Thursday Night Open Thread


Now that it’s Hall of Fame season, I’ve been getting all nostalgic about Mike Mussina. I liked him even during his days with the Orioles and he was easily my favorite non-Mariano Rivera pitcher on the team last decade. I’ve been looking for that video above for-frickin-ever but Twitter came through yesterday. Grumpy Moose telling grumpy Joe Torre to “stay there!” is just the best.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. There is no football game and none of the hockey or basketball locals are playing, so you’re on your own for entertainment. Talk about whatever here. Go nuts.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. forensic says:

    The 19th, in response to coverage of the press in Sendai city, it’s that tough for the “system but certain as to whether to accept a U.S. Major League Baseball moved in the new posting system Tanaka Masahiro pitcher Tachibana Yozo team president of comfort. , I have comments policy and “will continue to. discussion are not out yet. Teams are undecided talks time with the Tanaka future.

    I love this part of Chad Jennings’ latest post. It’s an online translation of part of one of the Tanaka articles. Clear as mud…

    I wish they had included an earlier deadline for Japanese teams to make their posting decisions. It’s pitiful that this could actually drag on for over another two months before they have to make their final decision known.

    • stuck says:

      Japan’s baseball league is not a MLB minor league. Why should they do things on anything but their own schedule.

      To relieve the pointless anxiety of handful of American fans?

      • forensic says:

        I never said they were an MLB minor league, but considering they get a large check from whatever MLB team signs the player, I would’ve tried to include an earlier deadline from MLB’s standpoint.

        And as it is, it’s not on their own schedule, because there is a deadline, it’s just really late in MLB’s offseason (I should correct my initial comment since it’s more than one more month, not two).

  2. Tom says:

    I’d just hope with the crowded ballot, Mussina doesn’t slip through the cracks and fail to get the 5% to stay on the ballot.

    I could see him getting around 8-10%, even though he seems like a surefire HOF’r. He’s going to have to wait for the glut to clear over the next 3-5 years, but after that I think he would quickly gain votes and get in.

    • D$1184 says:

      I think there are multiple writers out there who will leave McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and any other candidate who was connected to PEDs that Mussina should, by process of elimination, make it onto enough ballots to at least get the 5% needed to stay on the ballot.

  3. Bobby says:

    I love this video. Didn’t someone post it on this blog’s comment sections in the last year or so?

  4. forensic says:

    Anyone bored and feel like taking on a comparison analysis for me? With Thornton getting a guaranteed $7 million over two years and then Downs getting a guaranteed $4 million on one year (with a vesting option to reach $8 million over two years), I got to thinking I’d much rather have Downs than Thornton, especially given the contracts.

    I didn’t feel like doing the legwork for the splits and whathaveyou. But if someone else would like to, feel free. :-)

    • Tom says:

      Without looking, I’d go Downs. But you suckered me into it.

      — — —

      Downs last 3 years against lefties:
      wOBA .221, .222, .289
      FIP 2.48, 2.28, 2.14
      (Downs was in ANA so these #’s look a bit better than they probably really are)

      Thornton last 3 years against lefties:
      wOBA .274, .291, .280
      FIP 1.60, 2.28, 3.54
      (Thornton was pitching in CHI so his #’s are a bit inflated)

      I’d still go Downs. But it probably doesn’t matter either way; Thornton seems to be trending poorly (but with relievers, who really knows?)

      • forensic says:

        Yeah, that’s kind of what I figured the numbers would look like. I’ll stick with preferring Downs, especially considering the vesting option which at least slightly protects the team.

    • Bob Buttons says:

      MLBTR notes that Downs have been pretty bad the last two years against righties.

      “Though Downs was typically strong against both right- and left-handed hitters into his mid-30s, he’s developed a notable platoon split over the past two seasons. From 2012-13, right-handed batters have hit Downs at a .285/.371/.416 clip.”

      Maybe they liked to have Thornton there in case they really need to get that righty between two lefties.

      • forensic says:

        Well, Thornton doesn’t quite have the same two-year trend, righties did hit .333/.423/.405 against him in 2013.

