Open Thread: Spring can’t come soon enough

KLaw's Top Sleeper Prospects For 2011
The Ultimate Scapegoat
(Photo Credit: Yankees PR Dept. on Twitter)

That picture of a snow-covered Yankee Stadium is both beautiful and depressing at the same time. Pitchers and catchers are just 17 days away from reporting, but nothing really happens that day. For us fans, the fun will really start four weeks from tomorrow, when the first Spring Training game will take place, a game the YES Network will air. You marked your calendar, right?

Here’s tonight’s open thread. The NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft is on Versus at 8pm ET, plus the Nets are visiting the Pacers. Talk about whatever your heart desires, go nuts.

KLaw's Top Sleeper Prospects For 2011
The Ultimate Scapegoat
  • squishy jello person

    If there’s another blizzard, I might just have to walk to Florida…

    • billbybob

      Yep. 50 inches of snow in January for me here in Western Mass and I also have to deal with Red Sox fans everyday…barf

      • Mrgfeeny

        Western mass?? I’m a grad student living at UMass…

        • OldYanksFan

          I live in NH where for 2 million years we got more snow then Mass. 17″ of snow the other day in NYC, and we got about 4″. I could get used to this climate change thingy.

  • Richard Iurilli

    Anyone know if the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft will be streamed online? I don’t have Versus.

  • bexarama
    • Richard Iurilli

      Speed demon.

      I looked, but MLB doesn’t have highlights of any of Jorge’s stolen bases in 2009 or 2010. Lame.

      • squishy jello person probably does, if you subscribe. They have every game in an archive.

        • Richard Iurilli

          I’d love to subscribe to, but I’m flat out broke. :|

  • Craig

    anybody else thinking the Os could post a winning record this year?

    • radnom

      Not in this division.

      • radnom

        I mean christ, last season every other in the division posted at least 85 wins, and a ton more talent has come into the division, all to the four top teams.

        The Orioles will be improved, but I don’t think they improved 16 games worth, and definitely not when you consider their main competition.

        • Golson’s Rocket Arm

          Then again, the Blue Jays traded Shaun Marcum, plus there is no way some of those guys, like jose bautista, can keep up their numbers

          • radnom

            True, I would bet the Rays and BlueJays both win less games then they did last season. You could also make a strong argument that the Yankees are worse heading into this season.

            Still those are 4 very good teams and 16 wins is a lot to make up. I really don’t see it.

          • bexarama

            Yeah, I have to agree with this. AA clearly knows what he’s doing but I can’t see the Blue Jays being as good in 2011 as they were in 2010. Then again I thought they’d be the worst team in baseball in 2010.

            • Golson’s Rocket Arm

              All I know is that I would hate to be a general manager of the Jays or Orioles knowing the teams that you have to compete with

    • squishy jello person

      Yes, although just.

      • radnom

        They would have to improve by 16 wins to do so.

        • squishy jello person

          Yeah, but look at how they performed second half last season versus first half. The improvement was there.

          • bexarama

            meh – it’s more like they were on record to beat the 1962 Mets for a good portion of the first half and they were not that bad. Either that or Buck Showalter is magic.

            Their offense got a lot better though but I still don’t see them at .500 this year.

    • Marcus

      Not in the AL East. But they have a lot of potential.

  • mike c

    at least the knicks are making the no-baseball/football season interesting so far

    • Esteban

      Word, they better keep it going because I don’t watch hockey.

      • Mister Delaware

        You really should. This is a likeable, hard-ass Rangers team.

  • Craig

    Totally unrelated, but anyone ever play any of the Silent Hill games? They fuck with your mind soo bad

    • Sean C

      Silent Hill 2 was the number one cause of me not sleeping for one whole week in high school.

      • Craig

        Best video game storyline eer

  • Matt Imbrogno

    So it’s good taht I walked into a bar in Stamford today and the girl behind the bar knew exactly what I wanted, right?

    • Esteban

      Not if it was before noon haha

      • Matt Imbrogno

        2:45. ;)

    • Mister Delaware

      “The usual cosmo, Matt?”

      • Esteban

        oooh burnnnnn

      • Nostra-Artist


        Sorry, Matt.

    • Sean C

      Yep. The thursday night bartender at my favorite bar starts making my drink the second she sees me walk in. It helps that I’ve been there every thursday for over a year, talk to her quite a bit, and the fact that they serve $2 Jameson and cokes.

  • ColoYank

    Does anyone in the RAB community know how much access is available to the minor league complex in Tampa during ST? I’m heading there in early March, and mainly want to get a gander at Heathcott, Murphy, Sanchez, Culver, and Williams, and all that group. Planning to take some video in the process, and get it posted for y’all.

