Open Thread: Mark Wohlers


I can guarantee that as soon as you read the name Mark Wohlers in the title of this post, you thought back to one thing: Jim Leyritz and Game Four of the 1996 World Series. The Yankees were down 6-3 in the game and 2-1 in the series when Leyritz’s three-run blast tied things up in the top of the eighth, and they eventually won the game in extra innings when Wade Boggs drove in the winning run with a bases loaded walk. The rest, as they say, is history.

That homer by Leyritz is hands down one of the biggest and best baseball memories I have. You can make a pretty strong argument that the homer changed the course of the franchise, because if they lose that game they probably would’ve lost the Series, and who knows what happens after that. Perhaps George Steinbrenner orders his front office to acquire the long coveted Randy Johnson at any cost, or maybe he steps in and swings the deal himself. That young singles-hitting shortstop and skinny setup man for the Big Unit? Yeah that works, take them. We could play this game all day, but if Leyritz doesn’t go deep in that spot, there’s a pretty good chance we’d be looking back at the late-90′s Yankees in very different way.

Today is Wohlers’ 42nd birthday, and it’s easy to forget that he actually ended up wearing pinstripes for a while long after Leyritz did his thing. The Yankees traded for the hard-throwing right-hander in July of 2001, but he allowed eleven runs in his first 6.1 IP with the team and Joe Torre buried him in mop-up duty. He did pitch to a 2.45 ERA in his final 29.1 IP of the season, and his only postseason appearance came in garbage time of the hideous 14-3 loss to the Mariners in Game Three of the ALCS. Wohlers was ridiculously good in 1996 — 100 strikeouts and 18 unintentional walks in 77.1 IP during the regular season — but when you look at his career from that World Series on, he was never really the same.

* * *

Here’s your open thread for the night. The Islanders and Nets are the only local teams in action, which kinda sucks. Talk about those games and more here, it’s all fair game.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. CANO FAN #1 says:

    What about AJ for Hafner

      • Granderslam says:

        I prefer to move AJ, but…Phil Hughes for Dom Brown? …Fits into Cash’s need for a young, cost-controlled hitter (and Montero-replacement) as well as a potential Swish replacement for the future.

        • Steve S. says:

          I know Mike has been all over this, but are we sure Dom Brown is going to hit up here? He’s had an awful lot of trouble in his first two call ups, in a hitters park on a team that needs an OF badly.

          • Craig Maduro says:

            I’m not particularly tuned into the Phillies prospects at this point, but doesn’t a Hughes for Brown proposal still leave a sizable gap for the Yankees to close?

          • Steve H says:

            Who would the Yankees be trading for him? They’d certainly have their warts as well.

          • Bo Knows says:

            He’s been given irregular playing time, but when given the shot to play he’s shown above average walk rate but an insanely low BABIP that will probably correct itself as he’s allowed more playing time. He’s definitely worth a shot, because the Phillies sure as hell aren’t giving it to him.

  2. Sdjohn says:

    I was stationed in Alaska, a young 20 year old kid and I swear I hit my hand on the ceiling so hard I thought I broke it.

  3. mustang says:

    Went to the Yankees seat exchange and/or upgrade program on Friday have to say it was extreme well-done great way to reward the loyalty of the plan holders.

  4. Ivan says:

    I know it may sound all narrative, but that game 4 might be one of the most significant if not the most significant game in the dynasty. I mean they won a game with Kenny Rogers pitching god awful, A Charlie Hayes swinging bunt starts the rally, Jim Leyritz of all people hitting a game/series changing Homerun and to top it off Wade Boggs who at that time was pretty much washed up got the game winning run by via BB.

    Also I am surprise and interested that Jim Leyritz admitted that the team’s spirit was crushed a little bit right before the 3 run homerun.

    • RetroRob says:

      Leyritz had three big-time hits in the season, including one the year prior in ’95, so I wasn’t shocked it went deep.

