Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 5/19/22

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And we are here as this is a chat!

12:01
Guest: Martin Perez is on a tear! Small sample luck? Better pitch mix? Dead ball? Can any of this be sustainable?

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The dead ball helps him a bit. His cutter’s generally been working, and his peripheral numbers have improved too. He’s had runs where his cutter’s been working and he’s been effective, but he has had trouble keeping that up

12:02
M.F. Luder: Is there any hope for Alex Verdugo?

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, in fact, he has better advanced hitting stats better than most guys playing that poorly

12:04
Joey Baggadonuts: If/when the Nats call up Luis Garcia, what do you expect to see from him rest-of-season? He’s absolutely crushed AAA while being quite young for the level; Steamer seems like it’s underselling him…

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think thsoe 310/430 projections are all that unobtainable

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A month of AAA isn’t going to change things that much

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and when translating, you have to remember that offense didn’t collapse in the minors

12:06
Oddball Herrera: Is Tyler O’Neill: Memphis Redbird in our near future? I haven’t seen a talented guy so overmatched at the plate since early career Buxton

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think so. This year is weird, ball -wise, and there are some odd dropoffs from power guys

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And really, what’s he going to learn at this point from beating up a AAA pitcher in a far more friendly pitching environment?

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: errr hitting

12:06
Guest: What is Spencer Strider’s role moving forward?  It looks like they will use him as a setup guy, as opposed to a bulk guy or 5th starter.

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It seems they want him in higher leverage innings, which generally means fewer of them since they’re situational

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do hope he eventually ends up in the rtoation

12:07
Number20: Does ZiPS take into consideration a player’s usage as DH or PH when projecting forward?

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, ZiPS only knows the past

12:08
Garvey Martigs: I know y’all wrote the Nestor Cortes piece already a few weeks back, but gawh dang he has been filthier since then!!!

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He keeps finding new gears!

12:08
barney gumble: hey Ben. do you think Gleyber Torres has figured out something that works for him? more barrels AND more contact.

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: BEN’S NOT HERE MAN

12:09
YOKOZUNA: Michael Busch homered in his first AAA game. Realistic chance he’s up before the break?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That might be a BIT quick, but it could happen depending on injuries and the like

12:10
Father of Garvey Martigs: Which current mediocre Pirates reliever will become a star with their new team when they’re traded away at the deadline?

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: [color: rgba(var(–sk_primary_foreground,29,28,29),1);]Ben Clemens[/color]  [color: rgba(var(–sk_foreground_max_solid,97,96,97),1);]12:09[/color]
haha hey that’s me! I feel like I got asked the same question, in fact
New
[color: rgba(var(–sk_foreground_max_solid,97,96,97),1);]12:10[/color]
I’d say I’m glad he’s being more aggressive swinging b/c I think that suits his game better. Glad to see him hitting again; he’s super talented so sure, I can buy him figuring it out

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was gonna say Sam Howard, but the Tigers claimed him last week

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Duane Underwood I think

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: His stuff is generally better than K rate IMO

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and if he becomes prominent, I might not accidentally call him Blair Underwood occasionally

12:13
Roman: Certain Padres have adopted an extremely patient approach this season, with Grisham, Crone, Profar and Kim among the leaders in lowest Swing% and Z-Swing%. As the O-Swing% hasnt moved much, you have to think it’s intentional. With the deadball, has taking a strike (with the possibility of it being a ball) become less harmful compared to the benefit of swinging (since you aren’t hitting a HR anyway)?

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I haven’t studied it, but I think it’s a reasonable hypothesis

12:14
M.F. Luder: Does the brief Gary Sanchez resurgance seem legit to you?

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not TOTALLY convinced, but he may have pushed things up to the wrC+ 110 range

12:15
Joe: Would you put Mike King in the rotation?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On a lot of teams I would, but not as the Yankees

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Yankees are in a position in which being risk-averse is logical

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They have five healthy starting pitchers right now, the rotation is second in ERA and third in WAR. They have a 5 1/2 game lead. Is *this* the time to stretch out King outside of the role he’s had what looks to be a big breakout?

