Open Thread: Sabathia, Yanks dominate SI season preview



That is a very big picture of a very big man, and today, that image graced newsstands across the country. Sports Illustrated unveiled their 2009 baseball season preview this morning, and it’s very Yankee-centric except when it counts. More on that in a second.

The centerpiece of the issue is a lengthy article, not yet online, about CC Sabathia. In it, S.L. Price talks about how great a fit Sabathia will be for New York. While he may not have been ready for the big stage three years ago, according to Price, after a few years of elite pitching, Sabathia has come to embrace what he can do on the mound.

I had the opportunity to read through a PDF of the profile, and it’s very illuminating. I know I run the risk of sounding like a mouthpiece for SI, but check it out and see for yourself.

The SI issue also contains team profiles of each of the 30 clubs. Mostly, they read as fluff pieces focusing, as the Yanks’ one does, on team chemistry and Nick Swisher‘s enthusiasm.

And of course, no SI preview would be complete without some season predictions divorced from reality. SI picks the Yanks, Twins and Angels as the division winners in the AL with the Red Sox as the Wild Card. The Yanks are picked to face — and lose to — the Angels in the ALCS, and the Mets are somehow picked to win the World Series. Yeah, right.

Derek Jeter update
Not to toot our own horn too much, but Joe Girardi confirmed today that Derek Jeter will be in the leadoff spot on Opening Day. Just remember where you heard it first.

The Fine Print
This is your open thread. In a few days, we’ll be able to do Game Threads at 7 p.m. That will be glorious. Play nice.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. I’m at the point right now that I feel my life is a waste of space without regular season baseball.

    And how much does this suck: I have class from 2.30-5.00 on Opening Day and there’s no way I can get out of it!

    • Yankeegirl49 says:

      My daughter just called with a similar complaint. She thought the opening game in Balt was at 1..she has class from 3-5 and is pissed!!

      On a good note….I was just given a ticket to tomorrows workout day…WHOO FREAKIN HOOO!!!!! IM PSYCHED!

    • donttradecano says:

      ive got work, but will be calling in sick.

    • And how much does this suck: I have class from 2.30-5.00 on Opening Day and there’s no way I can get out of it!

      If you’re not there you’d better be DEAD, or in jail, and if you’re in jail… BREAK OUT!!!!!

      • Mike Pop says:

        tommie, how do you feel about KRS One/Boogie Down Productions?

        Little music talk.

        • Well now you’re forced to listen to the teacher and the lesson
          Class is in session so you can stop guessin
          If this is a tape or a written down memo
          See I am a professional, this is not a demo
          In fact call it a lecture, a visual picture
          Sort of a poetic and rhythm-like mixture
          Listen, I’m not dissin but there’s somethin that you’re missin
          Maybe you should touch reality, stop wishin
          For beats with plenty bass and lyrics said in haste
          If this meaning doesn’t manifest put it to rest
          I am a poet, you try to show it, yet blow it
          It takes concentration for fresh communication
          Observation, that is to see without speaking
          Take off your coat, take notes, I am teachin
          a class, or rather school, cause you need schooling
          I am not a king or queen, I’m not ruling
          This is an introduction to poetry
          A small dedication to those that might know of me
          They might know of you and maybe your gang
          But one thing’s for sure, neither one of y’all can hang
          Cause yo I’m like a arrow, and Scott is the crossbow
          Say something now … thought so
          You seem to be the type that only understand
          The annihilation and destruction of the next man
          That’s not poetry, that is insanity
          It’s simply fantasy far from reality
          Poetry is the language of imagination
          Poetry is a form of positive creation
          Difficult, isn’t it? The point? You’re missin it
          Your face is in front of my hand so I’m dissin it

          • Mike Pop says:

            Ha! Listening to that right now.

            • Pre-Wu-Tang/NWA Hip Hop:

              1. Rakim
              2. KRS-ONE
              3. Slick Rick
              4. Kane
              5. LL

              • Mike Pop says:

                No Public Enemy or Cypress Hill? Haha, just kidding. All those guys were awesome, I like LL more than Kane and Slick Rick but it’s probably cause of my age.

