Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 6/27/24

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It is time.  A time for chats.

12:01
ForWhomTheBellTrolls: RE- KC Royals. A lot of fans seem to think it might be a mistake to “sell the future” for reliever rentals and whatnot, and obviously there is a balance. But to me, the farm system is so bad and the team is so far away from actually being a legitimate looking sustainable contender that it could be another 5  years before they are in this type of position again. Do you think it actually makes more sense to sort of  “go all in” to some degree for KCR?

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think there’s something to that…if not for Cleveland.

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think if you go all-in, you at least want to have a really good shot at the division

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and the second best record

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It becomes trickier when you’re mostly chasing a wild card

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The other problem is that it’s a real sellers’ market

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure the Royals can offer as much as a lot of teams can

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So in the right circumstances, it might make sense

12:04
Justin: What will Coby Mayo’s long term position be in the majors?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m still going to be hopeful and say 3B

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: His rudimentary 3B defensive numbers aren’t really bad and the O’s remain confident enough that he’s still played 3B like 80% of the time and they’ve yet to use him in OF

12:05
Playoff Guy: I feel like at this point most analytics types have (rightfully) dismissed the playoffs as a carnival game, and the owners have no incentive to change that, but is there any change that you’d do to make it consistently reward actually good teams if you had the power? (ex: shorter timeline, NPB/KBO-style 1-0 series leads or ladder structure, etc)

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve spoken in favor of using handicaps to reward in-season play

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: With the right set of rules, you can have a 30-team playoff tournament that greatly rewards regular season play

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: like make the White Sox win seven consecutive games against Phillies to advance

12:07
Oddball Herrera: Is there a way to get monthly splits for plate discipline stats?  This would be massively helpful for differentiating between hot streaks and potential skill improvements.

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can actually do splits on the regular leaderboard pretty easily and get whoever you want

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:10
Factory of Sadness: David Fry is cooling off a little now, but he’s got a chance to make it to the second round of All-Star voting, despite appearing at 5 different positions (plus DH), and nowhere more than 22 times out of 58 appearances (or 38% of his games). Is he threatening the greatest “super-utility” seasons of all time, for players whose most common position in a season made up less than 40-50% of their total appearances?

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Certainly has to be up there

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though I think in the super-utility pantheon, you need to give more credit for the up the middle positions

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fry has C

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but Zobrist played three of the four middle positions in some of those seasons

12:13
Tino: Would you consider Festa a worse, equal, or better prospect than Povich?

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they’re in the same general vicinity

12:14
Astros pitchers: Does Zips buy Blanco and Browns’ breakouts? Is Spencer A a 4 or is dominating the Rockies what he’s supposed to do?

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: To an extent. Brown more than Blanco

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Brown had been doing really well early in the ZiPS z stats

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS is less enthralled with arrighetti

12:15
Adenolith: Do you often second guess trades you make? Standard H2H league. Traded away Skenes for Tatis Jr. If I’m deep in pitching, that’s a good move right?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I try not to second guess because I have a tendency to hate everything I do

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Every time I submit an article, I suddenly get the feeling that it was the worst piece of crap ever

12:16
Beano: Any hope for Suwinski?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sure, though you do have to realign your expectations negatively compared to preseason

12:17
Champdo: I hope they don’t trade him, but if they do what do you think a Skubal trade looks like?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, they’d get a pretty solid package, it’s the type of trade you’d see a top 50 guy move

12:17
Just a good sandwich: What do the O’s do with their OF? I’m a huge believer in Cowser given the combination of plate discipline and contact quality (T50 in both SEAGER + Damage/BBE to borrow Robert Orr’s dashboard), but his biggest issue is that he isn’t pulling the ball and he isn’t getting the everyday ABs needed to make that adjustment. He’s also one of the most valuable defenders in the league this year! Can you trade Kjerstad? Wait for an injury? Mullins has been absolutely awful for a full calendar year outside of the last two weeks.

