Open Thread: Know the players by their new numbers


CC Sabathia, Bullpen Coach Mike Harkey and Pitching Coach Dave Eiland watch Phil Hughes throw today in Tampa. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

That’s a great looking photo up there. The pitchers and catchers officially arrived at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa this morning and got right to work. We love to celebrate the return of baseball, even if it’s just for a few hours of bullpen work each day, and over the next few weeks, the team will start to take the field in preparation for Opening Day.

Meanwhile, for number-watchers, today was a big day. The Yanks finally filled in the holes on their active roster, and all of the new guys and some of the old ones have new numbers. With so many non-roster invitees in camp and so many numbers retired, the Yankees have guys wearing everything from 2 to Colin Curtis‘ 98 in camp.

The most symbolic change this year will be the number on Joe Girardi‘s back. For the past two seasons, the Yanks’ skipper has donned 27 in his quest for the franchise’s 27th World Championship. With the trophy secured, Girardi will wear number 28 this year in the hunt for his next trophy. Girardi will be set until the Yanks win their 31st World Series title. Elston Howard’s number won’t come off the wall.

Meanwhile, some of the late-winter additions not noteworthy enough to warrant a press conference as Number 14 Curtis Granderson did picked out their numbers. Randy Winn has 22 on his back. Most recently, Xavier Nady and LaTroy Hawkins had donned Roger Clemens’ old number. Looking to buck with the past, Javier Vazquez has 31, last donned by Michael Dunn. Those 33 Vazquez shirts from 2004 won’t come in handy. Another once and current Yankee, Nick Johnson, has opted for 27. He last wore 36 but didn’t want to fight Edwar Ramirez for it. Kei Igawa, the not-so-proud former owner of 27, will switch to 17, says Bryan Hoch.

On the minor league front, two dueling outfielders have numbers that should tell you about their chances of making the team. Marcus Thames gets the well-travelled 38 — five former Yankees over the last two years, including Brian Bruney and Ian Kennedy in 2009, have worn it — while Jamie Hoffmann has been saddled with 73. A number that high is usually the Spring Training equivalent of a red shirt on the old Star Trek TV show.

Also of note are a bunch of the Yanks’ top prospects. Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will wear 83 and 84 respectively. Zach McAllister and Jeremy Bleich have 80 and 82. The youngest guy in camp, Kyle Higashioka, born in April 1990, will wear 92.

Finally, we have the numbers that are obviously missing from the uniforms this spring. The Yankees have again held back Joe Torre’s 6, Paul O’Neill’s 21 and Bernie Williams‘ 51. Johnny Damon‘s 18 remains on the shelf and so does Hideki Matsui‘s 55. Of those numbers, the 6 and the 51 should probably be retired while the other three can be returned to circulation.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the evening. Some NBA trades involving the Knicks are going down. NBC’s botched Olympics coverage will be on. In local action, the Nets and Knicks both play at home at 7:30. Be good to each other.


  1. Dude. Suits are way too effing expensive. Seriously.

  2. The most symbolic change this year will be the number on Joe Girardi’s back. For the past two seasons, the Yanks’ skipper has donned 27 in his quest for the franchise’s 27th World Championship. With the trophy secured, Girardi will wear number 28 this year in the hunt for his next trophy.

    Kei Igawa getting #27 is also symbolic.

    It means he’s in the past.

  3. chriskeo says:

    Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will wear 83 and 84 respectively.

    Would buying a Montero shirt with number 83 be a risky investment?


  4. Thomas A. Anderson says:

    Paul O’Neill’s number is getting retired. I think that’s a pretty safe assumption at this point. The fanbase is never letting that one go.

    With pitchers & catchers reporting today, it did feel a tad bit warmer — for a minute, anyway. Then I stepped outside and got bitchslapped by Old Man Winter.

    *looks longingly at calendar*

  5. #53 Juan Miranda

    Wear it well, amigo. Wear it well.

    El Comedulce y Leche Suckmynuts

  6. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Marcus Thames gets the well-worn 38 — five former Yankees including Brian Bruney have worn it in two years

    Bruney wore it for 1 year. He had #33 when he came to the Yanks.

  7. bexarama says:

    are Andy, Javy, and Mo there? I haven’t heard a word about any of them.

  8. Drew says:

    Javy was smart not messing with the #36. He didn’t want to “play catch” with Edwar. Last dude to do that ended up looking like a raccoon.

  9. Zack says:


    Cavs landed Jamison for Ilgauskas (who will be bought out and resigned by Cavs i’m assuming) and a 1st round pick in a 3 team trade. I love NBA trades.

