Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 3/19/2020

 1:03 Mac: Does ZiPS come with standard deviations? If so who has the largest assuming you’re able to leave playing time out of equation (Otherwise it would just be the large difference between healthy Trout and out for the season Trout)?
 1:03 Dan Szymborski: Happy Thursday!
 1:03 Dan Szymborski: I don’t specifically spit out a standard deviation, but I do it from the other side: specific events and the probability of those (like a .300 BA, 40 HR, etc)
 1:04 Dan Szymborski: And I have projectile percentages in beta right now as I work out the kinks, mainly due to defensive volatility and projections
 1:04 LAXTONTO: Can you do my online recordings for my grad students for me?
 1:04 Aceman: Dynasty

 1:04 LAXTONTO: I like pizza and beer… do you like pizza and beer?
 1:05 Dan Szymborski: Do I have ot know the material? I could read something, though I don’t know why anyone would want to hear my voice unless they were seeking out me specifically
 1:06 TKDC: I’ve been working from home for four days and I’ve determined I’d rather dig ditches for a living than do this. How on Earth does one manage this full time? Perhaps baseball on TV makes a big difference.
 1:06 Dan Szymborski: I’ve got a lot of fun stuff to do at my house!
 1:06 Dan Szymborski: And you learn to multitask a lot of things at once to keep you moving.
 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Before the chat, I was playing Anno 1800, listening to Nielsen symphonies, working on my peice for tomorrow, and discussing an idea I have to live stream Opening Day on FanGraphs with MLBtheShow and us casting!
 1:08 Dave: Are we going to see bold predictions coming soon?
 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Bold: There will be some games in 2020.
 1:08 LAXTONTO: Can you set up an optimization algorithm around ZIPS to determine the optimal season length for each team to have the greatest likelihood for making the playoffs..
 1:08 Dan Szymborski: I could, though it might not be interesting.
 1:09 Dan Szymborski: For great teams, it’s always going to be more, for lousy teams, less. It’s the middle class that is interesting
 1:09 LAXTONTO: This forced isolation sucks man
 1:09 Aceman: Dynasty,Can receive either Bo or Glyber on my end of trade….who you like?I’m leaning Bo
 1:09 Dan Szymborski: I’d personally go Gleyber but I like Boba Chett, too.
 1:09 LAXTONTO: They would be very surprised that it wasnt me
 1:09 Mookie: Any fun trade ideas for the Dodgers moving Joc Pederson before the season?
 1:09 Dan Szymborski: It’s really too bad the Angels trade did not go through.
 1:09 Dan Szymborski: I thought both teams actually got a benefit
 1:09 Dan Szymborski: And the Angels should have stayed with it. They need Joc, I think
 1:10 Sir Nerdlington: Can you speculate on why teams work similar 162 projections had vastly different 81-game projections? League differences, player variability, health, ???
 1:10 Dan Szymborski: There are a few things. One, team quality is wider because stuff “evens out” less.
 1:10 Dan Szymborski: And things like injuries don’t proportionally get shorter.
 1:10 Dan Szymborski: In a 15 game season, *every* injury that requires an IL trip means the player is out for the entire season
 1:10 LAXTONTO: Who is having a harder time with this forced isolation? You or the cats? I know they are probaly saying “Does he EVER leave”?
 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I think me because my mom comes around constantly since *she’s* in isolation (across the street)
 1:12 Dan Szymborski: It took her two days of working at home for her to start re-thinking her retirement in August.
 1:12 Dan Szymborski: She’s been bored and bugging me non-stopper than usual
 1:12 Andrew: Could you see the minor league season being canceled and instead they just play games at their spring training sites? Could play through November
 1:12 Dan Szymborski: That is a possibility
 1:12 Dan Szymborski: I think full crowds *might* be out this year for MLB. But I think the situation might get to the point they can at least play at empty stadiums.
 1:12 Dan Szymborski: There’s a *lot* of TV money at stake
 1:13 Dan Szymborski: and I think they’ll do any desperate idea to keep from there not being a season at all.
 1:13 DB8: Yeah, no excuse now not to clean out the garage, closet, sock drawer, spider webs, where’s my shovel!
 1:13 DJ Tanner: Have you played OOTP? I just preordered for their release tomorrow and am hoping it will be a fun alternative to no real baseball or fantasy baseball
 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Yup, every year! And initial OOTP abilities are set by ZiPS
 1:13 Piels25: Assuming a shortened season, everything I’m reading seems to indicate a narrower range of outcomes for SPs that hitters.  Meaning the top-tier SPs are worth less b/c they’re not getting 30 starts and 200+ IPs, and guys on a potential innings count (i.e. Luzardo) are now more valuable.  Agree/disagree/neutral?
