Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 3/25/2020

12:03
Meg Rowley: Hi everyone, and welcome to the chat

12:04
Meg Rowley: Apologies for being a little late – had to brush my teeth. You know, how we still observe the trappings of a civilization?

12:06
I miss baseball: If there is a 2020 season, would you personally put an * next to the winner?

12:08
Meg Rowley: I think we’ll have to be aware of the statistical oddity, but in terms of it having an asterisks because it feels less valid somehow, not really – we’re going to be so happy to have baseball back

12:08
Adam: I’m sure I’m only about the 67th person to ask this, but can we please make the Carson/Dayn podcasts a regular thing again?

12:09
Meg Rowley: Regular? Likely not – I’m not sure how much we can impose on the Blue Jays generosity. But they have a standing invite.

12:09
Meg Rowley: For those of you who might have missed it, you can listen here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-audio-dayn-perry-remains-awful/

12:09
Nate Pearson: Hi Meg, do I start the season w/ the big league club whenever the season starts or do I spend the season in Triple A?

12:11
Meg Rowley: Depending on how you look in a second spring training, and how the service time stuff games out, I would expect so.

12:11
FS: Which borderline teams can push for contention in a shorter season?

12:12
Meg Rowley: The answer feels like it is the White Sox and the Rangers.

12:13
Meg Rowley: the Centrals will be very interesting – the NL East slightly less so now that the Mets are without Thor, though that’ll still be spicy

12:14
BANGING SCHEME: It is a huge bummer that Noah Syndergaard is undergoing TJ. That is now *every* Mets pitcher from their World Series run. Is this just about “pitchers break, especially those that throw hard” or should we be suspicious of a particular Metsiness going on here?

12:15
Meg Rowley: I know there have been periods in the past when folks have lol Mets’d at the team’s medical staff, but I don’t think that is as big an issue now. Pitching is bad for you. None of us should do it.

12:15
Jay: Do you have any tips for maintaining positive mental health during this time? ūüôā

12:16
Meg Rowley: All of this obviously has to be balanced against staying the hell at home and following the advice of medical professionals on social distancing, but I’ve found exercise, whether it is going for a run or a walk (at an appropriate distance from other walkers) to help a lot. Try to have stretches when you don’t look at your phone. But also, call people!

12:17
Meg Rowley: I think this is all going to end up being highly individual. And I don’t mean at all to suggest that exercise is sufficient for managing anxiety or depression, conditions that are no doubt being exacerbated for many.

12:18
Meg Rowley: But getting out of the house to walk and run has helped me.

12:18
I miss baseball: Who takes over the sixth starter spot for the Mets?  Would they ever consider Lugo for a starting role again?

12:19
Meg Rowley: Would imagine he and Gsellman are in the mix there, but that they’ll try to keep them in relief for now.

12:19
No One Cares: Exciting chat

12:19
Meg Rowley: Be well, buddy. Hope today gets better for you.

12:20
Frank: What is the highest 2019 fWAR player you’d be willing to sacrifice (meaning they don’t play baseball ever again, but they’re magically financially set for life anyway) to have the pandemic over and the season start ASAP? Bregman? Marte? Lance Lynn?

12:20
Meg Rowley: Good gravy, what a question.

12:20
Meg Rowley: Hey I got it: CC Sabathia. See what I did there?

12:21
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: As the Mariners superfan, are you more excited for Julio or Jared?

12:22
Meg Rowley: Not a super fan, not really much of a fan anymore, but Julio – Kelenic is, I think, going to be very good, but I think Julio’s bat is pretty special and the kid is just wildly charming.

12:22
Ryan: Service time resolution if there is no 2020 season: Players get no 2020 salary (based on Manfred’s authority to suspend contracts in event of emergency) but Owners give all players with even a single day of MLB service credit for a full season of service time.¬†¬†Which side says no?

12:22
Meg Rowley: The owners, I’d expect.

12:23
Meg Rowley: I think most players are expecting to have to punt on most of their salary this year – delaying free agency for guys like Mookie Betts would be Very Bad.

12:23
12:25
Nick: Yesterday’s COVID article inspired a debate in the comments about the use of terms like “Redskins” as team names.¬†¬†Is the easiest fix for the Washington football team to simply change their mascot to a potato?

12:25
Meg Rowley: There is an entire universe of things they could be without being a racist name. Just a whole mess of things.

12:25
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Is there a FanGraphs sourdough expert? Making a starter because I have time and and it’d be nice to spice up my baking game, but it feels like a big undertaking.

12:26
Meg Rowley: FanGraphs defers to Lindsey Adler in all sourdough related matters.

12:26
Meg Rowley: We also defer to Lindsey for all bread related matters.

12:27
Meg Rowley: If I’m not mistaken, she had not one but two starters going this week.

