Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 12/14/15 by Carson Cistulli December 14, 2015 11:58 Dan Szymborski: OMG IT STARTED EARLIER, I”M MURDERING THAT SIMPERING JACKANINNY CISTULLI WITH HIS OWN FISTS 11:58 Dan Szymborski: OK, got that out of the way 11:58 Jose: How does your PC deal with A-Rod? 11:59 Dan Szymborski: Same way it deals with other players. Not quite sure what you mean here. 12:00 Dan Szymborski: If you mean the missed year and the injuries, ZiPS has historical knowledge of what missed years and various injuries (very generalized) mean to future performance. If the steroids, there’s still not much in the way of evidence that it has any predictive value for future play. 12:00 The Dude: As a Cubs fan, should I be worried about Theo’s lackluster record of FA signings? 12:00 Dan Szymborski: You should worry about a signing if it looks bad objectively and not worry about ones that look good objectively. 12:00 Logan: Do you see a matchup between the Braves and the Indians or the Pirates on some of their trade pieces? 12:00 Dan Szymborski: Freeman in Pittsburgh would be fun, but I don’t know if the Pirates would pay the iron price. 12:01 J: What are your thoughts about the Braves rebuilding so far? Obviously this last D-back trade helps a ton, but how does this compare to the current Phillies rebuilding? 12:01 Dan Szymborski: The Braves rebuilding will go quicker, not because the post-Amaro Phillies are stupid, but because the Braves realized the necessity years before the Phillies did. The Phillies started it pretty much when there were only a few players with any value left.] 12:01 The Dude: How bullish is ZiPS on Mark Appel? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Haven’t run Appel yet actually 12:02 The Dude: Which farm system is now better: Braves or Phillies? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: I’d say Braves. It worries me that there are so many upside pitchers tha tmay be nothing, but some of those are nearly inevitable eto work out. 12:02 TJ: Inciarte for Soler ? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Meh 12:03 Timothy : How would you rank the young shortstops on who you would want on your team? I’d go correa bogaerts russell seager lindor 12:03 Dan Szymborski: I was very happy to see Bogaerts season, but I’d rank him lower and Lindor higher 12:03 mtsw: Am I the only one who thinks these huge contracts (Heyward, Stanton etc) with early opt-outs are insane? The real danger in any big contract is that a catastrophic injury or decline in performance renders it dead money. The early opt-outs just lock in the downside risk but mitigate much of the upside risk (long-term control of an excellent player). 12:04 Dan Szymborski: That’s only really the case if players won’t take the opt-out in suboptimal situations for them. That mitigates the danger since it makes some scenarios in which the player bails out the team. 12:05 UGLYFRANK: If I am interested in stats and forecasting, what should I major in? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Well, mathematics or some related discipline. If you want to work for a team, I’d recommend programming. 12:06 mtsw: Did the Orioles ever really WANT to sign Chris Davis? Their entire conduct has been to demonstrate to the fans that they’re trying but they’ve never seemed particularly interested in actually getting a deal done. Is Duquette’s master plan to “miss” on Davis and then do a more sensible signing and use the extra cash to extend Machado? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: Leaving a 7/150 deal on the table for awhile for a player they don’t really want to re-sign would be odd behavior. I think they want Davis, but they don’t want him at an unlimited price, which is reasonable. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: A bigger offer would end up being in Heyward territory and giving Chris Davis a Jason heyward offer is a really stupid thin gto do 12:07 mtsw: Trump is elected President and appoints you as chief baseball advisor. In order to “make baseball great again” he wants to dramatically alter field dimensions. He orders you to either move all fences in 50 feet or out 50 feet. Which insane decision would you go with to least damage the game of baseball? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Weird question, but I’ll go with it. Probably move out and then I’d liven the ball. 12:08 Bork: Where does Chris Davis sign and for how much? Someone will probably offer him the $150m he originally got, no? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: I have no idea now. 12:08 Justin: Is it reasonable to think that the Ray Searage School of Pitching helps new acquisitions beat projections? Or am I confirmation bias-ing myself? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: I think there’s reason to believe, but don’t get too excited. 12:08 The Dude: The Cubs look incredible on paper for 2016. The Nationals looked incredible on paper for 2015. Could the Cubs end up falling similarly to the Nationals? 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Anything can happen. 12:09 Derek in Little Rock: What is the 2016 ZIPS projection for Barry Lamar Bonds’s age 51 season? 12:09 Dan Szymborski: I will not run a Barry Bonds projection. At this point, a projection system would have no useful information to offer. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Note that I’m saving the off-topics for the lightning round. 12:10 Owen S.: If you are Heyward, and maximizing $ is your only concern, do you take the Cubs deal or a 10 year $230M (made up contract) deal instead? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: I’d take the 10-year, but pro athletes are known for having confidcne in their skills, so Heyward’s calculations are going to be different. 