Open Thread: Questions for Roy White, Mickey Rivers, and Oscar Gamble


An opportunity came our way last week to interview three former Yankees: Roy White, Mickey Rivers, and Oscar Gamble. Obviously we jumped on the chance. Why not listen to the wisdom of three former players? Yet just after we accepted, we realized our deficiency here:

None of us have seen these guys play.

Rivers and Gamble played in our early years, but I don’t remember them at all. So, while we’re able to ask them questions about the teams they played on, we think there’s more potential here. We’re inviting everyone here to submit questions for Roy, Mickey, and Oscar, especially if you’ve seen them play. It will add to the depth of the interview, which we’re hoping will run during some downtime during the playoffs.

Please email the questions to me — the address is in the right sidebar. Because this is the open thread for the evening, I won’t be raking through the Anchorman references to find questions. You can also send questions to our Gmail address: riveraveblues gmail com (sorry, trying to avoid spam — though that’s actually how I would type the address into my BlackBerry).

Have at it: it’s your open thread. Be vicious, vile, and inhumane to each other. It’s what open threads were created for.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. chriskeo says:

    Interesting article on fangraphs.com back in August about Teixeira’s defense, how it seems to be stellar by the eye, yet he has a -0.6 UZR, nice read.

    • Bob Stone says:

      Good read. Thanks.

    • JGS says:

      Not sure where I heard this, but I think UZR doesn’t take scooping ability into account. That ability can be more important to a first baseman than great lateral range, so I’m not sure how valuable UZR is in evaluating first basemen in general

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Sorry, don’t buy it. Just because it’s a statistic doesn’t mean it’s accurate,which is what they’re arguing, that we need statistics to judge how players are defensively. And we do. But just because this is one of the only ones does not mean it, or any one fielding statistic, is correct. Texeira has been absolutely fantastic this year.

  2. Jose says:

    “I won’t be raking through the Anchorman references to find questions.” “Be vicious, vile, and inhumane to each other.”

    You are a smelly pirate hooker.

  3. Mike Pop says:

    Congrats on the chance to interview these guys gang, neat-o!

    • ColoYank says:

      One of my favored expressions is courtesy of Oscar Gamble. One of the great lefty-hitting power threats ever to come up in a pinch, he called jogging the four bags after a dinger “Cadillacing around the bases.”

  4. Zack says:


    “Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for more revenue-sharing in Major League Baseball. I’m something of a radical on this subject. I believe the Yankees (for example) should be compelled to share half of all their revenue with the other clubs (which would still leave them with a sizeable advantage over everyone else).”

    Yes Neyer, because nothing is more fair than making up rules against 1 team in a league.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Baseball should also institute a salary cap, limiting teams to $175M.

      • Steven says:

        I’m a Yankees fan (duh, or why would i read this blog) so i like how they can cover up mistakes like carl pavano but i do agree with a salary cap. Every league should have some sort of salary cap, but it will never happen. That’s why I don’t think that people should go crazy for a salary cap when the players union wouldn’t ever let that happen. Plus, its not like the Yankees have won a world series since 2000

        • JGS says:

          and it’s not like there hasn’t been 8 different champions in the last 9 years (and 10 different NL champions in the last 11)

      • Steven says:

        Plus, if you have a maximum salary, you would need a minimum salary, which would make it tough for some small market teams

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Right, and if you have a cap, you need to make sure every single team can spend to that cap. That’s why the salary cap works in the NFL. If they set the cap at say, $100M, they’re only hurting about 8 teams.

          • Steven says:

            Yeah, plus the football is much more lucrative and able to set a higher salary min and max. Plus, one thing I don’t understand is if the MLB were to theoretically put in a salary cap of 150 million starting next year, what would the yankees do with their payroll that has about 160 locked up for next year?

            • Zack says:

              Obviously we’d have to trade guys away to small market teams and pay 100% of their salaries, thats the only fair thing to do.

