Open Thread: Presented Without Comment


Here is tonight’s open thread. There’s no football game tonight, but the Knicks, Nets, and Islanders are all in action. You folks know what to do by now, so have at it.

(Photo via Ben Lindbergh and this must read (and free!) piece at Baseball Prospectus)

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Those are some nice digs.

  2. dkidd says:

    why did they do the signing at a vfw hall?

  3. Matt says:

    Robert Griffin III is playing tonight. ESPN makes you know about it every 5 seconds.

  4. Steve (different one) says:

    Here are Pavano’s fWAR for the 2 seasons pre NYY and the 3 seasons post NYY:

    3.4, 4.4, 3.7, 3.1, 2.9

    If you looked at those numbers and were asked if you’d sign that pitcher for his age 29-32 seasons, how many of us would think that was a scent idea?

    • pat says:

      Exactly what I was going to BR to do. 4 yrs 40 mil isn’t even that big of a contract.

    • Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Pavano was a bust but there were a few other teams, including the Red Sox, that wanted Pavano that year.

      The irony of Pavano is that he was drafted by the BoSox and then traded for Pedro. Talk about a crap gift that kept on giving for the Sox…like the jelly of the month club

  5. Comfortably Numb says:

    Pavano should be wearing those horns, symbolically goring Cashman.

  6. Steve says:

    One of rabs favorite memes dies

  7. Kevin G. says:

    Nets vs Magic: Winner gets Dwight Howard

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      The agency I work for recently did a charity event with the Nets in which half the team showed up. You have no clue how much I wanted a Dwight Howard trade to go down before that event. :)

  8. bexarama says:

    Olney’s article on the best infields in baseball is kind of odd: (Insider)

    1. Rangers
    2. Reds
    3. Yankees
    4. Red Sox
    5. Angels
    6. Cardinals
    7. Phillies
    8. Rays
    9. Nationals
    10a. Royals
    10b. White Sox
    10c. Rockies

    The Cardinals are way too high, and even though they’ve got Pujols, so are the Angels. The Reds’ blurb relies really, really heavily on Scott Rolen, who had a .279 OBP last year. They also don’t have a SS who can hit at all, so I think they’re way too high. Reading the article, it occurred to me how most infields have at least one majorly weak spot (which makes sense… a lot of 2B and SS can’t hit), but a bunch of these still seem to be lacking.

    Also, it says something like, “if the Rangers get Fielder, it could be the best infield we’ve seen in decades.” Ooooor not quite as good as the 2009 Yankees, but sure.

  9. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    I didn’t know Elvis played with the Yanks!

  10. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    Yesterday’s news, but why can the Sox pull of trades with subpar packages? This is two years in a row now.

    The package for Agonz is proving to be a steal since Casey Kelly is struggling in AA and the Padres have already given up on Rizzo. The other two involved were marginal players. I guess it ended up working out like a free agent deal with the loss of 4 players.

    This Bailey deal is similar. I can see the Sox getting Bailey for their package, but how do they end up getting Sweeney in return as well? He’s not very good, but i would think they should’ve just gotten Bailey and nothing else. Reddick=Sweeney so Bailey was had for two low levels that are far away from the MLB.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Bailey is possibly damaged goods. I think it’s a win for the Sox, but it’s not like Bailey is a sure thing.

      • Foghorn Leghorn says:

        I get that. But if the Yanks are involved its one of the top 5 for sure.

        • MannyGeee says:

          Technically these were two of their top 5… They seriously have bled the system dry. Iglesias & Lars Anderson are the cornerstone of their farm system… Good fuckin luck with that!

    • bexarama says:

      I still can’t really complain about the AGon deal. If they got him for a major sweetheart discount deal in terms of his contract, then I would, but like you said, it basically was like they got him in free agency. And it’s far too early to call Rizzo or Kelly busts, though it’ll be hilarious if they both do bust.

      Aaaand I have no idea what the As are doing other than waiting until they move stadiums to compete, so. But you’re right, including Sweeney was odd. Maybe it’s the health issues with Bailey.

