Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/30/19

2:01
cavebird: Do you think they should allow Carter Kieboom to get the Boxburger exception to the no emojis rule for player’s weekend?  And if he does, what if his brother is also up that weekend?  Of course, they would have the same name on the back of their uniforms in normal games, too.

2:01
Meg Rowley: I really can’t imagine caring what a player puts on his players’ weekend jersey so long as it wasn’t a slur?

2:02
Greg: The top 5 teams in defensive runs above average are the Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Diamondbacks, and Rockies. Is this a weird coincidence? https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0…

2:02
Meg Rowley: Given some of the individual guys those teams have, it isn’t super surprising, but also, I would warn against looking at a month’s worth of defensive data and thinking it’s anything so meaningful.

2:03
The Chop is for Chumps: Meg, what do you make of all the young, superhyped, Atlanta arms flopping at the big stage i.e. Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson, Luiz Ghohara, and Sean Newcomb?

2:03
Meg Rowley: That pitching is really hard and that there is a reason that we were all a little nervous about a pitching-forward approach to building the farm?

2:04
Larry: Let’s assume a pitcher has a cannon for an arm (literally Mega-man style, not figuratively), and they will fire every pitch very fast, straight down the middle. How fast would the pitches have to go to strike out every hitter assuming an imperceptible windup/charge time? Or would the catcher die first?

2:04
Meg Rowley: The catcher would die first, also the umpire, which seems bad, too.

2:05
Meg Rowley: There does come a point where the human brain can’t make the human body do what it needs to react, but even very fast fastballs get timed up eventually.

2:05
Resolved: Cardinals take the division, Brewers and Cubs take WC1 and WC2. Thoughts?

2:06
Meg Rowley: I buy St. Louis as a winner, but I don’t think all three make it to the postseason. East is too stacked for that.

2:06
JoJo: Would you accept a spot on a major league team, knowing that you’d play every day and undoubtedly become the laughingstock of America? Chris Davis would be pitiful in comparison

2:07
Meg Rowley: I am a shame-motivated person who cares way too much about work, so I can’t think of anything worse for my mental health than attempting to play major league baseball.

2:07
Meg Rowley: Especially if I am playing as Meg Rowley, currently the managing editor of FanGraphs. Can you imagine what other outlets would do with that gift?

2:08
Rico: Which Lowe in Tampa Bay should we be more excited about… Brandon or Nate?

2:09
Meg Rowley: Gonna bake your noodle to know that those names are pronounced differently, but Brandon, imo. Eric and Kiley had Brandon higher up on our rays megalist, and I make it a rule to listen to their prospect takes https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-54-prospects-tampa-bay-rays/

2:10
Derek: I like that your plan for maximum happiness includes karmic punishment for CLE by having them miss the playoffs – not sure how many people that would actually make happy, but I am definitely among them, and I think I will be a Twins fan for the rest of the season because of it. It’s tragic that they are wasting their pitching staff and Lindor (and theoretically Jose Ramirez) by not being willing to spend a few more dollars at the margins of the roster, but hopefully if they do actually miss the playoffs it will discourage teams from trying to game the system like this.

2:11
Meg Rowley: I feel badly making those players, and the people of Cleveland who have surely suffered enough as sports fans, share this burden but sometimes you have to engage in a little bit of punishment.

2:11
five tools, one nail: When looking at players who’ve done well in April and trying to estimate how they’ll do in the future, do you favor exit velo and barrels/PA?  Do you like ZiPS?  If you had to bet on Vogelbach or Christian Walker the rest of the way, how would you roll?

2:13
Meg Rowley: You will be perhaps unsurprised to learn that I do indeed like ZiPS. I think early in the year, projections are a pretty good guide, but that it is also useful to look at underlying data at statcast to see how early season stuff matches expectations, or diverges. Such an original answer, I know.

2:13
five tools, one nail: Do you generally think sports psychology is well received among players?

2:14
Meg Rowley: I think it really depends on the player– I’d suspect younger guys are more open to it, but that is probably too crude an analysis.

2:15
Meg Rowley: We probably all need therapy some of the time? I also think it matter how a guy is struggling, and for how long. At some point, you’ll try anything that might help, right?

