Open Thread: The Lord takes the mound


Mariano Rivera threw his first bullpen of the 2010 season today, tossing 21 pitches to Frankie Cervelli early this morning. Everything went nice and easy for Mo, as it tends to do. He essentially makes his own schedule in Spring Training, not traveling for road games or anything like that, so he’ll likely make his debut in a week or two.

Here’s your open thread for the night. The Knicks are the only local team in action, but you’ve also got House and 24. Enjoy the thread.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Categories : Open Thread


  1. It’s so weird that there are actual shows back on…

  2. AndrewYF says:

    You’ve also got Chuck, and How I Met Your Mother.

  3. BTW, the entire conversation I had with ROBTEN in the IFA thread happened entirely during my Comparative and International Education class. So incredibly and painfully boring.

    • ROBTEN says:

      That’s funny, because I was teaching my Comparative and International Education class at the time.

      Hey, wait a minute…

  4. Mó-ria in excélsis Deo
    et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis.
    Laudámus te,
    benedícimus te,
    adorámus te,
    Morificámus te,
    grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam Móriam tuam,
    Dómine Deus, Rex cæléstis,
    Deus Pater omnípotens.
    Dómine Fili Unigénite, Iesu Christe,
    Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fílius Patris,
    qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis;
    qui tollis peccáta mundi, súscipe deprecatiónem nostram.
    Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserére nobis.
    Quóniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dóminus, tu solus Altíssimus,
    Iesu Christe, cum Sancto Spíritu: in Mória Dei Patris. Amen.

  5. bexarama says:

    Somehow my thinking that interview with the scout was real turned into an argument about whether Cano cares or not.

    • Frigidevil says:

      “Announcers and some pundits like to say that it’s all about mixing pitches, changing speeds, hitting spots—and all those things are nice, and if you can’t do any of them, you’re Kyle Farnsworth”

      That made my day, I still can’t believe the Royals might throw him in the rotation. If I had the money, I’d buy just to watch that trainwreck

  6. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    wow. so Mo has Cervelli as his personal catcher now too?! WTF?!

    ST was great. Mo stepped out of the dugout to hushed tones of ‘Mo! Mo!’ and then the crowd broke into cheers. he actually had to come out on the field and wave to everyone, further erupting more cheers.

    Reggie admonished some guy asking for an autograph during BP–it was awesome: You know I can’t come sign your stuff, then everybody will stampede down here…these guys are working! These people want to see BP not me signing some stuff in a crowd!

    Then he proceeded to come back out on the field at autograph time and sign like 50 autographs for people. My daughter said ‘Thank you Mr. October.’ She got a huge hug. 47 people cried. T’was awesome to say the least.

    Over at the Pirate City, Steve Pearce was walking past and gave one of the young boys we brought a broken bat: Here you go little man. Shawn didnt know what to do–he just looked at him. Steve laughed and waited til Shawn took the bat. Everyone thanked him and he honestly had an ‘aw shucks’ look to him. Hope he sticks…some people were saying the Pirates didnt have room. (i was like…on the bus? surely they can’t have more than 25 players MLB ready???)

    I went back sunday for a quick check, and got there seconds before autograph time…it was either three guys i didnt know or Tabata. I went with the three guys…turns out it was Pedro Alvarez, Garrett Jones and Gorkys Hernandez.

    We’re definitely going back next year! it was a blast.

  7. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    I wish somebody would set up a live webcam at the ST facility, so I can actually watch the Yankees do batting practice or pitching work….

  8. Me says:

    Can we have a RAB auction draft?

  9. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    anybody ask about dropping out or thoughts of a 3rd league yet?

  10. Kiersten says:

    Does anyone know anything about terrorism in Former Soviet Republics?

    • /obligatory Modern Warfare 2 reference

    • Yes: it’s bad.

      Seriously, though, I’m not sure about the Ukraine and Belarus, or the three Baltic states, but for all the “-stans”, the mafia is either the #1 or #2 biggest industry.

      That’s all I’ve got for you.

