Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 7/6/20

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

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’m going to answer a few questions while I make a delicious soda stream seltzer water, so I’ll probably be a bit slow at the start.

2:01
Ben Clemens: Lots of baseball to cover today, though.

2:01
Ben Clemens: Or, attempt to cover, only to be frustrated by delays in mailing our tests.

2:01
Derek: It took less than a week for MLB (and the pandemic – so, not entirely MLB’s fault) to stamp out any excitement and optimism about the start of the season!

2:01
Ben Clemens: Yeah, the past week hasn’t been great!

2:02
Ben Clemens: On one hand, a chunk of players testing positive isn’t that bad of news from my perspective, given that a lot of them tested positive for COVID for non-team-related reasons; they had just gotten it while living their lives.

2:02
Ben Clemens: On the other hand, the league’s testing protocol looking inept is not good.

2:02
Ben Clemens: Did you know that it’s harder to mail stuff on holiday weekends?

2:02
Ben Clemens: I did!

2:03
Ben Clemens: And I don’t work in the professional mailing of important-to-mail things

2:04
Ben Clemens: But yeah, I’m less confident in things working out than I was a week ago. Not because too many players have tested positive, but because the league seems less prepared than I’d expect

2:04
Ben Clemens: It’s not a surprise that you might need special FedEx service on the fourth of July, guys

2:04
brad: Ben how does the delay in Covid testing impact the start of the season?

2:04
Ben Clemens: For now, I don’t think it does.

2:05
Ben Clemens: If this continues this week, if they can’t clear a backlog and tests are still taking three-plus days to get back, I think they have to consider postponing the start of the season.

2:05
BASEBALL SZN: Someone in Dan’s chat mentioned the MLB keeping the names of positive-tested players confidential.  I’ve seen player notes on fantasy sites citing “pending issues”, “a condition preventing him from reporting”, etc. Was that confidentiality part of the agreement to play this year?  What’s the point?

2:05
Ben Clemens: I believe it’s some kind of HIPAA thing

2:06
Ben Clemens: Given that it’s a non-baseball-related injury, I’m pretty sure that the CBA defines those differently in terms of reporting

2:06
Ben Clemens: It’s something that we have talked about at FanGraphs on the editorial side; it feels pretty icky to be speculating about who has contracted a potentially deadly illness if the players don’t want to talk about it

2:07
Ben Clemens: Obviously you can’t expect the world to follow that protocol, because yeah, that’s just not how the world works.

2:07
Ben Clemens: And yeah, the protections on privacy aren’t exactly ironclad; put somebody on the 10-day IL with no injury listed, and you don’t need to be Stephen Hawking to work out the implication

2:08
Ben Clemens: But I would just say, maybe don’t speculate? It doesn’t get you much, and if the players want to say what’s going on with them, they will.

2:08
Nathan: With players opting out, or getting sick, do we have a better chance of a Manny (or another over the hill player) come back in 2020?

2:08
Ben Clemens: Bartolo please!

2:08
Ben Clemens: I would say not very likely, though

2:08
Ben Clemens: Just because of the compressed timeframe

2:08
Ben Clemens: If this were a full season, maybe

2:08
Ben Clemens: But good luck getting up to speed right now

2:09
Kramer: I’m fine with the Extra Innings rule with the shortened season but overall I think it’s kind of a joke. When we get back into a world with a full slate of regular season what’s wrong with ending in a tie after day 12 innings?  I know it’s not perfect and after 4 hours feels like a slight but feels like a better outcome than a gimmick. Plus get rid of 17 inning 6 hour games.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I have no problem with ties. A lot of old-timey baseball people seem to dislike them on principle, but to them I say, you’re just not old-school enough.

2:09
Ben Clemens: The 19th century was full of ties!

2:09
Ben Clemens: Bob Caruthers looks down on your looking down on ties.

2:11
Kramer: Flaherty or Buehler for their careers. Who are you taking?  Both are great. Buehler gets more K’s but has the injury history and is a year older.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Boy, this is a close one

2:11
Ben Clemens: These are maybe my favorite two young pitchers in the game right now

2:11
Ben Clemens: I think I’ll take Flaherty, but it’s really close. Buehler’s injury history gives him maybe a little lower floor? But if we’re just talking stats, I might take Buehler despite that, because of the pitcher’s park and the fact that the Dodgers are always going to win a lot

2:12
Ben Clemens: It’s going to be really fun watching the two of them compete though.

