busblog: holy crap is this The aaron gleeman?!?!?
Aaron: it might be
busblog: <- tony pierce here
Aaron: THE tony pierce?
Aaron: I was just about to e-mail you, actually.
busblog: what was your response going to be?
Aaron: I’m a chicken shit with radio shows, podcasts, phone interviews, etc.
busblog: get out!
Aaron: Yeah, i think it’s like a phobia.
Aaron: for real
busblog: interesting. ok i can appreciate that. not everyone is meant for everything
Aaron: Yeah, I’m meant for very little.
busblog: so not ture
busblog: do you have a few minutes, can i aol interview you?
Aaron: of course
busblog: right on!
busblog: ok aaron, what a pleasure to chat with you
busblog: you are probably the best baseball blogger out there
busblog: first since youre the guest, lets do some twins talk
Aaron: They stink right now. Despite them finally getting rid of Luis Rivas, I am very depressed about their season.
busblog: whats up with Brett Boone?
Aaron: Bret Boone is done. As Bill Simmons would say, it’s hard to play baseball effectively with a giant fork sticking out of your back.
busblog: why the Twins demise? age? roids?
Aaron: They are almost exactly as good as they’ve been for the past three years, but the other teams in the division (namely the White Sox) are way better. So instead of cruising to the AL Central title, they have to fight with teams like New York and Boston for the Wild Card. And us Minnesotans aren’t meant to be fighting with New Yorkers.
busblog: salary-wise, definately not
busblog: but thats never bothered you guys before
Aaron: Yeah, I think we’re pushing like 1/4 of NY’s salary. It’s never bothered us, but we’ve never had to beat NY or BOS (or Baltimore, whatever) for a playoff spot.
busblog: can the Sox keep that pace?
Aaron: They won’t keep this pace, but short of their team plane crashing they’ll win the division.
busblog: it seems to me that its all due to their pitching noone is hitting over .300 and only two guys have over 15 dingers
Aaron: BTW, if the team plane crashed, how long would I have to pretend like I was sad for? A week?
busblog: as a cub fan id have a party. but itd kill my fantasy teams
Aaron: But yeah, Chicago’s pitching has been sick this year.
busblog: and now el duque is coming back
Aaron: Yeah, he’s going tonight. The funny thing is that they have this rookie McCarthy who is a great prospect, but he’s stunk when called up to fill in.
busblog: still garland, buehrle, garcia, contreras. not bad
Aaron: Yeah, although either Ozzie or the pitching coach deserves some sort of award for turning garland and conteras into something so good
busblog: but again, can they keep the twins at bay without a .300 hitter? has there been such a playoff-bound team before?
Aaron: Sure. The Twins last year had a horrible offense and the top pitching staff in the league, and it worked for them.
busblog: no .300 hitters last year on the twins?
Aaron: I don’t know about .300 hitters, but I’m one of those stat-head geeks who is into more than just batting average. :-)
busblog: ahahah kids today
Aaron: The White Sox have outscored the Twins by 26 runs this year.
busblog: im old school: ave, sb, hr, era, ks
busblog: explain to the audience why thats flawed
Aaron: Well, I think the White Sox are a good example. You might think they have a bad offense because they don’t have any .300 hitters, but like I said they are actually scoring more runs than the Twins. And in the end, scoring runs is what matters, not batting average. Batting average is just part of scoring runs, you know?
busblog: so their success is due to on base percentage, walks, hitting with men in scoring position?
Aaron: Yeah, they are better at those things than hitting for an average. Take Tampa Bay. They rank fifth in batting average, but they stink because they don’t walk or hit any home runs. All they do is hit singles.
busblog: will they trade away Huff?
Aaron: They should. By the time they have a good team he’ll be as old as you.
Aaron: 450 or whatever.
busblog: explain the Nationals’ success …changing the subject… :-)
Aaron: That’s a confusing team. To be honest I’m not sure how they’re doing it. They’ve been outscored this year, yet are 53-39, which is crazy.
busblog: credit has to be given to their closer, right?
Aaron: Usually comparing a team’s runs scored and runs allowed is a good barometer of how good they are, but not in this case. Yeah, they’ve been very good in 1-run games, which helps a lot.
Aaron: Same with the White Sox, they’ve killed people in 1-run games.
busblog: and guillen is their only guy with more than even 10 homers
Aaron: They’re dead last in runs scored in the NL.
busblog: woah. i did not know that
Aaron: me neither, i just looked it up so i could sound smart
busblog: and yet first place in the east!
busblog: major props to Frank Robinson, obviously
Aaron: Yeah, although I’d bet on them fading down the stretch.
Aaron: It’s tough to keep it up all year when you don’t score more runs than you allow.
busblog: Preston Wilson was a good pickup, no?
