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Roundtable: 2009 WS Game One

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday October 28, 2009 8:00 PM ET 2009 WS Game One roundtable.
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Roundtable Administrator (6:09:11 PM PT): Welcome to the 2009 WS Game One roundtable, where BP authors engage in a live chat during the event and answer our readers questions. This roundtable does not start until 8:00 PM ET on October 28, but you can submit questions for our authors any time before or during the roundtable by submitting them using this roundtable chat interface.

Kevin Goldstein (4:50:25 PM PT): Hi everyone, and welcome to the World Series Game One roundtable. Players are being introduced to over-glorious music and Nick Swisher even got a hand.

Kevin Goldstein (4:52:49 PM PT): Useless information department: C.C. Sabathia had a high school teammate (Vallejo HS in California) who is in the majors -- Cards utility man Joe Thurston.

Kevin Goldstein (4:54:31 PM PT): WilliamWilde (Boston): Isn't this growing rash of "egregious" umpiring directly proportional to the number of households with 40" and larger HDTVs? Also how many people could rewind, pause, and create their own replays just 5-10 years ago?

I couldn't agree with you more. It's not new, just easier to find. I'd also like to note that while Fox's pitching track thinga-ma-bob seems to work, TBS' was off ... like BEYOND off, so not all of this technology is necessarily helpful.

Kevin Goldstein (4:55:43 PM PT): Mountainhawk (Salem, MA): If, as speculated, it's Lee and Sabathia for games 1, 4, and 7, that's pretty much what this series will come down to, right?

Pretty much. I have a friendly wager with a friend that the Yankees will not lose a game that Lee doesn't pitch.

Jay Jaffe (4:57:48 PM PT): Greeting from the Cherry Tree Bar in Brooklyn, where as it turns out the bartender is a BP reader. I'll be chiming in via iPhone for as long as my battery holds out.

Just found out I have a ticket to tomorrow night's game thanks to the two sweetest words in the Englishlanguage: de fault.

Kevin Goldstein (5:05:38 PM PT): Shane Victorino wears pants to the surprise of many casual Yankee fans.

Jay Jaffe (5:05:40 PM PT): Dear Jimmy, thanks for the out. Love, CC

Christina Kahrl (5:07:21 PM PT): Word. If Jimmy Rollins' at-bat is any indication, we'll be done by 9.

Joe Sheehan (5:07:42 PM PT): KG, can I get a piece of that? Love Hamels in this series, kind of a forgotten man.

Steven Goldman (5:08:56 PM PT): Bill (Princeton): Sabathia is a horse the likes of which we haven't seen since _?

Seabiscuit? Man O' War? Hi-Yo, Silver? Good evening, everybody.

Kevin Goldstein (5:09:02 PM PT): Joe -- i got 5-2 odds on it, so if you'll give me that -- absolutely.

Christina Kahrl (5:11:01 PM PT): Sabathia? With that size? Like a Percheron or a Swedish warmblood is more like it, not some ticky-tack wee thorough(over)bred.

Kevin Goldstein (5:11:50 PM PT): It's not like Ryan Howard is batting .000 vs. lefties, but that double is still surprising.

David Laurila (5:12:26 PM PT): If the Phillies can get Utley and Howard in gear against NYY's left-handed pitching...

Steph Bee (5:12:29 PM PT): I guess the playoffs were the perfect time for Howard to get some reverse splits on hitting lefties.

Jay Jaffe (5:12:30 PM PT): Well another win for the Phiils in the case of Howard v. Lefties

Kevin Goldstein (5:12:53 PM PT): backstop (The Hague, Netherlands): I admit, I haven't seen many Yankees-games this year, but that must be the first time I see the seats behind home plate filled. What's the going rate for those seats today?

Not sure, but I'm pretty sure it'd quality officially as economic stimulus money.

Jay Jaffe (5:13:29 PM PT): Well another win for the Phiils in the case of Howard v. Lefties

John Perrotto (5:13:43 PM PT): Never say we'll be done by 9. We're assured of a five-hour game now. Not that I believe in jinxes or anything.

Christina Kahrl (5:13:52 PM PT): It's always sensible to not get too too worked up over any single season's splits. Not that Howard isn't worse against lefties, but he's had years with some sock against them. This isn't a Strat tournament, after all.

Steven Goldman (5:14:03 PM PT): Never challenge Christina on farm animals or the Diet of Worms.

...With all the leftyness coming at the Phillies this Series, Werth's .650-something slugging against southpaws is tres important.

Will Carroll (5:14:03 PM PT): With the hiring of Brad Mills, I wondered why teams were looking at Red Sox coaches rather than the time honored "steal from the best" strategy that is an annual tradition in football. The Yankees staff is made up of an odd mix of vets (Tony Pena) and lifers who don't have much profile (Mick Kelleher, Dave Eiland). The Phils are the same way, with only Pete Mackanin as a former manager, albeit the interim type, twice. Does this signal that having more specialized coaches with a lower profile, usually of the non-retread, ready-replacement type might be better?

John Perrotto (5:14:42 PM PT): Never say we'll be done by 9. We're assured of a five-hour game now. Not that I believe in jinxes or anything.

Kevin Goldstein (5:14:51 PM PT): BP Intern (San Diego): Should I just skip class to watch the game? That sounds quite tempting at the moment..

That's a no brainer -- walk out now. This basically should be a national holiday.

Sabathia has lost the strike zone and this inning that looked like a cake walk is suddenly a bit scary.

John Perrotto (5:15:42 PM PT): Pete Mackanin deserves a manager's job. He did a tremendous job as the interim guy in Cincy two years ago and got left high and dry. I'm stumping for the guy. He is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball.

Will Carroll (5:16:39 PM PT): I will say that when I interviewed the guys from TrackMan, I was impressed with what their technology can do. I'm sure we'll see it tonight -- it's the FoxTrax Plus. (The normal pitch location is done by PitchFX.)

Sadly, that interview was eaten by my dying iMac G4, so we're hoping to re-do that one soon. I'm curious - anyone know if HitFX or GameFX is in effect at all during the Series?

Steven Goldman (5:16:59 PM PT): Hey, Will... Can you expand on your David Robertson comments @ BP earlier today?

Kevin Goldstein (5:17:56 PM PT): Sabathia with a scoreless first that can only be called Mitch Williams-esque . . . 24 pitches for those keeping track.

