Open Thread: Nova turns 24

ESPN’s early-season slate heavy on the Yanks
Cashman: Pettitte won't pitch in 2011
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

A very happy birthday goes out to Mr. Ivan Nova, who turns the ripe old age of 24 today. Nova’s role with the 2011 Yankees became exponentially more important when Cliff Lee decided to sign with the Phillies, and it continues to increase in importance with each quiet offseason day that passes. He pitched to a 4.36 FIP in the big leagues last year, and I’m sure we’d all be ecstatic if he was able to reproduce that performance over say, 175 innings. Nova won’t make or break the Yankees’ season, but he’s going to get every chance in the world to prove himself, something I think every 24-year-old is looking for.

Anyways, here’s the open thread for the evening. Both the Nets and Knicks are playing, but not until a little later one because they’re on the other side of the country. Treat the thread as you see fit, enjoy.

ESPN’s early-season slate heavy on the Yanks
Cashman: Pettitte won't pitch in 2011
  • Mattchu12

    Anyone else looking forward to comebacks against the Rays and Farnsworth?

    • Tom Zig

      Yeah it’s gonna get ugly. He’s gonna be the CHoP of 2011

    • Nostra-Artist

      They’ve reverted to the Rays teams of a few years ago. Good starters, decent lineup and no bullpen whatsoever.

      • Chops

        Hm, I think too many of their bullpen pieces are too unknown to draw a conclusion.

        We need to see how Jake McGee will fair in the majors, how JP Howell will return from injury, and see how some of their new pieces like Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos will work out.

    • Gonzo

      Great article on Fangraphs about how Kyle and Jenks are similar.

  • Monteroisdinero

    I talked to Nova a few times at Scranton. He is a happy go lucky/comedian type which may help him in the NY pressure cooker. On the other hand, that didn’t help Igawa.

    At least Nova can throw a changeup for a strike.

  • Jerome S.

    Any chance that Nova turns out to be above league average?

    • Matt Imbrogno

      Sure, but it’s not a big chance.

    • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      If he could add things like deceptiveness in his delivery, sure. His delivery is too smooth and easy.

      • Gonzo

        Is it too late to try and fix that, you think? He has absolutely no deception whatsever.

      • Monteroisdinero

        Too smooth and easy with a 96/97 mph fastball and great changeup! Do you prefer the awful mechanics and strain/armsling of Joba?

        Nova’s motion and mechanics are fine. Location and getting ahead of hitters is the big question.

        • Nostra-Artist

          This. Again, Wang’s delivery was very similar, and it didn’t matter. Everyone knew he was throwing the 2-seamer, and as long as he kept it below the belt he was going to be successful. I see Nova’s best chance at success to take the Wang route.

          • Big Juan

            Take the Wang route.


    • Nostra-Artist

      Sure. He’s an extreme strike thrower, who lacks a true swing and miss pitch. The same could be said of Chien Ming Wang. Nova’s best pitch is the 2-seamer, so he can focus on becoming a sinkerballer. Guys like that can eat up loads of innings and win lots of games on a team like the Yanks.

      You don’t have to miss bats to win games. It helps, but its not essential.

      • Accent Shallow

        How likely is it that Nova can develop a Wang-like sinker? I mean, that’s not easy.

      • Tank the Frank

        His curveball and to a lesser extent his changeup looked absolutely filthy at times last season. They looked like swing-and-miss pitches to me. I think it’s just a matter of developing them more. He’ll never be any kind of strikeout king but I think he has the potential to miss his fare share of bats.

    • Mike HC

      Definitely. I actually have a decent amount of hope for Nova. He seems like a guy who has the right attitude as well and will continue to look to improve his game. I think he will be better than last season.

  • Accent Shallow

    I’m not thrilled with Nova being a major part of the rotation, but he has to be better than Mitre.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Agreed. As long as Mitre is replaced you could do much worse than have Nova as your 5th starter.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Happy birthday to our 4th best starter…

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      He could make a case for being 3rd best.


  • Gonzo

    I’m excited for the kid. Hopefully he makes his family proud.

  • Andy

    Lets Go St. John’s!

  • HeavyHitter

    Why the swipe at Jon Miller? He is an excellent play-by-play man, one of the very best. Getting rid of both him and Joe Morgan is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    • CS Yankee

      Agreed…Morgan would of been ok for the one inning drop-by but 9 innings of his mislead views stated as facts was poor.

