Open Thread: Max Ashton


We’ve been focusing on the Yankees and their ALDS matchup against the Tigers over the last week, but there’s some other really cool stuff going on elsewhere around the league. Take Arizona for example, they invited a kid named Max Ashton to throw out the first pitch before Game Four of NLDS on behalf of The Foundation for Blind Children. Max is completely blind, so how do you think he did? Just watch.

Once you’re done looking at that awesomeness, use this as your open thread. The Brewers and Diamondbacks are still wrapping up Game Five of their NLDS matchup on TBS, then the Cardinals and Phillies will play their Game Five a little later on (8:37pm ET on TBS). The NHL season started yesterday, so there’s probably a free preview of the NHL package or whatever it is on your local cable network. Talk about whatever you want here, go nuts.

(h/t Amazin’ Avenue)

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Jesse says:

    Damn, nice pitch, especially for a completely blind guy. Good for him.

  2. Brooklyn Ed says:

    I feel bad for him that he won’t be able to watch the video himself, bet he’s thinking I probably screwed up and they just saying I did good. Seriously, that’s an awesome pitch he threw.

  3. Xstar7 says:

    Sign him to a minor-league contract

  4. Jesse says:

    Honestly, before I watched this clip and read what Axisa wrote underneath the video I thought he threw a completely terrible pitch that missed everything.

  5. StanfordBen says:

    Tim McClelland called that a ball.

  6. Jesus Freak says:

    For the 3rd time in 10 years the Yanks racked up the best record in the AL, yet were bounced in the first round. It happened in 2002, 2006, and now 2011.

    Something has to change.

    A line-up of All-Stars that dominate during the regular season but goes cold in postseason is ultimately pointless.

    • Jesse says:

      Didn’t they have the best record in the AL in 2009?

      • Jesus Freak says:

        They did.

        They’ve had the best record in the AL 6 times in the last 10 years. Yet only 1 title.

        In the end the approach, the formula isn’t leading to the goal.

        • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

          The best record in MLB has only won the WS twice since 2001. 2007 Red Sox and 2009 Yankees.

        • StanfordBen says:

          Is that worse than the overall rate of winning the WS for teams with the best record?

          That sounds like what you’d expect from a team that has the best record, because overall there’s a 1 in 8 chance, and you’d expect the team with the best record to have a somewhat (but not much) better chance. So 1 in 6 sounds about right.

        • pete says:

          there is no formula for winning in the post season. Just put together the best team you can. It will always be a crapshoot, no matter how good your team is.

    • PaulF says:

      So you’re saying you want them to lose more regular season games?

    • Doug says:

      It all comes down to pitching. We did not have it.

    • StanfordBen says:

      In 2010, the Rays had the best record in the AL and lost in the first round.

      In 2009, the Yankees had the best record and won the WS.

      In 2008, the Angels and the Cubs both had the best records in their leagues and lost in the first round.

      Baseball is a pretty fluky sport. Having the best records doesn’t mean that you *should* or *need* to win a 5 game series, just that you’re slightly more likely to.

      It’s true that aspects of the team that help it do well in the regular season (like having a good #4 or #5 starter) don’t necessarily translate to the playoffs, but “clutchness” is not one of those things. It probably doesn’t exist, and if it does, it’s an extremely minor effect. Do you think Jeter possessed the ability to be clutch in 2005 (.967 postseason OPS), 2006(1.467), and 2009 (.995), but lost this ability in 2004 (.686), 2007 (.353), 2010 (.661), and 2011 (.572)? Or is it more likely that over the course of just a few games, you’re bound to get fluky numbers no matter the player?

      Basically, I agree (as does pretty much everyone) that the Yankees would greatly benefit from a better #2 starter for the playoffs, but the “going cold in the postseason” thing is not a real effect and is not something that only this group of all-stars suffers from.

  7. Erica says:

    Oh God, if I wasn’t already teary enough today, this put me over the edge. Beautiful stuff.

