Open Thread: Richard Justice has issues

A Varitekian musing from Rosenthal
Heyman: Yanks still talking to Pettitte & Sheets

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle has been covering the Astros for a long time, and he’s one of the very best baseball writers this great country has to offer. However his affection for the Dodger-bound Brad Ausmus is a bit … how to you say … wacky. Allow my to quote at length (h/t Jamal G.):

The Astros have had some good players through the years. They’ve had nice pitchers and big sluggers and dazzling defensive players.

They’ve never quite had one as valuable to the franchise as Brad Ausmus. This guy was all about winning.

You can look it up. The Astros had their best years when he was the man wearing the tools of ignorance.

Some of you will quibble about his indvidual (sic) stats. All you’re doing is showing how little you know about baseball.

If you understand winning, you understand how critical the things Ausmus brought to the table were.

This guy was all about the bottom line. The Los Angeles Dodgers showed again why they’re the National League’s smartest franchise.

The Dodgers appear to be on the cusp of doing something special, and now they’ve added Brad Ausmus.

I guess there’ll still be a season, but there doesn’t seem to be much point. The Dodgers will be in the playoffs, probably the World Series.

Umm … we’re talking about the same Brad Ausmus here, right? His avg OPS+ this century is 63.875. Ah, but presenting stats – factual information, mind you – shows how little I know about baseball. Because, after all, winning is done by things that can’t be measured. Stuff like grit and pride and smarts and understanding the game and pixie dust and being a young pitcher’s best friend, stuff that … apparently is so hard to explain that Justice doesn’t even bother to attempt it.

Instead, Justice just makes a blanket statement saying that anyone who points to his individual stats knows little about baseball, that the Dodgers will probably be in the World Series JUST BECAUSE Brad Ausmus is on the team. Why? Who cares, it will happen, because it’s Brad motherfreakin’ Ausmus. All that time he’ll spend sitting on the bench while Russ Martin plays will be invaluable to the team. And what is with all the one/two sentence paragraphs?

Here’s another recent JusticeGem (h/t MLBTR):

The Astros may have the weakest farm system in the game, but that’s irrelevant. If a couple of their kids contribute, they might have enough to stay in contention until the trading deadline. At that point, Drayton McLane almost certainly would allow Wade to add a piece or two.

I love it. It’s irrelevant that the team has the weakest farm system in the game, because some of the kids from the worst farm system in the game could contribute, and if so they’ll add a piece or two at the deadline by trading … young … players … from … their …. farm … system. Huh?

I don’t mean to harp on Richard Justice, he truly is one of the best and most respected sportswriters in the country. I just hate to see him take the route “I say it, therefore it’s true” route.

Here’s your open thread. The NHL Superskills competition is on Versus at 7pm, that’s always fun (it’s hockey’s version of the Homerun Derby/NBA Skills Challenge). You know the deal, the floors is yours.

A Varitekian musing from Rosenthal
Heyman: Yanks still talking to Pettitte & Sheets
  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Is there any chance he’s being ironic/tongue in cheek?

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Do these writers really deserve the benefit of the doubt?

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt
        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          Damn, you might be right.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            I’m not up on Houston sports and who’s a fan favorite but I have a feeling that Ausmus is one of those fan favorite guys (10/16 pro seasons there…hm, he was a Yankees draft pick in 1987, taken by the CoRox in the expansion draft) and they’re mad about him leaving even though he’s a pretty shitty player (is he any good on defense?).

            The same could be said for the MiL system comment and having no faith in McLane and Wade to make a real move to help the team.

            • Derrick

              Please tell me you were kidding about the question, “is he any good on defense?” ’cause I can’t tell. He’s a three time Gold Glover and an All-Star(believe it or not). Plus he was clutch enough in the postseason. He’s definitely a fan favorite.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            And, honestly:

            “I guess there’ll still be a season, but there doesn’t seem to be much point. The Dodgers will be in the playoffs, probably the World Series.”

            Are we going to take an article that ends on that note seriously?

      • Yankee1010

        No. No they do not. I have 0 zero respect for writers.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Some of you will quibble about his indvidual (sic) stats. All you’re doing is showing how little you know about baseball.

    The Astros may have the weakest farm system in the game, but that’s irrelevant.

    That is some true “LoL” material right there.

