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Chat: Ben Lindbergh

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday November 16, 2011 1:30 PM ET chat session with Ben Lindbergh.


He's a New York City ladies' man because he knows his way around TA. Join Ben Lindbergh for a chat around the hot stove.

Ben Lindbergh: Disclaimer: I didn't write and don't endorse that intro (though I won't deny it, either). This chat comes at a busy time for me, as Iíve recently completed or am in the midst of completing my work for three BP book projects (two of which youíre probably aware of and one of which you soon will be), so itíll be nice to take a breather and chat with you for a while this afternoon. Letís get right to it.

hotstatrat (downtown Toronto): How would you compare younger centerfielders with an injury history (specifically Adam Jones and Desmond Jennings) with an older dude who seems to be over his injury pattern (Curtis Granderson) - in terms of future likeliness of injury?

Ben Lindbergh: I'd have to do some research on that before my answer would be anything better than-as Tom Tango likes to say-summary opinion without evidence. Maybe that's something Corey and I can look into at some point. Obviously, it depends on the kind of injury history we're talking about-I'd be less worried about "freak" occurrences (even if those aren't entirely attributable to chance) than I would some sort of chronic problem. Incidentally, R.J. wrote an article about Jennings and found that his reputation for fragility is probably a bit overblown

DPaton (Toronto): Hey Ben, it's hilarious to listen to Toronto sports talk radio, in light of St. Louis' victory, turning 180 degrees, and now trashing the Colby Rasmus trade. Apparently Dotel and Rzepczynski were all we needed to take off the Yankees. Having said that, do Colby and his father find a happy home here.

Ben Lindbergh: I thought Canadians were supposed to be friendly? You know, at the time of that trade, I wrote, "Still, while most observers might be convinced that the Cardinals gave up the best player in the deal, they needn't start writing their NL Central concession speech-this is still a win-now trade for the team," and added, "It's after this season-ironically, when La Russa may no longer be at the reigns-that the Cardinals will pay the price for being short-sighted." Whatever price they do pay going forward almost certainly won't be big enough to cancel out a World Series win, so in that sense, the trade won't be a loss for St. Louis (even though it's not fair to evaluate the thinking that led to it like that).
That doesn't mean it was a terrible trade for Toronto, though. Rasmus' -0.8 WARP performance for the Jays down the stretch certainly didn't endear him to Blue Jays fans, but he's much better than that. Once the kneejerk, "Hey, they won the World Series with our players, why couldn't we do that" reaction fades and Rasmus plays himself out of the red, the tenor of those talk-radio calls should improve. Plus, how could they not be happy in the beautiful city of Toronto, home of brilliant power pop practitioners Sloan?

Bill (New Mexico): Same leadoff Q as for Derek yesterday: what's your take on the Matheny managerial signing? (Incidentally, are we ever going to get a full-blown Transaction Analysis on this one? I'm really surprised not to have seen that. Or did I miss it?)

Ben Lindbergh: Bill, thanks for asking--R.J. has been doing the bulk of the TA stuff as I try to clear the last book-related work off my plate, and I haven't been able to get to Matheny. I'm not sure how much you're missing, though. I wrote a long TA about Robin Ventura after he was hired, and while I hope it was an enjoyable read, I don't know if I or anyone else came away from it with a much firmer handle on how Ventura is actually going to manage and impact his new team. There's just no in-game record to go on. It does seem curious that they went with an in-house guy who wasn't Jose Oquendo, but Matheny sounds like a capable choice, to the extent that we can tell. Hell, every game on TV he played in during the second half of his career involved some broadcaster saying, "This guy is going to be a manager someday," so at the very least, it's nice to see all that blather amount to something.

Tbirds (Seattle): I am standing on a ledge right now. Please tell me Melky won't be a defensive disaster in CF next year.