      • Foghorn Leghorn says:

        I’ve come to terms with the AGonz deal. I just felt that a palyer on the major league roster should’ve been part of the deal. In the end they end up giving up four players for one cheap year of AGonz.

        • radnom says:

          Teams like the Padres and A’s don’t want MLB players, they need to get returns of pre-arb guys if they are going to have any chance. I agree that the return was a tad bit light however.

      • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan says:

        I hope Bailey has a lot of cough and a lot of diarrhea #ChanHoPark

      • nsalem says:

        Were there any other teams in on AGon? I forgot the details. It always seemed to me it was a fai accompli that he was going to the Sox There couldn’t have been too many teams that were able to afford afford him. Is anyone aware of what the other offers were?

        • bexarama says:

          IIRC the Cubs were looking at him, but I think it was after the Garza trade so they had even fewer prospects than the Red Sox did. I remember hearing about the Rangers, too.

        • bexarama says:

          (Oops, forgot to include this)

          But IMO yeah, it was pretty much the Red Sox the whole time. You’d hear whispers about other teams, but there was never any real traction. I think Hoyer knew the Red Sox well, so he knew what prospects he wanted better than he knew like, the Cubs’ prospects, or whatever.

          • nsalem says:

            Couldn’t find too much info on the rumors. Saw that the Rangers Cubs and Braves might have been interested. A pre 2010 article suggested that the Padres would want Buccholz and Pedroia. I think this deal is way to early to evaluate considering the ages of the prospects. There’s a decent chance the Padres will come out okay with this. I think it will be at the least two three years till we really know. Davidson beats Penn (family rivalry game) so I’m good for the weekend. Toni Kucoc’s kid goes to Penn seems like he was in the NBA just yesterday.

    • Avi says:

      The two prospects that the A’s got for Bailey are miles Head and Raul Alcantara. Neither cracked Baseball America’s Red Sox top 10 prospects in a VERY thin system. Their system SUCKS right now. Tells you all you need to know about the deal.

      • Dave203 says:

        The prospects were throw ins — Oakland wanted Reddick. Reddick was a nice piece for Oakland and will continue to improve out there. That leaves Boston in need of a RF without nothing to speak of in the their farm — Kalish/McDonald/Sweeney are not going to cut it.

        • Avi says:

          No one considers Reddick a “nice piece”. He’s a fourth outfielder and will never be more than that. Sweeney = Reddick

          • Dave203 says:

            Far from it. Reddick is already better than Sweeney and is far more likely to continue to improve than Sweeney. He’s not going to turn out to be an AS OF, but I think Oakland believe him to be more than a 4th OF and with how he has played at times, he certainly could be. Oakland will probably get him to hit 15-18HR and bat a decent 280-285 next year. I’m predicting a WAR of 2.5-3 in his first FT season. I’m sure you disagree, but calling Reddick the same as Sweeney is a joke.

  11. Jamey says:

    I think I was actually more excited about Jaret Wright than Pavano, and I wasn’t excited about Jaret Wright.

  12. Rob says:

    Dammit, Jerry!

  13. Nathan says:

    Carl F’in Pavano…what a jerk.

  14. CMP says:

    Next to AJ Burnett, signing Carl Pavano had to be the biggest mistake Randy Levine and George Steinbrenner ever made.

    • nsalem says:

      Though we gave Burnett more money I think Pavano was a worse signing than Burnett. We got something out of AJ, while we got almost zero from Pavano. Steinbrenner’s health was severely deteriorating around the time of the AJ signing and I doubt he had much to with it. I wouldn’t call either a signing a mistake. Both moves were generally viewed as good ones by both the fans and the press after they happened. At the time there was very little reason to believe that either pitcher would perform as poorly as they did. This year the front office will be judged by the moves they didn’t make.

      • CMP says:

        Those moves may have made sense at the time but ultimately all moves have to be judged by how they turned out in the end, so fair or unfair, both turned out to be MAJOR mistakes.

