Open Thread: Melky Cabrera

Noesi continues to dominate in winter ball
Yanks still trying to bring NHL's Winter Classic to Yankee Stadium
The greatest Melky moment.

I was never much of a Melky Cabrera fan, mostly because the hype got completely out of control early in his career. People were calling him the next Bernie Williams, and that was nothing short of insane. But just because I wasn’t the guy’s biggest fan doesn’t mean I won’t acknowledge that he was a useful player. He played fine defense in the corner outfield spots and was passable in center, plus he made lots of contact and would run into the occasional mistake pitch. Melky was the perfect fourth outfielder, he just ended up playing everyday most of the time.

The Yankees signed Melky out of the Dominican Republic on this date ten years ago, paying him a $175k signing bonus. He was a fan favorite because he played with a lot of energy and had a knack for walk-off hits, plus the cool name didn’t exactly hurt his cause. As far as I’m concerned, there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

In other historical Yankees transactions news, today is also the 20th anniversary of Ramiro Mendoza signing as 19-year-old free agent out of Panama, and it’s also the third anniversary of the Nick Swisher trade heist. So hooray for that.

* * *

Here is your open thread for the night. The late football game as the Patriots at the Jets (8:20pm ET on NBC), and the Islanders are playing on the west coast a little later on. You can talk about anything you want here, the thread is all yours.

Noesi continues to dominate in winter ball
Yanks still trying to bring NHL's Winter Classic to Yankee Stadium
  • Drew

    Not gonna lie, I am a little disappointed there is no video of the Melky catch. It would have made this open thread legen……wait for it…..dary.

  • Chris B

    I miss Melky

  • Soam

    I don’t miss the guy, but he was a 4 win player in 2011…Calling him a 4th outfielder is a bit harsh. The equally large group that claimed Melky had peaked at 24-25 was equally as annoying as the group that anointed him the next Bernie. It was silly to think he didn’t have the potential to do more with his age and skillset.

    • Paul from Boston

      Exactly. Where age is the most important numbers for young players, it’s always forgotten that Melky was a starter at age 21. He’s just now entering his prime. To still call him a 4th is to be blinded by your own bias. He had 67 xbh’s last year. Thats not a 4th.and

      • thenamestsam

        I thought Mike’s assessment was pretty fair. He said he was a 4th outfielder, which at the time he was. Now he’s more of a second division starter. He had a great year last year, but he wasn’t all that far from being out of the league before that. I certainly wouldn’t be happy if he was penciled in to be a starter for the Yankees next year.

        • Grit for Brains

          Well said.

        • bexarama

          Yeah, this. Not useless, but I don’t really think he should be starting on seriously competitive teams. And for the “he was awesome in 2011” crowd, there’s the “he was one of the worst players in baseball in 2010” crowd. But again – far from useless.

  • Kevin G.

    So what was all this Reyes stuff going on today?

    • Dave203

      I haven’t heard anything on Reyes today…

      • mbonzo

        Some Sirius radio guy reported that he signed with the Marlins, then the same guy said that he wouldn’t sign unless he could play SS.

      • Avi

        Why are the Marlins so interested in Reyes when they already have Hanley?

        • Jesse

          I don’t know. But if I was them I’d sign Aramis Ramirez and Edwin Jackson over Jose Reyes

        • Mike HC

          Marlins seem to be going on a PR tour first and foremost. Which is fine, but I have a feeling the hype of everybody they are looking to sign is going to greatly outweigh who they end up actually signing when it is all said and done.

        • CP

          Between when Hanley wants to play and when Reyes is healthy enough to plat, they’ll have a full time SS.

          • bexarama

            I laughed

        • FIPster Doofus

          Maybe because Reyes is a great shortstop and Ramirez is an awful shortstop.

  • dean

    If they hadn’t traded Melky we wouldn’t have Boonie :l

  • Karl Krawfid

    video of Melky robbing manny.

    • Jesse

      Awesome. I got it bookmarked for a bad day.

      • Karl Krawfid

        Stadium is crazy loud.

      • Steve (different one)

        Was at that game, that was a fun night

    • John

      Damon’s Reaction to that play is second to the catch itself. Even HE couldn’t believe it lol

  • Dino Velvet

    How did Melky end up having such a good year with KC (.305/.339/.809/ 18HR/ 87 rBI)?

    • Pat D

      Don’t worry, those numbers should probably crash a bit going to play in AT&T.

    • tom

      Didn’t Bill James document that the vast majority of fluky strong seasons occur when players are exactly the age Melky was this year? (Just for one example: Roger Maris’ 61 came at the same age)

      • RetroRob

        Not so much that, but he was the first to note that a player is more likely to peak in his age-27 season, and then start to trend downward, although the rate of decline varies, and of course other players peak in different years, but when looking at the numbers is aggregate, age 27 is it.

        I think JC Bradbury came out with another study that showed it was age 28, although there was a lot of debate around that.

        No matter. 2012 will be Melky’s age-27 season, but I’m confident in saying when Melky’s career is down, 2011, his age-26 season, will be his peak. He’s not doing this again.

