Open Thread: Scott Proctor


(Al Bello/Getty Images)

In a lot of ways, Scott Proctor personifies the Joe Torre era bullpens. He had a modicum of success in 2006 (3.96 FIP) but was overworked to the extreme, appearing in 83 games and throwing 102.1 relief innings. Unsurprisingly, his performance suffered in the next year (5.56 FIP) and he was traded to the Dodgers for Wilson Betemit at the deadline. Proctor, who battled alcoholism during his time in New York, then bounced from the Dodgers to the Marlins to Tommy John surgery to the Braves then back to the Yankees last year.

Proctor turns 35 today, and there’s a pretty decent chance he’s thrown his last Major League pitch. If so, his final act on a big league field will be giving up Evan Longoria’s walk-off, wildcard clinching homerun in Game 162 to cement The Collapse. It was his 56th pitch of the game, as he was again laying it all out there and doing what the team asked. More important relievers were resting up for the playoffs and Proctor was disposable, so he bit the bullet and threw the most pitches he’d thrown in a single game since Sept. 16th, 2005. That was also part of the problem, Proctor never refused the ball and was always available. Honorable, yes, but chances are he cut his own career short.

* * *

Here is tonight’s open thread. The Nets, Knicks, and Devils are playing tonight, but Time Warner customers won’t be able to watch those last two teams because the Dolans pulled MSG due to a contract dispute. You folks can talk about whatever you like here, just be cool.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Jesse says:

    Final score of the Rose Bowl? I say 62-59 Badgers.

  2. Rich in NJ says:

    The NY Rangers have been really fun to watch.

  3. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    I actually kind of like the probability that Scotty Proctor threw his last pitch in pinstripes, however not-so-good that final stint was. It feels right.

  4. Joe says:

    Are relievers allowed to say no I don’t want to pitch?

    • jjyank says:

      If his arm is tired or sore, he is allowed to say no, sure. My guess is that Proctor never told the team when his arm wasn’t feeling 100% because he wanted to take the ball anyway.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        Cashman said Torre or his pitching coach – either Mel Stottlemyre or Ron Guidry – would routinely ask relievers such as Proctor whether they felt good enough to throw. If the pitcher said yes, there was no hesitation to use them that day.

        “You have to understand these players are competitors; they’re never going to say no,” Cashman said. “It’s just the way they’re wired. So you pay people to know the answer; I’m not paying a pitcher to be the pitching coach, for instance. Or the manager. I’m paying the pitching coach to be the pitching coach. I met with Proctor and said, ‘You better stop telling the manager this because the way he manages’ – I’m not criticizing Joe, that’s just the way he is – ‘He wants an honest answer. Just tell him no.’ ”

        Cashman said he tried convincing Torre that his pitchers were not always telling him the truth, but the manager continued to use them the same way, much to the general manager’s dismay.

        “You have to have the knowledge enough to know that you’ve got to back off this guy, because he won’t be honest with you, he’ll lie to you even if he’s dragging knuckles,” Cashman recalled telling Torre. “So I met with those individual players and said, ‘You are hurting your career.’ I covered all the bases on my end. There’s no hypocrisy here.”


        • CMP says:

          It’s pretty sad when a GM has to warn a player about the manager. After all, it’s not exactly rocket science to determine whether or not a pitcher is being abused.

        • Steve S. says:

          Contrast that approach with Girardi and his much-maligned binder. Girardi has scheduled rest built in depending on how often a pitcher has been used and how many days in a row. It’s a version of the Joba rules, which had to be imposed on Torre, yet Girardi not only embraces, but implements himself.

          Stuff like that is easy to dismiss, but there are reasons why some relievers perform better in some places more than others. Knowing your ‘Days of rest’ splits and how a pitcher’s profile matches up against the hitter you’re matching him up with is another.

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          Thus, the necessity of the “Joba Rules.”

  5. Nathan says:

    At least Proctor’s last baseball moment helped screw the Red Sox.

  6. Paul VuvuZuvella says:

    That last pitch to Longoria made Scotty a “True Yankee”

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      +1! While I hate to see the Yankees lose, at least this loss kept the Red Sox out of the playoffs. Loved Scotty the first time around. Too bad Torre over used him and that he had other off the field problems. Glad he came back and was able to play on the ML team for a bit.