        They got 1.1 WAR for $40 million from Pavano and 6.4 WAR for $50 million from Burnett so far with another $33 million scheduled to be flushed down the toilet over the next 2 years so from a value stand point, I agree Pavano was the worse signing though by the end of Burnett’s contract, it might be pretty close.

        • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

          Honestly, I think the sheer existence of the 2009 championship makes me regret AJ a hell of a lot less than Pavano’s injury act.

          • Dave203 says:

            Exactly correct. You can hate AJ now, but nobody hated him in 2009 when he played a big role in getting us our WS title. He wasn’t perfect, but he was big for us for most of the playoffs.

        • nsalem says:

          Maybe it’s just semantics, and I am not trying to disagree with you. Like you and probably every other Yankee fan I consider Pavano to be a major failure. I lay the blame on Pavano not Cashman. Every other GM in baseball and most fans would have probably taken him if they were in Cashman’s position. The same holds true with AJ. How could you not have signed him. He was beating up on both the Yankees and Red Sox for the couple of years he was in the AL East. If we did not sign him there was a good chance he would have wound up with the Red Sox. I have been disappointed with AJ but am not passing judgement on his Yankee performance because as of now he has two more years to redeem himself. Recent mistakes by Cashman in my opinion include Wright and Womack (basing a decision on one good year which were preceded by several bad ones and an overreaction to the 2004 ALCS). Igawa, because they apparently spent 20 or 30 million dollars without doing there homework and maybe a reaction to the Dice-K acquisition. I believe the handling of Joba abd Highes were also mistakes because they weren’t permitted to develop properly. The A-Rod contract was also a mistake. Those were all errors that with some critical thinking may have been avoided. i just don’t put the AJ and Pavano signings in the “avoidable error” category. Would you have signed the both of them if was your choice? I certainlly would have.

          • CMP says:

            I would have signed Pavano too since he was 28 years old and a 4/$40 million wasn’t an outlandish contract but to give 5/$82.5 to a pitch on the wrong side of 30 who had a significant injury history as well as being inconsistent when he wasn’t injured, I would have passed on Burnett. Too much money and too many years.

            I agree with the rest of your points.

            • nsalem says:

              You’re right on that the years were excessive. The move was made after the disastrous 2008 season. They were moving into YS3 and there was a sense of desperation.They thought they were working with unlimited funds and as it turned out they weren’t. I just took a quick glance at AJs 2008 game log. He pitched about 56 innings against the Yankees and Sox that year and had only given up 15 runs which I think is about a 2.4 ERA. Maybe they should have looked at his other 25 starts in which he wasn’t even a league average pitcher. AJ has never done what we expected of him. now that we expect nothing from him hopefully h will surprise us again I think the Yankees behavior towards player signings have gotten extremely conservative because they can not afford another failure like this one. and in the long term it will lead to smarter decision making.

    • Jamey says:

      Obvious Troll in Denial continues to Obvious Troll it up! Keep reachin’ for the stars bud! *Clap Clap Clap*

    • RetroRob says:

      AJ was a key part of the 2009 World Series team and had some big contributions. Pavano gave us nothing. The two are not even close in comparison.

  15. Greg Golson says:

    What is the exact date for pitchers and catchers to report? February 19th?

  16. nsalem says:

    first home game is Marvember 2nd

  17. Avi says:

    True Pavano story:
    It was spring training of ’05 and I’m at Legends field, just a few months
    after the Yanks signed Pavano (pretty sure it was March 15th and the Yanks were playing the Marlins). I notice Brian Cashman sitting behind the plate. I start walking towards him from my seat and see him get up and walk towards the hallway. I follow him into the hallway, shake his hand and say (this is word for word)”Hi Brian. Thank you for all the work you do.”
    He replies very graciously “thank you for being a Yankee fan”.
    I say “I have to say I didn’t like the Pavano signing. He only had one good year and his strikeout rate doesn’t indicate future success” I knew I only had a few seconds and wasn’t so eloquent in making my point, but those are the words I used.
    He responded “We’ll just have to let it play out”. End of conversation.
    Pavano the evil is one of my most hated Yankees ever (if I type Pavano and J#$%R Vazq#$z in the same sentance I would become so enraged I’d break my laptop into pieces)

    • MannyGeee says:

      You got bigger balls than me man… Great stuff

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      You sound like an asshole in that story.

