Feb
23

Open Thread: Yanks play hooky

By

burnett-and-molinaJoe Girardi had his team skip out on their workout today, instead taking all 64 Spring Training invitees to a local pool hall for a tournament/little team bonding exercise.

“We’ve added some pretty big pieces here and you want to bring them together as quickly as possible,” Girardi said. “Every year you’re here as manager, you want to have more knowledge about the players. It’s important that a group is united when you leave Spring Training.”

[snip]

“It’s a day to forget about baseball a little bit and think about our family here,” Posada said. “It’s a little rest and I think it’s good for everyone.”

Well, I do think that team chemistry is overrated, but I approve. While the “divided clubhouse because of egos” thing gets overplayed, the clubhouse certainly has to be intimidating to young players, so it’s good to see Girardi pull something like this. My money was on Brian Bruney, but Mariano Rivera won both tourneys. Sure sounds like the guys had a blast.

Here’s your open thread for the night. The Nets and Knicks are both in action at home tonight, but I’ll be watching House and 24. Oh, and the Rangers fired their head coach today. Talk about whatever, just be nice.

Update (7:35pm): Forgot to mention this, but reader Rob sent along an email saying that during last night’s Georgia Tech-Clemson basketball game, they had a poll asking everyone to vote who their favorite former G-Tech baseball player was: Tex, Varitek or Nomar. Tex won in a landslide.

Photo Credit: Yankees via PeteAbe

Categories : Open Thread

149 Comments»

  1. Tom Zig says:

    Is there anything Mo isn’t good at?

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

    This Edwar injury has me worried

    “SHORT SESSION: Edwar Ramirez cut his throwing session short after just five pitches, complaining of discomfort in his right shoulder. He was initially diagnosed with tendinitis, but the reliever will visit team orthopedist Dr. Allen Miller today for further evaluation.

    “We have to wait,” Ramirez said regarding his level of concern. “I don’t know what I have.”

    Ramirez said he felt a similar issue during the final three games of the 2008 season, but this was the first time he experienced it this spring. ”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo....._joe_.html

    The fact that he felt the same thing at the end of last year makes me think there’s something wrong in there. Hope I’m wrong about that, because Edwar’s one of my faves.

    • K.B.D. says:

      The Yanks have the depth to deal with an injury in the bullpen if it turns out to be something serious. I’m not worried, though I hope it’s nothing other than a strain.

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        I know, and if Melancon is his replacement we may actually be a better team. I just love Edwar, and want to see him pitch this year. That ‘Bugs Bunny’ change up of his is a blast to watch.

        • K.B.D. says:

          I just wish he’d put on some weight in an effort to get his fastball a tick or two faster. That could make him a completely different type of pitcher given his ridiculous change.

          • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

            I don’t know if it needs to be faster, he’ll never throw 96 MPH. He just needs to spot his fastball better and add some wrinkles to keep hitters from crushing it. 2 seam-4 seam-cutter. Put a little on, take a little off. Just keep them off the fat of the bat as you set them up for the change.

            Pitch count is huge with him as well. When he’s ahead, and the hitter has to protect the plate, he’s deadly. When he falls behind, they lay off the change and crush the fastball.

            • Mike A. says:

              Right, and he needs to be a little less predictable. If he has two strikes on a hitter, or is in a position where he needs to make a pitch, he goes to the change. He needs to slip a fastball in there every once in a while to keep hitters from cheating.

              • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

                That’s why you keep your best fastball in your back pocket. If he could throw 89-91 the rest of the count and gear up for 92-93 in those spots, now he’s ‘pitching’.

                • whozat says:

                  I don’t think he HAS 92-93 without overthrowing, and he’s pretty much done growing. He’s not going to add speed just by getting bulkier. He’ll get a LOT more mileage out of location. If he usually throws a fading change on the outside for strike three, being able to spot a fastball on the inside corner instead is going to help him a lot more than humping it up to 92 and wasting one outside the zone.

                • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

                  Steroids.

                • The Evil Empire says:

                  HAHAHA funniest think i read today idk why

            • Matt says:

              I agree that his velocity isn’t the important thing, it’s the location. He gets hammered when he can’t locate the fastball and guys sit on the changeup.

              • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

                And his location suffers when he doesn’t get steady work. Plus, the change is such a feel pitch, he needs regular work to keep that sharp as well.

            • alex says:

              didn’t he start tinkering with a slider a bit last year?

          • whozat says:

            It’s more important that he be able to locate the FB than he be able to throw harder. Otherwise guys just wait him out until he comes to them. He MUST be able to throw decent strikes with his fastball in order to force guys to swing at his change out of the zone. Otherwise he walks guys or grooves 90MPH fastballs. Grooving a 92MPH fastball isn’t any better.

            • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

              Exactly, take a little off early in the count and get ahead with quality strikes, pitches a hitter can’t do much with.

              Hughes, Edwar, Bruney and Veras would all do well to take that advice, especially Phil. Just because you’re a reliever doesn’t mean you don’t have to ‘pitch’.

          • Steve H says:

            If weight=velocity Ponson would throw 110 mph.

        • whozat says:

          As long as he’s locating his fastball it is. Given that he’s USELESS if he’s missing with his FB, I think they might actually be better if someone else beats him out for a bullpen slot.

    • They still will not win anything if they get Lewis. I have more faith in the Jets. The Coyboys are a broken team right now.

      • Mike Pop says:

        No, not really at all.

        • Nady Nation says:

          I’m with Knoblog. ‘Boys are a ticking time bomb.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Of course you are. Everything the Boys do is a bad move in your opinion. You hate them more then anybody, and that is fine. They have a really talented team and to say they have no shot at winning is just an assinine thing to say. Why? Cause of TO, even though he was not the reason the Boys’ didn’t make the playoffs last season.

            • Nady Nation says:

              Haha, whoa relax there buddy. I was just saying that to push your buttons, which apparently worked. No one ever said they have “no shot at winning.” We’re just making note of the fact that they’re a fragile team filled with primadonnas that could be on the verge of exploding at any point, that’s all.

              • Mike Pop says:

                Knoblog said it, that is what I was making note of. I still think they beat out the Giants next season. No Plax, Ward, and the defense probably won’t play as well or if Eli doesn’t step his game up to the next level there is no way the Giants are that good of a team next year.

                • Nady Nation says:

                  Keep drinking the Cowboy Kool-Aid my friend. It’s all good, we shall see next year.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  We shall. If they get Ray Lewis, they look alot better and you have to think he has some kind of effect that helps the team. You really think that the Giants are going to be as good as this past year and the Boys’ will be as bad? The Cowboys had no left guard last year after Kyle got hurt. Well, they had Holland for a game or two before he got hurt and then Proctor came back in and he couldn’t block a 5th grader if he tried. Romo, MB3, Felix, TO, Roy, and Witten. Such a nasty offense with a solid defense that could be better if they get a couple of the guys they could use from the draft.

                • donttradecano says:

                  There defense wont play nearly as good? I believe they are getting Osi back. Add in a new linebacker and maybe a safety and the defense is top notch.

                  What is it 13 years and counting? lol

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Just so I don’t back out of this argument, I’ll keep it going.

                  Well, you don’t know if Osi will come back and be as explosive as he was.

                  But then I can make the argument that the Cowboys have a Roy Williams who knows the offense better now and does not have planter fascilitis(Don’t know if that is spelled right), a healthy Romo, a healthy Kyle Kosier, a better secondary with the improvement from Scandrick and Jenkins(But that’s being biased), and Felix Jones back. So 3 or 4 major parts of the Cowboys team is coming back ready to ball for the 09-10 season. Which means a much, much better team.

