No need to look it up, you can chat with BP's Steven Goldman about the postseason and more, at this bat-time on this bat-channel.
Steven Goldman: Good afternoon, fellow seekers of wisdom and truth. Steven Goldman here to take you throw this afternoon until game time for the most important Yankees game ever since yesterday. As always, any topic fair game, no subject too controversial to be discussed, but having said that, I suspect I know what will be on your minds. Here we go!
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Girardi and Washington- worst bullpen management in any series you can remember?
Steven Goldman: Man, it's up there. Teams would be better off picking their best pitchers and letting them pitch. I'm always amazed when a manager brings in a reliever, said reliever allows a ground-ball single, and the manager apparently concludes that he hasn't got it today and goes for another pen-man, not even getting the platoon matchup but just changing for the sake of changing. At this point, I see almost any groundball single as bad luck on a ball in play, and that change isn't evidence of anything but the manager getting twitchy. If your first choice was your best choice, stick with it!
wizened cubsfan (downstate): Do you think the Cubs picked Mike Quade because he'd be both cheaper, and easier to fire than Ryne Sandberg?
Steven Goldman: That's pretty cynical. I was listening to an interview with Quademodo today and was impressed by his perspective. The Cubs did quite well under him in a small sample, but he KNOWS it's a small sample. He came off as intelligent and reflective, and not at all over-impressed with himself. Now, there are those of you more immersed in the nitty-gritty of Cubs action than I was this year who might tell me that he's worse than Jim Essian, but my gut feel is that this was a choice made on the merits, and not a bad one.
broken wrist (right arm): Typing this lefty (but not as well as Clif Lee!) -- Do you see the Mariners going after Jorge De La Rosa this offseason, they need another good pitcher even with the putrid offense.
Steven Goldman: Man, I did a similar thing when I was 16, broke my left thumb playing baseball and had a cast on up to my elbow for forever. There was one upside, which is that I got very good at unsnapping bras with one hand, a skill that has not deserted me to this day. Is that TMI? As for the Mariners, you can't fix their problems with one hand, or two hands and a shovel. I've always liked de la Rosa, but I'm not sure that his wildness will play real well in the DH league. The M's could be signing on for Daisuke Matsuzaka-West, and in any case until they fix their historically-miserable offense, I'm not sure that any pitcher can help them. They have a long, long road ahead.
Shane (Miami): Does the Rasmus-Larussa feud have a happy ending, or should we prepare for Capulet v. Montague part deux?
Steven Goldman: For the Cards' sake, it had better have a happy ending. Remember when Joe McCarthy, Mr. Professional Dress Code, went to the Red Sox, where Ted Williams refused to wear a tie? He was asked how he would handle that, and he said that a manager who couldn't figure out a way to get along with a .400 hitter ought to have his head examined. The moment that a manager becomes an impediment to playing a 23-year-old center fielder with the ability to hit .276/.361/.498, it's time to get a new manager. Maybe Rasmus is a lot less fun to be around than it is to watch him play, but he can help the Cardinals win if they just stay out of his way. They're not exactly drowning in hitters after Pujols and Holliday, so they need to get over it. They can't possibly get enough back in trade to justify moving him. No manager is so good that he's worth ditching a four or five-win player.
TMI police (TMIville): So you've been cross-dressing for 20+ years?
Steven Goldman: Un-dressing. Others. Not cross-dressing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If you've seen me, though, you know that the only possible upside to me in a dress is a potential career as the mother in the national touring company of "Hairspray."
Mike Royko (Beyond): Joe Giradi, Kerry Wood, Sergio Mitre. The yankees were doomed from the start. It takes more than 200 million to overcome the ex-cub factor!
Steven Goldman: Well, Kerry Wood has been excellent for the Yankees, but more seriously, I was confused at the start about putting both Mitre and Dustin Moseley on the roster. It's a bit like a military staff meeting before a big battle, and the chief of ordinance says, "Well, we've equipped everyone with guns, knives, hand grenades... We've got cannons, we've got shells..." and the general-in-chief says, "Be sure to pack the white flags." Why do you need two blow-out pitchers in a series in which you can never stop playing for a comeback. You can spare the staff in the regular season, but if you do it in the postseason, you're going to GO HOME. I just don't get it. I've been on about this at the Pinstriped Bible for three weeks now.
