Klawchat 11/16/17.

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Keith Law: Take one for the team; you’re a cog in the machine. It’s Klawchat.

Dr. Bob: Hey there, Keith. The NL ROY was obvious. I was curious about your second and third place votes since they went against the grain of other voters. Not a complaint. Can you educate us as to your reasons?
Keith Law: I was floored to see all the votes for Josh Bell – a fine player, but worth under a win because 1) he’s a first baseman and 2) he’s a *terrible* first baseman. It’s 2017; we know position matters and we know defense matters. I’m not saying my ballot was ‘right,’ but Margot was clearly worth more than Bell, thanks to defense/position, and he’s over a year younger to boot. Hoskins was worth more than Bell too, and there you’ve got the direct positional comparison. There was a clear #1, and there wasn’t really anyone in the NL who was a clear #2, or someone you’d say “well, if Bellinger hadn’t won, this guy would have probably won it.” But the downballot totals didn’t make much sense to me.

Nick: Turkey question: How would you approach seasoning a turkey that’s been dry brined and spatchcocked? I’m thinking unsalted herb butter during the cooking process?
Keith Law: I cook it at high temp with nothing else on it (just put water in the roasting pan so it doesn’t smoke), then leave seasoning to the gravy. At 425-450 I’d be concerned about burning any butter on or in the bird.

Casey: Do the Cardinals go with Paul DeJong as their opening day starter at SS? If so what are the chances he’s an average regular there?
Keith Law: I’m fairly sure they will; I’d probably say 33% chance.

Nick: Do you podcast often? If so, what are you’re favorites (I’m big on Radiolab)?
Keith Law: Grierson & Leitch’s movie podcast; The Hidden Brain; Joe Sheehan’s podcast. That’s it right now. I always listen while doing something else – driving, mowing, cooking/cleaning.

Casey: Which Cardinals SP prospect has the highest ceiling…Hicks or Alcantara?
Keith Law: Hicks.

Adam: Thoughts on the Anthoupolos hire in ATL? Did you work with him in Toronto?
Keith Law: I did, for 2+ years, and remain a huge fan. I think it was a perfect hire, someone with a great track record, lots of respect around the industry, and a philosophy that should dovetail well with their existing amateur scouting practices. They made the best of a terrible situation.

Eric: By Monday, we’ll find out if Tony Clark wants to toss a monkeywrench into Ohtani’s plans or not. Predict for us – will a posting agreement be reached?
Keith Law: I’ll predict yes, but if this deal doesn’t pay Ohtani fairly, I’d rather the answer be no. Why let the Yankees (for example) pay $5 million for a player worth $25 million-plus a year when they can clearly afford it.

Ben: Thoughts on Vieira going to the Sox?
Keith Law: Seen him 3x. 98-102 with well below average command and no average second pitch. Have seen a CB (awful) and slider (below average). Big arm strength guy. Fine pickup for international money, but high chance he never produces any value in the majors given the command issues.

Adam: So what’s the story on Andres Munoz? Are we looking at a guy with potential to be a high-leverage reliever/ future “closer?”
Keith Law: The Padres’ teenager? Yes, that’s the most likely outcome. Very hard to see him ever becoming a starter.

Dan: Will it be Stanton/Altuve tonight?
Keith Law: That’s my expectation.

Dana: Looks like Gleyber will compete for 3B and Didi won’t be traded. Time for the Yanks to extend Didi?
Keith Law: I’ve said before I think this wastes Gleyber’s defensive value.

Adam: How many picks have to work out for a draft class to be a success? Or is it more about nailing 1 superstar than a handful of role players?
Keith Law: If you get a superstar, it’s hard for anyone to argue it was a bad class … but I think any class should be judged in the context of both the picks a team had and the caliber of the class overall. So the Rays’ 2011 class, with 7 picks in the first ~80 or so, would be judged against a higher standard than a draft where a team didn’t pick until round 2 or 3.

Adam: If you ever get a Manager of the Year vote, what basis would you use to decide who you’ll vote for?
Keith Law: I had one once. I called a bunch of GMs and other front office folks in the league and asked what they thought. I don’t think there are valid, objective criteria for that award. “They won more games than we thought they would” is a terrible proxy.

Jim: Which of the Cardinals 7 or so outfielders do you see most likely to get dealt?
Keith Law: Feels like Grichuk, Mercado, O’Neill could all be available. Wonder if they’d sell low on Piscotty; I wouldn’t. I’ve always believed he could hit.

Alex: Do you believe Stanton will actually get traded? If so, who would you guess it would be to?
Keith Law: I have said for months I think it’s unlikely – that is an enormous contract with huge risk given his injury history.

Jack: Ohtani have ace potential? 3-4 plus pitches?
Keith Law: He’s a #1 starter here.

