Wednesday Night Open Thread


The biggest news out of the Winter Meetings today was not a transaction, though there were a few of those. Home plate collisions were banned by MLB on Wednesday, so now players have to slide into home like every other base. There will be fines and/or suspensions for anyone who breaks the rules, and that includes catchers who block the plate. They’ve got to sweep tag, etc. MLB has signed off on the plan for 2014 but MLBPA has yet to do the same. If they don’t, MLB can unilaterally apply the rule change in 2015. It was bound to happen eventually. Baseball is a safer game now.

Here is your open thread for the night. The Knicks are the only local team playing and from what I understand, they aren’t worth watching. Catch up on Netflix or something. Enjoy.

Categories : Other Teams


  1. Eddard says:

    Won’t be long before they deem it too dangerous to throw a pitch so they’ll just set the ball on a tee and instead of running the bases they’ll use ghosts. They are destroying the game of baseball.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes says:

      Yeah, not a huge fan of the new rule.

    • Preston says:

      Right, you show all these softies what’s up, go bang your head against a brick wall repeatedly for an hour to show them that all this concussion business is just nonsense. Used to be we used dirty balls that were hard to hit. The game was full of gritty slap hitters back then not these sissy jogging home run showboats. But one little whiner gets killed and we RUINZ TEH GAME!!!

    • hogsmog says:

      At least they’re done destroying the body of Buster Posey.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Not that you mean jackshit of what you say but, as much as I like the drama and spectacle of it, athletes aren’t there to maim themselves for my amusement.

      That’s what Republicans are supposed to be for.


      • Ice Man says:

        Oh I think how smooth Obamacare is working and looking at our fearless idiot take a “selfie” of himself at a funeral is providing plenty of amusement. Not even Republicans can hold a candle to that shit show.


        • Preston says:

          I know that we aren’t supposed to talk politics but this really bugs me. Barack Obama graduated from Columbia, went to Harvard Law, was editor and then President of the Law Review, became a respected Civil Rights litigator and taught Constitutional Law at Chicago Law School. He’s now been elected President twice. Whatever you think of his policies or opinions, if you don’t understand and recognize that he’s a very intelligent man who has accomplished a great deal, you are the idiot.

          I don’t have twitter and don’t do hashtags…

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            I wasn’t intending to make a political statement. Just having some fun. Guy can trash whatever he wants. I wasn’t going to respond.

          • Pistol Pete says:

            You’re right. Can’t understand the Obama hate, when Bush ran things everything was awful from the idiotic Iraq war to the financial markets a mess and the worst economy since the Great Depression. Since Obama the market has more than doubled from 6600 to 16000, unemployment is down, jobs are up, the stupid war in Iraq is over, Bin Laden is dead, the annual federal deficit is down from an awful 1.3t per year to an awful 600b per year. Lots more to do but not really that bad. If Bush had done those things Fox would be lobbying for another President on Mt. Rushmore.

  2. Cuso says:

    What about Eric O’Flaherty for the pen?

    • soxhata says:

      Cash always gives the blah blah stance about how pitching is everything.However,the Yanks seem to be banking on Tanaka,and not looking for plan B.The bullpen needs a closer,and a loogy.Get Balfour,or,if the Phillies will take a couple prospects or Gardner,I would take Paplebon and the contract.If the Phils eat some of the contract,it is a no brainer.Robertson is a set up guy-PERIOD1

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Gardner for Papelbon?
        Hell no. I wouldn’t do it even if the Phillies ate most of his contract.
        And Robertson was substantially better than Papelbon this year.

      • Laz says:

        Papelbon is making $12.5M a year, and you want to give them value for that?

      • Greg C says:

        Closers are over-valued (that’s why relievers always want “closer money”) and fairly replaceable- even if you’ve had the least replaceable closer in the history of the game. There’s really no reason to go spend money on one. The G.O.A.T. closer was home grown, failed starter, former setup man. I’m glad we didn’t trade for Randy Myers or Rod Beck or sign Doug Jones or something stupid like that.

