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Chat: Jay Jaffe

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday February 09, 2010 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jay Jaffe.


Join Jay Jaffe for a quick Q&A about baseball as we gear up for pitchers and catchers.

Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon, friends, and welcome to today's chat. We're down to the point where we can count the days until pitchers and catchers on two hands, which is pretty exciting! Without further ado...

nils (minnesota): Does a center fielder with great range affect the fielding numbers of his fellow outfielders? The situation I have in mind is the affect Carlos Gomez had over Denard Span on Cuddyer or Delmon Young. Thanks

Jay Jaffe: Yes, of course, because there will be a lot of discretionary plays between two outfielders that the center fielder will claim even though either fielder can take it. That's going to have an effect on the numbers. It's not a problem that's confined to the outfield either - most fielding systems show some kind of effect based upon who your neighbors are.

One more reason why you should use multiple years of data to evaluate fielding, no matter which system you prefer.

Pseudofool (Kalamazoo): Everyone accepts that the Twins had a stellar offseason. The question for me is are they legitimate World Series contenders. Seems like so much depends on Liriano.

Jay Jaffe: Well, right now they certainly look like the class of the AL Central, and while that's not saying much by itself, any chance that Liriano can rediscover his old ace-in-the-making form only increases the distance between them and the rest of the division.

Whether that can get them to the World Series is another story. Simply pulling out the Secret Sauce recipe for guidance, the thing that concerns me is that theirs is not a staff that misses many bats, and for whatever reason, those teams don't tend to go as far in the postseason. All the more reason why they need Liriano to step up.

Karl B (Philly): The Dodgers' infield bats seem pretty mediocre going into Spring Training. Do we have any reason to be optimistic? Or should I figure they'll be flashing great leather (will they?) and that makes it a good tradeoff?

Jay Jaffe: OK, here's the glass half full scenarios:

James Loney will rebound from a couple of lousy years because his extreme L/R and Home/Road splits have been flukes.

• Blake DeWitt will claim the 2B job with a hot spring, and get by well enough, particularly with Jamie Carroll as his late-inning defensive caddy.

• Another year removed from back surgery, Rafael Furcal will be in good enough shape to flash his near-MVP form.

• Casey Blake hitting in the NL is just one more cue as to how wide the disparity is between leagues.

I don't believe all of those, and I don't know how many of them I actually do believe, but there's your rose-tinted-glasses scenario. At the very least, yes, they should be good defensively, though 2B is a concern.

Jim (Philly): JJ How Ya doing??? Everth Cabrera ?? The Next Furcal ? or just a guy ?

Jay Jaffe: Cabrera had a nice little season for the Padres last year, particularly for a Rule 5 pick who had never played above High-A. Furcal comes up as one of his PECOTA comps (Jimmy Rollins, Wally Backman, Rafael Furcal and Bip Roberts are the top four in the current weighted means spreadsheet). I'm not convinced Cabrera's got the plate discipline to match Furcal (who's not all that great in that regard)

sawred14 (NJ): are you predicting any kind of breakout from johnny cueto this year?

Jay Jaffe: Man, I predict a breakout from Johnny Cueto *every* year. He was well on his way last year (2.69 ERA through July 1) before getting creamed in the second half, skipping a few turns due to shoulder inflammation. I actually thought they should have been more conservative, and would love to see him and Dusty Baker separated by a trade, a firing, or simply a restraining order, because there's a ton of talent there that may never come to fruition.

LJ (Arizona): Jay I'm looking forward to Spring Training down here but I have to ask: Do you understand SIERA? My god it was like reading a term paper in math. Is this what we should expect more of - lots of equations and watching paint dry. There wasn't one takeaway in two days of articles.

Jay Jaffe: As somebody who's spent a ton of time studying ERA estimators, yes, I understand it up to a certain point, and I'm eager to see how it stacks up against the competition.

Now, I'm sorry that for you their explanation isn't making for scintillating reading, but you have to understand a couple things. First, that BP has a broad spectrum of content which includes some hardcore math/quant guys, and then those of us on what I call the liberal arts wing, who may use the numbers to tell the story but aren't working deep into the night to battle-test metrics. Not every article is about regression equations and all that.

At the same time, this is a major rollout of what we feel is going to become a signature stat, and we'd like to explain it in great detail to the small fraction of our audience who do care about the third decimal place in the equations. If you're not among those people, there's no shame - but don't be surprised to see it popping up in future articles by other writers.

