Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 5/11/20

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

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’m not exactly sure what my beat counts as anymore — maybe KBO, maybe our fake Brewers, maybe old World Series? Board games, even? In any case, ask me anything that comes to mind – it feels like a good day for broad generalizations.

2:01
Danny Almonte’s fastball: how sure are we of Babe Ruth’s WAR totals? Obviously bonkers good. His body type seems like it may suffer from more accurate understanding of his UZR/DFS if it existed. The potential adjustment there is super high

2:02
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I’d say the error bars are huge. There are still defensive adjustments back then, based (I believe) on errors and some generalized zone rating, but yeah, for the most part, it’s guesswork

2:02
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure it biases his WAR totals down.

2:02
Ben Clemens: So much as just makes them fuzzier.

2:02
Ben Clemens: I might actually be more skeptical of a player with huge defensive value.

2:03
Ben Clemens: But yeah, WAR is necessarily suuuuuper approximate about defense in the past.

2:03
Gashouse Gorilla: Given how states (and cities) will be reopening under different protocols, are you hearing anything about an adaptive approach to scheduling, such as changing venues, or flipping home and away to defer home games in more affected areas until later in the year?

2:04
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I think this will almost definitely happen. I haven’t heard any specifics but every plan I’ve heard has contingencies for not everywhere being open. Pods in different cities, that kind of thing.

2:04
Ben Clemens: If they aren’t taking this into account, there won’t be games played. Regions are just going to have different plans.

2:05
Ben Clemens: But I’m confident that baseball will get *this* part of restarting right. I’m reasonably critical of the way the league has gone about this, but one thing they seem to understand is that they want baseball even if they can’t play it everywhere.

2:05
Tacoby Bellsbury: Thanks for suggesting 7 Wonders Duel a couple months back as a great for-two game. I picked it up right before the pandemic closed everything. It’s been fantastic. I have one complaint though: You’ve led me to acquire a game at which my wife routinely beats me. What should I do to regain the upper hand come board game time?

2:05
Ben Clemens: First of all, what a wonderful chat name.

2:05
Ben Clemens: High on my all-time chat name list.

2:05
Ben Clemens: As to the second, I’m not sure I can help you.

2:06
Ben Clemens: My wife has been on quite the hot streak of late as well.

2:06
Ben Clemens: We have been playing a lot of Can’t Stop on boardgamearena

2:06
Ben Clemens: A game I highly suggest, by the way.

2:06
Ben Clemens: And she’s been wiping the floor with me

2:06
Ben Clemens: Honestly, though, we tend towards co-op games. Maybe that’s the solution. A little Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective makes everyone feel stupid together

2:07
Danny Almonte’s fastball: if you could merge any 2 pitchers together to form a super-pitcher, who would they be?

2:07
Ben Clemens: .Ooh, this is an awesome question.

2:07
Ben Clemens: I think I’ll limit it to current players for now.

2:07
Ben Clemens: And I’ll also say you can’t hybridize a starter and a reliever.

2:08
Ben Clemens: Like some reliever with the stamina of Max Scherzer would be awesome.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Okay, starters only: let’s say Gerrit Cole with Patrick Corbin’s slider (and slow slider). I know it’s not an incredibly exciting second player, but I think I’d want a slider to tack onto Cole and Corbin is just so much fun.

2:09
Smiling Politely: Did you see this news out of SK/the KBO? Not good 🙁

Recent spike in new COVID19 cases are making #KBO officials nervous. 2nd wave might be on its way and CDC/local gov’t officals are scrambling to contain new spread. KBO initially hoped to have the fans at games by early June, but that plan is not looking good now.

NEW: South Korea postpones reopening of schools by one week as health authorities scramble to contain new spike in #COVID19 cases linked to nightclubs in Itaewon

11 May 2020
2:09
Ben Clemens: Yeah hoo boy, not a great sign.

2:10
Ben Clemens: We have our eyes on it, because this would be a real bummer

2:10
Sam: What matchups are on the schedule for this week’s MLB the Show stream?

2:10
Ben Clemens: Hm, we usually pick them midweek.

2:10
Ben Clemens: Let’s take a look, though, at what might be in the cards.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Friday has Brewers at Reds, which could be good in the right pitchin matchup.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Nats at DBacks, maybe? Cubs at Padres as well

2:11
Ben Clemens: Oooooh and Yankees at Astros, though we just had a Yankees game last week.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Maybe we’ll ESPN it up though and just go full Yankee

2:11
Danny Almonte’s fastball: what do you think has the bigger effects on performance: weather on a given day, recent travel leading up to that day, sleep gotten the nights before, or Number of Cheetos consumed in the last week?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Danny Almonte is absolutely throwing some fastballs today

2:12
Ben Clemens: Loving these questions

2:12
Ben Clemens: I think I might actually put weather last? Like, it’s so symmetrical

2:12
Ben Clemens: I think recent travel and sleep gotten the night before are correlated

2:12
Ben Clemens: I sleep far worse after traveling

2:13
Ben Clemens: So I guess I’d say sleep 1 (because you get travel PLUS anything else that might make you lose sleep)

2:13
Ben Clemens: Then travel

2:13
Ben Clemens: Then Cheetos — pro baseball players, please don’t eat Cheetos, they always make me feel sluggish

2:13
Adam Dawson: I have a trade question

2:13
Adam Dawson: Hello

2:13
Ben Clemens: Hello there. I hope I have a trade answer.

