Sunday Night Open Thread

Swept: Yanks shut out by Rays
The Mitchells dominate in a pair of wins
He's just so, so good. (Leon Halip/Getty)

These three games against the Rays were terrible, awful, horrible, ugly, whatever else you want to call them. It could be worse though, we could all be Red Sox fans.Embedded Yankees Al Aceves and Mark Melancon are starting to pay some real dividends early on. By the way, the last time the Yankees and Red Sox both started a season 0-3 was 1966. They went on to finish that year in 9th and 10th place in a ten-team division.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The White Sox and Rangers are the ESPN Sunday Night game (Harrison vs. Floyd), and I’m pretty sure ESPN grabbed this one because they thought Yu Darvish was going to start. He’s pitching tomorrow, however. You folks know what to do here, so have at it.

Swept: Yanks shut out by Rays
The Mitchells dominate in a pair of wins
  • Plank

    How long and at what level of play will Jack Cust seem like a better DH option than Raul Ibanez?

    • Monterowasdinero

      What exactly is Damon doing? Working out in Florida? Waiting for an injury to open the door for him? Dropping his price? I am surprised nothing worked out for him. He played almost every game for a playoff team last year and can still run and is healthy.

      • Plank

        Damon is retired. He’s 38 years old. He’s not coming back. Not for the Yankees. Likely not for anyone.

        That said, I’d like the Yankees to give Barry Bonds a long hard look if they are looking to upgrayedd their lineup.

        • Tyrone Sharpton

          damon’s def not retired. i’d be the first person to advocate for bonds, but no bonds is ridiculous to consider at this stage. damon still can be a serviceable MLB player

          • Tyrone Sharpton

            i meant “no, bonds is ridiculous…”

        • Steve S.

          Last thing I read on Damon was he/Boras was asking for 5M for this year, which no one was going to give him. If something opens up and he lowers his asking price, I have to think he’ll play. He wants a job, he just can’t find one at his asking price.

          • Plank

            Yeah, I didn’t elaborate, but functionally he’s retired. I highly doubt he plays another major league game.

            • RetroRob

              He’ll play. For whom, I do not know.

        • Monterowasdinero

          Gray hair better than no hair.


  • BK2ATL

    Cabrera-Fielder might be scarier than Ramirez-Ortiz ever were.

    • Monterowasdinero

      This is true right now but a healthy ARod and a bounce back year from Tex (sub-par 39 HR last year) could get us scary again.

      Plus Cano and Grandy.

      • Plank

        How is 39 home runs sub par?

        • Grit for Brains

          .361 wOBA…384 career, .402 in 2009

          • Plank

            That’s fine. If you want to say Teixeira had a down year, I would agree with you. Just don’t use HR to illustrate it.

            • radnom

              I interpreted it as saying he had 39 hr despite having a sub-par year, and so any bounce back would make him elite.

              • Monterowasdinero

                That’s what I meant.

                • Plank

                  Sorry, my bad.

  • Cheese at the Knees

    Joe Girardi, trying to play baseball idiot savant, ends up playing plain-old baseball idiot.

  • Johnny

    This is a series where I do feel like most of the blame must be pinned on Girardi. Yes, the boys aren’t hitting all that much (or rather at the right times), but Girardi has made far too many poor decisions—there are some that are self-evident to all (IBB; Ibanez in right; Rapada/Logan left in) but there are others that are more subtle. For one, he left Kuroda in too long in Game Two. There’s a reason you have a long reliever in the bullpen. If your starter is doing poorly, you don’t leave him in for a few more innings just to burn some outs.

    Yes, there’s nothing you can do about if Logan or Kuroda leaves a meatball over the plate. But you have to know what your pitcher is capable of and what state of mind they’re in. For an ex-catcher, Girardi apparently has no feeling for this or simply doesn’t care.

    Tangentially, I already don’t like the way they’re using Phelps. You break in a rookie, as Earl Weaver noted, by giving him long relief work—three, four innings at a time. He would have been perfect for a 5th or 6th inning appearance in Games 2 and 3. Instead, Girardi called on him for two outs and likely won’t return to him for days.