12:10 Todd: Don’t the Indians has a strong window to compete now with their starting pitching? Do you think a trade for Todd Frazier (and maybe Jay Bruce) could be structured around Clint Frazier and Brad Zimmer (among others, perhaps). If so, imagine if the Indians also acquired either Chris Carter or Alvarez for DH/to spell 1B. I think a lineup like that, with Cleveland’s strong SP could win a lot of ballgames, don’t you? Almost like a mix between the 2015 Blue Jays and Astros, but with better starting pitching. 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I think they have a window and Frazier would be helpful, though I odn’t know how steep a package the Reds will demand, push comes to shove 12:11 Jake Arrieta’s Beard: Cubs’ will have 4 WS appearances in the next 4 years. You want the over or the under? 12:11 Dan Szymborski: Under 12:11 Biscuit: Hey Dan, 12:11 Dan Szymborski: Yo 12:11 Kristian: How much of Heyward’s value would be negated by him playing center field as opposed to right? Going off that, how necessary do you think a Soler deal is this offseason? Thanks Dan 12:12 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think much. COF–>CF moves tend to cost 10 runs a year relative to average at the position, with a differing spread based on speed of the corner outfield. ZiPS thinks Heyward will be decently above-average in center – he’s not a slow guy. 12:12 The Dude: Seeing as Charlie Morton can opt out of his contract, what do the Phillies get out of him? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: Hoping he’ll hang around and eat innings so that games actually end. 12:12 Clown: YOUR ZIPS PROJECTIONS AREN’T IN LINE WITH MY BIAS TOWARDS MY TEAM. RABBLE RABBLE 12:12 Biscuit: Hey Dan, any chance the Brewers deal Segura and hold down the fort until Arcia is ready in June? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: New front offices are always tricky, especially when the old guy with authority has a new position. The Brewers don’t seem that into a rebuild as they should be 12:13 Larry: Adrian Beltre projection. Over/Under 112 OPS+? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Rangers are Wednesday so no need to leak anything 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I usually only release projections early if there’s some relevant news angle or slant that makes the projection interesting for me 12:14 Dan Szymborski: Otherwise, I’ll get hundreds of requests a day. 12:14 Derek: Odds Appel turns into Jake Arrieta 2.0? +/- 5%? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: I dunno, 5%? He has a pedigree, but he’s just not that great at pitching against minor leaguers. 12:15 GSon: Merry Christmas to you and yours, Dan.. now, onto the shoe… Do the Dodgers make a smart deal that strengthens their pen as the Chapman deal was supposed to?.. 12:15 Dan Szymborski: The Dodgers are an opportunistic team, so they’ll certainly be looking for ways to strengthen the team. 12:15 Sick Sandy: What is the most reasonable upgrade for the Mets in center field? Dendard Span, Will Venable or somebody else? Also thanks for the wonderful chats 12:15 Dan Szymborski: The best CF upgrade for the Mets is the patience to do nothing. 12:16 hscer: Your minutes are of earth too. 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Says who? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Have you seen the times of day I’m awake? 12:16 GSon: Cubs fans seem to believe that the ‘talk’ about Schwarber playing any defensive position is just going to take some time.. Should the Cubs forget that poor lie and make a deal that send the big bat to the AL where he can be a DH and brings back the CF or TORP they need? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Depends on the deal. Any player is tradable in the right deal and non-tradable in the wrong one.. I don’t think they have a CF problem. 12:17 Beiker Graterol: How do you think the Tigers patch their LF hole? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Hope? 12:18 hscer: Alle meine Fragen werden auf Deutsch gestellt werden. 12:18 Dan Szymborski: Ich kann Fragen in jeder sprache geschrieben zu ignorieren. 12:18 Nick: If a team signs Desmond and puts him in the outfield should it work out differently than Hanley did last year? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it’s a great comaprison. Hanley was way worse in left than you’d expect. But in Desmond’s case, there’s no point to signing him if you’re not plaing him in the infield 12:20 Ghost of Dan O’Dowd: Carlos Gonzalez to the Tigers for Matt Boyd, who hangs up first? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Rockies, who I think tend to be deluded about the value of their players. 12:20 hscer: What do you think the biggest mismatch between any 2 MLB players in a game of chess would be? Besides Ohlendorf vs. Papelbon. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Breslow vs. anybody? 12:20 David: What do you think is the most unpredictable sport: Hockey, Baseball, Football or Basketball? Rank them please! Thank you. 12:21 Dan Szymborski: Baseball, Basketball, Football, do not have the requisite knowledge about hockey 12:21 Sirras: Dan Dan he’s our man, if he can’t do it, somebody else will be do it based on the market equilibrium! 12:21 Bork: Can we start a gofundme for a Szymborski/Cistulli match in something? I recommend slamball. 12:21 Dan Szymborski: Szymborski vs. Cistulli is one of the best runnin ggags! 12:21 GSon: Barry Bonds as a hitting instructor.. HUGE for MLB.. ? 12:22 Dan Szymborski: Still not sure whether he’d be a great coach. 12:22 Sirras: Presidents please? Pretty please? 12:22 Dan Szymborski: Still figuring out Jotcast. 12:22 Dan Szymborski: I just figured out like 10 minutes ago how to send an image 12:22 königsblau: N00b question. If someone talks about someone’s fastball sitting at 93-95 or the likes, what does that exactly mean? 99% (or some other number close to 100) of his fastballs will fall in that range? 