Perry: If you’re not doing a write-up, can you give us your thoughts on the Ryon Healy trade?
Keith Law: (yawn)

Juwan: How do you view the Robles v Acuna debate (and by debate I mean petty squabbling between their respective fan bases)? They both look like future stars, do you view one more highly than the other?
Keith Law: I’ll have to put one over the other when I rank prospects in January. There are no ties.

Carlo: What role do you think Luiz Gohara ultimately fills? Thanks!
Keith Law: Starter.

Nelson: What do you hope to acheive by responding to tweets like Aubrey Huff’s? You know that theres no chance youll make any impression on him, right?
Keith Law: I had no intention or expectation of changing his mind. I want to provide a factual rejoinder for any other readers who might see his tweets. If you don’t fight ignorance or falsehoods, they spread.

Alex A: So there are rumors that the Braves are going to lose prospects. I personally don’t believe Maitan will be one of them but what do you think? If you had to put a percentage chance on it, what would it be?
Keith Law: From what I heard this summer, losing Maitan wouldn’t be the devastating blow it might have seemed a year ago. As for what will happen, it really depends on what the infractions were, and I really have no idea what gossip to believe any more. Earlier this week, I had one source tell me he heard the infractions were deep on the draft side as well as amateur … and an hour later, someone else called and said he heard the amateur side wasn’t involved at all.

John: When a high level exec is hired out of a big time analytics operation like LA, how much of the organizational “secret sauce” can they feasibly or legally bring with them? I’d imagine any actual models are proprietary, but it’s not like he can just forget player valuations or concepts, right?
Keith Law: I believe that’s part of what gets people hired from other orgs – you’re brought on because of who you are and because of what you know.

Mike: Do you think there is any chance the Rockies turn first base over to McMahon next year? Bonus question: odds Helton is one-and-done in hall of fame balloting on a crowded ballot?
Keith Law: They should, and I don’t think he’ll be one and done but I don’t think he’ll get in either.

Jake: What would the Padres signing Hosmer accomplish? They already have Myers (you can debate who’s better but I’d argue that the difference isn’t worth what Hosmer would cost) and I feel like they would be smarter to go after positions of need (SP, SS). Besides, if you’re willing to spend that much, just go for Ohtani IMO. Thanks.
Keith Law: Makes zero sense. Terrible use of limited funds for them.

Meadow Party: Thoughts on Austin Meadows? I think he can rebound from injuries. Would an offensive profile similar to prime Hunter Pence be realistic? More/less?
Keith Law: Can’t project him to Pence’s power until he starts driving the ball more consistently.

Jon: Sandy Alderson on Dom Smith: “He didn’t win it [Starting 1B job] in September, let’s put it that way.” Will go into ST competing for the gig….what to even make of this?
Keith Law: My hope is that this is a motivational tactic; I know there were questions about his work ethic in the big leagues, and of course he has to keep an eye on the scale as well. My fear is that they’re overreacting to two mediocre months and ignoring the previous body of work (and his age).

Steve: Does one WS title validate trading of Torres, Jimenez, Candelario?
Keith Law: Yes. Is this even a question?

Nils: Hi Keith, loved your book. It got me thinking about prospect evaluation. We always hear about a “5 tool prospect”, where hitting is always one of the important tools. But if a .230 hitter (with poor hit tool) can get on base at a .330 clip, and a .300 hitter (with a great hit tool) also gets on base at .330, then shouldn’t plate discipline be a 6th tool? Or is it viewed less important with a prospect with the idea it can be learned?
Keith Law: Plate discipline is seen as a skill rather than a physical tool, but at this point, it’s on many scouting report forms anyway and the five-tool rubric is a bit of an anachronism.

Justin: Did the A’s get enough for Healy? I know he is a liability in the field, but a relief pitcher doesn’t seem like a great return for a competent bat under team control
Keith Law: Liability in the field and poor OBP skills.

Joseph P: Are there any prospects from the 2017 Draft that have surprised you or is the sample size too small to mean anything?
Keith Law: Too small for most guys. I will say I was pleased to see the Twins push Brent Rooker, who turned 23 two weeks ago, to high-A out of the draft, and to see Rooker respond with very strong results in 160 or so AB there.

Jeff: Brandon Woodruff a solid mid-rotation guy? Chance to be more?
Keith Law: That’s about right.

Jibraun: Every team seemingly now has a “Quality Control Coach,” but none of them can seem to give a clear delineation of the job duties. Can you clear it up?
Keith Law: I don’t know of any standardized description of that role.

Nate: Do you have (or know people in the industry that have) any concerns about Michael Fulmer for next season? Looked to be pitching hurt his final handful of starts. Rest all that is/was needed?
Keith Law: He was hurt. Elbow injury. Supposed to be fine for spring training.

