Open Thread: The Paul O’Neill (Almost) Comeback Story

Rosenthal: Yankees pursued Franklin Morales
2011 Draft: Yanks "heavily linked" to Tyler Goeddel & Jake Cave
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to watch this afternoon’s game on YES, Paul O’Neill told a rather interesting story in the top of the fourth inning. The Yankees, remember, went with a Shane Spencer-John Vander Wal platoon in right field to start the 2002 season after O’Neill retired, but in early-June they called up a then 23-year-old Juan Rivera (.324/.359/.500 in Triple-A) to take over the position full-time. Unfortunately Rivera crashed into a golf cart and tore up his knee a few days later, sidelining him for the next three months.

O’Neill said during today’s broadcast that after Rivera’s injury, he got a call from Joe Torre asking him about possibly coming back. So O’Neill, who was on vacation with his family at the time, starting working out and throwing and what not with his goal to join the team at midseason. Before he was ready and committed to the return though, the Yankees went out and traded for Raul Mondesi, putting an end to the comeback. Could you imagine that? That sure would have been neat.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Mets are playing the Cubs (Gee vs. Coleman) and the Reds and Phillies (Wood vs. Halladay) will be on ESPN2, plus you’ve also got the NHL playoffs on Versus and the NBA playoffs on regular old ESPN. Talk about whatever you want here, so go nuts.

email
Rosenthal: Yankees pursued Franklin Morales
2011 Draft: Yanks "heavily linked" to Tyler Goeddel & Jake Cave
  • http://twitter.com/rebeccapbp Squishy Jello Person

    It’s an interesting story, but you know what?

    Those Game Five “Paul O’Neill” chants are one of the most bone-chilling awesome sendoffs, ever, and I’m okay with that.

    • iloveyoubartolo
      • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

        OK, Paul O’Neill is my favorite player of all time, but the best part of that video is the FOX question at the bottom: “If you were Bob Brenly, would you bring Kim in for the 9th?”

        • Mister Delaware

          Same. Still wear #21 in softball because I’m a 32 year old loser.

      • Mister Delaware

        That video is like “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” … just never gets old.

  • Craig

    Does anyone know the Yankees AB songs? Gracias and thanks.

  • CMP

    I’m glad he didn’t because his last couple of years, he really dropped off and it would have been hard to see him struggle.

  • Griffey’s Grotequely Swollen Jaw

    would it have been better than this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdtn0Z4o8cM

    safe for work, not safe for life.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    The Yankees will acquire Carlos Beltran at the deadline (or earlier, depending on how the Mets and their shenanigans go from here on out). Would you like that move?

    I would love that, he could be the regular DH and could spell Swisher or Gardner every once in a while.

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

      I would love to get Beltran…..if the price is right.

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

      The Yankees should trade Igawa for Beltran, that way we won’t feel bad when Wilpon says mean things about Igawa.

    • The BIG 3

      By the deadline, Swish will have numbers similar to his two prior years in NY, and you will feel like a shmuck for making that statement.

      25% of the season, pal.

      • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

        Never said he would be the regular RF. Only thing I suggested was that Beltran would be the regular DH in place of Posada. Beltran could also play some RF to give Swisher a day.

        /readingcomprehensionfail’d

        • The BIG 3

          My bad.

          • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

            It’s alright. It happens to the best of us.

        • pat

          If we’re going to replace Posada I’d rather just bring up Montero. The kid needs mlb AB’s sometime. Unfortunately, I don’t see us replacing Posada anytime soon so it’s all kind of a moot point.

    • bonestock94

      This trade strikes me as overkill. We already have Jones, a ton of guys that could use half days off as DH’s, maybe Chavez by then, and the possibility of Montero catching fire and forcing his way to the BX. Barring an injury, I only see the Yanks pursuing SP and maybe a loogy.

    • JamesM

      What for? Another band-aid fix when they can’t hit 2 games in a row!

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

    Betances is tearing through the R-Phils right now.

