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Chat: Steven Goldman

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 24, 2008 1:00 PM ET chat session with Steven Goldman.


Steven Goldman brings a historical perspective to current events in "You Could Look it Up."

Steven Goldman: Hiya, kids! Steven Goldman here to take you through another afternoon of esoteric baseball chatting! I'm running just a bit behind on today's installment of You Could Look It Up (on historically poor offenses, inspired by the Nats), so I'm going to start here and finish that out concurrently. What that means is that we probably won't start off at my usual rapid pace but will kick up the speed after I make sure that BP managing editor Christina Kahrl does not sick her Belgian Shepherd on me. ...I've always wondered if the purpose of the Belgian Shephard is to wait until the German Shephard comes to town, then bark once and lie down...

Felix Hernandez (New York): DH? We don't need no stinking DH!

Steven Goldman: No, but you need a pitcher with two healthy legs, which King Felix lacks at the moment. He could do an excellent King Richard II, but pitching may be a problem.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Does Tampa Bay's surge bring to mind any historical comp, a team that got good really quick using home-grown players?

Steven Goldman: Joe Sheehan and I were discussing this on the last Pinstriped Bible Podcast over at www.yesnetwork.com. We came up with the 1991 Braves, a team that went from last in the league in defensive efficiency to first. TB is currently second in the AL in DEF, was last last year. The homegrown part isn't necessarily the key here, it's catch the ball.

cult of basebaal (Los Angeles Anaheim of Pasadena): Regarding Melky, I'm ALL for bringing up Gardner and giving him his shot (which means starting, consistently, right off the bat). But I'm not all that keen on trading Melky. For one, I don't think he'd bring much of interest back, I don't think his value could be much lower than it is now. What could he bring in return? Whereas his value to the Yankees as a 4th OF is probably higher, given that he has the range and arm for all 3 OF positions. I say bring up Gardner and start him, keep Melky around as the extra OF and see what happens over the rest of the year. Over the offseason, make a decision on who is going to be the CF going forward and decide whether the other player is in their plans; if not, package them and trade them for something useful.

Steven Goldman: Cult of Baseball (COB?) is pointing out something I advocated both at YES and the NY Sun today, which is that the Yankees have the ability to get better in two ways at once - promote Brett Gardner and deal off Melky as part of a package for help. I'd be satisfied with the first half of that, as COB proposes here, and just trying Gardner for a couple of weeks leading up to the trade deadline. I don't like to speculate about specific trades, but part of what was in my mind is that the Mariners apparently intend to deal Bedard and haven't had a complete OF set in years. With Ichiro back in right and Jeremy Reed unlikely to hold the position, the CF job is open. Obviously Melky wouldn't make the trade by himself, but he could be part of the package...

jlarsen (DRays Bay): Should JP Riccardi be fired with all the problems he has opening his mouth and Toronto's lack of offense to match the greatness that the pitching staff has given the team?

Steven Goldman: I don't like to suggest that anyone should lose their job - bad karma and all that - but ownership's patience with a team that has been running in place for so long is... impressive. The Jays often have some very nice components - good pitching, some great complimentary players - but they haven't been able to develop or acquire the MVP candidate on offense that they have needed to bring the club together. Maybe Travis Snider will be that guy... Assuming he gets more of a chance than Adam Lind.

mattymatty (Philly): If Melky can't hit in Yankee Stadium, what makes you think he can hit in Safeco? Of course the Mariners might not notice, but thats still an iffy trade proposal, in my most humble of opinions.

Steven Goldman: I don't know that he can hit there, or anywhere the way he's been for the last 50 games or so -- that's why I see him as part of a package. We do know he can carry the position with his glove, so that's a point in his favor. He's also young, another point in his favor. He has shown, in streaks, including a three-month segment of last year, that he can be a productive hitter. All of those factors make a reasonable argument for someone to bet on the upside. I just don't think the Yankees need to right now, and would actually get better, short and long-term, if they did not... Just another couple of minutes on non-hitting teams for YCLIU and then you'll have my full attention. I just got done with the 1963 Mets.

bctowns (Chicago, IL): Man would I love to see Bedard go to the Yankees, pitch to the pitch count he sets, take himself out of the game, and watch Girardi go ballistic on him.

Steven Goldman: As long as he pitches effectively, this is known as that "good problem to have." One of the useful things that BP has highlighted in such places as the Secret Sauce report here on the site and the corresponding chapter in Baseball Between the Numbers is that if you want to go deep into the playoffs, you need some strikeouts from your starters. This is one of the reasons the Yankees have been able to make the playoffs in recent years, but have gotten their buttocks served to them on a plate once they've gotten there.

Bearfrog (dallas): *Obligatory* "Hi Kevin. How is next year's draft shaping up?

Steven Goldman: I've got two of these already! Parody ones, I mean. I'll let you know when I get a real one... Knowing Kevin, he really is already thinking about next year's draft. Actually, I know what he's thinking about right now, which is the Cleveland Indians chapter of the 1980s book. Say Hey, Miguel Dilone! ...Heading into the last paragraph of YCLIU. Sorry about the delay, kids. I'll stay late.

mike (chicago): If they keep going, couldn't the Rays be like the 1969 Mets? Expansion team that was pretty lousy every year until BAM!? Maybe it was just the sweep of my cubs that made me think it...

Steven Goldman: I think the last couple of years you could see the Rays moving towards something, but they just hadn't figured out the nuances of it. The Mets were more of a comet that suddenly appeared in the sky.

cult of basebaal (LAA of Pasadena): Last night in Scranton, Gardner scored from 2nd on a ground out. Just got a great jump and kept running. When's the last time the Yankees had someone with speed like that? Rickey? (not that i'm expecting Rickey here, more like Brett Butler-lite)

Steven Goldman: The fastest player I ever saw in a Yankees uniform was Deion Sanders. I saw Gardner at Trenton several times and he didn't strike me as being that fast, though I did see him run down several balls crossing from right center to left center when the Thunder had a shift on a lefty hitter and the guy went the other way. Your overall point, though, that having that speed around would have some utility to the Yankees, either off the bench or in the lineup (Homer Bush style in the former case). I invoked the different vibe Ellsbury gives the Red Sox in the Sun article. I don't think Gardner is a potential Ellsbury, but some of the same idea applies.