12:19
Greg: David Bednar is the best pitcher in baseball history

12:20
Dusty Baker: JV has been great coming back from TJ, but should I be concerned by his lower K/9 and swinging strike numbers?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Only if youre baseline is pre-TJ Verlander

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: youre?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yikes

12:22
Insert Witty Name Here: How many games do you think we get from Buxton this year?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ll say 100. Would like more of course!

12:23
Dan: It seems like that is a lotmore talent in right field and center. Am I mistaken? Assuming I’m not is there a reason for there or is it just a fluke?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think marginally8, but you can’t expect talent to be evenly distributed at all times

12:24
Ben: Is Marcus Semien this bad?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

12:24
Cory: Why are the Blue Jays hitting so poorly with runners in scoring position? Related, do you think the deadened ball has affected them more than other teams?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve never found this to be predictive and there’s no overwhelming reason for me to think otherwise

12:25
Dodgers Fan: Do You think Paul Blackburn is for real?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This good? I think he’s got a rather thin margin of error, though I think he has improved

12:25
Guest: Loved the piece about young players who deserve long-term deals. The biggest surprise for me is Andres Gimenez hitting the ball much harder. NEVER thought that frame would support that sort of development. Was it something you saw coming on?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Some things I see.

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This I did not.

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though people overrate frame stuff I think

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Altuve can fit in a lot of carry on suitcases

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And every year some people complain about ZiPS having Ozzie Albies continuing to hit for power

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And he continues to hit for power

12:27
Robby Neyer: Ben, Dan…you’re all just one archetypal Statnerd to us

12:27
barney gumble: I am mortified that I called you Ben. please accept my most sincere apologies, I do not deserve to have my question answered

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hey8, I got you Ben’s answer!

12:27
Big Joey: You do believe Gallo will go off one of these months….right?

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Still do

12:28
Dayton: Any good reason to why I haven’t called up Vinnie Pasquantino aka the Italian Breakfast?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’re preoccupied with firing the Royals hitting coach for building what is essentially the Royals offense almost every year you’ve been the GM.

12:29
Marc: I say we lock up Mead to a mega deal this offseason and roll with him and Franco for the next decade.. what say you?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would expect the Rays to sign him very quickly

12:29
Doug: Might Taylor Ward actually be one of the best hitters in the game??

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not quite there, but my where keeps getting closer to there from the preseason here

12:29
Guest: We holding nolan gorman if i have 1 na spot ?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depends who is available

12:29
kevinthecomic: Is it just me, or did MLB start using the rabbit ball again this week?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ben and I talked with Dr. Wills this week for FanGraphs Audio (dropping tomorrow) and there’s all sorts of stuff about these things!

12:30
Dude: Is Mookie Betts’ true talent level 140 wRC+, 6 WAR? Still great, but it now looks like 2018 was a bit fluky (or at least, absolute peak).

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that’s about where he is

12:30
kevinthecomic: Please rank in order of likelihood to rebound from an abysmal start: Marcus Semien, Darrin Ruf, Robbie Grossman, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, Wil Myers — thanks!

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Semien, Teoscar, Gurriel, Grossman, Myers, Ruf

12:32
Tim: Is Alex Kirilloff worth much this year?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s a risky proposition – he’s misse da lot of time due to injury

12:32
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: “I wrote about McClanahan and his improved changeup last week, and his seven-inning shutout of the woeful Tigers unsurprisingly isn’t changing my view of him as a pitcher.”
Mr. McClanahan actually gave up one earned run, a solo home run to Jeimer Candelario. Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oops, I got his starts mixed up!

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I watch too many games at once. Ideally I’m not fired!

12:33
Guest: Over/Under on Max Scherzer injury: 6 weeks

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ll say under for now

12:33
John Olerud: Despite Hiura’s heroics yesterday, what do you think about the idea of “challenge”/”change of scenery” trade of Kelenic for Hiura? Who says no? And who is worth more at this current juncture, Kelenic (because of his further distance from arbitration) or Hiura (because of his actually short-lived success in the majors)?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like change of scenery trades, but I still rather have Kelenic

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He at least has a position he can play well

12:36
Smucky the cat: Do you think the twins should have demoted Lewis?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In an ideal world, no

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But the Twins roster makes things kind of tricky.

