Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/30/15

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Tonight, there will be another baseball chat, for Game 3. It shall be hosted by Mr. Swydan!

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: In that chat, you’ll talk about the game. In this chat, we’ll talk about whatever?

9:13
Comment From William Binkers
hello?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Hi!

9:13
Comment From FireDrayton
Astros ideal offseason looks like….?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Too much going on to give specific names, but I figure they end up with either a good 1B or a good LF. At the other one, they’ll get a lesser but decent player, and they’re also going to improve the rotation and add an arm or two to the bullpen. Gotta capitalize on all this, and they don’t want the rotation to be so top-heavy

9:15
Comment From Derek (work)
I come to a chat on time and now I see why everyone always made fun of you for being late.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Every single time. It’s not even intentional. I honestly don’t know how it happens

9:15
Comment From Jason
134 comments on Royals Magic. Quite a polarizing topic.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Which is why I find it so interesting! What I love about the Royals is how they can kind of make you uncomfortable with what you think you know about the game. Even if you’re steadfast in believing they’re just another team, they don’t stop trying to persuade you otherwise

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Let me look up the poll results real quick…

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Leading vote-getter at the moment: 84 wins. So, right on the hypothetical projection, but that’s just a quarter of all votes

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Second place, with a fifth of all votes: 91 wins or more

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Right there, you see the issue. Chunk of people think they’re really special, chunk of people are tired of that narrative

9:18
Comment From L. Scott
Conforto or Lagares tonight? And why, thanks.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I like Conforto’s bad too much. I’m open to being persuaded to Lagares, but given that he can’t really throw…

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Bat. Bat! I meant bat!

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: As much as I liked the way Lagares hit the other night, we’ve seen a lot more of Lagares *not* hitting

9:21
Comment From Preller
The Padres are rumored to have around $20-$25 million to spend in the offseason after guaranteed contracts and arbitration. What 3 movies could they make to turn it around?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: For one thing, they’d be an interesting fit for Byung-ho Park, assuming you’re not a big Yonder Alonso believer

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: A center fielder who isn’t Wil Myers would be nice, and though they’re not the kind of team that would trade for JBJ, maybe they’d make a play for Span

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: And for god’s sake, find an infielder, any infielder

9:24
Comment From Phillies113
What, if anything, are you going to be for Halloween?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: a baseball writer watching the World Series

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s actually convenient — it gives me a legitimate excuse to not go be active. I’m all for parties and friends and whatnot, but not so much on holidays

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Is Halloween a holiday?

9:25
Comment From Optimetstic
Was “Royals Magic” a nod to the “Catch the Magic” Mets theme of the early 80’s?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Not intentionally!

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Magic is just a useful catch-all word to describe crap we don’t yet understand

9:26
Comment From Jason
On the 84 win projection, looks like only about 5% would put them below that. 70% puts them above. That’s gotta be something right there.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty predictable — I don’t know how anyone could reason through putting them below the projection. It’s not what we’ve observed. With the Royals, you either believe the projection, or you believe they’re better than the projection

9:27
Comment From Switzerland
If Daniel Murphy continues to do little to nothing for the remainder of the World Series, how much will he have lost out of whatever insane new contract he might have earned by stealing Popeye’s spinach for the first two rounds?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: It would be insane to think Murphy made himself tens of million of dollars with two rounds of playoff performance. Given that, it’s not like he’s losing a bunch of value right now. He’s just a pretty good player, who’ll get paid like a pretty good player. He’s increased his 2015 slugging percentage from .449 to .485

9:30
Comment From Danny
Do you think the Royals have an ability to up the ante with runners on base? Obviously no one can hit as well with RISP as they have in the playoffs. A different bounce here or there, and they easily could have lost the last two series.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: This year, they did improve with runners on base. However, last year, they did not, with many similar players, so it’s not too terribly difficult to argue the skeptic’s perspective

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Where I am: when there are men on base, the defense can’t be positioned as optimally. And when there are men on base, pitchers are more highly prioritizing strikeouts. The Royals can take advantage of suboptimal positioning, and they can mitigate some of that strikeout ability. So I don’t think it’s *completely* nothing

9:34
Comment From mtsw
If the “contact teams do better in the playoffs due to performing better against elite, high K% pitching” theory is true, but is tough to demonstrate due to small sample size, could we prove it by showing these teams do better against elite relievers/aces during the season as well?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: That’s kind of what Ben Lindbergh and MGL did here http://grantland.com/the-tr…

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: “All else being equal, hitters who put balls in play do better against bat-missers than hitters with whiff in their game.”

