Open thread: Best infield ever, redux


In case you missed it, this afternoon Mike wrote about the Yankees infield as perhaps the best of the modern era. It was in response to a Bill Conlin column that, quite frankly, isn’t worth a second link. The article has made its arounds, and even Phillies fans don’t think it holds true.

Before Conlin unleashed his column, though, frequent RAB commenter Jamal G. was busily working on a similar article. But, instead of pandering to a fan base, he was legitimately curious as to which team in the modern era had the best infield. You can find his article here. To preview, it involves a lot of Yankees and Reds.

With that, here’s your open thread for the evening. We’ve got a Rangers-Devils bout in New Jersey, Knicks and Nets away games, and plenty of college basketball on ESPN.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. bexarama says:

    I have been waiting for the Open Thread ALL DAY since I saw THIS awesome article that’s been making its way around the intertubes:,0

    Enjoy. Make sure to read Page 2. It’s… special. Hey Theo Epstein, if you weren’t such a nerd, you could get all the ladies like… that guy! (Theo might be my least favorite person associated with the Sox, but he’s a good-looking man. The writer, at least in his tiny picture there, is not.)

  2. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Does anyone else have this problem with the new YES bar?

    On the navigation bar, the image right next to ‘shop’ is missing… it is just a blank white space. I refreshed the page, emptied the cache, etc… and it still is missing.

  3. Chip says:

    The reason it’s mostly the Yankees and Reds, Jeter and Morgan can be argued to be the best offensive forces ever at their positions. Morgan’s 12-win season is incredible.

  4. Tommy says:

    You think we can get a fifth fantasy league going? I keep missing out?

  5. (stands and applauds Jamal G.)

    BTW, I love the Chinese Zodiac references, nice touch. And it makes me expect big things from one currently disgraced but soon to triumphantly return Eldrick Tont Woods, because guess what 2010 is?

    That’s right… the year of the Tiger. The Yang (male) Metal Tiger, no less.

    Eldrick’s coming back HARD, baby!

  6. So who wants to give me a ticket to the Big East tourney tomorrow?

  7. Steve H says:

    How the hell can Thornton write an article bashing Theo’s methods. They went 86 years without a title, have won two with Theo at the helm, yet they question him going forward. I just can’t fathom how little sense that makes.

  8. WIlliam says:

    Does anybody with master Googling skills know the record single season WAR total? I know Ruth has the record for all time.

  9. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Today in the car I heard Kay talk about possible restructuring on leagues. I said it wasn’t necessary at all but my dad who is a Mets fan says baseball is the most unfair sport with no parity with the Yankees winning “all the time.”

    I said that was ridiculous. The Yankees have 27 World Championships in let’s say in at least 110 years. That’s not all the time and smaller market teams are still making the playoffs and different teams are doing this.

    So I was proceeded in being called a stupid Yankee fan who doesn’t know anything when the “facts” are in my face. He told me to grow up and to stop acting on a “high horse” when I don’t know anything.

    Normally I wouldn’t care but my dad needs to chill.

  10. Salty Buggah says:

    I know someone here was looking for this the other day (don’t know if they found it. It’s Heywards HR

  11. Steve H says:

    Question from Callis’ chat today:

    Ryan (Milwaukee)
    Prince Fielder for Jesus Montero who says no this summer assuming that the Yanks are in it and the Brewers aren’t?
    Jim Callis
    (2:13 PM)
    That’s a good question. If I’m the Brewers, I want more than one prospect (even an elite prospect) for Fielder. If I’m the Yankees, admittedly money is no object, but Fielder would be locked into DH if I re-signed him. Montero has a chance to play catcher (though I’m dubious he’ll be an asset back there) and might be just as productive as Fielder in time. So while I’m intrigued, I’m not sure either team pulls the trigger on that one.