Aaron: Fair. They’ve had some injuries, so they could use another bat and another outfielder, but he’s nothing special. He put up some nice numbers because of Coors Field, but he’s not so good at regular altitude.
busblog: ok, new topic… steroids
Aaron: I’m on the juice right now, actually. Helps me type faster.
busblog: its my belief that this crackdown has brutally effected some stars who are trying to learn to play without the juice
Aaron: I think it’s tough to say. Early on homers were down and everyone was saying it was because of the juice crackdown, but now homers are almost back up to “normal” levels. Every guy having a down year gets pointed to as a steroid user, but in reality he might just be having a crappy year.
busblog: is giambi a good example of that?
Aaron: Giambi had all kinds of problems, not the least of which is that he’s 34 years old and sort of husky. But he’s been really good lately.
busblog: were the Cubbies fortune tellers by unloading sammy when they did?
Aaron: Yeah, definitely. He’s a mess now.
busblog: roids? or lack thereof?
Aaron: Baltimore is DHing him and dropping him in the lineup and giving him days off. The end is near.
busblog: so sad
Aaron: Could be, but who knows? He’s also pretty old and was declining before all the steroids crackdown started.
busblog: last year he had his worse year ever and still knocked 35. this year he wont even get 25
Aaron: Yeah, he had the great year in 2001 and has gone down in overall production every year since
busblog: but hes not the reason the O’s keep sinking. is it their pitching? cuz their lineup is amazing
Aaron: They’ve had a ton of injuries. Erik Bedard, Javy Lopez, Melvin Mora, Luis Matos, etc, etc. But yeah, their pitching isn’t great, I don’t think.
Aaron: My Twinkies play them tonight, so I’m sure Baltimore will sweep us.
busblog: i’ll light a candle for you. ok Cubs talk
busblog: explain Derek Lee’s triple crown season. there were No signs that would have pointed to this. in fact everyone thought Ramirez would break out this year
Aaron: Right. He’s been very good for the last few years, but this is a whole nother level.
busblog: ive watched closely and bro swings at everything, uses all fields and Everything drops, or goes in the first two rows
Aaron: It’s a shame that they haven’t been able to get that many guys on base in front of him, or he’d have even more RBIs
busblog: was dusty a fool for forcing Patterson to lead off?
Aaron: yeah, and Neifi leading off or batting second was an ever worse idea. but now they’re going with walker and hairston a lot in front of lee, right?
busblog: yeah and it seems to be working now that walker is healthy, but will that get them into the playoffs?
Aaron: i think they have a shot. they arent catching st. louis, but they could definitely win the wild card. i figure washington fades, atlanta takes over atop the NL East, and the Cubs have to beat Washington, philly, florida and the mets for the Wild Card
busblog: im still nervous, when i think of a solid playoff team i dont think of neifi and todd walker at the top of the lineup. and it aint like the bottom of our lineup is much better
Aaron: neifi is horrible. one of the worst hitters in baseball history
busblog: meaning d.lee, ramirez, burnitz and that pitching staff is all we have?
Aaron: right. they really could have used nomar
busblog: they say he’ll be back 8/1 … but of what year
busblog: last cubbie question, is Dusty overrated?
Aaron: yeah, i think he is. he does some things very well, but i dont think he’s strong at filling out a lineup and i think he abuses certain members of the pitching staff and then acts shocked when they come down with arm injuries
busblog: exactly. i worked for the SF Giants in ’97. they had a great young staff. but who really had a good solid career? reuter? no. estes? no ortiz? not really.
Aaron: Yeah, thats always been the knock on dusty. he’s old-school to the tenth power, but sometimes thats uneccessary
busblog: livan was only there for a short time
Aaron: yeah, livan is a freak of nature when it comes to avoiding injuries despite throwing tons of pitches. in fact: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-arm-pitch-counts-forgot/
busblog: i’ll read it later
busblog: ok so lets finish up with the yanks and the sox. explain to the audience how the Bosox have been able to take care of the yankees despite stienbrenner putting every single dollar in NY into that team. including nabbing leiter who threw great yesterday
Aaron: its kind of funny. the red sox are (or were, at least) seen as sort of the underdog team, but the reality is that they spend more than anyone else besides the yankees
busblog: on who?
busblog: shill… but who else?
Aaron: so if you spend 70% of what the yankees do, when other teams are spending 30%, and you make better decisions than NY, you can beat them
busblog: right. didnt they get ortiz for a steal?
Aaron: yeah, from the twins too
busblog: i know, sorry bro
Aaron: i think damon makes like 8 mill
Aaron: renteria, varitek, damon, nixon all make about 6-8 mill a year
Aaron: foulke, clement, ortiz all around 5-7
busblog: i guess that adds up. so what are their “better desicions”?
