Open Thread: Team of the Decade


We’ve already had a bunch of “________ of the decade” talk around here, so let’s keep it going with Team of the Decade. Noted Yankee-hater Jim Caple managed to put his personal biases aside in favor of common sense, dubbing the Bombers the decade’s best squad in a piece for the four-letter. Allow my to quote:

No other team is close. No matter the criteria, the Yankees come out on top. The Yankees won the first World Series of the decade, and they won the last. They played in two others. They won their division eight times and reached the postseason nine times. They won 45 games more than the nearest team. They had some of the greatest players in history (Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter). They had the decade’s best closer (Mariano Rivera) and some of the best starters (Clemens, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte). They opened the most expensive stadium in history and were so good, fans paid $2,500 for a ticket to see them. Well, a couple of fans did.

And the Yankees not only spent more freely than a targeted congressman in an election year (nearly $1.9 billion in combined payroll), but they grew so ravenous that they started stealing two bases at once.

Had the Yankees lost to the Phillies in the World Series, well then you have a debate on your hands. You’ve got the Red Sox with two World Championships, one division title, and five Wildcard berths, then there’s the Phillies with two titles and three division crowns, and don’t forget the Cards with one World Championship, two pennants, six division titles, and another Wildcard appearance. The Yanks would have ended up with one championship, three pennants, eight division crowns, and another Wildcard win.

So, in this hypothetical situation, who would you consider the team of the decade? I think I’d go with Boston because of their edge in playoff appearances. They also won 70 more games than the Phightin’s during the decade, and beat the Cards in the ’04 Fall Classic. If you want to look a little deeper, the Yanks had the best run differential (+1,273) of the four teams, followed by Boston (+1,198), St. Louis (891), and Philadelphia (+479). What do you think?

Use this thread to chat about that, or whatever else you want. The unbeaten Colts and the six-time beaten Jaguars play at 8:20pm ET, though you need the NFL Network to watch that one. The Knickerbockers are in Chicago, while the Rangers and Isles wrap up their home-and-home series tonight. Anything goes, just be cool.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Accent Shallow says:

    I don’t know how thrilled I am about the report Nick Johnson signing. Yes, he brings great OBP skills to the table, but he’s slow and his power may not recover — so he’s a one dimensional offensive player.

    Of course, that one offensive dimension is the most important, but he’s also made of glass. Color me on the fence.

  2. Steve H says:

    Has there been any word yet on the money for Johnson? I love this signing, especially if it leads to Sheets or Chapman, preferably both.

  3. Jake H says:

    I’m liking that.

  4. Salty Buggah says:

    ESPN’s featured comment (one of 4) on the potential Johnson deal with the Yanks article:

    jdawgsgems says:
    December 17, 2009, 10:40 AM ET
    DeRosa would be a better fit becuase he can play anywhere, hit for power, average, and drive in runs. That would be asolid P/U.


    • pat says:

      Comments from ESPN, MLBTR, LOHUD, any newspaper website = bastions of stupidity.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        True dat

      • Zack says:

        Agreed. Some guy on MLBTR wanted Duscherer and Aceves to be the 4/5 starters and keep both Joba and Phil in the bullpen

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

          In other news, the pregnant 16-year old girl who hangs out by my office building thinks it would be a good utilization of resources for me to provide her baby private schooling, new clothes and a daily spending stipend. (It’s not my kid. I don’t even know her.)

          What were you saying about MLBTR?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      When will everyone get off DeRosa’s nuts?

      He’s a nice player, but he doesn’t have a spot on this team.

  5. Moshe Mandel says:

    Steve over at our blog said that ESPN 1050 is reporting that Cashman said that Hughes and Joba will compete for one rotation spot, with the loser going to the bullpen. Has anyone heard about this anywhere else?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      A few people have emailed it in. Someone, I think Joe, is going to tackle it later tonight.

      • pat says:

        So that means we’re signing a pitcher?

        • Steve H says:

          Only if it’s Sheets does this make any sense.

        • Moshe Mandel says:

          He suggested that it would be even if they didnt. It’s just an all around terrible idea. Terrible. If you put one of them in the bullpen, he’s never coming out. You might as well have traded him in a Halladay deal.

          • DP says:

            Must be paranoid about 08. I don’t get it though. So if we sign no one, we are gonna just hand a spot to Chad Gaudin. How does that make sense? Something’s not right.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

              Nick Swisher moves to the rotation, Hoffman to RF. Presto!

            • kunaldo says:

              i think they might be trying not to let joba and hughes get too comfortable? also, for a guy like cashman, who holds his cards very close to his vest, an announcement like this doesnt make sense…just telling everyone that they definitely will sign a pitcher isnt a good move for leverage…

          • nathan says:

            Hope not… their value is as starters.. i only read somewhere (lohud maybe) that Cash$$ said Hughes has an innings limit and hence needs a starter as an insurance option.. this Hughes or Joba thing doesnt really bode well..

            but.. our rotation at 2/3 has risk/age .. so it may work itself out as well…

          • Jake H says:

            If they don’t sign a starter why would they do that. It doesn’t make any sense unless they want Ace to start the year as the 5th starter then have Hughes transition from the BP to the rotation because of an innings limit.

          • Stryker says:

            agree that it’s a terrible idea. why can’t they get things right with these two for once? they’re both older and more experienced; let them sort things out.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Oy vey.

      Would they really telegraph a signing like that, though?

