Feb
24

Open Thread: BP Q&A at the Yogi Berra Museum

By

Just passing this along…

Steve Goldman and several others from Baseball Prospectus’ team of nerds analysts are holding a roundtable discussion about the upcoming 2010 season this Sunday at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University. Tickets are the regular price of admission ($6) or free if you buy a book. The talk will be held from 3-5pm, so if you’re in the area and want to hear some really smart people talk about baseball, make sure you check it out.

Here’s a little more from the museum’s site.

Now that that’s taken care of, here’s your open thread for the night. The Olympics are the only sports action on the tube, though the Canada-Russia hockey matchup should be a doozy. Loser goes home without a medal, which is kind of the big deal in those countries. Enjoy the thread.

Categories : Open Thread

203 Comments»

  1. bexarama says:

    A-Rod practicing a very important skill that I am sure we’ll see him do many times this season:
    http://cache.daylife.com/image.....f/x610.jpg

  2. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Go Russia!

  3. kenthadley says:

    Seems like a number of Latin American free agents have been picked up lately by other teams (Braves, Nats, etc)…..these kids haven’t been costing what appears to be all that much for what might be first-round talent….how come we aren’t in the mix? are they overhyped? has anyone followed these kids? I believe a SS signed with the Braves yesterday (Salcedo), and a pitcher is rumored out there today…..

    • billbybob says:

      Did Salcedo actually sign? That guy was all the rage in the summer of ’08.

    • DP says:

      Contrary to popular belief, the Yankees cannot in fact sign every single player in the world that interests them. Shocking, I know.

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      Yankees are in on Rafael DePaula and Adeiny kcjdjdjcjcjk (I don’t know how to spell his last name).

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          I guarantee you the rest of the baseball world will go ape shits saying how baseball would be unfair if the Yankees got him. How they always get the best players while conveniently forgetting the existence of Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Sano, Jose Iglesias and others.

          • kenthadley says:

            absolutely….at the same time, if we are going to only get the 32nd best pick in June, it is certainly worthwhile to try to pick up some talent at this level….just was wondering if we were pulling back a bit, since it appeared that way with the LA signings back in the summer….I know we got Sanchez, but….maybe I’m just greedy, but I’d like to see some more talent at some skill positions below….

    • billbybob says:

      “Are they overhyped?”

      Is Kevin Youkilis a giant douche bag?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      These kids are so far away, all you can do is sign a bunch of ‘em, and hope they develop as projected.

      • kenthadley says:

        agreed…..just hadn’t seen much about these kids associated with NYY, so was just looking to see what other folks had heard…..we could use a ss in the ranks down in A level, and the Salcedo kid seemed a candidate…….of course I am shocked to find out we cant sign everyone……

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Yes but you are wrong about not being in the mix about these players. They are almost always involved with top IFA prospects.

          A good SS prospect right now would be Hechevarria and the Yankees are very interested in him. And if they are really that interested you can bank on him being in the system in the near future.

          • Right, and people shouldn’t dimiss IFA’s. The top prospect in our farm system was an IFA, as were Manny Banny, Jose Ramirez and a bunch of other guys.

            9 of Mike’s Top 30 were IFAs, including 2 of the top 3. It’s huge for teams like the Yanks who draft low. I usually get more excited about the IFAs than I do about the domestic guys, since they typically have more upside.

        • agreed…..just hadn’t seen much about these kids associated with NYY, so was just looking to see what other folks had heard…..

          (unwraps burrito, wipes down microwave)

  4. billbybob says:

    Did Portland make the right choice 2007 NBA draft? Of course it easy to look back at it now and say they made the wrong pick, but at the time Greg Oden was viewed as the next dominant big man in the league. Just curious as to what other people think.

