Dec
21

Open Thread: Boomer

By

(AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)

It was impossible not to like David Wells. He was big, loud, obnoxious, and looked like he had just been plucked from the bleachers. But man, could that dude pitch. Boomer was the kind of guy that could roll out of bed in mid-January, step on a mound, and paint the corners with a fastball and drop a curve in for a strike at the knees. He was simply blessed with a rubber arm and pinpoint control. Although his Yankee tenure (the second one) ended on a sour note, he gave the team 851.2 IP over four seasons with a 3.90 ERA and 16.4 bWAR total. And, of course, there’s the perfect game. Easily my most memorable David Wells moment. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Anyways, here is tonight’s open thread. Both the Devils and Nets are in action, but meh. You guys know what to do by now, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread

203 Comments»

  1. Esteban says:

    Heh, I always thought Wells pitched more years with the Yankees.

  2. (pours one out for an old friend, who sadly passed away a month ago)

  3. gc says:

    “It was impossible not to like David Wells.”

    Guess again.

  4. Kiersten says:

    BOOMER!

    This made me happy.

  5. Sean C. says:

    “After retiring 27 batters, he went to his favorite watering hole and retired 27 Heinekens.”

    I think that’s how Letterman said it when talking about Boomer’s perfect game. Still makes me chuckle because I have no problem believing it.

  6. bexarama says:

    Whoah – Wells was at 1.9 BB/9 for his career. Even Moose, who I think of walking almost no one, walked 2 per 9.

    I also think it’s pretty funny/awesome that Worst Catcher Ever Jorge Posada caught his perfect game.

  7. mike c says:

    add a mullet, and you’d have instant kenny powers

  8. Steve H says:

    Despite being a little, umm, hefty, Wells threw at least 180 innings in 7 of 8 seasons after turning 35. Pretty damn impressive. Much like CC, a very athletic big guy who was able to repeat his delivery time after time after time.

  9. Matt DiBari says:

    I think it would have been fairly easy to dislike David Wells if he didn’t pitch well. He went out of his way to make life difficult for people, but he was worth it.

    When the Greinke stuff was being tossed around, he was the guy I compared him to. If you read the Greinke article by Joe Posnanski in SI last year, you came away with two possibilities. Either a) His anxiety was such that he’s never function in New York or b) He just kind of liked being an ass, and as long as he pitched well, he’d thrive in NY.

    • James says:

      B. I always thought Greinke would do well here; pitch with a chip on his shoulder. Every instance that Posnanski brought up, i.e. throwing bullets with the GM there or “You haven’t seen anything yet”, etc, I thought that kind of mentality would play great here. Sorta like an “Eff you” performance, you know? I really thought he would thrive on the negativity and skepticism (that follows two medriocre starts). Just my own thought. Oh well, Milwaukee’s gain.

  10. Yankeegirl49 says:

    One of my fave Yankees ever and the athlete I would most like to have a beer in a bar with (Jeremy Shockey is second). He loves the Yanks and loves Metallica…nothing else I need to know.

  11. Esteban says:

    Hey, no love for the UCONN women trying to beat the men’s record? I’m shocked this isn’t a huge event for people to watch! Shocked!

    Not trying to be mean, but I just don’t find women’s basketball enjoyable to watch.

  12. J_Yankees says:

    Just look at Boomer. He’s fat, he has a mustache, his shirt isn’t even buttoned up, his gut is hanging out. LOVE IT. How can you not like someone who looks like that? Dude was a gamer. Shoot, I could probably ask him for a couple of innings right now and he’d find a way to get me some outs before he’d pass out on the mound from being so out of shape.

  13. Squishy Jello Person says:

    So this happened to my tire

    http://twitpic.com/3i7xyp

  14. The Trop is actually filling with people :O

  15. randym77 says:

    Looks like the inferior Andy P. is retiring.

    Andy Phillips is the new hitting coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    His at-bat music was “Sweet Home Alabama,” wasn’t it?

