Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 11/1/2021

12:00
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. It’s Monday, I’m chatting. The typing muscles are loosened and I’ll get to as many questions as I can…. LET”S GO.

12:00
Bret: What happened to Luke Voit? He looked like a fixture for the Yankees heading into this season, having some recent monster seasons. Obviously, injuries plagued his 2021, but why has it pushed him out of favor and into a nontender candidate?

12:01
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think he was every really healthy, which is obviously an ongoing concern for him. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and doesn’t have a skillset that ages well…

12:01
Dave: Going to watch any NBA this season?

12:01
Kevin Goldstein: No plans.

12:02
Matt: Can the Angels count on one, or both, of Jo Adell/Brandon Marsh to be a full-time regular next season?

12:03
Kevin Goldstein: I think a safe way to enter the off-season is by assuming you can count on one of them.

12:03
Justin: How low do you think a team’s payroll would have to be leading into a year (or after a small group of years) in order for the league/MLBPA to demand action?  If the Pirates open 2022 under ~$40 million like the project to and dont get in trouble (when combined from the past few years’ low spending), I dont know how any team will ever will get in trouble.

12:03
Kevin Goldstein: Hard to answer this with a CBA on the horizon….

12:03
Ryan: Rockies sent Ryan Rolison to the Dominican winter league instead of the Fall League. Is this better or worse for development? Would players rather

12:04
Kevin Goldstein: It’s neither better or worse, but it’s more player specific. If there was a player who I wanted to get more coaches and hands-on instruction with some game reps thrown in, I’d want them in the AFL. If there  was a player who I wanted to simply get highly competitive innings, I’d go to LIDOM.

12:05
Jeff in Jersey: Would you extend QO’s to both Syndergaard and Conforto? If they both accept, the Mets are near the luxury tax without any additions…but there aren’t any bad one-year deals, right?

12:05
Kevin Goldstein: There are bad one year deals. I’m not sure 37m for those two for one year is the best idea…..

12:05
KG: Marco Luciano had a nice start to the season, but cratered upon promotion to High A.  Wonder if this is worrisome at all, or not really since it was only for a month or so and he’s so young.

12:05
Kevin Goldstein: Not really since it was only for a month or so and he’s so young.

12:05
Jefferson: Charlie morton has been so good in his late 30s. What’s your concern level about him returning after the broken leg?

12:06
Kevin Goldstein: Really not much. Obviously it’s far preferred over an arm issue.

12:06
Jefferson: Thoughts on Kyle seager email? Seems like a real shitty way to depart with a player who has been with the team for over a decade

12:06
Kevin Goldstein: Sounds like they tried to get in touch with him and did imform the agents which is standard protocol.

12:06
Yo-Yo: All four positional Cardinals (Gorman/Yepez/Nootbaar/Donovan) are crushing it in the AFL, for whatever that’s worth. Do you think all four reasonably project to be average or better players? Let’s say average is 1.5-2.0 WAR/600.

12:07
Kevin Goldstein: I certainly would not bet on all four becoming that. Some will.

12:07
Beiisbolero21: Astros going with Garcia over Urquidy tomorrow; any idea why?

12:07
Kevin Goldstein: Urquidy pitched yesterday (breifly) and I wonder if they’re hoping to save him for game 7.

12:07
Dave: What’s for lunch?

12:07
Kevin Goldstein: Wife made pizza last night, and there are leftovers.

12:07
Jacob: That spinning throw play from Correa last night was A+.

12:08
Kevin Goldstein: He’s just a phenomenal defensive player. It’s really what separates him from Seager in my mind as far as the big name free agent shortstops.

12:08
Yo-Yo: Has your method of projecting swing-and-miss guys changed at all over the years? If you look at the worst contact% rankings, the very worst players are often the best overall hitters. Do you give more leeway towards the guys who whiff a ton now because of the current state of hitting?

12:08
Kevin Goldstein: You can recalibrate a bit as to what big swing and miss really is, but contact is still exceptionally important.