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the Orioles just keep rolling with the OF

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: they’re scoring a lot of runs

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and the rotation’s going to be the bigger concern to deal with

12:18
Matt Vierling: His underlying numbers seem to suggest more in the tank. Does he have breakout potential?

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m skeptical. I still think he’s a good stopgap or fourth OF type

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Which is actually better than I felt about him a few years ago

12:18
Kelenic: Has his recent run changed his long term outlook?

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Slightly more optimistic for sure

12:19
Tampa Fred: How/why did you become a member of the Cincinnati BBWAA.

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, Cincy because I live in the area

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I probably could have gotten into the BBWAA before 2016, but I was a real wuss about asking. Passan applied some kind peer-pressure on me to ask Trent Rosecrans and I did.

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: One of my decision-making flaws as a person is I have a crazy amount of inertia

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: if I’m content about something, I generally like the status quo

12:22
Yainer Diaz: Am I closer to the reincarnation of Javy Lopez or did I lose my power?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that was always too high a projection if you’re saying Javy Lopez

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But Diaz ought to be a decentish offense-first catcher no matter his 2024

12:22
Guest: what do you like better, a time for chats or un temps pour chats?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I see what you did there

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though cats aren’t being very interesting at the moment

12:23
Insert Witty Name Here: Reading this book called Marx for Cats. Thought of you, I’d suggest checking it out and we can discuss during the off season.

12:23
KC Pain: Is there some analytics that says to not walk players? Do pitchers not pitch around guys anymore? Do they not do intentional walks? Judge has 53 in his career! He has 5! this year. He had 19 his best year. Bonds, in a bad year hitting .248 in 1989 had 22 IBB. In 1992 32, in 1993 43. Then it goes bonkers and in 2002 68 and of course the 120 in 2004.
Bonds was a great hitter. Judge is crushing. A guy who has done it before. This isnt a surprise. He has no lineup protection. Yet, everytime I look up some scrub is trying to get a meatball past him. Last night Soto on and thrown right down the damn middle in a 1-2 count. Orrr, face JD Davis, Verdugo, DJ LeMahieu, and Austin Wells.
I even own Judge on one of my two teams. Just drives me insane. Also, Ohtani also hitting .300+ and 25+ HR has… 2 IBB. At least Gunnar bats leadoff and has bats behind him
Right up there with, “our beat hitter is coming to bat, let us try and steal and get caught to end the inning.”. WHYYYY????????
-End Rant

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s just that for intentional walks, you need to have a REALLY big gulf between batters

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s what we called “weak protection” in the 90s

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: in that there wasn’t really an observable protection effect as generally thought of

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: BUT, in very lopsided situations, like the #8 batter in NL games, there was a real intentional walk effect

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Which is why if you look at NL IBB leaders in individual years in the 80s and 90s

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’ll see great hitters and the occasional crappy SS or C

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Like the back to back IBB leads for Garry Templeton (post-1981 when he was no longer good)

12:27
Esix Snead: What is your immediate reaction to the Texas A&M shakeup?  LaViolette instantly the most exciting player to hit the portal since…?

12:27
Esix Snead: Do you fault Schlossnagle for leaving A&M in the current college environment?  Is it as simple as Texas showed him what $100 bills looked like when measured in cubic yards?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I only know the basic situation! This isn’t really my area of expertise. You should bug the Baseball America guys on twitter or something

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: wwait, I didn’t mean to sound negative

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That came off really badly and I apologize

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean that you should ask them as they pay more attention to the day to day stuff

12:31
k: Hey Dan, any explanation for the NL home run drought of 1946? Kiner lead the league with 23! The AL seemed normal.

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s just one of those weird quirks

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You still had the effects of lower quality wartime baseballs

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and the difference in league HRs wasn’t THAT huge

12:32
Zips fan: Would love a model that shows updated trade values from zips.  Any chance we ever get it ?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not sure. I’d need to figure out more automation

12:32
Phil: How sticky are your hands right now?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not at all!

