Open Thread: Friday Randomness

Stark: Braves want Yanks to eat Swish's contract
Swisher, Bruney shed pounds this offseason

How many of you were around in the days of Friday Randomness? That’s old school right there baby. Remember your roots.

On to the links:

  • Rob Neyer chimes in on Derek Jeter’s contract situation. Rob makes a good point, do the Steinbrenners want to win so badly that they’re willing to do it without Jeter, who will be 37 when his current contract expires?
  • Sweeny Murti has some recent pictures of the New Stadium. Shea, meanwhile, is freakin’ gone. (h/t Matt Cerrone)
  • Ex-Yankee Tom Gordon signed on with the D-Backs. By my count, Arizona now has four relievers in their pen capable of closing (Gordon, Rauch, Qualls, Pena).
  • PeteAbe posted his Spring Training preview. I wish I could go, I really do.
  • If you subscribe to Baseball America, then you already know they started pumping out their Early Draft Preview yesterday. Just about everything is subscriber only, but I’ll tell you that based on their early rankings, the Yanks would be drafting California HS shortstop Jiovanni Miller with their first pick, who they say projects a stud defensive player (no word on his bat).
  • Speaking of the draft, NoMaas fired up their Draft Blog the other day, and Project Prospect took a look at the top college bats from 2006-2008.
  • ESPN’s gang wrapped up their Battle of the Budgets today (the teams are listed on the right). I think Neyer’s team would take first place in a 162-game season (by a not small margin, either), but since they’re doing 7-game series who knows what will happen. It definitely won’t tell us who built the best teams.
  • Did you hear about the Padres DFA’ing 2004 first overall pick Matt Bush? Turns out it wasn’t just to make room for Cliff Floyd. “I’m Matt (expletive) Bush” … hysterical.
  • If you missed any of Joe Torre’s interview with Bob Costas, you can check it all out here.
  • When I first saw this picture, I thought it was Brett Gardner. Thankfully, it isn’t. Go here and here for more cheap laughs.
  • Eddie Vedder is such a badass. (h/t Deadspin)

Boy does that bring back memories. I wish I had done this earlier in the offseason, it could have been a weekly thing. Anyway here’s your open thread for the evening. The Rangers are in Dallas (hopefully they won’t come back with Sean Avery), the Devils are in Atlanta, and the Knicks get a visit from the Celtics. Venezuela will look to remain undefeated in the Caribbean World Series tonight when they take on Mexico. Anything goes, just be nice.

Stark: Braves want Yanks to eat Swish's contract
Swisher, Bruney shed pounds this offseason
  • The Evil Empire

    Am I interpreting this wrong?
    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/nyy/ticketing/full_season_premium_letter.jsp

    Season tickets for $325? Wait what? Then it goes on to say $26,000

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

      $325 for field level per game.

      $325 x 81 games = $26,325 for one seat all season

      • Steve O.

        Makes sense.

  • The Evil Empire

    Figured, since this is my first time dealing with season tickets I wasn’t aware
    “Full Season Price: $325.00 per seat” Technically they’re wrong

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

      Eh. I can see where they’re saying the price during the entire regular season is $325 per seat, and you need to buy 81 seats to get season tickets.

      • The Evil Empire

        This reply button is harder to click than the old one, anyways, yea i see how i got it all mixed up. Does anyone how much bleacher seats cost per game for a season tickets package?

        • Mike W.

          $12 per seat per game, but they are all sold out…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          How exactly is it harder to click? The entire button is a hyperlink, and unless you give more information — such as a detailed description of your problem and what browser you’re using — “hard to click” is a subjective value. We’d like to fix whatever problems people are having, but being that vague doesn’t help.

          • The Evil Empire

            I’m using Safari (Mac), and sometimes the “Reply” box has to load well after the page has been opened. Hope that helps.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Huh. I’m also using Safari on a Mac, and I’ve not had that problem whatsoever.

  • http://www.myspace.com/bayside Thirty5Thirty6

    This is a day late, but I wasn’t around for yesterday’s Open Thread.

    I think it was Mike Pop who mentioned Chiodos. Chiodos kicks ass. I was at one of their shows about a year and a half ago. I lost my spectacles and a shoe during the same song. I stayed in the pit for the rest of my set. I was surprised that I did break any toes considering they kept getting stomped on.

    I think this was talked about yesterday as well. Players from commenter’s home town. From my hometown, I have both Weaver’s, Tim Laker, Scott Radinsky, and Bryan Anderson. I went to elementary, high school, and played with Anderson. B-E-A-S-T.

