Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 5/4/20

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

2:00
Ben Clemens: Before we start, a programming note: I’m going to be live-chatting tonight’s KBO opener, which begins at 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’m unbelievably excited for some real, high-caliber baseball, and also to see a ton of players I vaguely remember, which is a consistently fun lure to foreign leagues.

2:01
Ben Clemens: So I’m going to keep this chat reasonably short — gotta preserve the chatting muscles, as it were.

2:01
Ben Clemens: But let’s get to as much as we can in the meantime.

2:02
Jeff: How do you feel about the likely windfall of public funding coming to teams post-COVID19 for private stadiums and entertainment centers? Do you think we’ll still hear about lost revenues due to COVID anyway?

2:02
Ben Clemens: Boy, I really hope this isn’t going to happen, though I kind of think you’re right. It’d be a very frustrating use of public resources.

2:02
Ben Clemens: There hasn’t really been much move towards infrastructure spending that I’ve seen yet.

2:02
Ben Clemens: But I could totally see that happening after things start to head back towards normal.

2:03
Ben Clemens: The past few months, and the extreme weirdness of having no sports, seem to have really emphasized how much people love watching adults play games against each other.

2:03
Derek: Is virtual Lorenzo Cain still utter trash?

2:03
Ben Clemens: He briefly got up to a 0 wRC+.

2:03
Ben Clemens: He’s now back down to -2.

2:04
Ben Clemens: It’s, uh, it’s not great.

2:04
Ben Clemens: I’m trying to get him as many AB’s against lefties as I can, hoping he’ll get a little help from that, but yeah, it’s not great so far.

2:04
Devin: Am curious about what happens with the small number of players recovering from TJ surgery who have already been placed on the 60-day IL by their teams – like Jordan Hicks or Michael Fulmer.  If they are close to ready by the time the season actually starts do they still have to sit out the 60 days?

2:05
Ben Clemens: I haven’t seen anything specific about this but I’m looking up IL rules right now, one second.

2:06
Ben Clemens: It looks to me like they’ll be able to come back.

2:06
Ben Clemens: Given the days they were placed on the IL.

2:06
Ben Clemens: But I’m going to keep looking in the background to confirm that.

2:06
Derek: Just finished listening to the FanGraphs audio podcast where you stated that you like drinking plain, hot water. My first thought was “weird, that’s gross”, but then I thought I would reserve judgement until I tried it myslef. So I put a tea kettle on, poured myself a mug of the plain hot water, took a sip… And yeah, that’s gross.

2:07
Ben Clemens: Haha, I won’t claim it’s for everyone. I just realllllly like a hot drink.

2:07
Ben Clemens: I’d prefer a coffee or tea, but if those aren’t available I’m perfectly happy with just hot water.

2:07
Ben Clemens: Obviously though, I know that’s not a popular view.

2:07
clemlibby: When will I be able to wear my Fangraphs gear to a ballgame?

2:08
Ben Clemens: Hopefully this year, but realistically probably next year at this point unless you live in the state of Florida. I just don’t see MLB coming back with a crowd this year, though I’m increasingly optimistic that there will be a season.

2:08
Matt Greene: How disappointing is ESPN’s decision to only broadcast KBO live? I get something is lost with later broadcast, but are folks really going to be rushing to check KBO scores before primetime? Seems like they’re not really giving it a chance

2:09
Ben Clemens: I’m hoping they’ll come around on this. They just really need content at the moment, and I actually think their numbers for tonight’s game could be huge.

2:09
Ben Clemens: I mean, I’m not at all a 90s Bulls fan and I’ve been watching the last dance

2:09
Ben Clemens: There really isn’t much substitute for live sports.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Get one sweet bat flip highlight to go viral, and I think people are going to be all over it.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Fingers crossed.

2:09
Sam: How high did “Lorenzo Cain being terrible” rate on your list of concerns about the Brewers going into the season?

2:10
Ben Clemens: It was higher than you think because I was kind of down on him last year, but I didn’t really expect OOTP to share my view.

2:10
Ben Clemens: So it was somewhat high, but that was irrational.