      I feel Bobby will come off the same way by June. Orel is great though.

      Tim-McJoe-BuckCarver is the worst duo of all time (less Hitler/Musolini of course).

      • bakekrukow412


        • CS Yankee

          I had to turn the set off during the Cal passes Gehrig game as well…but overall, I liked that Miller was a fan of the game, gave historical references to a different era and made it enjoyable to watch.

          Morgan was too much about himself, the Reds (greatest team ever), the greatness of gold gloves (Reggie can only see mine).

          Bobby will get old quick with his used car salesman face, but Orel is solid and on his way to being great.

  • bexarama

    So we’re all sick of HOF talk. Whatever. The 2013 HOF ballot will include, probably:

    Curt Schilling
    Craig Biggio
    Kenny Lofton
    Sammy Sosa
    Mike Piazza
    Roger Clemens
    Barry Bonds

    How many of those are likely to get in on the first ballot? Probably just Biggio. That’s sad. Maybe Piazza too, if the OMG ROID SUSPICION!!!! people don’t attack him too much Bagwell-style.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      I’ve always argued against Biggio’s HOF case because I think he had just a few amazing years sandwiched by some pretty average years.

      Schilling should get in first time around, as should Bonds and Clemens…and Piazza. Lofton…not sure. It would take a lot of convincing for me to vote for him.

      As for Sosa, I think there’s a non-PED case against him that could keep him out.

      • JGS

        Lofton is probably Puckett without the career-ending glaucoma. That said, he winds up ahead of a more traditional (and deserving) HOF center fielder in Ashburn.

      • bexarama

        To me, Lofton, Biggio, and Sosa are more borderline than the others, but they all have a legit case. Biggio is a mortal lock because he was a small scrappy gritty guy who had 3000 hits that somehow has totally escaped steroid suspicion even though the voters came down hard on Bagwell and killed him for not ratting out his teammates.

        Schilling? A jerk and never the best pitcher on his own team.
        Lofton? Probably won’t get noticed.
        Sosa? Roids.
        Piazza? We think he did roids.
        Clemens and Bonds? Endless roids.

        • Tom Zig

          It would be a travesty if Bonds doesn’t get in.

          • bexarama

            And Clemens. You could make the argument that Bonds was the best hitter of all time, same with Clemens and pitching. I don’t personally think so but they are certainly up there. If either of them isn’t in the HOF it’s just stupid.

            • vin

              You could make the argument that Bonds was the best hitter of all time after Babe Ruth.


              The Babe stands alone in the first tier of all-time great hitters. Bonds, Williams, and Gehrig are in the 2nd tier. I’ve given this far too much thought.

              • toad

                The Babe stands alone in the first tier of all-time great hitters.


          • bpdelia

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Barry Bonds is the very definition of first BALLOT HORFer.

            If he doesnt get in (and he won’t) it is just going to demonstrate that the HOF is now obsolete.

            What really stinks is that we know more about Bond’s use than anyone else. BEcause Game of Shadows was so authoritative, well researched an complete we can see exactly when Bonds started using. If you ended Bond’s career before he started using in 2000 he was still a all of Famer.

            His OP+ in the years before he began using steroids?

            Because we know exactly when Bonds used we have less questions about him. That OPS+ line ALREADY establishes Bonds as one of the best players in the history of the game.

            Even if we now give him a typical 35-40 career arc (and by the way there are LOTS of stars from Aaron to Ruth to Ted WIlliams who had SUPER productive 35-40 seasons) Bonds is still one of the greatest of all time.

            ANd again, if he died at 34 with that OPS plus line hes a first balloter already.

        • JGS

          How saber-y you are will affect how much stock you put in this, but consider that Schilling has the best career K/BB ratio of any pitcher ever (4.38). That, plus the 3000 strikeouts I think will carry him in.

          • JGS

            Schilling has the best career K/BB ratio of any pitcher ever who played a game after 1884 (4.38)

            fixed that for me

        • DCBX

          Really? Schilling wasn’t the best pitcher on the early 90’s Phillies? And pitching behind a guy who struck out 300+ 4 times in a row is a pretty special case.