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a *dramatic* effect, but contact hitters are better than power hitters against strikeout pitchers, and power hitters are better than contact hitters against non-strikeout pitchers

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I love that the Royals have led to us learning this

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: And the Cubs, too, in a different way

9:38
Comment From mtsw
Is it possible that the “contact teams do better against good pitchers” idea is more “teams that SWING a lot do better against good pitchers?” There’s a widely-shared-observation among Orioles fans that the Orioles, a high K% but low BB% team, seem to overperform against good pitching and underperform against bad pitching. Is “lack of patience” be the important factor in overperforming vs good pitching rather than contact per se?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: according to Baseball-Reference, the Orioles were about 8% worse than average against power pitchers, and about 2% worse than average against finesse pitchers

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s mostly about bat-to-ball skill. The disciplined hitters, they’re looking for certain pitches they might not get. The contact hitters are prepared to hit almost anything. Of course, there is some relationship between aggressiveness and contact skill, much of the time

9:42
Comment From Q-Ball
Nick Cafardo quoted a baseball exec as saying he wouldn’t pay more for Alex Gordon than 3 years in the 36-38 mil range. That seem ludicrous, doesn’t it? Was he speaking to Dayton Moore? What kind of contract do you predict for Gordon?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe he meant $36-38 million a year

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: That’s absurd. Maybe such a baseball exec does exist, but there are hundreds of baseball execs, and that one simply isn’t going to be the one who signs Alex Gordon

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The one who signs Alex Gordon will do so for something like $80 – 100 million

9:46
Comment From Q-Ball
Travis Wood: Tender, or non-tender? Probably looking at around $6 mil through arbitration.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Of note: as a reliever, Wood allowed just a .577 OPS. Kelvin Herrera allowed a .578 OPS

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: And you mix in the 30% strikeout rate…I think there are worse gambles than Wood as a $6-million reliever for one year

9:49
Comment From Switzerland
Fill in the blank: the closest that Yordano Ventura’s bat gets to a Noah Syndergaard fastball is ______

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. Ventura is 1-for-10, with 8 strikeouts

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: He’s seen 45 pitches, only 6 of which were north of 90 miles per hour

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: He did foul off a pitch at 91.2

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Ventura has swung away 17 times. 7 swings have missed

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Long story short: I think Ventura might foul-tip a pitch. And I give him 33% odds of a successful bunt if he comes up with a bunting situation

9:53
Comment From Whirled Series
True or False: The Royals have a better offense than the Cubs.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say false, but only slightly, and I might still mentally be holding Omar Infante against Kansas City even though he doesn’t matter anymore

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Yesterday I ran some numbers and, based on the Royals’ playoff AB distribution, their players combined for a 109 regular-season wRC+

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Cubs would still have a slight edge but it depends on how strong you make your AL/NL league adjustment

9:55
Comment From Norrin Radd
How much of Shapiro’s “scolding” do you think was a factor in AA leaving?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: That was probably a bit overblown, and Shapiro was far from the only baseball person who disagreed with how the Blue Jays maneuvered. I think the reality is less dramatic: Anthopoulos realized that Shapiro and he had philosophical disagreements, and he realized that Shapiro was being put in position to overrule him. That would frustrate, long-term

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not that Shapiro “scolded” AA; it’s that Shapiro didn’t see eye-to-eye with AA, and Shapiro was going to be his boss, where previously no such boss existed

9:57
Comment From NOT Jeff Sullivan
Good morning!

