Sunday Night Open Thread

2012 Draft: Mason Melotakis
Rutckyj dominates in Low-A debut

Could you imagine baseball players doing that these days? Four guys like CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixeira going on Leno or Letterman or something and singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame? Man, things sure were different in 1958, eh?

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The ESPN Sunday Night game is the Dodgers and Cardinals (Billingsley vs. Lohse), plus there some NBA playoff action going on a little later tonight. You folks know what to do by now, so have at it.

(h/t to reader Ben K. for emailing the video … not our Ben K., a different one)

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2012 Draft: Mason Melotakis
Rutckyj dominates in Low-A debut
  • Arya

    The only two players worth a damn on this team are Raul Ibanez and Andy Pettitte. We’re supposed to be able to count on our ace to hold leads. Where’s the capitain? A-Rod has taken Jeter’s lead of swinging at the 1st pitch and making an out. Cano looked awful vs Marshall. Offense, starting pitching, relief pitching, defense. It’s all terrible.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      Imagine how good they’ll look when the inevitable correction comes.

    • Erica

      Jeter literally cannot be the whole team, you know.

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Cano did his part today. Can’t pile on for that one AB.

    • Need Pitching

      relief pitching is terrible?

      so I take it you haven’t watched many Yankee games this year

    • Voice of Reason

      Sean Marshall is one of the best relievers in baseball. Of all the things to complain about, that stood out as one of them?

    • Esteban

      lol CC sux whatevs.

  • Erica

    For fear of my personal recap of yesterday’s game getting lost in the recap thread itself…

    I was very apprehensive about attending the game. It’s not like I want to go and see only wins – you’re a fan through the highs and the lowest of lows. But it’s just downright depressing watching the way this team plays currently. They couldn’t catch a break (all those near-home-runs!) and after Nova gave up that 3-run home run, the Stadium was deflated.

    It was 75% full and… silent. I’ve never felt so bummed sitting at a game. Last month, I attended what was a Phil Hughes loss vs. the Angels and watched him get booed mercilessly. This time around? I’m not sure if the crowd actually had it in them to make much noise.

    I pretty much nearly left in the 8th inning, but my dad convinced me to stay. The 9th inning rally was great- but too little, too late. It felt good to see them score, it did. But I just felt like… they weren’t going to do it. They weren’t going to win. They weren’t going to tie. Isn’t that a terribly sad way to think?

    I’m NEVER negative about the Yankees, ever. Even when we had AJ pitching and he was blowing stuff up left and right, I always felt like our offense could pick it up and erase leads.

    I don’t know. What will it take for the offense to really get in gear again?

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Brett Gardner and a long road trip.

      • Erica

        They’re really, really missing Gardy. He has a lot of patience at the plate, right? What happened to taking pitches? Why why why is that not happening?

        HULKSMASH.

        • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

          Yes. That’s why when he gets back I’d really be in favor of putting him leadoff and getting Jeter back to #2. Not sure why Girardi views that as a “demotion” for Jeter. You’re actually increasing Meyer’s effectiveness by doing that.

          I know a couple years ago when Damon was still around the GIDP factor with Jeter was the justification for putting him at leadoff.

          That argument doesn’t play well now.

          They’re not seeing enough pitches in the 1st inning, that much is clear. Also, Jeter is just as capable of GIDP later in the game. He is also more qualified than ANYONE to hit and run and take advantage of a runner on first.

          Making the pitcher work in the first inning can have an impact on the entire game. Gardner brings that. Jeter doesn’t.

          And counting on Cano or Granderson to work the count after Jeter swings at the first pitch completely reduces their efficacy. If Gardner bats .240 at leadoff, who cares?! He’ll still have OBP over. 350 AND will make the pitcher work in the first.

          Needs needs needs to be done.

          • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

            “Meyer” = Jeter.

            • Erica

              This Meyer guy… they should take a second look at him :)

              Fully agree with your post. Batting average can’t be everything. I mean, if Gardy (or whomever) can work a walk, they probably saw a lot of pitches (unless, of course, it was a 4-pitch walk and then… never mind).

              • JohnnyC

                Jeter leads off because he gets on base more often than Gardner. Gardner lifetime OBP is .355 (.345 in 2011), Jeter’s lifetime OBP is .388 (and it’s .391 this year).

                • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

                  Which is largely the result of him leading the league in hits. The OBP we were discussing was secondary to the crux of our point which you’re disregarding: Jeter doesn’t work the count!

