Open Thread: Girardi sets the heart of the order


texJoe Girardi announced today that new first baseman Mark Teixeira will fill the Bobby Abreu Memorial third spot in the batting order, with Alex Rodriguez retaining cleanup duties. The announcement does seem a bit premature considering no one’s faced live pitching yet, but Tex has always loved batting third, being quoted as saying “I’ve always loved batting third.” Good enough for me.

Some numbers for argument’s sake:

Mark Teixiera
Batting Third
: .311-.394-.573, 19.3 PA/HR, 8.3 PA/XBH
Batting Fourth: .279-.378-.523, 16.3 PA/HR, 9.8 PA/XBH
Career: .290-.378-.541, 19.4 PA/HR, 9.0 PA/XBH

Alex Rodriguez
Batting Third
: .303-.396-.602, 14.7 PA/HR, 8.7 PA/XBH
Batting Fourth: .300-.394-.569, 16.0 PA/HR, 9.6 PA/XBH
Career: .309-.389-.578, 16.4 PA/HR, 9.0 PA/XBH

Yeah, I’m still in the camp that wants A-Rod batting third. Let him get more plate appearances over the course of the season.

Anyway, here’s your open thread. The Rangers are playing the Islanders, and the Nets are in Dallas. Anything goes, just be nice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Dave says:

    You could be watching Renney’s last game as the Rangers coach.

  2. Matt says:

    Either way’s fine, but I’d prefer A-Rod third.

  3. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    Mike, I’d like to bat Alex 3rd but I don’t see how to do it.

    I’m guessing you would leadoff Jeter and bat Damon #2?

    • Matt says:

      Jeter and Rodriguez back to back isn’t bad at all.

      Though I’ve always wanted Jeter and Damon to switch.

    • Joseph P. says:

      I think that the R-L scheme is overrated, especially when it’s back to back righties.

    • Mike A. says:

      Nah, keep it Damon one, Jeter two. Stacking righties is okay when you’re talking about two of the best hitters of their generation.

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        You don’t have to, though. Damon has a bit more pop than Derek does at this point of his career. Both hit with men on base, both have good speed though neither steals a ton of bases anymore.

        They’re pretty interchangeable at this point, but the extra pop Damon has makes me think he’s more of a #2.

        • Old Ranger says:

          Jeters natural swing, is the other way plus he knows how to bunt and will. Granted, Johnny has more power and sees more pitches…I would leave it as it is, you have Tex and A-Rod to bring home the runners.
          Wasn’t there a split showing Jeter hits better in the #1 hole? I always thought he would be our lead-off hitter (before Johnny came). Now, if his predictable DP was just another aberration, we will all be happy.
          Any how, the first 6 spots are solid, with a resurgence of Cano and Swisher/Nady we should be ok, even with Melky/Brett and Molina taking up spots.
          Molina, with only having to catch 40/50 games this year (we hope) instead of the 100+ of last year, should be much better also.

          • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

            Hahahahah! I forgot about Derek’s DP’s. That’s one way to cut down on those, bat him leadoff.

            • jsbrendog says:

              except that batting leadoff you are only guaranteed he’ll come up with no one on base once because the order rolls over.

              • Chris says:

                but the other times he comes up, you’ll have the bottom of the order ahead of him, all of who should be worse at getting on base than Damon.

  4. El Generalissimo says:

    Under general circumstances I would agree Arod should bat third. But, for 2 reasons Tex should be 3rd in our Lineup… First L-R-S-R-L order dictates he should be 3rd. Which isnt a big deal either way, because they all can hit lefties and righties. And Girardi loves this crap. But…

    The big thing here is that Arod puts up numbers regardless has never needed much protection, and his 2007 was with Matsui behind him (most likely same this year.)

    Tex usually starts slow and has a pretty big discrepancy with his 3rd/4th numbers. Also, maybe its because it was a contract year, but Tex numbers with Vlad batting behind him are huge. I think he can replicate those with Arod behind him. You know especially because no one wants to face Arod now that he’s on steroids.

