The First Open Thread of 2012


Reggie had himself a fine New Years. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The page hass officially turned on 2011, which begs the question: where the hell did all the time go? Hard to believe it’s 2012 already, no? I know it’s cliche to say that, but it’s definitely true. Like everyone else, I have a bunch of resolutions I plan on not keeping, but at least I’ll have a little extra motivation to prove myself wrong over the next few days before settling back into the routine.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the day. There are football games all over the place, plus the Knicks and Nets are playing. Of course if you’re a Time Warner customer, you won’t be able to watch the Knicks [if they were playing] because the Dolans pulled MSG over a contract dispute. That means the first place and fun to watch Rangers won’t be on anytime soon either, so thanks for that assholes. Talk about whatever you want here, anything goes.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Brooklyn Ed says:

    The Knicks isn’t playing today, tomorrow they play.

  2. CJ says:

    Any thoughts on John sickles Yankees prospects list? I agree with Gary Sanchez at 3, Sanchez vs banuelos for best prospect, counting montero as a major leaguer. Also, Tyler Austin could get real interesting in 2012.

  3. CJ says:

    I hope other major league teams are still as high on betances as sickels?

  4. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    I resolve to watch all Yankee games except those in the West Coast which are too late for me to stay awake. I also resolve that I won’t get angry when one of the guys strikes out with the bases loaded and no outs. My third and last resolution is that I won’t become irritated if they don’t bring up Banuelos or Betances by mid season. That’s it.

  5. wow says:

    Where did Buster Olney rank the Yankees on his power rankings?

    • Jankees27 says:

      4, behind Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and Texas

      A year ago, the Yankees had major rotation questions, which prompted the rash signing of Rafael Soriano — and New York went on to win a league-high 97 games. Ivan Nova is now established, and the Yankees feel good about the chances of Phil Hughes rebounding.

      The promotion of Jesus Montero into the big leagues should provide a boost for an offense that finished second in run production last year.

      And the Yankees continue to hoard the prospects of an improving farm system and wait for a deal for a big-time starting pitcher to develop.

      • G says:

        Rays at #1 is just a bit laughable…

        If he put them there because of their great rotation, it still makes no sense because the Phillies still have the best rotation in baseball (Citizen’s Bank is hitter friendly, the Trop is pitcher friendly, largely neutralizing offensive differences between the AL and
        NL), and have a superior offense to the Rays. Know who else has a very good rotation and a better offense than the Rays? The Angels, who somehow find themselves at #9. Wilson and Pujols should represent at least 10 WAR, likely about a 8-9 win improvement over who they replaced. I don’t think they are #1 or 2, but certainly not below the Rays.

        #4 is fair for the Yankees I guess, but they should be the favorite to win the division.

        • Guns of Navarone says:

          Agreed. The Phillies, Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, are all better than the Rays IMO. I might even put a healthy Marlins team up against the Rays. And I don’t know how the Angels are at #9 with that rotation…

          • Plank says:

            I wouldn’t put the Red Sox and definitely not the Marlins ahead of the Rays. If they really have added another ace in Moore, they’re gonna be really good.

            Why the Marlins?

            • Guns of Navarone says:

              Reyes, Ramirez, LoMo, Stanton, Sanchez… I like that lineup a lot better than the Rays. Plus a rotation with Johnson, Sanchez and Buehrle is pretty darn good. Why not the Marlins?

              • MannyGeee says:

                Seems legit to me. Marlins if healthy are top 6 to me in power ranking.

              • Plank says:

                Eh, I don’t see it. They were 72-90 last season. They have Johnson coming back from injury plus Reyes, Buerhle, and Bell. I don’t see them being better than the Rays.

                I was irrationally high on Buerhle and Reyes, but I still don’t think they will be enough to make the Marlins better than the Rays, who went 91-71 and added Moore.

                I think both team’s records last year are representative of their talent levels. They Marlins didn’t add 19 more wins than the Rays this offseason.