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid…

      CC/AJ/Andy/Joba/Hughes plz…

    • countryclub says:

      I heard this today. Not sure if there were different sound bites, but the one I heard didnt mention the pen. If Hughes went back to the pen this yr (and not AAA for depth), it would kill his future as a starter. After 2 yrs in the pen, it would take at least 2 yrs to stretch him back out and I dont see the Yanks doing that.

      I was always against Joba/Hughes being traded. But if this was the plan all along, maybe they should have moved one for Lee.

      btw: I’m not assuming Hughes will lose the competition.

      • Mike HC says:

        I don’t think a season and half in the bullpen is going to ruin either of their starting careers. It might take them a little while longer to reach full potential, but they can still get there.

    • Mike HC says:

      I like the idea, assuming the mystery fifth starter can pitch to about a 4.5 or lower era. Hughes or Joba can be very valuable in the pen, whereas that 5th starter would not have the same impact in the pen. While it is fun to watch these guys reach their full potential, sometimes you gotta sacrifice for the team. One of them in the bullpen makes the team better.

      Any questions about their ultimate role can wait.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        It makes the team better, but how much better? And is it worth it in the long run?

        My answer to the first question is likely 1-2 wins, if that, and the second question is “probably not”. Of course, we don’t know. Maybe Hughes is going to be in the Joba ’08 role — begin in pen, move to rotation.

    • Riddering says:

      By all that is holy…no!

      It makes no sense.

    • Drew says:

      Could just be some posturing by the FO to get them to compete with each other in ST. Either way, Power pitchers generally don’t have their best stuff until the second to last ST start.

  6. nathan says:

    Oh i so hate Jim Caple… he wrote more about why the Nats suck and why others didnt win than why the Yanks won that title… cant muster some guts to ooze positive on the Yanks… it wu d hv been so cooler if the topic was one of the discussion types.. imagine John Kruk, Bill Simmons, Caple have to discuss why Yanks are the team of the decade… their Blood pressure wud b so high u wont need a heater for that conference room…

  7. Steve H says:

    I know we like ripping on ESPN for their Sox love, and we go overboard on it (knowingly), but does anyone else think, if the Sox were interested in Nick (.426 obp) Johnson, this would be written:

    Johnson’s career has been filled with injury, he doesn’t hit for a lot of power, and his defense at first base has been viewed by scouts as regressing.

    It did get more positive after that, but come on. The dude just finished 3rd in baseball in OBP.

    • nathan says:

      or if he werent a former Yankee returning to Yanks..

      imagine if Nomar returns to BoSox.. that wud just second to boy genius’ return

  8. Salty Buggah says:

    Davidoff: Yankees and Nick Johnson are wrapping up a one-year deal for about $5.5 million. Pending a physical.


  9. gc says:

    According to Francesa, Boston was the team of the decade and there’s no debate about it. Wave of the hand. Next…

    So it must be Boston. Mike Francesa has spoken. :)

    • nathan says:

      I sometimes really long for a lack of good alternative for WFAN.. their lineup is a sequenceof idiots and blowhards… u might as well switch off ur radio inthe daytime.. Carton n Francesa are the dumbest on radio..

      • Stryker says:

        joe and evan aren’t that bad. evan at least acknowledges that there’s more to baseball than what you see with your own eyes. sure it may be a mets/jets extravaganza during the day, but evan is ALWAYS willing to see the other side of things.

        • kunaldo says:

          exactly…joe is dismissive of advanced stats, but evan sees the usefulness in them…which is more than i can say for pretty much every other ny radio head

          i miss the days of max kellerman

      • kunaldo says:

        carton is at least funny, and usually boomer keeps them in check…i like joe and evan actually…they may be mets fans, but they give the yanks their due

  10. Evil Empire says:

    I like how no one at ESPN (and the MSM as a whole) can actually, y’know, write about the Yankees organization in a respectful and appreciative way. Sure, they can write about individual players glowingly, like Mo and Jeter – even A-Rod sometimes – but when it comes to the organization, any kind of props given to the team is done with much chagrin. Like Jim Caple – who I actually really like overall – just blatantly hated having to admit that the Yankees were the team of the decade, and he invited others to hate right along with him. That’s his overall style of prose so I’ve come to expect it but he really milked it in this one. Of all the mainstream journalists out there, Peter Gammons is probably the guy who wrote about the Yankees most respectfully, and I’ve always appreciated that.

    While at the end of the day I love the hate (just look at my moniker), it would be nice to see more than just one class act out there.

  11. radnom says:

    The craziest thing happened to be just a few nights ago.

    A number of months back a friend (we will call him Steve) and I went to a rave. It was great time. We met a girl there, we will call her Mary. She was a former meth addict, and had all the usual ex-tweaker behaviors. Poor impulse control, talked a mile a minute, collected shiny trash for use in her “art projects”. She was hilarious. She was also homeless. After the party we invited her back to our town to spend a few days and escape the stress of city life.

    She wound up staying with Steve for about a week. She decorated his house with shiny trash and duct tape. They had some sex, and she returned to the city one Sunday afternoon.

    Six weeks later Steve gets a call from a payphone. Its mary. She is pregnant, probably with Steve’s child. She tells him that its OK, her and her current boyfriend are going to take care of it, but she just wanted him to know. Before he can respond, she hangs up and he has no way of getting in touch with her.

    Two weeks pass. Steve is starting to cope. He realizes the story may have been bullshit, resolves himself to put it to the back of his mind for now. The two of us get invited to a house party in the city. On our way down, we call to get directions, and the host mentions:

    “Oh, hey, your friend Mary is here.”