Aaron: the red sox do a better job building a deep team in case of injuries
busblog: and is that all theo epstein’s brilliance?
Aaron: the yankees seem to find themselves scrambling for retreads like leiter a lot, or calling up rookies who arent ready
Aaron: yeah, i think theo is pretty damn good
busblog: clement was a key pickup. why was it that noone was high on him during the off season?
Aaron: yeah, boston signed clement, whereas the yanks signed pavano and wright, who have both stunk. Clement had a bad record when he was with the Cubs, and a lot of people (like you!) don’t look beyond wins and losses for pitchers. But now that he’s on a team that scores some runs, he can win more games.
busblog: i looked as his K’s which were great. 190 last year
Aaron: yeah, he gets strikeouts and doesnt give up many hits
busblog: so do you play fantasy baseball?
Aaron: nah, i just write about it
busblog: why dont you play? youd seem like a ringer
Aaron: i used to. now i play much more dorky things, like this thing called diamond-mind which is liked a suped up fantasy baseball for uber-nerds
Aaron: we dont look at RBIs and batting averages and all that
busblog: well next year i want you in one of my yahoo leagues
Aaron: i’d probably stink. i barely keep track of RBIs and steals and all that stuff
busblog: steals dont matter?
Aaron: they matter, sure. but not even close to as much as they matter in fantasy baseball
busblog: oh right. so if i were to set up a new league next year what stats should i have?
Aaron: On-base percentage, slugging percentage
Aaron: or you could get really nerdy and go with some of these stats with initials in them … VORP, RCAA and all that
busblog: yeah no thanks
busblog: is bill james in the hall of fame?
Aaron: no, but he should be some day
busblog: is moneyball the best baseball book of all time?
Aaron: not even close. ball four. and a close second is (plug alert!) the hardball times baseball annual
Aaron: second edition coming to stores in november!
busblog: lemme know and i will link it
busblog: final final question
busblog: Rafael Palmerio hall of fame?
Aaron: For sure. I am surprised by how many people argue against him, actually.
busblog: me too!
busblog: 3000 hits
busblog: total consistancy
Aaron: he’s gonna end up with like 3200 hits 600 homers
busblog: so why are they hatin?
busblog: cuz he was a dh?
Aaron: because he was never an MVP, never one of the 2-3 best players in baseball
Aaron: but he was always a very, very good player for like 15-18 years running
busblog: but at first base theres so much competition for all star appearances, and MVPs – feh
Aaron: right. first base is tough
busblog: thats the book id like to read: The Fallacy of the MVP
Aaron: yeah, im sick of the people who vote for baseball awards
busblog: Ron Santo… hall of fame?
Aaron: He’s a close call, but I think I’d say yeah
Aaron: plus the guy has no limbs at this point, he needs something to cheer him up
busblog: simply because he played with Diabeties… the bad kind
busblog: well dude this has been an honor
busblog: i think youd do well on the phone
busblog: so think about it
Aaron: ok, i will
busblog: we need to podcast your ass
Aaron: it’s not you, i turn down everyone for phone stuff :-)
busblog: ahahahah thats ok. we all have our quirks
busblog: i love your blog so this has been a thrill for me
Aaron: if that’s true, you have some problems, but thanks
busblog: get drunk and email me and maybe that will get you on the phone
Aaron: yeah, that might be the best chance for everyone involved
busblog: i’ll send a bottle of rum over to the house
Aaron: im a vodka man :-)
busblog: good luck in the second half
Aaron: you too. have fun watching neifi
busblog: ahahah yeah
Aaron: and dont let instapundit make you crazy. because really, who the fuck reads him anyway? not me.
busblog: i think i make him more crazy than he makes me
busblog: and hes got the #2 most read blog in the universe
Aaron: who is #1? sullivan? kos?
busblog: Daily Kos
Aaron: ah yeah, and they’re taking over the baseball world too now
busblog: really? howso?
Aaron: they have set up a blog for almost every team
busblog: i didnt know that
busblog: i never go to kos
Aaron: like here’s one for the A’s: http://www.athleticsnation.com/
busblog: thats a kos blog?
Aaron: and here’s the main site for the whole baseball group of blogs: http://www.sbnation.com/
Aaron: he doesnt write it, obviously, but he is in charge
busblog: whoah. brilliant! how smart to use your popularity and expand on it
Aaron: it was even in the NY Times a while ago. They must have a sweet publicist
busblog: 222 comments on that a’s blog~
Aaron: yeah, it’s crazy
busblog: thanks for the tip!
busblog: im out bro
busblog: thanks again
Aaron: see ya
Aaron signed off at 3:39:32 PM.