2:13
Quarentino Martinez: Do you think some players have already decided that they will not play in 2020?  If so, teams will have to decide whether to persuade that player to return or scramble to replace that player if there is not a viable replacement currently on the roster.  And then, that player can suddenly decide to return if they feel it is safe or if their team is in a pennant race without them.  Could be a mess!

2:14
Ben Clemens: That’s a very interesting question. I think that some players aren’t interested in playing in 2020, but I’m not sure if they’ve really made up their minds.

2:14
Ben Clemens: I think the other members of the team will probably exert some peer pressure, you know?

2:14
Ben Clemens: Like, not the organization

2:15
Ben Clemens: But unless you’re a big star, your teammates are going to have something to say about that

2:15
Ben Clemens: And even if you are!

2:15
Adam Dawson: I want Yordan and am giving up Rendon. I already have Arenado. 12 team keeper league, Roto

2:15
Ben Clemens: Hm, interesting.

2:15
Ben Clemens: I’m really high on Yordan overall

2:17
Ben Clemens: Going through our auction calculator here to try to come up with something more specific than “oh i like one of the guys”

2:18
Ben Clemens: Basically I think I’d happily make that trade straight up

2:18
Ben Clemens: But I’m not really a keeper person if I’m being honest with you

2:18
Ben Clemens: So I’m not really sure if that’s correct valuation

2:18
Ben Clemens: But I’d be happy to do it, if that helps at all.

2:18
Jeff: Should I be mentally prepared, as someone way too obsessed with this league’s labor issues because I think similarly sinister stuff is happening in all industries, for the media schills and increasingly dumb sports fanbas to blame the players over the current salaries issue?

2:18
Ben Clemens: Depends on which media outlets!

2:18
Ben Clemens: I, for example, am unlikely to blame the players on this one.

2:19
Ben Clemens: I don’t mind blaming the players when I think they’re wrong.

2:19
Ben Clemens: But I don’t think they’re wrong here

2:19
Ben Clemens: I’d like to see them just say ‘hey a revenue split seems great. Let’s codify it for future years too!’

2:19
Matt: Not to be a bummer, but based on the data that came out about how prolonged exposure to the disease in indoor spaces is much worse than we initially thought, people probably need to acknowledge that we’re not going to have fans at sporting events (particularly indoor ones) until there is a vaccine or cure for this thing.

2:19
Ben Clemens: Yeah indoor particularly, strong agree on that.

2:20
Ben Clemens: I can’t imagine something I’m less interested in doing right now than packing myself into a basketball arena

2:21
Danny Almonte’s fastball: You have an MLB career: would you rather have one 9-win season, two 5-win seasons, or seven 2-win seasons?

2:21
Ben Clemens: Oh, easily seven 2-win seasons. I don’t even think this is particularly close. That’s how you get paid these days.

2:21
Ben Clemens: If you put it at some cutoff where I’d have a shot at being an absolute legend, I might reconsider

2:21
Ben Clemens: But I’m assuming my one 9-win season would come while I was under team control

2:22
Ben Clemens: Whereas just grinding it out until free agency rewards you pretty handsomely

2:22
Ben Clemens: Speaking of someone who made this hypothetical deal, I learned about a guy I’d never heard of thanks to OOTP Perfect Team

2:22
Ben Clemens: Have you heard of Billy Grabarkewitz?

2:22
Ben Clemens: Probably not!

2:22
Ben Clemens: But he had a 6 WAR season for the Dodgers in 1970

2:23
Ben Clemens: And then every other season of his career he was below replacement level

2:23
Ben Clemens: Baseball was WEIRD back in the day

2:23
Ben Clemens: Ah dang, I had it wrong.

2:23
Ben Clemens: Every other season he was worth less than 1 WAR

2:23
Ben Clemens: And the total added up to a negative

2:23
Derek: I wish we could see a parallel universe where Michael Jordan decided to play baseball full-time

2:24
Ben Clemens: Me too! I haven’t gotten to that episode of the Last Dance yet (I’m on the gambling one right now)

2:24
Ben Clemens: But I saw Jordan play

2:24
Ben Clemens: Well, saw him warm up and then get rained out

2:24
Ben Clemens: At a Knoxville Smokies game

2:24
Ben Clemens: And the atmosphere, even for a rained out game, was awesome

2:24
GSon: Favorite Korean Player currently in the KBO that has a chance to be the next Shin-soo Choo level player?.

2:25
Ben Clemens: Ooh, I like this question quite a lot.

2:25
Ben Clemens: So, first things first: I’m not a KBO completionist, at least yet

2:26
Ben Clemens: Yang Eui-Ji, the Dinos catcher, is probably too old

2:26
Ben Clemens: but goodness gracious he rakes

2:27
Ben Clemens: Eui-Ji Yang, in the way we show names on FG

2:27
Ben Clemens: I think/hope that Heroes shortstop Ha-Sung Kim will get posted soon

2:27
Ben Clemens: Hm, we have him as Ha-Seong Kim

2:28
Ben Clemens: but yeha, him?

2:28
Ben Clemens: I like shortstops who hit, and he’s still only 2

2:28
Ben Clemens: 25*

2:28
Go Chris Davis: How do you see the spike of homeruns in KBO so far? Something with re-juicing the ball? Or sample size too small?