                  Jeter’s good OBP is an archaic and outdated excuse to keep Gardner out of the leadoff spot. Jeter’s OBP plays just as well from the 2-spot if that is the only argument.

                  Pitchers getting out of the 1st inning against the Yankees in under 10 pitches is absolutely inexcusable.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

        Brett Gardner catches that ball that Wise whiffed on. That’s 2 runs saved, and a completely different ballgame. There have been a few others this weekend I thought the same thing.

        Also, when Gardner’s in LF, Grandy can play a few steps closer to Right, which allows Swisher to play more shallow, not needing to protect the ball in the gap. So even the other two OF get balls they’re currently missing when Gardy’s playing. The fly balls they’re missing are usually gappers, which are game changers and often lead directly to runs.

        So yeah, they miss Gardner plenty. He may not hit for power, but he subtracts power hits from the other team with his defense, which counts just as much.

        • Erica

          Speed on the bases, speed in the field… speedy recovery? Please?

      • Rainbow connection

        That’s what happens when you price out the fans.

      • TomH

        How did they do in Toronto?

        Frankly, I’m dreading a long road trip. At least, at home they can have the occasional short-porch HR.

        • Erica

          The other teams can have many short-porch homers, too.

          /negative nancy’d :(

        • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

          I said a long road trip. Back to back 2 game series help noone.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      What will it take for the offense to really get in gear again?

      Time and patience. Take any player, anyone and look at their game log in any year. If they’re a career .300 hitter they don’t go 1 for 3 everyday. They’ll have a two week stretch where they bat .400+ and another stretch where they bat .200 or less. Over the course of a season, they average out to their usual .300.

      Now take that and expand it to a 9 man lineup. You have a collection of guys all slumping and streaking at the same time. Sometimes the majority will be slumping, and the few guys hitting well aren’t enough to carry the team. Other times the majority will be hot, and it seems like they can’t be beat.

      Right now Cano and Ibanez are hitting great and most of the rest of the team isn’t doing all that much. There’s too much talent, too many guys with long track records of high production to think that will last. When it turns, they have a lot of luck coming to them. This is a not a team that will bat .156 for long in any aspect of the game, RISP or otherwise.

      • Erica

        VERY well said! Ibanez and Cano are hitting great, and Jeter was too (we didn’t expect him to continue his streak and we shouldn’t expect him to be the sole source of offense – he’s doing everything he can).

        You’re so right– the team has beyond too much talent to keep suffering like this. But it also seems like they’re really hot or really cold… never middle of the road. They’ll be shut out one night and then go on a tear the next. I get it, that happens and I haven’t exactly studied other teams to see what their patterns are, but it’s very frustrating knowing what these guys are fully capable of and seeing… nothing. :-(

        • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat)

          Remember, the Yankees at this time last year had just lost 6 in a row including getting swept by the Red Sox and everyone was calling for Girardi and Cashman’s head. I have no doubt that they’ll turn it around soon but really, they’re frustrating to watch right now.

          • Erica

            I agree, I know they’ll turn it around. But for some reason, this year seems worse (this is what we say every year, right? Heh).

            That sweep by the Red Sox was just so ugly.

        • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

          You also have to give some credit to the opposing pitchers, who always have more control over outcomes than hitters do. Today they faced one of the best pitchers in the game, there’s no shame in scoring only 2 runs off Cueto. They needed CC to limit the damage in the 7th, which he couldn’t do.

          • Erica

            Completely -I can respect great pitching, no matter where it comes from. We’ve been tipping our cap a LOT lately though, haven’t we?

            • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

              Yeah, no doubt. And we beat the crap out of Shields, Price and King Felix less than 2 weeks ago. Then we get shut out by Kevin freaking Millwood the next day. Don’t ask me to explain that, I can’t. That’s where I hit the freezer for the Pinstripe Brownie Blast.

              • Erica

                Thank goodness for that ice cream. Best around. BEST.

                • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

                  Brain freeze. Bring in the closer.

                  • Erica

                    Mo should have been in that commercial. REMAKE!

      • Kevin Winters

        There’s too much talent, too many guys with long track records of high production to think that will last.

        ——————–

        When do you reach the point when you say the track records are a thing of the past and this is who these guys are?

    • ahinds

      go back in time and not trade jesus. i really can’t stand russ-martin, i know its irrational but w/e. hate the dude. yeah he didn’t play today but.

