Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 8/28/18

2:00
Meg Rowley: Hello! Welcome to the chat. Let’s chat!

2:00
Los: What piece are you stuck on?

2:01
Meg Rowley: Writing a thing on pitchers in blowout losses and am in that stage where I know what I want to say and have done all the research and gathered all my GIFs and now I just have to write the damn thing. I’ll finish today.

2:01
Meg Rowley: Or tonight, when the 2AM sillies hit.

2:01
tedthrilliams: with the two clear AL cy young favorites sidelined for the immediate future, who do you think takes charge of the race? gerrit cole seems to me the most likely “next best up” but i could see blake snell getting a lot of attention even with the innings deficit

2:02
Meg Rowley: I wonder how we’d react if Kevin Cash won Manager of the Year on the back of managing the opener strategy (I don’t think he’ll win, but do think he’ll get some down ballot consideration) and Snell won the Cy as their only guy who ever really starts.

2:04
Meg Rowley: I think it’ll be Sale. Sounds like he is closeish to returning, he’s the best in the AL, and Bauer doesn’t seem like he’ll get a chance to catch up.

2:04
Joey: Hi Meg – should Kenta Maeda be dropped in 10-team mixed keeper league at this point? Got him for $4

2:05
Meg Rowley: I beg of you to ask this question to a fantasy person because I don’t know what I am talking about but it doesn’t seem like he’ll get consistent starts.

2:05
seattlecougar: The Mariners emailed season ticket holders last night that “MLB has recommended that we begin selling tickets for the 2018 postseason” and requested a deposit. I don’t want to give them an interest-free loan for the month of September, but I also feel like holding out until the 9/21 deadline will further jinx this snakebitten franchise. What would you do (or are you doing, if you too are in this club)?

2:07
Meg Rowley: I also got that email (you do season tickets early, I got my job in November, blah blah blah) and I wouldn’t sweat it.

2:07
Meg Rowley: You can’t jinx them. You’re not a starter.

2:07
Sandy Eggo: We asked for Urias all year. Instead we got Jose Pirela. Carlos Asuaje. Spangebob Squarepants. But now at last the rightful heir takes his place at the keystone sack. Is the hype legit or are we just tired of seeing a below-replacement level revolving door all season?

2:09
Meg Rowley: Eric and Kiley moved him up to 20 on their updated 131 in June, and the thing about those guys is they are really good at their jobs.

2:09
Meg Rowley: You can do whatever you want obviously, and I use baseball as a way to feel sad in a low stakes way because it is cheaper than therapy, but I suggest letting yourself like stuff.

2:09
Meg Rowley: Liking stuff rocks so hard.

2:10
Kevin wears a t-shirt to BP: I saw the Rays record recently (because admittedly, I forgot about them), and wondered: what do they even do in the offseason? It’s going to be a busy free agent market, they have to buy someone, right?

2:12
Meg Rowley: It is going to be interesting if they sign a guy (let’s resist “buying” in reference to human persons). The Rays have payroll constraints that, whatever you might think of their legitimacy, seem pretty firm. So when they are evaluating free agent additions, it isn’t simply a matter of the absolute dollars but what part of their dollar pie it makes up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them be modest in their spending again, and wait to assess where their hurt dudes are.

2:12
CamdenWarehouse: Is anyone writing about the intersection of baseball and life as well as Rachel McDaniel is?

2:13
Meg Rowley: There are very few people writing about anything as well as Rachael is these days. Very, very few. Rachael is a treasure.

2:13
Bobby Cox: Mets still have DeGrom, Wheeler and Syndergaard next year. Seems like they either need to make a move to win with them this off season or unload and rebuild from scratch.  What would you do if you were in charge in Queens?

2:13
Meg Rowley: Is there a way for me to stay in charge in Queens while advocating that literally anyone else own the team? Is that an option?

2:14
Meg Rowley: They held on to deGrom and Syndergaard through the deadline. May as well make a go of it.