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: So windy. I love wind

9:58
Comment From mtsw
Jeremy Guthrie isn’t on the WS roster, but he’s still on the Royals 40-man, opening up the possibility he could be added to the WS roster after an injury. What odds would you give a second-consecutive Guthrie Game 7 start? 500:1? More?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a grown man who doesn’t actually know how odds work, so I’m going to go ahead and just say that your odds look fine

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Also, what a nightmare

10:00
Comment From Fajitas
Based on my quick math, this year saw a 2% increase in CS% and a 10% decrease in total SBs. Do you think the stolen base environment is changing/will change due to instant replay?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: It actually will be interesting to see how teams run now that we’ve seen so many seemingly pedantic replay reviews

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: It seems like steals are more susceptible than ever to being overturned. With that said: steals are clearly going down, but they’re currently under-utilized. Based on some quick math, this year the break-even rate was about 66%. Steals were actually successful 70% of the time. That suggests there’s room for many more attempts

10:02
Comment From Zach
Does the sudden and seemingly unstoppable success of the Royals make you feel better or worse about the Mariners?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: This is an encouraging time to be alive. It wasn’t long ago the Royals were a laughingstock. It was just in July that Mets fans felt down in the dumps. And you think about the Astros and the Cubs, too…

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Everything is so even. If you have a competent organization and some good players, you can turn around quick

10:05
Comment From The Maddness
Being that Lagares desperately needs surgery, does that increase chances they sign Cespedes?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe an even bigger factor is that Lagares didn’t hit

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: The short answer: yes, Lagares’ 2015 somewhat increases the odds that Cespedes re-signs in New York

10:06
Comment From Chris
In the next few years, who is the first team in the NL Central arms race to fall out of contention and retool/rebuild: Cardinals, Cubs, or Pirates?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Forced to pick, I’d say Pirates, just because of the relatively limited revenue. But the Pirates are still in a really good situation

10:08
Comment From ryan
so if the Cubs sign Heyward how much of an upgrade is that? something (roughly) like add Heyward Cubs War then add the difference between Heyward war and his replacement? (Cardinals devil magic withstanding)

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, you just add whatever win amount you think is reasonable, and then take away whatever you think the Cubs *would’ve* gotten from Heyward’s position, without Heyward

10:10
Comment From Switzerland
Where should Alex Anthopoulos be looking for his next house?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’m not sure how to answer this. No one is. But at the very least it shouldn’t be long until there’s an opening in Cincinnati

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles could open up before long, but who knows if Anthopoulos would want to work with Angelos

10:14
Comment From Calbear949
I haven’t seen anything about Maeda being posted? He had a terrific 2015 and should be in high demand if posted.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t seen anything recently, either. Still seems to be up in the air. But if he does get posted, yeah, he’ll be in demand, even though he doesn’t seem like a front-of-the-rotation type. He’s not a guy with huge strikeout numbers, and he’s not going to give up just five home runs again

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Maeda would also go up against the slight-pitcher bias. He’s officially listed at 154 pounds. That would’ve made him the lightest pitcher in the majors this year

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Helping his case: Jesse Chavez (160 lbs)

10:17
Comment From The Maddness
What team needs a total teardown more, Baltimore or San Diego?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Neither team needs a total teardown. Very difficult these days to justify a total teardown. But if you had to break *one* of those up, I’d make my decision based on the fact that San Diego doesn’t have a Manny Machado

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact, related to nothing: I just realized our current depth charts have Reds left fielders projected for -2.0 WAR

10:20
Comment From Chris
What is the most surprising signing this offseason, a la Nationals/Scherzer c 2015?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Would it count as a surprise if the Diamondbacks spent big on a starting pitcher?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously there’s no predicting big surprises, but I think the biggest shocker will probably come from the trade market

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: And it’s going to come at 1 in the morning

10:22
Comment From I am the Walrus
I hear rumors of Cubs interested in Gordon? I don’t see him as a CF. Does that signal a possible trade of Schwaber or Soler?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Like a Schwarber trade, see — that would be a shocker

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: For now, I don’t think either of those players goes away.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Even if the Cubs signed a corner outfielder, I think you’d see Schwarber behind the plate, with occasional playing time mixed in elsewhere