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

      terrioism: they’re doin in rite akshually!

      sorry. couldn’t resist.

      depends on your definition of terrorism…some people i’ve worked with call the russians the terrorists, and everyone else is the victim…

    • Kiersten says:

      I have to write a 25-page paper on it. And I’ve found like 3 texts on it. Why? CAUSE NO ONE CARES.

      Ugh, just give me a C in this class so I can graduate pleaaaaaaase.

      • ROBTEN says:

        The most productive avenue for resources would probably be to examine the conflicts in Chechnya, although, again, the question of whether or not such actions are constitutive of “terrorism” is, as KoFH said, a matter of one’s global perspective.

        As a first option, you might want to look at the Council on Foreign Relations as well as their main publication, Foreign Affairs.

        You should be able to access FA through whatever university library you are working from.

        From there I would search JSTOR, WORLDCAT, Project Muse, Lexis Nexis, etc. for either their references or additional sources on Chechnya. There are bound to be several options in scholarly journals/books.

        Depending upon whether this is a research or argumentative paper, I would then consider moving on to examine left and right political journals like Monthly Review, International Socialism, National Review, Policy Review, etc., in order to provide a broad scope on the issues. Most of these journals are available online.

        From there you could move on to mainstream popular sources like the international newspapers (NY Times, Washington Post, WSJ), Newsweek, Time, etc., but these should really be the last option and for information rather than analysis.

        • The Taliban and US’s roles in natural gas pipeline conflicts within Turkmenistan might also be another option, though I’d guess Chechnya would prove a bit more plentiful in resources.

          Going to echo the idea to start with using databases like JSTOR, Lexis, etc. If the information’s out there, you can find it there.

          • ROBTEN says:

            I was thinking that there was a short window, so Chechnya might be the fastest to research, but JMK is right – the conflicts over the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline would certainly also be a productive topic (although it might depend upon how much one wants to get into the issue of Afghanistan).

            • Kiersten says:

              I think someone else in the class is doing a paper on the pipelines. My paper focuses on terrorism in the region and how it’s different now than it was in the Soviet Union.

              The paper’s not actually due til 4/14, but we have an abstract and outline due Wednesday. The problem is that I’m a senior and I don’t like Poli Sci anymore and I just need this class to graduate. It was a poor choice, I should have gone with something American.

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

                I want to say the chechies were the first to kill both the T-90 tank and BTR-80. Those guys are vicious street fighters, although I guess that makes them guerillas not terrorists.

        • Kiersten says:

          Oh wow, someone does know about this stuff. Thanks!

          And yeah JSTOR and LexisNexis are what I usually use, but JSTOR doesn’t really have much on this. And I’m going to focus a lot on Chechnya, I found a 60-page article on the conflict.

          Thanks for your help :)

    • I know a fair amount, though as Tommie alluded to in his response, there’s often a blurry line between what qualifies as “terrorism” and “mafia”-related organizations, particularly in their goals, aims and methods. There’s no uniformity, as one would expect when one considers the range of thought, culture and spheres of influence within the different regions.

      If you’re thinking along a more Western-termed definition of Islamo-terrorism, I’d unquestionably focus more on the Central Asian countries like Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and places like Chechnya. The Balkans, notably in Bosnia, Albania are very troubled places, as well.

      Shoot me an e-mail if you have specific questions; I might be able to help.

      • Kiersten says:


        I’m defining terrorism “as the premeditated use, or threat of use, of extra-normal violence or brutality to obtain a political objective through intimidation or fear directed at a large audience,” or something close to that. So anything that fits that criteria will be considered.

        I might take you up on that offer as I’m writing this thing later this month/early next month.

  11. T-Dubs says:

    The Yanks are just pulling former top prospects off the scrap heap this winter.

  12. So I’m going to Spring Training this weekend.

    Aaaahhh I can’t wait!

