Klawchat 2/23/17.

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Klaw: I got an open mind, so why don’t you all get inside? Klawchat.

Andy (KC): At what point should a team like the Royals bring up a guy like Zimmer and just let him fire whatever bullets he has in live action? I have to assume he’d be good out of the bullpen already, and what’s the point of him throwing another pitch that doesn’t count?
Klaw: I tend to agree with this, but if Zimmer can’t go back-to-back days, which seems likely given his history of arm issues, then it’s hard to carry him as a reliever in a modern bullpen. You’d have to structure some of the bullpen usage around him, which I think implies a certain type of manager.

Matt: In last week’s chat, someone mentioned he enjoyed learning and was wondering about college even though he was 37. I went back to college when I was 39. Not only did I enjoy it, but I was never the oldest student in the class. Don’t let age be a deterrent to learning!
Klaw: Indeed. Why would anyone ever stop learning? If I didn’t have to work, I’d probably spend some of my free time taking classes. If I’ve lost my interest in learning, stick a mirror under my nose.

Bill G.: Hi Keith. Which pitcher has more upside potential: Alec Mills (CHC) or Jorge Lopez (MIL). Thanks!
Klaw: Lopez. Potential mid-rotation guy or better. Worlds ahead of Mills.

Rahn: Kind of feel like Brooke has been foreshadowed to win Top Chef all year and tonight we’ll see, but I have to say this crop of contestants looks to be one of the weakest. (Said the guy who didn’t get to taste one thing.) But really, the newbies either never got the benefit of the doubt at Judges’ Table or were overmatched, leading to a run by the also-rans. I mean, that rude, sweaty John was in the final four!
Klaw: Agreed across the board. Been debating this with another parent from the bus stop – she has still enjoyed the season, I haven’t as much. I think if you were a big fan of any of the final 3, you probably got more out of this season than I did. (Although I admit to being Team Brooke this year, because she’s just that good.)

Fred: Hi Keith. What do you think is the likelihood Josh Staumont can remain a starter? Thanks
Klaw: Less than 10%.

Vander: If Jeren Kendall strikes out at a pace of once per game or more, how far down team’s boards do you think he’d fall? Do you think the Twins or Reds would still consider him at the top of the draft?
Klaw: Given his other abilities and the general comfort level with higher strikeout rates, I doubt he gets out of the top 5 unless his other stats are all down. Kendall does plenty on contact, and if the projected power shows up more in games, it’ll balance out some strikeout concerns. That said, if he strikes out 70 times and doesn’t walk much or doesn’t show much power or scouts question his defense, that’s a brutal combination.

Edward: Keith, longtime reader, first time questioner in the chats. If an outfielder has a “20 arm”, is it possible for them to improve that ability? And can they improve dramatically? Thinking about Donnie Dewees and his noted skillset
Klaw: Welcome! My bark is worse than my bite. A 20 arm is a gift from the gods. It’s not getting any better without divine intervention.

John: Could you compare Jake Burger to Nick Senzel please? Do you think Burger will still be available in 30’s in the draft?
Klaw: Not even close. That’s like comparing Jake’s Wayback Burgers to Shake Shack. Bear in mind that Senzel put up those stats in the SEC, not in the Missouri Valley.

Jim: What was your “WTF” font size when you read that Jered Weaver was signed by the Padres? Aren’t they rebuilding?
Klaw: Yeah but someone’s gotta pitch. Bring in a bunch of veterans on one-year deals, sort ’em out in March.

Nick: I’m trying to perfect the classic breakfast skillet (potatoes, bacon, cheese), and can’t get the potatoes crispy enough. Any suggestions?
Klaw: Parcook them beforehand and make sure they’re really dry when they hit the oil in the skillet. Also, roughing them up a little bit between the two stages will increase the surface area in contact with the oil. I have fried potatoes almost any way you could think of, and I still prefer hashbrown or rosti style (shredded, salted, moisture squeezed out) for maximum crispiness.

Jimmy: Chances of Astros making playoffs once in next 3 years?
Klaw: Once or more? 75%.

Josh: Best version of Ticket To Ride for 3 people? My 9-year-old has started playing the app version.
Klaw: Start with the classic game. Europe is a slightly better game overall, but adds two rules that you don’t need for a first-time kid player.

Lewis: I heard you on MLB Network (I think it was you) praising Tyler O’Neill as a guy who could flat-out hit, but you seemed down on his hit tool by omitting him from the top 100. Has your read on him changed, or am I imagining this whole scenario?
Klaw: You are imagining this whole scenario because I don’t work for MLB Network and have never appeared on it.