  5. Yankeegirl49 says:

    Im in the Arod 3rd camp, but really we cant go wrong either way.

    Let’s go Rangers!

  6. Eirias says:

    Alright, since John Henry is absurdly calling for a salary cap, I’ve a question about how a cap would affect the Yankees. Obviously the Yankees would be above the cap level, no matter how high it is set. Do the Yankees then have to cut their salary below the cap level before they participate in the Free Agent market? If so, that is extraordinarily anti-competitive, particularly given the recent long contracts we handed out.

    • pat says:

      They’d have to set a date way in the future for teams to try and hit, they wouldn’t make it\ next season.

    • Steve H says:

      It’s all talk. Remember, the players union would have to agree to it. They won’t. If we ever see a salary cap in baseball it will be pretty sad because that will mean we’ve just had an extended work stoppage.

      • 27 this year says:

        Nobody gets the fact that with a cap comes a floor so the floor would ahve to be around 80 mil and none of teams want to have to spend that much so the yankees can spend less. Plus, every big market owner wants a salary cap for an excuse to pocket more money plus less revenue sharing. Then again, Stein is obviously different n spending on players.

        • Craig says:

          What none of these hate fueled fans begging for a salary cap realize is that implementing a salary cap is not the way to go about creating more parity. First of all, depending on where the floor and ceiling are set, the big spenders and small market teams could still, very easily, have a large gap – maintaining what people perceive to be the problem. If teams like the Royals and Marlins are forced to increase payroll, you think they’re going to go spend anymore than they have to? I don’t. Second of all, nobody seems to look at one of the main reasons why the NFL and NBA seem to have so much more parity than MLB. In the NFL 37.5% of teams make the playoffs each season (12/32); in the NBA 53% (16/30) qualify for postseason; compare those to under 27% for MLB and no wonder it seems like MLB is not on a level playing field. I’m sick of all these fans acting like MLB is in such a dire need of a salary cap because they hate the Yankees.

  7. Old Ranger says:

    With Matsui at #5 (and good health) A-Rod will get enough protection.
    Whenever Matsui gets into the “Reaching” pattern, sit him down a few games. He has a habit of reaching for the outside pitch, pulls it (on the ground) to the 2nd/1st basemen for the DP. This year we have a person(s) that can step in for a few games, until he gets over it. Some forget, he has been a good RBI guy and (so called) clutch hitter…when healthy.
    Some think Cano will come back very strong this year and have big numbers. If he does…he can hit in #5 or trust Posada. In a nut shell, we have #5 covered. Just a word about Swisher or Johnny in CF, don’t get your hopes up…it ain’t gona happen, maybe Johnny once in a very great while.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      Defense up the middle, and that means either Gardner or Melky. I have a strong sense it’s going to be Gardner, unless and until he plays his way off the team.

      I don’t think Gardner will just be a good CF, as his +6 rating suggests. Don’t forget, he was a rookie last year who was feeling his way around. As he gets more comfortable with his surroundings and the ballparks on the road, I think he will be an exceptional fielder. He certainly has the tools for it, and I’ve heard Stick say the same.

  8. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    “Torre on Retirement

    Joe Torre, entering the second year of a three-year contract, said he plans to retire as a manager after next season.

    “I don’t envision going beyond this contract managing,” said the 68-year-old Torre.

    He said he hoped to remain in the game in some capacity.

    “I don’t think I’ll disconnect from baseball,” he said. “I hope somebody will deem me useful.”


    • pat says:

      Didn’t hank already offer him a job at YES?

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        Hal did.

        You know where I hope he lands? In the broadcast booth somewhere, anywhere. It might not be appropriate anymore, being the only living manager with 4 rings. But he was a great listen when he worked as an announcer.

        Wouldn’t work with the Yanks, though. He’d always be seen as criticizing his successor.

        • pat says:

          Ah damn, I thought it was the wiseass of the two. I don’t think being a broadcaster is inappropriate. He’s choosing to retire it’s not like he was run outta town and nobody wanted to hire him.

          • They should pair him up with Joe Morgan. They can spend 3 hours together every Sunday talking about how much better they are than everyone else. At everything.