 1:14 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it’s for that reason, but the uncertainty of pitchers makes them more even, especially injuries
 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Though it will help the IP count guys
 1:14 Wingman: Can you explain why, these things the way they are, really why is that?  Why are things like that?
 1:14 Dan Szymborski: It’s our quantum state!
 1:14 GalloDongs: What percentage do you think that we don’t play any MLB games this season?
 1:14 Dan Szymborski: 20%
 1:14 LAXTONTO: What is your favorite non sports/ non wrestling game of all time?
 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Final Fantasy VI
 1:16 Anonymous: How can Wander Franco hit 3 HR in 223 PA and get projected for 60 Game / 60 Raw?
 1:16 Dan Szymborski: Nobody hits homers in the FSL
 1:16 Dan Szymborski: And he’s 18.
 1:16 Dan Szymborski: And also, Eric has a chat! Dan’s not in Eric’s head which would be weird
 1:16 Cam: How big an upgrade is Anno 1800 from 1440? Worth having to purchase a brand new PC for?
 1:17 Dan Szymborski: It’s an excellent game. And it’s a *different* game too.
 1:17 Dan Szymborski: The system requirements are fairly high. Anno 1800 has a lot going on on the screen and there are a lot of calculations
 1:17 LAXTONTO: So if the teams lose the season, what happens to service time?
 1:17 Dan Szymborski: No idea, I imagine it freezes, which is why players will likely risk a lot to make sure there are some games
 1:17 LAXTONTO: Am I a bad person becuase I have never played any of the Final Fantasy games?
 1:17 Dan Szymborski: They might not be your cup of tea, which is fine
 1:18 Dan Szymborski: Man, many smart and wonderful people enjoy watching association football. I do not. I loved playing sports as a kid EXCEPT soccer, which I found every excuse to weasel out of when we did it in gym class
 1:18 Dan Szymborski: I try to watch the World Cup every time and I just literally doze off
 1:18 Seeforman: How are your home gym workouts coming along? BSOYL?
 1:19 Dan Szymborski: ,,,
 1:19 DB8: I’m getting my fix with 5 StratOmatic teams and midway of a slow draft on NFC, I need stats! Stat!
 1:19 Corned beef hash: Do we know if tomorrow’s opt out date for veterans on minor league deals is still in effect?
 1:19 Dan Szymborski: No idea, I would guess not
 1:19 Guest: I listened to lebatard and Stugotz last week and Stugotz had chicken cutlet, melted cheddar, light mayo, lettuce, salt, and pepper. I think you should provide us your top 10 sandwiches
 1:19 Dan Szymborski: That’s more of an Eno question! I go with what’s in my fridge
 1:19 Dan Szymborski: I do enjoy various salami and I’m a big fan of speck. And I like really horribly fragrant cheeses like limburger
 1:20 Dan Szymborski: I dont’ really care for the whole _____ salad genre, except for egg salad.
 1:20 Chris: No draft would suck
 1:20 Dbo: Stugotz’s full Top 1010) PB&J on toast9) Meatball parm sub8) Cheesesteak7) BLT6) Turkey and Roast Beef Sub5) Tuna on toast with ruffle chips4) Turkey Club3) The patty melt2) Grilled cheese with tomato and bacon1) Chicken cutlet, melted cheddar, lettuce, mayo, salt and pepper
 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Cheesesteak would be at my top
 1:20 Dan Szymborski: It took me a long time to test out enough cheesesteaks to find adequate ones here in Chicago
 1:21 Dan Szymborski: I wasn’t from Philly, but Baltimore area is close enough to Philly that you do get a lot of transplants that can do it right
 1:21 Dan Szymborski: Dalessandro’s should move to my town!
 1:21 Dan Szymborski: WTF?
 1:21 Dbo: Monty’s in Chicago is a pretty good cheesesteak
 1:21 DJ Tanner: So if abilities are set by ZiPS, I would think you have a leg up on the competition when playing the game right? Who are some ZiPS prospect darlings I should target early?
 1:21 Dan Szymborski: GLEYBER
 1:21 DJ Tanner: The time freeze works both ways though if there’s no season. Would Hosmer get 6 more years if there’s no season this year? Man that would only add to the terribleness of bad contracts!