    You’re going to screw up that kid. He doesn’t deserve it.

    • Plank

      The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

      They scored 12 runs in their first 2 games. How is their hitting not there?

      When should he have removed Kuroda? How should he have known? More often than not, good pitchers settle down after a rocky inning or two.

      Phelps is likely here temporarily. He will be anchoring the AAA rotation soon enough ready to be called up as soon as there is an injury. A month of being at the back of the bullpen isn’t going to mess him up.

      • Johnny

        I didn’t say the sky was falling. I was commenting on the series and criticizing Girardi.

        Game 2, 6B. After allowing four runs (not all earned, but allowed nonetheless) and not pitching good at all, Girardi allows Kuroda to go out for another inning. He promptly gives up two loud doubles but still isn’t pulled. He walks a batter and allows another run to score.

        The correct answer is that you have Phelps warming up after the fifth. Why even let Kuroda go back out there? He clearly isn’t on. You don’t wait for the imaginary, theoretical “bounce back” when the game is half-over. You don’t risk him continuing.

        Again, going back to Earl Weaver—and I know Girardi isn’t Earl Weaver, but that’s no excuse for trying to emulate him—Earl Weaver had no problem with pulling his starters when he knew they didn’t have it. And we all knew Kuroda didn’t have it yesterday. That’s fine—it just wasn’t his day. I am certain he’ll be great in the future.

        • Plank

          With the benefit of hindsight, that’s certainly a better decision. An unknown is better than a bad result.

          If Kuroda had gone out and pitched a perfect 6th and 7th would you be complaining as loud as you are now? If you truly believe what you are saying, you should be. A bad result doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision.

          • Steve S.

            An unknown is better than a bad result.

            Repeated for emphasis. Everyone’s a genius after the fact.

            • mustang


          • Johnny

            Bad managing is bad managing and I would absolutely be complaining about it, as I have been about Cano batting third. I don’t believe in leaving starters in when they’re in the position that Kuroda was. I’m sure in a parallel universe Kuroda went on to pitch four perfect innings and the Yankees put twenty runs on the board. But it didn’t happen here.

            There are times when bad decisions don’t harm a side. But the majority of the time they do, and there is absolutely no excuse for this stuff going on still. It’s 2012, y’all. Throw out your old-timey ways of thinking.

            This type of managing shouldn’t be going on today. I’m waiting for the inevitable bunt plays that we’ll be seeing in a few games. Oh, it’s going to be glorious.

            (Your best hitter shouldn’t bat third. The analyses done over the years show that your best hitter either bats second or fourth, where statistically they’re more likely to drive in runs and produce, et cetera.)

            • Plank

              You think I have an old-timey way of thinking?


              • Johnny

                No, I was just commenting on Girardi, managers, and people in general; I didn’t mean you specifically.

                I just thought of a good example of times when bad decisions don’t instantly harm a side: Bob Brenly having Tony Womack bunting before Luis Gonzalez and them attempting to steal while Luis Gonzalez was at the plate. See, when a hitter hits 57 home runs in a year, you try to get men on for him and you certainly don’t try to find ways for them to get themselves out as Brenly did.

                As Keith Law is fond of saying, Brenly did all he could to ensure that his team a) didn’t make the playoffs and b) didn’t win the World Series, but Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson wouldn’t let him execute those two plans.

                • Plank

                  I’m aware managers make mistakes. I’m aware the mistakes don’t always hurt, most of the times, they do nothing. Girardi made mistakes in this series. Leaving Kuroda in for the 6th wasn’t a mistake.

                • Zack

                  Bob Brenly was easily among the worst managers to ever win a World Series. No way it should have gone to seven games.

              • Steve S.

                Be honest, you have Run DMC playing in your room as you’re typing.

                • Johnny


                • Plank

                  I wish. The only music I was allowed to listen to growing up was a Starland Vocal Band 8 Track. It’s…interesting.


              • Robinson Tilapia

                You old timer.

