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Chat: Ben Lindbergh

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 14, 2011 1:00 PM ET chat session with Ben Lindbergh.


Bring your transactions, have them analyzed by BP's only Colonel, Benjamin Tiberius Lindbergh.

Ben Lindbergh: Good afternoon, folks. After a night spent slaving over a hot keyboard to bring you the latest installment of Transaction Analysis, I'm back and ready for more baseball discussion. Hit me with your questions and I'll do my best to Google the answers in a timely fashion. Just kidding.

Marissa (Las Vegas): Which team is going to win the Stanley Cup?

Ben Lindbergh: Is that really still going on? NBA and NHL playoffs seem to me to stretch on forever, but I imagine that someone who doesn't follow baseball feels the same way about my sport of choice.

Okay, I did Google this one, and discovered that a Canuck named Daniel Sedin guaranteed victory in Game 7. We know that no guarantee made by a player has ever turned out to be a false promise, so there you have it: Canucks in seven.

Steve (California): Who has the better career for the next five years (total career even) between the bumper crop of first basemen we're seeing (Hosmer, Rizzo, Smoak, Belt)? Could they all be 30+ HR guys year in year out? Will one of them rise above the rest?

Ben Lindbergh: I think Hosmer is the most likely to be a beast, and Belt is the least likely to hit 30+ HR (though he could get there). I wonder if this is a bumper crop, by first base standards--it seems like it, but those mashing first basemen you always see around the league all started somewhere.

dianagramr (NYC): Tiberius? Really? (if so ... cool!)

Ben Lindbergh: No, not really--my real middle name is plain ol' Christopher (can someone steal your identity if you give out your middle name?). That was just Steve having a little fun.

Bobby (Iraq): Are we still dealing with small sample sizes when talking about individual stats? Bautista can't be for real right?

Ben Lindbergh: Funny you should ask, Bobby--our own Derek Carty wrote an article about when individual stats become reliable yesterday, right here.

As for Bautista, yeah, he's for real. I'd expect him to be worse going forward than he has been so far, of course, but I doubt there's any kind of bust just around the corner.

Ron (Toronto): Should I go to the Jay/O's game tonight or watch Super 8 instead?

Ben Lindbergh: That's a tough one, Ron. I saw Super 8 a couple nights ago, and I wasn't impressed, even though I was definitely the target audience and genuinely looking forward to it. Like Roger Ebert, I felt that the movie sort of fell apart after the first hour. Ebert still liked it, but I found it quite forgettable.(To paraphrase Darth Vader, the Ebert is more forgiving than I am.)

Then again, this isn't an Orioles home game, so if the other option is making a trip to Rogers Centre to see the long-awaited showdown between Chris Jakubauskas and Carlos Villanueva, you might want to consider taking in a talkie. How much are movie tickets in Toronto?

Mark (New York): I've never understood why people argue that baseball games are too long. If you're paying for a ticket, why would you want it to end sooner? When you're watching a good movie, do you also want it to end sooner?

Ben Lindbergh: For the most part, I feel the same way, although since I'm always rooting for the sport to succeed, I'm sensitive to the fact that other people don't--you and I might not mind a four-hour marathon unpleasant, but if longer games drive potential fans away from the game, we might still suffer in the long run.

Also, much as we might enjoy watching baseball, not every game is great. Some of them are more like bad movies, and those everyone wants to end, unless they're bad in a good way. What movie would an endless Yankees-Red Sox game with interminable at-bats and 11 pitching changes be?

Tom (Madison): Brett Anderson is going to receive a platelet rich plasma injection for his elbow. How concerned should A's fans be about this both in the short-term and the long-term?

Ben Lindbergh: Quite concerned in the short-term and medium-term, I'd think. I'm a big believer in a healthy Anderson, but at this rate, it seems like the healthy Anderson might never stick around long enough to approach 200 innings. If you had to bet on Anderson's elbow not exploding at some point, given the problems he's had with it over the last year or so, would you?