10:23
Comment From LarryA
I recently learnt of something called the 3 sisters marathon. You ever do that?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: No, I’m not really interested in going for speed. But I am interested in climbing all of them in a weekend. Enjoying each, instead of dreading the next

10:24
Comment From The Maddness
Halloween is by far the most overrated holiday.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I bought candy corn the other day and realized the same company that made my candy corn also makes my floss

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Those guys figured it out

10:25
Comment From kenneth
Hi Jeff! I know that it is a difficult question to answer, but would you happen to know of the best ways to attempt to get interviews for entry level front office positions, given that I’m trying to receive a Masters degree in Information Systems and Data Analysis?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: You could always try responding to those job postings we sometimes put up on InstaGraphs

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Beyond that though, there’s no possible *good* advice — so many people are after these jobs. There’s no easy way in, assuming you aren’t already somehow connected. And unfortunately, I don’t count as a legitimate connection 🙁

10:27
Comment From Chris
Over/under for Royals chance to win the WS: 70%

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Over

10:29
Comment From Eric Weinstein
Do you think the Cubs could get any of the good young controllable arms that come up in rumors (Corrasco, Salazar, Grey, Ross, Quintana, Matz or Wheeler, Teheran) without trading Schwarber, Soler or Russell? It seems like they have enough talent and depth to have a shot in a bulk deal with some combination of Baez, Castro, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, Almora, Ian Happ. But I’m also a Cubs fan.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: A bulk deal just wouldn’t be that sexy, and most teams would prioritize getting one premium player type. So you need to find another front office that highly values a boom or bust player like Baez, say

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: The easy, quick answer there is San Diego, but I don’t know how they *actually* feel about Baez. I’m just guessing

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: But you might be able to work something there with Ross

10:32
Comment From Bob Pollard
What do you make of Billy Hamilton at this point? Will he ever get on base enough or is he a fourth OF/defensive replacement/pinch runner?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: He hits too many fly balls. It’s a problem. He doesn’t have any power, so he needs to put the ball on the ground, and he doesn’t do it. He needs to prove he’s adaptable, and he needs to modify his swing(s).

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: The “good” news is the Reds aren’t strong so they can afford to give Hamilton time, and his defense and baserunning obviously give him a high floor. But he’s a work in major progress

10:34
Comment From Preller
In his chat yesterday, Eno mentioned that he thinks the ship has sailed for Eric Thames, do you agree?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Wily Mo Pena hasn’t come back. It helps Thames to have Kang come over from Korea and hit, but Thames doesn’t really play defense, so for all I know he might be getting his best money overseas

10:35
Comment From anon
How much would cubs have to add to Baez, if trading for Salazar or Carrasco

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: More than you’d like

10:35
Comment From Jordan
So where do the Jays stand now? Are we now going to operate like the Indians? Should I start looking for a new team to root for?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins aside, I don’t think you should ever abandon a team because of a front-office maneuver

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: In the past decade, the Jays have topped out at a payroll of about $137 million. The Indians have topped out at a payroll of about $88 million

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: So, no, you’re not going to see the same type of operation, because it isn’t as necessary. You’ll still see general things like highly valuing prospects, so Shapiro etc. are less likely to pull moves like AA’s deadline, but with greater financial flexibility comes greater transaction flexibility

10:39
Comment From troke
Royals seem to be built like an early to mid-eighties Cardinals team. Do you see any other current teams bucking the trend and building throwback rosters centered around defense, speed, and contact?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I guess there are some similarities with the Giants, but the Royals are fairly extreme. That said, I do think you’re going to see contact increasingly prioritized

10:40
Comment From anon
Is contact hitting a swing mechanics tweak or more of an overhaul?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: You can cut down on a player’s swing in order to try to get him to make more contact, but it’s fundamentally sort of a hand-eye thing — some players will just be better at it than others

10:40
Comment From Fajitas
Do you think there’s more to “sequencing” than luck? For example, when a pitcher is struggling with command, it would make walks more likely, strikeouts less likely, and hard contact (either line drives or homeruns) more likely?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely don’t think it’s totally luck. I think *a lot* of it tends to be luck, because no one’s ever discovered a big sustainable effect. You can’t build a team to way over-perform consistently in run-scoring situations. But I think you can play around at the margins. The Royals might be one of those teams

