Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/12/16 by Carson Cistulli September 12, 2016 11:56 Dan Szymborski: Gravy fries! 11:57 Dan Szymborski: Not eating any, just felt like saying it. 11:57 Dan Szymborski: For those that don’t remember, I’m saving off-topic Qs for the Lightning Round. 11:57 Steve BartMandelay: DOOM AND GLOOM; DOOM AND GLOOM; etc. 11:57 Erik: The Cubs may set the BABIP-suppression record while shifting the least among everyone in the league. What’s going on there? Would they have an even better defense if they shifted more, or have they discovered a flaw in shifting that the rest of the league and all the analysts haven’t found yet? 11:58 Dan Szymborski: I think that the hoopla around shifting is a little overheated. It’s good, but it’s not a game-changer type of thing generally. 11:58 Dan Szymborski: Becuase it’s something hitters, over time, can react to. 11:58 gooey jello: since they seem to be several years away still, should the twins trade dozier in the offseason? 11:58 Dan Szymborski: They should at least listen to offers. 12:00 Dan Szymborski: If he keeps hitting a billion home runs, the Twins won’t be able to afford him after 2018. And if he doesn’t, well, then not trading him loses value. 12:01 Fast Eddie: Any high-achiever projection left for Archie Bradley? What is it about him that we should have known before the hype? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Minor-league walk rate is significant. And a lot of guys simply don’t lose that extra walk or two. 12:02 Guest: Are you able to chat the whole time or will Carson pull you after 7 perfect answers? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: We must stand up to the darkness in this world. 12:02 Ronnie: Any chance we will ever get play logs for defensive stats? Especially curious about players like Braun who DRS (+29 career in LF, +6 this year) & UZR (-23 career in LF, -3 this year) disagree upon. 12:04 Dan Szymborski: Probalby not, but it’s possible as statcast data gets more useful that other providers become more open with data. 12:04 natsfan: First off, welcome back Dan! Where would you see Gurriel playing next season presuming Astros give Bregman the reigns at 3B? Across the diamond? 12:04 Dan Szymborski: Astros are playing it by ear – they probably don’t know yet, so I certain’ly don’t 12:05 Jake: How encouraging is Carlos Rodon’s strong finish to the season? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Very, though I was already optimistic. 12:05 Patrick: Is the value of a middle infielder who can hit 20+ homers reduced because of the huge spike in HRs this year, or do you think this is a one year aberration? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: It’s hard to tell. Home run bumps usually stick more often than not, the Dale Sveums tend to be the exception. 12:05 Erik: Kris Bryant is 2nd in the league in WAR, but only 16th in WPA. Should that factor into the MVP discussion? Is he providing value in slightly less important moments, and if so, would you dock him for that? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: I think the stat is more interesting than useful. 12:06 Julio Pepper: Any opinions on Hill situation? Would you let him try to finish? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: It’s a tough one, becuase it really comes down to what the manager is seeing in his pitcher that a more distant observer might not. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: I think I would have kept him in until he lost hte perfect game, but that’s a 60/40 thing, not something I’m sure about. 12:07 Ronnie: Kal Daniels had 129 batting runs in 2,739 career plate appearances. Bryce Harper now has 129 batting runs in 2,710 plate appearances. Is Kal Daniels the greatest hitter of the last 30 years no one has ever heard of? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Kal Daniels was really damn good. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: He had crippling knee problems. If he was 5 years younger and could stay healthy, he’d have 5 or 6 all-star appearances. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: But he had the double punch of injuries and being done right before serious analysis became mainstream. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Plus, he peaked ina very low-offense period right before a high-offense period. 12:10 JJ: Whats your opinion regarding Cistulli having a 4.5 out of 5 star rating according to Rate My Professor? Several students have sung his praises regarding his ability to relay information and he even has a chilli pepper implying that he is “hot”. 12:10 Dan Szymborski: The Old Ones have strong effects on the minds of man. 12:10 Gary: Does Adrian Beltre not get enough love? He’s putting up another 5 WAR season like clockwork. 12:10 Dan Szymborski: Yes. It’s a disease of 3B. 12:11 End The Drought: I’m a believer in the Bochy Magic Touch, but why can’t he see Santiago Casilla for the disaster he is. Law, Strickland 12:11 Erik: ZiPS uses historically similar players to determine likely career arcs, or something like that, right? Have any players had a career arc similar to Bryce Harper that you can think of? wRC+ of 115, 197, and 119 in consecutive seasons seems like it would be incredibly rare, making him a tough case to project. 12:11 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but the year-to-year oscillations don’t tend to be particularly meaningful in this context. 12:11 Watty: USELESS STATS DEPT MEMO: Curtis Granderson is on pace to have the lowest RBI/HR ratio of all-time 12:12 Dan Szymborski: Who’s top? Hoiles? 12:12 Eno’s Whathestalkingabout: *If* Rich Hill goes on a Sandy Koufax esque run for the next 4 years (last 4 years for this argument). Could he be a HOFer? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: Well IF he went on a sandy koufaxesque run, he could be of course. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Though the voters would have to do a better job than they have. That Mussina and Schilling aren’t in the Hall and pitchers like Kevin Brown get one-and-outed is absolutely absurd. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: So Hill could be Koufax for 6 years and still get almost no support. 12:14 Steve: Can someone explain why the pirates are still having Ryan Vogelsong start games? If they’re trying to win this year, he’s a bad option. If they’re trying to retool for 2017, he is a bad option. 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I don’t actually understand the deal. 12:14 JT: twins like to sit on guys until they destroy their value. I.e glenn perkins 12:14 Jake: What’s the deal with TNT 12:14 Dan Szymborski: It’s an explosive that’s easy to handle. 12:14 Eno’s Whathestalkingabout: Is the yankees farm system strong enough to get a Chris Sale type pitcher and an AS caliber position player this offseason? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: It *could* be. It really depends on how some conversations go internally this winter. 12:15 End The Drought: I’m a believer in the Bochy Magic Touch, but why can’t he see the disaster that is Santiago Casilla. Law and Strickland would both be better, especially Law, but he continues to give Casilla the leverage situations. 12:15 Dan Szymborski: Bochy occasionally has a blind spot. 12:16 Dan Szymborski: See the awkwardness of getting Belt playing time his first couple years. 12:16 Dan Szymborski: 12:17 Matt: Hi Dan. Did you ever get that cheese steak I mailed you a few weeks back? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: DID NOT WHERE IS IT 12:17 Jake: Sorry, sent early – what’s the deal with the A’s BABIP? Bottom of the league offensive 12:18 Dan Szymborski: Well, they don’t hit very hard and they play in a park that has a large BABIP effect. 12:18 Dan Szymborski: The Coliseum has a *lot* of plays that can be outs, but never hits. 12:19 Big Joe Mufferaw: Who is having the biggest successful outlier season this year?? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Probably Dozier now!@ 12:19 Fire Kevin Cash: The Red Sox have an incredible core, the Yankees “rebuilt” and are already better than they were before, and the Jays have started leveraging their resources. As a (Devil) Rays fan, how concerned should I be about the parity in the AL East or MLB at large? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Very. I am as an O’s fan. But it’s cyclical. 12:19 Steve: How might the Orioles improve their rotation going into next year? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Goat sacrifices. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: The free agent pitching market kinda stinks. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Unless the O’s manage to get Hokkaido to post Otani. But even then, someone will outbid the O’s 12:20 Captain Krunch: Remember when Hazelbaker was Ruth reincarnate and something was wrong with Freeman? Ahh the good ol’ days of early season samples. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Why I answer April for so many things 12:20 Mike: Sale the CY young favorite at this point? Five straight starts of at least 8 IP, but 1-5 since the all-star break. Not his fault he 12:21 Dan Szymborski: Updated ZiPS probs go up on ESPN Thursday mornings 12:21 Strategery : If you were a gm; who would you prefer to have on your 2016 postseason roster: Kris Bryant or Josh Donaldson? 12:21 Dan Szymborski: Kris Bryant. The positional flexibility breaks a tie. 12:21 Erik: Any idea what ZiPS will think of Kershaw next year? Does it know that he missed time due to injury, and will it reflect fears that any sort of pitching injury might linger by giving him a somewhat lukewarm forecast? Or does it not work like that? 12:21 Dan Szymborski: It will know he missed time to injury. 12:21 Dan Szymborski: It’ll reduce his projection from Ridonkulous to Ridonkulous-minus-a-smidge 12:22 Silly Beane: Did I make the worst trade in history? My daughter tells me I’m the most overrated gm in sports – nay she sings it to me with that annoying guitar I bought her. 12:22 Dan Szymborski: Youtube or it didn’t happen. 12:23 Dan Szymborski: Those are the WWE-MLB mashups I’ve done through David Ortiz. Gotta look at my pics and videos on Twitter for the more recent ones (Pierzynski, McCann, Altuve, Kevin Goldstein, King Felix, etc0 12:23 Dan Szymborski: 12:24 S: How has Blackmon’s value changed since the deadline? 12:24 Dan Szymborski: A bit, but not as much as you’d think, simply because there’s one less high-leverage situation for which you cannot acquire him. 12:24 Dave Szymborski: Did Dave Cameron crash on your couch during his cross country drive? Did you take him out for pizza to the good place? Or the merely OK place that is more convenient? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t meet up with him! Did he come through central OH? I need to communicate better 12:25 Nate: What is the highest WAR a pitcher could possibly accumulate in 32 starts? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: I dunno, 20? I haven’t run the numbers on allowing 0 runs. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: Hmm, I get 13.1 WAR for 213.2 scoreless innings. 12:27 Dan Szymborski: And 14 or so in a hitters’ park 12:27 Dan Szymborski: It’s likely though that WAR has trouble when we get to *this* extreme. 12:28 Dave Szymborski: What player from 20-25 years ago do you think would have had a longer career if teams understood analytics back then the way they do now? 12:28 Dan Szymborski: Petagine possibly. Spent his entire prime in Japan. 12:29 RotoLando: How long would it take you to attain the equivalent of a black belt in Gymkata? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I had a green belt in taekwondo as a kid, but I’m not really gymnastic-y 12:29 Big Joe Mufferaw: Is there even a doubt right now that Beltre is not a future HOFer? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: Not in my mind, but half the writers somehow doubt that Mussina and Schilling are HoFers. 12:30 Whitley Merrifield: How surprised would you be if the Royals still make the playoffs (after losing 3 of their next 4 of course)? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: Surprised but not shocked. It’s still plausible, just a longshot. 12:30 Dan Szymborski: And the Royals do well when I doubt them and terribly when I believe in them. 12:30 RotoLando: How long does a blister take to heal? A week at most? Maybe they should have stopped having him hurl a small rough object for a few days. Maybe 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Blisters can be really persistent for pitchers. 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Josh Beckett had a ton of problems. 12:31 Bork: Think Saunders get a QO? He’s quietly simmered down recently. 12:31 Dan Szymborski: I suspect he does. The market sucks. 12:32 Julio Pepper: Does Hill get more than 40m next year? He’s basically been Kershaw over his last 120 innings. 12:32 Dan Szymborski: Oh, he’ll get more than 40 million. 12:32 Dan Szymborski: Nolasco got $49 million in a deeper market and nobody really thought he was any good 12:33 Big Joe Mufferaw: Kevin Brown being 1 and out is simply insane… Behind only Clemens, Johnson and Maddux for WAR from ’90 to 2003. 12:33 RotoLando: I’ve never owned a cat. Do they fall for the “pretend to throw a ball” trick like dogs do? 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Only a couple times. Then they’ll need to see the ball. 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Oops, that’s kind of off topic 12:33 Zach: Felipe Rivero had been a starter in the minors with inconsistent results, but from everything I can tell, his changeup didn’t breakthrough as a plus pitch until he became a reliever. In fact, it didn’t even seem part of his repertoire. Now it’s arguably his best pitch to compliment a strong fastball and an effective slider. Knowing that he now has three pitches to work from, do you think the Pirates should experiment with him as a starter this spring? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: I think any reliever that has three pitchers should at least be experimented with. Spring training ought to be a lab of experimentation. 12:34 Zonk: Speaking of Kevin Brown, is he the only $100 mil+ pitcher FA signing that ever worked out well? The only other one I can think of that’s close is Cliff Lee, and he was great for 1/2 the deal. 12:34 Dan Szymborski: Hamels has been fine. King Felix mostly 12:35 Dan Szymborski: And technically, the Greinke $100 million contract worked out fine for the Dodgers 12:35 A Tribe Called Kipnis: What was the funniest player projection that ZiPS spit out in error? 12:36 Dan Szymborski: Jose Molina had a 1.200 SLG because I hit something and adding a stray number to his HR total 12:36 Joe: Can you think of an even remotely comparable FA comp with Rich Hill? It has got to be the strangest case I’ve seen in awhile. 12:36 Dan Szymborski: He’s like an extreme Kazmir 12:37 JB: Considering August’s piece from this morning on Baez and the huge range of UZR and other defensive rankings of players on a year-to-year basis, it seems as though analytics on the defensive side of the game is still far behind the offensive side of the game. To that end, what value can we really derive from WAR rankings for offensive or defensive-sided players? 12:37 Dan Szymborski: You can derive value, you just need to understand the limitations and volatility of the components. 12:37 Dan Szymborski: A player with a greater percentage of his WAR from defense, assume a greater margin of error. 12:37 Bork: How will you react when the Braves/Twins go worst to first and face off in the World Series next year? 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Assume I’m having a coma dream. 12:38 Kek: 12:38 tengopreguntas: Watching MLB Network – DeRo is talking about how Strasburg needs to say things like, “ill do my best to get out there” vs. what he said. Am I the only one who actually prefers to see athletes make candid responses when prompted? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: No, but they’re stupid to. 12:38 Big Joe Mufferaw: Is there an actual chance that Otani gets posted? And if so, wouldn’t an NL team have more reason to bid highly for him (and by how much)? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think this year. 12:38 $11 worth of Taco Bell: What kind of contract does Kendrys Morales get? Does he get a QO? If so, does he turn it down? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think he gets a QO. Maybe 2/20 or something 12:38 Erik: Could you elaborate a bit on your Bryce Harper answer? Are you saying that the historical comps are based on multi-year samples and don’t really care how you distribute your production across those years? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:39 Dan Szymborski: The ups and downs don’t really add a lot 12:39 Steve: When is the correct time to trade Andrew McCutchen? How badly did this season hurt his value? 12:40 Dan Szymborski: I would absolutely try to trade him this offseason. In a weak free agent market, someone’s going to pay him assuming terrific odds he’s a superstar. 12:41 Bobbbby: Do you think Addison Russell can become a Troy Tulowitzki like shortstop? Does his recent power surge now make him the ‘best of the second-tier’, behind Seager, Lindor and Correa? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: SSs don’t tier that well. 12:41 $11 worth of Taco Bell: Any hope for Yordano Ventura? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I still hold out. 12:41 Zonk: Is there a way to incorporate position flexibility into a player’s value, or does that have to be subjective? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: It’s tricky. 