The FanGraphs 2021 Opening Day Chat by Meg Rowley April 1, 2021 1:00 Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon, folks! Welcome to the 2021 baseball season and this, our Opening Day marathon chat. 1:01 Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone, Jay is starting with the Yankees/Jays, while I’m sticking to my Midwest roots with Indians/Tigers in the SNOW. 1:01 Jay Jaffe: I’ll be joined here by Kevin Goldstein and David Laurila for the first leg of today’s action, and other colleagues will take the ball as the day (and night) continues. 1:01 JT in Town: For Kev – obviously everyone’s going to ask you about your time with the Astros from now until forever, so here goes – what’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you can remember from past Opening Days during your time with the team? Any kind of superstitions or just general oddness? And I’ll hang up and listen. 1:02 Kevin Goldstein: I wish I had a good one, but I only think I did one Opening Day in Houston. I was a player evaluator and I didn’t live in Houston. I remember spending Opening Days watching college and high school games and I remember spending Opening Day night watching a amazing low-budget MLB whip around like show in my hotel in the Dominican. I wish I could get that channel here. 1:02 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Oh boy, every team will play today! 1:03 David Laurila: Hey, all. Happy Opening Day. 1:03 Jay Jaffe: Alas, a potentially historic occasion with all 30 teams playing on the same Opening Day for the first time has been waylaid by rain/weather in Boston and a COIVD-19 situation in Washington. 1:04 Jay Jaffe: Only once in the post-1960 expansion era have all of the teams launched on the same day, and that was back in 1968, alas due to the MLK assassination. More on that history in my dispatch today. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/more-than-you-wanted-to-know-about-ope… 1:04 George: I’ve waited so long for the Nats. This sucks. Covid sucks. 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: The addition of the travel variable has me worried that WAS/NYM is the first, but hardly the last of COVID hiccups. 1:04 Jay Jaffe: Our ZiPS and Steamer projections confirm this. COVID really does suck 1:05 asnbrv: Does anyone working for fangraphs still have a hardcore fandom of their teams? I know almost all people that makes baseball as a job becomes more fan of a game and not anymore for a team, but anyones day depend on how good their team does still? 1:05 David Laurila: I think the answer is yes for many, although mine has wand a a bit. 1:06 Chaise: Not a question – just want to say thanks for the continued excellence. The content (specifically the prospect content for me) is unrivaled and you all deserve praise every single day. Happy Opening Day! 1:06 Jay Jaffe: I’ve written a lot about growing up a Dodgers fan and then taking to the Yankees once I moved to New York City, but I don’t feel the same way about either team than I did before becoming a full-time writer. In some ways it gets easier each year as the players linked to my fan days dwindle 1:07 Kevin Goldstein: I feel very neutral. I don’t root for teams. I love the game and love players. Don’t hate any team, really. 1:08 Guest: The weather looks nasty in Detroit on the broadcast. 1:08 Jay Jaffe: Kevin Goldtein in EXTREMELY NEUTRAL 1:08 David Laurila: I bought a pack of Topps cards to open on Opening Day. Won’t bore people with every one, but will note any guys who play for teams in today’s early games. 1:08 Kevin Goldstein: Us Midwesterners are hearty. 1:09 Whoa Bacon: Jack Morris & Kirk Gibson in the Tigers booth. This is…not gonna be SABR-friendly, is it? 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: It’s not, but don’t let it get to you. If you are a FanGraphs level of baseball fan, always remind yourself that the broadcast is not being designed for you. It’s for the more casual fan. It’s fine. 1:10 David Laurila: Just opened my Topps back and got a Yankees team card. That bodes well for them, right? 1:10 dbfirstman: Good afternoon gentlemen! Happy Opening Day 2021! I still think they should have shortened the season to 154 or 144 games, but still started them on 4/1 ….. plenty of off days for testing/contact-tracing and rescheduling of games. Thoughts? 1:13 Jay Jaffe: I wouldn’t mind the season being shortened to 154 but that’s a matter for collective bargaining, and there are a ton of moving parts involved. 1:11 Jay Jaffe: First pitch in the Bronx is a ball from Gerrit Cole to Marcus Semien, followed by a routine grounder to shortstop. We’re underway! 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t hate the idea, but owners are billionaires and like making money and they’re not going to cut into their gates unless they get expanded playoffs. 1:11 feddy: David how do u get so much inside access to 1:12 David Laurila: I write for FanGraphs. That’s pretty much it. 1:12 feddy: David how do u get so much inside access to the players and coaches? ur articles are fantastic and give great insight into the mindset of someone in professional baseball 1:12 David Laurila: Thx. 1:13 Kevin Goldstein: Appreciate Matthew Boyd going without sleeves in 30 degree weather. 1:13 JJD: Hello from Germany! Woke up and watched Field of Dreams to kick off Opening Day. Any Opening Day rituals to share? Enjoy the day! 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: Isn’t it technically Opening Night for you? 1:13 David Laurila: Schöne Grüße 1:14 Julius: I’m tired of hearing about service time. Give me hope for a future without it. What is the best case for 1) All pro baseball players, and 2) the realistic version we’re likely to see passed. 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Start the service clock when they sign Create a system where any player who exceeds rookie eligibility begins the following year with 1.000 service time. 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Cesar Hernandez with the first hit of the year? 1:16 5 Run Homer: Lol 31° in Detroit, gross 1:16 David Laurila: 2013 World Series in Detroit was frigid. 1:16 David Laurila: Tigers won’t play in the 2021 World Series. 1:16 Jay Jaffe: 1-2-3 inning in the Bronx, punctuated by Cole striking out Biggio 1:17 Jay Jaffe: and now here’s Hyun-Jin Ryu in a lovely powder blue Jays uniform 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: They said flurries in Detroit, but now it’s just snow. Jose Ramirez just hit way in on his bat and I’m betting his hands are now more sore than my right arm after getting my first shot yesterday. 1:18 Jay Jaffe: woohoo, vaccinations! 1:18 Jay Jaffe: I’m a week from getting my 2nd shot. 1:18 Ryan: Cool, my MLBtv is having issues. Yay. Great start. 1:18 asnbrv: Who is gonna hit the first HR of the year? My money is on Eddie Rosario 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: I’m totally fine here. 1:19 Jay Jaffe: for first homer, I’ll go with Aaron Judge, who is up right now. 1:19 Ronald Acuna’s Biggest Fan: David, how would you rank these guys from 2021 Topps Series One’s rookie class? In no particular order: Varsho, Adell, Pache, Anderson, Sanchez, Dalbec, Mountcastle, Bohm 1:20 David Laurila: There was a Bohm card in the pack I just opened. Dalbec is my RoY pick. 1:20 David Laurila: Hopping out to do a manager Zoom. Back in a few. 1:20 Kevin Goldstein: You think Dalbec can overcome the huge K rates? I’m skeptical. 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: Gimme Lourdes for first home run. I think it’s going to be awfully tough to go deep in Detroit today. 1:21 Jay Jaffe: And Judge strikes out on a 91 mph fastball, so if he’s going to be first to homer, it won’t be this time through the order 1:21 Joey Caltrain: Kevin and David, you both might have a bit of an inside view: how many MLB players do you think are anti-vaxxers? 1:22 Kevin Goldstein: More than you’d like to know. Was thrilled to see the Cardinals get over 85%. 1:25 Jay Jaffe: It’s funny, the Cardinals shocked me by becoming the first team to get to the 85% vax compliance yesterday. The day before, in light of Mookie Betts’ comments that essentially closed ranks about whoever might be anti-vax on his team, I privately predicted (to Kevin and a few others) that no team would get to 85%, because doing so would take 100% compliance from the nonplaying Tier 1 personnel (manager, coaches, trainers, clubbies) plus something around 75% from players, that in a country where polling shows something closer to 60-70% in favor of vaxing among the general public and, for demographic reasons, likely less compliance among the players. Happy to be proven wrong so quickly! 1:23 Tommy: I want to stop paying for a service so I can watch in-market games. When will baseball finally get rid of blackouts? 1:23 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see any path to this, unfortunately. RSNs are so important to teams. 1:25 Bring Back Mookie (and Jeff): The hell are we supposed to do between 7 and 10 now? 1:25 Kevin Goldstein: Spend time with loved ones. Eat dinner. Play Disco Elysium. 1:25 Jay Jaffe: Make jokes about A-Rod’s even-odd wisdom 1:26 asinwreck: Have you guys penciled in your first in-person games once you are fully vaccinated? 1:26 Jay Jaffe: Not yet. Need to sit down with the NY teams’ schedules and circle some target dates 1:27 Kevin Goldstein: Second shot is 4/28, so middle of May for me. Might go watch a NIU game down the line isolated before that when Joe Rock comes to town. 1:28 Jay Jaffe: After a 1-2-3 inning by Ryu, we have the first hit of the season in the Bronx, as Teoscar sharply hits one past Torres at shortstop, Vlad Jr. follows with a single up the middle and things are cooking for the Blue Jays 1:29 Derek: Your daily reminder that Gleyber Torres should not be playing shortstop 1:29 Jay Jaffe: Agreed. Not an unreasonable experiment but the returns haven’t been great. Luckily for the Yankees, the time to go get a shortstop is coming… 1:29 Kevin Goldstein: What, no homer? Disappointed. 1:30 Kevin Goldstein: Miguel Cabrera first home run of the year. Oppo shot wall scraper. 1:30 Kevin Goldstein: He stopped at second because he thought it was a double at first. 1:30 Jay Jaffe: And we have the first run of the season from the Jays as Gurriel follows Vlad Jr (I goofed previously) with another single. 1:31 5 Run Homer: Miggy with the first home run! 1:31 bosoxforlife: The snowstorm in Detroit is raging. 1:31 Aaron: Kevin, thank you for podcasting again. Chin Music has been awesome so far! 1:31 Jay Jaffe: Nice on Miggy. I have plans for a piece on him, and with that homer, it might be the soup du jour for tomorrow 1:31 Guest: I’m almost deliriously happy to be back here with you guys. Thanks for all that you do! 1:31 Kevin Goldstein: Thanks! Having a blast with it. Be sure to check out my ridiculously long 3.5 hour season preview with Ben Clemens that came out this morning. 1:32 Jay Jaffe: We are almost deliriously happy to be doing this again 1:32 Jay Jaffe: Thank you for following along! 1:32 Guest: Trevor Story, Yankees shortstop? 1:32 Kevin Goldstein: Fun question, getting back to Gleyber. Who is the Yankees shortstop in 2021? 1:32 Jay Jaffe: Well, it ain’t gonna be Lindor 1:33 Estevão: Simmons for 2/25 wouldn’t be much for the Yankeees, right. 1:33 Kevin Goldstein: They’re going to go bigger than that. 1:33 Jay Jaffe: Simmons has two injury-wracked seasons in a row and the league-average bat he showed seems to be fading so no, i don’t see them moving Gleyber for that 1:33 Kevin Goldstein: If I had to bet, I might go with Correa, which would be an awfully fun day on Twitter. 1:33 David Laurila: Torey Lovullo was just asked if the team reaches an 85% vaccination rate. He said that he hopes so, and while they’re not quite there, they’re close. 