2:12
Dunning-Kruger on the right: Help me out understanding the shuttle roster.  Could you give a brief run down of those players assigned to it i.e. Wander Franco and their availability to the MLB team?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Sure thing

2:12
Ben Clemens: Think of it like a sort of 40-man roster

2:12
Ben Clemens: If you’re not on the 60-man, you can’t play or be included in trades this year

2:13
Ben Clemens: Can’t take part in organized team scrimmages even, I think, though I’m less certain on the exact implementation.

2:13
Ben Clemens: So if you want someone to get consistent reps against good minor league pitching, they need to be on your 60-man

2:13
Ben Clemens: If you might trade someone, they need to be on there

2:13
Ben Clemens: If you have a contingency plan that involves them playing in the bigs, they need to be on there.

2:14
Ben Clemens: Franco likely fits the first category; he’s likely on the list because they want him to play against good pitching and keep developing.

2:15
Ben Clemens: It definitely doesn’t mean he’s likely to make the bigs this year. But it does mean that if they have severe injury issues he could.

2:15
Ben Clemens: And as to the traded part, he’s not getting traded, don’t fret.

2:15
Kramer: Time for your crystal Ball Ben:  Over/under 8.5 players who sign a FA deal in 2021 for 3+ guaranteed years. Bonus question…what does Ozuna end up doing. Obviously so much can change but this off-season is definitely going to be interesting

2:15
Ben Clemens: Hm

2:16
Ben Clemens: For reference, 17 did so this past offseason

2:16
Ben Clemens: From Gerrit Cole all the way down to Josh Lindblom.

2:17
Ben Clemens: I’ll say over, but I think that AAV’s will be way down, justifiably so.

2:17
Bart: If a player goes on the IL can the player be replaced on the 60 man roster?

2:18
Ben Clemens: Yes, however, only for COVID-related IL. And then when they come back, as I understand it, the players who replaced them will need to leave the roster when they come back

2:19
Ben Clemens: And the only ways to leave the roster are weird nonsense like retirement and military service

2:19
Ben Clemens: So teams are really incentivized to never remove players

2:19
Sam: What are the odds that a truly star level player (Mike Trout?) opts out of the season? Would that impact the perception of the season more than covid already has?

2:19
Ben Clemens: This seems like a really tough thing to speculate about, so let me stipulate that my error bars are huge here

2:19
Ben Clemens: But, 25%?

2:21
Ben Clemens: To be clear, opting out seems like a reasonable option for many established stars

2:21
Ben Clemens: But baseball players LOVE baseball

2:21
Ben Clemens: Don’t underestimate that

2:21
GrandPubaDirtbag: J Montgomery indicated that Tanaka’s getting hit in the head was a “one in a million” thing.  I’m not going to argue with his scholarship, but are there any numbers on how frequent this does happen in the MLB (practice or game situations)?

2:23
Ben Clemens: I’ve never seen any such statistics. One in a million might not even be wrong — there were 730k pitches last year and nothing like this.

2:23
Ben Clemens: It’s certainly not impossible, and also not probable

2:23
Ben Clemens: And goodness I hope he’s okay, that was scary

2:23
Tyrone: Who do you think has the highest ceiling/makes the biggest impact this season out of Jesse Winker, Sam Hilliard, and Randy Arozarena?

2:23
Ben Clemens: Winker, b/c of the DH. I am reallllly high on Arozarena overall, but I just think that the Reds situation works in Winker’s favor

2:23
Ben Clemens: With Margot now on the Rays Arozarena will have less to do.

2:24
Member of So-ciety: Any Brewers you like a little more after getting to know them as their OOTP GMident?

2:24
Ben Clemens: For sure!

2:24
Ben Clemens: Brock Holt, lots of random relievers (headlined by Jonathon Feyereisen), Avi Garcia

2:24
Ben Clemens: I’m also going to have more knowledge of Brewers prospects than pretty much any other team for a bit now.

2:25
Member of So-ciety: Kris Bryant says he is more or less ready to extens. How close to 1 can we get his $/WAR?

2:25
Ben Clemens: Ha

2:25
Ben Clemens: I mean

2:25
Ben Clemens: Don’t hold your breath

2:25
Ben Clemens: I’m curious to see what happens with Bryant but make no mistake, this year has hardened players’ resolve

2:25
Ben Clemens: The league was just so clearly intent on slashing salaries that it really ticked off the players in a way that I haven’t seen in baseball before

2:26
G4: RE Brewers OOTP: I’ve never played OOTP but enjoy following this article series. Historically Gamel has been stronger vs LHP, and the ratings you shared are not really all that abysmal. Suggestion: Against lefty SPs with reverse splits (Banda?), I’d consider starting Gamel (preserving his plus D in LF) and keeping Braun at 1B over a Holt/Braun or Braun/Taylor combo.