DrManhattan (NYC): Are you also getting a "David Wells, Game 4 2002 ALDS" vibe about CC today?
Steven Goldman: Now that you mention it...
Joe (Washington, DC): Hi Steven: Tell me I'm crazy, but I think the Yankees have a good shot of still winning this thing. Am I nuts?
Steven Goldman: I just got done putting up a new post (http://bit.ly/dzhlID) at the PB about the Yankees coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the 1958 World Series. One big hint as to how it worked, by the way, to tie into my previous answer about Moseley and Mitre, is that Casey did NOT spare the staff. Remember the 2004 Red Sox also. It has happened, it could happen here. It probably won't, but it could.
Matt (Chicago): Doesn't Berkman seem like a good fit for a Cubs team with a need at 1b and a need to avoid long-term contracts(Dunn)?
Steven Goldman: The downside to Berkman is age, fragility, immobility, and he's not really a switch-hitter anymore. That said, if you got him on a make-good contract, platooned him, and figured you might get 20 home runs and 75 walks? That wouldn't be terrible... Personally, though, were I an NL GM I'd be reluctant just because the little defense I've seen him play this year he looked really out of place. Platoon DH might be the best job for him at this point, even if he didn't really do the job for the Yankees.
Goldy's Ghost (Podcastville): "So Steven, what are you eating/drinking/listening to/reading today/lately?"
Steven Goldman: Eating: As little as possible. Down about 30 pounds from July and very happy about it, but have a great deal more to go. Just before starting here, I drank about six cups of coffee, but my various medications usually keep me to decaf tea, because unless I time things just right, caffeine makes my heart go off like Neil Peart. Listening: Just got the new Dylan archive release "The Whitmark Demos" yesterday, but haven't had a chance to crack it. The rest of the time, well, ever since Colonel Ben Lindbergh and I went to see Ray Davies last year, I've been catching up on all the Kinks that I didn't really absorb in all my days before that. Reading: "Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse" by James L. Swanson. It's just okay, but I've been on a bit of a Civil War kick lately.
Peter Q (San Diego): So what did you think of the fans' involvement in the Yankee run production last night?
Steven Goldman: Hey, Pete. I owe you a phone call... I think until they build ballparks with the appropriate setbacks, that stuff is going to happen and I don't get too exercised about it. I've never quite understood what the appeal of catching a ball is anyway. It's... a ball. Sure, Enrique Wilson fouled it into the stands, but does that really make it that special. Are you going to tell your grandkids that you caught the ball that Ramiro Pena hit? Your grandchildren are going to be living underwater anyway, and won't have any idea what you're talking about.
CubFanQuadeMan (Ether): I was impressed by Quade's post-game press conferences after he took over for Lou. Seems like a smart guy. The manager isn't that big a deal anyway, he can't will hitters that can't hit to score runs, so it's not like he'll make the 2011 Cubs winners without a lot of luck. Not surprised his contract ends the same time the GM's does though. Do you think Ryne Sandberg will get a shot elsewhere?
Steven Goldman: It seems like he will. Here's the thing about Sandberg: I read a quote from some Cubs' minor leaguer the other day that he intended as a compliment but it really wasn't. You hear this sort of thing all the time. Paraphrasing: "Yeah, he was a great manager for me. I learned a lot from him. He's a man of few words, and he never actually said anything to me, but just looking at him you knew that he knew how to play the game." If your manager ISN'T good at communication, what the hell are you hiring him for? Because he knows when to bunt? That helps, but in this day I think keeping all 25 of your young millionaires on the same page is more important. Maybe you can do that for a couple of years by playing the part of a heroic statue, but after awhile the players stop being impressed by a guy with pigeon shit on his shoulders.
jamin67038 (Wichita): Speaking of the Civil War, I'm re-watching Burns' documentary, and I've come to the conclusion that I could listen to Shelby Foote talk for hours on end about anything at all.
Steven Goldman: I really enjoyed Foote. Not sure I agree with everything he says in that docu, but he was very entertaining. I also liked his personal Babe Ruth anecdote in the Baseball series. I have his three-volume Civil War doorstop here. I've only read bits of it in the past, but once I'm done with this morbid Lincoln book, I intend to see if I can read it straight through.