MarinerDan (San Francisco): Any idea on when BP2010 will ship from Amazon? Can't wait!

Jay Jaffe: I'm told it started shipping on Monday. Steve Goldman wrote about it in an Unfiltered last week: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=1500

Steve (St Louis): Of the six divisions, is there a safer pick than the Cardinals winning the NL Central?

Jay Jaffe: I'm not even sure that one is so safe. PECOTA certainly isn't convinced, projecting them at 84 wins currently. I think they'll be lucky to get one full-time rotation spot out of Penny and Lohse, and I'm skeptical that Ryan Franklin is all that. I'd still call them the favorites, but I'm not going to hand out my Locks of the Week until later in the spring as I see how camps play out.

Rob (Andover, CT): What do you think is the cause of Joba's missing velocity (2.5 mph off his fastball, apparently)? I keep going back to the shoulder strain down in Texas in 2008, which scares me. Could it just be a conditioning issue? General young starter growing pains?

Jay Jaffe: Mostly it's the fact that pitchers gain velocity (a couple of MPH) on their heater when coming out of the bullpen. If you're comparing year-to-year averages, you need to account for the fact that his 2007 and 2008 averages are mainly based upon his relief appearances.

Beyond that, there's a lot of other stuff that could go into his velocity dip. Million dollar arm, 10 cent head, occasional mechanical lapses, questionable conditioning, past injury... I'm not sure how many of these apply, but certainly some of them.

Karl B (Philly): Do you think the Holliday signing makes it more likely that Pujols will be inclined to stay in STL? I know he could always leave for a big offer, but assuming STL is in the hunt to sign him, what do you think would sway him one way or another - LaRussa? the city? Holliday?

Jay Jaffe: I think it has less to do with Holliday's presence and more to do with whether STL can afford both. Can they find the $25-30 million a year that it will take? Can they afford to commit between $40-50 million to two players on a team where the opening day payrolls have been between $88 and $99 million over the past four years?

I'm skeptical he'll hitch his horse to LaRussa given that the latter has seemed to have one foot out the door over the past few years and is now 65 years old. But I do think he loves it in STL, and that will work in favor of him trying to work something out.

William (Orange Beach, Alabama): Would you be shocked if Jason Heyward opens the 2010 season with the Braves ?

Jay Jaffe: Shocked? No. Surprised? Somewhat, given that he's got all of three games of Triple-A experience, and that there are very good reasons to game his service clock to milk an extra year prior to arbitration or free agency. Not that it will matter much in the end - if he's as good as everybody thinks - and we're talking about a guy who's considered the best hitting prospect in the game - he'll be on a Braun/Longoria type long-term deal soon enough.

Nick Stone (New York, NY): How do you see the Marcus Thames/Randy Winn/Jamie Hoffman situation shaking out? Do Thames and Winn have anything left in the tank, given last season's fades? I would have though Thames would pinch hit and Winn would then take over to avoid exposing Thames' glove (or lack thereof). Does this mean Hoffman will be returned to the Dodgers shortly?

Jay Jaffe: First, I think this probably means Hoffman is going back to the Dodgers' organization. I like the natural fit between Thames (a lefty-masher) and Winn (a switch hitter whose bat died vs. lefties last year) or Granderson (who's struggled vs. southpaws lately as well), but it's worth remembering you're talking about fourth and fifth outfielders here, since Brett Gardner is projected to start somewhere, too.

The other good thing about Thames is that he can spot for Nick Johnson at DH against tough lefties, though the Stick has had at least some success against southpaws as well.

Dennis (LA): How good do you think Justin Upton will be over the next few years? Would you rather have him or Ryan Braun?

Jay Jaffe: Upton draws frequent comparisons to Junior Griffey, which is pretty high praise, though not having the ability to play center field is a strike against that comparison. That said, he's more athletic than Braun, much less of a liability in the field, and almost four years younger. Much as I love Braun - and as a Brewers fan by marriage, I love watching him hit - this is no contest.

Kyle (Arizona): Re: the Mariners... I just don't see it. I like all the moved they made but it seems like they're still short a bat or two if they want to be a contender. Will all this excitement from the off season be for naught?

Jay Jaffe: When half your lineup features players who are arguably the best defenders in the league at their position according to various metrics, you don't need to worry quite as much about the bats, but having said that, I'd be much more comfortable if they had brought back Russell Branyan instead of getting Casey Kotchman for first base. A lot depends on how well Milton Bradley rebounds - we know the dude can hit if he's healthy.

