Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 8/17/15

11:59
Dan Szymborski: Your cri de coeur for mediocrity has been answer: Here is Dan Szymborski

11:59
Dan Szymborski: ed

12:00
Comment From groucho
Who will be the new Brewers gm?

12:00
Dan Szymborski: Not a clue. I didn’t think there were even going to fire Melvin..errr promote Melvin…until after the season.

12:00
Comment From Frank+Jobe
Can we stick a fork in the NL East just yet?

12:00
Dan Szymborski: Nats are quickly running out of calendar.

12:00
Comment From Neal
The Jays have extended their winning streak to 1. Will they lose again?

12:00
Dan Szymborski: At some point.

12:00
Comment From Julio Pepper
Do ROS projections weight more recent in-season games more heavily than games from earlier in the season?

12:00
Dan Szymborski: No, in-season I haven’t found much value for that.

12:02
Comment From HappyFunBall
As a Nationals fan, the time has well passed that I should panic. Are we yet at the point where the organization should be as well?

12:02
Dan Szymborski: At this point, not much use of panicking.

12:02
Dan Szymborski: August acquisitions are usually guys that you’re not too excited about

12:02
Comment From Guest
MLB wants to institute the rooney rule? That’s proven to be such BS, just hire the most qualified candidate and get on with it. Why force people to waste their time? If someone was qualified, they’d get an interview.

12:02
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think the Rooney Rule has really done all that much good, even if the motivation for it was good.

12:03
Comment From Joe
Follow up from last week: if we don’t see any effect of steroids in the data, does that suggest the offensive explosion during the steroid era was just a coincidence?

12:03
Dan Szymborski: The timelines don’t even match up.

12:03
Dan Szymborski: For steroids to cause the offensive era, you have to believe a number of things.

12:04
Dan Szymborski: 1. That we went from no steroids to full steroids (with no increase afterwards) from September of 1992 to April of 1994.

12:05
Dan Szymborski: 2. That the drug testing left a steroid hangover that lasted half a decade before suddenly and abruptly ending.

12:06
Dan Szymborski: 3. That steroids didn’t work for the minor leagues, where offensive changes didn’t follow their established more strict drug testing.

12:06
Comment From Neal
Over/under 10% chance Price returns to the Jays in the off-season?

12:06
Dan Szymborski: Under I think.

12:06
Comment From AgaveOtter
Zim – seems like a bumper class of rookies this year. Give me your top 5 if starting team from scratch: Bryant, Sano, Russell, Synderdaard, Correia, Buxton, Gallo, Schwarber, Swihart, others??

12:08
Dan Szymborski: Bryant, Pederson, Correa, Russell, Syndergaard

12:08
Comment From Minty
Has Billy Hamilton already peaked? He sucks with the bat and I don’t see any glimmers of hope.

12:08
Dan Szymborski: It’s possible.

12:08
Dan Szymborski: Though I think he’s better than this and don’t see much offensive upside.

12:08
Comment From mtsw
Orioles Rule 5 pitcher got to bat in an AL game yesterday with Athletics 1B Ike Davis pitching. 1) How awesome is this? 2) How perfect is it that the incredibly strange journey of Jason Garcia has now resulted in him becoming the answer to a weird trivia question?

12:08
Dan Szymborski: That was fun, especially as the score wasn’t reversed!

12:09
Comment From Guest
Are the Nats MLB’s biggest blue-ball franchise? We’re going on what, 4-5 years where they were presumptive league-wide favorites and they aren’t holding on in a bad NL east.

12:09
Dan Szymborski: The team has definitely had a lot go wrong. At least the odds that they fire Matt Williams haver improved

12:09
Comment From Real
How screwed are the Orioles next year?

12:10
Dan Szymborski: Fairly so. The system is not developing guys fast enough and they don’t seem to have any inclination to make up the losses with $

12:10
Dan Szymborski: Once again, saving the off-topic ones for the Lightning Round! While I’m marking off topics, it makes it easier to just wait for them so I don’t have to find all my marks again!

12:10
Comment From Kevin
Did you see the Chris Davis game winning HR from Saturday? The one he hit with one hand at his ankles? Is he quietly on his way back to ’13 scary Chris Davis?

12:10
Dan Szymborski: I’m a little disappointed, I thought Davis was actually going to finally have an actual average Chris Davis year, which he never really has had

12:10
Comment From groucho
the offensive era probably correlates much better with strike zone size over time

12:11
Comment From CSA
Anything to Carlos Gomez’ struggles as an Astro? They need him to turn it around pretty badly.

12:11
Dan Szymborski: Anybody can hit anything in 60 PA. Sample size care not for importance of acquisition!

12:11
Comment From mtsw
I know I’m probably the only person who was watching Padres-Rockies yesterday, but I caught Dave Roberts clearly wearing an Apple Watch in the dugout. Is wearable tech covered by the ban on electronics in the dugout? Should it be?

12:12
Dan Szymborski: I don’t believe the ban covers that unless it’s used in a manner

12:12
Dan Szymborski: I think Ned Yost wears one too

12:12
Comment From John
Brooks Baseball has a few 99 MPH sinkers registered by Canyonero yesterday… this can’t be right.. that’s not fair

12:12
Dan Szymborski: CAMINERO!

12:12
Dan Szymborski: He whiffs everybody with his super high speed, he’s a hair raisin’, lead blazin’ pitching machine! CAMINERO! CAMINERO!

12:13
Dan Szymborski: He throws real fast and runs like a turtle, unexplained homers are a matter for Clint Hurdle CAMINERO! CAMINERO!

12:13
Comment From John
Since Papelbon trade:
Phillies are 8-9
Nats are 6-13

12:13
Dan Szymborski: Don’t read too much into that The Nats are mostly 6-13 because they’ve played like crap.

12:13
Comment From mtsw
Will the Orioles spend their $25M of freed-up salary prudently this offseason or will they give Chris Davis a 6/150 extension cause dingers?

12:13
Dan Szymborski: They’re not giving Davis $150 million.