Alternate Universe Guy (duh): I just saw the Taco Bell commercial where Girardi has Rivera ready to finish off the taco but let the kid finish it only to barf everywhere before the last bite. Thoughts?
Steven Goldman: I enjoyed it the first 79 times. Now I'm a little burned out on it. It's amusing, but also ironic in that (and I'm not the first to observe this), if you put Girardi and Rivera together you wouldn't have enough body fat to fill a thimble. There is no way they eat anything like what they serve at Taco Bell. In fact, I would think that one of the best aspects of being as wealthy as they are is that you never even have to consider that as an option. This reminds me of the time, years ago, I stopped off at a Bennigan's for a sandwich and there was a wedding reception going on. That was... pitiable.
Shaun P. (Medway, MA): One tiny upside to Tex's hamstring injury - Cano is (finally) hitting 3rd.
Of all the things we could analyze and critique Girardi about, is batting order a waste of time? To whit - even with a lefty on the mound, I think I would hit Granderson second today, not Swisher, so as to put the Yanks' 3 best postseason hitters so far in the position to get as many plate appearances as possible.
Or are talking about a couple tenths of a run at most, and so why worry - especially when there's Coffee Joe and his crazy bullpen of doom to fear?
Steven Goldman: Howdy, Shaun. How's the weather in Medway? It's a small thing in the context of one game. That said, there would probably be some emotional value in having a big first inning considering how things have gone the last couple of days, so maybe there's some value in trying to game your way to an early explosion. I do like Swisher second, though, because though he walked less this year, he still gets high pitch counts, and having him up early and often helps wear a starter down... for what it's worth. I mean, if you're going to bring Sergio Mitre in anyway, what's the point? Imagine if in "Star Wars," during the Death Star battle, the imperial functionary goes up to Peter Cushing and says, "Sir, we've evaluated their attack and it does have a small chance of succeeding. Should we evacuate?" and Cushing replied, "What? Evacuate in our moment of triumph? HELL YEAH! Gangway!"
macman (Brasil): Steven, I just wanted to let you know that I've always greatly enjoyed your writing at BP and would love to see more pieces from you. I know that you write for various sources and are certainly extremely busy, but it would be nice to see your analysis/outlook and YCLIU more frequently. Thanks.
Steven Goldman: Thank you very much. Comments like that mean more to me than you can possibly know. You can get more of me, along with the fine Jay Jaffe, Cliff Corcoran, and Stephani Bee over at www.pinstripedbible.com, and I'll be writing various chapters and supervising the BP 2011 annual again. My next BP column will be this Friday, subject TBA, and I'll have the Astros GM for a Day the week after that--I confess I have no idea how the heck to approach that. Again, thanks for the nice words, and I hope to keep up a steady stream of BP pieces regardless of what I'm doing elsewhere.
Christopher (Nashville): Looking at Sabathia's peripherals, his 2010 looks more like his league-average 2005 than it does his spectacular 2008. He's obviously still getting good results, but considering he's signed for five more years, does it give any pause?
Steven Goldman: I think the words "five more years" and any pitcher should give one pause. As we said when CC signed his big contract, the big mystery is whether the years of heavy usage takes its seemingly inevitable toll or because he's a unique physical specimen, he can take the pounding. Having said that, 2008 seems like a peak year, an outlier in what is still a very good career. This year and the last, which look fairly indistinguishable to my eye, should probably be the baseline, not the crazy things he did in the weaker league.
Luke (Bullseyeing Womp Rats): To be fair, we had more than a small chance at success, I had the force behind me. And a wookie.
Steven Goldman: Plus, you were smart enough not to trade Colby Rasmus before heading into battle.
Astros GM (Houston, DUH): When you take over for the day can you trade Hunter Pence somewhere? Sure, he might be our best remaining hitter but the way he runs creeps me out and he takes rolls of toilet paper home with him from the clubhouse. They might be related problems
Steven Goldman: I'm sure that's something I'll talk about, but I don't see him bringing much back. Pence seems to have found his level at his 2009-2010 level of production, which isn't great for a right fielder; he's arb-eligible, so he's going to get pricey; and he has a pretty fair home-park bias. Maybe someone will overrate him and offer you something real for him, but otherwise, any trade will probably just wash out. The problem with Pence is not his personal habits, but that if he's your lineup's big bat, you're kind of screwed.