      Boggs was trending down, but still hit .310 with a .390 OBP that year. He wasn’t washed up. I remember not being Torre started Hayes over Boggs, but I do remember re-thinking that and that Torre might be a genius having Boggs sitting on the bench to call up against the eratic Wholers. When he came to the plate with the bases loaded, I would have bet money Boggs was going to draw a walk. When Gene Michaels started rebuilding the Yankees, Boggs was one of the key players he brought in to change the Yankees approach toward hitting, preaching OBP, something that continues to guide the Yankees to this day.

  5. RetroRob says:

    Wow. Lincecum turned down 5/100. If I’m in the Giants front office, I sign Cain and start exploring a trade for Lincecum. I would not pay him 7/170, or whatever he’ll be looking to get.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      That’s the luxury you have when you’ve racked up $40M (he’s guaranteed at least $17m this year) before you even hit FA. He doesn’t really have any incentive to sign a team friendly deal, he’s already made big money.

      • RetroRob says:

        I understand why he turned it down, but this should be a wake-up call to the Giants on what it will take to sign him and the choices they’re going to have to make. If I had to select between Lincecum and Cain projecting forward, I would take Cain at this point.

        I think he’s trending toward a #2. I don’t think we’ll ever see his 07/08 dominant peak again, so I would not pay him #1 money. I’d trade him. The question is when. I believe he has two years before he’s a free agent.

        • Plank says:

          Lincecum will be 28 next season. I don’t think you’re quite painting him with the right brush by saying his best years are behind him. He’s as good a bet to be an ace going forward as anyone.

        • Steve S. says:

          His velocity is down 2MPH from his peak. His mechanics have always been unique, and to be fair he’s been a workhorse, but I still can’t give 100M+ to a guy who weighs 165 lbs, has a funky delivery and a FB trending down. Just can’t.

          • MannyGeee says:

            Pedro Martinez weighed 172, and he turned out ok.

            I’d give the kid his $25m per you want him to anchor your rotation. Plain and simple. You know what you have there.

    • Plank says:

      I would think 7/170 is the low end of what he can expect.

      • RetroRob says:

        That’s a $24 million annual average over seven years, which puts him at CC and Lee territory, so judging by your comment you think he’s going to become the highest paid pitcher in the history of the game by a wide margin, blowing both of their contracts away. I would not do that, and I’d be scared as shit if he became a free agent and the Yankees gave him that contract.

        Lincecum’s great. He’s a fine, fine pitcher and his changeup should allow him to remain effective as his fastball declines, but I no longer view him as the great pitcher he was several years back and I can see a continuing decline. I would not pay him as if he’s the best pitcher in the game and I would be more concerned about his durability moving forward than I would be about some other pitchers.

        • Plank says:

          I think that’s fair. Lincecum will be signing his contract under a CBA that is intended to concentrate money in the hands of free agents instead of amateurs. Lincecum can compare favorably or comparably to those guys in any way you want to look at it. He will also sign his deal later than those guys. Salaries go up as time goes by, so the same contract isn’t the same in 2011 vs 2014. I think it’s very possible Lincecum gets 25MM per year if he continues like he has for 2 more years.

    • vin says:

      Timmy’s worth more than 5/100. He’ll probably get a 2/42 deal for what will be his final two years of team control. And he’s in line to earn more through FA. I don’t see them breaking the bank to sign him. Most player’s earnings during their arbitration-eligible years are much less than what they’d get on the open market. However, Tim and his agent have done a great job of putting him in a position to earn close to market value for his final 2 years of team control. The Giants should have tried harder to lock him up earlier in his career (Rays style).

    • Mike E says:

      I don’t blame Lincecum. The point of an extension is to benefit the player with a long-term commitment, and benefit the team with a friendlier average annual salary. 5/100 is way lower than he could get on the open market in terms of both AAV and years. This extension also leaves him as a free agent at the age of 33, which won’t help his next trip at free agency.

      Lincecum must really like his teammates because the Giants organization hasn’t shown any compelling commitment towards him. Sure, they might not have the financial flexibility of other teams, but they can offer years. If the bitter arbitration talks aren’t enough, the yearly offer will tell you how much the organization really thinks of you. He should have received an extension a long time ago, but Sabean choses to push a franchise player into arbitration situations every year, I can’t believe he still has a job.