 1:22 Dan Szymborski: oh god
 1:22 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t consider that
 1:22 Dan Szymborski: I’m actually…unsure
 1:22 Dan Szymborski: I think unlike service time, the contracts expire the normal year since they don’t go by service time
 1:22 Dan Szymborski: BUt I’m just pulling that out of my butt
 1:23 Dbo: How do you feel about potato chips on your sandwich, I think it adds a good crunch and salt
 1:23 Dan Szymborski: Eh, I like potato chips as their own component
 1:23 LAXTONTO: hmmm…. Top Sandwich list?
 1:23 Morbo: I’m in the process of making homemade corned beef. It will be ready to cook tomorrow. I plan on lightly smoking if for a couple hours before I boil it. I can’t wait to make a sandwich with it.
 1:23 Dan Szymborski: I have made both corned beef and pastrami before!
 1:23 Dbo: Do you subscribe the the theory that the houston astros started this pandemic to get people to stop talking about them?
 1:23 Dan Szymborski: Seems reasonable.
 1:27 Morbo: You did this! You trolls!
 1:27 Dbo: It all depends on the consistency, a tuna sandwich is made much better with Lays
 1:27 Dan Szymborski: Now I don’t like canned tuna
 1:27 Dan Szymborski: Tuna has to be fresh and lightly seared. I don’t like canned albacore
 1:27 GalloDongs: Do you still play Hearthstone? Some huge changes are happening with introduction of new hero, changes to priest, f2p economy.
 1:27 Dan Szymborski: I still do and I’m a big fan of all the changes.
 1:28 Dan Szymborski: Except for Spellbreaker. For those who don’t know the card offhand but also know Hearthstone, it’s a four mana 4/3 that mutes. I think that it would have been better to just make the card more mana expensive. I think having *a* silence available serves as a check on the greediest of decks
 1:28 Morbo: Also I uploaded proof that I changed my team name per the poll results to Craig’s chat last week. He refused to post the scree shot but did confirm that I changed my team name.
 1:28 Guest: Wander Franco player comparable in the future? Who do you think he will be? Floor and ceiling.
 1:29 Dan Szymborski: Players like Franco tend to succeed; he’s amazingly good at a very young age
 1:29 Dan Szymborski: The ceiling is unlimited.
 1:29 Dan Szymborski: I think his floor is Carlos Gomez.
 1:29 Dbo: What are you doing in Chicago?
 1:29 Dan Szymborski: I’m not in Chicago!
 1:30 Dan Szymborski: But we have a very slow chat possibly because of the different time
 1:30 Jason N: Your chili recipe is confusing:  Meat + spices + masa harina = tamales.  Do you eat your chili out of a corn husk?  Pro tip:  tamales are great with a side of delicious beans.
 1:30 Dan Szymborski: The ratios are very different
 1:30 Dan Szymborski: A tiny amount of masa goes into chili just to thicken it slightly so it sticks together better
 1:30 LAXTONTO: So what should I be working on now? Im tired of listening to myself talk to the computer
 1:30 Dan Szymborski: Vaccine!
 1:30 Slapshot: What kind of cheese does Dan like on his cheesesteak?
 1:31 Dan Szymborski: Whiz or provolone
 1:31 Morbo: Dbo that would be a very Astros thing to do
 1:31 Anonymous: which Ferengi Rule of Acquisition is most applicable to MLB’s forthcoming work-stoppage
 1:31
 1:31 Dan Szymborski: I always loved those rules of acquisition
 1:31 Dan Szymborski: I’ve used “dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack” before.
 1:32 Dan Szymborski: Sometimes, the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.
 1:32 LAXTONTO: I avoid canned meats… but I like bodan and sausage…
 1:32 Tel: Seems like if players got paid for the no season then it would use up a year of their contract.  If not then their contract would have to extend for another season.
 1:33 Dan Szymborski: I…don’t know
 1:33 Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: The 2nd waves in SK and China pretty much show that the the 2020 season is toast.  What you’ll more than likely see, once the curve flattens, is local teams playing exhibition games, i.e. Dodgers/Angels, Yankees/Mets, Marlins/Rays, etc., to empty stadiums.  However, they will be given the promo of the NY post 9/11 games.
 1:33 Dan Szymborski: We’re still sorting that out.
 1:33 Dan Szymborski: I think fanless games would be more likely in a second wave.
 1:33 Dan Szymborski: And they’ve made the case that a lot of the new cases are people returning
 1:34 Dan Szymborski: I think South Korea’s numbers are more likely accurate than China’s
 1:34 LAXTONTO: I would love fanless games just to give me a distraction for a bit
 1:35 Dan Szymborski: I think the reason that they didn’t explore the possibility of fanless games more is *because* they have hope for a relatively normal mini-season. If things develop that make that a possibility, I think they’ll be more interested in trying to do that
 1:35 Dan Szymborski: make that an impossibility
 1:35 LAXTONTO: So what % increase above normal do you think the birth rate will be in Jan-Mar of 2021?