              • Top 10 most underrated/unappreciated rappers:

                1. Black Thought of the Roots
                2. Mos Def
                3. Jeru the Damaja
                4. Dres of Black Sheep
                5. Starang Wondah of OGC
                6. Del tha Funkee Homosapien
                7. O.C.
                8. Steele of Smif ‘n’ Wessun
                9. Big L
                10. AZ

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Agreed, Big L is amazing.

                • handtius says:

                  You think Mos is underrated or unappreciated? I would no go there. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think his first album (black on both sides) was amazing. And the Black star before that and sound bombing were of the charts and everyone knows it. I wouldn’t call Del or Big L underrated either. I lived in LA for 3 years a while back and he is just about everywhere. I would call Kool Kieth (AKA: Dr. Octagon) underrated.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Blackstar is great, those two together work magic. I agree with you on Doc Oc, but I do think Mos is a little underappreciated because of the way rap is looked at today.

                • It’s crazy. I see Del pop up everywhere, but it seems like no one knows who he is. It’s also pretty cool that he’s Ice Cube’s lil cuz. They sound a lot a like.

                • I almost put Kool Keith on there, too.

                  Mos Def and Black Thought are both top 10 MC’s of all time, hands down, but they’re not often mentioned as amongst the best ever, just as “good” MC’s. That’s why I’d call them underappreciated.

                  As for Del… I’d venture a guess that probably 90% of white people in this country have never heard of him. That figure may be low. He’s underrated/unappreciated.

                • “As for Del… I’d venture a guess that probably 90% of white people in this country have never heard of him. That figure may be low. He’s underrated/unappreciated.”

                  Yet those 90%+ probably love “Clint Eastwood” (though I enjoyed Del more on Rock The House).

                • Mike Pop says:

                  You racist!!!

                • Who’s the jester? Under pressure?
                  Not me! I hate emcees a lot, flee
                  Escape, I’ll tape your mouth closed
                  Dispose of your flows
                  The ones that you chose don’t compare
                  Where is your other shit? When I discover it
                  I’m shovin that shit Right back in your mouth,
                  And start with another kick
                  Good riddance
                  Suds of blood like the Red Sea splashes when I smash kids
                  Ashes and cremations, we wait in
                  The torture chamber, of course you blame a
                  Brother like Del for murder, word up, on a mission
                  It’s in my heart, rippin fools apart
                  You dart and dash but I’ll remove your heart fast
                  With my bare hands, that’s the end of their plans
                  I’d like to see it pulsate in my palm
                  Squeeze it, squish it, eat it with a biscuit
                  For breakfast, you’re next if you step with
                  Your bright ideas, I might apply years
                  Of rhymin ’til the time when I blind men
                  With a flash of light I’ll blast you right
                  In the corneas… I’m warnin ya’s [I'm warning ya's]
                  So take heed to that before you bleed, in fact
                  I’m keepin ni$%&s outta my head
                  Outta my head
                  Instead, they bled, they dead,
                  call the Feds

                • steve (different one) says:

                  come on man, us white people remember Del from his collaboration with Dinosaur Jr. as part of that “rap/rock” fusion on the Judgement Night soundtrack.

                  but yeah, that’s about all i’ve got.

                • handtius says:

                  Mos took the intelligent approach. I don’t look at him as unappreciated because of the scope he reaches. Rap in general now is rather shitey, if that’s what you mean.

                • come on man, us white people remember Del from his collaboration with Dinosaur Jr. as part of that “rap/rock” fusion on the Judgement Night soundtrack.

                  Heh, ironically, as a black man, I have no idea who Dinosaur Jr. is, I’ve never heard the Judgement Night soundtrack (or seen the movie) and never heard of the collabo you speak of.

                • handtius says:

                  90%? really. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just been around people with good musical knowledge, but I’d lead toward 25% know him.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  I was introduced to him in the Tony Hawk game. Listened to him on and off ever since.

                • Crab Dribble Ointment says:

                  Mista Dobalina gets regular airtime on my iPod.

                  Most people around these parts (the dirty Jerz) know Del as part of Deltron 3003 rather than his Funkee Homosapien self.

                  By the way, Redshield, Debaser, Blue Scholars, and Sandpeople are so underappreciated I’d wager 99% of y’all have never even heard of them! A travesty in itself.