      • vin says:

        “Sure, they might not have the financial flexibility of other teams…”

        Which always surprises me. Why is it that the Giants are never a high payroll team? Just looking at their recent payrolls, they’ve been ranked about 10-12, but typically closer to 20th, than 5th. They broke the bank this year (117 mil) as they came off their WS win, but they’ve hovered pretty consistently around 85-90 mil since the season after their last WS appearance (’03).

        You’d figure by playing in such a large market, with a long history that has roots across the country, with a legitimate rival, in a new, great ballpark, they’d be in the upper echelon of spenders. Maybe they’ve just done a great job of restraining themselves.

        As of right now, Melky is their 6th highest paid player (tied with Freddy Sanchez). Compare that with the 6th highest paid player from some other teams – Mo, Ortiz, Ervin Santana. That Zito deal must be killing them. They’ve spent 80 mil for 6.6 wins (fWAR). Andy they’re on the hook for another 39 mil the next two years. That contract is probably what has been preventing them from signing Lincecum (or Cain) long-term.

    • Steve S. says:

      Timmy’s great but there’s no way on God’s green Earth I’m giving him 5 years or 100M, much less more money or years. Let somebody else give him that deal.

      • vin says:

        Funny thing is, he’d certainly be worth 5/100. Obviously injury caveats apply. Which, I’m guessing, is why you’d be reluctant to sign him?

        Everyone who watches him pitch cringes for fear that his shoulder will pop at any moment. But he’s shown himself to be remarkably durable. I’d rather roll the dice on the chance that someone may get injured, than give 7 years to a soft-tossing lefty who doesn’t strike anyone out (Zito). Like guys CC, Felix, and Verlander, at least Lincecum has a relatively long way down before he hits replacement level. Even with standard age-related performance decline, those types of guys will still be worth the HUGE money deals they command on the FA market. It’s the AJ Burnett, John Lackey, Mark Buehrle types who have much less margin for error.

        • Steve S. says:

          Not always. Pitchers with his frame often wind up in the bullpen on the theory that small guys tend to break down at a younger age if they’re starters. I can’t cite a study, but I can tell you off the top of my head that Guidry, Pedro Martinez, Scott Kazmir, Johan Santana, Teddy Higuera all broke down in their late 20s to early 30s after being durable prior. Very anecdotal, but a power pitcher with his frame scares me. I get that he’s worth it based on past performance, but I just don’t like his chances of continuing that level long term.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            While your premise may be true, those aren’t good comps.

            Kazmir was never great (only pitched >200 innings once in his career, 4.2BB/9 career), Higuera came up late (age 27), had 4 very good years, then fell off the map.

            Guidry had a monster year at age 34, and a decent year at 35. Pedro was excellent at ages 32 & 33, and decent at 34.

            Only Santana fits your description, so for your theory to hold up, you’re going to need more examples that prove your point.

            • RetroRob says:

              Guidry did remain effective up until his age-34 season, although the following few and final eyars injuries reduced his innings and effectiveness to the point where 1985 was the last season of significance.

              One similarity is that both Guidry and Lincecum did suffer a loss of velocity after pitching as starters in the majors for a couple of years. Like Guidry, Lincecum has remained effective, but Guidry never again was that *great* pitcher he was from late ’77 through mid’79. He became a very good pitcher, adding in a changeup (more for show) as his velocity decreased. My point is that Lincecum may, and probably will, remain a very good starter into his 30s, but it’s highly questionable if he should be paid for what he did in ’08 and ’09, just as it would have been a mistake to pay Guidry as if was the best pitcher in the game after ’78 and ’79.

          • Bo Knows says:

            Smaller guys get fewer chances to start so if any get hurt then it just reaffirms the belief, never mind though all the tall pitchers that have broken down but since they don’t follow the narrative it gets swept aside. there are articles that have found that height is statistically insignificant when it comes to predicting durability.