12:09
James: Thanks for the chat! For their 2022 roster should the Padres run it back, tweak it, or overhaul it?

12:09
Kevin Goldstein: It’s an excellent roster. I think the Padres need to get away from always trying to make the biggest splash and get the biggest name and ‘win the offseason’ and focus on depth. A lack of depth is what doomed them last year.

12:09
Kevin Goldstein: Or I guess, still this year.

12:09
171: Do players spend time in Spring Training planning out and practicing their special celebration handshakes with each other? It seems like a good amount of players have a whole routine that is different between different players. How do they plan and remember these 8-9 different 2-4 second celebrations?

12:10
Kevin Goldstein: Yes they do. Spring training is an absolute grind. It’s like groundhog day for six weeks.

12:10
Parade of Arms: Is pitching so fungible now that a team whose 3rd best pitcher is Will Smith or Tyler Matzek can win a World Series?  What can or should MLB do to make pitching matter again?  (Or, do you think they should stand pat and do nothing?)

12:11
Kevin Goldstein: Both teams are without their best starters. Coming off of the very weird 2020, everyone is exhausted. I would wait until we get through a ‘normal’ season before I start worrying about it.

12:11
Colin: By your estimate, what percentage of teams have “win a World Series” as their true organizational goal, not caveated by financial or other constraints that make it more or less improbable?

12:12
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s a goal of all 30 front offices. Owners create the constraints.

12:12
TomBruno23: This video of Escogido celebrating after Pujols won the game yesterday is what LIDOM is all about.

¡Así se celebra un walk off!🔥🦁 #LaTemporadaDelSiglo #CentenarioRojo
1 Nov 2021
12:12
Kevin Goldstein: LIDOM is absolutely wonderful, and also now a part of mlb.tv. I hope everyone watches this winter. It’s a blast.

12:12
Mob Belvin: Chances that Detroit is an at least wild card contender if they sign one of the big SS names this offseason?

12:13
Kevin Goldstein: I think with a few breaks they’d be right there.

12:13
TomBruno23: How should I explain to my children why the Tomahawk Chop is offensive?

12:13
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, it’s not complicated as to why, is it?

12:13
Angels: Do you see the Angels trying to sign Robbie Ray or 2 vétéran guys such as Verlander and Grienke or Scherzer

12:14
Kevin Goldstein: We just don’t have a history with this front office to go on, and they have an owner who is . . . . volatile might be the best word? That’s a long way to say that I just don’t know.

12:14
Colin: Is Austin Riley’s 2021 a bit over his skis or do you think we can expect similar production over the next few years?

12:15
Kevin Goldstein: I’m not convinced he’s a .300 hitter, but if he settles into the .260-.280 range with that kind of power, that’s still mighty good.

12:15
TomBruno23: What are some under the radar baseball books you would recommend?

12:16
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t really read baseball books, sorry. One of my favorite writers, Robert Coover, did write a baseball-related fiction book called “The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.” that I highly recommend, especially to fantasy/sim players.

12:16
Dave: Suppose Atlanta wanted to ban the chop. How would they prevent fans from doing it without kicking participants from the park. On a busy night it seems there are 15,000+ people doing it.

12:17
Kevin Goldstein: A. Don’t play the music, so don’t encourage it. B. Don’t allow it the same way you don’t allow someone yelling racial epithets at a game.

12:17
J: Do you think the Mets make a run at David Forst for POBO? Seems like Oakland’s unsettled home situation would make him more likely to pursue other opportunities than he has in the past?

12:17
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s quite possible that they simply don’t make a hire this offseason…

12:18
Al Avila: Which SS should Detroit target this winter? All due respect to Semien, it has to be one of the big-3 youngsters, right?

12:18
Kevin Goldstein: I think the industry sees Semien as a 2B at this point, and rightly so. He’s wonderful, but he’s not a SS.

12:19
SeaBass: How do you fix 4 hour+, 9 inning baseball games? I took a random look at box scores from 1954 and those WS games took anywhere from 2-3 hours. That would be the dream.