  • chirs

    that might be one of the craziest things ive ever read, im speachless

  • BJ

    Seriously mike, i feel a little embarrassed for you. This was pretty obviously a joke column. I would say that you are using super-irony where you recognize the joze, but still treat it as serious, but your post does not read that way. Maybe its super-super irony, but I don’t really give you that much credit. Though ur comment in KLaws chat about our Milwaukee and Orange County affiliates was wittier than anything Keith had that day.

    Still, Dick Justice is the best justice.

  • Jake H

    I really like Richard Justice but he is just way off here.

  • atlas

    “Ah, but presenting stats – factual information, mind you – shows how little I know about baseball.”

    I’m afraid to break the bad news — but there’s some truth to this.

    OPS+ is waved around like a magic wand but it’s far less useful than it seems. It values power over speed and equate walks with hits that advance runners two bases instead of one. In the case of catchers, it obviously reveals nothing about defense and the handling of pitching staffs. Most baseball people consider Ausmus to have been one of the finest defensive catchers of the last 15 years. I would trust the eyes and judgment of peole who’ve acutally seen a player over a long period of time over some fashionable formula that conceals as much as it reveals.

    • BJ

      Then don’t use OPS+, use wOBA. Stats always enhance analysis as long as you know what they are telling you and don’t apply them to things they were never designed to tell you.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        wOBA, ftw.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      OPS/OPS+ are flawed not because they value walks over hits but because they value XBH over getting on base when the latter is more conducive to run scoring than the former.

      OPS+ is still useful, though, because OBP/SLG are more important than BA and because it normalizes for league averages, thus making it easier to compare players.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Also, it values power over speed because power is more valuable than speed.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        OPS/OPS+ are flawed not because they value walks over hits but because they value XBH over getting on base when the latter is more conducive to run scoring than the former.

        Okay, I just got in and have had a bit to drink, but please explain to me how the fuck a walk (or single) is more conducive to scoring a run than a double or a triple (or a HR, since that is also an XBH).

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      “I’m afraid to break the bad news — but there’s some truth to this. ”

      I agree. Many stats are tiny, narrow snapshots of the game. They don’t give you the big picture, its important to remember that. Especially when you’re talking about the Catcher’s position, which is by far the most fielding-oriented of any in the game and even gets into game planning and being something of an on field manager at times.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      It values power over speed…

      That’s bad because…?

      In the case of catchers, it obviously reveals nothing about defense and the handling of pitching staffs.

      Yeah, I don’t know many offensive metrics that values what a player does on defense.

      I would trust the eyes and judgment of peole who’ve acutally seen a player over a long period of time over some fashionable formula that conceals as much as it reveals.

      Yeah, you do that. Oh, and while you’re at it, I’ll take the dancing, prancing and no-respect-for-the-game-having Jose Reyes over the gritty, gutty and hearty World Series MVP, David Eckstein.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    Mike, I think you’re over reacting in this case. A catcher’s value typically goes beyond what he contributes with his bat as most MLB catchers are of the light hitting variety. If you remember back in 1995 Bob Watson jettisoned Mike Stanley in favor of our current manager despite the fact Stanley was a far, far superior hitter. But he valued the impact a well prepared catcher could have on the pitching staff more than whatever the difference between the two in hitting was. Not only is that not stupid, it helped with us 3 WS rings.

    A catcher is obviously in on every pitch that will be thrown, so he’ll need to have good receiving skills. Many managers/GMs want catchers that will prepare a game plan for each team they’re facing and the pitcher who throwing that night. Not all catchers do that, and some famous for their hitting (Piazza/I-Rod) notoriously didn’t. They also have to work with the pitcher on what he has working that night, so the relationship between a catcher and the pitching staff is important. None of this has anything to do with his OPS+, and again a catcher can contribute more by focusing on his pitchers than he can worrying about his hitting. Pitchers have the most impact on any individual game, more than any one hitter does.

    BTW-Even a bad system can have a few pieces worth trading in it.

    • A.D.

      Piazza I believe was considered a good game caller, just bad defensively. Basically the opposite Pudge in that respect.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        I’m not so sure of that. I seem to remember a few of Piazza’s ex-teammates on the Dodgers and Mets complaining about him, but I can’t remember anything specific.

  • atlas

    “OPS/OPS+ are flawed not because they value walks over hits but because they value XBH over getting on base when the latter is more conducive to run scoring than the former.”

