Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/2/19

2:00
Meg Rowley: Hi all,

2:00
Meg Rowley: and welcome to the chat!

2:00
Meg Rowley: Going to be a short one for me today, as there are Things to Edit and such.

2:00
henryv: Describe your feeling about this tweet:

Good morning and #GoMariners.
2 Apr 2019
2:00
Meg Rowley: Baseball is fun, and Mallex Smith is fun, and I like fun.

2:01
Knucklebear: On an excitement scale of 1 – 10. Should be Padres fan base be at an 11 or higher?

2:02
Meg Rowley: Why would I ever discourage you from being excited this early in the going. You’re a smart person. I’m sure you know that a postseason run this year would be ahead of schedule, but dealing with that reality is future you’s problem. Let present you enjoy Machado and Tatis and Paddack and the rest.

2:02
Meg Rowley: Reality will crash in all on its own.

2:02
Doctor Parrot: Re: 6-1 Mariners. August Meltdown 2: Electric Boogaloo or will we have already forgotten about their hot start by the end of April?

2:03
Meg Rowley: I would enjoy it now, because it’ll likely be long gone before August, but at least they are fun and have a bunch of personality.

2:03
Meg Rowley: That pitching sure is bad though.

2:04
Beetlejuice: The in-unison chorus of “Acuna getting $100M is a ripoff” is a bit troubling to me. Why do so many media Acuna should immediately adopt their opinion because they “know better.” He’s trying to do what’s best for him and his family and everyone’s risk preference is different. (Even if it’s team friendly – the current landscape of media combativeness is no bueno)

2:04
Meg Rowley: The deal is hilariously light for talented a player. I think we can recognize why an individual wants to be set for life while still bemoaning the incentives at work that inspired him to sign such a deal.

2:05
Meg Rowley: The media’s job isn’t to be conciliatory toward teams. Our job is to properly assess and analyze baseball news.

2:05
WASBAPPIN: Lucas Giolito: Good now?

2:06
Meg Rowley: If the mechanical adjustment holds, certainly better! It is also early, cold and he was pitching against the Royals.

2:06
Matt: Does Acuna have an obligation to do what is perceived to be in the best interests of other major league players?

2:10
Meg Rowley: I am uncomfortable telling any player who can take care of himself and his family for life that he shouldn’t do that. I do think it illustrates the power of being in a union. Every individual is going to respond to these sort of incentives and it can tip the scale away from what is good for the collective population

2:11
Cody: It was a delight to see an effective Felix get the win last night.

2:11
Meg Rowley: I was trying to explain to someone yesterday how watching a diminished version of him makes me feel, and all I can muster is that it probably indicates an unhealthy relationship with the sport.

2:11
Meg Rowley: So yeah, any effective Felix is good. Do wish they’d sort that defense out, though.

2:11
Meg Rowley: Woof.

2:12
Sanford: Among the many reasons why stats generally don’t matter yet: Trey Mancini has as much WAR as Mike Trout and Aaron Judge combined, in less than half as many plate appearances.

2:12
Meg Rowley: Indeed. We have not yet reached Trout-stabilization.

2:12
Hoystein: How long until the pitching of the Chicago National League Ball Club goes from just a concern to requiring fullblown panic? Over/under six weeks.

2:12
Meg Rowley: Under. It’s a tough division and we’ve all been Concerned for a while now.

2:13
v2micca: I’m a longtime Braves fan.  But, this is basically robbery, right?  The Braves just got away with Robbery.

2:13
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t call it robbery, but I would call it very bad agenting. It’s a hilariously light deal. I’m still sort of shocked.

2:13
Dustin: Has FanGraphs made you an extension offer yet, Meg?

2:13
Meg Rowley: I’m not going anywhere.

2:14
caesar_solid: Which of last year’s division-winning teams do you think is most likely to miss the playoffs entirely this year?

2:15
Meg Rowley: Braves for me, followed by the Brewers but that is much more about how tough that division is. Braves’ have it rough, too, but I’m less confident there.

2:15
Geoff Williams: Which player making their Major League debut this season has impressed you the most (i.e. Raised your future expectations for said player?

2:16
Meg Rowley: I already held him in high regard, but that Paddack start sure was fun.

2:16
Christian: Can Baltimore win 70 games this year?

2:16
Meg Rowley: Can they? Sure! Will they? I don’t think so!

2:16
NA: is Jason Heyward the most depressing player in baseball right now

2:16
Meg Rowley: Literally the Orioles exist.

2:17
never fail beta male: Rachel’s piece on Ichiro was really fun. When she was talking about all the joy he brought – as a factor of him being fun to watch, having a large audience and having a long career, made me imagine those 3 things combining to a Joy Rating, which could then be normalized to Joy Above Replacement, or JAR. Who would you say is the current JAR leader among active players? Who is replacement level joy player?

2:17
Meg Rowley: Might get dinged on audience but Lindor, right? Lindor by a not-small margin? And Altuve, perhaps.

2:18
Ben Dubose: Will the #cowards at MLB Officiating ever acknowledge the travesty of robbing Altuve’s home run in the ALCS?