Most of his serious injury issues are related to the elbow, so maybe a new UCL would solve all his problems, if PRP doesn't. In that sense, given the success rate of Tommy John surgery these days, maybe he's still a safe bet for the future, but I'd take a slightly less talented but slightly more durable pitcher over him at this point.

ted (the cubicle): "What movie would an endless Yankees-Red Sox game with interminable at-bats and 11 pitching changes be?" That would be Independence Day

Ben Lindbergh: No way (except for Goldblum's "Must go faster" line, maybe). The best baseball game you've ever seen would be Independence Day. Anyone else?

Guillermo (Montevideo, Uruguay): So, Colonel, I was AFK the whole day yesterday... what is this Jeter injury and what does it mean for the Yankees?

Ben Lindbergh: It was a Grade 1 calf strain, the least serious type. It shouldn't force a DL stint, but it will probably take him out of the lineup for a day or two, which means that he'll likely collect his 3000th hit on the road. As for what that means for the Yankees--well, probably not a whole lot. Maybe a slight hit in the stands over the rest of this homestand, and the fact that Yankees fans will be forced to watch him get the historic hit at that dump in Chicago every one of the approximately 937 times YES replays the moment over the rest of this season.

JT (Exhibition Stadium): You *liked* Independence Day!!! *Gasp* *Sputters*

Ben Lindbergh: Look, if the aliens really did come to Earth, and instead of greeting them Will Smith-style (a smack in the head and an emphatic "Welcome to Earth!"), I decided to expose them to our finest films, I wouldn't show them Independence Day, even aside from the fact that that choice might cause a major diplomatic incident. But when I happen to flip by TNT or TBS and Independence Day is on (which could happen almost every day, if I'm not careful), I'm damn sure not touching that dial.

Mike (Chicago): Maybe the Last Lord of the Rings movie? I mean it seemed like it was over 6 or 7 times before the movie actually ended. But that's not Yankees-RedSox, that's more july 4 Rick Camp homering to keep the thing going...

Ben Lindbergh: Not a bad thought, but Return of the King was good enough that I was relieved every time one of those endings turned out to be false. The Last Emperor crossed my mind, but while I barely remember it, I think I enjoyed it.

JT (Exhibition Stadium): You're dead to me now.

Ben Lindbergh: I hope you'll still read my baseball writing, if not any future movie criticism I might produce. I swear I have decent taste when it comes to movies other than Independence Day. It's a guilty pleasure.

How much will you hate me if I break it to you that Exhibition Stadium is no more?

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): The Red Sox-Yankees game would be Ben Hur. The endless chariot race scene would be the extra innings.

Ben Lindbergh: Warmer...

Dan46S (Boston): I'm holding out for a St. Louis-Yankees World Series and the opportunity to see LaRussa (The Genius) manage against Girardi (Genius Jr.). Now there's a test of your love of the game.

Ben Lindbergh: That's a terrifying thought. Those games might get so long that even I and Mark (New York) might wish for a mercy killing. As frustrating as La Russa's and Girardi's thinking can be at times, though, I still find them less annoying than managers who don't think at all. Not everyone can be Joe Maddon.

JT (Exhibition): Insult. to. injury.

Ben Lindbergh: Folks, I've lost a fan today. Assuming I had one in the first place. Does it help that I'm half-Canadian?

dianagramr (NYC): I nominate Con Air. Malkovich ... Cage ... Buscemi ... landing a plane on the strip.

Ben Lindbergh: Not a bad thought, but despite one painful scene (okay, there may have been more than one), Con Air has a running time of 115 minutes. Even Michael Kay would find that manageable.

JT (Exhibition): Say something nice about Jessie Barfield and we're still good.

Ben Lindbergh: As a New Yorker, I'm more familiar with his time in pinstripes, but while he still had something left after relocating to the Bronx, he was a real force at times in Toronto. 8.8 WARP in 1986? Yowza.

Pacino (Cali): Godfather 3 clocked in at 2:49 ... it was possibly my least favorite BIG movie to appear in.

Ben Lindbergh: So why did you do it? Didn't you read the script?

Genevieve (Staten Island): If Super 8 was the exact same movie, but instead made in 1955, how would you feel then?

Ben Lindbergh: I'd be much more impressed by the special effects.