2:26
Ben Clemens: I could totally see doing that against reverse split guys

2:26
Ben Clemens: The real issue with handedness is that pitchers are generally split-y

2:26
Ben Clemens: Research consistently shows that pitchers have more platoon variation than hitters

2:27
Ben Clemens: And Gamel is really a plus in the field

2:27
Ben Clemens: For now I have Taylor up, because I just needed one body, but I like the idea of keeping Gamel in against reverse split types

2:27
Every Game Counts A LOT: Could we see a guy like Josh Hader appear in like 50 out of 60 games?

2:27
Ben Clemens: A guy like Hader? Sure!

2:27
Ben Clemens: Hader? Not likely. Counsell has already said he won’t use him on back-to-back days this year.

2:28
Ben Clemens: I think it’d be a one-inning guy who has maybe a little more stamina than you think

2:28
Ben Clemens: Like if the Mets decide to make Seth Lugo a one-inning guy, he could pitch way more than expected.

2:28
Guest: Do you think some teams will have stricter internal policies for their players than others? I can see some GMs thinking that keeping players healthy to win games is an important advantage and enforcing stricter policies than MLB as a whole.

2:28
Ben Clemens: For SURE

2:29
Ben Clemens: I don’t necessarily have a handle on which teams, though the Rays, Dodgers, Yankees, etc. are the usual suspects

2:30
Ben Clemens: It’s a real possible advantage, though!

2:30
Ben Clemens: I do think that some of it comes down to a team’s culture; getting people to follow rules is tricky

2:30
Phil: Do you think being a part of the 60 man roster is better for top prospects than spending time in the minors would have been this year? How much value is there in being around the big league club/coaches compared to the steady work in AA/AAA?

2:30
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I think it’s better

2:30
Ben Clemens: It’s not so different from being in the minors

2:30
Ben Clemens: In that most teams are just establishing a secondary site and having scrimmages there

2:31
Ben Clemens: It will definitely still be steady-ish work

2:31
Ben Clemens: And you won’t have the uneven competition issue; everyone there is hand picked by the team

2:31
Morbo: So OOTP21 is currently free on xbox game pass, which I have on PC (was given to me as a birthday present). I haven’t played any OOTP is it worth checking out with actual baseball returning, theoretically. Or, is it a huge time sink (I have a toddler and limited free time)

2:31
Ben Clemens: Oh good god it’s a huge time sink

2:31
Ben Clemens: It’s the kind of time sink I love

2:31
Ben Clemens: But yeah to get the most out of it you have to put some time in

2:31
Ben Clemens: I thikn of it kind of like Skyrim but for baseball

2:31
Ben Clemens: I love it

2:32
Ben Clemens: But I wouldn’t commit to playing Skyrim if I had only 4 hours a week to play games

2:32
Ben Clemens: And I wouldn’t with OOTP either

2:32
Michael: Hi Ben,

I have a question about the runner on second in extra inning. Do you know if it’ll count as an inherited runner, therefore not counting as an unearned run if the runner scores, or will it count as an unearned run for the pitcher?

If it does count as an unearned run, will it affect the pitchers RA9 and RA9-WAR?

2:32
Ben Clemens: My understanding is that it will be an unearned run.

2:32
Ben Clemens: I know that b-ref has been talking about what they’ll do, hvaen’t seen an answer yet

2:33
Ben Clemens: Potentially some kind of adjustment for the run-scoring environment of extras

2:33
Ben Clemens: That seems like the easiest solution

2:33
Ben Clemens: Have a league average for regular innings and one for extras

2:33
Baby Yoda: How hard is it to get an extension done right now? Is all the uncertainty making it impossible to do a new deal?  Or do teams and players just look at it as “eh, well pick a number and then prorate/whatever same as for everyone else”?

2:33
Ben Clemens: Oh it’s incredibly hard until this season is over.

2:33
Ben Clemens: I think teams want more information about whether they  might have fans in the stands in 2021

2:33
Ben Clemens: Say what you want about whether teams make or lose money this year, and I’ve said plenty

2:34
Ben Clemens: If there are going to be no fans in the stands for several years, that severely impacts the economics of the game

2:34
Ben Clemens: So teams are probably not making offers that would make sense in the context of a return to regular baseball right now.

2:34
Derek: A 60 game season seems like heaven for in-his-prime Andrew Miller!

