Link Dump: Joba Rules, J.T. Snow, Damon

Wade Boggs and the winter of 1992
Yankees hitters against strikeout pitchers

Snowpocalypse 2010 has hit, so ride it out with these links…

Death to the Joba Rules

At long last, the Joba Rules are dead. “He’s not going to have any restrictions,” said pitching coach Dave Eiland, “so Joe (Girardi) and I are not going to have to go into the game thinking, ‘Oh, he’s got 85 pitches or six innings or whatever comes first.’ We don’t have to game plan it out. The kid gloves are off, and he’s just going to go out and pitch and he knows that and he’s going to come in and be all geared up to win that job, as are the other guys. Competition should bring out the best in everyone.” Of course, this won’t calm the conspiracy theorists who think Joba is going to return to the bullpen next year, because there was both a bullpen and rotation version of the rules. Either way, so long Joba Rules, and thanks for the shirt.

Big leaguers give bloggers a bad name

At his blog earlier this week, former big league catcher Brent Mayne told a story about how he once told a batter what pitch was coming. That batter was J.T. Snow, who was with the Yanks at the time and grew up playing with/against Mayne in Southern California. Long story short, he mumbled to the pinch hitting Snow that he was getting a fastball away, which Snow promptly ripped for a double and his first big league hit. Except, of course, that never happened.

Mayne said Snow was a September call-up with the Yanks, and they were playing in Kansas City. Snow went 0-for-5 in the only game he played against the Royals as a Bomber, and even though his first big league hit was in fact a pinch-hit double, it came off of Tom Henke of Toronto with Pat Borders behind the plate a week later. Here’s the easy to read game log. I expect it from the mother’s basement dwellers, Brent. But not from you.

Damon’s still looking for two years

Yeah, amazing, isn’t it? We’re basically a week from pitchers and catchers, Damon has received offers from just one team (that we know of), and yet he and Boras are still holding out for a two year deal. Matt at Fack Youk wonders if Johnny’s lost his mind, as do so many others. I can’t imagine Damon is happy with how Boras worked him over, or maybe he’s just naive and thinks someone will meet one day his demands.

Thames No. 1 on an all-time Tigers list

Marcus Thames doesn’t stand out as someone who would hold a franchise record, but according to Tom Gage of The Detroit News, he does. His 99 home runs in 1,463 at-bats is the franchise record for home run pace among players with 1,500 or more plate appearances as a Tiger. That also amounts to a home run every 16.28 times he stepped to the plate, which, considering his lack of bases on balls, is probably an even further record. Cecil Fielder, who ranks second on the AB/HR list, hit a home run once every 17.36 plate appearances.

Wade Boggs and the winter of 1992
Yankees hitters against strikeout pitchers
  • TJ

    RIP Joba Rules we hardly knew thee

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    I would be shocked if Joba’s not inthe rotation. It would be an ENORMOUS step backward to put him in the bullpen.

    • Do Not Feed The Trolls!

      I have a feeling b-jobbers will never fade away.

  • Mike Pop

    ‘Joba Rules’ were just an elaborate scheme by Cashman and crew to make some extra money!

    • Cecala

      More proof he is a ninja…

  • Jake H

    Thank god that the Joba rules are done. Now lets see the kid throw this year as a starter. Hopefully he dominates in ST so that he gets the 5th spot.

    • Mike Pop

      I don’t think they would have put him through what they did last year if they didn’t fully intend for him to be a starter this year.

      His spot to lose me thinks.

      • Zack

        “His spot to lose me thinks.”

        Can he even lose it though? I think they get 5-6 starts in ST, but only 2 (maybe 3) are 90+ pitches. We always talk about SSS, so is 2-3 starts really fair to bump a guy from the rotation after building him up the last 2 years to be a starter?

        • larryf

          Agree. ST starts are meaningless barring injury. I was at Joba’s first ST start last year and he was basically throwing BP….

        • pete

          if he can’t get anyone out in ST and/or his mechanics and/or stuff absolutely suck, he’ll go to Scranton to work his shit out. If he looks at all like 2009 pre-fatigue joba, he’ll start in the rotation, regardless of what hughes does in ST. Here’s hoping he looks like 2008 Joba, though.