1:35 Me Growley: I’m a Brewers fan onto my fifth vodka of the day already. What are the odds that the next 45 minutes will be my happiest of the season? How long until the inevitable hangover of self-loathing and underwhelming infield play brings clouds of depression into view? 1:35 Kevin Goldstein: It’s the NL Central my friend. Any of four teams could win and it just might be the team that stays the healthiest. 1:35 Jay Jaffe: I mean, we do have the Brewers favored in the Central 1:38 Whoa Bacon: Do you have multiple TVs set up so you can watch more than 1 game at the same time? If not, why? Once you go 2 screens you’ll never go back. 1:43 Jay Jaffe: Just fired up my phone for a 3rd screen (desktop computer and TV being the other 2) 1:38 Kevin Goldstein: I have CLE/DET on my lovely TV and NYY/TOR on the iPad. 1:39 Jay Jaffe: Cole laboring to get out of the 2nd without allowing another run, retires Tellez and Grichuk (you know, the guy drafted before Mike Trout) then K’s Jansen looking at a 98.6 mph heater 1:40 Jay Jaffe: Wow, just saw the Cabrera homer… in the snow! 1:42 Estevão: I understand the value in maintaning assets but at what point does LAD think about trading Keibert Ruiz or you just wait for a need to pop up and explore his value then 1:42 Jay Jaffe: I suspect he gets dealt this summer when the need arises. 1:42 Big Fly: I would love for home runs to drop a little this year. Do you think the ball will make any difference? 1:42 Kevin Goldstein: We don’t really know yet, but early indications are NO. 1:43 David Laurila: Watching the Tigers’ TV feed and there was zero play-by-play in the last half inning, only audio and an in-game interview with the owner. Not a fan of that. 1:45 Appa Yip Yip: Vladdy’s single was the hardest hit ball Gerritt Cole has given up in the statcast era 1:46 Jay Jaffe: 114.1 mph, but nope, he had a 115.2 mph GIDP off the bat of Nelson Cruz on 4/30/2019, as well as a 114.8 mph grounder off of Giancarlo Stanton 1:45 Andrew: I really hope RSNs don’t start to copy ESPN’s format of Talk Show While Baseball Happens 1:46 John: David, adding on to your point, I think in-game player/manager interviews significantly take away from the entertainment product. I want the people on the field to be locked in, not talking to ARod. 1:46 Kevin Goldstein: mlb.tv on some platforms you can switch to the audio of radio feed if you want more play by play. 1:47 Jay Jaffe: Gleyber Torres dunks a one-out single into left field 1:48 Kevin Goldstein: First K-safe at first of the year? Victor Reyes swings at a slider in the dirt that gets away and then scores on a JaCoby Jones double in the corner. Aggressive send by Chip Hale, but I’m a big fan of aggressive sends. 1:48 David Laurila: AJ Hinch has been saying all spring that he wants the Tigers to be aggressive on the base paths. That just happened, and the result was a run. 1:48 Kevin Goldstein: He just had Gary Pettis as his third base coach — the human windmill. 1:49 Jay Jaffe: He was in Houston while you were there, right Kevin? 1:49 Kevin Goldstein: Pettis? oh yeah. 1:50 Jay Jaffe: oh, he’s still there, I had read your response to mean he was now in Detroit. 1:49 Guest: What division this year do you think will be the most competitive from top to bottl 1:50 Kevin Goldstein: First time I met him I told him he was one of the best defensive centerfielder I ever saw. 1:50 David Laurila: NL East will be super competitive. 1:50 Jay Jaffe: two-run homer for Gary Sanchez! Take that, haters 1:51 Kevin Goldstein: I will openly admit that I am rooting for Gary Sanchez 1:51 bosoxforlife: The best thing about MLB-TV is the radio overlay. I enjoy Tom Hamilton so much. Bob Uecker, Pat Hughes, Denny Matthews and many more are such a part of the game. 1:51 David Laurila: Word. 1:51 Derek: Bieber kinda getting knocked around! 1:51 Jay Jaffe: the microscope that Sanchez is under from the NY beats is just insufferable 1:51 Kevin Goldstein: With this weather, I wouldn’t read much into results, good or bad, from today’s game in Detroit. 1:52 Jay Jaffe: the number of otherwise respected reporters who have talked themselves into Austin Romine or Kyle Higashioka as a plausible everyday catcher is something Statcast would lose track of 1:52 Kevin Goldstein: You have a stolen base yet Jay? Robbie Grossman just swiped one. 1:53 David Laurila: Tigers keep running. SB for Grossman. Love the aggressive approach. 1:53 Jay Jaffe: no steals here. 2-1 Yankees through 2 1:53 Simon G: Anybody else’s MLB.tv app acting super glitchy? I keep getting Network Error messages. 1:53 Jay Jaffe: Arnaldo Espinoza @Naldoxx El primer Jonrón de la temporada 2021 de las Grandes Ligas: Miguel Cabrera 1 Apr 2021 1:53 Kevin Goldstein: I’m rolling just fine on two devices, but I have great internet here in DeKalb. 1:55 Ronald Acuna’s Biggest Fan: What do you make of the Jake Lamb signing in Atlanta? Think he’s good enough to make the Braves give up on the Austin Riley experience before the end of the year? 1:56 Jay Jaffe: Uh, Lamb is a White Sock now. Lost out to Pablo Sandoval for the backup 3B job and signed a major league deal reuniting him with La Russa. Wrote about it in the context of Eloy Jiménez’s injury https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-white-sox-cant-easily-replace-eloy-jim… 1:55 Kevin Goldstein: Bieber gets out of a second inning that could have been worse. Tigers up 3-0 after two. 1:56 Brian CashGod: Was Gary or Miggy first? 1:56 Kevin Goldstein: Miggy 1:57 charliechalupa: There’s something wrong with a Brewers fan drinking vodka. Especially five before lunch. 1:57 Kevin Goldstein: Clearly you’ve never seen the tailgate scene in Milwaukee. 1:59 Josh R: So let’s say the Padres win 100, the Dodgers 98, the Braves 92 and on down. Is it the most stupid thing that the Padres would then have to play the Dodgers (if the Dodgers win the wild card game) in the first round of the playoffs? It makes no sense not to reseed this part of the playoffs. 1:59 Jay Jaffe: I like that the current structure places a premium on winning the division. It’s not perfect but should lead to even very good teams trying to improve if it means the difference between one guaranteed game and at least a best-of-five. 1:59 Jay Jaffe: I don’t think the Padres make all of the moves they did if they only care about claiming a Wild Card spot 1:59 Waffles: These Blue Jay uniforms are absolutely amazing 1:59 Kevin Goldstein: This is likely the last year of the current playoff structure, anyway…. 2:00 David Laurila: Bichette takes a big cut. 2:01 Dodger Fan: Boba Chette is now batting 2:01 Kevin Goldstein: Another first of the season. I just said “turn that!” on an infield ground ball with a runner on first. I will say it 1,492 more times this seasson. 2:01 Waffles: What do you make of the Dodgers not fully commiting to Will Smith? 2:01 Jay Jaffe: I think they’re pretty committed — Ruiz is in the minors, after all, and Barnes is the backup — but Smith’s defense is at least somewhat questionable; he was IIRC tied for last in our framing runs metric during the short season 2:02 Kevin Goldstein: That was a pretty damn nasty inning for Cole… 2:02 Ronald Acuna’s Biggest Fan: Well I completely missed the Lamb/Sandoval news somehow – thanks Jay 2:02 Jay Jaffe: March comes in like a Lamb and goes out like a Panda 2:03 MATT DAMON: MATT DAMON 2:03 Kevin Goldstein: It begins… 2:04 dag.nah.bit: Do either of you gentleman have developed any habits of scorekeeping games you watch on TV? What are some of your preferences? Any suggestion from someone who is picking it after learning the trait from my grandfather as a youngster? 2:04 Dodger Fan: Barnes is Kershaw’s personal catcher; that’s why he’s not in the lineup today. 2:04 Kevin Goldstein: I’m not doing it today, but I do have a scorebook that I use when I feel the impulse to do so. I love looking at other people’s scorebook to see how they are doing it wrong, as everyone has their quirks. 2:05 Jay Jaffe: I don’t keep score at home but I do when I go to the ballpark unless I’m taking my kid 2:05 Jay Jaffe: very nice charging play by Bichette at shortstop to get Frazier on a slowish grounder 2:06 David Laurila: Boyd at 40 pitches through three. 2:06 Jay Jaffe: Ed Delahanty mention on the YES broadcast 2:08 Buccos: Outside of Ke’Bryan Hayes, who should Buccos fans like myself keep an eye on this year? They have a bunch of mid 20s guys that haven’t caught on in the bigs yet. Any breakout potential? 2:08 Kevin Goldstein: Not really! 2:09 David Laurila: Adam Frazier is a Pirate to watch. Not a lot of pop, but makes solid contact. 2:09 Hammered Hank: Since we’ve already established Kevin’s 20 grade when it comes to movie reviews, I’d like to know where Jay stands when it comes to top 3 baseball movies of all time…..Perfect opening day exercise! 2:09 Jay Jaffe: Bad News Bears, Bull Durham, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings. To hell with Field of Dreams. I like Eight Men Out as a movie but can’t give it a top-3 spot due to the liberties it takes with what actually happened. 2:09 Kevin Goldstein: I’m with Jay on Field of Dreams. It’s awful. 2:09 Jay Jaffe: Insufferable, even 2:10 Kevin Goldstein: I have similar feelings about The Natural because of the liberties it took with the original material. 2:10 Jay Jaffe: I don’t mind that one as much because I’ve never read the book 2:11 Jay Jaffe: As a movie it’s… fine. There are parts i really like 2:11 Jay Jaffe: But it’s not a movie I’d die on a hill for 2:11 David Laurila: Something to watch in Mazara’s AB. He feels pre-pitch movement has been an issue, leading to much of the weaker contact and ground balls. Feels h correcting that. 2:13 Guest: Not sure what you mean about “liberties” with The Natural- the ending is completely faithful to the book… 2:13 BaseballizBACK: Battered Bastards of Baseball too, Jay 2:13 Jay Jaffe: That’s a documentary, different category. I just watched that the other night, spurred by reading the Jim Bouton biography by Mitchell Nathanson. Both the movie and the bio are fantastic 2:13 Kevin Goldstein: Um . . . he strikes out in the book. 2:14 BaseballizBACK: Personally also love Everybody Wants Some 2:14 Jay Jaffe: I watched that in the theater, liked it but wasn’t blown away, have been meaning to see it again in the comfort of home 2:14 Just Tuning In: A nice sunny day in Detroit for opening day! 2:14 Kevin Goldstein: Live in the Midwest and don’t like the weather? Wait 15 minutes, it’ll change. 2:15 neuroccountant: We haven’t had a new saccharine Kevin Costner baseball movie in, what, 20 years? I think we’re due. 2:15 Kevin Goldstein: Work with me here . . . Kevin Costner is . . . MANFRED. 2:15 David Laurila: Future batting champion Luis Arraez batting leadoff for Twins today. Rocco Baldelli said he’ll use a few different guys in that spot. 2:15 Kevin Goldstein: I’m switching to Twins at Brewers as that’s a REAL FUN pitching matchup. 2:16 Moltar: Is MLB able to move a game in to primetime, or are we stuck with no baseball for 3 hours? At least Top Chef premiers tonight… 2:16 Kevin Goldstein: Not on this kind of short notice, no. 2:16 David Laurila: Arraez hits a bullet that gets caught. 2:17 5 Run Homer: Luis Urias my goodness 2:17 Kevin Goldstein: Luis Urias is a better defensive player than people think. 2:17 Guest: Do you have fond memories of being taught to keep score? I learned from my mom’s co-worker, a Cubs fan who took us to Wrigley to see my Mets in the 80’s. He bought me my first scorecard and showed me how to fill it out, and even feigned happiness on my behalf when Strawberry hit an opposite field shot. 2:17 Jay Jaffe: Yes! By the time I was eight my parents would sometimes go out without leaving us a babysitter if they weren’t going to be out long. For the first game of the 1978 World Series (Dodgers-Yankees) my dad told me to keep score.“What’s that?”“You write down what happened. Just try, don’t worry I’ll show you later” I was trying to do it in sentence form, didn’t get past the second or third inning. Later, my dad showed me the basics of the system I use today (I now include batted ball direction). 