Open Thread: River Ave. Blues top ten of 2009

Sickels' Top 20 Yankee Prospects
Brandon Laird arrested in Phoenix

For the Yankees, 2009 was a very, very good year. The team won a Major League-leading 103 games. Then, they went 11-4 throughout the postseason and ended the year with a parade through the Canyon of Heroes. The Old Guard pulled out a fifth ring, and the newcomers and mid-decade interlopers did their thing too. With that 27th championship wrapped up, we were in an Empire State of Mind throughout the fall.

Last year on this date, I presented the top ten most popular RAB posts of the year, and so I offer it up again. Even as the Yanks won the World Series, our readers craved rumors, rumors and even more rumors.

1. Updated Yankees 2009 payroll information
Our most popular post of the year was one written in February. Joe analyzed the Yanks’ 2009 payroll and the team’s long-term salary commitments as well. Apparently, that’s what happens when we write a post that’s the top hit on the Google Search page for 2009 Yankees Payroll.

2. Stealing Juan Cruz
As Brian Cashman worked to put together the 2009 Yankees, Mike suggested that the team take a good, hard look at Juan Cruz. Luckily, the Yanks ignored us. Cruz missed most of August and September and put up a 5.72 ERA in 50.1 innings for the Royals. He strike out numbers dropped by nearly 50 percent while his walk rate remained the same. It was not a good year for Cruz.

3. A-Rod now dating above replacement level
Who says we have to be classy all the time? Our third most popular post of 2009 was one reporting that A-Rod and Kate Hudson were officially an item. Kate, as we all know, was the reason why the Yankees won the World Series in 2009, and we’ll have to hope that A-Rod rebounds from their recent off-season breakup. Supposedly, A-Rod is still into Madonna.

4. Yanks acquire Javy Vazquez for Melky, Dunn
Brian Cashman delivered an early Christmas present for the Yanks when he packaged Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino in a deal for Javier Vazquez. The Braves needed to free up some salary, and Cashman has coveted Vazquez since he was dealt from the Yanks following the 2004 season.

5. Spillover Thread: Yanks in talks to acquire a starting pitcher
The night before we learned Javy Vazquez would return to the Yanks, the Internet was abuzz with rumors of an impending trade for a pitcher. While the Yanks and Braves worked out a deal, no one knew exactly which pitchers the Yanks were targeting, and many fans spent the evening speculating on the identity of the trade target.

6. On the day after Christmas, my GM got for me…
As a Christmas calmed settled over the baseball world this past weekend, we debated which missing pieces the Yanks would need to fill to make a run of it in 2010. Will they land a left fielder? Another bat? Another pitcher? And what of the bench? These questions remain unanswered.

7. Prospect Profile: Mark Melancon
Another Google-inspired popular post, Mike’s Mark Melancon profile has drawn Yankee fans from around the world looking for more information on this late-inning option. Melancon will open the 2010 season competing for a job in the Bronx bullpen.

8. What the Blue Jays seek for Halladay
On the day after Thanksgiving, it seemed obvious to all that the Toronto Blue Jays would send Roy Halladay packing. Joe explored what Toronto expected in return. In the end, Halladay was part of a three-team deal that sent prospects and players every which way. The Doc is in Philly where he won’t face the Yankees during the regular season at all.

9. Why it’s Duchscherer, Sheets or stand pat with the pitching staff
Just a few days before the Yanks acquired Javier Vazquez, Joe urged the team to look at free agents Justin Duchscherer or Ben Sheets or no one at all. In the end, we had no idea the team was trying to reel in a bigger fish.

10. Going after the big Fish
As rumors of pitchers swirled around baseball, Mike urged the Yanks to look at Josh Johnson. The wheelin’ and dealin’ seems finished for now, but Josh Johnson could emerge as the biggest name available at the trade deadline come July.

* * *

And so as evening falls, we bid adieu to 2009. It was a great year for both RAB and the Yanks, and we’re looking forward to an even better 2010. This is your open thread for the night. Have fun. Be safe. And toast the Yanks’ great season before midnight ushers in another year and a blank baseball slate.

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Sickels' Top 20 Yankee Prospects
Brandon Laird arrested in Phoenix
  • Evil Empire

    That awkward, emotional bro-hug in the middle of the pic between A-Rod and Teixeira continues to be awesome and hilarious.

    • Steve H

      Aren’t they supposed to hate each other from their time in Texas? In fact, wasn’t Tex not going to come here because of A-Rod?

      • Evil Empire

        Imaginary narratives are such fun!

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      That’s my desktop background.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

    No matter how you may say it: Feliz Año Nuevo; Bonne Année; Prost Neujahr; Shana Tova; Sabai Di Pi Mai; Feliz Ano Novo; Gott Nytt År;Chúc M?ng N?m M?i; Sana Saiida; Gelukkig Nieuwjaar; Sawatdii Pimaï; Nave Saal Deeyan Vadhaiyaan or Happy New Year, I hope that you have one. (I hope I didn’t miss anyone)

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      What about esperanto?

      • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Eh…I copied it from my Facebook status. I was never a fan of Zamenhof.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          I don’t actually speak esperanto. To be fair, you could have had it written there w/o me knowing it. I was just banking on the fact that it wasn’t written there.

          WTF is Zamenhof?

    • Steve H

      What about: “Happy 362 days until Melmas!”

    • Salty Buggah

      “Nave Saal Deeyan Vadhaiyaan”

      Haha, that’s Punjabi, right?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        I didn’t know if you knew Punjabi or not.

        • Salty Buggah

          I do…though it’s been bad in recent years.

          • Salty Buggah

            Well, not bad, but it’s getting worse every year. I forgot to write back in 99

      • Sim

        Yankee fan from Punjab approves.

    • http://twitter.com/PerminioNeto Permínio Neto

      Thank you for the “Feliz Ano Novo”. Happy New Year from a fellow Yankee Fan from Brazil!

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    Respect Jeter’s Gangster, a blog I normally like (they can be pretty funny) has joined the fun with their rather stupid analysis of the team of the decade, confusing it once again with the story of the decade:

    http://respectjetersgangster.b.....ecade.html

    They contradict themselves. A lot.

    Wow.

    • Evil Empire

      Steroids are the story of the decade. Just sayin’

      But yeah, the Red Sox are not the team of the decade. Fuck that shit. The evaluation should be black and white – breaking the curse is just jibba jabba.

      • Evil Empire

        Oh, didn’t notice they prefaced that steroid were the true story of the decade.

        In the comments section of that blog post, Riddering laid it down though:

        I prefer the “EAT THIS, SUCKERS, A-ROD’S GONNA MASH THE SHIT OUT OF THIS ENDING DECADE” story but that’s simply a personal preference.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Ha, didn’t see Riddering there. Nice.

  • Evil Empire

    Wow. Keith Law doesn’t like the Byrd signing. How surprising.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/esp.....=law_keith

    He couldn’t help himself and rants about how dysfunctional the Cubs OF decisions are in general.

    • Accent Shallow

      Well, the Cubs aren’t exactly the poster children for good personnel decisions. And people say the Yankees waste money . . .

  • ColoYank

    Andy, maybe you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I kind of understand the FSL is a pitcher’s league. Is GMS field also a pitcher’s park?

    I was looking at Dave Adams’s numbers, and he spent the second half of ’09 at Tampa. He increased his SLG percentage by 100 points over his performance at Charleston. Hit all seven of his homers in Tampa, too. Pretty cool.

  • Salty Buggah

    Just got off the phone with my Canadian aunt. It took me a hour to explain to her how to restore an iPod. She couldn’t find the “restore” button on iTunes. Then, I had to explain to her that you just add songs to your library the same way as before because she kept thinking that iTunes changed. Also, it took me another 15 min to explain how to send pictures via email, which is actually better than the 45 mins it took me to explain the same thing back in March. So fuckin annoying. I avoid her phone calls but today my freakin sister picked up my phone for some reason.

    /rant over

  • Salty Buggah

    NY Yankees infield prospect Brandon Laird arrested following brawl

    http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde.....ct_br.html

    • Accent Shallow

      Oof.

      • pat

        Hopefully he didn’t break a hand. Shades of JBrent Cox

        • pat

          Actually, with the inclusion of his brother this could have been shades of Brien Taylor.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

      I like it. He’s gritty, gutty and has spunk and gumption. Chutzpah, even.

  • Accent Shallow

    Happy New Year, all. I make no promises about not drunk posting later.

  • MJ

    From MLBtraderumors.com: “Adrian Beltre is one option and R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs doesn’t think $10-15MM is an unfair asking price for the Scott Boras client.”

    How is a 3rd baseman with a .300 OBP worthy of 10+ million?

    • Accent Shallow

      Well, he’s never been a great OBP guy, but he’s not a true talent .300 OBP player. He’s got nice pop and a good glove.

      (And maybe someone out there thinks he can duplicate his 2004. What a year. He slugged .600 in Dodger Stadium!)

      • Tom Zig

        ::cough:: steroids ::cough::

        • Accent Shallow

          Career year at 25 screams steroids to you?

          If it was 35, I might agree with you.

          • Steve H

            Career year in a free agent year that was ridicuslously above and beyond anything before and since screams steroids. His OPS+ was 163. His best before that was 114, his best since has been 112. Talk about ridiculous outliers.

