Open Thread: Mike Lowell


(Photo Credit: SportsMemorabilia.com)

If you blinked, there’s a chance you missed Mike Lowell’s career as a Yankee. A 20th round draft pick in 1995, Lowell received a grand total of 15 plate appearances in pinstripes, picking up four singles in 1998. With Scott Brosius coming off a .300/.371/.472 season, the Yankees traded a then 24-year-old Lowell to the Marlins for three young pitchers: Todd Noel, Ed Yarnall, and Mark Johnson. Yarnall had been ranked as the 60th best prospect in the game by Baseball America before the 1998 season, and he was the only one to ever make an appearance in the Bronx (20 IP, 5.40 ERA). He was later traded to the Reds for Denny Neagle while Noel never made it out of A-ball and Johnson went to the Tigers in the 1999 Rule 5 Draft.

Lowell, meanwhile, went on to have a long and productive career first with the Marlins and then with the Red Sox. He doubled off Andy Pettitte in Game Six of the 2003 World Series, and during his career he hit .314/.377/.506 with a dozen homers in just over 300 plate appearances against the team that originally drafted him. Brian Cashman later said he wishes he could have a do-over on the Lowell trade, a trade that took place 12 years ago today. Pitching prospects, eh? They’ll break your heart.

Anyways, here is the open thread for the evening. The Devils, Isles, and Rangers are all back in action now that the All Star break is over, so hooray for that. Talk about whatever your heart desires.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Craig says:

    Outta all the Red Sox, Lowell was one I had a soft spot for and always respected. Also, would anyone happen to know a replacement to atdhe.net since it was taken down by the government? Chico and Doc help me get through some tough days of note-taking, HW and 1.5 hour lectures

    • I have a great link, but as it is sorta kinda against the commenting guidelines I cannot reveal it to you =(

    • I’m ticked it’s gone too… I used to watch most of the Sharks and Lakers games from NY…

    • Teh Comp Pick says:

      didn’t know about that til now. That really sucks. How long ago did this happen? Must have been pretty recently.

    • mbonzo says:

      I know politics shouldn’t be discussed here, but its on topic. I think its pretty disgusting that the government is using the Department of Homeland Security to do what they want with websites. Pass some laws if you want to outlaw actions on the internet, the way they are shutting down sites like atdhe.net just show how they’re overstepping their authority. The goal of Homeland Security is to prevent terrorism, what the hell does steaming sports have to do with terrorism?

      • Kiersten says:

        It pisses me off cause I do pay for ESPN and all those channels, but I’m at work when most sporting events take place and I don’t have a TV at work. It’s not “stealing,” especially when the commercials still play and a lot of the games they stream are on free channels.

        • mbonzo says:

          I hear you, I’ve done a lot of poli-sci study on laws of the Internet and the problem is essentially a differing ideology online communities have developed. Most people on the internet use a mutated form of the social-contract, community based advancements instead of personal investment. Its why we see open source programs and free-of-charge websites like RAB.

          As for ESPN, they’ll argue that you’re not paying for a TV program or game, but you ware paying for a license to see the game. So if thats the case, why should it be wrong to watch it online?

        • Jose the Satirist says:

          You can justify it if you want to, but don’t call it something it isn’t. It is still stealing.

          • Kiersten says:

            No, sorry, watching free TV, streams of programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, is not stealing.

            And everything on ESPN is on ESPN3 anyway.

            • Jose the Satirist says:

              I love the entitlement generation.

              • Kiersten says:

                How is watching free TV on the Internet different than watching free TV on a TV set?

                I love the generation that acts like they’re better than today’s youth because they didn’t have what we had growing up.

                • Jose the Satirist says:

                  You are watching an unauthorized stream that is illegal. You argue it is free television and it can be viewed online for free. That is not how television works. Those programs have copyright protections and rights associated with them. Even though they are broadcast free over air does not make them free online.

                  I’m sorry that you are misinformed. I’m bitter that you think you are not breaking the law and are entitled to television online. Also, how do you know for certain I’m not part of your generation?

