Dec
14

Friday Night Open Thread

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Happy Friday everyone. Please keep everyone up in Connecticut and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in your thoughts tonight, I know that’s very close to home for a lot of people here. Humans can be so horrible sometimes.

Categories : Open Thread

81 Comments»

  1. Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

    Angels and Blue Jays reportedly in the hunt for Dickey.

    I sure hope another team preferably from the NL swoops in and gets him.

    • Jimmy McNulty says:

      I’m preferring the Angels get him. The Rangers are in the market for a starter, and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to re-sign Phil or Granderson in 2014, so why not deal them to the Rangers for some minor leaguers?

      • Havok9120 says:

        Because they haven’t given up on the season before it starts.

        • Jimmy McNulty says:

          Meh. They’re going to need three new starters in 2014 and a two new outfielders. This is something that we already know. Maybe there’s a miracle and Pineda, Manny, and Mason are all ready to be contributors in 2014. I’m guessing that won’t happen, though. To me, I’d rather get a head start at fixing tomorrow’s problems.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            “I’d rather get a head start at fixing tomorrow’s problems.”

            You’d rather get a head start on creating tomorrow’s problems. On paper they need 2 starters right now (CC, Nova, Phelps) and one OF (Gardner, Ichiro). Who knows if they’ll need more or less a year plus from now?

    • TomH says:

      If the Jays get him without giving up too much, they’ll have their foot on the throat of the AL East. For those who triumphantly insist on reminding us of Toronto’s record last year–sometimes the same people who triumphantly remind us of the Yankees’ record last year–they should keep in mind how many members of that rotation went down, seriatim (so to speak),last year as well as the loss of Bautista.

      • jjyank says:

        Kinda true, but the Blue Jays success is riding heavily on Josh Johnson staying healthy (hardly a lock) and Ricky Romero not sucking. Also Encarnacion remaining elite. We’ll see what happens, but they are far from a lock for the division, or even a real contender.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          I think if they do get Dickey, they move into the most likely to win the division based on current rosters realm. Certainly not a lock to win the division, but early favorites, imo.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I don’t know about that. How likely do you think he is to repeat 2012 for the Jays in 2013?

            • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

              Not at all likely to be that good.
              I think if he could just be a solid, above average 200+IP starter (which I think is realistic), I’d slightly favor the Blue Jays to win the division.

            • Laz says:

              3rd year in a row with 170+ innings and sub 3.30 era. Doubt he would repeat, but I think he would at least be a decent #2.

        • MannyGeee says:

          Also, betting on Jose Reyes’ health is exactly that… A gamble.

          That is the one thing that baffled me about Torontos off season: they had major issues with health and inconsistency, so they decide to trade for some of the most injury prone and inconsistent guys available.

          • jjyank says:

            Agreed. I forgot about Reyes. Also an injury risk, and is now playing home games on turf. There’s an awful lot of question marks there. Just as many as the Yanks have. Maybe even more.

        • Laz says:

          Jays have a ton of question marks. If everyone turns out right they will win the east easy, but how likely is it that EE doesn’t regress back to what he was the previous 8 years in the majors. Will Romero revert back to form, will JJ revert back and actually be healthy for once?

      • Get Phelps Up says:

        A 39 year old knuckleballer in the AL East is no guarantee no matter how good he was last year. The Blue Jays have made some potential high reward moves, but they all have a very high risk associated with them. More than likely, at least one of them will backfire.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Yep. Dickey is not a one year wonder like some say, but also coming off a career year he’s unlikely to repeat (more so in the AL East). The Mets seem to be looking for a top of the rotation package, but you’re probably looking at a mid rotation P.

      • DC says:

        But proclaiming they have their foot on the throat of the AL East is swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. The games still have to be played.

      • forensic says:

        If they get a lot of things to break their way, then they could take the division. But I wouldn’t be scared of them at this point. Dickey in the ALE doesn’t worry me much and I’m actually happy they have Buerhle because I don’t see him succeeding. If Johnson stays healthy, he’ll certainly be terrific, and I think Romero will rebound a bit, but they’d still have some questions on their staff. I also find it difficult to see Reyes surviving a whole season healthy on the turf.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Romero made 32 starts, he just stunk. Morrow didn’t stay healthy in 2010 either, so that’s 2 of 3 years as a SP he hasn’t.

        The Jays have improved their team. The issue I have is with people assuming everything will go right for them and everything will go wrong for the Yankees.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          It negates the majority view that everything will go right for us while Hamilton will surely bust for the Angels for example.

          • Havok9120 says:

            And a reactionary attempt at negating the OTHER reactionaries is really what people should be shooting for?

          • Ted Nelson says:

            The majority where? In your head? Not only is the majority on this site pessimistic, but in the MSM too (probably not coincidentally).

        • Laz says:

          My biggest problem with people saying they have the lead in the ALE is they were 22 games behind. I don’t think the combo of Yankees diminishing and their trade is enough to get 22 games. That is a lot to gain.

      • RetroRob says:

        True, although I guess then you should also focus on all the injuries the Yankees had. Or does that not work for you?

  2. Jimmy McNulty says:

    First off: Parents, hug your kids tonight. Hell, let them open an early Christmas present. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

    On to baseball: Didn’t love the Ichiro deal, team’s in kind of a bind until after they clear 189. Ultimately, I think they can be in a better place both in baseball and financial terms. Honestly, since they decided to go with the budget there was only one big FA that I really wanted and that was Greinke. Pujols too, obviously, but that was the pipe dream of pipe dreams. I know Mike in the chat said he’s heard “it’s going to be a rough year” every offseason for the past ten years, a statement I can’t possibly believe (What about A-Rod in 2004? Unit and Pavano in 2005? The Big THree in 2008? CC/Tex/AJ in 2009? Granderson, Javy, and Johnson in 2010?) it seems that the past this year and last year were the rough off seasons. I recall playoff births being pretty secure in the oughts.

    Anyways, there’s still work to be done: They’ve added Youkilis, a healthy Gardner, a healthy CC, Mariano Rivera, and maybe Joba. They’ve lost Swisher, Martin, Soriano, and guys like Kuroda and Jeter are unlikely to repeat their stellar 2011s. Then there’s A-Rod. Frankly, I’m just waiting to see how this plays out. I can see him after hip surgery being a .290/.370/.460 type hitter. Nothing what he used to be, but regaining some of his power and still being a solidly above average player. I can see him just being god awful and absolutely fucking worthless, like he was in the last two months of the season last year. Or I can see him going on a tear off and on. Kicking ass and taking names for a month and then spending the next week and a half nursing an injury.

    • jjyank says:

      I agree with just about all of this. A potentially effective (or at least league average) Pineda could also be a big second half addition.

      And yeah, +1 on your first sentence. This shit can happen anywhere, and it’s a damn shame. I hope everyone out there is safe and remembers to treasure your life and everything in it every single day.

    • Jacob says:

      Very good comment, I enjoyed reading it more than a lot of others lately.

  3. The Big City of Dreams says:

    God Bless all of the victims that lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.

    • forensic says:

      Hope this isn’t too blunt/graphic, and I apologize if it sometimes offends anyone, but:

      Of course, nothing tops the loss of a life for the child or the child’s parents.

      But, I send my condolences out to all the responders who had/have to be at that location for hours/days now. We choose this type of career for many reasons, none of them to get recognition/sympathy, but since no one else will really think of them, I will.

      You can rely on all the training you want and rationalize away many many feelings based on little things from your scenes/victims. But, there’s nothing like that here. You’re with 20 dead children, generally 5-10 years old, who have nothing you can rationalize or ignore and who I bet are the ages of the children of many of the people who are still there right now involuntarily picturing them as their own children.

      Again, NOTHING tops the loss of a child or family member, but I for one am also thinking about the responders and hoping this doesn’t also take indirect long-term victims with it. Adults are one thing, children to this extent has never been experienced before.

  4. Jacob says:

    My mother just informed me that, while she is not 100% sure, she is pretty sure that she interviewed there 13 years ago when I was 3. This only spun terrible thoughts in my head. Bless all those lost today, you are in a better place.

  5. Drew says:

    This tragedy today happened in my backyard. I live on the boarder of NY and Conn, about 15 minutes from Danbury about 25 minutes from Newtown, Conn. So sad that so many children’s lives were lost in a mindless act. It’s tough to complain about Ichiro’s deal or anything really today.

  6. Jerome S. says:

    I’m a student in high school in New Fairfield, about two towns away. We were on lockdown for more than two hours, which was just great. Our town is pretty close with Newtown, so we know a lot of the people there. It’s so strange seeing your hospital or your streets on the national news.

    • GT Yankee says:

      My best goes out to the 4 people who commented above. I’m a Native NYer and though I’m in SoCal now, I have family back there and still carry deep affections for the Tri-State area. Sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to those affected by this tragedy. As Mike said, “Humans can be so horrible sometimes”. Obviously there was something majorly wrong with this guy….But geez, little kids. Give me my dogs any day of the week.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      A little late to this, but I have two friends who are teachers in the vicinity of new haven, as well as knowing many parents not too far away from newtown. A bit too close to home this time for us.

  7. Need Pitching & Hitting says:

    Yankees ended up 2012 with a $222.5M luxury tax payroll and $18.9M luxury tax bill (only team subject to luxury tax for 2012). This is down from a $212.7M luxury tax payroll and $13.9M tax for 2011.

    Their End of Year payroll (computed differently from luxury tax payroll) finished at $223.3M, which I believe is their highest ever.

    They are spending less relative to the rest of the league though.
    For 2012, their EOY payroll was 7.09% of the MLB total payroll, down from 7.2% in 2011. Their % of league payroll has declined every year since a peak of 9.75% in 2005.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      *up from

    • forensic says:

      Did you see that Boston finished less than $50K under the luxury tax limit? Good thing someone calculated that right during their trade talks with LA. Would’ve been pretty funny and embarrassing if they messed that up and still ended up over the limit.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Yeah, I saw that.
        Not sure it would have made a big difference though, as they are likely to be well under the limit for 2013 anyways.

        • forensic says:

          Yeah, it would’ve cost them next to nothing, but the appearance of being that incompetent would’ve been bad. Also, it might’ve cut into their end-game as there are extra benefits for being under multiple consecutive years (as you of course know).

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            Not sure that would matter for the Red Sox either. I don’t think they would have been over the threshold enough consecutive years to need to get under for consecutive years to completely reset their market disqualification rebate tier (assuming they get under for 2013).

            • forensic says:

              Ah, I didn’t realize that. Guess it’s not that big a deal then, but I still would’ve laughed. :-)

              • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                It definitely would have been amusing.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                  I see that as a possible nightmare scenario for the Yankees in 2014. I’d imagine they’ll be cutting it close. It would really suck if they get pushed over the threshold by some performance bonus or by routine roster moves to replace injured players and then have to retry in 2015.

                  • forensic says:

                    Yup, a big one will of course be A-Rod. If he’s out too long next year and/or has a poor enough season that he can’t reach his milestone number, that’s another $6 million that they would have to almost ignore in the 2014 payroll assuming he’d reach it there.

                    And then of course the other things you mentioned. Maybe a guy with a split mL/ML contract that you are forced to call up that might affect it, or a waiver claim, etc…

                    And I have no idea how they’ll be certain enough to have some space mid-season to make a trade deadline acquisition should something be needed. I think that’ll just go by the wayside at that point and if they’re in that kind of situation, it’ll probably just go with status quo and hope for a miracle (so to speak).

                    • Laz says:

                      Honestly though, they are best off if Arod actually reaches many of the milestones. The $27.5M aav is already a sunk cost, if he is able to have a few big years and reach some of them they are much better off than if he is missing a lot of time.

                    • forensic says:

                      Of course they’re better if he reaches them, I’m just talking as a matter of timing. Hopefully he hits at least 13 (and many more) next year and it’s not an issue for 2014, but it is something to at least consider, especially if his recovery from the surgery doesn’t go as quickly as some may hope.

                      Not that it matters at all now, but then there are the 3 that could all come in one year (755, 762, 763) and planning for that should they lean on staying under the luxury tax long-term.

    • RetroRob says:

      Concerning. The Yankees luxury-tax payroll actually increased from 2011, and the amount of money they paid also increased, although part of that might have been driven by a higher tax percentage.

      Bottom line, though, is the $222.5 number is key, since that’s the actual number the team will need to drop from to reach the now magic $189M. In other words, they’ll need to cut $34M from the 2012 final number to 2014. Add in, or more directly subtract an additional $6M due for A-Rod’s marketing bonus for hitting #660, and the team really needs to cut 40M.

      If this off season is painful, wait until next offseason.

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

        Next offseason is gonna be a shit storm for sure.
        Good luck trying to replace Granderson, Kuroda, Pettitte, Mariano, Youkalis while having to give major raises to Cano and Hughes all on a budget with incumbent starters Jeter and Ichiro reaching age 40, Arod at 39 while likely getting little help from the farm.

        I really think Hal/Hank are gonna have to make the decision between scrapping the budget and contending or keeping the budget and missing the playoffs for at least 1 year.

  8. Vertical Pinstripe says:

    With the new 2014 $189mm austerity program going into effect, I’d like to know if the organization plans on repositioning resources saved from reduced payroll and luxury tax ($30 -$40mm) into scouting and player development, or if just goes into the Stein Bros. pockets for more blue blazers.

    • DC says:

      It could go to a number of non-payroll team areas. Or it could be used for profit. But don’t think the brothers get to pocket all of that…people often forget the team has several minority owners, ie the limited partnership group.

      • RetroRob says:

        Does that even exist anymore? I think GMS bought out all the minority owners a decade or two plus before he died. The Yankees should be 100% owned by the Steinbrenners.

        They do, however, have debt from the new Yankee Stadium as well as the start-up of YES. Quite a bit, from what I understand, which is why I believe some or all of the money from the recent YES/News Corp. deal went to pay that down. It’s a private entity, though, so we’ll never know.

        • DC says:

          No, the team still has minority owners. They sold a percentage last year and there was an article about another MO and his apartments this week. I think Crown in Chicago still owns 13% as well.

        • DC says:

          I found one of the article that references some of the owners.
          http://www.newsday.com/sports/.....-1.2755391

          • RetroRob says:

            Thanks. I had heard over the years that GMS had bought out a number of the minority investors, but it appears some remain. I wonder what percentage of the team the Steinbrenners actually own.

            I would guess that the minority owners also were given shares in the other LLCs that sprung out of the NY Yankees, such as YES Global Enterprises. If not, they’er being screwed, because the Steinbrenners have shifted large portion so of the team’s profits into those entities, and there are several of them.

            • DC says:

              The percentage is something I’ve not been able to track down. I could swear I read after GS’s death he had a 51% controlling share, but don’t hold me to that.

    • Laz says:

      Could be more difficult with the limits on signing bonuses for international players.

  9. Samlal says:

    Hey how about this trade once Ichiro signs. Granderson for Corey hart. At least a right handed hitter in our outfield..

  10. Pistol Pete says:

    Cory Hart is not player Granderson is, not even close.

    • forensic says:

      Hart was basically the better player this year. Granderson in 2011. 2010 is close based only on out-of-line defensive ratings for Granderson, otherwise that year is also Hart’s advantage. Add in that he’s a year younger than Granderson and a few million cheaper, I think you’re totally wrong that he’s not even close to the player than Granderson is, and I’d actually say that there’s no reason the Brewers should even think about doing that trade.

