Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 4/6/20

1:58
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, and welcome.

1:59
Ben Clemens: Another week at home, another chat. We’ve got some virtual Brewers to discuss, and probably some ‘can they play baseball this year?’ as well.

1:59
Ben Clemens: Plus, maybe some board games, FanGraphs Live streaming, and even recipes? We’ll see!

1:59
Tim: WHEN baseball returns (not IF), do you think high-fiving strangers will be frowned upon? I’m a bit concerned that some of the more “sportsy” aspects of sports will be flushed down the drain due to virus concerns… thoughts?

2:00
Ben Clemens: Oh, most definitely. Until there’s a vaccine available, I can’t imagine touching other people just for funsies will be high on anyone’s list of activities.

2:00
Ben Clemens: There’s some middle ground between ‘the world is back to 2019 public safety levels’ and ‘stay in your homes.’

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’ll probably *go* to baseball games before there’s a vaccine out, but I’ll likely wear a mask, improvised or otherwise, and I’m definitely not going to go around touching people.

2:01
David: With reports about mlb wanted to start the season in Arizona with no fans does that give you more hope we’ll have a season? Do you see players wearing masks on the field like they’re doing in ZKorea?

2:01
Andrew: MLB Opening Day Over/Under July 15th?

2:01
Jason N: Should our base expectation be there will be no MLB season this year?  The CA governor said he can’t even imagine NFL games being played in the CA this season.  MLB doesn’t have the financial incentive to play without crowds or benefit of later year timing the NFL does.  So without CA and probably other states, isn’t no season by far the most likely outcome?

2:02
Ben Clemens: A trio of similar questions. I have some hope that there will be a season; i disagree on the financial incentives front, because while I’m not a lawyer, it’s not hard for me to imagine RSN’s and particularly the big national TV networks getting money back from baseball in the event of no season.

2:03
Ben Clemens: Playing enough of a season to have playoffs is a good way to get money from your playoff TV carriers.

2:05
Ben Clemens: I kind of do expect masks on the field, though that I’m less sure of; but the fact that baseball is already talking about alternative seasons in Arizona is a really good sign.

2:07
Ben Clemens: A moment for a quick edit on my COVID-19 roundup from today; I made a goof around Jon Daniels’ salary.

2:08
Robert: With many question marks in the upcoming 2020 MLB draft, are teams more likely to draft the “best athlete” or “tooled up” player than take a chance on questionable college or high school pitchers?

2:08
Ben Clemens: This is probably a better question for Eric, but I expect Northeastern players to move way down teams’ boards.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Warm-weather teams, and college powerhouses, have already been doing some playing. I do think that toolbox type guys have a little more value in this draft because there will be less players making a case for a higher slot by being great all year in college/HS, so I’d agree with your overall take.

2:09
red: You a believer in D. Swanson 1st half last year before getting banged up?

2:11
Ben Clemens: I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t think that he’s necessarily a high-BABIP guy, and he ran a .325 in the first half, but I believe the lower strikeout totals. I’m a little higher on him than Steamer and ZiPS, but lower than I think Braves fans are.

2:11
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Last week we discussed no-knead bread, which is an extra-good idea since it uses so little yeast and people are hoarding the stuff (sourdough is also a great option!). Have you made your first loaf?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Topical: my stepbrother is an excellent bread baker, and he sent me some notes on that recipe over the weekend, as he’s made variations on it many times. After I buy some yeast, I’ll be making it — our local grocery store was out of yeast last week and I don’t keep any lying around.

2:12
Scott: We know that the shorter the season, the greater the chances for less competitive teams. Which team would you look to most benefit from a 2020 half season (if we even get that many games)?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Dan looked into this a few weeks ago:

2:13
Ben Clemens: His model has the Rangers and Angels benefiting the most.

2:14
Ben Clemens: That tracks with the type of team I’d name; teams who are at the back end of the Wild Card race and within shouting distance, but only shouting distance, of the division title.