            • Plank

              How is leaving a good pitcher in for the 6th inning a bad managerial move. He wasn’t at his pitch count. Why should his 50 pitches (or whatever the number was through 5 inning) sample size be weighted higher than any other sample size, Mr. New Way of Thinking?

          • mustang

            This along with…..

      • Robinson Tilapia

        The hitting was absolutely there the first two games. Hell, the pitching was kinda sorta there today. We’ve seen them need to put things together before.

        It could be much worse. We could be rooting for the Red Sox, or even for the 3-0 Baltimore Orioles.

      • mustang

        Plank the old timer?


      • rogue

        “The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

        They scored 12 runs in their first 2 games. How is their hitting not there?”

        The Yankees remind me of the New England Patriots. Both teams have overrated offenses. The Pats offense can still light it up against weak and mediocre defenses, but can’t reach 20 against a good defense. BTW, Rich Cimini hit the nail on the head with his “Myth of Tom Brady” article during SB week, but I digress.

        In the first TB game the Yankees got their 6 runs:

        3 by Ibanez HR
        2 by infield ground outs
        1 by WP
        RISP: 2-11

        Second TB Game:

        Top 4th: Yankees score 2 runs with the aid of a WP and an error plus 3 singles before Jeter does what he does best these days: grounds out to end the inning with RISP.

        Top 9th: After 4 scoreless innings, the Yankees were able to get a walk by Martin and a pinch hit single by Eric Chavez before Swisher hits a 3 run HR.

        RISP: 3-8

        Third TB game: /crickets

        RISP: 0-6

        Total RISP: 5-25

        Yes, it’s only 3 games into the season, but the M.O. is the same since 2010 – HRs or bust, unless, the opponent is generous. I’m sure the Yankees will get hot when the weather gets warmer and the schedule, easier. Like the Patriots vs tough defenses, the Yankees will struggle against good pitching and strong lineups.

        RISP in 3 2011 ALDS losses to Detroit: 3-21 (great offense!)

        FWIW, Before the start of the season, I considered the Rays, Rangers, and Tigers being better teams than the Yankees.

  • bonestock94

    159 to go, no need to go nuts yet. Seemed like a lot of bad luck mixed in with some bad decisions.

    • Mike Axisa

      Losing games is bad, especially three games in a row. But yeah, we have no idea if this is a sign of something being seriously wrong or if it’s just the typical ups and downs.

      • Virgil Earp

        I said yesterday that we’re in trouble so it’s definitely a sign of something being seriously wrong. We’re fortunate to get the Os next so we can at least put a W or two on the board. It starts at the top. We just need a manager who doesn’t get in the way. Just let the lineup do its thing. Don’t sit Jeter the 2nd game of the year to make room for Eduardo Nunez. Joe Torre would just sit there and do his job, nothing. That’s why he won 4 rings in 5 years.

        • Steve S.

          This post is like a wrong sandwich, with layers upon layers of bad ideas stacked one on top of the other. The Torre line was the olive with the toothpick that holds it all together.

          (sits, waits and hopes Mike tweets this later)

        • Johnny


          Ironically, Ivan Nova takes the mound tomorrow. Make that 0-4!

          Now that you’ve brought up the Torre years, am I the only one disappointed with Knoblauch’s performance when he was juicing? When a guy’s taking steroids, I want him to be hitting 60+ bombs. All that happened to Knoblauch was that he forgot how to throw to first.

          I guess there is something to that massive body of work that says that steroids rarely (if ever) do anything to help.

          • Steve S.

            One thing juicers will tell you is that using makes you feel like Superman. The way Chuck lost his ability to make the shortest throw in baseball could mean he went from supreme confidence to zero overnight, so there’s that.

            • Johnny

              I’ve always been wondering about that: if you’re taking steroids, then there must be some kind of placebo effect, right? Like, “I’m taking steroids, therefore I must be getting better and I must be a better player,” and that belief ends up manifesting itself in the game. Interesting.

        • http://yesnet tendollaryankee

          I could’t have said it better

      • Steve S.

        I look at it this way. If they lost 3 in a row in the middle of June, it would be a blip on the radar. Doing it to start the year and there’s no context, so even some smart fans begin to get uneasy, wondering if this is a sign of things to come.