2:28
Ben Clemens: I’d guess sample size too small

2:28
Ben Clemens: Give it a few weeks

2:28
Ben Clemens: I suppoooooose I could see it? I dunno

2:29
Ben Clemens: They’ve been pretty open about it before

2:29
Jeff: Cubs at Padres please

2:29
Ben Clemens: That might be my preference as well. It’s gonna depend on the pitching matchups, and we wait for later in the week so that those crystallize more

2:29
Cube Jockey: It is there a minimum season length or requirement to qualify for post season that you feel is necessary to make a 2020 WS champ legitimate?  I.e., if the top 16 teams got into the playoffs after a 50 game regular season, would anyone really care who won?

2:30
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s going to feel legitimate. But I also don’t think illegitimate is the right word either

2:30
Ben Clemens: I think it’ll just feel like a tournament

2:30
Ben Clemens: I’m not really sure the WWII titles felt legitimate

2:30
Ben Clemens: For example

2:31
Ben Clemens: But look, I’ll be happy if there’s baseball and I’ll definitely take the results with a grain of salt.

2:31
Duchess: Who is the worst player on an active major league roster right now?

2:31
Ben Clemens: Ugh, I don’t like this question, and also, maybe Chris Davis?

2:32
Ben Clemens: Probably him or some Rule 5 pick

2:32
Richie: Ruth’s body type was outstanding till about the mid 20s, then again for a few more years after he rededicated himself. His defensive value undoubtedly followed the normal trend, just with a much longer downtrend at the very end due to his hitting super-prowess.

2:32
Ben Clemens: I legitimately had no idea about this. I could believe it, though. It’s interesting to me that we almost all picture Babe Ruth as an old fat guy.

2:32
Ben Clemens: I noticed this when watching Last Dance

2:33
Ben Clemens: Seeing active Magic Johnson and young Scottie Pippen really challenges my mental image of them

2:33
Ben Clemens: Not to mention rookie MJ, my goodness

2:33
Sam: Who would you have rather seen play baseball full time (by full time I mean starting their career at a typical age): Bo Jackson or Michael Jordan?

2:33
Ben Clemens: Probably Bo Jackson. He was more of a freak as an athlete, and I care less about missing out on Bo in football than I would missing out on Jordan in basketball

2:34
metsindc: Id mix Kopech and Kyle Hendricks.

2:34
Ben Clemens: Oh this is actually a great answer!

2:34
Ben Clemens: I should have Hendricks in mine somewhere

2:34
Ben Clemens: I guess the question is, could Hendricks command Kopech’s fastball?

2:34
Ben Clemens: Or are we doing a different kind of chimera here?

2:34
Jeff: What would the public and media reaction be if was the players looking to renegoiate months adrer a deal like the owners are right now? My guess is there would be zeeeero discussuon of renegotiation and the MLBPA would be trashed for their greed…so same result lol

2:34
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah they’d get destroyed

2:34
Ben Clemens: Like, c’mon. This is so clearly in bad faith.

2:35
Ben Clemens: I always think of stereotypical villainous things owners could do, and I feel like they come through a lot of the time.

2:35
Jeff: Isn’t it a little funny that fans and media had one universal player friendly stance – pay MiLers more – and the owners found a way to poop on it forever ASAP? IMO the familiars are worse than the owners because they empower

2:36
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I don’t know what to say about that one. Owners did come up with a creative way of screwing minor leaguers

2:36
Ben Clemens: Just don’t draft anyone so there are none left

2:37
Ben Clemens: But c’mon guys

2:37
Ben Clemens: Owners are systematically trying to pay people who already get paid nothing even less

2:37
Ben Clemens: That’s not a secret!

2:37
Ben Clemens: No one’s surprised by this. They’ve been doing it a while now.

2:37
Ben Clemens: Fans just don’t seem to care enough

2:37
Ben Clemens: I don’t know whether that’s a journalistic failing, on people like me, or just a societal failing

2:37
Ben Clemens: But I really don’t like it

2:38
Ben Clemens: The one thing about baseball that I strongly dislike, to be honest.

2:38
Jeff: How did the Dodgers manage to get both Graterol and a draft pick in that Betts deal? Smells fishy

2:38
Ben Clemens: Lol. I guess I’m answering a lot of your questions, but yeah

2:38
Ben Clemens: The Dodgers won that one solidly

2:38
Ben Clemens: I do think Maeda is underrated but yeah

2:38
Ben Clemens: Great deal

2:38
Jonesy Whales: Not sure the other options would be better, but I feel like 2 WAR players are also the ones who suffer the most in free agency these days

2:38
Ben Clemens: Yeah. With only seven years, you wouldn’t get a strong FA deal, for sure.

2:38
Ben Clemens: But you’d probably hit some okay arb numbers.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Particularly Arb2 and Arb3

2:39
Ben Clemens: And if teams want to Chris Carter you, you could still do okay enough on the open market I think if you were young and average.

2:39
Ben Clemens: I’m not saying you’d get yacht money.

2:39
Ben Clemens: But Eric Sogard got 1/4.5

2:39
Ben Clemens: As that kind of guy

2:39
Ben Clemens: Whereas if you go, say, 1, 9, 0, 0, 0…

2:40
Ben Clemens: You’d have a 9 WAR minimum salary season

2:40
Ben Clemens: Then I guess have a career-ending injury or something?