Jquinton82 (NY): A pair of Yankees questions for you Jay: 1) Who do you think is a better bet for the 5th spot in the rotation Hughes or Chamerlain? 2) When do you see Jesus Montero breaking in and will it be behind the plate or somewhere else?

Jay Jaffe: Right now I think Hughes is the better bet, and I'd love to see how well his arsenal plays out multiple times through the order given the addition of that cut fastball. I think it's a waste of Chamberlain's talents, though, and I'd rather both were taking their turn every fifth day.

With Posada signed through next year, the Yanks have plenty of time to figure out whether Montero can actually catch at a big league level. At best perhaps he gets a September callup. If he can't cut it this year behind the plate, I think you start working on the idea that he's a corner outfielder/DH. But as somebody who's not a prospect guy...

mgolovcsenko (NYC): Great news that the Annual shipped yesterday, hopefully to arrive at my house in time for a snow day here in the NYC region on Wednesday. Is it true that SIERA (which I have high hopes for ... although I would have preferred a "lead with the takeaway" type article and not a "build to the answer" series of articles) is indeed listed in the Annual?

Jay Jaffe: Yes, SIERA is in there.

No matter how we roll it out - no matter how we do anything around here - there's always going to be somebody who disagrees and says we should have done it differently. Sometimes those people are correct, but you know, as long as we arrive at the same point - with a metric that people understand and are willing to trust - it won't really matter what route we took to get there.

Alan (Oakland): Just wanted to comment that while I love the "Liberal Arts" wing, that I thought the SIERA article was both very clear and the math/quant stuff vital. If Baseball Prospectus isn't innovating, then it's just columnists writing well on old ideas. Which is fine, but isn't half as good as good writers bringing up new ideas.

Jay Jaffe: You're absolutely right. Innovation on the quantitative side is an important part of our brand. So is great writing. Our aim is to keep providing both for our audience.

Scott (DC): If the Reds find a huge pile of money under the mattress and add Johnny Damon, do they instantly become favorites for the Wild Card?

Jay Jaffe: Man, if the Reds understood anything about the marginal win curve, they'd already have signed Damon. He'd be a nice fit in that park, and they really could use his bat atop that lineup.

Then again, that they haven't signed him suggests that maybe they know too much about the conditions of some of those young arms. Say a prayer for Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez tonight.

DDriesen (Mets fan - On the ledge): Can you talk me in or should I just jump?

Jay Jaffe: I could try to talk you down, but I understand if you gotta jump.

Since the season ended I've seen nothing about the Mets that makes me have any shred of confidence in their decision making process or their medical staff. Well, maybe the fact that they didn't sign Bengie Molina to a five-year deal...

jlarsen (Chicago): Does this newfound Boston strategy of "Runs Prevention rather than Runs Scoring" have any potential on actually working. I'm sorry, but Toronto and Tampa Bay have done it before and it gets them so far. Does a Hoyer-less Epstein really think he's got the know-it-all to believe that, rather than using Fenway's uber-hittingness to its advantage, signing aging Free Agents who are known for being good defensively and solid offensively is going to work? What if Scutaro turns into Julio Lugo Version 2.0 and Cameron finally shows his age? Shouldn't they be worried about Papelbon being very shaky in the 9th inning and keeping Beckett long-term? Is it me or is this the trigger-happy mode that the Yankees were in when they thought spending their way to the top would get them championships?

Jay Jaffe: Wow, take a deep breath. Here, breathe into this paper bag before you hyperventilate...

Run prevention is just as important as run scoring. The Sox, who were downright awful as far as defensive efficiency was concerned last year, have made moves to bring in strong defenders in center and on the left side of the infield, and they've done so without mortgaging their future. Cameron, Scutaro and Beltre can all hit if they're healthy, and particularly in Fenway. I see no reason why they won't provide upgrades on their predecessors in terms of total value when it's all said and done, and I definitely think they've got a roster that can compete for a championship. Not saying they'd be my to pick to win it, but there's nothing fundamentally wrong with their plan.

Richard (RTP): So if you owned the Yankees, would you buy last year's Cy Young winner and win 130 games?

Jay Jaffe: I'd buy a time machine and go back to 1900 or so and buy Cy Young himself.

tommybones (brooklyn): The first closer dealt this season will be?