2:14
Meg Rowley: Should probably stop starting old, bad players for no reason, though.

2:14
Perennial Ballboy Tryout: What are the odds that Ryon Healy is offered a $125 million contract by Tampa Bay?

2:15
Meg Rowley: They’re cheap, not dumb. (Sorry Ryon, but you’ve been prettttty bad at baseball)

2:15
Adam Lind’s Tight PAnts: Hi Meg,

2:15
Meg Rowley: You write a thing one time and it follows you forever.

2:15
Vslyke: IF the A’s make the WC game and IF Manaea is out, the A’s are 100% going to bullpen it right? Maybe Fiers throws a few innings, but no more?

2:16
Meg Rowley: I think they’d at least start with Fiers, and have him on a short leash. But that’d be true of Manaea, too.

2:17
Meg Rowley: That bullpen is a terrific asset, the stakes in a wild card game are crazy high, and Bob Melvin is good at his job.

2:17
Meg Rowley: If that means depleting the bullpen? Well, that’s Future Bob’s problem.

2:17
Vlad to the Bone: How much with Vlad Jr. walk? Will he lead the league?

2:18
Meg Rowley: What about his profile would suggest that to you? I would expect it to be around what he’s done in the minors, give or take a few.

2:18
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Something that strikes me in David Laurila’s work on pitches is how haphazardly pitch repertoires come together. “I played catch once with Pedro’s former roommate and he taught me this slider grip” or “I never really used my curve until one day my manager in A ball saw me throw it in warm ups and told me to use it in games.” Are teams really not more involved in modifying the pitches their minor leaugers throw? No models to predict which pitches they could add to see success and then make them try a bunch of grips to see what works?

2:20
Meg Rowley: I think it depends on the team and the player, but it does go to show that there is a lot of information floating in the baseball ecosystem. I think most teams are pretty involved. It’s more a matter of how you communicate and what sticks.

2:20
Seeforman: TULO: what to do?

2:20
Meg Rowley: Man, it’s a bummer. I think if you’re him you try to come back. I think if you’re a fan, you start to accept that isn’t very likely, at least not to anywhere near where he was before.

2:20
Perennial Ballboy Tryout: How many ballparks have you been to?

2:22
Meg Rowley: I just crossed Chase off my list this weekend, so including ones that aren’t around anymore: the Kingdome, Safeco, AT&T, the Coliseum, Miller Park, Coors, old and new Yankee, Citizens Bank, Chase.

2:22
Meg Rowley: I feel like I’m forgetting one.

2:23
Opening Wide: Your Hollywood namesake is being beaten in the box office by some rom-com set in Singapore. This is despite Jason Statham and his screen presence. From your personal perspective, is this a good thing (fewer jokes your way about the film), or a bad thing (missing a good summer conversation-starter)?

2:24
Meg Rowley: I think that movie being bad (though I think it is still doing pretty well?) has been great. It has made twitter better. I think Crazy Rich Asians doing well is great for movies and fans of movies. Any time a movie like that does well, it makes it easier to make more movies with diverse casts. That’s rad.

2:24
Mike O: So who won the Tulo trade? None of the pieces Col got back have turned into anything and Toronto got 4 WAR out of him. But at the same time that contract looks terrible going forward

2:25
Meg Rowley: It doesn’t look great, but it is also just money.

2:25
Meg Rowley: I think it is one of those trades with no real winners, because you know, it wasn’t great, but also, this sort of injury-related drop off is hard to predict.

2:26
Perennial Ballboy Tryout: How do we fix reliever WAR?

2:26
Meg Rowley: As my mom would say, “Say more about that.”

2:27
Garrett: Feels like the Mariners have been 3-5 games back for a month now. They aren’t going to make the playoffs huh?

2:27
Meg Rowley: It’s a lot of games to make up in a pretty short period of time.

2:28
Meg Rowley: Not impossible but we have their playoff odds at around 17%… that feels about right.