KLawGod: I’ve heard a lot of people blaming the MLBPA during this whole Otani situation. As someone who is not familiar with their role, why are they at fault here in the situation? I thought the MLBPA is advocating for Otani so why are they catching flack?
Keith Law: The MLBPA was involved in the CBA negotiations, and didn’t fight to carve out any sort of protection for Ohtani or players like him, probably because he’s not a union member and any money spent on him would, in theory, not be spent on union members. However, the clearest beneficiary of the cap is the team that signs him, and you would like to think the union would recognize that even if Ohtani isn’t currently a member, the moment he signs a contract here he will be one, and the more he’s paid the more it bumps up the top end of the starting pitcher salary scale.

Eric: Griffin Conine or Seth Beer?
Keith Law: Leaning Conine, but that’s based more on secondhand reports.

Xavier: When you were in college, what did you envision yourself doing for the rest of your life?Did you ever consider becoming an investment banker or entering the finance industry in any way?
Keith Law: I did not. Many classmates did. I heard the hours those people were working and I was very not interested.

Greg: True or False: The Red Sox Opening Day 1B will be Sam Travis
Keith Law: False.

Aaron Boone: Do you have any particular opinion on Aaron Boone’s potential as a manager?
Keith Law: He’s never managed, right? So we just don’t know.

Gene Mullett: Kershaw, Kluber, Scherzer, & Sale really seem to be the elite of MLB arms & have been for a while now. With the exception of Strasburg’s health & Verlander’s hit-or-miss seasons, which SP do you think is most capable of joining them?
Keith Law: Archer has the potential – the stuff, the athleticism, the intelligence – to join them, but has never had the consistent command for it. Carlos Carrasco might be the next tier, but he’s quietly been excellent for a few years now.

Seath: ok last question. If Maitan is one of the prospects that is forfeited by the Braves how would his FA work (or any lost prospect for that matter)? Would teams need to use their International pool money or is it a free for all?
Keith Law: Precedent says it’ll be IFA money, under the cap. But he’d keep his previous bonus, so he’s protected.

Stanton: Given that Stanton was a 7.5 win player last year and is essentially payed at or under market value aren’t the Marlins right to ask for the moon in return?
Keith Law: They can ask for whatever they want, but he was a 2-win player in 2016, and I don’t believe he’d get 10 years and $290 million in free agency this winter. Not a chance.

Gene Mullett: What album(s) is/are on your household heavy rotation lately?
Keith Law: Beck, INHEAVEN, Hundred Waters, Portugal. The Man, Death from Above.

Mike Mott: I’m cooking turkey for the first time for my Friendsgiving. Any advice? I’ve been told brining is a must.
Keith Law: I’ve brined with success, but the last three years I’ve spatchcocked the bird and “dry brined” (really, salted) instead.

Jeremy: I think it is safe to say there are waaaaaay more powerful people, particularly in politics, who are serial abusers, than we can even imagine. What ticks me off the most, is that Congress has a special fund, made up entirely of taxpayer dollars, that is specifically to take care of settlements in legal complaints against our representatives. Aren’t these guys all rich enough to take care of their own business?
Keith Law: Yes, and they’re powerful enough to make us take care of their business. I agree, there are WAY more of these cases coming, in politics (both parties, so please, stop the partisan whining), entertainment, business, and sports.

Ryan: Thoughts on Urias? There seems to be a wide spectrum. With his bat I can see the ceiling as an above average 2B competing for batting titles year in and year out.
Keith Law: I’m a fan. I don’t really care about batting average titles, but Urias can hit.

John: I know conventional wisdom is not to trade within your division, but if you were Jeter, would it make sense to find a partner for Stanton in the Braves/Mets/Phillies? If he’s good, he probably opts out before you’re competitive and if he’s not, it’s a long term hamstring for whoever ends up with him.
Keith Law: That conventional wisdom is stupid. Of course they should explore in-division trades … but the Mets aren’t touching a contract like that.

Drew: With his second consecutive, and third overall, Cy Young, do you think Scherzer is a Hall of Famer? I admittedly can be a bit of a Nats homer, but was surprised that Boswell wrote that “Cooperstown talk is a long way off because Max was a bit of a late bloomer who became good in 2010, then great by ’13 as he added a curveball to his repertoire.” Your thoughts?
Keith Law: Ask me this after Mussina is elected.

David: Hi Keith, You mentioned on Twitter that Beltran should make the Hall of Fame. I agree. He was a tremendous player with a great career. I noticed his career WAR and JAWS totals were similar to Kenny Lofton (about a 1 WAR difference on B-R over their careers and peak). Why do you think Lofton never got a push? Was it simply a lack of power in a power-heavy era?
Keith Law: Yes, and that Lofton moved around a lot so he didn’t have a fan base or local writers stumping for him.

David: What do you see as the future for Jordan Luplow? Everyday player? 4th OF? More? Less?
Keith Law: Fourth OF.

Mattey: You’re aware of the beautiful baseball stadium slated for demolition in Camden. I think it’s obvious that an affiliated minor league team would have much better there than the independent league that was there, but is that right? How much would having an affiliated team there hurt Phillies ticket sales?
Keith Law: Don’t think it’d hurt at all. Might even help, as fans would have a better chance to see prospects on their way up.