  3. Lukaszek says:

    This is a jam for all the fellas
    Tryin to sign expensive players
    Get shot down cause you’re too cheap
    Players tell you fuck off and give you the flip
    Ok Mr. Cash, now don’t be rash
    Free agents will sign if they get the cash
    A pitcher is on the market, you wish you could sign him
    He says “gimme more years” and you start sighing
    Next day there’s a meeting, you say your greeting
    Hal gets pissed off, says we can’t fill our seating
    Your boss is angry and you get desperate
    Get a massive headache and take some aspirin
    Suddenly you hear a call, it’s Brian McCann
    He wants you to sign him, you say yes we can

    You want him, you sign him
    You want him Cashy, you sign him

    You’re on a mission and you’re wishing
    That you could complete this acquisition
    Looking for outfielders in all the wrong places
    No agreements, just pissed off faces
    Some frustration, you lose determination
    Might as well be a hobo at Penn Station
    But every cold spell has a light of hope
    So don’t go to the projects and start selling dope
    Get your shit together man, the time is passing
    Get out your phone book and start amassing
    Suddenly you hear a ring, the call’s from Boston
    You start thinking, “if that Ellsbury, that’ll be awesome!”
    You pick it up and you hear “wassup Brian”
    You get so happy you almost start crying
    Get excited and say “would you like hundred sixty million?”
    Ellsbury laughs and yells “hell yeah dawg, that’s just brilliant!”

    You want him, you sign him
    You want him Cashman, you sign him
    You want him, you sign him
    You want him Cashman, you f’ing sign him

    In this city, agents are witty
    Singing hip hop and looking pretty
    Taking clients away from Scott Boras
    Then bragging about it in their new song’s chorus
    Agents act fake, so that they could rake
    Hoping you cave in and make a mistake
    Playing hardball, standing so tall
    Asking for so much money that you get appalled
    Say “no fucking way man, that’s too expensive”
    You’re hoping that the agent backs off and learns a lesson
    But then see Cano walk into the West Coast setting
    And there’s one more player you won’t be getting
    You start thinking and you start blinking
    Carlos Beltran looks and thinks you’re winking
    He knows you’re really rich, so he winks back
    And then you get happy because he’s got a great bat
    You’re still not sure, so you ask the brass
    They said “you know what to do Cash, sing his ass”

    You want him, you sign him
    You want him Cashman, you sign him
    You want him, you sign him
    You want him Cashman, you f’ing sign him

  4. RetroRob says:

    Really? $42M saved in state taxes? So that’s $107M more in Cano’s pocket. The $65M difference in the two offers and the $42M saved in taxes. That’s, umm, a lot.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      It’s not $42M in saved taxes.
      The $42M is the total difference in net after tax dollars between the Yankees 7/175M offer and Seattle’s 10/$240M offer.

      ($86M net pay for the Yankees offer, $128M net pay from Seattle)

      • Now Batting says:

        That doesn’t make sense. The gross difference is $65m. Washington has a lower state tax. The net difference would increase not decrease. I think it’s tax savings but calculated more sophistically than the report indicates.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          I think the net dollars are also net of federal income tax.
          Rough calculation:
          Top federal tax rate is 39.6%
          Using that rate and before factoring state/local taxes, the Yankee offer would be worth about $105.7M, while Seattle’s offer would be worth about $145M, a difference of about $39.3M.
          The difference in state taxes increases that difference.

      • RetroRob says:

        I watched the video, although after my posting. (The woman talker was annoying). So Cano would net $500K more a year from the Mariners, even though the Yankees were paying him about a $1M more per season, and then there were the additional years, so it’s an extra $42 million in Robbie’s bank account after taxes. As I ended my last note, that’s, umm a lot.

    • forensic says:

      It’s not $42 million + $65 million. It’s just the $42 million which is the total difference in his pocket.