Jay Jaffe: Kerry Wood, but only after the Indians eat a big bite of his remaining salary.

garethbluejays1 (Newcastle, UK): Are there any free agents left unsigned who could be useful to contending teams?

Jay Jaffe: I realize it's a well-kept secret that Johnny Damon is still looking for work. Beyond him, Russell Branyan, Rocco Baldelli, Joe Beimel, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Pedro Martinez, Chan Ho Park, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield and Jarrod Washburn all strike me as players who could help somebody win. Not necessarily by getting 500 PA worth of playing time, mind you, and maybe not getting enough playing time to satisfy their own estimations of their talent. Park can pitch out of my bullpen, but if he wants to start, fuggedaboutit.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Jay - a quick favor for a fellow baseball report? Mark Zuckerman, who used to work for The Washington Times until they cut their sports section, is trying to raise enough money to go down to Spring Training and cover the Nats. Other than him, the only independent reporter covering the team exclusively is with the Wash. Post. Everyone else has some affiliation with the team, the network or MLB. Please pass this along to any readers who may want to help out http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/

Jay Jaffe: Interesting stuff - I read about his plight yesterday and will pass it along to our readers.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): What's the reasoning behind Ozzie Guillen choosing to go without a real DH? Is he planning on moving Quentin there but he doesn't want to talk about it yet? What gives?

Jay Jaffe: Employing a full-time DH has its cost, not only in payroll but also in the ability to give your position players - particularly those that might be a bit banged up - some rest without losing their bats from the lineup. Not having a full-time DH gives your lineup more flexibility.

Now, as to the particulars of the White Sox lineup, I'd have brought Jim Thome back, because I see a whole lot of holes all over the place. And note with no small amount of glee that Andruw Jones is projected to hit .219/.318/.389.

Wendy (Madrid): If signing Holliday could get in the way of signing Pujols, why would STL sign Holliday. I mean, he's a neat little player and all, but if I could have only one of Holliday or Pujols, I'm pretty sure that Holliday is NOT the guy I'm going with. So if it's not a given that the Cards have money for Pujols, were they foolish to sign Holliday?

Jay Jaffe: It's possible they signed him as a hedge against losing Pujols, whom they know they won't be able to afford. I don't know if I believe that, and really, signing Pujols damn the cost is pretty much a no-brainer if I've got the checkbook, but I can see a line of thinking that runs that way.

Ratcatcher (Durham, NC): Milton Bradley can't rebound. He's more of a 3 point shooter.

Jay Jaffe: Try the veal!

Rick (Chicago): Jay, can you give us your prediction for Jay Bruce this year? Obviously his struggles last year were in part due to horrendously bad luck, but he also had some approach issues which he seemed to correct when he came back at the end of the year. Is .270/.360/.540 unrealistic?

Jay Jaffe: I'd be more comfortable projecting him for closer to a .340 OBP and about a .520 SLG, but the raw power is there, and the ballpark will help.

MarinerDan (SF): Do you see any chance that Mark McGwire comes back and picks up at least a few ABs this year?

Jay Jaffe: Not after all of the controversy that's surrounded him this winter. The country would grind to a halt on the day he was activated, as all of the BBWAA's soapbox derby champions would begin sermonizing on the great evils of not confessing in exactly the manner in which you've been told to confess.

tommybones (brooklyn): If you are the Nats, how do you handle Strasburg? If he blows away AAA hitters early, do you bring him up? Or is 2010 a September call up, with 2011 being a June call up/time clock savings timeframe?

Jay Jaffe: Well, there's certainly no way I break camp with him simply based on service time issues. Beyond that, his timetable should be dictated by his effectiveness. If he's getting hitters out, you bring him up sometime in June. If not, you wait until later in the year, perhaps until September even.

I suspect he'll be up before then, if only to appease the suffering Nats fans.

Eli (Brooklyn): Can we get a preview of your AL East breakdown?

Jay Jaffe: Yankees - rich.

Red Sox - rich, but not as rich.

Rays - young and talented, but definitely not rich.

Orioles - lots of young arms and a few nice young bats. Also Garrett Atkins. Ugh

Blue Jays - Paying Vernon Wells until the robot apocalypse.

Brandon (Charleston, WV): What are your expectations of Homer Bailey this season? Will he build on hsi success from late 2009?

Jay Jaffe: I expect him to build on his nice late-season showing (though one has to allow for the fact that it was September) and become a competent major league starting pitcher with occasional stretches which remind us why he was so highly touted.