12:14
Comment From Guest
True or false: CHN’s success this year has nothing to do with their rebuilding but instead actually putting resources into the major league team. Take away Schwarber/Bryant/Russel and you’re down ~6 WAR, which could have been easily purchased on the free agent market.

12:14
Dan Szymborski: 6 WAR in free agency is damn expensive. While you can make this argument, you can make it about anyone and anything.

12:15
Dan Szymborski: You can *always* buy players as good as you develop. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily equally as smart to have done so or equally as good as an idea.

12:15
Comment From Will Graham
Wait, you’d take Joc before Correa?!

12:15
Dan Szymborski: It wasn’t a ranking.

12:16
Comment From Matt
Can Harper claim the Triple Crown inthe NL?

12:16
Dan Szymborski: I do not believe it very likely – there are multiple guys a dozen RBI ahead

12:16
Comment From John
Should the NL East even get a playoff berth this year? Why not just have one wild card play the Central winner and the other Wild Card play the West winner and scrap the WC game? Maybe have the Phillies play the Marlins instead with the winner getting the #1 pick

12:16
Dan Szymborski: Mets are no worse than most AL teams.

12:16
Comment From greg
I am confused as to why Marlon Byrd still plays for the Reds assuming he’s made it through wavers (I’ve not seen either way). Do potential returns increase towards the end of August, or should Jocketty just pull the trigger on something (anything) already?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: I would assume that nobody’s really expressed that much of an interest. No insight here as the Reds are one of the front offices I have very few inside sources on.

12:17
Comment From The Cincinnati Kid
Are Yasiel Puig and Alex Guerrero both Dodgers next year? One moves or both get moved?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: Yes, no.

12:17
Comment From Neal
Who gets more in the off-season: Chris Davis or Mike Napoli?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: Davis

12:18
Dan Szymborski: Napoli is 4 years older and coming off a crappy season, there’s no chance he gets more than Davis

12:18
Comment From The Big Dipper
Was peak Rich Harden a better pitcher than James Harden is a basketball player?

12:18
Dan Szymborski: Peak Harden was damn good. WOuldn’t say better, but comparable

12:19
Comment From TKDC
Do you believe Dave Dombrowski is the most valuable free agent in baseball?

12:19
Dan Szymborski: Well yeah. Free agents in August kinda suck usually

12:19
Comment From Christian
Nothing celebrates a no hitter quite like allowing 37 runs the next 2 games right?

12:19
Comment From Guest
Did 2015 “break” our projections, as a grantland (keri?) article posited? If so, is it because front offices are outpacing public projections in terms of analytics?

12:19
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t found any larger problems with ZiPS. 2013 was the hardest, IIRC

12:20
Comment From earls ghost
16 team league playoffs starting. I’m looking for a starter. Why is Zips so much more bearish than Steamer on his ROS projections? To be clear: this question has nothing to do with Steamer’s inputs. Just interested in understanding the ZIPs projection. Thanks a lot.

12:20
Dan Szymborski: One of the important inputs in ZiPS is you have to name an actual player. It’s quite hard to source stats from unknown players – they tend to be mapped to a name or database ID rather than an abstract concept.

12:20
Comment From Minty
Will Joc fix his contact issues enough to make him a true star, or will he be on that next tier with Springer?

12:21
Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll be fine, but he’ll always have a low OBP

12:21
Comment From The Cincinnati Kid
I’ve read Moneyball, The Extra 2%, and Big Data Baseball…what suggestions would you have from there?

12:21
Dan Szymborski: Palmer/Thorn Hidden Game of Baseball is very useful – it gives you a lot of the sense of development of today’s concepts.

12:21
Dan Szymborski: And allows you to see the progression in thinking

12:22
Dan Szymborski: The Book is also very good, though it’s intentionally dry

12:23
Dan Szymborski: Baumer/Zimbalist also have a fairlly new book The Sabermetric Revolution

12:23
Comment From hscer
Only 3 years as presumptive favorites (2013-15), no need for hyperbole!

12:23
Comment From Bret
Looking ahead, I can see quite a few interesting qualifying offer candidates: Brett Anderson, Mark Buehrle, Hisashi Iwakuma, Matt Wieters, Denard Span, Dexter Fowler. Predictions on whether these guys would receive a QO, and if so, if they’d accept?

12:23
Dan Szymborski: I actually think all these guys will get a QO and none will accept.

12:23
Comment From The Cincinnati Kid
Has Polanco finally figured it out?

12:23
Dan Szymborski: I sure hope soo

12:23
Dan Szymborski: soo?

12:23
Comment From hscer
You need guys on base to win the triple crown! Harper’s teammates don’t get on base. Especially when Michael Taylor is leading off and Harper is batting 3rd. No chance.

12:24
Comment From groucho
should a team be worried about overspending on Heyward this offseason??

12:24
Dan Szymborski: People tell me I’m wrong and he’ll do better than a 5/95 type of deal. I could be wrong, but I’m not convinced that teams are ready to shell out a ton of money for corner outfield defense.

12:25
Comment From jerkstore
i’d like the cards to re-sign heyward because, its not my money, but he can’t really be worth 200 million, right?

12:25
Dan Szymborski: I actually ahven’t crunched the numbers – it does seem to be on the high side for both his worth and definitely what he will actually get paid

12:26
Comment From Adam S
Bryant, Russell, and Schwarber are likely 9 WAR by end of the year (already 7). That’s a couple of 5/$125M FA contracts to replace.

12:26
Comment From Miggy Azalea
What kind of return can be expected for Utley, assuming he gets traded?

12:26
Dan Szymborski: Next to nothing. Maybe nothing but agreeing to pay his salary

12:26
Comment From TKDC
I meant going into 2016. Is Dombrowski better than Heyward/Price/whoever? That company you work for wrote something about this recently.

12:27
Dan Szymborski: Wait, did the 538 piece say Dombrowski was more valuable than Price? I’m skeptical, to say the least

12:28
Dan Szymborski: Pollis does a lot of good work, but I think some of his assumptions in his study were overaggressive

12:28
Comment From Guest
Lords of the Realm is a nice book on baseball history

12:28
Dan Szymborski: That’s a fun one

12:28
Comment From earls ghost
Oops! Fighting a cold! I was asking about the recently acquired John Lamb of the Reds.