    • Tom says:

      That # makes no sense. They put up a graphic that showed 2.2mil vs 0.5mil in a year. That’s a 1.7mil delta per year.

      I know it’s Bloomberg, but the math is screwy

      They even showed NET PAY per year which was 12.3 (NY) vs 12.8 (SEA). The 42 mil comes from the extra years.

      I think the 65mil delta becomes 42mil after taxes (not in addition to)

  5. RetroRob says:

    Today’s random, odd question.

    Does anyone here think Joe Torre has had hair transplants?

    • Darren says:

      Nope. Where did you see any pictures of him looking like’s had transplants?

      Boggs on the other hand….

      • RetroRob says:

        There was always something about Torre’s hairline that looked off. It receded, yet there was a crop on the top that seemed at times to almost look like they were implants. The sides continued to recede, but the top kind of remained the same, which can be a sign of implants.

        It was a UFO comment. It just so happened Torre was on MLB as I was writing my question about Cano and taxes, and it struck me once again that his hairline just seems off.

        I really don’t care, although I guess I must on some level since I asked the question!

        • Darren says:

          I think there are different ways to lose your hair and he lost his in the way where he still had a tuft up front while the rest of it went away. So yeah, no transplants for Joe. I hope I was of some service tonight.

      • Cuso says:

        Ugh, I saw Boggs today. He’s gotta give up on the Just For Men, it looks turrrrrrible!

        Or at least change to a different shade.

    • leftylarry says:

      Duh, years ago.

      Luckiest man in America thanks to George S.

      • Darren says:

        I’m sure Joe Torre would agree he was blessed or lucky in many ways, and he consistently stated how thankful he was to George. But to diminish his accomplishments as being the product of luck is ridiculous. He was the perfect man for the job and did a great job for many years. He deserves the credit he gets.

        • leftylarry says:

          I don’t agree, he did well because of a special team with some very special players, he was often still Clueless Joe.
          He has the rings though.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            He has four championship rings and you have a reply on a comment thread on hair extensions.

          • Darren says:

            Again, I’m sure he’d agree that he had special players and special teams. But to call him Clueless Joe cause of what? Some bad strategic decisions over the years? Try doing your job in front of millions. I’m sure you’d be laughed at.

      • SDB says:

        The Yankees lineup he had in the mid 2000s was good, but not all that great. A lot of pitching issues (hey, remember the days of Pavano, Vazquez, etc?), personnel issues and the odd hitting/defensive black hole every now and then (Giambi at 1B) – and yet Torre kept the team outperforming projections by 5 or so wins EVERY year.

        Wasn’t just an issue of riding on a few big names.

        • leftylarry says:

          Players like a young Jeter, O’neil, Mariano, Posada, Berni etc. don’t come along every year.
          He burnt out Bullpens and Mariano costing us a few WS, and allowed Red Sox to throw at his team and physically intimidate it and finally win.
          He was clueless even when winning often and for no good reason except his massive, undeserved ego.
          He was a better hitter than a manager.

    • Greg C says:

      Yeah, he’s in a new Bosley commercial with Joey Fatone.

  6. Tom says:

    MLBNetwork mentioned a proposal for plays EXCLUDED from replay:
    - neighborhood play
    - HBP’s
    - fair/foul over the bag (I assume grounders?)
    - catch/trap in the IF
    - out of the baseline going to 1st base

    I understand the fair/foul down the line. Once an infielder gets to a ball down the line and it is called foul, it is hard to predict the outcome if the player stops.

    The others seem a bit curious – I also kind of get the inside the baseline down 1st being exempt as there is a bit of judgement on those calls.

    • forensic says:

      Yeah, several of those are questionable. I know they’re not doing the neighborhood play because of the injury risk, but it seems to me that whether or not the fielder is on the bag is one of the most basic types of calls that you would want instant replay for. And you can review catch/trap in the OF but not the IF? That seems odd.

