Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 5/5/22

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope you’re all recovered from Cinco de Cuatro.

12:01
The guy who asks the lunch question: What’s for lunch?

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Heh. Nothing, I’ve got a stomach ache.

12:01
Dave: Is the highlight of the Cubs’ season going to be the return when they trade David Robertson?

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A lot of their highlights are likely going to be Suzuki related!

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Plus, not being the Reds is very nice.

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I’m keeping off-topic questions for the Lightning Round)

12:02
Rick: 1) Rodgers or Gleybar; 2) Arozarena, Kepler, or Pham (pick two)

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Rodgers, A/K

12:03
John: How worried are you about Justin Turner and Nelson Cruz?

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Quite a bit. These are absolutely horrible starts.

12:04
Mike: How bullish are you on Curtis Mead?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Given how he’s tearing up AA, quite so!

12:04
Champdo: So this is the second season in a row that the Tigers have looked lost at the plate in April&early May. Could there be something they could change to avoid this in the future? Also how much of an impact does a hitting coach really have?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think a hitting coach can have significant impact if they have just the right idea/rapport with a player at just the right time, but it’s hard to measure and talent will still win out sooner or later

12:06
Richard: Willie Calhoun seems like a clear upgrade over Zimmer and probably Tapia too.  What do you think it would take for the Jays to acquire him?

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I doubt it will take much to acquire Calhoun at this point.

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If he didn’t have options left, he might have even been a waiver wire guy now

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure he’s really an upgrade on Tapia

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think I prefer Zimmer going forward

12:09
greenfrog: Hi Dan, who do you think will end up as the best starting pitcher on the Blue Jays in 2022: Manoah, Gausman or Berrios?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Gausman

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I love Gausman

12:09
Guest: Juan Soto is on pace to finish the season with 36 RBI. Do you take the over or under?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Over of course!

12:10
Jon Daniels: When will my pitching staff get the credit they deserve for Minor/Lynn/Gibson and now Martin Perez. Also yes we used magic to fix Perez.

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The rangers have done a solid job with veteran pitchers in recent years, no doubt.

12:11
dancing dan mcgraw: What do you make out of Cortes? will he overperform Zips?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, Cortes is crushing his ZiPS. No question

12:11
sadtrombone: The Reds are now 3-21, and have become the single best storyline in baseball. I get up every day and the first thing I do is check the Reds game to see if they lost (they did). I am seriously invested in them “beating” the 2003 Tigers in terms of losses.

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure they’re really THAT bad though.

12:13
Phil Castellini: where you gonna go? O/U 50 wins for the Reds?

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Over

12:13
CM: Taylor Ward breakout looks real. Do you see the potential Josh Donaldson trajectory? Failed catcher with a swing change breaking out at 28.

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The longer he keeps it up, the more likely! I wrote about him last week

12:14
Facundo: How real do you think my Metsies are? I am not buying that win%, but trust that we are kinda good. I don’t want to suffer, but this team seems to be doing it all over again.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They haven’t even had deGrom!

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though with the Mets, there’s always this feeling that the bigger the triumph, the larger the disaster waiting is.

12:16
Who’s Fabio: Hey Dan – should the Reds try hiring Dancing Homer to turn their season around?  Does the Neural Network have an idea of what that might look like?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I once had the neural network give a new mascot to each team.

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Can’t find it right now though.

12:17
Matt (Oceanside): Dan the Man! Hope you are doing well sir! A couple weeks ago you guys mentioned that the Dodgers prospects list was next up. It’s been two weeks and I’m dying! You guys aren’t aloud to have lives! 🙂 Thank you for all you guys do for us! Appreciate the content! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!!! Especially ZIPS!!!!

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m sure it’s on the way! Our prospect team puts a ton of work into these lists while still covering prospects live. It’s not like ZiPS where you have a definite deadline; think of it as an ongoing prospect discussion

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oops, I accidentally hit delete on a Reds reliever question.

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The question is what relievers would be interesting at the deadline.

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Most likely guys closer to free agency so no art warrn

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: warren

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think Jeff Hoffman could be interesting and Buck Farmer isn’t toast yet.

12:21
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: When you consult for MLB teams, what is the form of the deliverable that you provide?  A spreadsheet of projections?  Data File?   A “Memo From The Desk Of Daniel J. Szymborski”?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Usually a spreadsheet or csv of requested data.

