Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat - 1/11/16
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Matt
1:00
When running your ZiPS projections - how much of it is just plug and play basedon your input variables, and how much of it is you going in and editing the underlying data (ie adjusting for position change and such)?
Dan Szymborski
1:00
Most of it is plug and play. I just check the position before hitting run and anything obviously wrong that I need to double chekc.
1:01
Like, for instance, there's a player in the comp list called "Roger McDowell" but is a lefthanded reliever in the 90s, so I'm not sure who that actually is.
Sean
1:01
What do you consider to be the biggest weakness to ZiPS?
Dan Szymborski
1:01
Still hard to deal with injuries in as detailed a manner as I would ideally like
1:02
Most of the stuff I'd like in ZiPS is stuff that doens't exist.
Matt
1:02
What language do you run ZiPS in? Python?
Dan Szymborski
1:02
I wish. ZiPS is a gnarly mess like PECOTA was before they re-did it from the ground up.
I'm a number guy, not a programmer.
Rob
1:02
Larry Walker is a hall of famer. Agree?
Dan Szymborski
1:03
Well, no, because he literally is not in the Hall of Fame. But he should be.
Bill
1:03
Python's very easy to learn. Might be worth doing.
Dan Szymborski
1:03
Probably, but it's kinda a time thing.
I use Excel with lots of high-end plugins and Statistica for most of my work. That's what I'm comfortable with.
1:04
I'm not a full-time data analyst. When it comes down to it, I'm paid to be a writer with an interesting secondary skillset.
1:05
And from a time-management standpoint, ZiPS works well. So it's hard to invest time in a skill that I'm very unlikely to really get much use out of professionally.
Maybe at some point I'll *pay* someone to do it. That's more of a possibility.
OK, Lightning Round time.
The rules of the Lightning Round are simple.
1:07
I must answer every question, so long as it's off-topic, even if I have no particular insight.
With the exception of very personal things or work-related.
And I must continue until I've caught up. Or I get bored. Or need to do something else.
(Lightning Round isn't a suicide pact)
And GO
kris
1:07
Clemson or Alabama tonight?
Dan Szymborski
1:07
Alabama. Think the physicality wins it.
The Cincinnati Kid
1:07
Lightning Round: Rank in order the top 4 pro leagues in North America (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA) and when they will have a female suit up for them? What year does the first one happen? FWIW, I say MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, 2028.
Dan Szymborski
1:07
Probably that order, but longer than 2028 unelss it's a stunt
A Lad Insane
1:08
Favorite Bowie work?
Dan Szymborski
1:08
Hunky Dory
Guest
1:08
Have you played rebel galaxy?
Dan Szymborski
1:08
Have not.
Matt
1:08
Hey Dave...If you were a hotdog....and you were starving to death...would you eat yourself?
Dan Szymborski
1:08
I would hope not. Have some dignity Dan
Larry Bernandez
1:08
Sarah Silverman: Funny or not?
Dan Szymborski
1:08
Yes, but not top tier
Tim O.
1:08
Am I the only one who thinks Lucas Duda only speaks one word...and it's "Duda" and he uses it much the way the Smurfs use the word "smurf"?
Dan Szymborski
1:08
That would be awesome
David Bowie
1:08
Favorite 5 of my songs?
Dan Szymborski
1:09
Uh, Space Oddity, Young Americans, Under PRessure, Changes, Suffragette City
Connecting...
Mat
 - 
5:06
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Does a $19 Puig in an NL only league seem like good value this year?
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Eric
 - 
7:24
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Assuming $260 cap, yeah, I think that is a pretty good value.
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Zach
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5:13
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What do you think Joe Ross' upside is?
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Matt Damon
 - 
5:14
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MATT. DAMON.
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Eric
 - 
5:26
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Do you think Ketel Marte can be a top 12 SS?
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mtsw
 - 
5:55
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What feature do you feel like OOTP could most improve on? It still feels curiously incomplete for a game that's been around forever.
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mtsw
 - 
5:01
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Are we still at a point where the Orioles would probably give Chris Davis the 7/150 they reportedly offered or has the market for him (and Upton/Cespedes) deteriorated enough that they'd try and talk Boras down to a more reasonable contract?