  13. Shit, is tonight’s House new or a rerun?

  14. bexarama says:

    So I was looking at this article earlier for the comment section in that piece about how the Yankees struggle in April. It is very fun to laugh at in retrospect, so enjoy (especially considering that the Yankees might have been 0-7 against the Sox, but they were only ONE GAME BACK!!!). But also, I saw this line, and it jumped out to me:

    With a deep starting pitching staff and bullpen, playoff-tested veterans with recent postseason success…
    The Yankees: old.
    The Red Sox: playoff-tested veterans with postseason success.

    • Never has a one-game divisional divide felt quite so cavernous as it does now between these two superpowers that have always been defined by their proximity to one another… They have finished 1-2 in the American League standings nine times in the past 11 seasons and are on pace to do so again this year, only this time, there can be no debating which is truly the better team.

      And, since this cavernous, insurmountable one game divide which is really a one game divide in name only (it’s actually a huge 15-game division lead for the Sox and we all know it) is so cavernous and insurmountable, the only thing left for us to do is to sit back and watch the ill-conceived agglomeration of overpaid, warring, lazy, disinterested, self-obsessed diva personalities of the Yankees crash and burn like a jackknifed tractor trailer on the interstate burst into flames as they self-destruct and end up in last place, losing games and pointing fingers by the bushelful… as we sip chablis and laugh at the delicious irony of it all, patting ourselves on the back that we were the wiser while that stupid idiotface Brian Cashman was too dumb to anticipate that his team was clearly inferior to the massive, gargantuan Red Sox Machine of brawn and MENSA-level genius.

      Matt Taibbi

  15. Drew says:

    Finally got over to No Maas to read the Swisher interview. Good stuff.

    • Dirty Pena: The Triple Entendre of DP says:

      And he took their musical advice evidently. I have to agree, coming out to KRS-One would be pretty sweet.

    • That nickname kinda started in Oakland as a little joke. And when I got here, John Sterling called me “Jolly Ol’ St. Nick” on one of my home runs early in the season. And one of my buddies called me and said, “What are you fat and 70 years old!?!” So I went to John and said, “John, do I look like Santa Claus to you?” And we laughed about it and that’s when the new home run call started.

      Actually, Sterling is 70 and could stand to lose a few pounds.

  16. bexarama says:

    Oh God. My mom just started talking to me about how she read this “really insightful interview” with a scout that was linked on the YES Network’s website.

    Guess what interview it was.

  17. Alex S says:

    you ever have one of those days….

    (fill in the rest)


    I disagree with this strategy. The Jets are bound by the Final Eight plan, we can’t sign any free agents. Jones is due a 3M roster bonus, but after that, he’s got a low base salary. He’d be easy to trade.

    There’s interest in him; he rushed for 1400 yards last year and still has decent tread left on the tires since he didn’t get a lot of carries when he first hit the league. I don’t want him released, I want the 3M bonus paid now during the uncapped year when it doesn’t hurt us and then trade him to the Chargers/Texans/Browns/Seahawks for a third or fourth rounder so that his roster spot can actually be replaced somehow.

    • Reggie C. says:

      What’s your take on the Nnamdi Asomugha- Jets rumors? Could a possible trade have spurred the need to clear $3MM roster bonus off the books?

      p.s., Golden Tate had an awesome combine. Tate is definitely not going to be around for when the Jets pick, and that’s really too bad considering he’s gonna make one heck of a slot receiver ala Steve SMith (with BETTER speed).

      • What’s your take on the Nnamdi Asomugha- Jets rumors?

        Never. Gonna. Happen. We’re going to be paying Baby Lockdown Asomugha money; we’re not going to tie up that much of the payroll on two of them. We’ll draft a CB in April and call it a day.

        Oh, and, yes, Golden Tate had an awesome combine, but yes, he’ll probably still be there when we pick at #29.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Not sure if you’ve given it much thought, but who do you want to see the Jets select among an available group of: Golden Tate, Taylor Mays, or… Dan Williams (current nfldraftblitz pick).

          • Well, firstly, I think of Mays, Williams, and Tate, Tate has the best chance to be there at #29, by far.