2:14
Ben Clemens: Like the Marlins are more likely to make the playoffs, but so many of their outcomes are below .500 that even variance probably isn’t enough.

2:14
Ben Clemens: The Angels were my initial guess for the team most helped, so I’ll just say th em.

2:15
Jeremy: In the absence of real baseball, I’ve been playing a bunch of OOTP and with the new rules, it seems like lineup construction (at least splitting lefties up) is now more important. Do you think this would have a noticeable effect? Will managers optimize it?

2:15
Derek: How are the virtual Brewers looking?

2:15
Ben Clemens: Let’s combine these two, starting with Derek’s question.

2:16
Ben Clemens: The virtual Brewers are doing alright. They’re 5-4 now, a game out of first, heading into a two game set with the Reds.

2:16
Ben Clemens: Also all the hitters you’d expect to do well are raking: our top 4 hitters, by wRC+, are Brock Holt (267 in 15 PA), Ben Gamel (212 in 8 PA), Eric Sogard (184 in 27 PA), and Omar Narvaez (168 in 29 PA).

2:16
Ben Clemens: So like, sure? Small samples are small.

2:17
Ben Clemens: The game loves Narvaez, incidentally. He’s a top 5 catcher in this world I think.

2:17
Ben Clemens: And I agree with Jeremy that alternating lineup construction seems to help. I’ve gotten some good matchups with relievers as a result.

2:18
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s a meaningless effect, but I’d bet that the EV of it is on the order of a game or two over an entire season.

2:18
Ben Clemens: Now, some virtual Brewers downsides: Josh Lindblom was already out for roughly the whole season; 3+ months.

2:18
Ben Clemens: In the last week, Brett Anderson got dinged up (minimum DL stint likely) and Alex Claudio is out for the year.

2:19
Ben Clemens: I made a trade for reliever depth before the year, and both guys I acquired, Scott Barlow and Tim Hill, are on the big league roster now.

2:19
Ben Clemens: Feels a little too much like real baseball for my liking. I’d prefer my team to not get so dinged up so early.

2:19
BASEBALL SZN: Not a question, just want to say how nice it was to listen to you, Dan, and Paul talk baseball on the stream of The Show on Friday.  Can we look forward to more of that? (guess I did have a question)

2:20
Ben Clemens: You can definitely expect more. We’re still working out a plan for what to stream and when to stream it, and I’m still hopeful that we can get more FG people on there, but this is an idea we’ve been talking about off and on for some time, and a lack of baseball was an excellent way to push it into production, so to speak.

2:21
Eric: We can talk about board games?  Have you played any Gloomhaven?

2:21
Ben Clemens: Shameful admission: I own Gloomhaven, but we haven’t started it yet.

2:21
Ben Clemens: My mom bought it for us as a wedding gift, actually, because a board game store near her had it in stock.

2:21
Ben Clemens: It’s hilariously large, and we moved it cross-country with us, so I’ve been looking forward to playing.

2:22
Ben Clemens: But there’s just so much setup involved, and we always seem to have something else to try first.

2:22
Ben Clemens: At the moment we are playing through Pandemic Legacy, which is a little on the nose but also quite fun.

2:22
Bring Back Jeff&Mookie&Baseball: Ben: 7 Wonders, do you go Alexandria or Roma?

2:22
Ben Clemens: I have to admit, I don’t remember which is which, so I’m goin to look this up.

2:24
Ben Clemens: Hm; I think my favorite is the Hanging Gardens or the Lighthouse, but we always randomize, so I don’t have all that much experience with any one wonder.

2:24
Derek: I still remain skeptical of a season of any significant length being played this year (or any pro sports for that matter). All it would take is one person in any organization to test positive for the coronavirus for everything to be shut down again – which is probably the right way to handle things, but also not particularly encouraging for those of us wanting baseball back.

2:24
Ben Clemens: Yeah, blah, I don’t know how to think about this. The requisite quarantining would be pretty intense.

2:25
Ben Clemens: And it would very likely require government cooperation, and a decent expenditure of resources.