Adam (NY): On Girardi for a second, was I the only Yankees fan who was a little nervous that he WOULD leave? Look, I hate some of his in-game management but he has constructed a very successful bullpen our of scraps in three straight years. He doesn't fall into small ball traps as often as other prestigious managers (Maddon) and, at the very least, he has an open mind about unorthodox maneuvering.
I'm not Girardi's biggest fan but I still feel oddly comfortable with him.
Steven Goldman: The bullpen rebuilding thing is a big point in his favor. That's a real skill. After Mariano Rivera, you know how many relievers Joe Torre established in 13 years? Scott Proctor? Maybe? Girardi has broken in more pitchers in three seasons than the old man did in more than a decade. I also appreciate his being willing to bat a power-hitter second, be it Swisher or Granderson. Tactically he's not all there, but few managers these days are John McGraw. On the whole, I think he's positive, even if in other aspects of his thinking, like closer usage and those bloody IBBs, he's too conventional.
singledigit (Wish Sandwich, MI): Any chance the Mariners are silly enough to trade King Felix? A Tiger fan can dream, can't he?
Steven Goldman: No, sorry. You can't even dream that.
Ken (The Sconnie Office): When I need to force myself to relax, I try to hear Shelby Foote's soothing voice in my head saying "Run, old hare ... if I was an old hare, I'd run too."
The only bad thing about Shelby Foote is that he made Ed Bearss, an otherwise wonderful historian and storyteller in his own right, sound kinda silly and overdramatic in comparison.
Steven Goldman: Ed was one of my least favorite aspects of that series. He really does come off as melodramatic and overwrought (and he's badly filmed and lit, too, which doesn't help). My other least-favorite interruption to the narrative is the 150-year-old woman who reads the endless poem about... Well, I'm never really sure what the hell it's about, which is a big part of the problem.
The Flying Bernard (Acton, MA): My objection to the Girardi/Rivera Taco Bell commercial is that the other guy hasn't even taken a single bite before Mo comes in to relieve him.
I guess they thought it would be gross to have Rivera sharing germs with a stranger (it would), but it kind of kills the whole thing for me to see the starter taken out before he throws a pitch.
Steven Goldman: I guess it's a good thing that the guy Girardi is replacing isn't Roberto Alomar.
Paul (DC): Luke also had his targeting computer. Even though he turned it off. But I'm sure it was a big morale boost to him just knowing he had a backup option if that force thing didn't work out after all.
Steven Goldman: Pretty sure his hitting the target was a small-sample fluke.
I'm going to spin Dylan's "Things Have Changed" in honor of old and confused Yankees.
After the chat, I'll be tweeting throughout the game, mostly when things annoy me. You can follow me at PB_Steve.
Christopher (Nashville): Did you hear the news from New York? The Yankees love A-Rod so much they've already built a statue of him at third base.
Steven Goldman: A-Rod's range isn't great, but he has also had hip problems. As you're no doubt aware, he's far from the biggest defensive problem in the Yankees infield, and not the infielder who most resembles a statue.
dianagramr (NYC): Will this be the first post-season series to turn on an IBB .... cause it sure felt that way. I was dumbstruck by that move last night.
Steven Goldman: I was going around with Colin Wyers on this last night, and you can see some of my conclusions (sans math) at the PB, http://bit.ly/aauLug. I think the IBB is a bad move in most circumstances, and in terms of how it actually seems to play out in game situations, it changes the outcome only about half of the time. You'd have a better chance than that with most hitters, given the lack of .500 OBP guys in most years. Plus, when it doesn't work, you've set up a bigger inning than you might have been punished with before.
wizened cubsfan (downstate): Quade is much better than Essian, and for that matter, much better than Piniella was this year. Good people can be hired for the wrong reasons.
Steven Goldman: Sometimes you get lucky with that kind of move. Conversely, it seems like over the last 12 years the Orioles made a whole lot of interim managers permanent because, hey, they were already there and they wouldn't have to pay them relocation fees.I have high hopes for Quade, but keep in mind that the Cubs have had good managers and bad, but that was rarely if ever their main problem. For the bulk of the last 65 years, the real culprit was poor team construction and a total failure to understand the potential positive interactions of Wrigley Field and a high-OBP lineup.