And probably a trip to the DL unless the Reds can fake Dusty Baker into boarding a flight for Uzbekistan or Antarctica.

ElAngelo (New York, NY): Fun prediction: who will be the worst team in baseball this year?

Jay Jaffe: The Royals. Have you seen that lineup?

Igor (Brooklyn): I remember reading that you're a graphic designer. If that's right, why do you never use it in your columns and why hasn't BPro used that part of your skillset? I'm not renewing in large part because your site looks terrible and you don't have a site that works on my Droid.

Jay Jaffe: BP has used my services in the past. I've designed banners for the Hit List, BP Radio, the Internet Baseball Awards, some ads, and a few other spots. I did the brand new Prospectus Boxes that grace each team's opening page in the forthcoming annual, and we're all very excited about that.

As for the look of the site, I'm sorry if it's not your cup of tea - it's never been my favorite either, but really, I could care less what it looks like so long as the information comes across.In any event, please know that we're working on a redesign, as noted by Kevin in last month's State of the Prospectus, and that we're also working towards improved mobile capabilities.

Steve (NJ): what does Madison Bumgarner's future hold? worth a flier in a long term keeper league?

Jay Jaffe: It sounds like there's a good chance he'll be the Giants' fifth starter this year, though there are some concerns about him losing velocity last year, and he might need a bit more seasoning. But as a long-term play, I'd take a flier - the Giants do know how to develop young pitchers.

Alfonso (Friendly Confines): Am I the Cub scapegoat this year? Can I look forward to Jim Hendry trying to trade the untradeable contract of mine next off-season?

Jay Jaffe: Fonzie, bubbela, you're the Cubs' scapegoat until 2014 or the point in time when irate fans climb over the ivy and run you out of town on a rail. As the team's highest paid players, you and Zambrano will be blamed for a whole lot of what goes wrong even if you have very little to do with it. Though if you hit like last year, you'll deserve the blame.

MarinerDan (San Francisco): What can we expect from Eric Bedard this season? Will Felix/Lee/Bedard form a fearsome trio in the playoffs?

Jay Jaffe: I don't expect a whole lot given his surgery. Maybe he can make like Rich Harden North and give the Mariners a dozen or 15 good starts. And maybe he's a total loss for 2008, getting knocked around because, you know, labrum surgery still sucks.

MarinerDan (SF): Where do you see Pedro Martinez landing, when, and how effective will he be?

Jay Jaffe: Wouldn't surprise me if he finds himself back in Flushing. Or Dodger Stadium. He can still get hitters out, particularly if he doesn't have to pace himself over 30 starts. I suspect his performance will wind up looking a lot like what he gave Philly last year.

Cam (Antigua): How fast is your fastball?

Jay Jaffe: Prior to labrum surgery, it was probably 60 MPH. Now, I doubt it gets ticketed in a residential zone.

But my knuckleball, on the other hand...

tommybones (brooklyn): Do you think Carl Crawford gets dealt before the deadline this year, paving the way for Jennings? Or do you see an outfield of Crawford, Jennings and Upton heading into August?

Jay Jaffe: I think it all depends upon where the Rays are in the standings. Crawford is obviously more likely to get dealt if they're out of it.

That said, it's going to be *very* interesting to see what happens, because there's a line of thinking that says they keep Crawford and trade Upton at the point when his value is on the rise again. Remember, they've also got to figure out where Ben Zobrist fits, and Matt Joyce... suffice it to say that they've got an enviable amount of depth and flexibility.

sprechs (Brooklyn): thoughts on brian cashman's decision making this offseason?

Jay Jaffe: I think he was smart not to bite on Holliday or Bay, but I have mixed feelings about both the Granderson and Vazquez deals given the flaws of both and the cumulative cost of prospects. I'm also not crazy about the fact that there appears to be room for only one of the Hughes/Chamberlain duo, creating an issue that's likely to be a distraction all year long, and something that could retard at least one pitcher's growth.

LB (NY): Jay, regarding Joba's velocity and his injury, what's worrying is not that he threw harder when he pitched out of the bullpen, but that, if I'm not mistaken, his average fastball velocity *as a starter* was noticeably higher pre-injury than it has been as a starter post-injury. I forgot where I saw these #'s (probably RLYW), but I recall seeing them somewhere...

Jay Jaffe: Right. And I listed a whole host of other reasons which could also have an impact on his velocity.