12:29
Dan Szymborski: In-Season, ZiPS is very simple relative to season-to-season (and not really useful for guys with a lot of minor league time as FG hasn’t implemented a process for translations yet)

12:29
Comment From Xolo
Why does it seem like baseball writers try to dissuade fans from analyzing baseball? Isn’t that sort of interactivity one of the edges baseball has over the other major sports?

12:29
Dan Szymborski: Writers dont’ like when their readers expect things from them tha tthey don’t personally understand

12:29
Comment From mtsw
What’s your opinion of the SaberSim daily projections now featured on FG? They seem mostly good (they line up very well with a DIY version I made earlier this season using similar inputs) but occasionally will predict weird results from pitchers. Have you looked at these at all?

12:30
Dan Szymborski: I have not looked deeply into these. I’m working on my own DFS stuff.

12:30
Comment From Neal
If Mark Buerhle rejects a QO, who would actually sign him?

12:30
Dan Szymborski: Someone actually paid a first-round pick for the PRIVILEGE OF SIGNING MIKE CUDDYER

12:30
Comment From GSon
How many QO’s in the history of QO’s have been offered and accepted?. one?. more than one?

12:30
Dan Szymborski: Zero

12:30
Comment From Mike
Who would you start in a Wild Card game for the Cubs? Lester, or Arrieta?

12:31
Dan Szymborski: Arrieta I think

12:31
Comment From mtsw
People think DC-area fans are mad about the Nationals, but years of following the Redskins have made them extremely used to teams that win the offseason ending up as major disappointments when the games actually start.

12:31
Comment From Guest
Fowler seems a really close call. His career average is about 2 WAR, per year and he’s not on pace to go much beyond that. At 7-8M for a win, and ~16M for QO, he could be next year’s Kendrys Morales.

12:32
Dan Szymborski: But remember, a qualifying offer isn’t a a 1/16 offer, it’s an offer that is *either* 1/16 or a *free* draft pick. That changes the game theory.

12:32
Dan Szymborski: Well, that changes the game

12:32
Dan Szymborski: It doens’t change game theory. Duh

12:33
Comment From Johnny5Alive
RE: the QO question. You don’t think Brett Anderson accepts? At what point does a player become realistic about his own injury prone-ness? Is it that he doesn’t want the $15 million because he thinks he could score a 2 or 3 year deal? Arent most smart teams getting risk averse to that?

12:33
Dan Szymborski: Players aren’t always objective about their expectations going forward.

12:34
Dan Szymborski: He feels well and is pitching decently – he’s not likely to be super objective about his chances to blow out parts of his arm again

12:34
Comment From John
Are people just placing too much value on Heyward’s age? I mean it’s great that he’ll be a young free agent but a lot of his value comes from defense, which is one skill that declines quickly, no?

12:34
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, defense doesn’t really have a peak, it just kinda declines forever.

12:34
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Early thoughts on Severino?

12:35
Dan Szymborski: Fastball’s looked just as explosive in majors. Still not a master of the more subtle aspects of pitching. I’m optimistic

12:35
Comment From Minty
He may be fatiguing now, but how does ZIPS handle someone like Carlos Martinez who has seemingly otherwise greatly improved this year?

12:36
Dan Szymborski: That’s a little too generalized a question – ZiPS is literally thousands of different formulas, there’s no simple Player Has Greatly Improved behavior that can be distilled into a simple answer.

12:36
Comment From mtsw
What does 2016 ZiPS say about Caleb Joseph? Hard to tell if he ends up as a good hitter or replacement level bat. Is it possible he’s better than Wieters going forward (assuming Wieters can even still play catcher?)

12:36
Dan Szymborski: Don’t know, haven’t asked ZiPS yet.

12:36
Comment From mtsw
Please elaborate about the DFS stuff you’re working on. Is the plan for it to be available gratis on FG as well?

12:36
Dan Szymborski: Not sure. For all I know it might just be something I keep to myself.

12:36
Comment From hscer
DFS should stand for “Designated for ssignment”

12:37
Comment From Guest
Yo Kileno what are your thoughts on the triple dry-hopped 17-yo out of Cuba, I hear he’s got some great bitterness up front well balanced against a natural swing that draws power from the hips, scouts project him for a 70-80 on beergraphs

12:37
Dan Szymborski: heh

12:37
Comment From Guest
Starlin Castro is a ______________________________.

12:37
Dan Szymborski: baseball player currently employed by thye Chicago Cubs.

12:37
Comment From Bret
A lot of teams would probably love to have to Andrew Susac as their starting catcher going forward, and this offseason, the Giants could probably get a good starting pitcher in exchange for him, which they’ll be looking for. Susac is obviously blocked from starting catching duty, but they still benefit from having him around as a guy who can give Posey days at first base. So my question: is Susac worth more to the Giants than he would be to other teams? Or does it make sense to deal him this offseason for a good return and find a standard, boring backup catcher?

12:37
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s best to trade him *if* you can address other, more serious needs than the Posey 1B caddy.

12:37
Comment From Unanimous
Do you want to be the Brewers GM?

12:37
Dan Szymborski: No.

12:38
Comment From Francisco Moneylendor
Will you be appointing yourself captain of the SS Heyward this offseason, just as you appointed yourself chief oarsman of Trireme Headley?

12:38
Dan Szymborski: Hey, I was right that the Trireme Headley was better than Galleon Sandoval! Just didn’t quite realize how damning with faint praise that was.

12:38
Comment From Neal
On the QO discussion, think it’ll be a major issue in the next CBA negotiation? I’m sure the players don’t like how much it affects their free agency.

12:39
Dan Szymborski: There wil probably be some tinkering, but likely nothing major

12:39
Comment From mtsw
What does an offseason Manny Machado extension look like? Is there a number the Orioles would actually do that would make sense for Machado to accept or is he destined for free agency in 3 years?

12:39
Dan Szymborski: All the money. I’m a little worried that the time has already passed in which the O’s could get Machado for a contract they were willing to pay.