    • T-Dubs says:

      KD was a better college player too. People fall in love with that 7′ next to the name. Oden’s 40 years old and has never been able to stay on the court. Bad pick then and now.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        Not sure I agree with this. For most of NBA history, you needed a dominant big man to be a champion. Jordan’s Bulls were really the only team to go against that until the last few seasons. Oden projected as a dominant defensive force with good offense and potential to get better offensively. Durant seemed like another wing player- a great one, but not a guy who was going to carry you to a title like Jordan could.

      • Big Juan says:

        I’m not sure it’s fair to say it was a bad pick then. The injuries that kept him off the court before turning pro were more of the freak type than the chronic type and he was pretty dominant when on the floor.

        Also, it’s not like the Blazers were the only team that would have picked Oden first. As far as I know, the Celtics were one of the only teams prepared to take Durant at #1.

        • But injuries aside (which is a MASSIVE aside), Oden wasn’t dominant at Ohio State. Durant was dominant at Texas.

          All the warning signs were there. It was a bad pick.

          I loved Oden as a top overall pick… until I saw him play. Then I hated him.

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            “All the warning signs were there. It was a bad pick.”

            No, I have to take issue with that. There were concerns, but the warning signs were certainly not clear. I saw him play at Ohio State, and I fully understood the pick. He was quite clearly dominant defensively, was a very good rebounder, and had plenty of potential offensively. Just because he didn’t run like a gazelle does not mean it was a warning sign. That simply was not a facet of his game.

            • Adrian Wojnarowski, September 13, 2007

              Just this week on the telephone, there was an Eastern Conference executive studying Greg Oden’s pre-draft physical in his office. Even now, this report still didn’t look like the body of a 19-year old prospect, but that of an older, worn veteran.

              “From our (trainers and doctors), there were red flags everywhere,” he said.

              The executive started listing the troubled spots – the bulging disc in the back, wrists, the ankles, the hands, a right leg that was an inch longer than the left, and yes, the knees. He wasn’t alone. Several pulled files this week with news of impending knee surgery, and kept wondering if maybe the breakdown of his body was just a matter of time.

              Despite it all, this executive believed the Blazers had done the right thing drafting the 7-footer over Kevin Durant. Then again, he never had a practical need for his medical staff to pour over Oden like Portland did. No one else but Seattle did.

              “It wouldn’t have stopped us from drafting him but it would’ve probably made us pause about making a deal to move up and get him,” the Eastern Conference executive said.

              An unscientific poll of executives, talking prior to Yahoo! Sports’ revelation on Thursday that the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft isn’t playing basketball this season for the Blazers, agreed with him. As it turned out, the right knee that had a red dot on the Orlando draft camp physicals turned into microfracture surgery for Oden.

              Suddenly, he’s no longer the promise of the next Bill Russell.

              Suddenly, he’s the fear of Sam Bowie.

              Until there’s proof that his body isn’t breaking down, there’s a natural and legitimate worry that the Blazers could’ve passed on a Jordan-esque talent – Kevin Durant – to take a center who will turn out to be more defective than dominant.

              Who wants to believe this will be the case? Who would want it to happen? The NBA needs Oden to be a superstar. He’s too talented of a player, too wonderful and grounded of a person, to consider the possibility that he could be a washout.

              Several NBA executives conceded that the revelation that an MRI showed a need for exploratory surgery on Thursday didn’t completely surprise them. Some medical staffs who studied Oden’s pre-draft physicals expressed differing levels of concern, on different parts of his body.

              “Our trainers did say they thought he had somewhat of an issue (with the right knee), but they weren’t sure to what extent,” one Western Conference executive said. “I guess we’re starting to see now that it’s more serious than some people thought.”

              As one high-ranking basketball official with access to several trainers at the Orlando pre-draft camps remembered being told, “There were some things about (Oden’s knee) that were interesting and that if they had a chance (to draft) him, they would have to look a lot closer.”