Will Carroll (5:19:13 PM PT): Umm, what about him? People seem surprised that his elbow problem is something that might have a surgical fix. Everything has sounded like bone chips since he first had the tightness, though the Yankees aren't saying anything about it. There's probably four or five guys on the field tonight that will have surgery as soon as the season is over.

Christina Kahrl (5:19:48 PM PT): Great point re: coaches, Will, but I think it's worth noting how very few pitching coaches ever get a shot at making the leap the way Bud Black has or Roger Craig did. As improbable as some interim selections seem at the time, however (cue Jaffe with a Moose Stubing anecdote), Tom Kelly was a surprise keeper from among the ranks of the improbable, nondescript lifer types.

Kevin Goldstein (5:19:57 PM PT): Remind me to make sure I do NOT so a soccer movie with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Just the ad give me you-know-what chills.

Kevin Goldstein (5:20:23 PM PT): Will -- Can we get that surgery list?

Steven Goldman (5:20:40 PM PT): I'm just confused in this sense: if he's not well enough to pitch then why is he on the roster, and if he IS well enough to pitch, then why isn't Girardi pitching him?

Will Carroll (5:21:46 PM PT): McCarver: "Similar equipment to Sabathia."

So. Many. Jokes.

Will Carroll (5:22:51 PM PT): And Carl Willis learned the spike curve from Ted Power, who believes it's a less stressful grip for the curve.

Kevin Goldstein (5:23:33 PM PT): Did Girardi and Manuel make a deal to play two-out innings tonight and give up an out per at-bat via bad bunts? You know, just for the extra challenge.

Jay Jaffe (5:23:35 PM PT): If you're gonna bunt like that, don't. Just don't.

Steven Goldman (5:24:00 PM PT): And Stump Merrill, too, Christina.

Probably the most unlikely manager ever was Hugo Bezdek, who was a college football coach who ended up managing the Pirates for three years for no particular reason. Kind of Schembeckler-lite.

Perhaps now Christina will favor us with a few Bobby Winkles anecdotes.

Christina Kahrl (5:24:49 PM PT): Speaking of SOMA in the postseason, a Ted Power reference! And let's credit Jim Leyland for giving it a shot in 1990.

John Perrotto (5:25:02 PM PT): Pete Mackanin deserves a manager's job. He did a tremendous job as the interim guy in Cincy two years ago and got left high and dry. I'm stumping for the guy. He is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball.

Kevin Goldstein (5:25:14 PM PT): A 11-pitch cakewalk of an inning for Lee.

Will Carroll (5:25:54 PM PT): From tonight? For the Yankees, I'm sure Hideki Matsui's due for something on his knees. Alex Rodriguez's hip remains to be seen. I'm sure there's someone I'm missing there. On the other side, the Phillies are remarkably healthy, something that is a big factor in why they're here. I'm sure I'm skipping someone. (Brett Myers, maybe?)

Joe Sheehan (5:26:22 PM PT): KG, no bet.

Good chunk of Phillies' fans here. I have a theory that in the StubHub era, we're seeing more heterogenous crowds. It's definitely felt like you get more Sox fans at Yankee games in recent years, and it dampens the crowd a bit.

Yankee Stadium, I think, has had a higher number of season-ticket holders reselling the last two seasons than anyone.

John Perrotto (5:26:51 PM PT): Pete Mackanin deserves a manager's job. He did a tremendous job as the interim guy in Cincy two years ago and got left high and dry. I'm stumping for the guy. He is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball.

John Perrotto (5:27:34 PM PT): Why do my posts keep repeating? Why do my posts keep repeating? I'm not trying to stump for Pete Mackanin THAT much.

Steven Goldman (5:27:54 PM PT): If you look at the stats, you'll see stuff like Mark Teixeira having good career numbers against Lee. Normal small-sample caveats aside, the question is, "Which Lee?" Even this year, there was a lot of variance in Lee's starters, particularly in Philly, and of course his pre '08 career was all over the map.

Christina Kahrl (5:28:25 PM PT): I was too young to really remember Bobby Winkles; too busy learning how to manage horse flesh, and cleaning stables. Which, come to think of it, might explain rooting for Charlie Finley's team.

Jay Jaffe (5:28:37 PM PT): Ah, Moose Stubing. In the early Eighties he managed the Angels' AAA club in Salt Lake Ciy, and refereed Western Athletic Conf. Basketball in the winter. He got ovations in that capacity. Might hade reffed games with Tony Gwynn as the point guard for San Diego State.

Will Carroll (5:28:40 PM PT): He's well enough to pitch. Lots of guys head for surgery the day after the season. If the Yankees were playing golf rather than baseball, Robertson would have likely had the surgery by now (I think - conflicting sources.) Think Joe Nathan ... oh what's that, no one noticed that Nathan had chips taken out of his elbow last week?

Admiral Ackbar (5:29:25 PM PT): No worries, John. It's a trap!

Will Carroll (5:29:44 PM PT): Is that snow or rain I'm seeing in the shots as CC's about to throw?

Kevin Goldstein (5:30:40 PM PT): And of course, Tony Gwynn no longer plays basketball, as much as he is a basketball.

John Perrotto (5:31:15 PM PT): Why do my posts keep repeating? Why do my posts keep repeating? I'm not trying to stump for Pete Mackanin THAT much.

Steph Bee (5:31:20 PM PT): Might be that you're refreshing the chat instead of pressing the update button, making it post what you last wrote again.

And it's rain on the cameras. Should make for a good and cold night in the Bronx.

Kevin Goldstein (5:31:36 PM PT): Steve (Clearwater, FL): Perrotto's comments reappearing at random times, saying the same thing, remind me of Leslie Nielsen in the climatic scene of "Airplane!": "Good luck, we're all counting on you."

Will Carroll (5:31:47 PM PT): For all the talk about the lack of African-Americans playing the game, the World Series has been a good stage over the last couple years: Rollins again this year, Sabathia, Crawford, Dontrelle Willis a couple years back. That's good for ball.

Steven Goldman (5:32:43 PM PT): I was on the upper floors of the Chrysler Building today, during the torrential rain phase of things, and I looked out the window and said, "Aarrgh, is that snow?" Indeed it was. My host said, "Don't worry, that happens all the time. It will be rain by the time it reaches the ground."