2:28
When Jhoulys Expect It: On a scale of 1-10, how badly did the Pirates screw up the trade deadline?

2:28
Meg Rowley: Very confused by what they are doing just generally.

2:28
John: Are the Angels going to go all-in this offseason? They have Trout for a couple years and a lot of money, but nothing to show for it yet

2:30
Meg Rowley: I don’t think they can ever not try while they have Trout, and as you note, they have money to spend. I expect they’ll try pretty hard.

2:30
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Is Cash really a down ballot MOY contender? For once we actually have a manager breaking new ground with visible results and buy-in, you think people will give it to Bob Melvin for making the playoffs when we didn’t expect them to? Cash has done so much with so little; giving it to Melvin feels like giving the MVP to the guy with the best triple crown numbers. Apologies if you had other people in mind besides Melvin.

2:31
Meg Rowley: I think a lot of people will look at Cora, actually but I think you’re underestimating how bad that A’s rotation is. It isn’t so dissimilar a profile to Cash. His moves just come at a more traditional time.

2:32
Meg Rowley: I also wonder if folks won’t look at the opener as an analytics driven strategy, and discount Cash’s role there.

2:32
Snell’s the CY : Assume Snell wins 19 and has a sub 2.00 era, you still think Sale gets it if he only wins 15?

2:33
Meg Rowley: Snell has an ERA in the two’s and a FIP in the three’s.

2:33
Meg Rowley: He has a higher BB% and a lower K% than Sale.

2:34
Meg Rowley: I don’t think wins are going to be what matters here.

2:34
Brian CashGod: Who’s leading FanGraphs in CHAR? (CHats Above Replacement, courtesy of Dan’s chat yesterday)

2:34
Brian CashGod: And I maintain there is no such thing as a replacement level chat, they’re all great

2:34
Meg Rowley: I dunno, sometimes I get really distracted by our leaderboards in the middle of researching a question.

2:35
Lunar verLander: Is there some sort of beef between the Mariners and the Padres? The Mariners Twitter page just posted something about a “Vedder Cup”, and I have no idea what that means.

2:36
Meg Rowley: Eddie Vedder is in Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder is from San Diego. Fight?

2:37
Leon: Do you think WAR calculations will see a major overhaul this offseason, particularly in the defensive realm? It seems as though defensive shifting has reached a point of muddying those waters pretty significantly.

2:37
Meg Rowley: I’m not sure how immediate an overhaul there will be but I do think the question and concern is a good, valid one.

2:38
Meg Rowley: We all made a number of assumptions about how defense worked. Some of those don’t work anymore, and we have a bunch of new information at our disposal.

2:39
Tom: Thor has looked pretty human this year.  Any insights?  Should we drop our expectations, or is he as good a bet as anyone to win the Cy next year?

2:41
Meg Rowley: Setting aside the weird-ass hand, foot and mouth disease thing, he did have an injury early in the season. He’s also played in front of some shaky defense. I think he’ll be fine. The velocity is still there, so if he walks guys a little less and is healthy, I’m not too concerned.

2:41
Meg Rowley: Outside of the Mets of it all.

2:41
HappyFunBall: “MLB has recommended that we begin selling tickets for the 2018 postseason” is just about the least excited I think I have ever heard a marketing department be about their post-season prospects …

2:42
Meg Rowley: I think avoiding the appearance that they are overestimating their own position and asking for more cash is probably pretty important in moments like this.

2:42
Dann: The Cubs do not feel like a team that’s four games ahead of everyone else in their league, but here we are in the last week of August, and the rest of the NL seems even more flawed. If they continue putting distance between themselves and STL, is it worth bearing down and going for every last win in hopes of catching some of those AL teams for theoretical home field against not-Boston? Or rest up the guys and figure, hey, Schwarber/Murphy is a perfect DH option anyway?

2:43
Meg Rowley: I don’t expect that theoretical home field is going to do much to drive decision making. There are so many things to fret about before they get there.