        • RetroRob

          I should add that this only applies to position players. Pitchers are a different animal, and can maintain peak into their 30s, or even hit their peak in their 30s.

          • John Ya Ya

            I agree. There are many examples of pitchers who don’t fully learn their crafts until their late 20’s or early 30’s, like Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson, Cliff Lee, etc..

  • Sayid J.

    Melky is definitely better than a 4th OF. He would start on the majority of teams in the MLB.

  • Jesse

    I wonder what Michael Kay thinks of Tim Tebow. He must like him because he wins! It’s all about the wins!

  • Leo

    Who was that awful kicker that completely missed what should’ve been an easy field goal? 24 yards!!!

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Nick Folk.

  • Leo

    Anyone else watching the game?

    Nice catch by Burress!

  • Mike Axisa

    Plax looked like he got folded in half.

    • Leo

      Yeah that was just cringe worthy to watch. McCourty ultimately got hurt but Burress really sold it like a wrestler as if he got hurt.

  • Mike Axisa

    The Patriots’ secondary really sucks.

    • Brian S.

      So does their fanbase.

      • FIPster Doofus

        At least Fireman Ed isn’t a part of their fan base. Advantage: Patriots.

        • Jesse

          Fireman Ed > Patriots fanbase.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Nope. No one is worse than Fireman Ed.

            • Jesse

              What’s wrong with Fireman Ed? He pumps out the crowd, how is there anything wrong with that?

              • FIPster Doofus

                He’s a grown man who sits on the shoulders of other grown men and acts like a fucking moron eight times a season. He’s embarrassing.

                Look at this douche:

                Good on Brady & Co. for stomping his team and sending him home unhappy.

                • Jesse

                  Just curious, who is your favorite NFL team?

                  • FIPster Doofus

                    Not the Giants or Patriots, if that’s what you’re thinking.

                    • Jesse

                      I was thinking Giants. 1 and 32, well, 1 and 31 after your remarks on Fireman Ed and the Jets, shot and I failed.

                      My team is dreadful so I’d rather not say who I’m a fan of.

            • Avi

              Anyone else think fireman Ed looks like John Locke from Lost?

    • Craig Maduro

      The Patriots are the Duke of professional football.

      • Jesse

        Duke cheated?

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Yeah, that defense is exposed without Ty Warren, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Teddy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, and Ty Law.

      • Jesse

        Jarvis Green was pretty good too.

  • Mike Axisa

    That’s not a fumble.

  • OldYanksFan

    “People were calling him the next Bernie Williams”
    They were? In following 4 Yankees blogs, I never heard someone say that.

    Melky showed enough talent to be a MLB player. The question was… would he be just and average player, or better?

    My issue is that I think the fame of playing CF in Yankee stadium went to his head, and effected his work ethic. Last year, he looked slimmer and better built, so maybe he is finally taking his career seriously, instead of taking it for granted (which after 2010, he certainly couldn’t do anymore).

    So the question still is, will he be better then average? Can he be an .800 OPS guy going forward, or was this year a fluke?

    In any event, Gritner brings more to the plate and seems to be smarter. I hope Melkdud can keep it up… but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      It’s like you are reading my exact thoughts.

    • Jesse

      In regards to “People were calling him the next Bernie Williams”, I would guess that Mike listened to WFAN one day after Melky had a big game early in his career and some callers, or one caller, said that Melky is the next Bernie, because I sure as hell have never heard anyone say that.

      • RetroRob

        I heard the comparision quite freqently.

      • Joel Principal Skinner

        “People were calling him the next Bernie Williams, and that was nothing short of insane.”

        This does not ring true. I agree completely with Jesse.

  • OldYanksFan
    • Ana

      Gardner’s already had two years better than Damon’s best? Makes sense, I suppose, with the defense metrics.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    So…Matheny to the Cards, I was kinda rooting for it to be Francona so when he manages the ASG he can tell Ken Rosenthal

    “Ah, Ken, the transition’s been great. I went from a team that missed the playoffs back to back years to the defending world champs. The fans here in St. Louis are great VERY respectful and VERY dedicated, I’m loving this all”

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Did they stop calling horse collar tackles in the NFL?

  • Steve H.


  • Dino Velvet

    Either Sanchez is a bust or the Jets need a new offensive coordinator.

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s not very good. Never has been (in the NFL, that is). Never will be.

      • Dino Velvet

        I can’t figure out how much of it is him or the coordinator.

        For example Alex Smith was a complete bus, but Harbaugh has turned him around.

        • FIPster Doofus

          I can’t imagine Smith will ever win anything of substance – at least not without an incredibly dominant supporting cast. He’s just a game manager, if you ask me.

          • Jesse

            During the postgame press conference coach Harbaugh said that Smith is a game manager, so you’re not the only one who believes that, and I believe that as well.

    • fin

      or a new offensive line, minus Magold. By the end of the third quater they could only send one reciver out, everyone else had to block, their O’line was getting absolutely man handled.

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    Never much of a Melky fan yet hooray for Swisher. Well that just grinds my gears cuz !!