12:27
Roland: Last time MLB altered their post-season format because of a shortened season (1981), neither the Cardinals nor Reds made the post-season, even though those two teams had the two best winning percentages in the NL.  Has MLB learned from that debacle?  Will we avoid an absurd result like that this year?

12:27
Meg Rowley: Yeah, I think so. Getting creative to fill the void and get people excited is good, but you want the sport to still be sensible.

12:28
Safety Stegosaurus: *Mariners superknowledger

12:28
Meg Rowley: That is a very kind edit, thank you.

12:28
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Do you think Julio Urias puts together a season that makes him the #2 guy (behind Walker, ahead of Kershaw) heading into the playoffs?

12:31
Meg Rowley: Hmmm that wouldn’t be my guess. I think it’s less that he won’t be good and more that I’m very intrigued by what a healthy Alex Wood and Ross Stripling might do.

12:32
Lunar verLander: Have you turned to following any weird, niche sports (I’ve heard marble racing is a new fad) during this time of no sports?

12:32
Meg Rowley: Does starting the Tiger King documentary on Netflix count as sports?

12:33
Billy Beane: Making a starter is easier than you think it is! You just have to be very consistent about feeding it and keeping it warm. Also, you may be able to get starter from a local bakery if you ask them nicely and can do so while maintaining good social distancing practices.

12:33
Meg Rowley: For those who are bread inclined (so most folks?)

12:33
sodo mojo: How do you think Marte and Clase will do once they make their stateside debuts.  Do you think the Mariners penchant for keeping their young prospects in the DSL helps or hinders their development?

12:34
Meg Rowley: It’s a really interesting player dev approach when you couple it with some of their aggressive promotions. I know that Marte was in a spot to earn such a promotion with a good spring – as Eric noted, not Julio-aggressive, but still strong, but all of that is on hold now because of well… gestures at everything

12:35
LScott: I am having MLB network withdrawal!!  Reruns are just not cutting it.

12:36
LScott: If it is ultimately decided that MLB will schedule regular double-headers, can you see them adding a 27th and maybe even a 28th roster spot?

12:37
Meg Rowley: I think they’ll need to do something – the next big issue the league faces is what the hell bodies are going to do in response to one of the weirder season ramp ups… ever

12:38
Kevin M: As a Mets fan with some serious Kelenic-fatigue, I’m rooting for the kid to have a long, healthy, lucrative but non-superlative career, full of roughly 3 WAR seasons.

12:39
Meg Rowley: I have gotten questions about this before. I think it is fine to wish for that because you wishing it doesn’t make it happen, and you aren’t hoping for injury, which makes you a monster.

12:39
Tommytoms: How are you doing Meg? I hope you are doing OK.

12:40
Meg Rowley: Hanging in there – this is all weird and scary and stressful. Everyone in my immediate circle is healthy though, so I am trying to focus on being grateful for that.

12:42
sodo mojo: Just read Eric’s Mariner list and it is a ray of hope for Mariners fans especially the bit about our improved approach to pitcher development.¬†¬†Given that do you think Penn Murfee has the ability to become a back end rotation piece?

12:43
Meg Rowley: ehhh not on a consistent basis – I think Eric’s assessment – pitchability guy who can give you competent innings if other dudes are hurt – is spot on. He’s already 25.

12:44
Meg Rowley: But your instinct that the org has gotten much better at pitcher dev. The bats outside of the top guys might lag, but the pitching is promising.

12:45
Gregg: If MLB decides to make up some games with frequent doubleheaders, teams might need 7 or even 8 starters to keep their pitchers on typical 4 days’ rest.¬†¬†Which team is best equipped to handle that kind of need for rotation depth.¬†¬†Or perhaps put differently, which team currently has the best 6th through 8th starters available in their organization?

12:46
Meg Rowley: Tempted to go with Dodgers and Rays, especially when you fold in how they deploy their guys

12:47
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: I’m watching way too much Friends.¬†¬†It’s a seriously bad show.¬†¬†It’s making me dumber.¬†¬†And I wasn’t that smart to begin with.

12:47
Meg Rowley: Not a great show!

12:48
Meg Rowley: If you can stand the tweeness of it, maybe New Girl as a sub? It isn’t the best comedy, tbc, but it scratches a similar itch.

12:49
Meg Rowley: plus just so many fewer episodes – Friends was on for so long!

12:49
2-D: Did you ever have something consistently in your life for a long time, it went away for one reason or another, then it was available again but it just continued to stay out of your life? Do you think this will have a noticeable impact on baseball/pro sport’s audience?

12:50
Meg Rowley: I wonder about this – I also wonder if I’m just really the wrong person to opine on it? I didn’t cry when I was watch the Lotte Giants scrimmage the other night but I FELT stuff. The sound of it was comforting in a way that few things have been in the last few weeks.

12:50
Meg Rowley: So I’m a not great sample. But yeah, there will be people who just find something else to occupy them.

