Open Thread: Higashioka gets the call


Well, kinda. Robert Pimpsner of Baseball Digest tweets that the Yankees have invited 19-year-old catching prospect Kyle Higashioka to Major League Spring Training. I’m sure the Yanks’ 7th round pick in the 2008 Draft is excited for the opportunity, but this isn’t a sign that the organization has big expectations or anything like that. I’m sure they do, but this move is more along the lines of “we have more than a dozen mounds in the Tampa complex, and we need people to catch.” No shame in that.

Higashioka hit .253-.333-.332 in 247 plate appearances for the Short Season Staten Island Yanks last season, but he’s got some killer bat skills (only 31 strikeouts). He’ll get an invite with the intent of giving him a chance to show off his skills soon enough. For now, he should just soak it all up.

Here’s your open thread for the evening. The Devils, Rangers, and Knicks are all in action, plus the Pro Bowl is on ESPN. Nothing like watching the 6th or 7th best QB in the league get some playing time. Enjoy the thread.


  1. Drew says:



    How wasted was he? As for Miami fans getting their panties in a bunch.. Get over it.

  2. Ben says:

    You forgot the Nets – winning 48-46 against Philly

  3. Rocky Road Redemption (Formerly RAB Poster) says:

    I’m researching philosophy. Right now I’ve been given a similar mindfuck as to when claybuccholzloveslaptops and Evil Empire introduced quantum physics to me.

    Did you know that it’s possible we’re just brains ain a vat of some sort of liquid in a mad scientist’s lab?

    • At work two weeks ago, I had a conversation about theoretical physics with an 11 year old who can’t do basic addition.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (Formerly RAB Poster) says:

        Philosophy makes my brain hurt.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        You work with 11-year olds? What sort of punishment is that for?

        • Well, technically, yes. I’m a) interning at a middle school as part of my master’s program and b) working as a tutor at a Huntington Learning Center (mostly doing SAT prep), so, yeah, 11 year olds are, unfortunately, a big part of my day.

          • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

            I would need to be paid unbelievable sums of money to work with children. I barely have the patience to deal with relatively even-keeled, responsible adults. You have my sympathies (unless you chose to do a Master’s in Education).

            • Yes, I chose to do a Master’s in Education.

            • flashing007 says:

              Speaking as a fellow teacher who did the whole interning thing last year…I’ll take the kids issues over the adult ones any day.

              Good choice for special education by the way, this job market is brutal enough, but that is an in-demand area.

              • Rob D. says:

                This is the truest thing I’ve ever read. I have no problems dealing with my kids, but I hate having to deal with parents, other teachers, and administrators.

                • flashing007 says:

                  Totally agree man. What really gets me is fellow teachers who give you issues and totally disrupt your instruction and the kids learning. I get that everyone has their own responsibilities to meet, but it is insane how often kids are pulled out of class. I don’t agree with it (for obvious personal biases), but I understand why the teaching profession is critiqued and criticized so often.

          • Joyce says:

            Tutoring 11 year olds? Huntington says it only has fully licensed teachers working with students. Hmmmm

            You’re not “licensed” therefore you don’t know how to teach 5th OR 6th grade math. ha

      • WIlliam says:

        That must be one stupid 11 year old.

    • whozat says:

      “Did you know that it’s possible we’re just brains ain a vat of some sort of liquid in a mad scientist’s lab?”

      Didn’t you see the Matrix?

      • Rocky Road Redemption (Formerly RAB Poster) says:

        That was a similar concept, but not exactly the same. That was a computer simulation.

        • whozat says:

          Yah, I know. How do you think the mad scientist would feed the vat-brains appropriate stimuli?

          Phil 101 always has that paper with the brains-in-vats in it. The notion is pretty old, right? When I took it, it was right when the matrix came out. Great movie, but it was funny how many people I knew talked about what a mind blowing notion it was and I’d just read about a guy who thought up basically the same thing 50 years ago.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

            Descartes was the first, except instead of “brain in a vat” it was “an evil demon is controlling what I perceive as reality”. Same concept, though.

  4. Drew says:

    Holy Mo. Wilfork is ginormous.