        If he’s gotta face a bad righty between two lefties, so be it, but there aren’t many bad righties in the part of the lineup where Girardi will deploy him against the other team’s bit lefties, so that’s concerning.

  5. Nathan says:

    I always liked Moose. I remember as a kid when baseball cards were a big deal and Mike Mussina was a local story (I grew up in the Bay Area), my dad and I opened boxes of cards looking for Mussina rookie cards. I was stoked when the Yankees signed him and he always just did his job without a lot of drama. I always thought he’d be a good pitching coach but from what it sounds like, he’s happy with his tractors and kid’s baseball games.

  6. CT Yankee says:

    Just read at MLBTR there’s a hiccup in the O’s/Balfour deal and it might not happen. Something popped during the physical.


    • forensic says:

      That’s really not all that surprising to me. It’s not often Billy Beane makes a move that makes you scratch your head, and choosing to trade for Jim Johnson and his ~$10 million salary instead of trying to re-up with Balfour makes you wonder if he knows something about Balfour that nobody else did. Now, maybe we know why.

  7. forensic says:

    Moose had only allowed 6 singles and 1 unearned run to that point, and only thrown 94 pitches. I don’t blame him one bit for telling Torre to get back in the dugout.

  8. 28 this year says:

    Easily my favorite pitcher as well. I loved watching him pitch.

  9. Greg C says:

    There was a nice article by Jaffe today on why Mussina is HOF worthy, not that there haven’t been many articles and analysis of his stats showing why he’s legitimately at worst an avg HOF starting pitcher. It’s crazy to me that the guy known for accurately predicting the ballot gives him only 7% and said he might not make the 5% cut.

  10. Jose Domingues says:

    WFAN is reported that TANAKA will not be posted, anyone else hearing this???

    • forensic says:

      There have been conflicting reports all day (all offseason, really). At this point, I just want a final decision so everyone can move on with their lives. I still want him posted, but would almost just prefer some sort of solid outcome either way now.

      • Jose Domingues says:

        Yea i’m sick of it, I want the guy, he will help us for years! But this needs to get resolved already I agree… Hopefully he gets posted!

  11. Steve M says:

    Love that video because I was at that game. Should have been a shutout but Arod committed an error which gives us the unearned run. I also remember a fan just yelling at bernie williams the entire game. It was getting very annoying. Miss watching Moose pitch so very much.

  12. Jose Domingues says:

    Yea i’m sick of it, I want the guy, he will help us for years! But this needs to get resolved already I agree… Hopefully he gets posted!

  13. Frank says:

    Man. Moose was the best.

  14. Charles says:

    Looks like we got lucky with Balfour, reports are that his deal with the O’s is in Jeopardy due to issues with the physical.

    • forensic says:

      I don’t know how lucky the Yankees got, though. You would hope (though, who knows, I guess) that the same sort of thing would’ve been caught by them in a physical if it’s a real issue.

  15. Darren says:

    Meh, the douche was strong in that one. We lost the series in 2007 to Detroit because of Musssina and his goddamned laptop. Is there anything worse than going to a playoff game, then having it “rained out” without it ever raining, and finding out it was Douchina’s fault? no.

    • forensic says:

      It was 2006. And I don’t think it was Moose’s fault they they were shutout by Kenny fuckin’ Rogers and that Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, and Cory Lidle all got smacked around Comerica Park in Games 3 and 4.

      • Darren says:

        yes it totally was his fault. Karma, man, karma. As a baseball player, you don’t wanna be the punk that says it might rain, let’s not play. You wanna be Ernie Banks man.

        Also, fuck man, Corey Lidle. That was fuckin crazy.

        • forensic says:

          I must’ve missed the part where Moose makes the decisions about delays and cancellations instead of the umpires and MLB.

          • Darren says:

            It was all over the news at the time how Mussina made a big stink and kept either bugging the crew chief (or Torre, who complained to the umps, I forget) about how Mussina was on his laptop looking at weather reports that showed it was gonna rain. They finally caved in to him.