12:52
Meg Rowley: But I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some folks get back into it in a way they haven’t in a while.

12:52
Meg Rowley: This isn’t like the strike – no one is at fault for this

12:53
Tony Stark: What are your top 3 baseball foods?

12:54
Meg Rowley: Brats, Din Tai Fung (T-Mobile Park is rad!), popcorn

12:54
Bruce Banner: Rank these baseball movies: Moneyball, Bull Durham, Bad News Bears

12:54
Meg Rowley: Bull Durham, Moneyball, Bad News Bears

12:55
Meg Rowley: Bull Durham posits that any woman can wear white on her wedding day. Bull Durham is a feminist baseball movie. It is great.

12:55
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: How do you pronounce Ljay?

12:55
Meg Rowley: 99% sure it is just L-J

12:55
Meg Rowley: but spelled in a maximally goofy way

12:56
Guest: I know it’s not the most important thing right now, but I wanted to say completely earnestly that yesterday’s surprise pod w/ Carson and Dayn was a real pick me up. Thank you!

12:57
Meg Rowley: I am so glad to hear that. As I told Carson, I was very, very happy to hear his dumb voice again.

12:57
MSW: If you’re sick of Friends, watch Happy Endings instead. Three of the most glorious seasons of television of the last decade.

12:57
Mad Joe-Don: If you like a show about a group of six friends in a city, try “Happy Endings”.

12:57
Meg Rowley: I have not seen it, but have been recommended it.

12:58
Sonny: My large puppy chases the chonky honey bees flying in our yard. This is a sport now and I LOVE IT

12:58
Meg Rowley: Please put a stopwatch on the puppy and also the chonky bees, and report back.

12:59
Black Widow: Personally, I am already restless from the lack of pro and college sports. Nows the time for March Madness, baseball, and push for playoffs in hockey and basketball. How are you filling the time? How are you keeping the research part of your brain occupied?

1:00
Meg Rowley: Despite it all, still plenty busy with FanGraphs! Our writers are writing such good stuff! People should read their good stuff imo!

1:00
Meg Rowley: Also, taking time to stare out the window and sigh deeply

1:00
Meg Rowley: But more seriously, writing more, too. Did my Boras piece last week. Got another thing in the hopper this week.

1:00
Mad Joe-Don: Meg, when will FanGraphs add Bees Above Replacement Puppies to the site?

1:01
Meg Rowley: All puppies are above replacement level. Just trust me, the math on that holds.

1:01
Seeforman: When season resumes, will Toronto have to play its home games in Dunedin, due to Canada using science to make health decisions, versus the US using economics?

1:02
Meg Rowley: Wouldn’t be remotely surprised if there is still a lottttt of bobbing and weaving when it comes to the schedule. You think the season will have an asterisk? Normal has one semi-permanently affixed imo.

1:02
Clint Barton: Would you say Brockmire is the best non-doc baseball show ever?

1:03
Meg Rowley: I will confess that I never got into Brockmire. But Ben Lindbergh loves it, and spoke with Hank Azaria about the upcoming season: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/effectively-wild-episode-1514-the-fictiona…

1:04
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: If frequent doubleheaders are a thing, maybe do the MiLB rules where each game is seven innings?

1:04
Meg Rowley: I think the league will try to keep what baseball is played as much like baseball as possible

1:04
Highway61: Any thoughts on playing the first month of the season at Spring Training sites in empty stadiums? Less travel, stadium capacity wouldn’t matter.

1:04
Meg Rowley: I think we’re likely to see empty stadium games as a first step to any ball

1:06
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some cities (Seattle, New York, San Fran, LA) don’t see spectators at games at all this year. Don’t have any inside info on that, and what counts as a hot spot might change (things in Atlanta seem to be taking a bad turn, and who the hell knows with Florida), but even when things resume, they won’t necessarily be “normal” everywhere.

1:06
Sir Nerdlington: In the search for content, I’d love a series breaking down the various considerations of the next CBA and where each side may land on it. Seems more apt now since neither side can afford to lose two seasons.

1:06
Meg Rowley: Good idea, and noted.

1:07
Thor Odinson: Do you envision this mess of a season to be taken into account when determining service time? And how do you see it playing out when it comes time for contract negotiations since players won’t have a full season of play to look at?

1:07
Meg Rowley: I think mess is the right way to describe it – it’s much easier to sort out if there is play in 2020, but if the whole season gets banged…

1:08
Meg Rowley: Alright pals, I gotta get rolling.

1:08
Meg Rowley: Thank you, so very much, for reading the site. I hope we’re a good distraction for everyone as those are needed.

1:08
Meg Rowley: Please stay safe, stay well, and stay the hell home if you remotely can.

1:09
Meg Rowley: Until next week.

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 3/25/2020 by Meg Rowley!

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Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs, the host of FanGraphs Audio, and the co-co-host of Effectively Wild. Her work has previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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