    “Yeah, she needed a place to stay for a few days and she is dating a friend of ours (we will call him Josh). She mentioned she knew you.”

    “Um. Okay.”

    Steve resolves to go to this party anyway to find out just what is going on.

    The party is, as you might imagine, stressful for both of us. She is, in fact, pregnant, though who the dad is is anyone’s guess. Steve is somewhat upset. I am upset for him. We proceed to get really drunk to take the edge off the fucked up situation.

    We had no idea how bad things were about to get.

    Too drunk to drive home, we both decide to sleep it off at the party. At 4am I wake, and stumble through the living room looking for a bathroom.

    Mary is awake too. So is josh. They are fingerpainting on the wall.

    “What are you doing? You don’t live here. Where the fuck did you get paint?!”

    She laughs.

    “Oh, I miscarried.” Both Josh and Mary start cracking up.

    In my intoxicated state I still didn’t realize what was going on. A quick inventory of the room told me everything. Bloody blankets. Check. Bloody underwear. Check. Bloody hand, bloody wall. Check.

    It was too surreal to muster a shout, or any sort of emotional response really. I just shut down and started figuring out what to do. People were starting to wake up from my angry exclamation before.

    “You need to clean this shit up before Steve wakes up.” Is all I could say. It was too late though. Steve had emerged from the bedroom, rubbing his eyes.

    “We leaving dude?” He asked.

    “Steve, please, trust me as a friend. You -need- to go back to bed. I will wake you up when we leave.” He looked around the room, saw a mess, looked bewildered, but thank god he turned around and went back to bed.

    I found some windex and paper towels and a trash bag under the sink. By this point the emotional gravity of what was going on sunk in with Mary and Josh and they stayed quiet, and helped get rid of the evidence. The wall, unfortunately, was textured, and it was impossible to get all the gore our of the little cracks, but the room no longer looked like a horror scene.

    Once the trash was out, I woke up steve, told him to get his shit together. We were still a little too tipsy for road driving, so hit a waffle house on our way out of town to sober up.

    During breakfast, Mary came up.

    “I’m really worried man. I’m not ready to have a kid.”

    And like an idiot I said “Don’t worry, man. Mary isn’t pregnant anymore.”

    “What?” And then he put two and two together.

    Steve didn’t talk the rest of the way back.

    I was pretty shaken by the whole incident, so I gave my mother a call. She got frightened and said ‘You’re movin with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air’ I whistled for a cab and when i came near, the license plate said ‘Fresh’, and had dice in the mirror, if anything i could say that this cab was rare, but I thought Nah, forget it – Yo, home to Bel-Air
    I pulled up to the house at bout seven or eight, I yelled to the cabbie Yo home, smell ya later I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air

  12. Rey22 says:

    Last night I had a dream that I was watching an 2010 Yanks-Twins game in Yankee stadium. AJ Burnett was the starting pitcher. Suddenly, in the 6th inning, he started getting hit hard, so Girardi comes out of the dugout and signals a righty to come in from the bullpen. I stand up to get some food in the commercial break…and when I come back Roger freakin’ Clemens is pitching for us.

    …I need to lay off the meds.

    For the record, he got his ass handed to him and we lost that game.
    Some dream.

  13. Teix is the Man says:

    Joba back to the pen makes no sense…he can potentially have no limitations for next year.

  14. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    I’m going to call BS on one of Joba or Hughes hopping back to the ‘pen. So far my BS meter has been pretty solid this off-season, and hopefully that trend continues.

    It makes absolutely zero sense.

    Now, with Nick Johnson basically in the bag, how much $$ do we have, and what other projected moves do you all expect to see?

    I see Lowry, Escobar, Chapman and long-shot, Cyclops Mateo. That’s it.

    • radnom says:

      It makes sense if they land Sheets.

      • Mike Pop says:

        I’d rather Joba/Hughes both in the rotation than going after Sheets.

        The plan involves making them both starters for the long term good of the team. This plan was made two – three years ago, it’s time for it to take place. This is the perfect opportunity.

        • radnom says:

          True, but starting pitching depth is dangerously low. Between the two youngsters, Pettite getting up there in age and AJ Burnett’s checkered injury history – it may be dangerous to enter the season with only 5 reliable starting pitchers.

          As long as the loser of the competition is the first guy to step into the rotation in the event of injury, I’m ok with this plan.

          Besides, a healthy Sheets would be the second best pitcher on the team. If you can get him, you do.

          • Lanny says:

            Sheets isnt better than Burnett. He has a lot to prove before he’d be better than the current 5.

            • Mike Pop says:

              Everyone knows I’m a huge Burnett guy. But Sheets is better if healthy. But, who knows. He’s been out of the game for a while now, might take him some time to get back in.

          • As long as the loser of the competition is the first guy to step into the rotation in the event of injury, I’m ok with this plan.

            If the loser of the competition is sent to the bullpen, he couldn’t possibly be the first guy to step into the rotation, because he’d be a situational reliever and he’d need 2-4 turns through a rotation somewhere to get stretched back out again.

            This is why Hughes wasn’t put back in the rotation when Wang got hurt for the second time.

          • Mike Pop says:

            I hear that but I still want to see both Hughes and Joba in the rotation to start the season. This team doesn’t need a Ben Sheets. This team needs their young pitchers to gain more experience, get their innings in, and become capable starting pitchers. They can’t do that if they’re in the bullpen.