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nickh93
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5:03
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What are your thoughts on a pair of 2nd year lefties. Eddy Rodriguez for Boston and Carlos Rondon for Chicago
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JBoyle
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5:04
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Are the Mets squandering this year of cheap, overpowering starting pitching by not adding another formidable bat/Bullpen arm? They seem so close to being a complete roster.
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Bork
 - 
5:04
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What kind of payday do you think Bautista and EE are going to be receiving?
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Ctwink
 - 
5:04
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The ZIPS projection for the Twins looks pretty bad on the pitching side and management has been sitting on their hands all winter. Should I be concerned that MN is due for a major drop off after doing surprisingly well last season?
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Michael
 - 
5:05
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Hey Dan - how does ZIPS feel about Ender Inciarte?
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MikeMilligan
 - 
5:06
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So now that the Dodgers have a surplus of starters does it make sense to package one with prospects in a deal for a high end bullpen arm ? Is it legal to trade Anderson ?
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Phil
 - 
5:06
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Valuewise; Dickey and Thole for Melancon and Stewart? Close in value?
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Scott
 - 
5:10
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Do you think Cespedes and/or Upton settle for 1 year deals?
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josh
 - 
5:11
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can LA clear up their OF log jam w/o trading Puig or cutting Guerro
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The Cincinnati Kid
 - 
5:11
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Is there a projected stat in Zips that you feel is close to 100% accurate; is there another that you feel like you haven't quite cracked?
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Matt
 - 
5:12
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In a dynasty league, I traded Abreu for Grienke (equal contracts) and also gave up Grandal as a minor leaguer, and a #15 minor league draft pick and got back a #10 minor league pick. I have Hosmer as a 1B now, and my rotation is Waino, Greinke, Stroman, McCullers, Ventura. Did I do good?
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John
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5:14
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How do you think Cespy and Upton markets play out?
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Zach
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5:15
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Hey Dan, what do you think Joe Ross' upside is?
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Cruz
 - 
5:16
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Tommy Pham....underrated dynasty asset?
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Jake
 - 
5:16
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Hi Dan, thanks as always for your time. What the hell is going on with Upton? This isn't Kendrys Morales here
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NCAA argument
 - 
5:16
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You explicitly agreed to give up your rights for money in exchange for program where you get food, shelter, and education while learning a trade while following certain rules. If you don't agree with that exchange, you can go play in the minors/Canadian football league/D or Euro League for money.
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Scott Bakula
 - 
5:17
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did someone say quantum leap?
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Sirras
 - 
5:19
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Mets need a bullpen piece, or so it seems. Are there any deals you think the Mets still should make at this juncture? If they weren't in on Oh, seems like an odd choice.
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Joe
 - 
5:21
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Where do you see J. Upton signing with ? And how much ?
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The Cincinnati Kid
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5:21
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When some of these FAs start signing (and getting rid of the logjam), do you think we'll start seeing a few more trades or are we basically done with mid/major level names until July?
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RotoLando
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5:22
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Can Mikie Mahtook be a decent 4th OF this year, and maybe work his way up to OF3?
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Alex
 - 
5:23
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Degrom or Harvey ?
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Tommy
 - 
5:23
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Which is the hardest for Zips to accurately measure: grit, 5 tools, pluck, or looking like a baseball player?
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Matt
 - 
5:24
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Benintendi for Teheran...Who says no?
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Chass
 - 
5:25
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Gun to your head because YOU'RE A FILTHY NERDY TWITTERER WHO DONT KNOW BOUT BASEBALL BACK IN MY DAY YOU WOULDNT LAST A DAY IN MY DAY WITH US OLD BASEBALL GENIUSES WHO DONT NEED NO NEW AGE LASERSABERNERDS.
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John N. Braca III
 - 
5:26
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What do the Jays do with Osuna now?
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Gary
 - 
5:27
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The Mets ZIPs projections look really good!
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Man In White
 - 
5:30
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Favorite in the AL East in your opinion: Red Sox or Jays?