12:21
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: How would you fix the ball issue?  (I’m referring to the MLB baseball)

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not quite sure at this point. Generally, my biggest complaint is transparency

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I think we’re at the point where the offense/defense imbalance is too high.

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think I’d revisit pitcher distance/mound while also livening the ball up considearbly

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wish they’d experiment with 88-foot first base in Atlantic League

12:23
Adam: Has ZiPS adjusted its expectations for offense for the current year?  What # does it now expect will lead the league in batting average vs. preseason expectations?  ERA?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Don’t have the exact number in front of me; it melds the expected offense with the new one.

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But for all I know, MLB could suddenly quietly throw in a bunch of lively baseballs without telling anyone because that’s how they roll

12:24
Guest: who on the current Cubs roster (position player-wise) will be part of the next “core” group that will hopefully have success in making the playoffs…Suzuki, Hoerner, Happ? Madrigal a reach?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think you answered your own question!

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes on madrigal even though I dont’ tthink he has huge upside

12:25
GA Blood: Looking at Rowdy Tellez’s discrepancy between wOBA and xwOBA but also his ROS projections. When does performance and expected performance start to impact projections?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS uses a simpler model in-season, so no zstats, but you’ll have an impact from at-bat one. The exact impact will vary, of course.

12:25
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: Should the Angels just trade Jo Adell to a team that could play him every day yet give the Angels back something useful?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not a bad idea.

12:26
Chris: I’m here to argue that 71 wins vs 64 wins actually matters at some point. As an Orioles fan, is it reasonable for me to have lost all interest in following a roster of mostly AAAA players? Even if some big prospects are on the cusp, there’s still several years of  losing; why should fans investing time and energy when management is clearly taking them for granted?

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The problem is that teams know that 71 vs. 64 doesn’t really matter to most, which is why it would have been nice for MLB to be interested in incentivizing winning 71 instead of 64 games financially. The MLBPA was interested, MLB refused to discuss even teh concept.

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure the Orioles are necessarily taking fans for granted. It’s just that they had little talent to trade by the time the rebuild started in earnest and the Machado return didn’t work out, nor did most of the fringier prospects of 2019-2020 period. The team was probably hurt more than most by the loss of 2020 minor league season

12:28
Austin: Do you believe Cano is going to get picked?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:28
brad penny for your thoughts: has the rockies start interpolated your brain?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No. Mediocre teams have good months and vice-versa

12:28
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: Since you are a member of the Cincinnati baseball writers club, could you please make the Reds do better and spend more on players?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You greatly overestimate my influence!

12:29
James: Is Verlander really just going to be his usual self at 39 coming off TJ?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We’ve really gotten good at elbows. Not so much at shoulders.

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And by we, I dont’ mean literally: I have made absolutely no impact, positive or negative, on TJ surgeries

12:30
David: Will Kyle Lewis save my Mariners?

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d be skeptical. But Kelenic’s been SO awful…

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But J-Rod has come around a ton since first weeks

12:31
Adam: Are you in favor of limiting the number of pitchers on a roster?  Any additional (or alternative) methods you support to move the offense needle up a bit?

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I am.

12:32
namiki: Seiya Suzuki has been struggling lately, do you think he can come back?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Of course!

12:32
Chris: Should kelenic be sent down?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sadly, I think so

12:32
Joey Baggadonuts: What to do about Kelenic? Looking for signs of life and finding none. Keep him on my bench and pray he continues to get playing time once Lewis returns, or cut bait now? Is he a next-year, post-post-hype play at this point?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was hopeful about this season, but so far, he’s just been a mess.

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d send him down.

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Even as sad as that makes me.

12:33
Tomo: You think Strider gets a look at SP next year for the Braves?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll end up with some starts THIS year

12:33
Guest: what would you do with Paul DeJong?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d wait. For all intents and purposes, this is still April

12:34
Guest: It’s very weird seeing pitiful stat lines with a decent wRC+. Trea Turner is hitting .261/.309/.375 for a 100 wRC+. Which camp are you in? 1. please bring back the juiced balls, or 2. don’t care

12:35
Adam: What would happen if everyone played the entirety of their head-to-head matchups consecutively?  I.e. the Dodgers-Giants played each other for one three-week stretch, split between SF and LA.  Would the familiarity with the pitchers have any kind of significant impact on offense?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure it would necessarily be a huge impact

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it woudl get really tiring though.