12:41
Dan Szymborski: They already had less leverage over Machado than the average young player simply because with signing bonus, they’ve already given him more than $6 million. But with increased arbitration paydays not far off in the future, their leverage is even more reduced

12:41
Comment From Xolo
Since you’re fielding QO questions, what about Ian Kennedy? Everyone’s acting like the Padres are going to lose him for nothing but he’s still a Boras client.

12:41
Dan Szymborski: Kennedy might actually take it, even with Boras

12:41
Comment From Oren
Curious for your overall thoughts on Devon Travis. His injuries this year have made him to really evaluate, but when he has been healthy, he’s been fantastic. Do the Jays have a really good, young 2B they can pencil in going forward, or have we seen too little of him to be sure?

12:41
Dan Szymborski: He’s shown enough that he’s likely the best option, internally or externally

12:42
Comment From Minty
Sorry it was too broad for ZIPS. How confident should I be that Martinez can do this again next year?

12:42
Dan Szymborski: Fairly so. And remember, ZiPS didn’t exactly dislike him coming into the season.

12:42
Dan Szymborski: I wrote a ZiPS Pitchers under 25 piece on ESPN

12:42
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
As a Pederson owner, I am interested for why you have faith in him after he is having so many problems hitting recently (although he walks like crazy!)

12:42
Dan Szymborski: Because he was always going to be a low BA guy and a low BA guy in a slump is going to have a horribly low BA

12:42
Comment From Neal
Want to be the Szymborski household GM?

12:42
Dan Szymborski: I thought I was

12:43
Comment From Guest
Assuming you’re a Cubs fan, who are you rooting for this week between SFG/STL?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: I’m an Orioles fan

12:43
Comment From The Big Dipper
Have you ever considered moving to Montana and becoming a dental floss tycoon?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: Wait, what?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: Montana’s too far from MLB ball and I don’t know enough about the dental floss industry

12:44
Dan Szymborski: I would imagine at this stage, dental floss is a very mature market with extremely small profit margins and limited opportunities to innovate.

12:44
12:44
Comment From Howie
do you think AA will get another contract with the Jay’s organization or is it time to go with a new direction?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll stay with Jays

12:44
Comment From Unanimous
What would it take for a team to acquire Bryce Harper in a trade?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: A ton. The Nats would have to decide at least a retooling period

12:44
Comment From Josh G
What does a Ben Zobrist contract look like this offseason?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: Given his age, I still expect something like 2/30, 3/45.

12:45
Dan Szymborski: Fact is, as awesome as he is, the Zorilla is only a few years younger than I am

12:45
Comment From ozzie
Should Sale win the AL CY? IP was an obstacle last year, but he’s on pace for at least 210 IP by season’s end

12:46
Dan Szymborski: My thinking tends to be in the middle of the fWAR and bWAR definitions, so I’m not as positive he’s obviously having the best season

12:46
Comment From A ROBOT
Have you ever considered moving to Montana and becoming A ROBOT

12:47
Dan Szymborski: I feel like there’s a meme I’m missing

12:47
Comment From GSon
Does being an Orioles fan around all the other baseball team fans make you feel like you should be from the Island of Misfit Toys?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: Sometimes

12:47
Comment From Guest
Oh, the Missoula Ospreys aren’t good enough for yo szymborski? Get off your high horse.

12:47
Comment From Matt
Strasburg would be a more interesting trade chip in the offseason.

12:47
Comment From baltic wolf
I’d happily move to Montana if I actually could become a dental floss tycoon! We Lithuanians don’t mind the cold! And the western part is quite beautiful. Got any books on becoming a tycoon you can recommend?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON

12:47
Comment From mtsw
Change.org petition to rename “Wins above Replacement” to “Wins above Eric Sogard” when referring to second basemen.

12:47
Comment From Xolo
Are there any websites out there that post combined fWAR/bWAR? That seems like the best way to get a complete picture.

12:47
Dan Szymborski: Not that I know of

12:48
Comment From fransoy
Comments on Matz returning as a reliever for the remainder of 2015 ?

12:48
Dan Szymborski: Not the worst idea in the world. I wanna keep his workload light given he’s coming off a lat issue

12:49
Comment From STiVo
I was listening to a Dodgers broadcast recently. Vin Scully never stops talking. How many humans in the history of our species have uttered more words than he has?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: I assume the Micro Machines guy had to practice a Lot

12:49
Comment From Francisco Moneylendor
To be clear, as a Ben Hur/Corner IF defense enthusiast, I too was rowing on Trireme Headley. Still – is Heyward the sort of acquisition that is more likely to result in a good ROI than the average FA contract?

12:50
Dan Szymborski: I do think that Heyward will be a good value. Maybe. I didn’t envision the Rangers going absolutely apeshit on signing Choo

12:50
Dan Szymborski: If you guys hold on, I’m crunching ZiPS for Heyward contract

12:51
Comment From Guest
Szymborski can’t melt Montana beams

12:51
Dan Szymborski: I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS

12:51
Comment From Mike, of Mike and the Mechanics Fame
Do you think broadcasts would be enhanced by adding a person with real scouting chops to discuss (a few times per game) what they’re seeing from hitters or pitchers? [And I wouldn’t want it to be overdone, like the disastrous Dennis Miller MNF experiment. Would have to be done in moderation–unlike Miller’s attempts at wit.]

12:51
Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:51
Comment From GSon
Did you know that the fly fishing in Montana is some of the best in the world, but you can’t use dental floss even if you are a tycoon in place of fly line..

12:52
Comment From The Big Dipper
https://www.youtube.com/wat…

12:52
Dan Szymborski: OK, that explains it. I really haven’t listend to much Zappa

12:53
Dan Szymborski: but it doesn’t explain WHY

12:54
Comment From Ralism
Did you know Montana is not an actual state? It doesn’t even exist!

12:54
Comment From Ringtone Composer
I always knew you were an Orioles fan, because you and ZiPS hate [my favorite team].