                • Jose the Satirist says:

                  My response got eaten by the spam filter. Basically free broadcast does not mean it can be free online legally. Also I could be part of your generation, you don’t know for certain.

                  • nsalem says:

                    You are 100 percent correct. I think what people who get this content for free fail to understand is that, nobody would invest in the technology that delivers this content if everybody received it for nothing.

                    • Kiersten says:

                      You don’t have to preach that to somebody who works at a newspaper. Sigh.

                    • mbonzo says:

                      I don’t agree or disagree with using streams, but your argument doesn’t hold water. There are plenty of successful technologies that have been developed for free and changed the world. Think of all the open source programs available on the internet. Wikipedia is one example, it has completely changed the world. RAB is another instance where the writers have found a way to keep the website running without charging consumers and providing content.

                      There is a debate internationally about how generic drugs should sold. Poor states, such as the AIDs plagued nations in Africa, have trouble paying high initiation prices to drug companies that have developed medicine. Many argue that lives are more important than forcing states to pay high prices to the companies that developed the patents for medicines, while others say that if the money isn’t paid there is no incentive to continue studying AIDs cures. On the side of allowing generic medicines to be sent to these states, there have been plenty of cures in the past that were created not-for-profit. The Small Pox vaccine and penicillin were never patented. Its an extreme case of copyright morality, but just know that the idea that personal gain is the only incentive for quality content is a questionable assertion.

                    • mbonzo says:

                      I worded that poorly. Patents for small pox and penicillin have been recognized to their creators, but they allowed for the free usage of their creations.

                  • mbonzo says:

                    The problem is, the government has had little jurisdiction over the internet because it is international. You can’t just call something legal or illegal. You can say its wrong to stream video because it violates certain copyright issues, but these copyright laws are incredibly vague and broken by the creators themselves all the time. If there was something illegal being hosted at a sports streaming website the owner would be raided and the server ordered shut down. People would go to court and see lawsuits. This website was not shutdown by an action of the legal system, it was shut down by the Department of Homeleand Security and I would there is a 99% chance this doesn’t reach court because the laws are way to vague. You can think what they’re doing is wrong, but the law doesn’t exist.

                    Kiersten is arguing that ESPN and the MLB say that their broadcast can’t be recorded and saved because you only receive a license to watch the broadcast, so if you are paying for ESPN’s license why is it illegal to watch the broadcast online? Again, the laws are too vague to answer any questions here, only to make assumptions.

                    • Kiersten says:

                      Well ESPN and MLB are a different case. ESPN streams their games online for free anyway, so there’s no issue there. MLB games are offered on cable channels and there’s MLBTV on the Internet, so yes, I consider streaming MLB games for free stealing, and yes, I pay for MLBTV.

                      Like I said, games on broadcast networks are free anyway, so there really is no difference if I’m watching them online or on my TV. I understand the licensing and the rights and all that, but I’m still watch the network and all of the commercials that pay for the programming. Literally the only difference is that I’m getting the content over my cable modem rather than through an antenna. Why should this be illegal? In fact, you could argue that streaming online is better for the networks since I’m watching live and not on a DVR where I can skip commercials.

                    • mbonzo says:

                      Right, but that license that the MLB and ESPN/YES say that they sell you should be used for not only the station that they broadcast on, but for online streaming. So if you are paying ESPN to watch a game, you should be able to watch it online as well. They would say no, and I’ve never heard their argument.

                    • Jose the Satirist says:

                      I agree with you that it should be legal and could form a whole new market for networks. That wasn’t what I was arguing. I was just saying that right now it is not legal. Networks still view it as stealing.

                      Also, I realize that I added an ad hominem attack a while back about the “entitlement generation”. In hindsight that was unfair and quite rude.

                    • Kiersten says:

                      @mbonzo agreed. And that’s basically why I don’t see the problem with streaming the games online. Especially since I work nights and would basically never be able to watch sports without online streaming.

                      @Jose That’s why I responded how I did. I admit I was rude back, which was kind of my point. I know what you’re saying and I didn’t mean to say that online streaming isn’t illegal, just that I don’t view it as stealing.