Michael K (NY, NY): I just assumed that the starting eater at Taco Bell ordered other items and already ate those (since he says something to Girardi about feeling full). Kind of like a one-inning save. I can see how a 4 or 5 out save (finishing other partially eaten items) might be gross in this case.
Steven Goldman: It's kind of amazing and a bit sad just how deeply we've gotten into this.
mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Hey Steven, thanks for the chat. I know you're focusing on playoff questions, but I hope you'll accept a non-playoff question. I don't want to be a thunder thief as you might be addressing this subject later, but what would you do as the Boston Red Sox this winter?
Steven Goldman: I'll focus on anything! It's not an easy answer, because they might get shut out on Adrian Beltre if he wants to head back to the west coast, the outfield is a mess, and the rotation is a bit thin. I would make every effort to re-sign Victor Martinez, because you need to get good offense up the middle, if you're not going to get it from big bats at the corners, and I see if Jon Papelbon brings any interesting offers on the trade market--he's an arb guy, wasn't so good this year, and Bard makes him redundant. I have a great deal of respect for Theo and pals, but they're going to have to pull a rabbit out of the hat this winter to make you feel good come spring.
booboo9000 (Lost in time, NJ): I see that Joba Chamberlin's FATHEAD is now in the clearance center reduced from $90 to $28. http://www.graveyardmall.com/joba-chamberlain-yankees-11.html
Would it be safe to say that his star has fallen to the gutter and what do you think is in his future?
Steven Goldman: I had never heard of a FATHEAD before. For a second, I wasn't sure if Joba had endorsed some kind of oversized vibrator or something... I think Joba is just another guy now, a righty with good stuff who sometimes pitches well, sometimes doesn't. He's still quite young in relative terms and could figure some things out, but I'm beginning to doubt that it will happen in New York. I would certainly listen to offers this winter while some GM out there still might think they can put him back into the rotation and make something out of him. The Yankees have enough pitching prospects right now that his ~80 innings are replaceable.
Christopher (Nashville): Yeah I know, but what's the point of a drawn-in infield, if your third baseman can't react fast enough to catch anything? Or maybe they should consider repositioning him, given that he's not so bad going to his right?
Steven Goldman: I would really like to see some analysis of how the drawn-in infield really works. I don't know if our play-by-play data notes that. I don't THINK so, but if it does, I'd be very curious how often it actually pays off. Based solely on impressions, I'd guess it hurts as much as it helps.
singledigit (Yankeeless, MI): Heyward or Posey? (Girardi seemed a little too pleased with himself after his slap on the retiring TB eaters posterior......or, is there anything else to discuss besides the Yankees?)
Steven Goldman: Heyward, on the edge in playing time if nothing else. And you're one of a half-dozen here who feel that Girardi's butt-slap is too enthusiastic. Man, that guy can't do ANYTHING right.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): While we're picking nits about filming, why does the camera have to zoom in THISCLOSE to Barbara Fields' face? Was there something in the background that would have been distracting?
Steven Goldman: I don't know, but I will say that a squirrel just ran past my window carrying a slice of pizza in its mouth.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Under the premise that the Nationals have Stras and Zimmnn effective and together in 2012, and they want to find a front of the rotation guy to make a powerful pitching staff, where should they go? Even if they want to pay $125/5 for Lee, he's still not going there, is he? Darvish isn't coming, Lilly is staying in LA... is there anyone for them to get to front their rotation? Should they take a flyer on Webb? The best 2012 has to offer is Buerhle, and he might retire
Steven Goldman: Christina and I were kicking this around the other day prior to her writing her Nats GM for a Day piece (you kids liking that series?) and that's a really tough one to figure. They've ben drafting in the top half of the first round for most of the last 12 years, going back to Montreal, and they've gotten some good things out of it, like Strasburg, Storen, Ryan Zimmerman, but overall the pitching haul just seems spectacularly thin for the drafting position.
Incoming questions seem to be slowing up. I still have some in the queue to deal with, but y'all getting bored of me?
DrManhattan (NYC): Joe Posnanski wrote a great column a few years ago about Jeremy Affeldt and how he went from great SP prospect to middling middle reliever. I can't find the column online now, but I think of it every time I see Joba. Sad.