Sean: It was only a one inning appearance, but any initial thoughts to Anthony Banda being recorded at 95-97 during the game against GCU? Possible relief ace if he doesn’t make it as a starter?
Klaw: It was a one-inning appearance in March. I remember Andy Oliver doing that one spring. That didn’t quite work out.

Chris: Have you ever watched the movie Inside Out? I feel like it’s really underrated and has a pretty solid storyline/message.
Klaw: Yes and reviewed it. I would vote for that over any of the five 2016 animated films I’ve seen – four of the nominees or Finding Dory.

Joe: If international players were part of the amateur draft, where do you think Maitan would have been drafted?
Klaw: He’s 16, so it’s not a reasonable comparison. If he’d gone to a US high school for a year and come out at 17, which is feasible, then assuming he performed like I expect he’d have been a top ten pick. But if you’d put him right in the draft at 16 compared to ‘proven’ amateur talents in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, I don’t think he does.

Still not James Baldwin: Did you have a chance to catch either Neruda or I Am Not a Negro last weekend? I saw Neruda and thought I liked it, but left confused. Pork tenderloin at Cocina Lolo was 80 grade, though. Looking forward to your reviews . . .
Klaw: I saw IANYN yesterday in Philly. I don’t understand the praise for it, and I’ll try to write up a review tomorrow. Neruda I’ll have to catch online later on. I’m also super annoyed that My Life as a Zucchini isn’t opening nationally until next Friday, after the Oscars, or I would have gotten all 5 animated nominees in time. I did get all 5 documentaries and 7/9 best picture nominees.

Andy: Can Ian Anderson be a true ace, or is a 2/3 his ceiling? P.S. I really appreciated your very subtle reference to Jethro Tull in his top 100 write-up. It was the obvious joke, but you didn’t force it. Bravo
Klaw: I’d say more of a #2, with enough variance either way that ace is within the range of potential outcomes.

Nick: Do you see Bukauskas and Houck as starters or relievers at the next level?
Klaw: Relievers. I give JBB more of a chance to start than Houck.

Brian: By the way, no question, just a thank you…for not sticking to sports. #resist
Klaw: You’re welcome. By the way, did anyone notice my former home state of Arizona’s latest? The state Senate is trying to block residents’ First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly. I hope those of you who live there have been on the phones today.

Jeff: Keith, where would you start Mitch White in the Dodgers system this season? How quickly do you think he can move through said system?
Klaw: I assume he’ll be on an innings cap, and I’d rather limit his time in the California League anyway, so I have no problem with starting him in Great Lakes and moving him up fast if he dominates. That innings cap also means he wouldn’t get to the majors very quickly.

Eugene: Can better pitch tunneling and deception be taught to pitchers?
Klaw: Deception is largely a function of delivery. Change the delivery and you will change (but not necessarily improve) deception. The tunneling stuff is brand new and I think still in the hypothesis stage. If your question is whether a pitcher can be taught to throw one pitch that looks like another pitch until relatively close to the point where it hits the plate, well, yeah. That’s something a good changeup is supposed to do, for example, or why we talk about a pitcher who can manipulate the spin on his breaking ball a little more.

Jon Weisman: Keith, given your site URL, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on current and past Bloom County. It was one of my true favorites in the 1980s, along with Doonesbury, Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes. But whenever I read it now, I don’t feel it holds up as well. Doonesbury still feels like a really sharp time capsule by comparison, and Calvin & Hobbes truly seems timeless. Were you/are you reading any of these?
Klaw: Huge BC fan, of course, more from its heyday than the more recent iteration. I think the classics are still very funny but some of the jokes are products of their time. It would be hard to explain to my daughter why the whole Banana Jr 5000 joke was funny, or what the hair tonic storyline was about (the War on Drugs, for those who don’t remember it). But god, those characters were tremendous, and Breathed’s punchlines were some of the best and smartest anywhere on the comics page.

Paul: Hi Keith, is your book only related to baseball or are you touching on other topics that you seem to enjoy talking about (I am fine with it but I am not interested)? If it is only baseball I will buy it, otherwise I will pass – thanks!
Klaw: The book is only baseball – I discuss traditional stats that are falling out of favor and why they don’t tell you what they purport to tell you; newer and/or better stats, from OBP to WAR to wOBA etc., that better answer questions about performance; and what baseball analytics might look like going forward, including a chapter on Statcast and its potential impact.