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have a weird hangup about having anything on my hands and wrists

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: i never wear a watch or any kind of ring

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and even a bandaid, I’ll basically take off as soon as accidentally hitting the area won’t cause bleeding

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so if I have a sticky spot or something, I’ll get it off immediately

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: even if I just spit in my hand

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (don’t worry, I don’t do this in public)

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wear latex gloves to do cat food or even a can of tuna

12:34
Grumpy in Gotham: Yankees manage .500 the second half? Seems like the same problem as last year.  Older underperforming players

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They have a great deal of downside for sure given the construction

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but they ought to be better than .500!

12:35
Reds Enjoyer: With injuries absolutely killing the Reds, its looking more and more likely they’ll be in selling, rather than buying, position at the deadline. If they are, who do they even sell? Does anyone even want Frankie Montas??

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re not getting an amazing package or anything for him

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but it is a sellers market. If he looks healthy in July, they’ll get something, almost no matter what he does

12:35
Factory of Sadness: Thanks for the answer re: Fry! Looks like Zobrist had one season (2012, .848 OPS) where he didn’t play 50% of his games at one position (71 of 157 appearances in right field). Fry’s at .940 so far with a ZiPS RoS of .747, which would put him right in line with that season

12:35
Factory of Sadness: Sorry, ZiPS RoS of .767*

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: his full fat ZiPS RoS is better though!

12:37
Zips Time Warp: Have you done a time warp on Herb Score, Frank Tanana pre injury, Dickie Thon, or Sandy Koufax? Could be cool! Thank you for chatting

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The first three are kind of in my mental queue

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: didn’t really think of Koufax as I figured it wouldn’t be super interesting

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean, he’s already a highly respected easy Hall of Famer with a crazy peak

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I tend to like the guys that missed a specific record or missed the Hall

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thon is a good one

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: REally, so are the other two

12:39
Oaktown Blues: JJ Bleday is tied for 3rd in CF WAR so far this season. Are you a believer? Is ZiPS?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Neither of us are really

12:39
Guest: I doubt the demand outweighs the tech lift, but what would it take for a 3-year ZiPS that updates in-season (or maybe just once around the ASB)?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d need to do a simpler model like the in-season one

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: updating just once isn’t a bad idea though

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: David’s on vacation, I shoudl suggest that

12:40
Jonhenry: Who is one guy you’re still surprised is struggling and are extremely optimistic about moving forward

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, it WAS Acuna

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Colt Keith

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can’t belief Jeff McNeil is THIS bad

12:41
Slew: That Kwan guy seems pretty good. How much has his 2024 changed his long term projection?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m actually doing the midway ZiPS movers/shakers piece

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: hitters should go tomorrow

12:42
Dancing Dan Mcgraw: If Harper had an opt out, what does Zips think he’d get in free agency?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ll run it

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though it’s really more what ZiPS thinks someone *should* pay rather than what he will

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS thought Bryant should have gotten like $100 million less than he did in Colorado. But he was always GOING TO get more than THAT

12:44
Tampa Fred: Cincy use to be my adopted hometown until 1979.  I was hardcore Reds fan until then.  Up to 24 games of so in my best years.  What part of Queen City did you live?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I live in the area (between Dayton and Cincy) not Cincy proper

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: my favorite place in Ohio is Jungle Jim’s

12:45
Greg: “Every time I submit an article, I suddenly get the feeling that it was the worst piece of crap ever”

Aw don’t feel so bad Dan, I’m sure that there are lots of people out there who think that about all of your articles 😉

12:45
kevin: That did sound rude Dan but thank you for apologizing. The guys at Baseball America are very helpful

12:45
Esix Snead: No offense taken.  Love you, Simba.

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I tend to use “bug X” as a less negative thing than most people

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ll tell people to “bug me on Twitter for X” all the time

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but saying “go bug other person” sounds really dickish and it was unintentional

12:46
Biscuit: Who are your favorite “closers-in-waiting” that are behind guys that are likely to be traded?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The latter makes it trickier!

