Weekend Open Thread


Well that was a pretty eventful week. If Masahiro Tanaka lives up to the hype, it might have been one of the most important weeks in recent Yankees history. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. The Yankees did announce Tanaka will wear #19 today, in case you missed it. Here are the weekly links:

  • I thought this David Laurila interview with Jake Odorizzi was really interesting, especially the question about the differences in organizational philosophies between the Rays and Royals. He said Kansas City stays on top of their prospects and prescribes things (so many changeups per start, for example), but Tampa leaves it up to the kid. If they want help, they have to ask. Maybe that’s how the Rays weed through their pitching prospects; the ones who ask for help are more likely to make it long-term.
  • The latest from Conor Glassey is a look at how many big leaguers each team drafted from 1996-2013. The Yankees probably rank towards the bottom, right? No, not really. They’re 16th with 68 MLBers produced, but “at 11,461, the Yankees have drafted and signed the fewest at-bats of any team since 1996.” The Cardinals (94 MLBers) and Diamondbacks (90) hold the top two spots while the Indians (62) and Astros (52) are at the bottom.
  • Jon Shepherd at Camdet Depot analyzed Baseball America’s top 100 prospects rankings from 1990-2006 and found that 70% of them flopped, which seems reasonable. Seven out of ten prospects busting makes sense. However, Baseball America has gotten progressively better at ranking pitching prospects, part of which is due to teams doing a better job of developing them. Goes to show that even the best minor leaguers are more likely to flame out than contribute.
  • This is a subscriber-only article, but Sam Miller wrote about the Astros and whether they should be shamed for their extreme rebuild. Rebuilding and adding young players is one thing, but running a $25M payroll with no effort to be competitive is another. Houston is playing within the rules and that’s the problem — the rules may need to change to prevent similar embarrassment in the future. It’s hurting the league.
  • The Yankees could open the year with a rotation featuring five pitchers whose names end in -a (Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova, Pineda). Has that ever happened before? Diane at VORG looked into and found rotations with members whose names ended with the same letter, with -n being the most popular case. Which team had the most -a pitchers in the rotation? The 2011-13 Yankees with three (Sabathia, Nova, and either Kuroda or Freddy Garcia), of course.

Friday: Here is your open thread for tonight and the next two nights as well. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playing, so talk about those games or anything else. Have at it.

Saturday: Once again, this the open thread for the night. None of the local hockey and basketball teams are playing tonight, but the first NHL outdoor game will be on at 9:30pm ET (NBC Sports). It’s the Kings and Ducks at Dodger Stadium. The first of the two Yankee Stadium games is tomorrow. Talk about whatever. Enjoy.

Categories : Links, Open Thread


  1. Alkaline says:

    Heh. I was at game 6…

    For this game, when Boone came up, my grandma (rest her soul) said maybe this guy will hit a homerun. I told her, doubtful, we need to get to the top of the order again..


  2. Frank says:

    Sign Steven Drew: 2yr/30mil or 3yr/40mil, and Fernando Rodney: 2yr,15.5mil (if not Rodney then Joel Hanrahan: 1yr/2mil with incentives). Lineup: Ellsbury (CF), Jeter (SS), Beltran (RF), Teixeira (1B), McCann (C), Soriano (DH), Drew (3B), Johnson (2B), Gardner (LF). Rotation: Sabathia (LHP), Tanaka (RHP), Kuroda (RHP), Nova (RHP), Pineda (RHP). BullPen: Long Man: Phelps, Middle Relief: Claiborne, Middle Relief: Warren or Betances (not both), Lefty Specialist: Thornton, 7th Inning Man: Kelly, 8th Inning Man: Rodney, Closer: Robertson (Of Robertson struggles, swap positions with Rodney/ If we get Hanarahan instead, put Hanrahan in 8th inning role). Bench: Ryan (SS), Roberts (2B), Cervelli (C), Suzuki (OF). Thats 25 guys. Nunez left off. Overall strong roster. 1 question I still would have however is: Who is Tex’s backup at 1st base?

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      You lost me at Rodney…, got me back a at Hanrahan… And the rest was too long and was missing obvious page breaks…

    • Stokely says:

      Great things on Stephen Drew. Be even better to stick up the Sox A$$ especially what Gomes came out and said recently. Two Factors Here:
      1) Scott Boras: aka the Arod Deal years ago and the opt out. Enter the Boss in his failing years. It truly is unfortante that part of George Steinbreners legacy is tied to this Jack A$$! What a disgrace to the Yankees A$$ROD Is! Granted it may be something that the “Young Elephants” manipulated…..doesnt matter at this point. A$$ROD needs to go away.
      2) Ankle Injury: Stephan Drew has missed considerable time with his injuries. How much can he continue to perform. Third? We have found others…..Charlie Hays,Scott Brosis,Aaron Boone!
      Keep the Faith!