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

      I went to their site to check them out … they sound kinda like old school Poison the Well, except a little wimpier.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      I could never get into them.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    The true outcome kings of 2008

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-true-outcome-kings-of-2008/

    Fun read. Good analysis on Howard, it so easy to say “its just bad luck” when someone like him has a down year. But actually, the league has been figuring him by using a new defensive alignment and throwing him more sliders.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    GAH! The reply button changed again.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I was specifically promised pinstripes.

      That would be the most pimptastically awesome thing in the history of Yankee blogs.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        It would probably be hideously ugly too.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Don’t doubt yourself. I have faith in you.

          Besides, this new reply button is pretty big and fat, and pinstripes are slimming.

          • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            How about instead of “Reply” we get one that says “SWISH”?

            and maybe the e-mail ones can say “Send a TEX Message”

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Re: the Matt Bush article, my new favorite expletive statement of false bravado is now:

    “F#$%#in EAST COUNTY!!!!”

    • Ol Dirtay

      I might be half in the bag but did it say that Matt Bush threw a freshman? Is he Ogre?

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, that surprised me too. Although, freshmen can be small. I was 4’9″, 100 pounds as a 14 year old freshman. I’m sure 22-year old Matt Bush could have picked me up and thrown me.

        • Ol Dirtay

          According to Baseball Reference, Matt Bush is 5’11” and 170 pounds. I thought I remember him being on the slight side. Maybe he had some drunken strength.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    My Brother and I played 3 games in the MLB 09 demo and he won all 3 times by hitting a homer in the 4th.

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      eh now he is only winning 3 games to 2.

    • Steve H

      HR in the 4th? Did he have A-Rod?

  • Bryan

    Matt Bush- Class act

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      Does anyone here use vonage?

      • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

        fuck why does my computer do that, I don’t even link the comments but it automatically links it to the most recent comment. fuck fuck fuck

        my bad.

  • Chris

    I don’t get this push to move Jeter off SS. I know his defense is bad, but overall he’s one of the best SS in baseball. Over the last 3 years, he has been the 4th most valuable SS in baseball, and he hasn’t shown any significant signs of decline. His defense is just as bad (or good) as it’s always been, and even though his offensive numbers were down, that was almost all due to his quad injury and getting hit on the wrist.

    I just don’t see a better option becoming available. Maybe JJ Hardy will fit the bill, but I don’t think it’s a sure thing that he’ll be a better SS than Jeter in 2011.

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

      Hardy’s been a better shortstop than Jeter the past two seasons, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t be a better shortstop than Jeter in 2011 given where each player is in their career.

      • Chris

        The comparison between Jeter and Hardy may or may not be valid. Two years ago, Jeter had his worst defensive season in the last 7 years. Last year, he had his worst offensive season in at least the last 7 years. It’s possible this is a sign of Jeter’s age, but it’s also possible that he’ll return to his career averages in 2009/2010. If he does that, then Jeter’s value would be equal to or better than Hardy’s.

        In total, there are 3 SS that could possibly be available in 2011, and might be an upgrade over Jeter: Rollins, Reyes and Hardy. Over the last couple years, those 3 have all been 1-2 wins better than Jeter per year. If Jeter regresses to his career averages for batting, then that difference drops to 1 win or less.

        Based on how close all of these short stops are in terms of performance, I think it’s way to early to make a call on what to do with him. Also, with all of the off field issues that come with moving Jeter, I think you’d need to see at least one full win improvement to make it worthwhile.

        • whozat

          if he does that, then Jeter’s value would be equal to or better than Hardy’s.

          You’re ignoring the ages of the players in question. Even if Jeter’s bat rebounds and then follows a normal aging curve, you’re talking about signing a 28 year old vs a 37 year old. Who’s a better bet to retain his value? I mean, if Jeter’s willing to go year-to-year for 10 mil a pop, and Hardy’s got 10/250 on the table from someone else…ok.

          It’s pretty impossible to have a well-reasoned discussion about this right now, because Hardy could get hurt, or some kid could emerge somewhere that pushes someone onto the trading block, or they could win the 2010 world series and Jeter could announce his retirement the next day. Who knows? THere are just too many variables. I think it’s a bit much to say that there won’t be anyone better out there, though.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      It’s all just speculating and planning ahead at this point. It’s not a problem. Just trying to stave off a potential problem.

      My point in this matter is, with conceivably Swisher in one corner and Austin Jackson up the middle for the next 3 years or so, I’d probably rather look for shortstops to trade for or sign in free agency rather than a third outfielder, because I firmly believe Jeter profiles better in the outfield. I’m not simply trying to move a mediocre-to-bad defender to a position of less defensive importance, I’m trying to turn a mediocre-to-bad defender into an above-average-to-good defender (which is what I think Jeter can be in LF.)