2:40
Ben Clemens: Obviously the best choice would be to just be a star

2:40
Ben Clemens: But if you can’t have that, I’d like my value spread out reasonably evenly over time so that I can make it into arb

2:40
Ben Clemens: Players in arb are underpaid

2:41
Ben Clemens: But they’re also millionaires

2:41
Sam: Imagine if Cleveland were to snap it’s WS streak this year and had to listen to everyone talk about it being illegitimate

2:41
Ben Clemens: Oh, I mean, I’d still count that

2:41
Ben Clemens: That said, I’m of the view that people care a little too much about world series titles

2:41
Ben Clemens: I’d rather have my team be in the playoffs and in meaningful games all the time

2:41
Ben Clemens: But obvoiusly yeah the public really cares about WS titles

2:41
Ben Clemens: So yeah, that would be a bad break for Cleveland

2:41
Ben Clemens: It feels less dire now that the Cavs won, though

2:42
Derek: OOTP Brewers still trending in the right direction?

2:42
Ben Clemens: Elevator to the penthouse!

2:42
Ben Clemens: Knock on wood, etc.

2:42
Aceman: Would you move Maeda for Brian Anderson in H2H points,I’m loaded with arms but he’s gonna get multiple starts against KC and Det

2:42
Ben Clemens: Hm. I don’t thikn I would. I do like Brian Anderson well enough but I think Maeda is quite valuable now.

2:42
Smiling Politely: I’ve often wondered if FG would be interested in doing an Op-Ed section–not from us, mind you (the vetted community pages are great for that), but rather, as a place for FG staff to write individually or collaboratively *about* baseball *to* baseball. e.g. Letters to Manfred, the MLBPA, etc. I realize they’re not technically accountable to any of us, but in addition to adding more effective ideas to the conversation than the extant parties, you might also draw more attention to those issues AND the site in good ways (and perhaps, bring in reps from those sides to converse with FG staff down the road?). Or is that unrealistic?

2:44
Ben Clemens: That’s an interesting question, though I don’t think it’s something we’re actively considering at the moment. I think the way we handle it right now works well — we are certainly willing to have an editorial slant, but we endeavor to let people know when we’re voicing an opinion and when we’re voicing facts

2:44
Ben Clemens: Like, if you come away from Craig’s articles on the ownership structure of the league and think gosh, FG didn’t take a stance on whether owners are being greedy

2:44
Ben Clemens: I’d say maybe read them again

2:44
Ben Clemens: Honestly, read them again anyway! I have been devouring them

2:45
Isolated Thinker: So there was an agreement on March 26 that player’s full salaries will be prorated, however the office of the commish and the MLBPA would in good faith discuss the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators.  It was not clear if that meant completely empty stadiums or a set % of capacity, which would make a big difference.  So now, with that not being clear, the owners are claiming that they need the players to take a pay cut because of low projected revenues.  Fans will not be happy if this is not resolved quickly.  How do you see it playing out?

2:45
Ben Clemens: I guess I’ve been dancing around this one, but what a joke, owners

2:45
Ben Clemens: I see it playing out as the owners calling up their mouthpieces in media to whine on their behalf

2:45
Ben Clemens: The MLBPA caving too easily

2:45
Ben Clemens: And everyone blaming the players for being greedy

2:46
Ben Clemens: But I really hope I’m wrong

2:46
Ben Clemens: If I were the MLBPA I’d either laugh this completely out of the building or ask for a revenue split to carry over for the next 10 years

2:46
Kawasaki Home Run: Hi, Ben, Taiwan opened up CPBL games to the public but with massive physical distancing, 1000 people in a 19,000 seat stadium, and all concession stands closed. If Oracle Park opened up MLB games under these conditions, would you attend in person?

2:48
Ben Clemens: I think it’d depend on how the city was handling it.

2:48
Ben Clemens: Let’s say they were taking temperatures at the gate, requiring masks, and all the vendors inside were contactless

2:48
Ben Clemens: I would likely be willing to go.

2:50
Ben Clemens: If it’s just like, heck, we like baseball, just get out there buddy

2:50
Ben Clemens: Nah

2:50
Danny Almonte’s fastball: not baseball related, but my 4 year old son  watched Lion King last week and keeps drawing pictures of me dead because, “Simba is cooler after his dad dies.” So if I’m not back next week, you all know why.

2:50
Ben Clemens: Jeez, that’s harsh.

2:50
Ben Clemens: I mean, he’s not wrong.

2:50
Ben Clemens: But that’s harsh

2:51
Ben Clemens: On the other hand, Lion King was one of my favorite movies growing up and I never really identified with Simba like that

2:51
Ben Clemens: I get that he’s the hero and all

2:52
Ben Clemens: But I thought of Lion King as more of an ensemble deal. I was a big fan of the hyenas (very funny), the parrot whose name I forget (Zazu?), and Timon and Pumba

2:52
Nat: Proposal: players get revenue sharing this year, but then the owners have to open up their books forever.

2:52
Ben Clemens: Eh, I’d want a little more than that.

2:52
Ben Clemens: But yeah, look, owners are just like

2:52
Ben Clemens: Her’es the deal

2:52
Ben Clemens: We’d like to give you less money

2:52
Ben Clemens: And in exchange

2:52
Ben Clemens: Well

2:52
Ben Clemens: We’ll get more money!