2:43
Peter Alonso: Hi Meg! Are the Mets going to call me up in September?? I have obliterated AAA pitching recently

2:44
Meg Rowley: Bad news, buddy.

Breaking: The Mets will not call up Peter Alonso this season.
28 Aug 2018
2:44
Pie: How do you feel about the Seahawks this year?

2:45
Meg Rowley: At the moment? Irritated that I had to pay for Thursday’s preseason game as part of my ticket package. I am looking to feel less about football generally.

2:45
brad: Can the Yankees catch the Red Sox?  they still have 6 games against each other and the Red Sox have a tougher schedule.

2:45
Meg Rowley: It is certainly possible, though I’m still inclined to favor the Red Sox, particularly if they get Sale sooner rather than later.

2:45
Michael Scott is a Pirates Fan: Barring a miraculous Chris Archer turnaround, does Michael Scott have anything else to look forward to?

2:45
Meg Rowley: I don’t know why, but Michael Scott is 1000% a Mets fan.

2:46
Adam: Meg, you’re someone who often talks about that challenges that come along with rooting for certain players, teams, and institutions across sports in the wake of injustice or inequity. Given our roles as sports fans (and our broader life roles as advocates for positive change), do you think fantasy sports has an impact on our (the fans’) ability to connect with and influence the sports we care about? On the one hand, it could perpetuate a sense of dehumanization (e.g. when a player gets suspended, thinking “you ruined my fantasy season!”), but the flip side is that we may become more invested in their success both on AND off the field, naturally rooting for those who tend to stay out of trouble and leave a more positive footprint.

2:47
Meg Rowley: I play fantasy baseball (badly, infrequently) so this not to knock the whole thing, but it sure has seemed to inspire a lot of awful fan behavior.

2:48
Meg Rowley: Now, I think the people who engage in that behavior likely would be jerks no matter what because they are jerks.

2:48
Meg Rowley: Fantasy is just the vocabulary they choose for that bad behavior.

2:49
Meg Rowley: But I do worry about it furthering the fan instinct to side with ownership over players because we get in the habit of thinking like what we think owners and GMs think like.

2:49
Bo: who would be the most difficult of the likely NL teams to face in a one-game WC?

2:50
Meg Rowley: Dodgers if they don’t manage to win the division. That sounds not fun.

2:50
AC: I get what you’re saying about voters discounting Cash for an analytics driven strategy, but I personally give Cash more credit for actually having to be the one implement it and get all of the players to buy in. Ben and Sam taught us how hard that can be!

2:51
Meg Rowley: For sure. I’m really curious to read manager of the year voter columns (hey, that’s new!) to see how that gets sorted out.

2:51
Bo: Seems a lot of blame for the 2018 let-down in Washington is directed at Dave Martinez… How much of that blame is fair?

2:52
Meg Rowley: I don’t really know, which probably means less that he is getting? They do seem to have some real clubhouse issues, but that is hardly all of it.

2:52
Meg Rowley: This also isn’t the first time in recent memory this has happened, and the manager isn’t the connective tissue, so…

2:52
John: Braves just resigned Tyler Flowers for $4m next year. Is the whole pitch framing craze over?

2:53
Meg Rowley: Allow me a moment to look something up.

2:54
Meg Rowley: I just wanted to make sure I remembered his latest framing numbers from BP correctly.

2:55
Meg Rowley: Framing is really important! Teams are also selecting on the skill now, so the number of truly terrible framers at the pro level is fewer than it has been in a while.

2:55
stever20: Sale’s got to come back and pitch well down the stretch.  If Snell wins 20 and has a sub 2 ERA with Sale with 13 wins and an ERA around 2.40- Sale is in deep trouble.  FIP is pretty much meaningless to voters.

2:56
Meg Rowley: Sure, in the event Snell is a better pitcher, his odds of winning the Cy are certainly better.