  7. Jamey says:

    Thanks for mentioning Dolan’s role in MSG not being on Time Warner, their PR assault has been very effective at making it look like they’re the victims in this.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Ironically, as NBA owners they just spent the past few months crying poor… So. Why not try it again at the expense of their fan base….

      Maybe being middle class I’m the idiot, but I just don’t fucking get it, nor do I feel sorry for them.

  8. Slu says:

    Scott may have been abused, but according to bref he made over 2.5 million dollars in his career. Hopefully he was smart with it.

    • Jamey says:

      Also for middle relievers & set-up men isn’t longevity pretty rare? Like I don’t know too many guys were lockdown, never became closers that were effective for more than a couple of seasons. Maybe my perspective is clouded because I watched The Yankees sign a lot of those guys over the years, but I’m wondering if over-use was taken out of the equation if Proctor’s career goes pretty much the same just healthier.

    • Steve S. says:

      That may sound like a lot of money to guys like you and me, but it can also go pretty fast. As an ex-alcoholic he might have burned through it faster than most. If he’s paid off a house and has a couple hundred grand in the bank/invested, that sounds about right. But you can’t live off that.

  9. Dropped Third says:

    Would a package of Betances, Williams, Nunez, and one of Warren, Mitchell, or Phelps be enough to land Garza? I have been going over a million trade proposals and this SHOULD be enough to land a pitcher of Garza’s caliber. I would even substitute Betances will Manban if need be.I think he would be a nice fit in pinstripes because he is a solid number 2 and is cost effective. He also is proven in the AL East which is a big factor in why i think he would be a good fit to begin with. He is under team control for a few more years and becomes a free agent in 2014 just in time for the “pitching heavy” FA class. I know the cubs have said that they want two of the big three prospects but I can see their price coming down. What do you guys think?

    • CMP says:

      This is a package you would give up if you were reasonably confident Garza was going to be a 4+ WAR pitcher going forward.

      Since his only year above 3.1 WAR was pitching in the NL central after 2.9. 3.1 and 1.6 WAR years in the AL east, I would assume that’s the pitcher you’re trading for, not the one you saw with the Cubs last year. This is know as the Javy Vasquez rule.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        The problem with the AL East numbers is that they include the Yankees, who he wouldn’t have to face if he was on them.

        Career vs. NYY: 5.16 R/9
        Career vs. all other ALE teams: 3.36 R/9

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Let me rephrase. That’s not a “problem” with his ALE numbers, but it’s something to keep in mind. The ALE is the toughest place to pitch in baseball, but it is easier when you’re on the Yankees.

        • Dropped Third says:

          And then instead of facing the yanks, he would be facing the Rays who have a much less potent lineup the NewYork. My best bet would be that his numbers would be somewhere in between where they were in 10′ and 11′.

        • CMP says:

          He actually pitched pretty well against the Yankees for 2008, 2009 and 2010 except for 2 starts against them in September 2010 when he got bombed twice in games 1week apart which skewed his overall numbers.

    • CJ says:

      That’s a lot. Betances, phelps, warren, kontos and Joseph.

    • Dave203 says:

      Take out Mason Williams and I’d do that deal. I don’t think the Cubs are thinking that is acceptable at the moment, but perhaps when they come back to reality, it may be workable.

      Some moron on ESPN (Matthews I believe) reported they were asking for at least two of the Montero/Banuelos/Betances group — that’s not happening. Outside of Betances, the others are untouchable for Garza IMO.

    • Jesse says:

      I’ll go as high as Betances, Sanchez, Phelps, and Warren. Ask for anymore, and I hang up the phone.

  10. Bo Knows says:

    Who do you all think is winning the NFC, AFC titles and the superbowl?

  11. CJ says:

    I never knew about proctor’s battle with alcoholism. Dr. Andrew’s description of his elbow as “mush” is perfect. Torre puts it back on him by saying he didn’t complain? Cmon Joe! Torre’s days were over after 2004. Even though he made the playoffs each year, he did some strange things.

  12. Rainbow Connection says:

    Remember when even YES knew Vizcaino was hurt but Torre still put him in the game?