12:22 Dan Szymborski: Depends on the person, there’s no hard and fast definition for a lot of these terms 12:23 CardsFan12: What can the Cards realistically do to remain competitive. It sounds like they are out on any of the remaining outfielders and Davis. 12:23 Dan Szymborski: I’m not buying that they’re definitely out on Gordon yet. 12:24 Dan Szymborski: GMs have no reason to tell the truth about their upcoming moves to media and they should not 12:24 The Dude: Cistulli is a misbegotten spawn of hell. A scullion, a rampallian, a fustilarian. 12:24 Interrogator: Tigers LF. Seriously? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: If the season started today, it would be someone like Collins, which is not ideal 12:25 Kelly Gruber’s Mullet: With elite players signing long term deals with opt out clauses after X amount of years, is there any way a team could double down on their investment and give a player the opt out after year 3 of 8, but in turn have a team option after say year 5 or 6. Or would an agent never go for that? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: We already have team opt-outs all the time – they’re called team options. And players try not to get them. 12:25 Skuggman: When you “run” a ZiPS for a player, is it just like pushing a button? Or is there more manual labor involved? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: Mostly pushing a button. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: But there’s some waiting. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: Someone smarter than me could make ZiPS into a standalone program that runs twice as fast and half the size. 12:26 greg: Would ZiPS see a big difference in Todd Frazier if he were traded to a team who’d play him in LF? 12:26 Dan Szymborski: Likely not – the differences aren’t huge, but it seems to cancel out some of the worth of Frazier. 12:27 Nelson: As a card-carrying libertarian, do you think MLB/NFL, etc, should punish players beyond what the legal system already does for cases of DWIs, domestic abuse, etc.? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: (Close enough to on-topic to not stash for Lightning Round) 12:27 Dan Szymborski: I think punishments, etc. should be deal with in the relevant contracts. 12:27 Dan Szymborski: I have no issues with collective bargaining, so long as either party can walk away. 12:28 Sam: Best farm in the NL Central, Brewers now? Cubs still good, but a lot of their young talent at the majors, Pirates still good but seems a bit top heavy. Reds not super deep, Cards not very good outside of Reyes. So, Brewers? 12:28 Dan Szymborski: Brewers improved quite a bit during the summer, but I’m not sure I’d put them top the NL Central yet 12:29 The Dude: Are you in favor of lifting the ban on Pete Rose? Rob Manfred clearly isn’t. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I am not. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: Show me contrition, show me good works, and I listen seriously to Rose. 12:30 Dan Szymborski: Rose has only relatively recnetly gotten to the point where he *admits* some of his betting. 12:32 Richard: Given Cespedes’ consistent reverse splits, shouldn’t he be given more consideration for a team trying to balance out a righty heavy lineup? 12:33 Dan Szymborski: No. While his splits are fairly equal, which is unusual, generic platoon splits still predict future platoon splits better than actual platoon splits until you get to about 6 full seasons in the majors 12:33 Llama: Why aren’t the Cards more into Justin Upton? Why sign Alex Gordon and try him in RF for the first time when Upton has actually played it before? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: It’s not like Upton’s some legendary defensive player there – rightfield experience isn’t that value when you’ve had a guy that *has* played gold glove leftfield. 12:34 Darth Jar Jar: Appel made statements that he’s glad to move away from an organization that relies heavily on stats & peripherals. Can a baseball player succeed in today’s environment without having some knowledge/appreciation for the role of stats in today’s game? 12:35 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, talent doesnt care much about stupidity. Papelbon has been a very good pitcher. 12:35 uru: Any chance Manuel Margot is overrated somewhat? Dude posted a .236/.288/.313 vs. RHP last year in AA. 12:35 Dan Szymborski: At *20* 12:35 976: Is it safe to assume ZiPS doesn’t know that Henderson Alvarez’s shoulder might be useless? I understand that ZiPS knows he took time off, but it doesn’t know for what, right? 12:36 Dan Szymborski: Alvarez knows about his shoulder, but not the specific extent. It knows SHOULDER dummy variable and 160 days (or whatever, ZiPS isn’t open) 12:36 Kelly Gruber’s Mullet: With all these big contracts being thrown around, what would Harper or Trout get on the open market? 12:36 Dan Szymborski: All of it. 12:36 Tood Fenic: How many games would a team entirely composed of replacement level players win under the zWAR system? Wondering what the baseline is. 12:36 Dan Szymborski: 47.7 12:37 Dan Szymborski: While my approach is part BR and part FG, I use the same baselines that they agreed to 12:37 Minty: Will the Orioles, or Machado’s next team, ever put him back at SS full time? 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Depends when that is. 12:37 Dan Szymborski: I have no faith in the O’s playing Machado at short 12:38 Chris: I’d say Cabrera and Walker over Flores and Murphy adds, at a maximum, three wins to last year’s team. Still no power bat to replace Cespedes’ other-worldly second half. I like the “depth is great” narrative but at some point having a bunch of mediocre players is not gonna cut it. 12:38 Dan Szymborski: The Mets wouldn’t have Cespedes’s performance from last year this year even if they had *kept* him. 12:38 @RationalMLBfan: What’s the best part about working from home? No wasted hours commuting? Saving money on transportation? Avoiding inclement weather? Relative flexibility to run out and do errands in the middle of the day? Inexpensive lunch options? No need to dress up every day? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Not wearing pants. 12:39 Dan Szymborski: No alarm clock. 12:39 Dan Szymborski: I kinda need expesnive lunch options though so that I don’t eat all this delicious food that’s not good for me 12:39 Dan Szymborski: In an office, I would have less hourly access to cheese and delicious lunch beverages 12:39 Dan Szymborski: Inclement weather only partially 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, if it snows, I don’t have to dig out my driveway, but if it does, I still have to walk over to mom’s and dig out *her* driveway 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I would not do well in an office environment. I work at random times as the mood hits me. Which is super-helpful as I never have to write out a piece at a time I’m simply not interested in writing it 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Which improves the quality, I hope. 12:41 PG: Doug Fister: Good incentive laden 2-year gamble for Boston or no? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Not so much with Panda in the infield. Fister would be more interesting somewhere like Baltimore 12:42 Minty: What should the Rangers do with Profar? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Hope for the best. He’s essentially lost two prime development years and you can’t get those back. 12:42 Dan Szymborski: See D’Angelo Jimenez after teh car crash 12:42 Andrew: Given that Wilmer Flores has a better projections offensively and defensively than Asdrubal Cabrera, should he start instead of Cabrera? Did that move make the Mets better? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Depends on health. He should start over Cabrera – Cabrera sucks at SS anyway and he doesn’t have Flores’s upside 12:43 Bork: Are you excited for Dusty Baker’s wild ride? How long until the Nats try to get off Dusty Baker’s wild ride? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: I think the first year at least will be fine in Washington. Baker is a shitty tactician and a worse evaluator of talent, but he’s damn good at managing people and keeping teams from killing each other, which is more what the Nats need 12:44 Dan Szymborski: This isn’t a situation in which Baker is likely to have significant input into roster and tardes. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think, at least 12:44 Kelly Gruber’s Mullet: Can the Jays repeat their success from last year with their current rotation? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: They can, but the rotation really misses David Price. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Stroman for a full season is nice, of course 12:44 is it true: that teams still have to play the games? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: That’s the rumor. 12:46 Joe: Would Span really not be an upgrade over Lagares? Solid player just injuries have been holding him back. Not a huge contract either. 12:46 Dan Szymborski: If we’re discounting Span’s injuries, then we also get to discount lagares’s injuries 12:46 Druidiful: Do you think that a Andrew Miller deal will actually happen this offseason? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: No 12:46 976: Do MLB teams ever ask for ZiPS in advance, or do they all just assume that their own internal projections are more useful to them? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: I cannot comment on this. 12:47 Dan Szymborski: I’m only asking because people keep thinking I will answer questions like this. 12:47 Dan Szymborski: The only thing I will say is that I don’t offer an *opinion* on anything to a team. 12:48 Erhan: What moves do you think Mets make? I can’t seem to imagine their opening day lineup having lagares in it, especially after cuddyer departure 12:49 Dan Szymborski: Conforto/Lagares/Granderson is their best OF and with cuddyer thankfully gone in a stroke of good luck, their chances of achieving that are good too 12:50 The Dude: The biggest land mine contract signed so far this offseason is _____? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think the really big contracts have actually been bad yet. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Cespedes is still out there though 12:50 Farts McCool: When will zips be run for the braves? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: The Wednesday after Thanksgiving. 12:50 CaptFreedom1776: Mark Buehrle could be just about as valuable for the cards this yr as lackey was last year, reasonable? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Buehrle is dependable, but I don’t think he would be as good as Lckey 12:51 hscer: What level basketball? College is totally unpredictable; NBA, pretty damn predictable. 12:51 Dan Szymborski: I assumed we were talking pro 12:51 hscer: The Phillies signed Arencibia. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING 12:51 j6takish: Hanley was playable at short with his bat and probably would have been fine at 3rd the decision to sign him as an outfielder will forever baffle me 12:52 976: Is Jon Jay’s career basically over or is he a rebound candidate in San Diego? Side question, how much CF defensive ability do you lose after age 30? 12:52 Dan Szymborski: He’s in the homestretch. His goose isn’t cooked yet, but there are a lot of basting juices. 12:52 Derek: Are the Jays going to do anything exciting the rest of the winter? I miss AA. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: I do no tbelieve so. 12:52 The Dude: You always make fun of the Rockies decision making, but the joke will be on you when they win the World Series after 29 comets simultaneously hit the 29 other teams 25 man rosters. 12:52 TJ: If your the Cubs , having already given up your first two draft picks , would Ian Kennedy make sense , if you could get him on a short term deal ? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: No. Ian Kennedy is not a good pitcher. 