            Odds that they’re still on the board at #29:
            Tate – 70%
            Mays – 10%
            Williams – 2%

            That being said, I haven’t done my initial comprehensive mock (swamped with school), but I’d say we’re looking at a Best Player Available grouping from amongst Golden Tate or Arrelious Benn (one of whom should be there), Earl Thomas, Nate Allen, Jared Odrick, Everson Griffen, Kyle Wilson, or Devin McCourty.

            My guess is we go DB first with either Wilson/McCourty or Thomas/Allen. Rex loves DBs, and we’re still an impact DB short.

            The wideout can be found at the bottom of Round 2 in a Marty Gilyard, Dezmon Briscoe, Damian Williams, or Brandon LaFell. Keeping Braylon around another year (and getting Leon Washington back in the return game) allows us the luxury to not reach for a wideout over a more pressing area of need.

            What I’d love to do, though, is trade back to the middle of the second and pick up some extra material. We need a third top-100 pick, because we have four huge needs to address (DB, 5-technique DL, edge rusher, WR) and we should aim to fill at least three of them. Maybe move back and target a Demaryius Thomas or a Ricky Sapp with the high second rounder, get Patrick Robinson (who is falling fast) at the bottom of two, and then take whomever’s still quality on the board at one of those four spots with the third rounder we pick up via trade.

  19. It’s unknown whether A-Rod has ever been treated by Dr. Galea, but Dr. Mark Lindsay, the rehab specialist that worked with Rodriguez following last year’s hip surgery, has close ties to the tainted doctor. A-Rod doesn’t seem worried that this latest issue will become a distraction for him.

    “This is about someone else,” Rodriguez said. “I’m going to cooperate the best I can and focus on baseball.”

    So let me get this straight. Phillipon refers Alex to Lindsay, Lindsay refers him to Galea, Alex follows Doctor’s orders and now HE’S in some trouble?

  20. Bob Stone says:

    I can just see the headline somewhere tomorrow:

    “Connecticut Women Seek and Get 69″

    They are unbeatable. Go Huskies!

  21. Dirty Pena: The Triple Entendre of DP says:

    Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson are pitching Wednesday. That’s about the best we could’ve asked for from a March 3rd Spring Training game against the Pirates.

  22. Why in the fuck was Paul O’Neill bunting in Game Three of the 1999 World Series?

    • bexarama says:

      I was just coming here to post that. Did you see Jeter say “that’s bullshit” over a called strike earlier? That was pretty awesome.

      Can you imagine if it was CANO that didn’t run on a weird bunt? YIKES.

  23. More goodness from the Ted Keith article:

    The night’s starting pitchers offered one of the many examples of the growing chasm between the two teams. In Wakefield, who moved to 8-3 with a 4.50 ERA, the Red Sox have found a reliable 42-year-old to round out a rotation so overstuffed with quality arms that the Red Sox may be forced to trade a pitcher who’s 5-2 on the season (brad Penny) just to make room for 1) a future Hall of Famer (John Smoltz) and 2) a 24-year-old of such promise that he’s already thrown a no-hitter in the major leagues and is 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA in the minors this year (Clay Buchholz). The Yankees, meanwhile, don’t have so much of an embarrassment of riches as an embarrassment of wretches. They’ve watched as Wang, their erstwhile ace and a two-time 19-game winner, drop as precipitously as his once fearsome sinkerball to an 0-4 record and unsightly 14.34 ERA. Burnett’s ERA is approaching 5.00, Pettitte, though still effective, is almost certain to retire at season’s end, and Phil Hughes, once considered a star in the making, was bumped from the rotation in favor of Wang and sports an ERA north of 5.00 himself.

    This article went to press June 11, 2009.

