Matt Sussman knows a lot about jokes, and he knows a lot about the Tigers bullpen, and he knows where I"m going with this.
Matt Sussman: Joba Chamberlain, Joakim Soria and Blaine Hardy walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and said, "Sorry, it's just about closing time." He hands the rest of the drinks to Joe Nathan, which he promptly throws into the fireplace.
Bill (Detroit): What is Willy Adames' ceiling? I like Price a lot, but in a vacuum, are the Tigers going to regret trading away Willy?
Matt Sussman: His ceiling is Babe Ruth. He can be as good as Babe Ruth. He better start eating though.
cracker73 (Florida): Clint Frazier has not performed to the level that I expected from the 5th pick in the 2013 MLB draft. Was he overrated going into the draft?
Matt Sussman: Regarding Frazier, teenagers are a lot like criminals: don't give up on them, but don't trust them either. Frazier has an added whammy as being red-headed, but a baseball hat will cover most of that up. I don't know how many teams put stock into numbers of a prospect's first full season, but rather mechanics and process. Stay believin'.
Colin (WI): Is Cubs Twitter really all that bad? I know I hate it, but I'm constantly bombarded with it, and Señor Rubio mocks it quite a bit, but is it really that terrible compared to other fanbases? Or is it really up there with the BFIBs and Phillies Twitter in terms of all around terribleness?
Matt Sussman: I'm not an expert on Cubs Twitter, but Sports Team Twitter can really be the worst. Any such group can truly be improved with the unfollow button, and whittle it down until you are only reading cool and interesting people.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Matt, In a holds league, please rank these non-closers: Betances, Davis, Miller and Boxberger. Thanks!
Matt Sussman: Hmm. For next year? Betances, Boxberger, Davis, and rank Miller as you wish depending on where he signs. If he signs with a contender, put him at the top.
Dave (New Jersey): If someone offered you $1,000 to wear lamb chops for a full calendar year, would you do it?
Matt Sussman: A thousand dollars? Buddy, I really enjoy being married and employed.
DJ (Dallas): Matt, thanks for the chat!! Did any rookie perform better on an age-adjusted earnings basis (if there is such a thing) than Rougned Odor?? I appreciate your insights!!
Matt Sussman: This really was the year of the Old Rookie, wasn't it? Odor got to play a bunch as the youngest MLB player under no pressure, except for maybe Yu Darvish's perfect game attempt. There were plenty of great 23-year-olds but if we, say, subtract one WARP per year older than Odor, I guess he really was at the top.
John (Cincinnati): Do they have to be the same lamb chops for the entire year? Cooked or raw? Can you just wear the lamb chops as a fancy accessory, or are you talking about wearing about nothing but lamb chops? These are important distinctions.
Matt Sussman: I'm really glad you asked that. If I can change out the lamb chops daily, and I am provided the lamb chops for free, and I can wear them anywhere (emphasis: ANYWHERE), then we're still talking a huge hassle. I mean where am I going to store a year's worth of lamb chops? The refrigeration bill alone would be outrageous, then I'm wearing cold meat. The more I think of this the more I want to scold the person who suggested this.
Perry (Detroit): What's your take on Rick Porcello's season? Is he a top 20 pitcher going forward? Is the low ERA still likely with less than 6 k/9?
Matt Sussman: Top 20, no. But he's been such a lightning rod of criticism in the Tigers community for Not Being Justin Verlander, and now he had the year Verlander wished he'd had. It all fell into place and jeez he'll still be just 26 next year. I think he can get better.
Alex (Anaheim): Who's your leading candidate for Yankee shortstop next season?
Matt Sussman: Alex Rodriguez hurling Brendan Ryan toward the location of the ball.
Max (Vegas): when does BP start rolling out the Top 10s?
Matt Sussman: I am guessing sometime between the end of this sentence and next February.
Alf (AFL): Where does the AFL rank in terms of difficulty? Is it between AA and AAA?
Matt Sussman: From what I understand, Double-A and Triple-A talent levels aren't wildly different. Triple-A has more hangers-on with veteran skill sets, and Double-A will reveal a lot about a young player. The AFL just *feels* different, since it's a lot of talent jam-packed into a six-team league. I'm going to call it an Adobe Photoshop Elements version of Double-A.
John (Cincinnati): Who should Tiger fans be rooting for out these last 4 teams? Perhaps the Royals, since that would ensure years more employment for Dayton Moore and Ned Yost?
Matt Sussman: The Orioles have Quintin Berry (non-rostered) and Delmon Young, but a championship may fatten the Andrew Miller price tag. For the ERoyals, I think Moore and Yost are hanging around regardless, and if they win then we can say the AL Central's lifespan has seen dynasties by the Indians, Twins and Tigers but championships from the Royals and White Sox. What a world. Inherently Tigers fans cannot wish well on the Giants nor the Cardinals for pseudo-clutch reasons. But Jhonny Peralta deserves to be happy, so if that's what happens then good for him. After all that's how Gerald Laird got his ring.
John (Cincinnati): What if the lamb chops were sandwiches.
Matt Sussman: Lamb chops aren't sandwiches.
Bobby (Detroit): What are your thoughts about Nick Castellanos likely performance in 2015?? Thanks for your thoughts, these chats are great!!
Matt Sussman: I'm not worried about his hitting ability-nor are most-because while he rode streaks and slumped this year, he always adjusted. He may not hit for power quite yet, but having been jostled around the field in his brief career I'm just hoping he looks more comfortable playing third.
Jason (Detroit): Which major league outfield would you most like to play as a miniature golf course?
Matt Sussman: For those who don't know, I played a round of mini-golf at the Toledo Mud Hens ballpark a couple weeks ago. It was perfect. Houston's ballpark is right out, because you know they're going to utilize the hill and I am NOT okay with that. If Miami built their dinger sculpture as part of their outfield, then we have the perfect windmill-style hole. But I'll go with Oakland. There's enough room to fit in at least a 72-holer.
AJ (Phoenix): How good can Matt Olson's hit tool be at maturity? 50-55 reachable?
Matt Sussman: That's MLB league average, right? I'll say no. He looks like a low-average-and-maybe-high-power guy.
John (Cincinnati): Did the Giants and Cardinals just inadvertently reveal that part of their success may be due to time manipulation abilities? It's the middle of the ninth inning, the score is tied 4-4, it's a playoff game, and yet the game is barely 2.5 hours old.
Matt Sussman: Yes but the date is also November 23, 2018 and we have lost three full seasons of our lives. Sorry, Astros!
John (Cincinnati): What do you think Justin Verlander will do in 2015? Besides wear tight pants and show off his ample arm hair?
Matt Sussman: The company line we're all supposed to be saying is, "he was hurt last offseason and now this year he'll have his full recovery time." Bottom line, a lot could happen between now and then, but if you want a prediction I think he competes for and wins the fifth starter job out of training camp.
Matt Sussman: Thanks for the questions, everyone! We can go back to living out the rest of our lives stuck in this NLCS Game 3.