2:57
Meg Rowley: Some voters will take advanced stats into consideration; others won’t. Many are likely to look at things like K% and BB%, and Sale has him beat there. I also think we’re unlikely to see wins used as the tie breaker there.

2:57
Bo: But Eddie Vedder is a Cubs fan…?

2:58
Meg Rowley: This is what I’m saying. The whole thing is madness.

2:58
James: Was the Astros’ comeback and eventual thrashing of the A’s yesterday a sign that the AL west is returning to sanity?

2:59
Meg Rowley: Don’t look to one game for adjustments, that way madness lies.

2:59
Meg Rowley: BUT it was a good reminder that when that offense works, goodness can they be a conveyor belt.

2:59
Guest: Phillies just added Jose Bautista, which to me makes an incredibly bad defense team worse, which can be backed up by stats or the eyetest. How important do you think this is? Is the extra hitting worth it?

3:00
Meg Rowley: It hasn’t mattered to them before now so…

3:00
Mike Chernofftherails: What are the Indians doing with the outfield? Even in a down year is acquiring Cutch not a better than playing Melky/Allen/Guyer?

3:00
Meg Rowley: imagine it’s a money thing

3:01
bighen: I don’t have a horse in the race but Snell’s ERA is 2.05, so under 2.00 is definitely in play at least and FIP is irrelevant for in season awards.  Woulda shoulda coulda sort of thing doesn’t matter.  He can surely win if Sale out a bit longer

3:01
Meg Rowley: He can win! I still think it’ll be Sale! Exclamation points!

3:01
Brian CashGod: I’ve never played fantasy sports and am frankly a bit more oblivious to it than I probably should be – can you expand on the bad behavior from some fantasy sports fans?

3:03
Meg Rowley: Kyle Seager and his wife had their third kid earlier this summer. Kyle Seager went on paternity leave. At least one fantasy writer complained about it, as Seager’s bat was starting to pick up, and a few fans gave Julie a hard time about it.

3:03
Meg Rowley: That’s pretty gross.

3:03
Person: Machado, Kershaw and Grandal are all set to be FA this offseason. Can you remember a year when a team lost that many elite players? Might make for an interesting article to look at teams projected FA WAR

3:04
Meg Rowley: I think Kershaw is likely to return, and Grandal isn’t out of the question. I never really expected Machado to stick around.

3:04
Lunar verLander: I know this is a hypothetical, but if healthy, do you think the Mets would call up Tebow?

3:04
Meg Rowley: I would bet every single dollar to my name on it.

3:05
juliooo: The Dodgers are asking me to renew my tickets 6 months earlier than last year, in return for a $2 reduction in price per ticket per game. On top of them going up about 10%. I guess this is more of a comment than a question.

3:06
Meg Rowley: There are a lot of reasons attendance is down, but truly, it is so expensive to go to games. Granted, if you’re a season ticket holder, the issue is a little different but it’s a real problem.

3:06
Mattyb: Which September call-up will have the biggest impact for the Mariners?

3:06
Meg Rowley: Aw buddy.

3:06
Bork: Are we going to have a triple crown vs best statistically debate again this year where old guys talk about how nerds ruin the game?

3:07
Meg Rowley: Almost certainly.

3:07
Meg Rowley: The old guys will be annoying! We nerds could also remember that we won that fight in all the ways that matter to the structure of the game and be gracious in our victory.

3:08
stever20: looked at the Tango tracker and right now Sale has a very slight lead on Snell(Bauers is actually #1 barely ahead of both).  it looks like which one of Sale and Snell pitch better in September will win the award.

3:08
Meg Rowley: Yup!

3:09
Meg Rowley: To the Rays fans campaigning for Snell in the queue, allow me to say: I see you, I like Blake Snell, he is very good at pitching, and I am not saying him winning is impossible or even so unlikely. I just still think it’ll be Sale.

3:09
tb.25: How can we get the fans and old players stuck in the past that dislike advanced stats to realize that baseball and teams will use the stats regardless of how people feel about them?