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Mark
 - 
5:32
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Have Zips for Seung Hwan Oh aka The Stone Buddha aka The Final Boss?
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Nick
 - 
5:33
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So the Royals will sign Kennedy?
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Julio Pepper
 - 
5:33
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Who's decent first, the Phillies or Braves?
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Scott Bakula
 - 
5:34
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shouldn't mike piazza's nickname have been "supreme"? i feel like that writes itself but it never caught on.
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Jeet
 - 
5:36
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Hey Dan why does it seem that everyone is depressing expectations on Schwarber this year? Do you think he will have a sophomore slump or can we expect 30-35 HRs with a 260/270 BA?
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Money
 - 
5:37
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How is Kennedy not better than Gallardo? And the difference between him and Chen is negligible at most
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TKDC
 - 
5:38
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Is giving token votes to guys like Mike Sweeney better, worse, or the same as filling in fewer than 10 names?
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Steve-O
 - 
5:39
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I think ESPN/MLB has ruined Opening Day with Sunday games. WTF is going on there?
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Caveman Jones
 - 
5:39
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Who do you think is the most likely to win the AL East?
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Tim O.
 - 
5:41
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If you and Alderson switched jobs - would you rather have De Aza, Walker, Cabrera as currently constructed I (with Flores as backup and Herrera in minors) or Span and O'Day for 3 years each (with Niese on team, Flores at SS, and Herrera at 2nd)?
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RotoLando
 - 
5:41
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Did you do the Padres ZiPS already? What's the projection for Jabari Blash?
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PS
 - 
5:43
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What caliber of SP could Brett Gardner actual return in a trade?
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cmg8462
 - 
5:43
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Anything specific you look at when finalizing a teams ZiPS? Or at the point you publish are you already familiar with the nuances of the key players on each team?
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Gus
 - 
5:43
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Give me an AL Cy Young sleeper candidate
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Tim O.
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5:44
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Is Rey Luke's Daughter? Leia's daughter? or Obi Wan's daughter?
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jtt
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5:45
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Considering how short the average job tenure is for a team GM, why does anyone stockpile prospects anymore? I'd go for it, trade everybody. if you don't win in 3 years you're probably going to get shitcanned anyway. Not saying its the right way to build a team but I'm trying to keep a job here...
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Tim O.
 - 
5:47
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Where in the projections would I find TWTW? (the will to win) or even wTWTW?
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TimeMachineInTheShop
 - 
5:47
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Quick! Who's winning the 2020 World Series?
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jeff
 - 
5:47
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When using these tools to project a players upcoming season, how much does ballpark, and roster alignment factor into projecting a player?
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Tim O.
 - 
5:47
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GREEDY!? ZiPS clearly isn't factoring in his grandfather.
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Biscuit
 - 
5:47
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Does Brandon Nimmo figure in the Mets plans this year? What do you think his near and longterm impact will be?
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TKDC
 - 
5:48
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We know Bonds and Clemens are being punished for being associated with PEDs, but is it possible some other guys, like Bagwell, are being punished for different, equally (or more) stupid reasons?
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DAMN!
 - 
5:48
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Dan Szymborski: *I'm* probably in the top third of coolness among writers
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Joe
 - 
5:49
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Mark Melancon for Brett Anderson, straight up (with some potential salary adjusting moves added in)? Thoughts?
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Guest
 - 
5:50
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Can Edgar help Zunino stop hacking at everything?
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Matt
 - 
5:51
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If you had a time machine, what would be more important for you to do first - travel through time to the end of spring training so baseball season would start, or travel ahead to Wednesday to find out the winning powerball numbers?
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Curtis
 - 
5:51
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Any thoughts on Corey Knebel?
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Jimmy
 - 
5:51
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Over under how many dodgers SPs miss at least one start due to injury? 4/5/6/a lot?
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Curtis
 - 
5:52
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can Tylor Duffey stick in the Minnesota rotation?
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mtsw
 - 
5:56
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Think Tetsuto Yamada would get the full $20M posting fee if he were posted today, or does "Japanese infielder" still freak people out too much? If you were a GM would you roll the dice?
