Open Thread: Getting after it


Randy Winn, Marcus Thames, and Jon Weber making plays at the wall today. All photos by Kathy Willens, AP.

It’s snowy in New York, but sunny in Tampa. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain threw to real live batters today, even though they only bothered to swing at 11 of 60 combined pitches. Games are just five days away, though it’s likely one of Al Aceves, Chad Gaudin, or Sergio Mitre will start that opener according to Joe Girardi. Just 37 more sleeps until Opening Day…

Here’s your open thread for the evening. You get to pick between the Knicks and the Olympics, though the Canada-Slovakia hockey game will determine who faces USA in the Gold Medal game. Enjoy the night, and the thread.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Ironically enough, the only guy with basically no shot at the MLB roster is the only one actually making a catch.

  2. Esteban says:

    As much as Tracy McGrady may hinder the development of Wilson Chandler and Gallinari, I still like the trade for the salary cap effects and for the fact that the Knicks have a really talented (though diminished) player for the first time since, who Latrell Sprewell.

    • JSquared says:

      Agreed. I Hope with two max free agents we can still sign David Lee somehow. Hopefully the Cap is higher than expected.

      • Esteban says:

        I was thinking about the free agent situation. If the Knicks don’t sign Lebron, the best situation for them might be to only sign Chris Bosh this offseason. Eddy Curry’s contract is up after the 2010-2011 season, so they might be able to afford two free agents from that class, which includes Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. I’m probably dreaming, but having Bosh, Melo, and CP3 would be unstoppable regardless of who the rest of the players on the team.

        • JSquared says:

          It could happen. I don’t know if both Paul and Anthony would leave, but they’re going to get max contracts as well, should probably just sign LeBron James if hes available and not risk losing out on somebody waiting for Paul and Anthony to both leave.

          • Esteban says:

            That’s why I said if they don’t sign Lebron. Lebron is obviously the first choice. It’s not even guaranteed that Lebron or Wade leaves.

            • JSquared says:

              Got Ya. Missed that, thought you were proposing that they pass on him. Yeah, if they can not get two, i would just sign Bosh, and wait for Curry’s contract to leave.

  3. bexarama says:

    I know we’ve been talking about pro-Red Sox and anti-Yankee bias in the media. For the record, I don’t think stuff like fantasy league rankings or over/under from Las Vegas is pro-RS or anti-Yankee.

    That said, I fully read Gammons expecting pro-RS stuff, so my confirmation bias is probably in play, but I don’t think I’m wrong. Classy models of the game: Mauer, Jeter, ….. Josh Beckett. Blah blah blah, mention a few things about Mauer and Jeter, talk excessively about Red Sox camp and how awesome all the Red Sox pitchers are and their depth.

    Ugh I’m never leaving my house again with the snow >:(

    PS. Is the ’90s fade gone?!?!?

  4. DP says:

    Does anyone good things to do in Tampa? I’m going down in a week and I’ve never been. Mostly looking for bar suggestions, but hey, no need to limit suggestions. Also is pregame for ST games like regular games? (Home team BP, road team BP) Do they allow you to go to other parts of the complex when they aren’t playing?

  5. Esteban says:

    The Olympics actually made me put a hockey game on today. Maybe it was because it was already 6-0 but I still never paid that much attention to the game.

  6. ultimate913 says:


    Someone had a bit too much time on their hands.

    Also. I’m suprised Chapman is only 63rd best.

  7. Tom Zig says:

    Loving the “cougarlife” advertisement

  8. Esteban says:

    If David Lee could improve his defense as much as he’s improved his offense (shooting), then he would be a top-20 player in the NBA.

  9. bexarama says:

    Genius from Fack Youk:
    http://fackyouk.blogspot.com/2.....r-you.html (not really safe, though it’s mostly language)

    Also, I know he wrote that terrible article attacking Cashman, but Matt Taibbi almost makes up for it by writing this:
    Whereas a guy like Teixeira was born with a swing so gorgeous you want to paint it, Youkilis fighting a middle reliever to a nine-pitch walk looks like a rhinoceros trying to f-ck a washing machine.

  10. Riddering says:


    As someone who wasn’t alive when baseball was “innocent” I’ve got to say: mmmm, filthy steroids. Almost as delicious as a chili dog.

  11. VO says:

    Hey guys in fantasy my friend was offered Lowe, Niemann, and Manny for Matt Weiters. I’m not too great with the whole fantasy thing so I don’t want to give him bad advice, what do you guys think should he accept? He has Adam Jones, McCutchen, and Werth in his outfield as is and his pitching is also fairly well. But he doesn’t have a back up catcher and on the free agent market all that’s left is Miguel Olivo and Rod Barajas.