Russell (NYC): I vote for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The endless stare-down scene before the final shootout is Jeter adjusting his gloves. And Kevin Youkilis stars as The Ugly.

Ben Lindbergh: Very clever, but I have an extremely high tolerance for watching Clint Eastwood scowl.

jsonline (Milwaukee): Brewers able to hold on?

Ben Lindbergh: Check out R.J. Anderson's article here for more on the Brewers, but they're not going to collapse, if that's what you're asking. Given that they're currently tied with the Cardinals, they'll have to do more than hold on to advance, but I think they have it in them. I wouldn't expect there to be all that much more separation between the division's first- and second-place teams three months from now, though.

dianagramr (NYC): Dave Righetti no-hit the Red Sox on Independence Day of 1983.

Ben Lindbergh: He was probably really pumped up from watching the Bill Pullman speech toward the end of Independence Day. Yes, I know Independence Day hadn't hit theaters yet. He had an advance copy.

Mark (New York): "What movie would an endless Yankees-Red Sox game with interminable at-bats and 11 pitching changes be?" I couldn't name a movie, but for a TV show it would be Lost.

Ben Lindbergh: Lost kept me entertained till the end, at which point I felt like an idiot.

Bob (Seattle): Is it time for the Reds to bring up Zach Cozart and see if he's a legit MLB shortstop?

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, that day is coming. I like Paul Janish, and his glove has kept his awful bat above water, if only just barely, but the Reds can do better. Cozart is now hitting .332/.376/.508 in his second crack at Triple-A.

JT (Exhibition Stadium): Awwww hell no. You just evoked Barfield the Yankee. Now you have to decry the umpiring atrocities against the Jays in the '85 playoffs.

Ben Lindbergh: But I said Barfield the Blue Jay was better!

Lion Lenny (Detroit): With impending activation of Jason Heyward Ihave to bench one of te following players:logan morrison ,mike brantley,dominic brown or nelson cruz?which player should I bench?

Ben Lindbergh: Probably Brown for the time being, but if you wait long enough, Cruz will get hurt again and make your decision easier.

mmaurer016 (FLA): Mr. Lindbergh. Your thoughts on buying Adam Dunn at the moment. I pretty sure next to Uggla, who i already have, that there are no "Low buys" lower than these guys. I was thinking of offering Pena straight up for Dunn.

Ben Lindbergh: Dunn's strikeout rate is worrisome, but if you're talking about Carlos Pena, sure.

Bud Selig (Safe Deposit Vault): I'm naming you Commissioner of the Day. You can change baseball three ways. Go!

Ben Lindbergh: First, I bring an end to the draconian mlb.tv blackout rules. Second, I make all highlights on mlb.com embeddable and easily searchable. Both of those changes just made my job easier without actually changing the game, you say?. Uh, expand instant replay? Can I wish for more wishes?

Panda Sandoval (SF): Lincecum's erratic performance this season: a) after-effects of 249 innings last season b) Bochy's very long rope with him this season c) absence of Posey behind the plate d) some combo of a, b, c e) other

Ben Lindbergh: Whenever a pitcher (well, any player, really, but a pitcher especially) struggles, there's a scary and unspoken answer choice e: he's hurt. I have no reason to think that's the case with Lincecum, in particular, so d could make sense, though I'd have to look into whether going from Posey to Whiteside is a major step down defensively. That said, though, Lincecum has gone through bad stretches before and lived to tell the tale.

Functionary (DC): The film you're looking for is "Episode 1." You want to like it, but what's in front of you is convincingly bad. You anticipated it, but now you can't wait until it ends. You loved the franchise, but the product before your eyes makes you wonder if you've been misguided about the whole enterprise.

Ben Lindbergh: I'll accept that, even though the suffering only lasts for just over two hours. What Simon Pegg said. Also what Simon Pegg said here.

Jill Zarin (New York): How do you feel about the Brussels Griffon breed, specifically, owning one in the very near future?