3:10
Meg Rowley: I’ve been thinking about a version of this question a lot lately, and find myself conflicted.

3:11
Meg Rowley: On the one hand, you and me and everyone reading this chat and FanGraphs see baseball this particular way, and think its rigor and precision is not only likely to help teams win, but also has the benefit of bringing real understanding to the game. That is important both for baseball and as a way to view the world.

3:11
Meg Rowley: On the other hand, I’m just not sure how important it is to change the mind of the old school fan who fights with me on twitter.

3:12
Meg Rowley: He’s not running the front office, and no ex-player who thinks like him is either. We’ve won. If my grandpa wants to feel strongly about pitcher wins… eh?

3:12
Brian CashGod: RE: Seager – yikes. Some folks clearly need to look in the mirror. Thanks for elaborating though, I had no idea that was a thing.

3:13
Meg Rowley: To be clear, I don’t think this is the majority of fantasy players. If these dudes didn’t have fantasy as an outlet, they’d be jerks in a different way. They’re jerks! That’s what jerks do.

3:13
Dave: Shouldn’t the Vedder Cup include the team that he is a fan of?

3:13
Meg Rowley: SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK, DAVE.

3:14
Brian CashGod: Does Sale really care about the Cy Young? I’d rather get healthy and have gas left in the tank for the playoffs, which has been an issue for him

3:14
Meg Rowley: I imagine this will drive the decision making for him and the team.

3:15
An aside : I’ve found best use of arguing advanced stats with people who don’t know about them or don’t care for them is to explain frustrating moves or I’ll timed unlikely results.

3:15
Meg Rowley: Sure– I think it’s a matter of the person.

3:16
Meg Rowley: Sometimes it is just a matter of talking about it more and assuming them to be smart. Sometimes people like wins.

3:16
dan: about advanced stats and old reporters/talking heads hating them: if they don’t want to accept them for what they are, they shouldn’t be paid to offer opinions and insights on how a team should be built. Every single team in the MLB uses tons of analytics to not only build their team, but also to make nearly every decision within a game. If you are going a pro reporter or talking head and saying the stats are garbage, you are thinking on a completely different wavelength then every decision maker in MLB organizations. Your opinion should be disregarded…how do places like ESPN still employ ppl like that?

3:18
Meg Rowley: I think it is certainly important to distinguish between fans and professional analysts. And I think it depends on how they don’t engage with stats. If you’re a BBWAA member with a Cy Young vote, that’s a problem. If you’re a non-jerk who just doesn’t see the game that way? I dunno, Dan, there are a lot of fans who don’t read FanGraphs, and want to consume baseball media.

3:18
Bork: I like to imagine Dave is Dave Cameron and laughing maniacally as he asks questions to chat hosts

3:18
Meg Rowley: I do, too, though I know that Dave is too busy to bother with my chats.

3:18
vivalajeter: Adding to the Vedder Cup nonsense, if you watch them on MTV Unplugged, he was wearing a White Sox cap.  Granted, it was given to him by his friend (Jack McDowell), but a real Cubs fan wouldn’t wear an opposing cap.

3:19
Meg Rowley: I need 10,000 words on this yesterday.

3:19
McCovey Cove: How come no one hits any balls into my tranquil waters anymore? The last “splash hit” was on May 15th.

3:19
Meg Rowley: It’s really hard!

3:19
NYTT: How good would you feel if you had Foltynewicz starting a win or go home game?

3:20
Meg Rowley: Better than I would with their other options.

3:21
Lunar verLander: This Vedder Cup malarkey sounds like the perfect off-season post.

3:21
Meg Rowley: How dare you underestimate my ability to turn out useless baseball content in-season?