            Did he make the ultimae decision? No. Did he act like a bitch? Yes. Unseemly? YOU BET. Unmanly? THURMAN LAUGHS AT HIM.

  16. BigLoving says:

    Rank the following pitchers from Mussina’s generation that will get into the hall or be close to it. Feel free to add if I left any out.

    Mike Mussina
    Pedro Martinez
    Greg Maddux
    Randy Johnson
    Tom Glavine
    John Smoltz
    Roger Clemens
    David Cone
    Curt Schilling

    • ryan says:

      I guess you could add Pettitte to that list as well, but he was more towards the end of that generation

      My list in order is Pedro, Maddux, Randy, Clemens, and then it gets tough. Glavine and Smoltz might have a better shot at the hall but you could make arguments for Moose over them. I doubt Clemens sees the hall though

    • Bob Buttons says:

      First I apologize for the mess you’ll see.


      Maddux because of his efficiency and dominance (4 consecutive CYA)
      Johnson because of his dominance in his prime and pure death against lefties. (4 consecutive CYA, oldest to throw PG, triple crown, first man to ever go 24-5)
      Clemens because of his prolonged greatness (ignoring PED at the moment)
      Pedro because of his dominance in his prime, but he didn’t have the dependency Johnson had.
      Moose over Smoltz and Glavine because he is in AL East.
      Schilling because he isn’t the first guy you think of when thinking about “best pitcher in 90s-00s”
      Cone last because I don’t have any reason to rank him above Schilling, as much as I hate that bloody idiot.

      I could be convinced on Glavine, Schilling and Cone because their ERA+ is quite similar, maybe even Smoltz, but I’m dead set on my top 5.

      • Darren says:

        Nicely done list, although I think you have to put Glavine (and maybe Smoltz) above Mussina, even though he picthed in the AL East. I guess i just thought they were more dominant than him for longer periods, although to be fair, maybe some of that was they seemed to burn even brighter due to the reflected brilliance from Maddux. And I’d put Cone above Schilling and maybe Smoltz and Mussina becuase of the way he came through as a merceneary for the WS winning Blue Jays, his Pefect Game, his cool style and mutilple Yankee rings.

        • Darren says:

          sory for alll the typoz.

          It’s just like in “The End of The Whole Mess”

        • Bob Buttons says:

          I prefer Moose over Glavine because IMO Moose lost some games because of the ballparks he pitched in, and when he was with the Os his team wasn’t as good as Glavine’s Braves teams, so I’ll give the guy the edge when he has the better ERA+. Yankees IF didn’t do him much favor in the field as they did with the bat, while Braves seem to have better fielders in the Jones and other assortment of guys. But that’s just my personal preference, since I’m a huge Mussina fan and a partial Glavine hater.

          Smoltz is pretty much the same reasons, though his end-of-career fade is more obvious than Mussina’s.

          I took another look at Cone’s stats and I guess first time around I focused a tad more on his Yankee years. I would probably give him the edge over Schilling and Glavine (since I’m in the middle between dominance vs longevity) and maybe Smoltz, but Smoltz is pretty clutch in the post-season too, just too often a hard luck loser.

          Again Mussina might be my favorite post-strike starter other than Randy Johnson, so my views are a bit biased after Martinez but I’m still unwavering on Maddux-Johnson-Clemens-Martinez-Mussina order.

          • Darren says:

            Maddux is first, I know that. Flawless. Johnson was dicey in the beginning and end of his careers, Clemens in the middle. Pedro was pure amazing for a few years but faded.

    • Wheels says:

      David Wells?

  17. Cliff says:

    Mike, why do all Yankees bloggers feel the need to have other favorite players than jeter? Seriously, is there a better long term position player the Yankees have had that the so called establishment feels the need to dislike?

    • forensic says:

      Saying that Jeter is not your favorite player is far different from disliking him. Not everybody has to have the same favorite players.

      And either way, Mike included the word ‘pitcher’ in his paragraph, which I think disqualifies Jeter…

      • Cliff says:

        I missed the word pitcher, my bad. But yeah the way I took it, no Yankee fan should like moose over jeter

        • stuck says:

          Mariano Rivera, the greatest player ever to play his ‘position’ of all time and easily one of the most likeable, amiable gentlemen to ever play the game, says hello.