12:41 $11 worth of Taco Bell: Will Wade Davis have any trade value this winter after his trips to the DL this season? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:42 Erik: Where do you plug in numbers to get a hypothetical WAR? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I just plugged it into ZiPS in the WAR calculation part. 12:42 Mike: If the Cubs don’t reup with Fowler after the season, who do you see them using to leadoff? Zobrist? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Doesn’t seem liuke a stretch. 12:43 Fred: Does Gary Sanchez have a legitimate chance to win AL ROY? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think so. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: There’s a rookie who is the current AL ERA leader, after all 12:44 Dan Szymborski: And Sanchez isn’t maintaining *this* level. 12:44 Dave Szymborski: Some HOF voters will hold it against Beltre for not repeating his 48 HR year in LA and the dent Safeco made on his mid-career numbers. The again, some will hold his career 338 OBP against him. 12:45 Dan Szymborski: Voters that are smart enough to understand OBP in context would likely look at the other stuff. 12:45 David B: What is the A’s motivation for releasing Billy Butler in September? It’s not as if he’s occupying a roster spot, and they’ll still be on the hook for the remainder of his contract assuming he clears waivers. He wouldn’t even be postseason eligible. 12:45 Dan Szymborski: Well, they can save the 500K if someone signs him. I think he’s a dead cost at this point. 12:45 Big Joe Mufferaw: Who is your AL MVP? Can Mike Trout lose AGAIN? If the Angels didn’t suck, we might be looking at a 4 time MVP by 25. 12:46 Dan Szymborski: I’d vote for him (but that’s not the award I’m voting in). He won’t win. 12:46 Shaw-shot Redemption: What kind of contract does Brett Anderson end up with this winter? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: Pillow deal 12:46 Bork: Is the ZiPS machine all decked out or is it more a little sticky note on the side of the monitor that says ZiPS machine 12:46 Dan Szymborski: No stickers or anything. 12:47 Dan Szymborski: My “work” build is housed in red bitfenix prodigy case. Runs off an i7-3930k with 32 GB of RAM. 12:47 facilitating connectedness : What player projection did ZiPS spit out that you initially thought was in error, but after further review, was not in error? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: Adam Warren earlier this year. 12:47 Dakota McKee: Why are people so frustrated with Sept 1 roster rules? Because it slows the game? Who cares if you use 18 pitchers, if you have them; who is this hurting? I’m sure the bubble-fringe guys appreciate the end-of-year bonus for being in the ML. 12:48 Dan Szymborski: One day in the majors gets you MLBPA health benefits for life. That’s a pretty big deal. 12:48 Big Joe Mufferaw: If Sanchez hits another 7 HR, does he then get a shot at AL ROY? That’s 20 HR for a catcher!? 12:48 Dan Szymborski: If he gets to 20, then he might make it interesting 12:48 Big Joe Mufferaw: 3000 hits, 450HR, 600 Doubles, 1500 runs and RBI, that should keep the counting stat happy voters happy. 12:48 Dan Szymborski: You’ll never go broke betting on the voting being terrible. 12:48 Erik: Will Ryan Howard get a major league contract somewhere this offseason? Or is he more of a minor league deal with an opt out if he doesn’t make the team kind of guy, if even that? 12:49 Dan Szymborski: He might get a 1-year, $1 million type Jason Giambi offer from an AL team. Probably best retiring. 12:49 GSon: NL Manager of the year seems to be a shoe in for Maddon.. The AL isn’t quite so clear.. do you see it coming down to the three division winners or Tito, Banister, whoever wins the AL East and Buck? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Seems to go to the team that most beats expectations and also makes the playoffs, which is Banister. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: In the NL, there really aren’t many surprsies, so Maddon obviously gets it 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Maybe Dusty gets a few votes. 12:50 ryan: what would it take to pry Betts away from boston? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: ALL the tea. 12:50 tengopreguntas: Why red case? Was it on sale 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I like the red case. 12:51 facilitating connectedness : If MLB adopted a taxi squad approach, what would be the best way to set it up? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure it’s a good idea. It’ll just be used to pad the back of the bullpen evern more. 12:51 Big Joe Mufferaw: Will Mark Teixeira make it past 1 year on the HOF ballot? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: I do not believe so. 12:52 David B: Manager of the year = award to whatever team out-performed the media’s preseason expectation, which was probably a baseless expectation to begin with? 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Yeah 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Though I have to be fair here, the voting is slowly improving, especially on the year-end awards that don’t have a heavy load of legacy voters. 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Slusser and now Gould and writers like Jeff Passan have done a lot to improve the culture of BBWAA and modernize it. 12:53 Dan Szymborski: The year-end awards are getting better and time will eventually make the Hall vote better. 12:55 Erik: What does the MVP case against Trout look like? Saying it’s just “the Angels didn’t make the playoffs” seems a little too reductive, since I’m sure the people who vote against him have thought things through and have a well-reasoned answer, even if many people here disagree. What is it about not making the playoffs that renders him ineligible, in their minds? 12:55 Dan Szymborski: Hey, you’re preaching to the choir. 