2:25
Ben Clemens: But do I think we might do that to get sports back? Kind of.

2:25
Ben Clemens: The ‘one person testing positive’ thing is a big problem, no doubt.

2:25
Ben Clemens: Which is why it would require some inventive quarantining and isolation.

2:25
Ben Clemens: But I’m hopeful

2:26
Ben Clemens: And not just because I’m digging deep into my bag of dumb things to write about already, and it’s only April.

2:26
Ben Clemens: But because sports give me a nice sense of normalcy.

2:26
Yeast: Are people hoarding yeast to bake bread or for mash for their new moonshine stills?  I vote the latter.

2:26
Ben Clemens: I don’t know about all of you guys, but I’ve been enjoying delivery and pickup cocktails.

2:27
Ben Clemens: Why make moonshine at home when your favorite restaurant can make you a batch of fresh margs?

2:27
Ben Clemens: Not sure if that’s a nationwide thing or just an SF thing, but it’s been awesome here.

2:27
MSW: The only fly in the ointment of the no-fans plan is that even with viewership for TV already way up, ad revenue is down, because companies are slashing their ad budgets to save money. So the revenue boost for TV networks getting baseball back may not be as large as one would hope.

2:28
Ben Clemens: Well, the ad revenue doesn’t go to baseball, just to the network. If you’re a network who paid for baseball and then didn’t get the ad buys you hoped for on that baseball, gee, tough luck.

2:28
Ben Clemens: But if you just don’t get the baseball at all, then you have a better case.

2:28
Ben Clemens: Now, maybe MLB will come to an arrangement with these broadcast partners, since it’s a repeated game and all.

2:28
Ben Clemens: You can’t just bleed them dry and expect the future to work out.

2:29
Ben Clemens: But having *something* to give the people who paid you to broadcast your games seems like a prudent fiscal move.

2:29
Derek: For games like Gloomhaven I often take the lazy person’s way out and buy a digital copy, either of the standalone game (in the case of Gloomhaven) or in Tabletop Simulator. This route comes in handy in times like this to play with friends while remaining at home!

2:29
Ben Clemens: So I haven’t yet caved and bought Tabletop Simulator, but I might take the plunge soon.

2:29
Ben Clemens: I’ve been playing a lot more Steam games of late.

2:30
Ben Clemens: OOTP mainly, because holy crap it’s fun, but other stuff too.

2:30
Ben Clemens: Namely Slay the Spire and Darkest Dungeon.

2:31
Ben Clemens: So far I’ve gotten my games with friends fix by playing party games (Just One, Jackbox, Houseparty) or poker (using Donkhouse) on Zoom calls.

2:31
Ben Clemens: Oh, and there are a group of friends who used to meet in person once a week or so to draft Magic, and that’s mainly gone online.

2:32
Ben Clemens: But at some point I might switch over to TS.

2:32
Billy Beane: https://www.food.com/recipe/beer-bread-73440 Beer bread uses beer and baking powder to rise. For those without yeast.

2:32
Ben Clemens: Fancy!

2:32
Dave: Do you think there is a general tendency for MLB managers to blindly look at RH/LH matchups for PHs instead of looking at individual player’s splits? Example, Josh Reddick is a LH batter that perennially hits better vs LHPs. Yet, when he’s not starting, he will typically PH vs RHPs while seemingly avoiding LHP matchups.

2:32
Ben Clemens: I actually just finished up a second article on PH decisions; it’ll go up tomorrow.

2:33
Ben Clemens: As a general rule of thumb, pitcher platoon splits are WAY more important than hitter platoon splits, because there’s a lot more variation there.

2:33
Ben Clemens: That makes logical sense; pitchers exert a lot more control over the matchup. If you’re a sidearming lefty, you’re likely to have huge splits.

2:33
Ben Clemens: Whereas batters all kind of stand the same way, you know?

2:34
Ben Clemens: That said, I think that some of what you said is true. Take Justin Wilson; he’s a lefty pitcher with reverse splits.