Goldeye99 (1980s): Not a question...more of a joyful shout, which is always good on a Tuesday sitting at my desk at work: Bring back Huey Lewis! Bring back the Purple Prince! Bring back the Expos!! But most of all, bring back Youpi!!! Seriously, can't wait for the 1980s book! Thanks for the chat Steve! Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999..damn..wrong decade.

Steven Goldman: I'm all for bringing back Youpi. At the time, my suggestion was that the Nats shave Youpi, put a big hat on him, and call him "Lincoln." Not sure about bringing back Huey Lewis. I think I still like "The Power of Love," but maybe that's because I still have good feelings about "Back to the Future." Nah... that song has a nice hook.

dude (cal): (in the off-chance you follow the TX Rangers) Do you envisage Saltalamacchiawicz start hitting like he was supposed to now that he's playing every day?

Steven Goldman: I follow everyone, Dude (do you abide?). Salty will hit, I think, but his glove has been the thing holding him back. He hasn't been throwing out runners or blocking the plate real well. If his bat is what it should be, teams will be willing to overlook it, but when you're competing with a good glove like Laird, who was also hitting a bit when he got hurt, the temptation will always be to make like Lou Costello and shout, FIRST BASE!!!

ed (New York): You mean Richard the THIRD? I think that his (Richard III's) physical deformities are a myth, by the way.

Steven Goldman: Did I typo that? Yeah, I meant Richard III. I've heard everything about the guy in the play is a myth, that he was the victim of a kind of medieval swift boating by the opposition. I haven't had the chance to research that as much as I'd like. Heck of a play, though... I just saw Patrick Stewart's "MacBeth." Nice version, and Stewart's performance made me realize something I hadn't picked up when I read the play back in high school - as protagonists go, MacBeth is a major league idiot. Richard III is more calculating, and so a more satisfying anti-hero.

Or (Dallas): Hey, Steven! Can you recall the last one-for-one swap (no offense to Danny Rey Herrera, who I still love) that paid off with such immediate dividends for both sides as Hamilton-Volquez has?

Steven Goldman: First thing that came to mind was Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, but it doesn't really fit as it took a couple of years for Smoltz to develop. That was certainly the quintessential win-win swap until now, though.

rogerlamarque (brooklyn): Best baseball nickname ever? Pronk is up there. The Big Hurt? The Mad Hungarian? Shoeless Joe? Three Fingers?

Steven Goldman: "Death to Flying Things," and maybe also "The Only Nolan."

Alex (SF, CA): Lady MacBeth is the satisfying anti-hero from MacBeth!

Steven Goldman: Yes and no. I mean, she's just abruptly written out of the play, disappears and dies off stage. As I discovered after seeing the play, there's a reason that "MacBeth" is the shortest of Shakey's plays - it's likely that what we have is an abridged, made-for-TV version for a court performance. A lot of plot and character development probably got used to wrap fish.

Brian (Roll Tide): So what is the purpose of your chats? You don't know prospects, you don't know anything about the draft, you're not a fantasy guru - are we just supposed to watch you blab about the Yankees?

Steven Goldman: I do know prospects, I do know about the draft, I wouldn't want to be called a fantasy guru, thanks, as I prefer real world problems... I can also spot an ass a mile away, a talent I'm engaging right now. As always, I talk about the Yankees a lot because I write about the Yankees, but if you want to talk about anything else, ask a question instead of assuming that BP has reduced itself to exactly three topics.

Or (Dallas): It has become a tradition to yell 'Yahtzee!' whenever Milton Bradley knocks one out of the park. Does that qualify as a nickname, or is it merely an observation?

Steven Goldman: It's not quite a nickname, but it is wonderful, a bit like going to the Metrodome in the '80s and hearing "Now batting, Kent Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrbek!!!" I guess Yahtzee is the best choice, too. Yelling "Scrabble!" or something wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.

rogerlamarque (Brooklyn): From Wiki about The Only Nolan, "It is said he was suspended twice during the 1878 season, once for visiting a whorehouse when he had told the team he was going to be visiting his brother. He was blacklisted from the league." Good stuff.

Steven Goldman: These stories about the guys from the 19th century, before baseball had acquired any sense of professionalism at all, are always wonderful, although many of them reduce down to drinking problems when you really look at them. If you go back and look at the things that were written about Bugs Raymond, an early Giants pitcher, he was often portrayed as a character. "He was so eager to get a drink that he would trade the bullpen baseballs for beers through the outfield fence! Hee hee! What a card!" Then you realize that this cut short his career, that he was stomped to death in a bar fight... There's nothing funny about that.

joelefkowitz (boonton, nj): i for one think the reds are the overwhelmingly CLEAR winners in the volquez/hamilton trade. first off, both teams needed pitching more than hitting, so the team getting the pitcher is already up. second, the reds had bruce to replace hamilton.. where's volquez v2.0 in texas? mostly though, it seems like hamilton is having an mvp year, but only an average year relative to other mvps. volquez's dominance this year - if this pace is kept up - is seemingly legendary.

Steven Goldman: Finally turned in that column, so I'm all yours now -- and I can finally get some music going. Writing in two windows plus humming a tune is more than my small brain can process at once... Here's an interesting question for you: the Rangers suck at developing pitching. Are historically bad at it. After Kevin Brown (who had to get away from them to get really good) and Kenny Rogers, there's really no one, and they were well on their way to ruining Volquez. Say they recognize that they are incapable of developing him. Therefore, he was zero value TO THEM. His value to the Reds is irrelevant. In this sense, the Rangers win the trade, because they gave up something of no utility and got an MVP candidate. See what I'm saying?

Shaved Youppi Lincoln Freak (DC): The Nationals have many, many problems, but one seems to be Lenny Harris, whose biggest accomplishment as hitting coach seems to be convincing Wily Mo Pena that a low average without power is preferable to a low average with power. Obviously, there are calls for Lenny to be kicked to the curb, like, now. What's your take on how influential/positive/negative a force a hitting coach can be?

Steven Goldman: I will always take questions from "Shaved Youppi Lincoln Freak." I LOVE that. Please come out the next time I'm in DC doing a signing at Politics & Prose - the first coffee is on me. The impact of hitting coaches varies by club and situation, but clearly they can be quite influential, as a generation of Royals and White Sox doing helicopter swings will attest (have those completely vanished from the game now?). We also see Mickey Hatcher with the Angels, who was a low OBP contact hitter who seems to train a lot of low-OBP contact hitters. Just yesterday, Matt Stairs was criticizing the departing hitting coach of the Jays. I don't think the coach can ever shoulder the full blame for a team's problems, but he hasn't helped and a change might be beneficial.

collins (greenville nc): My dad tells me that Al Kaline was nicknamed "Old Salty" (alkaline, geddit?). Any idea if that's right, or if Pop is pulling my leg?