            • Chris says:

              MLB has more revenue than the NFL, so if anything the salary cap/floor should be higher in MLB.

              The only reason a salary cap works in the NFL is because they have significantly more revenue sharing than in MLB. They also have non-guaranteed contracts, which help teams negotiate to a hard cap.

      • vin says:

        I don’t see how anyone can make the case that a salary cap is necessary in baseball. There are plenty of successful teams that aren’t among the league leaders in payroll.

        We all know how much NYY have spent and the last time they won the WS, but just look at the Mets. That’s a team with a huge payroll that couldn’t overcome a few injuries. Then when a few injuries turned into a ton of injuries they were completely sunk.

        Advocating proper management is far more important than demanding a salary cap. Just look at the differences between the Royals and Twins.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Amen. A salary cap isn’t going to stop KC from signing Kyle Farnsworth for $9M.

          • The Artist says:

            And the reason why revenue sharing makes sense for the NFL is its a national TV sport. Baseball, on the other hand, is a regional sport. Why does this matter? There isn’t a big pool of money that everyone can divvy up equally. Teams have to earn their own scratch, from their own marketplace.

            So no matter what system you come up with, revenue sharing will never work in Baseball. Thresholds over which teams pay higher rates based in revenues will only serve to act as a disincentive to earn more (the way all high tax rates do) which would hurt the sport overall. The Yankees earning less money doesn’t help the Royals one bit, and if the Yanks are less of a ‘menace’ then interest wanes around the country wanting to beat the big bad Yanks. The Yanks are the #1 road draw across Baseball, and its not an accident.

            The answer is to do what the Red Sox did so brilliantly. Earn more. Create a narrative, partner with a network, market the shit out of your team. The answer is to get the medium markets bigger, not to tear down the Yankees.

        • Zack says:

          There you go.
          Did the salary cap help the Knicks when Isiah was giving big contracts out?

          Not only that, but if a team gives out a bad contract, they’re basically screwed until that contract is up because you cant just trade it away for salary relief. Or cut him like the NFL because its guaranteed

      • pete says:

        baseball is a private business. until winning becomes unprofitable, there’s no way a salary cap is happening

      • Joba Rules says:

        I think John Henry suggested a similar number.

    • The Artist says:

      We can discuss revenue sharing, Luxury taxes, and any other scheme we can dream up until were blue. But the MLBPA will N-E-V-E-R allow any of this stuff to happen, and they get the final say.

      They also have a war chest big enough to pay all their players for over a year, which is longer than the owners can hold out without going bankrupt. They’re impervious, and the owners aren’t. They will always win the battles with the owners, and this is one they will hit the mattresses on.

  5. bonestock94 says:

    Sooooo…..what do you guys think are the odds that the twins get to the playoffs

  6. October = best sports month of the year, yes/yes?

  7. The Lodge says:

    Anybody catch the Twins-Tigres today? I heard most of it – on the Minn radio station (mlb.com) – it seemed like Leyland was being an ass – extraordinarily so. I wonder if it was warranted that he was so worked up. Like how blatant was Mijares’ plunking and how bad were the calls he was arguing. The Twins broadcasters made it seem like Jim was out of line?

  8. ColoYank says:

    One of the greatest moments for me in my Yankee fan history is the ring Roy White won in 1978. After a long and brilliant career, Martin had him languishing on the bench (for whatever reason). Bob Lemon took over the club, started using Roy regularly in LF, and he helped in overtaking the Red Sox, scored ahead of the Bucky Dent homer in the one-game playoff, and then hit .333 in the WS, with a homer off of Don Sutton.

    • thurdonpaul says:

      roy white was a terrific player for a long time for us, he deserves more accolades then he gets, imo

      • ColoYank says:

        121 OPS+ for his CAREER, all in Pinstripes, and tons more walks than strikeouts.

      • In addition to being a good player, I think he’s a pretty nice guy. I’m speaking from very limited experience here, my dad got me some batting lesson sessions with Roy when I was a kid… And he was a very nice guy to us, and he was a good teacher. Anyone who is a good teacher and is good with kids is ok in my book.