2:10
Ben Clemens: When I was drawing up contingency plans for the year, I didn’t have a single one that included Cain being bad.

2:10
Ben Clemens: Whereas I had about 15 about how I’d try to handle pitchers scuffling.

2:10
Ben Clemens: In fairness, that has happened too.

2:10
Ben Clemens: But the Cain thing caught me flat-footed.

2:11
Sam: Be honest, were you picked for the live chat since you live on the west coast and Meg didn’t want to stay up late?

2:11
Ben Clemens: True story: I inadvertently insisted on the chat.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Meg asked for someone to write a game recap for tomorrow — Tony Wolfe will be doing it — and I was like, oh, are we chatting tonight? I’m in!

2:11
Ben Clemens: So I forced the issue without meaning to.

2:12
Ben Clemens: That said, I was going to be watching the whole game anyway and every time I have a chat I get to learn something new — you guys are really knowledgeable — so I’m very excited for it.

2:12
Ben Clemens: I might try to make it a regular thing if we get enough readers. One thing I’ve found during this enforced isolation is that I really enjoy interacting with people even if it’s on Twitch or in a chat or whatever.

2:12
Ben Clemens: I’m trying to figure out a way to do more streams, which is not a thing I ever thought I’d say.

2:13
Chris: According to my ESPN+, KBO is scheduled to have replays mid-afternoon the following day, but only on ESPN2? Are there any places to stream the replays the following afternoon?

2:13
Ben Clemens: I will endeavor to find this out. My go-to for KBO broadcasts so far has just been Sung Min Kim’s twitter account.

2:13
Ben Clemens: The Giants streamed some of their scrimmages and he tweeted them out.

2:14
Ben Clemens: Speaking of which: watch this and tell me you’re not hyped for some baseball

2:14
Ben Clemens:

Lotte’s Dixon Machado with the nice play to start the game off today
1 May 2020
2:14
Jeff: Any non-foreign born KBO players you are looking forward to see?

2:15
Ben Clemens: Yes! Dae Ho Lee is someone I almost wrote about for the Giants — I was considering just covering all former MLB players, but just the foreign-born ones already had the article(s) around 6000 words and it was just too much.

2:15
Ben Clemens: I’m not exactly concise.

2:15
Ben Clemens: Him, and I love Seung-hwan Oh on the Lions from his Cardinals days.

2:15
Ben Clemens: Best nickname in all of baseball

2:17
Ben Clemens: Oh and while I don’t know much about him, Hyun Soo Kim really intrigues me. He’s not dominant or anything but when I was researching Casey Wilson, Wilson kept mentioning Kim, and he just seems like an awesome guy.

2:17
Jeff: Will there be fans for these KBO games? If not then we’re missing out, international baseball fans know how to have fun at the games

2:17
Ben Clemens: Sadly not.

2:18
Ben Clemens: I was planning on going to a KBO game next year, the timing of a friend’s wedding in Thailand looked like it might line up.

2:18
Ben Clemens: And while yeah the baseball will be great, the reason I wanted to go was for hte fans.

2:18
Ben Clemens: I went to a game in Tokyo (Marines vs. Fighters) a few years ago

2:19
Ben Clemens: And while theoretically I went b/c Ohtani was DH’ing, I barely cared about Ohtani and the experience was A+

2:19
Ben Clemens: From what I’ve heard, KBO might be even crazier

2:19
Ben Clemens: It’s like college football, as Meg astutely noted.

2:19
Jeff: The chat is a good idea, I am horrendously lonely. My one companion is an outdoor cat who shows up for a couple hours a  night to eat

2:20
Ben Clemens: The loneliness is seriously tough.

2:21
Ben Clemens: Like, I’m married, and even then my wife and I are feeling it, so I can’t imagine what it’s like without living with someone.

2:21
Ben Clemens: Human interaction never seemed to me like it was SUPER high on a list of things I needed every day but turns out it was.

2:21
Just me: I’ve been watching occasional baseball from the Orient on their overseas feeds. Now that they are getting ESPN coverage, are they going to cut off the freebie streams?