12:55
Comment From marc
If your the cubs and face the pirates in the WC dont you gotta go with Lester? Lefty in that ball park and if he stays hot (unlikely i know) you reduce the chances that Pedro puts one in the river

12:56
Dan Szymborski: I think Arrieta’s slightly better than Lester at this point and the Pirates will run quite aggressively with marte/polanco

12:56
Comment From mtsw
What are the three worst contracts in the league right now, in your opinion?

12:56
Dan Szymborski: I just wrote a piece!

1:00
Dan Szymborski: OK, ZiPS suggest 4/89, 5/112, or 6/134 for Heyward

1:00
Comment From STiVo
I bet that the majority of the variance in the ability to speak superfast, like Micro Machines guy, is largely genetic. Therefore, he probably didn’t practice for thousands of hours. And at top speed, he probably spoke like 4 times faster than Scully. Scully has spoken way longer than that dude. Next!

1:00
Comment From Guest
“The nearly $47 million facility, part of an $80.7 million construction package that includes a 25-yard, 6-lane swimming pool and all-weather sports complex, replaces the district’s 46 year-old middle school.” Capsule regarding an update at my former school district, which has all but eliminated its entire AP program since I left.

1:00
Comment From hscer
ZiPS is plural? This changes everything!

1:00
Dan Szymborski: No, sZymborskI Projection System.

1:00
Comment From Hi Erix
Think the O’s will make the playoffs?

1:00
Dan Szymborski: No

1:01
Comment From hscer
Back in 2008 I didn’t realize Montana had a caucus instead of a primary. I made fun of their turnout of 300 on the radio.

1:01
Dan Szymborski: OK, Lightning ROund Time!

1:01
Dan Szymborski: The reward for you guys being sorts well behaved with the off-topic questions that I would get flooded with before I did the Lightning Round

1:02
Dan Szymborski: The rules for the Lightning Round are simple: I have to answer *every* off-topic question asked, with the usual exceptions (explicit, work-related)

1:02
Comment From AgaveOtter
Excited for TGT?!?! Inspire still seems way too slow and will be run over by aggro – agree?

1:03
Dan Szymborski: Inspire is still likely too slow, but there have been some pretyt sweet cards released, mostly of the non-inspire variety, in the last huge chunk.

1:03
Dan Szymborski: Really, it’s not so much that aggro is a problem as much as too much non interactive combo situations.

1:04
Dan Szymborski: I don’t see anything that’s changing the fact that Patron Warrior is too strong relative to other top decks. They need to nerf at least one of the pieces.

1:05
Dan Szymborski: Changing warsong commander is the most practical.

1:05
Dan Szymborski: It should only grant charge to minions played from hand, like how hobgoblin works

1:05
Comment From Joe
what are your thoughts on donald trump and his popularity

1:05
Dan Szymborski: Vomit

1:05
Comment From mtsw
Streetcars: practical transit solution for re-urbanizing middle class or budget-busting boondoggle that work as well as city buses but cost 10x as much?

1:06
Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure streetcars are all that practical. Seems more like mediocre mass transit for white hipsters

1:06
Comment From AgaveOtter
I only came here for the Hearthstone discussion – what is this sport-ball talk?

1:06
Comment From GSon
Maserati Ghibli or Jaguar F-Type?

1:06
Dan Szymborski: I don’t really know anything about high-end sports cars, but I’ll say the Jaguar as Ghibli sounds like a Tolkien dwarf.

1:06
Comment From Guest
what’s the most hilarious thing you’ve knocked over thanks dam

1:07
Dan Szymborski: When I worked at Stebbins-Anderson in Towson in high school, I knocked over and broke a Tiffany lamp with a stuffed peach that I launched with a makeshift slingshot made of rubber tubing I took from hardware

1:07
Comment From Neal
Status of cats plz.

1:07
Dan Szymborski: There’s a torty cat on my lap, a gray cat on a desk, a calico cat on a couch, and I dont’ know where the tux cat is. All alive at last check

1:07
Comment From marc
Thoughts on the Surging Bernie Sanders? How much fun would a Trump sanders debate be?

1:08
Dan Szymborski: The debate would be fun utnil I realize one of them will be the next president and I’ll then open my veins in a hot bath.

1:08
Comment From hscer
Did you have a 5-listener radio show in the late 90’s?

1:08
Dan Szymborski: I did not

1:08
Comment From GSon
Does Yukon Cornelius have a better chance to sign long term with the O’s than Chris Davis?

1:08
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:08
Comment From STiVo
Given what you said about Heyward’s contract, it seems that ZiPS puts the same AAV on contracts regardless of length. True?

1:08
Dan Szymborski: No.

1:09
Dan Szymborski: I think in this case, it just happens that Heyward’s projected decline rate fairly closely happened to match the projected $/WAR increase rate

1:09
Comment From guy
when your cat somehow opens the refrigerator, does he do so on behalf of the other cats, or is he the only one interested in the fruits of his labor?

1:09
Dan Szymborski: Self interest. He’s the only one interested in what he takes out

1:09
Dan Szymborski: The tux cat and the calico cat don’t care for human food

1:09
Dan Szymborski: And the torty only cares about lettuce and various greens

1:09
Comment From Guest
I PUT THAT BRICK IN YO FACE — WHAT YA GONNA DO WITH IT?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: Better have your money when you come to collect?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: Is this how Chase collects credit card debts now?

1:10
Comment From GSon
Aren’t lightening round questions supposed to be yes/no or quick/simple either or responses?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: No

1:10
Comment From Reginald Denton III
What’s your favorite movie?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: Princess Bride

1:10
Comment From Guest
If you are on an island with just one coconut?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: I’ll die once the coconut runs out

1:10
Comment From mtsw
How do you solve the chicken-and-egg type problem with residential density and mass transit? Politically impossible to build dense enough when everyone drives (too much parking needed) but mass transit can’t work economically in non-dense areas.

1:11
Dan Szymborski: I’m not very knowledgeable about city planning, but I hope the answer results in explosions

1:11
Comment From GSon
Jason Day crying like a girl: Good for Golf.. bad for manliness?

1:11
Dan Szymborski: Eh. I’m not sure golf was really the sport of bros anyway

1:11
Comment From Matt
Will Half Life 3 ever happen? I mean…what is Valve doing?