        One thing I don’t buy is the notion that Maddon’s Shift is some brand new run suppression machine that will weigh down the Yankees (and the rest of baseball) indefinitely. Teams have been using spray charts for years, and most don’t go as far as Maddon because they think things even out over time, so there’s no real benefit. I think they got lucky on a few screamers now everyone thinks they re-invented the game. Personally, I need a LOT more data.

        That being said, in any business innovation is always a huge short term edge, until everyone else catches up with you. If its for real, the Rays could open a sizable lead with that rotation of theirs.

        • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

          Steve, stop using logic in here!!!

          good to hear some sense talked about regarding the nutty professors shifts.

    • rogue

      Based on my response to plank, the Yankees seemed to have had a bit of good luck in the series.

  • Johnny

    On a lighter note, what is the status of our mole Phil Coke? He’s still with the Tigers, right? It looks like we may need him.

  • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

    just asking:

    does anyone else feel the team looks slow and old?
    Not just these three games, but towards the tail end of last year.

    I think going with Maxwell instead of Raul, good start.

    I just want to see a shift towards younger, faster two way style players on this team in the future.

    Guys like Scissorhands, Brett, might not be superstars, far from it, but they give a fresh feel to the team.
    Granted you need young GOOD players.
    opefully when Dante, Sanchez and mason are ready they will still be Yanks and not traded for a 35 yar old halladay.

    • Johnny

      The Astros picked up Maxwell today.

      • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

        i know :( i meant to say going with maxwell instead of raul WOULD have been a good start.
        getting sick of the mid 30 year old players used as pick ups.
        Hopefully Pehlps can stick, as well as Pineda, Nova, etc, etc..

        • Johnny

          I guess they do kind of look like old men, but they looked like old men in 2009 as well. And plenty of teams have picked up and won with veterans. You just need to know how to use the veterans, and I hope today proved to the front office that the idea that Ibanez can play the field is ludicrous.

          Ibanez’s misplay of the ball today was priceless though, and that GIF of it in Mike’s game recap is amazing. Honestly, it was actually worth the runs that it cost just to have that clip to play back. Baseball at its finest!

          • Mike Axisa

            It’s a same thing we hear all the time. When they’re losing, they’re old. Been hearing it for ten years now.

            • Johnny

              As you say, wait until Andy gets back. I love the way that narrative has already started to develop in the media… the old veteran, coming back to steady the side and save the season! If he tears up and has even a modicum of success, there’ll be no negative talk about his age.

            • i collect brett gardner cards

              to be fair, i feel that way all the time. lol

              i think a younger team is something we don’t seem to embrace. always about some rugged vet, instead of the young stud.

              my point being though is i’d like to see a YANKEEs team thats young and exciting and wins, as opposed to an older, slow team, that wins.
              something new, you know?

              oh and sorry about the double post, my maxwell response didnt show, so i typed it again. :(

            • Steve S.

              …and usually from one writer in particular.

      • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

        i know :(
        i meant to type going with maxwell instead of raul, WOULD be a good start.

        i type too fast and can’t keep up with my thoughts, lol

        • Ethan

          You mean you type too slow and can’t keep up with your thoughts?

    • Monterowasdinero

      You may be right but I think we got younger and faster at DH with Ibanez replacing Jorge.

      Hip hip!

      • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

        Ibanez replaced Montero, genius.

    • Plank

      The team doesn’t look slow to me. They are old.

      With the exception of Jeter, Arod, and Mo, they aren’t too old at any one position. Cano, Martin, and Gardner are at prime ages. Every other position player are just at the tail end of peak or still good phase of the decline.

      As long as they are proactive about it and willing to dump players before they decline, they will be fine.

      Pitching has 3 young starters (awesome), 1 guy just starting decline age (CC), and 2 guys in decline phase one of whom may not stay as a starter. I don’t count Pettitte.

      I’m not worried for this year.

      • i collect brett gardner cards

        ture, but let me ask you, do you see the mets as an old team?
        they are right behind the yanks in terms of average age, ranking 4th, yanks are first.

        but the mets dont seem old, right?
        The feeling of age, and watching them all these years, just adding 30 somethings in there along the way.

        • Plank

          By far the two oldest Yankees are Mo and Ibanez. They will both be gone next season. After them, the next oldest players are Jeter, Kuroda, Arod, Andruw Jones, and Chavez. Kuroda, Jones, and Chavez will be gone and Jeter and Arod are admittedly problems.

          After them, there are no players that can be considered old by anyone’s definition.

          The Yankees are top heavy with their age so that drags the average older. Going forward it won’t be a problem other than Jeter and Arod – not a bad problem to have compared to others.

    • dalelama

      They have been old and slow for two years. This team won’t make it past the first round of the playoffs.

    • The209

      I agree with you. Sitting Gardner in game #2 of the year is atrocious.

    • TomH

      Of course, they look slow and old. And that’s because they are slow and old.

  • Hall and Nokes

    The Rangers couldn’t throw everyone a bone by moving up Yu one day to have him start on national TV?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Like the screen name.

  • i collect brett gardner cards

    also, the yankees bench is OLD and SLOW.
    so they make up for the starters.

    a bench of Maxie, Nunie, Romie, and a nice utility guy would be ideal.

    These guys like Jones, Ibanez and Stewart are soo limited its funny.
    the bench becomes a negative, not a positive, especially with binder joe relying on them so much with these rotations.

  • Holy Ghost

    It’s been hard watching the past three games. I’m worried but not panicked. If they lose the next series in Baltimore then I’ll panic.

    On a different note, A-Jax seemed to be in the middle of a lot of the Tigers’ rallies this weekend. This year may be the year everything clicks for Austin Jackson as a lead-off hitter

    • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

      Stop talking about that. As per RAB, Jackson is the worst player is the history of MLB.

  • Opus

    Don’t know if it was mentioned in another open thread, but I missed the news that Arodys Vizcaino had Tommy John surgery.

    • Steve S.

      So now I guess the Javier Vazquez Boone Logan trade looks good again?

      I can’t keep up with this deal. Keeps going back and forth.

  • bonestock94

    Ozzie Guillen said that he “loved” and admired Fidel Castro while calling him an “expletive” hahahahaha!!!

    Of all the markets to be saying that in…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      RIP Ozzie Guillen

  • mustang

    How doesn’t MLB, ESPN or someone carry this nationally?

    Seattle at Texas 8:05 PM Noesi vs Darvish

    The Asian market alone would eat this up.

    • mustang

      Plus with Montero and Noesi Yankees fans would be in.

    • mustang

      I might actually be more interested in watch this games the Yankees vs O’s.

  • Steve S.


    • Monterowasdinero

      I guess this won’t be replacing Sinatra’s NY NY anytime soon.

    • The209

      time to make the donuts

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    It’s funny how Girardi has no problem playing a guy who wouldn’t be a good hitter even if he played in AA like Stewart because he supposedly is good defensively but he has no problem putting a butcher like Ibanez in the outfield just like he used to do with Marcus Thames, who seemed to cost the Yankees a run every time he stepped onto the field. I guess there’s no chapter on outfield defense in the binder.

    Overall, I thought the criticism of Girardi this series was over the top but there really is no excuse for putting Ibanez in the field ever.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Couldn’t agree more. I’d be shocked if Ibanez gets an outfield assist this year. Cervelli and Damon-for all the negatives-would give this team alot more spark and chemistry than Ibanez and Stewart. No stat for that.

    • William Bonney

      He needs to stop managing like Mr. Burns. An ace left hander like CC can be trusted to get Sean Rodriguez out. You don’t have to put more men on base in the 1st inning just to set up a lefty lefty match up. And Jeter doesn’t need a half day off in Game 2. Game 52, yes. Game 2, now you’re just over thinking it.

      • radnom

        It wasn’t all about resting Jeter, it looks like Girardi is intending to give Nunez a shot over Gardner against lefties. Not sure I disagree either.