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unless you want to demote Miranda and play Urshela at first

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and maybe move polanco over to trhird?

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Keeping him right now basically means giving up on Urshela or putting Gordon through waiversor thinning out the pitching staff somewhat

12:39
Liz: Has Franchy Cordero figured it out, or is it too soon to judge? From the eye test he seems much more capable as a major league hitter than last year, and he’ll probably get a lot of time at first if he keeps it up since Shaw was atrocious and Dalbec hasn’t been good at all either.

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Let’s see him prove it AND stay healthy!

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I keep jumping the gun on him and thrice bitten, quace shy

12:39
Mysterio: Christian Yelich: Andrew McCutchen 2. Why do such superstars rapidly decline like this?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The injury probably assisted. People tend to underrate the probability that a start in his late 20s will decline

12:40
Colton: Would you prefer Buehler or Aaron Nola for the rest of the year?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m a Nolaphile, but I can’t turn down Buehler

12:40
Rob Neyer: Bill James doesn’t like WAR. Just sayin.

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Bill does like win shares!

12:41
Gus Chiggins: I had two slices of bread with a beef frank between them.  I duct taped one of the four sides so that the slices effectively hinge.  I slowly ate everything but stopped just short of the crust where the duct tape was.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I’m not sure if I’ve just eaten a hot dog or sandwich.  Please help.

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it was a sandwich, but I’m having trouble visualizing it. You should upload a video so we can judge!

12:42
Greg: Check out the RP “clutch” ratings for 2022 compared to previous seasons:  https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=0…

12:42
Greg: just an aberration, or is something else going on?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I dunno, I’d have to ruminate on this some!

12:42
Bro-ham: Dude, you seem short today in terms of answers…feeling okay?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Am I? I’m usually quite brusque!

12:42
Maddon: Watch a few Angels games. Ward bats with authority – he rarely swings at a bad pitch, and just looks confident, like a star. It is one of the weirdest transformations I’ve seen in recent years.

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, he looks great. But I’ve also learned to be mistrustful of eyes

12:43
Bryan in Boise: read an article the other day about the Nationals being better off trading Juan Soto. What would the Nationals have to get in return to move the best young hitter in baseball?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’ll get a ton, but they’re not going to get a whole top 10 list from a team or anything

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Think Rickey’s trade in 1984

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, the names mostly didn’t end up amazing, but they were all good prospects

12:46
Kevin: is Trevor Rogers the ace we saw last year, or more of a 4.00-4.50 ERA guy?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In the middle

12:46
Bro-ham: John Olerud…never has an MLB player looked more like he could have a second career as a CPA than he.

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I knew which card to find as soon as I saw this question scroll! lol

12:47
M’s Fan: Will the Mariners ever make the playoffs?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Of course!

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I mean future, I’m not being tricksy and counting 2001 and the others

12:49
John: Is Marco Gonzales just one of those weird outliers? Meaning, will his ERA always be much lower than his FIP? You watch him and think there’s no way he can actually get hitters out – and then at the end of the season – his ERA looks pretty, to really good.

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t go THAT far

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: First, remembe rFIP isn’t a park neutral stat

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has the difference after adjustments at about 0.2 runs

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And thought he should outperform by 0.14 based on his history, team and park

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and 698 innings isn’t enough for a rather small difference to be THAT significant

12:52
Farhandrew Zaidman: The automated strike zone in AAA decided to extend the plate by one inch on each side because of…reasons?

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I believe because of the different ways that umpires and rulebooks treat strike zone edge

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Right now, it’s more about testing the consistency and practicality

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not as much correcting umpires

12:53
John: Julio hits the ball hard but has a launch angle of like 5 or 6. Is it as simple as he just needs to elevate more and he’ll add 200 points to his slugging?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not quite THAT easy!

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s complicated.