3:21
Matt: My father-in-law was a little league coach for 30 years and pretty committed to the “old school baseball” lifestyle, but I’ve had pretty decent luck breaking down avanced stats as follows: Sometimes, a guy is hitting the ball well but getting bad results, every line drive finding a glove, every towering fly ball just barely falls short of a home run. Sometimes guys get good results without hitting the ball well, every bleeding grounder finding a hole, that sort of thing. All advanced statistics are trying to do is figure out when a player is doing well because they’re good, and when they’re doing well because they’re lucky. The rest is just data.

3:22
Meg Rowley: Truly, I think the biggest thing is treating those who aren’t familiar with stats like the smart people they are. We are at our most defensive when we perceive that other people think we are stupid.

3:23
Meg Rowley: My mom isn’t a huge baseball fans, but she has a naturally mathematical mind. So we are able to talk about advanced stats because she gets the stat part and just needs some of the baseball specifics filled in.

3:24
Meg Rowley: But everyone is going to start at a different point in that conversation. As with any bit of persuasion or education, I think you have to gauge where the person is and then treat them with respect.

3:24
McCovey Cove: Correction: Carp hit one to me in July.

3:24
Meg Rowley: lol of course he did

3:24
Thanks: I just want to say thanks for the thankless role (also Sheryl – can we get her to chat too?) for talking about discomfiting subjects that might also have personal import. I am a guy, but as a member of a disadvantaged group also often sidelined by MLB but still a fan, it certainly means a lot. Is it more gratifying to make said points or more annoying that said points need to be made?

3:26
Meg Rowley: Having to talk about stuff like Osuna, or racist tweets is a bummer, but it is very encouraging that we talk about it at all, have an expectation that people will do better, and that our colleagues who are straight white dudes step up, too. I didn’t write up the Osuna trade– Jeff did. And he did a great, thoughtful job, and didn’t shy away from what made that trade so distasteful.

3:26
Meg Rowley: It’s important to center the voices of people directly impacted, but man is it great to not have to write every bad thing in the game.

3:27
Meg Rowley: We’re getting where we need to be, even if we aren’t all the way there.

3:27
HappyFunBall: re: Getting the olds to accept advanced stats.

Why? Seriously. Why can’t they continue to enjoy the game the way they want to? Just because the other chatter, and you, and I, and most everyone else here on FanGraphs like talking about advanced stats … why does that mean we must evangelise? We can be “right” without crusading to make everyone else agree with us.

3:27
Meg Rowley: I generally agree with this. I do think the conversation is a little different with media members, but yeah HappyFunBall. There is no bad way to fan except the way that hurts others.

3:28
Meg Rowley: If we want to be generous I think it is that we find stats so cool and exciting and want to share them. And they are so freaking cool.

3:29
Meg Rowley: But that doesn’t mean that every fan is going to see the game that way.

3:29
Shobae Ohtani: I remember hearing you talk about gardening on Fangraphs Audio with Carson a couple months back. How is that going?

3:29
Meg Rowley: Oh so terribly.

3:29
Meg Rowley: Just really badly

3:29
Meg Rowley: A lot of things are dying early this year, and I think it is because they are drought stressed from no water and the smoke.

3:30
Meg Rowley: But my mom’s tomatoes are doing pretty well.

3:30
Meg Rowley: So I’ll at least have stuff for sauce.

3:30
Padres Fan: Seattle can eat it.  We’re bringing the Vedder Cup home this year…if it isn’t already here.  Is it already here?

3:31
Meg Rowley: who even knows?

3:31
Bork: Plants need water

3:31
Meg Rowley: Oh sure, now he tells me.

3:31
dan: my general point being, if you’re paid reporter/talking head criticizing a player or team based on the analysis of an antiquated stat (ie deGrom’s season is overrated b/c wins or judge should choke up and put the ball in play instead of striking out and sacrificing ops), you’re offering a view that makes no sense to any decision maker within the team. And doing a disservice to the fans to whom you job is to educate/entertain/relay info to

3:32
Meg Rowley: I get this, and don’t disagree, but also, I think there is a spectrum and there are points on the spectrum that aren’t analytically inclined that are probably acceptable.