2:34
Ben Clemens: Yeah

2:34
Ben Clemens: Too bad the Cards signed old Andrew Miller

2:34
Ben Clemens: But he’s a good example

2:35
Ben Clemens: Hader isn’t really the modern analog for that, though. Heck maybe Chad Green will just start every other day this year as an opener!

2:35
Chris Gionta: Thought of a new potential stat that can combine offensive production from the batter’s box and on the bases. It’s called Base Running Slugging Percentage (BRSLG) which then can be added into BROPS. BRSLG = (TB + SB – CS)/AB. BROPS = OBP + BRSLG. This way, a single + a stolen base is valued the same as a double, and a single + a caught stealing is valued as nothing at all. I’d love to get an expert’s thought on this. Thanks!

2:35
Ben Clemens: Let me think about this one a little bit

2:35
Ben Clemens: I mean, the first thing is that a caught stealing isn’t worth -1 base, that’s not quite right.

2:36
Ben Clemens: Because that needs to impact OBP as well

2:37
Ben Clemens: if you made BROBP (and my friend, let’s work on these names) be H+BB+HBP-CS/PA, that’d be a little bit better

2:37
Ben Clemens: The thing is, though, how much better would this stat be than just OPS?

2:37
Ben Clemens: OPS gets you so close to all the way there!

2:38
Ben Clemens: (this has been my weekly ode to OPS as a sweet and underrated stat)

2:38
Eel Ffilc: A team name change appears to be coming in Cleveland, what would you rename them to?

2:38
Ben Clemens: Sounds like Spiders is in the lead in early suggestions, but what about the Cleveland Naps?

2:38
Ben Clemens: Won’t happen but Nap Lajoie is awesome and the concept of a team being named after a player is great too!

2:38
Kramer: Any teams that you feel should be looking to line up trades with each other?  Feels like Cards/Giants are a great match for some of Cardinals OF depth.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Hm, I hadn’t really considered that.

2:39
Ben Clemens: I don’t exactly see a match, in that I don’t know who the Giants have who the Cardinals want, but let me ponder

2:39
Ben Clemens: It’d have to be pitching, because I think you can make a case that the Cards are better at every position in the field

2:39
Ben Clemens: So like, Tyler ROgers? eh

2:41
Ben Clemens: Maybe they could match on some more peripheral outfield names like Austin Dean or Justin Williams

2:41
Ben Clemens: But I don’t think that’s what you meant.

2:41
Kramer: How many ties are we going to have this season at the division level. Chances for a 3 way tie?  I think we end with with a few…more than we have had in the past. Maybe 5 across the 2 leagues (including wildcards). Could be a crazy “pre” postseason

2:42
Ben Clemens: Jay wrote about this

2:42
Ben Clemens: I sure hope it happens

2:43
Morbo: Re Cards Giants trade candidates: Tyler Anderson might benefit from some development in the Cardinals system (I 100% stole him from Dan’s Breakout candidate list)

2:43
Ben Clemens: Ugh I picked the wrong Tyler!

2:43
Chris Gionta: I would think this would give us a grasp on the combined effort of what a guy can do with the bat and on the bases. We can see if a guy with a lower OPS but more stolen bases was better or worse than the guy with a higher OPS and less stolen bases. And yeah, I couldn’t really think of a better name for it.

2:43
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I suppose. I just think that at the point that you’re adding that much complexity, why not just use BsR or something

2:44
Ben Clemens: Sadly a good rule of thumb is that the stolen bases don’t add that much after accounting for the extra outs

2:44
Ben Clemens: Like, you can definitely do it

2:44
Ben Clemens: And it would probably add a little bit of precision to our offensive statistics if correctly handled. I just don’t know if it hadds enough, essentially

2:44
Ben Clemens: adds*

2:44
Derek: I think Cleveland Spiders is great. We need more teams named after insects and insect-adjacents.

2:44
Derek: Maybe Cleveland should just always be named after a team-voted best player. We’d get one season of the Cleveland Franciscos! And then maybe the Cleveland Biebers? They’d consistently have new jerseys to sell and merchandise to market!

2:45
Ben Clemens: This last idea is incredible

2:45
Ben Clemens: I would 100% buy one of those jerseye

2:45
segiddins: Does it ever feel to you like elite pitching might fall into defined cohorts more than hitting? Looking at HOF level talent, it seems like the  pitchers really do come in waves — right now, its Scherzer, Greinke, Verlander, and Kershaw, who are right about the same age. Growing up, it was similar — Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, Pedro. Any idea why that might be? Or confirmation bias on my end, since we generally only talk about someone being at that level when they get late in their career?