  9. Salty Buggah says:

    I’m going to NY for the weekend but I cant go see the new Stadium because there’s no game and I wont have time. :(

    • JMK aka The Overshare says:

      That’s a shame. Still, there’s tons to do in New York. Enjoy it!

    • ColoYank says:

      I traveled to NY from Denver in May (the Nationals were in town, ugh), and got to the stadium the required 1.5 hours ahead of first pitch, only to be turned away from Monument Park. I said, “I traveled here from Colorado …” The security guy sympathized, but I was SOL …

  10. The Artist says:

    Let’s discuss Joba, who once again was awful last night. There’s no disputing he’s been bad, his ERA since July 31st is around 7.50, I just want to know if anyone has a theory as to why.

    Here’s a few to start with:

    -He hit the wall in August, which is coincidentally (or not) when he passed his previous career high in innings (118)

    -The Joba Rules screwed him up, between the extra rest between outings and the short starts. Hasn’t been able to get in a groove.

    -He’s just not physically conditioned enough to be consistently good and/or his stamina is more suited to relieve than start.

    -The ‘sophomore jinx’ that affects many 2nd year pitchers, which is another way of saying the league caught up with him.

    -He’s better suited to be a reliever, he’ll never be a good starter

    -Nothing, he’s just a young pitcher learning his craft.

    Give my your theory as to why he’s been so bad, to the point that they’re seriously considering leaving him off the post season roster.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Nothing, he’s just a young pitcher learning his craft.

      He hit the wall in August, which is coincidentally (or not) when he passed his previous career high in innings (118)

      The Joba Rules screwed him up, between the extra rest between outings and the short starts. Hasn’t been able to get in a groove.

      And this.

      • The Artist says:

        OK, but I was hoping people would add their own stuff as well.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          I really don’t have anything new. I believe he’s a young pitcher in NY struggling as most young starters do.

          But it also doesn’t help that he was rushed to the majors for bullpen help hurting in the long run because he needs inning limits which should have been taken care of in the minors.

          The management towards Joba this year also hasn’t been very good which isn’t helping Joba a lot. And he’s doing this while tired because he never pitched this much in one season.

      • The Artist says:

        I’d love to read that Becca, but the link doesn’t work.

        • The Artist says:

          OK, so you’re in the ‘hit a wall’ camp. I don’t disagree, but that difficult to prove since it was right around the same time that they altered his schedule. Both are plausible, so now we need someone to disprove one or the other.

          • “Both are plausible, so now we need someone to disprove one or the other.”

            But that’s impossible for anyone to do. It’s not like there’s some metric out there that will tell us whether he hit a wall or was messed up by the altered workload.

            I think the “hit a wall” theory is more plausible, though. I mean, we can hypothesize that the altered workload affected his performance, but there’s no historical precedent or evidence for why that would be so. We know, though, that young pitchers will tire and their performance will suffer when they are used much more than they have been in past seasons. People tire, it’s just a fact of nature.

            • The Artist says:

              Fine, but also arguing against the ‘hit a wall’ theory is the good start he just had last week. Showing good velocity and good stuff.

              If you’ve listen to Joba being interviewed at all this year, he constantly refers to ‘rhythm’. Getting in a good rhythm, getting in a groove. When he’s throwing the ball well, you can tell right away. He’s working fast and not shaking the Catcher off much. That would argue that the Joba Rules are to blame. Screwed up his routine, and now he just can’t get in a groove.

              Pitchers are creatures of habit. Mussina hated having an extra day off between starts, and felt it caused his command to be off. Joba said after last night’s game that he “couldn’t command his fastball all night”

              (See? It’s not impossible)

              • “(See? It’s not impossible)”

                Dude, I’m sorry, but you didn’t just prove it’s possible to disprove either of those 2 theories. You gave an argument for one side, the same way I gave an argument for the other side. Neither of those arguments is dispositive.