10:42
Comment From mmarsden
What, if anything, do you know about the new Padres manager?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I know he’s not Nick Green, which I confirmed with a Baseball-Reference search

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Outside of that, nothing

10:43
Comment From Phil
Do we ignore taxes when discussing potential contracts? We always seem to talk dollars in gross terms, but for players, it would seem not insignificant to accept 5/100 from the Astros vs. the Angels. I know with residency laws they only ever pay a portion of the taxes (assuming they don’t permanently live in the state), but it can still mean a couple million per year. For someone earning $15MM AAV, that seems not meaningless, but I don’t recall ever seeing it mentioned. Too complex for simple baseball discussion?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: It comes up. People talk about the tax situations of different states, and every so often you’ll get a high-profile Rosenthal sort writing one of those articles. It absolutely matters, in terms of the take-home, but maybe an even bigger factor is players often want to just get the maximum figure because it “looks” the best. Also, every contract sets a precedent for future contracts

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: So the taxes are a factor, no doubt, but there are other factors, some pulling in the opposite direction

10:44
Comment From anon
Is there anything conclusive about what type of hitting succeeds in playoffs: contact, power or mixed?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Good hitting. Good hitting is what you want in the playoffs. But if you had a choice, you’d take good hitting and contact over otherwise identical good hitting and strikeout-proneness

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: If you have a 110 wRC+ lineup with 16% strikeouts, and a 110 wRC+ lineup with 26% strikeouts, you’d want the first one

10:46
Comment From LarryA
Is there any correlation between good hitting and quantity/rate of foul balls?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think anything too meaningful has been shown

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: The spread also tends to be kind of small

10:49
Comment From Neil
I’m a Royals fan, and it’s Syndergaard who always scared me the most. Putting aside game 3, and thinking of him long-term, does Syndergaard have the mechanics repeatability (or whatever scouts call it) and build to put up a dominant 5-6 year stretch in the majors a la Greinke/Bumgarner (or Kershaw, but obviously not to his ridiculous level)?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard has so much working for him. I’d like to see a little better strike-throwing ability with the secondary pitches, but his foundation is outstanding, and even Kershaw had inconsistent control in his earliest years. You can never guarantee sustainable ace-hood, but Syndergaard projects about as well as any other pitcher over the next five years. He’s terrificly exciting

10:52
Comment From EC
Who could you see Strasburg going to this offseason?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Clearly the contract status is a factor, given the looming free agency, but I could see Boston in there, as well as Arizona and potentially San Francisco. This is all speculation on my part

10:53
Comment From BK
I’m in my last year of law school (in Canada) and can drop a class next term if I can think about a topic that I can write a 40 page paper related to law on. I want to do it about baseball, any ideas?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The maybe too-obvious one: the antitrust exemption?

10:54
Comment From anon
There are some rumblings that the cubs would been much better against the dodgers and more likely to make it to the WS. Any truth to this or wouldn’t have made much of a difference?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Well maybe they wouldn’t have gotten swept

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: And the Dodgers didn’t have the Mets’ rotation depth. So there’s that factor

10:54
Comment From el hefe
does fangraphs host playoff stats?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: We have them on player pages, but we don’t yet have them anywhere else I’m afraid

10:55
Comment From Neil
Let’s assume that GMs/coaches start mitigating to the third-time-through-the-order penalty through new roster construction and managing. What’s the next big in-game management scenario that will cause us to collectively start yelling at the TV?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Continuing to hold closers until the 9th?