2:34
Ben Clemens: But when I was looking at every pinch hitting decision in 2019 (look, I have some free time)

2:34
Ben Clemens: A lot of managers would bring in marginal righties to replace lefties against him.

2:36
2-D: If you had to guess, what percentage of MLB players do you think have a home batting cage or bullpen?

2:36
Ben Clemens: Hm…. not a huge amount.

2:36
Ben Clemens: I mean…. Giannis somehow doesn’t have a basketball hoop at home, which still boggles my mind.

2:37
Ben Clemens: But overall, having a home cage seems like a thing that would depend heavily on where you live.

2:37
Ben Clemens: If you live in Florida near a hitting facility, what’s the poin?

2:37
Ben Clemens: But if you want to spend your offseason in Wyoming or something, you’d probably have a setup.

2:37
Ben Clemens: So I’ll say 20%? But I have no clue at all.

2:38
pepper: narrow, selfish question.  dynasty type league.  15 teams/28 man rosters. I took over the trash team.   Been trying to deal Wheeler as I anticipate it will be at least three years before I can compete again.   Brandon Marsh + Dalton Varsho too little for him?   Not getting much excitement for higher return given no actual games ongoing.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Hm….. I do like Varsho.

2:40
Ben Clemens: I guess it seems fine to me?

2:40
Ben Clemens: I’m still kind of feeling out dynasty returns but I’m a little low on Wheeler.

2:41
David: SF-based reader here. Where are your go-to spots for delivery/pickup cocktails? My wife and I got pizza and beer crowlers from Cellarmaker last night and it was awesome (and efficient).

2:41
Ben Clemens: Nopalito has some awesome cocktails, and I live in the Panhandle area, so it’s convenient to go pick up.

2:41
Ben Clemens: They shut down briefly, but they’re back better than ever.

2:41
Ben Clemens: We got some delivery beer from Bare Bottle as well, and I love that place.

2:42
Ben Clemens: I saw (via Eno) that Cellarmaker was doing delivery again, and then by the time I looked, they had sold out :/.

2:42
Ben Clemens: I’ll keep an eye on it for next time.

2:42
Jerome: So when baseball starts back up is the consensus that rosters will be 28 players, 14 pitcher limit? Which teams have the best 27th/28th/29th men and will that make a difference benefiting some teams? If so, which?

2:42
Ben Clemens: Something like that. But honestly, it’s going to be really low value in terms of wins added.

2:42
Ben Clemens: Depth is a lot less important when you play fewer games in the first place.

2:43
Ben Clemens: There might be more six man rotations, which someone else asked as well, and so teams with good sixth starters might be helpd?

2:43
Ben Clemens: Dodgers, for example.

2:43
David: Big Bare Bottle fan as well! That’s next on our pick-up list. Friends of ours also suggested Nopalito for margs.

2:44
Ben Clemens: Yeah. They have good drinks overall, too — if you like spicy cocktails, they have one called Sweet Heat that we’ve been enjoying.

2:44
Marc: I realize you can’t discuss financial specifics, but can you say whether or not our favorite baseball-related website has a better chance of staying up now?

2:44
Ben Clemens: Tune in tomorrow for an update from Appelman on this kind of thing. But we’ve all been overwhelmed with the positive response, and things feel way better today than a week ago.

2:44
Derek: Ooh both Slay the Spire and Darkest Dungeon are great. Dead Cells is another rogue-like that is super fun. And FTL if you haven’t played that yet!

2:45
Ben Clemens: I keep hearing people tell me to play FTL. Roguelikes are definitely high on my list for genre these days. I’ll give those a shot.

2:45
George Lucas: Which mlb player is most likely to be a secret prequels fan?

2:46
Ben Clemens: Secret is a tricky part here. Like does Doolittle count?

2:46
Ben Clemens: He’s definitely going to be a fan of them, right?

2:46
Ben Clemens: But not so secret.

2:47
Ben Clemens: I’ll say, uh, Greinke. He’s just a weird dude overall.