12:19
Kevin Goldstein: A. MLB and the networks have added 18 minutes to every game with the extra commercial between innings. That’s 18 minutes.

12:19
Kevin Goldstein: B. I don’t like any radical change, but I’m all for a pitch clock.

12:20
Blake: Letting Bob Melvin walk to San Diego must mean Oakland is heading for a re-build and Melvin didn’t want to stick around for that, right?

12:20
Kevin Goldstein: It’s possible, but we might never know. I was pretty shocked by the move and the lack of compensation.

12:20
No Small Thing: What are your impressions on how Ethan Small will play as is in the majors? He’s seemingly had success at every level of competitive baseball

12:21
Kevin Goldstein: I think he’ll be a solid starting pitcher. Not an impact arm, but quite valuable.

12:21
Braves fan: The Astros pitching looks pretty bleak going forward with them throwing Garcia on short rest in G6 and a big ol’ question mark in G7. ZIPS odds shows 71% for Braves to win the Series: too high, too low, or just right?

12:22
Kevin Goldstein: I think a good way to go through life is see every game in the playoffs as pretty much 50/50. That would give the Braves a 75% chance of winning the series, so it seems about right to me.

12:22
CBA: Do the union and league find common ground, or does disaster strike this winter? What do FA do while they wait for clarity on that front?

12:23
Kevin Goldstein: I do think there will be a work stoppage. It might not be a disaster in that it impacts 2022 Opening Day, but I do think we’ll get to a work stoppage. As for the free agents, they will play golf or video games.

12:24
Beignet and the Jets: Do you think any big moves happen before the big deadline for new contract or work stoppage? How do you trade for a guy with only a few years left, or sign a guy to a 5-year deal, if there’s a good chance no baseball is played in year 1?

12:24
Kevin Goldstein: I’ve talked to quite a few team folks about this, and it sounds like most are in a wait and see mode for now.

12:24
World Series: Who you got – Astros or Braves? Gotta think Atlanta regrets waking up that offense in Game 5…

12:24
Kevin Goldstein: See my above comment on 50/50. Predicting any single baseball game is something nobody should do.

12:25
Adam: Do you ever find yourself being more measured with your words when asked a specific question about a friend or source currently employed by the MLB? How tricky are those relationships to balance between your own sense of integrity and not burning any bridges?

12:26
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t. I found in my first media go-round that front office people TEND to understand that the media has a job to do. I’ve never had anyone take any criticism personally or stop taking my calls or anything because of it.

12:26
Above Ground Marinara Swimming Pool for Rats: What kind of pizza are we talking here? The people need details.

12:27
Kevin Goldstein: one kinda everything pizza with onions and peppers and chicken and feta and sun-dried tomatoes and one with tomatoes and arugula with a pesto base.

12:28
James: I know he had an inconsistent year but wouldn’t Odorizzi on full rest be a better option than Garcia on short rest and way over his innings count?

12:28
Kevin Goldstein: I’m sure Jake will throw tomorrow….

12:28
Fred: In most publicly available pitch frame metrics Martin Maldonado is average. Do the Astros’ metrics say different? What makes him so valuable?

12:29
Kevin Goldstein: He’s game management and his working with pitchers is as good as anyone in the game. It’s not something you can put a number on, but it’s there, and it’s incredibly valuable.

12:29
Guest: What grade would you put on Gurriel’s hit tool?  Seemed locked in last night

12:29
Kevin Goldstein: It’s approached 70 at times, but is probably more realistically a 60 or 65.

12:30
Swinging Friar: Dare I say AJ did a good job on something in hiring Melvin? AJ has been getting a lot of heat for this year but I love the hire

12:30
Kevin Goldstein: It’s a phenomenal hire.

12:30
Joseph: Could Greinke have made it as a position player?

12:30
Kevin Goldstein: We’ll never know, but he would have a had a chance. If he never took the mound, he would have been a 2nd-3rd round pick as a 3B.

12:30
TomBruno23: Universal Baseball Association is a classic, I read it every few years and it gets better as I get older and crazier.