    • Steve H says:

      How many teams? I can barely see Lowe even being ownable unless it’s a very deep league. And Niemann isn’t much better. It’s almost just Manny for Weiters (unless a 16 team league or so), and I’d probably still take Manny, but it’s close. If it’s a keeper league, take Weiters and run.

  12. That Canadian curler, is a hot piece of milfy goodness. But, that Swiss curler with the black hair, nose ring and pierced tongue was the best.

  13. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Shin-Soo Choo hired Scott Boras, as one of the most underrated players in the game I hope he gets a big payday.

  14. T-Dubs says:

    This Kathy Willens has a sweet gig. Does she do AP photos for the regular season too or just spring training?

  15. T-Dubs says:

    I’m two episodes into Season 2 of Dexter and loving it.

    Any other shows on DVD that I’ve seriously missed out on?

  16. Hangoverologist says:

    I was thinking of something while I was eating: If the Mariners are out of contention (10-15 games back) by the deadline, does anybody think they’ll flip Cliff Lee to some other team in contention and take some above average prospects?

    • Steve H says:

      If they can get back something better than the two 1st round picks, I certainly think they’ll consider it.

    • bexarama says:

      I can very much see this happening, especially if Cliff is miserable in Seattle (he’s a professional, he won’t show it, but he might be).

      I really do wonder how Seattle will do this year. I know there was talk about it in the Las Vegas over/under thread, but I missed that. At least the AL West isn’t gonna be boring this year (now that I’ve said this, the stupid Angels will probably run away with it and everyone will praise Scioscia to the high heavens aaagh).

    • T-Dubs says:

      I think they let him walk. How far out of it could they possibly be the deadline?

      I wonder if there’s a deadline deal in their future for a big bat. I know everyone in Boston is convinced Gonzalez is already their first baseman but that’d be huge pickup for Seattle.

  17. Zack says:

    Wow, anyone see that play with Jason Kidd just now?

  18. I know very little about Canada’s team and absolutely nothing about Slovakia’s team…but I’m still willing to lay down a prediction:

    4-2 Canada.

  19. I have nothing against the Census but my Mo are those ads awful.

  20. Here’s your obligatory disclaimer: These lines and my thoughts are for entertainment purposes only. Don’t bet on baseball with my advice in mind, and if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please contact the National Council on Problem Gambling.

    This is why it’s impossible to dislike Ben. He can’t even mention gambling without running a PSA.

  21. T-Dubs says:

    When will we see another .400 hitter? I realize BA is a taboo stat in these parts but that would still be a really cool feat when/if it happens next.

    • Bored with the traditional .300/.400/.500 gold standard, Jesus Montero’s career line will be closer to .400/.500/.600

    • Make everyone play with the same gloves from the 1930′s and you’ll see a .400 hitter real quick.

      • T-Dubs says:

        So, you’re saying never? They should play the All Star game with those old gloves. That would be entertaining.

      • Yes. I’m sure Barry Zito wishes he were born in 1884, and instead of making $126m over the next six+ years, he had made $40 per 350 innings and lived in a crappy one-bedroom near the park and aspired to drive a Model T and read with great interest news of the first plane flight and carried a watch fob and used a glove that was only slightly bigger than his hand that he had to leave on the mound for the guy on the other team to use and died of typhoid at the age of 28. Ah…the good old days, for baseball players.


        • bexarama says:

          Albert Pujols (and others) routinely go into the clubhouse immediately after at bats to review the tape on how the pitcher got him out. If you could go back in time and take Nap Lajoie into a room after Rube Waddell K’d him on three pitches and show him a glowing box with a video replay of the at bat, he would call you a demon, slit your throat, tear out his eyes, and generally freak the fuck out. It’s a different game, these days.

          That’s my all-time favorite FJM paragraph. I miss that site SO MUCH, best Red Sox fans evah.

    • Steve H says:

      Don’t know when but I’m guessing it’ll be in Colorado. In fact, had Ichiro signed there 10 years ago, I think he would have had a strong chance to do it. Just so much open space there for hits to drop in.

      • T-Dubs says:

        I remember being 100% convinced Tony Gwynn would’ve done it in 94.