        • Dave203 says:

          Because you meet Cashman at Legends Field and all you think you need to do is critique his moves to him in person? Sounds pretty douchy to me as well — won’t call you an a**hole, but douchy for sure. Do you think Cash gives a rats a** what you have to say about his moves? I know we like to talk in this forum, but I am fairly confident Cash doesn’t read them not does he care for the most part what most fans think. Thinking you have some unprecedented wisdom to pass along to Cash in a brief 1 minute encounter is more arrogant than anything else, but I’ll stick with douchy.

          • Avi says:

            I hear that. I was very against the move and I guess I wanted to sort of go on record with it. I was also younger and was still dreaming of working in a front office one day and wanted to be the guy that knew it before it happened, whatever. I’m certain Cashman could care less what I said that day and he was just being nice.

          • Avi says:

            Also as fans we have very little control over the fate of our team. Actually we have no control. I felt strongly about something and when I saw Cashman I wanted to tell him about it. Maybe just to plant the seed in his mind about signing pitchers with a longer track record of success than just one year, and pitchers with a high K rate. It was about the Yankees not him, nothing personal. Is that arrogant? maybe, but I don’t regret it.

            • Dave203 says:

              Heck, never have any regrets. You met Cash and that is cool in itself. Just wouldn’t have necessarily had the same conversation, but then again, it sounds like you wouldn’t if it happened again either.

      • Colts need to stop winning says:

        You sound like a troll every time you post.

    • nsalem says:

      If you had been the GM maybe The Yankees would have a few more rings

  18. Avi says:

    30 pitchers that are better than Matt Garza:
    Halladay, Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Verlander, CC, Felix, J Weaver, Lincecum, Hamels, Shields, Fister (if his year was legit),Ian Kennedy, Matt Cain, David Price, Beckett, Ricky Romero, Hellickson, CJ Wilson, Haren, Masterson, Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, Carpenter, Latos, Lester, Ervin Santana, Daniel Hudson, Gallardo.
    I easily count ten more that are just as good, or very close to Garza(Kuroda, Marcum)or who’s performance was roughly as effective as his in ’11 (Wandy,Gio).

    • MannyGeee says:

      Wow, putting IPK, Masterson Galardo and Daniel Hudson up there huh… And Wandy/Gio ‘as effective’ as 2011 Garza? That is certainly something.

      • Avi says:

        Yeah those guys are debatable. I’m just trying to quantify how good Garza really is.

        • Fernando says:

          I think it’s a pretty good list.

          I would add Grienke and Wainwright as better than Garza. And if you are going to include Hellickson, then you have to include Strasburg and Tommy Hanson on the list.

          I’d exclude Masterson and Fister.

          • MannyGeee says:

            I would actually put Hellickson in the ‘just as good’ category, as well as Ervin Santana. but FWIW if we are talking full body of work, only 2/3 of those guys can be considered ‘better’ than Garza over the past few seasons.

            and of every name up there, only maybe 3 have the distinct qualifier that Garza has RIGHT NOW, and that is ‘attainible’. Kuroda, Wandy, maybe Ervin Santana if the Halos see him as expendable after signing CJ.

            Not all pitchers are created equal. especially in these times in this market.

  19. JB says:

    wow – what an ending to the Thunder/Mavs game!

  20. Brian L says:

    Another bad signing Jared Wright = BUST!!!

    • Rich in NJ says:

      Cash was reportedly opposed to that one.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      It’s Jaret…..and we know.

      Gosh, remember when the Yankees “won the Danny Tartabull sweepstakes” (only in quotes because that’s literally what I remember the CNN Sportsticker saying), only to have him spend a few years on the pre-championship teams and being rid of it before it all happened?