  16. Mattchu12 says:

    When the Yankees tried to get Mark Buehrle a few years back, there was that big deal about him saying he wouldn’t shave his beard if we was traded to New York.

    Wonder if that’d still be the case. Wonder if that’d hold up a deal.

  17. Steve H says:

    So what is Boras going to pull off with Beltre? And with whom?

  18. Mark L says:

    Gammons thinks the Yankees could, failing a big rotation upgrade, make a play for Soriano. One of those times I wish ol’ Pete was actually a journalist, it would make me feel a bit better about our GM be willing to walk into the AL East gunfight with a rubber chick and two water balloons.

    http://www.nesn.com/2010/12/pe.....leeve.html

    • Chris says:

      I’d love to have Soriano as the 8th inning guy but I have a hard time giving up our first round pick for a guy who’s only gonna pitch about 70 innings. I’d do it on a one year contract with the plan that the Yanks will offer him arbitration and then let him walk recouping a couple of picks next year.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

      I hope not. No one but Mo really lived out a multi year contract as a relief pitcher. He’s had injury problems and is a flyball pitcher in Yankee Stadium.

  19. Matt says:

    I’m trying to keep my faith in Cashman after his miserable offseason during which we’ve seen the Red Sox and Philles blow by the Yankees but if either Sergio Mitre or Freddy Garcia is in the starting rotation opening day, Cashman should be lynched.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Just remember, it’s not how you start the season…

      • Chris says:

        What makes you think the cost of a quality starting pitcher is going to be less during the season? If anything, the price may go up and the Yankees may find themselves in a more desperate situation if the 4th and 5th starters pitch lousy.

        • I Voted 4 Kodos says:

          The cost of making a trade midseason is typically less than the preseason cost.

          • JGS says:

            And more importantly, there might be actual quality pitchers available midseason, unlike now, when there really aren’t.

          • Chris says:

            We’ll see what the price for starting pitching is when the Yankees are 8 games behind the Sox at the All star break, Burnett is going into the tank again and the 4th and 5th starters are struggling. Cashman is setting himself up to be trading from a position of weakness and desperation, not strength.

        • Mark L. says:

          Agreed, teams are applying their finishing touches in January and February and no one wants to concede they won’t contend in April or May. The Yankees are 100% screwed if June 1st rolls around and the White Sox, Astros, Cards…etc. are within 5 games of 1st place.

      • Mark L. says:

        Patience is a virtue but you can’t be totally blind to your enemies closing in around you. In tough times, sometimes you need to pay a premium in terms of talent or dollars.

        What’s the point of having 8 potentially valuable arms in the upper minors if the FO is only going to have room for 2 of them in the next 3-4 years?

        • I Voted 4 Kodos says:

          What exactly would you like to see the Yankees do? What moves should they have made using those arms?

          • Mark L. says:

            I’m not the one getting paid seven figures to create viable solutions to vexing problems. Cashman has more information than any of us and he’s apparently content to sit on his hands for the next few months.

            • I Voted 4 Kodos says:

              So you have no answers. How do you know he’s content to sit on his hands? If there’s nothing available at an acceptable price, what is he supposed to do? Overpay just to appease some whiny and unrealistic fans?

            • Avi says:

              There were only two pitchers to be had this off-season: Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke. You could argue that the Yankees misread the market on Lee and should have offered him more money, as his contract with Philly is better than what they were offering him. And you could also argue (as I have) that they should have been aggressive in trading for a premier pitching talent like Greinke despite the SAD/NY concern. But you can’t go nuts about either one. They offered Lee the second biggest contract ever for a pitcher and the SAD is a risk with Greinke, or at the very least an unknown.
              The best course of action right now is to do exactly what they’re doing: and that is to wait. If Pettitte comes back their rotation is better than last year’s as Nova will out pitch Vazquez even if he’s blindfolded. I don’t even want to see a deal for like a Carmona (one of the better options out there). I’d rather keep the rotation spot open and fill it with an elite guy if and when he become available; as Cliff Lee was supposed to do.

