Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/21/20 by Meg Rowley April 21, 2020 4:00 Meg Rowley: Hi all, and welcome to the chat. I hope everyone is staying safe and well, or at least, as well as can be expected. 4:01 Meg Rowley: A quick reminder that merch is back in the FanGraphs store and available for pre-order until May 10 – if you missed out on a hoodie or an Effectively Wild shirt in your size, now’s your chance! https://plus.fangraphs.com/shop/ 4:02 Gerry: What would be your ideal walk-up song? 4:03 Meg Rowley: I have for a long time maintained that Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” would be a terrific walk-up and I see no reason to change my mind now. 4:03 Jeff: How interested in trading Brendan McKay for say a pretty cheap, still with sweet powerful team control bat first catcher like say…Willson Contreras…might the Rays be? McKays got workload stuff to work through 4:06 Meg Rowley: Not very? McKay’s velo isn’t top of the scale, but he locates it well, works very efficiently, and is ages from arb. Contreras is older, arb eligible next year, and defensively limited. 4:06 Jasper: Hey Meg! I know you’re not a gamer, but hopefully you’ve checked out the Twitch streams. I feel like you’d dig the crowd reactions. 4:07 Meg Rowley: I will admit to looking forward to making fun of fake fans, including children, with abandon because they are not real and as such, not possessed of human feeling. And in anticipation of your follow up question, yes, I do plan on talking to my therapist about that! 4:08 Meg Rowley: I am very glad that other people like Twitch so much. Nothing about their enjoyment of it bothers me at all. It is not my favorite thing, but I am glad those for whom it their favorite thing (along with the video games themselves) are able to access it! 4:08 Safety Stegosaurus: Hello friend. What is your favorite bird that you’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in the wild? 4:10 Meg Rowley: These ones are so, so rad. https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/lazuli-bunting 4:10 Meg Rowley: Also, hawks are so cool. I saw this hawk one time. https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk 4:10 Meg Rowley: Such a good hawk. 4:10 Scotty: Do you have any go to recipes that you’d like to hare? I’m always on the hunt for people’s favorite recipes. 4:11 Meg Rowley: This is an extremely Millennial woman take but The Stew is amazing 4:12 Meg Rowley: Made this recently and very much enjoyed it https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/tomato-galette 4:12 A month: I’m being silly, but I choose to tell myself we might be in a better place in a month because maybe we’ll figure something out. But I know it’s silly. I just hope we get a weird short August-October season. 4:13 Meg Rowley: I still think that we’re likely to see baseball in the US this year. How much and how advisable that baseball is remains very much up in the air, but I think we’ll get some sort of season. 4:14 Meg Rowley: Too many people are too highly motivated by too much money for us not to. Also, I think that while the money is the main thing, I don’t think the idea that baseball will feel [excuse this swear]… 4:14 Meg Rowley: …[swear incoming]… 4:14 Meg Rowley: ….[here’s the swear]…. 4:14 Meg Rowley: fucking incredible is entirely cynical. 4:14 pitch_out: Hi Meg, thanks for chatting. The sun has left Seattle not to return until July… hope you enjoyed the nice weather window. Anything we can do to occupy our time during, what I like to call, the 2nd winter from April to June-uary? 4:15 Meg Rowley: Read books, make stew, do work, and be forgiving of our inability to do any of those things effectively 4:15 Dustin: How long will baseball have to be out of commission before we can expect to hear you, Ben and Sam on a karaoke episode of the podcast? 4:15 Meg Rowley: I will only speak for myself and say that I will not subject any of our listeners to my singing because I care about them very much. 4:16 Meg Rowley: I wish I could sing. My mom has a beautiful singing voice. It did not pass down to me. 4:17 Trevin: Hi Meg, hope you’re doing well! Can we start a FanGraphs book club pretty please? 4:17 Meg Rowley: We’ve tried this in the past with middling success, but definitely might be worth revisiting now. I’ll point you to some of our recent episodes of Effectively Wild in the meantime! 4:18 MiLB: With the BA news today, and the original article stating that the reduction in teams would begin in 2021, have some MiLB communities seen the last of their team for good? 4:18 Meg Rowley: Sadly, that seems likely. 