, and why? (See, now it’s on topic!)

3:02
Ben Clemens: A friend of mine just borrowed some two-player games from me because he and his gf are staying in a place without much internet access for a bit

3:02
Ben Clemens: I lent him Ascension and Asante, both of which I tihnk are awesome

3:02
Ben Clemens: If you want a more cooperative one, Codenames Duet is pretty fun

3:02
Ben Clemens: And if you’re willing to add a little complexity, Seasons is great

3:03
Ben Clemens: But I like your list quite a lot already, and totally agree that game burnout exists

3:03
Ben Clemens: also haha as far as I’m concerned, board games are on topic

3:03
Guest: Sherlock Holmes: consulting detective is excellent for 2 players

3:03
Ben Clemens: Oh GREAT call

3:03
Ben Clemens: Also Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, which is kind of five Sherlock mysteries that are linked together

3:04
Ben Clemens: Those are kind of hit or miss, I know that some of my friends aren’t into it, but my wife and I love it

3:04
Ben Clemens: We had a Sherlock themed dinner party in the Before Times that was really fun

3:04
Adam: Your favorite team can win 3 of the next 5 World Series, OR you personally can hit a home run in the major leagues.  Which do you pick?

3:04
Ben Clemens: Give me 3 of the next 5 WS, because if I hit a home run in the majors, it would be SO clear to me that something was amiss

3:04
Ben Clemens: I haven’t played seriously since little league

3:05
Ben Clemens: So it would be cheapened by my conviction that something supernatural was going on

3:05
Janus: Kim Ng hiring thoughts? Imagine me telling you five years ago that’s the team who would hire her.

3:06
Ben Clemens: I don’t feel that I’m the most qualified person to answer this, but I’m going to try anyway

3:06
Ben Clemens: Kim Ng is maybe the most overqualified first-time GM in history, and it’s a shame that it has to be that way

3:07
Ben Clemens: Being Asian-American and female in a job (MLB front office types) dominated by white males makes it doubly hard to break through

3:07
Ben Clemens: Should have happened long ago, glad it has happened now

3:08
David: I would have rathered Lester for 3 mil.

3:08
David: I have no issue with Smyly, but I just wanted to see costs kept down for what teams spent on players.

3:08
Ben Clemens: I mean, I thiiiiink I’d rather have Lester for $3 mil too? Not sure. On the other hand, if you call Lester up and offer him that, he’d say “eh let’s talk in January”

3:09
Ben Clemens: No reason for him to accept that now. He could stlil get it later

3:09
Hal: Is there a fit out there for Yadier Molina if he leaves the Cards? (assuming he’s fine with not catching 130 games)

3:09
Ben Clemens: I think there are a lot of fits actually, and yes, it’s VERY contingent on him accepting a smaller workload

3:10
Guest: Is Smyly’s salary going to prevent the Braves from signing other players? If not, I don’t see what there is to question about it. I guess someone in here could be the team’s CFO, but seems unlikely.

3:10
Ben Clemens: They could theoretically be shareholders, since it’s the Braves

3:11
Guest: Other 2 player recommendations: my wife and I have also been playing Imhotep: the Duel; Sagrada; Splendor; Jaipur; Gizmos

3:11
Ben Clemens: interactive chat today!

3:11
Ben Clemens: Jaipur is sweet, I was so-so on Splendor but only played once, haven’t played the rest

3:11
Ben Clemens: But Imhotep sounds intriguing, it’s on my BGG list

3:11
Dan: What are your quick thoughts on Gary Sanchez? Is he going to be good again? Playable on a contender? On a related question is a change of scenery trade about new coaches, new role, or something else?

3:12
Ben Clemens: I think that change of scenery is often about having different coaches talking to you everyday, from a developmental standpoint

3:13
Ben Clemens: If you’re a player whose production is continually below talent, well, it’s likely that what your coaches are telling you isn’t clicking

3:13
Ben Clemens: Could be their fault, could be your fault, but it could also just be a mismatch in their teaching method and your learning method

3:14
Ben Clemens: To answer the question about Sanchez, I think he’ll be good again, but I do think he would benefit from a change of scenery

3:14
Guest: In a hypothetical and very disappointing world where Cleveland trades both Lindor and Carrasco this offseason, would they get more value back if they package them together or trade them separately?

3:14
Ben Clemens: Boy, VERY disappointing indeed

3:16
Ben Clemens: I think that I’d rather see them dealt separately. Easier to find teams that value the specific thing they’re selling that way, and I don’t think that Cleveland has shown much interest in prying one single gem out of a team’s farm system so much as going for depth

3:16
Ben Clemens: So there isn’t an issue where Lindor on his own isn’t worth as much as the prospect they’re trading for, most likely

3:17
Jacob: If the Mets aren’t fully confident in Thor being back they could need two more SP pieces. They seem interested in Morton. Who else would be a good option?

3:17
Ben Clemens: Would you accept Rick Porcello, lol?

3:17
Ben Clemens: He was totally fine on the Mets this year, done in by a .373 BABIP in a short season

3:17
Ben Clemens: His batted ball metrics were unremarkable, just got absolutely CRUSHED on balls in play

3:18
Ben Clemens: But someone in that tier

3:18
BK: Blue Jays offseason:

Springer 5/110
Paxton or Morton 1/14
La Stella 2/14
May 2/14

Does this team challenge Tampa Bay and New York in the AL East?

3:19
Ben Clemens: Depends on what you mean by challenge

3:19
Ben Clemens: But yes!