2:22
Ben Clemens: My understanding is that yeah, that’s the case. The ESPN announcement calls it ‘the exclusive English-language home for KBO live games’.

2:22
Ben Clemens: Now admittedly that leaves room for replays

2:22
Ben Clemens: And actually maybe that will be a thing. I’ll reach out to some people on that front because I’d love for that to be the case.

2:23
Ben Clemens: Jay has the announcement, as well as a nice summation of all of our KBO writing, here:

2:23
Zak: In your reporting and preparations, have you heard of a legal-ish way to watch the KBO in Canada?

2:23
Ben Clemens: I have not, but if that changes, I will endeavor to let people know.

2:23
brad: Ben, What happens if baseaball starts and then a player tests positive?

2:24
Ben Clemens: Yeah uh… it’d have to be bargained. I read a Dan Straily interview about the way the KBO is handling it, and it seems like there the whole team wouldn’t necessarily be shut down.

2:24
Ben Clemens: He even specifically mentioned that if an outfielder tested positive, he wouldn’t be involved most likely, since pitchers and outfielders don’t interact very much.

2:24
Ben Clemens: I’m far more worried about what would happen if someone on a team’s staff tests positive

2:26
Ben Clemens: But yes, it’s a serious concern. I think that getting a ton of testing is a big first step. And then they’ll need contact tracing to be perfect for everyone involved.

2:26
Curtis: I love baseball.  I’m not sure how I feel about baseball having more Corona tests available to their players and staff than the rest of the population.  Is that a concern or should I just acknowledge that the population is never served equally or equitably?

2:26
Ben Clemens: Definitely a concern. It’s an interesting space — having sports really is valuable in a morale sense, in a way that I didn’t completely understand before. But if those tests could be going to doctors instead, yeah, not that valuable.

2:27
Ben Clemens: I think one thing that’s worth thinking about is the exponential nature of test availability. Like if baseball needs let’s say 10 million tests, that sounds crazy right now. But two months ago, there were no tests, and now the US has performed 20 tests per 1000 people roughly.

2:29
Ben Clemens: Mobilizing and re-purposing test creation took a lot of time.

2:29
Ben Clemens: I can see a way where the tests aren’t really limiting by the time baseball is up and running again.

2:29
Ben Clemens: It’s a lot different than when the entire Utah Jazz organization was getting tested in early March.

2:29
Guest: Is there any easy access to statistical data like wrc+ and .iso etc.. in table format for the players or league

2:30
Ben Clemens: My friend, you’re in luck. Josh Herzenberg of the Lotte Giants pointed this great resource out to me.

2:30
Ben Clemens: Is it in Korean? You bet!

2:30
Ben Clemens: But fire up Google Translate and it has everything you want.

2:30
Ben Clemens: wRC+, WAR, the world is your oyster

2:30
Curtis: If hitting generally gets hotter in the hotter months, do we see a spike in BA if MLB starts in the South in July?

2:30
Ben Clemens: Very likely.

2:31
Ben Clemens: If you look at studies that control for temperature, hitters are ahead of the game at the start of the season, and the cold weather is what holds offense down in April.

2:31
Ben Clemens: So it’s even more of an effect than just getting only July-Sep stats, which are already good for hitting.

2:31
Guest: SWEET! thanks so much man

2:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah I have to give complete credit to Josh for that one. It’s awesome!

2:31
Chris: Who are some of your last rounds fantasy baseball sleepers you like this year?

2:32
Ben Clemens: Keeping the Korean theme going: I dunno where he’s going any more, but Kwang-Hyun Kim is a favorite of mine in fantasy.

2:32
Ben Clemens: He could be a number three starter or better I think

2:32
Ben Clemens: And he’s going for $1 in auctions or very late in snake drafts.

2:32
Ben Clemens: I’m into Adrian Houser too.

2:33
Ben Clemens: Those are my two favorites, but I don’t mind Kevin Cron either — he’s a starter if they go universal DH and he rakes.