  10. Cecala says:

    Curling has to be the funniest olympic sport. They have this giant contraption for measuring which rock is closer. It is probably the least exciting sport but they use terms like “The Hammer” to build it up. I will say that Melanie Robillard on the German team is hot.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5.....ave-it.jpg (safe)

  11. Steve H says:

    Phil Hughes not wearing a hat? Talk about disrespecting the game. He must have been hanging out with Joba.

    CC’s looking pretty svelte.

    • Nady Nation says:

      Steve, you like the Nate deal?

      • Steve H says:

        Seriously I love it. Eddie House can do one thing, shoot, and he hasn’t been effective this year. Nate can get the ball past midcourt, and for all of his negatives, some need to be taken with a grain of salt, he has played for the Knicks his whole career. With Kg, Pierce, etc. and Doc coaching him, I think he’s a great pickup. I hope they just throw him in there with the 2nd team and tell him to score.

        I still want to see them trade Ray Allen, or more appropriately Ray Allen’s contract. It’s too valuable, and they are too flawed, to get nothing for it.

        • Nady Nation says:

          Yea, I agree. I think he’ll be solid instant offense for a team with vets that can police him and tell him to cut the shit. Hopefully the Celts throw in that future first rounder, which is being rumored.

          Now please, get healthy and knock out the Cavs.

          • I bet they did throw in the first rounder.

            Veteran teams like the C’s are constantly selling off those low first rounders to avoid the guaranteed contract, which they’d hate but which we need (to help us fill out our 15-man roster with non D-League players).

            Nate for House and a 1 makes more sense than just Nate for House by himself. For all parties involved.

  12. thurdonpaul says:

    When the regular season starts will RAB have that little NY box back (or something similiar) in each post so we can see what we have read previously ?

  13. Reggie C. says:

    When does the Nate Robinson-Eddie House trade become offical?

    Does House take minutes from Duhon? Not that that’s of any issue, but does House have a future on this team when Tony D. might be better already? I simply haven’t kept up to date on my NBA this year.

  14. Steve H says:

    Who’s glad they didn’t google elephant walk while at work today?

    /Raises hand

  15. JobaWockeeZ says:

    It’s so annoying how I keep hearing about the 5th Starter competition in the media and in other Yankee non-RAB blogs is that Hughes is soooooooo much better suited for being the 5th starter.

    • Drew says:

      Ha. I was listening to WFAN the other day on the way to work. It was Horseface Jones and some other dude on air. Some dude called up and said that he’d love to see the pitcher that doesn’t win the 5th spot go down to AAA and work, as a starter, until a spot opens in the rotation.

      They basically laughed at the dude, said he was crazy, then hung up.

      • Zack says:

        Don’t listen to WFAN for any baseball analysis that goes beyond W/L, RBIs, Rs, and ridiculous trade proposals.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Hell try avoiding the radio unless you are looking for breaking news or something. I mean there’s Francesa so you want to avoid that station at all costs so you don’t hear his voice.

          There’s ESPN and it’s better but still pretty meh.

          • bexarama says:

            The one time in AGES I was listening to WFAN live, I caught the ANDY PETTITTE IS A STAHTING PITCHAH!!!! thing.

            • JobaWockeeZ says:

              Heh lucky. I had to see it on Youtube. It was ridiculous. Francesa is easily the most annoying radio host. He doesn’t listen if you argue with him and his “arguments” are the most faulty things ever.

              Unless you want to get stupid, don’t listen to Francesa.

    • bexarama says:

      It’s because he doesn’t have that bull in a china shop mentality, or something.

  16. bexarama says:

    MLB Network named Torii Hunter the #1 CF of the decade?

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Huh weird. They didn’t name one of the grittiest players every in Jacoby Ellsbury.

      • bexarama says:

        That’s because naming Godcoby to #1 CF is like naming Mo to #1 relief pitcher. Duh.

        (I love Torii, but… Edmonds, Beltran, Damon, Cameron, Andruw Jones, Griffey Jr. early on, and yes, even Feared Williams?)

        • In Torii’s defense, the names you just named didn’t have a good 10-year decade, they each just had a good 7 year portion of the decade next to a 3 year stretch of sucking due to being old (or, in the case of Beltran, being too young and not accumulating stats).

        • JGS says:

          I was about to say it’s gotta be Beltran, then I look at the stats again.

          Edmonds–140 OPS+, +7.5 UZR
          Hunter–109 OPS+, -14.1 UZR
          Beltran–122 OPS+, +27.4 UZR

          considering the UZR era didn’t begin until Edmonds was 32 (Beltran was 25 at the time), this one isn’t even close

        • andrew says:

          I really don’t think Hunter is a terrible choice. I would’ve gone with Beltran, but I think you’re fantasizing about the 90′s with a lot of those names you bring up. (Bernie, Griffey, Jones)

          Griffey – Not only was he not that productive most of the decade, but he stopped playing CF regularly in 2006.