    2IP 1H 2ER 1BB ***5K***

  • Daveinmd

    Hmmm. Maybe this could work for a guy named Pettitte.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      ;__________;

  • http://unclemikesmusings.blogspot.com Uncle Mike

    I don’t care how old he was, I’d still rather have Paul O’Neill than Raul Mondesi.

    • tom

      Seconded. Mondesi just felt like a bad move from the moment he got here.

      • CP

        Olney (I think) tells a story that the Yankees acquired Mondesi because Steinbrenner was watching a game and Mondesi played well against them. McCarver made a comment on air about how he would be a great addition fit for the Yankees, and thus George got it stuck in his head that the Yankees needed Mondesi and they got him.

        Boy, I miss having George around.

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

    BRUINS.

    • The BIG 3

      One and one half months into the playoffs and there’s still another series after this conference finals. The NHL is ridiculous.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Also it was 80 degrees outside today. Definitely hockey weather.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Doesn’t matter to hockey fans like me. The longer the season goes, the better.

  • Pat D

    I seem to remember this being talked about on the time. I think even ESPN had a blurb on it, and I seem to recall a quote from The Boss himself saying that he would have welcomed O’Neill’s return.

    But I’m sure he signed off on the Mondesi trade, so…

    • http://jorellrivera.blogspot.com Jorell

      Yeah, I remember people talking about O’Neill’s possible return that year, but I had no idea how serious it was. It seemed like a worst case scenario for the Yanks. Right Field was a mess for a few years there, but I’m glad O’Neill stayed retired in the end.

    • steve (different one)

      He didn’t sign off on the trade, he made the trade.

      • Pat D

        Same difference.

  • Accent Shallow

    Has Soriano had one TJ surgery already, or two?

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      Two elbow surgeries. Had TJS once in 2004, then had an exploratory surgery in 2008.

  • mike c

    I wonder if #46 is staying in shape…

    • Simon

      I miss #46 so much…

    • Slu

      Do the Yanks need him that badly? The rotation has been fine.

      • CMP

        Colon and Garcia are fools gold. I can’t see this lasting for either of them so the Yankees need to be prepared.

        • Yanko

          I suggest we call up old Roger then as well.

          • CC

            The funny thing is that I would love to see Clemens one more time, if anyone could do it too its probably him (or Nolan Ryan). Not actually saying he would be good or productive, but I would enjoy every second until he sucked.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Raul Mondesi was the only man great enough to put the final nail in the coffin of Paul O’Neill’s career.

    The legend grows.

    • Pat D

      O’Neill still finished with more home runs.

  • Craig

    Where does Jose Reyes wind up post July 31st?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      San Francisco.

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      San Francisco. It looks like the most logical landing spot at this point.

    • bonestock94

      Reds

    • The BIG 3

      giants?

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      Cincinnati

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

      Tigers

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

      Brewers.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        stupid question: who do they have left to trade? (Not that you’re getting a major prospect for half a year of Jose Reyes)

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

          No idea, but I’m sure they could find something. The Brewers are already all-in this year, might as well go for the kill before Prince walks after the season.

        • The BIG 3

          Then he isn’t going anywhere. With SS play as it is today though, I’d bet he brings someone impressive.

    • A-Rod’s Wingman

      Yankees.

      • steve (different one)

        For the sheer drama of it all, this would be the most incredible/fascinating trade in Yankee history. I might be exaggerating a little, but it would just be unreal. It has a little bit of everything…

    • Mister Delaware

      Boston.

  • jim p

    I’m not getting cable this year. Has Kay been keeping the fans up to date, through entire innings, on whether and what Paul is eating, does he still like deserts, etc.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      I love Paul O’Neill, but when Kay and O’Neill is in the booth, the game is totally secondary.

      • Simon

        Yes, O’Neill is hysterical, his stories are always pretty good.

      • James

        I don’t even notice because it’s not McCarver and Buck… therefore I am happy.

      • Mister Delaware

        As long as they don’t do radio, I’m fine with it.