Ben Lindbergh: To channel Jason Parks (whose I'll have the distinct pleasure of seeing twice in the next two days) for just a moment, the Brussels Griffon is roughly a 40 dog on the scouting scale. That breed most definitely doesn't have The Good Face.

mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): David Ortiz: for real or FO REEELS, YO!

Ben Lindbergh: Closer to the latter. More here.

GC (out to lunch): Hi Ben--Is there any way to explain Jose Bautista's recent explosion at age 30 (slugging from .408 to .617 to @.770 in consecutive years), without steroids? And to follow, has anyone in the history of baseball done this at his age prior to 1990?

Ben Lindbergh: Sure: mechanics, good coaching, and physical maturation all sound like plausible non-steroid explanations to me (for what it's worth, Bautista says he's been tested about a billion times over the last couple years). Few people have had seasons this good at any age and in any era, but I hear that Babe Ruth guy was pretty good. His age-31 and age-32 seasons were pretty close matches to what Bautista's age-30 campaign has been thus far.

SnakeDoctor18 (NY): Hey Ben, in my standard 6x6 roto league, I just accepted a trade of Kevin Youkilis and Shin-Soo Choo for Paul Konerko. Is it just me or did I get fantastic value for the rest of Konerko's season, which HAS to be somewhat of a regression.

Ben Lindbergh: You gave up Konerko and got both of those guys? Apologies if my next answer is delayed, as I'm starting a slow clap...now.

Dan the Man (Ann Arbor): I vote for Avatar. Huge budget, much anticipated blockbuster with huge egos running the show. The highlights are absolutely amazing. But it runs an hour and a half too long, largely because of the huge egos, and by the end you just want it to be over and don't really care who wins.

Ben Lindbergh: It kept me entertained, but only as much as a video game with good graphics, conventional gameplay, and a painfully predicable plot. Once the visual wow factor wore off, it left me wishing for something more innovative in other areas.

Geo (KC): Babe Ruth??? I think GC was looking for a Bautista comp more along the lines of a guy who was nothing until age 30. Raul Ibanez might be a good guy to bring up instead. He did nothing at all until he was 30.

Ben Lindbergh: I read it as a question about whether anyone had been as good as Bautista at the same age, period, but you're probably right. This article might have some answers.

RMR (Chicago): Devin Mesoraco is destroying AAA (.330/.409/.558), but the Reds already have two starter-worthy catchers. Should they make a move mid-season to give him a shot or hang tight until after the season and let Hernandez walk?

Ben Lindbergh: Free Ryan Hanigan! As far as I'm concerned, Hanigan should have not only his own starting job, but his own reality show about having a starting job. The Reds are stacked at catcher from the majors on down, and a number of other teams around the league might pay through the nose for some help behind the plate, so if they're confident that Mesoraco is psychologically ready for the majors and that his development wouldn't be hurt by a time-sharing arrangement, making a move might not be a bad way of maximizing the value of their assets.

RMR (Chicago): Re: Bautista. 1) Not all performance enhancing drugs are being tested for. Bonds tested clean too. I'm not saying he should be accused of steroids nor that I personally believe he's using anything, just that we shouldn't overstate what not testing positive means. 2) Babe Ruth was Babe Ruth from the very start. Who else has gone from role player to MVP halfway through their career?

Ben Lindbergh: I agree with your first point: if someone is convinced that a player is taking steroids, citing clean tests is hardly an airtight rebuttal. That said, I think there's rarely sufficient grounds to become convinced that a player is taking steroids, in the absence of a positive test. As to your question, I'll refer you to the article I linked above, though it might not tell you exactly what you want to know. Bautista has been good enough that few have played at his level, period, regardless of how they got there.

cooks country (vermont): any recipes that you particularly enjoy? i'm looking for online recipes!

Ben Lindbergh: I'm generally pretty happy if someone puts a bowl of chicken soup in front of me, so I'm not really the one to ask.

Mike (chicago): " Lost kept me entertained till the end, at which point I felt like an idiot" then it isn't Rdsox/yankees, it's the entire Cubs 2008 season! Ok, how about Gladiator, it's way too long, has some really good actors but the pace is really slow and in the end, both commodus and the gladiator are dead. I watch it over and over, I like it, but I always find it unbelievable that Commodus could kill Maximus. Just like I'm always shocked when the yankees lose.