1:11
Dan Szymborski: Eventually

1:11
Comment From groucho
what was the last picture you took with your phone??

1:12
Dan Szymborski: From the looks of it, the pocket of a pair of shorts

1:13
Comment From Guest
Who would win in a fight, Matthew Kory or Carson Cistulli?

1:13
Dan Szymborski: Kory. Poets can’t fight.

1:13
Comment From Will Graham
Is Rick and Morty on the strongest run of any cartoon ever?

1:13
Dan Szymborski: Hard to beat Simpsons 4-7.

1:13
Comment From Guest
Why did Cistulli spend hours on his wikipedia page, and how has he managed to save it from deletion?

1:13
Dan Szymborski: I don’t know the backstory

1:13
Comment From marc
Arrow Season 4 or flash season 2 with multi-universes, which one will be better?

1:14
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t watched any of those

1:14
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Does Cal Ripken’s son Ryan have a decent chance of making a major-league roster some day?

1:14
Dan Szymborski: No

1:14
Comment From marc
Who would you want to play you in a movie?

1:14
Dan Szymborski: The departed Philip Seymour Hoffman, who could have totally captured the inner complexities of my character

1:14
Comment From The Big Dipper
How many courics was your largest duke?

1:15
Dan Szymborski: Well, Randy’s first, was 6 courics, so 3 or 4 I guess

1:15
Comment From Joe
If the ZIPS robot had a baseball broadcasting voice, whose voice would it have?

1:15
Dan Szymborski: Stephen Hawking’s robot voice because it may trick people into thinking it is Stephen Hawking so they can’t dispute it

1:16
Comment From The Big Dipper
FJ cruiser or Hummer H3?

1:16
Dan Szymborski: Yuck

1:16
Dan Szymborski: I guess FJ Cruiser at it looks easier to parallel park?

1:16
Comment From ar
what’s the best way to analyze why a deck isn’t working? I know that’s broad, but I’m having a really hard time, like, thinking about how to think about why a deck doesn’t work

1:17
Dan Szymborski: Well, examine what the goal of the deck is and then analyze which cards are furthering that goal

1:17
Comment From mtsw
Which 2016 Presidential candidate would make the most formidable contender for future Presidential fights brackets?

1:17
Dan Szymborski: George Pataki who seems to still be growing 2 or 3 inches a year. By the end of a second term, he’s going to be like 8 feet tall

1:17
Comment From marc
Squirtle Charmander or Bulbasaur

1:17
Dan Szymborski: Charmander

1:18
Comment From Reginald Denton III
Favorite fod?

1:18
Dan Szymborski: Will always vary depending on my mood. Right now, pad thai

1:18
Comment From guy
walk up escalator, or just let it do its thing?

1:18
Dan Szymborski: Walking up an escalator is like punching the creator in the face

1:18
Comment From Real
what’s the most hilarious thing you’ve walked into thanks dan

1:18
Dan Szymborski: a little person

1:19
Comment From The Big Dipper
furthest you’ve driven in one day?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: Toronto

1:19
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Did you watch any of the PGA Championship this past weekend?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: I did not

1:19
Comment From The Big Dipper
Do you want to slap Mike Francesa’s butt cheeks?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: No

1:19
Comment From Will Graham
Wait, you dislike Bernie? Are you a monster?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: Yes. Possibly.

1:19
Comment From marc
why isnt the NFL trade deadline like Baseball/ Hockey? Too hard to learn the plays in a short time, too few of games or other?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: Trades in the NFL kinda suck anyway

1:19
Comment From Guest
is this the remix to ignition? is it hot and fresh out of the kitchen? are you rolling that body with every man in here wishin?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: These are rhetorical

1:19
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Which current Republican presidential nominee would receive your peremptory challenge and be stricken from the race?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: Trump

1:20
Comment From Guest
Lawrence Lessing is ____________________.

1:20
Dan Szymborski: less likely to be the next president than the reanimated corpse of Franklin Pierce

1:20
Comment From STiVo
I’ve been reading a kids book to my toddler about Maine coon cats. Ever had a Maine coon? (According to this relatively biased book, they’re awesome.)

1:20
Dan Szymborski: I have not though I know someone who has one

1:20
Comment From a eskpert
Did you engage in succulent pleasure that is watching a Chris Davis ™ effortless dinger this weekend? If not, do so now: http://m.mlb.com/video/v373…

1:21
Comment From hscer
most pretentious restaurant chain? besides Panera, of course

1:21
Dan Szymborski: Nobu

1:21
Comment From Neal
Can you explain Australian football to me? Thanks.

1:21
Dan Szymborski: It’s like rugby played by the descendants of convicts.

1:21
Comment From hscer
everything I learned about city planning I learned from SimCity. so I think natural disasters are both manmade and fun

1:22
Dan Szymborski: Hopefully you didn’t learn about city planning from the new simcity which would make you think cities have to be arbitrarily small and fail to connect to other cities when you start

1:22
Comment From War2d2
Favorite pizza type? New York, Chicago deep dish, Chicago party cut, or other?

1:22
Dan Szymborski: New York

1:22
Comment From Marc
Grey suit. Black or brown shoes?

1:22
Dan Szymborski: black shoes

1:23
Comment From Guest
what’s the loudest sound you’ve ever emitted?

1:23
Dan Szymborski: The F bomb I emitted when I stepped on a hot coal barefoot and the coal kinda stuck to my burning skin and I had to hop over to the spatula to pry it off

1:23
Comment From Matt
Theanswer is underground roads and parking like in Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium.

1:23
Comment From War2d2
Favorite movie from the last 5 years?

1:23
Dan Szymborski: Skyfall. Such a fun Bond movie

1:24
Comment From mtsw
What’s wrong with Season 8 of the Simpsons? Objectively the strongest season even if glimpses of season 10+ decline into empty wackiness were beginning to emerge.

1:24
Dan Szymborski: 4-8 is fair, too

1:24
Comment From Neal
In a zombie apocalypse scenario, most people think they’ll be survivors and plan out how to live? I mean, like, 99% of people are zombies. How can everyone be survivors? HOW DAN?