12:53 976: Serious question. Why would a free agent sign with Arizona knowing that they will most likely be subject to the whims of the front office and not statistical analysis of their performance and potential? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: $ 12:53 j6takish: ZIPS, TRINGULATE! 12:53 Biscuit: Would Braun make sense for the Tigers or is the contract prohibitive? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: He would, but the Tigers have gotten into this pattern of half-measures at winning now. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: As I said before, the Tigers have a one, *maybe* two year window remaining to not horribly suck. 12:55 Dan Szymborski: The right strategy, given the composition of the roster *is* Mike Ilitch’s “après moi le déluge” approach. They’re pot committed – push all the damn chips behind the last playable hands you have. 12:55 hscer: I think “Kelly Gruber’s Mullet” knows about that team opt-outs are called team option, having called it a “team option.” 12:55 zips: 12:55 blackcoffee: What is a reasonable expectation for Hector Olivera? As an optimistic fan, I’d like to say I’m taking the over on his projection but I am aware of his age and that his performance to date hasn’t been spectacular. 12:55 Dan Szymborski: I’m not necessarily taking the over. He *is* an over-30 player who last had a season that translated well in 2011. 12:55 976: Pete Rose was not good as a commentator during studio show in the playoffs. 12:55 Dan Szymborski: He was entertaining at least 12:55 Dan: Are the 2016 “on paper” Cubs better than the 2015 “on paper” Nationals? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: I would say yes. 12:56 The Dude: Would you say front offices have become too obsessed with prospects? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: No. They’re a built-in market inefficiency – you get those beautiful cost-controlled years no matter how many people know about that as a strategy 12:57 Dan: So add 48 wins to whatever FanGraphs says under team fWAR projections, correct? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: I do my own projections and those are the ones that are canon. 12:57 Sam: So when an internet ad says, “I made $4,000 last month working from home” they mean “I made $4000 last month while not wearing pants”? 12:58 Dan Szymborski: I should note that when I say I’m not wearing pants, it means that I’m not wearing pants that I’d wear to go to an office, not that I’m sitting around naked from the waist down. 12:58 Dan Szymborski: I like gym shorts. 12:58 Tron: Michael Cuddyer retired because he was tired of getting his feelings hurt when reading about himself on FanGraphs, probably. 12:58 Dan Szymborski: No 12:59 The Dude: After reading Jose Canseco’s Pro-Mars nuking tweets, is it fair to say he’s positioning himself to play the next James Bond villain? Will the title be called MarsMaker? 12:59 Dan Szymborski: It’s the combination of that and us transporting Triton to collide with mars that makes it funny. Melting their ice caps is an actual option, but it’s funny coming from canseco 12:59 Dan Szymborski: Plus when he talkeda bout the project and included “his calculations” in them 12:59 flump: what do you think porcello will look like in 2016? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: I actually think he’ll be fine. 1:00 groucho: over/under 90.5 wins for the cardinals next season? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Under. Though I don’t think you should write them off. I don’t think i projected any of the NL Central teams to win 90 last year, though I may be wrong 1:00 scram-jam: if you could make one non-trivial rule change to baseball, what would it be? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Automated ball/strikes 1:01 dr. souffle: let’s say you hop in a time machine and set it for yankee stadium, 2055. what’s the craziest thing about the game you see? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: Bartolo Colon is still alive and pitching. 1:01 Too $hort: Do you ever bet on baseball? Do you think you could win? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: I bet plenty of baseball, but I’m not a compulsive gambler – I look for the best opportunities. I’m a prop bet guy. 1:01 The Cincinnati Kid: Which stat most projectable for hitters: HRs, RBIs, or AVG? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: HR 1:01 Kyler: How early can you start projecting players? I know that the earlier = more uncertainty but do you run projections on guys in the low minors or even college? 1:02 Dan Szymborski: I do not run guys from college or very low minors unless I’m forced to by the situation (like Weeks after being drafted) 1:02 zips: szymborski is a guatemalan name right? 1:02 Dan Szymborski: Korean. 1:02 mtsw: Is/should be the players union angry with Cuddyer for retiring with so much cash left on his contract? Seems like the sort of thing they’d discourage but I can’t really articulate why. 1:02 Dan Szymborski: They’d like to discourage, but there’s really not much they can do about it. 1:03 CardsFan12: Is there a ZIPS schedule somewhere? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: Not for anyone but me! 1:03 976: Did any of the Rule 5 picks surprise or impress you? 1:04 Dan Szymborski: Nothing really surprising – teams are way less stupid in using their 40-man roster for this than they used to be 1:04 Dan: In what order are ZiPS ran? 1:04 Dan Szymborski: I start with the first team to be projected and finish with the last one. 1:04 Dan Szymborski: I tried to start with the last team to be projected, but it resulted in a causality loop that caused the Boer War, so I don’t do that now 1:05 976: It would totally be a Dave Stewart thing to sign Dan Szymborski to a retainer for unlimited ZiPS and then not use them. 1:05 zips: is zips something you could sell to like, microsoft, for data mining or is it really just useful for baseball/what you intended? 