    • bexarama says:

      Good to see people aren’t taking this too seriously or anything

    • Dion James says:

      Cashman is too stubborn to fix this situation, he can’t buy his way out of this mess.

      • Isn’t stubbornness a good thing here? It’s better to stand pat and wait for your options to develop than to just go out and sign or trade for the first guy available.

      • Matt says:

        Agreed. Cashman has never been too good at evaluating pitchers. The one thing he was good at was signing them to huge contracts until this year.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

          And how has he failed at evaluating them? I agree it’s definitely not his strong suit but that’s going overboard.

        • Yeah, like when he didn’t sign CMW to a long term extension or trade his young starters for Johan Santana…

          • Matt says:

            I guess you think he did a good job last year trading Ajax, Kennedy and Coke for Granderson or Baseball America top 50 pitcher Arodys Viscaino and Mike Dunn for that pile of dung Javy Vasquez last year?

            • Yes, I do. The Granderson trade was a good one for the Yankees. Granderson is better than Jackson in the short term (and probably the long term) and is very affordable. Phil Coke is a LOOGY at best, as is Mike Dunn, though I guess his stuff gives him a little more upside, but not much (esp. considering his control issues). Kennedy I liked a lot but had no place on the Yankees as they were put together, and trading Vizcaino hurt, but you ALWAYS trade the guy who has yet to play full season ball (who had injury issues this season) for the solid veteran guy. It may not have worked out too well, but that’s a trade you ALWAYS make.

              • Carl says:

                You must be crazy. Ajax had a higher WAR than Grandy last year at a fraction of the cost and figures to improve while Grandy has peaked. Kennedy would probably be the number 3 starter on the Yankees right now and Viscaino would be the number 1 or at worst number 2 ranked starter in the farms for the Yankees. Those 2 trades SUCKED.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Jackson was 3.8 WAR, Granderson 3.6. Only one of those two missed a month with a groin injury.

                • Jackson had 3.8 fWAR in 675 PAs. Granderson had 3.6 in 528. Doing a rough calculation, that’s .0068 WAR/PA for Granderson. Giving him 675 PAs would’ve (theoretically) given Granderson 4.6023 fWAR.

                  As I said, I liked Ian Kennedy a lot and think he could’ve contributed last year, but that wasn’t a given and there wasn’t really much room for him in the rotation or in the bullpen. It would’ve been nice to have him around when guys got hurt, but the step up to him from the other guys isn’t as big as you’re making it seem.

                  And, yes, ViZcaino would be very highly ranked but the fact remains that before 2010, he’d never pitched in a full season league. He’s a total crapshoot and is AT LEAST three years away from contributing. I would make that trade EVERY time.

                  • Chris says:

                    And Jackson made what, $500K compared to $10 million for Granderson?

                  • Chris says:

                    Cashman traded for Javy when his value was completely inflated after a career year in the NL. He should have NEVER included a premium prospect regardless of his level.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      He gave up two spare parts and a pitching prospect that a) hadn’t even pitched in a full season league yet, and b) already hurt his elbow. Trade didn’t work out, but that’s life. Move on.

                    • Again: Vizcaino had not pitched in a full season league before 2010. He was essentially all upside at that point. That’s not bad, but he had proven VERY little. Trading a guy like pre-2010 Vizcaino for a guy like Javy is a good idea.

                    • On those spare parts: for the better part of the season, there was a TYU commenter KILLING Cashman for trading Mike Dunn.

                    • JGS says:

                      Fact: Mike Dunn has walked 22 batters in 23 big league innings.

                    • Chris says:

                      Hey Axisa, Cashman should have made Lee an offer early on with 72 hours to make a decision. That way he could have made a move for Crawford which would have weakened the Red Sox and allowed the Yankees to use Granderson as a trade chip for a starter, either now or during the season. Instead, he allowed himself to become Cliff Lee’s bitch and essentially jeopardized the entire season.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Right, because putting a 72 hour time limit on a major life decision is a great way to lure a free agent.