    What???

    Extra base hits, as well as singles, should be valued more than walks since they have the potential advance runners by two or more bases. Making walks equivalent to hits and dimishing the importance of batting average (not to mention RBIs) are just two of the fallacies inflicted on us by the stat geeks. I do agree though that if you look at enough stats — basically, everything– you begin to to get a picture of a player’s value perhaps close to what a trained scout would see.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      I realized after I pressed it that I meant they equate the two, even though getting on base is more important to run scoring than power hitting.

      If you want good stats that put together EVERYTHING (incl. speed) try wOBA and EQA. They’re on the same scale as OBP and BA so they’re easy to understand if you’re not familiar with more advanced stats.

      I’m not saying singles aren’t important and BA is totally bogus, but OBP and SLG are much more important than batting average. I’d rather have a .250/.350/.500 guy than a .300/.330/.500 guy, because my guy’s making an out 20% less than the other guy. A high batting average is always good, but it needs to be taken into context. For example, Robinson Cano hit .342 in ’06, but his OBP was only something like..waht? .360? So basically he was either making a hit or making an out and that’s really not that valuable. Then you look at a guy like Adam Dunn or Nick Swisher who won’t hit for a high average but they always work walks and get on base. They’re more valuable because they make outs a lot less than the average player does.

      And, for future reference, just hit the “reply to comment” button; it makes conversation easier to follow.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Even wOBA (which is a great stat) doesn’t take a catcher’s overall job into consideration. Handling a pitching staff, calling a game, receiving skills, being the field manager in game situations. None of that shows up in any hitting stat, and they’re the most valuable things a catcher can do for a team. Especially getting the most out of a pitching staff.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          I’m not trying to differentiate between a catcher and what not. That post was about offensive stats, not the job of a catcher. In terms of valuing the total package of a hitter, EQA and wOBA are probably the most all encompassing.

          • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            But that’s the point, a Catcher’s job is different than anyone else’s. If you’re looking at his hitting stats, however comprehensive, then you’re looking in the wrong place.

            I have a question for you. I want you to pick which catcher you think will help you win more ballgames, using career OPS+.

            Catcher A-72 OPS+
            Catcher B-117 OPS+

            Catcher B, right? Catcher A was Joe Girardi, B was Mike Stanley. I don’t need to fill in any Yankee fan what happened next.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              No, I get what you mean. But the conversation was about the validity of certain offensive metrics.

      • Jimmy

        Please explain your math to me. In my calculation a .250/.350/.500 (player A) makes an out 65% of the time and a .300/.330/.500 (player B) makes an out 67% of the time. That is 2% difference in getting on base versus an out.

        Let’s assume 600 plate appearances for both players and see what happens:
        A: 390 outs, 210 non-outs (80 walks, 130 hits)
        B: 402 outs, 198 non-outs (26 walks, 172 hits)

        Are those 54 extra walks going to more valuable that 42 extra hits. Assuming a .500 SLG player A gets approx. 1.67 bases per hit equating to 70 bases for his 42 extra hits. Now what is more valuable 54 walks or 70 total bases from the 42 hits?

        Do you still like player A better?

        Now not every opportunity will be as was listed in one of the above posts where a hit can drive in a run from second or advance a runner from first to third, but there is no denying that a hit (even a single) is more valuable than a walk in that it puts pressure on the defense, has the ability to advance runners more than one base, has the ability to advance runners that aren’t forced to advance, may cause throwing errors and is therefore more impacting on the outcomes of games. It may be true to say that OBP is more valuable in general than BA, but it is probably not the case in your example. It is not such a black and white distinction and it certainly is not the case that the better hitter is always the one with the higher OBP. All statistics need to be considered to grasp the quality of the hitter.

        • BJ

          Let’s see use wOBA weights to equate walks and hits.

          wOBA = (0.72 BB + 0.75 HBP + 0.90 1B + 0.92 RBOE + 1.24 2B + 1.56 3B + 1.95 HR) / PA

          2.71 BB = 2.17 1B = 1.57 2B = 1.25 3B = 1HR
          1 single = 1.25 BB
          54 BB = 43.2 singles = 40 singles + 1 HR = 39 singles + 3 doubles

          It looks like the example went a little to far, but your 54 walks number does not take into account the negative value of making 12 more outs.