2:33
MSW: If you’re lonely, now is the perfect time to adopt an indoor cat. Kitten season is starting and cat rescues are in a tough spot because most spay/neuter clinics are closed. Adopting from your local rescue will go a long way towards helping them keep more kittens from growing up on the street and becoming feral.

2:33
Ben Clemens: Several of my friends have adopted cats. A few others have adopted dogs. Adopting a pet is always a great thing to do, and particularly so at the moment.

2:34
Guest: Lately I have been studying the draft. Are spending first round picks on high schoolers as risky as they used to be?

2:35
Ben Clemens: I haven’t done a ton of looking at this, but my guess would be that they have become less risky. Teams just have a lot better data now than they used to.

2:35
Ben Clemens: One of the big issues with drafting high school players was always that there just wasn’t enough data. But as you find stuff that teams believe is more signal and less noise (spin rates, mechanical stuff that can be measured, various stuff like that)

2:35
Ben Clemens: You can get a cleaner read.

2:35
Ben Clemens: Draft bust rates are going down in general.

2:36
Dunning-Kruger on the right: When do you suppose ESPN will get around to DLing guys like Sale that have undergone surgery and clearly out for 2020?

2:36
Ben Clemens: I think the transaction freeze might affect this.

2:36
Ben Clemens: So whenever that is lifted, I think it’ll happen.

2:36
Derek: I am suuuuuuper tempted to stay up and watch the KBO tonight (from the east coast), but after accidentally staying up until like 3:30 last night finishing up the most recent Expanse book, I’m not sure if I can pull that off two nights in a row…

2:36
Ben Clemens: I just started it! Love me a little Expanse.

2:36
Jeff: It’s great, going great. The cat has a backstory in which he was a great warrior for his people. His family was slaughtered, he was exiled (how we met), but his people still long for his return as the one cat who will stand and fight …that’s the basics

2:37
Ben Clemens: That’s a hell of a cat.

2:37
Haray Caray: If you were a hot dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

2:37
Ben Clemens: Now we’re hitting the key questions that inquiring minds want to know.

2:37
Ben Clemens: Hm…. probably depends on how starving and if I had money.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Like, sometimes I get starving at home…. and so I walk to the kitchen and get food, or in the before times I could walk to a restaurant.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Now, if it were just me on a desert island?

2:38
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’d probably have to, right?

2:38
Ben Clemens: Now, a dessert island… I’d just eat the dessert.

2:38
Curtis: Who were some of your favorite “terrible” MLBers?  Guys you rooted for and were generally not very good overall?

2:38
Ben Clemens: On the Statcast Podcast, I learned that Tony Womack wasn’t very good.

2:38
Ben Clemens: But I only remember him from the Cardinals 04 season so I thought he was great.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Not sure if that counts.

2:39
Ben Clemens: Let’s see…. always wanted Hansel Robles to be better.

2:39
Ben Clemens: I’m a huge Aledmys Diaz guy, though he’s actually turned out pretty well.

2:39
Ben Clemens: Oh and you’ll never convince me that Colby Rasmus shouldn’t have been better.

2:39
Sam: How would you have money if you were a hot dog?

2:40
Ben Clemens: Now *this* is a question I hadn’t considered. I mean, we’re leaving reality pretty far behind at this point if I have a mouth and I’m a hot dog. So I’m going to say yes.

2:40
Ben Clemens: But if I had no money, do I have other access to food somehow? That would really matter.

2:40
Ezra: Interesting. Do you think Moneyball holds up today? Or are we in a new era of metrics?

2:40
Ben Clemens: Depends. If you think of Moneyball as the concrete lessons that Billy Beane names, then no.

2:40
Ben Clemens: “We’re not selling jeans,” “how hard can it possibly be?”, OBP above all else

2:41
Ben Clemens: Those are not really the way you want to go about things.

2:41
Ben Clemens: But the general concept that you should be taking an evidence-based look at baseball, I think that’s more true than ever.

2:42
Ben Clemens: If you think of Moneyball not as five easy hacks but the story of people who are willing to let the data lead them wherever and follow that conclusion, then it’s great.