3:33
Meg Rowley: Clearly, that’s not how I relate to the game. Even in my goofiest posts, I still use wRC+, and think wins are goofy, and not useful.

3:33
Meg Rowley: But there are fans who don’t think about it that way.

3:34
5 Run Homer: Jose Bautista and Rhys Hoskins in the same outfield sounds extremely not fun for Phillies fans

3:34
Meg Rowley: Choose Your Own (Mis)Adventure

3:35
Josh: How frustrating is it to you as a baseball fan to not be able to watch Vladito (h/t Joe Sheehan) and Eloy in MLB today. If MLB wants to bring fans to the game making sure that exciting young players are not incentivized to be kept down should be an agenda item

3:36
Meg Rowley: Annoying as a fan, as a writer, as someone who supports organized labor. Just generally annoying! MLB will likely always trade that bit of fan excitement for labor control. But it is annoying.

3:36
Bork: Phillies need to trade for Billy Hamilton and then just have him run across the outfield each at bat

3:36
Meg Rowley: Not opposed.

3:37
Perennial Ballboy Tryout: To Josh: Don’t forget the minor league teams that see huge ticket/interest boosts from Vlad/Eloy etc. I went to the game yesterday and I would say Vlad added 5k+ people

3:37
Meg Rowley: I won’t speak for Josh, but personally, that doesn’t balance out for me.

3:37
v2micca: I’m convinced that if not for Moneyball the book, the entire analytic revolution would have happened with a lot less fanfare and been a lot less divisive.

3:38
Meg Rowley: There was always going to be a Moneyball book. Maybe it wouldn’t have been Moneyball. But baseball is too numbers obsessed for that sort of change in approach to happen, and not get fanfare.

3:38
Perennial Ballboy Tryout: But Vlad is the coolest thing that will every happen to any given minor league team, whereas the majors already have incredible players everyday.

3:39
Meg Rowley: Don’t personally find keeping ready major leaguers in the minors for additional control exciting. Every bit of his success is a reminder that he is getting jobbed by the system.

3:39
tb.25: It’s ok for those who don’t enjoy advanced stats to enjoy the game in the ways and methods they do. It’s when they attack the advanced stats, that the discussion turns into who’s right. Coexisting is fine, but denouncing the closer-to-correct statistics because you don’t get them is foolish.

3:40
Meg Rowley: Once you put your thoughts out in the world, they are there to be discussed and interacted with, yes. I just don’t think there is harm in remembering who won the battle and endeavoring not to punch down.

3:41
Meg Rowley: Ok friends, I have to get going. Editing and pitcher blowouts call. Thanks for the questions, and sorry for what I didn’t get to.

3:41
Meg Rowley: We have some realllly good baseball ahead.

3:41
Meg Rowley: Enjoy it, imo.





Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the co-co-host of Effectively Wild. Prior to joining FanGraphs, her work appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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stever20
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stever20

it’s going to be interesting with Sale. Right now-33 days left in the season. He just started throwing yesterday. So Sale might get lucky to get 4 starts(with 1st start being a 3-4 inning type of start). I don’t think any of the Red Sox affiliates are in the playoffs- so no chance of a minor league rehab start. I don’t think you can assume that Sale is going to come back and be like Sale. He may only get like 20 innings in those 4 starts.

bosoxforlife
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bosoxforlife

I was surprised to see that the Sox didn’t expect him to start for another ten days. After his first stint on the DL he came back immediately and was lights out and today he said that he felt like Paul Bunyan’s ox. I admit that I originally thought the Sox were just playing DL games to give him some rest but the answer is now shrouded in the fog.

stever20
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Member
stever20

Yeah totally agree with you. The first DL stint seemed very much playing the DL games and the timing coming back vs Baltimore with the schedule he would have had seemed brilliant- I think almost 95% of baseball fans thought that- if not closer to 99%. But the 2nd stint is the one more shrouded in the fog like you mention.