12:31
Kevin Goldstein: It’s not close to Coover’s best work. Highly recommend Gerald’s Party or The Public Burning.

12:31
Ed: Hi Kevin! What kind of NDAs or confidentiality clauses do front office types have to sign? Are they enforced at all? Or do teams just assume their info will get out to other clubs?

12:32
Kevin Goldstein: You can protect systems and processes, but not philosophies, some of which are shaped by those…

12:32
N. Hornblower: Thanks for doing these chats. I hope they aren’t a PITA and that you enjoy them

12:32
Kevin Goldstein: I think they’re a blast, actually. I have a great time doing these.

12:32
asinwreck: Now that you are almost to a year at Fangraphs — and vaccinated — do you have travel plans to scout games in person? Any chance of a Dominican trip this winter?

12:33
Kevin Goldstein: Some travel soon. Not sure DR ready.

12:33
TomBruno23: A shorter spring training really only affects the FLA and AZ tourist industries.

12:33
Kevin Goldstein: It can’t happen. Nearly all of the land/ballpark leases have a guarantee for X spring training games that prevent baseball from shortening spring training.

12:34
Joseph: Most enjoyable player to watch this post season has been?

12:34
Kevin Goldstein: Lots of obvious superstars to talk about, but man do I love watching Ozzie Albies….

12:34
Dalton Wilcox: Are you on board for a new team to try Lorenzen as a SP?

12:34
Kevin Goldstein: Sure. I’d let him try.

12:35
Re: Bob Melvin: Does the leave without compensation mean that Melvin really was unhappy with the short/medium term plans in Oakland?

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, Oakland had to agree to it as well, so maybe that was them showing him the respect he’s well earned.

12:36
Bryant: Where do I end up the Giants don’t resign me?

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: Somewhere else on the West Coast.

12:36
Cole: Does Gary Sanchez get non-tendered at an estimated $8M? If you were the Yankees would you move on from him?

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: I think he gets tendered by the Yankees. If I worked for the Yankees, I would argue to non-tender him.

12:37
Dalton Wilcox: You scare me with all this talk of unquantified Value. Life only counts if quantified, no? Everything else is stupid unlike me

12:38
Kevin Goldstein: An economist won a Nobel Prize in the 1970s by yelling at other economists who believed they should ignore that which can not be quantified. I yell at baseball fans who ignore that which can not be quantified.

12:38
Mac: Who is the player you pounded the table for the hardest but didn’t get?

12:38
Kevin Goldstein: Nelson Cruz.

12:39
SJ: What are the best online resources if I want to try to train my brain to see what scouts see? Watching video of players with really good individual tool grades on the board has been helpful but can I supplement that in any way?

12:39
Kevin Goldstein: If you want to train your brain to see what scouts see, you need to sit behind home plate at games.

12:40
Mark: In regards to your comment about the chop. Wouldn’t that likely lead to ejecting tens of thousands of people, many whom would want to be there for the sole purpose of being ejected and the chaos and attention it would bring?

12:40
Kevin Goldstein: If those thousands were doing something else racist, would you also make this argument?

12:40
Nuxie: you a believer in Jose barrero?

12:40
Kevin Goldstein: I am.

12:40
Mac: If the Astros lose Correa do you think they’ll move Bregman back to SS?

12:40
Kevin Goldstein: I do not.

12:41
marjinwalker: Any idea what the Astros will do for Shortstop next year? Is it too early to pencil in Jeremy Pena? I tend to think the Astros would focus on spending free agent dollars on improving the pitching side, and think Correa would get too expensive for them…

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: I think Peña gets the first shot.

12:41
john: this is my third year interviewing with teams during hiring season for entry level baseball ops roles … any interview/hiring process tips that might help out?

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: Tell the team exactly what you can do to help them.

12:43
Marko from Tropoja: If you’re Scherzer, don’t you accept any respectable three-year deal from the Dodgers? At his age—and with his accomplishments—it’s about championships, and it doesn’t make much sense to go for a few more dollars from the Angels or another NL West team.

