Dec
16

Open Thread: Zim

By

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Is it a coincidence that Don Zimmer’s tenure as Yankee bench coach started in 1996 and ended in 2003, the bookends of the most recent Yankee dynasty, or something greater? Probably the former, but it’s a great narrative. Zim, now the ripe old age of 79, had a pacemaker put in on Monday and is resting comfortably at his home. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing him a speedy recovery. The 2010 season was his 62nd in baseball, and he’s actually the last former Brooklyn Dodger to still be in baseball in some capacity. What a life this guy’s lived, eh?

Here’s tonight’s open thread. The Isles, Rangers, and Nets are all in action tonight, and the 49ers and Chargers are on NFL Network. I’m sure you all have something else to occupy your time anyway. Anything goes, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread

202 Comments»

  1. Bryan L says:

    Wishing the best for Zimmer.

    Big game for Bruins tonight. Win and tie for 1st.

  2. Ellis says:

    Here’s to a speedy recovery, Zim. I was at the game at Fenway when Pedro decked Zim to the ground – thankfully we got the last laugh, winning on a go-ahead Jeterian home run.

    • Pete C. says:

      It wasn’t a punch it was a take down. Not to put to fine a point on it but it is a big difference.
      Second, I don’t think the fact that Torre’s handling of the team was better after he lost the council of both Zimm and Mell. So I’m thinking it’s not that much of a coincidence.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        Not even a take down. Zim charged Pedro (kinda like an old rhino heading for your midsection) and Pedro just threw him to the ground. Even though Pedro was the ‘evil enemy’ at the time, I have no doubt he had no intention of hurting Zim and acted in self defense.

        ERA+ Career Leaders:
        205 (01) Mariano Rivera – RP
        154 (02) Pedro Martinez – SP
        151 (03) Jim Devlin
        148 (04) Lefty Grove – SP
        147 (05) Walter Johnson – SP
        147 (05) Dan Quisenberry
        147 (05) Hoyt Wilhelm – SP
        146 (08) Ed Walsh
        146 (08) Smoky Joe Wood
        143 (10) Roger Clemens – SP
        142 (11) Addie Joss
        142 (11) Johan Santana – SP
        142 (11) Brandon Webb – SP
        141 (14) Trevor Hoffman – RP
        140 (15) Kid Nichols
        139 (16) Mordecai Brown – SP
        138 (17) John Franco
        138 (17) Cy Young – SP
        136 (19) Pete Alexander
        136 (19) Roy Halladay
        136 (19) Randy Johnson

        So Pedro is well ahead of any contemporary Starter.
        Oh… and he’s 5th All-Time in WHIP (Mo is 3rd)
        And Pedro pitched in the AL through the heart of the greatest offsensive era.

        His carrer was not that long but….
        was Pedro the BEST all-time SP?

        • Plank says:

          His peak could be considered the best.

          It’s hard to say his career was better than Walter Johnson though.

          Although, I’m of the opinion that numbers can’t be compared as simply as others think. Players at the turn of the century were playing against farmers. There were no black players, no workout routines, no sliders, sinkers, cutters, or curveballs.

          If Ty Cobb played today, I think he would be more like Torre Hunter than Willy Mays.

        • JGS says:

          was Pedro the BEST all-time SP?

          Depends on how you value peak vs. longevity. I fully believe that from 1997-2003, Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher in the history of the game, but his career wasn’t long enough to match up with guys like Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson, to say nothing of Roger Clemens, who is a step above even those guys.

          • OldYanksFan says:

            He was pretty damn good in 2004 and 2005, with 217 IP both years.

            For his last 6 years, Maddux had an ERA+ around 100. Longevity is admirable, but not when you are no longer excellent in your craft. If you started a team and could pick one SP for his career, you wouldn’t take Pedro over Maddux? I admit, it would be close with Roger.

        • Pete C. says:

          In retrospect you’re right, in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Pedro didn’t say ole’ as Zim went by.
          And no Pedro imo wasn’t the greatest, he was great, but how do you not include guy’s like Feller, Marichal, Koufax, or Clemens.

        • Yeah, Petey took way too much crap for that. What was he supposed to do?

  3. bexarama says:

    The documentary-type thing that MLBN put out on Zimmer a little while ago was great. Wishing the best of luck to him too (not that he’ll read this).

  4. Jimmy McNulty says:

    This offseason has gotten pretty crappy.

    • Michael Mirabella says:

      Yeah, and now that news is that Soriano won’t go to the Yankees, there isn’t really anything to look forward to.

      • Bryan L says:

        Would you really want to overpay for Soriano to go to NY as a set-up man?

