Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 6/11/20 by Dan Szymborski June 11, 2020 12:00 David K: Will Fred Wilpon own the Mets a year from now? 12:00 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:01 Dan Szymborski: Oh yeah, chat go start now. 12:01 Guest: the year is 2025. Who are the elite players 12:01 Dan Szymborski: LIkely the young elite players of today plus a few names that we don’t know yet 12:01 Dan Szymborski: Or, more accurately, we don’t know if they’ll be good or not 12:01 Miami Sound Machine: Remember when Jeff Loria paid himself an annual $50M ‘management fee’ to run the Marlins and called that a debt obligation that burdened the club? O/U how many other clubs are doing something similar? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Hard to say without opened books. Teams have been notorious for this kind of stuff when books are actually opened. 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Like Huizenga’s claimed loss after winning the World Series – Zimbalist estimated that his $34 million claimed loss was, conservatively, a $10 million profit. 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Huizenga’s other companies collected a lot of the Marlins revenue and the Marlins were paying Dolphins stadium debt. 12:03 Sonny: Maybe having good ownership groups correlates to overall league health? Probably crazy, oh well I’m off to a McCourt management seminar 12:04 Dan Szymborski: 12:04 Dan Szymborski: I endeavor to have an appropriate image for every scenario. 12:04 Scotty: Dan, just want to say thanks for the Friday MLB The Show livestreams. I love watching them. 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Glad you’re enjoying! We should hae one tomorrow, I believe. Given all that was going on, it didn’t seem apppropriate 12:06 Who’s Fabio?: Dan, quick math question. With an average price of 175K US, how many Aston Martins do the Jays need to park in Austin Martin’s driveway to get him to sign? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: Given the cost of ownership, fewer than youd’ think! 12:06 Who’s Fabio?: Also, tell us how you feel about the O’s pick? Sounds strategy or weak cover for being cheap? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: We’ll see from the rest of the draft! 12:06 Dan Szymborski: Draft questions are best targeted to Eric, amateurs are not my specialty! 12:07 Dan Szymborski: I mean, I have opinions on anything, but I like my baseball opinions to come from an area of expertise and it’s the weakest part of my knowledge base 12:07 zurzles: Remember Matt Hobgood? I’m remembering Matt Hobgood today 12:07 Dan Szymborski: I do remember him 12:08 Dan Szymborski: He worked out for me in an OOTP game waaay back 12:10 Sonny: Jeff Bezos only takes an $80k salary from Amazon, would he also say his business is not that profitable? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: heh 12:10 Dan Szymborski: I’m surprised I haven’t killed Amazon’s bottom line. 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I get cat litter with free shipping. Those things are heavy as hell – there’s no way they’re brekaing even on me 12:11 Philip: Have you thought of putting together a draft model for guys with college data? It’s very prevalent in the nba. 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I’ve found it not to be very good. I don’t know if it’s the data or me sucking. 12:11 Lunar verLander: The owners have always been in favor of a salary cap. If the union replied with “ok, you can have a salary cap, but you have to have a salary floor of ~88% the salary cap” (similar to what’s done in the NFL), would the owners accept? 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I think they would and I think the players would not say that. 12:12 Sean Huff-Scheidel: This may be more a question for Meg or Appelman, but do you know when FanGraphs merchandise will be shipping? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: No idea! 12:12 Devil Ray Jay Johnson: I used to curse the platform but in the last few days Twitter has been amazing. What gives? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: Amazing? I’m still checking Twitter for my DMs and I don’t see much in the way of amazing there! 12:12 Connor: What are the consequences of Manfred unilaterally declaring the season vs coming to an agreement with the players? I feel like I am failing to grasp this. Why not just declare the season? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Because declaring does put the owners at risk for a few things. For example, health-related lawsuits if things go badly 12:13 mrkevinschwarz: Manfred said 100% that there will be games. Are you that confident? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Not 100% 12:13 Dan Szymborski: I’ve been 60/40 to 70/30 or so. 12:13 mrkevinschwarz: Hello Dan. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: yo 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Oh god, you guys are asking many Eric questions. 12:14 Dan Szymborski: You know he’s here tomorrow! 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I’m just here to ramble about chili. 12:14 Devil Ray Jay Johnson: Rosenthal’s proposal makes too much sense to work right? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: It’d be weird if MLB didn’t take the most awkward route. 12:14 Martin from Canada: What happens if the Can-US border remains closed during the abridged season? Do the Jays only have nominally home games in the other parks? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I believe that would be the likely result 12:14 OddBall Herrera: I for one have been waiting my whole life to volunteer to be a scab when MLB players strike. My time has come, look upon my .063 OPS and despair! 12:15 Dan Szymborski: I use that line for the Pete Kozma, the great Kozmandias, look at his OPS, ye mighty, and despair. 12:15 Dan Szymborski: You think you’re PETE KOZMA? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: I was going to do to the Navy Seal copypasta with Kozma replace, but there are more curse words than Meg or David would like me to use, I think. 12:16 The Ghost of Bobby Thigpen: But, but…baseball teams aren’t profitable…right Mr. DeWitt? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: “Professional baseball is on the wane. Salaries must come down or the interest of the public must be increased in some way.” 12:17 Dan Szymborski: (Al Spalding, 19th century) 12:17 GraphsFan: Who are your favorite non-FG baseball writers? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: I’m too close to too many writers to give a fair answer 12:18 Guest: How about the theme from Who’s the Boss this week? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: You guys are really intent on making me sign a theme song every week, aren’t you? 12:19 Guest: In your opinion, are libertarians a somewhat plausible ally in calls to defund the police? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Depends when you mean by defund 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Small-l libertarians have been calling for demilitarization, ending the war on drugs, and many of the lawyers for a shaving down of qualified immunity, for a very, very long time. 12:24 Dan Szymborski: OK, here’ Who’s the Boss, you ghouls. 12:24 Dan Szymborski: https://soundcloud.com/dan-szymborski/who-da-boss/s-dhVFDgzCMkF 12:25 OddBall Herrera: So the easy solution here is to mandate all games will be played in international waters, where there are no rules about disallowing fans in the stadium. Bonus: baseball games will look more like scenes from Waterworld. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: There are dangers of this. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: 12:27 Martin from Canada: Continuing for the sake of argument that the Jays have nominal home games in foreign parks, how much is this going to affect Jays projections? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: It’s ahrd to say. I’ve actually looked a little at proejcting the players on Pennsylvania Road Warriors and found that they underperformed what you’d expect while on the Road Warriors 12:30 Dan Szymborski: But there’s some much uncertainty 12:30 Dan’s mom: Danny! Bad news about your car when I borrowed it last week. The intake valve seems to have a slight problem, oh and by the way the entire bumper is offer, but that had nothing to do with demolition derby. Would you like a ham sandwich, sweetie? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: My real mom would know that chicken milanese is what’s best to bribe me with 12:30 delatopia: Hey, Dan, no question here but I just wanted to tell you and any DMB projection players in your chat that I’ve compiled photo sets for the 2020 projection disk, the 90×135 headshots and the 200×280 baseball card style. That’s 2,865 players, times two — my quarantine project. I believe they are complete. You can get them here: http://www.cfa21.net/2020projection-90×135.ziphttp://www.cfa21.net/2020projection-200×280.zip Also, here’s a handy online UID list if you’re wondering who’s who or looking for a particular player. http://www.cfa21.net/2020projection_UID_list.html 12:31 Dan Szymborski: man, you got EVERYONE? 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Amazing stuff! 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Did you get all the horrified pitcher faces that MLB Pipeline tends to use? 12:32 Dan Szymborski: 12:32 Dan Szymborski: I guess horrifying more than horrified 12:32 @RationalMLBfan: I used to like baseball. I still do, but I use to, too! #hedberg 12:32 Dan’s mom: Just wanted to say between the “opportunities missed” article and the ZiPS what-ifs you’ve been killing it lately. Honestly, the best stuff I’m reading without actual baseball going on. 12:32 Dan Szymborski: No way my mom’s ever read what I write! 