  8. The Big City of Dreams says:

    Nice video

  9. dkidd says:

    giving that kid the high strike is bs

    robots now!!!

    /unable to modulate bitterness for the next few days’d

  10. Vags says:

    Better than gary dellabatte , and he can see.

  11. BJ says:

    Right after this, I couldn’t help but watch the John Wall first pitch and how badly he failed. One pitch thrown by a blind person, the other pitch thrown by a professional athlete who gets paid millions of dollars and is presumably somewhat coordinated.

  12. A-Rod's Wingman says:

    While the team was able to get by with a pitching staff surrounded by questionmarks and really was failed by their 4-6 hitters and ace in the playoffs, I do think that the rotation after CC is the easiest thing to upgrade on the team. I’m on the Darvish bandwagon.

  13. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Wow Brewers. Talk about the Yankees sucking in game 5 at home…

  14. Erica says:

    Sooooooo… I met Andy Pettitte at an event at Macy’s Herald Square yesterday. Cool stuff.

    • Sarah says:

      Did you talk him out of retirement?

      That’s cool, tho.

      • Erica says:

        I figured if I batted my eyelashes a little more, he’d be so mesmerized that he’d come anywhere with me and then I would have gone to the Stadium and been all like, “PITCH OK NOW U R NOT REITRED” and he would have.

        Alas, that did not happen and I babbled like an idiot. That stare, man.

  15. Plank says:

    In the chat today someone asked if Melky Mesa will be back next year and Mike (I think it was Mike) said he doubted it. What happened? Is he now a minor league free agent?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      He dropped down the depth chart, have to figure he’s in line to be DFA’d.

      • Plank says:

        But why wouldn’t he just stay in AA? He’s 24. Is he in a position where he needs to be on the major league roster or they lose him?

        • Mike Axisa says:

          He’s on the 40-man roster, and he really doesn’t deserve a spot. Hasn’t done enough to keep it.

          • Plank says:

            Ah, thanks for getting back to me. I knew I was missing something. So does he go away because he becomes a minor league free agent and will elect to go elsewhere? Or does the rule 5 draft come into play since he’s off the 40 man?

            Minor league free agent, right?

  16. DERP says:

    Looks like MacPhail is out in Baltimore. Think they might interview Oppenheimer?

  17. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Words can not describe how much I want to see the Cardinals knock out the Phillies here.

  18. Jimmy McNulty says:

    I’m interested to see which FO guys end up where.

  19. Midland TX says:

    Some photoshopping (well, GIMPing) during a conference call today:


  20. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Nick Punto is still in baseball, more importantly, he’s getting meaningful ABs in the playoffs?

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Think about how he feels he never played PS baseball past the LDS. His head probably exploded when he found out there was a 2nd round.

    • Brian S says:

      He had like a 125 wRC+ this year and played good defense. He moved to the NL and learned how to hit somehow (.388 OBP)

  21. Monteroisdinero says:

    Not Sure what I find more annoyingly futile: sliding into 1B or Swisher climbing the wall with his back to the infield on a HR 10-15 rows up.

    • Jesse says:

      Who the fuck do they think they are, Disney World or something?

    • boogie down says:

      First their logo and now this? 0-2, Miami.

      • Plank says:

        I actually like the logo. Not in the sense that it is something I would want to wear, but in terms of it totally fits the city and has a cool vibe to it. The logo along with their new manager make the Marlins feel like they have turned from a generic faceless nothing into a part of Miami.

        This home run monument though, wow. If you are in the grandstand and it’s 500 feet away, maybe it won’t be that bad. I’m willing to hold out judgement, but first impression is that it’s hilariously bad.

  22. The Big City of Dreams says:

    Wow the Phillies loss

  23. boogie down says:

    Wow… and Howard’s hurt! That really blows for Howard.

  24. The Big City of Dreams says:

    And now Howard is hurt.

  25. David N says:

    Cards win!!! What a game by Carpenter.