2:52
Ben Clemens: Don’t take that deal!

2:52
Dan: Which KBO teams are small sample size looking to be better/worse than expected this year?

2:52
Ben Clemens: Obviously the Giants are starting off hot

2:53
Ben Clemens: So I guess I’d say they’re looking better than expected.

2:53
Ben Clemens: If Dan Straily is this good, they’re going to be great

2:53
Ben Clemens: Dixon Machado etc. etc.

2:55
Ben Clemens: I thought the Twins would be better, but like. Yeah, super early, super small sample size

2:55
LK: Does the veterans committee eventually put Keith Hernandez in the HOF?  Do you think he deserves it?

2:55
Ben Clemens: Jay might have a better idea on whether they *will* put him in, but I think he deserves it.

2:55
Ben Clemens: He could flat out hit, and I’m willing to believe he was an elite defensive first baseman

2:56
Ben Clemens: He’s also a celebrity beyond baseball, which counts for something in my opinion.

2:56
Ben Clemens: And he won an MVP

2:56
Ben Clemens: And 2 World Series

2:56
Ben Clemens: That’s definitely enough in my book

2:56
Danny Almonte’s fastball: Assuming you get paid equally after being posted from another league, just from a “how you will be remembered” and “what you accomplished” sort of thing, 9-win season, two 5-win, seven 2-win?

2:57
Ben Clemens: Oh. In that case, two 5-win seasons

2:57
Ben Clemens: The 9-win is tempting, because you could be like ‘this year, I was better than Mike Trout’

2:57
Ben Clemens: But I think I’d want two so that people wouldn’t think I was just a fluke

2:57
Derek: Zazu’s best line in Lion King is during the “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” song when he says “things are getting wildly out of wing” instead of “out of hand”. Still cracks me up for some reason

2:58
Ben Clemens: I really enjoy ‘now see here’ in the same song

2:58
Ben Clemens: The best line in the entire movie, though, is in Be Prepared

2:58
Ben Clemens: ‘be prepared for what?’ ‘for the death of the king!’ ‘what, is he sick?’

2:58
Ben Clemens: that whole exchange

2:58
Ben Clemens: up to and including ‘hey, but youuuuuuu said’

2:58
Ben Clemens: is just fire

2:58
Derek: “Now see here” is a close second.

2:59
Ben Clemens: Yeah the Lion King has the best music

2:59
Ben Clemens: I listen to be prepared a lot

2:59
Ben Clemens: Jeremy Irons has a really good singing voice too

2:59
Ben Clemens: Which is kind of impressive

2:59
Snuds: Do you see Miquel Andujar becoming passable at 3B or is he basically a DH?    Does being a DH lessen his trade value?

2:59
Ben Clemens: I mean, he could play first!

2:59
Ben Clemens: But I don’t think he’ll ever be a big asset at third

3:00
Ben Clemens: I could see him being Ryan Braun or something

3:00
Ben Clemens: Where he finds a position we didn’t expect and is at least passable there

3:00
Bob: I love baseball as much as the next guy, but I’m very okay with players refusing this nonsensical initiative to play this year at a reduced pay rate, while team valuations skyrocket by the year. After what Manfred did about the draft, I have zero sympathy for him. And as owners try to undercut players, establishing winning cultures, expecting talent to take “hometown discounts,” I would be fine seeing the players union stick it to them. You don’t ask people who are risking their health to deepen your pockets to take a prorated paycut

3:00
Ben Clemens: 100% agree with this

3:00
Ben Clemens: I really hope that the tone-deafness comes back to bite the owners here

3:01
Ben Clemens: I’m afraid it won’t, because look, people are out there protesting their hair dressers not doing their hair.

3:01
Ben Clemens: There’s not a lot of public support for the little guy

3:01
Ben Clemens: Or at least, the public is divided on who to support, and I have a feeling that baseball’s demographics don’t match my own, let’s just say.

3:01
Sam: Any long term revenue split would likely require the implementation of a salary cap which has historically been a non-starter for the MLBPA. What share of revenue do you think they need to go back on their opposition to a salary cap?

3:02
Ben Clemens: Maybe 50/50?

3:02
Ben Clemens: I actually think this is really tricky due to the RSN issue

3:02
Ben Clemens: Many teams own significant stakes in their own RSN’s

3:02
Ben Clemens: .But at a 50/50 revenue split I think they should take it

3:02
Derek: Apologies if this language doesn’t fly in this chat… But Mean Word (edited by Ben) the owners. It’s just pathetic what they are trying to do.

3:02
Ben Clemens: Haha yeah, your original wording was, let’s just say, more PG-13 than FG likes to be

3:03
Ben Clemens: But I completely agree with your sentiment.

3:03
Ben Clemens: I think that I’m less sympathetic to the player’s union than some of my colleagues

3:03
Ben Clemens: I don’t particularly care whether Bryce Harper makes 30 bucks a year or 25

3:03
Ben Clemens: (buck = dumb finance slang for million)

3:03
Ben Clemens: But my horse in the race is minimum salary players and minor leaguers

3:04
Ben Clemens: and fixing a revenue split I think would go a long way towards helping them

3:04
Jeff: Will Puk and Luzardo in the rotation finally get Oakland to the promised land?

