Thursday Night Open Thread

Update: Yankees designate Ramiro Pena for assignment
Nunez goes deep in Triple-A loss
(AP Photo)

As you probably already know, former Yankees catcher and captain Thurman Munson was killed during a plane crash on this date 33 years ago. He was piloting the duel-engine plane and practicing landings during an off day. His number 15 was retired immediately and George Steinbrenner kept Munson’s locker as is until the the Yankees moved into the New Stadium. It now sits in the museum at the new park. The Yankees will surely pay tribute to Munson’s life and career during tomorrow night’s game, a life and career I wasn’t around to see.

Here is your open thread for the night. The Phillies and Nationals (Hamels vs. Detwiler) will be on MLB Network, and that’s pretty much it as far as nationally televised sports go. Well, other than the Olympics of course. Talk about that or anything else here. Go nuts.

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Update: Yankees designate Ramiro Pena for assignment
Nunez goes deep in Triple-A loss
  • Robinson Tilapia

    One of my earlies Yankee memories was the Munson broadcast.

    • VT Yankee Fan

      I guess I am a little older than you but Munson’s death was my first brush with mortality. I’ll certainly never forget Murcer’s game the next night.

      • Jacob

        My earliest brush with mortality was a spongebob episode, don’t know what this has to do with yours but I was like 6

        • RetroRob

          Does SpongeBob still walk this earth, err, ocean? I won’t be happy ’till he’s, err it, uhh, whatever, has been removed.

  • Neo

    Ill never forget the day thurm died and the following games.

    On a happier note I’m headed to YS3 tomorrow and looking for pointers on travel from NJ via the GW Bridge.  I was thinking of trying something new.  Found a parking deck at 261 Edgecombe Ave for $8 and it is half a block from the 145 Street / Saint Nicholas Avenue station on the B/D line.  Seems like a good way to beat the traffic on the way home and save on parking. 

    I don’t know anything about NYC, and wonder if that area is safe for the return trip after the game on a Friday night.  

    1) anyone know that neighborhood?  (I think it is called Sugar Hill, but that is just from looking it up online, I don’t know NYC at all)
    2) anyone have different tricks/suggestions on getting to YS3 via the GW Bridge?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You’re parking on 145th and St. Nick, but going to the stadium? Are you planning on walking over the Macombs Dam Bridge or something?

      145th and St. Nick is borderline Harlem/Wash Heights. You won’t be in total isolation or anything, but I have no clue what your tolerance is for walking around in a bit of grit. Never walked over that bridge before. Have to imagine there’s cops around, worst case.

      • RI$P FTW

        Sounds like Neo is parking there and simply taking the train a few stops to YS.
        Sounds smart to me.
        It’s actually a decent area. I was there last year and was shocked. Apparently, there are private garbage companies that keep everything clean.
        I remember when every garbage bag was jumping with rats.
        I guess that doesn’t mean crime has dropped, but it’s a positive sign.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          145th and St. Nick is just fine. I’m sure there’ll be a ton of people out there. It’s also a half block to a pretty busy MTA station.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Ah. So you’re parking the car, then taking the train one stop. Duh.

      You should be just fine.

    • RetroRob

      At the old Stadium, I used to arrive as the day was ending at the Court House. Wait for a spot to open up as one of the judges, clerks, whatever leave and pull into the spot. Free parking. Never got a ticket. No one will touch your car in that area, plus there’s cops around who really don’t care if you park there after hours. It’s a little further walk, but they’re great spots.

      Haven’t done it in a couple of years since I now train in.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Just never go into the McDonalds in Concourse Plaza.

  • Dicka24

    Cliff Lee was just placed on Waivers by the Phillies. I bet they’d let him go in a straight salary dump if claimed.

    Cliff Lee On Waivers

    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [August 2 at 2:16pm CST]

    The Phillies have placed Cliff Lee on waivers, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter). The Phillies were expected to waive Lee this month, when waivers are revocable. Teams routinely place high-profile players on waivers in August to determine other teams’ interest. Executives expect the left-hander to clear waivers Friday afternoon, Passan reports.