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HERE COMES GAME 15 OF THE 17 GAME SERIES

12:35
Chris: When will the narrative shift from Julio is struggling to Julio is dominating. He’s stolen a bunch of bases, crushed it in center and his batting stats have improved tremendously

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hopefully soon!

12:35
bzink: Expanding on the Willie Calhoun question above, have you noticed any trends or common traits for prospects who tear it up in the minor but the bat flops at the major league level?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not really. And the ones that exist aren’t really applicable to Calhoun.

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For example, people tend to overrate guys in AAA who get a HUGE amount of their value from walks.

12:36
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: Are you going to answer any questions with “May”?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As I said, we’re still kind of in April, games-wise

12:38
Adam: Who’s the first player you think of when I say 1968?  1987?  Who will it be for 2022?

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: When I think of 1968, it’s Yaz because he was awesome and the long bit of trivia about how low his leading BA was

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 1987, I think Larry Sheets

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because he TORE it up for the O’s that year

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: which is something I directly remember

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I might have different, more personal memories of 1968

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but I did not exist in 1968

12:40
daro: CWS is currently a mess with this many injuries. Do you still expect them to finish 1st in the Central AL?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, but it’s getting tighter. Have a piece coming up tomorrow on the subject that I don’t want to spoil!

12:41
Siri: Do you think MJ Melendez gets a shot at a relatively full time gig, or is this call up temporary? His slow start in AAA looks babip fueled.

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think for now, it’s temporary

12:41
Adam: I like Tylor Megill because in my head I pronounce his name with the same voice and cadence as TROGDOR

12:41
Papa Reina: For the DMB guys, did you release the spreadsheet of splits/D ratings anywhere?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I didn’t, though DMB does have it. The weird schedule this year through everything into chaos

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: threw

12:42
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: The Reds have a long glorious history, but given the current inept management, is it possible for the franchise to fail and have to move if now is the beginning of a 20-something year run of futility?  In the other words, are the Reds beloved enough in Cincinnati to survive if they have a long run of being both terrible on the field and in the front office?

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s unlikely simply because it’s hard to move a team and, let’s be honest, the likely markets aren’t great ones.

12:43
Dave: The Reds would need to go 47-91 the rest of the way to hit 50 wins. Woof.

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they can do that

12:43
Ozzie smallbies: Is Eric Hosmer cursed to weave in ok-good seasons in between bad seasons

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s happening at just the right time to bail the Padres out of the end of the contract

12:44
A Boy Named Yu: Please convince me not to order BOGO wings from Bdubs for lunch today.  Thank you.

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I cannot do so.

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, they do BOGO wings on TUESDAY

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not going to suggest it for “boneless wings”

12:45
A Boy Named Yu: Could a team made up of the ZiPS top 25 players be competitive in MLB?  Assuming you factor in building a balanced roster and not just literally the top 25 players regardless of position.

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m a bit confused by the question

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Why wouldn’t an All-Star team be competitive?

12:45
Appa Yip Yip: How much should I be overreacting to Kikuchi being good last night?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hopefully it’s justified since I talked him up quite a bit this spring!

12:46
A Boy Named Yu: Can we get a happy medium with the MLB ball that’s somewhere between crazy pinball ball and 1968 ball?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Apparently not.

12:46
Colton: Hey Dan, hope all is well! Of all the major breakouts that have happened so far this year, which one do you/ZIPS think is the most real?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kwan

12:46
Morbo: Thoughts on MLB/Rawlings producing balls individually tailored to each stadium? (Let’s assume it’s done competently) If done correctly it could have a considerable impact in normalizing park factors and might be a better solution than MLB’s current semi-random yearly changes.

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh god, I dont’ even trust MLB to have the SAME ball at all times

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This sounds like a disaster in waiting

12:47
Christian Colon for Men: How weird is it going to look with guys in 2019 hitting 30 HR and posting 100-105 wRC+ when guys in 2022 with basically the same line except hitting 18 HR will post 110 wRC+?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s going to!