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Like Brock Stewart should be a closer at some point, but the Twins aren’t trading their closer

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure there are a lot of closers that are going to be traded really

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think the A’s are trading Miller

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So…Tanner Banks maybe?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: the Nard Dog in Miami?

12:49
Thinking Big: How valuable does ZIPS think Eddie Gaedel would be today?

12:49
ronniecakes: I read all of your work and you obviously know a lot of math and stats. Did you learn about modeling and statistics while making zips? Or also in school? I’m trying to figure out how to do the stuff you do and wondering if you can give a bit of perspective. Thanks

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kinda out of ZiPS wheelhouse! (Gaedel, didn’t hit enter)

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I majored in math, but most of the classes weren’t really directly applicable

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and a lot I’ve forgotten, so please don’t send me differential geometry questions

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve always been interested in stat/prob though and I learned a lot growing up, even as a little kid

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: like I designed a little paper and pen baseball game with real stats when I was 8

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I had a complex D&D-like system (though less complex than that) for playing GI Joes and Transformers

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I was already tinkering with translations and had made Bill James’ Brock5 and Favorite Toy in Lotus 1-2-3 when I was in eighth grade

12:54
Ari: Is there an easy way I can see data for total complete games per season/team over the last 20 years or so?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’d ahve to do a couple excel formulas

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but the leaderboards give you enough data to do it easily

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but not instantly!

12:54
Guards Fan: How often does Fangraphs look at the positional adjustment for their WAR calculation, and how confident should we be when we compare players from different positions? If two players are otherwise quite similar, but WAR suggests one is worth more because they play second base instead of third base, would it be fair to judge them as similarly valuable players?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they’re roughly fair, if that makes sense

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: perfect precision here is fairly impossible

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but remember, the largest chunk of the value still comes from the offense, which we ARE quite sure about

12:55
Greg: I know that this isn’t your area of expertise but I keep seeing that Cade Horton has a lat injury when it sounds like the injury is to his subscapularis. Isn’t that better described as a shoulder (or more specifically rotator cuff) injury?

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This is definitely not my area of expertise

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: when they started calling injuries capsule injuries some years back, I assumed that pitchers had recently evolved a new body part

12:56
brad penny for your thoughts: have you ever played thru any of the Diablo series?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yup, though not II

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have IV, but I just havne’t played it as much as I expected. Not because I didn’t like it, but there are just so many games to play

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And believe it or not, I spend a lot of time doing my job!

12:56
Nate: which MLB player could eat the most brats in one sitting

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Chris Sale I bet

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I know he had the cheesesteak record at one point

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He doesn’t look like it, but he eats things like a Katamari Damacy ball

12:57
Kvn: It seems like a crazy thing to say but it almost feels like Gunnar is going under the radar a bit. He’s on a 12 WAR pace!

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s actually now #1 in ZiPS five-year WAR

12:57
Adam: Which happens first, a back-to-back World Series champ, or expansion?

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: expansion

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: would have said back to back 15 years ago

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but I think we’re inching towards expansion

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: there have been murmurs about it and teams like cash infusions

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And they’ll want to use it as an excuse to expand playoffs again, to eight division winners (barf) and six wild cards (barf)

12:59
Adam: What % would scoring increase if each team had a 28th out every game that they could deploy on offense in the inning of their choosing?

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, can they choose IN an inning?

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cause you’ll add at least a run per game just getting an extra out with the bases loaded or something

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: or do they have to choose befroe the inning?

1:00
Half Mast Stat Blast: Pitch sequencing seems like a big deal. There are rock paper scissors algorithms that learn tendencies and then consistently beat human players. How much is a similar system used by baseball teams? And how much just boils down to catchers calling for a pitch again cause the last one looked good. Or calling a different one so the hitter won’t expect it. Rather than something more data-driven and concrete.