            I know an injury will probably occur this year, but that’s why I’d prefer a guy who can do both bullpen and starting pitching(and would be okay with doing so). That’s why Justin Duke fits the bill of what I’m looking for.

            I’m also fine with Mitre and Gaudin as the 6th-7th starters.

            • radnom says:

              Teams average ~ 30 starts a year not made by their opening day 1-5 guys.

              Mitre and Gaudin arn’t terrible options, but any plauge of injury worse than average and all of a sudden you have a lot of starts coming from god knows where.

      • A) I’m not sure if it does make sense if you add Sheets. If you add Sheets, the loser of the Joba/Phil battle should become the 6th starter. The 6th starter should be starting in Scranton, not pitching in the pen. We already have plenty of guys capable of pitching in the pen.

        B) Even if you really want one of them in the pen, this announcement makes sense AFTER they land Sheets. Not before.

        • radnom says:

          A) See my response to Pop just above.

          B) Agreed – I was commenting on the plan itself (assuming a certain future event happens) and not on the timing of the comment.

          • I responded to your response.

            If the loser of the competition goes to the pen, he won’t be the 6th starter. He’ll be eliminated from starting.

            That’s why Hughes stayed in the pen all year long, and we had games started by Aceves, Gaudin, and Mitre.

            • radnom says:

              Thats why I said I only am completely ok with this plan if the loser is the 6th starter.

              You can use someone in the bullpen and still have them available to start. The problem was that this is not how Hughes was used last year after being sent to the bullpen (largely out of necessity).

              I wish I could say I had confidence that the Yankees would not use him/Joba in the same manner this year, and keep them available as the 6th starter, but its really a bit of a pipe dream. Not impossible though – just takes some self control (or a dominate Marte in the 8th).

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

        I see why people lobby for him. Really, I do. I’ve chatted with Congressman over this possibility quite a few times.

        My take: grabbing Sheets relegates Hughes to the bullpen. He already hasn’t had over 110 innings pitched since 2006. The further you push him from that number and not develop a reliable third pitch, the less value you get out of him as a phenomenally talented young pitcher on the cheap.

        I like Sheets, I do. Healthy? Underpaid #2 starter. Awesome. But we can’t look at this in a vacuum. It greatly affects Hughes’s impact in the short-term and the long-term, and pushes his arb. date closer without him having lived up to what he can do.

        If you’re committed to Sheets this year, you have a guy (Hughes) entering 2011 not having pitched 110 innings in a season in five years, or likely having developed a third pitch. So he probably can’t even give you a non-innings limit seasons until 2012. I don’t like that scenario.

        If you have him in AAA waiting for an injury, I’m happier with that than the bullpen. A spot he may not be able to transition from.

        • Again, though, you’re assuming that (a) Hughes would be in the ‘pen and not either starting in AAA or starting in MLB due to injury to one of the starters, and (b) that if Hughes spends 2010 in the MLB ‘pen, that he can’t then be stretched out to start again in 2011.

          As far as option (b) goes, I get the resistance and the possibility of that happening definitely gives me more than a little pause. I just think you’re assuming too much. First of all, I’m not convinced the Yanks would keep Hughes in the ‘pen instead of sending him to AAA to serve as the 6th starter for the MLB team when needed. And even if they were to put him in the ‘pen, I’m not convinced he’d stay there all year. If one of the 5 members of the rotation were to go down with an injury in the first half of the season, for example, I think the Yanks would send Hughes to AAA to stretch out as a starter. The same way we can’t resist the idea of starting the season with two young arms in the rotation just because it didn’t work in 2008, we also can’t completely abandon the idea of stretching out a reliever to be a starter just because they did that with Joba and he happened to get hurt after a few starts (and we don’t even know if any of this had anything to do with that injury). We’re not dealing with nearly as many absolutes here, in reality, as people sometimes assume.

          All that aside… If option (a) were to be the result (Hughes to AAA and up to MLB as the 6th starter), what say you? Would you be in favor of acquiring Sheets and having Hughes start in AAA until needed as the 6th starter for the MLB club? I know you don’t think option (a) would happen, I’m just wondering what you would say if you knew that option (a) would actually be the choice.

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

            I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. I’m against Phil being pushed out of the rotation in the theoretical sense. Again, and I think I reiterated this last night, I’m flexible regarding what they do with him. I don’t have a stance on Hughes being in the MLB rotation as an absolute—I just don’t like the idea of people looking at this through the prism of “whatever we strengthen the rotation with this year is what we should do.” There’s a lot more to consider.

            I think potentially sacrificing the short-term for the long run is a poor decision, and if your five starters pitch consistently, relatively non-injured seasons and Hughes is in the ‘pen throwing an inning here, an inning there, well, under that strict sense, I don’t like that. If they win #28 with Hughes in the ‘pen, I’ll like the conclusion, but not the premises. I’ll still be pretty happy on the whole though, obviously.

            If it comes down to them getting Sheets, I’d rather have him in AAA the whole year building stamina, developing his pitches and then when an injury happens, you insert him. If an injury doesn’t happen, well then you’ve given him a fantastic development year and can insert him into the ‘pen as he approaches his limit and he’s ready in 2011, not playing catch-up. What I don’t want is Hughes losing another year to develop a reliable third pitch or any stamina in the bullpen.

            Basically, that’s what it comes down to. I want to see him develop fully. I think putting him in the bullpen significantly hinders him reaching his ceiling and the possibility he’ll be moved from there.