        • CJ says:

          Lincecum verlander and king Felix will all be dangerous deals. They have been so good they will get paid for past performance. The deal will be long and expensive.

  6. Steve S. says:

    John Sterling-”..Jim Leyritz DID pull Wohlers!”

    ….ummm John, that wasn’t his fastball. He threw him a slider.

  7. CJ says:

    from MLBTradeRumors.com

    “In a conference call with reporters (including Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees blog) today, GM Brian Cashman said he will look to fill the Yankees’ DH spot through a trade, with free agent designated hitters being a “secondary” focus. Cashman said it’s “a possibility” he will try to acquire a hitter using the Yankees’ excess pitchers.
    The Yankees hope to address their DH need by trying to deal A.J. Burnett for salary relief or a “DH type,” tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. If that isn’t possible, Sherman says the next target would be to deal for a young, controllable hitter in exchange for a young starter like Phil Hughes.”

    “deal for a young, controllable hitter in exchange for a young starter like Phil Hughes” I wonder who this would be. Sounds like Cash has some deals on the table.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Does sound like one more deal could happen. Hughes+ for LoMo? My trade sucks….

    • Steve S. says:

      Phil is still fairly cheap but his team control is waning. He just did his 2nd year of arb so (I think) he has just one more left before going FA.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      Hughes + for Chase Headley? Both guys benefit from their new parks? Oooo …

      • Thomas Cassidy says:

        What’s with the love for Headley on this board? The guy sucks. He’s nothing more than a bench player on this team.

        • Mister Delaware says:

          [em]Homework assignment[/em]

          Part 1 – Click on this link: http://www.baseball-reference......1&t=b

          Part 2 – Review Headley’s numbers. Make sure you look at both his straight OBP and his home / road splits then feel free to just wander around the page.

          Part 3 – Come back here and type (or cut and paste) the following: “I never looked at Headley’s numbers. I was wrong, he definitely doesn’t suck.”

          • Thomas Cassidy says:

            I already did that. Nothing impressive at all. Especially for the price of Hughes. The guy is closing in on 30 and has a career OBP of .340.

            He can hit righties, but that’s it. I’d rather the Yankees just keep Hughes and sign Damon/Matsui. He sucks.

            • Thomas Cassidy says:

              *lefties. And we already have someone that can do it better, Andruw Jones.

            • Mister Delaware says:

              Or: The guy is almost 2.5 years away from 30 and had a .400 OBP away from one of the top 2 (?) worst hitting parks in the majors.

              • Thomas Cassidy says:

                I’d rather keep Hughes and give the bat to Jones who can drive in runs. Headley would be the number 8 hitter. A platoon player for a pitcher I think will bounce back to 2010 form. No thanks. The team is pretty much set. Add a little lefty hitter, and they’re done for the offseason probably.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  That’s fine, I’d hate to part with Hughes too and totally understand. But Headley very much doesn’t suck. That’s a dumb comment.

            • Mister Delaware says:

              Chase Headley career away: .303/.364/.441

          • Mister Delaware says:

            (Personal homework assignment. Try to remember we use angle brackets here, not brackets. Practice using them.)

  8. Manning to Manningham says:

    Normally I hate everything Boston sports, but HUGE props to Tim Thomas for saying this: http://www.nesn.com/2012/01/ti.....ntrol.html

    • Mister Delaware says:

      Absolutely support his right to skip out. More absolutely mock him for being a follower of Glenn Beck.

    • Steve S. says:

      No politics, please. From either side.

    • Holy Ghost says:

      Seems petty. There are some things bigger than politics, including the opportunity to tell your grandkids about the time you were honored at the White House…

    • Jon in CUO says:

      He’s a prick. Only a small and trivial man wouldn’t be able to understand that the institution of the presidency is separate from the individual man who happens to occupy it. An invitation to the White House is a massive honor, and while this guy certainly has the right to reject such an invitation, he’s a fool for doing so.