                • handtius says:

                  you mean 3030? I want y’all to meet Deltron Zero, and Automator. He is more well known for that now a days, but I think I more of a 3 eye vision kind of guy. Del and Casual rip it. I’m talking about that Me-O-Mi-O I’m talking bout the fly bro that I know.

                • handtius says:

                  I bow courteously. I’m a music fan. Don’t get me going on metal or punk either cause this thread will never end.

    • Joey says:

      Hah, I have class at 6 but might accidentally miss it, this Yanks game is 1/162 more important. Hey, every game counts!

    • Kilgore Trout says:

      Who doesn’t skip a class or two?

  2. yankeefan91 Arod fan says:

    Rebecca and yankeegirl49 ya are so lucky i wanna go badly i doubt theirs any tickets left i would of gone.

  3. Drew says:

    Why the hell is there 6 weekday afternoon games in the first 2 weeks of the season? Do people not work or go to school? I am dumbfounded by this.

  4. “SI’s World Series Pick: It’s the Mets!”

    No, Really! Seriously!

    Okay, Guys, Stop Laughing! We Mean It, The Mets!

    Yes, We’re Talking About The 2009 MLB Season! What Kind Of Question Was That?

    No, We Feel Fine! No Head Injuries Or Dizziness, No!

    Where Are You Going? Hey! What’s The Matter? Come Back!

  5. Drew says:

    Where are the Cuban defectors!? I haven’t heard from them since they recorded that video.

  6. andrew says:

    In a few days, we’ll be able to do Game Threads at 7 p.m. That will be glorious

    Don’t tease me, Ben.

  7. Vin R says:

    ESPN says Sheppard is denying the times report. interesting

  8. Frank says:

    You’ll never guess who ESPN picked to win the AL East…

    • Here’s my guess:

      1 Red Sox
      2 Rays
      3 Jays
      4 Orioles
      5 Tigers
      6 Yankees

      • Frank says:

        Nah they gave the Yanks some credit and had them 3rd with 91 wins.

        It’s nice to know that replacing Dan Giese, Sidney Ponson and Carl (he’ll revert to 2003 form simply b/c he plays for the Indians now) Pavano with CC, AJ and Joba will give us a whole extra 2 wins!

        I guess it’s just not enough…

        • Troy says:

          that was all computer simulated…

          ESPN I don’t think actually predicted that…just reported the Accuscore projections.

        • whozat says:

          Nah, that got them an extra 35 wins, but “converting” Joba to a starter is going to cost them 33. And everyone that played well for the Yanks last season had a career year, while everyone that didn’t is on an inevitable decline.

        • Thomas says:

          ESPN’s fantasy projections have Pavano at like a 3 ERA and WHIP of .95, while pitching 175 innings. I have a feeling he won’t be that good.

          • Mike Pop says:

            With our luck…..

          • ESPN’s fantasy projections have Pavano at like a 3 ERA and WHIP of .95, while pitching 175 innings. I have a feeling he won’t be that good.

            No, that’s a typo.

            It was supposed to be:
            ERA of 175
            WHIP of 3
            .95 innings pitched

          • Steve H says:

            Are they off their meds????? 3.09 and 0.95 whip in 175 innings, but their 2009 outlook says

            The 2004 version of Carl Pavano was something to be excited about. Five years later? He has barely seen the mound since then. Yes, he’s in the starting rotation, but the best advice would be to let him be somebody else’s headache, because the upside here is not all that “up” at all.

            How could that possibly make any sense?

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

    Here’s a name we should be hearing a lot of in the upcoming year, Pablo Sandoval.


    • andrew says:

      wow i just got done reading that article a few minutes age. The swing percentage on pitches outside the strike zone does not bode well for him on his 2nd time around the circui thought. He might have natural hitting ability, but not every is Vlad Guerrero and can succeed as a free swinger.

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        I agree, that’s his downside. But he appears to have the ability to compensate for that. The dude hit .345 last year in 145 ABs (won’t qualify for ROY)and flew through the minors last year. His contact rates are good and his OBP is above average, so he is selective for the type of hitter he is. He’s not Jeff Franceour, his walk rates are much higher and Frenchy never put up numbers like Pablo did last year.