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You want to work on getting more loft, but if it was *easy* to do than everyone would

12:56
Morbo: Why am I always late to this chat?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: GET A CLOCK, HUYGENS

12:56
Rip Calkin: Is Elias too conservative with prospect promotions (or maybe just still tanking)? Other than maybe gaming Super 2 status, there’s no good reason for Adley and GrayRod to be in AAA, right?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In fairness, Adley was injured

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though I’d probably have calle dhim up already

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And Grayson just debuted in AAA las tmonth

12:57
Steve O: Thoughts on the Orioles pushing back the LF fence? I think it’s comical how their solution to giving up too many homers wasn’t to improve their pitching staff.

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the idea was to be in a more neutral park

12:57
Mysterio: Re: McCutchen and Yelich. It was just so rapid. Cutch when from 6.0 to 1.2 (then back up to a dead-cat bounce of 3.8) age 28-30. Yelich from 7.3 to 0.7 age 27-28. Both seemed to have found a plateau as an OK player, but not the usual slow decline you see from most superstars.

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s a wide assortment of decline types!

12:58
Tough Former Player: OH you think you’re so smart with your “analytics” and your “scare quotes.”  How bout we let the guys play it out on the field.  This isn’t fantasy baseball.  You’ll see.

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do appreciate that you got the period inside the quotation mark!

12:59
Morbo: Greg Minton is an 80 grade CPA name

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Paul Goldschmidt

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kinda like how we find names for other occupations

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For example, Locke St. John is the best soap opera baseball player name since Blake Hawksworth.

12:59
Rip Calkin: I see your Greg Minton and raise you Tom Henke

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Henke looks more like the kid who gets suspended from homeroom for bringing in nunchucks

1:01
Webster: What about Banknotes Harper and his brick phone?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Like you think I wouldn’t know THAT reference instantly

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:02
Bro-ham: Hey, you once mentioned that ZIPs hasn’t missed on a prospect call being a future superstar at a certain threshold…or something like that.  Can you refresh my memory please?  Believe it was in the context of Julio Rodriguez…

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ’twas J-Rod

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: in the Mariners ZiPS

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I mentioned it in the last piece I did!

1:03
Guaku: A neighbor told me he sat on a plane next to a famous baseball player, and he drank Miller lites the whole time.  I asked who it was and he said Wade Boggs.  He is a casual fan at best and had never heard the Boggs airplane story.

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you don’t hang out on Twitter, AI Art of baseball things is the shenanigan I’ve been into this week

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:05
TooDamnTall: I noticed in your interesting long-term deals article that Zips projections are all on a declining slope, even for players going through prime years. (J-Rodriguez did have one slight increase for one year). Does zips usually do this and I have never noticed until now?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: When a player is already REALLY good and at their peak, the skewed risk curve tends to overwhelm the slight improvements possible

1:06
Number20: In evaluating past performance does Zips incorporate any penalty for bats taken as DH or PH?

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: DH, no, because there’s no actual reason to

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Both MGL and I have studied the issue quite a bit and find a lot of evidence that a healthy player playing DH will find it slightly harder to hit than when playing a position

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: PH yes

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because everyone sucks at PH

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I actually found that projections get slightly *more* accurate if you just eliminate PH appearances

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Despite literally destroying data!

1:07
Morbo: John, average launch angle is almost useless. Look at sweetspot% to get an idea for how often Julio hits the ball at optimal angles

1:07
Doumit Paradox: Any chance that Fangraphs and BR sit down and hash out a universal WAR system? There’s some huge discrepancies that weaken the validity of WAR overall –perhaps most notably the almost 7 WAR different in Ryan Doumit’s 2008 season (FG -3.4, BR 3.3). Meaning, how valid can a metric be if one version says a guy is a good regular, and the other one of the worst seasons in baseball history?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But you’re finding the most *stunning* difference

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: rather than a typical difference

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And not focusing also on what the differences *are*

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In the constructions

1:09
Freshbasil: Is there a listing of chat schedules for fangraphs? I’m always late to everything

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On the right side underneath the zips projection table!