2:19 David Laurila: Now Tigers TV is doing an in-game interview… with fans. 2:20 Jay Jaffe: Cole pitches a scoreless fourth. 4 3 1 1 1 7 so far, 73 pitches. Not at his sharpest, but 11 swings and misses plus another 11 called strikes. 2:21 Kevin Goldstein: After a couple of hard contacts, Woodruff comes back to whiff Polanco, setting him up nicely with 0-2 slider out followed by 97 up and in. 2:22 Hammered Hank: My initial grade for Jay when it comes to movies is a 60. Glad I’m not the only one who has no interest in Field of Dreams. Bad News Bears remake with Billy Bob Thornton was solid as well. The Sandlot, and 61 are strong candidates, as well as Major League. 2:22 Jay Jaffe: I’ve actually never seen the Sandlot, it was after my time as a kid. Will watch it when mine is old enough. Did like 61*. As for Bad News Bears, I’d rather watch the uneven sequels than the remake, which was passable but not as much fun. 2:23 Dodger Fan: It *feels* like Cole is throwing a lot more changeups than he used to today. 2:23 Jay Jaffe: 15% today which is about triple his normal rate 2:24 Jay Jaffe: he’s got an average of 10.2 mph of separation between the four-seamer and changeup, too. 2:23 Guest: How close can Daulton Jeffries’ command get to what Kyle Hendricks has? 2:23 Kevin Goldstein: Kyle Hendricks has 80 command. EIGHTY. Jeffries can really locate, but no need to compare him to the king of command. 2:24 Pirates Hurdles: and he walks 1st batter lol 2:24 David Laurila: Adam Frazier hit .488 this spring. He just walked to lead off game for Bucs. 2:24 Kevin Goldstein: fantastic! 2:24 Kevin Goldstein: It’s 34 degrees here, same rules apply to DET/CLE game. 2:25 asnbrv: anything short of a .400BA season is a disappointment for Kevin Newman right? 2:26 Hammered Hank: Jefferies and Puk were optioned today. I guess that means Irvin wins the rotation spot? I thought Jefferies had it in the bag. 2:26 Kevin Goldstein: Cole Irvin really looked good this spring. It’s just spring, but . . . 2:26 David Laurila: K’ Bryan Hayes goes deep! 2:26 David Laurila: Ke’Bryan that is. 2:27 Pirates Hurdles: Hayes!!! 2:27 Guest: I don’t want to be a homer and over-react, but I think Hayes might be pretty good. 2:27 The 6ix: How many people are on this chat? 2:27 David Laurila: 289 at the moment. 2:27 Kevin Goldstein: Two on, two out for Woodruff who is up to 21 pitches in the first. Struggling to command the offspeed. 2:27 Brian CashGod: How does the Jim Bouton biography compare to Ball Four? 2:28 Jay Jaffe: You can’t really compare the two directly. There’s absolutely no way the bio could be as earth-shaking as Ball Four was. But it’s a very quick ready for a 350-pager. One of the many things that Nathanson does well is make clear that Bouton, with his outspokenness and outsider perspective, was practically working towards the book even before he was a professional. He also does a great job of tracing the legacy of the book, and made me appreciate the extent to which Ball Four helped to create free agency because his notes on the Yankees’ attempts to strong-arm him at contract time were accepted as evidence in Messersmith-McNally. 2:28 Moltar: League of Their Own is the only truly great baseball movie. 2:28 Fungo Jerry: I saw Sugar on the big screen in NYC back when it came out. When we exited, on the escalator in front of me were Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. 2:30 Jay Jaffe: Both good movies, for very different reasons. I have a friend who spent years working for Robbins and Sarandon, to the point that I sat at the same table as her at my friend’s wedding reception. Didn’t get much conversation out of her (Robbins was not in attendance, can’t recall if they had split by then). 2:29 Kevin Goldstein: A 4-3 from Kepler and Woodruff gets out of it on 23 pitches. 2:31 Dodger Fan: Maeda time! 2:31 David Laurila: My Cy Young pick. 2:32 Kevin Goldstein: Josh Donaldson pulled up on his double in the first inning and has now left the game. Ugh. 2:34 David Laurila: Rocco Baldelli said in today’s pregame media session that if Donaldson stays healthy, the Twins are going to be really good this year. 2:35 bosoxforlife: How concerned are you gentlemen with the fact that there has already been a game postponed by Covid-19? 2:35 Jay Jaffe: Eh, not very. It’s awkward because it’s such a marquee game but last year when the Marlins and Cardinals had their outbreaks, the do’s and dont’s were less ingrained, there was no vaccine and not even much in the way of therapeutic options, so when anybody got the virus it was a scarier proposition. This time around, a % of players and others have already gotten at least one dose of vaccines, so if there are outbreaks, I think they’ll be less threatening overall. 2:35 Estevão: the Twins are really good 2:36 David Laurila: I think the White Sox are the best in the division, but the Twins are close. 2:36 Jay Jaffe: ugh on Donaldson getting injured 2:37 Jay Jaffe: Donaldson is a guy who entered last season needing everything to go write to have any shot at a HOF career and … he played just 28 games and now this. 2:39 Kevin Goldstein: K, K, 4-3 first inning for Maeda, who looked VERY sharp, as he did all spring. 2:40 Brian CashGod: Are players going to be pressuring holdouts to get vaccinated? Given the potential impact on teams competitiveness, scheduling chaos, and the health of others on the team I’d hope so, but I could also see some tense clubhouse situations ensuing. 2:40 Kevin Goldstein: The biggest pressure players are going to feel are the MLB rules that really loosen the restrictions for teams that get to 85%. 2:40 Kevin Goldstein: Players ABSOLUTELY HATED road life last year, so that’s a real factor for them. 2:42 Dave: Jay, do you think COVID era players will get an adjustment in HOF voters minds like wartime players? 2:42 Jay Jaffe: I think it’s inevitable that voters will become somewhat accustomed to filling in the gaps in careers when it comes to the shortened season (which is hopefully a one-shot deal) They’ve done all right when it comes to the 1981 and ’94 strike years (Jeff Bagwell getting in, for one), and nobody is going to forget having lived through the last year when it comes to appreciating the obstacles baseball players faced. 2:43 David Laurila: I won’t be surprised if this is Matthew Boyd’s final inning. Maybe another if he gets the last two outs on just a handful of pitches. 2:43 fake baseball fan: Rizzo RBI double 2:45 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, it was just a double, but the Cubs have the bases loaded with one out down 2-0 in the bottom of the first. 2:45 biggs: if a player on a team that hits 85 % does not get vaccinated, are the rules restricted for that player as well? it seems like yes but that this would still have potential issues. 2:45 Jay Jaffe: My understanding is that the easing of restrictions is directed at vaccinated players, THEY can eat and drink on flights and gather indoors, but the ones not vaxed don’t get such privileges. Summarized here https://apnews.com/article/mlb-baseball-coronavirus-pandemic-games-car… 2:46 Brian CashGod: first review of the year in NYY / TOR? 2:46 Kevin Goldstein: We are in review in Detroit as well on a bang bang play at first. 2:47 Jay Jaffe: Frazier called afe at first as Vlad Jr’s foot pulled off the bag on a throw from Biggio at 3B. Call stands. 2:47 5 Run Homer: These Bally Sports scorebugs are brutal 2:48 Jay Jaffe: Great diving stop by Semien on a DJLM grounder saved a run and got Ryu out of the inning 2:48 David Laurila: “Bally’s is bad for baseball” is alliteration. 2:48 Jay Jaffe: Ryu 5 3 2 2 1 5, 86 pitches, one he’d like to have back. 10 swings and misses, 7 called strikes. 2:49 Kevin Goldstein: I feel like I don’t pay attention or get bothered by broadcast stuff nearly as much as most of you do. 2:49 Jay Jaffe: it’s tough to listen to a broadcast and chat, at the very least 2:51 Kevin Goldstein: Ah, another first of the year as Cubs fans get way too excited by an easy fly ball to left field from Joc. Still, it’s a sac fly and Cubs trail 2-1. 2:51 Jay Jaffe: Chad Green warming up for the Yankees so this could be Cole’s last one 2:52 Jay Jaffe: Gets the call on Bichette with a slier in the dirt 2:52 Jay Jaffe: and Teoscar follows by tying the game up on the next pitch, wow 2:52 Kevin Goldstein: Singles by Garcia and Shaw and Brewers have something cooking in the second…. 2:54 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: 110.3 off the bat for Teoscar. 2:54 Jay Jaffe: 110.3 mph EV and 437 feet projected on that homer 2:55 Guest: Why’d you get rid of Teoscar ? 2:55 Kevin Goldstein: Thought he was a fourth outfielder, needed a lefty pen arm. Was wrong. 2:55 Kevin Goldstein: Boyd squashes a mini Cleveland rally and Tigers still up 3-0 at the midpoint. 2:56 David Laurila: Five scoreless innings for Boyd, and at 83 pitches his day is almost certainly done. 2:56 Jay Jaffe: And that’s it for Cole, with Green coming in 2:56 The 6ix: Teoscar is a breakout candidate if he stays healthy. 2:57 Jay Jaffe: Teoscar done broke out last year 2:57 David Laurila: Not an unreasonable take. 2:57 Jay Jaffe: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/oblique-strain-interrupts-teoscar-hernande… 2:57 Jay Jaffe: those last 2 hitters, the homer to Teoscar and the walk to Vlad Jr. really took the shine off a nice first outing by Cole. 2:58 Simon G: Thoughts on Boyd this year? Bounce back candidate? 2:58 David Laurila: Looked solid today. Should be better, yes. 2:58 Jay Jaffe: With Britton and Wilson out, Green’s importance to the Yankees right now can’t be understated. He comes in, throws one pitch, and gets the 5-4-3 double play. 2:59 Jay Jaffe: Still 2-2. 3:01 dupu: Jay, re: BBWAA voters and shortened seasons, there is only one particular case which may have been maligned by the shortened 1994 season and that’s Fred McGriff. 3:01 Jay Jaffe: That would have been almost entirely milestone driven, though. By JAWS, McGriff is a pretty underwhelming candidate and would not get my vote, though I understand why he’ll get in via the Era Committees. 3:02 Jay Jaffe: Aaron Judge, still not hitting the first homer of the season. but he’s on the board with his first hit 3:03 Ryan S: With Boyd, Skubal and Mize, It wouldn’t be out of the realm that the Tigers steal more games than people expect right? 3:03 David Laurila: Better than the projected 71 wins IMO. 3:05 Guest: So, while nothing else is going on, you guys have any reactions you’re willing to share to the Lindor contract? 3:05 Jay Jaffe: Seems like a pretty fair deal. Big number, but might have cost even more with a more representative season (his 2020 wasn’t great with the bat, but there’s any one of a number of reasons to wave that off). Cohen put himself in the position of needing to get it done, but he did it. It’s a new era for Mets fans. 3:07 CoryMC: I was surprised how ZiPS isn’t buying Teoscar’s breakout. 3:07 Jay Jaffe: a 60-game season only has so much power to turn the projections for any player. I’d take the over on a 108 wRC+ and 1.8 WAR 3:09 David Laurila: And I was wrong on Boyd. He’s back for the sixth on 83 pitches despite an arduous fifth. 3:09 Blue Morpho: Bieber 10k already 3:10 Fangraph’s Lurker: Kim, Andrus, Simmons, or A Rosario. Who has the better year? 3:10 David Laurila: Rosario. 3:10 fake baseball fan: Acuna flies out to kick off ATL-PHI 3:11 Kevin Goldstein: Two out two on for the Twins. Woodruff has been a bit messy. Just out stuffing guys. 3:11 Kevin Goldstein: WIld pitch or passed ball and Twins lead 1-0. 3:12 Waffles: Is Bieber the successor to DeGrom for the zero run support crown 3:13 David Laurila: The 2021 Indians aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees, so it’s quite possible. 3:14 Kevin Goldstein: Kepler RBI single to CF, Twins suddenly up 2-0. Changeup. 