12:43
Kevin Goldstein: Max is a free agent, and he’s earned to right to do whatever he wants.

12:43
Tiger Fan: If Detroit won’t trade prospects who “could” be a part of the future, can they even pretend to be engaged in the trade market buying MLB level talent?

12:43
Kevin Goldstein: They said they would be.

12:44
Clown Question Bro: Care to speculate on the amount of pitching injuries we see next season? Was it the change from tack to no tack? Was is having not pitched a full season the prior year due to covid? Do you see injuries and types of injuries normalizing?

12:44
Kevin Goldstein: I’m a firm believer that it’s almost all related to the weirdness of 2020.

12:44
171: What about the front office do you miss the most during the season, and during the offseason?

12:45
Kevin Goldstein: I miss traveling all around the country, and at times the world watching baseball at every level.

12:45
Marko from Tropoja: Of course Scherzer is free to do what he wants, but do you agree that my premise makes the most sense?

12:46
Kevin Goldstein: Not really, but I don’t think it’s wrong either. If Max wants to just take NO MONEY and player for a winner, I think that’s fine. If he wants to sign with the Pirates or the Rockies because they offer the most money, I think that would be fine as well. I’m not here to tell Max how he should think.

12:47
Dave: favorite fall soup?

12:47
Kevin Goldstein: Does chili count? Is chili a soup? I’m not sure. I’ve always liked a really good pasta fagioli.

12:47
171: In the same vein, what do you miss the least?

12:47
Kevin Goldstein: The politics, the lack of free time.

12:48
The West is Wild: Hey Kevin, please have a take on my take that aligns with my take. Thanks.

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: I agree that I should have such a take.

12:48
Mac: Chili is a stew

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: Right? That’s were I ended up as I typed it.

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: Let’s just talk about soup for the next 45 minutes…

12:49
DBRuns: What’s your take on this statistic?: From 2017-2021, AL Central teams are 4-22 in the postseason, with no series wins.

12:49
Kevin Goldstein: I think the Central is generally weaker, but I also (as previously stated) think playoff series are roughly 50/50, so just a bad run.

12:50
Jefferson: With Dylan Lee making his debut, how much front office debate was there about it? Or a simple discussion of need and desperation?

12:50
Kevin Goldstein: I’m sure there was a lot of talk and multiple names thrown out there. It would be a fun meeting to be a fly on the wall for.

12:50
Mac: Jambalaya for the win!

12:50
Kevin Goldstein: Not a soup again, right?

12:51
Bort: Teams like Toronto and the Yankees should be looking at Kyle Seager’s home/road splits and salivating, no?

12:51
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, I get the 35 tanks, but he also had a .285 OBP this year. Hard to salivate.

12:51
N. Hornblower: That Maton-Straw trade is looking pretty pretty good now, right? Apparently his nickname on the team is “spin rate.”

12:52
Kevin Goldstein: That breaking ball borders on non-human.

12:52
Guest: How old was the youngest player you ever scouted?  What became of them?

12:52
Kevin Goldstein: Saw some 14 year olds in the DR. I know people who have seen 12 and 13 year olds in the DR. It’s a bit of a mess, really.

12:52
TBD: Who are your five favorite modern American writers?

12:53
Kevin Goldstein: Robert Coover, Don Delilio, Camden Joy, Martin Amis . . . . Lemme think on a fifth.

12:55
TJ177: Do we feel that Kyle Wright has been a disappointment or is this about his 50th percentile outcome?

12:55
Kevin Goldstein: He’s 26 years old, it’s still undecided, no?

12:55
171: Do DR complexes offer any type of schooling or life skills type classes/services for the young athletes? Are they education or life development benefits there beyond the opportunity of progressing in a professional system and structure?

12:56
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely they do. English classes and life skills classes are a big part of every complex.

12:56
asinwreck: Is Boy Island your favorite Camden Joy book? Asking in part to reference Camper Van Beethoven in a Fangraphs chat.