                  Also, you lost a great RB and your WR. So unless you make a trade for Boldin or pick up Housh, the Giants will be in trouble on the offensive side of the ball. As shown in the games last year without Plax including the playoff game.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Let me add so people don’t think I’m ignoring this; I know the Cowboys players who were injured, we don’t know if they can come back and be as good, yada, yada, yada.

              • andrew says:

                tick, tock, tick, tock…

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

    “Well, I do think that team chemistry is overrated, but I approve. While the “divided clubhouse because of egos” thing gets overplayed, the clubhouse certainly has to be intimidating to young players, so it’s good to see Girardi pull something like this.”

    That, and also throw in the “adjustment to playing in NY” thing that so many FAs have had over the years. Anything that makes this team feel like home to any of the newcomers, rookie or veteran, is a good idea.

  4. 1) I am wholeheartedly of the opinion that chemistry is underrated.

    Case in point: look at the New Jersey Devils. Certainly not a baseball team, but individually, in terms of talent, their best guy has missed most of the year with an arm injury and they are still in first place in their division. Parise and Elias are good, sure, but they’re not Ovechkin and Green or whoever’s playing on the Sharks/Red Wings/Blackhawks/Not the Rangers.

    Maybe it’s a female thing, but I really think chemistry is important.

    2) I am glad I’m not a Rangers’ fan.

    3) Edwar’s injury is worrying a bit, but the bullpen is the one area of the Yankees that I’m not really worried about. We have depth galore.

    4) Mo IS 42: The answer to life, the universe and everything.

  5. Mike Pop says:

    A.J. is the man.

    Jose: A.J., just be careful here, okay. I don’t want you hurting yourself before you even throw your first pitch.

    A.J.: Oh yea, your right. I gotta take this slow, good call Jose.

  6. Rich says:

    Girardi 2.0 is Coughlinesque.

  7. PeteQ says:

    You have obviousely never played compeditive sports. Chemistry is everything. The Big Bats have a place but when when one guy zigs and another one zags and the result is magical. Thats what chemistry is about in team play. ie small ball.

    • Matt says:

      How does team chemistry = small ball?

      (or was that whole thing sarcastic?)

    • LC says:

      Meh. I think chemistry is more important when you’ve got a ton of young rookies on a team. The Yankees are a very professional team and will do their jobs whether they are buddies or not. That said, I do like this new Girardi.

    • andrew says:

      except that in baseball it doesnt matter whether you’re zigging or zagging like it might matter in basketball, soccer, football or hockey. The only chemistry that i think is relevant on the baseball diamond is the trust between the pitcher and catcher

    • Steve H says:

      Chemistry is extremely important in basketball, football, hockey and soccer, but not baseball. Good chemistry obviously isn’t a bad thing, but baseball is primarily a 1 on 1 competition. If everyone on the team hates A-Rod with a passion, there is nothing chemistry related that can undermine a 3 run HR. It is what it is, and chemistry cannot effect it. Not like alligator arms TO who directly effects his team by being pissy and not going all out, whether its short arming a catch attempt or not blocking for a runner downfield.

  8. John says:

    http://www.soxandpinstripes.co.....visio.html

    can someone tell this idiot sox fan that joba should be in the rotation, not the pen?!!!

    he says crazy stuff like we have no depth, our pen sucks without joba, wang is only a good no.3, not an ace or no.2., boston’s lineup is more balanced, CC/Wang cant pitch in big games, and other crazy stuff.

  9. justin says:

    Please don’t post things about the Yankee haters. It just validates their actions and reminds us of their existence, which is something no one needs…ever. I lived in Boston for four years, believe me, it’s best to just ignore them.

  10. Jamal G. says:

    I just found out from a Red Sox friend of mine that Jason Varitek is in a relationship with NESN reporter Heidi Watney. Now, the funny thing is the fact that there were rumors that Varitek and Watney were hooking up whilst the former was still very much married. Now divorce, the two are still dating. However, my issue is why Varitek was not made out to be the deadbeat anti-Christ that Alex Rodriguez was when he was photographed out with a lady in Toronto.