2:47
Krock: Hi Ben.  Is there a way to upgrade my $20 Fangraph’s membership to a $50 membership (i.e. pay just the $30 difference)?  Wanted to do my part to help out the site after joining a few months ago on the cheaper plan.  Thanks.

2:48
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna again refer you to Appelman’s thing tomorrow; he’s talking about these kinds of things, memberships and such. But I’ll also ask around in case this isn’t answered there, and try to get back to you.

2:48
Davey: Where does the Mets rotation rank without Thor? Top ten still?

2:49
Ben Clemens: Depth Charts has them 8th without Thor. That seems plausible to me.

2:50
Ben Clemens: They still have a really good top two; Stroman is if anything underrated still.

2:50
Ben Clemens: And they have acceptable major leaguers as depth, which is a nice thing that many teams just don’t have.

2:50
Seeforman: Which ballplayers should launch a series of vblogs, along the line of Serge Ibaka’s ” How bored am I” series? Great way to show the personality, and keep fans a bit engaged. Along the same lines, FG writers could supplement their chats with vblogs of home activities. I’d be in to watch those.

2:50
Ben Clemens: I’d love to see Mike Trout just tracking weather.

2:51
Ben Clemens: But first place for me is Juan Soto. I want to know everything about his life.

2:51
Ben Clemens: In terms of FG writers, we’re doing an okay job *talking* about nonsense.

2:51
Ben Clemens: And we are streaming things.

2:51
Ben Clemens: But with no Kiley, I don’t know how likely a pure lifestyle thing is.

2:52
Ben Clemens: I am going to start streaming an hour or so of OOTP here and there, and I’m pretty sure that given the pace of that game we’ll just be talking about lots of nonsense, but that’s not really the same.

2:52
Big Boi Pete: Great article on social distancing for players. Let’s spin a different scenario — let’s say that MLB players have an exemption for physical distancing (so mound visits, pickoffs, etc etc are still okay), but *fans* must continue to align to 6-feet of separation. Seating spacing, queuing at the hot dog stands, etc. What would that look like? Would that still be baseball?

2:53
Ben Clemens: I think that they could make that work.

2:53
Ben Clemens: But I’m not sure it’d be worth their while to.

2:53
Ben Clemens: If you require everyone to be six feet apart, the crowds are going to be severely limited.

2:54
Ben Clemens: Like, you could only do every four rows of seats or so, and then every fourth seat within those rows.

2:54
Ben Clemens: This is one of those ‘packing shapes into a 2-d space’ problems that I don’ feel like solving right now, but if it cuts attendance by a factor of 16 (my lazy, unoptimized answer), yikes.

2:54
Turduckenfrank: Ben, are you going to be streaming OOTP on a personal account or on a Fangraphs-linked one? How can us OOTP-heads follow along?

2:54
Ben Clemens: Oh, when I set it up, it will be on FG.

2:55
Ben Clemens: So we’ll announce details beforehand on Twitter, and potentially start doing a weekly article of stream scheules.

2:55
Ben Clemens: And when it goes live you’ll be able to access it either on the FG front page, in an article on FG, or on Twitch.

2:55
Dave: In a chat around mid-March, Brad Johnson said Austin Voth is a better pitcher than Tony Gonsolin. I was rather surprised to hear that. What do you think?

2:56
Ben Clemens: I know that Brad is high on Voth, but I’m not even sure that this is a controversial opinion overall.

2:57
Ben Clemens: Steamer likes Voth more, at least.

2:57
Ben Clemens: And ZiPS likes them about the same.

2:57
Ben Clemens: Voth has some interestingn bones, as it were.

2:58
Ben Clemens: But I wouldn’t feel confident picking one over the other without a deeper dive.

2:58
Ben Clemens: Both fall in the same bucket of swingman with upside for me.

2:58
red: L. Weaver or J. Musgrove?

2:59
Ben Clemens: Wow, two of my pitcher crushes.