Steven Goldman: I've never heard that, and my best reference for this - James Skipper's "Baseball Nicknames," contains no entry for Kaline. That said, the book is not without its oversights. But why would you want to know that? The only things in the world worth discussing are the draft, prospects, and fantasy baseball. You can't draft Al Kaline, you know!...Sorry. Overreacting a bit to the one twit in the crowd.

J. Mozeliak (Motor City): Sorry for the typo. That's "good", not "goos". No interest in geese, Steven. Are the Cubs or the BoSox your early Series fave? Thanks.

Steven Goldman: They were my preseason picks and I haven't seen a good reason to revise that yet. Any matchup involving the Cubs is going to be historic by definition, but something about Red Sox-Cubs just seems magical, even though the Red Sox have gone from perennials underdogs to dynastic champions... Forgive me if I make an unusual number of typos today - my hands are acting like they've been tying for the last 12 hours, which is not totally out of place...

josher464 (NYC): Hey Steven, Thanks for chatting. Always enjoy. This is a little more recent than the regular YCLIU (whyclue?) but have you ever considered doing one on the Mets trading Seaver? I just can't understand that one, and I think your perspective would be interesting.

Steven Goldman: I think of it as "Yookeelou," though "Why clue?" might be more appropriate. The Mets traded Seaver because of an ongoing salary dispute with an idiotic hardass of a club chairman during a period when the Mets lacked strong ownership. The trigger for the trade was a Dick Young column on Seaver's wife which Seaver figured had been planted by the Mets. At that point he broke off negotiations and that was that. It wasn't a baseball move in any sense - it was all about personalities and money.

Justin (Brno (Czech Republic)): Hi Steve, I am sure I'm late in asking this but what is this Baseball Prospectus project concerning the 1980s?

Steven Goldman: American expat or native Czech who just happens to like baseball? I want to know... The BP 1980s book now has an official title: I Don't Believe What I Just Saw! Subtitle: Baseball Prospectus' Guide to the Bash Brothers, Donnie Baseball, Billyball, Billy Buckner, Doc, Rock, Whitey and Everything Else that Made the 1980s Unforgettable. As I've reported in previous chats, we'll have extensive player comments and special stats for all of the key players of the period (plus retro-PECOTAs), new interviews, and history and analysis of key events and personalities. We're working like mad on it just now with the aim of having copies in your hands next spring.

Ragnhild (Tromso): Are you saying the Reds "developed" Volquez in Spring Training? Isn't that giving them a tad too much credit?

Steven Goldman: No, I don't think it is. Pitchers are such complex messes that the smallest tweak can change things dramatically. One of my favorite baseball stories, which I'll severely shortcut here, involves Mike Morgan, who was the doormat of the AL for years. He got to the Dodgers and they moved him from one side of the rubber to the other. Suddenly pitches that batters took for balls were strikes, and he was a good pitcher for the next several seasons.

Justin Zeth (Altoona, PA): There's something about that park in Texas (or maybe any park down there, I don't know) that makes it impossible to pitch. I don't know WHAT... but there's SOMETHING. Too many pitchers have joined the Rangers and immediately imploded and/or left the Rangers and immediately became good pitchers.

Steven Goldman: But it was true in the old park, too. Despite having some very promising hurlers over the years, they just never work out. The DVD thing, with Danks and Volquez pitching well elsewhere and Diamond still around but hurt, underscores that.

Rob (Andover, CT): Re: Melky/Gardner. I'm not opposed to calling up Gardner, but I think COB's point is well-taken: Melky's trade value may be as low as it's been since he was first called up. If the org. figures he is what he is, it still probably pays to try and catch a hot streak so his numbers are better and THEN trade him. Especially if the target is Seattle, b/c they might actually be fooled by that tactic...

Steven Goldman: You could be right about the timing, but Melky has hit .231/.280/.308 for his last 47 games, so you could wait a long time. I tend to think that other teams aren't so simple as to weigh transient hot or cold streams over what they perceive to be the overall package, but as with so many things, it probably comes down to the acumen of the GM you're talking to.

Hal (Chicago): I'm 32, am overall pretty slim, but have a beer gut. If I wanna woo the ladies, am I better off learning pilates, or doing the old fashion thing and lifting weights?

Steven Goldman: I looked at this and really thought we had finally arrived at the dreaded chat spam. You know, if you've seen me, you know I'm probably the last guy you should ask, but I've always found that as soon as I cut down on carbs I drop five to 10 pounds quite easily. In other words, if you want to lose the beer gut, lose the beer... Having answered this one, please don't ask me about erectile enhancements of any kind.

Ira (North Texas): The old park was just fine to pitch in. Plenty of pitchers were fine there. Ryan, Fergie Jenkins, Gaylor Perry, Ron Darling, Kevin Brown, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Hough, and many others. The new park opened in 1995.

Steven Goldman: Yeah, but they didn't bake any of those guys. They came in as vets (and Ron Darling left as a minor leaguer). Kevin Brown and Kenny Rogers are the only homegrown pitchers of significance in team history. Heck, I'm still waiting for Ed Correa's comeback.

david (jp, ma): Subtitle: "Baseball Prospectus' Guide to the Bash Brothers, Donnie Baseball, Billyball, Billy Buckner, Doc, Rock, Whitey and Everything Else that Made the 1980s Unforgettable" Wow. Is the goal to save money by obliterating the cover art? Seriously, you might want to shorten that one.

Steven Goldman: How do you know that it won't be a really big cover? More seriously, we don't pick the titles, we only get to kibbitz. If the publisher had wanted to call it, "Baseball Prospectus's Guide to Nipples, Belly-Button Lint, Polydactyl Cats, and Notable Examples of Soiled Underwear in the History of the Cosmos," that's what we'd be signing in bookstores next year. It's a reality we have to deal with.

former king of nigeria (not spam, i swearz) (nigeria): i have billionz of $$$ in frozen assets and I need your help. pls send credit card number. kthx.

Steven Goldman: I asked for that!