                      And if you sign Crawford and try to trade Granderson, every other team knows you have to move Granderson and his value instantly drops.

                      What’s left on the complaint list, Rafael Soriano? Bobby Jenks?

                    • When in doubt, change the subject.

                    • Chris says:

                      Axisa, the Red Sox blog writer probably sounded like you when they traded a young prospect named Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson.

                    • Harsh baseball truth: sometimes trades don’t work out. It happens.

                    • Chris says:

                      Nah, if Soriano was a type B free agent, I’d say go for it but with a deep draft I think you gotta hold onto that number 1 pick now especially when your only gonna get about 70 innings and 2 WAR out of Soriano. Jenks would have been nice but I heard he preferred Boston because he could get a chance to close.

                  • Avi says:

                    Matt on the Vazquez trade:
                    “I would make that trade EVERY time”
                    It amazes me how bright baseball people like him say things to this effect, considering the following:
                    – Vazquez was due to make $11.5M
                    – He isn’t consistent year to year (he had poor seasons in ’06 and ’08)
                    – 2004!!!

                • I Voted 4 Kodos says:

                  Austin Jackson 2010 BABIP: .396

                  Austin Jackson’s 2010 K/BB: 170 – 47

                  That’s not a recipe for success going forward, especially considering he doesn’t have much power.

                  Kennedy put up a 4.33 FIP in the NL West. There’s little chance he could match that in the AL East.

                • JGS says:

                  I’m guessing you would have been screaming for Ajax’s head when he had one home run and 88 strikeouts at the Break.

                • pete says:

                  In terms of abilities, A-Jax may not have peaked yet, but I doubt he ever goes well beyond that season of his last year, due to the INSANE amount of good luck he had. He strikes out a ton, doesn’t walk much, and has zero power. Granderson, meanwhile, is a better defender, more patient, and has loads of power. I’ll take granderson over jackson 40958850283 times out of 10

            • Steve H says:

              Without getting into specific deals, if you think every deal a GM makes is going to be a good one, you’re expectations are too high. Name me a better GM than Cashman and I’ll make a list of bad moves they have made.

      • bexarama says:

        So you would like to spend a lot of money to buy……. Carl Pavano? Or trade Montero? The rotation situation is far from optimal but so are the alternatives.

        • Matt says:

          There’s nothing Cashman can do but wait at this point but he put himself in this situation. If he would have given up Joba, he could have had Dan Haren and if he had included that piece of crap Eduardo Nunez, he could have had Cliff Lee last summer and things would be much different right now

        • Slappy White says:

          Hi Bex…Just as long as we’re not serious about this Freddie Garcia thing. I cant watch our guys throwing 84 MPH fastballs

    • I Voted 4 Kodos says:

      DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      Seriously, this team was 3 wins from the World Series last year. Even if they do nothing, they’re a good team, plus they’ll have the money to make a significant move during the season if someone comes available.

    • China Joe says:

      If I wanted to murder people for my team, I’d be a soccer fan.

  20. Joe(sit)ragman says:

    I am new to you guys and your metrics, but i visit here several times a day to get your insights on the Yankee world.

    Question—Are their any metrics or any stats regarding hitters vs. starters rather than all pitchers and maybe vs. top of rotation vs. bottom?

    it seems to me those would be important.

    • JGS says:

      For the first part, baseball-reference has them. Here is Mark Teixeira’s platoon splits this year, LH and RH starter are included in that.

      As for top vs. bottom of the rotation, I don’t think there is a way to get that all at once (for one thing, rotation order is not exactly standardized from one club to the next), but you can click “vs. pitcher” to find out any player’s stats against certain pitchers (or any pitcher’s vs. certain hitters)

  21. Slappy White says:

    I think the thing that has frustrated me the most this offseason is that I expected a “Plan B” and in reality , I dont think there ever was one.