Erich: 2 part question. Do you think the NCAA has the power to fight against Trump’s pull back on bathroom freedom by withholding events from states that move forward with “bathroom bills?” 2. Do you think the NCAA will actually do this?
Klaw: Yes, they do, unless every state tried it. I guess it could be a boon for New York and California, though. And I think they will, or they’ll try to do it, at least. Corporate America is not with Trump on this topic. They want their taxes cut and their regulations gutted, but it’s pretty clear they want access to the largest workforce possible and one that isn’t fighting or worrying about discrimination.

DeMarcus: Hi keith, love these chats. I threatened to slap my friend once when he said that steaks didn’t need to be seasoned as long as they were cooked medium rare. Is there any other way I could have reacted? I was just so shocked.
Klaw: No, you did good.

DeMarcus: Is there any chance that Connor Sadzeck can be an average starter at the big league level? Or is he destined for the bullpen?
Klaw: I think it’s 90% bullpen if not higher.

Joe: Hi Keith – I think people are missing the point of the new intentional walk rule, as I’ve repeatedly heard remarks such as “this is stupid, this won’t solve the problem, why bother.” I don’t recall Manfred every saying this will make a drastic difference, and what I see this as is a small step in the right direction. Sure this may only shave a minute (yes it takes longer than a few seconds to throw four balls) off of NL games, but compounded with future changes (hopefully!), such as limited mound visits and quickening replay reviews, it could make a substantial difference. Your thoughts?
Klaw: If you’re arguing it opens the door to more changes … I guess? I saw it as something so innocuous that no one would really object. If they try a pitch clock, though, they’re going to get pushback.

John: Hey Keith, I’m not sure if you saw the segment on Mike & Mike discussing Ankiel’s recent admission to drinking before games to calm his nerves. The turned the narrative into players drinking and totally ignored how this stemmed from his issues with anxiety which in 2001 wasn’t as well known as it is today. I guess this is less a question and more a statement that mental health issues, when it comes to athletes, seem like an avenue that could raise awareness but it overlooked for a more popular narrative. It’s disappointing and I’m thankful that you address the real issue and not the popular narratives when it comes to these issues.
Klaw: I didn’t see or hear it, but that is a shame. It sounds like (from your description only) they didn’t treat anxiety as a medical issue, and how Ankiel may have self-medicated with alcohol. It’s really too bad because I could have helped that discussion.

Yoan Moncada: What is my best position, both objectively and for the long term plans of the White Sox?
Klaw: Looked better at third to me than second. I think centerfield will always be an option given his speed.

Chris: Do you think Cashman responded to Randy Levine’s fuckery internally? What would you have done?
Klaw: I would have called the player and the agent to apologize, to say that idiot doesn’t speak for me or the organization, and to ensure the player that I value his contributions and perhaps open the door to a multi-year agreement that would avoid further acrimony in arbitration hearings.

Chris in London: Any chance the ridiculous runner on 2nd proposal is just to distract us from a slightly less controversial rule change? P.S. Sorry about Piers Morgan.
Klaw: That’s Machiavellian. Or Trumpian. Also the runner on 2nd in extras is the worst idea ever.

Sean: After the embarrassment of the latest CBA negotiations, how is Tony Clark still leading the union?
Klaw: Everyone who asks something like this ignores that the players got the things that were most important to them in the last negotiation.

Francisco: Have you seen Kyler Murray and Brandon Mcillwain ? How good are they in baseball ?
Klaw: I saw Murray in parts of two games and McIlwain in one. I’d say both have first-round talent if they commit to playing full-time.

Culture: Do you buy the argument that anything the Oscars do really has any tangible real world impact beyond that room? Like for instance Moonlight winning Best Picture would somehow be a win for gay rights
Klaw: No, especially since that industry is fairly concentrated in blue states. But I might argue that Moonlight winning BP would lead more people to go see it and perhaps help some fraction of that new viewership view LBGTQ people or people of color a little more sympathetically. I don’t think it would lead to any sort of sea change in views, though.

Christian: Is Brendan McKay a hitter or pitcher long term in your opinion? What are his overall ceilings at both respective positions?
Klaw: Pitcher 100%. Mid-rotation potential.