    • whozat

      If you read the actual article, it says that he could be worth that much to a team in the Red Sox position, where extra wins are really at a premium. Both because they’re right at the threshold of making the playoffs, and because the Rays are right behind them. So, while a normal team might pay 3.5MM for a win, to the Sox, that win might be worth 5MM.

  • Ian Nolte

    Not too surprised that the majority of top posts came from Joe and Mike, and the ones of Ben’s that did make the cut were simple hear and report posts.

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

      Well that’s below the belt. It’s just a coincidence, trust me.

    • pat

      Hahaha, why you would say that I do not know. It’s all about google-able posts.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

      Not a Ben fan? That’s OK, that just tells me the RAB guys were smart when they teamed up. Each appeals to a different audience, which is a good thing.

      I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of Ben’s posts at first, but soon came to the conclusion that he’s a good guy, and I still like him even when I disagree with him. Everyone doesn’t have to agree, that would actually be pretty boring. The main thing is that things stay civil, and around here they generally do.

      • pat

        Ben handles alot of the issues regarding the relationship between the Yankees and the City of NY, the Bronx, the fans etc and the business aspect of the club. Together the three of them have pretty much every facet of the New York Yankees covered. That’s why they’re the bomb. Well, that and the commenters.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

          Right, everyone except that bastard Mike Pop. Other than him, everyone’s great around here.

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            I blame the Cowboy fan in him. Who roots for the Cowboys anyway?

            • Jack

              Communists.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Not surprised that I’ve never heard of you before, yet you come here to criticize a writer who tackles a lot of the harder subjects to write about on a sports blog. They all do a great job, and all add something different.

    • Tom Zig

      Happy New Year to you too then.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Not that I feel the need to defend myself from a nasty, bitter troll with nothing better to do on Dec. 31, but four of the next five in the top 15 were written by me. That’s the way the Google cookie crumbles, and it all evens out. But happy New Year to you too.

      • Alan

        Don’t worry Ben, the rest of us appreciate you. You gave me alot of information on the new Yankee stadium that I simply wouldn’t have been motivated enough to find out otherwise. Hat tip to you, keep up the good work.

  • http://twitter.com/PerminioNeto Permínio Neto

    Happy 2010 RAB! Ben, Mike, Joe and fellow readers, you guys are great! Thanks for everything!

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

    Last year on this date, I presented the top ten most popular RAB posts of the year, and so I offer it up again. Even as the Yanks won the World Series, our readers craved rumors, rumors and even more rumors.

    Yep. Such is the life of a sports blogger.

    Do a long piece with sabermetric analysis, a graph and/or a few wRC+ and wOBA’s thrown in, and you get a smattering of comments. Mostly from other sabermetric-types who think your methodology sucks.

    Do a piece on trade rumors, free agent rumors, or a ballplayers sex life, and you have to start a spillover thread in an hour or two.

  • Melvin FTW!

    If the Yankees sign Damon, who bats 2nd? Him or NJ?

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

      They’re not signing him.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/blo.....y-lef.html

      Not only are they maxed out, but there’s a thought process among the Yankee brass that you wouldn’t want Johnny back at a big salary cut. Cashman has been quoted numerous times saying exactly that. Don’t forget that in 06, Johnny came into camp badly out of shape and was contemplating retirement. He went on to have an awful 1st half and a sub par season. He and the Yanks might be better off if Johnny got a fresh start somewhere.

      • Granderslam

        Yeah, but where else would Damon go at this point? He is running out of options and he’s probably going to get the same reduced salary. I am sure that something can be worked out between him and the Yankees…

        • Steve H

          But the Yankees don’t want him back, they don’t think the reward outweighs the risk. He’d literally be a replacement for their #9 hitter, and a severe downgrade defensively.

    • akamgkrebs

      obviously 2nd, because the only way that the Yanks are signing Damon is as a dh, which means Nick Johnson got hurt.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

    Best ballplayer’s name in Baseball?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....ozied.html

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

      Current players, of course. Nobody can be expected to compete with Snuffy Sternwiess.

      • pat

        Rusty Kuntz was pretty memorable.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

          Pat, keep your sex life out of this.

        • Steve H

          Rusty is great. Dick Pole is another one that provides stiff competition. And TSJC’s always talking about his large Chien -Min Wang, so he’s probably a Dick Braggins fan.

          Oh, and I miss TSJC. No homo.

  • pat

    BTW I’m calling it now, sometime in 2010 there will be a MTV or VH1 show called “The Love Situation”

    I’m guaranteeing it.
    Happy New Years all, don’t drink and drive.

    • Accent Shallow

      I really wish I didn’t get this reference.

      Argh, New Jersey. Argh.

  • Tom Zig

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Be safe and if you can’t…name it after me.

  • Salty Buggah

    HAPPY NEW YEAR RABers in New York/East Coast!

  • http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090810&content_id=6355462&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy JobaWockeeZ

    Happy New Years to all!