John Perrotto (5:32:48 PM PT): Why do my posts keep repeating? Why do my posts keep repeating? I'm not trying to stump for Pete Mackanin THAT much.

Will Carroll (5:32:57 PM PT): Hey no Tony Gwynn fat jokes - we're supporting him after recent bariatric surgery. Dave Pease should go offer some tips. Hell, Dave Pease should come offer me some tips.

Christina Kahrl (5:33:04 PM PT): Well, Francisco chipped in, but Feliz and Ruiz made that too easy, not that they aren't expected to be overmatched as is. It isn't like they're facing Steve Trout or something.

John Perrotto (5:33:35 PM PT): Thank you mysterious Steph.

Will Carroll (5:34:05 PM PT): Does it stay the Chrysler Building if Chrysler is barely Chrysler? Fiat Building just doesn't sound cool. Maserati Building? That would rule.

Christina Kahrl (5:34:29 PM PT): James Loney, Ryan Howard, Matt Kemp...

John Perrotto (5:34:36 PM PT): Speaking of baseball figures who are now college hoop refs: Bruce Benedict and Tracy Woodson.

Will Carroll (5:35:18 PM PT): For those wondering, Steph Bee is one of our invaluable interns. We let them out of the basement for games.

Christina Kahrl (5:36:10 PM PT): Steph's one of our two editorial interns, along with Dan Wade. And between those two, Dan Malkiel on the data side, and no doubt more, it's another excellent crew of BP interns this year.

Steph Bee (5:37:26 PM PT): Looks like the rain is starting to pick up. How's the radar looking for later on in the game?

Thank you for finally letting me out of the basement. Just in time for the Santa Ana winds to come rolling in and throw me back down the stairs...

Will Carroll (5:37:44 PM PT): Where's Brick Tamland ... err, Clay Davenport with a weather update?

Steven Goldman (5:37:46 PM PT): If you say "Steve Trout" three times in a row, he appears before you in a puff of smoke and asks "Is it safe?" If you say no, he allows seven runs, then bursts. It takes weeks to get the smell of ozone out of your clothes.

Christina Kahrl (5:37:56 PM PT): The A-Rod/Lee matchup already seems interesting. The next at-bat between them should be fun.

Will Carroll (5:39:52 PM PT): I will take this opportunity to thank Blake Uhlenhake, who's been radio intern for much of this season, after losing Matt Bishoff to the Yankees. (Yes, I think he gets a ring if they win.)

Christina Kahrl (5:40:24 PM PT): Speaking of Steve Trout, would they put the Museum of Pinstriped Combustibility on Staten Island? Rikers? A raft in the East River that people could fire-bomb for karma's sake?

Will Carroll (5:40:54 PM PT): Has anyone seen Hideki Matsui's wife yet? That was one of the strangest stories ever.

Kevin Goldstein (5:42:02 PM PT): Robinson Cano proves that solid contact off Lee is possible, but it's a deep f8 and we go scoreless to the 3rd.

Christina Kahrl (5:42:04 PM PT): I have to think Yankees fans were conditioned by too many late-career Bernie Williams seasons in center if they're wild about that inning-ending drive to Shane Victorino's glove.

Christina Kahrl (5:42:30 PM PT): There's a story about Hideki Matsui's wife?

Steven Goldman (5:42:57 PM PT): I look forward to the audio-anamatronic Eddie Lee Whitson display at that museum. *Whirr* *Click* *Breakdown*

Matsui is normally quite good against lefties, .294/.359/.465... During the regular season.

Steph Bee (5:43:13 PM PT): But getting Steve Trout got the Yankees the pennant! Oh, wait...

I don't think anyone has seen Matsui's wife, aside from the drawing that he showed when he announced that he had gotten married. Wonder if Abreu and Jeter paid up on that bet yet.

Dan Wade (sitting in for Brick) (5:43:15 PM PT): If my New York geography is passable, which I think it still it, these showers will be spotty and hard to predict.

http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=okx&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=no

The core of the storm is out at sea, near Nantucket, so if you're planning any nautical voyages, perhaps in a bucket, I'd reconsider.

Will Carroll (5:43:28 PM PT): First time I've seen the FoxTrax+ "reaction time."

Steven Goldman (5:45:29 PM PT): If it's Fox, I think you mean "reactionary time."

Jay Jaffe (5:47:09 PM PT): That is excellent to know that Rollins was in MC Hammer vids. Best factoid ever, Fox.

And way to use the whole ballpark there, CC.

Christina Kahrl (5:47:29 PM PT): "The ball is just not carrying in the postseason." It's virtually November in Valley Forge country. It's not the ball, it's the networks and the schedule nazis. Criminy.

Steven Goldman (5:47:38 PM PT): I think in the summer heat (or the spring zephyr) that goes out.

There are a lot of assumptions about the nature of YS: The Sequel that are going to need combating in the coming years. It's more nuanced than it has been given credit for being.

Will Carroll (5:48:18 PM PT): "Just not carrying."

"It's a wind tunnel."

Tim McCarver, ladies and gentlemen.

Steven Goldman (5:50:32 PM PT): At 16, running away from Boston, having found no work for a printer in Manhattan, Benjamin Franklin took a boat to Perth Amboy, NJ and WALKED the route to Philadelphia that they just showed.

Joe Sheehan (5:50:33 PM PT): That's a double in any year from 2002-2008. The improved Yankee defense isn't just Teixeira.

I know I'm late. Fighting Wi-Fi and elements.

Steven Goldman (5:51:49 PM PT): How's that cold, Joe?

Christina Kahrl (5:53:20 PM PT): If you were on foot in Perth Amboy, wouldn't you walk away as quickly as possible too?

Steven Goldman (5:54:13 PM PT): Not if you were making a beeline for Camden.

Steph Bee (5:54:50 PM PT): How many pitches do you figure Girardi lets Sabathia go if he plans on bringing him back on short rest?

First run of the World Series goes to the Phillies on an Utley homer.

Jay Jaffe (5:55:13 PM PT): Another one for the Phillies' lefties. Wow.

Christina Kahrl (5:55:37 PM PT): Aye, first run, and how ironic that it's by someone Yankee fan Jay Jaffe spoke highly of in today's chat.

Steven Goldman (5:55:41 PM PT): I was just thinking about that, Steph. The home run was pitch #54.