12:55 Kristen: With prospects Brinson and Cordell gone, between Desmond, Gomez, DeShields, and a FA/trade acquisition who is the most likely to patrol CF next season for the Rangers? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: DeShields returns, so likely the plurality fave. 12:56 Leif Erikson: Dan Szymborksi chat is back! Let there be much rejoicing. If I go to an Orioles game, what is the best place near the ballpark to eat a crab cake? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: Faidley 12:56 RotoLando: Have you watched Teen Titans Go? It’s surprisingly good. Cartoons in general are a lot better than they were when I was a kid. 12:56 Dan Szymborski: I have not 12:56 Dakota McKee: What are the odds the Mets keep Cespedes (by extending his contract?)? If they determine he’s not a great fit because of position, do they/can they go after a 1B bat like Encarnacion or even Napoli? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: I think if they keep him, it won’t be by an extension. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Because the underlying reasons you don’t pay Cespedes a ridiculous amount of cash long-term still exist. Plus one more prime year is now gone 12:57 Matt: Dan – I just got a burrito bowl, and the rice is only about 75% cooked. My day is ruined. 12:57 GSon: Does the loss of Danny Salazar poke a big hole in the Indians real chances at a WS appearance? Does this make the Cubs even more of a favorite..? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: It definitely hurts. I love Salazar. 12:57 rustydude: Is Slusser at the top of the list of female baseball writers in terms of quality? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:58 Dan Szymborski: There are a lot of terrific female baseball writers there, Rowley, Gotsulias, etc. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: Though personally I prefer to think of them as just writers. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think of myself as a sabermetric writer, I think of myself as a writer 12:59 Dan Szymborski: And while it’s not quite the same thing, there was the same tension against the jockocracy. 1:00 Cash: Is Aaron Judge a bust? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: That’s really way too soon. 1:00 facilitating connectedness: Which current MLB player will be the opposite of the Kevin Brown types and inexplicably keep getting enough votes to hang on the HOF ballot for a number of years? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Ryan Howard 1:01 Matt: Can you elaborate on the “pillow deal”? That must be some high-quality down if people are willing to work for pillows. 1:01 Dan Szymborski: http://www.espn.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/34/boras-recommended-beltre-take-short-term-deal 1:01 Big Joe Mufferaw: Mike Trout for Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Micheal Pineda. Fair? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: No. 1:01 Dock Ellis: Thoughts on the Raiders going for 2 to win the game yesterday? Yes the numbers said it was a bad call, but in reality it was the right one, right? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: I think it’s a coin flip. 1:02 Dan Szymborski: The differences were fairly marginal – that an event happened doesn’t mean it was absolutely the most likely one to happen. 1:02 Matt: Was expecting a might wittier answer to my non-sequitur about pillows. I’m disappointed in you, Dan. 1:02 Dan Szymborski: Sounded like you wanted info! 1:02 Dan Szymborski: OK, let’s finish with the Lightning Round. 1:03 Dan Szymborski: The rules of the Lightning Round are simple: I must answer any question, so long as it’s off-topic and not one of the few exceptions (very personal, work-related) 1:03 Dan Szymborski: And this continues until I catch up or get bored. 1:03 Dan Szymborski: GO 1:03 Mike: WWE certainly got something right last night making AJ Styles WWE World Champion last night. How long do you think he should hold the belt? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: 2-3 months! 1:03 RotoLando: Could an army of Dan Szymborskis, armed only with Klobbs, take down ISIS? 1:03 Steve: Here’s an idea for your WWE wrestling game: Step A) Create Sean Rodriguez Step B) Create Water Cooler Step C) FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT 1:03 Dan Szymborski: An army of Chuck Norrises couldn’t do it with Klobbs. 1:03 c: what do you think of the current arena meta in hearthstone? mage and rogue are being picked an unproportional amount relative to any other class. priest hardly receives any playtime, and classes like druid, warrior, shaman, and warlock are in a mediocre tier themselves 1:04 Dan Szymborski: There’s a lot that needs fixing. You can’t make arena picks based on card rarity if you’re not going to balance card rarity. 1:05 Dan Szymborski: And their solution to remove some cards is just jury-rigging. 1:05 Matt: How much would could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? 1:05 Dan Szymborski: Probably a formula based on the mass of the woodchuck and the density of the wood in question. 1:05 Erik: Lots of writers on here don’t care about football. Do you care about football? 1:05 Dan Szymborski: Yes 1:05 Big Joe Mufferaw: Best weather, temperature wise? 1:05 Dan Szymborski: 60 degrees, mostly sunny, gentle breeze. 1:05 GSon: Lightning and golf clubs are a bad combination 1:06 Matt: How much more black could it really be, Dan? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Wait, what? 1:06 facilitating connectedness: Pro Tip: If you are setting someone up for a joke about pillows, do not include the key component of the joke in your set up. 1:06 Bork: AJ Styles and Kevin Owen are champions. Holy poop. 1:06 tengopreguntas: Since computers are off topic you can save this for the lightning round if you even choose to answer it. Did you construct your computer yourself? If yes – have you ever used the slickdeals website to find computer parts? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Of course I do. 1:06 Dan Szymborski: I usually use pcpartpicker. 1:07 Dan Szymborski: I’ve done 7-8 total builds for myself, helped friends iwth another 15-20, and probably helped internet acquaintances with another 50 or so 1:07 Matt: Because I’m cheap and don’t want to buy a second lunch, I’m almost through my uncooked burrito bowl. This is brutal, Dan./ I would wish this upon no man. 1:07 Dan Szymborski: The problem is that it’s a burrito bowl. 1:07 Dan Szymborski: If you want a burrito, get a burrito. If you want something in a bowl, get soup. 1:07 Roadhog: How much Comp season 2 are you playing? I’m doing extremely well and going to break Diamond rank soon. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Haven’t played much competitive. MLB season takes away a lot of my overwatch playing time. 1:08 rustydude: Before it became the answer to a President disqualifying event, did you know what Aleppo was/is? 1:08 Dan Szymborski: I did, but I’m a geography/history nut 1:08 Bork: If AJ Styles has the belt beyond Survivor Series he’s going to lose it to Cena at Wrestlemania. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: NOOOOOOOO 1:08 Mook man : What should I take for a foreign language class:Arabic or Chinese? 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Given the choice, Chinese probably most useful 1:08 GSon: Are you more likely or less likely to see and pay for a professional rasslin match with women or without women? 1:09 Dan Szymborski: Neither more or less likely. Assuming that we’re talking actual women’s wrestling, like the kind you see in Japan or WWE has been moving towards, not Diva pillow fights. 1:09 Avi: How far back would you need to move the PAT line to make it 90% worth it to go for two? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I’d have to think about the numbers, can’t really think of it that quick 1:10 The Decadent Moose: Last live band you saw? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: If just bars and stuff, not sure. Last actual concert was decemberists in columbus last year 1:10 Cash: Do you have any updog? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I do not. 1:10 Sean: Did No Man’s Sky disappoint you? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Yes. Got my refund. 1:10 Avi: What do you think of the recent purchase by Liberty Media of Formula One? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I hope Formula One doesn’t want ownership to invest in their product. 1:10 Steve: How much grit could Grichuk chuck if Grichuk could chuck grit? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Depends on the size of the grit. 1:11 Bork: How great was the Cowboys loss yesterday? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Was a good game. 1:11 Matt: Lots of footballs don’t care about writers. If you were a football, would you care about writers? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Not really. Footballs can’t read. 1:11 Kristen: Warmest/most uncomfortable stadium you’ve ever been in? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Veterans 1:11 Art Vandelay: Been away from Destiny for about five months. I also just finished my NG+ of The Witcher 3. So I have the allotted vg time to get back into it. Thoughts? (I’m actually pretty sure you don’t play it) 1:12 Dan Szymborski: If you’re an FPS and you’re not Goldeneye/Perfect Dark, you’re either on the PC or I don’t play you. 1:12 Cash: iceman vs superman www? 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Superman. Ice doesn’t seem terribly useful. 1:12 Aaron: If I had to guess at which player Granderson is trying to beat out for lowest HR/RBI ratio, I’d take a shot at Bonds who had 137/73 1:12 Harry Caray’s Ghost: Beetlejuice x3 or Candyman x5? 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Beetlejuice as the extent of his powers is still untested. 1:12 GSon: Rag top 370 Z or Hard Top w/ a moon roof 370 Z? 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Hard top 1:13 Cash: whats your favorite type of bread 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Rye 1:13 Cash: what is the year make and model of your car? 1:13 Dan Szymborski: 2004 Mazda 6s. 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Still under 100K miles. It helps not having a commute. 1:13 Cash: Why does coffee make me have to poop uncontrollably? 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Gastrin. 1:14 GSon: Bristol Motor Speedway hosted a college football game over the weekend.. Fan? or no Fan? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Of college football? Yes, but not ravenous. 1:14 A cat: Is a burrito bowl like an ice cream cone in a cup w/o the cone? 1:14 Sean: I’m sorry I’m late but have a serious question: how much does a ZiPS projection change between seasons vs in-season updates? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: There’s no one sentence or one paragraph or one easy number answer for this. 1:14 Rick: Is it time the Fangraph writers admit the Braves move for Kemp might not have been a completely bonkers move? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: No 1:15 Dan Szymborski: Call me when the NL has a DH. 1:15 Dan Szymborski: And even then, the NL having a DH wasn’t part of the original analysis. 1:15 Dan Szymborski: As long as defense is a thing, Kemp’s terrible. 1:15 Dan Szymborski: He’s literally league-average if his OPS+ is 130. 1:15 Bork: You know it’s true. Ever since AJ beat Cena he’s been set up to lose to Cena in a rematch. 1:15 Dan Szymborski: I know, but I’m still sad. 1:15 Mike: My 2 month old sneezed his mother’s milk in my face this am. Do you have kids? 1:15 Dan Szymborski: No. 1:16 Dan Szymborski: As Patton Oswalt said before he had a kid, I have an invisible child named “10 hours of sleep a night.” 