    The Red Sox rotation at the time:
    Beckett – 3.77 ERA, .658 OPSA
    Lester – 5.09 ERA, .770 OPSA
    Wakefield – 4.50 ERA, .721 OPSA
    Matsuzaka – 7.33 ERA, 1.038 OPSA
    Penny – 5.32 ERA, .856 OPSA

    The Yankee rotation at the time:
    Sabathia – 3.68 ERA, .619 OPSA
    Burnett – 4.89 ERA, .805 OPSA
    Pettitte – 4.22 ERA, .774 OPSA
    Joba – 3.79 ERA, .754 OPSA
    Wang – 13.92 ERA, 1.209 OPSA

    Wang and Dice-K were equal traveshamockeries; let’s remove them for a moment. If the discussion is “Which team has the best rotation” in June, 2009, and the choices are CC-AJ-Andy-Joba v. Beckett-Lester-Wakefield-Penny, then guess what, Ted Keith of June 2009, it’s not the Sox.

    CC >>> Beckett
    Burnett = Lester (again, using only June 2009 information)
    Pettitte > Wakefield
    Joba >>>>>>>>> Penny (W/L record be damned)

    Basically, his argument is the Red Sox rotation is better because:
    A.) Wakefield and Penny have a lot of wins and not many losses
    B.) CMW is really bad (and no Red Sox Asian starter need be mentioned)
    C.) The Sox have Smoltz and Buccholz not currently in the rotation, but they COULD BE in the rotation
    D.) Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter once
    E.) Andy Pettitte is old and will retire soon, so whatever he’s currently doing at the moment while he’s not yet retired is irrelevant to this conversation because, as I said, he’s old and will retire soon

    Yeah… good times.

    • bexarama says:

      Legendary depth.

      Also, Smoltz being old ties into the whole “Red Sox are experienced” thing. You see, he’s a Future Hall of Famer, see. Pettitte is just old. (Yeah yeah yeah, Smoltz is a HOFer and Andy’s not. But they’ve both had really long careers they can be very proud of.)

    • Dirty Pena: The Triple Entendre of DP says:

      F) Phil Hughes, not part of the Yankees rotation as he notes, has an “ERA north of 5″ which….Jon Lester….has.

      • bexarama says:

        That doesn’t count. You have to give the Red Sox starters time to develop. Any Yankees, however, that come up to the major leagues and aren’t King Felix at least immediately are total failures who should just be set-up guys.

        What accounted for the ERA difference between the two teams at the time? I’m guessing it was the Sox’s BEST BULLPEN EVER.

        (Lester is pretty awesome, though. He’s the only current Red Sox player I’ll root for. Unless he’s pitching against the Yankees, obviously.)

  24. So does Brackman in a lot of ways. Many figured, in his first full season after Tommy John surgery –the Yankees accorded him a $3.35 million bonus as part of a $4.55 million guaranteed contract – and got sixpence for the shillings last summer in the South Atlantic League.

    Not only did Brackman, 24, go 2-12, 5.91 in 29 appearance – 19 starts – at Charleston, his command and control were often absent. He ranked second in Minor League Baseball with 26 wild pitches.

    On the other hand, one cannot get too detrimental about Brackman in the South Atlantic League. In 2008, Boston reliever Danny Bard, as wild as an untamed coyote, did his Rick Vaughn imitation in the same league at Greenville.

    Bard got straightened out, and Brackman, who can almost reach 100 mph when healthy, will be given a chance to do the same at Class A Advanced Tampa.

    Like Bard, some scouts feel Brackman might flourish more as a reliever with his imposing 6-10, 240-pound frame.

    This season will tell whether these two live up to their Yankees contracts or become a pair of tax deductions.

    It’s all just speculating, but say Brackman repeats his hideous 09 campaign. How long until the Yanks pull the plug on him starting and try him out as a reliever? He’s a special case, so it’s tough to say.

    and yes, I’m hoping to steal all of your best ideas for a post tomorrow morning.

    • My heart says if he does ’09 again in ’10, make him a reliever in ’11. My head says let him try one more season as a starter in ’11.

      • pat says:

        I agree with your head. He could probably scrap the changeup and relieve in the majors tomorrow if need be. I think he was throwing the change a boatload last year and he was just horrible with it, missing spots and getting slapped around.

      • The thing is that he’s pitched so little.

        Yet on the other hand, he’s twenty three years old.

        And yet with pitchers his size, you generally need loads of patience.

        But this is the Yanks. The clock is always ticking.