12:48
A Boy Named Yu: Why does MLB The Show make stupid roster decisions in Franchise mode?  The Yankees signed Story and then also traded for Tatis Jr. in the same off-season.

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like that better than what the Yankees did!

12:49
mariners: Were the Mariners expectations to high entering the year? I think we were because so many people predicted us winning the division, which in my opinion, is the astros to lose

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It depends how high were high

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you mean, say, 93 wins, I would think that way too high

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: People should not have assumed 90 wins was the baseline

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I thought the m’s imrpoved to be a real 85 win team or so

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and they’re not far behind THAT pace

12:50
A Boy Named Yu: Any chance Reds ownership actually sells or relocates?  They sure are good at their jobs.

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sells, yes, relocate, probably not

12:50
Guest: Still bewildered by the lack of discussion concerning Bauer on this site, is this a managerial decision or are the article(s) coming along?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure. What topics to write on is usually a very personal thing; we talk about what we want to write about and talk about news.

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Just speaking for me, I *rarely* write about things that aren’t the game itself.

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not my area of expertise and I don’t think I have the sensitivity.

12:52
A Boy Named Yu: George Lucas should have killed off Han Solo after Empire – Yay or Nay?

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

12:53
Turgid: Is there such thing as an underhand curve?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The first curves in baseball WERE underhand!

12:53
A Boy Named Yu: Do any baseball video games consult with you to see which prospects might explode into stars so they can model their game similarly?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not directly, though OOTP uses me as a starting point

12:54
A Boy Named Yu: What are some players you really liked and played for a while but just didn’t accrue much WAR?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Joe Orsulak

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: lots of sidearm/submarine relievers

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: large adult sons

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: as a large adult son, I appreciate those guys

12:55
Guest: The track record of players who get sent down after their first extended stint in MLB is terrible. I guess he was already sent down once last year.. but yikes.

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure that’s *causative* though

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but reflective of skill – better players are less likely to need to get devoted

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: demoted

12:56
Zach: How fast do you think MLB will pivot from this modern “dead ball”?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No idea. They’ll do it in the most awkward, opaque manner posssible though

12:56
9 game world series: Didn’t they have a 9 game WS once? Even that feels too long

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They did that for a few years around dead ball end (19-21)

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 1919

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I guess that was unnecessary; you guys probably remember it wasn’t 2019-2021

12:58
Guest: Lots of value from walks being overrated – like Valera?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, I’m thinking those 250/370/370 type guys

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Valera has power and was VERY young

12:58
Morbo: I like when an .800 ops is the cutoff for a good/solidly above average player offensively. But I like when the ops isn’t driven by inflated home run rates. The 4% rate of home runs per batted ball feels about right

12:59
A Boy Named Yu: 1968?  Gibson.  1987? Dawson

12:59
Claude Aardvark: pick one pitcher long term: Shane Baz or Hunter Greene

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Greene. With two players of similar outlook, always take the one who ISN’T out with elbow problems!

1:00
A Boy Named Yu: If Verlander plays as long as Nolan Ryan did, will he become the new Nolan Ryan.

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re different types

1:01
Nolan: HSK looks way better at the plate this year. Is this is ZIPs redemption arc?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I certainly HOPE so!

1:01
Grimmel Forb: Has your opinion on the AL East changed after April?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It has not

1:01
RTJ: There has to be a better wing place near you Yu

1:02
Bob Loblaw: So Dylan Cease is the best pitcher right now, right?

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I hope so. I need an escape after having the nerve to put him in my breakout piece a SECOND time after a year in which he DID break out

1:02
Tomo: you said balls

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Look, the sports has balls in the name, we talk about the balls a lot, and a ball is a VERY common call in baseball.

1:04
A Boy Named Yu: ZiPS top 25 – I guess I meant prospects only.  My bad.

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ah, that makes more sense.

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the team would be *lousy* but like 70-92 lousy

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not Reds lousy

1:04
Cave Dameron: Would you be surprised if Joey Votto retired midseason if he continues to be very cool on such a bad team? Thank you!

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t be surprised.

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Votto does not seem the type, to me, to hang on a super long time if he can’t turn it around.

1:05
Effectively Wild: They discussed Bauer on there.

1:05
Tomo: Bauer…he’s not playing, and we all know the situation with a quick Google search…what are you looking to hear?