  26. Pat D says:

    That’s what all those fucking Phillies fans at my job get for applauding when the Yankees lost last night.

    Go fuck yourselves, Phillies fans!

  27. Hall and Nokes says:

    Wow, way to hand pick your LDS opponent, Philly.

  28. Westcoastyankfan says:

    FU Cliff Lee

  29. boogie down says:

    Shit, playoffs are completely wide open now. Rangers-Brewers World Series, if you ask me.

  30. Kramerica Industries says:

    Not gonna lie – the sting of yesterday’s loss won’t wear off for a while to come, but knowing the 102 win Phillies were upset in even bigger fashion in the opening round, and actually had a more grueling loss (which I didn’t even think was possible) does give me a little bit of relief, if not joy.

    Hope the winner between the Cards and Brew win the World Series. Kinda neat that we see a World Series re-match in a LCS, as well.

  31. Kenny says:

    Can you say ’06 World Series rematch??

  32. Monteroisdinero says:

    Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford guarantee the 2011 WS matchup for their teams.


  33. PaulF says:

    So each year since 08 the Phillies add an ace Starter and each year they do worse in the playoffs than the previous year. Gee, maybe it’s not all about starting pitching like everyone says it is.

  34. Kramerica Industries says:

    Literally everyone said Red Sox-Phillies in March.

    Hell, blowhard Schilling said there’s no reason for that matchup not to occur.

    Lovely seeing failures abounding in two of the most insufferable sports cities in America.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      But but the Yankees have a 200 million dollar payroll

      Philly and Red Sox fans along with ESPN “experts”

  35. Kramerica Industries says:

    All told, St. Louis went 9-5 against Philly this season.

    That’s pretty friggen impressive.

  36. Nuke LaDoosh says:

    Wow! So happy the Phillies are out and what an unbelievable performance by Carpenter. Looking forward to the All Mid-West NLCS (even more than the ALCS.) Go Cardinals!

  37. Pat D says:

    I think that my favorite thing about what’s left of baseball’s postseason is that the ratings are probably gonna suck because not many people on either coast will care a whole hell of a lot.

    Take that, Fox!

    • aRX says:

      Desire to see Fox get low ratings aside, I find that a pretty depressing reality. I dream of the day when an awesome matchup like Texas/Milwaukee can draw huge numbers, because it’ll mean more ppl are watching and enjoying the best baseball, rather than just LA/NY/Boston fans/haters.

      • JohnnyC says:

        There is no real betting on MLB games so, unlike the NFL, there is no incentive to watch teams that have no bearing on one’s rooting interest. One thing Selig should have done as commish was, like Stern in the NBA, promote the shit out of individual stars rather than teams per se. Oh, wait…forgot the steroid era. Sorry, never mind.

  38. bakekrukow412 says:

    Not to rain on the Cardinal’s parade, I hate the Phillies. But I don’t think it’s fair that the Yankees and Phillies, clearly the two best teams in baseball, have to sit and watch lesser teams go on. I understand the Yanks were outplayed, but man, something just doesn’t seem right. The Phillies are clearly better than the Cardinals.

  39. Coolerking101 says:

    Remember when the season started and the Phillies were guaranteed locks to win the world series with the best starting rotation of all time? Whoops.

    Wonder if Hamels comes on the market this winter. Maybe for some young hitting prospects?

  40. dkidd says:

    brutal loss for the phillies

    100 times worse than last night for the yanks

    • Jesus Freak says:

      Kruk is furious. He says the entire season is a failure.

      His grades for the season:

      Yankees — “C”

      Phillies — “F”

  41. Jesus Freak says:

    The 9 highest payrolls have been eliminated.

    Only 2 of the 9 even made the payoffs.

  42. Andrew says:

    better than john wall and justin bieber.

  43. The kid is blind, he gets to throw out a ceremonial first pitch in a postseason game and it’s to Lyle Overbay?

    Seriously, though – outstanding video.

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