Wannabe Top Chef: Chef Law – how do you go about organizing the recipes you use, either self created or taken from another chef/home cook? I find it hard to remember everything I’ve made in the past or would like to make in the future and tend to make the same meals quite often instead of enjoying a variety of different foods.
Klaw: I have a shelf of cookbooks and binders with recipes I’ve clipped, plus stuff I’ve saved online, but when I decide what to cook it’s usually either a request from a family member or because I was at the store and saw something that I wanted to cook (or reminded me of a favorite recipe, etc.).

Travis: If you want to know how messed up the NCAA really is, listen to this. I’m trying to work for a D1 Football team as. student assistant. I can’t technically work for them because it’s against NCAA rules. A way around that would be to get into the work study program provided by the school. I can’t get into the work study, because my parents make too much money. Even if I register as an independent, my parents still influence whether or not I can get into the work study program. The only way I get into the work study without my parents influencing it is if I was 24 (I’m 19), if my parents were in jail or dead (they aren’t), or if I’m homeless (I’m not) along with a couple of other factors. An appeal to the NCAA could be sent but it it would just get immediately rejected according to our compliance office. It’s just sucks that I get punished because my parents make too much when this job would actually help me advance my career. So the NCAA doesn’t just screw the players.
Klaw: The NCAA is a legal cartel. I don’t understand why they seem to be exempt from antitrust laws. Do they pretend to non-profit status?

Matt: Can you believe Milo? I was OK with what he said about women, blacks, and immigrants. But he crossed a line with pedophilia! Please excuse me while I clutch my pearls and lie on my fainting couch.
Klaw: I’ll escort you to your safe space, snowflake.

Chris (Chicago): Grimes’ album Art Angels is still one of the best albums the last 3 years. That is all.
Klaw: Yep. And she did a song with Janelle Monae, which is worth 50 million bonus points.

Greg (DC): An article was published today about the potential for MLB to expand to 32 teams. Most of the opinions suggested four divisions in each league, with four teams each (and then presumably one wild card for each league because MLB isn’t going to reduce the number of teams making the playoffs). I think two divisions per league with 8 teams each makes more sense. If the playoffs have four division winners and one WC, one division winner would have to play the play-in game with the WC (deflating the regular season accomplishment of the division winner), or there would need to be a first round bye and longer playoffs. With three WCs, we could keep the play-in for the last two in. Also, I think larger divisions might increase interest outside home markets, by putting more teams in the same division as your hometown team. Do you have a preference for expansion, or is it too far off in your view? Thanks for all your great work.
Klaw: I saw this on our site and disagreed with basically everything in it. I’d MUCH rather have fewer divisions with more teams than the converse, and I think the player pool and economy would support expansion but not in the way that roundtable expressed.

Justin: I read your review on Hidden Figures today, and you don’t seem to be the only person questioning it’s quality as a movie itself. I know this will probably come off wrong, and I don’t want it to, but is it possible that it received the Oscar Nominations it did because of last year’s controversy? And if that’s the case, is there a problem with that?
Klaw: Oscars So White? Very possible. Grierson and Leitch wondered if that might help Denzel win Best Actor too (one said it would, the other still predicted Affleck). But I actually think the better explanation is that it’s a very popular movie with a very positive and timely message. With Texas busy trying to roll back rights 60 years, it’s a good time for movies that remind us what those days were like, whether it’s HF or IANYN or The 13th.

Travis: Hey Keith, thanks for taking my question. I have a three year old boy, and he loves throwing things… but his mechanics are a mess! His “W”s are all inverted, and sometimes look like “M”s. He often leads with the wrong foot. No question here, just nonsense from a young father, who appreciates all you do for us baseball fanatics.
Klaw: The real problem is that you forgot to tie his right arm down so he learns to throw a gyroball with his left hand.

Lucas: Ever since Billy Eppler left the Yankees for the Angels GM job, I’ve wondered about the possibility of him trading Trout to his former employers. Could you imagine the Yanks using their farm system to get Trout and then signing Harper?
Klaw: Somehow i missed the news of Arte Moreno’s passing.

Bobbo: big fan here. i posted this in comments a few posts back but i’m still curious: why is drip-over superior to traditional drip? seems like the same process either way. (and by “superior” i’m only talking about the quality of the cup or pot of coffee)
Klaw: I’m going to let Serious Eats answer this one.

EL: Can Arroyo and Beede help the Giants in 2017?
Klaw: No on Arroyo. Possibly on Beede but I don’t think they’re inclined to rush him.

JR: Going to keep watching Legion or was the pilot enough for you?
Klaw: We watched episode 2 last week. We’re a day behind because we’re watching via amazon (we don’t get FX … we have a small bundle from Fios).