              All in all, one Eastern Conference personnel man said, “It was not a good physical.”

              http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/ne.....;type=lgns

              • Moshe Mandel says:

                C’mon. This is classic MMQ. Most of these GM’s and evaluators still would have picked Oden. You can go look back at a physical with a few question marks and make it sound like there were red flags everywhere. The fact that they would have drafted him, despite those question marks, tells me that it wasnt a bad pick.

          • Big Juan says:

            I’m sure a lot of the arguments I’m making for Oden over Durant are the same as the arguments for Bowie over Jordan.

            I can’t say it was an awful pick, because I remember seeing Oden take over games at OSU, especially on defense, and he looked capable of being a franchise center.

            That being said, Durant was the more dominant player and evidently the lesser risk, so I’m perfectly understanding of someone who says the pick was a mistake.

  5. TheLastClown says:

    Hey there everybody…been a while for this ol’ clown. Just not enough hours in the day to keep up with RAB as much as I’d like. I still read of course, but perusing & adding to the comments has escaped me…but I digest…

    So I had a fun baseball related experience last night I’d like to share with y’all. I was out at the office *casino* yesterday, playing some Hold ‘Em, when some college ballplayer kid came to sit at my table. We played for about two hours, talking baseball, before his brother came to sit & play as well. The brother’s name is David Bromberg, who apparently is a SP in the Twins’ organization. He had 9+K/9 in High A, and will be staring this year in AA.

    I took $100 from him originally, but he ended up getting really f’n lucky & taking it back, almost by accident. (I’m still steamin’ about it slightly)

    Poker aside, it was a lot of fun to shoot the proverbial poop w/ this 22 year old guy who plays baseball for a living. It certainly seems a grind, playing in the minors, but he seemed to have a good head on his shoulders.

    Question for those who may know: He said he pitched 8 1/3 during Sept. callups, but his B-Ref page doesn’t have any ML service time. He also said something like “They don’t keep your stats unless you have 20IP”

    Is this true? Shouldn’t I be able to find those 8 1/3 somewhere?

    P.S. To the RABbis…I wholeheartedly approve of all the changes to the site…thanks guys & carry on.

    • Question for those who may know: He said he pitched 8 1/3 during Sept. callups, but his B-Ref page doesn’t have any ML service time. He also said something like “They don’t keep your stats unless you have 20IP”

      Is this true? Shouldn’t I be able to find those 8 1/3 somewhere?

      Fangraphs and BaseballCube agree with B-R: He never pitched in the majors. And no, the 20-IP line is bull, there’s plenty of guys with less than 20 IP who have stats kept, like Andy Cook for example.

      http://www.baseball-reference......an01.shtml

      He’s lying to you.

      • TheLastClown says:

        Yeah, that’s what I thought, he wanted to puff up his chest, you know?

        It’s all good though, ego, testosterone, insecurity etc.

  6. Hangoverologist says:

    I had a discussion regarding the Yanks’ offseason with a friend from school. While we were talking he said he hated the Melky-for-Vazquez deal because Melky was his favorite player. He also said he preferred Melky in center over Granderson because of his arm.

    After this, I’m glad I didn’t ask him about Joba.

    • He also said he preferred Melky in center over Granderson because of his arm.

      My response would have been:

      Melky has a great arm. Curtis, however, has two great arms. At the end of those arms are two hands that hold a bat.

      That bat >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Melky’s bat

    • bexarama says:

      I was reading some comments on another site today about the Javy trade that made me curl up and sob. So many people just are not rational about this trade/Javy.

      And Melky… look, I liked Melky. He was funny. I will miss his silly little dances in the dugout. But he’s a freaking league average player! The hype over his arm is ridiculous; I never heard people talking about his arm, ever, until he got traded, and then all of a sudden he’s Roberto Clemente.

      • Meh, he was homegrown, and therefore some fans get very attached. Fans always overrate their own prospects, and then overrate them as MLB players since they’re already drinking the Kool-Aid.

      • thurdonpaul says:

        I heard people talk often that Melky has a very good arm.