1:24
Dan Szymborski: I’m totally going to die

1:24
Comment From Guest
are tomatoes sent by the devil or just some poorly intentioned alien

1:25
Dan Szymborski: If life was seeded in part by material from comets, then an alien

1:25
Comment From groucho
Would you rather smell your own poop or smell someone else’s fart??

1:25
Dan Szymborski: The former? Everyone’s used to their own smells

1:25
Comment From Guest
lol scott walker?

1:25
Dan Szymborski: Is that a question?

1:25
Comment From Hi Erix
I don’t think you answered who would play you in a movie, but the answer is Patton Oswalt.

1:25
Comment From ar
the goal of the deck is to win games in hearthstone?

1:25
Dan Szymborski: But how you win

1:25
Dan Szymborski: I’m actually a good 5 inches taller than Oswalt though

1:26
Dan Szymborski: But *how* you win games.

1:27
Dan Szymborski: There’s no such thing as an aggro-control-tempo-combo hybrid deck. You have to design a deck to do a certain thing well

1:27
Dan Szymborski: Like Zombie Chow is a good card. But if you’re playing face hunter, it’s not really helping you achieve your goals

1:27
Dan Szymborski: Because as face hunter, that 5 HP *is* a big deal and you’re not trying to hold tight board control

1:28
Comment From Rogue Question
Is Rogue a low-minion deck? I feel like all of it’s good cards are spells, other than the SI-3: Agent. Can’t find the right balance between minions and spells here.

1:28
Dan Szymborski: There aren’t a lot of heavy-minion rogue decks. They’re actually trying with the expansion to bring in some more minions. Which would be cool as I really want a deck that works with Trade Pricne

1:28
Comment From Ral
Favorite todd?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Barry?

1:29
Comment From Guest
Cavorite cod?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Cape

1:29
Comment From mtsw
Best police officer ethnicity: Irish or Italian?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Irish

1:29
Comment From Guest
dootiest snoot you’ve booped?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Don’t know

1:29
Comment From Guest
Is toronto a distance?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: From me

1:29
Comment From Matt Damon
MATT. DAMON.

1:29
Comment From mtsw
Is there an explanation for Trump’s popularity that doesn’t reflect badly on a huge portion of the Republican primary electorate?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Because he has name recognition and nobody really gives a shit about an election 15 months ahead of time except pundits and insiders?

1:30
Dan Szymborski: If the primary polls had an option “Why the @#%# am I even thinking about this now?” it would be in the lead with like 95%

1:30
Comment From Guest
Who do you know that has a Maine coon?

1:30
Dan Szymborski: A close friend. I’m not giving my friends names here

1:30
Comment From groucho
favorite seinfeld character?

1:30
Dan Szymborski: George

1:30
Comment From Guest
which #chan is best? i could see you as a 7chan guy.

1:30
Dan Szymborski: 4 had the classic memes

1:30
Comment From Guest
Is there anywhere on earth worse than australia TIA

1:30
Dan Szymborski: North Korea?

1:31
Comment From The Big Dipper
New Haven Apizza > New York Pizza

1:31
Dan Szymborski: too much romano

1:31
Comment From Neal
Does Godzilla count as a natural disaster?

1:31
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:32
Comment From Guest
what the hell is a chicago party cut get out of here with this nonsense

1:32
Dan Szymborski: Dumbass squares

1:32
Comment From Guest
what’s adam eatin’?

1:32
Dan Szymborski: There are a lot of Adams

1:32
Comment From Elam Ferguson
SKyfall over Mad Max is a stupid injustice

1:32
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t seen mad Max

1:32
Comment From Neal
Will we ever get a sequel to District 9?

1:33
Dan Szymborski: No. Then again, we got a Bad Boys sequel that exactly nobody asked for

1:33
Comment From Guest
be a dude. have an interview, real big get if you can land the position. skin breaks out shortly before the interview. what do you do?

1:33
Dan Szymborski: makeup?

1:33
Comment From Guest
wtf is up with some of these questions why is your readership insane in the membrane

1:33
Dan Szymborski: It’s the LIghtning Round

1:33
Dan Szymborski: A dedicated off-topic period keeps the on-topic period mostly on-topic

1:33
Comment From Neal
What would your height be in the WWE world?

1:33
Dan Szymborski: 6’5

1:34
Comment From Elam Ferguson
Dragon Paladin is best deck, get rekt

1:34
Dan Szymborski: Too slow, not enough good early dragons, though it may be plausible in TGT

1:34
Dan Szymborski: Though I kinda want to try an ebola-murloc paladin

1:34
Comment From The Big Dipper
how far was toronto?

1:35
Dan Szymborski: Whatever the distance from Baltimore to Toronto through Cooperstown is

1:35
Comment From Joe
Fallout 4 or new Battlefront

1:35
Dan Szymborski: Battlefront

1:35
Comment From The Big Dipper
Favorite bod?

1:35
Dan Szymborski: Kate Upton, my favorite Upton

1:35
Comment From ar
sure but you are playing some distribution of possible opponents, and some are face hunter, some are control, etc. Like the goal isn’t to just beat one type of opponent, right? it’s to on average beat all opponents?

1:35
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but that’s deck *choice* not necessarily deck *design*

1:36
Comment From Guest
Someone texts you and has the wrong number, do you: ignore it, tell them they have the wrong number, or troll them?

1:36
Dan Szymborski: Usually I just ignore

1:36
Comment From Elam Ferguson
welcome to the danky spitoon, how dank are you

1:36
Dan Szymborski: My memes are the dankest

1:36
Comment From hscer
favorite non-main-4 Seinfeld character? Besides jackie Chiles of course

1:36
Dan Szymborski: Eddie Sherman

1:37
Comment From Neal
If a movie was called Mad Dan what would it be about?

1:37
Dan Szymborski: It would be a one long shot of me at a grocery store

1:37
Comment From Kern
I am still on a panel and they’re still interviewing jurors. FYI.