3:14 Drew Haugen: With Kuhl almost coming close to a Kyle Hendricks-like injury at first, I continue you to scratch my head at why in the world we still don’t have a DH. 3:14 Appa Yip Yip: Teoscar’s last 78 games in 2019 were just as good, so it’s 138 games but projection systems are conservative and now we all get to feel smarter than dan’s dumb computer 3:14 Jay Jaffe: Projection systems generally don’t capture the sequencing of a season even though there may be a very real reason for a point of inflection after which a player improves or declines — injury/health, new pitch, mechanical adjustment, etc. The computer sees a full season with its modest production instead of two very different halves. 3:14 Estevão: how long until Zaidi can call the Giants his roster 3:14 Kevin Goldstein: He’s there. 3:16 Kevin Goldstein: Woodruff outstuffs Buxton to end the inning, but it got a bit ugly there. Twins up 2-0. 3:16 Jay Jaffe: Posey, Belt, Cueto, and Crawford are all heading into their final seasons before free agency, or at least club options. The roster may look VERY different next year 3:16 biggs: what did cubs do right with hendricks and why cant they replicate it? 3:16 Kevin Goldstein: Again, it’s crazy good command (not today). Tough to teach that. 3:18 5 Run Homer: What happens with Posey when his contract is up? The idea of him anywhere but SF is upsetting 3:19 Jay Jaffe: I suspect he and the Giants work something out and he’ll stay, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he retires. His body ain’t what it used to be. 3:19 Drew Haugen: What’s yall’s favorite opening day moment or memory? 3:19 Kevin Goldstein: Tuffy Rhodes? 3:20 Pobrecito: Maybe they got Davies because he’s Hendricks 3:20 David Laurila: Davies is underrated. 3:20 Drew Haugen: Thoughts on the magnificent kicks Bryce Harper was wearing? 3:20 Jay Jaffe: Cut4 @Cut4 Bryce Harper has the best cleats on #OpeningDay 1 Apr 2021 3:20 Jay Jaffe: whoa 3:21 Kevin Goldstein: He might be, but comparing Davies to Hendriks is some serious wishcasting. 3:21 Dodger Fan: Kershaw’s CGSO and go-ahead home run is super memorable 3:21 Kevin Goldstein: Great one. 3:21 Jay Jaffe: that was a great Opening Day 3:22 Estevão: Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu will regress from what they did in 2020 (short season). how much? 3:22 Jay Jaffe: 11.23456%. Again, it’s really optimistic to expect that a great 60-game stretch is suddenly representative of what we can expect from a player going forward. Both will be above-average, i think, but I don’t see either as being MVP candidates. 3:23 David Laurila: Bryan Reynolds just got a hustle single on a ground ball into the 3-4 hole with the 2B playing super deep 3:24 Dodger Fan: Fried hits Realmuto, and the bases are loaded in Philly 3:24 Jeremy: Phils have the bases loaded with 1 out and Bohm coming up in the bottom of the 1st. 3:25 Jay Jaffe: And Gary Sanchez throws out Grichuk trying to steal for the 3rd out of the 7th inning, dealing yet another blow to the haters 3:25 Kevin Goldstein: Gary Sanchez hitting bombs, throwing dudes out. It’s Gary day! 3:25 David Laurila: Kyle Hendricks is issuing walks and Brandon Workman is warming. 3:26 Jay Jaffe: Lindsey Adler @lindseyadler A home run, throwing out a runner. The Garrative is off to a positive start. 1 Apr 2021 3:26 Jay Jaffe: The Garrative! 3:26 David: Any idea on when we will find out who the ineligible Nats players are and how long they will be out? 3:26 Kevin Goldstein: At the latest when they have to announce a roster… 3:26 Jeremy: Sac fly, Phils up 1-0. Cutch just beats Ozuna’s throw. 3:26 dfabe: got a 3.9 on Reynolds down the line 3:27 Drew Haugen: OZUNA CAUGHT A FLY BALL LET’S GO! 3:27 Kevin Goldstein: It’s the little things that excite on Opening Day 3:29 Appa Yip Yip: Reese McGuire was DFA’d, will the Jays find a trade partner or will he go on waivers and get snagged by the first team that isn’t trying to win? Cash considerations/PTBNL? 3:29 Kevin Goldstein: If they find a trade partner it will likely just be for a few $$$ more than the claim price. 3:31 5 Run Homer: I always forget every winter how little I trust every bullpen, and am rudely reminded of this on opening day every year 3:31 Kevin Goldstein: No bigger nightmare for any front office than the bullpen. 3:32 Kevin Goldstein: HBP for Yelich and a little infield squib by Avasail and suddenly Milwaukee has the bases loaded with two outs for Travis Shaw. 3:34 Dodger Fan: Anyone else’s MLB.TV just cut out? 3:35 Kevin Goldstein: I’ve been golden all day. 3:36 Guest: Kevin, you have a golden stein for drinking beer? 3:36 Kevin Goldstein: Don’t even like the stuff. That’s Jay’s territory. 3:36 Jay Jaffe: Yankees have something going in the bottom of the 7th with singles by Sanchez and Frazier 3:37 Kevin Goldstein: Fun AB with Maeda vs. Shaw and bases loaded. Just fouled off a 3-2 breaker. Limited crowd is being as loud as they can. 3:38 Kevin Goldstein: Shaw walks on 8th pitch of the AB. Really great AB. Twins lead cut to 2-1. 3:38 David Laurila: bases-loaded battle between Shaw and Maeda won by the former, who walks, 3:38 David: If no beer, then what is your drink of choice? 3:39 Kevin Goldstein: Bourbon, but it’s still light out, so just diet coke today. 3:39 Jay Jaffe: Seltzer with a splash of grapefruit juice is my general nonalcoholic drink of choice 3:39 Kevin Goldstein: FANCY. 3:39 Jay Jaffe: Aaron Judge up with the bases loaded and one out 3:40 Jay Jaffe: versus David Phelps 3:40 Kevin Goldstein: split screen time! 3:40 Jay Jaffe: Helped me cut waaaaaay down on soda, Kevin 3:40 Jay Jaffe: and stopped my scurvy 3:40 Jay Jaffe: 2-0 to Judge, and Old Friend David “Phelpsie” Phelps is in a bad place 3:42 Kevin Goldstein: Maede suddenly having real trouble finding the zone. but works his way back to 3-2 count. 3:42 Jay Jaffe: wow, Phelps gets a strike and then gets Judge to ground into a 5-4-3 DP 3:42 Jay Jaffe: inning over, still 2-2 3:42 Kevin Goldstein: oh Aaron! 3:42 Jay Jaffe: Glad my kid didn’t see that one 3:42 Dodger Fan: Judge takes a cookie 3:42 Jay Jaffe: Judge is her favorite player to the extent that she has one 3:42 Kevin Goldstein: Maeda up to 60 pitches in the 3rd. 3:42 Jay Jaffe: Maeda lotta pitches 3:42 David Laurila: If you give a mouse a cookie… 3:43 Kevin Goldstein: Someone’s up in the pen. Missed who it was. 3:43 Kevin Goldstein: 5-3 for Cain and it’s 2-1 Twins after 3. 3:44 Jay Jaffe: Jonathan Loaisiga now on for the Yankees. They think very highly of him as a late-inning arm 3:46 Kevin Goldstein: Currently nobody is on base in any of the five active games. 3:47 David (formerly Sonoma State): Do people find the K-zone box beneficial or more distracting than anything else? 3:47 Kevin Goldstein: I try to ignore it. Often innaccurate. 3:48 Tommy: Do you guys do any wagers on baseball from to time? 3:48 Jay Jaffe: I’m much more likely to look at the zone diagram on Gameday via my computer or phone 3:48 Arthur: Thoughts on the Reds? As annoyingly quiet as the off-season was, I’m looking at the roster and feeling weirdly hopeful. Expecting some BABIP upward regression too. 3:48 Kevin Goldstein: Other than a friendly wager for a burrito once in a while, no. 3:48 David Laurila: The BABIP somehow being lower than last year would b quit the story. 3:49 Jay Jaffe: A friend and I have a standard put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is bet of a sushi dinner but it’s rarely invoked. I would never bet through a betting service and i hate the fact that MLB is now in bed with the betting industry 3:49 Kevin Goldstein: A final line for Hendricks of 3 4 3 3 3 4 on 63 pitches vs. Pittsburgh was not what I was expecting. 3:50 David: What is it that you have against actual betting? 3:50 Jay Jaffe: 1-2-3 for Loaisiga in the 8th and now Rafael Dolis is on for the Blue Jays 3:50 Kevin Goldstein: Me? Nothing. I’m a degenerate poker player, just don’t do sports. 3:52 Kevin Goldstein: Two-out RBI single by contact machine Luis Arraez and Twins are up 3-1. He’s just fun to watch. 3:53 David Laurila: Baseball should stay as far away from gambling as possible. 3:54 Kevin Goldstein: Walking Hicks to start the 8th in New York is probably a bad strategy. 3:54 Kevin Goldstein: Freddy Peralta, KG 2021 breakout candidate, warming up in Milwaukee. 3:54 Jay Jaffe: Freddy Peralta on his 5th straight season as a breakout candidate? 3:55 Kevin Goldstein: THIS TIME IT’S FOR REAL, JAY. 3:56 Steve: David, I’m curious to hear your reasoning about why baseball should stay away from gambling. Is it because you view gambling as a dangerous pastime for fans, or because you see it as a threat to the integrity of the game? 3:56 David Laurila: The latter, 3:57 David Laurila: People have right to lose (or win) money as they like. 3:58 Kevin Goldstein: When I worked in baseball, we got an annual memo about gambling on baseball (don’t), playing any kind of daily fantasy game (don’t), etc. 3:58 Blue Morpho: Ricky Vaughn, I mean James Karinchak, in for Cleveland. Top 5 reliever this season? 3:58 Kevin Goldstein: No. It’s super fun stuff, but sub 40 command of it. 3:58 Dodger Fan: Dodgers@Rockies will be on ESPN2 (and SNLA) while the Jays-Yanks game continues 3:59 Drew Haugen: Unleash the Rhys! 4:00 Steve: Kevin, Is there encouragement to turn in people who violate the policies, or is it self-policed? 4:00 Kevin Goldstein: Honestly don’t remember. The annual PED memo highly encouraged turn ins. 4:00 Jay Jaffe: and yet you were stacking deca for eight years and are now just ripped 4:01 Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely SHREDDED 4:01 Kevin Goldstein: How ’bout Dolis bouncing back there? 4:01 Jay Jaffe: Dolis works around a leadoff walk to Hicks to keep the Yankees at bay 4:02 Dan Szymborski: Yo! 4:02 Jay Jaffe: DAN 4:02 Dan Szymborski: JAY 4:02 Dan Szymborski: How is the baseballary? 4:03 Jay Jaffe: it is a wonderful day for baseball, Nats outbreak notwithstanding 4:03 Kevin Goldstein: I read that as “Baseball Larry” 4:03 Tony Wolfe: Hi everyone. I notice there’s baseball on TV? 4:03 Jay Jaffe: TONY 4:03 Dan Szymborski: The Lucchino nickname that never took hold 4:03 David Laurila: The B-team has arrived! 4:04 Dan Szymborski: B is for…BADASS 4:04 Kevin Goldstein: or Boolean 4:04 David Laurila: Or BS-team, maybe. 4:04 Dan Szymborski: 4:04 Dodger Fan: It’s time for Dodger Baseball! 4:04 Jay Jaffe: the relievers are here, and with that, it’s time for me to hit the showers, figuratively speaking. It’s been wonderful to chat with FG readers and colleagues today — enjoy the rest of the games! 4:04 David (formerly Sonoma State): The up and in fastball has to be the most entertaining pitch/location to see, right? 4:05 Tony Wolfe: I prefer to think of us as today’s followers 4:05 Tony Wolfe: The Ryan Yarbrough of chatters, if you will 4:05 Brian CashGod: did anyone else just see the Stanton as a superhero graphic on YES? That was amazing 4:05 Drew Haugen: I’m just seeing this. Why is Jake Odorizzi in Triple-A? Injury? 4:05 Kevin Goldstein: Don’t need him until later, can have an extra reliever. 4:05 David Laurila: I’ll bow out myself. As they say, too many cooks… 4:06 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, it’s a paperwork move 4:07 Kevin Goldstein: Oh, Gleyber…. 4:07 Jeremy: Phils go up 2-0 on an infield dribbler, but Harper gets thrown out trying to go first to third on it. Call might be overturned tho. 4:07 Andrew: The older I get the more fielding just looks like sorcery. 4:07 Dan Szymborski: oh god the queue is daunting!@ 4:08 CoryMC: Take that ZiPS! 4:09 Jim: Padres, most fun team in the league? 4:09 Dan Szymborski: They’re my pick 4:09 Dodger Fan: This Dodgers roster is insanity. I don’t say that to brag, I just say it in awe. 4:09 Daunted House: Boo! Lean Data Type 4:09 Dan Szymborski: Well, it’s not lean body type! 4:09 Cakes&Kakes: It’s not Spring Training for Chats anymore, Dan. 4:10 Dan Szymborski: FIT AS A FIDDLE BECAUSE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS GET A LOT OF EXERCISE 4:10 KyleKam: Sanchez framing that pitch about 24 inches above where it hit the glove probably didn’t help sell that it actually grazed the bottom of the zone. 4:10 Kevin Goldstein: Roberto Perez with a two-run shot in the ninth off Gregory Soto and it’s suddenly interesting in Detroit. 