2:15
bb: The home page says “Meg Rowley will be chatting at 2 PM,” which is false for everyone who doesn’t live in the Eastern time zone.

2:15
Meg Rowley: I think people understand that we publish on an east coast schedule?

2:15
LGM: When Jed Lowrie returns, where does he play and who loses most playing time?

2:15
Meg Rowley: Out of position, and someone who shouldn’t?

2:16
Meg Rowley: The Mets!

2:16
Jake: Hello Meg! Sorry if this question is silly but with players having extreme defensive stats in one direction or the other early in the season, can we possibly assume that the defensive metrics are actually being fairly accurate in their cases? Like if someone has a crazy high or low DRS currently, we shouldn’t just throw it out just because it’s early in the season? I know it’s unwise to look too much into early season defensive metrics and it could be even hard to extrapolate conclusions from a whole season of them, but just glancing at the leaderboard the metrics seem to portray at least somewhat fairly accurately some of the best and worst defenders. Lorenzo Cain, Buster Posey, and Nick Ahmed have been some of the best and Omar Narváez, Eloy Jiménez, and Maikel Franco have been some of the worst. So I guess my question is, should we be worried when certain guys with track records of good fielding have extremely negative DRS’s even if it’s early? Like for instance Tim Anderson and Jackie Bradley Jr.?

2:17
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t sweat it yet — this stuff takes wayyyy longer to mean anything. Doesn’t mean that there can’t have been a swing, or an aberrant performance, just that this doesn’t tell us decisively.

2:17
Wade: Hi Meg, what’s a logical way for me to process the insane injuries the Yankees have faced so far?

2:18
Meg Rowley: Human bodies are very frail and we ask baseball players to do a pretty wild thing over and over and over again?

2:18
Meg Rowley: Honestly, the remarkable thing is that any of us are alive at all. Have you seen knees and elbows? That hell are those about?!

2:19
Tyler: Time to worry about Jose Ramirez?

2:20
Meg Rowley: I feel a Mild Amount of Concern

2:20
Rays: Get Lowe, get Lowe, get Lowe.

2:20
Meg Rowley: I assume one of those doesn’t actually rhyme and that you find it as irritating as I do.

2:20
Drew: Is Luke Voit for real?

2:21
Meg Rowley: He is a human person, yes. He is also a good baseball player. That part is still true I think.

2:21
KD: What have been your thoughts on the relaunched Community Blog so far?  Do you read every article before it is posted?

2:22
Meg Rowley: I check in on them when Dylan Higgins, who ably edits and currates the Community blog, says that I need to. I have been thrilled so far. It’s a great place for folks to get started and I am always so pleased we can give new writers a place to get reps before they pitch bigger publications.

2:23
FantasyFlop: Nick Senzel is due to be called up soon. What are you predicting of his fantasy impact?

2:23
Meg Rowley: That an actual fantasy writer could tell you better!

2:23
Sanford: Love to see Chris Davis slash .343/.378/1.064 over his last 11 games. Regardless of how whether and for how long he can keep this up, I just feel Very Glad for him as a person.

2:24
Meg Rowley: I agree. He seemed remarkably good humored while it was happening. He took it all way better than I would have.

2:24
Shannon Hamm: In 5 years, who do you see being viewed as the best player in major league baseball? Still Trout, or do you think it will be a younger player like Vladito?

2:25
Meg Rowley: Still Trout. I’m willing to see a younger guy having a year where he has a higher WAR but also, I think it is Trout.

2:26
Sanford: (whoops, re: Davis’ slash line, it’s actually .343/.374/.686 with a 1.064 OPS)

2:26
Meg Rowley: Honestly, how dare you?

2:26
Meg Rowley: (kidding)

2:26
Megs and Bacon: Are your Mariners in a predicament by doing well? Hypothetically, if they were still doing well at the break, would you still want to sell and is that a disservice to your fanbase even tho the numbers tell us differently.

2:27
Meg Rowley: Oh sure, now they’re *my* Mariners.