          • Jimmy

            Well put. I do believe I address the issue early (that B is only 2%, not 20%, more likely to make an out than A and that given that premise I examined the difference in the walks versus hits). But you are right that I don’t examine the outs as part of the outcome.

            You could also allow for the possibility that some of those outs could actually be RBOE, could move runners over, RBI groundouts.

            My point is only that stats help tell the story, but they don’t tell the whole story especially when viewed in isolation, and that it certainly is not the case that a 20 point difference in OBP makes up for a 50 point difference in BA.

        • JJ

          The problem with looking at offensive stats is that it ignores the defense. Just ask Astros fans who a better defense would have impacted the team in 2004 or even last year. Runs prevented as just as good as runs scored. Every run you prevent means a run you don’t have to score to win. That is Daryl Ward is pinch hitting and Ausmus could still start for most teams.

          What Ausmus hasn’t done with his bat is more than made up for by runs prevented by not passing balls, making good calls to the pitchers on what pitch to throw, and helping pitchers recover after mistakes. Passed balls alone should start to show Ausmus’ value. There are no stats on how well he handled a pitching staff. However, look at 2001 when the Astros traded him and brought up Meulusky. Mitch was a great hitter but the ERA and runs given up went up and the Astros won fewer games. Bringing Ausmus back with roughly the same pitchers lowered ERAs and put the Astros in contention again. That can not be said about a lot of players.

          Justice may be a little dismissive of possible criticism but he is right about Ausmus. Hitting, RBI, HRs, and even runs scored are not everything. If they were Adam Everett would be cut from a minor league team by now. Guys who prevent runs are just as valuable as guys who make runs. Look at 2005, the Astros went from hard hitting RBI machine that leaked runs like a seive to a light hitting team that only need a run or 2 to win. In 2004 the powerhouse offense was stopped cold in game 7 of the NLCS after having a 3-1 lead. In 2005, they went to the WS where the pitching inexplicably went to pot.

          Even the weakest farm system has a couple of potential starters in it.

    • BJ

      No one is saying a walk equals a hit, they are saying that xbh and singles and walks and HRs each have some value and that it is not the value given by OPS+, which in fact does overvalue XBH. wOBA correctly values each outcome and then compiles how well you did at each one. XBH ARE valued higher than walks, just not as high as OPS+ values them.

  • A.D.

    This guy was all about the bottom line. The Los Angeles Dodgers showed again why they’re the National League’s smartest franchise.

    Really the same Dodgers team that traded one of the top prospects in the game and a pitching prospect for Casey Blake. The same Dodgers team that signed Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones to terrible contracts. If they’re the smartest franchise, then the NL is terrible.

  • Mike Z

    Damn, the Yanks signed Teixeira while they could of had Ausmus..I’m pissed !!!!

  • A.D.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/01/hudson-on-brave.html

    If this happens, Nady for Johnson swap?

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Actually, the Braves were interested in Swisher. So if that signals anything (I’m not sure it does) it would be a Swisher deal.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Ugh. I’d be pissed.

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          You? Really?

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Sarcasm?

            I love Swisher and want him starting over Nady.

            • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

              Yeah, sarcasm. You’ve posted some Swisher-related manifestos in the past few weeks that would make the Unibomber proud.

              That’s cool, I’m in the Nady camp but they’re both good players.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                When I like a guy, I REALLY like a guy.

            • Mike Pop

              I love Swisher and want him starting over Nady.

              If you love him so much, why don’t chu marry em.

              http://www.hulu.com/watch/2368/saturday-night-live-gap-girls

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                Well it is legal in CT now so….

                • Mike Pop

                  I love Chris Farley so that was the first thing I thought of.

        • BJ

          Why, he is under team control till 2011 and projects to a better wOBA than Swisher and is probably a 3win player at 2B, and was as good at LF as Swish (in 79 games). Nady would obviously be better, but Johnson would be as good offensively and insurance for Cano at 2B. His fielding is bad but so was Cano’s last year, I think he would provide greater flexibility than Swisher, and that is saying something. Also, he’s probably cheaper.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Because OF depth is more important at this point than “insurance” for Cano. Swisher is also under contract for after 2009, which no other OF is. Johnson also hasn’t played OF since 2005.

            • A.D.

              Johnson was brought up as an OF, he can provide OF depth & play 2B, and has the same career OPS+ as Nady

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                Then trade Nady for him. It makes no sense to trade the only OF who’s under contract past this season.