                • The Artist says:

                  I meant its not impossible to argue and attempt to disprove either side. I assume that people will make up their own minds.

                  To be honest, I was hoping get more of a conversation going and get some other people’s takes I haven’t considered, and not get so bogged down in whether or not we should or should not be having this discussion.

                • Yeah, I never said anything about it being impossible to have the conversation, I said it’s impossible to disprove either side of that argument, and I… Whatever, tedious.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  The truth: I have absolutely no idea why Joba is doing bad. In my mind (which isn’t particularly important to anybody but me but whatever), I give him half a season next year to show real, noticeable improvement before I give up on him as a starter. I also think that the velocity drop is very significant, considering we have no reason for it and since he was much better in 08′ both as a starter and as a reliever w/good velocity.

                • The Artist says:

                  No, I thought the same thing you did. As a re-read my 9:19 post I thought it would have been better to say ‘attempt to disprove’ right after I posted it, but I assumed people would know that, so I didn’t edit it.

                • So you wrote words that didn’t mean what you wanted them to mean and assumed other people would just divine your true intent without any clarification from you.

                  The Artist = Maxlvelli?

                  (I keed, I keed. I hear you.)

                • The Artist says:

                  I want you to change you name to-

                  “The Honorable (but tedious) Captain Nitpick”

                  I’m going to e-mail Joe and see if he can somehow force this name upon you with his magical WordPress powers.

                • Aw, don’t be bitter because you pulled a Maxlvelli. And it takes 2 to have a tedious conversation, brother. The nitpicking? Meh, I can live with that. If my nitpick was wrong, I’d worry, but I was right so that’s cool with me.

                • I’m peacing out. I’m sorry I made the Maxlvelli joke. Hopefully we can internet handshake on it and move on.

                • The Artist says:

                  Dude, I just was kidding around, as usual. I don’t even know who Maxavelli is. If he’s one of the annoying LoHud types, chances are I skip over his stuff without looking at the name.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Hey, I’m from lohud!

    • The Artist says:

      Let me add his Gamelog to the mix. Right around 100 innings he just went to crap, but that’s also when the Yanks started messing around with him.


      Chicken or Egg?

    • Drew says:

      look, people can bash him call him out.. whatever.

      “Give me your theory as to why he’s been so bad,”

      He’s young. Why don’t you give me a theory of why he’s been good? He sure as hell hasn’t solely been bad, it’s been up and down.

      When we touch up David Price tomorrow he and Jober will have similar, pretty much as close as you get, seasons. Both of which are only 23 years old and both are similar pitchers (set asaide their handedness). ESPN doesn’t call D-Price’s year a “monumental collapse” as they did Joba’s, merely because one pitcher is relevant and the other is not.

      The way I see it, this year has been a success. He’s healthy and he’s approached the innings we wanted him to reach. Next year If Phil doesn’t win a Cy Young right off the bat I hope he doesn’t face the same scrutiny.

      I still trust him versus Miggy Cabrera with 2 men on way before I trust Chad freaking Gaudin.

      • The way I see it, this year has been a success. He’s healthy and he’s approached the innings we wanted him to reach. Next year If Phil doesn’t win a Cy Young right off the bat I hope he doesn’t face the same scrutiny.


        • The Artist says:

          I’m sorry, but an ERA approaching 5, a WHIP of 1.55 and an ERA+ of 93 is not something that can be referred to as a ‘success’. Darrel Rasner and Sir Sidney Ponson gave us similar innings last year, we were all hoping Joba would do better.

          And I’m not bashing him, I’m trying to have a constructive conversation about him. I specifically cited that “since July 31st” he’s been bad, I never said all season. He was good before then, and was even better last year.

          If any reference to him struggling is taken as bashing him, then I don’t know what to tell you guys.