  • Karl Krawfid

    Betances. 16 hitters faced. 8 k’s. 4 innings. The best thing? 1 walk.

  • CBean

    The odd part about a day game during the week is that I don’t know what to watch now when there’s no Yankee game. But I spent the afternoon in the ballpark watching stress free baseball instead of being at work. There is no bad.

    • James

      Might i suggest youtubing video of the Macho Man Randy Savage?

      • Pat D

        You got jealous eyes!

  • James

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related Tino Martinez ’98 Game 1 Grand Slam.

    Two things : I’m 65% certain that Joe Girardi was in the dugout begging Joe Torre to have him bunt. (jk)

    how about the “thigh-high middle of the plate that was somehow ball three”, ball three, Which Tino took.

    • Marcus

      What a great moment.

      This was back when Joe Buck was actually enthusiastic when a Yankee did something exciting.

    • Pat D

      According to MLBN, that missed strike call was the #39 most controversial call of all time.

    • Mister Delaware

      I was listening to the game on the radio and even I knew it was a strike.

    • bonestock94

      Man, this REALLY makes me miss old yankee stadium. You’ll never see an atmosphere like that in the new place.

  • Matt Montero

    Anyone heard of or like B.A. Vollmuth (SS/3b at SMU)? Before later in this season he played purely SS but later moved to (I’m not if it’s a tired thing or he can’t handle it but he looks big in the linked video). As far as offense, the guy seems to flat out hit and would be a great hitting SS and even a good offensive 3b. On the defensive side, I haven’t found much but BA has him ranked 63 and I’ve seen him ranked as high as 36 (but I don’t remember where). Here’s some info (the little I can find on him).

    B.A. Vollmuth is a guy who jumps out for the bat speed, compact stroke, hip rotation, head down, firm front, hard contact…need I say more, I liked him. Watch for yourself and decide. I wish I could have seen him play a little more than I did, but thanks to some very hard work, we were able to get this BP round on film. Take it away, B.A. I pity the fool who thinks you can’t hit.
    http://baseballbeginnings.com/.....muth-video (with a video inside of him hitting).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related (a nice profile/interview)

    For some reason I can’t even find a video of him fielding.

  • Karl Krawfid

    10 k’s now for Mr. Betances. 6 innings.

  • JamesM

    How many players does Gitardi trust except Jeter and A-Rod? Not many. Beltran would be another band-aid filler.

  • JamesM

    How many players does Gitardi trust except Jeter and A-Rod? Not many. Beltran would be another band-aid filler.

    • A-Rod’s Wingman

      The point of a band-aid is to stop the bleeding and give the wound time to heal. Right now the team isn’t getting much out of RF. They gotta give Granderson some time eventually, and Beltran would be a great fit on the bench to play RF and allow them to give Gardner and Granderson a day if and when they need it. The DH situation has improved, but there’s the chance that Posada gets hurt or goes back off the cliff.

      He’s not meant to be a longterm solution, he’s a rental. One that will cost a lot of money, but hopefully not a lot in talent. They’re looking for another bat to help carry them to the playoffs and hopefully to their 28th World Championship. He’s a higher profile guy than the usual suspects that they’d bring in to do that, but that’d be his role nonetheless.

      It’s early but this is the way I’d see the roster shaping up headed towards the playoffs:

      SP: Sabathia, Burnett, Colon (hopefully), and two other guys…right now it’s Nova and Garcia but I don’t really have a whole lot of faith in those two.

      RP: Rivera, Chamberlain, Robertson, Logan, Noesi, probably another middle reliever, maybe a lefty reliever from a team that’s already tanked. Glen Perkins seems like a half way decent target. Possibly another dude.

      CA: Martin
      1B: Teixeira
      2B: Cano
      3B: Rodriguez
      SS: Jeter
      LF: Gardner
      CF: Granderson
      RF: Beltran
      DH: Posada

      Bench: Jones, Swisher, Nuñez, and Cervelli.