            So, under your hypothetical, yeah, I’d be pretty happy with that scenario. Ideally, I’d have him in the rotation from the get-go, but that’s the next best-case.

            Also, think about this: If someone does go down in the rotation, and Hughes has been in the ‘pen, presumably as the 8th inning guy, you need to give him at least a few weeks to stretch him out (at AAA), so for a few weeks you’ve lost a rotation starter AND your set-up man. It will probably be a tight race this year in the AL East. Even when Hughes comes back up (not to beat a dead horse), but he’d likely have only been throwing non-fastballs for what, two weeks? Three weeks?

            Not sure he’d even be effective.

            /sorry I’m rambling. Packing for North Carolina. There’s a fucking ice storm this weekend. What are the chances?!

            • “I don’t have a stance on Hughes being in the MLB rotation as an absolute—I just don’t like the idea of people looking at this through the prism of ‘whatever we strengthen the rotation with this year is what we should do.’ There’s a lot more to consider.”

              Just to clarify my position, and I think this position is probably shared by some of the other pro-Sheets crowd… This whole conversation, and my opinion on it, is totally dependent on Ben Sheets signing a contract for 1 or 2 years at a reasonable salary. I’m not in favor of strengthening the 2010 rotation at all costs, I’m only in favor of it if the Yankees have the incredibly unique opportunity to sign a potentially dominant, in its prime arm at a discount. If we’re talking about Derek Lowe for 4 or 5 years, or John Lackey for 5 years, or any of the cheaper options out there, I pass on those moves in favor of keeping Joba and Hughes in the rotation (and obviously in favor of passing on what would be an expensive long-term contract that doesn’t fit well with the current and future roster construction).

              Ben Sheets on a short-term contract for a reasonable salary, though, is what I consider to be an exceedingly rare opportunity. If he’s healthy, you just signed an ace-level pitcher at a below-market rate for 1 or 2 years. I’m not pushing the kids out of the opening day rotation for anyone else on a different contract, only for this unique opportunity.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

                Oh I know, and I’ve never believed you’d proposed or lobbied for a high-priced veteran with a medium-to-long term deal. Still, I think it’s important to note that it could be one more year he’s not starting. I don’t know the science behind it, but I can’t imagine it bodes well for his career as a starter. It’s an incremental thing; in itself nothing to freak over, but when it becomes a pattern, I worry.

                It’s not a pattern yet, but if Hughes isn’t getting major innings, developing his pitches next year, whether it be at AAA or MLB, it becomes one.

                Again, whether it’s Sheets in the rotation or Hughes, as long as he gets his innings in, I’m happy.

                And for fuck’s sake, I really hope we trade Gardner. I saw some guy say he wanted him as our STARTING CF and I seriously considered how happy I’d be to see him traded for Vernon Wells.

                It was a low point as a Yankee fan.

    • We’ve seen reports of contact with Sheets’ reps, so the idea of adding another starter is certainly not off the table. It might not happen, but it’s on the table and is a possibility.

      • Lanny says:

        They are going to sign another starter and make Joba/Hughes/FA compete for the 2 spots. Using the loser in the pen.
        Why shouldnt those guys compete? Didnt we learn a lesson in ’08 handing spots to youngsters?

      • Stryker says:

        it’s very un-cashman-like, though. he’s been so adamant about these two being cemented into the starting rotation. now as far as back as the start of the winter meetings cashman starts spinning the “they can now start or relieve for us, whichever we decide” angle.

        there HAS to be something up. it could be a signal to a guy like ben sheets that if he so chooses the rotation spot is his. or perhaps the quote is out of context and neither will go into the bullpen, just that it will be competitive between the two of them? i’m not sure. are they THAT scared of what happened in 2008?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      No thanks on Lowry. I prefer my injury-related long shots to have upside, and with his middling stuff, I’m skeptical as all hell.

    • DP says:

      Who is Cyclops Mateo?

    • Lanny says:

      Lowry has terrible stuff. Cant succeed in the AL.

      Escobar wants to be a reliever.

      Chapman will start in the minors and earn his way up.

      The realistic targets are Sheets and Duch.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

        Lowry has terrible stuff. Cant succeed in the AL.

        Lowry is depth, that’s all. He’s a guy that can give you some innings and not put up an ERA in the triple digits.

        Escobar wants to be a reliever.

        Ok. Cool.

        Chapman will be in the minors and earn his way up.

        He should.

        The realistic targets are Sheets and Duch

        Hmm…possibly. I wouldn’t be so sure of that, though (and I’d like Duch if he’d be a swingman).

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Honestly, I’m all for adding depth. Lowry is just junk, though. I’d rather see Kei Igawa making starts — he’s at least pitched in professional baseball in ’08 and ’09.

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

            If you’re all for depth (so remember, it’s going to be off the scrap heap), whom do you recommend?

      • Accent Shallow says:

        My only issues here are the words “in the AL”.

        I wouldn’t object to adding Escobar to the bullpen mix, if the price is reasonable.

  15. So, apparently, according to Chris Sheridan:

    Tracy McGrady is likely going to end up getting traded at some time in the next seven months — maybe in a sign-and-trade deal after he becomes a free agent July 1, maybe at the trade deadline in mid-February, or maybe even sooner.

    The New York Knicks are hoping it is sooner rather than later, and they have been one of the most persistent pursuers of McGrady over the past several weeks, has learned.