    • Chris H says:

      Why does anyone want Teixeira batting higher than McCann against RHP? Tex is well below average against RHP while the majority of McCann’s value on offense comes against RHP, the best lineup option VS. RHP is Gardner, Ellsbury, McCann, Teixeira, but even if Jeter somehow bats 2nd McCann should be no lower than 4th below only Beltran at 3rd.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Tex in his last full season vs. RHP posted a 108 wRC+. That’s slightly above average, not well below average.

        McCann is definitely better vs. RHP, though.

    • Required says:

      If Tex goes down, KJ goes to 1B? and Roberts goes to 2B.
      If KJ goes down, Roberts goes to 2B
      If Jeter goes down, Ryan goes to SS
      If Drew goes down, KJ goes to 3B and Roberts goes to 2B

      or if Jeter goes down, Drew goes to SS, KJ goes to 3B and Roberts goes to 2B

      In that case Brendan Ryan is not necessary and can be replaced with a big bat on the bench who is a 1B/RF type.

      It would be great if Beltran or Soriano could start taking rotations at 1B. Soriano has played the infield, so he could be the better choice to take up the first baseman’s mitt.

  3. Dalek Jeter says:

    I was “too young” according to my mom to watch a lot of the WS games during the dynasty, so this is one of the first iconic Yankee memories. And still my favorite. It’s also the reason I hated A-Rod for his first 2 years in pinstripes… “they should have just waited for Boone to heal up!!”

  4. TWTR says:

    Fox ups stake in Yankees network to 80%

    21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) has raised its stake in the YES Network, which has exclusive local broadcast rights for New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games, to 80% from a prior 49% (acquired in 2012). Terms are undisclosed. (PR)

    The Yankees will retain a 20% stake, and YES CEO Tracy Dolgin will remain in his current role. YES reaches 9M households in the NYC area, and also distributes programming nationwide.

    • Kevin says:

      What does this mean for the Yankees revenue? If it affects it in anyway possible of course.

      • RetroRob says:

        I would guess that additional money goes to the Steinbrenners as they lower their position in YES, although the way the deal is structured it is shielded from being taxed for revenue sharing.

        The Yankees structured the TV deal with FOX so that they can show MLB what seems like a semi-realistic TV deal that escalates over the next couple of decades. It’s a set schedule. Yet in reality, the bulk of TV revenue above and beyond that deal is going directly to YES Global Enterprises, which is the entity that own the Yankees. This shields the TV revenue from potential revenue sharing.

        We’ll just never know how much money it is because MLB doesn’t have access to YES Global Enterprises, which is exactly why it is set up this way.

  5. Grit for Brains says:

    2/21 for Drew….Get it done.

    If you say I’m dreaming, tell me what team has offered more.

  6. Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons) says:

    Does eating at McDonalds and KFC on the same day (not for the same meal) make you a cheater in terms of fastfood?

    More importantly do normal people without hyper minds think about random things like this?

  7. Frank says:


  8. Marcus says:

    Please no more caps, thanks.

  9. JR says:

    Not really relevant, but in 2012, the Rockies had 5 starters whose names all began with the letter J: Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio, Jon Garland, and Jeff Francis. Gotta be worth something…

  10. Blubber123 says:

    Just a thought – which at the end of the day means next to nothing, but …

    Can you imagine if Jeter, Roberts, Soriano and Beltran were still in their primes and ran like they used to? Now add them to Ellsbury, Gardner and even Johnson to some degree.

    Would this be the best base running / base stealing team of all time??

  11. Blubber123 says:

    Oh, and Ichiro too!

  12. mustang says:


    That doesn’t seem to register here for some reason.

    1- It’s Boras being Boras.

    2- It’s the Yankees trying to help Boras be Boras and raising the price of Drew for Boston.

    3- Why don’t they get him now that they’re over the tax? Because now it’s the salary plus a 50% add on. So 10mm is really 15mm and so on.

    The Yankees have added almost 500MM in free agents and some fans are still demanding more.

    Nope Yankees fans aren’t spoiled at all.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Despite the spending, the Yankees have actually lowered their payroll, and substantially.

      The Yankees, as they stand now, likely will have their lowest payroll as a % of league payroll in over a decade.

      It would make no sense for the Yankees to add nearly $500M in free agents only to leave gaping holes on the roster and a team more likely to fall short of the playoffs than make the playoffs.