    While Callis is right that the Yankees wouldn’t pull the trigger, I think his reasoning is a little off, in that he says money is not an object for the Yankees. Not only is that not true, but any money spent on Fielder would come from somewhere else. So if Montero, as a DH like Fielder would be, can provide 75% of Fielder’s production at a tiny fraction of the cost, it’s pretty easy to see that Montero+Lee/Beckett/FA pitcher>>>>>>>Fielder

  12. From Steve in the adjacent thread:

    It really depends on who they could have replaced Beckett with. Had they not taken on Beckett and Lowell’s contracts, they certainly would have had money to play with, along with the huge upgrade at SS.

    Had the Sox not traded Hanley for Beckett, they presumably would have gone in heavy on the SP free agent market in the winter of 2005-2006 when the deal went down. Whom might they have signed? The headliners of that market, and the contracts they inked:

    Kevin Millwood (leaving CLE, going to TEX): 4yr/48M
    Kenny Rogers (leaving TEX, going to DET): 2yr/16M
    Jarrod Washburn (leaving LAA, going to SEA): 4yr/38M
    Esteban Loaiza (leaving WAS, going to OAK): 3yr/21M
    Matt Morris (leaving STL, going to SFG): 3yr/27M


    A.J. Burnett (leaving FLA, going to TOR): 5yr/55M

    I think we have our winner. Had the Sox not traded HanRam for Beckett, they probably would have gone in heavy and outbid J.P. Riccardi for the services of A.J. Burnett.

    HanRam and Burnett (and Anibal Sanchez) >>>>>>>>>>>>> Beckett by himself

    • Jose says:

      I can’t imagine HanRam mashing at Fenway. You have to remember Lowell’s contribution. Even though he was a through-in due to money obligations he still brought a lot of value.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        Why not?

        Ramirez is a right-handed power hitter, which is exactly the kind of player you want in Fenway. He was RoY in 2006, and got downballot MVP support in ’07.

        I don’t know who plays 3B for them (Youkilis?), but who cares, when you have someone like that at short.

        Maybe they don’t win the ’07 title, but that is a damn good team.

  13. ….Holy shit, I got Final Jeopardy right and it was a total guess!

    Thank you, The Perfect Storm!!!

    • Jose says:

      “Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?”

      Fact: I can be purchased for a bag of chips. Most likely fried plantains.

    • thurdonpaul says:

      Maybe him and Ronan Tynon can share a house together.

      • Meh, what Tynan said and what Sheffield/Hunter said isn’t quite the same.

        Sheffield/Hunter are boversimplifying, but there is a shred of truth to their comments: there most certainly are instances where Latino players are exploited/taken advantage of due to their language barrier, status as foreign citizens, and/or desire to leave their island homes and escape poverty. They’re probably wrong when they say that exploitation of young Latino players are somehow linked to discrimination specifically against black players (more likely, it’s Latino foreign nationals v. all American-born citizens regardless of race), but the central underlying premise has merit.

        Tynan implying that he didn’t want to live near Jews… that’s much more dubious. He’s not trying to address what he thinks is a racial injustice, he’s just saying he doesn’t like living around Jews.

        • thurdonpaul says:

          After re-reading the article, I must admit you are correct.

        • No, that’s not what happened. Tynan simply referred to some women whose names he didn’t know, that he only knew as “the Jewish ladies” by a previous RE Broker. The previous broker said they were very fussy and wouldn’t want to live near a singer who’s practicing all day long. That was the “scary” part. If you read his account, they matched up well with the one the press ran with and it was pretty clear the whole thing was just a misunderstanding. Tynan also apologized profusely, worked with the ADL, and even Abe Foxman was satisfied with his efforts.

          Hunter basically told everyone to go fuck themselves today, that he did nothing wrong (which he did) and owes nobody an apology. There’s really no comparison whatsoever.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I just want the highest quality of competition possible — that means new markets (like Jamaica, or Bolivia, if you have your way), and more American kids — whether they’re from suburban Connecticut or Compton.

    • Riddering says:

      The problem with his statement* is that IFA signings for impact players are usually more costly than signing a player a team has drafted.