2:45
Ben Clemens: Hm

2:45
Ben Clemens: Time to frantically search for this

2:46
Ben Clemens: Kershaw is actually a lot younger than the other guys — he’s 32 and they’re all 35-37

2:46
Ben Clemens: But it’s interesting to think about

2:47
Ben Clemens: I guess the great pitchers of the 2000’s were also cohort-ish — Halladay, maybe Cliff Lee, CC

2:47
Ben Clemens: Chris Sale might fall into the new list, along with maybe Corey Kluber?

2:48
Ben Clemens: And they’re all over the place — 31 and 34

2:49
Ben Clemens: I think you’re right that some of this is confirmation bias — Pedro is nine years younger than Roger Clemens, but I think of them together to

2:49
Ben Clemens: too*

2:49
Kramer: Best indoor “bar” game. I’m a huge shuffleboard fan but also love Darts and foosball. Bubble hockey is classic but not as common.

2:49
Ben Clemens: Ooh

2:49
Ben Clemens: I have to say that I’m down on foosball on this list

2:49
Ben Clemens: For me, a bar game has to let you drink a beer while you play

2:50
Ben Clemens: So I have shuffleboard at the top, most likely, just like you

2:50
Ben Clemens: And darts not far behind

2:50
Ben Clemens: But I don’t think foosball really fits, because you can’t relax and carry on a conversation while you play it

2:50
Ben Clemens: Is bowling a bar game?

2:52
Dunning-Kruger on the right: I have one open slot to hedge for next year.  Do I go with Dalbec or Cruz O’Neil?

2:52
Ben Clemens: maybe i’m a suckre but gimme cruz

2:52
Ben Clemens: I want an eight foot tall shortstop to work out

2:53
Isolated Thinker: With company logos appearing on uniforms in addition to the nike swoosh, how awesome would it be if there was a small Fangraphs logo somewhere on there, free of charge, to help the site bounce back with a vengeance?

2:53
Ben Clemens: I mean, I’d be into it

2:53
Ben Clemens: Less into it: the teams putting that on there instead of getting ad revenue

2:53
Ben Clemens: But what the heck, teams aren’t only motivated by profit, right?

2:53
Member of So-ciety: What kind of contract do you think Stroman gets?

2:53
Ben Clemens: I was wondering about this yesterday actually

2:54
Ben Clemens: Because as a still-sometime-Cards fan, I’d love to see him on the Cardinals

2:55
Ben Clemens: I just don’t have any idea how to handicap this offseason’s contracts

2:55
Ben Clemens: I’ll say…. 1/20

2:55
Ben Clemens: I think a big issue this offseason is going to be that teams are hesitant to commit long-term money without knowing the fan policy in 2021

2:56
Ben Clemens: And also because the new CBA could produce new outlays for young players

2:56
Ben Clemens: So there will be a lot more wait-and-see deals

2:56
Kramer: If you could have a useless skill in the sports world that wouldn’t actually make you a pro But you could constantly do what would it be?  Just a few examples: dunking a basketball, throwing 95+ mph, driving a golf ball 300 yards, bending a soccer ball in from a corner kick

2:56
Ben Clemens: I think probably dunking

2:57
Ben Clemens: It’s the only one of these I’ve done, albeit a long time ago and not in game situations

2:57
Ben Clemens: So I could be wrong

2:57
Ben Clemens: But I think the visceral ‘wow’ is there more than the others

2:57
Ben Clemens: 95 just looks like a faster 85

2:57
Ben Clemens: dunking is not a faster layup

2:58
Ben Clemens: I’d also consider being a legit switch hitter, or being really good at juggling a soccer ball, like peak-Ronaldinho level good

2:58
Ben Clemens: Doing a flip! I’d take that too

2:59
Ben Clemens:

What random skill would you want?

Dunking (44.8% | 13 votes)
 
Throw 95 (20.6% | 6 votes)
 
Drive 300 yards (20.6% | 6 votes)
 
Bend like Beckham (6.8% | 2 votes)
 
Flip (6.8% | 2 votes)
 
Other (0% | 0 votes)
 

Total Votes: 29
2:59
Kramer: Re: offseason contracts. Will be most interesting to see what the players want. This could be a rare instance of wanting a 1 year deal with COVID lingering and CBA expiring. May even “leave” guaranteed money on the table more than normal, no?