    But what is killing the Knicks’ chances of landing McGrady, who would be a panacea for them next summer when they plan to be major players on the free agent market, is their insistence that Jared Jeffries be included in any deal with the Rockets…

    Harrington, earning $10.02 million, would almost certainly be a part of any proposed trade between the Rockets and Knicks, and New York can also offer the Rockets financial relief by including the expiring contract of Cuttino Mobley (whose $9.5 million salary is being paid by an insurance company) in the deal.

    So if you start with Harrington, Jeffries and Mobley, you have about $26 million worth of contracts — more than enough to satisfy trade rules that require all salaries in any trade between over-the-cap teams be within 125 percent of each other. (McGrady is earning an NBA-high $23.2 million this season, and it was being paid by an insurance company prior to McGrady’s comeback Tuesday night.)

    But the trio of Harrington, Jeffries and Mobley is not nearly enough to get the Rockets to bite, and one source briefed on the discussions between the teams said the Knicks — even if they threw $3 million cash into the deal — do not have enough sweeteners (New York does not own its own 2010 first-round pick, and Houston has no interest in any of the Knicks’ young players except Danilo Gallinari, who is the closest thing to an untouchable player as the Knicks have) to get the Rockets interested.

    Also, Houston sees the inclusion of Jeffries as a non-starter because his salary would prevent the Rockets having max room to work with in the summer of 2010.

    Tommie: Crestfallen

    COME ON, ROCKETS!!! Jared Jeffries has looked better recently. He’s a decent jack of all trades bench guy, and he’d fit your defense/rebounding team to a tee. Harrington and Jeffries for T-Mac makes you much better on the court, immediately. And you’re not signing anyone to a max deal next winter anyway, not with Yao and Ariza’s money still on your books.

    • Esteban says:

      That loss was awful tonight and so was the loss against the Bobcats. I think McGrady would be great for the rest of the season, but I don’t think anybody wants Jared Jeffries.

  16. Dave says:

    Looks like the Rangers actually decided to show up tonight.


    Damn. Looks like Henry was a suicide, though his girlfriend should still get charged with something. I would think reckless endangerment or criminally negligent homicide.

    • Drew says:

      She will. In no circumstance should you knowingly operate a motor vehicle with someone unfastened in a pickup bed. Whether he jumped or fell, she’s got to be responsible, imo. Also, it’s way too early. The neighbors may be friends with the Longa family(it was the Longa’s home) so it may be a conflict of interests.

      • Police reports had her going 65 MPH with him in the back of the truck, banging on the window and hood with his cast. That’s insane, I don’t care how upset either one of them is. Sit in your car and dial 911 if you have to.

        • Zack says:

          “Sit in your car and dial 911 if you have to.”

          I disagree with that 100%. Chris Henry has a history of violence/arrests/etc. If there was a domestic dispute there is no reason for her to sit around in the driveway with him right there. I’m not defending her for going 65 with him in back but thats a seperate issue

          • OK, according to you she shouldn’t have drove away and she shouldn’t have sat there . . . .

            So what exactly are you saying?

            • Zack says:

              No I said she shouldnt have driven 65 MPH

              • so . . . 35 MPH would have been OK?

                • Zack says:

                  So.. you’re missing the point?
                  I really dont care if she drove 25 or 35mph, whether she drove to a friends house, a local store, or around the block until cops arrived or people came to help.

                  But just waiting in the car for the police to arrive when your 6’5″ 200+ lb professional football player with a well documented history of violence is smashing on your car is some of the worst advice to give a woman in the middle of a domestic dispute.

                • Drew says:

                  Heh.. plus the neighbors were literally within 20 feet of her driveway.
                  They are both in fault obviously, but this isn’t a movie, driving down the road with someone standing in the pickup bed is not an option.

                • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

                  It’s the same advice I give to my dates. Not sure I see the issue here.

                • Zack says:

                  “but this isn’t a movie, driving down the road with someone standing in the pickup bed is not an option.”

                  So that’s not an option, but sitting there when her crazy fiance is smashing on her car trying to get him is an option?

                • Drew says:

                  I don’t know man, none of us know what happened and what led to that crazy scene. Honestly, the whole thing is a bit baffling.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

                65 MPH? Weak. Damon can throw harder than that.

  18. Moshe Mandel says:

    Matt Holliday is better than Carl Crawford. if they are saving the money for one of the big arms next year, fine. But if they go out and sign Crawford, well that would be a mistake.

  19. So, ESPN did a “Top 25 games of the decade”.

    The list included:

    4 baseball games (2001 Diamondbacks-Yanks WS Game 7, 2003 Yanks-Sox ALCS Game 7, 2004 Sox-Yanks ALCS Game 4, 2005 Astros-Braves NLDS Game 5)
    4 NFL games (2002 Pats-Rams SuperBowl, 2006 Colts-Pats AFC Championship, 2007 Giants-Pats SuperBowl, 2009 Steelers-Cardinals SuperBowl)
    4 college football games (2003 Ohio State-Miami BCS Championship, 2006 Texas-USC BCS Championship, 2007 Boise State-Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl, 2008 Texas Tech-Texas game)
    3 NBA games (2002 Lakers-Kings Conference Finals Game 7, 2005 Spurs-Pistons Finals Game 5, 2008 Celtics-Lakers Finals Game 4)
    3 college basketball games (2006 George Mason-UConn Elite Eight game, 2008 Kansas-Memphis National Championship, 2009 Syracuse-UConn Big East Quarterfinal)
    2 golf tournaments (Tiger’s 2000 PGA Championship playoff win, Tiger’s 2008 U.S. Open playoff win while injured)
    A tennis tournament (2008 Nadal-Federer Wimbeldon Final)
    A soccer match (2005 Liverpool-Milan UEFA Champions League final)
    An Olympics event (Michael Phelps’s 7th 2008 gold medal)
    A cycling event (Lance Armstrong’s 2003 Tour de France)

    One (1) actual hockey game. The 2000 Flyers-Penguins Eastern Coference Semifinals Game 4.