Justin (Brno (Czech Republic)): Steve, Sorry to disappoint but I am an American expat living in Brno. Brno is known for being near one of Napoleon's greatest victories, Battle of Austerlitz. Though I can brag that I played exactly 1 game in the Czech Major leagues (though I think my ex high school baseball team probably could take some of these teams). Baseball Prospectus helps me immensely for my baseball fix, being a huge fan. So if you ever have any book signings here please let me know...

Steven Goldman: Somewhere, you've made Christina Kahrl smile. Anytime anyone in the world mentions the Battle of Austerlitz, a little man in a tuxedo appears and hands her a restaurant gift certificate. I'm glad we can help keep you in the, ahem, swing of things out there. I'd love to do a signing, but I think in order for the publisher to be willing to cover the expenses you'd have to promise to purchase about 12,000 books. We can hope... If we sold 12,000 books in Europe, Nate Silver would probably give me... a restaurant gift certificate.

lpiklor (Chicago): A Mike Morgan reference?! **shudder** As a Cub fan I danced a jig the day he and his "valuable innings" were traded. They could have gotten back an empty bottle of Thunderbird and that "blab about the Yankees" guy from earlier and I'd have said it was a steal!

Steven Goldman: In 1994, yes, I wouldn't blame you for that, but he was also 34 and age was catching up to him. 1989-1992, he had a 2.91 ERA in 840 innings. His 1992 for the Cubs - he went 16-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 240 innings - ain't anything to complain about.

rawagman (TO): Historically Bad Offenses? Do this year's Jays approach that lofty status? If not, how much worse would they need to be to make history?

Steven Goldman: Believe it or not, they're not even close to being historically bad. With a .255 team EqA and an adjusted OPS of 94, they're just mediocre. The teams with historically evil offenses, and there haven't been that many of them, have EqAs in the .220s to .230s and tend to have an OPS+ of 80 or below. Few recent teams have been that bad - the 2003 Tigers had an OPS+ of 83 and a .238 EqA. The 204 Diamonbacks were 82/.236. I did, however, get the 1981 Blue Jays into the article as the main comp for the current Nats.

Clint (Chicago): I maintain to my buddies that what we've seen the last two years from Josh Hamilton (not just the drugs, but never playing above A-ball and very little playing time the prior few years) and Rick Ankiel (conversion to hitter) are probably the two most amazing stories I've seen in my baseball-fan lifetime (I'm 33). Where would you put them in the history of the game?

Steven Goldman: I think you're absolutely right - this came up in the last chat some - when F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives he was full of it. The problem, Scott, is that there are no second acts if you can't get your head out of the bottle. Well, he was right in the sense that most people don't get their heads out of the bottle. They don't get their heads out of whatever problem has crippled them. Hamilton and Ankiel did, and that's always something admirable in any field. It's the same reason that I admire Casey Stengel so much - because he had spent 25 years being dismissed as a kook and an idiot and yet he kept coming back. There are many more Hack Wilsons in the history of the game than there are Hamiltons. Ankiel's problems were different, not substance related, but there are only so many Ankiel/Lefty O'Doul (Johnny Cooney?) -type stories to go around.

Justin (brno (Czech Republic)): I guess I can't spring for the 12,000 books sold . oh well I guess maybe I'll catch you guys next year on the signing circuit when I'm in the States for a short time... By the way thanks for the chats.

Steven Goldman: How about 7,500? I might be able to get them to do it for a guarantee of 7,500 if I agreed to stay at a cheap hotel. More seriously, I would love to take a palate of BP annuals and talk baseball with some servicemen, either here in the states or overseas. I've talked about it in the past but haven't been able to coordinate it. I'm going to try again next spring. If we can entertain our boys (and women!) in uniform with some sports talk, I'm all for it.

Swingingbunts (NY): Great nicknames: Jeff Leonard - Penitentiary Face

Steven Goldman: Did I mention I'm very fond of "The Ol' Perfessor?" Of course, that was meant to be derogatory, but overtime it became "The Old Professor" and acquired some dignity.

scott (chicago): best nickname is, by far, the human rain delay.

Steven Goldman: How about Christy Mathewson's "Big Six?" There's still some debate on exactly what was meant by that.

Justin Zeth (Altoona, PA): Best nickname ever = Death to Flying Things. Second best nickname ever = Dr. Strangeglove.

Steven Goldman: Yeah, but I find it hard to feel too amused by Dick Stuart, who by all accounts wasn't a very good guy. Could we get a hand for Frank Thomas, "The Big Hurt?" I also really am amused by "Boots" Grantham, another nickname that, like Stuart's, referred to a lack of fielding ability. And "Catfish" Metkovich, which was acquired after Metkovich was attacked by a catfish.

Marc Normandin (The Desk He Can't Escape): Josh Hamilton > Eddie Milner. See, I'm learning.

Steven Goldman: Another '80s contributor heard from... Getting back to the whole Hamilton thing, you of course know that baseball had a big drug problem in the 1980s. There's an interesting dichotomy between the players that got help on their own without getting caught first, the players that got help after getting caught, and then the players who got caught, didn't get help, and got dead. You can't oversimplify dealing with addiction.

joelefkowitz (boonton, nj): still think the rangers are the organizational losers though, since the cost of getting a coaching staff that could've figured out volquez couldn't possibly have cost as much as it will to get him back now that he is gone. plus, i'd really like to hear some qualifications to the "rangers were on their way to ruining volquez," claim. thanks for chatting by the way. (don't want to sound like that prick that posted earlier simply because i disagree with you in this one regard)

Steven Goldman: Joel, we're all about disagreeing here. I mean, if you can't listen to with an open mind to opposing points of view, you can't learn. An untested viewpoint isn't really worth anything. If these chats were just one-sided, I wouldn't look forward to doing them as much as I do... The Rangers had jerked Volquez around a lot, and there were some leaks last year about his having a bad attitude. That's what I meant by "ruining." As for the coaching staff, you're right, but somehow despite many owners, GMs, managers, pitching coaches, they haven't been able to do it. If you trade your hypothetical for someone else's certainty, maybe that's not a bad thing. I'm playing devil's advocate here more than anything else.

sharkey (MPLS): Any reason for Twins fans to keep up the hope, or is an inevitable Indians/Tigers run set to ruin all our fun?

Steven Goldman: My feeling is the Twins have been overachieving. Their current third-order record is 34-43. I just don't think they have the hitting to carry it through... Sorry about the slight delay - my father called. Hard to hang up on Dad, even for a BP chat.