12:32 Dan Szymborski: She doesn’t really like baseball. 12:33 Dan Szymborski: She checks my Twitter sometimes if I haven’t returned her call to see if I’m dead. 12:33 Jay: Hey Dan, no question, just wanted to say thanks and hope you’re doing well. 🙂 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Oh yeah and thanks for reading guys! 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Trust me, topics aren’t super-easy right now. 12:33 Dan Szymborski: I write so much about current events that without current events…yikes. 12:34 Dan Szymborski: At least I’m not a beat writer. It’s AMAZING what these guys have still been able to put together. 12:34 Guest: Having become a follower of Emoto, I spend my days projecting bad thoughts on my co workers’ water bottles. Those jerks have no idea what they’re drinking! 12:35 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t know what this is so I googled and now I have to read more to amuse me 12:35 Some Dude: What are your thoughts on the A.I. system within The Show 20 as a simulation? 12:35 Dan Szymborski: There are some things that could be better. I think some of the lineup/rotation/roster decisions are a litttle odd 12:36 Dan Szymborski: I wish they’d build an in-season “rating projection” converted from in-season performance for the purpose of decision making 12:36 Dan Szymborski: I think the way it’s done now is a little rough 12:36 @RationalMLBfan: I want baseball to return for many reasons, but primary among them: there will be a game in which a Toronto Blue Jays lefty faces a Seattle Mariners second baseman, trying to halt a rally with the game in the balance, and we can say “Ryu must defeat Shed Long to stand a chance.” 12:37 Dan Szymborski: There *are* players named Ken! 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Wait, are there? It’s not like Ken Giles is going to hit for himself 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Man, Ken has gone down in popularity 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Giles is the only straight-up Ken I projected this year in MLB 12:39 Dan Szymborski: Kendrys would be a stretch for a few reason 12:39 Dan Szymborski: He’s unemployed, not really a Ken 12:39 Dan Szymborski: and he wouldn’t be much of a battle. Based on 2019, he’d just stand in one place and throw hadoukens 12:40 Guest: quesadillas are an underrated lunch 12:40 Guest: quick, easy, delicious 12:40 Guest: you forfeited your crown as THE chili purist when you revealed that “ACTUALLY beans are good!” last week! 12:40 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t say it was pure chili 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Only that the Korean-inspired chili was tasty 12:40 Guest: Is Meg ok? She hasn’t written anything or had a chat in a while and also EW is on hiatus! 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Meg has a TON of work to do, we’re shorter on personnel for obvious reasons and she’s pretty much responsible for all the editing. 12:40 Dan Szymborski: So you people be extra nice to her! 12:41 mrkevinschwarz: I know you’re not the expert in amateurs and neither am I but I will say Toronto is going to have an awesome lineup in a few seasons if they can keep everyone around 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Questions I don’t have to answer are the best! 12:41 Trent Hauser: What if America overnight became a nudist culture? The economy! 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I think it would make social distancing easier 12:42 Guest: On principle, libertarianism would be supportive (hypothetically) of there being no police, right? (Or at least, one that’s not funded or government-mandated)? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: It’s complicated. You won’t get wide agreement from libertarians on everything. 12:42 Dan Szymborski: since I’m fundamentally a Georgist, libertarians would be annoyed by my “land can’t really be owned” thing. 12:43 A: I forget, can ZIPS say anything about draftees? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Only if forced to unwillingly 12:43 Sir Nerdlington: Loria wasn’t a bad owner. He was just an owner who was a little more transparent than the rest. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: It’s sad how much truth there is here 12:43 Sir Nerdlington: I’m not a petitions guy normally, but the minor leaguers need all the help they can get. 12:43 Sir Nerdlington: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/MinorLeagueWages 12:43 Guest: sorry about the experience you’ve had on twitter lately, I can’t for the life of me figure out who would troll you or what purpose that would serve 12:43 tonyp: Dan you get cat litter with free shipping but you pay a membership fee 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Given how much litter I get, they burn through that fee quickly! 