      • Erica

        Yes, you’re so right.

        OH wait. No. Why? Jesus Montero has not yet had a full season in the Majors. I get it, he’s a GREAT hitter, best prospect et al blahblahblahblah. People cannot keep lamenting about this trade. It’s like beating a dead horse that has already been shipped to the glue factory, then turned into glue and used for an arts and crafts project and then thrown out and destroyed in the landfill andandand…

        The point is – slow your roll about Montero. Really.

        • ahinds

          i hear ya but I’m a fanatic. and i get to be upset about this for 20 years if i want to. I’m sure in a year ill forget all about jesus because of sanchez or romaine but for now. it still stings, i was looking forward to watching him develop, watching all of his at bats. i was probably rooting more for the player than the team but I’m human.

          • Erica

            We’re all fanatics here but some of us are a big more logical about what’s going on. I see both sides of this, but as far as it “stinging” — it’s not like Cashman personally offended you by trading Montero away. Sure, it would have been cool to see Montero play… but… it’s over and done with and it won’t become any easier to focus on our team if you just stay upset over something you literally have no control over.

            • ahinds

              well done, your right dude

              not focusing on the yankee is the whole point now then isn’t it? getting upset about Jesus or The Past™ is really all I can do as a fan, their is realistically absolutely nothing i can do to make CC not give up that lead today.

              I’m not sure i want to focus on this team right now because its down right annoying. what the hell can we really do as fans? even if i were rational it wouldn’t help brett-gritty get back faster it won’t help alex drive the ball. so all I’m left with is my irrationality and derek jeter.

              • Erica

                Give yourself a break! Or find little things in the game, the Silver Lining. That’s what we all do here. Like, Nova had a dozen K’s yesterday – he had some bad luck – but look at that! He has something to improve on.

                Focus on Andy’s comeback. Or how clutch Raul Ibanez has been. Or 1999 Derek Jeter. Things you can’t change shouldn’t get you down – though, if you know the answers to their struggles (which they’ll turn around) PLEASE tell us.

                • ahinds

                  your right pal.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

        Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
        SEA 37 148 139 13 36 5 0 5 18 7 33 .259 .291 .403 .693 97

        http://www.baseball-reference......je01.shtml

        Yeah, it is irrational.

  • Bo Knows

    Anyone else think the Yankee offense and pitching staff are having a competition to see who can gather the most homers?

    I also think the rotation might be ahead

  • DM

    I think Mark Montgomery belongs in AA.

  • Cano fan #1

    A blowout win today. Just like mike said

  • Russ

    This team has no identity ; they have the feel of a mediocre team. Usually you can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses ; can somebody tell me their strengths?

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      AJ Burnett had personality. You want him back?

    • Need Pitching

      bullpen

    • Brian S.

      Second base. And, uh, that’s it.

  • Rainbow connection

    Cc sure is a true ace. Money well spent.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      What do you care what he makes? You’re not paying him.

      • Tyrone Sharpton

        what do you care about what a commenter says? he’s reading your articles, grumpy. and the fans are a huge reason for teams handing out money to players…where else does the money come? the owner’s butthole?

        • Tyrone Sharpton

          i meant to say, what do you care about this fan’s harmless (in this case) opinion?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Nice to see our best and brightest standing up for one another.

      • radnom


        What do you care what he makes? You’re not paying him.

        This (all too common around here) reponse is both childish and stupid. No one is allowed to care about bad contracts unless they are personally paying the player’s salary? I guess we should just ignore the negative effect such contracts have on the team’s ability to put out the best possible roster – particularly with the $189 budget looming.

        (Disclaimer: I have no issue with CC’s contract, in particular – I’d sign up for that again in a heartbeat.)

        • Rainbow connection

          Thanks. All true.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I agree that contract value is fair game. However, you could have predicted, in the seventh inning, that there’d be a comment from Rainbow Connection as to CC, acehood, and whatnot, at some point tonight.

          • radnom

            No, I couldn’t, because I don’t obsess over the trolls here and memorize their habits.

            Also that really has nothing to do with my response.

  • Sweet Lou says boo hoo

    Yanks look like a buncha bimbos on 11th Ave! They’re really missing Gardner for reasons aforementioned by others here but let’s face it, this lack of hitting with RISP is really cripling the team. Look at their record in games where they don’t hit a HR. I don’t think they’ve won a game yet!!! You can’t continue to rely solely on the HR. And what’s with ARod now? It’s like he only has warning track power. Yanks are going to roo that contract with his further decline in the years to come!