3:04
Ben Clemens: Depends on whether you mean winning the AL West or winning the WS

3:04
Ben Clemens: I’m super high on Oakland, though

3:04
Ben Clemens: Relative to projections

3:04
Ben Clemens: I’m down on the Astros

3:04
Ben Clemens: So, yes?

3:04
Derek: What would it look like for a baseball player to dominate the way MJ did basketball? Like, Mike Trout is really freaking good, but just watching Mike Trout in a random baseball game won’t likely give you the sense that you may be watching the greatest baseball player in history. I guess maybe ’99 Pedro is the closest we’ll get?

3:04
Ben Clemens: I’m sad that I didn’t feel more impressed by Pedro as that was happening.

3:05
Ben Clemens: What about that one CC year

3:05
Ben Clemens: Was talking to my mother-in-law about it last night, the Milwaukee RSN has been replaying a lot of games from that year

3:05
Ben Clemens: That feeling of like, oh it’s CC again! Oh he won again!

3:05
Ben Clemens: Was just awesome

3:06
Jeff: WS for Oakland

3:06
Ben Clemens: Okay, then yeah, I mean the odds are still against them. It’s hard to win a World Series! Even if they’re, let’s double our playoff odds, 7% to wiin the WS each year

3:07
Ben Clemens: And that’s every year

3:07
Ben Clemens: Then they’re 40% to win it in the next 7 years

3:07
Ben Clemens: that’s pretty good! but still less than 50%

3:07
NYY: I know it’s been 34 years, but I still can’t believe Clemens won the MVP over Mattingly in 1986.  Insanity.

3:07
Ben Clemens: I was born in 85, so I don’t remember this live

3:08
Ben Clemens: But Clemens has my last name, so maybe I should know something about this?

3:08
Ben Clemens: Let’s see

3:08
Ben Clemens: Jeez, that was a nice Mattingly season

3:08
Ben Clemens: I guess the Sox won the AL that year so that was probably the tiebreaker?

3:09
Ben Clemens: a 2.48 ERA in 250 innings pitching in Fenway is insanity though

3:09
Ben Clemens: 57 ERA-

3:09
Ben Clemens: And I mean, for voters of the time, he was 24-4

3:09
Ben Clemens: Clemens had a ton of peaks huh

3:09
Derek: World Baseball Classic just got canceled 🙁

3:09
Ben Clemens: I mean, that’s super lame, but also predictable

3:10
Ben Clemens: Wish it weren’t the case; not surprised it is

3:10
Ben Clemens: Poor Ty Kelly

3:10
Ben Clemens: Though I guess Israel also qualified for the Olympics in baseball I think?

3:10
Jeff: tbh divisions are what fans and teams without WS rings brag about

3:11
Ben Clemens: Hey now – I’m a Cardinals fan and I enjoy division titles a lot

3:11
Ben Clemens: The 2019 season was more satisfying to me than 2006 I think

3:11
Ben Clemens: Not 2011 because of the insanity of that WS

3:11
Ben Clemens: But I dunno, I love watching a meaningful game that my team is playing in in September

3:11
Ben Clemens: And I also love the feeling of going to a home game that’s essentially a coronation

3:12
Ben Clemens: I’m just a sucker for the regular season basically

3:12
Guest: Odds that JD Davis’s best season will end up being 2019?

3:12
Ben Clemens: It’s higih.

3:12
Ben Clemens: How high? Let me ponder for a second.

3:12
Ben Clemens: By rate stats, I think it’s almost a lock

3:12
Ben Clemens: He’s not hitting .300 again without some insane batted ball luck

3:12
Ben Clemens: He just strikes out too much

3:13
Ben Clemens: By WAR? I’d give it a 60% chance. If he finds a way to get 700 PA and defensive metrics randomly don’t hate him one year I think he could beat it

3:13
Derek: Ooh that CC on the Brewers year is one of my favorite non-favorite-team sports memories. It was so much fun and as a kid it was truly awe-inspiring to watch what he was doing.

3:14
Ben Clemens: Yeah I mean, I’m a Cardinals fan, as I mentioned.

3:14
Ben Clemens: And even then i was riveted by it

3:14
Ben Clemens: Because it just didn’t feel possible

3:14
Danny Almonte’s fastball: if you could clone 2 players to fill out a 9-man roster, who would they be? And why didn’t you correctly choose Javy Baez and Craig Biggio?

3:14
Ben Clemens: Biggio is an interesting one, I like that

3:15
Ben Clemens: Mookie Betts feels like an obvious choice here as well

3:15
Ben Clemens: I absolutely think he could handle shortstop

3:15
Ben Clemens: So the question is really just catcher

3:16
Ben Clemens: It needs to be a small guy, and you’d like them to have speed

3:16
Ben Clemens: Are we saying you get both? Like your roster is a mix of the two?

3:16
Ben Clemens: Or just, name the best two players who could play all 9 spots

3:17
Guest: This is not meant to be a political question but:  Which has better odds, Orioles winning the 2020 WS or the president seen wearing a face mask?

3:17
Ben Clemens: I’m actually going to say Orioles here

3:17
Ben Clemens: Just because short seasons let crazy things happen

3:17
Ben Clemens: And that’s governed by chance

3:18
Derek: Maybe Cavan retained some residual catching genes from his dad?

