Ken Rosenthal on Sabermetrics, Replay, & Trading Picks

You may recognize him from Saturday afternoon FOX baseball broadcasts, MLB Network’s evening show, Twitter, or his bow-tie. During baseball season, Ken Rosenthal is everywhere. In addition to his television roles, he is the senior baseball writer for FoxSports.com, where he is known for breaking stories on a regular basis. Ken took some time from his busy schedule to answer some questions about the game.Ken Rosenthal

What’s the best scoop you’ve ever gotten?

When I reported that the Angels were talking to Albert Pujols, which no one knew or even guessed at the time. A lot of other reporters knocked down the story. But it certainly turned out to be accurate!

It’s hard to analyze baseball without using sabermetrics. How do you use advanced stats and what is the best way to present them to fans who might not be that familiar?

I use advanced stats quite frequently. At this point, I assume that the vast majority of people who read me have a working understanding of a lot of this stuff. I don’t go too deeply into WAR—I don’t entirely trust it—but OPS, OPS-plus, ERA-plus, BABIP, I use ’em all. With OPS-plus and ERA-plus, I generally explain them.

How do you feel about the use of technology for replay? Should robots be calling balls and strikes?

I’m for expanded replay—both lines, trapped balls, even calls on the bases. I’m not for robots!

You are Bud Selig and get to make one major policy change. What do you do?

I would shorten the schedule. It would never happen—too much revenue is at stake—but if the sport cut back to 140 games, it would improve a lot of things.

Should MLB allow teams to trade draft picks?

Yes, a thousand times yes. Anything to increase player movement is good for the game. The fan interest at the trade deadline and in the off-season tells us that.

Give me and other Mets fans hope. Do they even sniff the playoffs next year? Or should we tune out until 2015?

I would say 2015 at the earliest. The Braves and Nationals are two of the three youngest teams in baseball. Their futures are quite bright.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree with Ken regarding replay, a shorter schedule, and trading draft picks. As a casual baseball fan, I like the recently expanded playoff system. He mentioned a 140 game schedule. Do you know the significance of that number?

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