Ben Lindbergh: I wish I could, but I thought Keith Law had the best line about this: "When I call Cabrera a fourth outfielder, that doesn't mean the Giants get to play three others alongside him to make up for all the balls he won't catch."

dianagramr (NYC): Hi Ben! Thanks for the chat. Odds of Pujols staying in St. Loo better with Matheny at the helm? He doesn't want to go to Miami, does he?

Ben Lindbergh: Hi, Diane. Thanks for reading. I can't claim to know how Pujols feels about Miami. Like almost all players (and all people, for that matter), Albert is going to go where the money is. Does Matheny have a rich uncle who can help Bill DeWitt buy Albert bonds?

Tbirds (Seattle): In an unexpected turn of events I decided to climb back in my window and off the ledge simply because Keith Law's line is so amusing.

Ben Lindbergh: Keith Law and Ben Lindbergh: lifesavers.

Lea Michelle (LA): Ben, I just checked out your twitter account. You don't look a day over 17. How did you manage to be so successful at such a young age?

Ben Lindbergh: Nice to hear my plastic surgeon and I are such successes. He does good work.

Steve (Ireland): Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Ben Lindbergh: Bernie Williams. Wish I could say my favorite player was someone more obscure, like, I don't know, Duane Kuiper, but unlike Joe Posnanski, I grew up not far from Yankee Stadium in the mid- to late-90s, so marginally talented players were in pretty short supply. The first autograph I ever got was by Clay Bellinger, so I suppose I could have formed an unhealthy attraction to him. (Joe Torre did.) Bernie was a great hitter, graceful in the field (at least until his later years, or until he tried to throw the ball) and on the bases (I miss seeing him go first-to-third), and to the extent that you can determine these things from afar, seemed to have a softer side than the typical ballplayer who spends his offseason huntin' and fishin', which also appealed to me. Good guitar player, too.

Dan (Philadelphia): OMG what team is going to go back to its retro jersey next?!!!??!

Ben Lindbergh: I kno rite?! Uniform redesigns are among the offseason traditions I care about the least. I can wait till April to see what they're going to look like, and in the vast majority of cases, I'll yawn when I do.

R.A. Wagman (Toronto): Is it still too early to call Travis Snider a bust?

Ben Lindbergh: Yep. Frustrating as hell, but still, somehow, only 23.

Alex (Anaheim): Amen on Bernie, everyone should listen to The Journey Within.

Ben Lindbergh: I enjoyed it mainly on a "Hey, I'm listening to Bernie Williams play guitar" level, but it's worth a spin. Or a click, most likely.

Bill Simmons (LA): Thoughts on grantland.com so far?

Ben Lindbergh: How can you not like free content? Since I'm pretty Goldstein when it comes to other sports, I read the site selectively, but there's been plenty of good baseball stuff there from Jonah, Rany, and others. I enjoy Klosterman and the occasional spot of Simmons, and Katie Baker is great. As I tweeted the other day, things have reached the point where I enjoy Andy Greenwald's Walking Dead reviews for Grantland more than I do the episodes themselves. Which has been more frustrating: the second season of Walking Dead, or the first four seasons of Travis Snider?

DGrabz (NYC): The Yankees announced recently that they have 21 statisticians. Do you think this is enough? Why not keep hiring more?

Ben Lindbergh: I strongly suspect that that "21 statisticians" figure includes interns and isn't entirely accurate even so, but the Yankees would certainly be wise to pay for top statistical talent just as they pay for top on-field talent. Much better bang for the buck, at least to a point.

Denna (Tarbean): Why do you hate cats? They're cute and do funny things.

Ben Lindbergh: I don't hate them, but I don't particularly want to welcome one into my home. Aside from the fact that they usually look like they're plotting to kill you while you sleep, I'm allergic to them and have to walk around with an IV full of antihistamines just to be in the same room without looking like I just got maced. Plus, nothing beats the unrestrained exuberance you get from a dog when you come home after being out for a while. I guess I'm just needy like that. Also, come on, cats. Pieces of string aren't that interesting.