        • Jack says:

          But this is the Yanks. The clock is always ticking.

          I don’t know. I mean, I don’t see why they couldn’t keep him around if they still felt he had upside.

        • But this is the Yanks. The clock is always ticking.

          See, I sorta disagree with that. I think the clock is always ticking at the big league level, but at the minors, we’re more patient than many other clubs, especially since we can and often do fill holes at the big league level to keep from leaning on the kids too soon.

          I think Brackman’s large signing bonus and 40-man spot buys him MORE time, not less. We spent this money to get an ace starter, and we’re damn well going to give him every opportunity to be an ace starter. Pulling the plug just to get some marginal return doesn’t really make sense; I doubt Cashman approves of such a move unless the baseball people really push for it. And they’d only push for it if they genuinely believed there was absolutely zero hope at all of him EVER becoming a frontline starter, and we’re a long ways from that (since, as you said, he just hasn’t pitched very much).

    • How many years have we given Chris Garcia? Like, a decade worth?

      We give our SP prospects lots of time because we can. We’re not the Sox who need Bard helping out their flawed big league staff immediately to keep pace with the Yankees; we ARE the Yankees.

      I doubt we’re pulling the plug anytime soon. The reason Brackman had the initial lofty prospect status is that his secondary stuff was way better than Bard’s (or other big-fastball guys from that draft class). The ceiling still vastly outweighs the floor, so there’s less incentive to cut bait and try to get an ROI. We can wait.

      I bet he needs to have not merely a “bad” 2010, but a clear regression AND additional injury problems to be moved to a reliever. If he merely plateaus (i.e., still bad WHIP, still too many walks) he’ll get 2011 as a starter, and maybe even another year after that.

      We don’t move bad minor league starters to the bullpen in the minors, we move good minor league starters to the bullpen when they’re ready to hit the majors.

      • Don’t we agree Garcia should have been moved to the bullpen a long time ago? I thought we did, for health reasons alone. In his case, you’re just hoping to get SOMETHING out of him. But Brackman’s a long way from where Garcia is.

        In any case, one is health related and the other performance. But your point on patience is well taken.

        • BTW-As Mike usually notes in these situations, you want pitchers to throw as many innings as possible in the minors, to gain experience if nothing else. So most of them stay as starters whenever possible.

          But I’m talking about moving him to the pen, and fast tracking him to the bigs. I have to figure that he gets at least this year before that happens.

    • Jack says:

      If he does the exact same thing, then I’d put him in the ‘pen.

      However, I think we’ll see him take a decent step forward.

    • The dude’s freakin’ huge and still working his way back from TJ, so his mechanics are out of whack and it’s likely he still hasn’t fully regained total strength. It will take time and patience with Brackman, something the Yankees surely knew when they drafted him. It’s not like he was a polished prospect to begin with; he was a guy with ace stuff with very little refinement or results in college. In short, lotto ticket.

      As far as a strict timetable, well, who knows? They’d be fools to give up on him starting even if he were to struggle again in 2010. But if they want to get some value out of his present contract and things aren’t looking good (his deal runs in 2013), they may look for him out of the ‘pen in 2011 or 2012. I think it would be a mistake — you give a guy with that kind of profile every opportunity you can — but they may see things differently or have a pressing need, and be able to solve “the Brack problem” and fill a spot well, too.

  25. Hangoverologist says:

    I was thinking about this a couple of days ago: Why is Noah Lowry still out there? Some team should be able to nab him and get him back into shape. Personally, I believe that the Yanks should pick him up on minor league deal and let him work himself back into shape. If he sucks, we can absorb the contract and release him.

    • Zack says:

      Can he even pitch? He hasnt pitched since 2007, not even in the minors. If he’s not healthy, or has no stuff its not even worth an organization’s time/effort

  26. bexarama says:

    if anyone sees this, FUN FACT! Guess who WARP has as the #1 pitcher in all of baseball in 2008, without cheating. Said pitcher also rated higher than all position players save Pujols, Berkman, Hanley, and Chipper.

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