Justin (brno (Czech Republic)): For the sake of full disclosure I am not in the military, but I think it is pretty cool if you all would get the chance to chat with our soldiers- I think you'd all provide entertaining and informative sports talk. I know I enjoy your historical perspectives on baseball. baseball is big here in Brno-- In fact the Brno Dragons (history for another time) have won 13 of the 13 championships (kinda of 50's Yankees of Czech) in the country so maybe there are that many fans waiting to get their hands on the annual...Thanks again.

Steven Goldman: I just tried to Google me up a Brno Dragons T-shirt and completely flailed. Thought I'd be the first kid on the block to have one...

Steve (St. Louis): Brett (Weeble Wobble) Wallace?

Steven Goldman: I still like "The Walrus" for him.

JKiersky (Memphis): Can anyone say anything positive about the Mets? I'm about to go Will Carroll and completely denounce my favorite team of my 31 years on this planet. It's making me sick, so just write one sentence that will brighten my day...

Steven Goldman: Wright, Reyes, Beltran, and Santana are an excellent core to rebuild around, and a reason to always have optimism--for next year.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Wouldn't trading Melky Cabrera eliminate an appealling stopgap replacement for Abreu in RF next season? Especially if they sign Teixeira and can afford to carry a Gardner/Cabrera/debuting Austin Jackson/Betemit/Duncan platoon in CF and RF?

Steven Goldman: I have long been on record as not believing in "carrying" a bat... And what would be the point of signing a Teixeira if it just took a problem and shifted it elsewhere. The whole point is to get better, not tread water. Cabrera would be below replacement in RF. What's the average RF hitting just now (checking)? Let's say about .272/.340/.440. I don't think you get that from Melky.

Dad put Mom on the phone. Definitely can't hang up on Mom, but I'm done now. What a day.

randolph3030 (Jersey): "I just tried to Google me up a Brno Dragons T-shirt and completely flailed". What a shameless attempt to get poor Justin to buy and mail you a t-shirt! He better at least get a signed annual for it. Our a Kahrl podcast tour of the Austerlitz battlefield. Personally, I like Don "The Sphinx" Mossi, it's so insensitive to the poor guy's giant nose that it is poetic. Like calling Pete Gray "Lefty", though I've only got hearsay on that one...

Steven Goldman: Not as insensitive to the ol' protuberant proboscis as "Goose" Goslin and Ernie "The Schnozz" Lombardi... Someone brought up Strat cards before, or maybe it was Statis-Pro cards, but one of those series used to really try too hard to get nicknames for every player. One, c. 1983 or so, said George "Mullet" Brett. That used to crack me up - no one ever called him that.

...Another one that I used to really like, but it was more of a media construction, like "The Yankee Clipper," was Paul "The Ignitor" Molitor.

TGisriel (Baltimore): I remember when the Yankees fans were arguing that Melky was as good as Markakis. Don't seem to hear that anymore.

Steven Goldman: That wasn't Yankees fans, that was me noticing a statistical parallel at one point. They rapidly diverged soon after I pointed it out.

Delmon Young (Minnesota): Is it too early to call me a bust? What are the chances I develop into a franchise player?

Steven Goldman: It's probably too early, and I expect you to remember how to hit for power at some point (another pernicious batting coach at work?), and you've walked a bit more this year. Plus, you're still only 22. That said, I don't think you'll become a franchise player. You've certainly showed the wrong attitude for it. You have to want it, not think that you already have it.

...Want to hear something annoying? We've spent all this time talking about Brett Gardner, and the Yankees just called up a speedy outfielder: journeyman Justin Christian. Woof.

SC (Philadelphia): What's up with Christina? I'm jonesin for some TA.

Steven Goldman: Christina has been slowed a bit because she's been living an endless loop of a remake of "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" titled, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." I'll let her explain that next time she's got this here podium. The good news is that the next TA will be appearing on the site later today.

Mike (NJ): Christian is better suited to sit on the Yankee bench as a PR than Gardner, no?

Steven Goldman: No doubt he is, since at 28 his future is kind of limited. If Gardner comes up, you'd want him to play. That's the whole point. And I don't even think Gardner is going to be great, but if he can hit a more consistent .275 with more walks than Melky and some teals, that's a big improvement right there.

ccolon (Intarweb): Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd!

Steven Goldman: A great one, and a really interesting personality. "Pickles" Gerkin?

The Riddler (NY): Steven, has there been any discussion at BP about getting content up faster each day, or at least at a standardized time? It's kind of annoying to wait some days until 3:30 ET or later for articles to trickle in.

Steven Goldman: Blame overbooked, under-disciplined people like myself for slowing Christina up. I think ideally we'd like to get it more standardized, and most days the site hits its marks for that. Honestly, you can't give Christina too much credit for what she's done since taking over as managing editor. She's vastly upped the variety and amount of the content pretty much on her own, to the point that we're now running over a thousand articles a year. It wasn't that long ago that we went dark on weekends, and not much longer before that that the site pretty much shut down for the winter while we worked on the annual. Anyway, we appreciate your comment.

G-MOTA (Bumpus, MA): And don't forget the Yankees' own "Attorney General," Alberto Gonzalez! Now that I think of it, did you coin that one? Or maybe it was Pete Abe?

Steven Goldman: I think, like Fred McGriff, "The Crime Dog," that was an example of convergent evolution. I think Pete Abe and I started doing that at roughly the same time. With McGriff, I remember calling him the Crime Dog long before I saw it in the media anywhere, but I was 15 and not writing anywhere but my school paper, so I doubt it got much further than Mrs. Futterman's homeroom. It just must have been obvious to a number of people at the same time.

PS: I made up Mrs. Futterman, homeroom teacher/bondage freak.

Jody (Houston): best seats at Yankee stadium under 100 each? want to go before Yankee Stadium goes the way of the dodo. thanks (I have some on ebay for July 8-but cant make it because of work)

Steven Goldman: Upper deck behind home plate in Yankee Stadium is actually a terrific view. My only problem with it is that being a bit clumsy, a lot monocular, and large of footprint, walking down those tiny, nearly vertical staircases to my seat scares the cheese out of me.

rogerlamarque (Brooklyn): I'd settle for an auto-refresh feature for chats.

Steven Goldman: Me too. This has been asked a number of times, and I'm putting it here just so you know the brain trust will see it and it stays on their radar.

ddanyc (New York): Have to chide you for your calling Justin Christian a "journeyman." He's a Yankee minor league lifer. I think "organizational soldier" is what you're looking for.