        • Michael Mirabella says:

          Yes, what else do you suggest the Yankees do with their money? Or do you think they should just pocket it, like the Pirates do? Hey, its working for them right?

          • Mike Axisa says:

            Spending foolishly to satisfy the fans is pretty dumb, no?

            • Michael Mirabella says:

              Getting Soriano could shorten games and even out the currently weak rotation with an astronomically good bullpen.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                He throws 80 innings a year, at most. It doesn’t come close to evening out the rotation, not by a mile.

                • Michael Mirabella says:

                  Maybe, but the state of the rotation now is about as bad as I could even think one for the NYY could be. Here’s to Pettitte coming back.

                  • Mike Axisa says:

                    They’re going to fix that though. Spring Training is two months away.

                    • Michael Mirabella says:

                      I hope so, free agent market looks pretty bleak at the moment though. What do you think about Chris Young?

                    • Owen says:

                      Agreed. And I don’t think the required fix is as big as many perceive it to be.

                      I read somewhere today that as good as the Phils are going to be that they may struggle to top the White Sox staff. I didn’t realize the Sox had been that good this year so I looked it up. Led MLB in pitching WAR with nobody as good as CC (5.1 vs. 4.3 for Floyd and Danks), two guys that Yankees fans seem to be very meh about potentially acquiring (Floyd and Buehrle) and the clearly unwanted Freddy Garcia pitching the 4th most innings and putting up the 6th best WAR among their starters. All told their top 6 starters contributed 17.5 WAR.

                      I think a reasonable expectation of CC, Hughes, AJ, and Pettitte is 13 (5,3,2.5,2.5) which means you need a serviceable 5th starter and a 1 WAR guy to chew up some missed starts from Pettitte and we are right up there. Combine that with a first rate offense and I don’t know what the panic is about.

                  • Double-J says:

                    the state of the rotation now is about as bad as I could even think one for the NYY could be

                    Sidney Ponson says ‘hello.’

          • Plank says:

            They can take on a big contract at any time before the trade deadline. It’s not as good as signing Lee, but I think it’s the best plan B out there.

          • Bryan L says:

            Lowering the payroll maybe?

            A pretty heavy concept, I know…

            • Plank says:

              Why would the Yankees lower their payroll?

              Except in a situation like they are currently in where there is no real way to spend it.

              You want the Steinbrenners for what reason? To expand their stables down in Florida?

              The Yankees make a shit-ton of money, they owe it to the fans to use that money to improve the team.

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          Would you really want to overpay in dollars and years for Soriano to go to NY as a set-up man? And then give up a 1st round pick in next year’s stacked draft?

          • OldYanksFan says:

            Very true. And the money isn’t the issue as much as big money for FOUR years.
            Expensive RP for 4 years =/= very good.

  5. Mr Moss says:

    Zimmer made Torre look better than he was

  6. mustang says:

    Well this month sucks ass so far.

  7. Xstar7 says:

    Zim was with the Rays last season wasn’t he?

  8. So apparently Cubs fans had “We Got Wood” signs when Kerry Wood was in his prime on the North Side.

  9. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    They don’t get much better than Zim. Love the man.

    • Plank says:

      It’s painful to listen to. I can’t stop though. It’s like watching a car accident.

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      Fungible. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. .

    • Owen says:

      That hurt to watch.

    • pete says:

      There ought to be a requisite IQ test to be publicly broadcast.

      • Plank says:

        Let’s start a petition to get 25% of the YES Network being Francesa bloviating with no particular coherence to his thoughts.

        Considering how impressive that video is, maybe he can change the format of his show to explain difficult concepts. I would love to listen to Francesa trying to explain WAR or DRS.

        • Plank says:

          err, that should read: a petition to stop the YES Network from devoting 25% of it’s time to Francesa.

          If he’s on, at least make it entertaining. Francesa dissects Proust would be a good show.

  10. Mike Axisa says:

    Mo’s at the Rangers game. Just showed him on television with an NYR hat on.

  11. Teh Comp Pick says:

    Get well soon Zim.

    Knew teh Yanks wouldn’t give up a first rounder for a reliever, especially in this draft. Nevertheless, can’t say I’m happy with the offseason moves so far. Would have liked that two year deal to B. Jenks to have been coming from the Yankee camp.

  12. Steve H says:

    If Carlos Zambrano were a free agent today, what would he get on the market?

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      A 30 year old hard throwing head case who walks a ton of guys?

      I would think he would have no trouble getting 4/$60M, minimum.

    • Plank says:

      I bet he’d get something like 2/28 or 3/36.