2:19
Meg Rowley: I still worry about slights I committed in middle school at 3 AM so pot-kettle black and all, but maybe let things go?

2:19
guitar_davey: Hey Meg! Really enjoy your chats. Any thoughts on the Pillar trade this morning? Obviously not a huge name, but the young pitcher they got back looks like a solid piece.

2:19
Meg Rowley: We shall have analysis up very shortly!

2:21
Lifelong Padres Fan: I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THIS POSITIVITY PLEASE HALP

2:21
Meg Rowley: I mean, you could think about some of your pitching, if you really wanted to.

2:21
Derek: This seems like a weird time to talk about baseball – we are nearing a solid week into the season but we also all know that we don’t really know anything yet. So I guess just… yay baseball!

2:21
Meg Rowley: We know we like baseball. That is a big something to know.

2:22
Zihuatanejo: What has been your favorite extremely-small-sample early-season hot take so far?

2:22
Meg Rowley: the Mariners are an offensive juggernaut (what, I still get to like some fan stuff)

2:23
This is a League game, Smokey: Why not play JP Crawford from the start of the year and then offer him an extension if he’s any good?  I think this “you didn’t have a great spring training” is not the way you want your front office to act when you acquire a player you want as your long term shortstop….

2:23
Meg Rowley: I think the idea is more “let’s stunt your service time” than an earnest assessment about his spring, though is spring wasn’t good, but yeah

2:24
GERB: Did you catch and of Clevinger’s start yesterday? Fastball velo is up over last year, he’d look like a legit ace with a fewer walks

2:25
Meg Rowley: He looked really good. He and the rest of that Cleveland staff are going to get deGrom’ed to death though.

2:26
yojiveself: not sure its a light deal.  he could fall off his ATV this offseason and never play again and be out of any money.

2:27
Meg Rowley: yeah, if Acuña’s career ends this offseason in an ATV accident, it would be bad.

2:27
Meg Rowley: I will concede that that would be bad.

2:30
Meg Rowley: But he was worth 3.2 wins last year. He’s a phenomenal player. The Braves didn’t want to have to contend with his free agency. That’s why this deal happens. Because they want to pay him less than the market to yield, and he wants security.

2:30
JKD: Regarding JAR, Trea Turner is an extremely extremely fun player to watch hitting (because he might hit a triple at any time and triples are the best), and on the bases (he literally might steal at any moment). He is a pretty good defender but I’ll admit more good than fun, there.

2:31
Meg Rowley: One of the very best things about baseball is how every market has this guy, and that guy can look and be and play a lot of different ways

2:32
This is a League game, Smokey: When do the Padres decide they want to trade for a stable inning-eating pitcher like Mike Leake?

2:34
Meg Rowley: It was discussed this offseason, but Leake has a full no-trade, which no doubt complicated things, and they might want someone better now anyhow.

2:34
This is a League game, Smokey: There is probably a chance that the White Sox made Clevinger look a little better than normal.  True or False?

2:34
Meg Rowley: True.

2:34
This is a League game, Smokey: How remarkable is it that the Yankees have about 20 people on the IL and they are still among the World Series favorites?

2:35
Meg Rowley: Turns out being rich and smart with depth is an advantage in baseball

2:35
Chris: When is the earliest I’m allowed to express schadenfreude in re the Red Sox and Yankees? Can I start cackling now or do I need to wait until say Memorial Day?

2:35
Meg Rowley: Very much depends on how loudly you cackle I suppose

2:36
Meg Rowley: Ok team, I am very sorry for such a short chat, but I have to get rolling to take care of some Editorial Stuff.

2:36
Meg Rowley: Next week, I’ll chat for an extra long time as penance. Until then, thanks for the questions, sorry for all the many things I didn’t get to, and have a great week!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/2/19 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 appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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TRad
Member
TRad

Rowley is sooo on the union side… It’s not even funny.

Brewtown_Kev
Member
Member
Brewtown_Kev

Yeah, but that’s par for the course among sportswriters, it seems.

Terence
Member
Member
Terence

Why would you be on the side of billionaire owners instead of the players who bring you entertainment and joy?

TRad
Member
TRad

Why should I be on side of the union?

Acuna is a free man. And decided that the contract is right for him. What union (or Megley) has to say about Acuna’s preferences?

averagejoe15
Member
Member
averagejoe15

It never ceases to amaze me how it’s always an either or for people. I don’t think fangraphs speaks glowingly of the Union either. There’s always more than two perspectives.

Both sides have their faults but ownership is generally the target because they hold the power to do the “right” things but continue to make decisions geared towards profitability and asset appreciation like a typical corporation. If that works for you, you’re entitled to that opinion.

It’s really not about being pro union as it is about raising awareness to the issues facing the game today. Many of those issues could be solved through proactive, progressive changes from ownership. Instead minor leaguers continue to lack a seat at the table, player share of revenue is dropping, and owners are turning more profits. It’s working for them so why change?

People see players get $100M but since team and ownership financials aren’t public we don’t get to see the hundreds of millions that many teams are sitting on.