1:16 rustydude: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you generally rate the experience of flying (nationally, internationally, or however you want to define it). Personally, I like getting to places quickly and for the most part appreciate flying. I rate it a 7.5. 1:16 Dan Szymborski: 3 1:16 Dan Szymborski: I fly a lot and I hate it. 1:16 A cat: There is an age minimum to be POTUS. Why not an age maximum? 1:17 Dan Szymborski: There wouldn’t be an age minimum if it wasn’t alreayd in there. 1:17 RotoLando: What about a consumer mascots version of WWE? Could you make L’il Sweet fight The Noid? 1:17 Dan Szymborski: THE KING 1:17 vandelay: dont you find it comical that the nfl wants to limit injuries so they move the kickoff back, and then they go and move the pat back to encourage teams to go for two more often? 1:17 Dan Szymborski: They probably weren’t think of that 1:17 Matt: Wouldn’t it be a bit awkward if August Fagerstrom joined the Decemberists? I doubt he’d fit in. 1:18 Dan Szymborski: I don’t even know how to answer that. 1:18 Cash: How much corn could J.B. Shuck if J.B. could shuck corn? 1:18 Dan Szymborski: 60 cobs an hour. 1:18 Jeb: On a scale of one to ten, how excited would you be if the Yankees outsourced all of their medical decisions to Theranos? 1:18 Dan Szymborski: 9 1:18 rustydude: Did Tony Stewart kill a man? And if so, should he be laying low for the rest of his career, avoiding the limelight? 1:19 Dan Szymborski: Well, he literally did. But legal responsiblity? No. I’m not sure there’s even moral culpability – I believe Ward assumed the risk and I don’t think there’s enough clear video evidence to say Stewart was even reckless. 1:19 kira nerys: best star trek tv series? 1:20 Dan Szymborski: DS9 1:20 Matt: Digging into the article now, but just saw a headline that Johnson has more Daily Newspaper endorsements than Trump. He still won’t be debating, will he? 1:20 Dan Szymborski: No, 15% is the requirement 1:20 johnforthegiants: How do you feel about winter tires? I’m thinking about running some ultra high performance all seasons on my AWD SUV for 9 months and some winters for the 3 coldest months. Nobody I know thinks it’s necessary, but the from all the forums I’ve read, they say the traction and braking is awesome. 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Never used ’em. If the roads are too icy for me to go out on, I just hunker down in my fortress. 1:20 RotoLando: What is your opinion of breadbowls? 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Meh. 1:20 Cash: did you buy it new? 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Yes 1:20 Dan Szymborski: Walked in, wrote a check, car’s given me no problems in a decade. 1:21 Dan Szymborski: I have no real inclination to replace it. 1:21 Dan Szymborski: Except for normal maintenance of course. 1:21 Dan Szymborski: Worst thing was a hose going, giving me a really awkward fuel mix in which the tach jumped all over at idle. 1:21 Dan Szymborski: But that was under $100 to repair. 1:22 Dan Szymborski: And there was a wheel that got very slightly malformed, giving me a weird vibratrion 1:22 tengopreguntas: What is your favorite ancient civilization/society 1:22 Dan Szymborski: byzantines. maybe han china. 1:22 JT: Do you park inside or outside? Driving that rarely, hopefully you don’t have any undercarriage rot/rust 1:22 Dan Szymborski: Garage 1:22 Dan Szymborski: It’s not that I drive rarely, I just don’t have that daily grind 1:23 Tom A.: Would you look forward to a chance to ask Bellicheck a question, or would you look at it negatively knowing his typical approach? 1:23 Dan Szymborski: DOn’t have any burning Qs. 1:23 Dan Szymborski: That I’d expect an answer to 1:23 RotoLando: You may have broken the FanGraphs record for mentioning the word “pillow” in this chat, previously held by Carson Cistulli during his famous pillow fists of rage period 1:23 Art Vandelay: Perfect Dark: two humans vs. however many dark sims you were allowed (six, I think?) King of the Hill with unlimited score, unlimited time. Moving hill. Dragons and laptop guns are a must, N-bombs when you want to get weird. Lots of beer/bag wine/etc. SO MANY nights in college spent this way. 1:24 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, stuff like that was a blast. 1:24 RotoLando: Do you pronounce Grichuk like “witch-uk” or “gry-chuck”? And why isn’t his nickname the Chukwagon? 1:25 Dan Szymborski: I’ve got bad news for you: It’s actually neither. 1:25 Dan Szymborski: It’s GRICH ick. 1:25 Cash: how fast can you run 1 mile? 1:25 Dan Szymborski: Dunno, it’s been awhile. I jog occasionally, but havne’t tried to actually *run* a mile. 1:25 A cat: I once backpacked in Telephone Canyon in Utah, in Zion Natl Park. The only reason we could find to name it that was there weren’t any there. 1:26 cornflake5000: Regarding the Cubs and shifting/BAPIP… I’ve read that the Cubs have been playing Baez wherever the coaches believe he’ll have the most defensive impact. So they’re not really shifting guys, but they are placing their best defenders efficiently. 1:26 tengopreguntas: Iceman can’t die, but I fail to see how he’d manage to kill superman. That’d be a very long battle. 1:26 Dan Szymborski: Superman would just ignore the ice and go about his daily schedule 1:26 Bork: I get to sleep until March. Bork Jr will be the end of my sleeping. 1:26 Sean: Civ 6! Civ 6! Civ 6! I’m really stoked for it. 1:26 Harry Caray’s Ghost: Lightsaber or Holodeck? 1:26 Dan Szymborski: Holodeck. 1:27 Jeb: Favorite Kaz card? Medivh hasn’t been nearly as fun or useful as I had hoped…. 1:27 Dan Szymborski: Medivh’s Valet. It’s a useful card in mage and. 1:28 Dan Szymborski: The entrance is amazing. 1:28 Dan Szymborski: 1:28 Art Vandelay: Don’t think they’re worried about injuries during 2 pt. conversions; they’re worried about gunners getting a 40 yd. running start to pulverize the returner. 1:28 Mike: If you were in the market for a high end 4K TV right now, would you go with LG’s OLED or Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology? 