Ben Lindbergh: Spoilers! Hey, the good guy doesn't always win. I'm referring to Maximus, not the Yankees, who generally aren't regarded as the good guys. Then again, neither are the Red Sox.

Jquinton82 (NY): Is the treatment suggested by Dr. Andrews the same kind of thing Bartolo Colon had done?

Ben Lindbergh: Are you asking about Brett Anderson? I'm guessing this is going to be covered in tomorrow's Collateral Damage, so stay tuned.

The Yankee Guy (Indianapolis): What do you think of the Cleveland Indians? Do they have the stuff to keep winning, or are they a fluke. Could BABIB have anything to do with it?

Ben Lindbergh: I think they're neither as great as they looked at the beginning of the season, nor as awful as they've looked recently. They're somewhere in the middle, which is still better than most people expected for them a few months ago.

Brooklyn Decker (New York): Me or Kate Upton?

Ben Lindbergh: I was asked the same question in my chat on April 12, but that time it was "Jermiah (Chicago)" doing the asking, so it's nice to see that Ms. Decker is taking a personal interest this time around--even though I know she's just fishing for compliments, since I picked her last time.

Dave (Vermont): So, you rockin' mandals this summer?

Ben Lindbergh: On occasion.

kcroyalsguy (KC): Assuming Lawrie gets called up in the next few weeks when he heals, who do you see having a better year, Lawrie or Moustakas?

Ben Lindbergh: Lawrie, I think. Moustakas at Omaha this season, not all that wonderful.

R.A.Wagman (Toronto): Ben - do you ever concern yourself with minor league promotions? Other than baseball America's weekly update, do you know of a reliable and timely source for minor league shakedowns? Thanks.

Ben Lindbergh: I have to admit that I don't have a great answer for you here. Try asking @Kevin_Goldstein on Twitter.

Alex (Jersey): Kevin Mitchell circa '89 as a Jose Bautista comp? Good, athletic player who when put in the right place at the right time explodes

Ben Lindbergh: That's not bad, although Bautista (at least so far) has been better.

Bartleby (Scrivening): Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull. Please make it stop. (HM Pearl Harbor) Methinks the Twins have more than a 2.6% chance at the postseason, suck it PS odds report.

Ben Lindbergh: You'd prefer not to believe our figures, eh, Bartleby? Come on, Crystal Skull wasn't that bad.

RMR (Chicago): Regarding the length of game, it's pace, not length that gets people upset. But because our only metric is length, that's what people cite. Give people a 3:30 game that has the same pace as a 2:30 one and it wouldn't be an issue.

Ben Lindbergh: That's a good point.

By the way, just read that the Yankees are considering placing Jeter on the DL, after all. Cue the speculation that they want him to get his 3000th hit at home enough to make him unavailable during the team's upcoming road trip. Of course, if you believe that, you also have to believe that they either a) care more about where he gets the hit than they do about making the playoffs, or b) think that they're at better team without him.

Alex (Jersey): Not totally...quick and dirty: Mitchell '89, 78 VORP, 1st in MLB. Bautista 2010 72 VORP, 5th in MLB

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, you're right, I was thinking about Mitchell '89 and Bautista 2011. Mitchell was never as good again as he was in that '89 season, whereas Bautista appears to have become even better in his second season as a baseball god.

Ben Lindbergh (New York): 10 years from now I will be...........

Ben Lindbergh: 34--yikes. And probably not aging well, given that I'm already talking to myself in public chats.

Ed (Cranford, NJ): Hi Ben What do you think will happen to Jordan Schafer once Nate McLouth returns from the DL? Also, what do you think of Brad Hand going forward? Thanks.

Ben Lindbergh: Once McLouth returns, Schafer will either be cast into the fires of Mount Doom or relegated to glorified fourth-outfielder status. The latter is more likely.

I'm not particularly excited about Hand this season (he may have been promoted prematurely) but at least now that he's arrived, Marlins fans can stop complaining about having no hand--no hand at all!