            • Matt says:

              What sucks is that they were both great players and Torre is wildly underrated as a player, IMO.

            • jsbrendog says:

              at least torre’s stories really happened. morgan makes shit up about [layers he never even played with

              • Mike Pop says:

                “Well I remember the time Babe Ruth was in the batter’s box behind me and told me to just get on base and he would hit a 2-run homer to win the game. That, John, was the famous “called shot” when Babe called his Home Run. It is a legend, but I was there for it and I know for a fact it happened. Good times, good times, I had with George”.

  9. Hypothetically, what would a fair cap be? $125M? $150M?

    • Steve H says:

      What would the fair floor be? And with a cap, luxury tax would go away, as would a ton of revenue sharing. The small market teams probably want a cap even less than the big market teams do.

      • Ed says:

        Imagine the fit the Marlins would have when told they have to triple their payroll and get less money from the other teams.

        • Tom Zig says:

          haha well if i were the yankees, i’d tell them hand over hanley for IPK+Melky and we’ll send you lots of money to help cover your costs.

    • Tom Zig says:

      What would be a fair salary floor? 75% of 150?

    • Thomas says:

      A BP article assumed a range of $77 million to $103 million, which is 45% of the $200 million revenue per team with a floor at 75% of its cap.

      Here is the article.

    • Mike A. says:

      If they do $125M, then it really only hurts the Yanks. If they’re serious about improving the competitive balance, then set the cap at $100M and the floor at $75M. Revenue from all thirty teams gets thrown into one big pool, from which MLB takes 25%, and the remaining 75% is dispersed to the 30 clubs equally. Everyone’s equal.

      It’ll never happen, obviously. There’s no such thing as a fair salary cap.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      I don’t know. How much more money do you want the billionaire owners to make?

      The lower you go, the more they put in their pocket, and not on the field.

  10. BigBlueAL says:

    Just got my 2009 Baseball Prospectus in the mail today!!!! (plus the Torre Years but thats an old story already)

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      ‘The Yankee Years’ is a great read. Just reliving 96-2000 is an absolute blast.

      Its about 98% written by Verducci. Some of its is rehashing of his old columns with some Torre inside the clubhouse stuff thrown in. Torre definitely conbtributed, but the voice on every page is Verducci’s, not Torre’s.

  11. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    Anyone else a bit pissed off that this ‘who A-Rod slept with’ and ‘where and when he took steroids’ Selena Roberts book is scheduled to be released just before OPENING DAY?

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but Opening Day is very special to me. Its a holiday that I put just behind Christmas. This one even more so, with the new stadium being unveiled. Harper Collins is at best having a callous disregard for that special event, and at worst is intentionally trying to piss all over it. They’d sell just as many books releasing it on May 15th, especially if the rumors about the content are anywhere near being true.

    I understand that they’re not concerned about these things, they are in the book business and want to strike while the A-Rod story is still hot. But think ahead for just a minute. They will be releasing excerpts the Sunday before, and all the salacious gossip that’s in there will dominate the headlines over the next few days, and be topic #1 at the ballpark that day. Not Baseball, but seedy gossip.

    Fucking douche bags. I can only hope there’s a backlash over the timing of this.

    • I am really starting to dislike the cynical and opportunist mainstream media. Heck, I’m sure many of you heard about what happened with the poor kid at school today (if not go to a news medium’s website and you might find it there). My friends have told me that when they stopped by the memorial, this creeper (http://tinyurl.com/da3j3s) hassled people trying to get info (and names) while also trying to friend kids on facebook to get background info. Why can’t the MSM respect the basic of privacy, from A-Rod to freakin’ kids?!?

  12. Mike R. says:

    I prefer A-Rod batting fourth because of his speed. A-Rod will either have an RBI opportunity or lead off the 2nd inning and have a chance to steal if he gets on. I just think he adds a layer of flexibility in the 4 hole.

  13. Bryan says:

    Awwwww jeez, susan waldman just called peteabe the biggest yankees blog of all time

  14. [...] One Went to College, Rodriguez Went Pro  / Girardi sets the heart of the order [...]