        I think he’ll be fine.


    • pat says:

      From the article- Bengie Molina has walked 171 times in 4223 career plate appearances, yowsers.

    • Steve H says:

      He’s catcher eligible in fantasy leagues too.

  10. Troy says:

    The Yanks are picked to face — and lose to — the Angels in the ALCS, and the Mets are somehow picked to win the World Series. Yeah, right.

    That is absolutely hilarious. No way, IMO, do the Angels get past the ALDS. And the Mets?

    wow…that pretty idiotic predicting on SI’s part, eh?

    • Troy says:

      heh, I just checked the actual projections…Angels beating the Sox? Have the SI people been whacked out the past two years?

      • A. Nothing is as important as the 8th inning
        B. The only thing remotely as important as the 8th inning is the 9th inning
        C. Experience and knowing how to win is also good, so teams that were in the playoffs before will be in the playoffs again
        D. Therefore, the teams most likely to be in the World Series are teams that have been in the playoffs before who did something to win the 8th and 9th innings during the offseason
        E. The Angels and Mets signed the three best players in baseball during the offseason: Brian Fuentes, J.J. Putz, and K-Rod
        F. Fuentes is only one guy so he can only pitch the 9th, but K-Rod and Putz are two guys so they can pitch the 9th AND the 8th
        G. Therefore, the Mets and Angels are hands down the two best teams in baseball
        H. The Mets might possibly be the best team in the history of sports


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

    I want somebody to tell me who SI, ESPN, and Fox Sports picked to win the WS last year. Or the year before.

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

    Marty Brodeur is really shitting his pants.

  13. Johnny says:

    my pick:
    Royals over Orioles(they switch leagues after Selig is replaced by a monkey pulling ideas out of a hat and deciding their fate with a magic 8 ball)

  14. My picks:

    Yankees over Angels
    Rays over Twins

    Yankees over Rays

    [what? don't look at me like that!]

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      My Picks
      Yanks over Indians
      BoSox over Angels (as usual)

      Yanks over BoSox

      Yanks over Cubs

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        The Yanks are just getting warmed up. Having beat everyone in the US, they go on a world tour:

        Yanks over Havana Idustriales

        Yanks over Mexico City Red Devils

        Yanks over Nippon Ham Fighters

        They finish the world tour by coming back and beating the Long Island Ducks 37-1. Edwar Ramirez gives up the one run, and is thrown head first off the team bus immediately after the game.

  15. Mike says:

    Looks like they photoshoped a few pound off CC.

  16. Matt says:

    I love how everyone harps on the Mets great new bullpen but refuses to acknowledge that their rotation is not very good at all.

  17. LC says:


    Rangers released Catalanotto to make room for…wait for it…Andruw Jones. The Tigers definitely started something when they releases Sheffield. Do you think he gets a contract from an NL team?

  18. Steve H says:

    Interesting article by Jim Caple on ESPN (http://tinyurl.com/cfmma9) regarding team chemistry, especially considering the debates that have been had here regarding chemistry’s impact. Not really the article, but the quotes from players and managers, and I really like what Jason Schmidt has to say.

    “I’ve been on teams where there was one guy — and it wasn’t Barry — who made everyone miserable. But you’re not thinking about that when you’re on the field. Not at all. It’s a nonissue. I don’t really see how it affects the team’s play. Will you throw 95 instead of 90 because you’re happier in the clubhouse?
    Will you throw strikes?”

    When I hear that, I think Schmidt is right. Chemistry doesn’t play much of a role. Put it this way: When the Rays went from 97 losses in 2007 to the World Series last year, was it the departure of Delmon Young’s attitude or the arrival of Evan Longoria’s bat, Jason Bartlett’s glove and Matt Garza’s arm that made manager Joe Maddon’s quotations suddenly seem so wise? (And if you think it was Young’s departure, why did the Twins do so well with him on their team?)

  19. If SI were smart they’d stop wasting their time with this Sabathia guy and put Junichi Tazawa on the cover. LOSERS!

    Tazawa’s contract >>>>>>>>>>> Sabathia’s contract


    • Steve H says:

      Jaw meet floor.