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      And what’s with ARod now? It’s like he only has warning track power.

      Those that were at the stadium can confirm there was a wind tunnel blowing directly in from Left Field all day, and Alex hit that ball right into the teeth of it. Girardi, Dusty Baker and Marshall all said on the post game they thought it was gone off the bat, and Kay said on the broadcast that he saw the wind knock the ball down in mid-flight.

      So to say that Alex only has warning track power based on that one fly ball is just not paying attention.

      • radnom

        Dude, no one mentioned that one fly ball other than you. How about this for paying attention – we are 25% of the way through the season and Jeter has as many homeruns and Arod.

        Its fair to say that if it doesn’t change the Yankees are in trouble. Not only year either.

    • TomH

      There should be a boiler-plate reply, maybe a link somewhere on the board, so that if you want to refer to ARod’s contract or the trade for Pineda, you just hit that link and there’s an automatic posting: “AROD CONTRACT” or “PINEDA DEAL.”

    • Erica

      Hey now hey now, I thought they cleaned up 11th Ave!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If we weren’t dropping so many memes left and right, I’d say we have a new one.

  • eephus_pitch

    You guys who think the answer to all their offensive woes is the return of Brett Gardner?
    Fucking relax.

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Answer to “all” their woes? I think it will change things personally, yes.
      But “answer to all their woes?”

      Don’t think we claimed that. Why? IS there an answer to all their woes?

      Please enlighten us.

      (P.S. We’ll relax in anticipation of the answer you have)

  • Arya

    If the answer is Gardner he better get back soon. We’re one game away from the AL East cellar, folks. Beckett is back on track and so are the Red Sox. The Os, Rays and Jays aren’t going anywhere. It’s going to be a dogfight all season and who would have thunk that the 2nd wildcard might be our saving grace this season.

  • DERP

    Evan Rutckyj with a great line for Charleston tonight in his first start of the season.

    5 IP
    2 H
    0 BB
    8 K

    • JMK

      Good to hear; thanks.

  • TomH

    Re 1958: I actually watched that Ed Sullivan show. My Yankee-hater father called me down from my homework to watch it.

    A good year was coming up. Stengel’s team shoved their gloats down the throat of Milwaukee in my favorite WS.

    But the next year they finished 3rd, I think, a bad omen: that all empires eventually crash. That crash would come 6 years later.

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    Because Joe Magrane had been gone from Rays TV for so long I almost started to forgive his Yankee bashing. That is until I just heard the ignoramus take a pot-shot on MLB network again. He is such a Yankee-hater it’s pathetic.

    He says he doesn’t know why anyone is surprised by the Yanks struggles because he’s certainly not. He says they belong in 4th and possibly last place. He caps it off by stating that what would really surprise him is if the Yankees finished the season “any higher” than 4th.

    He must be auditioning for ESPN.

    • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat)

      Seriously? Well then, he is going to get really surprised.

      • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

        I can’t stand him. I live in Florida so I get blacked out on some games and have to listen to Rays Tv. They replaced Magrane with the equally bitter Kevin Kennedy two years ago.

        Thankfully he’s gone too. But the play-by-play (former MSG announcer) DeWayne Staats is still God-awful.

        Some of these guys that can’t be objective don’t deserve jobs (some, not all).

        Magrane is one of those guys. He’s ignorant and least and boring at best.

        • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

          *at least

        • Kramerica Industries

          It’s been so long that I don’t even remember how horrific Joe Magrane was.

          Even their current color guy, Brian Anderson, is generally good-natured but is one of those guys who just becomes grating when the Rays have the lead, especially against the Yankees (in our cases). Intended or not, he has an amazing condescension factor to himself.

          Still better than Kevin Kennedy, though. He was amazingly bad.

          • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

            This.

            I can stomach BA a little more just because he disagrees with Staats frequently.

    • Erica

      Did this Magrane guy even provide solid evidence as to why he believes the Yankees should be in 4th? Or was it all babble? I’m so sorry you have to hear that drivel.

      • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

        Utter babble. Drivel even :)

        • Erica

          Heh. Florida’s Mike Francesa, even?

          • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

            Except with a incessant nasal whine. Ugh you’d hate it. It sounds like he pinches his nose when speaks.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    yanks fans need to calm down…the season’s not close to being lost, yet.