      Ted Lilly just signed for 3/30 and he’s a lot older and doesn’t have the track record of success that Zambrano does. The past few years, they have been similar in terms of overall numbers. People also thought he could have gotten a lot more if he had waited.

  13. I think that our priorities should be to bolster our bullpen and bench now and try to swing a deal for a pitcher based on one of our current OFs (probably Gardner or Swish) at the trade deadline next year. To fill the hole, maybe we can sign Grady Sizemore after next season. This is assuming he recovers from the microfracture surgery and has a good season offensively and defensively. An OF of Sizemore/Gardner, Granderson, Swisher/Sizemore is one to drool at.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      But if he is sufficiently recovered to the point that the Yankees would be interested in obtaining him, why wouldn’t the Indians exercise their option for 2012?

      • Good point. I didn’t consider the fact that the Indians would exercise the option the minute Sizemore flashes* his old form.

        (Note: Ladies, don’t get too excited)
        (returns to drawing board)

  14. Kiersten says:

    What a life this guy lived, eh?

    Is he dead?

    • radnom says:

      Nah its kind of like saying if Arod retired tomorrow he’d be a HOF. Doesn’t mean the rest of his career still can’t be awesome. :)

  15. mustang says:

    I’m disappointed with today, but really we are talking about “relievers”. I just hope that the FO doesn’t see not signing Lee as way to just pocket the money. I’m betting they are not.

    • Steve H says:

      And the flip side is that I hope the FO doesn’t see not signing Lee as a reason to spend that “extra” $20+ million just for the hell of it. I’m betting they’re not doing that either.

      I don’t think they’ve had any major philosophy shift either way. They clearly needed to change their plan after losing Lee, but not philosophy.

    • Kiersten says:

      Eh, I don’t like the idea of giving relievers not named God Mariano Rivera multi-year deals.

      No big loss today.

      • mustang says:

        It’s not a big lost, but its not fun watching the Sox get stronger while the Yankees are in deep negotiation with Feliciano.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      But they should not spend it just because they have the ability to.

      No sense in putting atrocious contracts on the books because they have the budget.

      Spend wisely, or don’t spend at all.

  16. mike c says:

    step 1: get pettitte back

  17. pat says:

    Kind of excited to see what KLong can do with Martin. If he regains his past form he was the steal of the off season.

  18. Avi says:

    If Jenks is worth $6M and I think it’s a good signing for Boston how is Soriano at say $10M so terrible? Forget the stupid pick for a minute.

    • Steve H says:

      For how many years?

      (and you can’t really just forget the pick, that’s huge)

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      Forget the stupid pick for a minute.

      Why is it when we have a 1st round pick, it can be dismissed as stupid, but when the Sux have them, it’s “ZOMG, Cash is the SUXOR!!! Theo always has picks.”?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      You can’t just ignore the pick, it’s part of the cost. A first round pick has value, and you’re surrendering that pick for basically nothing since you’re also paying the free agent through the nose. If he offered the discount rate in exchange for the pick, great.

      • Steve H says:

        And it’s not just a first round pick, it’s a first round pick in a loaded draft.

      • Avi says:

        What percentage of first rounders become Major League regulars, How many become All-Stars? I bet the percentages go even further down if you look at #33rd pick only (about where the Yank pick is). Also many if not most of the Yankee first round picks from ’98 and on have been reaches. That is, they pick a guy that the rest of the world has going in the 10th round (i.e. David Walling, David Parrish, Cito Culver amongst others)

        • mustang says:

          But its the “THE PICK”

        • Mike Axisa says:

          You keep saying tenth round, not a single one of those guys was a tenth rounder. Exaggeration isn’t helping your case.

          A team’s draft history isn’t enough of a reason to give one away for a reliever. In fact, it a reason to keep one.

          • bexarama says:

            Also, I love how Cito Culver is already a bust.

          • Avi says:

            I distictly remember reading that Parrish and Walling were projected to go in about the 10th round. Baseball America had Culver ranked as the 168th best player headed into this past year’s draft. One sixty eight! That comes out to about the 5th round. If you reach even one round you defeat the whole purpose of the first round. Yes a first round pick has value but that value is blown WAY out of proportion on this site and I’m a total prospect geek.

            • Steve H says:

              Baseball America had Culver ranked as the 168th best player headed into this past year’s draft.

              That’s higher than Tom Brady was ranked in his draft. The Yankees saw Culver more than any of the people doing these predraft rankings, they knew him better. The Yankees, believe it or not, know what they are doing.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Still, Walling and Parrish were a decade ago with a completely different scouting director. Everyone in between – Brackman, Cole, Kennedy, Joba, Hughes, Henry, Duncan – those guys were all legit first round picks. You picked the outliers and tired to use them as justification for giving up a pick for a reliever.