4:19 Meg Rowley: I think that to assume that minor league teams were ideally distributed (or that their owners are inherently sympathetic) misses the mark, but there’s improving the set up to better allow for player dev, and then there is this. 4:20 Meg Rowley: It’s a shame to see these communities lose inexpensive access to in-person baseball. I also think that when teams like the Yankees and Dodgers want more affiliates, we shouldn’t assume that there isn’t useful player dev that can go on with more teams. 4:21 Jeff: Brendan McKay is all of 3 years younger than Willson Contreras and hasn’t even thrown 80 innings in a pro, minor league season. I get it, have gone through the same conditioning and know that’s the answer to give, but that seems so insane to me. Catcher’s the Rays’ one real hole, catcher defense has been targeted by the league as an area to swipe value from, they have a perrenial CY candidate locked up, McKay’s got skills but might not see a pro mound again until he’s 25 with those innings…Man do I hate where this sport is going 4:22 Meg Rowley: He was a handful of innings away from exceed prospect eligibility – I think you’re overstating the workload concerns. But mostly, while there are plenty of reasons to be annoyed with baseball, but I don’t think keep a good, young pitcher with your team is one of them. 4:23 TKDC: It feels a bit unfair to just give the same team consecutive #1 picks if there is no season. How about a random draft order for 2021 assuming no season in 2020? 4:24 Meg Rowley: I haven’t heard anything yet about how they plan to determine draft order if there is no season, but I’d be surprised if they go to a lottery-style system. 4:26 Meg Rowley: If only because it doesn’t look great if say, the Yankees have the first overall pick. 4:26 Billy Beane: Hey Meg, don’t know how into bird watching you are, but you live where peregrine falcons live and that is the Coolest Bird (TM). Those bad boys and girls can clock 240 mph. 4:27 Meg Rowley: Oh they are super rad, I’ve just never had the pleasure of seeing one in the wild. 4:27 brad: Meg what happens if starts like Trout and kersh refuse to play? 4:28 Meg Rowley: I’d imagine they’d be placed on some sort of restricted list so that their teams could use the roster space – it would be interesting to see how the league handles the PR of that choice. Mike Trout and his wife are expecting a baby this summer. I cant’ imagine the league wants to be in a position where they are penalizing their best player for prioritizing his family during a pandemic. 4:28 Sam: Better idea for draft order if there’s no season: use the results from the MLB the Show season all the players are competing in 4:29 Meg Rowley: Ok now I have to put my foot down. Absolutely not. Please exit my lawn. 4:29 Jon: This is decidedly Not A Question but I just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying Rachael’s The Last Time We Saw That Guy series, the circumstances by which she’s writing instead of editing HBT are incredibly unfortunate but it’s made for some excellent reading. 4:30 Meg Rowley: Rachael is truly one of the best pure writers working today. I am very sad that THT isn’t publishing every day, but am so happy to feature Rachael’s work at the site. A genuine silver lining. 4:30 Jamie: Would you rather watch baseball with everyone in cool futuristic space suits or absurd michelin man inflated marshmallow suits? 4:31 Meg Rowley: Pitchers in space suits, hitters as marshmallow men. Let’s get this on ESPN stat. 4:31 Sam: Ok ok I withdraw my idea 4:31 Meg Rowley: We are at peace. 4:33 Mountie Votto: Is there another gear to Eugenio Suarez? He seems to improve on something every year, but I’m not sure there’s much more room to grow. Certainly can’t get any more likeable, I mean come on **heart eyes emoji** 4:36 Meg Rowley: I think the 3.5-4.5 range is likely where he settles. It is hard to look at last year and find the 49 home runs entirely convincing – he does barrel a fair number of balls but his batted ball data isn’t totally nuts. I imagine with a less lively ball, he’s more a 30-35 HR guy, which, hey cool! 4:37 Meg Rowley: That’s his 2018, instead of his 2019. He’s definitely one of the guys who a good Reds team helps other fan bases get to know. 4:37 Sean Huff-Scheidel: Hi Meg. I attended the live event in New York back in November(ish) and wanted to take this opportunity to thank you again for having that. It’s been a really nice thing to remember the excitement and community that night as things are bleak and lonely now 4:38 Meg Rowley: Yeah, it was a really, really fun evening. Not sure when we’ll be able to be together again, but I really look forward to it. 4:38 Contract-no: In response to the contraction announcement, Minor League Baseball @MiLB Regarding ongoing negotiations 21 Apr 2020 this was tweeted. Can you provide a perspective on what MiLB tweeting “no agreement” would mean? 4:38 Meg Rowley: That they are still negotiating with MLB and haven’t reached an agreement on the new PBA yet. 4:39 Meg Rowley: I think the contours of it might change, but the financial reality of no season might do MLB’s work for it. 4:40 Meg Rowley: I think we’ll have some sort of major league season. I can’t say the same of an affiliated minor league season. 