  22. Jerome S. says:

    Has anybody yet considered the out-of-this-world possibility that like all other franchises, it’s ok for the Yankees to have a gap year?

    • Slappy White says:

      Not once

    • Craig says:

      With their resources, if they are even a little smart they shouldn’t have to have a gap year.

    • Steve H says:

      If you ain’t first, you’re last.

    • Chris says:

      Gap year, what the hell? Maybe if your introducing a bunch of young players into the mix which the Yankees are not this year.

    • Esteban says:

      NEVER!!!

      But actually, when the payroll is as high as it is, it’s hard explaining how a gap year is necessary.

    • Carl says:

      If I wanted to suffer through a “gap year” I would have been a Mets fan.

    • Reggie C. says:

      I’m sorry, but this is a terrible year to have a “gap” year.

      There are no other major contracts coming off the books after 2011 aside from the possibility of CC opting out of his deal. There are no major starters hitting free agency after 2011 aside from the potential CC opt-out or the strong likelihood that the Cards decide to not pick up Carpenter’s option. Carpenter would be 38 at that point.

      Cashman looks like he’s standing pat. Fine. But the man better be reminded that the price to acquire talent for the Yankees will always be high. Cashman simply doesn’t want to bleed anymore to improve the ball club in the long run.

    • bexarama says:

      As I’ve been saying: can’t wait until we win 95+ games and the World Series anyway, and everyone pretends we were the favorites and they were on the bandwagon all along.

      /completely unnecessary and unwarranted bravado’d

  23. Andrew says:

    Just feel the need to share that I was at Boomer’s perfect game at 12 w/ my dad and five year old sister, who was 5 and was there solely to get the free Beanie Baby. It was incredible, especially because we never went to Sunday games when I was a kid and I still never really do, so one of the only Sunday afternoon games I’ve ever gone to at the Stadium turned out to be a perfect game. Even though Wells was kind of a dick and screwed the Yankees in the ’03 Series, I will always have a major soft spot in my heart for him because of that experience.

  24. JM says:

    I’m comparing Pettitte, Mussina, and Hershiser on Fangraphs. I can’t find the WAR comparisons, but Pettitte, according to some graphs, seems worthy of the HOF if Hershiser is in it. Discuss the comparisons, if you want. Here are the charts

    • JM says:

      Derp. I could have SWORN Hershiser was in the HOF. I was sure I’ve heard announcers on ESPN say so during games.

      • Slappy White says:

        NEVER trust ESPN for factual information

      • JGS says:

        Not only is Hershiser not in the HOF, he dropped off after getting 4.4% of the vote on his second ballot.

        • JM says:

          So……. No Pettitte OR Mussina HOF. Which isn’t a BAD thing, because I think that eventually being in the HOF will be for the great players, and not the amazing players like it should be.

          • JGS says:

            I don’t think Pettitte should get in. He might get in using the Jack Morris precedent.

            Mussina is in a different conversation entirely. He was way better than Pettitte, Morris, or Hershiser. He should be in, and I think he will be eventually, even if he needs to use the circuitous Blyleven route.

            • bexarama says:

              Only Pettitte >>> Morris >:(

              Neither deserves to be in the HOF, but Andy is a much better pitcher than Jack Morris. I think I’m pretty objective about Andy being in the HOF but every time someone compares him to Morris my heart cracks a little.

          • Mussina should be in the HOF when his time comes.

  25. OldYanksFan says:

    “At the meetings the Yanks learned the full extent of what Kansas City would need to complete a deal [for Zack Greinke]. The Royals wanted catcher Jesus Montero, shortstop Eduardo Nunez and either Dellin Betances or Manuel Banuelos. The sides did not get further than that in discussions, but the Royals also said tjeu would need a fourth piece, another pitcher. Kansas City liked the Triple A-level arms such as Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, Adam Warren and David Phelps.”