                • Guns of Navarone says:

                  I get that it’s a reach. I think where we disagree is that I don’t think that record is indicative of the Marlins’ talent level. I normally don’t put much stock into this sort of thing… but it seems like a new era down there.

                  I also don’t think the Rays are as good as their record indicates. I’m obviously wrong, because they’ve been doing it year after year. I just don’t see how a lineup with Reid Brignac, John Jaso, Sean Rodriguez, and even Johnny Damon continues to relatively succeed. I’m also not a believer in Kotchman and Joyce having similar success and I don’t believe in Upton at all. I also think it’s high time one of their pitchers, you know, got hurt. Or more than one a season underperformed. It happens to other teams…

        • Rainbow Connection says:

          Agreed. You have to spend $200 million to be #1.

      • Guns of Navarone says:

        The media’s treatment of the Rays as the “trendy pick” each year is starting to get annoying. I understood when the Rays rose to prominence, and started to get picked as the Wild Card or Division winners, but saying they’re the best team in baseball is going overboard. I know they are the envy of baseball when it comes to developing young pitchers, but you can’t possibly take yourself seriously when you pick a team with that lineup as the best in baseball.

  6. flamingo says:

    What’s happening with Russel Martin? Is he back yet?

  7. game watcher says:

    Same resolution as last year move out of your moms basement, right mike. Or did u aim high and try to get a date.

  8. Danny says:


    Interesting list, lot of debate on Banuelos in the comments. Anyone know who Daniel Lopez is ?

  9. Gonzo says:

    The BoSox guy on Sickels’ article just said he thinks Montero’s peak will be Carlos Lee’s 2008 season(which is fine). Then someone asks him based on what, and he says based on projection systems(!) like PECOTA that think it might be lower.

    I didn’t realize those systems would project into Montero’s age 27-29 seasons. LOL

    • JohnnyC says:

      Montero’s no match for Ryan Laverneandshirley.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I’ve seen the Lee comp more than once, it’s forced based on handedness and body type. Lee’s always been a dead pull hitter who never walked or struck out. Montero’s an opposite field hitter that draws more walks and also strikes out more.

      • Gonzo says:

        Thanks and Merry New Year!

      • MannyGeee says:

        Meanwhile, that’s a little cliche, no? Montero seems to be much more fit than people gave him credit for… If you believe the hype, Montero already has the diabetes and is 2 McRibs away from eating himself out of the game.

  10. Mike Myers says:

    Yankees New year resolutions:

    Trade AJ and Tex for Felix. Then Sign Prince. Then convince Arod to opt out of his contract and sign a 3 year 30 Mil contract. Then teach Phil to pitch again. Then make Joba a starter. Then clone Mo and have an army of him ready in 18 years. Did I miss anything?

  11. Reggie C. says:

    hope all here are recovered from last night’s festivities.

    Just saw the Sickels take on the farm over at minorleagueball.com

    Good stuff to read on a Sunday. I thought the Sanchez ranking was aggressive, but then Sickels goes ahead and ranks Tyler Austin and Ravel Santana towards the bottom of the top TEN and that really grabbed my attention. Mason Williams and DB Jr get most of the ink, as they would with their respective pedigrees and signing bonuses. So, its pretty cool to realize that there’s some high ceiling offensive talent beyond the usual names.

    • CJ says:

      I agree with Gary Sanchez at #3. Dante Bichette’s defense at 3B is great news. JR Murphy would just be coming out of college, pretty obvious but I didn’t think of it that way.
      2012 is huge for Tyler Austin, Bichette and Mason Williams

      • G says:

        I like thinking of this better:

        Montero would be in the draft this year if he had attended college for 4 years, assuming his November birthday would hold him back a year.

        Now that’s scary. People seem to ignore his age because of how long he’s been around. Granted more experience gives him an advantage over other 21 year olds (22 now, but I’m talking last year), but he’s still at a clear disadvantage to the large group of 24-30 year olds in AAA.