3:18
Ben Clemens: I was going to say lol nah

3:18
Ben Clemens: But then I thought about the Molinas

3:18
Ben Clemens: But here’s the thing: I’d feel better about it if Craig had stayed at catcher

3:19
Ben Clemens: I know that I tried to emulate what I saw my dad doing when I was a kid

3:19
Ben Clemens: But by then Craig wasn’t a catcher

3:19
Guest: I know you guys have a ton of other things going on at the moment, but have there been discussions about an editorial standard of not using the Cleveland baseball team nickname (like how WaPo does with Washington football)? FG is an industry leader, and could go a long way.

3:20
Michael: Could go Russell Martin, he came in to the minors as a shortstop and converted to catcher, and would have the best bat out of options of similar background

3:20
Ben Clemens: Yeah he played short for the Jays I think!

3:20
Ben Clemens: Sorry, I got sidetracked

3:20
Ben Clemens: It’s a thing that we should consider, I think

3:20
Ben Clemens: I don’t know what we’d decide

3:21
Ben Clemens: But I don’t begrudge anyone doing that policy for themselves.

3:22
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure what the right thing to do is here, I’d love to see them change their name, don’t think they’re likely to, and don’t want to do some kind of weird moral relativism, which feels like a danger in this situation

3:22
Guest: Probably Donaldson or Harper + Betts right ?

3:23
Ben Clemens: Yeah if you think Harper or JD can still catch, and you get two players

3:23
Ben Clemens: Then this is a very strong one

3:23
Ben Clemens: Betts just seems like he could easily play all three outfield slots and the middle infield

3:23
Ben Clemens: So if you’re picking two, you just need someone who can handle 3B/C/1B/P

3:24
Ben Clemens: And I mean, no one can handle pitcher

3:24
Ben Clemens: Ooh

3:24
Ben Clemens: Chris Davis anyone?????

3:24
Michael: I think the outfield spots are the least of your worries here, so picking an infielder with some speed and someone with catching background is the way to go

3:24
Ben Clemens: Well kind of. There will be a ton of balls in play. An outfield of three Mookies would be worth a lot in that world.

3:25
Ben Clemens: Like sure, three Harpers could cover the outfield. But not as well

3:25
Ben Clemens: Andrelton Simmons probably doesn’t hit enough to make senes

3:25
Ben Clemens: But he’d be interesting too, because he has a cannon for an arm

3:25
Jon: I was going to college about an hour outside of Milwaukee and bought cheap seats to the first game that CC pitched at Miller Park after the trade. It was awesome. I think it nearly sold out (or did) like a Wednesday evening game.

3:25
Michael: Like a Lindor in the outfield would cover a lot I would imagine, and has the bat to back it up

3:26
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah if you’re saying grab a blazing-fast infielder

3:26
Ben Clemens: Then I’m in

3:26
Ben Clemens: I think Javy probably fits that bill too?

3:26
Derek: If pitcher is a consideration for this hypothetical then we need an actual pitcher, no?

3:27
Ben Clemens: Well who’s going to have a better batting line?

3:27
Ben Clemens: A pitcher hitting facing a batter?

3:27
Ben Clemens: Or a batter hitting facing a pitcher?

3:27
Michael: I would take Lindor’s bat over Javi, plus a switch hitter would help for pitching matchups

3:27
Ben Clemens: Yeah. I agree with this I think. So the two frontrunners now are Lindor and Betts

3:28
Ben Clemens: I mean, should we just be taking Trout? I don’t know how many grounders there’ll be in this world

3:28
Derek: Can’t we just have one cloned player play all other 8 positions and then let the pitcher pitch and only hit once?

3:28
Ben Clemens: This would be my preference

3:28
Ben Clemens: I hate hypotheticals that just end in ‘oh Ohtani then’

3:28
Jonesy Whales: I do know Javy Báez was the Cubs emergency catcher at one point

3:28
Ben Clemens: Now THAT I would love to see

3:28
Ben Clemens: Let’s make it happen

3:28
Ben Clemens: You know Javy would be up for it, he’s fun like that.

3:29
Jonesy Whales: He caught for Berrios, actually https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/29003145

3:29
Ben Clemens: His backhand pick is actually really nice

3:29
Ben Clemens: That’s coo

3:30
Ben Clemens: cool*

3:30
Ben Clemens: Can’t imagine many stars would be interested in doing that

3:30
Ben Clemens: It’s not like Berrios is throwing 80 or anything either

3:30
Michael: Ohtani could play corner outfield, 1b, P then you get a middle infield/centerfield type

3:30
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’m coming around to Derek’s formulation of this question

3:30
Ben Clemens: Every position except pitching

3:31
Ben Clemens: And everyone gets, let’s say, the 2019 Padres pitching staff

3:31
Ben Clemens: Fine, but not great.

3:31
Danny Almonte’s fastball: Rick Ankiel. Only need 1

3:31
Ben Clemens: I think I might take Ohtani over Ankiel, though I’d love to see what would have become of Ankiel if he didn’t get the yips

3:32
Derek: Maybe what Ankiel needed to calm his yips was for Ankiel to be catching him!

3:32
Ben Clemens: He’d know what was going through his head

3:32
Ben Clemens: But I don’t know if that’s good or bad

3:32
Michael: For this hypothetical, are we only using those 9 and you have to use them as fielder, starters and relief pitchers.  Like a little league team that only 9 players showed up for?