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This is one bit I’m not so sure about as I haven’t talked with a front office about it and I don’t really tinker much on the issue

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve wanted a pitcher to try and pitch by random selection as an experiment, but nobody has as far as I know

1:01
bobbles: Hi! It seems like Jordan Westburg has pretty dramatically exceeded expectations this year—seemed like he was projected as a part time infielder/more of a bit player than a major contributor. Do you think he keeps this up? Regresses to

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’ll regress some, but there were always reasons to like him

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, ZiPS would offer 4/110 for Harper if he were a FA, which would absolutely not land him

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oops read wrong line, that’s three years

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 4/140

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: still wouldn’t land him

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Going back to Westburg, he’s at a 144 OPS+

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: in his PA so far, that would only be the 88th percentile projection!

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (96 for a full season)

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He already had a 20% chance at a 124 coming into the season

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS had him with 15 WAR from 2025-2029 coming into the season

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: at 19 now

1:07
Dave Dombrowski: Who do you think we should be targeting to replace Pache/Dahl in left at the trade deadline?

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think they’ll succeed, but the Phillies ought to be highly interested in Luis Robert

1:08
Marsh: At what point do I start to believe Brandon Marsh is one of the best BAPIPers ever?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: How old are you now? That is when

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: All the projection systems have his BABIP at .350 RoS

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In 2025 projections, ZiPS currently has Marsh #2 in BABIP at .348

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: behind Nolan Jones, who has a park effect to thank

1:11
Kev: Some signs of life from Toglia lately. Any chance of him breaking through to being an acceptable major league starting 1bman?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Meh. He was like a wRC+ 115 (UNtranslated) guy in AAA, which isn’t impressive for a 1B

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Maybe meh-minus

1:11
bobbles: Seems like Jordan Westburg has dramatically exceeded expectations, going from a projected but player/part time infielder to a major offensive and defensive contributor in the orioles. Do you expect him to leep

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I will note that ZiPS projected him as a three-win per year player from 2025-2029 BEFORE the season. So I certainly don’t like him less than I or ZiPS did in March!

1:12
Guest: We all knew Gunnar had power, but not like this.  What do we think now?  Epic random hot streak?  Brady Anderson mystery 50HR season?  Sustainable 40+ HR power?

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think he’s gong to stay at 40 homers, but he’s elite

1:13
Syllogism: lol — D&D … sweet!  Back in the day, a friend and I created a system for DUNE!  Thanks so much for what you do!  Of Schuemann, Schneemann, Austin Martin, Horowitz … who do you think might stick?

1:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Martin’s certainly the most INTERESTING of them

1:15
re: Nats: I know this isn’t your area of expertise, but how will securities fraud investigations change after the Supreme Court’s decision this morning in Jarkesy?

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Heh, REALLY out o fmy area of expertise

1:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I imagine that we go back to pre Dodd-Frank limits on administrative remedies?

1:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not an expert — again, NOT NOT NOT an expert — but this feels like one of the many decisions that I think is correct even though I’m unhappy about the consequences.

1:16
Guest: KATAMARI DAMACY (DAAAMAAAHTSUIIIIIII) … hell yeah! Many nights with friends drinking and playing that on PS

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But you should never ever ever be getting SCOTUS analysis from me

1:17
Greg: I am very surprised by the hitting of Joey Ortiz this year.  In the past 2 months in 194 PA he has a 500 SL:G and 889 OPS.  I see the projections systems aren’t buying it.  What do you think?

1:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This would be a very aggressive bump

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but he always had a good chance to be really good

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s not like the O’s didn’t like Ortiz. They knew they were trading someone would might be excellent. But they REALLY wanted Burnes

1:18
Oaktown Blues: Why is Aledmys Diaz still on the A’s roster? Is it just because he can stand in between 2B and 3B and pretend to be a SS?

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The A’s are standing in between April and September and pretending they’re a baseball franchise

1:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so it seems on point

1:19
Bob Loblaw: Which is the true Cardinals: the before May 12 Cardinals or the after May 12 Cardinals?