    Here’s Heidi: http://tinyurl.com/ck8o4o

    *Eh, I’ve seen better in the streets and Starbucks of Midtown Manhattan.

    • Joseph P. says:

      Mere pictures cannot do Watney’s beauty justice. Trust me: I sat next to her for two days at the Winter Meetings. She’s a knock-out in person.

      That said, her relationship with Tek forever taints her.

    • Kevin G. says:

      Because A-Rod’s a Yankee. Apparently he’s ruining baseball and the Yankees should release him.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      That would represent a bit of a conflict of interest for her as a journalist, no?

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        I can imagine her doing a post game interview, after Tek gets a big game winning hit

        Heidi-”So Honey . . . I mean Jason, you must feel great after that big hit”

        Tek-”Yes, sugarbumps . . . I mean Heidi, it was a blast”

        Heidi-”That’s great. Don’t forget to pick up a quart of milk and a box of Playtex for me on your way home. Back to you, Jim!”

    • Rick in Boston says:

      The story I got up here was that it was current MLB Network chick Hazel Mae that caused the divorce. The new chick is just Veritek’s latest media chick. YES needs hotter chicks.

    • Matt says:

      Because he’s the super-hustle-grit star of the Boston Red Sox who wears a C on his chest like a real superhero!

  11. dan says:

    Quote from Mike Ashmore interview:

    Out of all current Yankee hitters, if you need someone to make something happen, who do you want?

    A-Rod. Yeah, he hasn’t been the most clutch guy over the past few seasons and he tends to end up on the side of a milk carton come October… but nobody on that team right now, Mark Teixeira included, can single-handedly change a game like A-Rod can.

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

    Just for the hell of it, lets assume Edwar’s shoulder is shot.

    What’s your 2009 bullpen? I’ll assume they go with 12 pitchers.

    Obvious candidates for Edwar’s spot would be Robertson, Albaladejo, Sanchez and Melancon

  13. Nady Nation says:

    So, any non-season ticket holders here able to get opening day tickets (at the new Stadium)? I’ve kept an eye out, but the prices seem pretty astronomical. Anyone have any suggestions?

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

    Gosh, these Manny rumors are getting old. Every few days they’re on the verge of getting a deal done, and then the rumors get shot down time after time.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....re-13.html

    He’s not signing until after the WBC. Assuming the DR team goes deep into the finals, that could be as late as March 21-23.

    The WBC will be his Spring Training, and Boras will wait until the very last minute to extract the best deal possible. He signs within a week of the DR team getting eliminated.

    • Matt says:

      In MLB 08, I just signed Manny to play 1B. It’s after a WS title in 2009 and the retirement of Jason Giambi. Why 1B? I have Hunter Pence in left and Nick Markakis in right.

  15. Matt says:

    Alright…let’s say that by some awful, awful circumstance, Melancon doesn’t fill in perfectly for Mo when the time comes. Who else internally could do that job? Maybe Coke? Am I just talking out of my ass? I mean, I’m sure that MM will fill in essentially perfectly but yeah.

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

    “Social websites harm children’s brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....ntist.html

    That explains the comments over at LoHud.

  17. Nady Nation says:

    Damn, Larry Hughes getting booed in his first home game as a Knick. And we thought Yankee fans were bad with booing.

  18. mustang says:

    “Well, I do think that team chemistry is overrated”

    I think chemistry has it place, but I think a lot people here underrate it. I mean this game is played on the field not on a computer by humans not stats machines. With the late 90′s Yankees there was a flow a feel they may of not had an all-star team, but it worked. As the dynamics of the team change so did that feel.
    Call it chemistry or whatever there is more to baseball then the numbers in the back of a card.