1:05 Dan Szymborski: It’s only useful for baseball. It’s not like it’s a software platform 1:05 mtsw: Has any player taken issue with your projections of him, then angrily demanded you send him the .xls files so he can check your formulas? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Players generally know it’s counter-productive to do this kind of thing. 1:06 Prince Nuada: Given that Mark Appel was something of a throw-in to the Giles trade, would Houston have been better off trading Appel, AJ Reed, Fancis Martes and Marwin Gonzalez to the Indians for Carrasco? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: If that had been actually unavailable. 1:06 Derek: You like gym shorts, but when was the last time you went to the gym? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: It was before Thanksgiving 1:06 greg: how much mlb network programming (not counting games) do you watch? 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Quite a lot. My office has three large televisions on the wall and there’s always baseball-related stuff on at least one of them 1:07 The Dude: Over/Under Stanton plays 100 games in 2016? 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Over 1:07 The Cincinnati Kid: Are you able to run ZIPs 2017 projections? Not being a smartass, I’m just curious if the system can spit that out without having the 2016 data but aging the player by 1 year 1:07 Dan Szymborski: I have everybody’s rest-of-career projections, which include 2017. I only release those when something interests me. 1:07 The Dude: Did you cause the first or second Boer War? 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Both. The Second Boer War was the result of me trying to fix the previous war I caused. I stopped trying to fix the timeline after that 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Which is why I would not kill baby Hitler. Baby Hitler may have been responsible for stopping Baby Super Hitler and I odn’t wnat to make stuff worse 1:09 zips: say fangraphs had a meetup in cuba. would you go? (expenses paid by carson) 1:09 Dan Szymborski: Sure 1:09 Dan Szymborski: OK, we’re after one o clock 1:09 Dan Szymborski: Let’s do the Lightning Round. 1:10 Dan Szymborski: The rules for the Lightning Round are simple: I must answer any question, so long as it is off-topic, with the exception of a few categories (very personal things, work related stuff) 1:10 Dan Szymborski: and GO. 1:10 Eric: Are you excited for the FF7 remake? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: No, as I think they’re action-RPGing it up. 1:10 mtsw: How do you feel about Woodrow Wilson’s recent tumble in evaluations of his Presidency? Traditionally, he ranked as a borderline top-10 President but now, people have become uncomfortable with his extreme racism. But it’s not like people are only now discovering that he was a racist (or that racism is wrong). What gives? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure why he’s back in the news. He always was a giant racist. 1:10 mtsw: A panhandler claiming to be a homeless veteran asked me for change the other day. I didn’t have any cash so said “sorry, nothing on me” and he shouted after me “god bless! Vote Trump!” Do you think the “vote Trump!” was sarcastic or not? I honestly can’t tell. 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I’d have to hear the panhandler’s tone of voice 1:10 Mark: Pick your favourite 3 new LoE Hearthstone cards. 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Reno Jackson, Dark Peddler, Museum Curator 1:11 Sean: Be honest. The advantage to your working-at-home lifestyle is that you can play video games whenever you want. 1:11 Dan Szymborski: More on this in a month. 1:11 Enlightening Round: Do you think the hackers “anonymous” can really do some damage to Isis? I’m just hopeful… 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Probably not, but annoying them is worthwhile 1:11 The Cincinnati Kid: Is Jar Jar Binks a Sith Lord or not? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: He is not. At best a Sith tool. I do not believe he has the discipline to be a Sith Lord. 1:12 Dan: Do you play video games and if so, what are you currently playing? 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Yes. Embarrassingly enough, the game I was playng over the weekend was World of Warcraft 1:12 Guest: Lando or Chewbacca? 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Lando 1:12 rustydude: Thought about asking my xmas party guest from South Africa if she considered herself as a Boer. Decided not to because I couldn’t figure out a tactful way to ask the question. 1:12 Dan Szymborski: that’s a very random question 1:12 Dan: 47% of your answers…either make no sense to me or I am too stupid. 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Could be both 1:12 Derek: There was a twilight zone episode where someone went back in time to kill baby Hitler. Except that the parents were so upset they adopted another kid, who ended up being the real Hitler. 1:13 Dan Szymborski: I want an episode in which a guy goes back in time to kill Hitler but it turns out it makes the timeline WAY worse and so he has to go back and *become* HItler. You know, do all that stuff and knowing you’re going to have to put a bullet in your head at the end of it 1:13 Derek: What’s your conspiricy theory about the world that you think is true? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: I’ve heard the sun has some really negative plans for the earth. 1:14 Derek: I know you’re anti-Bernie, but what are your thoughts on having the political system run by corrupt corporations that hurt the vast majority of Americans? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Some of it is histrionic overreaction, some of it is a symptom of having an all-powerful government with very powerful favors to give out 1:14 Matt: Mendelssohn Bartholdy or Schumann? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Schumann 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Better piano works 1:15 bizarro Dan Szymborski: Would ZiPS have ever projected Mike Hessman for positive production? 1:15 Dan Szymborski: Mildly for awhile 1:15 rustydude: If you had a fairly new gf/partner/wife who just moved in with you and she was hankering for a gun, would you buy one for her even if you’re nominally anti-gun? 1:15 Dan Szymborski: Depends on the situation. I’m not interested personally in owning a gun. 1:15 Dan Szymborski: I’m one of those rare people who has had membership in the ACLU and the NRA simultaneously 1:15 Matt: Is the Bassoon the most under appreciated orchestral instrument? GO! 1:15 Dan Szymborski: Bassoons are a great instrument. I wish there were more post-classical bassoon concertos 1:16 Dan Szymborski: Well, romantic eras – bassoons came back in the 20th century 1:17 Dan Szymborski: Bought from Weber to like 1950, there were very few significant bassoon concertos, none by the first-tier composers 1:17 The Dude: “Carson Cistulli is a leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agate ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch” -William Shakespeare 1:17 Blue Cat: Ever wonder if time travel does exist, and this timeline is the optimal timeline of all the timelines, as judged by the future, and that everything would just be worse without pol pot, hitler, etc? 1:18 Dan Szymborski: Like most, I wonder, though it’s probably not possible. 1:18 greg: Did you finish the “let’s play every NES game” 1:18 Dan Szymborski: Yes 1:18 The Dude: Are you looking forward for the Hateful Eight? 1:18 Dan Szymborski: Should be fun 1:19 Brice: Have you ever played Hardball 5? One of the greatest baseball games ever made? Yes or yes. 1:19 Dan Szymborski: i don’t think I played after Hardball III because the Tony La Russa games were otu 1:19 j6takish: Vah-JJ Hardy 1:19 Home Run Dabbing: MLB commissions someone / a band to rewrite “Take Me out to the Ballgame”. Who do you want to see re-write it? 1:19 Dan Szymborski: Danny Elfman 1:19 Derek: What’s the MLB comp to Jar-Jar Binks? 1:19 Dan Szymborski: Amaro? 1:19 Brandon: Your house is on fire. You only have time to save 1 cat. Which is it? 1:19 Dan Szymborski: The cat that is closest. 1:20 Dan Szymborski: And failing that, the cat with the greatest life expectancy remaining, which would be Mercutio 1:20 hscer: Who are the top 5 presidents anyway. 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Dunno 1:20 Druidiful: How much caffeine do you consume in a normal day? 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Whatever’s in a coke or two, usually one. I don’t drink much coffee 1:20 Alfred Pennyworth: Wedding guest dinner selection- the chicken, fish, meat or non-meat alternative? 1:20 Dan Szymborski: chicken 1:20 hscer: I like South Park’s conspiracy theory that conspiracy theories are started by the government so that people think they are competent. 1:21 The Dude: If you could violate one of Newton’s Laws of Motion, which one would it be and why? 1:21 Dan Szymborski: Third Law – then I could punch stuff without it hurting 1:21 ar: that your hitler episode would be a GREAT black mirror ep 1:21 Druidiful: Do you believe in magic? Or would you like to believe in magic? 1:21 Dan Szymborski: I do not believe in magic, I believe in physical processes that we may not be able to sufficiently explain at present. 1:22 Dan Szymborski: I *would* like to believe in magic. I think a lot about faith and mortality. I see a lot of what people can get from faith, how it inspires them, reassures them, and I *wish* I was the type of person that didin’t mostly care about what is and what isn’t 1:23 Dan Szymborski: I’m an agnostic and see no evidence for the existence of a god, at least in the sense that the religions generally portray a deity 1:24 Dan Szymborski: But despite the negative things of religion, which we see a lot, is something that can inspire Bach or many composers or the great works of art, or underpin some of the sacrifices people have made of themselves for their faith, even if the facts aren’t true, isn’t there stil lsomething real abou tit? 1:24 hscer: George Will is fond of pointing out that Americans spend more annually on Halloween than elections. 1:24 Rick Rubin: Do you have a particular musician / band that you listen to in order to “get in the zone” before running ZiPS for a team? 1:25 Dan Szymborski: No, I don’t need motivation 1:25 Justin: I just learned my girlfriend has never seen “Die Hard.” Do we need to schedule a viewing immediately, or can it wait until this weekend? 1:25 Dan Szymborski: She shoudln’t be at work today, but watching Die Hard 1:25 hscer: Common-sense gun reforms or a legal definition of common sense 1:25 Dan Szymborski: Despite my libertarian tendencies, as I’ve said, I’m a pragmatic gradualist, not a revolutionary. I have no real issue with common-sense gun reforms 1:26 Dan Szymborski: The problem is, I don’t trust the Democrats on common-sense gun reforms any more than I trust Republicans on common-sense abortion reforms 1:26 976: Do you get any perks for working for Disney? Like lunch with Mickey or Star Wars previews? 1:26 Dan Szymborski: Nothing like this, but I tend not to ask. 1:26 mtsw: People make fun of dumb stuff Dave Stewart says, but if you were a GM wouldn’t you kinda want to say nonsensical BS to the press to get people to underestimate you? (this may be what Dan Duquette actually does). 1:26 Dan Szymborski: I don’t have that much guile. 1:26 hscer: would For No One have been better with a bassoon? 1:26 Dan Szymborski: No, that was Alan Civil on the horn, wasn’t it? 1:26 Derek: Favorite fiction/non-fiction/baseball book? 1:27 Dan Szymborski: That’s hard to say as it varies depending on mood 1:27 Dan Szymborski: Today it might be Crying of Lot 49 1:28 Dan Szymborski: Tomorrow it might be Under the Volcano 1:28 Dan Szymborski: The next day maybe a WWII book 1:28 askjeeves: Have your cats been up to anything entertaining (or sinister) recently 1:28 Dan Szymborski: Nothing of note lately that’s particularly interesting. 