Yes, I answered this question so I could link to a Seinfeld clip.

Robert (Atlanta): Is it bending the rules if my pick is a double feature of the Matrix sequels? They were both supposedly part of the same story (though they were so disjointed it was hard to tell), so it's kind of like one movie.

Ben Lindbergh: I'll allow it.

Geo (KC): If the Yankees do put Jeter on the DL he can't come back until the 30th...just in time for them to go back on the road. So the home/road thing doesn't seem to have anything to do with it.

Ben Lindbergh: They could put him on the 60-day! He has to get that hit at home, dammit!

doog7642 (Blaine, MN): Can you point me to an article that debunks the following statement -- or can you debunk the statement yourself: "The trend toward significant decrease in scoring over the past couple years is evidence that performance-enhancers helped hitters more than pitchers."

Ben Lindbergh: I don't believe that article has been written, and I'm not sure it could be.

GC (out to lunch): Hi Ben--With Dice-K's recent election for TJ surgery, there is a lot of talk about American pitch-count and preparation methods vs those in Japan (the suggestion in the article is that Japanese pitchers simply throw more pitches in a week both in games and longer side sessions). Has anyone culled the data on the Japanese league pitchers' injuries to suggest that one is better than the other?

Ben Lindbergh: Not that I know of, but I don't think you could make a definitive case looking only at injury rates. Japanese pitchers might throw more pitches, but those pitchers are probably lower-effort, on the whole, given the different level of competition involved. I'd certainly be interested in reading that article, or even in writing it--off-hand, I'm not sure how easy it is to get one's hands on that data in a usable form.

Geo (KC): The 60-day DL would also result in a Yankees road trip...Just sayin'. How about making him out for the season?

Ben Lindbergh: I think that's probably the safest course. Heck, I might feel safer if he never played again. Then we'd know he wouldn't get the hit on the road.

Derek Jeter (NY): I dive into stands, play through injuries and now that I'm a few hits from reaching 3,000 people think I'm dogging it to get it at home? Really...?

Ben Lindbergh: No, not really. Well, maybe--I wouldn't be shocked if there were someone who thinks that. (Have you ever listened to WFAN?)

Before I'd believe that Jeter cares where he gets the hit enough to take himself out of the lineup, I'd believe that Randy Levine is holding a gun to Joe Girardi's head and telling him to start Eduardo Nunez, after receiving death threats from Yankees-Steiner Collectibles.

Jquinton82 (NY): With all the attention showered on Han-Ram, Cabrera, Tulo, Reyes, Castro - Is it me or is Alexi Ramirez under appreciated?

Ben Lindbergh: That thought crossed my mind recently. Not that he deserves to be appreciated as much as most of those guys, but yes, in a weak shortstop era, it's surprising that he doesn't get more acclaim.

kcroyalsguy (KC): clearly Jeter's calf problem is a result of a concussion and he needs to go on the new 7 day DL. Problem. Solved.

Ben Lindbergh: Brilliant.

jhardman (Apex, NC): I have a very strong pitching staff in a long term keeper Strat-O-Matic 16 team league and I only need five starters. Which five of these would you keep? Josh Beckett, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke, CJ Wilson, Jordan Zimmermann, Clayton Kershaw, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, and Chris Narveson. Keep in mind I can keep them forever.

Ben Lindbergh: Lincecum, Kershaw, Greinke, and Cain seem like obvious choices. I'd probably go with Beckett for the last spot, though Wilson might be safer, given Beckett's age and injury history.

adambennett (District 9): Gangs of New York is the equivalent of the Yankees-Sox game with lots of pitching changes. Way too long, but still pretty darn entertaining.

Ben Lindbergh: I don't think I've ever seen all of that. I was disappointed in District 9.

bosoxfan (boston): what do you think of josh reddick?

Ben Lindbergh: I'm going to bring in the dearly departed Marc Normandin to answer this question, both because he knows more about Reddick than I do, and because having the occasional celebrity guest answer keeps things fresh. Take it away, Marc:

"I'm not sold on the idea that his power from Triple-A will translate to the majors completely, as he is more patient than he used to be, but still likes to expand his strike zone.I can see him getting a corner gig for a second division club and playing real good defense with some solid hitting. Not the kind of guy Boston would settle for, though."