Will Carroll (5:56:04 PM PT): Just curious - what is the Japanese language ad in right field, just to the left of where Utley's homer landed? I'm assuming from the colour that it's Yomiuri.

Will Carroll (5:58:44 PM PT): The rest is *not* a factor here. Sabathia isn't tired, he's just not pitching efficiently. That said, I think that Girardi should have a pretty quick hook here if he continues struggling.

Kevin Goldstein (5:59:00 PM PT): Will,

It's for the newspaper in Yomiuri (The Shimbun)

Jay Jaffe (6:00:17 PM PT): I'd guess 110 pitches for Carsten Charles, give or take.

Christina Kahrl (6:01:43 PM PT): When you think about it, the pens are *very* rested, you've got at least nine-man pens for both teams, and a day off come Friday, so an "early" hook (Sabathia's 100th pitch?) could very well be in the cards.

Steven Goldman (6:02:06 PM PT): As much as I like Swisher, he has an incredible ability to work his way into great hitters' counts and then do... nothing.

OK, I looked at the splits and it's not quite true, but it FEELS that way.

Will Carroll (6:03:50 PM PT): Is it petty of me to want some kind of pop up video, explaining who the people behind home plate are? *POP* General Casey, given tix by Welcome Back Veterans. *POP* Alec Baldwin, from TV's "30 Rock", without his daughter. *POP* Morty Shmuel, Asst Director of Ponzi Schemes, Dewey Pinchem and Howe, PC.

Christina Kahrl (6:04:04 PM PT): Welcome to my feelings about Eric Chavez, except in my case, I "know" it's the 4-3 tapper that's bound to come. Of course, witnessing an Eric Chavez at-bat is a pretty rare thing any more. Serves me right for a lifetime of Steve Kemp cracks.

Steph Bee (6:04:19 PM PT): Now that you mention the 9-man pens, will someone like Bruney (with the long layoff) get the Chad Gaudin treatment, where he's only used in emergencies or deep into extras and Girardi's running out of options?

Dan Wade (6:05:24 PM PT): On the subject of pitch counts, that was just pitch 40 for Lee

Steven Goldman (6:06:08 PM PT): Mountainhawk (Salem, MA): Steven: And when he got there, they charged him a nickel to get out of New Jersey.

Sort of. They had a ferry running from Burlington to Philly, and if you didn't help row they tossed you out of the boat. Today, they call that SEPTA.

Christina Kahrl (6:06:36 PM PT): With that, Lee seems to be cruising like Graf Spee to Coronel. But what happens when the big guns start booming?

Steven Goldman (6:07:04 PM PT): Have there been ten great soccer movies? "Bend It Like Beckham?" Um... I know "Victory" isn't on the list...

Christina Kahrl (6:08:42 PM PT): There is at least one great cricket movie, Lagaan. Which also preaches acceptance across divisions of caste and religion. And like any great Bollywood flick, there's dancing and singing, and the English are generally unforgivably evil.

Steph Bee (6:08:48 PM PT): About the only great soccer movies I've seen aren't really movies, but documentaries of the teams. Goal! was pretty good, though.

Kevin Goldstein (6:09:19 PM PT): I guess Joe Buck heard your request, Will.

Dan Wade (6:10:38 PM PT): The Damned United is supposed to be excellent, but I don't believe it's been released in the US. I can't imagine why they think US audiences won't connect with the issues leading to the decline of the once outstanding Leeds United FC...

Kevin Goldstein (6:11:27 PM PT): bmmcmahon (Hollywood): Stephen, I don't think that movie's about soccer. It's about the rugby World Cup. South Africa hasn't come close to winning a soccer World Cup.

Well there you go. Certainly doesn't make me want to go see it any more. Eastwood really has begun to challenge Speilberg for most emotionally manipulative filmmaker. I'll pass.

Will Carroll (6:13:01 PM PT): Damned United is very solid. Michael Sheen's one of those actors who is always a bit underrated. I'd also really recommend the movie ESPN did on the NY Cosmos. Brilliant, even if I can't recall the title.

Kevin Goldstein (6:13:36 PM PT): Wow... I had no idea about the sport coat thing for Kalas -- that's very cool. C.C. suddenly crazy sharp.

Steven Goldman (6:13:41 PM PT): I thought "Letters from Iwo Jima" was pretty good, far better than the mawkish, sorta fake "Flags of Our Fathers."

Will Carroll (6:14:08 PM PT): I love Jonathan Mayo in this Chevy commercial.

Christina Kahrl (6:16:55 PM PT): So, Sabathia's at 71 pitches, but he's going to get to see Feliz and Ruiz in the fifth, which I take as good reason to believe he should be in good shape as far as being good for any pitch count through six. It's at that point where things get interesting, so hopefully Fox will be on top of who's up in the pen--and when.

Will Carroll (6:16:56 PM PT): This game is moving too slowly. Don't they know Top Chef: Las Vegas is on in less than an hour?

Steven Goldman (6:19:41 PM PT): When the Yankees struggled down the stretch in 1985, George Steinbrenner said that Reggie Jackson was Mr. October but Dave Winfield was Mr. May. Teixeira's free agent contract/offensively poor postseason might have prompted George to say the same thing, though with Teixeira's tendency towards slow starts, he's not Mr. May either.

Christina Kahrl (6:19:50 PM PT): If Robin's still one of the live contestants, I'd have to hope she gets excused as quickly as the Royals would be around now.

Christina Kahrl (6:22:41 PM PT): Lee strikes out A-Rod again... is that the NY Post's pre-fab headlines about auto-throttling that I already can hear being printed?

Will Carroll (6:24:00 PM PT): Auto-ARODic Asphyxiation, CK?

Christina Kahrl (6:27:28 PM PT): They're talking about Bret Favre. During the World Series. The World Series! Can I get free agency updates during the Super Bowl? Because I'll really need to know where Octavio Dotel is in the middle of that.

Jay Jaffe (6:27:38 PM PT): I miss Andy Pettitte's religiuos devotion to first pitch strikes, 20 out of 25 on Sunday night. What's CC at?

Steven Goldman (6:27:42 PM PT): It's surprising just how bad a postseason hitter Jorge Posada has been in his 25 series. He's not Chone Figgins bad, but for ~100 games, he's roughly .235/.350/.390.