    Teams have two business days to claim players off of waivers, which suggests Lee hit the waiver wire yesterday, when the August waiver period opened. If Lee clears waivers, the Phillies might be able to trade him. Lee can block trades to 21 teams, including the Diamondbacks. The Yankees, Braves and Marlins are not on his no-trade list, however.

    The 33-year-old Lee earns $21.5MM this year and $25MM per season from 2013-15. His contract includes a $27.5MM vesting option ($12.5MM buyout) for 2016. If one or more teams claim Lee despite his contract, the Phillies could attempt to work out a trade with the team that wins the claim, assuming Lee doesn’t veto the move.

    Here’s more detail on how teams can trade players in August.

    • yoo0boo

      Just claim him and make a bad trade that will cause Phillies withdraw him from the waivers. Lee will stuck with Phillies until this off season. No pressure.

      • MannyGeee

        HUge pressure. If you make a claim, the Phils have the right (and the mind, might I add) to just give him to you for remaining salary….

        FUUUUUUUUUUUCK that money for the next 3 seasons…..

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Here’s what I said in the previous thread:

      I mean, this is NOT happening, but I’d claim him on the virtually-non-existent chance that I’d make the only claim AND they let him go to dump the salary. Then I’d trade him for whatever I could get for him before 2014.

      I reserve the right to think what I just said is absolutely insane in the next 30 seconds after hitting “submit comment.”

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Problem with that is there’s a good chance they would have to eat some of his salary (which would count for the Yankees luxury tax payroll) to trade him, so he could still negatively impact the 189M plan for 2014.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Right.

          This was definitely me screwing around and playing “what if.”

          • jjyank

            Yeah, it would definitely never happen. I did find it interesting that Lee didn’t bother putting the Yankees on his no-trade list, though.

          • yoo-boo

            Not really. Yankees can pay Lee some after 2014 season. The actual problem is that we do not know which team can afford a full 25mm in 2014?

            Team’s payroll is somewhat unpredictable because of free agency movement. It is too risky to gamble on flipping Lee over after 2013 season.

            Rangers could afford Lee but not with signing Hamilton who will be free agent after this season.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Most teams will put almost all their players on waivers. It is the only way they can be moved after the trading deadline, but it doesn’t mean the team is necessarily looking to trade the player; it’s just a formality.

      • jjyank

        Right, and GMs use it to gauge the level of interest and types of offers that a player receives. The Yankees will surely put Cano on waives, but that just means Cashman is curious how big the interest is out there.

        I wonder how much that perceived interest plays in to extensions/free agent negotiations?

  • Scout

    I remember Munson very well — I was in my teens and 20s when he played. In his (too brief) prime, he was the toughest right-handed batter I ever saw. He excelled in pressure situations, especially the classic play-off battles with the Royals. But his knees were shot by the time of his death, and he was already on the downward slide.

  • Brian S.

    Is it dumb to take Calculus without taking pre-calculus?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      College?

      Do you need to take it for your major?

      Calculus was the only class I ever took where I realized I just wasn’t smart enough. Went to every class. Paid attention. Failed.

      Of course, it was just a really stupid vanity thing on my part to even take it, as I was a psych major.

      • Brian S.

        Well my situation is rather unique. I’m going to be a Junior transfer out of my community college and I was originally going to be a Political Science major before I really started questioning potential job security. So I’m switching my major to Applied Statistics after taking Stats and discovering that I am no longer intimidated by mathematics like I was a couple years ago. Unfortunately pre-cal is lower division and they want me to jump into actual Calculus first semester.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s been a while. I found it very difficult. It was all about limits and how close can you get to a certain number without actually getting there.

          I took pre-calc in high school and did well. Maybe you could do some brushing up on your own?

          Not that you asked for my opinion, and not that I didn’t inadvertendly start an entire thread on polysci but, even if your BA isn’t in something that appears marketable at first glance, if you’re considering grad school, you could pursue something else related then. My BA in psych wasn’t going to do anything for me, but my MSW sure did.

        • jjyank

          You usually get 2-3 weeks off a free add-drop period. Sign up for it, talk to the professor, if it seems over your head, you can always drop it for something else without penalty.

          That said, Poli Sci FTW baby! But I am biased there.

          • Brian S.

            I love Poli Sci. Applied Statistics is a double major so I’ll still be taking a few Poli Sci classes on the side. I’m thinking European Parliamentary Democracies for this semester.

            • jjyank

              Always an interesting subject. For whatever reason, I was always drawn to the Middle East. Took two MidEast history classes, an Islam religion class, MidEast Anthropology, and probably about 6 or 7 MidEast politics classes. And then I lived there for a semester too.

              I’m not telling you not to go for a math-related career, you do whatever it is that you love. But I think you’d be suprised how many career opportunities there are in Poli Sci with the right combination of internships and connections with professors.

      • Kramerica Industries

        I am just about the exact same. Calculus was the bane of my existence.

    • VT Yankee Fan

      If you were strong in algebra you’ll be OK. Get yourself a tutor/study group right from the beginning, don’t wait until you get in trouble.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I agree. Get some support from the beginning.

    • Alkaline

      It also depends on the teacher you have. I wasn’t great at math and had to take calc in college. I had pre-cal in HS so I was at least somewhat familiar with the material. The only reason I got a B is cause I got an excellent teacher who knew he was teaching to a majority of non-math majors.

    • yoo-boo

      Not really. the leap between both is small. However, you must take cal serious right away. If you struggle early then you have to withdraw immediately. If you get through early then it becomes easier to finish the course.

      You can teach yourself precal now to get math comprehensive. That may help you go forward in good pace.

    • Gonzo

      I’m going to agree with some of the others. If you have a strong foundation, go for Calculus.

      I remember being lost in Calculus and then something just switched one day. After that, I was very happy that I went straight to Calculus.

    • Betty Lizard

      Agree with Alkaline that it depends on the teacher. I was great at math in HS, didn’t have pre-calc or calc there, took calculus my freshman year in college and had a loon for a teacher. My exams were A then F then A then F . . . I think you can complete the series and calculate that I escaped with a C, at a college and at a time when that was truly an OK grade.

      So, if its REQUIRED for your major, go ahead and jump in but if you’re struggling at all, switch to pre-calc right away. As jjyank says, check out the free drop-add period and DON’T miss that deadline if you need to make a change.

      You’re making an investment in your college education and you don’t want it to blow up over one class–this one or any other one.

      Get in a study group for every class.

      And if you’re ever struggling in a course, go see the professor. More than once. It’s very hard to give a bad grade to a student who keeps coming to see you asking how he can do better.

  • Heisenberg’s Hat

    I remember the day Thurman died like it was yesterday. I was a freshman in college, and had skipped school that day (partied too much the night before, big surprise). Everyone else in my dorm found out before I did. It was like a morgue when I went down to the mess hall, where the story was being shown on the tv.
    RIP Thurman, my favorite player ever (until Donnie Baseball came along)

    • vicki

      best sn ever.

      • Heisenberg’s Hat

        Best show ever!

  • dkidd

    this is shaping up to be a great year for division races:

    nats-braves
    reds-pirates
    giants-dodgers-dbacks
    rangers-angels-athletics
    tigers-chisox

    hopefully the al east is nice and boring

  • RetroRob

    Bad memories, bad memories. The whole concept of death came slamming down on me as a youngster when Munson died. I remember watching the TV (it was WPIX) when the story broke in. I really couldn’t comprehend it. How can an athlete die so young. Surely the news reporters were wrong. Surely Munson was not flying a jet. Surely there must be a way this could be fixed. There wasn’t.

  • jjyank

    Way too young to see Thurman play, but from everything I have read and heard (and from watching The Bronx Is Burning, assuming that’s at least semi-accurate), Thurman seemed like an awesome player, and awesome dude, and someone who probably would have been my favorite. Cheers to you, Mr. Munson.

    • Jacob

      I own TBIB on dvd it is great and from what my mother and grandmother tell me, it is pretty accurate

    • MannyGeee

      I was born after Thurms death (and consequently, after the Bronx is Burning…) so I gotta ask the old heads in here: how close to truth was the series? My mother couldn’t give me any insight on the Yankees part of it, only that the Son of Sam scared the shit out of her…. So that didn’t help.

      • VT Yankee Fan

        If you’re interested you should get some of the Yankee books that came out around that time. Nettles’ book had a lot of the dirt about what went on at that time.

        • Rocky Road Redemption

          Sparky’s book, “The Bronx Zoo”, is great reading.

          I know he took a lot of flack for writing that but nowadays he seems like a really cool guy nowadays.

          Even in the book he didn’t come off as too bad. He barely pitched (in 78′), and when he did he never did too well, and he pretty much took it like a man. Accepted it pretty graciously, when all is said and done.

          He liked Goose a lot, didn’t resent him at all, which was cool of him. Plus, he’s wickedly funny.

    • vicki

      i think of him every time i see jeter hump and flirt when an opposing player reaches second. you didn’t wear pinstripes thurman munson hated your guts.

      remember lou this day. it broke his heart.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Do I remember correctly that there was some footage of the plane shown before the game? I mean, I was all of five, so god knows what I remember, but I remember some footage being shown.

    • RetroRob

      What do you mean? Footage of the plane crash? Or footage of Munson showing off his new purchase?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I can’t remember.

        • RetroRob

          You can’t remember what you can’t remember? : -)

          There were/are certainly pictures of the wreckage. I do seem to remember seeing pictures of Munson’s jet, or maybe I remember seeing him interviewed (archive footage years after his death) about flying, and maybe some still pictures of his jet. So I guess I’m not sure either!

    • VT Yankee Fan

      My local paper (in Vermont) had pictures of his plane covering the entire upper half of the sports page. I still have it somewhere. I’m pretty sure the news had film of the wreckage as well.

  • dc1874

    The real sad part is that Munson was still alive when he crashed. The other passengers said Thurman asked if they were alright ..then they left the plane with Thurman trapped…

  • Alkaline

    This falls under a topic similar to “No one cares about your fantasy team” but I started playing the My player mode again in MLB 2k11. It made me chuckle seeing the lineup (for the 2012 season):

    Gardner
    Tex
    Grandy
    Alkaline
    Swisher
    Montero
    Arod
    Dom Brown
    Jeter

    Rotation is CC, Nova, Hughes, Freddy, and Wainwright (they traded Cano for him when I started knocking on the door)

    • jjyank

      Wow. I know it’s a video game, so it’s not the same, but Cano for a TJS recovering pitcher? Ouch.

    • Jacob

      In my MLB 2K10 Cano walked and went too the dodgers after 2013 and this is now my biggest fear, that my video games actually tell te future (I created a pitcher last year and hadan amazing 100+ IP in the minors he was unhittable, he also had a 14 K CG not long before CC did and the stretch of awesomeness happened mirror to CC’s great run last year.)

      • dalelama

        Knock off the acid….

        • Jacob

          I don’t do drugs anymore friend

  • Monterowasdinero

    Thurman was the ultimate in grit and hustle. A true Captain. One thing he did (which didn’t always work and you never see now) is he would try to pick off runners at 3B. He nailed a few and threw a few into LF but runners couldn’t cheat down the line.

    Miss you Thurm.

  • yoo-boo

    I was not even in America when it happened. I read information and saw pictures on the internet. Can’t believe it happened. One more time horror is scary.

    • MannyGeee

      Wait…. You know there was no Internet in 1978, right?

      • MannyGeee

        Especially outside of America

      • jjyank

        Of course there was! In yoobooland, anyway…

      • yoo-boo

        Uh? I meant I learned more about him via internet, not breaking news. sorry.

        • MannyGeee

          My bad… I guess that makes more sense than cosmic Internet 33 years ago in a faraway land… Wait, we’re you will L. Ron Hubbard?

          #madThetans

      • yoo-boo

        I remembered one day someone told me about Billy Martin’s flipping bird on baseball card.. I was like yeah, right. Big embarrassment from me.

        1972 Topps’ #33 card. He was a Tiger that time.

        • yoo-boo

          idiots. meant for new post.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Wait……who are the idiots you’re referring to here?

      • RI$P FTW

        Or WAS there?

  • Darren

    #15.
    The Captain.
    Always in Our Hearts.

    Part of the problem to me with SABR and some of the comments on this board is that never in a million years would OBP or WAR be able to capture what Thurman was like as a player. You just lose so much of the fun of baseball when you focus 100% entirely on stats and ignore the personalities behind the players. Was it Torre or Cashman who liked to say that you have to remember the game has a hearbeat?

    Anyway, this was definitely a tragedy that shaped all of the kids in my neighborhood growing up (the Bronx). I guess in some way we never really got over it.

    • jjyank

      There’s a give and a take with SABR, like anything else. Relying 100% on fangraphs is just as bad as relying 100% on the eye test. It’s all about balance. But SABR stats are way, way better than the old school stats. That is not debatable, in my opinion.

    • RetroRob

      True, however, I will say in defense of the sabermetric community (and I’ve followed sabermetrics since my reading my first Bill James Absract in the early 80s) in recent years they actually have elevated Munson’s HOF case.

      Many believe he still falls short and sits on the wrong side of the borderline because his career was short, but there is a growing segment in the advanced metrics community that believes Munson ranks as one of the top catcher’s in the game’s history when offense and defense is included and that he would be a worthy HOFer.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Does sabermetrics like the caught stealing stat?

        Because in 1971, Munson threw out 36 of 59 (61%).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurman_Munson

        • RetroRob

          Yes, among others. He consistently beat the league average in catching runners.

      • Darren

        I don’t even mean that SABR treats Thurman unfairly. I just mean that ANY stats, and any overreliance on stats is bad unless you also take into consideration the way certain players played. And yeah, sometimes grittiness can’t be measured, even though it still means something.

        Anyway…I’m off for a sex reassignment, see you soon.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Watching Thurman play was inspiring. He was the essence of Grit.

          BTW, tell us how that reassignment goes.

    • Alkaline

      Everything in moderation…including moderation.

  • dalelama

    Unlike most of today’s Yankees Thurman rose to the occasion in the post season. He is exactly what this team is missing—a gamer.

    • gc

      Yeah, because when you’re honoring a great ballplayer and a great Yankee on the anniversary of his tragic death, the first order of business is to slam the members of the current team. Stay classy, dalelama.

      RIP Thurman Munson

      • dalelama

        Just the facts, it is what it is. Many of the current crew are great at creating sawdust out of the bat in post season.

  • JonS

    Did you all see the MLB pages that got hacked? Yankees and others…

    http://deadspin.com/5931360/ne.....sex-change

    • Jacob

      This was so hilarious

    • MannyGeee

      That’s the best… ‘Fuck Bill Murray’ was CLASSIC

      • MannyGeee

        And by the way… Minnie Mantelz might be in the lead for my new handle… At the least my next password on my work laptop

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I was strongly considering it too.

    • RetroRob

      See what happens when the intern is in charge of creating the team’s Facebook page? Hey, look, the password is: Yankees. Oh my, the password for the White Sox FB page is: WhiteSox.

      Pretty funny.

  • RetroRob

    For those of you interested in the gory details (definately no pun intended) on the Munson crash, here’s the NTSB final report. Published a year of so later.

    http://t.co/IQLI7BJm

  • dkidd

    the angels just bunted in the first inning

    baseball the right way

    • Brian S.

      It’s amazing how perceptions can change. I used to believe when I was a teenager that Scoscia was the best manager in baseball because that’s what the guys on TV said. Then I grew up and realized that none of them are different or really have a huge impact on their team.

      • jjyank

        You should tell that to Typical MIT Nerd.

        Unless you don’t want to start a flame war.

      • Brian S.

        And by teenager I meant early teens. Like 13-15.

      • RetroRob

        I actually do think a good manager can add several wins to a team a year, and a bad manager can lose as many. Most managers probably break even. Like most things, I think people have a tendency to overreact one way or the other.

        One thing I am sure of is Scoscia is overrated.