      *(Well, one of many problems)

      And he better watch out talking smack about Boras. Next time he’s up to bat, Boras will be right behind him. Watching. Waiting.

  14. Here’s 2 candidates for best infield ever

    1997 Indians
    1B-Jim Thome
    2B-Tony Fernandez
    SS-Omar Vizquel
    3B-Matt Williams
    C-Sandy Alomar

    1938 Yankees
    1B-Lou Gehrig (HOF)
    2B-Joe Gordon (HOF)
    SS-Frank Crosetti
    3B-Red Rolfe
    C-Bill Dickey (HOF)

  15. From the “Stat Geeks Will Inherit The Earth” traveshamockery of an article:

    [The Stat Geeks are] like the Communist Party plotting to take over Hollywood in the 1950s before Ronald Reagan got wise to them and kicked their pinko butts all the way back to Moscow and Harvard Square. Only, instead of trying to write screenplays full of anti-capitalists rants, the Stat Geeks have succeeded in making otherwise normal, decent, God-fearin’ Americans start talking about VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) ratings and UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) numbers like they really believe in this nonsense.

    Hang on a sec, lemme get this straight:

    A) In the epic House Un-American Activities Committee/Joe McCarthy/SWG v. Dalton Trumbo, Paul Robeson, Lillian Hellman et. al battle, the blacklisted “Communists” were the bad guys and the HUAC/McCarthy/SWG were the good guys? Um… yeah, maybe not.
    B) Ronald Reagan lead the great Hollywood Blacklist of the 1950s? He’s the one who “kicked the pinkos back to Moscow and Harvard Square”? Really?

    Really? He wasn’t just a relatively mid-level player in the whole affair, using his presidency of SAG to harrass people and providing testimony to Congress but ultimately serving as just one of Rep. Hart/Sen. McCarthy’s many lapdogs?

    Yeah… no.

  16. YankeesJunkie says:

    For anyone else that wants to join a fantasy league I am starting one up. It is 20 teams (five filled) and roto. Here is the site to the page.


    League Number: 411990
    Password: Yankees28

    I would be willing change up the stats and the settings and be the commish of the fifth league aswell.

  17. Devil In A Blue Cap says:

    Those Reds’ teams were absolutely ridiculous though. And Joe Morgan might be one of the most underrated players ever–there really isn’t a way to overrate him. If only he weren’t such an awful analyst.

  18. So when did this whole Nomar-on-steroids thing start? Was I totally ignorant of this?

    • bexarama says:

      I think people just assumed because of the Sports Illustrated cover and the injuries he had throughout his career. Plus, I think he said something like “I didn’t take the steroid test out of VALIANT PROTEST but I am on the list because I didn’t take the test,” which is a BS excuse.

      But I don’t think he’s any more or less guilty than anyone else.

      • Interesting.

        Whatevs. I’m way over the whole ‘roids thing.

        • One thing is for sure, though: He didn’t start using until after he left the Red Sox. That’s 100% certain. Book it. There’s simply no way steroids would have been allowed in that Red Sox clubhouse; the team leaders care about the game way too much to let that happen.

          For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

          • bexarama says:


            I think this is from 2005, based on various comments throughout the article. Anyway, heh. At one point, does he imply MOOSE was on steroids? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think anyone is beyond suspicion, but don’t just be like “hey look at the New York player that wasn’t throwing as hard early.”

            Boston’s “big three” of Arroyo, Tim Wakefield and Matt Clement started the year 11-1.
            I am so awful, but I am actually laughing at that.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        Nomar never actually said that. He said there were some players who did that, but Im pretty sure he didnt actually say that he was one of them.

        • bexarama says:

          You’re right:

          “There were literally guys who said, ‘I’m not taking it. Go ahead and put me positive because I want the number to be above [the requirement to warrant steroid testing in baseball],’ because they wanted steroid testing,” he said.
          I think I only saw the quote in the quote and thought he was talking about himself.

  19. YankeesJunkie says:

    Marion Jones, disgraced track star is going to the WNBA.