        • bexarama says:

          Really? I don’t doubt you, and I’m sure I read someone somewhere say Melky had a good arm, but I never heard anyone go on about it the way I’ve heard about how his arm was awesome since he got traded.

          • thurdonpaul says:

            I remember hearing in many games when a ball was hit to him that the base runner wouldnt run on him, or they would not chance coming home or to 2nd because of his arm. Im not saying a great arm is the best tool there is for an outfielder, but i think its more valuable then most people on here do.

            • http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/of-arms/

              As you can see, the spread in value of a strong arm versus a weak arm is significantly smaller than it is with range. The very best arm is +45 runs compared to the very worst arm over a three year period. In range, the spread is almost 100 runs from best (Carl Crawford) to worst (Brad Hawpe). So, while arm strength is nice, it is simply not as important as range.

              That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any impact, though. Over the last three years, Soriano is averaging +8.5 runs per season with his arm. That’s almost a win per year in value. Likewise, Francouer, Markakis, Ichiro, and Cuddyer get significant value from their ability to gun down runners and hold runners from advancing.

              Do arms matter? Yes.

              A lot? No.

              • thurdonpaul says:

                Thank You, that was very nice of You to help me make my point :)

                Good arms definitely have value, not the most important tool for an outfielder, but very nice to have.

  7. Granderson preparing for Roll Call

    Curtis Granderson needs to chase some fly balls in the outfield and he needs to take some swings during batting practice, but moving from Detroit to New York requires one other bit of preseason preparation: He has to decide how to address the Bleacher Creatures during Roll Call.

    “I’ve got to prepare for that,” Granderson said. “I’ve got to talk to these guys to understand the full logic and understanding and concept of it all to make sure I don’t mess it up.”

    This is still a get-to-know-you period for Granderson — “It’s kind of like the first day of school all over again,” he said. “There are a bunch of names that, if you quiz me right now, I might forget them.” — but he’s come to camp with a well-documented reputation as a good guy, easy talk to and willing to work.

    “Very pleasant, very hard worker,” Joe Girardi said. “We’ve heard all about his community efforts and all of the things that he does. He just seems like a real quality person.”

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/201.....roll-call/

    At this point, I’m waiting for someone to call me up at 3AM, screaming that Curtis GRanderson has been caught with 50 dead hookers and a kilo of crack cocaine in his basement.

    Nobody’s THIS nice.

  8. I need some ideas for a morning post tomorrow. I’ve been bone dry lately. I can’t wait for the season to start, just to have something, anything that hasn’t been talked to death already.

  9. Moshe Mandel says:

    So…… Lebron or Kobe, and support your argument.

    I’m taking Lebron, because he makes his teammates better, averages more points, rebounds, and assists (6th in NBA in assists, more than a full assist per game on the season more than any other forward in history), has played with nobody for most of his career, and has turned himself into a great defensive player.

  10. T-Dubs says:

    I can not get enough of these stories:

    “The Jesus Montero show continues. Today he hit one over the batter’s eye in center field. Based on where the balls landed, I don’t think he made an out during his first eight swings in the cage: Double to the right-center gap, single up the middle, double to the left-field corner, double down the left-field line, single to left-center, double off the wall in left-center, single to right, foul line drive to left.”

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/201.....wednesday/

  11. Something mildly interesting (and maybe there’s a post in here somewhere for you, Nostra):

    Starting today, I decided to (for poops and giggles) turn on Francesa once a month at random to see how long it takes to hear something horrendously stupid. Today it took just under two minutes. Shockingly, it wasn’t Diet Coke Boy who was being the village idiot, it was one of his callers (which isn’t all that shocking, I suppose). Francesa not only had a smart initial position, he actually disagreed with a caller to say something smart, utterly unprompted. I was discombobulated.