Steven Goldman (6:30:30 PM PT): That Rosenthal anecdote was missing a payoff, something like, "And then Cliff Lee punched him in the mouth."

Steph Bee (6:31:22 PM PT): A-Rod can handle a pop-up in the rain. A welcome sight.

Steven Goldman (6:31:40 PM PT): A-Rod always makes a point of saying that pop-ups are his least favorite play. He doesn't read them very well, though he rarely misplays them. He just wobbles and staggers a lot.

Kevin Goldstein (6:32:33 PM PT): After throwing 24 pitches in the first innings, C.C. has averages less that 12 pitches per inning in the last four. he's going at least seven at this rate, maybe more.

Christina Kahrl (6:32:49 PM PT): Like Keith Moreland, or a drunken sailor, just prettier.

Will Carroll (6:33:55 PM PT): I will wobble and stagger if I have another Van Winkle 15. (This endorsement was not compensated. Thanks FCC.)

Christina Kahrl (6:34:23 PM PT): Maybe, Kevin, but a lot depends on how well he handles this next series of batters in the sixth--ie, the guys who racked up high pitch counts against him the first time round.

Steven Goldman (6:34:44 PM PT): Mountainhawk (Salem, MA): Rollins needs to yell "I got it." there just as Arod is making the catch.

A-Rod actually yelled "Ha!" as he ran past Blue Jays scrub Howard Clark camped under a pop-up a few years ago. Clark dropped it, and A-Rod was ripped everywhere, even in NY. I thought it was just good gamesmanship. I mean, what kind of busher drops a pop-up because A-Rod shouts a syllable?

Will Carroll (6:35:17 PM PT): Wow, Matsui's wife is real.

http://umpbump.com/press/2009/09/07/hot-baseball-wife-hideki-matsuis-mystery-wife-discovered/

Wonder how she feels about his collection.

Steph Bee (6:35:18 PM PT): But I still remember the play on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium a couple years back when he dropped the foul pop and the crowd went nuts on him. Just nice for him to have them cheering at the end of the play.

Will Carroll (6:36:29 PM PT): Pinchrunner here for Matsui? Yes, I'm serious.

Jay Jaffe (6:37:27 PM PT): Go, go Godzilla!

Every batter needs a Blue Oyster Cult song for his at bat music, I'm just sayin'.

Christina Kahrl (6:38:01 PM PT): BP Intern (San Diego): For those still interested, class is still not-interesting.

If it's can't-miss, do as I did for the ALCS in 1988: wear a one-ear bud piece on the side facing away from your teacher. Sure, he asked me about it after class (I participated in the conversation), but we wound up talking about Don Wert and the Tigers. And Boddicker got crushed by the A's, so all was right in the world.

Will Carroll (6:40:01 PM PT): Replay wouldn't be slower than six guys talking and MAYBE getting it right.

David Laurila (6:40:46 PM PT): The umpire next to Rollins signaled out immediately after he caught the batted ball, so why did it take so long for them to figure this out?

Will Carroll (6:41:16 PM PT): Looked like Howard was on the bag, though Cano was already out, I guess.

Steven Goldman (6:41:30 PM PT): You're 200% right, Will.

Why was Matsui wandering about the infield as if he was looking for an address?

Christina Kahrl (6:41:33 PM PT): strupp (Madison): First test of "experienced" umps?

We're talking Cowboy Joe West here. Right there, we've got a bumped-up set of odds on ejections. Correct calls? Maybe not so much, but ejection percentages get a boost.

Steven Goldman (6:44:05 PM PT): Oleoay (Denver, CO): Steve, don't forget A-Rod's good gamesmanship when he tried to slap the ball out of a pitcher's glove while running down the first base line.

That was weak, but it shouldn't color everything else the guy does. I mean, if Frankie Frisch dropped a pop-up because Zack Wheat said, "Ha!" John McGraw would have ripped his scrotum off with his teeth and then sent him down to Toledo.

Christina Kahrl (6:46:23 PM PT): Tch, tch, that's only because McGraw would drown everything with the White Horse after the game. To prevent infections.

David Laurila (6:49:15 PM PT): Utley again. Wow.

Steven Goldman (6:49:25 PM PT): White Horse was Joe McCarthy's drink. I suspect McGraw was more of a beer man, but I'm...

Wow. How is it Utley hasn't yet won an MVP award?

Jay Jaffe (6:49:35 PM PT): Are you f-ing kidding me

Dan Wade (6:49:37 PM PT): No cheap stadium-affected fake HR that

Will Carroll (6:49:53 PM PT): Chase Utley just channeled Josh Hamilton. Wow, how far did that fly?

Kevin Goldstein (6:50:44 PM PT): Current score: Gordon Gecko 2, Yankees 0 in the 6th.

Dan Wade (6:50:58 PM PT): Fox had it at 396, Will

John Perrotto (6:51:29 PM PT): Chase Utley just got tattos all over his body?

Steven Goldman (6:51:37 PM PT): This just in: the Yankees will acquire Utley from the Phillies at the winter meetings in exchange for Mike Easler and Marco Vechionacchi.

Will Carroll (6:52:05 PM PT): Just curious, how highly rated was Chase Utley as a prospect? I know he skipped a level (AA?) but was he ever a top five guy?

Joe Sheehan (6:52:26 PM PT): Chase Utley: About to be less underrated by Earth.

Steven, to answer your question, it's cold and damp. I checked out because I didn't feel like live-testing the saturation point of an Inspiron 9300.

Worse is no monitors up here. I still don't know what happened in the fifth. (Will watch the whole thing again from home, anyway.)

I'm at the World Series. You could sit me between Carrot Top and a random corpse and I'd be fine.

Jay Jaffe (6:54:39 PM PT): Well, from the Yankees' POV, hopefully it's like Davey Lopes two-homer game in the 1978 world series opener. A great game but ultimately not the series' deciding factor.

And much as I like Utley that's way too much product in his hair.

Christina Kahrl (6:55:41 PM PT): So, here we are, the middle of the order pushed him, and another runs on the board... which makes for an interesting seventh for Sabathia and Girardi, as expected.

Will Carroll (6:56:14 PM PT): Does Chase Utley have a car dealership? He looks like that kind of guy, like John Elway. With this economy, what's the equivalent of the car dealership for athletes now, or do they even need it with their contracts?