  21. MannyGeee says:

    Look at the shitty grin on Pavano.

    And the billion dollar smile on poor Cashman, dumb shit had no idea he was bout to get hit by a $40M train.

  22. Avi says:

    Per Gammons, Jed Hoyer had a baby boy and named him Beckett.
    Rumors have the ultrasound showing the baby munching on fried chicken and beer.

  23. Gonzo says:

    This kid is showing up RGIII.

  24. Nightwing says:

    I doubt this really hurts the Yankees in any way, but it might make an interesting topic nonetheless.

    • Avi says:

      $670k to Hal is literally less than what $5 is to me and you. Also I’d think it would be hard for the IRS to get that money back. They paid it to him. If it was too late to file the claim why did they pay it?

  25. Avi says:

    Last winter there were people that were pushing for the Yanks to sign Pavano again. I don’t think those people should be allowed to reproduce.

    • nsalem says:

      If you didn’t want Pavano on the team in 2005. How did you feel about the Yankee’s bringing Wang into the rotation who had an even lower K rate than. Were you feverishly against that move also?

      • radnom says:

        This is an unfair comparison, the Yankees didn’t sign Wang to a 4 year FA contract. Also, we all know Wang is a special case given his ground ball rate.

        • nsalem says:

          A case can be made that any comparison between two individuals is unfair especially with the vast reservoir of statistics that are available for MLB pitchers. I think both Wang and Pavano are above average pitchers when healthy. Unfortunately Pavano wasn’t healthy when he was a Yankee. QED

      • Avi says:

        Yeah I would’ve very against the Yanks giving Wang a $40M contract at that point which btw, was one of the biggest ever given to a pitcher up until ’05.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Cashman courted Pavano last offseason, so he shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce? That’s nonsense. Pavano would’ve been a Yankee again if the Twins didn’t offer him a multiyear deal.

      The bottom line is that there are worse things in the world than relatively inexpensive innings eaters who induce ground balls and keep their ERA around four.

      • Avi says:

        Bringing back Pavano would’ve been the epitome of dumbness. To me it’s mind numbing how anyone not mentally disabled can even consider it. I maintain my position whoever thought it was a good idea to bring back Pavano shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          So Cashman is mentally disabled, then? OK.

        • Ana says:

          No, dude, you’re doing it wrong. Bringing back Pavano on a deal similar to the first one he got with the Yankees = epitome of dumbness. Seeing if you could get a career league-average pitcher for a year on the cheap to pitch in the back of the rotation = what any GM would do.

          • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

            Agreed. However, the fact that Pavano gave the team absolutely nothing for the entirety of the last contract would have been enough for me to consider another pitcher, which the Yankees ultimately did.

            The epitome of dumbness? No offense at all to Avi, but Brian Cashman has the job of Yankee GM, not him.

        • MannyGeee says:

          i constantly reproduce… and I would have been OK with a Pavano signing. Considering the relative effectiveness of 2009-2010 Pavano in comparison to the two guys that ultimately were signed, I would have taken a flyer on him.
          Pavano on Freddys deal would have been perfectly acceptable.

        • nedro says:

          Douchey douchebag is douchey.

  26. YankeePankee says:

    Here’s my caption for the photo:

    “I just had 5 shots of Patron, Carl. So just fill in any numbers you want and sign it.”

    • MannyGeee says:

      Cashman thinking ‘I can’t believe I got this dumb Guido to sign here for less than what Boston offered! John Henry can suck it!’

      Pavano thinking, ‘ummmmmm, can we speed this thing up? I got to go pick up my new Porsche before i go on this date’…

  27. PinstripePower says:

    That’s good, but how about…

    “Ha, ha, ha, ha. Uh, I think I just heard a bone cracking but keep signing Carl, and smile for the cameras. We’re desperate for pitching..”

  28. forensic says:

    Cashman thinking: ‘I’m such a ninja, I got him to sign for less than Boston and Cincinnati.’

    Pavano thinking: ‘You think you’re a ninja? Watch me disappear with $40 million for doing nothing.’

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