  12. Plank says:

    Here is the 2009 list from Sickels. 21 names, 5 players established major leaguers (4 for other teams), 11 no longer prospects, 5 still prospects (2 for other teams).


    • CJ says:

      Plank you thoughts on the list?

      • Plank says:

        The new one or 2009′s?

        My thoughts are pretty irrelevant. I don’t see minor league games, though I listen to them live quite a bit. Even if I was there with a radar gun, I would still have very little idea of what I was seeing.

        I feel like a lot of minor league internet scouts are just making small modifications on what everyone else is writing based on scouting reports written by people who have read scouting reports written by others.

        People say Banuelos is going to be good. I’ve seen him pitch once on TV in an AzFL game. I guess since everyone says he’s going to be good, he’ll be good.

        In the aggregate, I would say getting about 1/4 of the players on the top 20 to contribute to your team is pretty normal. 1/3 would be the top end of realistic. I see it as no different this year.

        As for individual players, my opinion is meaningless, as I presume most people’s opinion is unless they spend the baseball season traversing the country watching games.

        • CJ says:

          Oh come on, you’re making me want to turn off the football games because I am not a qualified offensive or defensive coordinator. Clearly, we are not professional scouting directors but that doesn’t mean we can’t have armchair fun with it.

          • Plank says:

            Okay, through the prism of what I feel about prospect rankings in general and more-so with individual fan prospect rankings including my own. I would have had:

            Betances above Banuelos, Slade out of the top 20 until he shows he can stay healthy for any stretch of time, Ramon Flores ranked higher, Ravel Santana and Nick Turley ranked lower.

            I have the sneaking suspicion that Brackman will have the most successful career out of the 3 Bs coming out of the pen.

            • CJ says:

              I really hope you’re wrong about brackman being the best of 3. I’m surprised there seem to be those who still like betances over banuelos

            • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

              “I have the sneaking suspicion that Brackman will have the most successful career out of the 3 Bs coming out of the pen.”

              It’s probably just gas.

        • Steve S. says:


          If you want some first hand accounts on prospects, here’s one source. Also, Trenton televises some of their games through their a link on their facebook page. I watched Dellin and Manny a few times last year on my laptop.

  13. The Big City of Dreams says:

    Congrats to the Colts I know Jesse is happy.

    • Jesse says:

      Lol, yes I am.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        You guys better draft Luck he’s sitting right there for you.

        • Jesse says:

          I sure hope so. And of course I hope they bring Peyton back too. At this point, if Peyton came back next year with all the potential changes in the front office, coaching staff, and personnel, I’d be very happy with a 10 win season and a playoff spot.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          That’s so fucking unfair that all the other sucky teams that have sucked consistently don’t have a shot at the best QB prospect in awhile but the team with Peyton Manning gets him. Screw the Colts, their only gameplan is let Peyton win the game for you.

  14. Mark L. says:

    I’m curious to see how the bench shakes out. Nakajima is almost certainly returning to Japan, leaving only Nunez and Jones. If Swish and Tex continue to display poor splits, the lineup is a little thin on power against RHP and our only two bench locks are RHB. With two spots to fill – do we go for a 3rd catcher? See about a lefty-swinging utility guy? Add a 5th outfielder for pinch running?

    It will be interesting.

    • Need Pitching says:

      I would think a third catcher would be a lock regardless. As for the last spot, if Nakajima doesn’t sign, I would think a lefty corner IF (Chavez??) would be the best fit.

  15. Mickey S says:

    So if the Yanks sign Nakajima for 2 years, he is arb eligible afterwards or a true FA? Not sure if the rule is different for players that go through the posting process. Thanks.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      MLB makes an exception for foreign veterans and lets them become free agents after their contracts are up, regardless of service time. That’s who Matsui and Contreras became free agents after their original deals were up.

      • Mickey S says:

        Thanks for explaining it in detail. I thought so but I wasn’t sure with Matsui’s seconds Yankee contract if it bought out his arb years. I always thought dogs laid eggs… The more you know!