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Of the main page

1:10
Bro-ham: You clearly aren’t approaching 30…nothing works as good when you get there…

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, me?

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dude, I’m going to be 44 in a month

1:10
Rip Calkin: How does being in a more neutral park help win games though? It’s not like the team hasn’t been able to contend in that park.

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m of the believe — though I cannot prove it — that it’s a long-term benefit to a team to be able to perform similar at home than in a typical park.

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: belief

1:11
Vic: Will Sixto Sanchez make it to an MLB mound this year?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m hopeful

1:11
Zwak: If an average person who happened to be a master magician/illusionist tried pitching, would they be effective?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s tricky because you kinda need a willing audience and you have to CONTINUE the sleight of hand

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But it would be a fun experiment

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: To have a pitcher who is out with TJ surgery and can’t throw yet

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: to get magic lessons or something

1:12
CeddyBReady: I’m convinced that Coby Mayo is like 70 grade soap opera name. Just sounds made up.

1:12
Rip Calkin: Was Boggs arguing the whole time over who was England’s greatest Prime Minister?

1:12
The Great Giambino: Not sure if you are the right person to direct this to, but hopefully you could point this in the right direction. On a team’s page (i.e. Yankees, Mets, etc.), would it be possible to remove players with 0 PA from the “Batting Stats Leaders” section since we now have the universal DH? Would be a huge quality of life change for me personally

1:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can bring that up

1:14
Guest: When should the White Sox start to panic about their offense?

1:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If Vaughn’s OPS continues to slide and Jimenez has setbacks

1:15
Jim Leyland Palmer: What is the website to generate those images? I’d like to horrify some friends

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not baseball but my favorite so far

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:16
Matt VW: Ryan Mountcastle is a plus plus soap opera name.

1:16
Farhandrew Zaidman: Seconding Giambino’s request.

1:16
Charles Nobbis: Is it pronounced “Szymborski” or “Szymborski”?

1:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: “Smith”

1:16
Webster: Candy Cummings is another interesting name for another interesting profession.

1:16
Zach: Even with the dead ball, Corbin Burnes has already given up more home runs this year than last season. Have you seen anything that may cause the early home run struggle?

1:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not really

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HR/9 divorced from other advanced stats isn’t something to panic about

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because for pitchers, it’s VERY volatile

1:17
Farhandrew Zaidman: I am once again asking the baseball world to put respect on Tony Gonsolin’s name. Dude is sneaky very good!

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Burnes wans’t going to keep the 2021 HR rate any more than Bauer was going to keep the 2018 HR rate

1:17
Bobby: Hader hasn’t given up a run this year yet or in 34 1/3 regular season innings dating back to last season. Is his elite-ness somewhat overlooked with all the hot new relievers popping up?

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he’s sufficiently loved

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OK, let’s start the lightning round

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: at least after the guy who has a two part question and I want to see it before sabotaging him

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But he’s gotta get it ther quickly!

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The rule of the Lightning Round is simple: I have to answer everything so long as it’s not baseball or one of the veto-able subjects (politics, personal life, work)

1:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For example: the guy who keeps asking me to define fetus personhood, I’m not touching that with a 33 1/2 pole held by Jeff Bridich

1:20
Steve O: I have a major board exam in two weeks and I’m sufficiently freaked out. Any advice?

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you were unqualified, you wouldn’t be in a position to take the exam. You’ll either pass it or not, and either you’ll pass and if you don’t, you’ll adjust as people do in life. So it’s best to only worry about what you control and that’s simply knowing the subject and doing the best you can.

1:21
Guest: How do we know if you are not a real human but an online avatar for the neural network…

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You don’t

1:21
Nerd!: Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons?

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, but not a ton as my friends weren’t into that

1:21
Hunter Jesus: What will your main be in WOTLK Classic?

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t really play the classic ones

1:22
Mechanical Pencil Aficionado: What’s your most expensive piece of stationery/pens and pencils?

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think I have like a $3 pen in the kitchen somewhere

1:22
Insert Witty Name Here: if you could live in any decade from history, which decade would it be? You would be your current self.

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Do I get to come back?