      If the Yankees farm system hadn’t been so unproductive of late, much of this spending would be unnecessary.

      Yes the salary has a 50% add-on. And the difference in being a playoff team and a non-playoff team means a massive difference in revenues.

      Of course Yankee fans are spoiled.

      And yes, the Yankees very likely won’t sign Drew.

      • Mr. Roth says:

        “If the Yankees farm system hadn’t been so unproductive of late, much of this spending would be unnecessary.”

        I definitely agree that much of the spending wouldn’t be necessary, but part of me thinks that they’d still spend just as much money even if they had a core of homegrown talent.

      • mustang says:

        “And the difference in being a playoff team and a non-playoff team means a massive difference in revenues.”

        Agree and if Drew increased their chance greatly he would already be sign but at around four-year, $48MM (from MLBTR and that’s $18MM!! Tax hit this year) I say NO. Get that to 3 years for $30MM ($15MM tax hit) then I’m in.

      • pft2 says:

        If Boras and Drew is smart enough to wait until teams have a look at their guys in ST, or even until June 15, he might get a good deal. Lets see how Jeter looks in ST at SS.

        Love Ryans glove but he hits like a pitcher, and you can’t have that in the AL East. The Red Sox chose Drew over Iglesias for the last 2 months for 1 reason, Drew can hit and Iglesias can’t, and Iglesias is a much better hitter than Ryan.

  13. #TANAKtober (Formerly MelkyMesaWaysa) says:

    Irrelevant stat of the day: Joe Dimaggio would have had to play his exact career close to 6 times to strike out as much as Alex Rodriguez has up to this point in his career.

  14. qwerty says:

    Mike, what do you mean, if Tanaka lives up to the hype? If there’s anything the yankees know it’s their japanese pitchers, and young pitching in general!

  15. radnom says:

    The latest from Conor Glassey is a look at how many big leaguers each team drafted from 1996-2013. The Yankees probably rank towards the bottom, right? No, not really.

    Dead last in hitters. Not many useful starting pitchers either – that rank is nearly entirely consisting of bullpen / handful of spot starts type guys.

  16. bill says:

    I was looking up some stuff on Jeter and I knew he was good in 2012 but he was absolutely insane. 316 avg with 216 hits, 15 hrs, 362 obp, ridiculous.

  17. The Other Bill says:

    Two trades to finish roster before Spring Training. First (the more realistic trade) send Suzuki, and a mid level prospect to Arizona for JJ Putz and Cody Ross. Since Putz and Ross make a combined 15.5 mill next year, there should be no need to send any cash with Ichiro.
    Second (more difficult to pull off) send Nunez, Romine or Murphy, Flores or Heathcotte and Betances or Turley to Houston for Matt Dominguez, a 4 for 1 deal.
    These two deals complete Bullpen and Infield. Starting Lineup against RHs – Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, McCann, Tex, Soriano, Johnson, Dominguez, Gardner. Starting Lineup against LHs – Jeter (DH), Roberts (2B), Beltran (RF), Soriano(LF), Tex (1B), Ross (CF), Dominguez (3B), Cervelli (C), Ryan (SS).
    Rotation (to start season) – CC, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova, Phelps.
    Bullpen – Warren (long man), Claiborne, Cabral or Nuno, Thornton, Kelley, Putz, Robertson.

  18. Dale Mohorcic says:

    Just came back from Kings-Ducks. What a bizarre event. The USC marching band came out at the beginning, so you have a football band at a baseball stadium for a hockey game. Kiss came out of the bullpen, played 2 songs and then the game started. At the first intermission, Kiss came back to play 2 more songs, while at the exact same time there was a beach volleyball game, some kids playing frisbee, a yoga class, a kids hockey game and some small kids playing with a beachball and fireworks on the field. It was a truly bizarre collection of things going on all at once.

  19. OldYanksFan says:

    I feel really sorry for Cano.
    On top of everything else, Seattle has not made any other moves to improve their team.
    $65m or no, Cano made a big mistake.

    It’s sad. You can ask him questions about what he likes and how he feels, and his answer is ‘the fans’.
    That’s because he doesn’t like anything and he feels like he made a big mistake.

    The thrill of all that money will wear off at some time (if it hasn’t already), but he will still be stuck in Seattle for the rest of his career.

    He complained about the Yankees not respecting him but…
    When Jay-Z when back to NY with the $240m offer and told the Yanks, and the Yanks asked what he would take to stay in NY…. KNOWING the Yanks where serious about not over spending and WOULD let Robbie go…. his offer to the Yanks was a HUGE $5m discount.