  5. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I predict that Kyle Higashioka will be the greatest 3rd string catcher in Yankee history. He will be behind Jestin Romtero who will be backing up Da Jesus.

  6. Drew says:

    Ugh. Why are the backstreet boys singing the National Anthem?

  7. Drew says:

    Is it me or should Verlander not sign a 5 year deal? I have to figure that in 2 years he will command about 20 per.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      No idea but a young rapper once told me 1) Make money 2) Fuck bitches.

      I suppose he could accomplish both tasks signing the 5-year or waiting.

    • Steve H says:

      With the workload he had last year he might as well take the money now. It’s not like it’s Longoria money, and as a pitcher a lot more can go wrong. He’ll hit FA at 32, so he should still be able to cash in then.

      • Tom Zig says:


        I was really hoping one of Verlander, Felix, and Johnson would hit free agency soon. But oh well.

      • Drew says:

        I don’t totally disagree but…

        Being a FA when you’re
        29 is night and day from when you’re 32. Especially as a flame throwing beast starter. I guess he’d get like 6-8 million in Arb this year. 9-12 next. I think I’d rather go year to year. It is tough to refuse the security that comes with 5/75 though.

        • Hey ZZ says:

          You gotta take the guaranteed money when it is that much.

          Also is the difference really going to be night and day between 29 and 32?

          Best case scenario I imagine he would get Johan money at 6/120, and I think I am being pretty generous there.

          At 32, Burnett and Lackey both got 80 million. Verlander I imagine would get more then that, probably 90 million if he keeps it up. Factor in the the 75 million already in the bank and there is a chance he could actually make more money in this scenario. And if something goes wrong along the way, no problem because he and a few more future Verlander generations are already set for life

    • Take the guaranteed $ now. He’s a pitcher, he could lose it all tomorrow. How bad off would the Marlins be if they had signed Dontrelle Willis a few years back? Do you think Chien Ming Wang would have liked a big fat extension 2 years ago? He did, and the Yanks passed. You never know with pitchers.

      The Tigers are stupid if they sign him, his fastball was crap in 08, and nobody could figure out why. Now he has a great season and they’re committing for 5 years? Stupid.

      • Drew says:

        It’s impossible to put ourselves in his shoes but.. If he’s comfortable with his arm and work ethic, he may want to go year to year. The dude has pitched 186, 201, 201 and 240 innings the past four years, respectively. If my Arb guesses are anywhere near accurate, he can make say;
        7 mil in 2010
        10 mil in 2011

        Hit free agency and get 6 years 120 mil?
        137 for 8 years=17aav
        or take the 5/75 and get 15 aav over the next 5.

        I dunno. It’s a tough call. This is his year 27 season, FA has got to be tempting.

  8. Tom Zig says:

    Random thoughts:

    1) Corona is overrated
    2) Lil Wayne is also overrated

    /ducks for cover

    • Do you mean the beer or the baseball player?

    • Drew says:

      I prefer Sol or Modelo if I want a Mexican beer.

      As for Lil Wayne. You really have to be immersed in the hiphop world to respect what he does. The dude literally comes out with a new mixtape every other week.

    • pete says:

      “lil wayne is overrated”

      If lil wayne’s mother thought he was ok and everyone else in the world thought he sucked, he’d be overrated. As it currently stands, “overrated” is a horrifying understatement

      • Tom Zig says:

        so wait you do or don’t like lil wayne.

        I have no problem with people who do. I just don’t like his music for some reason.

        • pete says:

          i hate it more than most things in the world, yes. Or rather, I hate it, and the auto-tune craze that it kicked in in the pop music industry that has somehow, against overwhelming odds, brought pop music to an all-time low. I won’t deny that it genuinely bothers me when people like his music, although i try not to be rude. While I can hardly blame him for capitalizing on a superficial trend in the industry, I think his music and music reminiscent of it is popularizing a brand of music that requires less musical talent than musicianship ever has before, which is making actual musicians all the less valuable of a commodity, which of course makes it impossible for them to make any money, which forces them out of the field.