    • Pat D says:

      Yea, I guarantee he wouldn’t have done this had Bush still been in office. I especially love his whole “the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have agreed with this” line. You know what all of us living in 2012 know about what “The Founding Fathers” would think of what’s going on today? Not a goddamned thing! I seem to remember Dennis Miller, before he turned ultra-conservative, saying that if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, and you showed him all of the technological advances since his time, and then you told him we had barely changed the Constitution and that a great number of people tried to make decisions based upon the exact words written in 1787, he’d probably have a stroke.

      Also, as Jon in CUO said, if you’re invited to the White House, you go. The Presidency is bigger than the man currently occupying the office. I detest George W. Bush and don’t think he was legally elected, but if I ever met him, you know how I’d address him? “Mr. President.” Because that’s what you do.

      Rant over. Not going to respond to any comments because I shouldn’t have even made this one, knowing that politics should be left alone here.

      • Manning to Manningham says:

        I’m not asking you to respond, but National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

      • Comrade Al says:

        1. Dennis Miller is NOT ultra-conservative, he just has common sense. 2. In the same sentence, you warn against conjecturing as to the motivations of the Founding Fathers and then conjecture as to the motivations of the Founding Fathers. 3. Bush WAS legally elected – Gore failed to steal the election through the courts. 4. Let’s go Yankees!

  9. Steve H says:

    Why would the Indians trade their starting DH for a 5th or 6th starter?

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      He isn’t even a starter. And why not? His career is over. It’s a sell high on Hafner for a buy low on a pitcher with great potential.

    • Robert says:

      They need pitching .They would need to add 7-10 million and one of Adam Warren, David Phelps or D.J. Mitchell.CLE needs young pitching badly. Two of their top three MLB ready pitching prospects are Nick Hagadone and Zach McAllister.

  10. Thomas Cassidy says:

    A 1/3 for Cody Ross and the Sox? Not a bad deal at all.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Not really but it’ll take them out of Oswalt bidding which makes them the 2011 Yankees before the season. I doubt any team can get as lucky with two wide open rotation spots like we were last year so good luck to Ben Cherington.

      Looks like he’s going to have to get creative or we’re going to see a rotaiton with Daniel Bard and like Aceves. Maybe he’ll trade Youk and that’s one less Yankee killer.

      • Thomas Cassidy says:

        Youk has a little bit of value, but not a whole lot right now. I’d miss him vs. Joba, though.

        Right now, the Sox look like they’ll be fighting for 3rd place with the Jays.

        • Craig Maduro says:

          Eh…don’t be so quick to sleep on the Sox.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Pedroia, Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, and Ortiz = top 3-5 in his respective position in the AL.

          Lester and Beckett are still front -line starters that can’t be dismissed. Andrew Bailey and Melancon additions helped the bullpen.

          I’m just saying that there’s a very good core group in place that’s been through a hell of a lot criticism together. I doubt Youkilis wants to end his RS career on a down note as the team holds a club option for ’13.

          And a final thought … Carl Crawford’s 2011 was sooooooo bad, a bounce back is almost automatic. I’m not saying Crawford returns to TB form, but he’ll be better.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      I love Cody Ross irrationally.

  11. Monterowasdinero says:

    Hughes, Jones, romine, $$$/Burnett and any other position player in the system for Montero.

    Now, Cash!

  12. Granderslam says:

    @yankeesource suggested a trade proposal for Mets’ Daniel Murphy at DH (Phelps & supplementary piece)? Thoughts?

  13. RetroRob says:

    It appears that Cody Ross signed with the Red Sox. I haven’t seen any confirmation in the media yet, but he did announced it via Twitter.

    IamCodyRossCody Ross
    I wish I could retweet everyone! Thank you #SFGiants fans you’re amazing! Looking fwd to meeting the #redsoxnation fans!! Let’s go!

  14. 1stbase says:

    I’ll never forget andruw jones climbing the wall

  15. Plank says:

    Sickels made a list of top minor league systems.

    Yankees at 16.


  16. Comrade Al says:

    After the Layritz HR, the Yanks never trailed in the 1996 Series again.

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