Readers ask Jake

"I love the new discussion forum Jake. State-of-the-art. Can you ask the new group if they can add some fantasy statistics?" — EW, Pittsburgh

Alex and the group at Baseball Interactive Media say thanks! Their intention was to give Pittsburgh Pirates fans a long-term place to hang out while making it as enjoyable as possible. The software does rock Pittsburgh Pirates Forum.

As for the statistics, I can add a fantasy section to the blog here if you would like. I’m already doing pre-season projections but I’m guessing you would like analysis as well and in-season stats and analysis that isn’t mainstream.

Good stuff – I’ll talk to them and look into it over the next couple of weeks since drafts will be starting.

"Best moment of the 2007 year?" — PN, Iraq

Wow – let me think back. It would have to be hammering the Astros in the opening series. There were lots of good moments but that one seems to stick out since my hope traveled about three steps up the ladder.

"Who the heck is Baseball Interactive Media and why would you sell to New Yorkers? — TC, Bellefield, PA

BIM is a privately held company which has both national and international interests, including in Pittsburgh. So while the group is headquartered in New York, think of them as neighbors. I expect a media release will be offered in January sometime.

"I hope your grandfather is doing better Jake. Tell me something new on the trade front." — LL, Bryant, PA

Paw-paw is doing well, thanks for asking! A new rumor? Hmm.. not many floating around at all. As mentioned at the discussion forum, I’m still hearing whispers about Snell/Bay to the Mariners. But as one journalist in Seattle said recently, I’m not sure they can get this deal done.

There are numerous reports that suggest Huntington is looking for three MLB-ready prospects for Snell and I assume if he’s dealing Bay at 2006 value, he’ll want close to that for him.

Will Clement, Jones, Balentein, Morrow, Tillman, Triunfel, and maybe Sherrill get it done? Hmm..

"Please tell me Ryan Doumit won’t be catching in 2007." — JB, Houston

I think Mr. Doumit has caught enough innings for the experiment to finally be over. He had some good stats to go with the many bad ones, but the bottom line is, he’s just an unlucky receiver and he gets absolutely no respect from MLB umpires. Look for him to be Nady’s backup and be available off the bench.

"Looking back, Moskos or Weiters?" — SA, Lakeland, FL

I think Weiters taking what he did surprised everyone in the game. Not only did he back off money, he backed off terms in the contract.

No question Weiters was the impact player to grab but overall, I’m happy with Moskos and I think you’ll see why in 2008 if his mechanics stay consistent.

"You mentioned the Pirates missed out on Mackowiak and Erstad, they also passed on Taguchi, Everett, and Eckstein and haven’t talked to Ensberg. I don’t get it." — CE, Vandergrift, PA

But Cameron and Lofton are still out there.

Seriously, we are up to our armpits in average outfielders so adding another one to the roster really doesn’t make sense unless they play full-time, I suppose. Perhaps Cameron is that guy? We certainly could use his bat.

I don’t know what to tell you about keeping Wilson and his big money over getting an Eckstein who could leadoff too. Wilson is the superior shortstop defensively but have we seen the best of Jack Flash overall? Are we going to see Freddy and Jack starting to rack up DL time? Probably.

Erstad was a bit different to me because of the money vs Gomez. Throw him on the roster with Ensberg and I like our chances for a few more wins. But..

"Kyle Bloom and Brandon Chavez are boneheads. Why would anyone in their position take such a ridiculous risk?" — JP, Altoona, PA

My thoughts exactly. I asked at Bucco Blog’s forum whether the fans thought they should be released and the general consensus was no. But I certainly do.

I don’t expect them to be on the club’s roster for long.

And for those asking what if it was McCutchen or Walker, I’d have the same reply. I might give an inch on Cutch because of his age – not his status as a top 10 prospect – but just an inch.