          Pop music always has and always will be an industry that is inexplicably sexualized, but it has gotten to the point where it seems like artists are “chosen” by record companies because of their looks first and foremost, musical talent being considered more of an afterthought. Sometimes it almost seems like new rappers are intentionally given big cash signing bonuses so that they go crazy and spend it all right away on ridiculous luxuries that they’ll end up regretting when they run out of money in 2 years, but they immediately get film crews to make videos at these rappers’ mansions to depict the sexualized fantasies of fame and money and glory that these companies have themselves instilled in the american public. In other words, these rappers get signed to deals that make them rich because they are good looking, and then their records sell because they are rich, famous, and good looking, none of which has anything to do with actual musical talent.

          As for lil wayne, i probably begrudge him the most because he literally does not actually create music in any way shape or form anymore. He was, at one point, a moderately talented rapper who made a couple of highly successful com-rap albums that weren’t particularly bad. But now, his “recordings” are auto-tuned mashups of things he says while speaking into a microphone while high, set to samples that he doesn’t even pick out or splice himself. Again, I don’t blame him for capitalizing on the industry, but it sickens me that pop musicians have, for the most part, essentially become skanky socialites whose fame is created by their record companies to sell records that hold no musical merit on their own.


          • Tom Zig says:

            Well said, sir, well said, indeed.

          • Drew says:

            I couldn’t disagree more. He’s taking advantage of the market and making as much money as possible in what is the iTunes Era. As you mentioned, he’s capitalizing on the market.

            Now, your opinion of him is based on songs you’ve heard that have been glamorized and repeated(over and over) by the Pop Industry.

            Just a guess, but you’ve probably never heard of his group, Sqad up. They have 7 cds out, with Wayne on nearly every song.

            I literally have over 900 of Wayne’s songs that I’ve amassed over the past 7 or so years. If I could put a number on the amount of songs that feature Auto-tune it would be well under 10 percent, probably closer to 5%.

            • pete says:

              well yeah, that diatribe was more related to the autotune craze that followed his use of it. I’ve never liked any of his music, though, auto-tuned or not. I don’t think he is a good lyricist at all, his voice annoys me, and I don’t find his samples even remotely interesting. Of course, I’m not a huge modern rap fan – as far as rap goes, I’m more along the lines of Illmatic-era Nas, Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, Main Source, etc – but I still find all of Lil Wayne’s music to be borderline unlistenable or worse. That, however, is purely my opinion, and I cannot begrudge the man for making music i don’t like. I do, however, begrudge the public for falling into the “rich and famous = good” meme that record companies have been pushing for the past few years, pushing bad music all over the place.

              • Drew says:

                Word. I too grew up listening to Illmatic, then as I got a bit older I got into Tribe. It’s different music, no doubt.

                The only issue I have is that people listen to this mass production pop Wayne-is-on-every-song, Lil Wayne and assume that’s all he is. He’s far from that. His music ranges all over the spectrum.

                He makes some music that I listen to in the gym, or getting ready for a night out. He’s got music that gets the freaks dancin. He has music that more relaxed girls can vibe to in the bed. He’s got stuff that can help you relax. Stuff with some deep lyrics that make you think. Honestly, he’s got music for every occasion.
                That’s how I’ve grown to love his music.

                At the end of his last retail album he explained that the next album he comes out with is going to be different, and that not everyone would like it. So he came out with this most recent, rock-infused(with him on the guitar) album. To me, he’s just a dude making music and that can easily get lost in the iTunes world.

  9. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Robert Pimpsner is also a proud member of BMTA.

  10. W.W.J.M.D. says:

    Worst All-Star game:
    D.That game they play on ice

  11. Jake H says:

    Good for the kid. I do like his pitch recognition.

  12. Drew says:

    Thought this warranted a fresh post. Tom Zig brought this up and I found some visual evidence.

    The NFL had a skills competition as recent as 2007. I remember ESPN showed the various events, I remember a sprint competition, QB accuracy, WR hands competition along with may others.


    The video just shows my boy Mike Vick in the accuracy competition.

    This was and still should be the best part of Pro Bowl weekend.