3:20
Ben Clemens: I don’t think they’d be favorites but I would put them roughly on par with Tampa Bay I think

3:20
Joe: Seems to me that trades should be way off in the future because of all the uncertainty with how things will play out in 2021 – especially trades that would only give you 2021 control.  could that be driving some Free agent prices up – I’m assuming that if games aren’t played teams won’t pay the salaries for those games, but if you trade a player away, he is gone for good, so wouldn’t you wait.

3:21
Ben Clemens: Not an unreasonable point at all. If 2020 had been canceled entirely, woof that Mookie Betts trade would have been bad

3:21
Joe: What position would LaStella play in that Scenario above?

3:21
Ben Clemens: 3B

3:22
Ben Clemens: Plus back up Biggio

3:22
Guest: Alejandro Kirk HOF chances +/- .1%?

3:22
Ben Clemens: Gimme the over

3:22
Ben Clemens: Mostly b/c I’ll bet on a lot of things at 1000 to 1

3:23
Ben Clemens: But reaching the majors at 22 as a catcher is a promising sign

3:23
Ben Clemens: Enough to make me smash the over on a very unlikely occurrence

3:23
DRB: Forget CBA stuff, what does the league need to do to get fans interested in the game more? I’ve been a fan all my life, but unless I have $ on the game, I really don’t care that much anymore.

3:23
Ben Clemens: This is tough. Marketing stars more would help, but I think that sports in general is facing this problem now

3:24
Ben Clemens: Viewership is down in EVERYTHING, Red Zone is doing way better than actual NFL broadcasts

3:24
Ben Clemens: I think that the best thing they could do would be to get better announcing crews

3:24
Ben Clemens: I think that a lot of on-field stuff would have little impact

3:25
Ben Clemens: But making the games more interesting to listen to would be great

3:25
Ben Clemens: I listen to A’s games in the background b/c I have a good time listening to the announcers

3:25
Ben Clemens: I do not listen to Cardinals games in the background, even though they’re my team, b/c I don’t enjoy listening to the announcers

3:25
Hal: Be honest: did you know Grady Sizemore made appearances in 10 different seasons before the HoF ballot came out this morning? Can you name the teams he made appearances for in 2015?

3:26
Ben Clemens: I would have guessed he’d appeared in ten seasons, but not as recently as 2015

3:27
Ben Clemens: Hm… I’ll go Braves and Dodgers but I just have no idea

3:27
Ben Clemens: 🙁

3:27
Ben Clemens: Rays and Phillies, who knew

3:27
Joe: Jays scenario, so Shaw would be benched/traded? but they  still have an extra hitter OF/DH, do they try to trade someone or just have Tellez on their bench.  I feel like they don’t really need LaStella.

3:28
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I tihnk that La Stella is a meaningful upgrade from Shaw

3:28
Hal: Does Josh Hamilton have the best career since integration of anyone who didn’t make it the 10 years to become Hall-eligible?

3:28
Ben Clemens: This might be more of a question for Jay, because I’m not a great baseball historian, but I’m trying to think of recent players who might fit that bill

3:29
Mike Hawk: How many ABs do you see Bobby Dalbec getting next year?

3:30
Ben Clemens: I’ll level with you; I don’t think I’m better at guessing this than Jason is, and our depth charts have him in the 500-600 range, so I’ll go iwth that

3:31
Ben Clemens: Still looking at the HoF questoin, it’s a fun one

3:33
Ben Clemens: Oddly in the weird way I’m filtering it, Corey Koskie comes up

3:33
Ben Clemens: He was better than I thought

3:33
Guest: Every play Pirates of the Spanish Main/Pirates Constructible Strategy Game? Old but underrated

3:33
Ben Clemens: No but sounds like I should check it out

3:33
Guest: What are your strategies for pandemic safe travel?

3:34
Ben Clemens: I haven’t flown since March, which lets me avoid airports

3:34
Ben Clemens: Driving in CA isn’t bad, gas stations all have mandatory mask wearing

3:35
Ben Clemens: I have been staying in AirBnB’s with either just myself and my wife or the two of us plus two friends

3:35
Ben Clemens: And we both quarantine before going on the trip

3:35
Ben Clemens: I think that’s an okay way to do it, but it obviously limits destinations and such

3:36
Guest: Do you think bonds/clemens should make the hall? And Why?

3:36
Ben Clemens: I do, b/c it’s the Hall of Fame, and they are inarguably two of the most famous baseball players

3:37
Ben Clemens: Additionally, they’re two of the very best baseball players

3:37
Ben Clemens: I would absolutely include plenty of disclaimers and make it clear that they at times bent and broke the rules

3:37
Ben Clemens: But a history of baseball that doesn’t include those two is just incorrect, in my opnion

3:38
Ben Clemens: On that potentially polarizing note, I’m going to call it a wrap for today. Thanks for all your great questions today everyone, and if I didn’t get to yours, I’ll try to make it up next time (which will not be next week but the week after next due to travel)

3:38
Ben Clemens: Have a great day





Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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dozingoffdad
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dozingoffdad

Just want to say that Ben is right about broadcast teams and the A’s have a very listenable crew.

Connor Grey
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Member
Connor Grey

I watch baseball, football, and basketball. I usually like national basketball broadcasts and a lot of football ones are fine but the ones I see for a lot of football and almost all of baseball are terrible. Not “eh, they could be better.” They’re awful. Borderline unwatchable. I totally agree with Ben that bad broadcasts are at least partly to blame for declining ratings.

Dooduh
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Dooduh

I guess you haven’t heard Mets broadcasts.

Connor Grey
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Connor Grey

I wasn’t super clear but I was talking about nationally televised broadcasts. I enjoy most of the local broadcasts, especially Rays and Mets.

marchandman34
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Member
marchandman34

Yes, Rays team was a joy to listen to as well.