  • Tom Q

    Look: if things still feel like this in July, I might be ready to join in the moan-and-groan. But I’ve seen this team start slowly virtually every season for the past decade, including plenty of times where people invoked the 1965 trajectory (check out this point in 2005). Somehow, the team has made the playoffs in all but one of those years (and I believe would have made it that year with the additional WC). As the old cliche goes, no team is as bad as it looks when it’s losing. (Losing close ones, by the way: if the team were getting blown out regularly, I’d be more concerned. But it’s perfectly possible for a generally good team to get unlucky in a series of close games over a short period)

    And can we remember this: A team which lost Pineda (and any hope of early Joba) right at the start, then lost Gardner for a lengthy stretch, then lost the greatest closer ever, then lost his most viable replacement, and has been dealing with a clearly hobbled Tex for weeks on end…do we really expect a team with that roster of issues to sail along without missing a step?

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Mike E

    So I’m thinking if the Yankees need to add an extra piece, be it bullpen, rotation, or offense, they could afford to take on some money this year. Losing Mariano sucked, but you have to assume the Yankees had insurance on him, and thats probably right around $13m. If ownership is willing to reinvest a part of that into the team in a trade deadline pickup, that could be interesting.

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      I don’t know that type of game-changer would even be available. The 2nd wild card is going to keep a lot more teams “believing, ” thus raising the potential price (in prospect terms) on whatever that acquisition would be.

      • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

        Dr. Evil lied – it was me. I invented the quotation mark.

    • JohnnyC

      Mo’s salary still counts against the payroll for luxury tax purposes.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Mike E

        Sure, but insurance will be handing the Yankees $13m or so back.

        • flamingo

          I don’t know where I heard this, but I definitely did hear that a lot of players aren’t insured because costs are so prohibitive, and that the team just pays medical costs out of pocket.

          Would be nice, in this case, if that wasn’t true.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Forget lineup changes. After watching today’s game, what this team needs as an exorcist.

    At least my Heat won.

  • Brian S.

    What type of prospects can we get for Swisher, Martin, Pettitte, Ibanez, and Kuroda? I’m guessing Jones and Chavez wouldn’t bring back much, and Garcia nothing at all.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’d hate to see the reaction if this team was actually out of contention in August.

      I’ll slightly bite and say that I believe Kuroda has an NTC and they would move to Jersey before they traded Andy Pettitte.

      • Monterowasnotdinero

        How many years has it been since the Yanks were “out of contention in August”? They were out of contention in 1978 but…..

        • Robinson Tilapia

          ’93 would be it, wouldn’t it? ’94 was the strike-shortened season.

          • Monterowasnotdinero

            That’s what I thought. Majority of folks on this site have never known a time when the Yanks were out of it/irrelevant in August.

            Painful to go through but it frees up a lot of time in Sept and October!

            • Robinson Tilapia

              It’s a long-ass time ago for sure. In that span of time, they’ve won five championships and only missed the playoffs once. You’d think the reaction to some actual turmoil, which still hasn’t risen above what’s occurred during seasons in that 19-year span, would be different, but no.

              Never mind that the Phillies and Red Sox, who are big-market teams, are having similar struggles as the core that brought them success gets older and they struggle to reinvent themselves as well.

          • eephus_pitch

            They were tied for first with the Blue Jays at several points during that season, though they never achieved more than a tie. And they fell off eventually.

    • Esteban

      Yes, let’s dismantle the Yankees. Blow it up! It’s May and the season is over.

      • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat)

        /Duh Innings

  • Mike Nitabach

    Poor Mantle looks drunk out of his mind. See how he keeps licking his lips and his eyes keep rolling around.

  • Kevin

    I remember Joe Magrane from the 2009 ALCS. He was even worse than the ESPN guys were when the Yanks won any game during that year.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’m not watching the premiere but, actually, last season’s first episode, but BBC’s “Sherlock” is sickeningly good.

  • Cuso

    Wow. May 20th and the sky was falling, Joe Magrane was surprised if the Yankees would finish above 4th, nobody can beat the Rays, the Orioles were here to stay, Nova/Hughes/Kuroda were all wastes of rotation spots and Tex/Cano can’t hit.

    Not even the ASG yet, CC and Andy on the shelf and we have a 5.5 game lead in the division.

    Much ado about jackshit.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Well done.