Bob (Cleveland): Wondering if you’ve had any opportunity to see Jason Heyward’s “revamped” swing. From the half-dozen or so wings I’ve seen on video, it appears that there’s some obvious emphasis on adding loft, but I’m wondering whether you’ve seen it and, if so, whether it appears to address what you consider to be the most glaring issue(s).
Klaw: No – our radio affiliate in Chicago asked me about this and I shot it down right away. It doesn’t mean jack until he’s facing live pitching. I’m not trying to be Mr. Skeptical Smart Guy, but a swing that looks right in the cage doesn’t mean a whole lot. Call when someone runs 95 in on his hands.

Anonymous: With ICE performing a real life Milgram experiment, what do you foresee happening?
Klaw: We know what happened at Stanford. It’s already happening in the wild.

CVD: Thought on Wieters to the Nats?
Klaw: Whatever. I mean, I don’t think it makes them better, unless he has that breakout year I predicted for him forever ago that has just never happened. And he’s a poor framer and not considered a great game-caller. They had Norris and Lobaton. What’s the upgrade here? A few runs, if that?

TK: Loved listening to you talk boardgames on the Just Not Sports podcast. I don’t know if I’ve seen you talk about this, so I just wanted to see if you’ve played Letters from Whitechapel. My wife and I have played with a couple of friends several times now and we really enjoy it. Thanks for everything (including not sticking to sports)!
Klaw: Nope, haven’t. Heard good things though.

AH: Any good food places in the ashburn virginia area? if i recall, you said you spend a fair amount of time here!
Klaw: We’ve hit some good spots in Leesburg and the area, including a place called Doner Kebab (I think) that makes the German-Turkish sandwiches of that name. I also love King Street Coffee right downtown there and visit every time I see my folks (they live in Ashburn).

addoeh: What about Ian Anderson’s flute skills? Grade 80?
Klaw: Absolutely.

Todd: A’s take ___________ 6th overall in the draft ?
Klaw: I have no idea. It’s February. Ask me that around mid-April and I can at least hazard a reasonable guess, but today, it would be a bullshit answer and I really try to avoid those whenever possible.

Lee: You’ve mentioned previously that you have voted Republican in previous elections. Can I ask what policies you agree with Republican’s on? You seem like a pretty intelligent guy and I don’t see what would draw you to any Republican candidate.
Klaw: Free trade was a huge one – it’s about the only policy that most economists agree on, it’s a net positive for both partners (with some groups within each country that lose out, and whose needs should be addressed), and it fosters the flow of information and culture, which may/should help spread democratic ideals. Of course, the Republican party has become the batshit protectionist party, so that’s out the window.

MS: At what point did you realize you weren’t going to play baseball professionally?
Klaw: I realized around age 7 or 8 that I would never be big enough to play any sport. I didn’t know at the time that I had an organic acidemia that limits my muscle growth, but that was the main reason I couldn’t even play sports in high school.

Chuck: You’ve liked Castellanos in the past. Spring training reports that he’s shown big power in BP and may bat 2nd. Over/under on 29.5 home runs? Did you see anything that may indicate he’ll have a more patient approach?
Klaw: Season high to date is 18, so under on 29.5. Never seen anything to make me believe he’ll get into better counts to get to more power. Also, big power in spring training BP is in the same category as new swing mechanics in the cage.

Mike: As a parent of young kids, question… do you think of life insurance as merely “term for the death benefit, god forbid”, or “whole life- as a way to diversify investment portfolio as well” ? thanks.
Klaw: It’s a God forbid policy for us.

Ajax: Logenhagen in a Fangraphs chat this week said that Lourdes Gurriel, Jr had a utility ceiling, based on his sources, and the size of his contract. I dropped Gurriel from my 75 player roster dynasty team and picked up Cristian Pache. I am also doing research on Cionel Perez. What are your thoughts? BP’s recent dynasty 101 has Lourdes Gurriel’s ceiling as ‘top ten 2b’ and his floor as utility player. Looking for some perspective.
Klaw: Everyone I asked about Gurriel in the fall when he signed said utility guy, and he was kind of paid like one too. Cionel is in my Astros writeup. (Gurriel isn’t in the Toronto writeup because he signed as a pro, which is my demarcation line for Cuban players. He’s also not a great prospect.)

Adam: Royce Lewis is a name I hear as a guy who could break his way into the #1 pick conversation. What is your primer on him?
Klaw: I said that last week. So, uh, good memory? Big tools at the plate, unclear long-term position, not sure folks believe quite enough in the hit tool.