Russ: Define projectability. We have a 13yo outfielder/2nd baseman who is already 5’9 and 163. He’ll naturally add height and mass as he gets older, but does he want to leave room for “projectability” or get as strong / athletic as possible……….
Keith Law: I am not a fan of kids that young doing heavy weight training to get bigger. I doubt we know the consequences of that over the long term. Just stay in shape and have fun.

Michael Izen: Hi Keith, which team do you think will land Otani, and how much of an impact will he make on that team?
Keith Law: No idea who’ll land him.

Richard: Do you still think Ohtani’s hitting is being way overhyped?
Keith Law: Absolutely. But facts don’t matter much any more, do they?

DHugh: If Ohtani comes to the MLB this off-season, would it be permissible for a team to promise that they’d release him to free agency after a year or two?
Keith Law: MLB has made it clear they’d consider that a violation of the rules. After the Atlanta imbroglio I doubt anyone would flaunt the Commissioner’s authority so brazenly.

tom: My eleven year old granddaughter has become fanatical about baseball. When asked what she wants to do when she grows up she answers,”I am going to Yale to study economics so I can train to be a GM”. Can you recommend any books that will provide her a better understanding of the dynamics of a baseball game as well as the construction of a team. While very bright, she is just eleven years old with the expected math skills for that age. Thanks. Tom PS – she chooses Yale over Harvard, because her dad is an alum.
Keith Law: I don’t know of many books on the topic – if you’re here, then you probably know about my book – but I’d certainly suggest Moneyball too, even with its flaws. Also, tell her she should study whatever subject she loves. Economics isn’t necessary or even that useful for this sport.

Jason: Given the statistics on how rare false accusations are (and how many victims stay silent), what would it take for you not to believe an accuser of sexual violence/harassment?
Keith Law: That’s a good question without an easy answer. Certainly, if the accused can produce evidence that, say, he wasn’t in that place at that time, or something else that’s clearly disproof, that would settle it. But you’re right about how rare false claims are.

Pat D: Hate to ask this, but what’s your guess on how many people use the Franken story to justify/excuse/outright ignore the Roy Moore story?
Keith Law: I don’t follow any alt-right nitwits on Twitter, but that stuff shows up in my feed anyway, and I’m seeing a lot of that nonsense. Here’s a real hot take: Franken should resign immediately. Maybe we should just go with a Senate of 100 women instead.

Greg: What’s your outlook on Gregory Polanco? Was he just constantly hurt last year? Or has he maybe taken a step backward?
Keith Law: Seems to be a lot going wrong – not healthy, but not as selective as he was, and not making hard enough contact either. The disconnect between his physical ability and his major league performance is huge. I can’t give up on that talent, but perhaps the Pirates need to find a different coach to work with him.

Dennis: Best choice for Angels to fill the chasm at second? Sign Neil Walker? Trade for Kinsler or Gordon? Convince Cozart to switch to second?
Keith Law: Lots of 2b available now – Gordon would be the best fit if they can afford him (in prospects).

Justin Y: Rumors were flying around of a Melancon/Heyward swap. Worth the risk for the Giants? Play him in CF.
Keith Law: Andy Baggarly said it was nonsense.

Jim: How long will it take AA to make a move or two in Atlanta? At some point, they have to start trading prospects for ML talent, right?
Keith Law: Knowing Alex, I’m kind of stunned he didn’t make three trades before leaving Orlando.

Jim: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food to cook that doesn’t contain any dead animals?
Keith Law: Dead animals can be delicious. But my Thanksgiving menu is typically turkey, two stuffings (one with chicken stock, one with andouille sausage), and then a LOT of vegetables. I roast 2-3 pounds of Brussels sprouts at high temp and toss them in a sweet and sour sauce; that’s often a big hit and it scales well for the crowd.

Adam Trask: Does Al Franken’s apology matter, or should we throw him out, too?
Keith Law: I thought the apology was weak – but does an apology unring the bell? Does it un-violate the victim? There are plenty of candidates out there who didn’t grope anyone. Step aside for one of them instead.

JR: At my kids 10u game last Friday, the pitcher for the opposing team threw 99!! pitches over 5 innings. It was the second game of a double header and after the fact we found out he had thrown an inning in their first game, so between in game and warm up pitches, etc, he probably threw around 150 pitches that day. Our team was literally in shock that they had him throw so many pitches. Crazy what adults will do too young kids to win game. Sadly, the tournament has an innings limit for each kid, but not a pitch count, so they didn’t break any rules.
Keith Law: You should approach the tournament directors and push for a rule change, then.

Dr. Rob: Which player from the 70’s or 80’s do you think should be in the HOF that would surprise the most people? For me it’s Bobby Grich.
Keith Law: Whitaker is my main guy, but I agree on Grich and also Trammell.

