Saturday Night Open Thread

Kuroda speaks for first time since joining Yankees
Mailbag: Quality Starts

Had a pretty crummy day dealing with some computer issues, so I need something to cheer me up. For whatever reason, remembering that A.J. Burnett was good once upon a time always seems to do the trick. Where do you think that curveball went?

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. The Knicks are playing, plus the NHL Skills Competition is on at 7pm ET (on NBC Sports). That’s kinda like there Homerun Derby, but with more events and not as boring. Talk about whatever you like here. Enjoy.

Kuroda speaks for first time since joining Yankees
Mailbag: Quality Starts
  • Steve (different one)

    Man AJ was awesome in that game.

    • Phil “The Commish” Selig

      Drove down from Ottawa to attend that game.
      Awesome game, awesome experience.

  • OldYanksFan

    Back in the day, when AJ’s Curveball was on, it was about as good as any I’ve seen. Basically, impossible to hit.

    Those were the days.

    • pinebarrens

      yea, seriously, where did that curve go???

      • DZ

        I think the breaks still there, he just doesn’t know where it’s going and since he doesn’t throw as hard it kinda loops in there.

      • Mister Delaware

        The dirt.

      • Travis L.

        Into the tattoo sleeve!!

    • Mike E

      Err Aj’s Curveball in 2011 was just about as good as it was in 2009 according to PITCHf/x. His fastball was the pitch that got hit, but only because of an insanely unlucky homerun rate. If his homerun rate was career average he would have had a 4.2ish ERA and his FIP at 3.89.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        His homer rate has been career average once since he moved to the AL. AJ gives up longballs like it’s his business by having the 8th worst HR/FB rate since 2006. With declining fastball velocity I find it very unlikely he’ll do better.

        • Mike E

          Career- 11.3% HR/FB
          2006- 11.8%
          2007- 17.7%
          2008- 9.6%
          2010- 10.8%
          2011- 11.6%
          2012- 17.0%

          The league average is 10.6%. Considering both the Rogers Center and Yankee stadium are homerun parks, he’s been very average based on career and the league, aside from 2007 and 2012.

          • JobaWockeeZ


            He’s tied for the 7th worst starter in terms of HR/RB rate since 2006. That’s not average, or unlucky, or any other excuse. He isn’t good.

            You will not find many starters with a 12.8 HR/FB rate since then. Good luck.

            • Mike E

              I just checked, 17.0% is a hell of a lot more than 12.8%.

              Burnett’s xFIP becomes 3.91 if you plug in a 12.8% HR/FB.

              • JobaWockeeZ

                17? Since 2006? One of us is doing something wrong. ‘m checking again.

                • Mike E

                  17.0% was his 2011 HR/FB rate.

            • RetroRob

              AJ hasn’t been good since 2006? I’ll take AJ the pitcher from 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. AJ since then has not been good, decreasing in effectivness as his fastball has declined the last few seasons, but to say he hasn’t been good since 2006 is ignoring the data.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Oh and it’s a cute story that YS3 and the Rogers Center are affecting his rate but then I look at the splits and they say a different story.

          • Plank


            • Mike E

              Skipped 2009. Woops

      • Ted Nelson

        I do think he’ll get it down to some extent next year and some portion of it probably was luck. I just have to question how much of it was bad luck remembering some of the lollipops he threw last year. He just seemed to lay flat pitches right over the plate at a fairly high rate, even in pitchers’ counts. I haven’t quantified this at all and it’s just from my memory.

        • Mike E

          If his fastball was flat he would have given up a lot more line drives and a lot less grounballs.

          His LD% was 18.5% and GB% was 49.2%.

  • Robert

    This game and the 15 inning game against BOS in 09 are his two best Yankee moments.

  • Soriano Is A Liar

    “Where did that curveball go” now usually refers to where it lands after the hitter crushes it…

    • Monterowasdinero

      No. The answer is 55 feet and in the dirt.

  • statboy yankopherson

    i wish we had kept room for him and phil. tho im not sure which (kuroda or pineda) i would undo.

    i guess cash forgot what the word upside means

    • Steve H

      Pineda and Kuroda are better pitchers than Phil and AJ. Why would you want a weaker team?

      • Soriano Is A Liar

        Pineda has no upside though! Wait, what?

    • Steve (different one)

      What a funny complaint. Because those two are simply all upside, with no downside potential right?

  • Tomm

    He still has the curve, he just needs the fastball to set it up, and he doesn’t have the fastball anymore. Duh.

  • Jay Kap Jr

    That curveball went with Jose Molina…

    • mike_h

      very true, only way to fix AJ is to pair him up with Molina. They clearly worked well together

      • Mister Delaware


    • Matt DiBari

      Seriously, at least anecdotally, Molina had some ability to block the curveball in the dirt that gives Cervelli absolute fits. Maybe knowing that there’s no chance Frankie is going to stop the ball from rolling to the wall affects Burnett in some way.

      Or maybe Burnett is just awful. I’m probably leaning more towards that one.

  • Betty Lizard

    Good times. I was SO happy when AJ became a Yankee. Sigh.

  • Mattchu12

    Dusted off my copy of MLB 2k11 so I could see Kuroda and Pineda pitch in pinstripes, I can’t explain how big of a smile I had watching them strikeout Jose Iglesias at-bat after at-bat.

    • Mattchu12

      Also, traded for Chase Headley in Franchise mode, and he has been a perfect compliment to Jones as DH as well as a backup at 3B and the corner outfield positions.