3-2 Tigers with one out in the ninth. 4:12 CricketFan: Dan, have you had a chance to watch the Test match between West Indies and Sri Lanka? I feel like you would be a fan of West Indies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall. 4:12 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t really watched cricket except for Monty Python sketches involving cricket 4:13 Kevin Goldstein: Soto gets a second out, but then walks Ben Gamel… 4:14 Derek: How do you pronounce Leutge? 4:14 Kevin Goldstein: Lit-key 4:14 Julius: Duane Underwood Jr. strikes out the side. Former Cub, waived before the season, playing against them on opening day. 4:17 Kevin Goldstein: Hernandez pops out, Detroit wins 3-2, and THE DETROIT TIGERS HAVE THE BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL. 4:17 Tony Wolfe: Arenado’s first Cardinals AB happening now with Goldy at second and one out. 4:17 Drew Haugen: Anyone else’s Dodgers game look really blue? 4:17 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, there does seem to be a tint too it. 4:18 Milwaukee BeerJays: DAN! I’m having a homemade chicken sando for lunch. Artichoke-truffle spread on BOTH pieces of bread. Opening yay! 4:20 Kevin Goldstein: Yankees/Blue Jays going to the bottom of the ninth, knotted up at 2-2. Sanchez/Bruce/Frazier coming up. 4:21 Tony Wolfe: Jeff Passan is reporting that David Fletcher and the Angels have a five-year, $26-million extension in place. Two club options. 4:21 Kevin Goldstein: Bad start for Suarez at SS for the Reds. Ole play on a Molina ground ball and Cardinals are quickly up 3-0 in the first. 4:22 Dan Szymborski: What odds do you give Kevin that Suarez isn’t terrible at short over a whole season? 4:22 Kevin Goldstein: and now Dylan Carlson goes deep and the Cardinals are up 6-0 in the first. 4:22 Kevin Goldstein: Dan: very very low. 4:22 Zo: Justin Turner should be suspended any day there’s even a single player missing time in COVID protocol, is my opinion. 4:22 Kevin Goldstein: This reminds me of the Mets putting Howard Johnson at short in the late 80s. 4:22 5 Run Homer: That seems real cheap for Fletcher 4:22 Dan Szymborski: Probably too extreme! But he should have gotten an Opening Day suspension IMO 4:23 Dan Szymborski: Didn’t they do that with big Sid on the mound? 4:23 Dan Szymborski: Or were those the Kevin Mitchell games/ 4:23 Depressed: You know the pandemic broke your spirit when not even baseball makes you happy anymore 4:23 Kevin Goldstein: Played 73 games there in 1990 4:23 Dan Szymborski: I’m sorry 🙁 4:23 BunkMcNultys: Spirited debate on the Opening Day text thread. Better name: Rowdy Tellez or Jazz Chisholm 4:23 Tony Wolfe: Gotta be Rowdy 4:23 Dan Szymborski: God, I didn’t remember he played THAT many games there 4:24 Derek: Wait didn’t the Brewers announce Freddy Peralta had a rotation spot? Or did I imagine that? 4:24 Moltar: How is Senzel not a better option at short than Suarez? 4:24 Kevin Goldstein: He’s the fifth starter, but they won’t need one for a bit. 4:25 Tony Wolfe: Reds tried him there in the minors but gave up on it pretty quickly. Think they’d like to commit to him in center long term, with Suarez moving over as a short-term fix. 4:25 Schadenfreude: Love watching the away feed, listening to the color guy hype the home SP, and POW 6 runs 4:25 Sgt. Pepper: If you could combine any players first name and any players last name to produce the ultimate name, who would you choose. 4:26 Kevin Goldstein: Sanchez walk, Tauchman PR and steals a base. Yankees have man on second no outs in bottom of the ninth. 4:26 Dan Szymborski: Can there be nicknames too? I wanna be Cannonball Dickshot 4:26 5 Run Homer: Romano just tore Jansen’s mitt on a fastball 4:26 Flama Blanca: When are Witt and Rutchman up? 4:27 Tony Wolfe: My guess is August-ish this year 4:27 Wood: Fly balls are absolutely dying in Philly. Probably the wind but maybe the ball? 4:28 Dan Szymborski: NE wind in Philly today which at CBP means it’s blow in from right 4:28 Brian CashGod: YES broadcast had a shocking stat – Yankees haven’t had a walk-off win on Opening Day since 1957 4:29 Kevin Goldstein: Tauchman steals third now. Romano seemingly indifferent to the runner. 4:32 Paul Sporer: Helloooo everyone! 4:32 Paul Sporer: Wow what a play at home in New York 4:32 Kevin Goldstein: Early count aggression from DLM does not pay off. 4:32 Dan Szymborski: Does a pitcher who throws nine perfect innings and then pitching in the bottom of the tenth, the runner starting on second steals third and home, get a perfect game loss? 4:33 Tony Wolfe: Gotta say, the flurries of snow outside my window all day have looked really weird next to the Opening Day baseball on my TV. 4:33 Dan Szymborski: MLB’s rule specifies “no *batter* reaches any base.” 4:33 Kretin: Dan! Say something about David Fletcher being extended! 4:33 Dan Szymborski: It’s fine! 4:33 Dan Szymborski: Do you want me to overturn a table? Make the Rockies do something! 4:33 5 Run Homer: Cavan Biggio, Third Baseman has looked good so far 4:34 Paul Sporer: Great play by him. The decisiveness was huge 4:34 Appa Yip Yip: Nevermind baseball is great 4:34 pants: @sporer shocker with Reyes in STL right? 4:34 Dan Szymborski: My low-key favorite thing about last season was when they started letting people back in but there were still cardboard cutouts, real people had to see cardboard cutouts with better seats than they got 4:34 BunkMcNultys: slider slider slider SMOKE 4:35 pants: Perfect game going into the 10th, that would be a fourth time through the lineup is that allowed in today’s game? 4:35 Paul Sporer: Not entirely. They want Hicks in the role, but they were always going to work him into it, so I think this is OK 4:35 Kevin Goldstein: Wow. Judge whiffs and we are going to the tenth. 4:35 Paul Sporer: WOW what a strikeout by Romano! 4:35 Dan Szymborski: Theoretically of course! Max Scherzer might murder someone if pulled from a perfect game 4:36 Kevin Goldstein: Lo Cain singles but it’s too hard for the Brewers to score. Bases loaded for Milwaukee with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, down 3-1 to MIN. Narvaez vs. Duffey… 4:38 pants: What does it take for relievers who excel in high leverage situations to start to get paid like closers in arbitration? 4:39 Paul Sporer: Just a complete restructuring of what arbiters value. I’m not sure if they get a directive from MLB on what’s valuable, but yeah, saves still pay which is kinda silly 4:39 Flama Blanca: Gausman gonna bring it today, Paul? 4:39 Paul Sporer: I think so. Great Opening Day matchup! 4:39 Kevin Goldstein: Narvaez flares a single to left to score one, Brewers get greedy and send Shaw who is out by a MILE. Inning still going. First and second two outs for Vogelbach. 4:39 CoryMC: Jays take the lead from a Grichuk double! 4:39 Kevin Goldstein: Meanwhile Grichuk drives an RBI double for Toronto and they lead 3-2. 4:42 Kevin Goldstein: Wait? Texas scored five in the first? and the Royals have already scored one in the bottom half and have the bases loaded with no outs? 4:43 Tony Wolfe: Another error for Suarez, also moving to his right, but this time on a throw. 4:43 Kevin Goldstein: Ugh. 4:43 biggs: He had a nice pick though. 4:44 Travis: If you’re going to have Danny Jansen bunt, why not just pinch hit Alejandro Kirk? 4:46 Kevin Goldstein: Gibson has walked three straight, 5-2, still no outs, Gibson at 23 pitches. Meanwhile, Yankees head to the bottom of the tenth down 3-2. Fun games so far! 4:47 Dan Szymborski: I think they’ll play Votto at short before Senzel 4:47 BaseballizBack!: I have 9 games going at once. Yes, it’s too much, and yes, I’m going to keep watching them all. BASEBALL 4:48 Kevin Goldstein: I have no idea how you can do that. Two is my max. 4:48 Tony Wolfe: I really wish that my MLB dot tv Roku app allowed for two or more games going on one screen. One of very few things I prefer about football season 4:48 Kevin Goldstein: mlb.tv apple tv app allows it! 4:50 5 Run Homer: Merryweather’s FB is 97, and his CH is 80. That’ll play 4:51 Kevin Goldstein: Merry go round in KC. Isbel RBI single in debut AB. 5-3 Texas, still loaded, one one. Gibson at 31 pitches. 4:51 Paul Sporer: Whattya think of Isbel, KG? 4:52 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a 4th OF feel for me. 4:52 Kevin Goldstein: Taylor singles and it’s 5-4, still loaded and Gibson is out of the game with one helluva ERA still TBD. 4:54 Milwaukee BeerJays: The real question remains: what are you fellas having for lunch? 4:54 Tony Wolfe: I have brats thawing to throw on a bit later, which I’m very excited about. 4:55 Kevin Goldstein: I had leftover pork and leek soup, and we’re gonna get something delivered tonight. 4:55 Dan Szymborski: I had half of a leftover italian sub from yesterday 4:55 Sean: I was trying to find a good comp for Lindor to see how he might age. Closest I felt was Trammel. Maybe Larkin. Watcha think? 4:55 Kevin Goldstein: Wow. Julian Merrywhether with a fantastic tenth inning, striking out the side and the Jays come back and win 3-2. 4:55 5 Run Homer: Julian Merryweather is a bad, bad man 4:55 Dan Szymborski: This seems like something I should open ZiPS for! 4:55 CoryMC: Blue Jays might have their super reliever if Merryweather can sustain that. 4:55 5 Run Homer: 11 pitches and 3 Ks 4:56 Kevin Goldstein: And with the 1pm games over, I’m out. Thanks for hanging with us and I’m sure you’ll be entertained the rest of the day! 4:56 Tony Wolfe: Now that the Yankees and Jays are over I can pull up the Rangers/Royals game to satisfy my morbid curiosity 4:56 Tony Wolfe: Thanks for hanging out, Kevin! 4:57 Henry: Who had Merryweather getting the Jays first save? 4:57 Kevin Goldstein: I might come back for a bit during the late games. MIGHT. 4:57 Paul Sporer: Probably Collette, that’s his dude all season 4:57 Paul Sporer: Take care, KG 4:57 Milwaukee BeerJays: Thanks Kevin 4:57 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS says Miguel Tejada 4:57 Dan Szymborski: offensively 4:58 Henry: Royals just batted around in the first inning. 4:58 Jacob: Do you all think Beni is able to turn it around in KC (get back to being a really good fantasy OF)? He had a really strong start to his career. 4:58 Dan Szymborski: I’m mildly optimistic 4:58 Zach: Have you ever seen what just happened in the Dodgers game 4:58 Dan Szymborski: IMA TRYING TO GET THERE 4:58 Rusty: That Bellinger home run/non home run is crazy 4:59 LFC Mike: A question for the esteemed panel. There are still some here with drafts to do… best injured pitcher to take a chance on Soroka, Framber Valdez or Gallen? 4:59 Dodger Fan: Bellinger passed Turner on the base paths because Turner thought Tapia caught the homer lol 5:00 Tony Wolfe: Haven’t seen what Gallen’s exact timeline is supposed to be, but I think Valdez and Soroka are supposed to pitch by the end of the month? Given that, I’d say Valdez. 5:00 Dan Szymborski: dangit, my mom just called me to tell me she sees my trash can in the street. BRB (she lives across from me) 5:00 Tony Wolfe: Oh no! 5:01 Six Ten: Royals broadcast just said never before had both teams scored 4+ runs in the first inning on opening day. That’s one of those weird stats that sounds hard to believe but then you remember there have only been a couple thousand opening day games ever. 5:02 Walnuts: I’ve seen the rankings, but what do you think about Jordan Montgomery this season?! 