  • Zack

    2 years for Damon, I’d love to see what GM gets tricked into that one.

    • T-Dubs

      I didn’t even think it was possible to give someone a 2yr minor league contract. Go figure.

      • WIlliam

        I read that damons looking for 2 yrs at 11 mil per. I don’t think he’d get 2 at 11 total anymore.

    • GG2000

      “Hi Dayton, this is Scott … Boy, have *I* got a deal for you …”

  • KeithK

    A couple weeks ago I was flipping channels and my local cable sports channel was showing some show about Scott Boras. They were talking to some of his employees and a number of his clients. All of a sudden there was Johnny Damon saying how Boras was the best thing since sliced bread, how he always got exactly what the player wanted. The caption said “Johnny Damon, CF” so this had to be a 2006 or so. I couldn’t help but laugh at this; I can’t imagine Johnny is so thrilled by Mr. Boras these days. (Or maybe he’s just delusional if he’s still trying to get two years.)

    • Zack

      Yeah I caught that too, it was on Comcast Sports Net New England for me.
      Did Boras mess up with Varitek and Damon the last 2 years? Yes, but the dude’s the best agent in baseball regardless of what fans think about him.

    • Cecala

      On MLB Network 2 days ago, the show Hot Stove had a feature of all the Scott Boras clients still waiting for contracts. There was like 8 or so on the list. Past JD,this year, most are overlooked and this has to be on of Boras’ worst years in exception to Holliday.

      • Zack

        Hank Blalock
        Felipe Lopez
        Joe Crede
        Garret Anderson
        Johnny Damon
        Jarrod Washburn
        Eric Gagne
        Ron Villone

        Take out Damon and Lopez, and the rest are FA because they suck. Damon turned down 2yrs/14m, Boras got him that offer, Johnny didnt take it.

  • WIlliam

    stick Hughes in the penn to setup, but stick him in as the starter for every single open start due to injury. That way, his innings can build up for next year.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      If he’s in the ‘pen as the set up guy, how can he possibly start when there’s an opening? He won’t be built up enough to go more than 2 innings at a time.

    • Steve H

      But you can’t do that. You can’t just have him pitch 1 inning at a time, and then expect him to take spot starts for 5 innings.

    • W.W.J.M.D.

      i think K-Rob is the primary setup guy, with Marte being 2nd after him as well as a lefty specialist. I say put Hughes in the pen and use him whenever multiple innings are possible available(if a starter exits the game before the 6th inning.) Of course he could be use to setup on occasion if K-Rob needs a day off.

      • Matt Imbrogno


        • W.W.J.M.D.

          thats like the equivalent of a gold star in kindergarden, right?

          I wish the RAB meme was done already, i feel so lost and alone sometimes.

          • Matt Imbrogno

            Haha, it means I agree with you.

            • W.W.J.M.D.

              O ok. Just to further that thought, i think it’s best to get Hughes as many innings as possible, maybe even get him some spot starts. He needs to be in the rotation next year, maybe taking Pettite’s innings.

      • ROBTEN

        I say put Hughes in the pen and use him whenever multiple innings are possible available(if a starter exits the game before the 6th inning.)

        The problem is that this leads to a very inconsistent workload, since it requires waiting for a starter to have a poor outing. You would essentially have to hope for a starter to go less than 6 innings at least, but probably no more than, once a week (since after pitching 3-4 innings, he would need a few days off).

        In addition, part of the issue with Hughes is not only innings, but working on his secondary pitches and the ability to pitch deep into games. Even if he pitches 6,7,8,9; he’ll probably only get through the line-up 1- 1 1/2 times.

        If Hughes doesn’t start, then he should go to Scranton and work on things until a starter is needed. If he goes to the bullpen, expect him to stay there the entire season and having this conversation again next year.

  • Accent Shallow

    No Joba rules? I expect 40+ starts, 300+ innings then.

    • W.W.J.M.D.

      And a Cy Young?

      • Jack

        MVP or bust.

        • WIlliam

          Unanimous MVP voting aaand unanimous Cy Young. If not, to the bullpen he goes.