      • Ed says:

        Matsui wasn’t a free agent after his contract expired. He negotiated a clause that said that if the Yankees didn’t re-sign him to a new contract, they had to release him at the start of the free agent period. Back then, the rules stated that if you released a player, you couldn’t re-sign him until May 1st. Obviously the Yankees re-signed him before the deadline.

        A lot of international free agents used to get that clause in their contracts. I’m not sure when the rules changed, or even if it did. The release isn’t as a big a deal now without the restrictions on signing your former players.

    • Plank says:

      I believe he will be a FA either because of a reciprocal agreement with NPB or because every Japanese player gets it written into their contract.

  16. G says:

    Just going off the prospect talk, I’m worried about how the hype will affect Montero. In a perfect world, the media and fans would leave him alone, let him have his growing pains, and once he reaches his late-twenties prime flash his full Miguel Cabrera-esque potential (don’t debate this, just an example of an ideal scenario). However I feel as if the expectations are so high that if he doesn’t hit at least .285/.370/.530 with 30 homers and 100 RBI he’ll be called a disappointment. Personally, I’d be ecstatic if he hit .275/.350/.500 and shows some value as a part-time catcher, but I don’t think the world will think that rationally.

    • Steve says:

      Not when you’ve got people routinely comparing him to Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Nelson Cruz and Babe fucking Ruth.

      • Guns of Navarone says:

        He’ll be better than Nelson Cruz :-)

      • G says:

        Hahahahahahaha I haven’t quite heard a Ruth comparison. I think saying that if all goes well he becomes a Cabrera type is fine, but saying he projects that high is setting the bar just a bit high.

  17. pat says:

    These shitty football games need to end.

  18. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    Mark Sanchez just makes me hate Tim Tebow all that much more, since Sanchez is a decent QB who never catches a break, while Tebow’s a terrible one who seems to.

    Yes, I know that’s oversimplified. It’s just all fucking visceral right now. :)

    • pat says:

      Sanchez is currently plowing Kate Upton. Poor guy.

    • Bo Knows says:

      Meh, Sanchez really isn’t that special. He’s had an ok year but I feel the Jets as a whole would have a similar record (I’m talking over his 3 year career) regardless of who the QB was.

      I like the fact Tebow has been able to win, but I think most of the hate that comes to him is due to that “Tebowmania” mess and the constant head pounding attention that he is getting. Not his fault that the media is a group of parasites, but what can you do?

    • Zack D says:

      1. He had the most potential INTs dropped by defenders last year. 15. Which was 6 more than any other QB. The other AFC East QBs didn’t total 15 together.
      http://espn.go.com/blog/afceas.....hezs-stats (“Football Outsiders’ criteria to determine a drop: “We don’t mean a defender sort of near the play, or guys who dive and see interceptions go off their fingertips. We mean guys who dropped balls that hit them right in the hands or chest.”)

      2. He was drafted to a team with a great defense, where they asked him to learn and be the game manager for his first 2 years.

      3. He was also drafted and had a top 5 running team his first two seasons, again not making him carry the team.

      4. He also had a top 5 o-line his first two years. Yes it was bad this year, but most young QBs get stuck behind a crap line.

      Any other young QB would consider that catching many breaks

  19. pat says:

    Larry Fitzgerald…. pretty good, no?

  20. Soriano Is A Liar says:

    Watching the Giants. Guess what song I can hear bleeding through from the stadium over me TV?


    • MannyGeee says:

      Hearing that goddam song every 20 minutes while the Yankees played dead bug in October makes me want to kick my dog every time I hear it now.

  21. 222

    200mi payroll and no pitching. Some gm we have

  22. forensic says:

    I thought Tony Romo had a booboo on his hand. I haven’t heard anything about it, guess I imagined it…

    • Jesse says:

      Speaking of which….I can’t wait until the Patriots are knocked out of the playoffs and we hear from the MSM the next day using Tom Brady’s left shoulder as an excuse. I remember hearing the same thing about his ankle after losing to the Giants in SB XLII, his knee following the loss against the Ravens in ’09, and his fractured foot following the Jets loss last year. Oh, and I can’t wait to hear the “Is the Patriots ‘dynasty’ over?” question for the upteenth time.