2:27
Meg Rowley: I don’t think so. The front office has a plan, and wants to stick to their plan (will the plan work? who is to say, honestly?) — the only place this gets tricky is if ownership gets antsy. But ownership bought in to the plan, too.

2:28
Joe: Any advice for Cubs fans struggling with how to balance love of the team with utter contempt of ownership?

2:29
Meg Rowley: Watch in a bar. Give your money for beer or a non-boozy beverage of your choice to a local waterhole. Make your displeasure known to ownership. Write a good ol’ fashioned letter!

2:30
Meg Rowley: We’re all morally implicated by our fandom to varying degrees and given that system, I don’t want to single a fanbase out. The Cubs had a terrible offseason, but no team pays their minor leaguers enough. That doesn’t excuse it, but also hopefully puts it in perspective. And remember, it is ok to take breaks, and watch other baseball for a bit. Doesn’t make you a bad fan.

2:31
yojiveself: is alex cora messing with the fantasy community intentionally by not naming a closer?  feels like it.  is this good for brasier/barnes not knowing when they’ll go into a game?

2:31
Meg Rowley: I hope more than almost anything in the whole wide world that Alex Cora doesn’t think about fantasy baseball at all, and I can’t imagine he does.

2:31
AF: Nearly half of the US population lives in the eastern time zone

2:32
Meg Rowley: I mean, we certainly didn’t make the decision based on me being able to sleep late.

2:32
Guest: Are you for or against t-shirt cannons?

2:32
Meg Rowley: Against.

2:32
Meg Rowley: Not really big on cannons of any sort, really.

2:33
Uncle Spike: Has there been a change in philosophy amongst GMs/baseball teams in regards to promoting prospects?  It seems like in years past teams were waiting much longer to promote their young studs and manipulating time clocks but this year they seem to be getting called up left and right.

2:33
Meg Rowley: There have certainly been orgs that have had guys on their rosters from day one but uhhhh that is not universally true.

2:34
Andy: The amount that Vladito will have to hit in order to be as valuable in WAR as Trout is astronomical.  He’s a bad-bodied third baseman with little to no defensive value.

2:34
Meg Rowley: Guys get hurt, and I said a younger guy (the question didn’t require it to be Vlad Jr.)

2:35
Big Joe Mufferaw: Can us, fans, stop judging and criticizing players for “Leaving money on the table” we don’t know what is important to them (family, location, comfort, control, loyalty, team WINNING), a player might prefer signing a 7 year 50 mil dollar deal with a good team when he wants to be or has been than signing a 5 year 100 mil deal with the highest bidder which may be a losing team far from where he wants to be. 50 Million is a LOT OF MONEY for any family.

2:35
Meg Rowley: I think that we can allow those things to be important while still be rightfully concerned about the state of the market and the forces in it that might make a player feel he has to take a deal that pays him less than he is worth.

2:36
Pretending To Be Working: Can’t find anyone to go to a game with me tonight. Thoughts on going alone?

2:37
Meg Rowley: I love going to games solo. It is very peaceful, and you take in more of the action.

2:37
AM: Do you think you’ll be authoring any articles this year, or do you think you’ll be sticking to editing?

2:37
Meg Rowley: I have authored some and will author more, especially after Rachael takes up editing The Hardball Times.

2:38
Guest: Hi Megan, who is your favourite SS tonight for DFS?

2:38
Kaeden: Hi Megan, who is your favourite SS for DFS tonight?

2:38
Meg Rowley: I think explaining bots to someone from 1920 would be really, really hard.

2:39
tan mom: fwiw i think adding a “ET” to chat times would be helpful

2:39
Meg Rowley: Already noted on the chat schedule

2:39
Writers Write: What are your biggest editorial pet peeves?

2:39
Meg Rowley: All of my writers are the best, and make no errors, so I have no pet peeves.

2:41
Meg Rowley: But if I were to name things that I would think other editors have to fix often, I might note that a lot of folks are bad at properly using that vs. which, and don’t know when to capitalize Major League Baseball (hint: not that often!), and make centerfielder one words when it isn’t.

2:42
NotBot: Is there a way to say you’re impressed that a woman knows a lot about baseball without sounding sexist or patronizing?