Mark in Santa Monica: Sure this has been asked in the past but I’m knew to your site. How did Trout last until the 24/25th pick? Was he ever consideration for top ten? And do you think he finishes his contract and becainea a free agent or will he resign or be traded? He’s our only hope out here!
Klaw: Worth answering again. I know for sure Oakland considered him strongly at pick 12, and I think he was on the long list for Seattle at 2 (they did consider him, but they picked 2 and took the consensus guy). Trout was a northeast HS position player who did not show 80 speed at the time. He faced poor pitching his whole career. Billy Rowell, from the same area, had gone 9th overall three years earlier and was an outright disaster. And Trout’s senior year was wrecked by rain – it was the worst spring for scouting I’ve spent up here, and his games were constantly being pushed back due to weather or poor field conditions. The day I saw him was a Friday and there were 9 scouts there with me. I think teams just didn’t get enough looks at him to jump on him earlier.

Buckner 86: Can Aaron Nola become a Top 5-10 SP in the NL?
Klaw: No, that’s outside of even his 95% outcome for me. Also, he’s gotta get healthy.

Tom: Baseball doesn’t need a pitch clock. If they want to speed up games, Barry Bonds has some free time. MLB should hire him to teach batters to stay in the damn batter’s box after each pitch. If perhaps the greatest hitter of all time could do it, other guys can learn how to not go all Pedroia with their batting gloves.
Klaw: This is my #1 pet peeve as a fan. Stay. In. The. Box.

Jonathan: Best post-hype sleeper for 2017: Dylan Bundy?
Klaw: Not for me. Wore down visibly in 2016.

Luke: What game or games does your daughter enjoy playing most with you and your wife?
Klaw: I’ll ask her when I pick her up today, after the chat, but I would guess her favorites are Splendor, Small World, Ticket to Ride, Istanbul (because she beat us at that one early on), and recent favorite Imhotep. She also loves the Lanterns app.

JJ: Where did it go wrong for Daisuke Matsuzaka? Was he just overhyped?
Klaw: Overpitched when young? Also refused to pitch inside much when he came here.

Ethan: It sounded like you didn’t know this to be the case, but yes, the NCAA is a 501(c)(3)–which is non-profit status–according to the IRS, and I believe they fall under this as education providers. I wrote a paper on it in college, but the details are fuzzy right this second.
Klaw: That’s hilarious.

Akronohiomofo: What’s your take on Daniel Murphy’s 2016 increase in WAR? Were you suprised? Sustainable or an aberration?
Klaw: Changed his swing. Would bet on some regression, but not a ton.

Rahn: Totally with you on Hidden Figures. I liked it, but in a fuller field year for the Oscars, would not make the cut. If my first words to people who ask about a movie are “It’s fine, you’ll enjoy it” it’s usually just that. Fine. I feel like it’s been elevated because it’s a feel-good tale of extraordinary people during such divisive times of governmental intolerance.
Klaw: Yep, I’ve probably seen 20 better movies from last year, including Loving, The Lobster, and the movie everyone in this chat needs to see, Everybody Wants Some!!

James: First, I am a lifelong moderate Republican that did not vote for Trump. That being said, i still side with the Republican party on a number of issues. One thing that concerns me is that if I disagree with a democrat on any policy, nor I want to have a civil discussion about a policy, I am immediately branded a racist/hater/homophobe….you name it. The level of discourse from those that don’t agree with you has become incredibly hateful (which is one of the main things they are often fighting for).
Klaw: Well, it depends on the policy, right? If you oppose affirmative action, for example, I don’t think that’s racist or sexist. If you support these “bathroom bills” (which always seem to have a second section rolling back anti-LGBT discrimination laws), well, then I’m probably going to find a word to describe you that you might not like.

Matt: Faedo and Wright both got off to rocky starts to the season, but it’s nearly impossible to find any information on how their stuff looked, only statlines. Did you hear anything (particularly on Faedo coming off knee surgery) to make you think they shouldn’t still be the top 2 college SPs off the board?
Klaw: Yes. I know Crawford and Longenhagen were at Wright’s start, so you might ask them for more, but I was told his stuff was great early, he didn’t hold it, and he never showed average command. Faedo’s stuff I heard was good not great. No idea how his knees felt or if he had any ill effects. Heard Houck looked totally relieverish with two pitches and below average command. Martin at A&M was pure reliever too. McKay I tweeted about but I’ll add that he kept finishing with his fastball up, especially up and away to right-handers, and I don’t think it was a plan.