Bill (New Mexico): Thanks for the Matheny reply and Pujols followup, but I take issue with the position that most people "go where the money is." Given a choice, most people find out where there's "enough" money, then choose (if there is a choice) from among those places the one they "like." Don't ballplayers do the same? Can you think of any cases where a free agent picked a team clearly contrary to his desires and self-interest just because it paid the biggest bucks? Not denying that there are any, but I'm curious.

Ben Lindbergh: I'm sure there have been examples, but how often is going to a particular team clearly contrary to a free agent's desires and self-interest? For a top baseball player, picking somewhere to work isn't quite like it is for most of us. A top player can afford to live somewhere beautiful with a great school system (sorry, Mike Hampton) wherever he goes, cost-of-living be damned. If he doesn't love the city, well, he only has to be there three months out of the year. If he's far from his family, he can afford to move them or fly them out on weekends. There's something to be said for going to a contender, but there's also something to be said to getting in on the ground floor or being a big fish in a small pond. I just don't see that much that would dissuade me from taking the biggest offer wherever it comes from, provided it's substantially larger than the second-biggest one.

Well, maybe that's not entirely true--if I were a pitcher, I'd take less money to pitch in Petco, and if I were a hitter, I'd take less money to play in Coors, both because it could lead to more money in the future and because it would make me happier when I looked at my Baseball Reference page (which I would do obsessively, by the way). I'm not sure that park factors enter into the decision for most players, though their agents should make sure that they do.

Vic (Detroit): Sniffing all other dogs bums! come on dogs, really!?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't think my Dachschund has ever sniffed another dog's private parts. She rarely leaves the house, she's a people pet to the exclusion of all other non-human animals, and she's extremely refined, except for the rare occasions when she experiments with eating her own excrement. Which I'm pretty sure she does in the interests of Science.

Tbirds (Seattle): I love the fact that the Marlins are now officially the Miami Marlins. If I had a job and I lived in Miami, I would be so excited for the new ballpark.

Ben Lindbergh: I hope a lot of people who do live in Miami feel the same way, Tbirds, or it's going to be a long season. As for the ballpark, I'm particularly excited for this. I'm hoping Pujols does sign there just so I can see that monstrosity light up more often. If the Marlins don't draw a lot of fans, the electric bills for that thing might bankrupt them.

Dan (CO): Mike Stanton. How big? How soon?

Ben Lindbergh: This is a family-friendly chat, sir.

Steven (New Orleans): Could you explain to me how the draft is legal? Shouldn't all the amateurs be free agents and have the option to sign with whatever team they like?

Ben Lindbergh: If J. Edgar Hoover were still directing the FBI instead of spending all his time pursuing an acting career, he would've opened a massive file on you just for asking that question.

Bobby (New Jersey): Your dog doesn't leave the house? Dogs love the outdoors and meeting other dogs. They're social animals. I think you're abusing it. Come on, Ben.

Ben Lindbergh: Hey, believe me, I'd love for her to leave the house. Don't think I didn't try to take her out when she was younger. Something about the bright lights and loud sounds of Manhattan scared her, so as soon as she'd out the door, she'd cringe, shiver, and want to go back inside. She's basically a sabermetrician.

Slevin (Tinley Park): I'm a White Sox fan. I don't have a question. I just want someone to hold me.

Ben Lindbergh: There, there. /pats on back

There's always Addison Reed. Just don't look at the rest of the minor-league system, or you'll turn into a pillar of salt.

Bradley Cooper (LA): Thoughts on me being named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine?

Ben Lindbergh: As long as Andrew Scott (the drummer for the band Sloan) is around, I'd consider anyone else being named the Sexiest Man Alive an affront to physical attractiveness. Also, I was subjected to a couple episodes of "Kitchen Confidential" lately, and it wasn't very good.

Jim (Bronx): You mean Scott Brosius wasn't your favorite player growing up?

Ben Lindbergh: Brosius had his moments (his home run in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series was among my favorite moments as a fan), but Bernie predated and outlasted him, so he didn't have much of a chance to displace him.