  13. Avi says:

    So I got the iPhone. Any game or app recommendations? I got “metal storm” with the fighter jets and Angry birds and they’re both awesome.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      I’m ridiculously hooked on Tiny Tower right now. Other than that, I really like old-school stuff like Jetpack Joyride and old-school puzzlers like Bejewled Blitz and the revamped Tetris.

      If you like Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, Amazing Breaker, and Fruit Ninja are no-brainers.

      Flick Home Run has surprisingly good physics for a vaguely baseball-based minigame.

    • Bryan G says:

      Definitely get Temple Run.

  14. Steve S. says:

    I bet you Keith Law would know what “sprezzatura” means without looking it up.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Whoa, I’m going to have to remember that one.

    • JohnnyC says:

      Why? He majored in sociology and economics at Harvard. Not the Italian Renaissance. If you follow him on twitter, there’s lots of stuff he readily admits he knows nothing about.

  15. joek says:

    Joe Torre had a different version of “give me your tired,your poor,your huddled masses. “Give me your tired arm,your poor shoulder,you huddled masses in the bullpen,and I’ll work you until you need Tommy John surgery.

  16. Dropped Third says:

    Baseball America published an article in November of 08 with the projected 2012 Lineup as follows:

    Catcher Austin Romine
    First Base Alex Rodriguez
    Second Base Robinson Cano
    Third Base Bradley Suttle
    Shortstop Derek Jeter
    Left Field Xavier Nady
    Center Field Brett Gardner
    Right Field Austin Jackson
    Designated Hitter Jesus Montero
    No. 1 Starter Joba Chamberlain
    No. 2 Starter Chien-Ming Wang
    No. 3 Starter Andrew Brackman
    No. 4 Starter Dellin Betances
    No. 5 Starter Phil Hughes
    Closer Mark Melancon

    Pretty depressing to look at Joba and Brackman as the 1 and 3 starters.

    • ADam says:

      Joba could have been a top flight starter, but several things happened and a lot of people are to blame for not using him to his full potential

      1 Person to blame and why – Joe Torre, he had blown out all relievers arms so the yanks out of necessity had to bring him up to give them 20-25 innings out of the pen. The Joba rules were instituted because Torre could no longer manage a bull pen and the Yanks Lost all faith

      2nd – Brian Cashman and his player development people. In now way with something like 88 professional innings should he have been put on the 08 Roster. He should have spent all or most of that year in AAA increasing his innings and improving his repertoire

      3 – Mike Francessa – I’m pretty sure he had something to do with it

      4 – Brian Cashman again, for inexplicably taking him out of the
      rotation in 2010, after a fairly solid 2009 campaign as a first time starter

      5 – Yankees Brass for putting to much emphasis on set up men

      Hopefully they have learned and wont make the same mistakes with Manny, Dellin, Phelps, ect

      • Jesse says:

        Lol at number 3, but I pinpoint the shoulder injury in ’08 against the Rangers. It seems that he’s never been the same since that injury, could that be because of the “Joba Rules”? Who knows.

      • Urban says:

        …or in August ’08 he fell on his shoulder trying to avoid a throw from Ivan Rodriguez, and has never been the same since, both velocity and command wise.

        The Yankees know his medicals, know his injury history going back to college, and are well aware of his less-than-pretty motion, and determined that the diminished-velocity Joba no longer had the upside to balance out the risk and high liklihood of another arm injury. Case in point, Joba didn’t even toss 100 MLB innings after he returned to the bullpen before blowing out his elbow and requiring TJS.

        What Yankee fans calling for Joba’s return to the rotation really want to believe is the Joba who was projected as either the #1 or #2 starting prospect in all of MLB heading into 2008 still exists. He doesn’t. He hasn’t for more than three years. It happens in baseball.

        • whozat says:

          No, that’s not true. I’d have been happy with seeing if the Joba from 2009 can figure out how to command the strike zone a bit better. The worst thing that would have happened is that he wound up breaking down (which happened anyway). The upside is that he turns into a decent cost-controlled starter and makes Nova moveable in a deal.

  17. Avi says:

    I enjoy reading Sickels’ work but on Banuelos he sounds lost:
    “He’s still a fine prospect, however, projecting as a number three starter if all goes well.”
    How does a 20 year old who K’d 9 per 9 innings at double A project as a number 3 “IF all goes well”?
    If all goes well Banuelos is a 20 year old Cole Hamels.