2:59
Ben Clemens: Boy, this is not an easy decision for me.

3:00
Ben Clemens: I think that overall I like Musgrove more, because I can wrap my head around his arsenal working more easily

3:00
Ben Clemens: He can just keep waylaying people with his slider, and he mixes in a lot of acceptable secondaries beside taht.

3:00
Ben Clemens: Weaver has less margin for error because he still doesn’t have a breaking ball. The changeup is gorgeous and the fastball works; those aren’t the problem.

3:01
Ben Clemens: But he needs the cutter to improve if he’s going to kick it up a notch.

3:01
Ben Clemens: Boy, though, that changeup sure is nice.

3:01
Ben Clemens: He’s kind of a Michael Wacha starter kit, and that’s a nice pitcher.

3:01
Ben Clemens: But Musgrove has ace upside still in my mind.

3:01
David: I’m going to make a big leap from “best pickup booze in SF” to asking your verdict on the “clapping hands” on Salesforce tower. I’ve got one friend who thinks it’s cool, and another who thinks it’s “Orwellian.”

3:01
Ben Clemens: Haven’t seen it!

3:01
Ben Clemens: I don’t get to the downtown area of town much, and way less now.

3:02
Ben Clemens: But I just looked it up, and definitely creepy. Do not like.

3:02
Ben Clemens:

The top of the Salesforce Tower is illuminated with a video of clapping hands and prayer flags in support of medical workers and first responders fighting #COVID19.
2 Apr 2020
3:03
Rings: Let’s say there’s some July-Sept season of some sort. I dunno, 60-70 games. More teams in playoffs but shorter rounds. Something like that. Someone wins. Do they get seen less favorably than a full season winner?

3:03
Ben Clemens: Hm.

3:04
Ben Clemens: I think so.

3:04
Ben Clemens: It’s just so clearly different.

3:05
Ben Clemens: In the same way that WWII stuff was considered baseball-ish but also not hte same.

3:05
Ben Clemens: I think this would be similar. It also depends what caliber of team wins.

3:05
Ben Clemens: Like if the Braves burn the NL East down and win comfortably, that seems fine?

3:05
Ben Clemens: If the Royals spike a postseason appearance on pure luck and then win it all, that’s going to feel like nonsense.

3:06
Vs Trash Can: …but do they get seen MORE favorably than the Trash Cans among the players?

3:06
Ben Clemens: And yes. This year’s winner will be thought of more favorably than the Astros, as well as the ’18 Red Sox.

3:06
Ben Clemens: Don’t cheat, people!

3:07
Derek: Are you a music fan/concert-goer? Best concerts you’ve been to?

3:07
Ben Clemens: I was moreso five or ten years ago, though I still like concerts.

3:08
Ben Clemens: My taste is all over the place; I was planning on going to a Stormzy show that got canceled by COVID, which would have been in a few weeks.

3:08
Ben Clemens: The last show I went to was Galantis; first time I’d been to an EDM show in an auditorium setting.

3:09
Ben Clemens: It was quite weird, but they were incredible.

3:09
Ben Clemens: My overall favorite show/artist to see in concert is Interpol.

3:10
Ben Clemens: I saw them a lot when I lived in New York, and they were always awesome.

3:10
Giodude: Would you be open to sharing the notes your stepbrother sent on the no-knead bread?

3:10
Ben Clemens: How about some rough notes?

3:10
Ben Clemens: More salt than the nytimes recipe calls for.

3:11
Ben Clemens: When you open the top of the dutch oven, put a baking sheet under it, which will prevent the bottom from over-browning.

3:12
Ben Clemens: If you want to add in flavoring, do it after mixing the dough, but you can also fold in before the second rising.

3:13
Ben Clemens: Last but not least, the initial rising time is only an estimate, so don’t feel too bad if you miss by an hour or so.

3:13
Rubber shoes: Did the juiced ball impact EV’s?

3:13
Ben Clemens: There’s mixed evidence on this front.