4:40 Mitchell: How many consecutive canceled seasons do you think the league could endure before having to shut down, like, for good? Small businesses are closing. What’s the gap between them and the MLB? 4:40 Meg Rowley: literally billions of dollars 4:40 Meg Rowley: literal billions! 4:41 Meg Rowley: I don’t mean to say that the teams or the league could endure an endless shut down. At some point, the TV money dries up. But the resources available to the league and team owners are very, very different than they are to small businesses. 4:41 AA: It was great to hear you talk about Wingspan on the podcast. I play it all the time with my daughter and it’s the best. Kieth Law gave it a perfect score his review! Have you played it yet? 4:41 Meg Rowley: Yeah, it is great fun. Have mostly played it with my moms, who are huge fans. 4:42 Meg Rowley: Also, if anyone missed it, Jeff came on FanGraphs Audio last week! We mostly didn’t talk about baseball, but it was good fun anyhow https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-audio-jeff-sullivan-explores-bir… 4:43 Billy Beane: Meg, when you make ragu, do you include garlic in the soffritto? I know traditionally, it doesn’t have it, but I feel like it adds a nice little taste to the aromatics. 4:45 Meg Rowley: So, since I don’t normally make ragù, when I have, I’ve gone pretty traditional with it, which means letting the onions do a lot of the work. I have known folks to sneak shallots into the soffritto if you want a little more umpf. 4:46 Meg Rowley: but I’ll never fault anyone for answering the question: “shouldn’t this have garlic?” with “yes” 4:46 Sean Huff-Scheidel: Suggestion for those with a baseball-shaped hole currently in their lives. Wiffle ball games on YouTube can be incredibly fun to watch, especially in well-run leagues like MLW. Seasons are bingeable over the course of a few days and the players and teams can be very compelling. Plus it’s people having fun playing an almost baseball sport! 4:47 Meg Rowley: Also, don’t forget that a bunch of old MLB games are on the league’s YouTube. 4:47 Meg Rowley: Plus, sounds like the CPBL broadcasts with an English-speaking booth will continue Jay Jaffe @jay_jaffe Cool! wrote @fangraphs about the fun — and challenges — I had in watching CPBL games and getting up to speed fangraphs.com/blogs/sorting-… CPBL STATS@GOCPBL According to Eleven Sports Taiwan, they will continue to offer English commentary starting this Friday with the Uni-Lions’ home series. Overseas viewers can stream the games at @ElevenSportsTW #CPBL 21 Apr 2020 4:48 Jeff: Man this McKay/Contreras thing really got me down. Not because it’s not the answer I wanted, but because it’s a standard andwer. Stud MLer has flaws played up, cheap prospect gets flaws downplayed because cheap, age is a factor despite the pretty small gap in years given their resumes and a friendly contract situation…It’s lik 4:50 Meg Rowley: My issue with the trade is that I think you’re not really contending with McKay as a player. You asked how likely I think that trade is. I don’t think it is likely. It doesn’t mean that Contreras is a bad player. But it does mean that I think the Rays wouldn’t trade a 60 FV prospect for him. 4:50 Roger Goodell’s Basement: Who should the Seahawks take in the draft? 4:50 Meg Rowley: Anyone But a Running Back 4:51 Meg Rowley: Literally anyone. Would prefer John and Pete forget legs are a thing at all honestly. 4:53 Meg Rowley: The Seattle Seahawks: Are They Actually Good At Drafting or Did They Just Get Lucky That One Year 4:53 Meg Rowley: More the second than the first! 4:53 Meg Rowley: Man, haven’t done a fan thing in a while. 4:53 Meg Rowley: Felt good, folks. 4:53 Meg Rowley: Felt pretty ok. 4:53 Phil: Have any quarantine supplies necessities? 4:54 Meg Rowley: Like many, I am out of all-purpose flour. Unlike many, I am doing fine, and really can’t complain, on a COVID-19 adjusted basis. 4:54 Billy Beane: Gronk to the Buccaneers. The Pats got a 4th round pick for a retired player, though. Not bad. 4:54 Meg Rowley: lol god bless football, what a goofy-ass sport 4:56 Meg Rowley: I mean, they did badly need a tight end 4:56 Meg Rowley: alright pals, I gotta get rolling 4:57 Meg Rowley: I should be back at my usual time next week. We appreciate your patience as some of the staff has to bob and weave a little bit schedule wise. 4:57 Meg Rowley: Hope everyone stays safe and well, and at home if at all possible.