      • Tom says:

        Yup. I’m speculating – the IF catch/trap might be concerns over trying to figure out double play possibilities (if a runner on base stops/retreats or the batter stops on an out call?). Still seems weak.

        I also think they should review HBP’s. They just have to use what it is intended for – OBVIOUS missed calls. If you can’t get a good angle or can’t tell which may often be the case, move on and let the call stand.

        That’s part of the problem with NFL replay – at times it seems like they are trying to split the atom under the hood with some of the calls, instead of correcting the egregious/obvious calls.

  7. leftylarry says:

    Point is, NY’s very high taxes and cost of living are going to make it very hard for ALL NY teams to compete in the future.
    I have heard from reliable sources that the NBA players who decided to play together in Florida were influenced by the lack of State taxes there and the kid from the Lakers chose Texas for the same reason.
    The guys who are driven by wealth accumulation don’t need to play in NY anymore in any of these sports and playing in NY for the same money nets you a lot, lot less on Hundred million dollar contracts, not to mention buying a home here is millions more , at their level than elsewhere to along with much, much higher Real Estate taxes.
    You really, really have to WANT to play in NY these days, otherwise why end up with so much less over a relatively short career.
    All things being equal Yankees will need to pay 20% more over the life of the contract just to keep a player close to even if he comes here.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      This just started being an issue?

      • Preston says:

        When it comes to huge player contracts like this, most guys are not considering taxes and other things in the equation. The desire to have the higher number is a sign of their worth and respect. I doubt a player cares that 100 million in California or New York isn’t worth what it is in Florida or Texas, what he cares about is that the team that is bringing him in is paying him wants him and is willing to pay what he’s worth. Or at least that is what Dave Cameron once said was his impression from conversations with players and agents.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          New York’s also always had higher taxes, a state AND city tax, and the rent’s been too damn high for a damn long time now. This isn’t a new thing that athletes suddenly have to deal with.

          Saving money isn’t everything. If it was, I wouldn’t live in New York. Like you said, there’s other considerations as well.

          • leftylarry says:

            There are millions of smart, successful, wealthy people who would never set foot in NY except for a week vacation every few years.
            In today’s world there is often good food and culture in any big city, including many in the South.

            The internet & cable have been a big equalizer.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

          They do, and there’s an entire subset of financial services industries growing to help them cope with it…

      • leftylarry says:

        Rich are getting whacked with a lot of additional taxes on many fronts now, yes it’s more of an issue now.

    • Laz says:

      The Yankees were still willing to pay him a large chunk of change. $100M after taxes you can do whatever you want, and you are talking about playing the next 10 years in that city. TBH if Houston offered me a same contract I would choose to pay the NY taxes, life is too short to live in Texas.

      • Preston says:

        I like Houston and San Antonio, and East Texas in general. On the other hand I’d commit suicide if I had to live in West Texas.

      • leftylarry says:

        People love Texas, plenty of great places there to live.

        Many of the people who make those type of comments don’t even earn enough money to enjoy NYC and would be better off in Texas.

      • leftylarry says:

        Estate taxes take half your money and more at that level.

        If you have 100 million after taxes, spend some (it’s getting hard to preserve wealth, let alone increase it) and have 3 kids and 6 -7 grandchildren and it starts to get thin believe it or not.
        These guys have smart agents and are fighting for every penny, well knowing the have nots are coming for them now at the polls every election.

  8. TWTR says:

    Revenue sharing/luxury tax payments should account for geographical tax asymmetries.

    • LarryM Fl says:

      Took the words right out of my mouth! Should at least be buffered by the tax amount % for the payroll over non income tax state. Also it should include city tax issues.

    • leftylarry says:

      I have said that for years.

      YAnkees are at a distinct disadvantage now in many areas.

  9. BrianMcCannon says:

    Guess we’ll have to remane RAB to Mariano Rivera Avenue Blues; NY City Council voted unanimously to rename the street.

