Jan
07

Open Thread: Fonsy’s birthday

By

"Damn, 35 already?" (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Happy birthday to former Yankee Alfonso Soriano. He turns 35 today. Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that this wiry kid came up and starting hitting bombs? Hard to believe he’s that old already. Ben re-lived the Fonsy Experience a few nights ago, and while he never made the Yankees regret the A-Rod trade, he’s still had a long and productive career. Among the other players celebrating birthdays today, we’ve got Jon Lester (27, and I hate him because he’s so effing good), Eric Gagne (34, why didn’t the Yankees sign Rafael Soriano trade for Gagne?!?), and baseball’s biggest head, Kevin Mench (32).

Anyways, here is tonight’s open thread. The Nets, Rangers, and Knicks are all playing at different times (7:00, 8:30, and 10:30pm ET, respectively), plus the Cotton Bowl (LSU-Texas A&M) is on FOX at 8pm. One of these days they’ll get around to playing the National Championship game, maybe even before the spring semester starts. Talk about whatever, enjoy.

Categories : Open Thread
  • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

    Heh, Jon Lester is the only Red Sox I actually find myself rooting for sometimes. Crazy, I know.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Only Red Sock (Sox?) I like, I’d like him more if he sucked a little though =(

    • Mattchu12

      I like Ellsbury and Lester, but we have a better version of Ellsbury in Gardner. I like Pedroia at times, which is until he opens his mouth, but that’s about it.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I really think I’m the only Yankee fan who doesn’t mind Pedroia. I hate the media coverage of him, but he’s hilarious.

        • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

          I don’t hate Pedroia as much as I do the writers for making him MVP. I mean, he had a good season, but Mauer kicked butt that year. Heck, even A-Rod had a better season.

        • Mattchu12

          Every time he steps to the plate, I feel like he’s going to get a hit. Of course, I feel like every time Manny steps to the plate, he is going to hit it out of the park and yet I still hate him.

          Maybe it’s because he’s so small? I don’t know. I wouldn’t take him over any of the other Yankee infielders, but I’d be happy to have him on my team.

      • derek

        false, they have the better version of gardner

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I’ll take Gardner over Ellsbury and I’m not even that sold on Gardner repeating 2010. Easily.

        • http://slidingintohome.blogspot.com Domenic

          I don’t know about that.

          Gardner’s a much, much better defender. Offensively, I’d argue they’re a push – Ellsbury has a bit more pop, but Gardner has better on-base skills.

        • Mattchu12

          What they said.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      Matsuzaka is my favorite starter, because some nutty Boston fans still believe in him.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    The trade is a “slight overpay” for the Cubs, writes Fangraphs’ Joe Pawlikowski, but overall he likes the deal. Pawlikowski also cites concerns about how Garza will fare at Wrigley Field given Garza’s propensity for giving up fly balls.

    I don’t see why the Cubs did this when they most likely won’t compete, but the Rays had a great return for a pitcher they don’t need, so they won easily.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    I know they won the WS and that’s why but heh, no one talks about how Theo traded an everyday player for a relief pitcher who not only did they not need, it actually hurt their team. lol whatevs

    -0.4 bWAR in just 18ish innings, yikes.

    • http://www.twitter.com/TomZig Tom Zig

      They felt it wouldn’t be fair if they went 173-0 next year. So they traded for this guy who will give up a walk off grand slam thus resulting in the only loss of the season occurring in game # 162.

    • I Voted 4 Kodos

      I thought it was widely accepted that Theo doesn’t make mistakes.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I love how Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY was shitting on Cashman all over Twitter today, whereas ESPN Boston’s guys write MASTERSTROKE!!!! articles.

        • I Voted 4 Kodos

          I love it when laziness wins out in journalism.

        • Jimm McNulty

          Well when Cashman’s offseason includes fielding a rotation that features Sergio Mitre and Theo acquired Adrián Gonzalez I’d say that’s appropriate. Although, I don’t think Cashman made many “bad” moves there wasn’t a whole lot of good ones either, so I understand the criticism.

          • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

            The masterstroke article came before Gonzalez and Crawford, that’s the difference.

            • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

              My bad, no it wasn’t. Still a ridiculous article.

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              It was after Gonzalez, but not Crawford.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            He was spazzing out about Cashman not acquiring Soriano and the masterstroke article was pretty embarrassing, going on about how Iglesias has the “hands of a dancer” and stuff. The Red Sox had a better offseason, but somehow I don’t think anyone was writing articles like that about Cashman in the 2008-2009 offseason. OMG he spent Steinbrenner dollarz!