12:56
Kevin Goldstein: Liz Phair: A Rant is my favorite Camden Joy book and one of my favorite books of all-time.

12:57
Clown Question Bro: What do you see as the middle ground on the foreign substance issue with pitchers? What is different about the balls Show Hey brought back from Japan and showed the rest of the Angels?

12:57
Kevin Goldstein: I think baseball will have a pre-tacked ball as soon as next year.

12:58
Dave: For the knowledge of others: The MiLB team I worked for offered English classes for anyone interested. Participation was low until the team also offered to buy lunch for those who attended.

12:58
Kevin Goldstein: That’s disappointing. I know many teams for whom such classes are mandatory.

12:58
eastman: In thinking about the future performance of a hitter, do you care if that pitched in the zone  the hitter doesn’t make contact with come in the form of takes or strikes? I’m guessing it would be easier to teach a player to swing more, plus the player who takes “too many” strikes might have less bad contact.

12:59
Kevin Goldstein: You’re talking about swing decisions, which I like to use instead of plate discipline. Swing at pitches in the zone, and pass on those out of the zone. Both skills are important.

12:59
Guest: How common is it for the language training to go the other way… know you have mentioned Bregman taking it upon himself to learn Spanish….

1:00
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know of any team that offers Spanish classes to their non-spanish speaking players. I like the idea, though!

1:00
C: The fact that Randy Arozarena might get ROY votes in a 2nd straight year makes me wonder—2020 aside, would it be allowed for a player to win ROY more than once if they kept eligibility?

1:01
Kevin Goldstein: Better question for a BBWAA person or someone who cares about awards, but I don’t see why not. Eligible is eligible.

1:01
Kyle Seager: Thoughts on the reports?? Is it being overblown?

1:01
Kevin Goldstein: Sounds like they tried to get in touch, but probably had to contractual notify by 11/1, thus . . . .

1:03
Guest: Do you think there will be games canceled due to a strike next season and if so how many?

1:03
Kevin Goldstein: I think the winter will be ugly, but I tend to lean on 2022 starting on time.

1:03
J. henry Waugh: Favorite Coover book?

1:03
Kevin Goldstein: Gerald’s Party.

1:04
Guest: What do realistic expectations look like for Ohtani next year?

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: Oh who knows? I’m a huge believer in maintaining a really good baseball database that you can constantly refer to in the terms of I’ve seen players like this, and here’s what tends to happen with players like this. I don’t have any players like Ohtani. He’s a unicorn like no other.

1:06
Tyler “SLAB” O’Neill: Which defensive metric do you trust most?

1:06
Kevin Goldstein: My eyes.

1:06
Kevin Goldstein: I just still very skeptical of nearly any defensive metric.

1:07
Ralphie: How much does a good radar gun cost?

1:07
Kevin Goldstein: Like 700 or so.

1:08
Matthew: Did teams think Ohtani was going to be this good, even better, or worse, when he was negotiating to come over to the US?

1:08
Kevin Goldstein: Opinions were all over the place.

1:08
Guest: Why are people so obsessed with attempting to rationalize the chop? It’s clearly racist but people love to side step around it.

1:09
Kevin Goldstein: Because they like the Braves and they’re looking for a way to rationalize their fandom? It’s ok to really like the Braves and hate the chop.

1:09
asinwreck: Should ballparks offer pozole?

1:09
Kevin Goldstein: Sure. LSU has gumbo!

1:09
Clown Question Bro: Rib eye or Filet?

1:10
Kevin Goldstein: I actually like a good NY Strip. I also haven’t had red meat in like two months…

1:10
Ben: Do Judge, Stanton, and Gallo all have 80-grade power?

1:10
Kevin Goldstein: oh yeah.

1:10
Evan: KG, you mention getting through a ‘normal season’ before evaluating things after 2021/21. But… will 2022 be one? I’m not even talking about any CBA impact, but rather the impact of a massive jump in workload between 20 and 21. Could there be lingering effects? Do we need to look to 2023 for a ‘normal’ season?

1:10
Kevin Goldstein: I think there is an argument to be made that you are correct.