        • Steve H says:

          I’ve written on the subject (and 1994 in general)

          We also remember Tony Gwynn’s attempt at .400 that was aborted by the strike. Did you also know he was just about on pace to break George Sisler’s 74 year old record for hits in a season? He was, though I think his road to .400 would have been easier. Getting back to .400, did he have a real shot? Well the strike unfortunately came while he was on fire. He was hitting .423 in the 2nd half, and in an obviously small sample size, he was hitting .475 for the month of August. Just 38 more at bats at that pace would have put him at .400 for the year. The Padres that year, ironically enough, had a winning % of .401. In other words, they had nothing to play for. Knowing that, would they have rested Gwynn down the stretch against tough lefties? He “only” hit .374 against LHP that year, while hitting 30 points higher vs. RHP. Would they have rested him more on the road, where he hit .387 vs. .403 at home? He was just 1-5 as a pinch hitter, which dropped his overall average 3 points, so I’m sure they wouldn’t have him pinch hit again. The deeper you look, the more they could have done. He hit .434 hitting 2nd that year in 33 games, and .380 in 73 games, so they could have put him in the 2 hole only. Gwynn only hit .304 against “power pitchers” (as per B-Ref) that year. Solution, bench him against power pitchers. Gwynn hit .403 on open fields and only .319 in domes. While several examples above are small samples, to get to .400 wouldn’t have taken much. Considering they were terrible, they could have easily helped Gwynn on his way to .400 without upsetting the fans, and likely would have done all they could have to get him there.

          • 1994 was filled with all sorts of ‘what ifs’. The Yanks were rolling to what would have been their first playoff berth and division title since (sort of) 1981. Greg Maddux was in the middle of one of his best years, and Frank Thomas was having an ungodly season (1.217 OPS).

            • bexarama says:

              And the Expos would have won the World Series!!!

            • Steve H says:

              How about Fred McGriff, he of the 493 career HR’s? Did that strike cost him his chance at the Hall? He was on pace for a career high 47 HR’s, which would have put him at 506 for his career. In the minds of the BBWAA, 506 HR’s and a career high of 47 is much more Hall-worthy than 493 with a career high of 37, right?

              • Damn, good one. I’d steal this for a post, but it’s your idea.

                • Steve H says:

                  I actually wrote a post on it which somewhat inspired the new blog. Basically I think the owners had the balls juiced in anticipation of the strike.


                • I wouldn’t go with the juiced ball angle. Universities have studied and tested that and found that all of the accusations of winding the ball tighter had little to no effect on how the ball traveled. And we all know now it wasn’t the ball that was juiced….

                  Still, great idea for a post. Such an unfulfilled season.

                • Steve H says:

                  There was still something else in the air though. Steroids didn’t show up in the game in 1994. Matt Williams/McGriff/Thomas/Bagwell/Belle were all on pace for career highs in HR’s (for before and after 1994).

                • Steve, Canseco said he was doing roids and spreading them all over the league in the late 80′s on those great A’s teams. They were around in 1994.

                  Players as far back as the 70s said they dabbled in them, but it was thought back then that adding bulk was bad for a Baseball player, that it slowed your bat down.

                • Surely Jeff Bagwell wouldn’t have won the MVP. He broke his hand a couple of days before the strike and would have been out for the rest of the year.

                • Steve H says:

                  Nostra, I know steroids were in the game long before 1994, that’s why steroids alone don’t explain the outburst that season. Even Frank Thomas, who is likely clean, had that 1.217 OPS, and never was above 1.100 in any year of his career. For the first 8 years of his career he was between .975 and 1.085, other than that ridiculous 1.217. Steroids alone cannot explain the offensive explosion in 1994.

                • I suspect what happened is that since the season was cut short, players numbers didn’t have a chance to average out the way they will over a regular 162 game season. Player tend to wear out toward the end of the year and slump, but they didn’t get a chance that year.

                  Were really not comparing apples to apples. You’d have to look at each year for the first 113 games to see if there was really anything unusual going on.

                • Steve H says:

                  Frank Thomas was slugging 100 points over his 2nd best season. There’s no way he was leveling off that much. His career ops in the first and second halves is separated by .15. Albert Belle’s was .20 higher in the 2nd half for his career. Matt Williams was .04 lower in the 2nd half for his career. They just weren’t going to fall off a cliff. Seriously, I think Fred McGriff is the best argument that something else was up. He was simply known as a 30/100 guy, and he had a real shot at 50, despite a career high of 36, and he was for his career better in the 2nd half.

                • Since everyone knew the strike was coming, could be some guys were mailing it in.

                • Meaning the pitchers, and so the hitters who don’t give away ABs took advantage.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I think the guy with the best shot these days is Ichiro. Still, it’s damn unlikely . . . you need someone who’s fast, doesn’t strike out, and makes hard contact.

      He’d also have to get pretty lucky — just think how difficult it is to maintain a high BABIP; such a player would have to have a BABIP higher than .400, or have more home runs than strikeouts, which is closing in on absurd.