    The topic: Francesa claimed (rightly) that the 2009 Yankees had the best 5-man infield in baseball history (not individual seasons, mind you, but career true talent levels). Tex at first, Cano at second, Jeter (still producing at career highs) at short, CentWAR Centaur™ at third, Posada (still chugging along at league-elite level) at catcher. No other fivesome was that awesome; all other infields had at least one drastically inferior link and/or couldn’t match their collective awesomeness.

    He invited callers to dial in with any fivesome they think could equal or exceed the 2009 Yankees infield. A caller called in and claimed the following:

    The 1952 Yankees. Allow me to paraphrase his comment:

    Yogi Berra and Jorge Posada is a tie. Johnny Mize at first is better than Tex at first, because Mize is a Hall of Famer and Tex isn’t. Billy Martin isn’t as good as Robinson Cano, but he makes up for it with intangibles. Phil Rizzuto and Derek Jeter are the two best shortstops ever, so that’s a wash. Gil McDougal was the former AL Rookie of the Year and a 1952 All Star, just like ARod, so that’s pretty much a wash too.

    Francesa called him an idiot. Bravo. My favorite, though:

    The next caller suggested the 1999 Mets. He conceded that Jeter >>>>> Rey Ordonez, but then claimed that the other four were pretty close in that Piazza beats Jorge, but that Robin Ventura in his prime was “pretty close” to ARod, that Edgardo Alfonso was “better” than Robinson Cano, and that John Olerud was “just as good” as Tex.

    Mike pressed him on Olerud v. Teixeira. His reply: Olerud was a batting champion who hit like .360 or .370. Francesa’s response:

    “Batting average is an overrated stat”.

    Me: shocked. There is hope for humanity yet.

    • Dirty little secret. Mike came up as a stat guy (research dept) at CBS.

    • bexarama says:

      You know, normally I’d say the 1975 and 1976 Reds were the best infield of all time, but I was looking at just OPS+ and it’s significantly closer than I thought. The Yankees didn’t have anything like Concepcion and his 88 OPS+ in 1975.

      When you factor in defense and base running (I should look at wRC+), I think I’d still take the Reds, but it’s close. Closer than I thought.

      • No, it’s not closer than you think. It’s further than you think.

        • Actually, I take that back: You’re right. I forgot how astro-friggin-nomical Joe Morgan’s 1975 and 1976 seasons are.

          1975 Reds, wRC+
          Bench: 147
          Perez: 130
          Morgan: 193
          Concepcion: 102
          Rose: 142
          TOTAL: 714

          1975 Reds, wRC+
          Bench: 121
          Perez: 123
          Morgan: 202
          Concepcion: 112
          Rose: 150
          TOTAL: 708

          2009 Yankees, wRC+
          Posada: 133
          Teixeira: 149
          Cano: 128
          Jeter: 142
          ARod: 151
          TOTAL: 703

          My only asterisk: ARod’s 151 is artificially depressed by injury. If he had a healthy April and may, the Yankees probably win by a good clip.

          • bexarama says:

            Joe Morgan was a ridiculous baseball player. Guy may be an idiot, but he ruled.

          • Kevin G. says:

            If only Morgan was as good of a broadcaster as he was a player.

          • rbizzler says:

            Tommie,

            While folks were on the topic of Mr. Morgan, I thought you would appreciate this comment from Joe’s ‘chat’ at tWWL today.

            “Dave (Boston)

            Joe, you were in the majors when Tommie Smith and John Carlos made their statement in the 1968 Olympics. As an athlete, what did that gesture mean to you?
            Joe Morgan
            (12:11 PM)

            That’s a great question! What it meant to me is that athletes understood that just because they were athletes that they weren’t speared those indignities that other African Americans went through. The reaction by the Olympic Committee showed me that there was prejudice there as well. They kicked them out of the Olympic Village stating that the Olympics were no place for those kinds of political actions. In my opinion, the Olympics have always been a platform for political actions going back to Jesse Owens. Tommie and John have always been and will always be my idols because they stood up for what they believed in.”

            • bexarama says:

              “Five reasons you can’t blame… Tommie Smith and John Carlos for their Black Power salute” is on ESPN Classic right now.