          Bernie- Absolutely not. Didn’t have an above average year after 2002.

          Jones – Good for half the decade.

          Cameron – consistently solid, but never really broke through.

          Edmonds – only an asset for the first half of the decade

          Damon – i would probably have Johnny 3rd behind Beltran and Torii.

          I see Beltran as the only one with a legitimate case, and maybe Damon.

          Beltran and Hunter were the only two who played CF for the whole decade

    • Hangoverologist says:

      Probably because of the SPECTACULAR PLAYS. Nothing more.

    • bexarama says:

      Dear everyone,

      I was stupid and didn’t realize Torii Hunter had come up as early as he did. I suck.


      PS. Edmonds would still be my #1, just because I value a crazy peak like he had over Hunter.

      • bexarama says:

        Eh. Beltran/Edmonds. You could make an easy case for either.

        I guess I should be proud that MLB Network didn’t name Ichiro their #1 right fielder, center fielder, and left fielder of the decade. Heh.

      • All I heard was:

        bexarama says:

        Dear everyone…I suck.

        Tommie: very aroused.

        • bexarama says:

          Ahaha, I knew that was going to be your response.

          And you’ve actually done a good job convincing me that Torii was pretty worthy of that, hmm. Maybe because the sabermetric people are always whining about all the Gold Gloves he gets and stuff, and because I pretty much agree with them, I tend to underrate the people a lot of sabermetric guys underrate (I’m really bad about this and Jeter, and I love Jeter :( ).

          • DP says:

            Underrated/overrated doesn’t necessarily imply good/bad. For example- Nick Swisher is underrated whereas Josh Beckett is overrated. I’d still rather have Beckett.

          • And you’ve actually done a good job convincing me…

            Bill Clinton (Darrell Hammond): That’s right. I’m not gonna trash John McCain just because he’s a Republican, or a war hero, or a great friend who’s hilarious and cool. I will not. I will not. I, for one, respect those things. Still, there are many things we disagree on. For instance, Sen. McCain likes the show “C.S.I.” Whereas, I love… “Californication”.

            Seth Meyers: Well, there might be qualities about John McCain you respect, but do you honestly believe that Gov. Sarah Palin is prepared to be Vice-President?

            Bill Clinton (Darrell Hammond): Look… sometimes women will be uncomfortable doing something at first…

            I have found, with enough persuasion… they will come around.

            http://www.hulu.com/watch/3686.....ll-clinton (safe)

  17. Salty Buggah says:

    Need some opinions on what I should get:

    The official WS shirt, now only 18 bucks. And it comes with a free WS towel.


    The championship roster shirt, $16

    The “got rings” shirt, $13

  18. The Yanks gave Montero #83 because that’s how many HRs he plans to hit in his rookie season.

    He’s going to do a Girardi with the numbers, but instead of Championships, his version will be new Single Season HR Records.

  19. Alex K. says:

    Now I have to get a NEW stitched Igawa jersey?! Dammit!

  20. With every passing hour, I grow more worried the Knicks will somehow not shed either Jeffries, Harrington, Hughes, Curry or Dolan.

    And if the Bulls fuck the Knicks one more time…

  21. Drew says:

    Ha. Shaun White is so sick wit it.

  22. Holy lord are the Bulls and Knicks playing a sloppy game. Way more turnovers than points.

  23. bexarama says:

    The 2003 Red Sox were a dumb team. Baseball’s Seasons: 2003 is pretty freaking awesome so far, though.

  24. Salmons not playing is NOT because he’s in a deal for T-Mac.

    -According to SI’s Chris Mannix

  25. The Yankees will do another team outing, similar to last year’s afternoon of billiards. “We will do something again,” Girardi said. “Plans are subject to change, but our plan is to do it the day before our first game here.” Girardi said he hasn’t decided what the team will do, but suggestions of paintball and bowling left him feeling uneasy because he wants something with virtually zero injury risk. Nothing that involves running through the woods or swinging heavy objects.


    Anyone want to hazard a guess?

    Mine is that Alex takes the whole team to Le Trapeze or Checkmates, since the doormen know him so well.

  26. Nady Nation says:

    If the Cavs win the title will it:

    A. ensure that Lebron stays
    B. allow Lebron to leave knowing he gave Cleveland it’s long awaited championship
    C. have no effect on his decision

    My vote is unfortunately for A, although I will pray for B and C.

  27. My favorite new list to ogle:


    We should have an RAB party this May-ish when Alex becomes the 20th member of the 100 WAR club. Rarefied air.

  28. “I’m not concerned that we don’t have the players to do it; I’m concerned exactly how we place them. There is a ton of talent in that room. We have very good hitters up and down that lineup, but you want to try to find the right mix. … The concern is exactly where we put them, not that we don’t have the right pieces. I believe we have the right pieces.”