  15. FWIW, the difference in plate appearances over the course of a season between 3rd and 4th is like 10 PA’s or less.

    Not a big deal. ARod likes the psychological cache of hitting 4th. Tex likes the psychological cache of hitting 3rd. Hence, that’s where they should hit.

  16. K.B.D. says:

    Griffey rejects Atlanta and heads to Seattle: http://tinyurl.com/d5brf5.

    More leverage for Ca$hMoney and the Yanks can’t hurt.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      Yeah, wonder if they go with Garret Anderson or rekindle the Swisher/Nady talks.

      • Mike Pop says:


      • K.B.D. says:

        Anderson is a pretty ugly option. He could fall off the cliff statistically any day now.

      • Steve H says:

        Hopefully they rekindle the Nady talks.

        • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

          You mean the Swisher talks.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Cashman will not trade Swisher unless they give up Schafer plus.

          • K.B.D. says:

            I would only keep Nady over Swisher if I hoped Nady would get Type-A status and we’d bank a pick. If I thought that’d happen, I’d probably keep Nady over Swisher. I don’t think Nady turned a corner last year, I just think he played way over his head, but thats just me. Swish’s versatility is a major plus as well.

            • Mike Pop says:

              I don’t even think that is worth dealing Swisher for. I’d be okay with getting Gorkys for Nady instead of dealing Swisher for Schafer.

              • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

                If you got Gorkys, that would be the 3rd organization he’s been with by age 20. Teams don’t trade players they love that much before they reach High A if they think they’re really good.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Na, I don’t think so. Tigers were trying to win it all this year and they thought Renteria would mash for them. I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal, he is still so far away.

                • Yeah. Dombrowski overbid years ago and now he’s just throwing more good money after bad to try and buy a pot that he can’t win. He’s giving away good players willy-nilly in an effort to get a title.

                  That first trade of Gorkys to the Braves isn’t indicative of any notion that he’s not a good player, it’s indicative of the Tigers’ desperation to not go back to a 100-loss team.

                  They didn’t trade Maybin or Miller because they soured on them, they traded them because it was the only way to get the veteran players they (foolishly) wanted.

                • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

                  OK, then what’s Wren’s reason? The Braves are a VERY good player development organization, they know who to keep and who to deal.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  To pick up Nady in order to be a more competitive team this year, make the playoffs, and try to win a championship which is the ultimate goal. Main reason why teams trade good prospects.

  17. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    Wow, Griffey signed with the Mariners.


  18. Got my prospect and bill james handbooks in the mail today!

  19. Jay CT says:

    Ok, so can someone throw some projections at me that ARod may put up this year? Not the triple slashes, but I have the three and the seven in my fantasy baseball draft. All the big stars are available, as you can’t keep the first two picks, so all the top players change teams each year. So, what numbers do you think ARod will hit? I was thinking of him or Pujols for the 3, and then either Miguel Cabrera if I get ARod, or Braun/Sizemore if I get Pujols.

    I already have Longoria in the 9th, Lincecum in the 7th and Alexi Rameriez in the 25th. Side note, would you keep Kinsler for a 4th round pick over any of my other 3 keepers? I am a bit nervous about Lincecum’s workload.

  20. Steve O. says:

    I was just wondering if the Yankees could get Dukes or Milledge(sp?) from Washington after they signed Dunn. Who knows, maybe on the cheap, but what would it take?

  21. Anyone have any thoughts on the Post cartoon causing all the brouhahah?

    If there was any better reason to make the ban on the New York Post permanent, this is it. I didn’t buy it that much anyway, but unless Sean Delonas has a damn good explanation, I can’t see myself ever buying that racist rag again.

    • i dont get how he could have a good explanation…why doesnt the media attack this the same way they attacked arod?

    • Matt says:

      Woah, that one’s pushing the line a little bit…

    • Thomas says:

      That cartoon is just wrong. However, I will say that story about the chimp was pretty funny.

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        Yeah, whenever 70 year old women get mauled within inches of their lives, I just bust out laughing.