          Pitcher or not, can anyone question Mo being someone’s favorite Yankee?

          [and not for nothing, but 'O'Neill and Pettitte have topped my list at various times since '95.]

        • Kenny says:

          I like Moose over Jeter. Moose is my favorite player of all time.

          • Bob Buttons says:

            He’s not my favorite but I like Moose better than Jeter too.

            • Cliff says:

              That’s so stupid. Mo I am fine with. Moose, you’re a numb nut

              • whozat says:

                We’re not talking about “best”, we’re talking about “favorite”. Derek Jeter has an incredibly bland public face — on purpose. While he’s been a great, great player and contributed to a great many Yankee wins and championships, he’s kinda…dull. I enjoyed Moose’s crankiness and the fact that he’s kinda weird and likes crossword puzzles. I feel like I know something about who Mike Mussina is. I don’t know anything about who Derek Jeter is except bland sports aphorisms. Why can’t I like Mussina more while acknowledging that Jeter is better?

                For the record, Mo is my favorite, but there are plenty of other Yankees I like more than Jeter, though there are almost none who were better players :-)

              • Darren says:

                Cliff, I want to buy you a beer. Anyone who likes Moose better than Jeter is, in fact, a numb nut.

              • Bob Buttons says:

                And calling people stupid and numb nuts over their preference of players without any questions as to why while providing nothing that shows it is stupid to have such preference is not pure idiocy.

                Lesson learned.

                • Darren says:

                  Eh, it’s a joke, but like most jokes, it’s got some truth. I mean, when you step back and say you like Mike Mussina as a player more than Derek Jeter? It’s patently ridiculous. And to use Mussina’s crankiness with the media and the fact that he likes to do cross words as the reasons why? I mean, as baseball players, Jeter has about 6 signature plays. Mussina has what, 2 memorable games? It’s not even close. I get it that Jeter is a boring quote but damn, there’s just no comparison.

                  And plus, it’s fun to say numb nut. :)

    • Betty Lizard says:

      “Respect” or “appreciate” or “admire” or “enjoy watching”–or all of these–don’t necessarily equate to “favorite player.”

      The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

    • Greg C says:

      Well, in my case I’m not 12, and this is one of the few places that makes me feel old. Though I guess I’m not exactly a “Yankees blogger.”

      I’m a Yankees fan from MD. I grew up pretty poor, and I only got to see games when one of my uncles would treat me to a game at Memorial Stadium and then Camden Yards. He tried to always get tickets for when the Yankees were in town.

      I started really following baseball around 1986, and Mattingly was my favorite player. I was a fan of some Orioles, like Cal Ripken and later Mussina. When I met Mattingly at his restaurant (he came by the table and talked to us in the lobby when we were leaving), he had a lot of nice things to say about Cal Ripken and how fortunate we were to be able to see him play.

      So, if you know anything about the mid-late 80s and early 90s, both the Yankees and Orioles pretty much sucked for a long time. When the Yankees were good they were still finishing in 4th in the AL East. The Orioles were literally setting records for sucking.

      By 1991-1992 Mattingly was hurt of course, and everything was depressing. Mussina came along and he was pretty good and one of the few (only?) decent home grown players for either team. So that was a bright spot. Plus I look a lot like Mussina and it seems we have similar personalities. I rooted for him though not necessarily the Orioles, as they allowed him to go 11-15 in great pitching seasons and waste his excellent playoff pitching.

      By the time Derek Jeter debuted I was 16 and living on my own. Of course I still loved the Yankees and cheered for their new dynasty, but it was bittersweet because of Mattingly, and I guess I’m not much for becoming of a fan of new players as an adult.