      Pretty solid team, given Cano’s disappointing season and Jeter’s struggles perhaps another MINF would be called for instead of an outfielder. But, you gotta take help where you can get it from.

      • The BIG 3

        I’m not a Swisher fanboy; furthest thing from it actually, as i don’t particularly like his game. But he is going to hit .850 this year, and in order to do so he will hit in the vicinity of .900 from here on out. That’s your acquisition right there. Beltran is not only not moving across NY boroughs, but he’s also redundant on this team.

        In a word, his acquisition is kind of a dumb pipedream.

        • A-Rod’s Wingman

          Not really, he’s expensive and offered his services to the Yankees for less. The Yankees have a right fielder and a DH underperforming. I don’t see why it’s a dumb pipedream. I think he’ll rebound too, but Swisher’s a pretty streaky guy and even in 2008 he hit 20 jacks and he’s not really hitting for power now. So I can easily see him in a season long slump.

  • A-Rod’s Wingman

    Good win today. If Sweaty Freddy is a six inning pitcher from here on out, I am absolutely fine with that. I still feel with an AL league average ERA slightly under four, they’re probably going to need to do better than Sweaty Freddy as the four. He’s doing a great job, but I don’t think it’s going to last. If he gives them a 4ish ERA and six-ish innings a start until July I think he can successfully waive the mission accomplished banner…but they gotta do better than him as their four.

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

      A 4’ish ERA and 6-ish innings a start is the definition of Freddy’s 2010. He was among the league leaders in quality start % last year. If he repeats 2010 from here on out the Yankees will win a lot of games he starts.

      • mbonzo

        He’s actually looked a lot better than that though. I agree with you, that the Yanks would love a guy that could just produce quality starts, but he’s been beyond that. Hitters have just looked embarrassing against his stuff, and the longer this lasts the more surprised I am. His xFIP is gonna catch up to him, but even that is significantly better than last year.

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

          Yeah, he’s definitely been better in 2011 than 2010. I’d be happy with the 2010 version. His FIP is very similar as while he’s striking out more guys, he’s also walking more. If he can keep the K/9 range where it is and cut back a little on the walks, he can have a very solid season.

      • A-Rod’s Wingman

        I think the league RA conditions are different this year than last year.

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

          Which should mean Freddy should perform even better this year.

          • A-Rod’s Wingman

            Perhaps, but he’s got an 86 LOB%, a 4.78 FIP and a 4.12 xFIP. the league ERA is 3.99 or there abouts, if he pitches to his xFIP or god forbid his FIP he’ll get crushed. He’s a junkballer if he can provide three or four months of good pitching he’s a smashing success. I can’t imagine how anyone could expect anymore than that out of him.

  • Reggie C.

    K-rod willing to waive his 2012 VESTING OPTION if it makes a trade easier to complete – rotoworld.

    … Levine’s mouth watered at reading this.

  • Bob Stone

    Roberto Kelly traded for Paul O’Neil – one of the best trades the Yankees have ever made.

    • Bob Stone

      . . . even though their respective career stats were almost identical. O’Neil’s intangibles trump the stats.

      • Mister Delaware

        O’Neill has him by 26 pts of OBP and more than 50 of isoP. And FWAR has O’Neill at 2.5x more valuable for his career.

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

          At the time of the trade it wasn’t a big different. In the previous 4 seasons Kelly was definitely better.

          • Mister Delaware

            Oh, sure then. I thought this was career retrospective. I remember at the time absolutely hating the deal.

      • Xstar7

        Actually Paul O’Neill had much more power than Roberto Kelly ever did.

  • Claudell

    Love Pauly O. The best part of that story is that you know he started working out not because he wanted the glory of playing again, but because his teammates needed him. A+ guy.

    • Ubu

      Agreed. My favorite Yankee growing up. Paulie is always #1 for me!

  • bonestock94

    Anyone watching reds-phillies? In the 19th, Wilson Valdez pitching lol. Trying to stay awake.