      • A.D.

        My guess is Swisher, not actually available, Cash is a good GM, but going to be tough to just hold someone and get more value than a couple months ago…though the deal could be expanded, and obviously i could be wrong.

  • http://astroscounty.blogspot.com James

    I’m a regular RAB reader, and I have my own Astros blog. As one who reads Richard Justice every time he has an Astros article, I think it’s safe to say that he was not shooting for irony. He’s sarcastic in his columns/blogs, but not for the whole thing. Justice is a big Ausmus fan, and I don’t think too many Astros fans are sad to see him go. Ausmus did well behind the plate and obviously had no bat. The bigger problem for the Astros is that the team is actually going to have a hard time replacing him.

    • BJ

      Speaking from experience, I don’t trust Texans’ irony meters. Even if you say he has talked up Ausmus before, Ralph Vacchiano, a Giants beat writer used to constantly write glowing articles about one of our bust draft picks, William Joseph, especially each year at training camp. Maybe it started as Ralph honestly liking the kid, or maybe like Melvin Crousett, and some fan got real excited about him and kept pestering Ralph before the kid had made any real contribution so Ralph thought it would be funny to write in a similar mindset. I just see too many ridiculously over the top statements for it to not be ironic.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Speaking from experience, I don’t trust Texans’ irony meters.

        I enjoyed that comment.

  • BJ

    why aren’t more people making fun of mike? Or are you “agreeing” with mike ironically to show how dumb his line of thinking is? Maybe it is harder to tell that it is a joke collumn if you just read the the parts mike cut and pasted and not the whole article, but still, c’mon people. Starting an article with this:

    “I kept my trap closed when Carlos Beltran left. I didn’t blink when Jeff Kent said goodbye. Roger and Andy? Oh, are they gone? I hadn’t even noticed.

    Joe Morgan, Mike Cuellar, Nolan Ryan? I’m over it.”

    and then going on to complain about Ausmus, the man is obviously joking

    • A.D.

      Hope the guy is joking, but there are too many writers who do write this type of thing and are serious

      • BJ

        So Richard Justice believes:

        1) Brad Ausmus is better than Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, Joe Morgan, Mike Cuellar, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettite.

        2) Brad Ausmus deserved a “blank check” by saying

        ” Uncle Drayton could have changed his mind with a little something called, ”a blank check.”

        I know something about a blank check because Chronicle editors come running after me with one every month or two when I threaten to leave.”

        3) They’ve never quite had [a player] as valuable to the franchise as Brad Ausmus.

        4) That even though Ausmus has said on numerous occasions he wants to be closer to his home, thisis not really a factor.

        5) That Justice really believes stats are the devil

        Ok, if you still think he is serious, fine. I just think the man should be allowed to have a joke collumn in the middle of January when there is nothing for him to write about. Seriously, read the whole article, it sounds like something Colbert would say.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Guys, I broke up with my boyfriend.

    This means two things:

    1) UWS and I can at last make out, assuming she consents and understands it’s a one-time only type of gig

    2) I can go back to hating Alabama for any reason I want.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I’m going to hold you to that on RAB Day the Park. Nothing on this site is forgotten, trust me.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Done.

        • A.D.

          Given that you keep talking about it, I think you want to make out with UWS

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            Dude, her boyfriend just broke up with her. She’s just looking for someone to comfort her. You insensitive jerk.

            • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

              Says you.

              Obviously you don’t deal with Jersey girls often =P

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                You’re from the Jerz? That changes everything.

                • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

                  Why d’ya think I’m a die-hard Devils fan?

                  Sheesh.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  Tru dat. Didn’t make the connection.

              • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                Question: I know a 15-year-old model from NJ that looks as old as me. Now, I’m 19, fair game?

                • Mike Pop
                • A.D.

                  Its 16 to consent in the state of NJ…just an FYI

                • pat

                  Im not so sure the “Your Honor she might only be 15 BUT she looks legal” defense wouldn’t hold up in court so much dude.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  Dude, but she’s one of those suburban girls who always has a watchful eye from a parent on her and doesn’t get out much, you fucking know how those chicks get when they get even an inch of freedom. Now, imagine here hanging out with some dude from Brooklyn in NYC… fuckin’ aye.