Andrew Vargha: How much stock do you put into 1st time through the order stats when projecting how a starter could be as a reliever?
Keith Law: Not a ton because we expect a pitcher’s stuff to tick up in a relief role. It’s more that a pitcher who struggles the 2nd/3rd time through is probably not going to work out as a starter.

Alex: After seeing/hearing about Austin Riley – don’t you think 3rd base should be what AA targets this offseason?
Keith Law: I would explore it, but you can only acquire what’s available, and I don’t think 3b is that strong (not like 2b, which is deep).

Foster: In the Verlander trade, the Tigers had to pay a reported $8 mil. a year of his salary to get Perez, Cameron, and Rogers. At the deadline, if the Yankees paid all of Verlander’s salary, but insisted on sending back Ellsbury, how much of Ellsbury’s salary and what prospects would the Yankees have had to send to complete the deal? Thanks.
Keith Law: I really can’t answer that at all. I’d just be making shit up. But I should point out that any team below Houston in the standings could have just claimed Verlander on trade waivers, even to block him, but didn’t. That alone may have been the difference between Houston winning the World Series and them losing in any of the three rounds of the playoffs, especially the last two.

Doug: I read an article last week that the Sox are thinking about trying Chavis at 2B. Does he had enough range to be passable there?
Keith Law: Worth a try. Don’t think it’ll work, but it’s a good experiment.

Brad: I’m a college student that loves board games but I don’t find video games enjoyable. One of my other three roommates have the same view as I do, but the other two won’t even give them a chance. Is there anything I can do to convince them?
Keith Law: Boardgames inspired by videogames? X-COM is out. Fallout is coming. Seeing more of these as we go along.

BrandonW: Part of me is like “good on the Twins for being transparent about an issue with Marte that can be tested and proven” and another part is “are they allowed to disclose this? Are there HIPAA issues at play?” Thoughts?
Keith Law: He’s not a citizen – does that matter? I don’t know any specifics of HIPAA. Maybe it would have gotten out anyway.

Brad: Can you explain the new tax law they’re trying to pass? I had a professor come in my class and said that it was very good for America, and that it would help all of us college students with finding a job, because more jobs would be created. I just don’t understand it and everyone seems to have an agenda these days.
Keith Law: I doubt I could do a bill that complex justice here, but that professor seems to have given you a very one-sided view that isn’t supported by the history of such tax cuts. Trickle-down economics hasn’t worked; the top marginal rate in the US and the effective corporate tax rate are low enough by global standards that cutting them hasn’t led to the sort of growth proponents have promised.

John: Long term- Kevin Maitan or Vlad Jr.?
Keith Law: Vlad Jr. Not even close. Maitan might not be a top 100 prospect any more; Vlad is top 10.

Leroy: Now that Alex Cora is a manager, who will be your new top recommendation for manager jobs?
Keith Law: That should be my new offseason project – finding the next Alex Coras out there.

KJohn: Just curious how much time you spend on baseball-related matters? A 40 hour week would be about 2,000 hours/year, with intermittent peaks and valleys. How does your time investment compare?
Keith Law: Dunno. My days are so unstructured that it would be hard to count it. I’m certainly not working 9-5 on baseball each day.

Elton: Hello Keith. I think you were the first source from which I heard about the allegations about Louis CK. You must have seen Michael Schur’s apology regarding this. I’m very conflicted and ashamed myself as a (former) big fan of CK who was hoping the stories were somehow not true. Do you think this extraordinary cultural moment where men are being held more accountable will spread to athletes, when so many of them have seemed to continue unscathed after allegations of serious sexual misconduct?
Keith Law: I really hope so. Because you KNOW this is happening across sports. But the handful of times that women have come forward, they’ve had their lives torn apart. Look at Jameis Winston’s accusers – and, by the way, he skated on everything. In the time you asked that question, Jerry Jones signed three more players with histories of violence.

Bobby: Keith – First, as always, thanks so much. I look forward to these chats every week. I don’t want the Yanks to sell low on Betances – particularly if they are at least going to try Green in the rotation – but it is hard to have someone who, while generally dominant, has 2-3 periods during a season where he just loses his mechanics. What would you do w him if you’re Cash?
Keith Law: I’d consider moving him because the bullpen is such a strength for them and he’s superfluous – and could be a closer option for a team that doesn’t want to spend on a Wade Davis. Related: I don’t like moving Chad Green back to the rotation.

Jacob: Should Roy Moore win the special election, and there is a strong chance he will, will you publicly blast Alabamans for sticking behind an obvious pervert….or will you admit that there are many Democrat policies that are so unappealing to many people that they would rather vote for a pedophile than a Democrat?
Keith Law: What policies would those be? I’m genuinely curious. Incidentally, if I had a comparable choice here, I’d simply abstain. I wouldn’t vote for someone who did what Moore has done even if I agreed with all of his policy plans.