      • bexarama says:

        wRC+

        Bench/Posada: 147 in 75, 121 in 76, 133
        Perez/Teixeira: 130 in 75, 123 in 76, 149 *
        Morgan/Cano: 193 in 75, 202 in 76 (!!!), 128
        Concepcion/Jeter: 102 in 75, 112 in 76, 142
        Rose/Rodriguez: 142 in 75, 150 in 76, 151

        Wow, it really is close.

        * Holy crap I was not aware that Teixeira wiped out Perez by this much.

    • Drew says:

      You got lucky going to Francesa. I turned on ESPN’s SportsNation and heard the host say Alex is unlikely to repeat as an MVP because he hit 286 this year and the last time he won he hit 314 with 54 HR’s.

    • “Batting average is an overrated stat”.

      Wow.

  12. JobaWockeeZ says:

    How come UZR and UZR/150 can be very different at times? I’m looking up the team pages for defense in 2009 and I have no idea why these two are really different. Which one is better for a team evaluation?

    • Drew says:

      If you don’t have 150 games under your belt the UZR/150 and UZR will be completely different. Like Grit, he had a 150 of 15 last year with an actual UZR of 7.2. So, if you;re looking at teams as a whole, imagine all the players that play nowhere near 150 games. The stats shouldn’t really match.

    • UZR is raw, UZR/150 is scaled to 150 games–think of it like the 162 game averages thing on BR pages.

  13. rbizzler says:

    Also from LoHud, looks like Axisa’s sleeper is going to get a good look.

    Color me intrigued.

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/201.....t/#respond

  14. RIP, Mosi.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/bost.....id=4940988

    Fun Fact: In one of the Simpsons Halloween episodes, when they parodied King Kong, the wildly gyrating natives scream “Mosi Tatupu! Mosi Tatupu!” as quasi-gibberish when the boat arrives on Ape Island.

    Another great line:

    Lenny: Where are we going?
    Carl: Ape Island.
    Lenny: Yeesh.
    Carl: Wish we were going to Candy Apple Island instead.
    Lenny: What’s there?
    Carl: Apes. But they ain’t so big.

  15. I was thinking about this today, if the Yankees would have been able to take Rick Porcello instead of Andrew Brackman, where would Porcello be right now in the Yankees organization? Starting AAA? Battling for the #5?

  16. AJ says:

    Is it just me or did the Indians get an absolute STEAL in Russell Branyan at 2M?

  17. AJ says:

    Also, for the fantasy baseball fans. How much faith do you have in Grady Sizemore for 2010? No mean to drone on about the Indians, but this is about all the coverage they’ll get this year.

    • DP says:

      A ton. He had an elbow injury and a sports hernia all year which would seemingly devastate your power and speed and still went for 18/13 in roughly 2/3 of the appearances he’d normally make. Extrapolate that to 27/20 over a full season as the floor for him (going into his age-27 season) and me like.

      • DP says:

        Not to mention the 110/100 extrapolation in R/RBI (again, this being as bad as he can probably play), the IsoP hovering around .200 as usual, and IsoD hovering around .100 as usual….again, me like!

    • I’d say he’s pretty likely to bounce back.

  18. bexarama says:

    The Mets signed Barajas? How did I miss this?

    Also, how many damn catchers do they have? Thole, Barajas, Coste, Blanco, Santos… is that it?

    And with Reyes supposedly batting third, what’s that lineup like?
    Cora??/GMJ?
    Castillo
    Reyes
    Wright
    Bay
    Murphy?
    Francoeur?
    catcher
    pitcher

    • Hangoverologist says:

      Why would they have Reyes batting third? Move Bay up to the 3 hole and Reyes should lead off. When Beltran comes back, either he goes to cleanup or takes three from Bay and Bay goes to the five hole.

      What’s in the water over in Queens that’s making the Mets FO sound so stupid?

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