              • CS Yankee says:

                Mike,

                In every sense of the word, Henry was seen as a shockingly bad pick by nearly every team.

                The rest, I totally agree. Henry was chosen because he was an athlete not because he could play baseball (ala Jordan).

                I like the reaching for the sky picks; surprised that Cole went on to college after saying he always wanted to be a Yankee (milked the system for a backstage pass to a game), but he would of been an outstanding prospect.

                They clearly know what there doing and haven’t made a mistake this offseason. The Angels & Rangers have had less success, and the BoSox & Phils have done quite well.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  They took Henry 17th overall, and Baseball America had him ranked as the 20th best prospect in the draft. They took an athletic up the middle player, what’s the problem?

                  He didn’t work out, it happens. Doesn’t make it a bad pick at the time. Everyone wanted them to take Craig Hansen that year just because he happened to be a local kid. The Yankees were smart enough to not take the reliever in the first round.

                  • CS Yankee says:

                    I’m thinking back to the Bobby trade with the Phils and recall reading that the Yankees mindset was to get the next Sanders/Jordan and could teach him to correct his fielding antics at short. I recall how Duncan was always praised along with the rest you list.

                    The point i didn’t get across was that lately they seem to choose high risk/reward players who are discounted due to injuries while back then it appeared that they were trying to grab the trend of best athlete; which I think is a component, not the.

        • mustang says:

          I would bet that if tomorrow Soriano called the Yankees and said I would love to be a Yank 2 years 16 million Cashman would drive “THE PICK” to the Rays himself.

          Understand it but pick thing too far!

        • The hell does Cito Culver have to do with this? He just got drafted.

          • CS Yankee says:

            Heck that was back in June though…damn bum didn’t even make the postseason roster while getting a boat load of money to boot.

            /clueless’d

        • yankees1717 says:

          yeah, hughes chamberlain kennedy and brackman were all horrible

    • mustang says:

      How dare you?

      “THE PICK” forget the “THE PICK” In a loaded all-star draft?

      The 20th something pick you have some nerve.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

        FACT: The vast majority of major leaguers were at one point draft picks. A shocking conclusion but it’s true.

        • mustang says:

          And a vast majority of draft picks don’t ever see the major leagues. Another shocking conclusion but also true.

          • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

            A 10 percent chance or whatever it may be is better than a 0 percent chance. Simple math.

            And you don’t have to keep the picks but trade them for elite talent. It’s also a simple fact that a strong farm helps teams. Why do the Yankees have to rely on paying pitchers a huge contract every couple years?

            I have no idea why people are against keeping a pick but keep the mocking of the people who want the pick on NoMaas.

  19. mustang says:

    Don’t know why I’m opening this can of worms, but here:

    “In spite of the club’s lack of rotation depth, Brian Cashman tells MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez that Joba Chamberlain will remain in the bullpen.”

  20. Jose the Satirist says:

    Who is the most underrated player in baseball right now? My pick is Shin-Soo Choo.

  21. I Voted 4 Kodos says:

    Hard to believe a small market team could have a higher payroll than the Yankees: http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN.....1299196928

  22. pat says:

    Joe Webb has WR and QB eligibility in Yahoo leagues. Could be an interesting pickup if anybody is in a bind this week.

    • Steve H says:

      Nice.

      I play in a league that is completely QB driven, so this will be huge. The league’s rules and scoring are totally off the wall, but QB’s rarely do too bad. I just picked him up, this should be interesting.

  23. candyforstalin says:

    what about a trade for frank francisco? he’s kind of expensive for a setup guy, if they’re not planning on moving feliz to the rotation.

    • Mattchu12 says:

      I think Feliz is a lock to move to the rotation at this point. Feliz is more valuable in the rotation, and they need him in the rotation now more than even with Lee going to PHI.

      Then again, seems like we just talked about the Yankees needing to do that. Who was that guy again?

  24. Steve H says:

    Speaking of Dave Winfield, if Scott Boras was his agent, would Boras include mystery teams from other sports if he was a free agent?

  25. Kiko Jones says:

    He was Jackie Robinson’s teammate, on the only Brooklyn Dodger team to win a World Series; an original Met; a Red Sox coach during the 1975 WS; Red Sox manager in 1978 when Bucky Dent hit his legendary HR; managed the Cubs to a division title in 1989 and was named Mgr of the Year; on the staff of the first Rockies team; and was the Yankees’ bench coach during the championship run of the late ‘90s…Damn!