        • Thomas says:

          Yeah, because trying to control a wild animal that they fed Xanax isn’t asking for trouble. Seriously, the owner deserved more than the other person, but that is why you don’t have wild animal for pets, feed it drugs, and try to force it to do something it doesn’t want.

    • pat says:

      That’s a tough situation. I understand what the guy was trying to say, equating the wild spending of the stimulus bill with that chimp going buck wild, but at the same time you gotta know that the absolute first thing anybody sees is the “obama is a monkey” connection. I may get torched for this, but I don’t think the guy made the cartoon out of malicious bigotry. As a satire the metaphor makes sense. However in the context of a racially charged United States even the clearest of satirical jokes that equate our black president (whom I voted for btw) to a monkey are absolutely %100 of the time going to be construed as racist. It was a pretty fuckin stupid thing to print because no amount of explanation is going to justify a picture of a dead chimp with bullet holes, but at the same time I have a hard time believing the guy would put his career and reputation on the line publishing a blatantly racist cartoon.
      I hope that came out clear. Im not racist or anything,(my roomates senior year were a korean kid, a lebanese kid,, a croatian, an albino red sox fan from dorchester mass and a kid from CT) It’s a funny premise and I get the joke he’s trying to make but you gotta know how the general public is going to see this. It was a pretty fucking stupid thing to do.

    • jsbrendog says:

      In other news: on this day in 1688, the first formal protest against slavery by an organized white body in English America was made.


      the above was taken from here:


    • Evan says:

      That cartoon was worth a head shake and face palm. Just poor taste.

  22. LeftyLarry says:

    I’d much rather have the CLUTCH Texiera batting ahead of AROD than vise versa.
    In late if innings of a close game, with Damon and/Or Jeter on base, I’d much rather have Tex up.

  23. Bulls get Salmons and Miller from the Kings for Nocioni, Gooden, Ruffin, and Simmons… meh.


    • Mike Pop says:

      I’m reading Larry Hughes might become a Knick, Baron Davis to Houston is being discussed, the Cavs want Richard Jefferson, Knicks pull Lee off the market, and VC to Portland taking shape.

      Then again, it is all just rumors.

      • Here’s what I just cooked up:


        The Nets want to move VC but can’t get back any good players for him; the Spurs want to get VC but can’t match up salaries to make it happen (without breaking up their core; the Knicks need to clear cap space for the summer of Bron and need to get some value for David Lee (assuming that we can’t afford to pay his extension this summer.)

        Knicks get out from Curry and Lee’s contracts and take on four sizeable contracts in Simmons, Mason, Bowen, and Thomas whom all expire at the right time. Nets get Lee plus Udoka and Rose’s expiring contracts (and although Curry’s deal is bad, it’s a lot better than Vince’s deal). Spurs don’t lose anything of great value and get the scorer they want.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Knicks better do that now. We can’t pay both Lee and Nate. Somebody’s got to go. Obviously it sucks ’cause Lee is a crowd favorite and pretty damn productive in the D’antoni system. But the bottom line is that 2010 is king, and having enough cap space to land Lebron + 1 of Bosh/Wade/Amare can’t be understated.

          • they might not get 2 guys no matter how much they shed off the books, stern said the cap is going to be lower than the 58.6 it is at now in 2010

            • andrew says:

              I think the chance of getting Wade and Bosh/Amare is much better than getting Lebron + another, but either way, I think we’re gonna end up with Bosh + another above average FA but no superstar

  24. Of course Tex has better numbers hitting third. He’s got a 4th place hitter protexting him, not a 5th place hitter. Who does A-Rod get… Matsui? Welcome to being pitched around, Alex.