      • Jose the Satirist says:

        I suggest you read Title X of the Homeland Security Act. They aren’t overstepping bounds, they are just using what was already passed in new ways well within the restrictions. That is what vague legislation related to “Information Security” can do.

      • Chops says:

        Technically they didn’t shut down the site, only the DNS address. It’s back up with a .me at the end rather than the .net

    • Kiersten says:

      If you tweet at me (@kschmidt2), I’ll give you a link.

  2. I posted this in Friday’s open thread, but it was late so I don’t think many people saw it, so I’m posting it here.

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

    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.

  3. Avi says:

    I remember when the Yanks were in talks with the Marlins about Mike Lowell they asked for a different pitcher: AJ Burnett.

  4. icebird753 says:

    Lowell’s a class act, wish he was a Yankee for life.

  5. Jerome S. says:

    Meh. Yankees Third basemen est. 1998 > Mike Lowell. But still, was worth a lot more than he got away for.

    • Xstar7 says:

      Brosius, 2003 ALCS Boone, and A-Rod are definitely better than Lowell. I’m glad things turned out the way they did.

      • JGS says:

        2003 ALCS Boone hit .176/.263/.353 in 19 PAs in the 2003 ALCS. One awesomely timed home runs doesn’t mean he was good, or even that he had a good series.

        • Xstar7 says:

          Boone’s stint in Pinstripes was forgettable, but the home run he hit in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was unforgettable. Doesn’t matter how well timed it was because it happened and there’s no changing that. If Lowell had been in Boone’s situation could he have hit that home run? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean he WOULD have.

          • JGS says:

            Agreed. Merely pointing out that what you said (“Brosius, 2003 ALCS Boone, and A-Rod are definitely better than Lowell”) isn’t true. Brosius wasn’t better either.

            • radnom says:

              2003 ALCS Boone hit .176/.263/.353 in 19 PAs in the 2003 ALCS. One awesomely timed home runs doesn’t mean he was good, or even that he had a good series.

              Except that evaluating such a small sample size with rate stats like that is kind of silly. A lot of people like to look at win probability graphs around here, imagine one for the entire series. Its probably at just above 50% before his homerun. Then, victory.

              Now granted, thats not a great way to evaluate anything either, but looking at the whole picture I would definitely say he had a good/great series.

              • JGS says:

                Using that 19-PA sample to evaluate Boone as a player in the 2003 ALCS isn’t silly. Extrapolating that out to say he stinks as a player in general because of that 19-PA sample…yea, that’s dumb.

                As for WPA, Boone’s was .109 for the Series, even with that home run. That’s lower than, among others, Karim Garcia (.246), Posada (.309), and Mo (.948). Heck, he didn’t have the highest WPA for Game 7–Mo did.

                Looking at the whole picture, I’d say he had a lousy series that ended with an awesomely timed Moment For the Ages.

                • radnom says:

                  Looking at the whole picture, I’d say he had a lousy series that ended with an awesomely timed Moment For the Ages.

                  You started off by saying “looking at the whole picture” then subsequently divided his series into his first 18 at bats and his last.

                  I would say having a Moment for the Ages trumps 18 bleh at bats. By a lot.

            • Jerome S. says:

              Lowell has been worth 29.1 WAR in his career. A-Rod is at 40 since 2004.

  6. Did anyone save the Craigslist ad mentioned here (http://goo.gl/MMe34) before it was pulled?

  7. Kiersten says:

    I remember liking Lowell cause in 1998 I had my little Yankee yearbook (that was only $10 back then. My poor kids will probably never own one because they’ll be $50 by the time I have kids) and Ledee and Lowell were the rookies in it and for some reason because I didn’t know who they were, I liked them. I was sad when they traded him.

  8. Bob Stone says:

    Lowell has always been one of my favorites – even when he was with the Red Sox. He’s a class act and an excellent ball player.

  9. Avi says:

    Anyone see Callis’ top 15 pitching prospects 21 and under? No Manny-B. He’s obviously not nearly as high on Banuelos as Klaw is.