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Something in between

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Everyone projected them to be around .500

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and they’ve been around .500

1:19
Jerry: Dan, you’re running the Blue Jays.  What are you doing at the trade deadline?  Sell off free agents or sell everybody including Bo and Vlad?  2026 is looking scary.

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I might actually sell if I haven’t been able to extend Bichette before then

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This looks like a sellers market

1:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and the Jays are in a pretty icky hole

1:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not so far back in wins, but they have to leapfrog a LOT

1:20
Reds Enjoyer: Really enjoyed the piece on the 2016 Cubs last week. Had me wondering: does ZiPS give you the ability to plug in any player at any time to see what their projections would have been at certain points in their career? For instance, seeing what Beltre’s rest of career projections would have been after his last season in Seattle just to see how much he was crushing the aging curve by.

1:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, though not inseason

1:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can project Adrian Beltre after X season, but not after July 12th on X season as I’d have to take a few extra automated steps

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I’d have to get the in-season projection and then instruct ZiPS to then use THAT projection for the season in question)

1:21
Adam: Setting aside the feasibility of how it would get there, what animal escaping onto the field during a game would be most hilarious?

1:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think an elephant

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nobody in security is equipped to stop an elephant

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and the elephant isn’t going to eat a player, which makes it more likely to stay hilarious rather than become tragic

1:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Like tigers aren’t entertaining when one mauls Byron Buxton

1:23
Guest: is there any more annoying food fact than lunch meat is carcinogenic? (I’m having roast beef and cheddar today anyway)

1:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not quite sure it’s EXACTLY what you’re looking for

1:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but I really hate unhelpful serving size proportions

1:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t know how many cookies three ounces of cookies is

1:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and there used to be this generic brand of french bread pizza that had two french bread pizzas in the box, but the serving size was 2/3 of a pizza

1:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HTF are you going to eat the second two thirds of a box of french bread pizza?

1:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Heat up the 1/3 you didn’t eat from the first one and then bake the second one only to put two thirds of it in the fridge?

1:27
Guest: why is zips pro collusion /s

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: lol

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: oh god, it’s 130, I gotta go

1:27
John: Sometimes I get the vibe that you’re a libertarian, so I appreciate your refusal to discuss politics. Keep up the good work.

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve mentioned THAT at least

1:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but I’m one of those wishy-washy pragmatic ones that ends up just coming off as a bland centrist

1:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not one of those deranged ones that don’t pay taxes for 15 years or want to blow up everything on day one or make a troll caucus they name after Mises

1:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: which makes me a boring libertarian. And since I’m a Georgist, I have stances on things like land ownership that annoy other libertarians too

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and really, I have no desire to browbeat anyone into thinking as I do. There are lots of worldviews out there, and there’s no reason for anyone here to give a fig about mine

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I already annoy enough people with my day-to-day job.

1:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And on that note, it’s time for me to head out!

1:30
Guest: Do you enjoy exercise outside of a sports capacity?

1:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No. Exercise is best when you’re hitting something or breaking something or shoving someone or tackling someone

1:31
Greg: “Nobody in security is equipped to stop an elephant”

Who says that they have to work for security though? Or is Aaron Judge backing down for contractual reasons? I’m sure that he is not allowed to battle elephants in the offseason but this would be different.

1:31
Roman Empire: Tigers are hilarious.  You’re wrong

1:31
Guest: Maybe an elephant isn’t going to eat anyone, but they could easily bring down a section of stands. I know we tend to think of the walls and stands as immovable objects, but to something as physically powerful as an elephant?

1:31
Oddball Herrera: Can it be more than one of a single type of animal?  In that case I vote for a swarm of baboons to charge the field





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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Alby
26 days ago

The animal-on-the-field question is why I keep coming back for these chats. Thanks, Dan! My answer keeps it in the realm of possibility: An alligator. Some guy brought his “emotional support alligator” to a Phillies game last year, so hilarity could have ensued. Sadly, Wally is now missing.

https://www.npr.org/2024/05/03/1248880788/wally-alligator-missing-georgia

Last edited 26 days ago by Alby