      Mussina coming over was a pretty cool moment for me because it reinforced how terrible Peter Angelos is, and Mussina was a pretty good pitcher. It may have changed since he retired, but at the time his first Yankees contract ended, it was objectively the best 5+ year big money contract that had ever been given to a pitcher. it was the only one that really worked out up that point, but a lot of negative people focused on his lack of hardware and 20 win seasons. Mussina should have won the Cy Young in 2001 and of course he was “Mr Almost” with the no-hitter and World Series. He was probably the best starting pitcher on the team (with a stacked rotation) in 2001, had a dip around 2004-2005, 2007; but was also the best pitcher in 2006 and 2008. He had a pretty great run.

      I had a hard time picking a new “favorite player” when I was 16, and it’s even harder almost 2 decades later. My favorite Yankees were pretty much Mattingly and then Mussina, and that’s it. If I had to pick one to bridge ’96-2001 and post- 2009, then I go with Mo, but he’s gone now.

  18. Bruce says:

    Also nice hearing Bobby Murcer. Gee I miss him.

    • Grover says:

      His was the swing we all imitated.

    • JB says:

      Murcer was my favorite player. i was around 10 years old in 1970 and the day he was traded to the Giants was one of the worst days of my life (at that point!). so much so that i stopped rooting for the yankees for a couple of years, and didn’t fully enjoy the 77-78 years. my loss.. wasn’t the same when he came back.

      i always wanted a murcer jersey but all they have is #2. that’s not the murcer jersey i want. i want #1!!

  19. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Yes, the Tanaka posting business is frustrating, but I very much understand the other side of this and how it may not be as beneficial for the Japanese team this time around. I can’t see how they don’t post him NEXT season, if this all even comes to fruition now, and try to get whatever they can before he jumps to the MLB for nothing.

    To me, the Yanks should have always made a move with another available pitcher and have treated Tanaka as the luxury item they made room for, no matter what, if/when he became available. I’m only a fan of the market waiting on Tanaka in that it’s kept the other guys on the market.

    I do like Moose a lot. He was never my “favorite” until his final season, where you’d have to be dead not to love the guy. Andy, Guidry, even prime CC are on my “favorite” list above him. Not a knock at all on Mussina, though.

    • forensic says:

      I think this was before the final limit of $20 million came out, but I remember reading one article that said teams may be hesitant to wait until that last year to post a player because of the risk that the player would then not want to be posted and just go one more year and be his own IFA.

      We were discussing this weeks back, and we agreed with your premise, but I do wonder if players might have enough control to do what this article said, thereby leaving the Japanese team with nothing.

      Personally, I’m really not interested in any of the “Big 3″ FA pitchers, so that’s not really bothering me. I just want some sort of resolution, and you know I’d MUCH prefer they did post him and the Yankees went in big for him.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        They’re not very “big” for sure, and I’m definitely more interested in Garza than the other two for rather simpleton reasons (AL East experience, etc.) I’d be fine with a slight overpay and think he’d mitigate some of the rotation risk (even as he probably adds some of his own – at least you’re spreading that risk out a bit? Thinking aloud.)

        Interesting take on why waiting until the final season wouldn’t be preferable.

        If they post him, yeah, I hope they go VERY big.

    • Bob Buttons says:

      I think they’re not posting him (or threatening to) as a gesture or protest towards the upper limit, and he’ll be posted latest next year barring some major change of mindset.

  20. Kenny says:

    Just some food for thought, but Mussina’s 83.0 WAR is very, very, VERY good compared to some other surefire Hall of Famers.

  21. nycsportzfan says:

    Anyone here any rumours about Tommy Hanson?

  22. Winn Dixie says:

    Hated Mussina.

    Me-first, finger-pointer who always came up just a little short. Not a coincidence the team stopped winning titles the year he arrived and won again the year he left.

    Not surprising you had trouble finding this clip him asking to stay in a game, or that the memory is so vivid to so many, myself included. The guy’s signature move was begging out of games at the first sign of trouble to avoid losses.

  23. BrianC says:

    Back to the topic of favorite NYY player ….. I loved watching Bernie Williams.

  24. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Wasn’t Musinna the one who drew a picture of a window in the clubhouse, or something like that, when someone complained they wanted some light? I know I got the story wrong, but it was something pretty amusing.

    Growing up, it was Mattingly for me but, really, Mo all day as my favorite Yankee.

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