5:03 Tony Wolfe: Dan made a case for Montgomery as a breakout candidate in this post: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/szymborskis-2021-breakout-candidates-pitch… 5:03 Dan Szymborski: Bellinger’s had some fun random promotional things 5:03 Dan Szymborski: A character in Assassin’s Creed, a Flonase commercial 5:04 brad penny for your thoughts: GARBAGE DAY! 5:04 Dan Szymborski: I don’t like the loanDepot commercial because I think it’s a capital I and Ioan Gruffudd is trying to lend me money 5:05 BunkMcNultys: Bellinger hits ball over wall for single to deep left, Turner goes back to first but scores, Bellinger out at first. 5:05 Chungus Khan: Merryweather no 2 waiver pick up this week? 5:05 Paul Sporer: No, I don’t think he’s the closer 5:05 Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t draft him if you still have a draft to go. Someone’s gonna get overexuberant 5:06 Paul Sporer: There is no RUSH to roster him as a closer. As a hybrid gem, there is some value in deeper leagues, but don’t go crazy 5:06 Dan Szymborski: If the season ends right now, Chris Owings is a star! 5:07 LFC Mike: Trash Pandas again Dan? 5:07 Dan Szymborski: No, wind I think 5:07 Dan Szymborski: My trash has been undisturbed on trash days since the wildlife guy removed that raccoon about 14 months ago 5:08 Dodger Fan: Squeeze play! 5:08 Rich C: Squeeze RBI single for Hampson 5:08 LFC Mike: even Trash Pandas would walk away from Skyline… 5:08 Dan Szymborski: I felt bad because in my locality, they can’t just set raccoons free. 5:08 Dan Szymborski: But I couldn’t have a raccoon in my attic. 5:08 Dan Szymborski: I’ve never said anything about the neighborhood possum because he just minds his own business and causes me no trouble. 5:09 Dan Szymborski: Thankfully the wildlife guy didn’t catch the possum, just the raccoons 5:09 Milwaukee BeerJays: Dan you’re like the Yankees In the 10th….CHASING GARBAGE 5:09 LFC Mike: Cats + Attic Raccoon = crazy sitcom antics 5:09 Dan Szymborski: You’d hear the raccoon a little every night around 7 PM and the cats would go crazy 5:10 Dan Szymborski: I thought it was a squirrel until I saw a raccoon jumping off my roof, which made it more urgent 5:10 Dan Szymborski: wildlife guy caught the raccoons with marshmallow and they patched up the hole made by sagging gutter in one spot 5:10 LFC Mike: was the raccoon depressed? 5:10 Dan Szymborski: The roof is not that high. It’s a bi level 5:11 Tony Wolfe: Brad Keller is just now coming out of the game for the Royals after giving up nine hits and two walks in 14 batters faced 5:11 Tony Wolfe: We have… a drive to left field by Nick Castellanos 5:12 Tony Wolfe: But that’ll make it a 7-3 ballgame. 5:15 Dodger Fan: Who will be speaking at Luis Castillo’s funeral? 5:15 Paul Sporer: Nick Pollack and I giving a joint eulogoy 5:16 Paul Sporer: eulogy* 5:16 Brian: Is it too much to ask MLB to provide a functioning streaming service for $130? Already broken on playstation… 5:16 CWess: Boomers everywhere standing in applause for Max Kepler’s double on a groundout to 3rd against the shift 5:17 Paul Sporer: No, not at all, but first day issues with any release of an online-based product should be given a liiittle leeway 5:17 Andrew: It’s “eugoogly”, I think 5:18 Paul Sporer: 5:18 Dan Szymborski: Bah, the garbage gan was *barely* in the street 5:18 tz: From the Fangraphs live 2021 leaderboard, Miggy Cabrera and Randal Grichuk are #1 and #2 in the majors in Clutch at this very moment. As it should be. 5:19 Guest: So Glasnow has a 88 MPH slider now, huh. Just made Aguilar look silly. 5:19 Dan Szymborski: I’m curious to see. I knew *what* Glasnow was up to, but I didn’t catch a spring game with him 5:20 Tony Wolfe: Man Barry Larkin is just awful on the Reds broadcast 5:21 CWess: Byron Buxton 111 mph on the HR (456 ft) — pretty good 5:21 Dodger Fan: Marquez finally made someone look silly 5:21 BunkMcNultys: Aaron nola straight up shoving in PHI 5:23 Kyle W: Nola is getting outs but a lot of these outs are getting smoked. I think Atlanta has 5 or 6 outs over 105 EV 5:24 Larkin: [Runner out by half-step] “Castillo … had a little more time than he thought” 5:24 Paul Sporer: Yeah ATL has 4 at 106+Austin Riley112.1Marcell Ozuna107.4Freddie Freeman106.2Max Fried105.8 5:24 Milwaukee BeerJays: How much do you guys think turf affects players willingness to sign in Toronto? Springer and Ryu got paaaaaaaaaid, and probably had to be??? 5:24 NF: Padres back to back HRs! (Hosmer and Myers) 5:24 Tony Wolfe: I think tax laws have a little more of an effect, right? 5:24 Travis: What’s going on with the Reds game? Castillo’s line looks awful but I’m not watching. 5:24 CWess: Slam Diego slammin — Wil Myers HR 5:26 Tony Wolfe: Castillo hasn’t been good, and the Cardinals have gotten several grounders to squeeze through the infield 5:26 Chip: Anyone having trouble with MLB.TV app on PS4. Currently showing I’m “a bit early” for every game 5:27 Castillo: 5-min review in the top 1st didn’t help. nor have the reds IF defense 5:27 Tony Wolfe: Their defense is going to be baaaaaaad this year 5:27 CWess: Senzel just flashed the leather in CF 5:28 Tony Wolfe: And might have hurt himself in the process 5:28 Aaron: Anyone worried about there being no baseball between 4-7 pacific. I’m sure the Royals and Rangers will still be playing during those hours 5:29 Tony Wolfe: oh god they started at 4:10 didn’t they? 5:29 Tony Wolfe: and are still in the bottom of the second? 5:30 BunkMcNultys: Marquez: 6 BBs, 6 hits allowed through 4. 1 Run 5:30 Jeremy: Crud. Kung Fu Panda homers off Nola, tie game in Philly. 5:30 Anonymous: YEAR OF THE PANDA 5:31 Kyle W: Riley out at 109 EV so its at 5 now anyways. 5:31 asnbrv: PANDAAAA 5:31 BunkMcNultys: Is at 3.0 WHIP good? 5:31 Dan Szymborski: It’s not…IDEAL 5:34 CWess: Spring training legend Tyler O’Neill with a HR 5:36 Tony Wolfe: think it’s time to turn on a not-reds game 5:40 Cakes&Kakes: Since we do the runner on second in extra innings thing now, is there a mercy rule for Cinci or KC? 5:40 Tony Wolfe: You’re awfully confident in the Rangers’ pitching staff being able to hold a three-run lead for seven innings 5:41 Chungus Khan: I had Keller and Gibson in a points league, -26.5 total. What a treat 5:41 BunkMcNultys: The new X stats on the statcast leaderboards are awesome. Congrats to the whole team 5:42 Dodger Fan: Michael Taylor! 5:43 Tony Wolfe: Couldn’t believe he took off running on that. Taylor hosed him and it wasn’t that close 5:44 Life’s Rich Hill Pageant: I just saw that Miggy in the snow homer and my mind is now blown! 5:44 LOVE GALLO: David Dahl is 9-11 on Opening Day! 5:44 Henry: Dodgers with 13 baserunners and one run 5:44 Dan Szymborski: Rockies Magic! 5:44 Milwaukee BeerJays: How much do you guys attribute the Padres resurgence with one David Cameron? 5:44 Dan Szymborski: I’m sure he’s done his part, but it’s a team effort 5:45 Dan Szymborski: Hard to attribute things to different people 5:47 BunkMcNultys: In my timeline, everything smart that the Padres do is a Dave Cameron decision and every smart thing the Rays is from a leaderboard sort from Jeff Sullivan. I don’t need evidence to support or refute this reality 5:47 BettsBellingerCaruso: To add to Dan’s point: I think the days of an individual GM being the “savior” are done, if it ever existed. It’s all about the organization. The same its true for many companies, the person at the top matters in terms of setting the culture & the goals but really it’s the collective FO effort & the organizational culture that really makes or breaks the player dev/scouting/baseball ops. 5:48 CWess: I still can’t believe the Rockies non-tendered Dahl…was $2.7M really too much? Seems like an almost no-risk high-reward play to keep him around. Could probably have been traded if he was healthy and good for 80 games 5:48 Tony Wolfe: The answer is, yes, for the Rockies, $2.7 million was indeed too much 5:49 LOVE GALLO: MICHAEL TAYLOR 5:49 Chungus Khan: taylor again! 5:49 DFABES: Very good point by Betts above.. So much goes on behind the scenes from even before a player is signed that influences their expectations and development within an org 5:50 Tony Wolfe: Britt Ghiroli is reporting that the Nationals have two additional likely positive tests, bringing their total to four, all players. 5:52 JJ: Any chance we see Austin Martin in the majors this year? 5:53 Tony Wolfe: There’s a small chance, yeah. I think it would require some injury issues Toronto would prefer to avoid, but if they’re in the thick of a pennant race I could see them making a move like that 5:53 Dodger Fan: Braves threatening 5:53 Tony Wolfe: Indeed, first and second with one out in the top of eight. 5:54 twayda: Saw this mentioned a few minutes ago, but wow is the statcast boxscore page an insane amount of information and really well formatted. Love it. 5:55 Stevie: Are the Mariners going to trade away Seager and Haniger to go all in their re-build? 5:55 Cakes&Kakes: Dan, when the Blue Jays win the WS are you prepared to shower Carson with great adulations and kiss his ring on bended knee? 5:55 Dan Szymborski: Never> I will assume that nefariousness was involved! 5:56 Tony Wolfe: Trading Haniger could make sense if he’s performing well but the team wants to get J-Rod and Kelenic started. Seager’s contract is going to make dealing him a lot more difficult 5:59 Tony Wolfe: Alvarado strikes out Pache to strand bases loaded and keep the Phillies and Braves tied in the eighth. He missed a bases-clearing XBH earlier in the AB by about three feet. 5:59 CWess: The Rockies non-tendered Dahl but are allowing Chi Chi Gonzalez to throw high-leverage innings. So, that’s dope 6:00 Guest: Byron Buxton matched his 2020 walk total in one game. 6:00 DFABES: Royals chipping away, down 1 6:00 Dodger Fan: Rockies have the lead 6:00 Reds positives: At least it seems at first glance that India can play competent 2B! 6:01 Tony Wolfe: India should be a nice defender in at least a couple of different spots. If you believe in his offensive renaissance at the alt-sites/spring training over the last year, he might actually live up to his draft billing 6:02 DFABES: Rockies have always done little non-sensical non-competitive moves. Like not having an AZL team despite having a full complex in Arizona already in place. Fully skipping instructs. etc 6:02 bucs_lose_again: Ketel Marte is back 6:02 CWess: Ketel Marte going bananas today 6:02 Dodger Fan: wtf Seager 6:02 Tony Wolfe: Big oops by Corey Seager leads to another Rockies run. Colorado’s up 4-2 in the fifth. 6:03 Jacques Pederson: Dodgers’ dynasty crumbling?????????? 6:04 Tony Wolfe: I’m not saying it’s time for Dodgers fans to panic 6:04 Tony Wolfe: But it’s time for Dodgers fans to panic 6:04 CWess: In all fairness, the Rockies have also done LARGE non-sensical non-competitive moves 6:05 Waffles: Does anyone have an idea what Angel Herandez is wearing on his hand 6:05 Dodger Fan: Oh shoot 6:05 BunkMcNultys: Wait. Are the Rangers/Royals averaging 40 minutes per inning? 6:05 Tony Wolfe: You could say that! 6:05 Dodger Fan: *panics* 6:07 Dan Szymborski: I believe Angel’s holding his cheatsheet 6:07 Dan Szymborski: 6:07 NF: For anyone like me who loves to hop between games and see what is happening, I recommend Stream Finder on BRef. Automatically switches you to high leverage situations, certain situations, or certain players based on what criteria you input 6:07 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t see that, it’ sactually a really cool idea! 6:07 Dan Szymborski: Wish we thought of it! 6:09 CWess: Christian Yelich at the plate as the tying run in the bottom of the 9th 6:09 Kvn: Comedy of errors in progress in this MIN/MIL game. 6:09 Dodger Fan: Alex Colome imploding 6:10 Tony Wolfe: Tying run at first, winning run at the plate for Milwaukee with one out in the ninth. 6:11 Dodger Fan: CLAYTON KERSHW IS 2 FOR 3 LOL 6:12 Kvn: The ole HBP, Pitcher tries to throw to 2nd on a nubber and sails it, and OF drops a fly ball blown save. 6:13 Tony Wolfe: Brewers tied it with a Travis Shaw double. 