12:44 Dan Szymborski: It’s not just people mad at me for taking a break from Twitter, though I was very annoyed by a few people. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: The whole atmosphere of Twitter has gone through the garbage. It’s a self-care type of thing. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: I can be snarky and kind of mean too. When someone tweets me something incredibly stupid, I’ll sometimes retweet it for the world to mock, is that healthy? 12:45 Dan Szymborski: I don’t want to become the thing I hate. 12:46 Dan Szymborski: I like humor, a wide variety of opinions, and fun arguments. Twitter — and wider culture — is no longer about these things. 12:47 Dan Szymborski: Increasingly, I feel out of touch with this modern culture. I’m not an angry populist, it’s very hard for me to actually *hate* people, and I abhor black-and-white thinking. 12:47 Dan Szymborski: When I write a piece or conduct a study, I spend more time trying to prove myself wrong than the part I argue that I’m right. 12:47 Guest: have you run ZiPS on yourself from your high school numbers just to see? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: Don’t do high school 12:48 delatopia: I think it’s complete. Anyone with any questions can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have park backgrounds from the web and Google Earth overheads if anyone’s interested:http://www.cfa21.net/parks.zip 12:48 delatopia: And http://www.cfa21.net/google.zip for the overheads. They’re extra wide for laptop screen dimensions. 12:48 I’ll show myself out: What was Bingo Long’s Travelling All-Stars record? They played a lot of road games 12:48 LFC Mike: Theme song from Petticoat Junction ..with train horn please. 12:49 LFC Mike: What should I have for lunch Dan? I am tired of the same old thing.Working from home so I have the whole kitchen to destroy. 12:49 Dan Szymborski: Eggs are always good 12:49 tonyp: GROSS 12:49 tonyp: 12:43 Given how much litter I get, they burn through that fee quickly! 12:49 Dan Szymborski: Am I not supposed to change the cat litter? 12:49 Social Media: Is the only forum in which it is socially acceptable to publicly masturbate (not to be taken literally) 12:49 Lord Hemorrhage: Dan, tell me you used to play Ultima Online, and which shard. 12:49 Dan Szymborski: I did, Atlantic 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t play super long though 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I admit to being a bit of a player killer at times 🙂 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Then I was off to WOW and FFXI 12:50 Lord Hemorrhage: Please explain the rational behind Bud Selig dressed as Kang the Conquerer. 12:51 Dan Szymborski: That’s Skeletor 12:51 Paul D: Are you still playing Hearthstone? Excited about Pirates in Battlegrounds? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Yup, I’m getting killed in Battlegrounds. Lost 700 points this week. 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Trying to hard to make Pirates work. 12:52 Paul D: Good luck for a better week in the battlegrounds next time. The lounge misses you. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Oh, I didn’t know you were the BTF Paul 12:53 Sir Nerdlington: Manfred’s performance last night was captivating. As in, I think he was being held captive. 12:53 Dan Szymborski: My favorite Manfred performance. 12:53 Dan Szymborski: 12:54 Dan Szymborski: The aggressive coarseness that Svetlanov is known for is extremely effective in the final movement, for which it is necessary thematically. 12:54 Libs: I’m surprised fangraphs even allows libertarians to work here. It’s trended so far left 12:54 Dan Szymborski: Everyone’s entitled to their beliefs! 12:54 Dan Szymborski: Journalism tends to attract more left-of-center types, and that’s fine. 12:55 Dan Szymborski: Personally speaking, I try to lay out all my biases whenever it’s necessary. 12:55 Ron Paul: As a libertarian, I’d be fascinated to hace a political talk and gear your take on “no land ownership” 12:55 Dan Szymborski: I really really don’t want to do this much politics guys! 12:56 Dan Szymborski: Read Henry George. His writing is interesting even if you’re not into that – both minarchists and socialists have things they like in Progress and Poverty 12:56 greg: Cat update please. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Justinian was hanging out with me, but he got bored and wandered off. Last I saw, Mercutio was sleeping in one of the mid-hallway bedrooms, Cassiopeia in the “spoon” shelf of the massive cat tower in the TV room, and Constantine was watching birds in the kitchen 12:57 Michael: With a shorter draft….will existing minor league players get more coaching and attention, and be better players because of it? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: No 12:57 gifman: You helped with OOTP ratings using ZiPS projections, right? What was the process for that (what did you project to generate individual ratings, was there fudging to help top prospects, did you help with amateur players, how did they contact you, etc.) Might be a fun article! 12:57 Dan Szymborski: I give them the data and they turn it into the ratings. 12:57 LFC Mike: Over easy ? Boiled? Soft Boiled? Scrambled? Fried? Poached? I need help Dan. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Poached eggs on toast are also yummy 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Have you ever made a grilled cheese toad in the hole? 12:58 Dan Szymborski: If you do it right, you’ll get egg yolk mixing with the cheese when you cut into it! 12:58 Dan Szymborski: Like a poached egg in the middle. 12:58 Michael: What kind of minor league player is most hurt by there not being a season this year? 12:58 Dan Szymborski: I think the more “upside” guys rather than the high-floor guys are hurt most. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: and guys who are farther away 12:59 Dan Szymborski: I think someone like, for example, someone like Forrest Whitley is hurt a lot more than, say, Casey Mize 12:59 Dan Szymborski: And pitchers more than hitters 12:59 Sir Nerdlington: While I fall firmly on the players side, I can rationalize the owners side. What I can’t wrap my head around is sitting on the sidelines for **two months** before addressing the issues. Why?! The owners aren’t foolish enough to think waiting gave them critical leverage they wouldn’t otherwise have. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: I have no idea what the owners are thinking. 1:00 Dan Szymborski: I try to take the “summary judgment” argumentative route and try to put together the best possible case for the arguments of the people I dislike the most 1:00 Dan Szymborski: and I can’t just get there from the owners side 1:00 Statistic Reform: RBI. Runs Batted In. But wait! Bases loaded walk, bases loaded HBP. These “RBI” are not batted in at all. In fact, one can argue that a run scoring on an error is literally a run batted in. Fill in the blank, the correct term should be Runs ______ed In. 1:01 Dan Szymborski: black magick 1:01 Dan Szymborski: ed in 1:01 LFC Mike: I am not Iron Chef Dan. Grilled Cheese Toad in the hole? You are big timing me here. 1:01 Dan Szymborski: Cut a circle into a slice of bread 1:02 Dan Szymborski: with melted butter in pan, start cooking the bread with the circle in the middle cut out 1:02 Dan Szymborski: put a raw egg in the circle 1:02 Dan Szymborski: then cheese 1:02 Dan Szymborski: then the other bread slice 1:02 Dan Szymborski: when the egg is cooked just enough that you can flip the whole thing over, flip it over 1:02 LFC Mike: can you do that in a high Julia Childs voice? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: I guess? 1:04 Dan Szymborski: OK, here you go 1:04 Dan Szymborski: https://soundcloud.com/dan-szymborski/grilled-cheese/s-XSpiv5tkNJG 1:05 Iron Chef: But how do I turn a circle into a slice of bread just by cutting it? 1:05 Dan Szymborski: just use a shot glass and rotated it 1:05 Dan Szymborski: rotate 1:07 Dan Szymborski: 1:07 LFC Mike: Is it still a piece of bread with a hole in it? Doesn’t bread have to be 100% solid to be considered a slice of bread? 1:07 Dan Szymborski: no no no 1:07 Sir Nerdlington: Thanks for these charts. They’re fun. 1:07 Sir Nerdlington: Manfred is what he is, but I do think he’s trying to pacify the biggest a–hole owners who steadfastly refuse to budge. They need 22 votes to do things so who are the 9 outlier-est a-holes? 1:08 Dan Szymborski: I would *guess* Moreno, Fisher, Kendrick, Steinbrenner 1:08 Rodney: The Jays appear set with a pretty huge young core. They’ve re-engaged with Scott Boras (Ryu, A. Martin). How much does having a publicly-traded ownership group affect the likelihood they’ll add prominent FAs (Betts, Paxton, Bauer) this offseason? Keeping in mind the ownership also owns the stadium and the network that broadcasts the team’s games… 1:08 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it likely. 1:08 Cynthia: Do you actively trade in the stock market? Any thoughts on the full recovery then today’s 5% drop? 1:09 Dan Szymborski: I used to day trade in the 90s, then swing trade in the 00’s and commodity trading. 1:09 Dan Szymborski: These days, I mostly go the index stock route. 1:09 Dan Szymborski: markets are spooked by the increasing reports of coronavirus spikes in the areas that haven’t had a lot of cases 1:09 LFC Mike: Cooking with Dan sponsored by Crisco and Tidy cats 1:09 LFC Mike: I will report back on the suggestion. Thank You 1:10 Dan Szymborski: OK, we’re after 1, so time to take off for another week! 1:10 Dan Szymborski: HOpefully at some point, we’ll have regular baseball to look forward to!