      • whozat

        I’m trying to turn a mediocre-to-bad defender into an above-average-to-good defender

        You’re also trying to turn an above-average-to-good bat into a below-average-to-average bat.

        Unless the guy rebounds this year and has a career year in 2010, it’s going to be hard to convince me that they wouldn’t be better off letting him go and bringing in a new SS AND a new corner OFer.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Jeter needs 465 hit to reach 3,000 for his career. No Yankee has ever done that – not Ruth, not Gehrig, not DiMaggio, not Mantle, not Berra, NO ONE!

          Since it is extremely unlikely that he will get it within the next two years, surely you realize that there is NO FUCKING WAY the Yanks don’t bring him back, at some position, to reach that milestone.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Heh, I laughed at the patheticness of this.

    http://imgsrv.wcbs880.com/image/DbLiteGraphic/200902/3849784.jpg

    I can totally see Jimmy Rollins saying “OH NOOOOOES!!!!”

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      I could see Krod and Putz blow the last two games of the season to lose the NL East and a playoff birth… again.

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

      Is that seriously the best picture they had of K-Rod?

      • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

        LOL what is he wearing on his head?

        • YFSS

          Part of the contract invloved help building that new stadium or theirs

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

            I mean … they couldn’t even photoshop a Mets hat on him?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Sadly, he’s wearing a hardhat (I assume it’s a hardhat and not just a batting helmet) with that atrociously bland “Inaugural Season 2009″ patch on it.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    Is anyone else impressed by how many yankees have shown up before pitchers are even required to show up?

  • Brooklyn Ed

    http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/514006.html

    “I’ve lost 16 pounds and got myself into good physical shape,” Swisher said.

    woohooo!!

    Keeping a low profile once he arrives in the Big Apple is one way he figures to stay away from the gossip of the New York tabloids. He has called Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon to get insight.

    who does Swish think he is? A-Rod? LOL…

    • steve (different one)

      maybe he slimmed down so he can play CF…..

      just sayin’….sure would solve a ton of problems.

      • Paulie

        interesting…

        • Lissette

          Think Girardi at least plays Swisher in CF for a few ST games???

          • whozat

            Nope. They need to see Gardner and Melky as much as possible. They know what he is out there. I figure Swish and Nady could get some 1B ABs during spring, though, because they ARE kind of fighting each other to be the starting RFer, and the decision will be predicated pretty strongly on their bats. And, on a road trip that Damon makes but Tex doesn’t, it’d be a handy way to get them all in there.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    It is incredibly clear that these guys on the Hot Stove show on ESPN have done ZERO research on the Yankees in terms of defense.

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

      I know. Last year’s numbers:

      Jason Giambi: -1.8 fielding runs
      Bobby Abreu: -25.2

      Mark Teixeira: +11.7
      Nick Swisher: -1.1

      That’s a 37.6 run swing in the Yanks favor, that’s nearly a four win improvement on defense!

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        They also mentioned Damon and Matsui in the same sentence, referring to bad defense. Johnny Damon was the 2nd best LFer w/at least 650 innings according to UZR/150. Of course, they mentioned Wang and the fact that he throws ground balls as a negative even though, according to some study–I forget what site did it–saying that he actually benefited from his defense more than any pitcher in baseball.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        If Cano plays like 2007 Cano (+17) instead of 2008 Cano (-16), that’s another 33 point swing right there.

  • pat

    Yo tommie is tyler perry not funny because I’m white or is he not funny because he’s not funny?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      He’s just not funny.

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

        That dude is rich as a mofo too. He’s worth like, $600M because he produces all his shitty little shows and made a killing when he sold them into syndication.

        • pat

          Thats what makes me wonder, how the fuck did that happen. Filthy dirty stinking RAB type rich and everything I’ve ever seen him in is stereotypical crap. Oh well. Pitcher and catchers in a week.

      • pat

        Aight good for a minute or two I thought Madea was some work of comedic genius way above my simpleton comprehension level.

    • Steve H

      question of the night. hands down.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Happy Birthday today, Babe Ruth!

    (h/t Countdown with Kieth Olbermann)

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      It was in my school paper today and it made me smile when I was freezing my ass off waiting for the bus.

  • steve (different one)

    SI…

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman a few minutes ago, and he confirmed Jon Heyman’s story that the Yankees had offered Andruw Jones a minor-league contract to compete with Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for the starting centerfield job. Jones’ agent Scott Boras turned down the offer, Cashman said.

    i think Boras is being a little short-sighted here. this is a GREAT opportunity for Jones.

    all he has to do is be better than Melky and Gardner, and he’s the starting CFer for the highest profile team in the world.

    the fact that Boras would rather go after a guaranteed million or two instead of accepting the opportunity to potentially cash in next year doesn’t speak highly of his confidence in Andruw’s remaining skills…

    • A.D.

      that or realistically the Yankees offer will still be there

      • steve (different one)

        good point, but it’s only about a week until players start showing up for ST….

        but you’re right.