                • Mike Pop

                  Dude, she is 15. Just stop now and wait a year or two.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  Those consent laws are so fucked. Did you know that in some states the age of consent for a person to consent to homosexual sex is older than that for heterosexual sex?

                • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

                  Uh, Jamal, I *was* one of those chicks and…uh…I shoulds probably just end it there.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  Its 16 to consent in the state of NJ…just an FYI

                  14 in Idaho!

                  I sure hope someone gets that obscure TV reference.

                • pat

                  Jamal in prison you’re the cute one.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  I want to say “Arrested Development”, but I’m not even halfway sure. Give a clue, yo.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  Bah, I fear no jailbait! Especially in my case when we’re two teenagers, it’s not like we would raise eyebrows walking around.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  It’s a Comedy Central original series.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  Ah, you lost me, the only shows I really watch/watched on that channel are/were South Park, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Reno! 911 and Scrubs.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  It’s one of those shows you listed.

                • A.D.

                  Reno 911

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  That’s it.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Its amazing the stuff Joe P remembers. It’s frightening, actually.

        I’m going to have to be more careful about the goofy shit I post around here.

      • Mike Pop

        You and UWS making out is so going on youtube.

    • A.D.

      I think many people are happy with the prospect of #1

      Otherwise hope you’re all good

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Yeah, I’m fine. It was overdue. Honestly, I think he may have been more upset about it than me, and he was the one doing the breaking up!

        • pat

          presumably because you’re not family?

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          I think he was more upset because he can no longer utter the words to his friends, “… Oh, yeah? Well, I’m sleeping with a chick who has the muthafuckin’ Excalibur in her bedroom!11!1!!”

          • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

            !!!

            Ahahahaha.

            I think wine just came flying out of my nose…

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          He was more upset than you were because he was afraid you were going to pull out your Skein Dubh and fillet him like a mackerel.

  • A.D.

    The market for corner outfielders with declining defense remains quiet, as players like Griffey, Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, and Manny Ramirez continue to look for a contract.

    Declining defense is an understatement for Abreu and Griffy, more like fallen off a cliff

    • Brooklyn Ed

      oh the Mets want Manny now. lol

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Source?

        • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

          I saw this earlier, too. Can’t remember the source, though.

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          I think it was a joke, meaning his price will be coming down.

        • Brooklyn Ed

          I saw it on MLBtv Hot Stove last night. Hopefully someone could find the source.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            Ah ok, that means Heyman will have to soon. It could just be Boras trying to up the price.

            • Mike Pop

              Thats bs, Wilpon stated the other day he was not interested in signing Manny.

              • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

                Actually, he said the “Our Baseball people have never brought it up”. Which is such BS its tough to take. Everyone knows Omar has been infatuated with Manny for years, and the Mets have Nick Evans/Fernando Tatis playing LF for them as of now.

                I mean, please. If Omar hasn’t brought it up, its because he knows what the answer would be. But don’t push it off on him.

            • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

              Hahahahha!

              You get the same impression I do, huh? That Heyman sits home reading MLBTR like the rest of us, but somehow manages to get paid for it. Why a respectable publication like SI has a doofis like him in the fold is beyond me.

  • baseballnation

    That’s pretty fuckin funny lol. Brad Ausmus? Who? Haha. I guess the Yankees won championships because of the invaluable presence of Chad Curtis and Shane Spencer back in the late 90’s.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      You know nothing about Baseball.

      Or the secret to making really good Mac n’ Cheese.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      …seriously?

  • Manimal

    Phil Hughes is going to spring training 2 weeks earlier again, except this time he is fighting for a job

    • Brooklyn Ed

      that’s good news, do you know who else is going earlier?

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Para el amor de Dios, no te lesionas, Phil!

      • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        Por el amor de Dios…

        Come on, Rebecca! (lol)

        • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

          Bah, I never got por and para straightened out!

          • Manimal

            Me neither. Por/para, ser/estar, imperfecto/preterito(past tense)

            AY CARAMBA!

            • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

              ahh, imperfecto/perterito es mas facil que por/para o ser/estar.

              imperfecto se usa cuando describiendo una accion que no tiene una tiempa definitivo… como… cuando era nina, miraba el canal Nickelodeon.

              el preterito se usa cuando tiene una accion completa, como, por mi cena esta noche, come pescado y pasta.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              Just wait for el subjuntivo.

              • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

                Fuck the subjuntivo.