    • vin

      IMO, there are 3 slam-dunk first-ballot HOFers on that list (Bonds, Clemens, Piazza) – in terms of how the BBWAA appears to value first-ballot guys.

      Perhaps 4 when you factor in Sosa – but I don’t think he had enough monster seasons for a first-ballot guy. Fair or not. He’ll also be compared against other RFers… guys like Ruth, Reggie, Robinson, Ott, Aaron, Heilman, Clemente, Winfield, Gwynn, Kaline, Billy Williams, etc.

      Bonds is anywhere from the 2nd to 4th greatest hitter of all time. Clemens may be the greatest pitcher since the deadball era. And Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher of all time.

      As to who will get in on the first ballot? I say none of them. MAYBE Piazza, but he’ll most certainly get the Bagwell treatment. Perhaps Bonds because he was so good prior to his late-career surge. But I’m guessing none of them.

      I wish we could fast-forward the voting members about 15 years.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Schilling is a slam dunk too. His bWAR is 5th all time and is only 3 WAR away from Pedro. And sicne he has the bloody sock he’ll definitely get voted in the first ballot.

        I think he’s fucking annoying but he deserves the Hall.

        • bexarama

          His bWAR is 5th all time

          Wait… really? How far back does that go?

          I think Schilling is a fantastic pitcher and should be a HOF lock, but I don’t think he’s THAT good. Unless it just goes back to a certain year.

          Also, the bloody sock game doesn’t guarantee a vote into the Hall, Morris still hasn’t gotten in on his one postseason game (Schilling >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Morris but that’s beyond the point).

        • Accent Shallow

          His bWAR is 5th all time and is only 3 WAR away from Pedro.

          This is not correct.

          Schilling is 28th, 6 WAR behind Pedro.

          • Accent Shallow

            Here is the list.

            • The Real JobaWockeeZ

              I’m late but I meant fWAR.

        • vin

          I think the whole “first-ballot guy” thing is ridiculous. You are either a HOFer or not a HOFer.

          However, I think the voters have an idea of who *should* be in on the first ballot, and who shouldn’t.

          The vast majority of the voters are still of the old-school variety. How else can you explain Tim Raines’ lack of support?

          There’s no chance Schilling makes it in on the first ballot. He didn’t have nearly enough wins (of course ridiculous). He didn’t have the huge success, cut short by injuries like Koufax (and to a lesser extent, Puckett).

          Also, most importantly, I don’t think Schilling was considered a HOFer when he was playing. It’s a ridiculous concept, logically, but I think it plays a big factor in many of the voters’ minds. Schilling was ALWAYS lumped in with Mussina, as guys who probably should be in but would have a long road ahead of them.

      • bpdelia

        May I also point out BOnds had an OPS of over .900 for 18 consecutive years and over .999 the last 16 seasons of his career.

        • jramey

          looking back..
          thats unreal

    • CS Yankee

      Don’t you feel that once Bonds & Clemens win in court, they’ll be allowed to persue a comeback and destroy all the Minnie Minosa, Nolan Ryan (40’s/50’s) stats?

      Reeligible as first time ballot inductees, in say 2025?

    • mbonzo

      I’m sure this will sound insane, but I think theres only 3 people from Bex’s list that belong in the HOF.

      Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa

      I’m iffy on Sosa, while he had multiple skills on the field, his only outstanding one was hitting homeruns.

      Piazza and Schilling will most likely get in, but I like to keep the hall small… really small. They were great players, but they can’t be considered in the best all time. Bonds and Clemens will always fit in that category, and Sosa is one of the best homerun hitters ever.

      As for steroids, innocent until proven guilty. I don’t think they are a big deal in baseball as it is, but writers shouldn’t vote on what people speculate even though theres a 99% chance my 3 picks were on roids.

      • CS Yankee

        FWIW, your 99% is about 99% correct.

      • vin

        Sosa was among the greatest homerun hitters ever, but Piazza was clearly the among greatest hitting catchers ever (if not the best).

        I have absolutely no problem with someone preferring a small HOF. I’d just recommend you give Mike Piazza a second look.

      • bexarama

        Piazza was one of the, what, five best catchers of all time at worst? A 142 OPS+ as a catcher over 16 years!!