3:14
Ben Clemens: I kind of think yes? But I can’t dig up the reason I thought that offhand, I assume it’s some Rob Arthur article, because that’s where I get all my information.

3:14
Ben Clemens: I looked last year at what would happen if we subtracted 1mph from every batted ball.

3:15
Charl: Red Sox drop $400 million and bring back Mookie after his awkward locker room speech to his Dodger colleagues.

3:15
Ben Clemens: I want to hear that speech so badly.

3:15
Ben Clemens: I’ll note that Joe Kelly is not necessarily a reliable narrator, but I truly hope it was Mookie reading deadpan from a teleprompter.

3:16
Ben Clemens: The Red Sox aren’t signing him, and given the way they’ve been operating, they might even talk MORE about how tough this economy is on innocent, profit-maximizing billionaires.

3:17
Ben Clemens: Can’t a man exploit the striving of the proletariat in peace?

3:17
Ben Clemens: But that trade sure does get more interesting now.

3:17
Ben Clemens: Luxury tax is likely to be waived, so oops.

3:17
Ben Clemens: But on the other hand, the Dodgers get Mookie for fewer games.

3:18
Ben Clemens: But on the OTHER other hand, Mookie will be more meaningful in the regular season now that it’s not a cakewalk.

3:18
Ben Clemens: But what if the season doesn’t get played

3:18
Ben Clemens: Just so many twists and turns.

3:18
Derek: John Henry tried to furlough most of the non-player Liverpool (FC, the soccer team he owns) staff but was publicly shamed enough into reversing course. So I think the lesson to be learned is that Americans, and especially Red Sox haven’t shamed him enough for his recent handling of the Red Sox’ finances!

3:19
Ben Clemens: Yeah uh, I would say that I’m on the critical side when it comes to team decisions and team motivations.

3:20
Ben Clemens: The Red Sox don’t get enough crap for how nakedly profit-motivated they are.

3:20
Ben Clemens: Perhaps because winning has lined up well with profit maximization.

3:21
Ben Clemens: But jeez, don’t expect teams to do altruistic things.

3:21
Ben Clemens: Because they won’t.

3:21
Astros: ….now I want (more than just baseball to exist) the Astros to lose in the postseason to a fluke team and complain about legitimacy

3:21
Ben Clemens: I didn’t realize I wanted this until now. I totally tihnk they’re tone deaf enough to try it.

3:21
Ben Clemens: Imagine the Rangers beating the Astros in a shortened regular season

3:22
Ben Clemens: and Alex Bregman complaining about how with another 80 games it would have been an easy win.

3:22
Ben Clemens: Boy I want this now.

3:23
Ben Clemens: “Yeah they won, but this isn’t baseball. Baseball is 162 games and some trash cans.”

3:24
Guest: Somehow I have missed this, if there is no season do teams lose a year of control on players. For instance, as a Jays fan do I get one less year of Vlad and Bo?

3:24
Ben Clemens: That’s correct.

3:25
Ben Clemens: Per the agreement that MLBPA and the league agreed to, in the event of no season, service time will advance by a year for everyone who was in the majors at the end of 2019, basically.

3:26
Ben Clemens: Here’s a more in-depth way of describing it:

3:26
Ben Clemens: If there are no games this year, anyone currently on a 40-man roster, 60-day injured list or an outright assignment to the minor leagues with a major league contract would receive 2020 service time equaling what the player accrued in 2019. If a partial season is played, service time would be the equivalent of what the player would have received over a full schedule.

3:26
Ben Clemens: So Bo and Vlad would double their service time. Full-time big leaguers would get another year. etc

3:27
Derek: I really want Aaron Bummer to blow a game in a big spot in a postseason game so all of the headlines can just say “BUMMER.”

3:27
Ben Clemens: When I write about Bummer, I inevitably have a ton of great ideas for headlines. Do I always use them? Definitely not.

3:28
Ben Clemens: But I always think of a lot

3:28
Ben Clemens: I’m weirdly sad that he’s good, because that was certainly not always in the cards, and if he was bad the headlines would be more fun.