2:42
Meg Rowley: absent the context of our entire lives, maybe, but uhhh I’d maybe stay away from that

2:42
David: Is there still hope that the Paxton trade could be not terrible for the Mariners?

2:42
Meg Rowley: lol of course

2:43
Mayra: Speaking of going to games alone, do you like to keep score?

2:43
Meg Rowley: I don’t keep score when I go, though I admire the attention spans of those who do.

2:43
SomeGuy: I’m impressed when anyone knows a lot about baseball; there’s a lot of baseball to know.

2:44
Meg Rowley: Sure, but that often isn’t the spirit with which it is delivered and why risk being misunderstood.

2:44
TribeTown: How should fans manage their fanhood of a team with a moral contempt for its players?

2:45
Meg Rowley: We are allowed to switch up our fandom. It is allowed.

2:45
Big Joe Mufferaw: The jays pinch run for Vlad twice already, and I’m no doctor, but that “kid” is not in good physical condition. I think the bat and the name made a few quite blind of some glaring weaknesses and risk.

2:46
Meg Rowley: Every prospect evaluator loves Vlad, and every one of them noted those risks. The thing is, the bat is that good.

2:46
Neckbeard: Good afternoon, m’lady.

2:46
Meg Rowley: Really, everyone can just use each other’s names.

2:46
SomeGuy: I agree, and apologize for phrasing otherwise.

2:47
Meg Rowley: Didn’t read it in a negative light, and there is a neutral version of that observation — we just so rarely get it.

2:48
Meg Rowley: I have told people what I do, and gotten weird responses, that imply I don’t know baseball. It’s just a tricky, yucky thing best avoided.

2:49
Big Joe Mufferaw: Re Vlad: That was the consensus for Jesus Montero too, let’s not forget the ranking of “Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Jesus Montero”

2:49
Meg Rowley: lol ok

2:49
Meg Rowley: This impulse is such a strange one.

2:50
Drew: Are dynasty’s good for any sport? I keep looking at Golden State and thinking how that can’t be fun for anyone knowing that the season is basically over before it starts. I know the Yankees did it fairly recently but did it make baseball less fun?

2:51
Meg Rowley: I think dynasties get read as villains a lot of the time, and I think villains are very good for sports, so yes.

2:51
Captain America: Who besides the Mariners are your favorite team to watch this season?

2:51
Meg Rowley: (*whispers* I haven’t watched the Mariners much)

2:52
Meg Rowley: Love that Padres team. Love that Phillies team. Enjoy that Brewers team. Like the Rays.

2:52
Dave: I hate (but understand) the idea of changing fandom based on who owns the team. I was called out by a friend recently for still being a Cubs fan. I mean, most Cubs fans were around before the Ricketts. It seems crazy that we should feel inclined to change our allegiances because a different 1%er  is in charge of the team.

2:53
Meg Rowley: I mean, despite what I said, there are differences between some of these folks.

2:53
Martino: Vaguely remember you not liking Ben Gamel (apologies if it was someone else), but he seems to be a perfectly cromulent fourth outfielder for Milwaukee. Any early thoughts on the Santana-Gamel trade?

2:54
Meg Rowley: It’s not that I dislike him, I just don’t get very exercised about him. I think it was fine, and ultimately isn’t something I’ll spend much time thinking about.

2:55
Drew: If you had the opportunity to go back and enjoy baseball strictly as a fan, would you? Or do you enjoy your editing and journalistic responsibilities too much?

2:55
Meg Rowley: My job is just insanely the best, and still allows me to enjoy the game very much, just in a different way. I am incredibly grateful for my situation.

2:56
Meg Rowley: Baseball fascinates me, and has brought some people into my life whom I genuinely love, and I get to do this job. I will never, ever be able to pay baseball back. Not ever.

2:56
Unimportant: Does the fact that the Jays pinch ran for Vlad necessarily mean that he’s out of shape, as opposed to just slow (like, say, Wilmer Flores, who has always looked to be in good shape)? I wouldn’t presume to assume to know what kind of shape he’s in just from looking at his body type.