Marc Normandin, ladies and gentlemen. You can read many more of his thoughts on the Red Sox here.

LoyalRoyal (LV, KS): Don't know about true length of the film, but I watched How To Make an American Quilt with my then fiancee (not sure what I did to get that deep into the doghouse). It felt like the longest movie ever! Are the Dodgers ever going call Trayvon Robinson up??? Thanks...

Ben Lindbergh: Your then-fiancee, huh? So did you break up with her over being subjected to the movie, or marry her? If the latter, I hope it's been smoother sailing since then.

As for your question, I just heard this from Kevin Goldstein: "at some point in the 2nd half."

Mike (Chicago): Well, you made it to 24, you may be talking to yourself in chats, but that's better than other Lindbergh babies have managed....Is Darwin Barney capable of being the next David Eckstein?

Ben Lindbergh: Good point--I'm doing okay by Lindbergh baby standards. As for Barney, no way--he has at least four inches on Eckstein, so even if he were Eck's equal as a player, he'd never have his heart.

Derek Jeter (NY): Listen to WFAN all the time... and Levine is holding a gun to Girardi's head as we speak. This could get ugly... that man does not look stable

Ben Lindbergh: Draw upon your intangibles to defuse the situation.

Dave (731 Lexington): How about The Neverending Story? Great movie though...

Ben Lindbergh: I need to watch that again. Like, now. Or maybe at the end of the chat.

Bill Simmons (LA): What kind of offer should the Red Sox give to Ortiz after this season is over?

Ben Lindbergh: I'm trying to think of an 80s movie parallel, but I'm coming up empty, which is probably why I haven't yet been invited to write for Grantland.com. I don't know--can we wait to see how Ortiz finishes the season before coming up with an answer? It's an interesting question, and I promise that I or someone else at BP will tackle it at length at some point.

Tony (Canada): Vancouver will get a MLB team within the next 30 years. True or False?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't know, but I really hope so. Vancouver is an 80 city.

jhardman (Cold Mountain, NC): The movie is "Gettysburg". Looks great on the big screen, is full of slow, drawn out strategic manuvers with men dressed in old uniforms. Men die on a hill like pitchers do in these epic battles. the only problem is that "Gettysburg" is somewhat shorter than the average Yankees v. Red Sox game and it even has a full intermission. What are your thoughts, Hobson?

Ben Lindbergh: Now we're getting somewhere. I think the right answer lies in historical epics.

Bob (Seattle): A Sox/Yanks game is like Forrest Gump. Way too long, overpraised, one trick pony.

Ben Lindbergh: Long, but not quite long enough.

Zooey (LA): Thoughts on grantland.com?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't think it's anything revolutionary, but I'm not sure whether it's intended to be, so that may not be a valid criticism. I haven't read that much of it so far, but I've liked most of what I've seen. The availability of more free writing is rarely a bad thing, right?

Bob (Seattle): Ok... NY/BOS = Ken Burns' Baseball

Ben Lindbergh: Ouch.

fgbaloh (allentown): I don't understand anyone thinking Bundy over Cole. They have similar great stuff but Cole has performed and stayed healthy for 3 more years. Besides that, most reports I read suggest Bundy has little projection. Bunndy has a chance to either get hurt or flame out in the next three years. Without ever seeing either I think Cole hands down. Your thoughts?

Ben Lindbergh: Like you, I'd basically be echoing someone else's opinion either way. I can't say I have any special insight here.

Dan46S (Boston): Ben: I'm weary of guessing which Nolasco will show up at game time. Any of these guys a better option: Holland, Danks, Beachy, Lewis, or Stauffer? And stick with Tiberius, it has a ring!

Ben Lindbergh: Lewis, maybe, or Stauffer in Petco. Tiberius it is.