3:00
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’ll be interesting. I’m not sure what the new CBA will do for veteran salaries; there’s a decent chance that the deal ends up being better for young players than old ones

3:00
Ben Clemens: And I don’t know how existing players will think about that

3:00
Ben Clemens: Normally everyone wants to cash in, and a new CBA just means more cashing

3:00
Ben Clemens: But this one is going to be verrrrrrry hard to handicap

3:00
Member of So-ciety: Yeah, I’m obsessed with Stroman to the Cubs.I feel like he is built for the big stage, just can’t get enough of his makeup

3:01
Ben Clemens: Yeah if it’s a one year deal basically every team in baseball should be in on Stroman

3:01
Ben Clemens: I can’t think of a team he wouldn’t help, he’s a ton of fun, and as an added bonus, he’ll immediately be your team’s best player on social media

3:01
Ben Clemens: I root for teams more b/c Stroman is on them, for sure

3:02
Ben Clemens: Which is a thing I can’t say about all that many baseball players (not zero, just not a ton)

3:02
Derek: Except for the Cubs, who already have Darvish on Twitter!

3:02
Ben Clemens: Yeah, Darvish will be tough to top

3:02
Ben Clemens: The two-year-delayed Verlander burn is an all-timer

3:03
Ben Clemens: But he’s just overall excellent

3:03
Ben Clemens: A Darvish/Stroman combo would be awesome

3:03
Ben Clemens: It would make up for Jon Lester, who I legit do not enjoy

3:03
Blue-Collar Tweeker: So when a player opts out for this 2020 season, they DO NOT get a year of service time, right?  Does that mean they’re contracts shift back a year?  If so, it would seem like ANY player in decline would benefit from this.  

To be clear, if a player was owed 20 million in 2020 and is a free agent after 2020, then if playing in 2020 they got a prorated salary (of WAY less than 20 million), it would seem to benefit them NOT to get a year of service time so that now their contract that was for 2020 now pushes back to 2021 and results in the FULL 20 million.  Is this how it’s going to work?

3:03
Ben Clemens: So my understanding is that the contract is just voided for this year

3:04
Ben Clemens: I.e. Ryan Zimmerman will be a free agent after this year, not on a new 1/$2 million deal

3:04
Ben Clemens: People can correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s how I’ve read it

3:04
Sam: I say bend it like Beckham for the sport skill. Bring able to hustle people with trick shots would be fun

3:04
Ben Clemens: That’s a fair point

3:05
Ben Clemens: Maybe I should have included something like ‘make a bank shot in basketball from any angle’

3:05
Ben Clemens: never lose a game of horse again

3:05
Lorenzo: Do you envision a lot of managers playing matchups with SP?  For example, if Scherzer is scheduled to face Miami, but they then face the Mets the next day, do you think Scherzer would  be given an extra days rest, or just get him as many innings as possible?

3:05
Ben Clemens: I think you just have to get as many innings as possible, to be honest

3:05
Ben Clemens: But that’s just my intuition

3:06
Ben Clemens: I haven’t actually sat down to do the math

3:06
Ben Clemens: Would depend a bit on how good your 6th starter is

3:06
Member of So-ciety: Is there anyway a good player who deserves an extension, even a hefty one, looks good getting one now? They’re an old, racist lot but Jets fans are like crazy against Jamal Adams…I can’t imagine it gets better across the landscape…Bet no one gives a shit when teams get a billion dollars for a new stadium tho

3:07
Ben Clemens: Yeah – I mean, football isn’t a great analog, but I definitely think this might happen

3:08
Ben Clemens: I mean, to some extent, who cares

3:08
Ben Clemens: I’m pretty sure Jamal Adams isn’t like dangit, GangGreen0675 on twitter hates me, I’ll never be able to cover anyone again

3:09
Ben Clemens: But yeah, generally speaking, the next wave of big money contracts will probably have more fan angst than normal

3:09
Eel Ffilc: I don’t know if it’s fair to have 95+ listed. If you were left-handed and could throw 95+, you will get every chance to be a pro.

3:09
Ben Clemens: Hm, that’s a fair point

3:09
Ben Clemens: Let’s specify that you have no control and no secondaries

3:09
Ben Clemens: Like you have a 55 mph slider somehow

3:11
Member of So-ciety: That Cleveland idea with the popular player names is TIGHT

3:11
Ben Clemens: I know right? Excellent call by Derek

3:11
Ben Clemens: This chat is usually full of nonsense opinions and me making stupid takes

3:11
Ben Clemens: But this is emphatically not that

3:11
Ben Clemens: I’m super into it

3:12
Sam: Could a 95 mph fastball, 55 mph slider be effective given the massive velocity difference?