                Seriously. Fuck it.

                I had STRAIGHT A’s in Spanish till that came along…

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Every UConn defender needs to learn how to stay on his feet. Oh my fucking christ.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      UConn could do with a loss.

      @%#$%#$%#$% huskies.

      =D

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Hasheem Thabeet also needs to learn to go right up with the ball and not pass it out for a bad shot.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Our three point defense is awful.

      But Jeff Adrien is amazing. And dreamy.

      • Mike Pop

        UNC is winning it all.

        • http://www.YouTube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

          UNCNJIT is winning it all.

          • A.D.

            HAHA, that article about them winning, was priceless

  • Mike Pop

    Why not bring in Wiggington as the utility guy now? When it was brought up after he was non-tendered, everyone was expecting teams to jump on him and give him the starting job. He could be a nice addition if he’s willing to accept that role.

    • A.D.

      He might still be in a situation like Freddy Garcia. There are teams with more question marks in their infiled which will give Wiggington a chance to plany

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      He is not a middle infielder, and he’s probably still asking for starter’s money.

      • A.D.

        He’s really not that good at fielding in the infield as a whole

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    So, uh, when is the RAB day at the park, anyway?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      No idea. We have to figure that out.

      • A.D.

        June 6th v TB?

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Theoretically you’ll make it on a weekend, right?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Of course.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

    Why are you usin g stats to determine if a player is good or not? Do you hate baseball? You have to watch it with your eyes. Watch this to see just how good of a player Brad Ausmus is.

    (sarcasm alert)

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      I’m sorry, I just could not continue to watch that video after the words “When you talk about Brad Ausmus, you talk about Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds…” were uttered.

    • Mike Pop

      I found that pretty funny to be honest.

  • Bonos

    Out of the box thinking.

    Trade x pitchers for Brian Bogusevic, Houston ex pitcher turned OF, tore up AA in 50 games. Size, Speed, Arm. Increase our OF prospects to TWO and ease the 40 roster.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      If you mean pitching prospects, maybe, but you don’t trade a guy on the 40 man for someone in AA unless you’re talking about the second coming of Joe DiMaggio.

      • Bonos

        Check the stats, he could be the second coming.

        • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

          Hmm. 24 seems a little old for AA, but then, there’s no arguing with a 75 for power on the 20/80 scale.

          I’d keep an eye on him.

          • Manimal

            Sounds like Rick Ankiel 2.0 to me.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            I’m sorry, but there’s zero chance he has 75 power. That’s Prince Fielder/Carlos Pena/Miggy Cabrera territory. Bogusevic probably has like, 55 power, or 20-25 homers a year. He’s no Ankiel when it comes to pitcher to hitter conversions.

            • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

              Hmm, then where is Baseball Cube getting their scouting report from?

              • Manimal

                The same guys that thought it was a good Idea to get Igawa?

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                Their ass, apparently.

          • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            Actually, The Cube uses a 1-100 scale. Why, I have no idea. It leads to the same misunderstanding you just had.

            For example, Andrew Brackman

            http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/B/Andrew-Brackman.shtml

            . . . has a 93 K-rating.

            • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

              Oooh, thanks!

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      I have an even better idea. Trade Kei Igawa for Rod Blagojevich.

    • Manimal

      Houston has barely any prospects, why would they trade away their only one?

    • Steve H

      Him and Owings were teammates at Tulane. Pretty ridiculous that two teammates drafted as pitchers are such good hitters.

      • Bonos

        Houston’s pitching is very weak. The Yankees are knee deeper in pitching, the 40 roster is full up. Yankees have ONE OF prospect on the horizon. Seems like a no brainer to me to at least check it out. Fifty games doesn’t mean much but his colledge record is good.

        • Mike Pop

          Ya but Igawa is just so bad. He would not improve them.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Jeff Adrien is the only person on the UConn Huskies who tries on offensive rebounds.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Hasheem Thabeet and perimeter defense are not good best fellows. If you can force him to the outside, you’ll beat him every time.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Hasheem Thabeet apparently means “Soft on Offense” in Tanzanian.

  • Mitch

    My first time on this board, and I want to say it’s been fun reading this Blog for several months. I am both a Yankee fan, and a native Houstonian. I have been a huge baseball fan since the early 60s, and have been a much bigger fan of the Yankees since my son got into them bigtime during their run in the late 90s.