    The bigger shock is that WNBA still exists, but still.

  20. So, I’ve been weighing for a while if it’s worth it to play fantasy baseball. I’m crazy detail-oriented and very competitive, and I’m the kind of person who tends to procrastinate too much, so I’ve stayed away from it. But is there a way to put together a decent fantasy team without going overboard with it, or do you guys think that I should just give up on the whole concept?

    • Mike HC says:

      In the time it took you to write that comment, you could have made the necessary adjustments to your team. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but if you have 10 minutes a day, that is all you need. All of the statistics and research is so easily accessible and sortable that even that does not take that long.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      You could always buy a book that does the rankings for you and then you should good for the most part. All you do is decide who you want to draft in what round, etc.

    • andrew says:

      If you’re in a league of casual fans, you can compete with only checking the league once or twice a week just to set your pitching roster. If you happen to play in a competitive league where owners are checking everyday and on top of the waiver wire, it may be harder to keep up.

  21. Hey ZZ says:

    Question for the B-Jobbers of the world.

    When he hits FA in 4 years why is it assumed he will re-sign with the Yankees to be “Mo’s heir” if he is given the opportunity to start somewhere else?

  22. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Anyone think Strasburg will pitch in the majors this year?

  23. Brooklyn Ed says:


    I’m acutally going to spring training for the first time in my life next week. The question is, will the players stay after the game to work out or something?

  24. bexarama says:

    I was rereading Jon Heyman’s MVP and etc. ballot from 2009 and I would just like to remind everyone of one of his votes for Rookie of the Year:

    3. Andrew Bailey, A’s: Big-time numbers, but let’s face it: He’s a closer on a loser.

  25. Steve H says:

    God (Heaven)
    Jesus Montero or me? Your deification of yet another overhyped Yankees prospect is troubling: beware the worshipping of false idols.

    Jim Callis(2:28 PM)
    Yeah you know me, Yankees fans are always complaining about how I overhype their prospects. Heyward and Montero are easily the two best all-around hitters (average, power, OBP) in the minors.

    I laughed.

  26. Steve H says:

    Joe Morgan only got 81.8% of the HOF vote. Wow.

    Yet what’s worse than that is Lou Whitaker being his #1 similar player on B-Ref, and he didn’t even stick on the ballot. These writers are just so beyond stupid it’s not even funny.

  27. Joe from NC says:

    Hey guys,

    I’m about to start my fantasy baseball draft in the next 10 minutes..I have the 4th pick. Any thoughts? Utley? Braun? Arod (if available?) This is my first fantasy baseball go-around…so if anyone has any pointers on what a good approach is to drafting, I would greatly appreciate it!

  28. So my midterm today was open book. Best surprise ever.

    • Did you study for it as if it wasn’t going to be open-book, though? That can make it a pleasant but annoying surprise.

      • Yeah, I did, so the book was more of a crutch than anything else.

        Funny open book story: My sophomore year at UConn, I showed up for a final quite early–about 20 minutes–to find most of my classmates there, with their books in hand. I was unaware it was an open book test. So (and UConn people will appreciate this because they’ll know the distance) I ran–in slippers, mind you–from CLAS (English Dept. Building) to Alumni and back just in time to start the test.

      • Drew says:

        Heh, I was always mad when I studied diligently only to come to class and be told the test is open book.

    • bexarama says:

      That rules but as Mondesi said, if you didn’t know it was open-book and studied for it, it can be frustrating. I’m sure you’ll take the frustration though. :)

      I always enjoyed when we were allowed to take “one piece of paper” in with us to take a test, and everyone wrote in the tiniest handwriting ever to cram everything on the paper. Heh.

    • Jose says:

      An open book test? That is such crap. I never had one of those.