2:57
Meg Rowley: I think you can have concerns about the body long term and also, think the bat is so good it won’t seriously matter. But yes, I suspect it was more about speed, which, yup, fair.

2:58
randomperson: When you don’t have a local team, what’s the furthest you can defend driving to attend a regular season weekend game?

2:58
Meg Rowley: I think it is fine to go on vacation.

2:58
Black Widow: Favorite players to watch besides Mike Trout?

2:59
Meg Rowley: There have been few things I’ve enjoyed as much this season as watching Manny Machado back at third base.

2:59
Mayra: Wait, Domingo Santana has been HOW bad on defense?

3:00
Meg Rowley: It has not been good. I know I said to not put a lot of stock in early season defensive metrics, and you shouldn’t but all ummmm that Mariners defense is really bad. Good gravy.

3:00
Boom: Fernando Tatis on DL. Can we just make steroids ‘legal’ again? I just want to see these players stay healthy. But on a serious note, shouldn’t we take a good long look at legalizing hgh for players?

3:01
Meg Rowley: I will not begin to pretend I know enough to know, but that seems like a pretty simplistic response to sporting guys who get hurt while sporting?

3:01
LB: If you could alter (or add) one rule to the game, what would it be?

3:02
Meg Rowley: I continue to not like it that guys can reach on a dropped strike three. I do not care for that.

3:02
oldmannearthesea: If you were Czar (Czarina) what’s the most impactful change to the CBA you would make that you think both sides could live with?

3:02
Meg Rowley: Pay the minor leaguers, please. I would change other stuff, too, but that one is the most morally urgent, so do that one first, I think.

3:03
Meg Rowley: Alright all, I must to edit now. Thank you for all the questions, and sorry for what I didn’t get to. Until next week!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/30/19 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 previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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John Autin
Member
John Autin

Well, NOW we know why FG has had such a “LolMets” slant for the past year or so — the Managing Editor is complicit.

Meg, I enjoy your “voice” more than any other still at FG, especially your constant efforts to be humane and compassionate in a field often short on those traits.

But your flippant reply to that question about Lowrie’s return was lazy, gratuitous, rude and inappropriate for the Managing Editor.

I challenge you to describe a recent Mets’ pattern of misallocating playing time sufficient to justify your tone there.

I am so sick of this garbage. I pay for a FG membership, although it gains me very little over the free access, because it’s the right thing to do. I expect better in return.

Maggie25
Member
Member
Maggie25

Is this real?

John Autin
Member
John Autin

If you’re asking if my criticism is sincere (as opposed to facetious), the answer is yes.

Connor Grey
Member
Member
Connor Grey

It was kind of weird how you seem to have a higher standard of behavior for the “Managing Editor” but as a Mets fan it also kind of pisses me off when I see answers to legit questions about my favorite team just be another lolmets joke

John Autin
Member
John Autin

Yes, I certainly do have a higher standard of behavior for the Managing Editor of any reputable publication than for its writers generally. How is that weird? Any editor, by definition, is more responsible than a writer is for upholding the company’s standards.

Put it another way … If the Managing Editor *doesn’t* have bottom-line responsibility for the site’s standards, then who does, and what does the M.E. title even mean?

And it makes no difference that this was informal writing. The Managing Editor of a publication can never shed that responsibility when writing in or speaking for that publication.

I’d like to see FG survey its Mets-fan readers to see what percentage agree with me that FG content often has a sneering or derisive tone towards the Mets, more so than towards any other team, and how many find that irritating.

Jay Dee
Member
Jay Dee

It was lazy and a reflection of having little insight to provide on her own – By hey its still a cut above last weeks tirade of calling the misuse of an accent on Kiki Hernandez an ethical slur so theres that

ince
Member
Member
ince

I do sometimes get the feeling that most fangraphs writers are not enjoying the chats and are simply obliged to do them. The answers to most comments/questions are curt, unnecessarily scolding or downright bossy. So I don’t think it’s Mets related.

I don’t get to see all of the submitted questions obviously. Perhaps so many of them are rude, hostile or fantasy related –yuck– that just scrolling through the questions the chat hosts get turned off.