Steven Goldman: How about "Organizational Potemkin Village?"

Ali Nagib (Chicago): Or how about "Phenomenal Smith"? http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/smithph01.shtml

Steven Goldman: Kiki Cuyler!

P Bu (St. Louis): "Baseball Prospectus's Guide to Nipples, Belly-Button Lint, Polydactyl Cats, and Notable Examples of Soiled Underwear in the History of the Cosmos" I can't be the only one who would want seven-year forecasts on what someone's nipples would look like year-by-year.

Steven Goldman: Unfortunately, the necessary color photographs would render the book prohibitively expensive.

The Riddler (NY): And I appreciate the answer. Just something I had always wondered about. Definitely love BP (to the point that it's hard to wait a couple hours!). Thanks

Steven Goldman: No sweat. We want to hear stuff like that.

Keith (Portland, ME): Hi Steve, enjoying your new podcasts on that other site, although your voice is not what I had imagined. Funny how we create internal voices for writers... As a Yankee reporter/fan, what's your take on the current revenue sharing system, and do you have a better suggestion?

Steven Goldman: Thanks for listening to the podcast. It's been a lot of fun for me to experiment with a new format. I think about the only writer I've met in person who was almost exactly like I imagined them being was Harlan Ellison. I haven't had a lot of feedback on the three podcasts I've done so far, except that since YES hasn't made the downloadable, only streamed them, they're technically not podcasts. I know, and we're trying. Anyway, my mailbox has been very quiet and I'd love to know if people think I should keep doing them... As for revenue sharing, I think my complaint is an old one - that you'd like to see more of a commitment to seeing the revenues put back into player salaries. The problem is that there's no great way to create a mechanism for doing that short of something like a salary floor, which would only cause more problems.

dianagramr (NYC): The "Collapse" rate on those Nipples would be interesting to note.

Steven Goldman: And harder to look at.

The King (Grinnell, IA): I admit that I am 100% partial, but how can you top Stan "The Man" Musial for a nickname?

Steven Goldman: I'm betraying one of my non-baseball passions here, but as great as Musial was, and he was incredible, to me, Stan the Man will always be Stan Lee.

gerry (san diego): Most self-explanatory nickname? Ron Cey as Penguin?

Steven Goldman: I'm betraying one of my non-baseball passions here, but as great as Ron Cey was, and he was incredible, to me the Penguin will always be Burgess Meredith.

Joe (Washington, DC): Steven: How hard did you laugh when you read the reports today that Carl Pavano might return to the Yankees in August?

Steven Goldman: I did laugh bitterly, but it's useful to remember, as per earlier in this chat, that pitchers aren't that predictable. If Aaron Small could save a Yankees season, so could Carl Pavano. I don't think that will happen, but it could...

Pete LaCock (KC): Who needs a nickname?

Steven Goldman: I see your Pate LaCock and raise you Rusty Kuntz.

Paul (Tacoma): With the firing of Bavasi and McLaren, call-up of Clement and the imminent departure of Sexson, are the Mariners doing their best to win the Stephen Straburg sweepstakes?

Steven Goldman: They're doing what had to be done, what was obvious but eluded the previous caretakers. I don't have a strong sense of McLaren as a manager, but Bavasi was strongly in denial and to go.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Was Claremont's run on X-Men the best extended writing ro comic books ever? I prefer it even to Stan Lee's run on Fantastic Four.

Steven Goldman: I don't know... First, it's kind of an apples and oranges thing. Claremont had some nice individual moments, but not nearly the amount of sheer imagination shown by Lee and Kirby on FF. They were inventing so many new things, like superheroes fighting God (hence Galactus). Claremont also had some repetitious problems - everyone always gets turned into the dark side of themselves. It got very tedious after awhile. Gimme, I don't know... Alan Moore on Swamp Thing or Neil Gaiman on Sandman.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): What alternatives can the Yankees leverage to avoid signing Abreu to a three year extension?

Steven Goldman: That's a heckuva question. There's not a lot of justification for resigning Abreu (anyone know where he left his walks?) other than that there's no one else. The coming free agent class is not all that promising either, though lately I've been intrigued by the idea of a contender getting Brian Giles. His numbers the last few years have been killed by Petco.

Rob (Alaska): With rumors of Billy Beane about to offer a record contract to a 16 year old Dominican pitcher, one has to wonder: is this his idea of a market inefficiency to exploit or just one heckuva young pitcher?

Steven Goldman: If you have to offer a record contract to a player, doesn't that automatically rule out that there's a market inefficiency at work at all? Or is the market inefficiency that pitching has become so thin that buying high on a teenager is preferable to other options?

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Second on the voices comment. You (or rather, the cartoon of you) look grizzlier than you sound. Goldstein has alot of bass for someone who plays Japanese video games with regularity.

Steven Goldman: People who play Japanese baseball games are squeaky? I myself play world-building RTS games and WW II first-person shooters when I get a chance to play at all (roughly twice a year at six-month intervals - it's part of my post-BP annual detox). Is my voice appropriate for that? ...Since they drew the cartoon, I've shaved the beard down to a goatee, so maybe I'd look less grizzly now.

Mike K (Athens, GA): Did you read last week's New Yorker article on Keith Olberman? Any reaction?

Steven Goldman: Waiting by the bed for me to read it -- I've been caught up in reading 80's stuff, including Sean Wilentz's new "The Age of Reagan." I'm a big Olbermann fan, natch. The last time I ran into him, I acted like a big fanboy baby, so I'm kind of embarrassed to talk to him again. I'd love to get him on the podcast, but I hesitate to ask because I might squeal like a little girl.

leez34 (Madison, WI): Maus or A Contract With God? The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen? Jimmy Corrigan or Blankets?

Steven Goldman: Maus, Watchmen, Corrigan, though I'll accept it if you disagree with me on any of them.

The ending to Watchmen still bugs me.

Mike (NJ): Who is more overrated? Ellsbury or Pedroia?

Steven Goldman: Neither. They're both good complimentary players on a winning ballclub, and also fun players to boot. Nothing like watching Pedroia load up and try to hit the ball. Note he's coming on this month too.

rogerlamarque (Brooklyn): You really can't go wrong with Fables, Lucifer, Ex Machina, and DMZ.