    They ranked these 25 most significant games in reverse chronological order. The only hockey game significant to make the top 25 thus came in 25th, the longest ago in our memories.

    8 football games
    6 basketball games
    4 baseball games
    5 non team-sport events and a soccer game played in Turkey

    …and one hockey playoff game between two teams from Pennsylvania from nearly ten years ago.


    • Accent Shallow says:

      Minor nitpick: that’s NLDS Game 4. For those of you who don’t remember (myself included), that’s an 18 inning game that featured Kyle Farnsworth giving up a grand slam to make the game 6-5, and then another one the next inning to tie the game at 6.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Hockey just doesn’t get any love.

      It’s too bad. I know it’s not popular, say what you want about it not being popular, but I still like watching it more than basketball.

    • Taintstick says:

      How the fuck did a hockey game make the top 25? And how the fuck do you distinguish a good hockey game from a bad hockey game?

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        The reason, IMO, that there aren’t a lot of hockey fans is precisely this reason. You need to make more of an effort to understand to figure out, for example, what’s a good and what’s a bad play.

        Lots of shots on goal, a lot of checking, a fight or two, incredible saves and shots and other plays, shorthand goals and penalty kills, and buzzer beater/overtime all signify a good hockey game.

        • Taintstick says:

          So what stands out about that Flyers-Penquins game? Was it the checking? The penalty kills? I just can’t imagine what could have happened in that game to make it one of the best sporting events of the past 10 years.

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            Really? Hockey is an incredibly exciting sport, and the hockey playoffs are about as tense and riveting as a sporting event can be. Most of the games are close and can turn in an instant. Honestly, you can give any sport the treatment you just gave hockey, and make it sound stupid.

            • Taintstick says:

              Ok, I will admit something to you. I watched a college hockey game earlier this year. I think it was the finals. One of the team had a red uniform I think. They scored with like 2 seconds left. That was entertaining. I’d put that in my top 25 list.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

                I think it was Boston U. and some weird gopher-fucking school in the middle of nowhere. (Lived in Vermont. Shit is HUGE there.)

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

              Hockey is OK when you go to the game. I just can’t watch it on television. The camera work is generally atrocious.

              Also, I hate Russians. (Real ‘Mericn.)

    • Hmmmm… Which of these sports does ESPN carry, and which of them does ESPN not carry…

      And just to defend hockey’s honor a bit more… I find it quite interesting how you poop on ESPN constantly (and with good reason, ESPN is f*cking awful), but suddenly cite ESPN like it’s a very important entity and a barometer of the sports world when it happens to say something you find disparaging about the NHL. Just sayin’.

      In closing, the response to your comment is very simple: ESPN sucks balls.

      • Agreed.

        So does hockey, though. So does hockey.

        Not Number 2

      • And for the record, I don’t think I poop on ESPN that much.

        Sure, I regularly shit on their uber-idiot analysts like Kruk and Pedro Gomez, and their banal and insipid writers like Reilly and Stark, and I poke fun at ol’ Man Gammons for being old and silly and their talking heads on BBTN for not being able to speak English properly, and I might skewer them for their curious choice in which stories/rumors they pimp and which they ignore, but I DO cite ESPN it quite frequently without malice, and I hold many of their people in high esteem (i.e., Neyer, Klaw, Hollinger, Simmons, KC Joyner, Easterbrook, etc.)

        I don’t shit on VALID pieces of information or news from the Worldwide leader. I just shit on bad writing and bad thinking, no matter where it rears it’s ugly, ill-phrased head.

        In my own defense.

        • “I don’t shit on VALID pieces of information or news from the Worldwide leader. I just shit on bad writing and bad thinking, no matter where it rears it’s ugly, ill-phrased head.”

          I totally agree… And a piece in which ESPN pays no attention to a sport that it doesn’t televise or pay attention to, while promoting other sports that it does televise and/or pay attention to, doesn’t qualify as a valid piece of information or news from the Worldwide Leader.

          You’re picking out one of the pieces of poop and holding it out for everyone to smell, not one of the good pieces by someone like Law or Neyer.

          • A) There’s a reason ESPN doesn’t televise or pay attention to hockey: Nobody wants them to. They used to televise hockey. The ratings tanked, and then they canceled a season. ESPN saw no reason to buy back into a declining product that people didn’t clamor to watch.

            So the conspiracy argument that they’re not including a lot of great games in their rankings because they have some sort of vested interest in promoting the sports they televise over the ones they don’t doesn’t hold much water. They didn’t exclude hockey games because they don’t want people to watch hockey because they don’t make money off it, they excluded hockey games because hockey games do not have a cultural relevance on the level of other events.

            To continue this argument, they included a UEFA game that they didn’t cover, as well as Olympics that they don’t cover. What was not included, despite being covered by ESPN and actually having more fans than hockey? NASCAR. If your coverage/profit theory is true, there’d probably be a NASCAR event in there, no?