Steven Goldman: When I look at Joba, I think of guys from my youth like Ted Power and Neil Allen, pitchers who were sometimes pretty successful but never great, and spent their entire careers being jerked from the pen to the rotation because no one could ever decide what they really were.
The Flying Bernard (Acton, MA): A fluke? I haven't compared the park factors between Tatooine and the Death Star, but Luke used to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters.
Steven Goldman: Yes, but you can't compare because the womp rats weren't a high-leverage situation like the Death Star.
Evil Corporations (Everywhere): This whole cablevision/FOX feud is really a terrible way to treat their customers in our nation's largest market. Sometimes I think CEO bonuses should come with a clause that allows tasering by their customers that can show malice once a year.
Steven Goldman: Given internet and satellite options, you do have the ability, albeit at some inconvenience, to teach 'em a lesson by taking your business elsewhere.
Adam (Washington Heights): Hey Steve, I was the kid in the white T-Shirt at your speaking engagement at Yeshiva University before game 3. First of all, you're awesome. Second of all, we've discussed Joba ad nauseum but just out of curiosity, what does he have to do to go from what he is to what he thought he might be? Why is he so inconsistent?
Steven Goldman: Hi, Adam. Thanks so much again to you and all the guys at YU for inviting me over. If I knew what would make Joba the monster he was back in 2007, I would be rich, but the whole problem with pitchers and pitcher mechanics is that the answer is rarely that obvious and the fixes rarely easy to adopt. One problem is that his average velocity has never gone back to what it was when he first came up, and that might be mechanical but seems more likely to be injury-related and it's just something that he's not going to recapture. That being the case, he has to be a better pitcher in the command and thinking aspect of it, and he's still a bit young to have perfected that aspect of his game... And there's no guarantee he ever will.
mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Is it too early to start begging for BPers to show up out west during the book tour?
Steven Goldman: No, but I'm not sure what we can do. The center of gravity for BP is pretty much split between Chicago and NY, and the old-fashioned book tour is dying a quick death due to the economy. We will have some tour dates, but as always, the problem with bringing guys from the East Coast or the Midwest to your part of the world is the sheer number of books we would have to sell for the publisher to feel like they would make their money back on the four-star accommodations and restaurants that are every BPers God-given right. That said, Christina did have a California event this summer, and we will make every effort to see our Pacific Rim subscribers again in the near future.
Rob (Andover, CT): My thoughts on the IBB: I generally agree w/you that IBBs are overdone. Having said that, I don't think that was the primary problem.
The primary problem was the Burnett was clearly done. He started out with very good command (innings 1 & 2). This then slowly deteriorated until, by the 6th, he was back to "bad AJ" again. The walk (to Cruz, IIRC) was pathetic. Ball one, missed the glove by 6+ inches. Ball two, missed the glove in the opposite direction by more. Ball 3...
Then Girardi orders the IBB and AJ nearly throws a ball away. That should have clinched it. You bring in Robertson then & there.
Still, if the offense is going to hang out on the interstate it doesn't really matter.
Steven Goldman: His velocity was trending downwards, too. Like you, I thought the IBB was a prelude to a pitching change and was shocked when Girardi didn't cash in his chips on A.J. and be happy with what he had gotten. I often think of this story about Casey Stengel that Hank Bauer told, about how Bauer went 3-for-3 in his first three ABs of some game and then Casey pinch-hit for him in his next at-bat. Bauer was pissed, and Casey said something flip, like, "How many 4-for-4s have you had in your career?" It probably wasn't that harsh and I'm paraphrasing poorly, but from the context what I think he meant was, "You did a really good thing, but just because you've been good so far is no indication that you'll be great again--every AB is its own thing, and in this situation I feel like the percentages are against you, so I'm making a change." Girardi said the opposite thing last night, "We though A.J. was still pitching pretty well." Who cares? Burnett wasn't pitching a GAME, he was pitching a series of unique confrontations, and the foregoing was pretty much irrelevant to what was about go happen. Does that make sense?
I know I talk about Casey too often, but he was really smart and managed so long that you can find an analogy for almost every situation in his career.
And you're right about the offense, but Joe isn't helping.