1:28 Dan Szymborski: Not sure really 1:28 RotoLando: When you see Ed O’Neil, do you think, “Hey it’s Al Bundy!”, or the guy from Modern Family, or, longshot, “Dutch”? 1:28 Dan Szymborski: Al Bundy 1:28 Tom A.: Are you getting a $.50 Frosty today? How many? 1:28 Dan Szymborski: No 1:28 Bork: If the D’Backs replaced their front office with your ZiPS machine how much better would they get? 1:29 Dan Szymborski: Probably not very as they likely don’t know my password 1:29 RotoLando: What is a limelight? 1:29 Dan Szymborski: Sprite + Light -Lemon 1:29 Matt: 60 cobs per hour, sure, but probably only 1-2 Cobb’s. 1:29 Ray: Olive Garden breadsticks overrated or underrated? 1:29 Dan Szymborski: Overrated 1:29 Cash: you bought a brand new car in cash? baller status 1:30 Dan Szymborski: Well, it was a check, not a briefcase of cash. I’m a fan of not having financial obligations, even if it costs me money. 1:30 Kristen: Fav food, and why is it pierogies? 1:30 Dan Szymborski: Chicken milanese 1:30 Harry Caray’s Ghost: Sky-diving or scuba-diving? 1:30 Dan Szymborski: Scuba easily 1:31 Jeb: Have you met Hackerman? 1:31 Dan Szymborski: Never met a meme 1:31 Cash: winter tires are necessary if you run summer tires in the warmer months. summer tires are useless below about 50 degrees f. They’re not just useful for snow but cold weather traction as well. 1:31 Dan Szymborski: I use all seasons 1:31 Ampersand: What are your cats’ favorite toys? My girlfriend buys our cat toys but she still prefers to play with random trash. Crumpled foil balls are her favorite. 1:32 Dan Szymborski: Reagan has this toy squirrel. Mercutio this giant catnip stuffed white rat. Pandora like drinking straws. Galileo your fingers under an area rug 1:32 Cash: Gree chuck 1:32 Harry Caray’s Ghost: GoldenEye – Me and my three roommates with prox mines in the basement to decide who had to wash the dishes that had been accumulating in the sink for 2+ weeks. 1:32 Dan Szymborski: In prox mine battles, we would all die 6 or 7 times in a row because of spawn mining 1:32 Roadhog: Just bought Rimworld, seems fun. You seen it yet? 1:32 Dan Szymborski: I’ve seen SimCopter1 play it on Twitch, but haven’t tried it 1:32 Jeb: Sorry Bork, your wife’s going to be getting up in the middle of the night quite a bit before March arrives….one of the fun parts of pregnancy 1:32 Matt: Have you ever thought about having your legs replaced with either the standard metal robot legs, or some form of robot tank tread? Seems like one might be able to score some life-hack points with such a move. 1:32 Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t mind robot legs. 1:33 Dan Szymborski: But not just to replace them. 1:33 Cash: iceman could freeze every fluid in supermans body 1:33 Dan Szymborski: That seems like a kryptonite workaround 1:33 RotoLando: When you see a turtle crossing the road, do you get out and help him along, or think “sucks to be you, dude!” 1:33 Dan Szymborski: I can’t recall seeing a turtle in the road. 1:34 Matt: A priest, a rabbi and a monk walk into a bar, and the bartender says “Hey, what is this – some kind of a joke?” 1:34 RotoLando: The Chickwagon is even BETTER! 1:34 Bork: But what if they knew your password? 1:34 Dan Szymborski: Then you’d have to teach them to operate windows 1:34 A cat: Where r the 50 cent Fosties? 1:34 Dan Szymborski: Wendy’s 1:34 Aaron: Do you use a laser pointer to play with your cats? 1:34 Dan Szymborski: Yes 1:34 Bork: Since you’re not a fan of having financial obligations, what’s your credit like? 1:35 Dan Szymborski: My balances are $0. 1:35 Dan Szymborski: credit score only in mid-700s, I’m told because I don’t utilize credit often 1:35 Matt: Technically isn’t any form of diving that starts out of the water a form of sky diving? 1:35 Dan Szymborski: I think it’s a cultural definition, not a technical one. 1:36 Dan Szymborski: 10 feet up really isn’t the sky except in a technical sense 1:36 Tom A.: How do you feel about athletes making on-field statements outside the scope of the game? Appropriate? 1:36 Dan Szymborski: Their business. 1:36 Tom A.: “Cat Dancer” is the most awesome cat toy ever. Cats go crazy. They cost like $3. I am not a paid spokesperson. 1:36 Dan Szymborski: Actually a lied, Mercutio likes milk tabs better than the white rat 1:36 RotoLando: If real-life consequences are on the line, like in Harry Caray’s Ghost’s example, is Oddjob a dick move, or a smart decision? 1:36 Dan Szymborski: We were not allowed to use Oddjob or Moonraker Elite #2 1:37 Brendan: Favorite dessert? 1:37 Dan Szymborski: Cheesecake 1:37 Derek B Shortenhagen: Can you stop talking now? I’m kinda waiting for Eric to start his chat. 1:37 Dan Szymborski: No 1:37 Cash: Can you please clue me in on this Bork business? What/who is it? (srs) (i used the serious tag so you have to be serious) 1:37 A cat: Squirrels don’t understand the concept of halfway. 1:37 tengopreguntas: I think zips machine sans password would still be better. It wouldn’t be able to trade away players for pennies on the dollar 1:37 Avi: Well, if your data is left to Arizona’s FO, be rest assured that without outside help, it’s the equivalent of building a completely secure network. 1:37 Bork: Yeah I was thinking more about your credit score. It blew my mind growing up that paying off everything in full was “bad”. 1:37 Mike: How many people just googled “cat dancer”? +1 1:37 Matt: Does it trouble you that all the major sports leagues are complicit in the military’s pursue of convincing young children to go to war? 1:37 Dan Szymborski: Not my business. 1:37 Dan Szymborski: And I’m caught up! 1:37 Dan Szymborski: And now it’s over. 1:38 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone. As a reminder, you can find my work at ESPN.com, chats and projections here at FanGraphs, and at DSzymborski on Twitter. And thanks for not asking a billion NL ROY questions to piss me off.