            B) I don’t think this is a “piece of poop”. Putting my hockey bias aside, I don’t see how any other hockey games not listed here make it over the games that ARE listed here. Those other 24 games listed are significant, impactful games that resonated with the public sporting consciousness more than any hockey game of the past decade. The last hockey game that really meant something to the general, casual sports fan was probably the Rangers winning a title in 1994.

            If anything, that one hockey game kinda seems out of place. There are more baseball/basketball/football games that I would include over the one singular hockey game.

            I think the list is rather well done. In fact, all the lists they’ve come out with, including the several baseball ones we’ve discussed on this site, I think they’re all rather well done.

            • “A) There’s a reason ESPN doesn’t televise or pay attention to hockey: Nobody wants them to. “

              People are retarded. What people choose to spend their entertainment dollar on isn’t necessarily a good barometer of the quality of their entertainment options.

              “They didn’t exclude hockey games because they don’t want people to watch hockey because they don’t make money off it, they excluded hockey games because hockey games do not have a cultural relevance on the level of other events.”

              Come on… I’ll be the first one to admit hockey’s not very popular, but do you really think hockey gets so few entries on this list solely because it doesn’t get good ratings on ESPN? You think hockey has the same level or less cultural relevance than the 2005 Liverpool-Milan UEFA Champions League final or the 2003 Tour de France? That’s just not so, I’m sorry. Hockey might not be as popular as the other major sports in America, but it has more cultural relevance here than the UEFA Champions League. I get that ESPN doesn’t pay attention to hockey because it doesn’t make as much money off of hockey as it does off of other sports (although it should be noted that ESPN did in fact make an offer to the NHL to continue televising their games, OLN/Vs. just made a much better offer that the NHL accepted), but that doesn’t mean hockey is irrelevant in the American sports world. Don’t equate ESPN’s business concerns with a sports relevance or quality.

              I’m not saying they didn’t include hockey because they don’t make money off of televising hockey games, you’re kind of putting those words into my mouth in order to make your point. My point is that ESPN doesn’t pay attention to hockey, period, so it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that ESPN would ignore hockey when putting together this list. They probably said ‘hey we should get an NHL game on this list, get an intern to find one,’ instead of actually doing the research and treating each sport as an equal and finding the actual best games. That’s my point.

              In closing: Whatever. Really, I get that you don’t like hockey, but this is just getting stupid. Like we say to Bo and the other mouthbreathers who come around bitching about the posts or the comments all the time – if you find it so irrelevant, leave it alone and don’t pay attention to it. The whole thing is just irritating and kinda stupid. When people respond to these posts by saying things like “hock-ey?” they’re aping a hackneyed, 3 year old Deadspin meme. New Deadspin memes suck, let alone played-out Deadspin memes.

              With that, I’m out of all this. Like your noble actions earlier re: Bo, I’ll ignore your hockey stuff from now on. Sorry for taking it too seriously.

            • Moshe Mandel says:

              But you cannot put the hockey bias aside. If the sport doesnt receive coverage from ESPN, it is by nature going to be lower on the consciousness of fans. I can guarantee you that top 25 games of the 90′s had more entries from hockey. The sport has not gotten worse, the coverage has gotten worse.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

          Not a single jab at Jemele Hill, Skip Bayless, Lou Holtz, Jim Rome?

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      So ESPN is suddenly an authority? I can think of a number of games that belong in the mix.

      2004 Finals Game 6 (Lightning beat Flames in Double OT)
      2009 E.C. Semi’s Game 2 (Ovechkin and Crosby trade hatties)
      2008 finals Game 5 (3OT winner for Sykora)

      These were great games. ESPN not promoting the only sport they don’t televise doesnt mean much.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        Devils-Hurricanes 2008 game 7 (that was painful).

        • Dude I know that was one of the few playoff hockey games you’ve watched, but you really have to stop bringing up that game all the time, especially if you’re a Devils fan. Good grief.

          (And it was a first-round game, I don’t think a first-round game between the Devs and Canes gets anywhere near a top games of the decade list unless Martin Brodeur stops a shot in double overtime with his right testicle. It was a crazy ending, but not a great game to be remembered for the ages.)

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

            2 points:

            A) You are right, I think I’m causing too much undue pain in bringing that up.
            B) True, it was 1st round. But that whole series was underrated.

            • Eh… Totally subjective, but I don’t remember being that moved by that series at all, it seemed pretty pedestrian to me. I think that was just your intro to playoff hockey, so it (understandably) was cool to you. Wait for the Devils to go on a deep playoff run one of these years (this year – fingers crossed)… If you thought that Canes series was good, a real playoff run when the Devils are playing well and facing better teams will blow your mind.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

              In a weird way, I will remember this series fondly. It got me interested in hockey.

  20. 1. I’m glad about Johnson. That’s great news.
    2. I really hope that the Joba/Hughes thing is BS. What an awful move.

  21. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Do the Yankees have enough money to sign Sheets without going over the limit of payroll? He probably won’t get 12 million but I can see from 8-10.

  22. So is MTV going to show Snookie getting knocked the F out, or are they going to pussy out and not show it? I’ve been waiting for this for a while, I’m going to be annoyed if they don’t show it.

    • Steve H says:

      That 3rd and 12 conversion hurt. If Jax can get a 10 point lead it’s over, they’ve been able to milk the clock all night.

  23. Jose says:

    Did the Colts really just do that???

  24. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    There’s another American Pie movie?! Why not stop while you’re way, way, way, way behind?

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