      Consider me on the bandwagon for trading for him in real life.

      • jjyank

        I am also on that bandwagon. I think Headley would be a great trade target, especially with an injury-prone A-rod. Just a question of who we have to give up. If we can keep Banuelos out of the trade, I’d be all for it.

        • Mattchu12

          I traded Betances for him, but I’m not a big Betances fan.

      • BK2ATL

        I’d certainly be on board for Hundley, Can he play OF as well??? Possible Swisher replacement in 2013.

        I’m not sure why San Diego would want to trade Hundley though, other than the 2012 $3.4 million salary and he’s in his arbitration years. He’s one of their best young players still under team control. It’ll probably take something like Hughes/Phelps, Nunez and Brandon Laird.

        What do you think?

        • Mattchu12

          I traded Betances straight up for him, but I’m not a big believer in Betances.

      • pinebarrens

        wait, we’re supposed to have influence on real moves by what happens in a video game?

        • Mattchu12

          No, obviously humor doesn’t get through very well on the internet.

          I was lead to Chase Headley from the posts on this very website, and having used him in the way I described, I definitely see how he could be a great addition to the club. I don’t put any stock in video games, I’m just saying that I would like to acquire him now that I have a better grasp on what he has to offer, which is more from legit stats with SD than what has happened in a game where Cervelli can hit double-digit home runs.

    • jjyank


  • BK2ATL

    How about those Bosox?

    They trade away both SS and try to clear enough salary to sign Roy Oswalt. They then try to lowball him, even after he came down on his demands and would accept a 1 yr deal. They NEED pitching, but… Looks like he’s headed to St. Louis instead. Boston didn’t make a compelling enough offer to persuade him from wanting to stay in the NL. I wasn’t a huge Oswalt fan for the Yankees, due to the back thing, but Boston, I could care less.

    Then, they’re supposedly in on Gavin Floyd, but have nothing much to offer that would interest Chisox.

    Have fun with that RF platoon of Cody Ross and Ryan Kalish.

    I’m starting to think they really might end up in 3rd place in 2012.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      3rd place? 4th wouldn’t surprise me at all.

      • Tom Zig

        Don’t sleep on the BoSox. Beckett and Lester are still top of the rotation starters. Not to mention they have Youk, Pedroia, and A-Gonz in the middle of their lineup. They can still compete in the AL East.

        • FIPster Doofus

          I think Boston is being treated similarly to the way the Yankees were being treated a year ago, and we all know how that ultimately turned out. Bottom line: The current Red Sox roster is absolutely capable of winning the AL East.

        • BK2ATL

          Behind Beckett and Lester, what can be realistically expected from Buchholz, Bard and Aveces? Buchholz is certainly talented, but returning from a stress fracture in his back. Bard as a starter? Really?

          They did rebuild their bullpen with Bailey and Melancon, but the rest includes the likes of Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales as reclamation projects.

          Offensively, they were #1 in MLB. Can’t take anything away from that. Carl Crawford will rebound and add to that. However, they have holes at SS and RF. Youklis has missed a substantial amount of time due to injuries in the past 3 years running now. Who knows how the Ortiz mess will turn out? Seems like very strained relations between him and the club right now. Then there’s the Bobby Valentine thing.

          Tampa is a well-run, well-coached club loaded with quality pitching and some talented young players. Toronto would be a contender in any other division in MLB. And then, our beloved Yankees just reloaded the rotation to go along with the 2nd best offense in MLB (which will be better when A-Rod and Tex bounce back), arguably the best bullpen, and a very sound defense.

          This what Boston must compete with. I could just as easily see them finish 2nd or 4th in 2012.

          • Steve

            Youk has missed substantial time due to injuries in the past three year running but the Yankees offense will be better when A-Rod bounces back, got it.

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            Granted, the rotation behind Lester and Beckett is shaky, although it’s certainly possible that Buchholz rebounds to have a respectable year.

            That said, how good does it have to be when the offense averages 5.4 runs/game?

            Writing off the Sux at this point is just plain silly.

            Could they finish 4th? I suppose, but that would mean everything went wrong for them and everything went right for the Jays.

            While the homer in me can’t see them beating the Yanks for the AL East title, I certainly could see them finishing 2nd.

  • peter

    man did he have the curve working that night. painting the outside corner to all those lefties. how nice would it be to consistently get starts like that from him this year?

    • RetroRob

      If he could command his curve like that, he’d be fine even with his lost velocity. AJ is the opposite of Mo. Lots of moving parts in his delivery, does not repeat it well.

  • NapLajoieonSteroids

    Despite how lousy AJ Burnett has been, he has had some big postseason games for the Yankees.

  • raider

    Sanchez by this time next year will havev moved past Montero.

    Montero not yet able to handle big league curve or changeup plus defensively not at Piazza level.

    Sanchez has all the tools

    The real surpise for some no Austin Romaine –

    • Steve (different one)

      Yes, lettuce not forget Romaine.


  • TinoBambino24

    I remember that night. I went to a bar and had crazy-good cheesey garlic bread and came home to see Matsui hit the game-winning dinger. Also, I like how Burnett was “sporting” a beard. How dare he break the no facial hair code!

  • neaks

    Watching this didn’t only remind me of how awesome AJ was for us that night, it also reminded me of how much I despise when Joe Buck calls important games. Absolutely no emotion in his voice. This is the WORLD SERIES man, get excited!