    Will probably watch the guys on the big club, too, especially teh Jesus, Brackman, et al.

    If you don’t know first hand, do you know maybe a good contact at the Yanks or on their web site? I appreciate any insights.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Access is pretty good although autographs are unpredictable and there are tons of aggressive fans pushing others trying to get to the front of the line. Sometimes the best time to get prime stuff is on the practice fields when a game is going on. Players will come out of a game and then get in extra workouts on the 2 practice fields next to the stadium.

  • Pat D

    For all the whining about the snow, I will be on record as saying that for me, it has not snowed enough.

    I shall explain.

    I live in the Lehigh Valley of PA. I do tech support for a phone company. We have call centers all over the country, a lot of them in the south. Our other tech only centers are in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. In years past, and this year included, the call centers in the south seem to close when a single snowflake hits the ground. Apparently they keep using the excuse that in the south, well, shucks, they’re just not prepared to get snow. Allow me to say that in my opinion, this is a bunch of shit. Just because we in the northeast have plows and salt and everything, it does not make travel easier or safer. Having driven home approximately 22 miles through snow and ice multiple times I can attest to that.

    So this past Wednesday, it starts to snow heavily while I’m at work. I work from 4:30 – 1 AM right now. My company used to do something where if enough people left due to weather concerns, they would excuse the absences after the fact. This year they’ve decided to tell us ahead of time when they’ll do that. This is an improvement. However, if we leave under this code we either have to take the time unpaid or use our accrued PTO hours. I know why this is, but I’ve never felt that this is strictly fair. So the call center director sends an email at 8:00 that based upon the forecasts they have, they’ll start excusing absences at 11:00. I went outside on my lunch some 20 minutes later to find it snowing hard and heavy, and to see 2 inches on the ground already.

    I go back inside. Then they appear to smarten up and they start dismissing teams early. My team got to go at around 9:30. Now the Sunday after Christmas when it snowed and iced a lot, they did this to our team. I left only to find that they later closed the center, most likely due to there being next to no one left in the building. That got me really mad. So I was determined to wait them out. I go on my 2nd break at 10:30 and find that 11 reps are left in the building, 6 of whom were on my team. One of them leaves around 11:00. He calls our supervisor 20 minutes later to say that he just got out of the parking lot. My supervisor goes to her supervisor, raises hell, and at 11:30 they tell us that they’ll close the center. I felt vindicated and extremely angry at the same time.

    Yesterday the call center director apologized to us in a large meeting that was mostly the teams that leave at 1 AM, so I felt it would be inappropriate to further raise the issue.

    The point stands, however, that in the 5+ years I’ve worked for this company, our call center has closed for an entire day only 1 time. That was last January/February and it was on a day that I didn’t work. So I’m really, really hoping for a blizzard to come through on a day from Sunday-Thursday which is so bad that they just have to close the center once where I can get paid and not drive to work. Is that too much to ask???

    Sorry for this being so long. If you’ve read this far, I commend you.

    • bakekrukow412

      Do I get a gold star?

      • Pat D

        +Gold Star

  • Pat D

    I haven’t seen anyone talk about it yet since Tuesday, but I know we’ve had movie discussions before. What did everyone think of the Oscar nominations?

    • Esteban

      Waiting For Superman got snubbed.

      • Pat D

        Seems to be a consensus opinion. I’ll rent it, but after reading several descriptions of it, I have a feeling I won’t like it.

        I’m liberal, not afraid to admit that. My older sister is a music teacher, she’s been unemployed since last year as the charter school at which she taught decided not to bring her back, just as she would have qualified for tenure. It was mostly because the administrators at the school where she taught are incompetent. She was replaced by a guy they hired just to teach jazz band and who doesn’t have a music degree like she does.

        My younger sister is trying to become a teacher. She’s done everything she can to get hired, but no one is hiring because she lives in New Jersey and Christie has decided that cutting education is his #1 priority. It’s probably just as well being that she’s two months pregnant now.

        I’ll still watch it though, because it seems like it merits watching.

        • Esteban

          It was critically acclaimed by nearly everybody but I have a feeling that it wasn’t nominated because the Academy might not like its message. Guggenheim’s last documentary, Inconvenient Truth, won and that film’s message has more sympathy in Hollywood. I don’t really care about the Academy Awards but I don’t like when politics come into play.

          My mom is a retired NYC teacher and she supports charter schools (not that that means anything though, obviously). I just watched “The Lottery”, which deals with the same topic as “Waiting for Superman” and it nearly brought me to tears. I really don’t understand the hostility that charter schools engender. Anyway, I think this is wading too close to politics.