6:13 Jacques Pederson: The Reds-Cards game is in the bottom of the 5th at the 2hr mark. Baseball is back baby! 6:13 Matt: The Cubs are only down 2 , but they haven’t looked good. Strikeouts up and down their lineup, pitchers given up 11 walks. 6:13 John Jaso Jingle Heimer Schmidt: The Alex Colome regression is coming sooner than we all thought… 6:13 Dodger Fan: Travis Shaw Travis Shaw Travis Shaw 6:14 Richard: Love the expected stats on the site. How hard would it be to create and post a xwRC+? I find wRC+ so much easier for quick comparison than wOBA. 6:14 Moltar: Oh cool the Brewers tied it! I tuned in just in time! Oh wait, now we have terrible extra innings rules that feel like fake baseball. 6:16 Nat: As a red sox fan, I can’t see Travis Shaw hit clutch doubles without thinking fondly of Tyler Thornburg’s rich and lengthy Sox career… 6:16 Waffles: Tim Locastro MVP 6:16 DFABES: lol tied in KC. Soler launchpad 6:16 Aaron: 3 HR in one inning for DBacka. Oy. 6:16 CWess: Tim “HBP” Locastro ties the game in SD! 6:17 Tony Wolfe: oh hey the reds loaded the bases with one out 6:17 Chungus Khan: we get brewers opening day magic and now we get a willians AB! 6:17 Rickettsisadisease: Since FG is the home of broadcasting polls, can someone help me feel better about Boog Sciambi in the Cubs booth? We couldn’t make it half a game without a Smoltzish take on sign cards for pitchers. Not a good sign and it’s not like the team is gonna be a draw this year. 6:18 Waffles: Four homers!!!!! Petco is a launching pad 6:18 Chungus Khan: the never strikeout batter vs the all strikeout pitcher, pitcher wins round one. Now round two with arraez! 6:19 Dodger Fan: Muncy ties it in Denver 6:21 NF: Wow hader takes round 2 as well 6:21 Chungus Khan: hader looks craggier every year, when he is 29 he will look like one of those hillbilly dolls made of sticks and pinecones 6:21 CWess: Just a reminder that the Rockies opted to let Chi Chi hit so he could remain in the game in a tie ballgame 6:21 Jacques Pederson: Staff ace Tyler Webb stop the fire 6:23 Jacques Pederson: Aquino in centerfield, sure Cincinnati, sure. 6:23 Dan Szymborski: Suarez is the shortstop! 6:23 Chipper: Unless this is a Mandela effect or a fever dream, does anyone remember an old Fangraphs daily fantasy game, where the stats from each day added up for the whole season? Is that not active anymore? 6:23 Julius: Raise the Jolly Roger! 6:24 Dan Szymborski: Are you thinking about ottoneu? 6:24 Dodger Fan: Chris Owings, Rockies superstar 6:29 Tony Wolfe: Brewers walk it off in the 10th. Phillies currently batting in the bottom of the ninth tied at 2. 6:30 Tony Wolfe: Scratch that, Phillies and Braves going to extras now. 6:31 The Hopsmackers: Brewers 162-0!!! 6:31 Lzfreak: The runner on second is so dumb 6:31 NF: Seeing the new extra-inning rule in the first day that the world feels somewhat normal again is super weird 6:31 Dodger Fan: Kershaw’s line looks a lot worse than he actually pitched 6:32 Tony Wolfe: I’m addicted to this Rangers/Royals game. Can’t get enough 6:32 Dan Szymborski: I’ve been mostly watching Rockies/Dodgers 6:32 Dan Szymborski: Want to see the Rockies in first place! lol 6:33 Tony Wolfe: I’ve switched a lot but every time I go back to dot tv’s main page the Royals/Rangers game has a different score and there are five guys on base 6:34 Cakes&Kakes: can we get a poll to see the chat’s feeling about the runner on second thing? 6:34 Tony Wolfe: sure 6:34 Tony Wolfe: is the runner on second to start extras bad (66.6% | 74 votes) fine (33.3% | 37 votes) Total Votes: 111 6:35 Dominik: Dodgers game is really old school, 6 innings with just 6 Ks, 10 runs and no homers 6:36 Dodger Fan: There should be a “good when it helps my team” option 6:37 Tony Wolfe: not a lot of rays/marlins chatter in here today, but both starting pitchers were really good. Glasnow 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Alcantara 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. 6:37 Kyle W: Fangraphs used to have a game where you could pick one player per day and accumulate WAR. It was why I first created an account 6:37 Dan Szymborski: I honestly don’t remember 6:37 NF: wow roman quinn just got albies trying to score in the 10th 6:38 Dan Szymborski: https://video.twimg.com/amplify_video/1377747881239707650/vid/1280×720… 6:38 Blue Morpho: Marlins Park now has no home run structure, no fish tanks, and a bad name. Boo! 6:39 Dodger Fan: J. Nelson, former Brewer, is warming up for the Dodgers 6:40 Dan Szymborski: JIMMY? JEFF? JOE? JOHESEPHAT? 6:40 Big Fly: The obvious compromise is to start the runner on 2nd in the 12th. I just feel like a different game started and no sense of accomplishment when a team scores. Plus, it only increase the pitchers trying to strike everyone out. Having rules a majority of fans dislike/hate isn’t good for business. But 90% of fans want more balls in play, quicker games, etc. – 100% of mlb’s in-game focus should be on this. 6:40 Dan Szymborski: Here’s my rule proposal 6:41 Dan Szymborski: Any time someone suggests that the rule is a good idea, a giant anvil should drop on them 6:41 Jacques Pederson: I feel like I’ve never been a fan of a team with a truly dominant bullpen (I’m a Cardinals fan). Please do not ask why I bring this up right now. 6:41 DFABES: I think from a team/league perspective it does make sense to find ways to avoid the 12+ inning games. The season is a grind to begin with and to have to play a marathon night game then double back for a day game the next day is tough. Or to have it be a getaway day after a long extras game. 6:42 Tony Wolfe: (I don’t mind the runner on second) 6:43 Tony Wolfe: Or at least, I don’t hate it as much as I thought I would. I got used to it pretty quickly 6:43 Dan Szymborski: We got used to a lot of things during Covidyear! 6:43 Tony Wolfe: That’s true! 6:44 Tony Wolfe: Phillies just walked off the Braves. Jean Segura singles to left to finish it off 6:44 Milwaukee BeerJays: what would you guys choose: This whole season is spontaneously cancelled because reasons, or Having dinner with Kurt Schilling 5 meal course style? 6:44 Dan Szymborski: I’d have every meal with him for a season rather than lose the season. 6:44 Dan Szymborski: I’m a huge fan of being employed in addition to baseball! 6:44 Aaron: Don’t care who you root for: hell of a double play by the Rockies. 6:45 Dan Szymborski: It’s not the players fault that their team’s front office sucks 6:45 Dan Szymborski: So it’s not hard to give credit to the team! 6:45 CWess: I’m also okay with the rule but would like to see it compromised and moved to the 11/12th. I don’t wanna see game 162 between two teams fighting for a playoff spot come down to the 10th inning 6:45 Fozzy Bear: (I don’t mind the runner on second) Don’t mind or prefer? 6:46 DFABES: Interesting take for maybe changing it for games of higher stake in the final 2 weeks or something 6:46 Dan Szymborski: I hate the change because it goes against the basic structure of baseball 6:47 Dan Szymborski: How runners get on base is one of the core conceits 6:47 Dan Szymborski: much more relevant than any measurements 6:48 Tony Wolfe: Don’t mind, I think. There is still a bit of a purist in me that doesn’t like the idea of altering the rules once you get to overtime. But it doesn’t create the abomination of small-ball entropy that I feared it would, and it does create sort of a CFB overtime-ish raising of the stakes that makes things a bit more interesting and finishes games more quickly. 6:48 Dan Szymborski: It’s not like hearing a violin concerto transcribed for a cello. It’s like deleting the final movement and play an orchestration of the theme song from maude 6:48 Tony Wolfe: I wouldn’t go so far as to say I prefer it yet though 6:48 ElvisInTheColi: Thank you Dan yes 6:48 Dan Szymborski: How runners on base is one of the basic structural things. Far more important than distance between bases and stuff 6:49 Dan Szymborski: It’s like the NBA bringing out a second basket and basketball in play simultaneously during overtime 6:49 Jacques Pederson: I am fine with the rule. Extra innings are good at first (10th and 11th are usually good) then get worse until you start getting into “extended position player pitching appearance”. And that only applies to teams that I don’t root for. I would prefer the team I root for avoid all extra innings. 6:49 Dan Szymborski: or the NFL overtime bringing out a different shaped football that you’re allowed to throw through a square to earn four points 6:50 Tony Wolfe: I think it’s closer to CFB starting OT periods at the 25-yard line, in that it gives teams a better chance to score while still giving the defense a fine chance 6:50 Paul Sporer: As a night owl, I always loved a late game that played 15+ innings, but that’s a selfish reason. The repercussions a 15+ inning gm can have on a team is too much and just not worth it 6:50 drew: the offensive mvp of the padres is eric hosmer 6:50 KCpug: I would totally watch “Bonus Ball” basketball 6:50 Chooch: Really making it sound enticing now. I think we should just make all innings start with a runner on 2nd. Add excitement and runs! 6:51 Tinmar: About the runner on second: I would be okay with it if it would start at like the 13th inning to avoid the real marathons that can break pitching staffs. But the first three ‘bonus’ innings should just be according to real baseball rules 6:51 Dan Szymborski: But see, the NFL has a long history of starting footballs at different yardages from stuff like kickoffs and the like 6:51 CWess: I’m with Sporer 6:51 Dan Szymborski: But no matter how weird MLB rules are at times, the batter ALWAYS had to earn his way to first 6:51 Dan Szymborski: I’d rather a tie than this extra inning rule and I HATE ties 6:51 DFABES: what did people think about some of the 7 inning games in spring training? 6:52 Dan Szymborski: Those are fine because those games don’t matter for anything 6:52 Tony Wolfe: Yeah, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable position, and it’s probably what I lean toward at the end of the day. Just doesn’t ruin things as much for me as it does for others 6:52 Dan Szymborski: If you’re going to make an odd extra inning rule, allow unlimited substitution. I’d argue a wacky roster rule is better than a wacky on-field play rule 6:53 DFABES: Would you have already subbed out players elig to come back in? 6:53 Dan Szymborski: Absofrigginglutely! 6:53 Dan Szymborski: A roster utilization rule change is always preferable to a structure of how the game is played change 6:53 DFABES: yeah I’m on that 6:53 CWess: I don’t understand preferring a tie over this in the slightest. You still have to score the runner from 2nd which requires execution and the Yankees and Twins both failed in that regard and it feels fair that they lost the game 6:53 Tony Wolfe: I would prefer all alternatives to a tie, yes 6:53 Dan Szymborski: It also requires execution to throw the magic overtime football or manage the second basketball 6:54 Dan Szymborski: Playing Liszt requires execution too, doesn’t mean that a piano faceoff should settle games 6:54 blumbo: or, just keep the rule the same as it’s been for 150 years because there is literally nothing wrong with it 6:54 Dan Szymborski: That’s the best! 6:54 Oddball Herrera: I like the tie – goal of entertaining baseball has been achieved, everyone go home and prepare for tomorrow. 6:54 Dan Szymborski: Or hell, give BOTH teams losses. 6:54 Dan Szymborski: Anything that’s not a win is a loss! 6:55 Dan Szymborski: In that case, you’d at least see some tactical incentive to make riskier types of plays 6:55 Chaz: I really don’t see extra inning games as problem that needs to be solved in the first place. 6:55 Dan Szymborski: Bingo 6:55 Tony Wolfe: Rays shut out the Marlins, 1-0. Tampa Bay can still pitch, folks 6:56 Dan Szymborski: There are actually people who think the Marlins offense is good 6:56 Milwaukee BeerJays: What about hockey dan? The nhl went from 5 on 5 overtime ending in ties. To 4 on 4 then eventually 3 on 3 with a shootout. And for the most part hockey fans are cool with it. Embrace the future! 