    • Avi says:

      Here’s the list:
      1. Julio Teheran, rhp, Braves (age 21 on Opening Day).
      The best pitching prospect around, regardless of age.
      2. Jameson Taillon, rhp, Pirates (19).
      His $6.5 million bonus is the second-highest in draft history.
      3. Shelby Miller, rhp, Cardinals (20).
      Has vaulted to top of deep 2009 prep pitching class.
      4. Jacob Turner, rhp, Tigers (19).
      That group also included Turner and Nos. 7 and 10 below.
      5. Matt Moore, lhp, Rays (21).
      Led minors in strikeouts in both 2009 and 2010.
      6. Gerrit Cole, rhp, UCLA (20).
      He should be the first pitcher drafted in June . . .
      7. Matt Purke, lhp, Texas Christian (20).
      . . . unless it’s this fellow former first-round pick.
      8. John Lamb, lhp, Royals (20).
      Flew under draft radar in 2008 after breaking elbow in auto accident.
      9. Mike Montgomery, lhp, Royals (21).
      Kansas City drafted Lamb, Montgomery and Eric Hosmer in 2008.
      10. Tyler Matzek, lhp, Rockies (20).
      Could rocket up this list if he gets his command back.
      11. Randall Delgado, rhp, Braves (21).
      Overshadowed by Teheran, but nearly as good.
      12. Casey Kelly, rhp, Padres (21).
      San Diego wouldn’t have traded Adrian Gonzalez without getting Kelly.
      13. Martin Perez, lhp, Rangers (19).
      Stalled somewhat in Double-A, but he got there at age 18.
      14. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp, Red Sox (21).
      Getting him in 2010 draft made Boston more comfortable dealing Kelly.
      15. Trey McNutt, rhp, Cubs (21).
      Chicago stole a guy with two potential plus-plus pitches in 2009′s 32nd round.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

        Kelly and Ranaudo before ManBan? Lol.

        Kelly I can see kinda but hells no on Ranudo. His ceiling is limited and his floor isn’t all that’s cracked up to be. And how the fuck is Gerrit Cole already 6th?

        No one complains about this? This is much worse than KLaw giving the Yankees a lead in farm system rankings.

        • Avi says:

          I asked him this: Another who just missed. Want to stuff over a full season first. @aviyankee: Surprised Banuelos not on your list. How far off?
          Someone else asked him this:
          Want to see improved stuff over more than 60 IP. @mrconti: no banuelos on list due needing to see full yr but kelly, ranaudo, cole make it?

          • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

            I can definitely understand leaving ManBan off for this year but as said Cole, Purke, Ranaudo, and Matzek have limited pro experience.

            I get why ManBan is left off but at least stick to your reasons with every other prospect.

            • Steve H says:

              I’m guessing he has to be concerned with Manny’s size too. Callis is definitely not someone I would ever consider anti-Yankee either. He stuck with Hughes through early struggles and injuries while a ton of other scouts bailed and always said good things about him.

              • radnom says:

                Agreed, additionally a bunch of these guys are a year or two older than Banuelos. Just because they spent the last couple years in college instead of the low minors doesn’t mean they can’t be fast tracked at this point.

      • radnom says:

        6. Gerrit Cole, rhp, UCLA (20).

        Damn. Imagine if he had signed and spent the last few years in the minors how ridiculous the Yankees farm system would be right now.

        A top-5 position player and top-5 pitcher, on top of the killer B’s.
        A man can dream…..

  10. Esteban says:

    True story (I think I’ve said it here before): My first cousin was the incumbent starter at Christopher Columbus HS in Miami when Mike Lowell was a freshman. When Lowell didn’t get playtime, he transferred to another school. Another true story: My godmother (mother’s 1st cousin) is related to Mike Lowell and his grandmother and my grandmother occasionally speak (or used to). She got him to send me a signed ball when he was with the Marlins.

    Ha I know you were all super interested in that.

    • radnom says:

      I think I’ve said it here before

      I knew this sounded familiar, haha. But yeah, if I were your cousin I would bring that shit up all the time. Did he every play after HS?