3:32
Ben Clemens: I think we’ve settled on you pick one guy to play 8 positions

3:32
Ben Clemens: No backup fielders

3:32
Ben Clemens: But the pitching is handled by the 2019 Padres

3:33
Ben Clemens: Just because making someone be the pitcher does weird stuff I believe

3:33
Danny Almonte’s fastball: arrieta the 2nd half of his Cy Young season was pretty MJ-like

3:33
Ben Clemens: I don’t quite remember it that way, to be honest. Even when he was going off I remember thinking ‘this doesn’t feel sustainable’

3:33
Ben Clemens: I mean, it *was* sustainable, I was wrong

3:34
Ben Clemens: But MJ, or 99 Pedro — it was just happening, and we were along for the ride.

3:34
Ben Clemens: No disrespect to Arrieta, incredible season, and it just didn’t quite feel that way to me.

3:34
Sam: How short would the season need to be for every team to have roughly (within 3% of the next closest team) playoff odds?

3:35
Ben Clemens: This would be a better question for Dan, I think. I’d guess it’s not possible, though? The Orioles aren’t 48.5% to win a single game against he Yankees

3:35
Ben Clemens: So

3:35
Ben Clemens: I think it’s probably not happening 🙁

3:37
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna start winding this down soon, so let’s do a lightning round of whatever catches my eye

3:37
ChrisDavis4Prez:

MLB owners have approved a proposal for the 2020 season to present to the players’ union, source tells The Athletic. Meeting expected between union and league tomorrow.
11 May 2020
3:37
Ben Clemens: Maybe they’ll just send them a punch in the stomach

3:37
Ben Clemens: Lean into the symbolism

3:37
baseball: when do you think the Hall Of Fame ballot and induction happen in 2020?

3:37
Ben Clemens: In 2021

3:37
Jeff: Yeah, seeing those 80s and 90s athletes in Save the Last Dance has me thinking people are made different now…Everyone was lean af but ripped in a way that you just can’t get from only a gym

3:37
Ben Clemens: Yeah people look way different now

3:37
Ben Clemens: Athletes, rather

3:38
Chris: Who will have a better season David Dahl, Willie Calhoun or Justin Upton?

3:38
Ben Clemens: Gimme Dahl

3:38
Ben Clemens: No good reason, I just like him

3:38
Danny Almonte’s fastball: What is your favorite player with a lower-than-expected WAR? Mine is Sammy Sosa. His post-career has been so bonkers/fascinating that it makes me like him even more

3:38
Ben Clemens: Aledmys Diaz

3:38
Ben Clemens: Big soft spot for him

3:38
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna break from lightning round to tell a story

3:38
Ben Clemens: I’m a Cards fan, was a bigger one Aledmys’s rookie year

3:39
Ben Clemens: So a friend of mine is a salesperson, she’s going to see a big important client in St. Louis

3:39
Ben Clemens: In late July

3:39
Ben Clemens: So I tell her, hey, if you want some inside cred, ask them about Aledmys

3:39
Ben Clemens: They’ll be like dang, this random salesperson from New York knows her STL baseball

3:39
Ben Clemens: she goes

3:39
Ben Clemens: Mentions it

3:39
Ben Clemens: They’re like, uh, who?

3:39
Ben Clemens: I was quite sad

3:39
Sam: The proposal is just 20 pages of middle finger emojis

3:39
Ben Clemens: Plus a poop emoji thrown in for value

3:40
Danny Almonte’s fastball: The most, “this isn’t sustainable” but it was to me was Daniel Murphy that postseason (think it was 2015) where he just decided to be insane

3:40
Ben Clemens: Yeah that was 2015, and that was wild

3:40
Ben Clemens: He just became a fire emoji

3:40
Ben Clemens: Was living in NY then, the city was super into it too

3:40
Ben Clemens: And then he left and it was like, eh, never liked Murph anyway

3:40
Danny Almonte’s fastball: what players would you most want to: have a beer with, play a board game with, talk baseball with, babysit a child you cared about, protect you from aliens?

3:41
Ben Clemens: have a beer with: sean casey

3:41
Ben Clemens: play a board game with, dan haren

3:41
Ben Clemens: talk baseball with, hm…. jeff mathis

3:41
Ben Clemens: babysit a child: i dunno, maybe trout?

3:41
Ben Clemens: protect me from aliens is probably bud norris. he’d get them into line with his veteran wisdom

3:42
Ben Clemens: (it’s actually definitely not Bud Norris, I’d actually take judge or someone probably)

3:42
Derek: How is Puig not the protect you from aliens answer?

3:42
Ben Clemens: That’s a good one too

3:42
Ben Clemens: He’d take them on one-on-infinite

3:43
Ben Clemens: Alright, on this delightful note, I’m going to call it a chat. Thanks for hanging out everyone, and I hope this brightened your Monday a little bit.

3:43
Ben Clemens: I’ll be streaming some OOTP tomorrow at noon ET so that we can all talk about how the Brewers are doing well

3:43
Ben Clemens: And Dan, Paul, and I will be back at our regularly scheduled 2 ET time on Friday to watch some The Show

3:44
Ben Clemens: Aside from that, FG is awesome, and full of incredible content all week. There’s an FG Prep coming out this week that I’m incredibly excited for.

3:44
Ben Clemens: Have a great day, everyone, and be safe.





Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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Samuel E. Giddins
Member
Member

On the “absolutely dominating everyone for half a season” front: Manny in LA. I remember being in disbelief that entire playoff stretch