    Being a Houston resident, I must say I strongly disagree with Richard Justice being a great baseball writer. I have access to his column in my city’s paper and I read it almost every day. I am not privvy to what kind of national awards he has won for his sports journalism, but this thing about Brad Ausmus is pretty indicative of the kind of BS he spews. Ausmus was very well-liked by the Houston media, but in no way was he a leader of any sorts for the Astros. He was a pretty damned good backstop in his prime, and handled pitchers well, but he was always a week bat in the Astos’ lineup. Awful, most of the time.

    My wife and family are huge baseball and sports fans and often laugh at articles like this one he often writes in the Chronicle. Personally, I wonder how a writer like this can get on a national TV show like PTI. I must be missing something.

    Mike, what have you seen to make you think he’s one of the best around? I know there are some clueless national writers on net, but is the competion out there in other areas of the media worse than I thought? Just my two cents.

    • Manimal

      Welcome.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

    This sucks, the next episode of Family Guy is on February 15.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean%27s_Three_and_a_Half

    • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      Hey, at least it’s the day before my birthday. What a present!

  • Mike W.

    I seriously wish we would take advantage of this market and our situation with compensation for signing free agents and sign Sheets, Cruz and Dunn. All 3 would be upgrades and it “appears” that we could have all 3 at great prices…

  • christopher

    first bob klapish reportd that if the yanks dont get garcia, they would be the front-runnner for sheets (granted that was before sheets’ visit to arlington.)

    now from MLBtraderumors – sheets latest tests on his arm are not as bad as originaly thought.

    I seee it comnng down to 4 teams: Brewers (if he doesnt mind crawling back with his tail between his legs), Mets (who would rather ollie perez), Rangers (if he wants to go back to losing) and the yanks who would give him the best chance to win and can limit his innings pitched.

    I know that he has a history of injury probems, but with the yankee minor league depth – a 7 year garunteed contract and 7 incentives – the deal would be perfect. A rlatively low base which still keeps them under next year and if hedoes reach the incentives than I am sure the team makes the playoffs and/or WS which would make up for those incentives. Incetives the yankes would be glad to pay for a winner

    • Manimal

      7 YEARS? ARE YOU FREAKING INSANE?

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        I’m not sure you want an answer to that…

      • BJ

        I think he meant 7 mil, 1 year contract, 7 million in incentives lol

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Depth is a funny thing.

      Last year it left us with Ponson and Rasner.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      He won’t lose with the Rangers. They have a tremendous lineup and a terrific farm system. He’ll get his wins there.

      He may not want to play there, however. I wouldn’t, it gets hot a hell in Texas in the summertime.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    “The Yankees are still talking to free agent pitchers Andy Pettitte and Ben Sheets as they seek to add yet another veteran pitcher to their vastly improved rotation. The Yankees are believed to be offering less guaranteed money than the $10 million that was on the table for months for Pettitte but still may prefer to bring him back.”

    http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/43861

    I can’t see Andy coming back if they lowered the offer. He thought the first contract was a slap in the face. But I guess they see Sheets as being available for 8-9 per, and there’s no question he’s a far better pitcher than Andy is (or ever was) when healthy.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Zdeno Chara just shot a puck 105.4 mph. Holy schnikees.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Oh PEACE Notre Dame.

  • Mike R.

    I wouldn’t expect you to understand that Richard Justice piece. He pretty much writes for the intelligent baseball fan. :)

    • Mike Pop

      ICWUDT

      • Mike R.

        ;)

  • Ellis

    Check out what Justice says in response to a commenter! this must be a joke column:

    “Oh poppycock. His father wrote a book called ”A Schopenhauerian Critique of Nietzsche’s Thought: Toward a Restoration of Metaphysics.” Brad Ausmus is really smart and has a really smart father. This isn’t something an Aggie would understand. Please take my word for it. He’s a winner.–Richard”

  • http://yankeesmtom.com Steven

    Richard Justice is clearly being sarcatic. He does this a lot. He is basically the Ricky Gervais of sportswriting.

  • Bruno
  • emac2

    Ausmus was/is as good as he says and the fact you don’t have a good set of stats that allows you to understand that is more the problem.

    I’m not as confident he will be able to maintain his value at this age but there is no question he has been an amazing catcher for years if you can see the parts of the game other than hitting.