There's an interesting sociological question - where are the guys who signed the biggest contract of their day? Ryne Sandberg is a minor league manager. Kirby Puckett has passed, but would surely be in the Twins org doing something. Who else?

Steven Goldman (6:56:39 PM PT): Yep, he's on the wrong side of 100 pitches now.

Kevin Goldstein (6:57:48 PM PT): Utley was always a very good prospect, but never that crazy elite. He was the 15th overall pick in 2000, and that was one of the worst first rounds . . . ever. Of the 14 taken ahead of Utley, only seven even got to the big leagues, and only Adrian Gonzalez and Rocco Baldelli (breifly) were any good. When he was at Triple-A, he was seen as a very good offense-first 2B who could hit .280 with 15-20 bombs a year. He just never showed this big power in the minors, and he wasn't nearly as patient a hitter, either.

Will Carroll (6:58:12 PM PT): Sabathia has two bad pitches out of almost 100. I was talking to a team about how they're using PitchFX. They're comparing where the pitch was called to where it actually went - that's info they have that we don't - and using it to calculate an "accuracy number." Not sure if it means anything, but it sounds cool.

Kevin Goldstein (6:58:48 PM PT): Nolan Ryan was the first million/year guy, he's still in the game obviously. Wasn't Canseco the highest paid at one time?

Jay Jaffe (7:04:30 PM PT): Yanks appear to have no chance of scoring unless the can get past Lee to the creamy nougat of the bullpen.

And as I'm typing that jeter get a one out single. That's almost a rally by tonight's standards.

Christina Kahrl (7:04:42 PM PT): Dave Parker was the second millionaire; he owns a bunch of Popeye's Chicken franchises in Cincy, I think.

Steven Goldman (7:06:03 PM PT): Three Royals, I think it was Willie Wilson, George Brett, and Dan Quisenberry, had those weird Ewing Kaufmann contracts which were like money, plus lifetime services, plus real estate equal to the state of Rhode Island.

Steph Bee (7:07:25 PM PT): Man, Lee sure looks like he's in his element. Didn't even move.

Christina Kahrl (7:07:49 PM PT): Tex and A-Rod, both working on the sombrero by the sixth...

Steven Goldman (7:08:15 PM PT): I'm not sure whether to admire Cliff Lee for that last play or send Tiresias to warn him of the dangers of hubris.

Christina Kahrl (7:08:27 PM PT): Moral victory that Teixeira made contact?

Christina Kahrl (7:11:37 PM PT): sferenchick (Philadelphia): Pete Rose was the highest paid player of 1979 ($800,000 /year for 4 years). He is now a long-distance commuter from his LA home to Las Vegas for three days a week of writing--his name, that is, for gamblers looking to spend about $100 for a signed ball.


I believe he earned that gig, having electively blown better ones. It beats what 10 percent of the country--and actual unemployment's a lot higher than 10 percent--has to do to rub dimes together.

Dan Wade (7:12:01 PM PT): Over/Under on Invictus ads we see in this series. Line: 25

Christina Kahrl (7:13:25 PM PT): Not that Sabathia's had a bad night, but that walk...

Steven Goldman (7:13:41 PM PT): Ben Francisco opens his golden gate...

Christina Kahrl (7:15:03 PM PT): Never mind. The chokey chokiest choker--and I am kidding--made a nice play that keeps things simple.

Christina Kahrl (7:16:06 PM PT): So now the real poll-worthy question is--would you have Sabathia pitch into the eighth, after 113 pitches?

Steph Bee (7:16:40 PM PT): Yanks continuing with the Tynan tradition of using the extended version of God Bless America.

Will Carroll (7:16:42 PM PT): Dammit does anyone anywhere other than Yankee Stadium sing the stanza of God Bless America?

Will Carroll (7:17:13 PM PT): Sabathia ... yes, but I have Hughes warming up.

Steven Goldman (7:17:19 PM PT): I hadn't heard about Marvin Miller's wife. Thanks to our mutual friend Allen Barra I had a very pleasant lunch with the Millers a few years ago. She seemed a very fine person. My sincere condolences to Mr. Miller.

Christina Kahrl (7:17:36 PM PT): It's offensive and self-important, but what about Yankee operations isn't?

Steven Goldman (7:18:11 PM PT): There's a more suitable Irving Berlin song for tonight: "A Fella With an Umbrella." You could look it up.

Christina Kahrl (7:18:32 PM PT): It will be the top of the Phillies' order in the eighth...

Jay Jaffe (7:19:03 PM PT): Well, seven frames for CC would seem to be about it it if the Yanks want to bring him back on short rest. Hardly a bad outing but for those two solo shots by Utley, but a deficit nonetheless.

Not missed at all: Ronan Tynan. Boy was I sick of that guy even before he started the anti-Semitic jokes.

Steph Bee (7:19:21 PM PT): Sabathia looks like he has settled down considerably, but since the Yanks are down by two and they want him to go on short rest, I'd have to say that I'd pull the plug so that he can rest up for the start. The bullpen should be able to keep the game where it is now.

Jay Jaffe (7:25:06 PM PT): My deepest condolences to Marvin Miller as well. I interviewed him last year and he was sharp as a tack at ninety-whatever. It's a career highlight for me. If he doesn't wind up in the Hall of Fame while he's still alive to appreciate it then a pox on that house and on the players on the VC who let him down.

Steven Goldman (7:25:43 PM PT): If it is Hughes in the next frame, is it for two batters and then a Coke - or more likely Marte, since Girardi seems to favor him of late?

Dan Wade (7:26:36 PM PT): Lee at 94 pitches. Not quite Sabathia's 113, but I wonder if Charlie sends him back out against the Yankees 7-8-9 hitters in the eighth.

Christina Kahrl (7:28:06 PM PT): bflaff (Phila., PA): For Lee, same question: how many pitches do you let him throw tonight?

I'd give him a good amount of rope in the eighth, certainly, because your bullpen's a poxy lot, and going up 1-0 in the Series would be very good news. Sure, that means a tighter rein in Game Four, but it doesn't seem improbable as risks go, if you're up two games to one by then, having split the subsequent matchups.

John Perrotto (7:29:16 PM PT): Marvin Miller absolutely should be in the Hall of Fame. My father knew him from the United Steelworkers Union and things were obviously never the same once Miller left to start up the MLBPA.