SJP (Farmville): Ben, who is your favorite workhorse?

Ben Lindbergh: Mark Buehrle. Eleven-plus seasons of 200-plus innings? Really? Why not share the schematics for your adamantium arm with some of the other pitchers, Mark?

Dan (Springfield, IL): I thought this was Baseball Prospectus and a baseball chat...

Ben Lindbergh: It's both of those things, but when has a Baseball Prospectus chat ever been just about baseball?

Andrew (Atlanta): Do you score games when you are at the park?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't. I get the old-timey appeal of it and everything, and I do enjoy the sight of a particularly meticulous one, but for me, at least, that's what box scores and play-by-play logs are for. MLBAM doesn't need me to provide independent verification of what transpired.

A. Rodriguez (NYC): Whose my next celebrity girlfriend?

Ben Lindbergh: We know she'll be blonde, we know she'll be muscular, we know you don't mind dating older women--my money is on Elisabeth Shue. No, you know what? Dara Torres. Can someone get a pool going?

Marissa (Sweden): What happens first, MLB allows their videos on YouTube or the Pirates finish a season with an above .500 record?

Ben Lindbergh: Hey, at least a lot of MLB videos are embeddable now. Baby steps. Since MLBAM has shown some real progress and the Pirates are coming off a 72-win season, I'm going with baseball highlights being on YouTube. Except for Pirates highlights. No one wants to see those.

Gus (Philadelphia): Do you like the Papelbon signing? And wither Jimmy Rollins?

Ben Lindbergh: It's hard to like a multi-year reliever contract for that much money. And yes, as a shortstop on the wrong side of 30, Jimmy Rollins will very likely wither at some point during his next contract.

George (Houston): How bad do you think it gets for the 'stros before it gets better? AL West doesn't look any easier in 2013.

Ben Lindbergh: I think it's already gotten about as bad as it's going to get. How much worse can it get than 56 wins? And not only that, while they may not have developed some of them themselves, they have a few prospects now. Really. the Top 11 said so.

John (St Louis): Just curious. About what percentage of questions submitted get answered (not counting this one)?

Ben Lindbergh: It varies by chat. I'm running under a 50 percent response rate right now, but I'm trying to catch up. And I'm totally counting this one.

Marissa (Sweden): What happens first, the Cubs win the World Series or the O's make the playoffs?

Ben Lindbergh: Great question. Since the playoffs are so unpredictable, I'd almost always go with the chances of a team making the playoffs over the chances of a team making it all the way through them, but with the O's system the way it is, and their division the way it is, and Angelos, still around, and Theo & Co at the helm in Chicago...yikes. Can I go with option C, the world ends before either of those things happens?

Tom Verducci (SI): Who is better looking: Goldstein, Parks, Lindbergh, or Verducci?

Ben Lindbergh: As if there's any question. Have you looked at our headshots lately? Verducci stands alone. The real question is whether Verducci would look better or worse with a KG-style fedora. I'm inclined to say anyone would look better with a fedora, but "anyone" doesn't have Verducci's hair.

By the way, didn't mean to imply in my last answer that Theo & Co. being in Chicago hurts the Cubs' chances of winning the World Series (clearly, the opposite is the case), just that it made that a tougher choice.

Brett Lawrie (Vancouver): 2.5 Career All-Star Appearances for me, Over or Under?

Ben Lindbergh: In most cases I'd be inclined to be conservative and take the under with a player who hasn't made his first one yet, but I'm taking the over, only because you're from the Vancouver area, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above-average.

Bill S (Hollywood): Star Trek or Star Wars?

Ben Lindbergh: Both--this is the science fiction equivalent of beer and tacos, as far as I'm concerned. Like "stats vs. scouts," it's a false dichotomy. If I had to pick one, though, it would be 'Wars.

TheDozen (Anaheim): Do the Yankees end up with any of the top free agent starters?