Steven Goldman: Love Fables, like Ex Machina, couldn't get into Lucifer but intended to try again, haven't even touched DMZ. And that concludes our plug for Vertigo... Wait! I should mention that Vertigo will soon be publishing a graphic novel by my good friend and contributor to BP's It Ain't Over, Kevin Baker. It's called "Luna Park." I read his pitch and have been looking forward to it ever since.

Nathaniel (Madison): Final Crisis or Secret Invasion?

Steven Goldman: So far neither, but I think I'm a month behind on each. My books come in a big shipment the first week of every month.

Mike (NJ): Re: Pedroia/Ellsbury, Low 700s OPS's with no power don't justify the hype.

Steven Goldman: Who cares about hype? It's about what they can do. And don't just look at OPS, which is a weak, shorthand stat. If you're really married to OPS, they'll both be higher before year's end. Note also that the average second baseman is hitting about .268/.330/.400. Peroia is there right now, and until quite recently he hadn't been hitting.

Matt B (Tacoma): That Willie Bloomquist is having an unusual season. When was the last time anyone played a full season while slugging .100 less than his OBP? The late 40s?

Steven Goldman: What's really bothersome is that he's started four of the last eight games. I realize they think they have some kind of platoon going, but Bloomquist is pointless, you're not going to win anyway, and you might as well try someone who has a future. Playing that guy is an insult to the ticket holders. If his club had a lopsided loss at home, Casey Stengel used to say, "The attendance was robbed." When Bloomquist starts, the attendance wasn't robbed, it was violated.

havens (bristol, CT): Here's a fantasy question for you if you're interested. I'd much appreciate it. Someone in my league just traded Ryan Howard, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, Curtis Granderson and Manny Ramirez for Cliff Lee, Ervin Santana, Carlos Gomez, Torii Hunter, Erik Bedard and Garrett Atkins. A lot of people are screaming veto, and I have to agree. The trade doesn't have any 'needs-based' or 'long-term' mitigating factors, either. As an important aside, the team getting the first set of players is in third while the other guy is near the bottom. Would you exercise a veto on this deal? Thanks!

Steven Goldman: Are we assuming good faith in this deal? Often a league has someone in it who is the Randy Smith of fantasy GMs and just gets suckered by everybody. I think that guy is fair game -- if he wears diapers, he shouldn't have been allowed in the league in the first place. I'm not for exercising the veto except in really apparent cases of dumping... You know, there was a parallel case in actual baseball, where for awhile Bowie Kuhn was negating trades just because he didn't like the players involved. He was actually sitting there and passing judgment on what the GMs were doing. Imagine if Bud Selig came in and said "Mets, you're overpaying for Johan Santana. No deal." That kind of thing was happening, and the more obvious opposite case as well, where he would have said, "Twins, Carlos Gomez isn't good enough. You need to hold out for a better position player or no deal." Like much of Kuhn's reign it was pathetic and unintentionally comical.

Brian (Roll Tide): You're the biggest East Coast hyper/apologist I've ever seen on here, and that's saying something.

Steven Goldman: Shouldn't your location say "Troll Tide?" You know, I see this bias thing in these chats sometimes, and when we BP writers gather around the water cooler, we often trade stories of mail we get saying that "You obviously hate Team X," and how sometimes we get "You hate Team X" and "You're biased in favor of Team X" emails on the same day. Remember earlier I said that we're all about reasoned disagreement here? Assuming that someone is biased just because they say something you don't like is a good way of making yourself deaf, and if you can't see, you can't learn. I WANT my viewpoints to be challenged, damn it. That's the only way you grow in this life.

tfierst (MN): How does the Big Unit not even get mentioned in a nickname discussion?

Steven Goldman: He absolutely should. Great nickname, a pitcher's nickname, to go with the aforementioned Big Six and Walter Johnson, the Big Train.

jlebeck66 (WI): Late to the chat, and maybe you got pointed in the right direction, but the card & dice game featuring nicknames you're thinking of may be APBA. They tried to milk the nicknames from time to time... Mark "Agent Orange" McGwire in his pre-"Big Mac" days for example.

Steven Goldman: You're right. It was APBA - the only one I never owned a set of. I did play APBA on the computer in the very early days of baseball computer games, though.

BTW, for those of you requesting your dose of Transaction Analysis, the new edition should be up momentarily. Don't all stampede out the door at once... The aforementioned YCLIU I was plumbing my way through before will be going up shortly too.

Swingingbunts (NY): Ummm... "Babe" Ruth?

Steven Goldman: I've been waiting for someone to bring that up, actually. There have been several Babes - Herman, Phelps, Dahlgren, Adams - but there's really only one guy that it fit perfectly.

...Another great one, an organic one, is Paul Waner, "Big Poison." I've always wanted to ask a hitting coach why Waner's approach at the plate (shoot for the lines) wouldn't work today...

jlebeck66 (WI): Dude!! I'm still catching up to the chat (stupid work day), but I just watched Batman: The Movie (1966) this weekend! Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb! Why didn't the Joker shave before they put the makeup on??

Steven Goldman: "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb" is one of the great lines of all time. Only drag about that movie is that Julie Newmar was busy filming "McKenna's Gold" with Gregory Peck and Omar Sharif and so she wasn't around to play the Catwoman. As for the 'stache, I guess it was Cesar Romero's trademark and he just didn't want to dump it. He was always my least favorite of the various famous guest stars.

josher464 (NYC): Steven, I'm with you on upper deck behind home plate. My wife and I have seasons up there - shade, great view less than $30 per - best seats in the house. As for Abreu's walks, I think it was Kevin Goldstein who suggested that walks for minor league players don't necessarily apply as they move up the level and pitchers who aren't afraid of their power throw strikes. Isn't that what's happening to Abreu? He just doesn't have the pop in his bat to punish pitchers for going after him.

Steven Goldman: You might be right. His pitches per plate appearance on down from last year, but not down compared to his career norms.

...A momentary pause here as I find out why my wife and daughter are having a nuclear confrontation downstairs, then we'll proceed to the lightning round as my fingers are about to give out... and I NEED my fingers.

BTW, the pros for the home office include not being affected by the price of gas or having to pay for dry cleaning. The downside is wondering why your wife and daughter are having said nuclear confrontation...

MA (Athens, GA): Speaking of the Babe: Do you think his number should be retired (throughout baseball)?

Steven Goldman: Part of me does, but I think maybe the Jackie Robinson moment is so special that it needs to be left alone.

jlebeck66 (WI): Don't forget the home office pro of not having to Alt-Tab every couple minutes!