Steven Goldman (7:30:58 PM PT): Actually, if there are two outs, why not let Hughes pitch to Utley? He just proved against Sabathia that he doesn't have any platoon issues, and that's true in the regular season as well. And Hughes > Marte. Marte is a must for Ryan Howard, but not a necessity for Utley.

Christina Kahrl (7:32:38 PM PT): Let's see where we're at once it gets to Utley, because putting Rollins aboard makes matters ugly enough for the Bombers as-is.

Steven Goldman (7:34:36 PM PT): Aye, that changes things from my hypothetical. Kind of like Lee on the second day at Gettysburgh having not taken the heights.

Will Carroll (7:34:51 PM PT): No Joba Chamberlain sighting. Maybe thinking about him for Game 4?

Jay Jaffe (7:35:21 PM PT): I'd bring in Mo to face the lefties, so long as it's still close.

Steven Goldman (7:36:09 PM PT): Will, I think the last time Joba pitched well it was about July 15. Girardi's use of him in the postseason has been pure wishcasting.

Steven Goldman (7:36:43 PM PT): Speaking of Steve Trout and Ed Whitson, meet Phil Hughes.

Will Carroll (7:37:36 PM PT): Gotta disagree with Jay. Bringing in Rivera now would kind of force him long (Girardi doesn't even seem to think people can pitch after Rivera unless it's extras. Rivera might be needed later, or tomorrow.

Christina Kahrl (7:37:41 PM PT): Why is it that George Frazier gets forgotten about so easily in these sorts of conversations?

Steph Bee (7:37:50 PM PT): Girardi said that, as of right now, Joba would only be able to go about 3 innings if he were given a start, so I don't think that they are planning on giving him one. If there's a fourth start, it's probably going to Gaudin, who threw a bullpen of 80something pitches yesterday, putting him out of action for at least the first two games.

Joe Sheehan (7:38:59 PM PT): I don't understand the depth chart. Marte seems to be ahead of Coke, and Joba ahead of Hughes. These things are not consistent with the players' abilities or performance.

Jay Jaffe (7:42:29 PM PT): Mo is your best bet versus lefties, far better than Marte and we're at a high-leverage point given Utley and Howard. You can always take him out for the ninth if you don't get the lead.

Steven Goldman (7:44:10 PM PT): George Frazier was manipulated into that situation by weird ownership imperatives, so I guess he gets a pass. Frazier also wasn't unrelievedly miserable for the Yankees during his time here, whereas the other two guys were wall-to-wall misery without redeeming features.

David Laurila (7:44:23 PM PT): Solid outing by Marte. The Yankees needed that pretty badly.

Christina Kahrl (7:44:56 PM PT): Well, Marte did get both men, force is still in order at second, and what's interesting is whether you go to Mo against the right-hander in this situation.

Joe Sheehan (7:45:10 PM PT): Who had "Damaso Marte" in the "biggest ovation of Game One" pool?

Steven Goldman (7:46:35 PM PT): A David Robertson sighting! Shocker!

Joe Sheehan (7:48:49 PM PT): Like it or not, Girardi has been properly aggressive this inning. I see an argument for going to Coke here, but also one for saving him for Howard again.

Steven Goldman (7:49:00 PM PT): For some reason, Ibanez killed lefties this year, with something like 13 HRs/130 at-bats.

Will Carroll (7:51:08 PM PT): Ok, Eric Seidman, McCarver just teed you up there, that Robertson's stuff "looks 5 mph faster." Possible?

Christina Kahrl (7:51:33 PM PT): DrDave (Virginia): Good thing the Phillies are winning, or those 3 'strikes' to Utley would be the story of the game so far.

A fair point, Dr. Dave, and a bit strange, seeing as he'd earned at least a modicum of respect. Karma's a capricious bitch, at least when she's left to Gerry Davis' care.

Kevin Goldstein (7:51:38 PM PT): That's ballgame.

Will Carroll (7:52:31 PM PT): Hey Dan Levy - two out runs!

Joe Sheehan (7:53:16 PM PT): Not to oversell it, but this series seems, to me, to change a LOT with a Phillies win. They now get the roulette wheel that is A.J. Burnett, followed by Cole Hamels at home. A lot can happen in those games, of course, but suddenly Phillies in seven seems...long.

David Laurila (7:53:47 PM PT): So, does Lee come back out after the long inning? And can the Phillies bullpen hold a four-run lead?

David Laurila (7:57:43 PM PT): It might not be the Yankees night.

Christina Kahrl (7:57:53 PM PT): The second question answers the first for me, and goes to what Joe's bringing up--let Lee face the bottom of the order here, and then see if your lineup tacks anything else on against the non-Mo's in the Yankee pen in the ninth to decide who you use in the bottom of the frame.

David Laurila (7:58:21 PM PT): Referring to Lee snaring the ball behind his back, of course.

David Laurila (8:01:39 PM PT): Watching Lee pitch has me wondering if Scott Radinsky will be Manny Acta's pitching coach next summer. Rad was in Buffalo when Lee was sent to AAA to work himself back into a big league pitcher, and he's a good one.

Steven Goldman (8:01:43 PM PT): This is getting ahead of things, but the way Lee is pitching this feels like it might be like the 1986 NLCS for the Yankees, where the Mets knew they had to win it in six because if it went to a seventh game they'd face Mike Scott again, and almost certainly lose.

Christina Kahrl (8:02:28 PM PT): Obligatory product promo, since David's being oblique, but you had a pretty good interview with Radinsky, if memory serves.

Steven Goldman (8:04:17 PM PT): Joel (GA): Maybe THIS will be the game where everyone blames the relievers and not the manager... nah.

If the Yankees don't score, it's kind of moot what they did, but clearly the Yankees have some work to do, particularly with Phil Hughes. And now we have a pitcher in the game who is prone to wildness and hasn't worked in about a month.

Christina Kahrl (8:04:27 PM PT): And Scott did blow the Mets away on three days' rest in Game Four back in '86.

David Laurila (8:05:52 PM PT): I did, a few years ago. What prompted my comment wasn't that, though. I've heard a few people in the game float the possibilty of Radinsky moving up to Cleveland -- this was prior to Acta's hiring, but fairly recently.

Joe Sheehan (8:09:14 PM PT): Other than maybe going to Coke for Ibanez--I could see it either way--Girardi was fine. His relievers walked the park.