    • andrew says:

      Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner are in their starting lineup, Joba Chamberlain is in the rotation and Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson and Ramiro Pena are on the immediate horizon

      I know we’ve been hearing more and more about Pena recently, but now he’s being put on the same level as Austin Jackson? Are we all missing something, or did his bat really improve that much?

      Or is it just the clever thing to say because everyone wants to guess Jeter’s replacement and be able to say “see, i told you so” in a couple years?

      • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

        I liked Jim Callis’ take on this in his chat the other day

        “Chris (Staten Island, NY): Jim, several Yankee beat writers have commented on opposing scouts coming away impressed by SS’s Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez. Both seem to have a superior glove but will either hit enough to play regularly in the majors?

        SportsNation Jim Callis : Writers have to churn out a lot of stories in spring training, and often they make prospects sound, um, a lot better than they may actually be. Pena is the best defensive infielder in the Yankees system and Nunez is also a slick fielder, but both would have to show a lot more with the bat than they have so far to become regulars. I think it’s fair to say they’re being at least a little overhyped. ”


        Pretty much sums it up.

      • Chances anybody will remember you mentioned Ramiro Pena once in one column 5 years from now if he’s a bust: practically zero

        Chances you’ll trumpet from the mountaintops over and over again the fact that you mentioned Ramiro Pena once in one column 5 years from now if he’s a success: 100%

        It’s a win-win.

        • Steve H says:

          Same reason plenty of people will pick against the Uconn women’s team in the Final 4. There’s absolutely no basis to making the pick, so if you pick against them and are wrong, who cares, you went out on a limb. If you’re right (with no good reason for being right other than luck) you can brag that you called it. Happens every single time there is a long winning streak, you’ll get the Tom Jackson’s of the world to pick against the streaking team game after game after game until they are finally right, then want credit for it.

          • Matt says:

            The only way the women’s team can lose is if they let Maya Moore disguise herself as Jerome Dyson to play in the men’s Final Four. Even then, I don’t know if they’d lose.

        • whozat says:

          Ah, but idiots like Steve Lombardi will cite the Pena hype as a reason to pooh-pooh the progress of some kid in a couple years.

          “I don’t care that Angelini walked more than he struck out in AA at age 21 and only K’d once every 35 ABs…All Yankee prospects are overhyped! Remember that Pena kid?”

          • Steve H says:

            Hopefully it’s at least driving up his trade value. If there are truly scouts out there touting this guy, and we don’t think he’s anything special, keep letting people blow smoke up his ass and then trade him.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      . . . . . . . . I’m speechless.

    • anonymous says:

      Baghdad Peter

  20. John Duci says:

    My Picks:

    Yanks over A’s
    Rays over Twins

    Yanks over Rays

    Yanks over Dodgers

  21. Kevin G. says:

    The thing I like about the predictions is that the Rays, who are predicted to finish in 3rd in the AL East, have a better record than 4 out of 6 non Yankee and Red Sox teams predicted to be in the playoff.

    But I hate the fact that they predicted the Mets to win the World Series. Who’s even in their starting rotation?

  22. yankeefan91 Arod fan says:

    check out this video

    http://cbsrny.cbsradio.com/glo.....8;at1=News – Special Coverage&h1=Inside Look at Yankees Stadium

  23. Tom Zig says:

    ESPN has the Yankees listed as one of the three most improved defense this year. Unfortunately it is behind the insider wall.

    As I am sure you are all well aware, the Angles are listed as one of the “three down” defensively.

    I checked through the position by position break down for the yanks (available in the magazine)

    They have Gardner and Damon as “so-so” defenders and Nady listed as a “sieve”.

    Abreu is listed as “so-so” in LF on the angels.

    Perhaps a bit off on the ratings, no?

  24. Peter says:

    I think everyone is missing the point. The title of the article should have been:


    OK so it’s a long title and…there are some who think it’s a jinx and others who could care less about such filly fally…but still…come on…I want so bad to believe it’ll happen in ’09…did they also include some pics of AROD kissing himself in the mirror as well…

    For the love of mo.

  25. Drew says:

    MLBTR quoted Mike A. about Dallas.

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