Steven Goldman: That's actually kind of a negative. It takes a lot of discipline to not let your attention wander when no one is looking over your shoulder.

rawagman (TO): I guess this is really more for Justin from Brno. I used to play for the Tel Aviv Soviets of the Israeli Men's league - the top league for locals, as opposed to the bagel league that was brought about last summer. We won the national championship in my last season before returning to Canada - I wonder what other non-baseball nations have local leagues and how they stack up to one another. Anyone with any insights? Thoughts?

Steven Goldman: Not my area of expertise at all, but I'd like to hear more about the international game too.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Can we get a YES podcast on the internal options to firm up the pitching (Robertson, Cox, Britton, Sanchez, McCutchen, Horne, et al)?

Steven Goldman: Great suggestion and a good excuse to have Kevin Goldstein back at the very least. I'm also waiting to hear back from another potential guest who has a great deal of pitching expertise.

Otto (Halifax): I'm doing more screaming at my TV than usual since Cito and Gene Tenace are now the saviours in Toronto. No word of a lie. In the first inning of the first game Rance Mulliniks and Jesse Barfield noted how the Jays batters had a noticeably different approach at the plate and that was due to the change in staff. How ridiculous is that.

Steven Goldman: They stood taller! They just loosened up and had some fun! They had a laxative! Whatever value Gaston brought, it would have to be in intangible, mood-altering managing, because tactically he didn't do ANYTHING... except trash his own young players.

Adam (NY): Trouble in paradise?

Steven Goldman: Seven-year-old girls ain't always reasonable, especially precociously intelligent ones (if you will allow me to brag on my own daughter).

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Going to see Dark Knight at midnight on the 17th?

Steven Goldman: Nope... I really, really hate crowds, especially at the movies, what with the cell phones and talking back to the screen and all. I rarely go now. I will for that, but at some off hour.

Evan (Vancouver, BC): Though it's a shame the retirement of Robinson's number robbed us of the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything.

Steven Goldman: You win Steve's Reference of the Day Award. I still miss Douglas Adams.

Dees (Jersey): Actually Steven, Julie Newmar had a back injury that prevented her from playing Catwoman. Wikipedia strikes again!

Steven Goldman: I think I have to hit the challenge button on that one, unless new evidence has been uncovered as to what Julie was up to that year. Hmm... I have "The Batman Bat-Book" around here somewhere...

krgrecw (cola sc): If Gallardo was healthy how good will milwaukee be right now. I remember 2 years back in all the buccholz,lincecum, hughes debates I told people Gallardo is just as good as any of them. Does not playing in a big city hold him back?

Steven Goldman: A healthy Gallardo would have made a huge difference - that or a David Bush who wasn't a bush leaguer. And can we get J.J. out of the #2 spot, please?

Goldeye99 (Olympic Stadium): Coming up on 3 hrs chat, you're the man! not Stan Lee! You have to mention one of the best... Mike "the human rain delay" Hargrove. I also remember Ruben "the village idiot" Sierra, but I'm not sure if that was a one time name or not!

Steven Goldman: I think that was Tony LaRussa.

costa24 (Montreal): Speaking of funny people who will be missed, how about a word on George Carlin?

Steven Goldman: I wrote a little about him today at YES. He will definitely be missed. He had a wonderful way with language and toying with its absurdities, and he also pointed up the absurdities in our own culture. We need as much of that as we can get.

Vito (NY): Rich Hill in pinstripes?

Steven Goldman: I've thought a lot about that. He's at the project stage right now, but the upside is high. ...Now my son (2) is crying.

Joe (MD): Five bucks says the confrontation is over the winner of the Rangers/Hamilton vs Reds/Volquez trade. Either that or your wife totally embarassed your daughter by doing X and she will never speak to her again.

Steven Goldman: My daughter wants Shoeless Joe reinstated. My wife is against it. Loser has to clean my daughter's room.

Nathaniel (Madison): Did you think we'd lose Carlin before Jonathan Winters? Winters is freaking 82?

Steven Goldman: Carlin put a lot of toxic stuff into his body. It's not surprising that his heart gave out.

Chris (Jersey): Hey Steve, could you resolve a debate for me. Do you think the marginal advantage of replacing Melky with Gardner outweighs the resulting hit to the yankees chemistry? I tend to discount any such thing as "chemistry" but my buddy swears its key to maintaining a winning streak.

Steven Goldman: I think winning breeds chemistry more than the other way around. Maybe benching/trading Melky would bother the heck out of Robinson Cano, but we can worry about his POV when he has a .300 OBP again.

Joe (DC): This is random, but both Morgan Ensberg and Dallas McPherson were cut during the offseason. The Yankees guessed wrong on that one?

Steven Goldman: The answer is "platoon bat!" McPherson swung the wrong way.

ekanenh (NH): I'll see Ron the penguin and raise you George The Stork Theodore.

Steven Goldman: And I'll take either Big Cat - Mize or Galarraga.

RMH (Boston): When a second baseman with average offensive numbers, who is accurately described as a 'good complimentary player on a winning ballclub' leads American League second baseman in all star votes, he's over rated.

Steven Goldman: I'm sorry... I'm supposed to get worked up over All-Star votes?

mymrbig (New Orleans): What's your favorite / most entertaining baseball fight? Pedro vs. Zimmer was interesting, as was Ventura vs. Ryan. But for my money, it doesn't beat Pedro Guerrero throwing a bat at David Cone after getting hit with a curveball! Who fights after getting hit with a curveball?!? And how insane do you have to be to heave your bat at the pitcher!?!

Steven Goldman: I was talking to Marc Normandin about the 80s book earlier, and reminiscing about the time that Indians' manager Pat Corrales went after Dave Stewart - and tried to get his with this inept karate kick.

Serge (Minny): Steven, I'm coming to NYC for the July 4th weekend, and luckily scored a pair of Yanks Sox tickets about 12 rows up behind home plate. Never been to Yankee Stadium, what do you recommend we check out while were at the stadium (or near it). thanks!

Steven Goldman: Monument Park, natch.

Steven Goldman: Friends, it's time for me to retire for the day. As Ringo said, "I've got blisters on my fingers!" Thank you for another fun and enlightening conversation. I very much look forward to next time. I hope to see some of you at our NY event on June 30. As always, thank you for choosing to spend part of your day with me and Baseball Prospectus. Steve "Grizzly" Goldman over and out.

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