    Wow! Jesus, Nunez, Betances/ManBam and Noesi/Nova.
    I want Greinke, but that’s too much to pay.

    h/t: http://www.theyankeeu.com/

  26. Someone make an idea for an article come into my head. I’ve got LITERALLY nothing. Goddammit.

  27. pete says:

    Yankee fans’ collective pessimism is boring. Don’t be boring.

  28. toad says:

    Fat guys make great pitchers. See also, Ruth, G., Lolich, M., and Sabathia, C.

  29. sleepykarl says:

    Man, it sounds like half this fanbase is hoping for failure to get some gratification for their incessant complaining about the roster in December. There is plenty of time to make tweaks and deals left in the offseason. I like how every knee jerk complaint is what to do if all facets of the team are bad, if that happens then they would have needed more than one SP. Also, think about the possibility that maybe, just maybe AJ could rebound to decent and some of the young guys hold up a back end spot.
    For the Joba complainers;
    Joba- 9.67K/9 2.76BB/9 2.98 FIP 3.34xFIP 1.4WAR
    Daniel Bard(someone everyone respects)
    9.16K/9 3.62BB/9 3.37FIP 3.59xFIP 1.5WAR(in 3.1 more innings)
    Big differences; BABIP .342vs.225; LOB 66.6%(no seriously it is)vs86%

    • Steve H says:

      One more thing on the Joba vs. Bard comp.

      DOB:
      Bard 6/25/1985
      Joba 9/23/1985

    • bexarama says:

      Man, it sounds like half this fanbase is hoping for failure to get some gratification for their incessant complaining about the roster in December.

      I’m pretty sure there’s a decent portion of the fanbase (not really the people here) who get moderately pleased when moves they don’t like don’t work out at all. They’d almost rather be right about their fervent belief that Cashman’s an idiot or what have you than see the Yankees win.

    • Bard also pitched in higher leverage (and therefore more valuable) innings so it’s not exactly a fair comparison. People undersell Joba because for awhile it seemed like he’d blow up in every big spot. And say what you want about confirmation bias, but it’s close to the truth. BABIP or not, he didn’t get the job done when he was handed the 8th inning.

    • I really don’t get the Bard hype, sure the man throws gas but he is very wild. When he versed the Yanks he got a lot of help from the batters swinging out of the zone. His velocity plays a big part in that but in 2-3 years when his velocity starts to dip he wont be as effective

      • Steve H says:

        I want to see how he does against LHB this year. Couldn’t get them out in 2009 (aided by a .354 BABIP) but dominated them in 2010 (aided by a .162 BABIP). It will be interesting to see where his true ability vs. LHB will fall. If he can’t get them out consistently, does he ever become a great closer?

  30. OMG Bagels! says:

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life boy….oh nevermind.

  31. Granderslam says:

    I admit, I’ve been really dwelling in the Yankee rotation lately, but today I really started becoming fond of the idea of breaking in some young talent. I still wish the Yankees make a serious move of course, but I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what Nova/Phelps/Noesi/Brackman might be able to do at the ML level. In the AL East it’s a huge risk….we will see what happens, It could be really interesting in a good way. Who knows. As long as Mitre isn’t an option.

    • Gonzo says:

      For some odd reason I am starting to come to this line of thinking. I have been having sleeping problems of late, so maybe this is just the seeting in of insanity.

      Wouldn’t it be cool to get a sub 4.50 FIP out of a Nova or Noesi? That would be pretty cool and also be good trade bait. Of course that’s not likely, but it’s cool to hang some hope on a big risk. Is this what other teams’ fans feel like?

  32. candyforstalin says:

    for the love of god, go see somewhere.

  33. Monteroisdinero says:

    Ron Blomberg:

    The Boomer before Boomer.

  34. Monteroisdinero says:

    How did Wells get that nickname?

    Binger (as in beer binge) would have been more appropriate.

  35. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    I love seeing Boomer buy bleacher seats and sitting out with the fans during games. I wish John Rocker did that.

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