    • Steve H says:

      There’s a point to what you say, but the 1998 Yankees would have been better with A-Rod at 3rd than Brosius, regardless of chemistry, how they were in the clubhouse, or how their teammates felt about them. Manny has always been on winning teams (and a vital part) despite his “clubhouse cancer” rep, chemistry or no chemistry. Of course Manny’s rep is grossly exaggerated by the Red Sox smear campaign.

    • Steve H says:

      And the 1998 team, despite not having any players with historic seasons, had 8 regulars have above average seasons, and had an offense just as good as the 2007 juggernaut.

    • Matt says:

      I think chemistry has it place, but I think a lot people here underrate it. I mean this game is played on the field not on a computer by humans not stats machines.

      Seriously? Come on, you know no one’s gonna take you seriously after that. It’s one of the most hackneyed lines in the “anti-stat” repertoire; I do understand what you’re saying, though. But baseball is a team sport played by a collection of individuals. It isn’t like football, basketball, and hockey where there’s much more interaction between teammates on the field of play. Chemistry in the clubhouse is all well and good but by the very nature of the game, there isn’t much on the field itself. You could argue the “feel” the members of a DP combo have for each other but that’s more just being good middle infielders rather than chemistry. And if you wanna talk about the interaction of the battery but even that can be overrated. I remember Petey Abe having a piece on Mussina and his “personal” catcher last year and they didn’t even talk much in the clubhouse. Chemistry is an overrated part of baseball, IMO.

      • Jamal G. says:

        Seriously, I love how people bemoan those who disregard team chemistry in baseball when said sport is the most individualistic sport of the four major ones in North America. What actual team play takes place in baseball? Honestly, I’d like to know. What, calling off outfielders? The most team oriented play I can imagine is a multiple-out play.

        • Thomas says:

          All I can think of is like turning the DP and doing a relay throw correctly, but even those most mistakes are caused by one player screwing up and not poor communication.

          • Matt says:

            Like I said, that’s just more being a good player than having “chemistry.” When I played baseball (now slow pitch softball), if I missed the cutoff, it’s because I made a bad throw, not because the SS/2B/3B/1B and I didn’t have good communication.

        • aaron empty says:

          id say the importance of clubhouse chemistry clearly has little to do with team play, but wouldnt you think that if players are getting along, they are feeling good, and if they are feeling good, they are playing loose and up to their potentials?

          • Steve H says:

            No. They are selfish by nature. If Jeter’s pissed off at A-Rod, it will have no impact whatsoever on his play. He wants to succeed, he wants money, rings, women, etc. How he feels about a teammate won’t matter, Jeter will continue to play well.

            • aaron empty says:

              well maybe and maybe not. obviously some guys (like jeter) could care less, but it has to effect some people, i mean if you spend practically every day of your life with these guys, your personal happeness has to revolve at least a little bit with your relationship with your teammates. that is not to say that everyone has to love everyone. but if there is constant tension in the lockerroom that cant be good, can it?

  19. Drew says:

    Jose is saying, yea just throw that nasty hook and I’ll block it.

  20. Jamal G. says:

    From Agent Walker to Nina Myers, when will these people learn: you. Don’t. Fuck. With. Jack. Bauer.

  21. Jamal G. says:

    Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida = Epic fucking WIN.

  22. Jamal G. says:

    Holy shit, what an ending to the Nets game…

  23. Steve H says:

    My boy Rondo lighting up another top point guard. He is on a roll, outplayed Parker, Deron, Kidd, Nash, and now severely outplaying Billups. He even did a good job on CP3 holding him to 13 and 5. All this in his last 6 games. Just call them the Big 4.

  24. Jesus says:

    it came down to rivera and arod, with arod shooting first
    when told that all he had to do was hit the last shot arod nodded, and proceeded to scratch, giving rivera the win.

  25. Ron says:

    From Bombers Beat:

    Teixeira on the worst pool player: “There were plenty of bad ones. Brian Bruney takes the cake today as the worst pool player on the team. He’ll take the heat for that one.”

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