    • mbonzo says:

      Yea I don’t get how he gives Bichette so much benefit because he’s young, places him 5 spots ahead of Romine, but then ignores Banuelos’ age. I wrote it off as Sickel’s obsession with numbers, but with so many rookie ball prospects in the top 10, I feel like he’s being inconsistent.

  18. CMP says:

    Something doesn’t seem fair about Oklahoma state having a 28 year old QB. A player would be inellgible if he was taken to dinner by a coach but an adult is allowed to play against boys.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      Chris Weinke was also a much older college player. Not a fan of it either, but it’s not like these guys were spending the extra years honing their craft.

  19. Avi says:

    Via Ben Badler on Twitter: According a report from Japan, Yu Darvish is in or on his way to Texas (link in Japanese, via @YYHochi) http://bit.ly/rG46XC

    Something tells me we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

  20. Avi says:

    Via Ben Badler on Twitter: According a report from Japan, Yu Darvish is in or on his way to Texas (link in Japanese, via @YYHochi) http://bit.ly/rG46XC

    “Something tells me we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.”

    • RetroRob says:

      Highly unlikely they’ve reached a deal yet. More than two weeks left before a deal has to be completed. The final days (or day) is when the player will have the most leverage.

      According to NBC’s RotoWorld, “it appears the 25-year-old right-hander simply wants to get a lay of the land in Texas before negotiations begin in earnest.”

      Hmmm, maybe he’ll take one look at Arlington, return to the jet, fleeing back to Japan. He’s supposedly a big-city, cosmopolitan type person.

      If he was only one year away from unrestricted free agency I really do believe he’d return to Japan for 2012. He’s two years away, though, which increases the chances they’ll come to an agreement.

  21. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    BTW…..I was reading over some of this morning’s posts and noticed Jose Vazquez’s proposing that Boone Logan be converted to a starter. My first impulse was to roll my eyes but, the more I thought about it, the more I thought:

    1) It’s an actual original idea that doesn’t involve freaking out over what starting pitcher and/or internet sensation the team didn’t sign/trade for

    2) It’s not a trade proposal involving Betances/Warren/Phelps/Sanchez/Melky/IPK for Felix Hernandez

    3) Putting actual projections and stats aside for a second, there would absolutely nothing to lose in trying this out in AAA other than having to look through the scrap heap for a LOOGY that sticks

    He probably got hammered for it, and it’s pretty unlikely it would actually work, but I want to give the guy credit for having an original thought on here.

    • CMP says:

      The guy barely has 2 decent pitches and is far from dominant as a reliever so what makes you think he’d be an effective starter?
      I bet if you looked far back enough in his past, he failed as a starter which probably promoted his move to the pen.
      Moving Robertson to the rotation actually makes much more sense since he has 2 above average pitches.

    • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

      Thanks for your support Jack. Just because Boone failed to make it as a starter as a youngster does not imply that he cannot do it now. He has more experience and despite what the critics say he is a pretty good pitcher.

  22. CMP says:

    The guy barely has 2 decent pitches and is far from dominant as a reliever so what makes you think he’d be an effective starter?

    I bet if you looked far back enough in his past, he failed as a starter which probably promoted his move to the pen.

    Moving Robertson to the rotation actually makes much more sense since he has 2 above average pitches.

  23. Urban says:

    I wonder if Proctor has thrown his last pitch. Players recover at different rates from TJS. His velocity in 2011 was his highest in more than three years, and up two miles from 2010, his first year back from TJS. He was hitting 96 at times with the Yankees late in 2011. Command is the last to return and it happens at different rates. If he wants to pitch, I’m sure some team will give him a shot and I wouldn’t be shocked if he had a servicable year left in that arm. He was hasn’t been all that good since ’06/’07, but he may have something left to offer better than we saw at the end of last year. I just don’t want it to be on the Yankees.

  24. RetroRob says:

    Proctor doesn’t seem to have announced his retirement, so yeah, my guess is some team will give him an invite, or stuff in down in AAA to see if he might have some value. Doesn’t look promising, but stranger things have happened in baseball.

  25. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    There are a few others that Torre rode to the ground besides Proctor: Mendoza, Stanton and Gordon to name a few.

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