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Yeah, I mean most of the criticism Cashman gets is bullshit. He had the best the best plan this offseason, it’s just everything backfired. Cliff Lee’s fat wife hates the roudy arrogant asshole Yankee fans so she opted for a truly classy fan base and a city that’s known world wide for its universal kindness, Philadelphia. Shit happens, it’ll be a rough year, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

    • Jimm McNulty

      Are you talking about Gangé?

  • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 Hannah Ehrlich

    is Mench’s head bigger than Bochy’s?

    • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

      Sarcasm? If not, I think Bochy has the biggest head in MLB history. Wikipedia says he wears an 8 3/4 size hat, but I heavily doubt any truth to that.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

        Does Matsui get the bronze?

      • http://www.twitter.com/TomZig Tom Zig

        8 3/4? Holy shit.

        • http://www.twitter.com/TomZig Tom Zig

          Forbes says 8 3/4, yahoo news says 8 1/8

          • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

            I can’t really buy anyone having an 8 3/4 hat size.

            • http://www.twitter.com/TomZig Tom Zig

              Seriously. That’s a full inch bigger than my head.

      • JCK

        Michael Kay has got to be close to that.

        • Angelo

          He actually only wears 7 1/2 (surprisingly), they mentioned this before during a Yankee game, but I can’t remember when exactly…

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      7 5/8 is my hat size. No joke. It fits my head perfectly.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    We can’t have a playoff! It will take away from school time!

    …Meanwhile, in the real world…

  • OldYanksFan

    Wow… Soriano has only averaged about 2 WAR/yr for his career.
    He looked real good in Pinstripes, but no so much in other unis.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      I’m assuming a lot of his value is cut down because of really poor defense, and while he can hit his OBP is pretty low for his career so he doesn’t really have an elite enough bat to make him an exceptional player even if he is poor defensively.

      …follow that? o_O

      • YankeesJunkie

        Career UZR is -1.5

    • YankeesJunkie

      That is skewed because 61 AB’s his first two years.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        ’01-’10: 2.3 bWAR per season, 2.8 per 162 games.

        • YankeesJunkie

          That is sort of surprising, but he has accumulated almost all his WAR 2002 and after.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            ’02-’10: 2.6 per year; 3.1 per 162

            • YankeesJunkie

              bWAR or fWAR because fWAR from 2002-2010 his fWAR is about 3.5 per year for WAR.

              • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                That’s also bWAR; sorry for the lack of the clarification.

  • Henry

    What’s up with the new look of the website? Or is it just my iphone?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      It’s your phone. We just optimized it for touch phone users. Still working out the kinks.

      • Whozat

        Ooh, and typing comments goes at a reasonable speed now too!

      • Henry

        Ahhhhh I see. Thanks for the answer, and thanks for keeping us that are glued to our phones in mind :)… Btw, typing IS MUCHHH smoother now so big plus. Will let you know any other differences and give you feedback!

      • Xstar7

        You finally did that huh? Well thanks, I usually use my phone when I visit this website.

    • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

      Hey Mike, what are the chances a RAB iPhone/iTouch/iPad app comes out in the near future?

      • whozat

        As a longtime iPhone user, I don’t understand what an app would offer me that a bookmark to this new, mobile-friendly version of the site doesn’t.

        • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

          Push notifications.

  • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

    NEW YORK—The Yankees insist that righthander Leonel Vinas wasn’t signed simply because he starred for a youth summer team sponsored by Hank Steinbrenner.

    They point to the 19-year-old former gang member from Long Island having a fastball that touches 91 mph, good offspeed stuff and a phenomenal 2010 season in his back pocket.

    “This is real—he has talent,” general manager Brian Cashman said of Vinas, who signed in late December for $1,500 after not drawing much attention as a senior at Freeport (N.Y.) High in 2009.

    Given the choice by Steinbrenner of continuing the gang life or pitching for “Hank’s Yanks,” Vinas chose the latter. Now, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound righty finds himself among the longest of long shots to reach the big leagues.

    Yet, when he reports to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League this summer, Vinas will work closely with another nondrafted New York City high school product.

    New GCL hitting coach John Rodriguez, signed by the Yankees out of Brandeis High in 1996, defied the odds by reaching the big leagues for 158 games with the Cardinals in 2005-06. The lefty-hitting outfielder even has a World Series ring from ’06.

    “I will tell him it’s never going to be easy, (that) there are going to be up and downs,” said Rodriguez, who like Vinas was signed by scout Cesar Presbott. “He has to keep a straight head and never take no for an answer.