  10. The Thumb says:

    Yankees rejected Gardner for Phillips trade as per b/r update on my phone.

    • The Thumb says:

      Jon Heyman tweeted it

    • mustang says:

      Good, but I wouldn’t be surprised if gets revisited later when the price gets better.

      Well played Cash.

    • SDB says:

      oh noes Cashman failed!

      Nicely done. I don’t want Phillips on this roster if it means giving up Gritty.

      • bkight13 says:

        Should only take Phillips in a salary dump if CINN pays half.

      • leftylarry says:

        If Gardner had a better hitting Coach and they allowed him to drive the ball, while swinging earlier in the count and not taking anything close with two strikes, he’d bat higher and hit 18-20 dingers.
        Jeter needed to go to GAry Dembo to get his swing back, Gardner needs a different hitting instructor too, they gave him a poor approach and he bought in to play.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

      That’s awesome. I feel a LOT better about the mental state of our FO right now that they had the fortitude to do that.

      Unfortunately, they may end up offering Gardner Ellsbury money next year because they over-value him…

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Ya, i seen that. I don’t know how i feel about that. We need a 2B, and we need someone right handed with pop. We got quite a few outfielders and Gardy is left handed. I’d probably of took that if i were NY. Gardy has probably maxed out and is always a risk to get hurt. Phillips just won a Gold Glove also.

      Gardy is gritty and a good player to have, but hes only 2yrs younger then Phillips and hasne’t done nearly as much. Phillips is prooven and just drove in over 100runs from the 2nd base positon, where we just lost robbie. It makes sense.

    • Tom says:

      Best news of the Winter Meetings.

      Why pay 4/50 to Phillips and his schtick, if Infante could probably be had if they are willing to go to a 4th year (with likely lesser money). And keep Gardner, and get a QO comp pick next year.

      • bkight13 says:

        I would still take Phillips over Infante at 8-10m a year.

        • Preston says:

          But it’s not one for one, you have to give up something for Phillips, Infante only costs money. I like Phillips better in a vacuum, but if it’s paying Infante 3/30 or Phillips 4/50+giving up something of value in a trade, I’ll take Infante.

        • Tom says:

          Would you take?

          1) Phillips (4/50), no Gardner, no comp pick
          2) Infante (probably lesser money), Gardner, comp pick

          I’m amazed this continues to be a story, While I wouldn’t want to go a 4th year on Infante that would still be SO MUCH BETTER than dealing Gardner for Phillips.

          Hell I’d give Infante a 5th year if the only other option was trading Gardner for Phillips! 1 year of Gardner and a comp pick more than offset any value difference between Phillips and Infante (if there is any)

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            Exactly, although let’s keep that “fifth year” thing between us.

            • Tom says:

              A little hyperbole to show just how dumb this trade would be.

              If any of the rumors are true, it sounds like a 4th year gets this done. So might as well hold out at 3, let the Phillips nonsense circulate and maybe Infante says OK to a 3 yr deal.

  11. mustang says:

    “10:05pm: Before the Yankees turned down the proposed swap, Phillips asked for his contract to be re-opened to pay him more money to agree to the deal, , a national league source tells Jon Heyman of”


    Well, I’m officially off the Phillips bandwagon not that I was all the way on it but I did like him better than most here. What’s up with second basement and show me the money!!!

  12. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Phillips asked for his contract to be re-opened before a potential trade in order to get more money. That’s pretty funny. Dude’s got balls.

    Can we please just sign Infante already?

  13. Ken says:

    Make the Reds take eat some of the money due to Phillips, or include more value (ie:Homer Bailey).

  14. mustang says:

    Why do I have this feeling that Phillips is going to end up on Yankee for much less then we all think?

  15. qwerty says:

    This rule makes perfect sense. Let’s try and remember this is just a game. No one’s life should be ruined because of a collision at home plate.

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