1:10
Chi-town guy: Deep dish or thin crust?

1:11
Kevin Goldstein: Deep dish pizza is an abomination.

1:11
Guest: Best minor leaguer you ever scouted in person? Best foreign prospect/player you ever scouted in person? Probably Abreu?

1:11
Kevin Goldstein: Mike Trout; in terms of pure tools, probably Luis Robert.

1:12
2B only landing spot?: Is there a skill set that is most important to someone who is not big league size/frame to get noticed by scouts?

1:12
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think it’s size specific. You can do good things on a field or you can’t, ya know?

1:13
Guest: It feels like in today’s America that if 10s of thousands of fans were getting ejected from Braves games for the chop that 10s of thousands more would buy tickets just to do the chop and get in on the culture war activities so they coudl post about it on “Meta”.  Really wonder if a name change so that the chop doesn’t make sense if the only way out..

1:14
Kevin Goldstein: Meg Rowley discussed this on the podcast. Change the name to the Atlanta Hammers to honor Hank Aaron. Replace the tomahawk props with hammers. Play “If I Had A Hammer” instead of the chant. Fans get to hold a foam thingy, do the same arm motion and instead of super offensive, it’s super awesome.

1:14
Tigers 22: How do you think a work stoppage will impact front office employees?

1:15
Kevin Goldstein: It can if it impacts the season. The contracts front office people have can be suspended during a work stoppage.

1:16
Ray: Hi Kevin. Glad to be up to join the chat. Have you seen a lot of Abraham Toro, and what do think of his chances of rolling as Seattle’s 3B. Sneaky impressive all-around ballplayer.

1:16
Kevin Goldstein: I think he’ll be a solid every day player. Not a star, but an every day player.

1:16
Mucho: Have GMs been able to contact the agents of perspective free agents since the end of the regular season, or is that prohibited?

1:17
Kevin Goldstein: Prohibited. There is a quiet period after the World Series during which teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their own players, and then the free for all begins.

1:17
Mork Borg: Any CBA discussion “Bold Guesses” or “Hot Takes”?  For instance, what do you think will be the biggest change to the CBA?  Who do you think “wins”?

1:18
Kevin Goldstein: I think we’ll see some kind of service time considerations that are put in place so teams open the season with their best roster and end the super 2 consideration delays.

1:19
Cynthia: How much of a difference is there between MLB teams in terms of avoiding injuries? Do you think we’ll see any dramatic improvements in that area in the next decade?

1:19
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think there’s a huge difference. Teams are working exceptionally hard and pouring considerable resources into making a difference, but I don’t think anyone he created a competitive health advantage yet.

1:20
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt: A friend and I were debating this weekend: among married players, roughly what fraction are known to regularly sleep around when on the road?

1:20
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s probably a little higher than the general population, but not crazy higher.

1:20
Tom: So you are saying that while teams are currently planning for their future and FA spending, they are not even bending the rules and talking generalities with agents?

1:21
Kevin Goldstein: That is correct.

1:21
Beignet and the Jets: Yuli Gurriel from age 21-31 would’ve been one of the top __ position players in MLB.

1:21
Kevin Goldstein: 5? Sure fire Hall of Famer. Generational talent.

1:22
Mac: What is the next big market inefficiency?

1:22
Kevin Goldstein: Teams really believe it’s health….

1:23
Kevin Goldstein: Ok, entering the final minutes….

1:24
Big O’Ted: Vinnie Pasquantino, does he have a chance by the end of ’22 to get reps over Pratto?  Or do the Royals give Pratto an extended look while Vinnie sticks in AAA?

1:24
Kevin Goldstein: We’ll find out together? I don’t think it’s something even the Royals are worried about or even thinking about.

1:25
Tom: Are there groupies waiting at hotels for baseball players like there are for NBA players?  Or is that a thing of the past?

1:25
Kevin Goldstein: Yes there are.

1:25
Biff: Why is their such reluctance for prospect for prospect deals anymore?