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TommyLasordid
 - 
5:56
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NL West test: Rank the six new starters in order for career value going forward: Greinke, Miller, Cueto, Shark, Kazmir, Maeta.
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Isaac
 - 
5:57
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Does Bautista post elite numbers once again in 2016? Age getting up there, but showing no signs of slowing down. Is another 35 HR 100 RBI season feasible with upwards of 95/100 BB's?
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Julio Pepper
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5:57
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Do you think we've seen Francisco Lindor's best offensive season?
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Ringo
 - 
6:00
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Lester Bangs would be proud of you Dan.
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mtsw
 - 
6:00
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Speaking of weird stats, Adrian Beltre was worth over 5 runs in UBR (non steals, non DP baserunning metric) in 2015. No one else is above 4.3. Can one not predict baseball or what?
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Mark
 - 
6:01
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ZiPs projection your Grandson to get 3 WAR?
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Ryan
 - 
6:01
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Do you ever do an estimate to actual on ZiPS? Just wondering how accurate or inaccurate ZiPS has been over the last few years.
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Matt
 - 
6:01
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I was looking at Chipper Jones' career numbers the other day...Will there ever be another switch hitter like him? He basically had two separate peaks nearly ten years apart. Had he not been injured so frequently in the early 2000s he would have been a .300/.400/.500 (which he was anyway) guy with 500 home runs. If anyone should get 100% on the first ballot it's him, right?
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Ringo
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6:02
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Slew
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6:02
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Sean
 - 
6:03
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If you could find someone to work with you and program ZiPS into something cleaner (more efficient?), would you do it?
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Bork
 - 
6:04
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Come on man ZiPS should be done using visual basic in excel.
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Slew
 - 
6:04
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What should the Indians do this offseason? Or is it too late?
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mtsw
 - 
6:05
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What do you think is a fair back-of-the-envelope adjustment to make to confirmed steroids' guys numbers when considering their place in history or HoF? I think "throw out their two best age 30+ seasons" seems pretty fair given what we know about the efficacy of available PEDs. Or should there be no adjustment applied to their stats at all?
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Sean
 - 
6:06
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As soon as next year, does your gut say Carlos Rodon's command and control will improve enough to be a long term #2/3 starter?
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Bork
 - 
6:07
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There's enough nerds on FG that would do the ZiPS program just to have access to the ZiPS early.
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JP
 - 
6:08
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I couldn't find the ZIPS for Inciarte. Will we get an update?
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Matt
 - 
6:09
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Who is David Bowtie any way?
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Matt
 - 
6:10
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Have you ever thought of renaming ZiPS to BuTTONS?
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Matt
 - 
6:11
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Roy Oswalt isn't that funny.
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Eric
 - 
6:11
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If the Dodgers run relatively strict platoons at 2B (Hernandez, Utley) and LF (Ethier, Van Slyke), can your ZiPS splits tell us what combined production to expect from those spots?
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Matt
 - 
6:13
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Over the last year the Braves have acquired some of the best names in baseball. Rank these Braves acquisitions/players by name awesomeness: Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Touki Toussaint, Sean Newcomb, Ender Inciarte, Mallex Smith. Go!
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joe
 - 
6:21
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Eiland may have gotten volquez to not suck, but one could argue he did the opposite for AJ burnett
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Guest
 - 
6:25
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What six parks are they?
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mtsw
 - 
6:26
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What reaction would you predict from the public if the NCAA football players in the national championship game went on strike to demand college athletes be paid?
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Kylo Ren
 - 
6:27
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Is the MLB logo left handed or right handed?
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Pete
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6:28
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Odds than any current player is bribing umpires on personal dirt like Lenny Dykstra did?
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Kylo Ren
 - 
6:29
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lol
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JP
 - 
6:31
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All about that base
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JP
 - 
6:32
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Who do you think is Rey's father?
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TKDC
 - 
6:32
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Yes, but there is no reason to like one and hate the other. It would be like if you like sirloin and hate rib eye.
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Lawrence
 - 
6:32
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you the man rock on!!!
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Lawrence
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6:33
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ooooooh non baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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