  25. Joe says:

    I also like A-Rod in the three hole. –Anyone buy the argument that it’s less pressure to hit an HR and he gets protect from Tex? –cuz he had none last year, Giambino hit the occasional jack but hasn’t been the Oakland threat he was in a while, everyone knows that, and matsui is slow with no power and just rolls his hands over the ball and hits a grounder to 2B everytime.., so wouldn’t it make sense to see what A-Rod can do with some protection and put Tex BEHIND him instead of infront of him? I’m not going to bother putting up those 3rd/4th splits again for each player, but at face value ill take 14/PA’s per homerun from AROD in the 3 hole and 16pa’s per hr from Tex at the 4. cuz it’s better than 19/ab’s per HR from TEX at 3 and 16 ab’s per HR from AROD at the 4 hole. i also like AROD at the 3 hole for several other reasons but i dont want my post to be ten pages long haha, so at face value i like AROD at the three solely by that stat above. Thoughts?

    • 27 this year says:

      But is the few homeruns worth the dropoffs in the other categories. As far as I am concerned teh dropoffs are far more dramatic in more imporant categories than homerun rates.

  26. A.D. says:

    I was A-Rod 3rd and still am, but the beauty of it all is it really doesn’t matter going to mash either way.

    • Joe says:

      but my obvious point is that they would “mash” as you say… MORE if A-Rod were in the 3 hole and Tex in the four. I liked it better for like those six games where Abreu got hurt and didn’t play and A-Rod batted third behind Jeter haha.

  27. A.D. says:

    Suggs franchised….TSJC is going to be upset

  28. Joe says:

    guys refresh my memory, isn’t this RAB? ..do i have to remind you that it’s a Yankees blog? I mean we dont have to talk about the Yankees all the time, but the original point of the post was tex / arod 3 or 4? and why. -we somehow got to Nets trade rumors and Terrell Suggs? *sigh*….

  29. McCaff says:

    nice CC interview on espn.com

  30. [...] Tex has always loved batting third, being quoted as saying ?I?ve always loved batting third.? Open Thread: Girardi sets the heart of the order | River Avenue Blues __________________ Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the [...]

  31. Jay says:

    I believe batting Arod before Tex will be a HUGE mistake. I think I understand WHY he’s doing it — basically because in 2008 Arod hit better with runners on than Tex did.


    (1) that was NOT the case for the three years 2006-2008 combined.

    (2) when the pressure is on, Arod can be counted on to wilt — the greater the pressure, the more likely he is to wilt.

    3) except for his big 2007 year, Arod has been putrid in late inning pressure situations — especially with pressure on. Last year, for example, his OPS in late inning pressure situations with runners on was an ASTONISHINGLY bad .554.

    INCREDIBLY stupid decision. I thought Girardi was smart. But between some of his bullpen moves in terms of leaving people in when they’re clearly out of gas and this, I’ve concluded that he’s clearly not. Very disappointing. The only upside is that between his stupidity, that of ownership for overpaying for Arod even after no one else was bidding for him, and our incredibly overrated “captain” who won’t even try to make Arod feel welcome on the team, it will be easier to finally give up my painful addiction of rooting for the Yankees. It’s become like rooting for an idiot Goliath.

  32. Jay says:

    Obviously, I meant:

    I believe batting Arod AFTER Tex will be a HUGE mistake. I think I understand WHY Girardi’s doing it. It’s basically because in 2008 Arod hit better with runners on than Tex did.


    (1) that was NOT the case for the three years 2006-2008 combined.

    (2) when the pressure is on, Arod can be counted on to wilt — the greater the pressure, the more likely he is to wilt.

    3) except for his big 2007 year, Arod has been putrid in late inning pressure situations — especially with pressure on. Last year, for example, his OPS in late inning pressure situations with runners on was an ASTONISHINGLY bad .554.

    INCREDIBLY stupid decision. I thought Girardi was smart. But between some of his bullpen moves in terms of leaving people in when they’re clearly out of gas and this, I’ve concluded that he’s clearly not. Very disappointing. The only upside is that between his stupidity, that of ownership for overpaying for Arod even after no one else was bidding for him, and our incredibly overrated “captain” who won’t even try to make Arod feel welcome on the team, it will be easier to finally give up my painful addiction of rooting for the Yankees. It’s become like rooting for an idiot Goliath.

  33. [...] almost twelve minutes long, but it’s worth watching. Lots of interesting stuff. (h/t McCaff and [...]

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