2:42
Ben Clemens: I think that’s actually generally true of Michael Lewis books, fwiw.

2:42
aaronsaron: When are you looking at for the next OOTP stream? Also got ESPN+ so I could watch some extra hockey and soccer like a month for sports stopped… please feel bad for me. Thanks! :]

2:43
Ben Clemens: Next OOTP stream will either be tomorrow or Wednesday, gotta figure out what fits best into our existing schedule. I’ll announce it later today.

2:43
Ben Clemens: On the FG twitter and mine as well.

2:43
Ezra: well that’s interesting because I wonder how much Micheal Lewis simplified his philosophy to make the book more approachable to the average fan?

2:44
Ben Clemens: Yeah that I’m not sure about. His writing is an interesting mix of approachable and jargon-y, I think he does a great job of it.

2:44
Ben Clemens: But as a former finance guy, I did find some of his finance stuff dumbed down past being useful *in finance*

2:44
Ben Clemens: It was always useful to me from a ‘how do smart people think’ perspective

2:44
Curtis: What will replace Batting Average and Wins in the eyes of the casual fan moving forward?  How long until advanced metrics will show up on the back of baseball cards? (or are they there already?)

2:44
Ben Clemens: I think OPS is there already

2:45
Ben Clemens: Huge fan of it

2:45
Ben Clemens: ERA has replaced wins, I think

2:45
Ben Clemens: Which is good.

2:46
Ben Clemens: Maybe K% or K-BB%? Those are easy to understand and very useful.

2:46
Ben Clemens: FIP has a shot as well, because it’s on an ERA scale so people can grok it easily.

2:46
Ben Clemens: Mitch Keller learned FIP from a scoreboard!

2:47
Ben Clemens: (the Giants scoreboard, they’re generally pretty good about advanced stats out here in the bay)

2:47
Snacker: When is the next FangraphsLive?

2:47
Ben Clemens: I believe we’ll be streaming an MLB The Show game this Friday

2:47
aaronsaron: I’ve been to every MLB stadium except Minute Maid in Houston, and many parks still only use a few advanced metrics on scoreboards at most, and some not at all. (Although some of the parks it was years ago that I was there so perhaps things have changed).

2:47
Ben Clemens: Yeah totally agree with tihs.

2:47
Ben Clemens: Sorry, crossed streams, let me finish answering Snacker first

2:48
Ben Clemens: My OOTP stream will either be tomorrow or Weds, and I’ll let people know later today. It might end up covering some Perfect Team as well so that the people in my chat can teach me how to plya, since I am still figuring it out.

2:48
Derek: Why haven’t “+” statistics (OPS+, ERA+, etc.) become more mainstream? They’re about as high on the useful/understandable scale as statistics get…

2:49
Ben Clemens: That’s a wonderful question, and I hope they start to more. I love all-in-one stats for that exact reason.

2:49
Ben Clemens: I’d love to talk to the people who put up scoreboard stats.

2:49
Ben Clemens: Like, Citi went from nothing to OPS over three seasons or so I think.

2:49
Ben Clemens: Meanwhile I went to a game in Milwaukee and it was BA/HR/RBI

2:50
Ben Clemens: Yet I find Brewers fans to be really knowledgeable about the team and think they’d be fine with at the very least OPS

2:50
Jeef Berky: Dan’s chats are down like 80% volume, how about you? You might have gotten a bump today from the KBO ESPN news.

2:50
Ben Clemens: Yeah they’re way down.

2:51
Ben Clemens: Question volume is down less, but also down. I kinda get it: there are fewer things to ask about baseball when baseball is not happening.

2:51
Snacker: Probably just a change in personnel (for the Mets)

2:52
Ben Clemens: Yeah very likely. But I think that there’s a happy medium, and maybe strikeout rate and OPS are that medium for now

2:52
Ezra: Don’t mean to turn your Fangraphs chat into a Micheal Lewis chat, but do you find his two finance books to be accurate? Also getting through Astroball and The Only Rule, do you have any baseball book recommendations?