    • Chris

      The problem is that when ranking their 2008 seasons, Gardner and Melky were both better than Jones. It’s not a slam dunk that Jones could (or should) beat them out for the job.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Quoting PeteAbe:

    Position battles: … Rivera, Marte and Bruney have three of the six (or seven) jobs in the bullpen. The other spots will be competed for. Veras, Ramirez, Giese, Albaladejo, Melancon, Robertson and Sanchez are among the contenders. Maybe Coke, too, unless he’s developed as a starter. Either Ransom or Berroa projects as the utility infielder.

    Does this mean that Hungry Hungry Humberto is officially a reliever and there’s no plans to give him one more shot at starting?

    • A.D.

      My guess is hungry hungry would have to have a redic spring to have any chance.

      I hope they give him a chance to start….just like they will probably give coke a chance to start

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        I think Alby will get that last spot. Melancon hasn’t even pitched in AAA yet.
        Alby’s a good fit. A situational ground ball guy, could be very useful.

        • A.D.

          20 innings is something. But I agree I think 40 man spot rules here

        • Alex

          melancon will be here by August

          • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

            He will absolutely be here by August. My guess is mid-May.

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      What about Aceves? He is definitely not in the rotation, so I would think he would be in the mix of bullpen arms or at least battling Giese for long relief.

      • Alex

        they probably don’t want to limit his ability to further develop as a starter. He or Hughes will step in whenever theres an injury. Geise is oldish already so theres not much more developement for him as a starter.

        • whozat

          Aceves doesn’t have much development left either. I’d be fine with him as a swingman. Whoever does better out of him and Giese should make the pen as that innings-eating guy.

    • Alex

      don’t veras and ramirez pretty much have spots locked up?

      • Brooklyn Ed

        they might be the odd men out depending if Girardi wants 2 lefties in the pen.

      • A.D.

        probably

  • A.D.

    Has there actually been any word on what the Braves would give up for Swisher?

  • A.D.

    Happy anniversary of the Knoblach trade.

    h/t MLB Hot Stove

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

    Does anyone know what channel MSG2 on Time Warner in NYC is?

    • A.D.

      MSG+ is 48 if you want the hockey

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

        That the Devils, I’m looking for the Rangers on MSG2. Thanks though.

        • A.D.

          Ahh my bad it goes to TV guide channel in the Devils/Kincks/Rangers scenario

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal
      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Yeah I tried those channels, nothing. Usually I find the channel there, but for whatever reason it’s not working tonight. Whatever, they’re already losing.

        • A.D.

          its the tv guide channel, 51 i saw it earlier

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

            Not for me, I’m still getting the TV Guide channel. It’s cool, I’m watching the Carib. WS.

            • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

              I can’t watch a whole game. Its like watching 9 Melky’s on a team. Zero plate discipline.

              • Steve O.

                I’m glad you didn’t say Robinson Cano. No plate discipline makes for a fun game. Fast and painless, that’s what my doctor tells me.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    Mr. Deeds is such a good movie. Its on TNT.

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      sorry, its on tbs.

      • Lanny

        If you think Deeds is good you probably think Waterboy should have been Oscar worthy.

        • Jack

          Are you suggesting it wasn’t?

  • YFSS

    Hey, I just joined the track team at my school, anyone got suggestions?

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

      Eat lots of fatty foots and don’t exercise. I’ll be here all week folks.

      Seriously, I have no idea. I never ran track, I freaking hate running.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Don’t forget: smoke a pack a day.

        • Lanny

          A baseball blog is the right place to ask questions on the HS track team.

          I’m sure you will be great at it.

          • steve (different one)

            thank God you were here to guide him

    • Paulie

      I did track for a while… I was never a great athlete, I don’t know what your case is. My advice would be to enjoy yourself, you have to make the most out of running. It is not easy and can be very painful if at times, but stick to it and it will get easier. One piece of advice that is not mental… if you are running and your body hurts a little and your tired you might get the idea “let me stop for a minute or two and in a couple minutes I will feel better”…well do not do this unless you really have to because you need to build endurance and stopping like this does not help. The key thing is DEDICATION.

      • Paulie

        Oh, and Good Luck.

      • YFSS

        Ill keep that in mind, thanks

    • Tom Zig

      Run in timberland boots and sweatpants

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Hey, I just joined the track team at my school, anyone got suggestions?

      Be charming so that you can pick the hottest girl to do team stretching with.