Dayn Perry is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
Dayn Perry: Howdy from sunny Austin, Texas. Let's light this candle ...
Core Dump (UMBC): How's your NCAA bracket looking?
Dayn Perry: Can't think of a better starting point than this. My final four: Kentucky, Pitt, Duke, UConn. Kentucky over Duke in the finals.
Rooting interest: Mississippi State.
Wouldn't totally surprise me if ... An all-ACC Final Four came out of the wash.
James Click (San Francisco, CA): Do you realize you didn't pick any upsets bigger than a #10 over a #7 and not a single upset for the Sweet 16 except UNC in the BP Office Pool? Can you explain your complete lack of creativity?
Dayn Perry: Ah, a little in-house bracket ribbing. Yes, I can explain this: I'm an inveterate coward when it comes to predicting upsets in the NCAA Tourney. All hail conspicuous consumption. If you want bracket accuracy, talk to Jonah or Sheehan.
Ricky (San Diego): Petco Park hosted a 4 day, 10 game college baseball tourney this past weekend... I realize this is a small sample and college ball; but the park seemed to favor pitching, flyballs with limited cary, foul territory slightly larger than I had expected for a new "bandbox", etc. Any thoughts?
Dayn Perry: A ten-game sample, as you know, isn't much to go on. I know the organization believes it will favor left-handed pitchers, but that's about all I can say at this point.
Lenny Dee (Portland): Hi Dayn,
I'd appreciate your thoughts on surprise and disappointing teams this year
Dayn Perry: Hey, Lenny. I think the Indians could sneak up in the limp-wrist AL Central. Although I don't like their off-season, the Mariners, I think, are still very much alive in the AL West. I also think Oakland will score more runs than they did last season despite losing Tejada.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): I was re-reading your How To Fix The Yankees piece from last fall. I was amused to see that other than the throwaway line "Don't trade Soriano except maybe for ARod", they seemed to act directly against each item you mentioned. After a 1-10 winter, how do they look?
Dayn Perry: Well, they're still a very powerful team. They're certainly doing the wrong thing by leaving Jeter at short, and some of their dollars could've been better spent on Mike Cameron. Will's written on their substantial injury risks, which is my main concern. If healthy, their rotation is excellent, and, if healthy, their lineup is devastating. If Brown, Giambi and Sheffield are all reasonably healthy, they should win 100 games. If pressed, I'd probably pick Boston to win the East, but they'll both be in the playoffs.
As an aside, I'm not a fan of either team, but there's nothing in the world I'd rather watch than a meaningful Yanks-Sox tilt.
Jody Moulton (Chicago): Dayn, with your infinite knowledge of prospects, could you identify any starting pitchers who still qualify as rookies (<= 50 IP is the rule right?) AND will start the season in their team's rotation? Also, which of these guys will have the best chance to stick (be successful). Here are a few names if it's easier for you to rank them in order of "stickedness": Dewon Brazelton, Doug Waechter, Chris Capuano, Matt Riley, Eric DuBose, Jason Stanford, Grant Balfour, Edgar Gonzalez, Brandon Claussen. I've omitted Edwin Jackson and Chin-Hui Tsao as I'm very familiar with their situations. Thank you in advance!
Dayn Perry: You say "infinite," I say "serviceable." In order and without delving deeply ... Gonzalez, Stanford, Claussen, Capuano, Riley, Balfour, Dubose, Waechter, Brazleton.
xianb (champaign, il): What does Sheffield need to do to get in the Hall? Find the cure for McCarthyism? Send a Valentine's Day Card to each member of the BWAA?
Dayn Perry: He could retire right now, and he'd have my non-existent vote. He'll likely reach 2,500 hits; 475 homers; 1,500 RBI and 1,500 walks before he retires. That should do the trick. Unless, of course, his peccadilloes reduce his support among the writers.
xian (champaign, il): If Cristian Guzman were shipped to the "Triple's Hell" that is LA, would he be even more worthless than Izturis?
Dayn Perry: Contrary to popular opinion, Guzman has the better glove. Dodger would certainly cut down on those triples, but I'd probably go with Guzman, who's at least had one good season. That said, I don't want either one of them on my team.
NC (Seattle): Your article on Dodger Stadium got me wondering: At what point do Barry Bonds' outlandish numbers skew the Park Effects of the places he plays? Does Pac Bell rate as the best pitcher's park in the game if you remove Barry's PAs? And since he must rack up 40 PAs or so in Dodger Stadium a year, is Dodger Stadium even tougher on "normal" lefties than it appears?
Dayn Perry: The short answer is that, no, I don't think one player, no matter how much of a statistical outlier he is, will skew park effects to a meaningful degree. Since park effects take into account home and road numbers, this shouldn't be a problem.
Ben Murphy (Raleigh NC): Dayn, who is your pick for the NL Central this year?
What do you think of an Elite 8 match-up between Carolina and Duke?
Who are you pulling for in that one?
Dayn Perry: Although my distaste for the Cubs is both boundless and without bound, I'm picking them to top the Astros by one game and my beloved Cards by three.
For the sake of my bracket, I'm pulling for Duke. But since I generally favor underdogs, I'll pull for Carolina on that level. Depends on how mad I am at them for beating Miss. State in the Sweet 16.
Lightning round forthwith ...
Casey (Baltimore): Does Disch-Falk Field still have AstroTurf?
How do the baseball Horns look this year?
Dayn Perry: Yep, much to my chagrin. They look good, if a bit overrated in my mind. I'm picking Rice and their amazing staff to repeat.
Felton (New Orleans, LA): It's interesting that Dodger Stadium knocks down triples so much (52 compared to league norm 100). It would seem that a more spacious ball park like Dodger stadium would allow more room for balls hit in the gaps to roll around. Any ideas on what makes Dodger Stadium so triples unfriendly?
Dayn Perry: Uneducated guess ... The relatively short distance to the center field wall probably has something to do with it. And that perfectly weird "Think Blue" thing probably has some karmic consequences beyond our ken.
Jordan Lyall (OC, CA): Who will win the NBA Finals?
Dayn Perry: Wow ... The only thing worse than the NBA is the NHL. I'll be a homer and say my Mavs. Actual pick: Kings.
xian (champaign, il): In 2020, John Sayles makes a movie about the career of Bud Selig as Commissioner. What do you title it?
Dayn Perry: Matewhy
Dayn Perry: Okay, folks, thanks for all the great questions, and sorry I wasn't able to get to all of them. If you're a denizen of the Lone Star state, be sure to pop in at our upcoming feeds in Austin and Houston. I've got articles to write and hoops to watch ...