1:05
Tomo: you need a shirt that says “This means WAR!!”, with a subtitle explaining the formula.  Top seller…

1:06
Guest: I’ll ask the same previous question about the top ZiPS players on one roster, but you don’t get to consider having a requisite amount at each position. If there are 4 pitchers in the top 26 in ZiPS you’re stuck with those 4 pitchers. How competitive is that team?

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think pretty good

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think we’d be a little short on pitchers

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but they’d be all starters so you can tandem them

1:06
Eric the Red: There should be a legal avenue for fans to put team owners in jail for theft of joy

1:07
Derek: I’m a huge OOTP fan, without getting overly deep – in what context do they use you as a starting point?

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The initial ratings for players, where applicable, are largely based on ZiPS

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OOTP has used ZiPS since 2016

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Markus Heinsohn basically gets to see finished ZiPS before anyone else!

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (Except me)

1:09
Dave: Are boneless wings a sandwich? Bread, meat, bread.

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dangit

1:09
Adam: What’s the most notable game you’ve ever attended in person?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Final game at Memorial Stadium

1:09
Guest: What is your ideal game start time?

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t have an ideal time

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, games I go to, I like 4:05 games

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ll leave about 1:10 to get there about 2. Get beers before the fans get in and talk with writers

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, as a WATCHER

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I just want there to be 1:05, 4:05, 7:05, and 10:05 games every day

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: NO EMPTY SLOTS

1:11
Trevor: Should I not be concerned about the Mets abysmal stat cast #s? They get on base a ton but all the contact data seem bleak right now.

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Some of it is baseballs. Everything’s down right now compared to expected

1:11
Guest: There’s precedent for top players retiring midseason if they’re not performing up to their own standards. Mike Schmidt did it, IIRC.

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The thing is, Mike Schmidt wasn’t even THAT awful. Just below his standards

1:12
Appa Yip Yip: Wow you don’t show your ZiPS to your mom?

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: She has little interest in baseball

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Beyond, presumably, liking that I make a good living at it.

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Most people close to me are of that opinion.

1:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My esteemed better half, who I dragged along to the Staten Island panel that FG was at, was very perplexed by multiple days of nothing but people talking about baseball. But she liked that eveyrone was super nice to her

1:14
Appa Yip Yip: If anything boneless wings are a dumpling

1:14
Brett Tomko Trucks: Best interaction with a MLB player?

1:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Generally non-baseball things

1:14
Brett Tomko Trucks: Griffey might have the best midseason retirement. He got mad because someone reported that he was napping during games and the next day he called while driving cross country to say he had retired

1:14
Dan: Are you surprised more players don’t do what Roger Clemens did and retire them come back partway through the season? I feel like skipping some of the grind of a long season has to be tempting especially if you’ve got kids home from school for the summer.

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think you have to be REALLY good to make that work

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Long layoffs are hard

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and teams are going to be suspicious

1:15
Richard: I love the shorter base path suggestion.  Forces defenders to play shallower which opens up hits on the ground and increases the running game.

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And if a ball hit into play has a higher % of being a hit, there’s more incentive to put ball in play

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OK, LIGHTNING ROUND time.

1:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have to answer questions so long as they’re not baseball or a few exceptions (confidentiality, excessively personal, politics)

1:17
Tacoby Bellsbury: Apart from Skyline “chili,” what would be on your Mount Flushmore of least-desired foods?

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: broccoli/cauliflower. I’d eat skyline every day to avoid those

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I should note that it’s Cincy chili STYLE I hate, not skyline specifically

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s not like I turn around and mainline Gold Star

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: also, you probably shouldn’t intravenously consume chili even if you do like it

1:17
GBS42: During the Opening Day chat, you said something about having three four-ways. I know you were talking about division ties, but I was hoping you maybe had changed your mind about Skyline chili. To each their own, of course, but I like it, whether it’s “chili” or some meat stew abomination.

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

1:18
MilwaukeeBeerJays: Back in the 90s in Canada there was a music video countdown tv show called “the hitlist” that was hosted by a guy named Tarzan Dan. What is your favourite primate, Dan?

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: chipmanzees of course

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: chimpanzee

1:18
MilwaukeeBeerJays: If you were to consume enough chili, would you be interested in setting up a premium content OnlyFarts page?