2:52
Ben Clemens: They’re accurate but simplified. Boomerang is probably my favorite of them.

2:52
Ben Clemens: And I recently re-read Veeck as in Wreck, which was awesome.

2:52
Ben Clemens: That’s a fun one.

2:52
Ben Clemens: Anything by Roger Angell is awesome too

2:52
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: What’s wrong with “we’re not selling jeans?” The idea of ignoring pre-conceived biases seems constructive.

2:52
Ben Clemens: Oh so that part is great

2:53
Ben Clemens: But as it turns out, athletic players actually were pretty valuable

2:53
Ben Clemens: And in fact, the A’s are more or less selling jeans in some of their recent team constructions.

2:53
Ben Clemens: Yoenis Cespedes would have been an awesome jeans model, for example

2:53
Ben Clemens: Did you see that pre-signing workout tape?

2:53
Ben Clemens: Basically I’d say that the ignoring pre-conceived biases is hugely helpful. Just don’t pay too much attention to *which* biases the A’s ignored.

2:54
Reid: What would your vote be for a 10-part doc that is baseball-focused? I’d love to see a fully fleshed out series on the steroid years, including a deep dive on Selig’s office, but feel there’s an excellent chance that the half of baseball fans with terminal boomer brain would ruin the experience with their moaning.

2:54
Ben Clemens: So, I initially suggested a deep dive into the rise and fall of the Mariners.

2:54
Ben Clemens: But Jon Bois is already doing that at SB Naiton

2:55
Ben Clemens: You should totally watch this, by the way

2:55
Ben Clemens: Those Marniers were fascinating.

2:55
Ben Clemens: After that, Jackie Robinson is the obvious go-to, and last time we discussed this I think Denny McLain finished pretty high on the list.

2:56
Ben Clemens: I did think of one new thing since I last answered a similar question — the last dance gives you a lot of time to think about questions like this

2:56
Ben Clemens: I’d watch a 10-part thing on Curt Flood and the rise of free agency, is my new contribution

2:57
Reid: Which player would sell the *most* jeans? Who is the likeliest to star in a Favre-style Wrangler commercial?

2:57
Ben Clemens: Let’s talk about that pickup football game.

2:57
Ben Clemens: The guy Favre throws to is *wide* open

2:57
Ben Clemens: I could make that throw

2:57
Ben Clemens: Couldn’t they at least show him throwing long or into coverage or something?

2:57
Ben Clemens: Like, he just lobs the ball to a guy who’s completely uncovered.

2:58
Ben Clemens: As to who would sell the most jeans, I dunno, it’s probably just whoever is most charismatic overall.

2:58
Ben Clemens: So Lindor or Mookie for my money.

2:58
Curtis: I think you could get 10 parts just on Roberto Clemente with part 10 being “What if…”

2:58
Ben Clemens: Yeah although it’d be sad and I don’t know how much sadness I want to add to my life at the moment.

2:58
Ben Clemens: My dad just sent me a Roberto Clemente card, for seemingly no reason, in the mail.

2:59
Ben Clemens: (we’re just free associating here now)

2:59
Anon: Not sure if this is a better question for Dan and ZiPS, but (assuming we have a season), how much more likely is it that we see a .400 hitter given the shortened season?

2:59
Ben Clemens: It’s way more likely, and yeah, probably a question for Dan.

2:59
aaronsaron: In regards to the scoreboard thing, do you think it’s a similar issues for announcers when watching on TV? Most of them are older and traditional and it doesn’t help to educate the public (like a scoreboard at the ballpark). They are knowledgeable about baseball history, but then say things like “x player kills y pitcher because he has gone 3 for 7 against him” or “x player is great because he hits .475 with RISP.” I dunno, just something I think about.

2:59
Ben Clemens: Yeah there’s some muscle memory to it I think. You use what you’re comfortable with. If I had to be an announcer I don’t think I’d be comfortable with batting average against or anything.

3:00
Ben Clemens: So it’s understandable that when talking for three hours, they default to what’s comfortable.

3:00
Ben Clemens: Matters who their audience is too.