    • Preston

      Do you think that was Girardi’s call? If Stewart is the back up he has to play, C’s can’t start every game. You would think a roster call like Stewart over Cervelli would be a decision made by Cash.

  • William Bonney

    Nova could give up 8 ER tomorrow and he could still out duel Brian Matusz. The Os are just what we need to right the ship. The offense will be fine. Joe just needs to pick his best lineup and stick with it. He’s so obsessed with right-lefty that he intentionally walked Sean Rodriguez in the first inning. That needs to stop.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Everybody brace yourself for some dynamic hitting performances from Nick Johnson and Wilson Betemit these next few nights.

    /bad feeling

  • Buhner’s barber

    This might be just confirmation bias, but I could swear that the Yankees BABIP was about .050 today.

    • Mike Axisa

      They are certainly putting the ball in play. Just 16 strikeouts in the three games. Also 18 walks.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I did not see the game today but was at the game Saturday. Kuroda some how stayed around the Rays were hitting him solidly. It was much pretty much location up that got him into trouble. The Rays could do no wrong as Maddon made the calls and his team responded well.

    The one move that ticked me off was leaving Rapada in to pitch to Longoria. This guy can outright smash the ball as we all know. Rapada throws at 86 MPH on a good day. I said to my son as Girardi left him in that the blue signs in the second deck were insight for a long HR . Next pitch deep in the corner with fan interference to me Girardi gave up on the game, right there, 2 runs scored. Yanks lose 8-6. It was the Rays weekend everything they did worked. Yanks hit in some bad luck. Example, Jeter’s third at bat knocked Price’s glove off with runners on base. A self defense moved saved some runs. Its the breaks of the game. My concern was the pitching is not sharp at all. I believe Jeter to stay healthy will need rest but not against our main competitor in the second game of the year. Scissor hands made a horrible play on the grounder in the first inning.

  • David K.

    I don’t mean to keep beating a fallen horse, but wouldn’t the lineup look so much better (and younger) with Jesus Montero hitting 5 or 6?

    • Mike Axisa

      Sure it would.

      Are we really going to hear this every time the Yankees lose a game? Move on.

      • The209

        comment filter

    • Monterowasdinero

      Get over it already! lol

      Montero will be back in 6 years.

      We will feel better if Pineda is the first half 2011 pitcher we hope he will be. I am a bit skeptical with: NY vs Seattle expectations, his maturity and health issues in his throwing shoulder. But I am bullish on Phelps.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Oh god, you are going to be a miserable dude in six years. :)

  • Duh Innings

    The Yanks should trade Hughes, Nova, Banuelos, and Betances to Seattle for Felix Hernandez this season then sign Cole Hamels to a bigger contract than Cain’s in the offseason.

    Sabathia/Hernandez/Pettitte/Kuroda/Garcia the rest of 2012.

    Sabathia/Hernandez/Hamels/2 TBD for 2013 (ideally Pettitte and one from Kuroda, Garcia, and the AAA rotation.)

    Seattle could have an all-ex-Yankee prospects rotation next year (Hughes/Nova/Noesi/Banuelos/Betances) which would be so cheap they could sign some hitters.

    • Plank

      The Mariners goal is to win baseball games and make money. Why would they trade 3 years of King Felix for 2 years of Hughes and full control of two not can’t miss prospects?

  • Duh Innings

    Sabathia/Hernandez/Pettitte/Pineda/Kuroda or Garcia assuming Pineda is good enough to be in the rotation (my previous rotation was assuming Pineda wouldn’t be as who knows?

    Ideally Sabathia/Hernandez/Hamels/Pineda/Pettitte, Kuroda, Garcia, or an AAA starter in 2013.

    • Jesse

      Will you give up the King Felix to the Yankees dream? You do know Brian Cashman tried to get him before “settling” with Pineda in the first place, right?

  • David Ortizs Dealer

    If this was covered above, sorry.

    Anyone else remember what happened the last time the Yanks started the year 0-3?

    It was 1998 – I think we all like how that ended.

    • Binder Madness

      Unfortunately, Joe Torre’s not walking through that door.

      • http://yesnet tendollaryankee

        Nor Billy Martin