LoyalRoyal (Man cave): She must have thought I was punished enough (or just wanted more time to work me over. Hmmm...) and married me. Now, I try to hide in the cave when such movies are on. Is Matt Young with picking up short and/or longterm? Thanks

Ben Lindbergh: Those first couple sentences sound really kinky, so I'll remind you that this is a family chat. Unless your league is extremely deep, ixnay on the oungYay.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): Do you ever worry that sports enthusiasm wanes so much with age? Up 'til my 30s, I followed the Jays religiously. Now, I barely remember their rotation, let alone whom they're playing tonight. It's June, and I don't even know whether Bautista's that bad defensively at 3b this year!

Ben Lindbergh: I do worry about that, especially given that I follow baseball for a living and would have to find a new career if I woke up one day and discovered that I no longer cared. The fact that I can't entirely explain why I do care makes it even scarier. However, many BP authors have managed to reach a ripe middle age without experiencing a crisis of faith, so I figure I still have a few years left.

Big Bob (Cleveland): Just recently made a trade in one of my fantasy leagues. I get Mark Melancon and Brandon Lyon, but I give up Rick Porcello. I plan to have Melancon and Lyon replace Matt Guerrier and Phil Coke, and I will replace Porcello with James McDonald. Thoughts?

Ben Lindbergh: My first thought is that the Yankees might like to have Melancon right about now. Sounds like a plan to me, though I know the fantasy cognoscenti always say it's easy to find saves.

dianagramr (NYC): I kept waiting for "Dark Knight" to end ... it seemed like there were at least 5 points at which the movie could be neatly wrapped up ... then ... whoops ... there goes The Joker again.

Ben Lindbergh: I didn't particularly want The Dark Knight to end. Ready for The Dark Knight Rises?

Dan (Brooklyn): Who do you like going forward, in real life and/or Strat/Scoresheet-type games: Wieters or Carlos Santana?

Ben Lindbergh: Santana.

Max (Vancouver): Vancouver couldn't support a Triple-A team, or an NBA franchise. There's no way - as in, zero per cent chance - it ever gets a MLB franchise. And an 80 city? Only if you're a wealthy tourist visiting during the months of August or September.

Ben Lindbergh: I know, but a guy can dream. I disagree with the second part--I don't mind the rain.

Derek Jeter (Girardi's Office (AKA The Hostage Room)): Just negotiated Girardi's release, Nunez will play in any games I'm out and Levine gets two game worn jersey's from the 3k hit game - apparently Steiner sports refused to let him in on the bidding. Girardi also gets to pimp slap Levine (w/ baby powder) at anytime of his choosing as payback.

Ben Lindbergh: And that's why they call you the Captain.

JT (Michigan): If you had to start a franchise with an over 30 hitter, an over 30 SP, and an over 30 RP, whom would you pick? Let's assume a 5 year window is the goal.

Ben Lindbergh: Great question. Five-year window...let's see. Bautista, Sabathia, and...Madson, maybe? All in their age-30 seasons, I believe. You didn't ask, but if I have to take an over-40 RP, I'll go with Rivera. Anyone else have suggestions?

LoyalRoyal (Witness protection): Lol. If you're alluding to s-e-x, you must have missed the "I'm married" part. (This is anonymous, right?) Pearl Harbor maybe? Another night of punishment. Speaking of punishment, should I continue to play Raburn, or dump him on a believer?

Ben Lindbergh: It seems like a lot of my chats turn into impromptu marriage counseling sessions, despite the fact that I don't know the first thing about the holy state of matrimony. If you email customer service, perhaps one of our older authors could give you some tips on keeping things fresh. I was a Raburn believer before the season, but I've given up fantasy, so you can't dump him on me.

ted (the cubicle): Oooph. I caught 15 minutes of Crystal Skull on tv a couple weeks ago and I was embarrassed for Indy.

Ben Lindbergh: Maybe you'd like the other 107 minutes more? Eh, probably not.

In The Wrong Chat (Washington): Who does congressman Weiner think he is, Brett Favre?

Ben Lindbergh: Genitalia jokes!

Ben Lindbergh: Thanks for all the great questions today, folks--I've genuinely enjoyed the last few hours, but I have to run. As always, we appreciate your decision to choose Baseball Prospectus to inhibit your productivity on a weekday afternoon.

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