3:12
Ben Clemens: If you had the same arm action, maybe?

3:12
Ben Clemens: You wouldn’t, though

3:12
Ben Clemens: You’d look like a regular major leaguer for your fastball and then the kid from rookie of the year for your slider

3:12
Morbo: Ugh I had to vote for dunking. I’m typically a kicker on my rugby team and I can already bend a rugby ball which is harder than a soccer ball IMO. But I’m 6’3″ and I’ve never been able to dunk not because I can’t jump quite high enough to two handed dunk and my hands are about 1/2″ too small to palm a basketball for a single handed dunk which I at least used to be able to jump high enough but I’d always drop the ball.

3:12
Ben Clemens: Oh man I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about

3:13
Ben Clemens: I have long arms but only regular-sized hands, which was a perpetual disappointment to me in basketball

3:13
Derek: Following up on the Cleveland team name – if this system had already been in place we could have gotten a feel-good team naming after Carlos Carrasco… And also a MLB team named the Cleveland Cookies.

3:13
Eel Ffilc: Cleveland could use that idea to pitch to Lindor to keep him around!

3:13
Ben Clemens: Cleveland Cookies

3:14
Ben Clemens: Make me a Carrasco jersey with a sweet cookie logo and I’m buying it right now

3:14
Dunning-Kruger on the right: What happens in a case scenario of massive outbreak on a single team…say 7-10 players?

3:14
Ben Clemens: Honestly, no idea! Less than that and they’d just keep playing as normal. Probably even at 7-10 they’d just keep playing like normal

3:15
Ben Clemens: Becaues there aren’ really other good options

3:15
Ben Clemens: I think in the extreme, say 15-20 players all testing positive at once, they’d just forfeit

3:15
Ben Clemens: But at that point I wonder if the baseball season would just stop

3:16
Ben Clemens: The odds aren’t particularly high of one team spiking that rate without a lot of cases overall

3:16
Name game: If the original intent of the Indians name was to honor native americans, they should be the Cleveland Native A’s

3:17
Ben Clemens: Eh, I don’t love it. The problem for me here is that the Indians have the Chief Wahoo baggage

3:18
Ben Clemens: So if you keep the name in this vein, it’s just going to invite the continued usage of the chief

3:18
Ben Clemens: I think you want to make a clean break

3:18
Kramer: thoughts on the schedule matchups that have been reported?  Feels like Cardinals May have easiest Schedule with their pool play. AL central could be better but I think I read they are getting more against the royals due to geography.

3:18
Ben Clemens: Yeah agreed with this

3:18
Ben Clemens: NL Central gets the most boost, and whoever gets to play the Royals and Tigers the most gets the most of that boost

3:19
Member of So-ciety: Why is Haagen-Dazs so hard to scoop?

3:19
Ben Clemens: Sharp left turn!

3:19
Ben Clemens: I haven’t had Haagen-Dazs in a long time, to be honest

3:19
Ben Clemens: Stupid coastal elites and their stupid coastal elite Ben and Jerry’s

3:19
Ben Clemens: (also my wife is lactose intolerant, a truly cruel fate for a native of Wisconsin, so we err on the side of dairy-free desserts)

3:20
Derek: Ben and Jerry’s actually sucks. Like, 30-grade ice cream.

3:20
Ben Clemens: Oh I’m gonna have to disagree

3:20
Ben Clemens: I think they’re willdly inconsistent

3:20
Ben Clemens: Liek 75% of their flavors are not good

3:20
Ben Clemens: But the ones that use caramel and peanut butter are almost invariably great

3:20
Ben Clemens: We’re partial to the non-dairy PB and Cookies flavor

3:21
Sam: Derek your take on ice cream is bad and you should feel bad (insert zoidberg meme here)

3:21
Ben Clemens: Now Derek’s the popular one

3:21
Kramer: Back to the bar game…bowling doesn’t count (because then minigolfBut I forgot Golden Tee!  That’s a great one!