          • Pat D

            I tend to agree with what you’re saying. Hollywood is obviously dominated by liberal thought right now, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. I wish that documentaries could be actually that and not have a political slant. I think Michael Moore, even though I like most of his films, is to blame for that.

            I think charter schools get hostility when it’s perceived that they get funds that should instead go to public schools. The perception I’ve always had is that only the rich and upper middle class can afford charter school and so obviously less privileged kids would get the shaft in that circumstance.

            Now I have no idea if that’s the case or not, it’s just not a subject I have enough interest in, despite my sister’s situation. I don’t blame the school for her situation, just the people who run it.

            • Esteban

              As far as I know, most of the charter schools in NYC use a lottery that anyone can enter and are free to attend. I know an unemployed teacher looking for a job in NYC schools and she doesn’t like the union because it serves as a barrier to entry for many young teachers.

              • Pat D

                Now that I could see. I’m not sure if my sister ever got as far as union membership. I know she never got tenure. At the high school I attended, there were quite a few teachers who I felt shouldn’t have been teaching. They were either incompetent or didn’t seem to care anymore. But they had tenure.

                I’ve developed a mixed feeling toward labor unions. I feel that they do just as much harm as good anymore. They wouldn’t be useful at my current job. I find it awfully funny that the most successful current labor unions are ones for industries for the rich, like the MLBPA, the NFLPA, the Screen Actors’ Guild, and other sports and entertainment related medium. What a difference 100 years makes, I guess.

                • Esteban

                  Unions served a valuable purpose for much of the 20th century (and still do in some sectors), but public sector unions, in their current incarnations, have not been a positive development of the labor movement, in my opinion.

                  • Esteban

                    And anyway, thanks for the calm and rational discussion (they are possible!).

                  • Pasqua

                    Hey guys- I’ve just read your thread and commend you on your discussion. For what it’s worth, I’m a public school teacher in NJ, which seems to be the epicenter for the anti-teaher union sentiment that has become vogue. I just wanted to say that, from an “insider’s” perspective, don’t be too quick to fall into the trap of believing that “tenure” = “job for life.” It is quite possible, and legal, to remove an ineffective teacher for the classroom, should cause arise. It is an involved process, but a manageable one. Tenure is essentially designed to prevent corruption in the student / teacher / parent dynamic. Without getting to long-winded, it helps to keep politics and corruption out of the classroom. It’s there for a reason, and not just as a reward. Trust me when I tell you, a lot of what you hear about the “realities” of a teacher’s job is simply misguided or untrue.

                    • Pat D

                      Thanks for the information, it’s nice to know that perspective.

                      I don’t know how it worked at my school district, but for those couple of teachers who were pretty terrible, whenever I asked how they could still teach, I always heard the same response: “Tenure.”

                      But that’s in PA, so I’m sure things are different from state to state.

  • Esteban

    I hope everyone’s seen Brian Wilson’s appearance on George Lopez. Spolier: He dressed as a sea captain and dyed his beard gray

    • Esteban

      Oh and he talks about his visits to Thailand’s massage parlors. What a ridiculous person.

      • Pat D

        I was at Applebee’s tonight and I saw him on one of the TV’s. For a minute I thought it was Will Ferrell.

    • Stratman9652

      I want whatever he’s on.

  • Esteban

    Snowboard big air of the X-Games is on right. That shit is impressive.

  • Nostra-Artist

    This winter has taught me something. After breaking my back shoveling mountains of snow, and being sore for days afterward, it has lead me to an inescapable conclusion. I need to find me a woman who likes to shovel snow.

    There is nothing sexier than a woman who likes to shovel. Nothing.

    • squishy jello person

      I like it, but my shoulder doesn’t

    • Richard Iurilli

      Two words: Heated. Sidewalks.

      This is my dream.

    • bexarama

      I honestly like shoveling snow but I wear pretty much the most old-ass lame clothes when I do it. Like, a mismatching sweatpants/sweater combo and a stupid hat.

  • Richard Iurilli

    2011 Yankees rotation: $43.5 million
    2011 Angels outfield: $50 million (+$11 million for Gary Matthews Jr.)

    2011 Yankees infield: $19.6 million average salary (including GMJ)
    2011 Angels outfield: $20.3 million average salary

    I felt it was fair to include Gary Matthews’ salary in the average salary because the Angels are still paying his salary for the production of their current three outfielders.

    • Richard Iurilli

      Obviously the “(including GMJ)” part should be on the 2011 Angels outfield line.

      I miss comment editing.

    • T-Dubs

      That is batty.