        • W.W.J.M.D.

          fun fact: the last starting pitcher to do so is Roger Clemens, in ’86. He also won the Cy Young.

          If he can do it, why can’t Joba?

          • vin

            Steroids. That’s why.


            • W.W.J.M.D.

              Roger Clemens never did steroids.

  • Matt Imbrogno

    Is it possible that if the dumb moniker of “the Joba rules” was never put onto his innings restrictions that there wouldn’t be half of the debate that there is over him now?

    • Zack

      It’d probably still happen just because it’s the Yankees.

      Is anyone writing articles that David Price should be the 8th inning guy after not being an ace in the rotation already?

      • JGS

        or Adam Wainwright. A lesser pitcher probably can’t close out the Mets in 06

        • bexarama

          I think I read an article where John Smoltz said he wanted Wainwright in the pen, was really disappointed when the Cardinals moved him to the rotation, and then very surprised when he was able to succeed. Smoltzie nooooo

    • bexarama

      I think there’s so much JOBA TO THE PEN freaking out because people remember Jobamania from 2007 and his absurd dominance in the pen during that year (midges aside >:( ). And then, when he was a starter, he wasn’t Tim Lincecum IMMEDIATELY so he’s obvs worthless there.

  • Kiersten

    I enjoy laughing at Johnny Damon. It’s just gotten ridiculous at this point.

    • W.W.J.M.D.

      I too, throughly enjoy seeing on a daily besis A. The post about whether the Tigers or Braves will sign Noddle Arm Runs Into Walls(Damon’s Native American Name) B. The tatics Mr.Boras uses in the public eye to try and gain interest and C. If Jon Heyman mentions either Boras or Damon.

      • W.W.J.M.D.

        daily basis*

  • Rose

    Speaking of JT Snow…where is it all?? I haven’t seen a lick over here in Northern CT. Seems we’re in the eye of the storm as all the radars are showing it swirling everywhere around me…

    • Accent Shallow

      I’m in Jersey City, and we’re getting smacked around over here.

      • scooter

        I just talked to my aunt in JC, and she wasn’t too happy. We’ve got 10″ here in Alexandria, VA… and on top of the 20″ we got last weekend, we’re gonna have one heck of a melt (whenever it warms up)

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          The Olympics are begging for snow.

          • Tampa Yankee

            It’s quite sunny over here in Tampa, what’s it like over by you Andy?

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              It’s cold, but sunny. I had to wear a jacket today!!!

        • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

          midtown getting slammed. maybe its cause im so high off the ground but its quite blizzardy out there right now

  • Pablo Zevallos

    1) Oh yeah, Mayne definitely did that. Just like a certain someone landed in Bosnia under fire…
    2) Damon needs to STOP with the pot…

  • Living with Balls

    Where is Fire Joe Morgan when we need it? The boys from FJM would have had fun with the JT Snow story.

  • John – YF

    Late to the party…Just got to meet Mayne at a coaches convention a few weeks ago. He’s has the very stereotypical laid back, surfer attitude. He said some really off the wall things during his lectures and really adheres to very little of the fundamental rules of catching. He believes in a hands off, whatever works type of approach to catching, calling games, etc…Long story short and reason I say all this is because he seems a little out there. I wouldn’t put something like this past him.

  • Joebrah

    If at the end of spring training, Joba’s got like a 3.5 ERA, and 4 k/9 ratio, and Hughes has a 3.0 ERA and a 5 k/9 ratio, would you take an innings-limit-less Joba at slightly worse stats, or an innings-limit hughes with slightly better stats?

  • pistol pete

    I’m going to get sick if Damon signs for 4m 2m deferred with Atlanta. Not to worry, we signed Randy Winn after his worst season ever. How could you not sign him, he hit 2 hr’s last yr and batted .158 vs left handed pitching with an obp of .184, and an ops of, ready for this, .200 the lowest number since 1954. Way to go Brian, way to wait the market out and steal a killer like Winn when Johnny isn’t going to get much more, please.

  • pistol pete

    Sorry I got Winn’s ops wrong. He slugged .200 and his ops vs leftys was.384. These as mentioned above were the worst right handed batting stats compiled by mlb since 1954.