Zac: Keith, I can’t help but think that Max Fried could absolutely sky rocket up prospect lists if he continues his late season domination over the course of this entire year. Do you tend to agree with that assessment?
Klaw: I only discuss my prospect list, and if you see where I ranked him, he doesn’t have much room to rocket anywhere.

Elton: Vince Velasquez: If I remember correctly you’ve said in the past he was probably a future reliever. Is that because of durability/health or more about his pitches?
Klaw: I haven’t said that – I’ve said there’s risk. Never had a full healthy season, and the breaking ball is often fringy to a tick below average. He threw 136 innings in 25 starts last year including one rehab outing, and both marked career highs for a guy who signed in 2010.

Dave: Most underhyped way Trump voters will be screwed by their leader: repeal of the fiduciary rule.
Klaw: That’s a solid choice, but I would probably vote for repealed or reduced environmental regulations, which tend to help the poor more than the rich. I don’t live near factories or dumps or power plants. Companies build that stuff near poor communities.

Ethan: Wow, just looked at the tax code, and the Exempt Purposes for tax exemption include “charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.” I do not remember this when I did research in college on the topic. The IRS and NCAA are in cahoots!
Klaw: With the full faith and support of the rest of the federal government. Competition is good, so it would be nice if we had some in college athletics.

Klaw: That’s all for this week’s chat – thank you as always for all of your questions. I’ll be back some time next week but it might not be Thursday, so watch here, Twitter, Facebook, or my newsletter for more details.


  1. I’ve been listening to the song “Breathing Lightning” by Anthrax constantly lately. Thoughts? Are you a fan?

  2. “The real problem is that you forgot to tie his right arm down so he learns to throw a gyroball with his left hand.” When my son was born I had two friends as me, “Is he left-handed? Because left-handed relief pitchers make good money.” Unfortunately for him, he’s (1) right-handed, and (2) inherited my lack of athleticism.

  3. Hi Keith. I enjoy your chats and views on baseball as well as many other subjects, espcially immunizations. I’m curious about your view on the following topic. I am a paediatrician that specializes in complex and fragile children. My patients range from well children to kids with immune deficiencies, transplants and metabolic conditions. I urge all my patients to get vaccinated and am very successful in my quest. I do, however, have a few families in my practice that refuse to vaccinate their children and in turn put my complex patients at risk. Some of these patients cannot, for medical reasons, even get vaccinated and be protected. Now these families sign a document that states they’re acting against medical advice but I cannot ethically turn their kids away from my office as it is not their kids fault that their parents are ridiculously stupid. Any thoughts on what your approach would be in this situation?

    • Could you legally turn the kids away, citing risk to other patients like those with immune deficiencies? This is yet another reason I think immunizations should be mandatory even for home-schooled kids. Other people shouldn’t die for your stupidity. If you do it behind a wheel it’s still vehicular manslaughter, right?

  4. I am an ED, Emotionally Disturbed, Teacher who uses board games as a social group with students. I like to mix competitive games, children need the help with being good winners or losers, and cooperative games as we must think ahead and plan and help everyone. I do this with kids 9-12. They love the activity and it has been effective as a teaching approach.

    I was looking for a few more recommendations. The children’s favorite game by far is Castle Panic, they also enjoy Lost Woods, and King of Toyoko. They didn’t like Forbidden Desert too much, which was sacrilegious to me but hey.

    • Splendor, Takenoko, Broom Service if you want a game with a light theme that plays a little heavy (in terms of complexity).

  5. I’m a financial advisor. In response to Mike’s question about life insurance, it really depends on what your need is. Term is useful for covering debts and replacing income through retirement/until your kids are out of school, depending on your preference. It’s also the cheapest coverage per dollar of face amount. Permanent insurance covers final expenses, helps for estate planning (it’s the most tax-efficient way to leave assets to your heirs) can be used as a tax-advantaged retirement supplement, and helps replace pension/social security income when the first spouse passes. Also, generally speaking universal life is more cost-efficient than whole life, although there are still situations where whole life is appropriate.

  6. “I disagree with a democrat on any policy, nor I want to have a civil discussion about a policy, I am immediately branded a racist/hater/homophobe”

    God that’s such bullshit, most “democrats” (whatever that even means in 2017) are civil. So tired of that false derpy narrative as an excuse not to engage.

    • In person, you’re right, most are civil; so are most Republicans. On the internet…well, nearly everyone devolves into a flame-throwing asshole, it seems.