6:56 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t really followed hockey for a couple decades, so I have no skin in the game 6:56 LFC Mike: So Sixto was shutdown today early in his throwing program with slight shoulder discomfort? 6:57 Dan Szymborski: Uh oh, I didn’t see that! 6:57 Dan Szymborski: Poor 6anchez 6:57 Milwaukee BeerJays: It’s not like dudes rotator cuffs grow on trees...well not yet 6:57 Tony Wolfe: ah jeez 6:57 3cardmonty: baseball version of a shootout would be what, a home run derby 6:57 Dan Szymborski: At least you’re doing something DIFFERENT. Not just having a baseball game with weird rules 6:58 KCpug: Home run derby, but each team chooses the batter for the opponent 6:59 Tony Wolfe: are any of you kind folks on your first beer yet? second? third? ninth? 7:00 Dodger Fan: 0th! 7:00 Dan Szymborski: None for me, I’m trying to cut down 7:00 Guest: 6th 7:01 3cardmonty: bit early on the Best Coast but you’ve inspired me 7:01 LFC Mike: No beer .. but a delicious bowl of chili .. without the Neanderthal beans.. 7:01 BaseballizBack!: Cracking my first beer now. Just finished work and am down to watching 4 games simultaneously 7:01 Dave: Here’s a crazy idea. Instead of fundamentally altering the game in the regular season, how about just awarding a tie? 7:01 Bart: Use more lively baseballs after the 12th inning. 7:01 Oddball Herrera: Pshh, I just got off work, you slobs are sinking already? Also, to answer the question 7th 7:01 NF: Luis Arraez vs Nick Madrigal super long HR derby to decide who wins the AL central 7:01 C Minton: Chili with beans a side of macn cheeze n 3 beers 7:01 Tony Wolfe: I’m trying to cut back as well, but Opening Day is as good a cheat day as any 7:02 Dan Szymborski: Chili *with* beans?!?! 7:02 Tony Wolfe: Even then, I’ve just opened my second though 7:02 Dan Szymborski: My fat ass has had too much constant home beer access the last year 7:02 Fozzy Bear: Despite my Mets not playing, you guys made my opening day better. Thank you. 7:02 Dan Szymborski: I’m just surprised the Rangers could score 8 runs in a baseball game 7:02 dat dude cel: How does your chlli NOT have beans 7:02 Dan Szymborski: By being correct. 7:03 Dan Szymborski: (We’ll save chili chat for my usual weekly chat, which already has way too many chili arguments) 7:03 Sonny: today really is one of the best days of the year. 7:03 NF: Rangers vs. Royals (8-10) top 5 with Gallo at bat (no one on base) higher leverage than D-Backs vs. Padres (tied) top 7 because Gallo hits so many homeruns 7:04 Jacques Pederson: Welcome to a Dan chat. Chili talk started. Tap the sign. 7:04 Michael A Jordan: I’m with Dan, it’s a terrible and gamebreaking rule. First saw it at WBC 2017 and hated it there too. Now I usually turn games off after 9. What about a coin flip, I think that would be a nice compromise. 7:05 Dan Szymborski: lol Trevor May on Florida 7:05 Dan Szymborski: Trevor “IamTrevorMay” May @IamTrevorMay This is how you know it’s Florida : youtu.be/g77qW1pZlFM 1 Apr 2021 7:06 Tony Wolfe: ha, wow 7:07 Big Fly: Started the discussion on extras. Just want to point out I actually hate it just as much as Dan. Remember, technically the rule is only still here for health and safety. I guess stay safe – wear a mask and start on 2nd? Hopefully, this goes away next year but I don’t know. 7:08 Dustin: Is FanGraphs not doing DK or FD projections anymore? 7:08 Dan Szymborski: We’re doign something else that you’ll see soon 7:09 Oddball Herrera: You said they should earn getting on base – start the batter halfway between first and second. I would tune in for extra innings pickles! 7:10 Dan Szymborski: Announcers in Yankees game being curious why players didn’t deal for extra playoffs was cringy 7:10 Dodger Fan: Chris Owings is amazing right now 7:11 Dan Szymborski: bizarro world! 7:11 Dan Szymborski: The Dodgers have been sloppy today 7:11 Dan Szymborski: We’re going to stay until Dodgers/Rockies end and then close up chat until the 10 PM crew 7:11 drew: the right side of SD’s infield has hit for the cycle. the left side is 1-8 with 3 K 7:13 The Abyss: Happy opening day! The holiest of holidays! 7:13 Aaron: You mean you don’t want to chat through this Royals Rangers ugliness 7:13 Dan Szymborski: We’re trying to do 3 hours shifts to keep the chats from dragging 7:13 Dan Szymborski: Who really wants to read FOUR HOURS of me? 7:14 DFABES: lol I’ll run the rest of the Royals/Rangers plenty of mayhem here haha 7:14 Tony Wolfe: Ha-Seong Kim making his debut PA right now 7:14 Tony Wolfe: Well shoot, he went down swinging 7:14 Dodger Fan: I do, Dan! 7:15 DFABES: Kim getting a plate appearance in SD 7:15 drew: i would easily rather have ties than extra innings with runner on 2nd. the runner on 2nd doesn’t even guarantee a shorter game (although i wouldn’t be surprised if it did bear out in the data) 7:15 Dave: Its what, 8ish% of games that go to extras and 3/4 of those resolve in the 10th and 11th. Extras are not a problem to be solved 7:15 DFABES: I saw a few Padres games during ST and Kim swung through a lot of fastballs. Hoping he can shorten his swing a little 7:16 Jacques Pederson: BTW if you go to ESPN’s play by play for the Reds-Cards game, they counted a run that scored on a double play that was the third out—the play by play thinks it is 11-7 but the box score is 11-6 7:17 Tony Wolfe: Correct, a trail runner left early on what would have been a sacrifice fly and negated a run. 7:17 Tony Wolfe: Not a banner day for baserunning across the league 7:17 DFABES: McKinstry straight outta Central Michigan University, good for that guy 7:18 DFABES: McKinstry one of those guys that just does enough of everything to stay on the field 7:18 Tony Wolfe: Always love to see MAC kids develop well 7:18 Tony Wolfe: Eric Lauer hasn’t been quite as good as I’d hoped, but there’s still time for Keegan Akin 7:18 DFABES: saw a few MAC players today. Chafin (Kent St) threw for CHC 7:19 DFABES: Akin misses bats, some intrigue there 7:19 Tony Wolfe: If Mitch Longo or Rudy Rott ever crack the big leagues, I’ll be giddy. I actually got to cover those guys at OU. 7:20 DFABES: that and any LHSP with at least avg velo has a shot 7:20 DFABES: love that Athens campus 7:20 Dodger Fan: …and let the comeback begin 7:21 Tony Wolfe: one of my favorite places on earth 7:22 DFABES: when I was there they had an OF that hit well and went to ARI org 7:22 Tony Wolfe: Marc Krauss! 7:22 Henry: This Dodgers lineup doesn’t suck 7:23 DFABES: indeed, Gauntlett Eldemire was the star of that squad tho 7:23 Tony Wolfe: as he should be, with a name like that 7:23 Fangraph’s Lurker: in a daily league 5×5, with the 3rd pick and Acuna and Tatis off the board, who would you take? 7:24 Tony Wolfe: I’m no fantasy guy, but Soto seems like the logical next step 7:24 Tony Wolfe: Or maybe Trout 7:24 Dodger Fan: Betts 7:24 Tony Wolfe: Or him 7:24 Fangraph’s Lurker: I went Mookie 7:24 Dan Szymborski: Thing about Trout is you don’t get properly compensated in fantasy for him being a CF 7:25 Dan Szymborski: defense doesn’t exist outside of a positional qualification or indirectly (guy needs to be good enough to get to play) 7:25 Henry: I’m so glad Dodgers scored a run so we can se Daniel Bard pitch. 7:25 DFABES: I’m a major proponent for leagues that use LF/CF/RF.. they are different skillsets 7:26 DFABES: Daniel Bard, great story. Mark Appel is making another run at the bigs this year I saw 7:26 Tony Wolfe: Ketel Marte finally made an out. He was 4-for-4. 7:28 DFABES: That AZ/SD game has been fun. NL West is going to be wild this season. 7:28 Fangraph’s Lurker: went pitcher heavy and ended up with Giolito, Woodruff, Greinke, Ryu, Lopez, Heaney, and Urquidy 7:29 DFABES: Woodruff’s stuff looked great today, command a bit spotty though. I saw the FB up to 99 but was watching a few games 7:30 Pwn Shop: any feelings or real observations about ‘the baseball itself’ yet? 7:30 Tony Wolfe: I’d direct you to this, which was interesting: https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2021/3/31/22359623/dejuiced-ball-new-bas… 7:30 Dodger Fan: Dodgers really sloppy 7:31 Aaron: A lot of HRs in San Diego, but really warm windy weather has something to do with it. 7:32 DFABES: it isn’t super warm in SD today but compared to other places yeah it’s warmer lol 7:32 Dodger Fan: Bard is warming 7:35 Aaron: 85 and dry. The ball is going to carry. 7:37 DFABES: It’ll be interesting to see how SD’s pen develops this year. 7:38 DFABES: 85 at Petco sounds amazing right now lol 7:38 Fangraph’s Lurker: Tatis has a bright future for sure, but for just this year, who do you guys think the best fantasy SS is? I lean Story because of health, SBs, and playing in COL 7:39 Dan Szymborski: I’d still take Tatis over Story by a bitr 7:39 Dan Szymborski: a smidge 7:39 Chungus Khan: I’m late to this party but the baseball version of a shootout would be what the Savannah Bananas are doing this year. 7:39 Tony Wolfe: Man Story could make himself real rich this winter, huh 7:39 Dodger Fan: Pads win. Swear words 7:41 DFABES: Story deserves it for sure, heard he’s a pretty humble guy as well. 7:42 DFABES: man Bard has a longggg arm action lol 7:42 DFABES: 98, good for him 7:43 Dan Szymborski: TRIPS! 7:43 Tony Wolfe: the reds did not win 7:43 3cardmonty: cards win 7:43 Dodger Fan: Muncy! 7:45 DFABES: wow rough debut for de Geus w/ TEX 7:45 DFABES: 2 BB, 2 HBP 7:45 Fangraph’s Lurker: probably been asked already, but thoughts on the Fletcher extension? 7:45 Dan Szymborski: I’m doing the piece tomorrow! 7:47 Aaron: Probably deserves more, but feel good for Fletcher. 7:47 DFABES: that’s gotta be a great ROI for LAA up to this point 7:47 Dodger Fan: Rios up as tying run, none out in the ninth 7:49 Tony Wolfe: Rangers pitchers have allowed 13 hits, eight walks and three hit batters today in seven innings 7:49 Rays Tragic: Mistake by Kiner-Falefa as KC lead Texas 13-9. Clearly the worst SS in the majors. 😉 7:49 Tony Wolfe: Going to be a LONG season 7:50 Tony Wolfe: Wow that is a really favorable call for Colorado 7:50 Dodger Fan: ROBO UMPS NOW 7:51 Fangraph’s Lurker: that wasn’t a hbp, clearly a strike 7:51 Dodger Fan: Loaded! 7:51 Tony Wolfe: Bases loaded at Coors now. One out, three-run game. 7:51 Delusional: KANSAS CITY ROYALS: YOU CANNOT STOP THEM. YOU JUST TRY TO CONTAIN THEM. 7:52 Pwn Shop: that hbp was closer to being a strike than the called third strike on previous batter 7:52 Tony Wolfe: Ump really likes that side of the plate, huh 7:53 Dan Szymborski: Never beena fan of Beaty’s stance. He stands up there like someone was just handed a bat and told someone was going to check rocks at their head and they had never heard of baseball 7:53 Henry: It’s all down to Mookie! 7:54 Dodger Fan: Great pitching there. Let’s go Mookie! 7:54 Dan Szymborski: Still not used to Bard being back and throwing 98 7:55 Pwn Shop: especially on lefties, that boot shape. How are they supposed to hit that at 99 7:55 Dan Szymborski: It’s like Bard added a mph every year he wasn’t in the majors 7:55 Dan Szymborski: I must have a killer fastball! 7:56 Dodger Fan: 100! 7:56 Dodger Fan: Swear 7:56 Dan Szymborski: And that’s the game! 7:56 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Interpolation™ 7:56 Dodger Fan: 0-162! 7:56 DFABES: nice location on that slider to finish it out 7:57 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for joining us everyone! We’re having the nite crew come in here at 10 PM, but we want to clear out the room and air out the funk and pick up the trash 7:57 Tony Wolfe: Thanks for hanging out everyone! Come back tonight! 7:57 DFABES: thanks all, welcome back to baseball 7:57 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t tell Paul I was ending chat now so if he doesn’t say goodbye, I’m sure he says it in his heart!