      • mbonzo says:

        Compared to the New York media, the New England media always appeared to give more benefit of the doubt. I noticed all too often that under Francona’s tenure, the New England media would always have an excuse to call him manager of the year. For instance 2010.

        Francona’s name has come up numerous times as a candidate for AL Manager of the Year. There’s a strong possibility he could earn the accolade. The fact he’s managing a team in a large market makes the club’s trials this season so visible, but Francona has learned how to deal with the challenges that come with the job in this city.

        On top of that, 64% of voters (673) in a poll at Over the Monster thought Francona deserved to win Manager of the Year.

        There is no way a Yankee manager would even be considered for manager of the year commanding a heavily favorited team to an early October offseason. Forget manager of the year, remember how many times we read that Girardi should have been fired this year after bringing the Yankees to an American League best 97-65 but failing to win game 5 in the ALDS.

        Its just a different market. I have a theory that Red Sox fans are a lot more pessimistic about their team and expect the worst. This stems from the 86 seasons of World Series failure. Yankees fans are optimistic, and expect to win the World Series every year.

        This year was, of course, different for the Red Sox, who were probably done giving excuses for Francona after missing the playoffs 2 seasons in a row with a team at max payroll.

        Anyway, the media is the same, and I see the same excuses they throw at the Red Sox as I do with the Patriots.

  23. Carl says:

    Just when I think I’m calling it quits for the NFL season after New Year’s Day because they shit the bed against the Redskins, the Giants pull me back in. I’m actually seeing a Giants playoff game again in 7 days. What a regular season by them.

    • forensic says:

      Ok, I’m even a Giants fan, but really??? What a regular season by them???

      They were 9-7. Beat a grand total of 1 team who finished over .500. Beat 1 team who made the playoffs (same team). Had a negative point differential. Were the worst rushing team in the entire league.

      If not for the NFL for some reason liking complete mediocrity (eight 8-8 teams??? Ugh.) for about 90% of their teams, the Giants would be home for the playoffs yet again. Maybe the only good thing about the season was beating the Giants twice and Jets once to keep those two arrogant and undeservingly hyped teams out of the playoffs (well, that and Victor Cruz).

      • forensic says:

        I even forgot to mention their particularly bad losses to the Seahawks and TWICE to the Redskins.

      • Pat D says:

        I’m assuming you meant beating the Cowboys twice.

        I think that what Carl meant by “what a regular season by them” was more a statement of “Can you fucking believe how inconsistent and roller coaster-like these idiots were all year?” rather than thinking they were really good.

        And it’s so funny/interesting that the one team over .500 that they beat was the team with the best record in the AFC, especially with the losses to Seattle and Washington.

        If they were really a good team, they should have 2 out of the 5 games they lost to Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia or San Francisco. All of those were winnable on some level.

        I just really hope they don’t lose to Atlanta. I know they’ve got a lot of offensive weapons, but I still don’t think they’re all that exceptional.

      • Carl says:

        Having to go through hell and back with injuries, inconsistency on defense and running the ball, as well as the free agency bonanza that had everyone calling for Jerry Reese’s head, I’m certainly not happy about these losses to the Redskins and Seahawks. But even getting in with the NFC East crown, that’s unbelievable considering what happened to start the 2nd half and how bad the Eagles were prior to the second week of December.

        Yes, they’re not a good team. I know that. There’s still a lot of work to do with these guys. And they’re a bunch of mishaps and mental mistakes from being better than 9-7. But this team wouldn’t even be in without Eli, Victor and JPP who are this team’s three best players this year. Plus with the shit that’s happened throughout the division, I couldn’t ask for anything more than winning it and they did just that. Besides, 10-6 didn’t even get them in last season (because they blew it in that home finale).

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