Bobby: Again, love the chats. Thanks. Best side dish for Thanksgiving? Also, do you think a sous vide machine is a good purchase or not necessary? If so, which one do you recommend? Finally, Yanks next manager – guess as to who?
Keith Law: Definitely not necessary but very fun to have. Anova is what I own and the only one I’ve used. Best side dish … depends on what you like. I have a mac & cheese recipe here on the site. I mentioned the Brussels sprouts. I really try to jazz up the vegetable sides, because people say they want turkey and starches, but you can only shove so much of that into your stomach before you want to curl up and die.

Andy: Isn’t there a concern with the Braves about their position player prospects? There aren’t many after Acuna and they are about to take away Maitan, Gutierrez, Severino potentially.
Keith Law: Hi, I’m Keith Law, President of the Cristian Pache Fan Club. Can I come in and show you some literature on this fine young centerfielder? I promise it’ll only take two to three hours.

G: Being a Pirates fan, after watching Pelotero, I was no longer comfortable rooting for their acquisition methods in Latin America. The dismissal of Rene Gayo seems like a move in the right direction, but ultimately, is there a way to compete for LA talent while still playing fair, or is the problem systemic?
Keith Law: If MLB enforces its rules, we might see a real sea change in practices down there – but they must keep in mind that impoverished players have nothing to lose by breaking the rules. You police the teams, not the players.

Another Cody: Cody Carrol has gotten hype from the AFL – is he a future big leaguer?
Keith Law: Great arm. Definite big league reliever for me.

James: Given how few free agents actually live up to their contracts why are teams so willing to give out long term contracts? In your opinion did capping the draft and international free agents actually hurt small market teams because it limited the talent they could bring in and develop?
Keith Law: It’s a constrained market: Teams have lots of money to spend and strong incentive to spend it to win now, but the pool of players on which they can spend freely is always limited. The players who’d be the best investments rarely reach free agency. And yes, those caps hurt low-revenue/low-payroll teams the most.

Patty O’Furniture: Nice use of imbroglio
Keith Law: My sesquipedalian proclivity comes in handy at times.

Drew: Follow up to my Scherzer question: I *completely* agree with you about Mussina. Do you think he makes it there eventually?
Keith Law: I do. He’s going to be the next cause celebre for those of us who pick causes celebres for the Hall.

Joe: Can you explain how position affects the defensive side of WAR? I’ve tried reading about it but don’t completely understand. Is it bumped up or down depending on what position one plays?
Keith Law: Think of it this way: All MLB first baseman, in aggregate, hit .265/.347/.487 in 2017. All MLB shortstops hit .264/.319/.416. Therefore, to be an above-average hitter for a first baseman, you must hit above that mark … which would make you a superstar hitter for a shortstop. An above-average hitter at shortstop could still be a below-average hitter at first base. Positional adjustments take this into account: The standard varies by position.

JR: Thoughts on Bitcoin? Do you own or staying away?
Keith Law: Don’t own any.

Dr. Bob: If every powerful male who abused women loses his job, there’s going to be a lot turnover in politics, top levels of business, sports, etc.
Keith Law: I’m good with that.

Sal: Sorry if this is too personal, but could you talk about your daily routine a little? For example do you read eary in the morning? I’m trying to increase my productivity.
Keith Law: My routine varies more than it should, depending on how much sleep I get. But I do like writing first thing, after I drop my daughter off, because it seems to get my brain going.

Johnny O: If you’re hiring a new manager with a team that is young and at least 50% Hispanic, how much importance would you place on finding a candidate who speaks Spanish? Or is that a factor if you have two equally qualified candidates but one of them is bilingual?
Keith Law: I’d consider Spanish skills a requirement for a managing job at any level of the system, from complex leagues on up.

Chris J: What do you expect from Julio Urias going forward?
Keith Law: I’d be surprised if he pitches again.

Steve: That should be *flouts* the commissioner’s authority. Flaunting it would be the opposite.
Keith Law: You are correct; they’d be flaunting their flouting, so to speak.

Frankie: Francis Martes — does he still have a future as a starter?
Keith Law: Not impossible; more likely a reliever for me, but far from certain.

Tom: I have a product I spent a lot of money on but now I don’t like the company. So I’m going to smash said product to smithereens even though the company already has my money cause that’ll learn em. That’s how this works, right?
Keith Law: I was so torn, because Keurigs are awful for the environment, and they make terrible coffee (the grounds are stale by the time you brew that cup), but my God was it funny to see the reactions. And, by the way, no one seemed to want to admit that Hannity claimed on air that a 14-year-old could consent to sexual contact, which is false.

Carl: Did you know Ingenious is no longer available for purchase on the App Store? That game got me through several long plane trips!
Keith Law: I didn’t – that’s a bummer. Maybe I can talk to some industry contacts about bringing it back. I think the company that did Caylus went under too.