      • Steve H says:

        In 2004 Ichiro hit over .400 on the road but “only” .338 at home. Put him in Coors, that year, and he would have had a hell of a chance.

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Again, so much of it is luck.

          ESPN has Coors as having a 1.24 hits park factor in 2004, as compared to .860 (!) for Safeco. Unsure if that would have resulted in Ichiro hitting .400, but it sure could have helped.

          • Accent Shallow says:

            Ok, the way I understand park factor is that you have to convert one set of stats to a neutral park, then convert to the new park.

            So: (.338/.860)*1.2 = Ichiro hitting .471 at home if he’d played his home games in Coors?! Either I did that wrong, or that shows one limitation of park factors.

  22. The Marriage Ref has potential…but it will not meet that potential. I know it’s going to suck, but I know I’m going to watch anyway. Damn you, Jerry Seinfeld.

  23. Steve H says:

    It has been decided. As a Celtic fan I would give back Banner #17 to get the 2nd pick in the draft and get Durant. As fun as the title was, getting 15 years from Durant, with a core of Durant/Rondo/Al Jefferson/Perkins would be an absolute blast.

  24. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’ve no idea what it takes to make an HOFer in any sport other than baseball, so I’ll ask you guys:

    Are other HOFs as hung up on the “first ballot” thing as baseball is?

    • Steve H says:

      I have never heard to an NBA or NFL Hall of Famer referred to as “First Ballot”, if that helps. The voting is definitely different though.

      It’s simply, as it should be, Hall of Famer.

  25. Alex S says:

    have you guys watched that show on HBO Bored To Death? theres a few episodes in the on demand schedule. are they worth watching?

  26. Steve H says:

    All of the .400 talk from above reminded me of an article I once saw about Dmitri Young and if he could hit .400. Seriously.

  27. Harold Reynolds just said: “He’s going to take me out to lunch and pay with real English dollars!.

  28. Steve H says:

    So are JMK and TSJC on a retreat together?

  29. Hangoverologist says:

    Regarding the Granderson trade, would anybody have liked to get one of the pitchers the Dbacks shipped out to Detroit? I think either would have been good for the rotation or pen.

  30. pat says:

    IMO Jeff Van Gundy is a great announcer. He knows the game and the players very well and he comes off as a pretty funny and self deprecating guy. I always end up staying on whatever game he’s calling because he’s so enjoyable.

  31. Four-man bobsledding is so lumbering and boring. Give me skeleton racing any day.

  32. pistol pete says:

    Am I the only one who feels the Yankee outfield is suspect, very suspect. Swisher had a decent yr last yr but was signed as a versatile spare part not really a top corner outfielder, Granderson hit 50 pts lower than any Yankee starter last yr at 780 ops (except melky) and he only hit 182 righthanded, and the Gardner/Winn dynamic duo will need a pinch hitter late in games. Cashman will be trading for of help by or before the allstar break, you can count on it.

    • Steve H says:

      You’re probably the only one. Swisher has had an OPS+ >125 in the 3 of the last 4 years. And Granderson is going from a great pitchers park to a great hitters park and is in his prime.

      Oh, and let’s not leave defense out of the equation either.

    • pat says:

      Luckily Swisher doesn’t play like a “versatile spare part”. Granderson, like Swisher in 08, is coming off a career low BABIP. He also hit .267/.345/.516 w/ 20 of his 30 HR outside of spacious Comerica park. Not only is he due for a bounce back year when you take luck into factor he’s also due to have a better year playing with the RF wall 315 feet away.

    • Hangoverologist says:

      Yes, yes you are.

      Granderson hit righthanders for a .275 average last year. You must be confusing that for his .183 average against lefthanders. C-Grand will rebound or do better against lefties this year due to his work with Kevin Long this offseason. Swisher will probably do better this year than last year as he will likely figure out NYS and do better at home. Cash probably won’t resort to OF help unless Winn and Gardner completely shit the bed.

    • bexarama says:

      Am I the only one who feels the Yankee outfield is suspect, very suspect.
      Probably not. You should go talk to Bronx Teacher.

      Swisher had a decent yr last yr
      129 OPS+ and 132 wRC+ aren’t so much “decent” as they are “awesome.” And yes, they’re closer to what he’s done throughout his career than his bad 2008.

      Granderson hit 50 pts lower than any Yankee starter last yr at 780 ops
      He had a bad year, much like Swisher in 2008. And he hit quite well on the road (.696 at Comerica, .861 away). He still hit 30 home runs.

      he only hit 182 righthanded
      He’s a lefty. He doesn’t hit righthanded. This is why he struggles against lefty pitching.

      and the Gardner/Winn dynamic duo will need a pinch hitter late in games.
      Only when the Yankees aren’t winning by 37 runs, BWAHAHAHAHAH

      Cashman will be trading for of help by or before the allstar break, you can count on it.
      Sure. If Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and OBP Jesus all have unbelievably bad years. In which case we would be screwed anyway.