    Girardi said his #1 concern is the lineup, and since lineup jiggering really doesn’t make much difference, that tells me just how loaded the team is this year.

    So who’s your 1-9? I’ll start:


    That my lineup facing Righties. Johnson hits #2 facing a Lefty and Grandy drops down to 8th with everyone else moving up a notch. I like the protection Tex gives Grandy, I like his speed at the top of the lineup, and his OBP is .367 facing Righties (Johnson .394). Some SB will make up for the .027 difference in OBP, so Grandy will be running.

    I’m not married to this lineup, but I want to smooth Curtis’ transition to the Bronx, and defensively I would put him in Left. So offensively, I want to make things easy for him.

  29. I wonder if Jorge has seen the play Urinetown.

  30. As the Knicks collapse. It’ll be nice to see what Friday’s team looks like.

  31. Steve H says:

    TSJC, with regards to your Dwight Howard comment above, he’s Bill Simmons’ take. I know he’s not too highly regarded around these parts, but he’s dead on here (and he really knows his NBA shit).

    Fact: Howard has played every game this season.

    Fact: A whopping 75 players have attempted more field goals than he has, including Jason Thompson, John Salmons, Danilo Gallinari, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, Raymond Felton, Andrew Bynum, Jamal Crawford and Kenyon Martin.

    Fact: He’s 109th in the league in field goal attempts per game, tied with Ryan Gomes at 9.6. Ryan Gomes!

    Fact: Teammates Vince Carter (14.9), Rashard Lewis (11.9) and Jameer Nelson (10.3) all average more field goals attempts than he does.

    Fact: He leads the league in free throw attempts (10.4 per game), so realistically, that means Howard is getting about 14-15 scoring touches per game. Not even four a quarter.

    My take: He’s too nice of a guy. It’s both the best and worst thing about him. If you ever played basketball, you know there’s one rule with big guys: Make sure they touch the ball enough. If they don’t get enough touches, they get cranky. They stop running the floor. They stop setting good picks. They stop crashing the boards. Big guys are like women — they need affection, they need to be stroked every so often, and if you ignore them, they start to resent you.

    In Howard’s case, nobody in Orlando has to worry about keeping him happy. He’s always happy! He’s a good soldier. In a roundabout way, he’s avoiding the responsibility of carrying an offense every night. This is easier. He gets to run around, jump over guys, ram some dunks home, block some shots, flex his muscles, smile to the crowd and concentrate on his strengths. Of course, he will never, ever, ever get better this way, and if you look closely at his stats these past three years, he is what he is: 18-19 points, 13-14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 60 percent shooting. Alpha dog pedigree, sidekick mindset. Too bad.

    And he even did it all FACT: style, which I know you love.

  32. Steve H says:

    Klaw on the WEEI today (http://audio.weei.com/m/290604.....w-espn.htm)

    After he hung up, Michael Holley was saying that some guys just know how to drive in runs, so Wade Boggs is a better hitter than Reggie Jackson, but Jackson drives in more runs. I texted them “Reggie Jackson knocked in 16% of all baserunners in his career, Boggs knocked in 15%. RBI are all about opportunity.” They read the text right away on the air, and he says it helped prove his point because Jackson hit in the .260’s and Boggs hit in the .320’s, yet Jackson was still more productive.


  33. Steve H says:

    To all those tuned into the NBA, do you think the Celtics will end up trading Ray Allen(‘s contract)?

  34. Reggie C. says:


  35. Time for bed, I’m falling asleep. Thanks in advance to Mike, TSJC and whoever else disagreed with me on my lineup for helping me write my morning post. Gotta have the counter arguments built in, I hate one sided pieces.

    • camilo Gerardo says:

      You’re theyankeeU????? I’ll be sure to read your post. Granderson’s speed may help him stay out of the DP, and his CS rate is pretty good at 20%. 2009 was definitely an outlier for him, and i think if you are batting him 2nd v RHP, do it v LHP as well. It’s a good position for him to get less breaking balls for balls

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        He’s one of theyankeeu.com writers (unless you mean the Twitter guy, in which case that’s me). Steve (Artist) writes our morning post every day.

  36. Peter says:

    While RAB claims Nick J. will wear 27 (“Another once and current Yankee, Nick Johnson, has opted for 27.”), the Yankees website roster has Nick wearing 26, and no one on the active 40-man roster wearing 27.

  37. JH says:

    I’ve been waiting for the Yankees to retire Paul O’Neill’s #21 since the day he retired following the 2001 World Series.

    I don’t mean to go overboard here, but your suggesting it might or could be returned to the rotation offended me.

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