 1:36 Dan Szymborski: It’ shard to say
 1:36 Dan Szymborski: People are home
 1:36 Dan Szymborski: but might be shyer about…contact
 1:36 Anonymous: how many wins would a team of 12 Wander Franco’s and 13 MacKenzie Gore’s have in a 162-game season?
 1:37 Dan Szymborski: Would be fun to write that up at some point. With no baseball games, I can’t afford to waste any good story ideas! lol
 1:37 timmydarth: as a mariners season ticket holder, there has been no reach out as to how they will proceed with refunding/reimbursing us.  most of us, i think, just pay up front rather than use the installment plan.  anyway, after seeing the whole cleveland debacle, i’m curious as to why and economics or front office person would do anything other than say “just wait a couple weeks and see”.  seems very tone deaf and am curious if teams are really that cash poor.
 1:37 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think that they’re cash poor so much as they really like to spend your cash intsead of theirs
 1:39 LAXTONTO: Did you see the WV now allows togo alcohol sales at restaurants due to COVID-19… will that be a thing in Ohio?
 1:39 Dan Szymborski: I’ve ordered from more than one restaurant that was just delivering beer. I think restaurants assume — probably correctly — that the state will look the other way at the moment.
 1:39 Tennessee: Hypothetically, if we could know that an 81-game season were to start on July 1, would there be updated zips for individuals for that season?
 1:39 Dan Szymborski: No, because I don’t really have any basis to make changes
 1:39 Dbo: Cat update please
 1:40 Dan Szymborski: They’re all sleeping upstairs. Lazy hunks of feline!
 1:40 Dan Szymborski: Beanball incoming. 19 Mar 2020
 1:41 Dbo: If they’re cancelling events with large crowds then why are they cancelling Orioles games?
 1:41 LAXTONTO: Anyone know whatever happened to Star Citizen?
 1:42 Dan Szymborski: It’s been in open beta for like a decade now! lol
 1:43 Dbo: I have the Bioshock collection, God of War, and Horizon Zero Dawn all queued up on my PS4 but my gf is also working from home so I cant play with her watching, what should I do?
 1:43 Dan Szymborski: Does she care to watch?
 1:43 LAXTONTO: Are you going to get the new DOOM?
 1:43 Dan Szymborski: Probably not as that’s not my favorite FPS genre
 1:44 cp: NFBC has set a firm deadline now for all their drafts, that means we won’t have a true sense of the final 26 man rosters.  What’s your recommendation for fringe guys (Kevin Cron) for example?
 1:44 Dan Szymborski: I think without specifics, there really isn’t much of an argument for changes
 1:44 TarzanStretch: If they have a shortened season and 10 games in a player tests positive for C-19 does the team go into quarantine for 2 weeks?  What happens to the schedule then?
 1:44 Dan Szymborski: I have no idea!
 1:44 Dan Szymborski: I think players will still be quarantined.
 1:45 cp: So youre saying you think this season is a wash?
 1:46 Dan Szymborski: I literally have no idea what’s going to happen!
 1:46 Morbo: I really wish MLB The Show was on PC. I don’t typically like playing sports based video games but I NEED MY BASEBALL FIX. arm scratching intensifies
 1:46 Dan Szymborski: It will be next year in all likelihood!
 1:46 Dbo: Can the cubs claim the world series if there is no season?
 1:46 Dan Szymborski: No
 1:47 Morbo: But there will also be baseball next year, hopefully.
 1:47 Dbo: Can I claim the world series if there is no season?
 1:47 Nick: I miss baseball!!
 1:47 BEN GAMEL GRADE 80 HAIR: `Dan - what is your favorite team to play as in OOTP?`
 1:48 Dan Szymborski: Don’t really havea  favorite. I usually like to start with a rebuilding team though
 1:48 Morbo: If there is no season the Nationals are world series champs
 1:48 Dbo: Why isn’t giadinera more of a thing around the country? Cities outside of Chicago are missing out
 1:48 Dan Szymborski: I don’t care for things that have any cauliflower in them
 1:49 Guest: cauliflower is GREAT, but does have some after affects
 1:49 Dan Szymborski: I don’t like cauliflower or broccoli
 1:50 nlites09@aol.com: Sorry, first timer,
 1:50 Morbo: cauliflower is not a required ingredient in giadinera
 1:51 Dan Szymborski: But everyone includes it
 1:51 Dbo: How have you liked the move from fangraphs to ESPN since its been over a year now
 1:51 Dan Szymborski: Nearly two years!