Jay: Garvey Murphy Trammel Morris Whitaker Bill Madlock all 80s guys that got so little respect from HOF
Keith Law: Well, Garvey, Morris, and Madlock are all well below the line. Dale Murphy is a tougher one: he had a Hall of Fame peak without the longevity.

Buck: I keep seeing good reports on Austin Riley in the AFL. SSS, or could there be a little bit of a breakout here?
Keith Law: I saw him. Same guy at the plate. AFL stats aren’t useful, given the small sample, good hitting environment, and highly variable levels of competition. He has improved defensively since 2016, though – I saw it, and I have heard the same from scouts who saw him this year too.

sk: Will Hunter Renfroe ever hit for average in the majors?
Keith Law: Gotta hit or lay off the slider away for that to happen.

Sam: Are the critical reports on Maitan accurate? or a little over the top being that he’s a 17 year old playing just one season over here. Also how much time does Blake Rutherford have before people start to grumble that he could be a bust?
Keith Law: I’ve heard a lot of reports about his body that I think were over the top, but his swing looks awful now. Rutherford is probably at that point now. Another bad year and he’ll get written off. (Not without reason, given his age.)

Brian: Will you do a Periscope this year as you prep your bird?
Keith Law: Absolutely. I get requests for this every November.

addoeh: People always bring up Duke lacrosse as a counterpoint to any sexual assault claim. But in addition to a single accuser who made it up, there was also a DA, Mike Nifong, who made many serious prosecutorial errors that weren’t uncovered until later. If Nifong had done his job, we probably never hear about it.
Keith Law: Agreed. Or an ethical DA (I think Nifong was disbarred for his actions?) might have uncovered lesser crimes that didn’t become a national news story.

Jesse: Mastodon’s Emperor of Sand a candidate for your top 10 albums this year?
Keith Law: I liked it, doubt it makes my top 10 offhand.

Brian: Pressure cooker or slow cooker?
Keith Law: Pressure cooker.

Jim: How do you come up with your opening statement for Klawchat?
Keith Law: Tends to be from a song I heard in the last week.

Dennis: Funner read: Don Quixote or The Count of Monte Cristo?
Keith Law: Monte Cristo by far. It’s a hell of an adventure.

Jason: What’s Pache’s ETA? And assuming the Braves move Inciarte before he’s ready, who is the better defensive CF between Pache and Acuna?
Keith Law: Three years away. Pache might be a 70 defender now.

Bryce Harper: Keith Hernandez: Hall of Famer?
Keith Law: Not for me.

Brent: If you’re the White Sox, it’s a smart move to trade your intl cash for Vieira? That arm and Cooper, it’s not crazy to hope for another Kahnle type, no?
Keith Law: Sure. I don’t mind the trade. But I don’t think he’s a great prospect. He might not be top 20 in that system now.

Lance: Were you classmates of Radhika Jones? Know her?
Keith Law: Don’t know her. I think she was ’95.

Ham Bone: With all the allegations of sexual assault, how is Peyton Manning not brought up again. He is still the face of State Farm and Papa John’s.
Keith Law: Because no one believes women who accuse athletes.

Jackie: Dwight Evans was much better at baseball than Jim Rice. And Dewey didn’t snub my autograph request when I was eleven …
Keith Law: Evans had a legit HoF case but didn’t have any hack writers stumping for him.

Vince: Mixed feelings about the situation in Zimbabwe. Mugabe was a tyrant, but military rule is almost never the answer. Thoughts?
Keith Law: Same. Mugabe’s reign of terror has impoverished the country, though. Unless they fall into anarchy like Somalia, it’s hard to fathom anything being worse.

JP: can Profar still be an above-average regular with a change of scenery?
Keith Law: I think so. Would love to see him get the chance.

Ty: Hi Keith! Shouldn’t baseball make teams at minimum ask teams to bid draft picks for Ohtani? Seems insane that they are letting a player send $100M-$200M in surplus value to one lucky team. Obviously, the better solution is to declare him a free agent which would take care of the surplus value question.
Keith Law: That’s an interesting idea. Detroit picks first; what if MLB said hey, you can take him, today, and pay him #1 pick slot, but give up that pick? If they pass, go to the next team. That’s crazy and impossible and I kind of love it.

Iowa Cowtipper: I’m glad that the many sexual assaulters are finally being exposed and agree that most accused are guilty. Still, I’m troubled by the rush to judgement that follows accusations today. I fear a new Macarthyism of sorts.
Keith Law: The accusations we’ve seen so far have either been supported by concrete evidence or been exceptionally well sourced by the journalists who’ve brought them forward. I can think of one recent allegation that didn’t fit that – George Takei – and that has, for the moment, failed to gain traction as a result. (Which is not to say it’s false.) I’d love to say we’re at or approaching some equilibrium, where every assaulter/harasser is called out and faces the consequences of his actions, but there are no false accusations out there. That’s an impossible goal, and right now, I don’t think we’re anywhere close to it.

mike : being ifa can keep previous bonus, whats stopping them from lying during interviews to get paid twice?
Keith Law: If a player lies about his age or name or something similar, he won’t get to keep the money. IFAs have no incentive to balk at illegal deals, though; in fact, the system probably discourages them from balking at them. But I think the solution is to crack down on teams offering such deals, as Boston did and apparently Atlanta did too.