3:21
Ben Clemens: Yeah that’s fair — bowling is mini golf basically

3:21
Ben Clemens: Those are the two I’d most want to play, to be clear

3:21
Ben Clemens: But Golden Tee is a true bar game

3:21
Ben Clemens: And I’d take that wayyyy over foostball

3:21
Ben Clemens: I’m really bad at it but I’d love to be good at it

3:21
Ben Clemens: Buck Hunter counts too although I’ve never played it

3:21
Ben Clemens: Photo Hunt, not so much

3:22
Ben Clemens: There are a decent number of bars here with Killer Queen setups but I’m not fancy enough for that

3:22
Ben Clemens: Also the actual bar game I’d want to be best at might be speed quarters, because bouncing a quarter into a shot glass is just tremendously satisfying

3:23
Ben Clemens: But that’s more of a drinking game and less a bar game

3:24
Ben Clemens: Dunking and throw 95 are comfortably ahead of the field in the random sports skill game

3:24
Ben Clemens: Makes sense to me. I’m down on throwing 95 but it’s probably the skill that could most be used in your actual life, just go be great at men’s league

3:25
Ben Clemens: Although I guess drive 300 counts, you’d be sick at your local course

3:25
Kramer: Best outdoor/backyard game then. Just a few Off the top of my head…washers, cornhole, boche ball, that ladder game with ropes that have golf balls tied to them, giant connect four

3:25
Ben Clemens: At our wedding, we had a nice grassy area for the cocktail hour

3:25
Ben Clemens: So we set up cornhole and ladder golf (the rope golf ball game)

3:25
Ben Clemens: We didn’t even consider other games

3:25
Ben Clemens: So I’d put those 1/2, but a lot of that is because they’re so portable

3:26
Ben Clemens: Which is a big game when it comes to a wedding

3:26
Ben Clemens: It wasn’t exactly in our backyard, b/c we don’t have a yard

3:26
Ben Clemens: If you have a nice space for it, Bocce goes on the list for sure

3:26
Ben Clemens: I would take cornhole over ladder golf, but I’m better at ladder golf

3:27
Ben Clemens: Oh, and giant connect four, nah, I’m off it

3:27
Ben Clemens: Gimme Giant Jenga any dya

3:27
Ben Clemens: horseshoes are like a 20 on the 20-80 scale, in case anyone’s wondering

3:27
Sam: For driving 300, do you have precision  or are you just hitting the ball a mile with no control? Also isn’t the better golf skill being a great putter so you could dominate at mini golf?

3:27
Ben Clemens: Presumably not much control, but also not literally zero

3:28
Ben Clemens: And I personally would vastly prefer being good at putting

3:28
Ben Clemens: But I’m not a golfer, so take everything I say with a grain of salt

3:29
Derek: Driving 300 with little control still helps – I’d rather be 300 yards away from the tee and in a terrible position after 1 stroke than 300 yards away from the tee in a terrible position after 3 or 4 or 5 strokes like I usually am!

3:29
Ben Clemens: That’s kind of my thinking

3:29
Ben Clemens: I follow MGL on twitter, and he’s like an even split of baseball, politics, and golf

3:29
Ben Clemens: I’ve picked up on some of the golf stuff more or less passively

3:30
Ben Clemens: And it seems like people just vastly underrate how valuable hitting the ball a long way is

3:30
Ben Clemens: (which makes sense)

3:30
Ben Clemens: It’s like in baseball, everyone is all about control

3:30
Ben Clemens: But being good involves a lot of velo

3:30
AC/SD: How does service time work for rookies this year? How many days off can add a year?

3:30
Ben Clemens: So everything is pro-rated

3:31
Ben Clemens: So take your days of service time and multiply by 186/66 I believe

3:31
Ben Clemens: So the math works out to 6 games off getting you below 170

3:31
Ben Clemens: 6 days off rather

3:31
Ben Clemens: But I’d imagine teams would take it to 10 just to ensure no surprises and no ‘hey this is bad faith’ arguments

3:31
Ben Clemens: Though to be clear it’s very obviously in bad faith

3:32
Sam: Fair enough. My only golf experience is mini golf so I’d rather be good at that

3:32
Ben Clemens: Oh me too

3:32
Ben Clemens: There’s a bar here in SF that is mini golf indoors with a bar

3:32
Ben Clemens: We had a date planned for it and everything

3:32
Ben Clemens: Bam, COVID’ed

3:33
Ben Clemens: I wonder if it will just never open again 🙁

3:33
Ben Clemens: Love me a little mini golf though

3:34
Ben Clemens: I would not say I’m particularly good, but is anyone particularly good?

3:35
Ben Clemens: Alright now that we’ve essentially turned this into trick shots and drinking games, I’m going to call it a chat. Thanks for hanging out today everyone, and I hope that the coming weeks give us more opportunities to tlak about whimsical fun things and fewer opportunities to talk about how miserable life is.

3:35
Ben Clemens: Have a great day, be safe, and wear a dang mask, though hey, not a single commenter telling me that masks are a joke today, so hat tip to all of you guys

We hoped you liked reading Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 7/6/20 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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