3:28
Bart: Is Josh Lindblom MIL P really hurt?  I can find nothing about an injury.

3:29
Ben Clemens: He is hurt in an OOTP simulation of the 2020 season that we’re participating in as a group manager: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-manage-the-brewers/

3:29
Ben Clemens: Definitely not in real life, as far as I know.

3:29
Very Bored: What board games (co-op, semi-coop, or competitive) would you recommend for a group of 4-6 that is looking for something beyond the mainstream strategy games like Catan and Pandemic?

3:29
Ben Clemens: Ooh!

3:30
Ben Clemens: Okay so if you want to do a co-op one with some legacy aspects, how about Detective?

3:30
Ben Clemens: We’ve been wildly impressed by it.

3:30
Ben Clemens: Really fun cases, and it can last you a few days a case.

3:30
Ben Clemens: Vindication is a really fun 2-5 player game. It’s area control ish? But it’s really fast-paced and gorgeous art and flavor type stuff.

3:31
Ben Clemens: Also, Seasons is amazing.

3:31
Ben Clemens: If you like drafting games, it probably qualifies as my favorite.

3:31
Ben Clemens: That or Seven Wonders.

3:32
Show Season Simulation???: Are you guys simulating the MLB season in The Show? Any way that we can follow this simulation daily?

3:33
Ben Clemens: So that I’m not sure about. I know that Dan is simulating up to whatever day it is in real life whenever we play, but not whetehr he’s recording it anywhere.

3:33
Ben Clemens: Might be a question for him.

3:33
Correa: But we’re apex predators, Ben

3:33
Not a stalker: What part of SF do you live in?  Pac Heights here, not enjoying all this rain.

3:33
Ben Clemens: NoPa

3:33
Brandonbart: Has there been any talk that you’re aware of regarding the WBC for next year? Obviously this season is full of question marks, and the Olympics have already been postponed…is the WBC still planned as of now?

3:33
Ben Clemens: Haven’t heard anything about it, but I assume it’ll end up being delayed. There’s just too much stuff.

3:34
Ben Clemens: Olympics, various amateur and domestic league seasons.

3:34
Ben Clemens: Too tricky.

3:34
red: Rank:  P. Lopez, J. Samardzija, A. Houser

3:34
Ben Clemens: Houser, Lopez, Shark

3:34
Scott: What players do you think will most have their career trajectories/legacies impacted by COVID? Votto and Cabrera come to mind for me. Votto because he really needs a couple of more strong seasons to make his HOF case and Cabrera because he came in trim and looking to turn back the clock. I fear this could have been the last great year for both of them and now they won’t get that shot before age catches up.

3:35
Ben Clemens: Votto’s a Hall of Famer in my head.

3:35
Ben Clemens: I’m with you that he might not ‘get there’ in voters’ minds and that this season doesn’t help that at all.

3:35
Ben Clemens: But it’s low on my list of bummers about COVID.

3:35
Ben Clemens: Even if we confine it to a baseball context.

3:36
Argh: If this keeps Trout from passing Bonds in career HRs I’m going to be sad

3:36
Ben Clemens: This one is even lower. It’s a low chance of some sadness far off in the future.

3:36
Ben Clemens: It’s definitely a possibility, but I think Trout is a longshot to pass Bonds anyway.

3:36
blue: Who does Puig sing with, if anybody?

3:36
Ben Clemens: Hopefully just himself, because I both don’t expect Puig to have a wonderful singing voice and htink he should practice social distancing.

3:38
Ben Clemens: Now, sign? Uh, the Rangers. Wild guess but they’re now playoff contenders! And I’m sure he’ll take a big discount pillow deal at this point.

3:39
Ben Clemens: On that note, I’m going to call it a day. Thanks for chatting today, everyone. I’ll talk to you next week, and in the meantime, check out our wonderful content all week, as well as probably a few more streams this week. Have a great day!

We hoped you liked reading Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 4/6/20 by Ben Clemens!

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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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