          • This. We’re all happy he upped his innings this year and is healthy, but, at the same time, he did not have a very good season on the mound. We can all admit the truth without “bashing” Joba.

          • Darrel Rasner and Sir Sidney Ponson gave us similar innings last year, we were all hoping Joba would do better.

            Yeah, we didn’t get exactly what we wanted but there are differences between Ponson/Rasner/Joba, and the biggest one is that with Chamberlain, there is still room for improvement. Chamberlain’s being healthy all season definitely doesn’t outweigh his relatively crappy pitching, but it’s a big thing, considering he’s never had this type of workload in pro ball and with his shoulder injury last year, there were concerns about that health. Though it may not look pretty–definitely not as pretty as we wanted it to be–it’s something to build on.

          • Drew says:

            Look, he’s been inconsistent. He looked great vs the Sox about 10 days ago. We can look for theories, excuses and a rhyme or reason all day. There is no one reason. He’s young and he’s approached innings as a major leaguer that he had never approached before. Is he tired? Probably. Have teams adjusted to him? Probably. Has his velocity fluctuated as much form start to start as it has inning to inning? Yes.

            You may not want to call it a success, but don’t act like it is a failure. It has been far from a failure.

            • I’m sorry, but

              Strawman – 0
              Drew – 1

              Nobody called Joba or his season a failure.

              • Drew says:

                “don’t act like it is a failure.”

                My reply to:
                “I’m sorry, but an ERA approaching 5, a WHIP of 1.55 and an ERA+ of 93 is not something that can be referred to as a ’success’”

                As I said, “you may not want to call it a success, but don’t act like it is a failure.”

                I don’t see any type of strawman argument in there.

                • It’s a strawman because you’re implying that Steve called Joba’s a season a failure, when he actually did nothing of the sort, and then argued against that point. Just because Steve doesn’t think Joba’s season should be called a success doesn’t mean he thinks it was a failure.

                • Drew says:

                  True. I didn’t mean to imply that he thought it was a failure. I merely meant that just because it wasn’t a “success” in his eyes, didn’t mean it was a failure.

                  In a public forum you are never speaking/replying to just one person.
                  I’m aware that Steve can take positives out of things as well as anyone.

                  –I do think it is important for anyone that may peruse this thread to realize that there is a middle ground. It’s not pass-fail, succeed–collapse.

                  As I’ve stated, in my eyes, it was a success.

                • Ok, we’re cool. As long as you change your name to Drew aka Psychotic and Relentless Basher of Strawmen.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  I think of Joba’s season perhaps not as a failure like he got nothing out of it, but certainly as a disappointment.

          • kunaldo says:

            he’s 24 dude…he’s had barely any time in the minors to actually develop…he was thrown straight into the fire, he passed his previous career high for innings, and the league may have caught up to him(taking more pitches rather than swinging at those 3-2 sliders)

            look, he spoiled us last year…as a starter too, he had flashes of brilliance…but you can’t expect that on a consistent basis from a young pitcher that hasnt had the proper time to develop…no, instead he has been thrown into a situation where it’s do or die…so instead of working on developing pitches, he has to get guys out on whatever he has(which is already good, but still needs to be refined)

            this year HAS been a success…he’s healthy, he’ll be able to throw more innings next year, and presumably he’ll be able to learn from his mistakes

      • The Artist says:

        I’m not so sure about Miggy Cabrera, but I trust him more against Youkilis and Bay than Gaudin.