      • pistol pete says:

        Swisher stunk in the playoffs and the Winn/Gardner combo is very weak. You really can’t think this outfield is very good. Also it’s very suspect vs left handed pitching which the bottom of the order is going to face with weak numbers righthanded by Granderson, Winn, and Gardner bats left. Not to worry we have Hoffman, Cervelli, and Pena to pinch hit. Trust me we’ll be looking for of help by the break and mising clutch at bats from Damon and matsui.

        • pat says:

          Hahaha so the 15 or so games in the playoffs are more important than the 150 he played in the regular season?? Do you realize how stupid that is?

          And no, we’re not going to trust you. Youre an ass who thinks granderson is a switch hitter. Don’t talk shit when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Learn to read a chart.

          • pistol pete says:

            You’re a moron. How come everyone on this blog is stating Granderson’s stats batting left and right handed, 275 vs 183, simple, you moron, because he’s a switch hitter. That’s why its Kevin Longs greatest job this year to improve Granderson’s right handed batting stats, give it up you moron, he’s a switch hitter.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              You should check your facts before calling people morons. He’s not a switch hitter. Never has been. Here’s the link to the roster on the official site:


              What does it say until B/T for Granderson? It says L/R. That means he bats left, and throws right.

              Stop being an idiot and take two seconds to do some research, or get off my site.

              • pistol pete says:

                He’s a switch hitter, plain and simple, check his splits. He bats 211 lifetime righthanded. last yr he hit 30 hr’s 28 lefthanded and 2 righthanded, you know why, because he’s a switch hitter, you moron.

        • bexarama says:

          Swisher stunk in the playoffs
          So did Teixeira. Obviously this means these guys suck and are worthless.

          and the Winn/Gardner combo is very weak
          Oh nooooo our #9 hitter might be slightly below league average!!! Worst team evs!

          You really can’t think this outfield is very good.
          Do I think it’s the best outfield in baseball? No. But I think it’s quite good. Swisher’s great. Granderson’s great. It will also probably be very good defensively, which, you know, is fairly exciting considering what we’ve had out there in past years.

          Also it’s very suspect vs left handed pitching which the bottom of the order is going to face with weak numbers righthanded by Granderson, Winn, and Gardner bats left.
          Except Girardi is smarter than to set up the team so that they could be that easily crippled by a lefty. Pretty sure Granderson won’t be batting eighth. Also, dude, you don’t seem to understand switch-hitting. Only Randy Winn is a switch-hitter out of those.

          Trust me we’ll be looking for of help by the break and mising clutch at bats from Damon and matsui.
          if we need offensive help, again, it would require a terrible collapse/awful year by the tons of other guys on our team who are really awesome offensively, in which case we have more problems than just OH NO OUR #9 HITTER ISN’T THE BEST HITTER IN THE AL!

          And “clutch” doesn’t exist. You are probably one of those people who was whining about how Damon and Matsui looked old and done on like September 30.

          • bexarama says:

            I am ridiculously pedantic so let me just say that okay, “clutch” exists. However, it exists in what is pretty much an intangible way, and players can vary WILDLY in their “clutchitude” from year to year.

        • Drew says:

          If you’re going to troll at least bring the heat. Next you’re going to tell us Park is a switch pitcher.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      While the OF does have limitations, it looks worse than it is due to the infield being so awesome.

    • I’m kinda upset I missed this one.

  33. AJ says:

    Does anyone watch the Life and Times of Tim and see the Mets reference?

  34. Ranaudo is experiencing discomfort on the outside bone of his right elbow


    Step 1 – Elbow discomfort.

    Step 3 – With the 32 pick in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft the New York Yankees select Anthony Ranaudo of LSU.

  35. larryf says:

    Spent a few hours at ST practice yesterday. Sat behind the Yankee dugout. Watched Joba throw to batters in the cage-most of whom didn’t swing. Grittner has hair! Grandy shagging fungos in CF. Girardi and Eiland sitting right behind and above Batting cage. Saw Boone Logan/Dustin Mosely/Edwar/Joba throw. Robbie and DJ taking lots of grounders and Robbie taking some at short showing a great arm. Arod signed a bunch. Nick the Stick weighs about 275 (just kidding but the man ate alot this winter). Best cars? Jorge’s Mercedes sedan/Curtis’ white Jag sedan/Joba’s black Hummer

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