1:37
Dan Szymborski: Reading one of my chats gets you dismissed for cause

1:37
Comment From Guest
chicago brags about its weird casserole of a pizza, takes new york pizza but cuts it in an awful way to give the impression that they aren’t secretly pining for real pizza, continues to act like there’s even a debate between floopy casserole masking as pizza and actual pizza — do i have that right?

1:37
Dan Szymborski: I *do* like good chicago style, but new york is the best

1:37
Comment From War2d2
Can we all agree at least that St. Louis pizza is the worst?

1:37
Dan Szymborski: Provel can go to hell

1:38
Comment From jose
dang yo first time applying makeup right before a big interview that takes cajones

1:38
Dan Szymborski: I assume I can find a girl to help me

1:38
Comment From Real
How good is your makeup knowledge? Can you recommend me a good cover-up?

1:38
Dan Szymborski: Not very

1:38
Comment From Guest
Does your friend with the Maine coon live in Toronto?

1:38
Dan Szymborski: No

1:38
Comment From War2d2
Also, if you’ve actually never had Chicago party-cut pizza, you’re missing out. It’s the best pizza.

1:38
Dan Szymborski: yeah, unless you’re the guy having to grip one of the internal slices

1:38
Comment From herple
If I challenge you to a match in Hearthstone randomly, would you accept? I want to get my face smashed in by the second best internet sabermetrician after Eno’s hair.

1:38
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:38
Dan Szymborski: I’ve played many readers

1:39
Comment From Iksrobmyzs Nad
Have you ever had your hair smelled while waiting in line at the grocery store?

1:39
Dan Szymborski: I do not believe so.

1:39
Dan Szymborski: My hair does not smell particularly interesting I would imagine.

1:39
Dan Szymborski: My flowing blonde mane smells like the generic brand Tresemme which I get because the bottle is absolutely gigantic which keeps me from having to think about shampoo too often

1:39
Comment From Real
At what point does a Fallout game come out set in current day Detroit?

1:39
Dan Szymborski: Wasnot 2 set in Detroit?

1:39
Comment From mtsw
Did you watch that new David Simon HBO show last night or does mini-series about municipal government not excite you?

1:40
Dan Szymborski: I have not.

1:40
Dan Szymborski: Only a few shows I only watch in-season

1:40
Comment From Guest
One toronto = 667 miles.

1:40
Comment From Kern
And yes, sitting in panel for a WEEK of jury interviews is as much fun as it sounds. It’s three counts of criminal charges so they have gone through four panels so far of jurors. Like 400 people.

1:40
Comment From hscer
I’ve gotten a wrong number text once. I am going to send back an identical text a year after I got it. It happened on Christmas, so it’ll be their most cherished gift this year

1:40
Comment From ar
don’t want to beat a dead horse, but you don’t get to pick your deck *after* you know who you are playing! like before you hit “play” it’s just some distribution of possible opponents. so don’t you have to design a deck to beat the distribution?

1:40
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but I assumed the question was why aren’t they winning in the broader sense than winning within the bounds of the particular game

1:41
Comment From The Big Dipper
dunkin donuts or starbucks coffee?

1:41
Dan Szymborski: Neither. I drink very little coffee.

1:41
Dan Szymborski: I have coffee maybe 4 or 5 times a year

1:41
Comment From hscer
remember when we were going to play chess

1:41
Dan Szymborski: I do not. Maybe we should have a chat chess game one week

1:41
Comment From bleepbloop
Whirling ZiPS-omatic??

1:41
Dan Szymborski: Only if I have VORP-biter weapon

1:41
Comment From Christian
Did you see the full TGT reveal? If so card you are most coveting?

1:41
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:42
Dan Szymborski: Varian Wrynn

1:42
Comment From Guest
In a post apocalyptic world, all social order is but a mere memory and technology lies only in the brains of those who knew about it before the fall. Pan to Dan Szymborski rushingly packing up his hearthstone gear while marauders approach at 1.5x speed outside the grocery store he’d just started to call home. Mad Dan begins.

1:42
Comment From AgaveOtter
Favorite Trump: Donald or Hearthstone?

1:42
Dan Szymborski: Hearthstone obviously. I like to imagine Trump headlines as referring to the Hearthstone Trump which makes it very very funny

1:42
Comment From War2d2
It’s all about the sauce. New York pizza’s sauce is flavorless tomato paste. Chicago puts actual spice in there. Also, the sausage in Chicago is heavy on the fennel. So much better.

1:42
Dan Szymborski: Those arne’t inherent to the style

1:42
Comment From mtsw
Can Starcraft 2 be fixed to be both fun and a competitive e-sports title? Developers seem to be tinkering around the edges but it seems like an impossible ask without pissing too many current players off.

1:43
Dan Szymborski: I think SC2 is essentially dead competitively

1:43
Comment From Kern
No the first fallouts were set on the west coast / ca. 3 was in school, new Vegas was … Vegas. 4 is Boston.

1:43
Dan Szymborski: someone queue up the That’s the Joke

1:43
Comment From Guest
brunkin bagels or crunkin cronuts

1:43
Dan Szymborski: Haven’t had either

1:43
Comment From Jinzo
Did you ever use a Phoenix deck in Yugioh?

1:43
Dan Szymborski: Don’t do Yugioh

1:43
Comment From Kern
Well Chicago pizza sauce is more herbs than spices.

1:43
Comment From Guest
if you’re judging a pizza based upon it’s toppings you’re already doing it wrong chicago smh

1:43
Comment From jerkstore
did you ever play battletoads?

1:43
Dan Szymborski: Yes. I hate that game. WHY IS IT SO HARD

1:43
Dan Szymborski: And I’ve ocmpleted.

1:43
Dan Szymborski: Question time is over.

1:44
Dan Szymborski: Thanks for joining me everyojne! As a reminder, you can find my work at ESPN.com, chats and projections here at FanGraphs, at DSzymborski on Twitter, and ZimSmash on Twitch, but mostly when there’s no baseball as baseball takes up most of my time!

1:44
Dan Szymborski: Hope to see you all next week!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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  1. merv thronemerry says:

    Is Blake Snell looking better and better for a Sept. call up and a shot at the TB rotation next year?