        • mbonzo

          Theres definitely more of a case for Piazza than Schilling, and I’m sure someone could probably convince me to vote for him, but I somehow see Clemens, Bonds, and Sosa on a higher level. Piazza deserves to be in this HOF, but I’d prefer one where they were stricter.

      • Jerome S.

        Piazza IS THE greatest hitting catcher ever.

        Schilling has 3000+ K’s and a good (though overrated) postseason career.

        Neither of them did steroids (though someone’s gonna say they did).

        I think they’re HOFers.

        • mbonzo

          Yogi, Dickey, Cochrane, Bench, Fisk, Torre, Hartnett, Ivan, and Posada come to mind.

          As for Schilling, I’m not as impressed.

          They’ll both definitely get in, but I would keep out Schilling and argue against Piazza. As I said above though, I’m sure someone could convince me to let him in.

          • Jerome S.

            Piazza’s the best offensively. But he was so terrible defensively that I hesitate to call him a catcher.

            Yogi, Dickey and Ivan were elite in both D and offense.

          • bexarama

            No one loves Posada more than I do but Piazza >>>>>> Posada, among many others on your list

      • Kiersten

        Piazza over Sosa for sure. Steroids aside, corked bat anyone?

    • Rosario Vizzie

      The biggest Hall of Fame Joke?? Rabbit Maranville.

      • Pat D

        Not really.

        • Pat D

          Not really, unless you’re taking his personality into account. Then you’re actually being quite witty.

    • MikeD

      Biggio will make the HOF, but I don’t think he’ll go on the first ballot.

  • Jake H

    I hate auditors. They make your life a living hell.

    • CS Yankee

      Quit cooking the books, drink some beer, and drink some more beer. It’ll be alright.

      note: may or may not be true.

      • Jake H

        always pick the files that you need a little work on. They read our emails!

        • ColoYank

          Auditors: young, naive number-crunchers, trained in suspicion and needful of a life.

          /not bitter’d

          • CS Yankee

            What part of Colorado?

            • ColoYank

              Metro Denver … northwest area. Work in Boulder.

              • CS Yankee

                Was there just last weekend, my boy played against Hyland Hills hockey team Saturday afternoon.

    • Kiersten

      My best friend is one. Don’t hate.

      • Jake H

        At least where I work they entrap you. I’m sure the guy is a fine person when he is outside of work. But when they aren’t suppose to come back for 6 months at the earliest and they are back before then for no good reason they are out to get you!

        • Kiersten

          Girl, first of all. Second of all, I have no idea what an auditor does. She hates it, if that makes you feel any better.

          • Jake H

            Sorry, I was talking about the auditor at my job who is a guy. I’m sure your friend is really nice, it’s just frustrating.

            • Kiersten

              I was just messing with you. I realized I kind of came off as a bitch.

          • ColoYank

            Normally auditing is an activity in an accountant’s career path on the way to either audit management for a CPA form, or toward the CPA exam itself, after which the whole world of accounting opens up.

            I know, YAWN! I’m a cost guy myself, a rare breed, which I could never figure out. I find the whole GL thing kind of boring.

            • ColoYank

              “form” S/B “firm”

              Ah my life with my fat fingers.

  • bakekrukow412

    All of the Hall of Fame debating about whether or not the roid users will get in, I’ve always wondered about the treatment Manny will get when the time comes.

  • bonestock94

    I’m not as clear on the roid thing as everyone else is in this sect of fans. I probably wouldn’t even send in a ballot if Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa were on it. Too confusing of an issue.

    • Xstar7

      I think the steroids thing is totally overrated. Looking at it from the players perspective, steroids were a way to improve their game that wasn’t illegal. I’m not saying I approve steroids. I think athletes can do just fine without them. But I think people are taking the issue way too seriously.

      • CS Yankee

        In what way do you think they were legal, surely not in a legal way?

        • Mike HC

          haha … Not illegal as in it “should not” be illegal kind of way, maybe?

      • Ed

        steroids were a way to improve their game that wasn’t illegal

        If you’ve got nothing against federal felonies, sure…

  • Tom Zig

    I don’t particularly like the Patriots, but they are handling this war of words the right way.

  • Craig

    If Galarraga falls outta favor in DET, any chance NYY could acquire him? He’s 28, and I’d rather him than Mitre, maybe Rothschild can help him through the inconcsistency

    • Jake H

      no way that guy is terrible.