  • T-Dubs

    Here’s a great story about Kemba Walker reviving the legend of New York City point guards. I enjoyed this.

    • RichYF

      Kemba went from strong ball skills to “NYC savior” in one offseason. We’ll miss him next year. He can Dwayne Wade this team to the Final Four with ease. Between the “veterans” Kemba and Oriakhi and the Freshmen Lamb, Shabazz and Roscoe, this team has a real chance.

      Going into the season (not know what Kemba had become), I had very low expectations. Now, I can’t turn away. This is a special team.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    Geesh, are the Mets really that bored during the offseason? Out of every low acquistion they made, they decided to have a press conference for Ching-Lun Hu?

  • mbonzo

    Bill Maher equates the NFL to socialism and the MLB to modern American capitalism. Thus, rednecks who love football should understand the success of socialism in football and how well it lets diverse teams be successful compared to baseball.

    His argument makes some sense to me, all sports leagues use some sort of “welfare” programs to allow small market teams to compete. Maher obviously knows very little about the MLB though, I would say that it is more “socialist” than the NFL. Although he mentions the diversity of football contesters, he never mentions revenue sharing in the MLB. One primary factor he pointed to in the NFL is the draft that starts with the worst team. He fails to mention, the MLB does the same exact thing… except that they also implement crazy amounts of compensation picks for teams that can’t afford to keep great players. His other factor in calling the MLB out was for the Pirates awful losing streak. The problem with them is not a lack of welfare, the team just has a front office that recently got caught pocketing revenue sharing from other teams. If you compare the World Series winners and Super Bowl winners from the last 10 years, you’ll see that the MLB has been more diverse than NFL, and that should tell you that Maher is wrong in calling the NFL more socialist. It should also tell you that “socialism” has worked in both leagues though. The ability for any team (except the stupid Pirates) to compete in either league is a new factor in both games.

    • Pat D

      I understand his point, but as you’ve said he misses a bunch of things and doesn’t understand some points. I like Bill Maher a lot but this is something I kind of wish he’d just let alone.

      Here’s some numbers for everyone. This data includes every season from 2000-2010.

      25 teams have made the playoffs.
      20 teams have made it 2 or more years.
      6 teams have made it 6 or more years (more than 50% of the time).

      22 teams have made the LCS.
      11 teams have made the LCS 2 or more years.

      15 teams have made the World Series.
      5 teams have made the World Series 2 or more years.

      29 teams have made the playoffs.
      28 teams have made it 2 or more years.
      9 teams have made it 6 or more years (more than 50% of the time).

      21 teams have made the Conference Championship game.
      13 teams have made the Conference Championship game 2 or more times.

      15 teams have made the Super Bowl.
      4 teams have made the Super Bowl 2 or more years.

      Seems pretty even overall, doesn’t it?

      • mbonzo

        It seems very even especially considering 10 teams make it to the NFL playoffs and 8 teams make it in the MLB.

        • Pat D

          12 teams make it in the NFL, and, obviously, that’s part of the point. That, frankly, it’s easier to make the playoffs in the NFL.

      • RuleroftheBone86

        Hmm, why do you too like Maher, so much? I’m curious?

        Is it his frightening and absolute hatred of individuals with faith, in particular Christians like myself?

        Is it his unreasoned & vindictive rants against conservatives labeling them racists, idiots and generally bad folks?

        Maybe his constant abuse against Tea Partiers or any supposed right wing figure?

        Sorry, but I can’t believe or understand how any descent person could tolerate his hateful and ignorant words and actions.

        And, by the way Pat- Don’t be afraid calling yourself a Liberal.

        As a conservative, I know how it really feels to be treated and judged unfairly and cruely by many because its always been the cool thing to do to “evil” conservatives. Just like your pal Maher does everytime he’s on television.

        And seriously, Michael Moore, too? Damn, didn’t know you like radical propaganda like that.

  • Reggie C.

    Ben Kabak’s favorite non-Yankee player, Pedro Alvarez, is apparently weighing in at 240 lbs. And he’s supposed to play 3B… Looks like someone’s been going to one too many Horace Mann network lunches.

  • OldYanksFan

    Rumors have it that Pujols is looking for around $30m/yr.
    We know Crawford is getting $20m/yr.
    In light of that, what do you think AGon asks the Sox for?
    Think he’s a 1 yr rental?

    • NJYankeeFan

      Sure hope so but after what they gave up to get him, they have no choice but to sign him. Kind of surprised they didn’t work out an agreement before the trade was completed because A-Gon seems to have all the leverage now, right?

      • whozat

        I’m sure they did, and I’m sure he signed it. They just hold off announcing it until after the season starts for lux tax reasons