  29. bexarama says:

    If y’all haven’t been reading Sports Pickle’s “previews” of the various teams, you really should. Here’s an example:
    STARTING PITCHING … Ace Johan Santana is as good as there is. But after Santana in the rotation it’s Mike Pelfrey (5.03 ERA, 1.51 WHIP), John Maine (4.43 ERA), and Oliver Perez (6.82 ERA, 1.92 WHIP). And that’s it. Many have called the Mets rotation hopeless. But obviously New York’s brass sees something in these guys because there is absolutely no one else. And I mean nowhere. Not in the bullpen. Not in the minors. Nowhere. Not a Plan-B. Not a safety net. Not an experimental option. Nothing. Zero. These are legitimately the four best guys the Mets can possibly put on the mound at the start of a game. Really. Mets management must be extremely confident in them. That’s the only explanation. Right?

  30. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    @GordonEdes 2 HRs for Ellsbury today, and it’s only the 4th

    I can’t believe that Tacoby was able to hit 2 HR’s by the 4TH inning. What an amazing player! The first time in history that a player has hit 2 home runs by the……What?……..that’s not true?

  31. Accent Shallow says:

    Re-posting my comment from an earlier thread.

  32. theyankeewarrior says:

    As of 10 minutes ago, I left the last comment on the “stat geek” article. I had to type quick because I was leaving my parents’ basement to go to my girlfriend’s parents’ basement (haha I know). But I thought I’d ask the mass-community of people who hate the Sox and the idiots who cover them what they think. If you get a sec, read and critique.

    • Steve H says:

      Well done. You didn’t need to say you were a Yankee fan though, the use of full sentences, commas and periods gave it away (your name too, I guess).

  33. Steve H says:

    So bexy, you said if an article stupid enough to be FJM’d was written, you’d consider FJM’ing it for mystique and aura, does Thornton’s article qualify?

    • bexarama says:

      Heh. I was actually contemplating that, but it means I would have to defend the Red Sox and Theo Epstein. I do not want to do that. (cries)

      But I still might because I just reread the second page and holy shit my inner sort-of-feminist just punched something really hard.

      • Steve H says:

        Agreed on the defending Theo part. I seriously just did that yesterday to a friend of mine who brought up Cameron’s average, and how it’s no better than Alex Gonzalez’ was……

        For the betterment of the baseball universe, these things need to be explained.

  34. Does anyone here watch Psych? What the hell just happened at the end with that picture

  35. donttradecano says:


    Re your mock yest.

    Kindle doesnt fit the Giants. Exact same play as Sintim who would probably need to play the weakside where boley is entrenched.

    • Sergio Kindle >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Clint Stintim

      (… that’s probably not enough >’s. But my finger got tired.)

      • donttradecano says:

        once again i guess well have to agree to disagree. OLB isnt as much of a need as MLB so why take Kindle when you can take Weatherspoon or Spikes in the 2nd? They could a RB like Spiller or Iupati with 15, instead of Kindle who translates to more of a 4-3 pass rusher anyway

        • donttradecano says:

          meant DE not pass rusher

          • Kindle profiles as an excellent 4-3 OLB. He’s not a 4-3 DE at all. And he’s far better than Michael Boley, who isn’t “entrenched” in anything, since he looks woefully overmatched and a borderline bust FA signing.

            Giants LB’s, both inside and outside:
            Michael Boley
            Danny Clark
            Clint Sintim
            Jonathan Goff
            Gerris Wilkinson
            Chase Blackburn

            Number of those players who are solid NFL starters and don’t need to be upgraded: 0

            ILB and OLB are equal areas of need. There’s no playmakers there at all. Kindle is an impact OLB and fits both a 3-4 or 4-3 OLB role equally well. He’s a very solid selection.

  36. Rose says:

    The article has made its arounds, and even Phillies fans don’t think it holds true.

    Did you ever help them out with that VORP and WAR data they were looking for?

  37. KTEvent says:

    Knicks on tv? Nets on tonight? Big whoop. Don’t cheapen the Bombers by ever including those long-time losers in the same story. We’re intelligent enough to figure out what’s on, and there’re enough program selections so we’re not bored to death from sub-mediocrity. Close out with a “knock-knock” joke if you’re hurting for words.

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