Look, there are very, very few pitchers that can maintain that kind of velocity for very long - it peaks long before the rest of a pitcher's skills do. Injuries are one reason why that happens, but they're not the only one.

Beyond that, let's face it, the Yankees mishandled Joba last year, confused a guy who's got a ton of natural ability but probably ain't the sharpest tool in the shed. A more straightforward plan should help somewhat, so I wouldn't jump out the window just yet.

ekanenh (capitol city): If the Rays don't return to their '08 form, does Joe Smartglasses get the gate?

Jay Jaffe: Nope. He's in the first year of a three-year extension, one which he wouldn't have gotten if the smart folks that run that team didn't consider him part of their longer-term plan.

mattymatty2000 (Philly, PA): Jay - I know you don't write the headlines, so I'm purely asking for your opinion here. Two years ago one of the pictures on the cover of BP '08 was of Clay Buchholz, with the caption reading "Better Than Joba". My question: was it true then, and is it true now? Thanks for the chat.

Jay Jaffe: It's pretty subjective any way you slice it. Both pitchers have had flashes of brilliance in the majors, and both have taken their lumps to the point where a lot of people wondered if they'd be better off traded.

Joba's got a clear edge in terms of the big league numbers he's put up overall (3.61 in ~280 innings vs. 4.91 ERA in ~180 innings), but Buchholz is riding the stronger trend in terms of making the necessary adjustments to survive in the majors. FWIW, PECOTA sees both at coming in with ERAs around 3.80 this year.

Nearing the finish line, i'll take 3 more...

Paul (San Francisco): I read today that the Orioles were thinking of putting Chris Tillman in AAA to start the year. Does this make sense? Thanks for your reply.

Jay Jaffe: I think that's your basic February pre-camp motivational cloud talk of the nobody's-guaranteed-nuthin' variety. That said, Tillman gave up 2.1 HR/9 in his trial last year, and he's got to seriously improve that to survive in the majors. The Orioles aren't winning anything this year, so I don't see the harm in making sure he irons that out in Triple-A rather than burning more service time.

dianagramr (NYC): Hi Jay ... thanks as always for the chat. 1) True or false . . . if the Mets didn't just begin the first season of a three-year extension with Minaya, Omar would have been shown the door already. 2) Please ascribe % of responsibility (blame) to Damon and Boras for Damon not re-signing with the Yanks.

Jay Jaffe: 1) Probably true.

2) 47.8% Damon, 46.9% Boras, and 45.4% Brian Cashman. They're all combining to give well over 100 percent on this one.

mhnickerson (Cambridge, MA): Buster Olney said that he thought that it was close, but that the Red Sox had the best 1-5 rotation on paper to start the year. Do you agree, or would you put another 5 ahead of them? What about top 3 in a playoff series, would you rather have Sabathia+Burnett+Vazquez/Pettitte, or Lester+Beckett+Lackey, or Hernandez+Lee+Bedard?

Jay Jaffe: Well, Bedard's got to be healthy for the last to matter, and right now he isn't so, we can toss that one to the side.

Beyond that, the Yankees just won a World Championship with Sabathia-Burnett-Pettitte, and that counts for something. Add Vazquez and know that you've got both Hughes and Chamberlain as fifth options and it's a pretty impressive bunch. I'd probably go with that group, because I don't think much of Daisuke Matsuzaka anymore, and I'm starting to have my concerns about Beckett.

Roy (NJ): Any truth to the rumor that WFAN's Mike Francesa will "get you the sports any way that he can"?

Jay Jaffe: None at all. He's only got one way to get it to you, and that's by shouting into a microphone while talking down to you. Pass.

kcboomer (KC): Amazon hasn't shipped anything yet and are indicating a date of 02/26/2010 for such activity. My understanding of the 02/08 date was that was when the publisher would be shipping it to retail outlets.

Jay Jaffe: And I'm suggesting that we've probably got more current information than that. Amazon handles the delivery of 30 bajillion products and isn't nearly so invested in the accuracy of the information regarding any single one. Whereas this is our baby, and we've got reason to believe that the people telling us it's on its way are correct.

So please, buy it!

Jay Jaffe: OK folks, thanks for spending a couple of hours here with me this afternoon - it's always a pleasure to talk baseball with a smart group of fans. I'm excited to know that the next time I chat with you, it'll be after pitchers and catchers report, so I'll see you on the other side. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter (@jay_jaffe) if you're not getting enough from me via your traditional retail outlets.

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