 1:51 Dan Szymborski: I have no complaints. David’s a tremendous boss.
 1:51 Dbo: What if you pretend the broccoli is like trees and your a dinosaur eating them?
 1:51 Dan Szymborski: Then I’ll go extinct
 1:51 Bob II: How many deaths were caused by Spanish flu caught at baseball games from 1918-20?
 1:51 Dan Szymborski: No idea
 1:51 ben: Cat update?
 1:51 Dan Szymborski: All upstairs sleeping
 1:51 nlites09: sorry, first timer
 1:51 Terry: first timer, got to have something to talk about
 1:52 Morbo: St. Louis has cauliflower free giardinera
 1:53 Dan Szymborski: But they also have provel, which I try to stay away from
 1:53 nlites: so, now I think this is my screen name
 1:53 Dbo: St Louis cuts their bagels like monsters!
 1:53 Dan Szymborski: YES
 1:53 Dan Szymborski:
 1:53 Dan Szymborski: JFC
 1:53 Stephen Abootman: That video is hilarious! Is that a standard feature in the game or what?
 1:53 Dan Szymborski: There are a lot of silly home run trots and bat flips
 1:54 Dan Szymborski: Last season’s righty bat flips
 1:54 Dan Szymborski: One of many reasons to play MLB the Show: The bat flips. Here are the ones available for righties. 23 Jan 2020
 1:55 Dan Szymborski: And the left-handed ones. 23 Jan 2020
 1:57 Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: If the Nationals don’t play a game this year to get their rings, can we just void the 2019 WS?
 1:57 Morbo: Nlites09, ask dan about chili and the difference between sandwiches and tacos.
 1:57 LAXTONTO: Should I take a nap?
 1:57 Dan Szymborski: Sure
 1:57 Dbo: Why do the Mets keep bringing Tim Tebow in? Its gotta be for the publicity, there’s no way they think he makes the team
 1:57 Dan Szymborski: Publicity
 1:57 LAXTONTO: Why does that guys sorta look like Chris Davis?
 1:57 Dan Szymborski: That was my RTTS character
 1:57 Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: I made chili out of my leftover tomato meat sauce.  Added some cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, more garlic, and, of course, some black and pinto beans.  YUM
 1:57 Dan Szymborski: nice meat bean stew
 1:57 Dbo: I dont think it can be a sandwich if its not bread
 1:58 Dan Szymborski:
 1:58 Dan Szymborski: I’m a structural purist, ingredient rebel
 1:58 Dbo: Like a peanut butter cracker is not a sandwich, a croissant is not a sandwich because it has butter instead of just yeast, flour, and water
 1:58 Dbo: A CROISSANWICH IS NOT A SANDWICH!
 1:58 Morbo: Dbo “St Louis cuts their bagels like monsters!” I don’t know where this rumor started but it is false. I have never seen a bagel cut like that here, ever
 1:58 nlites: OK, best Chili?  I like mine with beans…
 1:58 Dan Szymborski: Nothing wrong with meat and bean stew!
 1:59 Bob II: they gonna keep the bat kiss flip in the game now?
 1:59 nlites: who will be the first manager fired without managing a game?
 1:59 Dan Szymborski: Beltran!
 1:59 Anonymous: That alignment chart doesn’t work, because a Radical would not claim the Sub is not a sandwich
 1:59 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Article idea: you know all about historical battles. Choose some battles and then identify the individual baseball games that most resemble them. Do it through ZiPS, do it with your judgment, whatever you want. Trick us into learning.
 2:00 Stephen Abootman: Those were also quite enjoyable. I just can’t figure out which park that is where the backstop is a giant bedroom door and wall.
 2:00 Dan: In interest of silly articles that don’t need real baseball games to be written. You and your six favorite billionaires start a team. You dare eachother to form a winning team with the least amount of major leaguers. Whoever bids the lowest number picks the team and fills the rest of the 40 man roster with AA non prospects. After that it operates like a normal team. How would that play out?
 2:01 nlites: Oh, APBA GO is a good game to spend time without real baseball
 2:01 Morbo: Dan loves skyline chili
 2:01 Dan Szymborski: STOP SPREADING LIES
 2:01 Dan Szymborski: END CHATR
 2:01 Dan Szymborski: (It was end time anyway). Craig is chatting in a little while!

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Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.