Ben Lindbergh: They already did--CC Sabathia. Does Freddy Garcia count? Are there top free agent starters beyond Sabathia this winter? Technically, I suppose. The Yankees will be involved in the Wilson/Darvish bidding, I'm sure; it's rarely safe to count them out of the running for a marquee arm. Given how well Garcia and Bartolo Colon worked out for them last season, though, maybe they'll just sign Aaron Cook and Doug Davis and call it an offseason.

Tim (Bethesda, MD): Five teams per league in the playoffs now seems inevitable. Do you hate that nearly as much as I do? I rather see the DH in the NL than another step down the slipperly slope of watering down the regular season even more.

Ben Lindbergh: I don't completely hate it, since I'm not sure that I fully understand what all the implications would be, and I've seen good arguments on both sides of the issue. My preference would be to keep the playoffs a fairly exclusive affair. I am in favor of the DH in the NL, though--are you sure you want my opinion?

Zooey (LA): Is it fair to say in trades that involve one player for a bundle of players/prospects (i.e Santana/Lee/CC/Halladay, etc...) that the team that gets the one player ends up winning the trade 95 times out of a 100?

Ben Lindbergh: 95 is a little extreme, so no. But it's true that you face an uphill battle when you give up the best player in the deal.

Tbirds (Seattle): What other moves do you predict the Giants will make? Give me something.... Anything

Ben Lindbergh: The Giants signed Gregor Blanco this morning. What, you want more? Starving children in San Diego have to make do with Mark Kotsay, and you're complaining? Finish your vegetables.

Are there any other lefty relievers out there they could sign? Does the sight of Ryan Ludwick excite you?

Rick (Chicago): Is Walt Jocketty really going to spend another winter sitting on his hands, letting major league ready prospects pile up while his team is a top notch starter away from being truly competitive? Surely Castellini didn't have "pray it just miraculously happens" as the strategy for his "the losing stops now" approach.

Ben Lindbergh: The Reds really do have to figure out which of the catchers of the future in their system is the catcher of their future and find a good home for the other one. Holding on to youngsters is often a good thing, but holding on to them too long can be a very bad thing. And no, that was not an attempt at making an edgy, twisted Penn State joke--I meant in the Bill Stoneman sense. Also, free Ryan Hanigan!

SWF (Brooklyn): Hi Ben, how much are you willing to pay for parking?

Ben Lindbergh: As a lifelong Manhattan resident who can walk or take public transportation everywhere and, consequently, has never bothered to get a driver's license, this is one of those fundamental questions about myself that I just don't have enough information to answer, along with "Could I keep my cool in combat?", "If I met Dane Cook in person, would I actually tell him off?", and "Will I watch Season 2 of 'The Killing?'"

Steely (Yonkers): Who would win in a steel cage match between Goldstein and Law?

Ben Lindbergh: Pretty sure I've seen this asked and answered before. Law might fight dirty, but that wouldn't be enough to overcome Kevin's superior reach, unless the fight took place in a kitchen, where Law might have a better sense of his surroundings (not to denigrate KG's cooking). I'd rather see them get into a fake radar gun shootout than an actual fight.

Alex (Anaheim): I got to walk on the Angel Stadium field over the weekend for Walk Now for Autism and even though I'm not an Angel fan it made me miss baseball even more. It did get me wondering, though: did Trumbo receive too many ROY votes for someone with such a low OBP?

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, probably, but then so did Hellickson. To the slight extent that I care about awards voting, I would've liked to see Pineda do better.

Sasha Grey (Chatsworth): Do you believe we will ever see a female on field manager in our lifetime?

Ben Lindbergh: How long are we going to live? Unless Ray Kurzweil is right and the Singularity is actually near, I don't think so. It's not that a woman couldn't be a better tactical skipper than, say, Ron Washington, but given how hard it's been for some men without experience as major-league players to command respect in the clubhouse (even if they played in the minors), I have a hard time imagining a group of players open-minded enough to accept a female manager.

SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Favorite and least favorite things about writing for the annual?

Ben Lindbergh: Writing for the annual is an honor, and I hope to do it for many more years to come. The best part is being associated with a publication that has benefited from the wisdom of so many brilliant writers over the last decade and a half. There's also something very intellectually satisfying about trying to distill the essence of a player into 150 words or so in an entertaining way. The book tour is a good time, too. The worst part, as you might imagine, is that it takes a good chunk of time. It's not just the word count, which is pretty hefty in itself. It's also the research that goes into those words.

Baby Busey (Nova Scotia): Will Sidney Crosby return before Christmas?

Ben Lindbergh: Since I wasn't even aware that he was still concussed, I'll have to direct you to Hockey Prospectus for that one.

Chris (New Jersey): How far does Granderson fall off from what I think everyone would acknowledge was a career year at 30?

Ben Lindbergh: I think that was as good as he's going to get offensively, and I don't mean that as a slight--he was really, really good. I don't see any reason why he can't be something close to that for the next couple seasons, though. It wasn't a complete fluke, outlier, or BABIP mirage. Still, I have to admit that part of me hopes he goes hitless against lefties in 2012, just to keep messing with us.

Matt (In the woods): If, as Sandy Alderson claims, its all about payroll flexibility, why don't the Mets trade David Wright and resign Jose Reyes? They would be keeping the better player for a net increase in payroll of around 4 to 8the million.

Ben Lindbergh: Wouldn't that be a bit of one step forward, three-quarters-of-a-step back? Actually, I'm not sure it would be a step forward at all. Wright is younger, probably cheaper, and might be a better long-term bet.

Coby1725 (Fort Worth, TX): Read recently that the Rangers are leaning towards starting Feliz again. I'm excited because of what he showed in the role last spring. Do you think he could replace Wilson's stats?

Ben Lindbergh: I'd love for there to be some sort of resolution to the annual Feliz starting/closing drama, but I certainly don't think it's safe to count on Feliz to replace Wilson's 2011 stats. Wilson was a top-10 pitcher in the American League, and there are very, very few pitchers from whom it's safe to expect that sort of performance. Not only that, but Feliz was far from dominant in the bullpen last season: Wilson had a higher strikeout rate as a starter than Feliz did pitching an inning or so at a time. Giving him a chance to start is certainly worth a try, but I don't think it's safe to expect him to be dominant in longer outings.

Tom (Office Slave): When is this chat going to end? I actually have to get some work done before I leave at 5.

Ben Lindbergh: We both do, Tom--my apologies to your boss. It's hard to stop when you keep getting good questions.

jhardman (Apex, NC): What are your thoughts on Leonys Martin, and do you think he will make an impact (defense and speed, specifically) on the Texas lineup? If so, what happens to Julio Borbon?

Ben Lindbergh: I think Martin is going to be a very good player. Does anyone actually care what happens to Julio Borbon (aside from Mrs. Borbon, if there is one)?

Frank (CA): Lincecum and Kershaw are certainly both great. But do you think Timmy may have peaked (albeit at a high level)? If you could only have one over the next five years, which would it be?

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, given how good he was at 25/25 and how pitchers typically age, I think it's likely that Lincecum peaked in 2008-2009. Obviously, non-peak Lincecum is no slouch. If I could have only one, I'd probably take Kershaw, due to the age difference.

Ken (CO): Nova or Worley?

Ben Lindbergh: Worley. Mostly goes back to the old Bill James line, which might be a bit of an oversimplification, but not by all that much: "There is simply no such thing as a starting pitcher who has a long career with a low strikeout rate...The career expectation for a strikeout pitcher is so much greater than the career expectation for a non-strikeout pitcher of the same age and ability that the difference is very obvious if you study the issue."

thresh50 (boston): Does hit tool come around for Gose? He has been getting better reviews lately for his swing if not the results (especially the high strikeout rate). And what kind of annual numbers do you see for him in the batting average, HR, and SB Ccategories? Many thanks, Ben.