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That sounds like a lot of work and very niche

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d have to live chili

1:19
A Boy Named Yu: How come they don’t make college baseball or basketball video games?  I’d play the crap out of those.

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Remember, there were college rights issues that shut down college games for a long time.

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: NCAA Football reboot supposed to be in 2023

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I imagine there will be a basketball one at some point too

1:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As for college baseball, that’s another thing entirely: college baseball just isn’t that popular mass-market

1:20
Derek: Regarding your data deliverable question, I would like to imagine it being a 12 foot, hand-rolled scroll delivered by owl….but spreadsheets are cool

1:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Where do I get trained owls? That seems to add a lot of overhead, I’d have to raise my hourly rate

1:20
Morbo: Can I get a poll for how many margaritas I should drink today? With the options being:

1:20
Morbo: A:0 B: 1 c: too many

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

How Many Margaritas Should Morbo Drink?

0 (4.5% | 2 votes)
 
1 (4.5% | 2 votes)
 
2 (11.3% | 5 votes)
 
3 (9.0% | 4 votes)
 
Till he sees black (11.3% | 5 votes)
 
Till he sees new colors (59.0% | 26 votes)
 

Total Votes: 44
1:21
Kip: Did you have a Dreamcast?  I broke mine out recently and it’s amazing how ahead of the times Sega was.

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Surprisingly, that was one of the first mainstream systems I did NOT have

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There just weren’t enough games at the time that I wanted and I got my fill because my friend Chris Burton had a Dreamcast

1:22
Brett Tomko Trucks: Is this is the lightning round?  If so, favorite taco and toppings?  (Or is it fillings on a taco?)  (Or do we go Kenny Powers and say “fix-ins”?)

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: al pastor

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: onion and cilantro

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: always onion and cilantro

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t need fancy complex tacos

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Give me al pastor or carnitas or chorizo

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and onion and cilantro

1:23
Guest: How are you enjoying the WWE game?

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s much improved over the last one. It’s nice that they actually took the missing year to make it not suck

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d like more randomness and events in WWE Universe

1:24
Adam: Has the Digital Dandy ever attended the Kentucky Derby?

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not. I’ve been to about a dozen Preaknesses, but never to a Kentucky Derby or a Belmont

1:24
Morbo: Thanks guys. I look forward to discovering ultra-gold and infra-cyan

1:24
Fish Taco: But maybe not if you don’t live in a coastal state.

1:24
Jeremy: Would you play a video game based on a quest for good chili?

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that’s more as a sidequest.

1:24
A Boy Named Yu: Favorite mixed drink or cocktail?

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: dark and stormy

1:24
Brett Tomko Trucks: Favorite margarita?

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not really into them

1:25
A Boy Named Yu: Any video game contacts?  I pride myself in creating new and  realistic prospects into my games so I don’t have to buy the new version each year.  Would love to turn my primary hobby into something more.

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I had more a few years ago when I did esports for ESPN

1:25
Dan: OOTP uses you as a starting point? Did they put you in a motion capture suit or was it just video analysis and a stop watch?

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, the ZiPS!

1:25
Brett Tomko Trucks: Wasn’t there a March Madness EA Sports game at one time?

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There was

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I loved the franchise mode

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’d start off on a lower tier school

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: like Albany

1:26
Dan: If Eric Hosmer had a contract that ended this past off-season would he even have signed a major league contract? Clearly he would have been worth it but was anyone expecting some amount of bounce back?

1:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he would have gotten a MLB contract, but of the 1/3 variety

1:26
Appa Yip Yip: Why do Americans like college sports so much? Aren’t they just worse versions of pro sports?

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can enjoy things without them being the best version. And people go to colleges and have a lot of loyalty

1:27
SJ: College baseball and basketball games were discontinued long before the rights issues shelved football. Presumably that means not enough people played them.

1:28
Yo-Yo: Favorite handheld console ever? Switch doesn’t count.

1:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: PSP

1:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have a jailbroken one, so I have all the old emulators on it

1:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So I play old SNES games on it

1:28
Brett Tomko Trucks: Don’t you hate every ape you see, from chimpan-a to chimpan-z?

1:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My sister and I like to sing that together at family holidays

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’ll never make a monkey out of me!