1:26
Kevin Goldstein: Teams don’t want to be wrong about their own players.

1:26
Jacob of Grom: In today’s age of such a deep organizational hierarchy, would it be conceivable to have a POBO with executive experience completely outside of the baseball world managing a staff of people with less executive experience but within the baseball world?

1:26
Kevin Goldstein: I would not be shocked to see such a set up in the next five years. Mildly surprised maybe, but not shocked.

1:27
Fred whitfield: Wondering what the delay is in a Bauer verdict. The cynic in me says they’ll wait to just before the Cba expires to paint the players in a bad light with a broad brush.

1:27
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, they are waiting on the prosecutor to act/not act, which has nothing to do with baseball.

1:28
Zach: Not sure if you’re willing or able to talk about this but what did you think when you guys (Astros) offered Bryce Harper the one year high AAV deal? Did you think he would accept? In an interview he said he was on board at first.

1:28
Kevin Goldstein: I was all for it.

1:28
Kevin Goldstein: I didn’t think he’d take it.

1:29
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, thanks again for joining me today and for all of the great questions. See you next week.





Kevin Goldstein is a National Writer at FanGraphs.

22 Comments
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JamesD84
2 years ago

I’m not thrilled with the Chop, but do you and Meg really think you’re not being political when you advocate telling the Braves to play, “If I had a Hammer,” a protest song first performed at a benefit for American Communist Party leaders on trial for advocating overthrow of the government?

Mitchell Mooremember
2 years ago
Reply to  JamesD84

You mean the “If Had Hammer” written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes of The Weavers and first publicly performed at a benefit for eleven American Communists on trial under the Smith Act for advocating the overthrow of the government, which is to say, talking and writing about it, as government prosecutors introduced no evidence that any of the eleven had ever actually done anything insurrectionary – none of them, for example, had ever stormed the Capitol looking to lynch the Vice President to prevent him from fulfilling Constitutionally prescribed duties – a feature of the Smith Act subsequently proscribed by the Supreme Court, as they ruled that the 1st Amendment of the Constitution protects the free speech of all Americans, even Communist Americans?

You mean the “If I Had A Hammer” that was a #3 pop hit for Trini Lopez in the summer of 1963, that won Peter, Paul & Mary a Grammy the same year, and has been recorded by the likes of Sam Cooke, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Johnny Cash, and Bruce Springsteen?

You mean the “If I Had a Hammer” that goes “Its the hammer of Justice, Its the bell of Freedom, Its the song of Love between my brothers and my sisters, All over this land”?

You mean the “If I Had a Hammer” that ties neatly to the iconic player in team history, an iconic player of all of baseball history, too?

You mean that “If I Had A Hammer? Sign me up.

dozingoffdadmember
2 years ago
Reply to  Mitchell Moore

Who let the guy who knows too much about post-WW2 US anti-communist propaganda comment? If we let people in here that know that that was largely about neutering the labor movement domestically during a time of mass strikes we’re going to have a lot less fun.

sadtrombonemember
2 years ago
Reply to  dozingoffdad

Psssshaw, next you’re going to tell me that Valentine’s Day has been coopted by candy manufacturers and Hallmark. I am going to stick my fingers in my ears and eat my candy with my extra pair of arms and not listen! *munch munch munch*

JamesD84
2 years ago
Reply to  Mitchell Moore

Sign you up, fine. But not everyone shares your politics, and by saying the Braves should play a lefty political song, Kevin’s saying they should offend a share of their fanbase. What’s a reasonable example of what this looks like from the other side of the aisle…maybe if I said the Giants should offer Chik-fil-A in their concessions? That would both offend some of their fans and be perceived as political.

bookbook
2 years ago
Reply to  JamesD84

Dontcha think that ship already sailed once the Coca-Cola company co-opted the song? Nothing says communism like a jingle used to sell the most purely capitalist, corporate sugar water on Earth.

tomerafan
2 years ago
Reply to  bookbook

Dontcha think that you can’t selectively choose the items for which their complete history matters and the items for which they don’t?