3:00
Ben Clemens: I’d be a terrible broadcaster, even if I could do the basic tasks of the job (and to be clear, they’re incredibly difficult and I could not)

3:00
Ben Clemens: Because I don’t think I’d be very good at capturing the average baseball viewer’s attention.

3:00
Derek: Was it a baseball card or like, a Happy Anniversary card that happened to have Roberto Clemente on it?

3:00
Ben Clemens: Baseball card

3:01
Ben Clemens: Let me go get it and see what year it was

3:01
Ben Clemens: It appears to be a 1967 card. Has his stats through ’56.

3:02
Ben Clemens: ‘Bob also demonstrated his timely hitting by posting a .300 Average in 10 pinch hit appearances.’

3:02
Ben Clemens: lovely

3:02
Ben Clemens: 1957**

3:02
Ben Clemens: If you’re curious, the stats on the card are: G, AB, R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, AVG

3:02
Derek: Wait did he actually go by Bob? If so I never knew that.

3:02
Ben Clemens: I don’t believe he did

3:03
Andrew McCutchen Fan: What is your favorite park-adjusted stat and why? I know OPS+ is mine.

3:03
Ben Clemens: If you’re gonna plus it I like wRC+

3:03
Ben Clemens: Because it does the OBP/SLG translation that OPS is ever so slightly off on

3:03
Ben Clemens: And if you’re collapsing it into a 1-number stat, might as well use the more accurate one

3:03
Ben Clemens: The thing I love about OPS is that it’s easy to understand

3:04
Ben Clemens: But once you’re saying ‘look 100 is average and 110 is 10% above average’

3:04
Ben Clemens: I’d rather get the extra few % accuracy of wRC+

3:04
Ben Clemens: But both are great

3:04
Ben Clemens: After that, I really like FIP-

3:04
Ben Clemens: Because I think FIP is also reasonably easy to grok

3:04
Sam: Yes to a Curt Flood/free agency documentary. Also what about a documentary on the rise and fall of the ’86 Mets?

3:04
Ben Clemens: 10 parts no, but watch yes

3:04
Andrew McCutchen Fan: Good to know. What team do you think is the most stuck on old school stats nowadays?

3:04
Ben Clemens: I think they’re always great, to be honest

3:05
Ben Clemens: All great* rather

3:05
Ben Clemens: Some are less savvy than others but they’re all sharp

3:05
Ben Clemens: At the winter meetings, I met analyst after analyst who worked for a team I thought didn’t have that many analysts

3:05
Ben Clemens: And uh, they all had a lot!

3:05
Ben Clemens: I do wonder which teams have decision-makers who don’t care so much what their analysts say

3:06
Ben Clemens: Rockies, potentially.

3:06
Ben Clemens: But that’s a slightly different question

3:06
Derek: Speaking of stats that should be more popular (though this one is definitely not as intuitive as the others we’ve been discussing): I love WPA/LI. It’s maybe my favorite stat despite it’s limited usefulness.

3:07
Ben Clemens: It’s a good one. I think the problem with it is that it falls into this weird half area where it’s not super predictive, because some of the batted ball results can get magnified based on which situation they come up in

3:07
Ben Clemens: But then also not super descriptive — you want WPA for that

3:07
Ben Clemens: I have used it a few times and find it to be interesting

3:07
Ben Clemens: I’m currently writing about getting runners home from third with less than two out, for example

3:07
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Rockies are very advanced. Big on interpolation.

3:08
Ben Clemens: Touche

3:08
Ben Clemens: With that, I am going to call it a day early today. Thanks so much to everyone who asked questions or just hung out, and I’ll hopefully catch some of you again tonight for KBO action

3:08
Ben Clemens: Have a great day and be safe

We hoped you liked reading Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 5/4/20 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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dubykoff
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dubykoff

Just FYI, Clemente hated to be called “Bob”. He insisted on being called Roberto — it was his name, after all — but the white sportswriters nevertheless insisted on calling him “Bob”. At least we’ve made some progress in the last 50 years, albeit not enough.