    • pete says:

      I would say that Joba is a young starter who is going through normal young starter struggles. Normal young starter struggles are generally the result of some combination of increased workload (check), the league catching up a bit (check), imperfect development (check), irregular work (check)

    • JMK aka The Overshare says:

      Okay, I’ll bite. I’m not sure you’ll find a breakthrough theory to explain his ills – it’s really all speculation. In any event, my take:

      Joba’s problems center on a few things. The first, one I think most will point out, is his innings limit. He’s never pitched anywhere near the amount he has this year, and I think this is also exacerbated by him being rushed a bit in the minors, never building enough strength to throw deep into games or being able to dial it up when he really needs to get outs. The second is just the general symptom of being a young pitcher; very few are King Felix or Lincecum. Another thought is that perhaps it’s mechanical issues compounded with some of the other potential issues. The last, and I think most important reason, is the injury he sustained last year late in August (I believe it was the 30th, against Texas). He’d been pitching well last year and his velocity was quite good. Since then? We all know he’s been down considerably.

      Joba’s a power pitcher; he doesn’t need pinpoint control if he’s throwing 96+. He can get away with more mistakes at a higher velocity. But if his command isn’t very good and he’s throwing 90-93? He’s going to issue a lot of walks and he’s going to get hit. His fastball hasn’t been located well and he seems scared to throw it. How often does he throw a slider on a 3-2 count?

      I don’t think it’s fair or responsible to think he can’t be a starting pitcher. We’re fortunate enough that he’s been healthy all year (as far as we know). I consider it a bit of a Brackman-like season. The scale is different but the goal is the same. Next year will be a far more important season. If he’s able to get up to 95 consistently and he regains some of the command he’s displayed in the past, the guy has ace potential. To cut the idea off and toss him in the pen (and miraculously hope he’s again at 98+) is short-sighted. That is the last resort, when after a number of seasons he’s shown he can’t put it together.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      I’ll repost this since I did it in the middle of a comment vortex and it seemed to go unnoticed:

      The truth: I have absolutely no idea why Joba is doing bad. In my mind (which isn’t particularly important to anybody but me but whatever), I give him half a season next year to show real, noticeable improvement before I give up on him as a starter. I also think that the velocity drop is very significant, considering we have no reason for it and since he was much better in 08? both as a starter and as a reliever w/good velocity.

  11. Teix is the Man says:

    Anybody see who Rosenthal had as a runner up to Mauer for the MVP? What a douche that guy is; Teix obviously deserves it if not for Mauer (Or Jeter, but Teix is the Man=).

  12. Pasqua says:

    Roy White was doing a hitting clinic at an indoor batting cage place in my hometown (Rockland County, NY) when I was about 10-12 years old. I remember meeting Mr. White; he took me through some motions and then ended the lesson by saying, “You’ve got a nice swing, son.” At that time I was thrilled, and still too young to realize that my dad had, of course, PAID for the tutorial. I imagine everybody had a “nice swing” on that particular day.

    Seemed like a good dude, if my adolescent-self remembers correctly.

  13. Kiersten says:

    So MLB.com currently says that Minnesota needs to win all 3 of its remaining games to have a shot at the playoffs. Yet they’re two games behind the Tigers, meaning that if they go 2-1 and the Tigers go 0-3 they would be tied and force a one-game playoff. So apparently the good folks at MLBAM can’t count to three (or unless I’m the one who can’t).

    • The Artist says:

      No, you’re good. Technically, a play-in game isn’t part of the playoffs, its part of the regular season. But they still overstated it.

      Minny really blew it by not taking 3 of 4 with DET. It’s extremely unlikely, but still possible as you stated.

  14. kunaldo says:

    So…Say detroit wins tomorrow while minny loses, thereby sealing the deal on the AL central. I’m assuming verlander no longer throws on sunday, in order to save him for game 1, right? Well, then he would be pitching on 7 days rest in game 1…sooo….maybe we can hope he’ll be a little rust to start the game off? His career splits for 6+ days of rest suggest that he’s not really affected by the extra rest, but I’m really just hoping for some edge if he doesn’t have to pitch on sunday.

  15. billbybob says:

    To my fellow Yankee fans, are any of you stock brokers? I have a question about Reg SHO and Fails to deliver.

    And yes, I realize this is completely unrelated to baseball, but there are some smart people here and it is an open thread, so I figured go for it.

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