Steve: Has the beer industry gone too IPA happy?
Keith Law: You mean too hoppy?

Kilgore Trout: If a male engaged in any of this boorish or offensive behavior as a minor, but later grew up and realized the errors of his ways, should there be consequences?
Keith Law: Consequences like disqualification from public office? Sure. But that’s separate from any judicial process.

Bill: A lot of people are writing off Gardenhire as an old school manager, but he seems to have embraced the analytics training he got with the Diamondbacks, an idea backed up recently by comments from Torey Lovullo. Old dog/new tricks?
Keith Law: This will only be borne out by his actions on the job. He can say the right things now, but it’s all just words until we see a real change in his style.
Keith Law: OK, that’s all for this week, and with the holiday next week I will not chat again until the 30th. I will do a Periscope video chat while I’m prepping for the big meal, though, so I hope some of you will join me there. Thank you as always for reading and for all of your questions!

Comments

  1. Re: Operation Keurig Smash, it just follows in a long line of conservatives failing at protesting coffee companies. Not once but twice right wingers attempted to show their displeasure with Starbucks by… buying Starbucks. And now this. For bonus points, you can thank those conservatives for their choice to choose a more environmentally-conscious method of brewing their coffee – I’m sure they’ll love that.

  2. I think Jacob, who uses that charming Fox-ism “Democrat” instead of “Democratic,” is referring to the fact that many of his fellow Republicans hate women so much that they’ll vote for any Bible-humper who promises to ban abortion, no matter how odious he is otherwise.

  3. “or will you admit that there are many Democrat policies that are so unappealing to many people that they would rather vote for a pedophile than a Democrat? ”

    The grammar classes in the gulags are improving. Still a ways to go though.

    Sad!

  4. HIIPA only applies to medical billers and providers (aka, people who pay and get paid when you get sick) with some very limited exceptions. Barring anything else preventing them, like a contract that bans giving out medical information or state/local laws, an employer can give out medical info on their employees without legal consequences. Regardless, they’d be good HIIPA-wise

  5. Hi Keith,

    I`m currently enrolled in Culinary Arts in college and I`m quite slow in the kitchen as I’m quite new to cooking full time. You had mentioned to someone in one of these chats on how to become a GUY in the kitchen by watching Good Eats and I`m wondering if there`s a particular way I should watch the show? Should I watch whatever episode appeals to me in the episode title/description with the goal of watching every single episode of every season but just out of order or if I should watch the episodes in order?

    • I didn’t watch them in order; he repeats some basic info and techniques multiple times over the course of the entire series. You wouldn’t do wrong to start at S1E1, but I don’t think it’s that important either.

  6. With the understanding that the underlying conduct is unacceptable, can you explain what you found lacking in Franken’s apology? He (1) acknowledged the conduct, (2) acknowledged that his conduct was wrong and hurtful, and (3) didn’t say anything disparaging about the victim. What more could he have done in terms of the apology?

    • Which apology? He issued two. In the first, which was the only one at the time of the chat, he accused Tweeden of misremembering the incident.

  7. Good point about the two apologies. I read the two apologies together and essentially conflated the two in my mind, although the two apologies were not really the same in substance or tone. As a lawyer, I will say that saying that “I don’t recall the events the same way as the other person” is not really the same as saying “it didn’t happen” or “she got it wrong” although I suppose it is easy to take the former for the latter.

    It is likely that I’m giving Franken more credit than he deserves because he acknowledged misconduct and did not call else a liar…unlike our current president and Moore. Setting the bar pretty low, I suppose.

  8. Richard: Do you still think Ohtani’s hitting is being way overhyped?
    Keith Law: Absolutely. But facts don’t matter much any more, do they?

    Hey I’m with you on the frustration regarding facts in relation to science and general discourse, but I fail to see the connection here. To what facts regarding his hitting are you referring? The conversions seem fine FWIW. Is it something regarding your scouting report? I’m curious if so, but even still that could hardly be considered a fact, no?

    • He’s had the fifth-highest strikeout rate among Pacific League hitters in each of the last two years, and that’s only batting part-time. He’s surrounded by guys on those rankings who couldn’t hit enough to stick in the majors here.

  9. Keith, did you see Dan Szymborski’s ZIPS projections for Ohtani as a hitter? They were included in a recent ESPN article. ZIPS projected Ohtani’s 2018 slash line to be .266/.328/.466 with a 112 OPS+ based on 305 at-bats. Do you think the slash line and OPS+ is reasonable, or overly optimistic? For what it’s worth, I doubt Ohtani gets nearly that many at bats.

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