Michael K (NY, NY): As a consumers, we certainly have the ability to teach Cablevision a lesson, but it's less clear how we can meaningfully show our displeasure with Fox.
Steven Goldman: Vote the Democratic Party ticket?
Womp Rat (Tatooine): Were you there? You don't know the situation. Maybe that Womp Rat was bearing down on Aunt Beru like a droid running from a Jawan sandcrawler.
Look, does Luke's AAA high-leverage situation (Womp Rats, or maybe a AAA championship game) tell us anything about the Death Star situation? For a young kid down in the minor leagues, that's still got to be a pretty high-leverage situation just begging for clutchiness for a youngling.
Steven Goldman: Womp rates can type?
Adam (NY): Don't you feel like Cashman is going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat pretty soon too? There is a LOT of offense he is going to have to replace, maybe as soon as next season.
Steven Goldman: One reason why they need to get creative about working Jesus Montero into the lineup next season and not blocking him off with a veteran DH. Folks assume that Jorge Posada will be the primary DH next year, but (A) I don't think he will hit enough to carry the position, at least not in style, (B) if the replacement is a so-called catch-and-throw guy like Cervelli (who wasn't, at least not this year) or, say, re-signing Jose Molina (I have a bad feeling about that), the loss of offense from behind the plate is going to be a bleeding wound that can't be staunched. The best answer might be a Posada-Montero catcher-DH job share and carry Cervelli as your third catcher. You live with the crappy defense like the Red Sox have lived with it with Martinez and Jason Varitek.
mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): RE: Red Sox. Re-sign V-mart, trade for Adrian Gonzalez (they have the prospects to get it done, I'm pretty sure), move Youk to third, put Lowrie at SS, and hope that the outfield can stay reasonably healthy next year. How's that for a plan?
Steven Goldman: I wonder if your defense tips over into a bad place at that point. Youk wasn't exactly Brooks Robinson over there.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Do you think Ian Desmond has the potential that the organization seems to think he has?
Steven Goldman: The errors trouble me, the lack of selectivity troubles me, but as Christina pointed out in her aforementioned GM for a Day piece, putting Desmond and Danny Espinosa together up the middle seems like a no-brainer, a chance to have some above-average pop at those positions. As she said, they're not going to be Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell (Trammell for the Hall of Fame NOW!) but they don't need to be.
Adam (Washington Heights): I haven't heard ANYONE talk about Molina's role in the ill-fated HR ball yet and it's driving me nuts. Listen, AJ was losing it but that specific pitch didn't seem so bad. He got the ball in, and when Molina hit it, his hands were so far in he was practically stabbing himself in the stomach with the bat to get it around. I don't know how he kept that ball fair, but all the props in the world to him. Did anyone else see this or are my roommates slipping drugs in my food?
Steven Goldman: I'm sure that's what they're saying in Texas. Molina does deserve credit. He's a guy who showed every sign of being done in the regular season, but he's having a nice last hurrah here in October. He's taken one of the Rangers' weakest positions and turned it into an asset.
Christina Kahrl (Yankee Stadium): Just popping in here before clambering up to the aux box eyrie for Game 5, and chiming in that Trammell, sure, but don't forget Sweet Lou... the absence of both is and will remain a travesty.
Steven Goldman: One of the best second basemen ever, and somehow the voters just missed it, as they did with Blyleven and Trammell. It's ironic that we get accused of being the obsessive number-crunchers, but the voters, rather than actually THINK about the quality of a player, just look at this superficial list of counting achievements: 3000 hits? No? He's out. Five-hundred home runs? No? He's out. Three-hundred wins? No? Forget it. They don't look at what the guy actually DID. The only bad thing you can say about Whitaker is that he could have used a little more platooning in mid-career. But, hey, guess what? You can say that about Joe Morgan, too.
Steven Goldman: Pilgrims, it's time for me to sign off and get situated for the most important Yankees game ever since yesterday. I thank you for the many fine questions. As always, it's a privilege to learn from you. As I said earlier, I'll be tweeting during the game, so if you have any more burning questions, you know where to find me. On behalf of Baseball Prospectus and myself, thank you for choosing to spend part of your day with us. Peace be with you, and no matter what anyone tells you, no matter how fervently they argue, don't intentionally walk anyone EVER.