  13. Drew says:

    Whenever I see DeSean Jackson I think of this:


  14. A.D. says:

    If I was Eagles fan I wouldn’t be happy seeing McNabb scrambling around in this game

  15. Steve H says:

    Fun fact of the night:

    Gregg Jefferies received ROY votes in 2 seasons, without someone Edinson Volquez’ing it.

    • So are you gonna keep that blog up now or was that a one time thing?

      • Steve H says:

        Who knows. I’d like to keep writing, but I don’t always have ideas. I was the type of kid in school that if you told me what to write about, I could do 10 pages, but if the teacher told me to write about whatever I wanted, I’d blank. I’m hoping to at least put up some shorter posts on a regular basis and see where it goes from there.

        • That’s the key to starting out: little things frequently.

        • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

          I’ll blog up with you, Steve.

          • Mike Pop says:

            I would read a JMK blog.

          • A JMK blog would be fantastic.

          • Steve H says:

            I’m down with that.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

              Is there a specific platform or angle you want to work? Baseball only? Yankees only? Satire? Serious? Social commentary?

              • Steve H says:

                Honestly I don’t have anything in particular in mind, probably sports in general, as that would give me more things to write about. Primarily serious but with plenty of room for satire mixed in. What do you have in mind?

                • You two will be the new FJM, going across all sports, not just baseball. Hell, JMK won’t even need to make up an alternative personality.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  I hadn’t given it great thought, but I don’t like to take myself too seriously. I know that much. I’d like to try out a humor-based angle, particularly on the Yankees, but I’m fairly flexible.

                  Beyond that, I don’t know much of anything about hockey or the NFL. Sports on a whole don’t interest me too much; baseball does, and to a lesser extent, NBA and college sports. I’d like to have the option to write brief bits on strange news stories, sports, pop culture (I know way too much about bad television/music). It’s probably best to keep religion, politics clear of things.


                • Steve H says:

                  Not having you write humor-based would be a waste. I’d certainly like to have it be pretty wide ranging and flexible, but we’d probably be pretty Yankee centric. Having you write on strange news, pop culture etc, would be hilarious. I pay attention to MLB, NFL, NBA in that order, with at least knowledge of goings on in other sports.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Write about whatever you want in whatever style you want. If you don’t, you’ll get frustrated trying to please the masses.

                • Steve H says:

                  Sweet, we’re going to have masses to worry about?

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  Good advice, Mike. Steve-I’ll just start basic WordPress and we’ll see what sticks.

                  Shoot me an e-mail when you get a chance: jameskleimann@yahoo.com

  16. Okay, if they’re not going to allow blitzing in the Pro Bowl, what’s the point of even having the linemen? Just have the QB take the snap and give him 5-7 seconds to throw it. If he doesn’t throw it by then, its an incomplete and they move to the next down.

  17. Philip Rivers has five kids?!

  18. I’m watching something on YES, just a replay of the year, and they just did Jeter’s hit record and it reminded me of how pissed off I was at that moment because Michael Kay would just no shut the fuck up. He did as much as he could to ruin that moment.

  19. Steve H says:

    I traded for Kevin Durant, and today was the first day he was eligible for me.

    45 and 11. 16-21 from the field, 11-11 from the line, 2 3′s, 2 steals.


  20. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Devils slumping a bit now.

    Hockey’s a streaky game so I’m not TOO worried but they’re not playing great hockey right now.

  21. Hughesus Christo says:

    mlbtr reporting the Dodgers gave JAMEY CARROLL 1.35 for ’10 and 2.5 for ’11


  22. Aj says:

    will Melvin Croussett make his state side debut this year? i cant wait to see him!!

  23. Tom Zig says:


    Carl Crawford in the first round?
    Ellsbury in the 2nd?

    And this is coming from fantasy baseball experts?

  24. [...] Axisa at RAB points out that the Yankees have invited catcher, Kyle Higashioka, to Spring [...]

  25. Steve B. says:

    “…Higashioka hit .253-.333-.332 in 247 plate appearances for the Short Season Staten Island Yanks last season, but he’s got some killer bat skills (only 31 strikeouts)…”

    Over a full season, about 600 PAs, he would strike out about 75 times…hardly “killer” bat skills…after all it was A-ball.

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