    “There are a lot of distractions out there, but the main goal is to take care of your family. I will try my best to keep him in line.”

    Following a splendid summer in which he went 12-0, 1.12, Vinas worked out in Tampa for scouting director Damon Oppenheimer and vice president of player personnel Billy Connors.

    Vinas called signing with the Yankees a “dream come true.” “He throws 88 to 91 (mph), has a good changeup and pretty good curveball,” Oppenheimer said. “We will see how he competes.”

    http://www.baseballamerica.com.....11117.html

    Very nice story, someone to keep an eye on in the Dot-Fs this coming year.

    • Jimm McNulty

      I’ll be rooting for him.

  • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

    I love the mobile version of the site, very easy to navigate.

  • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

    I love the mobile version of the site, very easy to navigate, but sometimes the comment system doesn’t work.

    • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

      Ughh see what I mean. The system gave me a error message about 5 times.

  • donttradecano

    http://twitter.com/#!/SI_JonHe.....0997133313

    Yanks opening up talks with Andruw Jones

    • AJ

      I like it.

  • yankees1717

    2008: ZOMG YANKEES SPEND TOO MUCH
    2009: ZOMG YANKEES SPEND AN AVERAGE AMOUNT
    2010: ZOMG YANKEES SPEND TOO LITTLE

    anyone not envy cashman’s job?

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      If Cashman’s players succeed, he just spent Steinbrenner money. If they fail, it’s all his fault.

    • mike c

      in the end do people eally care if the yankees spend ‘too much’? I don’t see them reducing ticket prices because their payroll is down

  • RiddlemeThis

    I looked at Joba’s fangraphs for 2009, I’ve been listening to so many on here talk about how Joba was “screwed up and its the yankees fault” and so on and so forth; maybe I’m missing something but I have some questions that maybe ya’ll can help answer.

    1. Joba was allowed to pitch till into the 5th inning 20 times (I’m counting any 4 1/3, and 4 2/3 because he technically did pitch part of the fifth inning just didn’t finish it) two starts he was yanked early because he was hit hard, and nine (all in September) he was kept on a 3-4 inning leash. Now my question is how does one month of short leashing screw up a player as bad as we’ve seen from Joba?

    2. My other question is this: When dealing with minor league pitchers don’t teams only let them pitch a certain number innings a year and slowly increase those numbers of innings every year? In order to keep those innings in check, aren’t those young pitchers pulled at varying times every start. (What I’m trying to say is one start a prospect is pulled in the 3rd inning but in the very next start he might be pulled in the 5th inning)

    Now if the Yankees were treating Joba with the kiddy gloves that young pitchers were going through in the minors, how is it that he is screwed up, but so many others aren’t?

    • bonestock94

      The complaint is the gaps in between starts I believe. Its not that they broke Joba, its just that they never gave him another chance. In my opinion, his first half ’09 performance alone warranted another crack at the rotation.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Now if the Yankees were treating Joba with the kiddy gloves that young pitchers were going through in the minors, how is it that he is screwed up, but so many others aren’t?

      A combination of lack of performance (though it wasn’t as awful as some make it out to be) and lack of patience from the Yankees.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        And, just the general ups and downs of young pitchers.

    • mike c

      who knows? he’s a young kid, if he can’t pick himself up and get back to what he was doing when jobamania was the big thing then maybe he’s just not cut out to be a great player

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        There’s also an expectations issue. What he did in 2007 was an unsustainable performance, but it seems like people expected him to repeat that.

        • mike c

          true, setting the bar that high early on is a blessing and a curse for joba… knowing his potential does put more pressure on him to find consistency. but seeing his talent early on is probably the reason he’ll be given more of a chance to succeed than other young pitchers would have

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    “Damn, 35 already?”

    Years old or strikeouts in the ’03 Postseason?

  • MikeRo

    How is Wallace Matthews employed by ESPN to write about the Yankees for ESPNNY? His knowledge of baseball is paper thin, and he’s from the tabloid “journalism” school where personal attacks is good form, where solid writing and investigative reporting is ignored.

    I mean, he started out this article with a potentially valid point on why Pettitte might be hesitating on returning, and then he turns it into a personal attack on the lowest level against Clemens. Someone like Matthews calling Clemens sleeze (really, is that opinion okay?) would be funny if it wasn’t sad.

    http://myespn.go.com/s/convers.....ry/5999829

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      the moral of the story:

      Never use ESPN as a primary source of information.