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If I get to come back, I’d love to see the 1770s

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I don’t want to live there

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If I can’t, the 2010s are my favorite decade so far

1:23
Roger Federer: Favorite sport other than baseball?

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: football

1:23
M’s Fan: What’s your go to comfort meal?

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: chicken milanese

1:23
Rip Calkin: Most prized possession currently on your desk?

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I guess the computer?

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t really keep souvenirs or tchotchkes

1:23
Person: What are your biggest non-baseball hobbies/interests?

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: classical music, video games, military history

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve played piano since I was 5

1:24
don: do you play mlb the show

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, but not right now as I hvaen’t snagged a PS5 and it would bug me to play the PS4 one knowing the PS5 one exists because I’m a console snob

1:25
Morbo: Can you request to have SweetSpot% added to the statcast metrics on the player pages? Please

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:25
And if so, maybe…: The great pyramid – slave labor, unknown early tech, psychic power, or aliens?

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Slave labor

1:25
Ralph: Fire Emblem fan?

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:25
CeddyBReady: What would be your entrance music at Wrestlemania?

1:26
Rip Calkin: Favorite military historian? I’m partial to John Keegan.

1:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oops sorry

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: first one, I’d use my bumper music that’s used when it’s requested: opening of second movement of prokofiev’s scythian suite

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Partial to fremont-barnes

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (sorry, opening music software for the next Q)

1:29
Robert Bonilla: Favorite song?  Mines mambo #5

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kinks Sunny Afternoon

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: BUT

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If I scroll my music library by most listened to, the top 3 by times listened are

1:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You (Rilo Kiley)

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: O Valencia! (The Decemberists)

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And, which surprises me

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My Beautiful Sinking Ship (Devics)

1:31
Insert Witty Name Here: Favorite thing about the 2020 decade? Least favorite thing about the 2020 decade?

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Getting to vote in Hall if I’m still alive. Pandemic

1:32
Gus Chiggins: I’ve since eaten the duct tape.  I think that renders it a hot dog.

1:32
Mimisiku from J2J: Tim Allen is the worlds finest actor.

1:32
Insert Witty Name Here: Lightening Round Q: If your cats were current MLB players, who would they be?

1:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Trout

1:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because a cat named afte ra fish amuses me

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mookie

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Name the brothers that are always fighting Soto and Acuna

1:33
Morbo: BBQ tacos are the perfect Mexican-American fusion food. This is not a question

1:33
Mayton Doore: Would you eat fugu? Have you eaten fugu?

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not. Maybe

1:33
Zwak: Have you listened to The Weakerthans? I think you might like them based on the songs you listed

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not! Noting this

1:34
Steve O: If you had five years to live (with no decline in mental/physical function) what would you do and where would you go?

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d buy a small house next to a lake and just live it out peacefully

1:34
Eddie Waitkus: I just learned that Jose Abreu’s nickname is Mal Tiempo. We need more names like this. Have to get away from the lazy first letter of the first name/first part of last name (Arod is the worst).

1:34
Freshbasil: Will always remember the exact moment I heard Sunny Afternoon for the first time

1:35
Morbo: Fyi if you have Xbox game pass ultimate you can play MLB the show on PC via the Xbox game streaming option. It actually works great

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I could not get it to work at all

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so I canceled

1:35
HAL: If Elon Musk asked you to be a Mars colonizer, would you take up the offer? (Given the danger, difficulty of returning, etc)

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Absolutely not

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t even like camping

1:35
Farhandrew Zaidman: The Fifth Element is seeing a theatrical re-release for its 25th anniversary. Question: campy garbage, or sci fi masterpiece?

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: BOTH

1:36
Grant: Do you like D&D or Magic: the Gathering?

1:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, but I haven’t played Magic regularly since like the fifth edition

1:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I just didn’t have the right friend group

1:36
Some Guy: Face or Heel as a wrestler?

1:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Let’s be honest, everyone knows I’d be a heel

1:36
don: lol! i understand that. i have it on ps5 and switch and its a blast as a new baseball fan. helps me learn the game and players

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m sorry as a new baseball fan that you’re wandered into and now been subjected to my nonsense!@

1:37
Farhandrew Zaidman: I don’t know who needs to hear this but bread pudding is both delicious and extremely easy to make. It’s baked French toast!

1:37
Old Country Buffet: Still hot out there?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s in the low 708s

1:37
Person: What percentage of questions do you not answer in a given chat?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 70

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I get a LOT of questions

1:37
Liz: Favorite place to sit in a ballpark (generally, or in a specific stadium)?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If I’m in the seats, I prefer to be anywhere there’s nobody else

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like to stretch out and relax and crowds stress me out

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My favorite thing about press boxes is nice chair and personal space!

1:38
Old Country Buffet: Do you like hot fudge sundaes?

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re OK, but I’m not really into ice cream

1:38
Farhandrew Zaidman: you can go 500 years into the past or 500 years into the future, what’s your choice? (You have to stay there the remainder of your life).

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: future

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I know what the past is

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: One of my biggest hangups about dying is not knowing what crap happened

1:39
Justin: I defended my dissertation last week and I feel more tired than celebratory. You ever had a similar feeling after an accomplishment?

1:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not particularly accomplished

1:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but i understand the feeling

1:39
Yo-Yo: Have you seen The Expanse? It’s great!

1:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I haven’t

1:39
Yo-Yo: New fans on Fangraphs? It took me 20 years of fandom to find my way here!

1:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In fairness, FG probably wasn’t around most of that time!

1:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: oh wait, it’s like 16 years or something now?

1:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: damn there have been a lot o fyears

1:40
manipulate me. Pls.: The failure of MLB and MLBPA to address player service time and , specifically, manipulation is frustrating.  What is wrong with KIS?  A season is 180 days.  Service time is one day.  Service time accumulation is the ratio of 180 days.  Clock starts preferably with the first professional contract, at worst the first MLB contract.  Why was service time manipulation not addressed and solved?  Why does MLBPA NOT consider MiLB Union apprentices? Thanks

1:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Answering under duress so it took so long ti type

1:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The MILB/MLBPA issue is complex

1:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because MILB stuff *can’t* be negotiated if owners don’t want to.

1:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unless there’s a significant nexus with an MLBPA issue that *is* obligatory

1:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And the MLBPA can’t just up and change the construction of the bargaining unit quickly

1:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: minor leaguers forming their own union is probably a quicker way to get to their destination

1:41
Liz: as a new (well, 2021) fan — i got into the game entirely through enjoying the nerdy stats side of it so i ended up on FG real quick

1:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, I hope you’re enjoying our work and I’m not too off-putting!

1:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Szym is an acquired taste.

1:42
TooDamnTall: Two part question: 1) who is the most interesting (to you) person who has said they like/follow your work. 2) who would you fantasize as the most interesting person to take notice of your work.

1:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The first I can’t say becuase it was in confidence, but it was a Hall of Fame player.

1:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Second, I’d like a *non* sports writer to be interested!

1:43
Some Guy: Biggest pet peeve?

1:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: FEWER/LESS

1:43
A cat: Here in CA people from OH tell me they’re from back East. Originally from BOS area, I say Midwest. What say ye?

1:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OH is midwest

1:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OK, on that note, it is time for me to depart for another week.

1:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone!

1:44
Oddball Herrera: DON’T LEAVE I’M ANGRY ABOUT THE MIDWEST DEFINITION

1:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OH is midwest





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.

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OddBall Herrera
2 months ago

Actually yeah, Ohio is the Midwest.

tz
2 months ago

Fun geography fact regarding Midwest states: the closest major hub airport to Cairo, Illinois is not O’Hare, but Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta.

sadtrombonemember
2 months ago
Reply to  tz

I’m pretty sure that’s not true, and Google Maps agrees with me. But wow is that closer than I would have ever guessed. It’s like a 45 minute difference.

OddBall Herrera
2 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

I was thinking St Louis, but maybe that isn’t quite a major hub?

HappyFunBallmember
2 months ago

And yet is also “back East” from a California POV