Ben Lindbergh: Most of what I know about Gose comes from listening to Kevin and Jason discuss him on the podcast. I don't have any special scouting insight, if that's what you're looking for. Scouts seem to believe in him, though. If everything goes right, I'd guess he could be a 20-homer, 50-steal guy, which would really be something. Don't know about the batting average, though.

Rob (Costa Mesa): Do you think Kim's wedding was a sham?

Ben Lindbergh: I've been asked that question by countless tabloid headlines as I wait in line at the grocery store. I know even less about the Kardashians than I do about Gose, and Kevin and Jason haven't discussed it yet, so I'm really up a creek.

Bob (Seattle): How much of a discount/risk charge should teams get on an oft-injured player like Jose Reyes? If he's a 4 WAR, guy, do you reduce his salary by 25% assuming that he'll be injured that much over the course of the contract, or does the free agency bidding necessitate that you to go to about 100% of his average WAR?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't know exactly what the discount should be, but it should be substantial. And yes, free agent bidding often does demand that you ignore important factors like that if you actually want to end up with the player. It often comes down to the Winner's Curse, as Colin Wyers pointed out in his first article for BP.

Ben's Plastic Surgeon (New York): I bet your girlfriend has pretty eyes.

Ben Lindbergh: Here's the story behind this one: I referred my girlfriend to my optometrist, and at the end of the appointment, he evidently told her she had very pretty eyes. I felt like given the extra business I was throwing his way, the least he could do was not try to move in on my lady. Then again, maybe optometrists say that to everyone--it wouldn't be very creative if they actually used "pretty eyes" as a pickup line. But he also gave her a peroxide-based contact cleaner that I later unsuspectingly put one of my contacts in before inserting it into my eye, which I was barely able to open for the next day or so. I think the guy is out to get me.

gdragon1977 (Brooklyn): Aren't Sloan from somewhere in the Maritimes? Nova Scotia maybe?

Ben Lindbergh: Originally, yes, but they relocated. Wherever they are, their drummer makes me sad when I look in the mirror.

Tom (PA): Seems like the "winner's curse" implication is that there is no discount unless everyone discounts. Otherwise, it's full freight or zero.

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, and when does it ever happen that everyone discounts? Collusion aside, of course.

R.A. Wagman (Toronto): How many more Snider like seasons from Snider before we can call him a bust than? Is one more season enough rope or should we wait 2 or 3 more seasons? Basically I'm asking, how many plate appearances do you need to see before you give up on a top prospect?

Ben Lindbergh: Depends how bad the plate appearances are. He's been kind of okay-ish in two of his partial seasons, and he hasn't had much more than a season's worth of playing time overall. Let's revisit this in a year.

efeder21 (new york): eric young jr.?

Ben Lindbergh: I'm on to you--you asked Derek Carty the same cryptic question yesterday. I liked his answer.

Shea88 (Miami): Marlins really looking to make a FA splash, pardon the pun. If they sign Reyes and Pujols, think they would look to deal Hanley? With all that money tied up and an unhappy Ramirez moving positions, they should be able to get a boatload and they could use a starter and closer. Thoughts?

Ben Lindbergh: I'd really like to give you my thoughts, but I just can't find it within me to pardon the pun. I'm sorry.

efeder21 (new york): eric youn jr.?

Ben Lindbergh: And don't think you can sneak it by me again by leaving the "g" off his last name, either!

Greg (San Diego): Where do you think Heath Bell winds up when all is said and done?

Ben Lindbergh: Six feet under like the rest of us, I'm afraid. As for the short-term, I haven't heard any teams strongly linked to Bell yet. As Derek pointed out yesterday, his K rate suffered last season, and teams may be wary of committing to him outside of Petco.

Ben Lindbergh: All, we've been at it for about three and a half hours. It's been a blast, but I have book work to get back to. As always, thanks for spending part of your afternoon with me at BP. We'll chat again soon.

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