1:29
A Boy Named Yu: Jackie Robinson’s number and the meaning of life, the question of everything in the world, are the same number.  Coincidence?

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Probably?

1:29
Appa Yip Yip: If your career ended in scandal what would the scandal be?

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It might involve being stoned

1:30
Brett Tomko Trucks: Best burrito fillings?

1:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m much bigger on tacos than burritos

1:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I tend to like carne asada in burritos

1:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I’m nto as big a fan because it’s something I don’t tend to care for – starch IN starch

1:31
Yo-Yo: Chris Jericho was the best wrestler of the Attitude Era and the years beyond. Agree or only slightly agree?

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unfortunately, Benoit was the best and my favorite WWE wrestler. But Jericho was better as an overall entertainer

1:31
Steve O.: Would you eat a carrot hot dog? (yes, it’s a thing)

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: eww

1:31
Brett Tomko Trucks: Best state capitol building you have visited?

1:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve only visited annapolis

1:32
Brett Tomko Trucks: What was the last song you danced to?

1:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t typically dance

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the last thing I danced to was Love Rollercoaster at a costume new years party at the mansion at O in DC sometime around 2007

1:33
Sirras: Have you ever referred to folks who use ZiPS as ZiPpers?

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not

1:33
Brett Tomko Trucks: Favorite McDonaldsland character aside from Grimace?

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mayor McCheese

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: then the Hamburglar

1:33
A Boy Named Yu: Did Han shoot first?

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Of course.

1:33
A Boy Named Yu: Would you rather be a Jedi or a Harry Potter-world wizard?

1:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Harry Potter wizard

1:33
Derek: Stoned to death or reefer stoned? Big difference here

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Could be either

1:34
brad penny for your thoughts: ever sung any songs from The Dysfunctional Family Christmas album?  a staple in my home

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not.

1:34
A Boy Named Yu: Soft shell or hard shell?

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Soft corn

1:34
Szym Scandal: Secretly the founder and owner of Skyline Chili.

1:34
brad penny for your thoughts: does your scandal involve being stoned and…burritos?

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It COULD

1:34
A Bush Named Yew: Chocolate frosted donuts the best donut?

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Boston Creme

1:34
A Boy Named Yu: Prince or Bowie?

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Bowie

1:34
Pain: Twitter account @xkcd just tweeted out the 10 hardest Semantle puzzles to try and guess. Good luck.

1:34
Insert Witty Name Here: Rank in order of best to worst: Dan Rather, Dan Szymborski, Lieutenant Dan, Dan Aykroyd, Dan Marino.

1:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Aykroyd, Marino, Rather, Lt. Szym

1:35
Brett Tomko Trucks: Our local taco shop makes a 1+ pound burrito with only carne asada, onions, pico, and guac.  How does that sound?

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I could go for that. That’s a lot of burrito

1:35
Brent: Favorite skyline backdrop for a major or minor league stadium?  Hard to top Truist Field in Charlotte or PNC in Pitt in my opinion.

1:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m biased so it’s Camden

1:35
A Boy Named Yu: If you had to create yourself into a football video game but keep your physical traits mostly the same, what position would you make yourself?

1:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: fullback?

1:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not that fullbacks are used much

1:36
Brett Tomko Trucks: Did you have to square dance in grade school or middle school PE?

1:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, we did in elementary school

1:37
Gant: Oldest commercial jingle that still pops into your head from time to time?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mr. Bucket?

1:37
A Bush Named Yew: Have you ever said I like the cut of your jib?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not unironically

1:37
Yo-Yo: Aliens — ubiquitous or rare? For single-celled and for intelligent life?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Rare, but there are a lot of planets so probably a lot

1:37
Color Coordinator: What is the most underutilized color for teams in sports?

1:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: green

1:37
Guest:

1:37
A Boy Named Yu: Not a question, but thanks for answering so many of mine today.  Lunch is over, back to business.

1:37
Dan: Does anyone in the chat have a 30 grade tool?

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I haven’t scouted everyone

1:38
A Bush Named Yew: um…

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Uh oh, did I do seomthing?

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, it’s time to end for another week.

1:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone!





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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brothermathias714
1 year ago

Joe Orsulak was no star but he wasn’t bad. I had Joe O on my Strato team back around ’89 or ’90 and wasn’t too worried when I had to play him.