        I do think Joe Maddon will win his team extra games. And it will annoy the Showalter haters, but Showalter steals games. He’s a better manager than Girardi and easily one of the top four or five in the game. Most managers (Girardi one of them), I have in the 80% group whose on-field strategic moves probably make no differnce. They’ll win some, They’ll lose some and it all balances out.

        • VT Yankee Fan

          Often managers manage to avoid criticism rater than to win. As an example they certainly are aware that bunting reduces your team’s chances of scoring but it also reduces your chances of being blasted for making the wrong move so they bunt, bunt, bunt away.

  • yoo-boo

    I remembered one day someone told me about Billy Martin’s flipping bird on baseball card.. I was like yeah, right. Big embarrassment from me.

    1972 Topps’ #33 card. He was a Tiger that time.

  • Brian S.

    Let’s go Twinsssss

  • jjyank

    I assume that the Breaking Bad season airing now is season 5…I just finished season 4 on Netflix (fucking awesome show), but is there any way I can get up to speed to the current season in real time?

    • JonS

      Download the episodes. Torrent or newsgroups.

      • jjyank

        No go. Considering my career path (or at least my potential career path), I gotta be on the up and up. Legal methods only, please.

        • RetroRob

          Oh, then I guess suggesting breaking into Best Buy with a loaded weapon and stealing all the BluRay copies wouldn’t be a good idea.

          • RI$P FTW

            Magnets, bitches.

        • Tom

          Do you have cable (AMC)?

          At some point they will likely have a marathon before the mid-season finale (only 4 episode left this season)

          Other option – the show is currently on episode 5 this coming Sunday… you can get the first 4 shows on a place like iTunes (typically something like $3/show for HD). AMC will replay that show several times during the week so you’d probably have ~ a week to catch up and watch Ep 5 on cable for free.

          • jjyank

            I do have cable and AMC. Thanks, I’ll be on the look out for that.

            • VT Yankee Fan

              I’m assuming your cable company doesn’t offer on demand? I have comcast and I usually catch up with the on demand feature.

  • dkidd

    welcome to the big leagues, ryan dempster

  • Karl Krawfid

    Thanks Twins!

  • Kevin

    So much for the Red Sox miracle. Lester “won” because CC pitched poorly.

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

      But that series was going to turn their season around.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        But…but Fox! They told me!

    • Karl Krawfid

      He didn’t win.

  • Kramerica Industries

    It always irritate me how good I am at taking good things, and somehow turning them into something that wrenches my mind to the point of madness. At least I managed to knock myself into some sleep instead. That helped me delay that insanity for three hours.

    Hey, look at those rounding-into-form Red Sox. Shutout by the Twins at home. Whatever happened to ole’ Fenway magic? They’ve been a sub-.500 home team almost all year.

  • Billy

    Granderson + T.Austin, Warren for Brian McCann during the off season. Who hangs up first?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Me.

    • captain kiwi

      5 kinds of “no”

  • Kramerica Industries

    Wow.

    Ryan Dempster got a rude AL welcome.

    And C.J. Wilson got a rude return to home welcoming.

    What the hell is going on in Texas the past two nights?

    • dkidd

      i enjoy watching those two teams exhaust themselves trying to win the division

  • Thaaaaaaaayankeeswin

    Dempster gets rocked. Maybe this Cashman guy knows something

  • Kevin G.

    Call me a homer, but CC/Kuroda/Pettitte/Hughes is a damn fine playoff rotation to me. I think it can stack up to rotations of almost nay other playoff team. Maybe not the Angels, but if they do play there is a good chance Weaver will have been used in the one-game playoff.

    • Thaaaaaaaayankeeswin

      And if yanks get home field, which they should, he’s at least beatable on the road if they do throw him game one

      • Kevin

        ANgels might have a scary rotation but they have bullpen issues even worse than ours.

        • JohnnyC

          The Angels rotation probably scares themselves as much as anything. Wilson’s ERA is now equal to Kuroda’s (which means they’re going in opposite directions), Haren’s WAR is -0.3, Santana’s ERA is over 6, and Greinke is a question mark in returning to the AL. Only sure thing is Weaver and his road splits aren’t special.