10:56
Comment From Johnny
Is it possible we shouldn’t be making narratives based on two post-season games? If the Royals smacked around the top of the Mets rotation for a series in July, making a ton of contact and not swinging and missing, no one would be putting out this narrative that the Royals have figured out power pitching.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: It would be really easy to let this get out of control. The Royals haven’t “figured out” anything. They could still definitely lose! And they came a Carlos Correa error away from probably being eliminated in the first round. The Mets have their own story, too, and their own really good players

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: But what’s neat, I think, is because of the Royals, we’ve learned some seemingly new stuff about contact hitting in the playoffs. It’s not that it conveys an enormous advantage, but it does seem to convey *some* advantage, and that’s fresh

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Because it’s fresh, it’s easy to exaggerate. That’s what’s happening now

10:59
Comment From Kellog
Can we get excited about Profar’s hot start in AFL?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Just get excited about him being on a field

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: He’s younger than Conforto, Sano, Lindor, and Schwarber

11:00
Comment From Fresh
What tools do you use to create GIFs from MLB.tv video? I recently started baseball writing and my GIF game is trash.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I use HyperCam and AVIedit, but there’s probably far superior software out there. I haven’t upgraded my own gif game in years

11:01
Comment From Guest
I think the Chris Davis deal has the potential to be the worst in baseball 5 years from now. Is there any way it isn’t a trainwreck?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: He could hit like a good hitter for 5 years

11:03
Comment From Jordan
Are we ever going to see a consistent strike zone or are we going to have to deal with bad ball/strike calls at important moments forever?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not forever. Baseball can’t resist technological improvement forever. Every sport would love to have 100% accurate referees, and the strike zone provides the only real opportunity for that to be implemented. But it’s still a ways off

11:04
Comment From Gary
Don’t you find it unbelievable that the 1996 Mariners had two 9-win players? And if Johnson were healthy they might have had three? It’s hard to believe they couldn’t do anything with that group.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: There are many lessons to be learned from those 90s-era Mariners

11:04
Comment From Dan S.
I have tickets to Game 5 and it would be my first ability to attend a World Series game. Scale of 1 – 10 how confident are you that I get to see the game?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: You have roughly a 75% chance of seeing a game

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: And a roughly 50% chance of seeing a potential clincher

11:05
Comment From Norrin Radd
Would you rather: grow your hair as long as deGrom? Or have every hiking trip of yours from now on be narrated by Joe Buck and Harold Reynolds?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: You mean would I rather have a life-changing condition or a two-year inconvenience?

11:06
Comment From Jordan
Cincinnati seems like a good fit for AA, old school owner, GM position seems like it would have more power then the new GM positions.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: And ownership wants to win, as opposed to Rogers, who…I don’t even know. The money is a problem, but the allure is there

11:07
Comment From Also Jeff
How do you feel about the Don Mattingly hire?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t. I mean, it’s predictable. The players will respect him, but on the other hand, it’s been reported the players eventually came to like and respect Jennings, and he’d never coached before, so who even knows what that means?

11:08
Comment From Vance
Should the Dodgers brass be upset about not going after Maddon this past offseason?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: It seemed so obvious. I do think that was a missed opportunity

11:08
Comment From Gumpus
Would you rather have Alex Gordon or Jason Heyward over a 5 year period in the 22M/yr range?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Five years from now, Jason Heyward will be younger than Alex Gordon is today

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: This is why Gordon might get 4-5 years, while Heyward might get 8-10

11:09
Comment From Q-Ball
How surprised are you that A-Rod a) had a productive season, and b) didn’t say a peep until a pretty solid stint as a TV analyst.?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I was definitely surprised by his productivity. Less surprised by his staying out of the news — he’s smart enough to realize that if he wants to leave an even half-decent legacy, he needed to just put his head down and play baseball. He’s tremendously concerned with his own image, and he’s about out of time

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Speaking of out of time! I’m going to wrap this up and move on with my day

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Again, we will have a live chat for tonight’s game, and we will also have chats over the weekend

11:12
Comment From JKD
Sooo… Grantland is kaput: http://espnmediazone.com/us… That’s no good.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Holy crap

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: ok bye!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/30/15 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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The Humber Games
Guest
The Humber Games

Jeff Sullivan: Magic is just a useful catch-all word to describe crap we don’t yet understand

Do we really not understand this though? Make a lot of contact in a big stadium and you maximize your chances of good sequencing. Play excellent defense in a big stadium and you minimize the chances the other team gets good sequencing. Sprinkle in the element of good fortune every team enjoys on a world series run, and there’s your Royals. I neither think they have some secret ‘clutch’ sauce, nor do I think they are a fluke doomed for regression.