1:28 Dan Szymborski: Wait, Reagan did get scared by a spider 1:29 Dan Szymborski: It crawled behind her and touched her tail and she freaked out and ran a way 1:29 The Dude: Today, there was a guy playing guitar in the subway station glaring at another guy playing French Horn about 40 ft away. By the time my train came, it looked like a full blown music jam was about to go down. Sensing the impending danger, a guy playing the flute (the weakest of the three instruments) made sure to play one platform above. 1:29 mtsw: Everyone’s in favor of not messing with the timeline until Baby Hitler is burning you at the stake, Pangloss style. 1:29 The Dude: Favorite Tarantino film? 1:30 Dan Szymborski: Still Pulp Fiction, which seems like such a boring pick. 1:30 hscer: Per this very chat, clearly were are not in the best possible timeline if Cistulli is still alive. 1:30 Blue Cat: I’ve had a big WW1 obsession of late, which includes discovering that the standard storyline taught in schools about the war is, in many respects, demonstratively false given new research in last 20 years. Have you ever had a pet topic where you’ve found that the common narrative is critically flawed at a factual (v opinion) level? 1:30 Dan Szymborski: Hmm, I’m not sure really 1:30 Dan Szymborski: The idea that Hitler could’ve won the WWII is still obnoxious 1:31 Dan Szymborski: He could have won WWII if he wasn’t Hitler. 1:31 Dan Szymborski: But he *was* Hitler and he made ideological choices that made it impossible to win 1:31 Dan Szymborski: A mediterranean strategy would hvae been far better than getting involved with the soviet union 1:32 Dan Szymborski: And during invasions of Soviet Union, Germans actually acting like liberators given Stalin’s enemies would have been much smarter 1:32 Dan Szymborski: But Hitler did Hitler stuff and thankfully, Germany lost the war 1:32 Guest: At least Jose Canseco is doing SOMETHING ABOUT OUR PLANET’S CLIMATE CRISIS, DAN 1:32 Christian: I purchased a holiday gift basket at work with tons of candy in it. How do I prevent myself from getting diabetes over the next 10 hours? 1:32 Dan Szymborski: Exercise? 1:32 Derek: Would you rather give up cheese or be forced to only drink Smirnoff Ice as your only alcoholic beverage for a year? 1:33 Dan Szymborski: Give up alcohol 1:33 The Dude: I always felt bad for people in DC because they actually have taxation without representation. 1:33 Dan Szymborski: Meh, they choose to live in DC 1:33 Dan Szymborski: Complaining about lack of representation in DC is like living in Alaska and complaining about the cold. 1:33 Derek: Do you think it’s harmful for children later in life to believe in fairy tales later during their youth? Like Santa Claus? 1:34 Dan Szymborski: I doubt it’s actually harmful. Growing up, my parents would never tell me a lie. 1:34 Clark: Prior to the Revolutionary War, would you say that the economic modalities, especially in the southern colonies, could most aptly be characterized as agrarian, pre-capitalist? 1:34 Dan Szymborski: I do not think it’s unfair. 1:34 Blue Cat: on the gun thing, do you think it is disingenuous of gun control advocates to include suicides in their gun death statistics to support their arguments? 1:34 Dan Szymborski: Yes. 1:35 Dan Szymborski: I believe suicide is every person’s ultimate right and why I would urge anybody with a loved one to dissuade them any way they can, I don’t see how it’s wrong from a rights perspective. 1:35 Dan Szymborski: My dad never got over Vietnam and slowly killed himself with absurd amounts of alcohol. That’s not an argument to ban alcohol. 1:35 Henry Ford: The AMC Gremlin is the most under-rated car of the 70’s. True or False? 1:36 Dan Szymborski: can’t say, I was a year and half old when the 70s ended and I’m not a classic car buff 1:36 The Dude: Monty Python or Faulty towers? 1:36 Dan Szymborski: Monty Python 1:36 CardsFan12: What’s the number it would take for you to sell exclusive rights of ZIPS to an mlb team? 1:36 Dan Szymborski: Don’t know the figure, but it would have to be larger than the difference between my lifetime earning potential with ZiPS and without ZiPS 1:36 Dan Szymborski: I could still write baseball just fine without ZiPS but truth is, it’s a quite useful tool 1:36 mtsw: Better shot at winning the war: Hitler or confederacy? 1:36 Dan Szymborski: Confederacy 1:36 The Dude: Russia is God’s way of making sure egomaniacal dictators don’t take control of al of Europe (see Hitler, Napoleon). 1:36 The Dude: If I create a tautology club, I will have created a tautology club. 1:37 Roman Reigns: Did I spear you last night or were you one of the few spared? 1:37 Dan Szymborski: I do not believe anyone speared me. 1:37 mtsw: I’m nearly 30, and sort of believe that anyone in their early 20s is too young to be trusted with basically anything. At what age do you consider someone “fully” an adult? 1:37 Dan Szymborski: 30. 1:37 The Dude: When I was four, I was suspicious if the tooth fairy existed, so I secretly placed a camera on my nightstand. 1:38 Dan Szymborski: My parents told me the exact truth, no sugar coating, for everything I ever asked as a child 1:38 Dan Szymborski: I was 4 when I asked what happens when you die and my grandfather gave me reading material on putrefaction. 1:38 Notariate: How often do you frequent Banknotes Industries? 1:38 Dan Szymborski: Not as often as I should 1:38 The Dude: Are some numbers intrinsically better than others? 1:38 Dan Szymborski: No 1:39 Guest: What do you make of Robert Nosick walking back from Anarchy State & Utopia? 1:39 Dan Szymborski: People believe different things at different parts of their lives. 1:39 Dan Szymborski: And now that I’m caught up. END. 1:39 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyboyd!