Jan
27

Sunday Night Open Thread

By

This weekend went by way too quickly. Such is life. The Devils, Islanders, and Knicks are all playing tonight, but talk about whatever you want here. Enjoy.

Categories : Open Thread
  • Ethan

    Anyone watch top gear? The show started back up today, haven’t had an opportunity to watch it yet though.

    • DC

      Which version, BBC or History?

      • Ethan

        BBC of course. Haven’t seen the US version but I’ve heard it is not nearly as good as the one on BBC.

        • DC

          US version is ok sometimes. Would be better if they dumped Rutledge Wood as a host.

          Didn’t realize the new BBC season started.

          • Ethan

            Today was the first episode of the season

            • DC

              My favorite episode was when Jeremy drove the Reliant Robin.

              • Ethan

                I have so many favorite episodes from Top Gear. All of their races are awesome as are the episodes when they travel around a different country. My two most favorite episodes are probably their polar special and the road trip through Vietnam.

              • MannyGeee

                The best episode in recent memory was the British Leyland Cheap Car Psecial, where the had to drive the old British cars over the umps road and shit started falling off them. Those guys are absolutely the funniest guys on tv, and not put on or anything either. Just straight hilarious.

                • MannyGeee

                  Or bumpy road…

  • Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob)

    Too long till ST!!

  • Pat D

    Even though I’m back in school, “weekends” still mean nothing to me since I only have classes on two days right now, and one of those days is Saturday!

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Why do people get mad at other people who want a lesser chance of Pettitte getting tired/hurt? Do you like getting mad for the sake of getting mad?

    • Pat D

      Anger can be addicting.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Why does anyone get angry at anyone they don’t know over the internet?

    • Bob Buttons

      In Psychology it’s called displacement (of anger).

    • Ted Nelson

      Most of the anger in that thread seemed to be from people who were angry Pettitte was pitching.

      It’s tough to say what increases injury risk, but if he can’t pitch a few innings in exhibition games… not sure he is going to make it through a season.

      The Yankees #2 starter tore his shoulder up in ST last season, while DRob hurt himself moving, and Joba hurt himself on a trampoline, so I’d have to see some evidence that the WBC is an injury magnet.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        All of that last sentence. Waking up in the morning is an injury risk.

        • Bob Buttons

          Injuries…are everywhere. Most of us try to avoid it, others can’t get out of its way. Every day we fight a new war against car accidents, knives, fly balls, trampolines, and snowy driveways.

          There’s a lot of ways to wind up injured. The fact that we remain unharmed at all is a miracle, because every day we live, we face 1000 ways to get injured.”

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Selig’s introducing knives this year? The man is desperate.

            • Bob Buttons

              He just secretly wants Brewers to win every year.

              • The Doctor (formerly known as G formerly known as Matt Smith formerly known as David Tennant formerly known as etc)

                It’s somewhere in the fine print that Bernie Brewer is to be armed with knives which he can throw at the outfielders while the ball is in play.

  • DJ

    Interesting to see what if anything Cashman can do to improve the RH OF and/or catching options. If he waits til the trading deadline hope the Yanks are still in contention for the upgrade to matter.

    • Herby

      I don’t expect they’ll be in that bad shape by the trading deadline that a deal couldn’t help the team.

    • MChass

      •Yankee GM Cashman said that he’s aware that he needs to strengthen the bench and find a right-handed bat for the outfield. However, he doesn’t feel as though it all has to come together by Opening Day and suggested that he could explore mid-season deals to make that happen. “Necessity is the teenaged mother of the unplanned pregnancy or invention, depending on how you see it. If we need to explore the scrap heap if we start falling out of contention, there’s going to be a load out there.”

      •Meanwhile, the GM says the Yankees were never close to signing Scott Hairston either, despite being linked to him for a good portion of the winter, writes Dan Martin of the New York Post. Cashman added that the club isn’t opposed to multi-year deals but did say that they’ll have to be careful about it. “Some GMs just get way too caught up in the player’s prior season and don’t think enough about the long-term implications. This organization is by no means immune. Some might question the decisions to sign Carl Pavano, Kyle Farnsworth, Kei Igawa, Pedro Feliciano, A.J. Burnett, Damaso Marte, Mark Texeira, well… you get the point. But I have a saying: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

      • DC

        Wasn’t funny last night either.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Just got more of a reaction than it did last night, though.

          • DC

            I was torn between the two options.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              It’s the cross we bear on here.

    • Ted Nelson

      RH corner OF is one of the easiest things to find in MLB.

      C is one of the toughest, though.

  • Anthony

    Not looking forward to school restarting tomorrow… the good news is that spring semester means baseball is near.

  • Bertin Lefkovic

    Since the Braves now have two right fielders and no left fielders, is there any chance that the Yankees could build an attractive enough package around Brett Gardner to acquire Jason Heyward? Do the Killer Bs still have any trade value? What else do the Braves need? Would a willingness to take Brian McCann’s contract off of their hands make a deal more or less enticing?

    • jesse

      Really don’t think that’s a problem. They’ll just stick Justin Upton in LF and go from there.

      In terms of what it’ll take to get him, I’m sure you can start with the package the D’Backs got for Upton, which they don’t really have, and probably more since he’s younger and cheaper.

      • Bertin Lefkovic

        Does the inclusion of someone like Gardner change the nature of the deal? He is probably a better fit offensively and defensively than Heyward insofar as he is a better left fielder and center fielder than either Upton brother and he would also give the Braves a true leadoff hitter, which B.J. isn’t. Gardner is also likely to cost the Braves less than Heyward over the course of the remainder of his career as he is probably a $10-15MM/year player at best, while Heyward could be a $15-25MM/year player. Could pitchers like Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and David Phelps be part of a package? How about Michael Pineda? Does he have any value?

        • Andy

          Heyward put up a 6.6 WAR last season, is 23, and has 4 more years of cheap team control. His trade value is way higher than Upton’s right now and will not be traded under any circumstances. That’s about all that needs to be said on the matter.

          • http://www.retire21.org first name only male

            All good points. So maybe Gardner AND Nuñez.

            • jesse

              Throw in Adam Warren and you got yourself a package that Atlanta can’t refuse.

              • Herby

                They’ll be too busy laughing?

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  Melky + IPK had a child and I didn’t get a birth announcement?

    • DC

      No. No. Starting pitching depth. No, they are counting on his return.

      Braves have a chance to have the best OF in baseball this year. Heyward isn’t going anywhere.

      • Anthony

        Best OF? Idk man, Hamilton-Trout-Trumbo seems tough to beat. And if Crawford returns to even half his former self, the Dodgers are definitely in the running with Kemp and Ethier too. I never really hopped on the Upton train, although there is (still) a need for someone like him on the Yanks.

        • DC

          I hedged by saying a “chance”. Angels have a chance too depending on Hamilton’s health and whether Trumbo can produce for an entire season. LAD have similar question marks with health.

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, they definitely have a chance if Justin has another 6 fWAR season. They could get 17 fWAR with good seasons from the three. I don’t think the Angels or Dodgers are likely to get much more than that.

          • Anthony

            Yeah, absolutely. But a lot is going to depend on which J-Upton shows up: 2011 6.4 WAR Upton or 2012 2.5 WAR Upton.

    • Herby

      You make it sound like it’s that difficult to change from right to left field. I don’t think they’d be wanting to replace him with Gardner anytime soon. It’s mainly Yankee fans who value him higher than the rest of the league does. He’s also a guy who plays hard, beats his body up pretty well, relies on his legs, and is going to be 30. If Heyward were a Yankee, would you trade for Gardner?

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t think Gardner has nearly as much value as Heyward, but I also don’t think the rest of the league doesn’t value him. A lot of fans don’t find him valuable, but a lot of fans are still using BA/HRs/RBIs slash lines to quantify a player’s value.

    • RetroRob

      Having two RFers is horrible. Not quite as bad as having three OFers who can play CF.

      Nevermind.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    About five minutes ago, as I put my boy to bed, he looked at my retro 80′s Yankees shirt, pointed at Willie Randolph and, for the first time, said the word “Yankees.”

    • Herby

      And a good Yankee shirt to be having him look at as well.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It even has Brian Fisher on it.

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          Haven’t heard that name mentioned in about 20 years. He was the Yankees pitching equivalent to Kevin Maas as 1 hit wonders.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Went on to a lot less than I remember now from looking over his career stats.

    • DC

      Excellent.

    • nsalem

      Doc Medich for Doc Ellis, Ken Brett and a 21yo Willie Randolph for Doc Medich. What a steal. We need to pull a rabbit out of the hat like that now. Willie’s first month in a Yankee uniform was his best one in his career. His OBP was .480 and OPS over 1000. The trade of Medich was the textbook definition of selling high.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Who would you sell high on, though? The only sell-high options I’d see would be Logan and, I shudder to even mention this, Robertson. I don’t think either gets you the haul we’d want.

        • nsalem

          Oh we have no one that comps with Medich. He was a league average innings eater for the Yankees and he won 49 games in 3 years in an era when W’s and ERA were the prime stats, After he left the Yankees he was neither an innings eater or a winning pitcher. The Pirates had a young established second baseman already who was a couple of years older than Williie and badly needed pitching. I don’t think he is untouchable but he would only be traded in part of a package that would bring us great value.

      • RetroRob

        Poor Gabe Paul. He was George’s first president/GM back in ’73-’77. He rebuilt the team through some great trades, bringing in Nettles, Chambliss, Piniella, Mickey Rivers, Ed Figueroa, Dick Tidrow, Oscar Gamble, while stealing Willie Randolph from the Pirates along with Dock Ellis in the previously mentioned Doc Medich deal. He didn’t give up much in the process. He was a master dealer, and brought the Yankees back to the top.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s a good thing there weren’t blog comment sections back then.

          #Paulfailed

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Taking my grandson to his first Yankees game in May. The Yankees just happen to be playing that game at Coors Field. I’ll continuously remind him though, that it’s a Yankees game, not a Rockies game. :-)

      • Robinson Tilapia

        My son’s first game already was a Mets game this year. At least it was in a luxury suite.

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          That’s called taking an unnecessary risk. I would have had to put mine up for adoption if he accidentally turned out to be a Mets fan.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I can handle a Mets fan. My only fear is coming on so strong he’ll cheer for the Sox in rebellion.

            • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

              Someone schooled in the manipulation of the psyche such as you should have little problem ensuring that never happens.

              • Herby

                You never know…that first game magic may make him a Met fan forever…highly doubtful.

                • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                  Actually one of the first games I can remember going to was a Mets game a friends parents took us to for a birthday. Pat Zachary, Joel Youngblood, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson et al in Shea stadium.

                  Pretty much no chance I’d root for the Mets after that experience.

                  • Herby

                    My father took that risk…hated the Yankees…grew up a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, but took us to a Yankee game at my brothers insistance. Got to see Mantle hit one of his last HRs…I was hooked.

                  • nsalem

                    3 of the 4 players you mentioned were traded for Seaver. Is that a coincidence?

                    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                      The only coincidence is they all sucked at baseball.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    That’s a whole lot of players I remember only from a Topps baseball card.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  It was a luxury suite. He barely watched the game, although the all-you-can-eat Shake Shack would have been enough to turn me into stuart a.

                  #…..

      • forensic

        My son’s first game will likely be in the Padres series in August. Assuming they still wear the camouflage on Sunday’s, I’m hoping to not have much problem convincing him which team he should root for.

    • Vern Sneaker

      That is a great moment. I remember my son’s first Yankees everything. Don’t want to sound like an old fart but cherish it, man, it all goes by fast.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It already does feel that way sometimes. I no longer have a “baby.” I have a toddler. Thanks, Vern.

        • Vern Sneaker

          And what a good luck charm he was! Born in ’94, Rangers win the Cup, then Yanks in playoffs every year after that except ’08. Maybe your boy has the same mojo, looks like we might need it.

        • Vern Sneaker

          And what a good luck charm he was! Born in ’94, Rangers win the Cup, then Yanks in playoffs every year after that except ’08. Hope your boy has the same mojo, looks like we might need it.

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    You know what’s fun about the above play in the video? If that ball had gone out for any reason, whether it eventually rolled off of that wall backwards or got knocked out accidentally by the OFer, it would have been a HR. Baseball’s rules are funny sometimes.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

    Don’t know which is more unwatchable, the pro bowl or the X games.

    • trr

      pro bowl!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’ve never actually watched the X-Games. I had no clue the Pro Bowl was tonight until I saw a sign outside a bar for it this afternoon.

      Really, they should just play flag football and be done with it. You’re never going to get the players to play all-out and it’d be travesty for arguably the most popular sport in the US to not have some sort of all-star exhibition.

      • forensic

        Just make it a skills competition of the things they’re best at:

        – Who’s the best shot with music blaring, lights flashing, and strippers dancing in front of them?
        – Who can drive the straightest after 10 beers?
        – Who can do the most damage to a defenseless spouse in 1 minute?

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

          A little jaded with the NFL, huh?

          • forensic

            Eh, it’s still around 3rd or 4th for me in sports and I’ll watch most Sundays (since there isn’t much else to watch those days), but it mostly just bugs me how much of a free pass it gets with all the shitheads it employs vs. all the criticism baseball constantly gets for MUCH less.

            • forensic

              And really, it’s not even just this off the field stuff, even the constant celebrating after the littlest routine play, no matter the score, annoys me too.

              • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

                I agree with everything you said, but with that said, it’s still an incredibly enjoyable and exciting sport.

                • forensic

                  It certainly has its moments, but much of it is actually a bit blah and little nothing plays.
                  How anyone shells out $300 a season for one extra game a week (and, yes, the choice to watch what you want during the regular times) with NFL Sunday Ticket baffles me.

                  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                    You can watch every football game for the entire season for less than it costs to take a family of 4 to a SINGLE Yankees game.

                    You tell me which is the better value.

                    • forensic

                      You get 17 extra games over paying nothing (just the one extra game during the two sunday afternoon time slots which would be the national game on the other channel). Considering your favorite team would likely be on the regular telecasts in your area at least a couple of those weeks, you’re paying that to see maybe 10-12 extra games a year.

                      MLB Extra Innings is nearly half the price and you get an extra 2-3 games every day for 180 days. I don’t know how Sunday Ticket gets away with charging what they do.

                      And you can’t compare it to going to any sort of game, otherwise you’d also have to compare it to going to an NFL game.

                    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                      That’s not entirely true. You get about 10 extra games per week. If your a fan of a team from outside your home town, it’s the only way to see all their games.

                      Besides, the price this year was $199, not $300.

                    • forensic

                      I understand you get access to those extra games every week, but you can only watch one at a time (in full). They aren’t there for you to play at your leisure during the week.

                      And the $300 was from here:

                      http://www.directv.com/sports/nfl

                      Even if that’s more than the normal one, I know I’ve seen it over $200 ($240 sticks out for some reason.

                    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                      I DVR the good ones and you can watch a game in about 90 minutes fast forwarding through the commercials. I also switch around and watch a little of all the games that interest me. I’ve bought it for 3-4 years now and was charged $199 last year. The year before, it was $300 I believe.

                      As a Dallas fan living in NJ, I’d pay pretty much anything to see my team every week. God knows most people piss away money on plenty of other things, I consider it money well spent

                    • forensic

                      Hey, to each their own (and I’m sure you’re not one of those schmucks who can’t pay their bills, but will somehow have this), but I digress.

                      Even that is tough for me to rationalize. You’ll certainly get the 2 Giants games and the Cowboys are always on the night games several times a year, so it’s still only about 10-12 games you’re getting.

                      I’m a big Giants fan, but I just can’t convince myself to spend that for a few extra games (and no, I don’t live near NY).

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I agree with the non-sarcastic version of this.

    • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

      I think it’s the pro bowl, and it’s not even close. Then again, I’m truly amazed at what the guys at the X-Games are doing, trying my hand in most of these sports, seeing kids at 14 challenging the best in the world is incredible. I seriously don’t understand how people can’t at least respect the level of technical and athletic ability required to control a spin while being attached to a board while flying down a mountain at 35+mph. Let alone back flipping a snowmobile. The sheer weight of your balls to just attempt that must be massive.

      • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

        For example of sheer ridiculousness: Shaun White set the record for biggest air in Super Pipe tonight, at 24 feet. That’s not 24 feet off the ground, that’s 24 feet from the top of the half pipe, so more like 50 feet over flat ground.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

        Why would anybody want to flip a snowmobile? It’s like an episode of “jackass”

        • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

          Because after you’re upside down you can actually leave your seat and do things..yes they do that.

          • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

            I did see them do that and while I’m sure it takes big balls and a lot of skill, it still seems about as ridiculous as that guy from Jackass who staples his balls to his leg

            • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

              It is as ridiculous, but like you said it takes much more skill lol.

              • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                I don’t understand how they don’t get killed while trying to learn how to do those stunts.

                • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

                  Oh, when you’re first learning them, until you’ve got what you’re doing in the air down to muscle memory you’re doing it into a gigantic foam pit. So deep that even if you land w/ a snowmobile on top of you, you get to walk away.

                  Here’s a kid practicing the rotation for a 1080 Double Misty into a pit w/o even a board.

  • https://twitter.com/MattMontero1 matt montero
    • Herby

      For some players it’s a blessing there is a no facial hair rule.

  • https://twitter.com/MattMontero1 matt montero

    I know the catching situation has been talked about enough, I just can’t accept they’re going with Cervelli and Stewart. I’d even be happy if they got someone like Evan Gattis. I’m sure most people haven’t heard of him, he’s a late bloomer (i think he’s already 26) in the Braves system. He’s being brought to Braves camp as a possible backup catcher, at least until McCann is ready. Obviously, we don’t know and he could be just as bad as Cervelli, but at least give someone like him a chance. Who knows, he might just have needed longer to figured it out.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      So this guy who is 26 years old and was invited to Braves camp this spring would potentially be a preferable option to what the three choices the Yankees have? I’m as big a believer in “all hands on deck” as anyone, but that’s a bit too much lack of faith in what the team has and a bit too much faith in what you’re reading about a fringe guy on another team.

      If there’s a guy the team feels can compete for the job, I’m for bringing them in. They’re not going to bring in everyone with a catcher’s mitt, though.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

        I agree but this Cervelli/Stewart plan is about as reasonable as when they were going with Bubba Crosby in CF a few years back.

        Maybe they will have to start the season with those guys but I still find it hard to believe they’re going to just completely punt on the catching position when they could have had Martin, who is average to a little above average on a reasonable 2 year contract. IMO, they have to be thinking they’re gonna bring in someone from outside the organization at some point.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Oh, at this point, i believe it. I absolutely believe that they hope one of the three can hold down the fort until Sanchez is ready. We shall see. Best laid plans…

          • Herby

            I think by mid-season, and hopefully by the start of the season you’ll be seeing Romine getting the bulk of the catching. I have no problems in putting him out there and seeing what he can do.

      • https://twitter.com/MattMontero1 matt montero

        It’s not everyone with a catcher’s mitt though. I mean someone who has shown potential, or maybe is just figuring it out. Gattis is 26 but I’ve seen a few articles saying he may have finally figured it out. I’m not saying he is going to be a great catcher, or even Russell Martin, but he has shown potential to possibly be better than Cerwart (Stervelli?). Of course, there’s a better chance that he’s a bust, but why not give him a try, if nothing more than a backup. It’s tough to see him doing any worse than the other two guys. Of course, I would prefer giving Romine a chance, but I trust the Yankees’ assessment that he’s not quite ready yet.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think most diehard fans have heard of Gattis. How much do you know about him? He can barely C and has 200 PAs above A ball. He’s got a promising bat, though, so I don’t see the Braves rushing to give him away. He’s not a great fit and might cost a good deal.

      My guess is Stewart is the starter, not Cervelli. The Yankees brought in Stewart last year knowing that meant Cervelli was going to AAA. Could be a depth move, but I think that they could have found a AAA C without giving up Kontos. Stewart graded out very well as a pitch framer in Fast’s study, while Cervelli was awful. I believe that like the Rays, the Yankees are using P framing and other metrics to better value Cs. That’s not to say that I think Stewart is a good starting C with his offense, but he might be more passable than a lot of fans assume.

      • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

        Ted, I know you’re a diehard Yankee fan, but to call Stewart anything other than he is offensively, which is a black hole, is taking it a step too far. I like to think of myself as an optimist when it comes to the Yankees, but even in my most fantastical wildly optimistic dreams, the Stewart is still a below average offensive catcher and the Yankees are winning in spite of and not because of anything he does.

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          Yeah but he can sure frame the shit out of a pitch though.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s hilarious that you mean that as an insult, and you’re the one who comes across looking like a boob.

            “I can’t really understand dem der newfangled stateristics Jim Bob. I learnted dos der offensive ones 10 years ago, so I isn’t about to do me some learnin on any other ones. Dem der first ones I learnted has gotta be da bestest ones dey got. Ain’t no room fer quantififying oder parts a dis here game dat we know is important. Just can’t be done.”

            The Rays probably traded Jaso for a RP prospect and replaced him with Jose Molina because they got confused and thought Jose hit like Yadier.

            • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

              Just because you repeat this pitch framing data ad nauseum like its a fact when it’s nothing more than speculation on your part is what makes you look like a boob.

              You have no fucking clue whether the yankees or Rays are using this data but you created a narrative where they are and must have posted the same shit 50 times.

              Sure its a possibility. It also a possibility the Yankees want to cut costs and with the dearth of good catchers available, this is where they’re choosing to save.

            • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

              After Tom ripped this argument of yours to pieces the other night, I’d have thought you’d back off this crap but some people never learn. What you’re doing is pure 100% speculation. Stop trying to pass it off as fact or as some insider knowledge no one else but you has.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, I said that he’s a bad offensive C in my comment. Not sure why you’re repeating that.

          There’s that whole defense things, though. You know, the catcher is that guy who squats behind the plate, calls the pitch, catches the pitch… that guy.

          Baseball is not just offense. Just like you don’t win in spite of having a good defensive SS or CF, you don’t win in spite of having a good defensive C. Runs prevented are as valuable as runs scored.

          • Slappy McWaterbug

            I’m getting more on board with this. As a fan having a defense first catcher sucks, but really I can see that this may be one of the places in baseball where you can arbitrage some value. People were so enamored by the Jorge Posadas of the world that catchers who grade out as superior defensively fall way below what may be their true value on the field.

            It’s not fun to watch on TV, but if you can buy something for dimes on the dollar, especially when you are trying to pare down expenses, seems to make a lot of sense.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, I think that a big part of it is also the model we use to evaluate players. The same value is being created by the players on the field regardless of how we as fans quantify it (there is learning teams can get out of stats to change the way the players play, but just talking about stats as describing performance here).

              The models we tend to use tell us that these defense first guys are not good. It’s a model that we believe captures and quantifies offense quite well, but we also believe it’s pretty lacking on the defensive side so we often just ignore that side or paint it with a really broad brush (sort of “great,” “ok,” and “bad” defenders with no greater detail). I don’t know for sure that the Yankees or Rays or Mike Fast or anyone else has a superior model, but I do know that a superior model may exist. One that better explains player value than the one we have, with C being a position that looks to have the largest gap for improvement.

              If that model does exist and we become more aware of it in the coming years, we might have a different appreciation for the contributions of a good defense-first C. (Of course, watching the game you can sometimes pick up on these subtleties even if you don’t know exactly how to quantify them… a questionable strike call that helps your team, Gardner getting to a ball Ibanez wouldn’t have come close to without breaking a sweat, etc… basically, descriptive stats aren’t meant, from a fans’ perspective, to create the value the players bring to the field, just capture the valuable things they are already doing.)

              • Slappy McWaterbug

                Totally agree. I think more attention is paid to the offensive side because that’s more visually interesting and easier to quantify on some level. At the end of the day the contribution to winning a game is the ultimate quantity of value. That contribution can be made on both sides of the ball, so to speak, and I don’t think it’s crazy to think that the Yankees believe that they have as much value as they could reasonably extract from that position given the current market.

                We as fans like to rabble-rouse about the decisions the Yankees make, but I doubt they do anything they haven’t analyzed quantitatively to a far greater extent than any of us have.

      • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

        Ted, I know you’re a diehard Yankee fan, but to call Stewart anything other than he is offensively, which is a black hole, is taking it a step too far. I like to think of myself as an optimist when it comes to the Yankees, but even in my most fantastical wildly optimistic dreams, the Stewart is still a below average offensive catcher and the Yankees are winning in spite of and not because of anything he does.

        • Herby

          I probably see them going with Cervelli and Stewart as the back-up with Romine getting a month or so of playing time in AAA and then getting called up. A lot depends on how things go in spring, what injuries might pop up, who gets hot, or something unexpected.

          • Ted Nelson

            I don’t know what they’ll do, but if they thought Cervelli was a better C than Stewart I don’t think they’d have acquired Stewart to purposely bump Cervelli to AAA. There are possible depth and development explanations, but if you thought Cervelli was an adequate starting C I don’t think you’d trade a decent RP prospect to move him to AAA.

      • forensic

        I would be able to deal with Cervelli as the starter, at least until his defense makes me regret it.

        I might be able to convince myself to deal with Romine over time. But, no way I would want Stewart to start.

        • Herby

          I’m just really curious to see what they have instead of going with a retread like Stewart…so if it turns out you have a year of having a shitty catcher, so be it. I just don’t think they’re going to be that shitty.

          • forensic

            I think the drop-off from Martin is being vastly overrated by so many here. Sure, it could turn out to be a massive mistake and miscalculation, but if Cervelli can hit about like he did in 2010-2011, it’s a pretty close approximation of what Martin has done (less power, more BA/OBP). His defense needs to show some sort of improvement, somehow, but he could be close.

            Stewart has zero chance of approximating that production (even if his defense is supposedly good) and I’m not that high on Romine either (though I guess it’s possible that he could be a bit of a ‘happy’ medium between Cervelli and Stewart).

            • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

              People are very down on Romine…and I don’t understand it. Sure he had an injury plauged 2012 but he was a top 100 prospect in baseball in 2011…there’s still a very legit chance he’s a major league player. Maybe not in 2013, but one day.

              • forensic

                Eh, his 2012 only barely impacts my view of him. I’ve had this same opinion for a year or two and have debated it in many a DOTF. He hasn’t broken a .730 OPS anywhere above high-A ball. Even Stewart did at least that in AA (and AAA when he was a bit older).

                I just can’t convince myself that he’ll hit at all at the MLB level. For the Yankees sake, I hope I’m completely wrong though, because they’ll likely play him quite a bit over the next several years.

            • Ted Nelson

              “but if Cervelli can hit about like he did in 2010-2011, it’s a pretty close approximation of what Martin has done (less power, more BA/OBP).”

              “Stewart has zero chance of approximating that production (even if his defense is supposedly good)”

              Offense! Offense! If they wanted to ignore defense, Mike Napoli would have been their first call. Clearly they don’t want to ignore defense.

        • Ted Nelson

          Do you believe, like most people, that the Rays are the smartest FO in MLB?

          They traded Jaso for a fraction of what he ended up being worth a year later to make Jose Molina their starting C last year.

          I don’t know what the Yankees will do, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they start Stewart.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        “That’s not to say that I think Stewart is a good starting C with his offense, but he might be more passable than a lot of fans assume.”

        He wasn’t terrible when he had to step in SF. That’s true. I need a drink.

        • Ted Nelson

          My point is also that the stats on fangraphs and B-R aren’t necessarily going to capture his value. He could help the Yankees win, and still look bad by what are now traditional metrics.

          It amazes me that so many people on this site who claim to understand sabermetrics assume that there is no improvement to stats that can be made. They learned a few stats, and those must be the best way to quantify baseball. It’s like learning to ride a horse and deciding that there is no way we can possibly improve transportation. The really ironic part is that they mostly acknowledge that our current stats are lacking any time you try to make an argument about someone’s defense, but then they refuse to consider that someone might have figured out how to better quantify defense.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            “It amazes me that so many people on this site who claim to understand sabermetrics assume that there is no improvement to stats that can be made. They learned a few stats, and those must be the best way to quantify baseball. ”

            I agree that there’s too much assumption of a straight line at all times. Predicting bumps in that line just doesn’t make for good conversation. It’s also easier to make fun of when it’s grit and clutchitude and all that.

            APF wants a more complete package behind the plate, as does Plouffy. It’s not hard to pout a little when you had an offensively great catcher like Posada for more than a decade. That’s not where we’re at today, and I don’t really see having much of a choice other than hoping and rooting for the best.

            • Ted Nelson

              I would argue that a lot of fans are willing to live with a Posada who they know is a great offensive player, but aren’t really sure exactly how much his D is hurting or helping the team because of the models we use to quantify performance. It’s a lot harder to know if the great defensive player is actually contributing just as much to the team because we aren’t nearly as comfortable with defensive metrics (very possibly for good reason). If we had a better model, though, we might be able to better understand the value of defense-first players. Some we might realize don’t warrant their reputation and are as bad as we thought or worse. Some, though, we might realize have more value than we imagined. (There are also some offensive things that could be better modeled as well, say command of the zone, but I thin a larger gap exists on the defensive side.)

              I don’t know that they are correct in calling for a more “well rounded” player. Of course a players who is really good/great at everything is preferable. A player who is ok all-around, though, can be less valuable than a player who is really, really strong in one area but lacking in others. I would argue that fans are more willing to live with this if the one area is offensive, and thereby easy to quantify, than defensive. There will be bitching is you have a two-outcome, HR/K guy, but a lot of fans will understand his value. It’s harder to quantify defensive value, especially the subtler points of C defense, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

              If you have a Mike Morse, though, who seems to destroy a ton of value on defense… fans seem eager to overlook it because his offensive value is easily quantified, but his defensive value is not.

  • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

    I haven’t watched the X-Games in years…I’m really upset at myself, they have completely lost their minds.

  • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

    They just played the highlight of the Varitek/A-Rod fight on MLBn…just reminded me of how big of a bitch ‘Tek was…how do you not take your mask off…you vagina?

    • Bob Buttons

      I have an unreasonable amount of hatred for Jason Varitek

      Even more than the average fiery Yankees fan

      • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

        There is no unreasonable amount of hate for Jason Veritek. Him and Papelbon are two of the only players I would wish bad things to happen to with absolute malice in my heart.

        • forensic

          You reminded me, Papelbon was hated too because he also seemed like an asshole. I just forgot about him in the baseball oblivion that the NL and the Phillies are almost becoming (to me at least).

        • Bob Buttons

          My “wish harm” list is much longer than that, though some of it aren’t really their fault.

          For example I hate Jody Gerut with all my heart because in MVP 2005 he robbed a homer from Jorge (who is my second favorite core after Mo) to prevent me from hitting a homer with every single player in the starting lineup. (Sounds like difficulty setting was too low but I did shut out the Sox 1-0 using a single-A team on All-star)

          I also have Carl Everett with all my guts because of that hit he got off Moose in 2001.

      • forensic

        I never really hated Varitek because I think he’d be a similar fan favorite if he wore Yankee laundry instead of Red Sox laundry.

        I was pretty close to hating Pedro (because he really seemed like a sincere asshole) and Manny (because he really did seem like he would take innings/games off), despite being amazing players though. Not sure there are many others though (Ortiz might be close, Pedroia to a point).

        • Herby

          Ortiz I actually don’t have any hate for, Pedro is just a head-hunting asshole.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            No hate for Manny, Ortiz, Youk, or Pedro whatsoever. I’d take Lester on my team in a heartbeat.

            I would personally shove several sticks of dynamite up the following asses and laugh when they explode:

            Papelbon and Varitek, both for embracing this stupid feud too much and either not being good enough or being too much a young punk to care

            Pedroia, because he’s not Robbie Cano

            JD Drew, for being an all-out shithead

            John Lackey, for similar shitheadedness and really earning that hate as an Angel

            • Havok9120

              But….Lackey lives on Mt. St. Awesome O’clockus.

              • Pat D

                Looking forward to the return of Awesome O’Clock this year. Hopefully he picks up where he left off.

              • MannyGeee

                10,000 times this. Might be my favorite thing on the Youtubes

            • Pat D

              I’ve hated all those guys to an extent except for Lester, who considering the cancer thing I could never really hate, and Drew. Drew never seemed worth my time to hate.

              The others I hated for reasons of:
              1) victimizing the Yankees frequently (Manny, Ortiz, Pedro)
              2) being vastly overrated by the media to the point of having his dick sucked for every stupid little thing he does, winning an MVP award due to lack of better options and being a sniveling little rat-faced git (Pedroia)
              3) getting a free pass from the media after being revealed to be on a list of those who tested positive and giving one very odd press conference (Ortiz)
              4) being a hot-headed evil-looking Neanderthal who had his ass kicked in a brawl by Rick Freaking Porcello (Youk, but, hey, Go Rick!)
              5) not removing a mask before shoving another player in the face to start a brawl (Varitek)
              6) seeming to be a legitimate asshole (uhhhhh…that’d be all of them, though I suppose Youk can change my mind)

              I could come up with other reasons, I’m sure, but we could be here a while. And the missing guy from your list, of course, is Mr. Chin Pubes hisself, Josh Beckett.

    • Herby

      Shouldn’t be bad mouthing vaginas like that though, it’s a horrible thing to say about them.

      • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

        Touche…Vagina’s are a beautiful and powerful thing. Varitek on the other hand is the result of an unfortunate coupling between his father’s smegma and a horse’s ass.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Funny. I actually saw a guy wearing a custom-made “Varivaginatek” shirt at the stadium once.

        • Pat D

          I’m not sure that works. Sounds too busy.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Had to be there. It looked hilarious.

            • Pat D

              I’ll take your word for it.

  • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

    Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS still brings those happy tears, I can watch Aaron Boone’s homer literally every day and would never get sick of it.

    • Herby

      There are some moments that just stick with you forever, that will certainly be one of them.

      • Pat D

        You know what sticks with me forever from that postseason? Sleeping through Game 6 of the World Series.

        • nsalem

          Unfortunately The Yankees were sleeping that night also.