      That said, I’ve never seen such vitriol and so many insults being thrown about as I have recently towards Trump voters. Even when some relatively mainstream people were bashing Obama, in some horrible ways, that didn’t tend to extend to people who voted for him (Breitbart doesn’t count…they weren’t mainstream, and I’m praying they’re not becoming so now). I know smart people who voted for him, for reasons that I strongly disagree with, but they are not inherently stupid/racist/Islamophobic/etc for doing so. It’s sad that we’ve reached a point where people think it’s ok to say “all Republicans are idiots” or “all Democrats hate America” or some other such foolishness, and there isn’t immediate, strong pushback.

    • I’ll ask the question without giving my answer: If you vote for a candidate who either says racist/sexist/etc things, or enacts racist/sexist/etc policies, are you then those -ists by extension?

    • No, I don’t think you are inherently racist/sexist/etc for that reason. I presume your opinion is counter to that, and I recognize why one may think that, but I think reducing anyone down to that without more information than just that they voted for a racist (non-David Duke category, at least) ignores the complexity of our reality. Would you say that someone who votes for an anti-science candidate is inherently anti-science? I doubt you would, if they gave you other, legitimate reasons they supported that candidate; it doesn’t mean they AREN’T anti-science, or with Trump that they aren’t racist, but it doesn’t mean they are either. There is just too much at play, especially when something like the presidency (and thus the makeup of the federal courts, in particular the Supreme Court) is at stake. I didn’t vote for Trump, and never would, but I would have voted for almost any other Republican who was involved in this election (basically, anyone but Fiorina, Carson, and Cruz) because I have a lot of issues that concern me, and Clinton didn’t provide answers that made sense to me on any of them except “is this person going to cause a nuclear war because they read a mean tweet?”

    • But the thing is that policies largely do not exist in a vacuum–they connect with and reinforce one another.

      For example, Trump’s choice of SCOTUS justice (Gorsuch) will almost certainly set back women and minorities in this country. His environmental policies will weigh most heavily on the poor and on people of color (see Flint Michigan). His Cabinet selections are informed by his views on race, class, and gender. Further, he is dependent on a base that wants and demands policies that are discriminatory in nature.

      In short, I think you may be able to reasonably compartmentalize like this a LITTLE bit (for example, overlooking Barack Obama’s initial stand on gay marriage, which was anomalous and not central to his whole program). I don’t think it’s defensible, however, when racism/sexism/classism runs through a candidate’s platform like mold runs through blue cheese.

    • This may be a distinction without a difference, but a vote for Trump, while not inherently indicative of the voter being a racist, sexist, xenophobic homophobe, enabled those attitudes to become policy, and at best every Trump voter was comfortable enough allowing that to get whatever policy goal they wanted from voting Republican. It’s all on their hands. There were no surprises here – Trump is doing *exactly* what he said he would.

  7. To Travis who wants to work as a student assistant.

    I’ve been out of undergrad for a quarter century now so things might be different but back in my day I was in a similar situation and I ended up volunteering for my school’s sport information department. The SID loved it because I wasn’t limited to work study hours like the others were, I loved it because I got to do what I wanted to be doing. I also worked directly with the coaches in a couple sports, telling them what I brought to them and how I could help. Again, worked great.

    If being paid money is an issue, well, that’s a different story.

  8. Dave: Most underhyped way Trump voters will be screwed by their leader: repeal of the fiduciary rule.


    Going to disagree there. The fiduciary rule was/is not a good thing for clients, it’s a good thing for advisors and wealth management firms. The rule would have resulted in advisors moving everyone to fee based accounts which are a rip off in their own regard.

    Taken right from that WSJ article ; Fee-based accounts complying with the rule generate revenue that averages 1% of annual assets under management compared with 0.6% for commission-based accounts. So people will be paying more in fees than they did in commission. Fees destroy returns. You can argue that people should shop around and that fees need to be lower in general and I wouldn’t disagree with you at all but for most people that’s not going to happen, they are just going to piss away more in fees.

    • Going to agree with this – a managed account is generally not an appropriate solution for a long-term, growth-oriented investor. There are times when managing volatility is of higher importance, but shoehorning accounts into a one-size-fits all approach is not doing investors any favors.

  9. Inside Out was so underrated that it won the Best Animated Film Oscar, received a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and made $857 million worldwide. I think it’s good that someone came in here to stick up for this plucky little indie film no one seems to think much of.