    Get well soon, Zim.

    PS: I would’ve enjoyed seeing the helmet pic with this post.

    • Eric Young says:

      I didn’t realize this was about Zimmer at first. I thought it was a semi-satirical description of a Boras presentation about his client, Dave Winfield.

  26. Fun fact, every superstar in the league was never a draft pick, merely the bastard love child of Theo Epstein.

  27. bexarama says:

    If you thought Double Roybow was bad, you should see some of the proposed nicknames for this year’s Phillies pitching rotation:
    - R2C2
    - Phourgeddaboudit
    - Phantastic Phour
    - H2O + L
    - ugh, there have been others that were absolutely awful but I can’t think of them right now

    The one I actually liked? Fat Joe and the Terror Squad. Ahahahahaha

  28. CS Yankee says:

    I know that a team can’t sell their picks, but wonder what a #1 pick would be worth in value…maybe 3M$?

    So, while I understand that having Soriano for 3/25 (if he would settle)makes some sense business wise in having a viable backup closer/8th inning stud.

    However, a team really must consider that whatever terms you agree on your enemy just extracted 3M$ in value out of your future.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Well, think about the 09 draft…you think teams would only bid up the opportunity to sign a polished pitcher with the stuff of Strasburg for $3m? I bet a #1 overall pick resembles the posting fee paid to NPB league teams.

      • Steve H says:

        Yeah, it would be year by year, but when you see the Sox commit $100 million to Dice-K and Chapman get $30 million, the #1 pick could be worth a ton of money some years.

        • CS Yankee says:

          I should rephase that to the way I meant it. A #1 pick in the first round on average (top 25-35 type player).

          The first 2-3 actual picks are the exception, and the Yankees (thank god) don’t get those. Yankees pick like 28 (or so) on average every year (or so let’s hope) due to their record and it’s not like a free agent from them would be signed by KC, Pittsburgh or Houston (netting them a top pick).

          The point is, Soriano has a luxary tax added to a fat upcoming contract that is worth a fairly large value to their competitor.

  29. China Joe says:

    Why the hell do we need Soriano? Cashman says we got Mark Prior for the bullpen. If you subscribe to the “failed former Cubs starters make great Yankee relievers” theory, and if Kerry Wood was an awesome bridge to Mo, then Mark Prior will be an even awesome-r bridge to Mo.

    It can’t fail!

  30. max says:

    Considering Nolasco is in his last year, what do you think it would cost the Yanks in prospects to get him?

  31. James A says:

    They can’t possibly be interested in Freddy Garcia, right? I’d rather have Kevin Millwood … or Kevin Appier.
    If they do sign Garcia (or Millwood, or someone else who sucks) is there any chance that Brackman and/or Noesi would be ready to be the 5th starter by July/August?

  32. yankees1717 says:

    the people flipping out over freddy garcia is starting to bother me. we didn’t sign him to some huge deal, or even negotiate him. all we did is look at medicals. people are pushing the panic button way too fast.

    on an unrelated note, is kerry wood drunk?

  33. Avi says:

    I’m seriously shocked at Wood taking $1.5M. Lee and now Wood leave millions on the table to go elsewhere, WTF is going on this off-season? When is a free agent gonna do the same to be a Yankee?

    • Kiko Jones says:

      Lee may have left long-term money on the table but he took the deal with a higher per season amount.

      No one is going to take less money to deal with the bright lights and intense pressure of being a Yankee. (Or the staggering amount of knucklehead fans.) According to Nick Swisher everybody wants to be a Yankee—well, almost—but they all want the big bucks, too.

    • Kiko Jones says:

      I stand corrected: somebody did take less money to be a Yankee.

      Yankees/MLB.com- [Russell] Martin, who can make nearly $1.4 million more in incentives based on appearances behind the plate and won’t be a free agent until after the 2012 season, turned down $4.2 million plus similar incentives from the Dodgers because he “wanted to find out how much the team really wanted me.”

  34. James A says:

    Instead of signing a right and feliciano, lets just call up Venditte
    he can do both roles

    • candyforstalin says:

      i’m not that high on feliciano. but if they use him correctly (which means a 2/1 l/r ip instead of a 1/1) he’ll be okay.

  35. Wandy Rodriguez is potentially available according to MLBTR. He could be exactly what the Yankees are looking for, as he is lefty, will be relatively cheap, and he has pretty good stats across the board.

    When he’s healthy and has his game on he can keep up with any ace.

  36. mike c says:

    boston’s payroll is now higher than the yankees. wow, fun

  37. Claudell says:

    Get well, Zim!

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