With that said...Philip Hughes has been handled very strangely in this postseason. He's not a ROOGY, but he's mostly been treated that way. And he's definitely not been used in spots where he might have been, where Chamberlain has gotten those spots (and tonight, the reverse).

I wouldn't bother with Coke here. Get Aceves a full inning for the work.

Steven Goldman (8:09:30 PM PT): If you're Joe Girardi, what can you say here? "Hey... Don't give up this run. Thanks, boys."

John Perrotto (8:09:47 PM PT): Cliff Lee has never pitched on three days' rest in his career. Something to ponder.

Jay Jaffe (8:11:19 PM PT): Why is Charlie Manuel wearing one batting glove? Michael Jackson tribute?

And with a four-run lead and my phone battery dying, I believe I've reached my pitch count. Reports from the park for tomorrow night's game via Twitter. I ain't hard to find.

Christina Kahrl (8:11:55 PM PT): And with the fifth run scored, that means the Phillies are safe from a Lidge grand slam allowed. I'm jus' sayin'...

Joe Sheehan (8:12:00 PM PT): Bruney, I mean.

Joe Sheehan (8:15:47 PM PT): Ponder all you want, but I have no problems at all with Lee starting Sunday. We've gone way, way too crazy on the three days' rest thing.

Steven Goldman (8:17:05 PM PT): F. Leghorn (Denver): Was that 1986 season by Mike Scott one of the most dominating one-year wonders ever? It seems to me that he was not too great before '86 or after ( injuries? ) I just remember it was all due to his learning a split finger which, I think, eventually killed his arm.

He was never THAT good again, but he had about a five-year run of being an above-average pitcher, including a 20-win season in 1989. He really was sort of a latter-day Smoky Joe Wood in 1986, though, just a spectacular, not-to-be repeated season.

Will Carroll (8:19:01 PM PT): Agree. Ask him how he feels Saturday morning. All you're doing is skipping the throw day, which no one is throwing at this point in the season (save Chad Gaudin) anyway.

Joe Sheehan (8:19:32 PM PT): Good night, folks...heading to interview room and then home to rewatch Cliff Lee throw a simulated game.

Steven Goldman (8:19:44 PM PT): Phil Coke was quite HR-prone during the regular season. Just saying...

Christina Kahrl (8:19:46 PM PT): F. Leghorn (Denver): Was that 1986 season by Mike Scott one of the most dominating one-year wonders ever? It seems to me that he was not too great before '86 or after (injuries?) I just remember it was all due to his learning a split finger which, I think, eventually killed his arm.

Scott's '87 and '88 seasons weren't all that shabby, ranking among the best-ever in Astros' franchise history, and his '85 and '89 campaigns were good as well:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=70059

Kevin Goldstein (8:20:28 PM PT): The 9-4-2 is your Yankee highlight for the night.

David Laurila (8:21:02 PM PT): Victorino opting not to go Rose-Fosse there.

Steven Goldman (8:21:06 PM PT): Man, the Yankees 'pen just couldn't have been worse tonight.

Steven Goldman (8:24:56 PM PT): Joel (GA): Goldman: The Yankees *could* have had a lead.

That's true, and I apologize for the limp hyperbole. Still, taking a close game and turning it into a blowout is almost as bad. They almost completely removed the temptation for Charlie Manuel to go to his pen, which would have been a possibility had the thing still been close.

And you can call me Steve if I can call you Joel. Or Daisy Buchanan.

Christina Kahrl (8:24:58 PM PT): Coke was especially homer-prone in NuYankee (like a lot of people), with seven bombs allowed to 137 batters, against three allowed to 97 on the road. (Odd but fun fact--all of Coke's four intentional passes occurred on the road.)

David Laurila (8:25:14 PM PT): Why is Lee out for the 9th?

Christina Kahrl (8:26:46 PM PT): That's the real mystery. Cold night, sure it's a shutout, but c'mon, if you've committed to the three-man rotation, why do this up by six?

Steven Goldman (8:27:09 PM PT): I looked at Coke's HRs, Christina, and although he did allow more there, if you look at WHERE they were hit, they were mostly pulled to the more legit left side of the stadium, not to the short 'n' breezy right field side.

Steven Goldman (8:27:56 PM PT): Actually, IIRC, at least one was blasted to straight away center, a good poke in both new and old parks.

Dan Wade (8:31:22 PM PT): Steven - It was Joe Mauer, 426 to dead center

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/hrdetail.php?id=2009_1085

Christina Kahrl (8:31:29 PM PT): You might want to check out Clay's comments from a few weeks back:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9618

... because right-handed hitters appear to have benefited more from NuYankee than lefties.

Steven Goldman (8:33:05 PM PT): Since the game is over... To be continued, Christina. :)

Christina Kahrl (8:34:35 PM PT): Absolutely--I'm curious about whether Coke allowed his homers to lefties on pulled pitches or not, so I'll look forward to learning. ;-)

Steven Goldman (8:35:20 PM PT): I already hear the talk radio stations saying the series is over... But remember -- the Yankees' Carl Mays shut out the Giants in Game 1 of the 1921 World Series and the Giants still came back to win, so clearly there is recent precedent for a reversal of fortunes here.

Christina Kahrl (8:39:06 PM PT): The real question to me as far as day-after media jibber-jabber is whether Teixeira gets strafed, or if A-Rod's sombrero earns him a "what have you done for me lately?"

Steven Goldman (8:41:38 PM PT): Either might, and it would sure be nice if Teixeira did something/anything. Yet, if you want to be honest about it, this might be a case when the old baseball cliche, "Sometimes you've just gotta tip your cap" applies. When this team is at its best it wears pitchers down, taking a lot of pitches. They averaged six walks a game against the Angels. Tonight Lee walked NO ONE. There was just no weakness for them to exploit.

Steven Goldman (8:46:44 PM PT): If no one has any further remarks, I ask unanimous consent that this chat be closed. On behalf of Christina, Kevin, Will, Joe, John, David, Jay, Steph, Dan, and myself, thank you for spending your World Series Game 1 with Baseball Prospectus. We'll be back before the Phillies complete their sweep... Just kidding, Yankees fans. Good night, now.

Christina Kahrl (8:47:33 PM PT): True dat, Steven. With that, I'm out for now, but hope folks enjoyed tonight's chat.


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