  11. Pistol Pete says:

    Hart’s numbers would most likely drop in NY. His current park is very friendly for hitters, we’d be looking at his HR total dropping most likely to just over 20 and rbi’s would also be down. Both players are better in their respective parks. I just don’t think people value power properly. Replacing 43 hr ‘ s and 106 RBI ‘s is not easy. Granderson runs well can hit in multiple positions. He takes a lot of heat for his average and strikeouts and should but I still feel replacing his power will not be easy.

    • forensic says:

      Miller Park is friendly for hitters, but Yankee Stadium isn’t? Both players would lose and possibly then gain from their home parks (I don’t know the exact R/L park effect splits for Miller), but regardless, the numbers I was basing that on take their parks into account. I don’t care much about the RBI’s, put a bunch of guys into their spots and they can do that a bunch of different ways. Yes, his 43 HR’s is tough to replace, but it’s not like Hart is a punch and judy hitter and he also seems to be a little more of a contact/average guy.

      Truthfully, just based on name recognition, I actually thought you’d be somewhat right in the first place. But looking at everything, I have to disagree.

      • RetroRob says:

        Granderson’s defensive UZR last year was so bad that it dragged his overall WAR down. Not sure I buy it completely, but Granderson is a CFer, something Hart can’t even fake. My guess is Granderson’s overall WAR will increase quite a bit if he was shifted to one of the corner OF slots, since his competition against which he’s rated will be lesser, and even with the positional adjustment he gets from CF, he’ll actually score a higher WAR in 2013 since his overall defensive rating is so damaged by how he rates in CF now. I do believe Granderson is the better player.

        That all said, it’s not a crazy idea if the Yankees are trying to flip one of their LH’d OF bats to a RH’d one.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Just want to point out that a few days ago people were saying that Gardner’s WAR would also go down from moving to CF. This is the sort of pessimism that I’m talking about among commenters here. Offense outweighs defense when we’re moving Gardner to CF (though Gardner’s 2010-11 offensive output isn’t far out of line with Granderson’s 2012) and defense outweighs offense when making the opposite move for Granderson.

          I know that this is different commenters just guessing at what might happen, but I think it’s funny that no matter what happens the assumption is that the Yankees come out worse. I think it’s paranoia from being on top for so long.

          • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

            Won’t Gardner”s fWAR likely go down in CF since his UZR will likely go down now being compared to much better defensive players in CF vs. LF?

            Intuitively, I would think the opposite would be true though and he’d be even more valuable providing excellent defense in a much more premium position.

          • nsalem says:

            Paranoia and pessimism here????

          • nsalem says:

            Is that why there is almost no mention that our pitching 1-12 may be dominant and over come a few starting line-up deficiencies.

            • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

              Dominant??

              I think the pitching will be very good next year and I agree it should cover up for a drop in offense but it’s hardly dominant.

              The only pitchers on the team you could make a case for being dominant are CC, Mo and Robertson.

              Last year only 2 pitchers on the team had an FIP under 3.00, Robertson and Mo.

              • dalelama says:

                And CC’s dominance disappears in the post season.

              • nsalem says:

                Andy I said may be dominant. That would take Kuroda to repeat last year, Pettitte to remain healthy and Hughes to continue to pitch as he did in the second half of last year. I think our bullpen is in great shape and that Montgomery will be able to make an impact on the major league level in 2014.
                I also think that Johnson staying healthy and Romero returning to form are bigger question marks then we may have.

                • nsalem says:

                  Montgomery in 2013 I meant

                • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

                  I think of guys like Verlander, Kershaw, King Felx, Strasburg and Weaver as being dominant and i don’t think anyone on the Yankees team is capable of that other than the 3 I mentioned, though I do think the pitching staff can be in the top 2-3 in the AL if everything goes right.

  12. Pat D says:

    If the Mets don’t get d’Arnaud from the Jays, their fans should storm CitiField.

    Yea, yea, I know. What fans?

  13. I’m going to miss Cano when he’s no longer a Yankee

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