    • Matt Imbrogno


    • Tank the Frank

      I would love to have him. I think the best chance the Yankees have is to take chances on as many guys as they can (such as Galarraga, Francis, Duch, and I was hoping for Penny), hope to catch one or more of them on a hot streak and ride them as long as you can.

      Throw numbers at it and hope someone sticks. Maybe Nova has a hot April/May, then maybe Francis/Galarraga/Duch has a hot streak of 8 starts or so in late summer, you live with what CC, AJ, and Phil give you over a full season and – bam – you’ve got your patchwork rotation.

    • CS Yankee

      I think I would rather have any teams 4th starter, and maybe 25 teams fifth starter than Meat-tray.

  • ecks

    Am I the only one who thinks he looks like Mo in this picture?

    • ColoYank

      Yeah, I think you’re a minority of one on that.

  • ColoYank

    It’s a final: Syracuse 76, St. John’s 59. Sorry, all you Red Stormers, but … WooHoo!

    • Mike HC

      St. John’s is not ready for the Cuse’s of the world. I’m just hoping we squeak into the tourney somehow. Maybe get a sentimental bid if we are on the bubble.

  • bpdelia

    I have one other observation about Bonds (sorry but I’ve been waiting anxiously for his candidacty to see what happens.)

    One of the main arguments against him has been that his late career success was so remarkable and so unprecendented that it meant it was 100% attributable to steroids.

    I’ve heard that argument thrown around by lots of people.

    But here’s the thing. . .. it’s wrong. For all time greats there is nothing unprecedented about having insane success into the late 30s. Look at Ruth, Robinson, Aaron etc. And lets look at the only person who is a better hitter in history than Barry Bonds. Go check Ted WIlliams baseball ref page.

    You’ll find that he had the HIGHEST SLUGGING PCT of his career at age 388 when he put up this freakin slash line .388/.526/.731.
    He had an OPS+ of 190 in his age 40 year for God’s sake.

    Did Ted Williams do steroids. No.

    So there is nothing about Bond’s late career arc that implies without steroids he would have been anything other that what he was. Probably the second greates hitter of all time.

    THis is all moot because he is going to get probably 10% in his first year.

    But this is really gonna drive me nuts because a Hall of Fame without Barry Bonds is utterly irrelevant.

    Im almost 40 now and I never saw a better ball player than Barry Bonds. You would have to be at least 70 to have seen a better hitter than Barry Bonds and be able to remember it. IF that ain’t hall of fame close the doors.

    • bexarama

      Barry Bonds before he went batshit insane from 2001-2004 basically had A-Rod’s career.

    • ColoYank

      Ted did say that if he wasn’t considered the greatest hitter of all time, okay, but he DID think of himself as the greatest OLD hitter of all time.

      The guy was candid about himself and everything else in the world.

    • MikeD

      A correction, even if it’s a small one, but it’s important when considering your argument. Ted Williams did not post the highest SLG of his career at age 38. He did that at 22, when he slugged .735 and, oh yeah, hit over .400. He did have the second highest SLG of his career at 38, but when looking at Williams’ career overall, there was nothing unusual about his age-38 season. He was an absurdly great hitter who was still marvelous until the end, but he wasn’t getting better as he got older. Amazingly, outside of his age-40 season when he had an injured neck, the two lowest OPS+ seasons of Williams’ career were his first two seasons in the Bigs, when he posted 160 and 161 lines. Thereafter, his career is filled with 200+ seasons.

      While Williams was still highly productive during his late years, he was still a lesser being in his older years, playing fewer games and producing lower counting stats. When he did play, he could still compete with his earlier hitting, but he wasn’t getting better.

      Compare that with Bonds, who was already a HOFer heading into his age-36 season. Bonds then got better. A lot better. He actually raising his career BA every year in his late 30s, fifteen years into his career. All of his numbers exploded. It would be as if A-Rod, beginning next year, not only hit as well as he did at his best during his earlier career, but blew all of his numbers away by a substantial margin.

      So, no, there is no comparison to what Bonds did during his late career. That said, I still think he should be in the HOF.

  • choo choo

    Rabbit Maranville–with his batting average, power, on base percentage is an awesome Hall of Famer and makes Barry Bonds look like a Piker