  11. Big Apple says:

    Lowell seems to be liked by many Yankee fans. I’m going to go out a limb here…the reason that yank fans like Lowell are:

    a. He was a Yankee
    b. He never seemed like a Red Sox player…he stood out like a sore thumb from the rest of those nimrods.
    c. You’ve simply got to respect a guy who plays MLB with only one testical.

  12. bg says:

    It’s too bad Lowell was mistakenly allowed to play for too long with a torn labrum, causing irreparable damage to his hip, thus prematurely ending his career. If Tito and the FO had taken better care of their investment and not played him past the point of medical safety, his career would not have been shortened, and the Sox would have gotten a better return on their investment.
    The Sox seem to be overly cautious with their players, but Lowell did not seem to fall under that protective umbrella, and it cost him the rest of his career. Lowell always had a never say die attitude, and I will miss watching him play.

    • Big Apple says:

      who the hell knows what happened to Lowell and how he was handled by the sox medical staff….. he broke down rather quickly…almost too quickly. I’m glad the yanks didn’t sign him after that 2007 series.

  13. bg says:

    Lowell was told in 2008 that as long as he could play through the pain of his hip injury, no further damage could occur. This was not true. As he continued to play, a bone chip that was lodged within the joint continued to rip up the cartilage. He was still cleared to play, rather than having the surgery and starting recovery.After surgery, the medical staff again cleared him to play before being rehabbed, as long as he could tolerate the pain.
    Being the “gritty” ballplayer cost him his career. His thanks for playing through the pain was to lose his job because he was too injured to play.

    • Big Apple says:

      i always felt the sox treated lowell like crap anyway…except for the big extension of course…but they were always trying to get rid of him and he was always productive on the field.

  14. Sean C says:

    So, thunder and lightning just hopped into the blizzard mix where I live. All we need now is the sky to open up and a giant HP Lovecraft-ian monster to descend upon us.

    Speaking of non sequitur, today I had to explain to my dad that none of the pitchers signed are supposed to replace Lee or even come close. They are there to hopefully mix and match their way into pitching loads of league average innings. I don’t know how it happened, but my dad has become sadly misinformed about Yankees baseball. We dodged the subject of Jeter most of the winter because my dad’s STILL pissed about “what Cashman did to Jeter.” I still respond with “Overpay him for what will surely be his decline.” I figure I’m the reasonable one, but he’s my dad, so he wins…

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Jeets is, for the first time, working with KLong to improve his approach at the plate. Less front foot movement for one thing. The jury is still out and even though DJ got too much $, he deserves the benefit of the doubt until we see the results.

      • Sean C says:

        Of course he deserves benefit of the doubt. Even in light of last year’s stats, Jeter is still one of the better SS in the game (do NOT read this as him being on the level of Tulo or Hanley). I am really hoping these workouts with KLong make a difference and he can regress to some career norms, but I’m not banking on it. I’m not saying I want Jeter to fall off the cliff performance-wise, rather I want him to do better than last season.

  15. Craig says:

    Not to gloat but I managed to get on Frontburner tonight. I asked Ken Rosenthal whose minor league contract could be the steal of the offseason, to which he replied Wang with the Nats

  16. Kiersten says:

    This was posted on Deadspin yesterday, don’t know if anyone posted it here, but I thought it was interesting.

    (On why there are more .300 hitters than .299 hitters every season)

  17. Rey22 says:

    Wow…he looks pretty much exactly like he does today in that picture. He looked old even when he was young.

  18. Chops says:

    I wonder how the new Canadian Bandwidth changes are going to affect some of the Canadian writers out there.

  19. Zack says:

    Wish we had Lowell playing for us. I’m sorry, for all the Aaron Boone love affair in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS,when it came time for him to really come through in a cluctch (game 4 of the WS), he failed with bases loaded. Between that and Joe’s mismangement, that cost us the series.

    • Xstar7 says:

      If we had Lowell playing for us we might not have gotten A-Rod.

      • Michael R. says:

        True. If the Rangers decided to take Cano over Arias (assuming Cano turns into allstar), we’d be regretting trading Lowell a lot more.

        It was just a matter of getting crap for a good player.

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