    From $240m to $235m. He might as well have shit on Hal’s head.

    How about a Poll? If Jay-Z wanted to give Robbie at least a chance to stay in NY and said…… how about we split the difference…. 10/$205m?

    Would the Yankees have gone 10/$205m to keep Robbie?

    • Farewell Mo says:

      His days of being in the playoffs every year are pretty much done so he’s basically playing for the money and for his legacy at this point. In 3-4 years, Seattle will probably be looking to dump him and eat a chunk of that contract anyway. Maybe he’ll end up with a good team at that point.

      I still think it would have been awfully hard to turn down 8/$200 and I would have done that deal if I were the Yankees.

    • RetroRob says:

      I do think there was a good chance the Yankees might have come up to an 8/200 because it’s highly unlikely they started negotiations with their best offer. That’s why the Mariners came in with their huge bid. Even if the Yankees came up to 8/200, it wouldn’t have been enough.

      Supposedly the Yankees were offered a $5M discount off the Mariner offer.

    • I'm One says:

      I doubt the Yankees would have gone 10 years. I don’t think they would have gone much over 7/$175M. Doubt they would have gone above 7 years.

    • Joseph says:

      Good thoughts Old Yank. No on the 10/205. I think it was 7/175 from the Yanks, take it or leave it.
      IMO, Jay-Z and Cano poisoned the well right off the bat with that 10/300 demand, and by sticking to it for so long. Robbie whined about no respect but that’s what he got for his unrealistic demands.

      Jay-Z and Cano must have been slightly stunned when they realized the Yanks were serious about moving on. Lucky for them Seattle came along and saved Jay-Z’s ass from a disastrous first big negotiation.

      I feel no pity for Cano. He’s not as great as he and his dad think he is. His dad fist-pumping over Robbie getting that 10th year so he wouldn’t have to be a poor old worn out 37 year old multi-multi millionaire trying to get a new contract irked me for some reason.

      I hope Cano slips in that big SafeCo Field, Seattle continues to bring up the rear in the AL West, and Cano laments leaving NY. Do ya think Jay-Z will be flying cross-country to hang out in rainy cloudy Seattle a lot? Ha!

    • Laz says:

      Stop whining about it. He went where the money was. Is that any different than McCann or Ellsbury?

      It would have hurt if they had offered more money or roughly the same, but they were offering SIXTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS LESS. That is not a small amount of money no matter how you look at it.

  20. pinch hitter says:

    I think this is the real key to why the Yankees have been so bad at developing talent. They are continually tinkering and trying to make kids prescribe what the kids need to learn, instead of letting the kids discover what they do best. Some of the kids will fail because they’re too stubborn, or too dumb, to ask questions and figure out what needs to get done, but more often than not instead of allowing kids to figure out what their natural talent is and how to make that work at the next level, the Yankees org. tells them they need a slider instead of the curve, etc. Let them play. The ones who figure it out will figure it out. The other ones never had a chance anyway.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      And you know this due to…..

      • Alkaline says:

        These type of assumptions are the best. There’s no way that lack of a star player since Cano* could be due to a multitude of reasons.

        *While something does have to be said about lack of development, I think there’s numerous factors playing a role where there’s no simple one answer to rectify it all. And star players because I think they’ve done a great job developing the role players you need on the team year to year.

        • qwerty says:

          What reasons could those be? What have the yankees done to make you give them the benefit of doubt? Everything I’ve seen during the last 15 years seems to suggest they are bad at developing and evaluating talent, whether it be their own players or ones they are trading for.

      • BigLoving says:

        I can’t really argue with an assumption like that….at least with their pitching prospects. Phil Hughes is the first one that comes to mind when they kept making him change his curve and secondary pitches.

        I was also reading somewhere today that the Rays are much more hands off in the development of their prospects and really only chime in when a kid asks for help. Funny how they always seem to put out solid starting pitchers consistently through their own system.

      • pinch hitter says:

        I don’t “know” this. But there has been more than a little anecdotal evidence, in RAB and RAB links among other places, that the Yankees do have a definite style they impose on their minor leaguers. I don’t believe by any means that it’s the only reason they’ve failed to develop their share of quality ballplayers, but I also find it at least curious that so many highly-touted prospects fail. I seem to remember, for instance, Eric Duncan, talking about how he was going to go back to what had worked for him out of school after the Yankees had tried to get him to change his swing. Chances are, he would have failed anyway. But I suspect the Rays would have let him play until he started to fail and ask for help. Maybe that would have worked. Probably not. But it certainly didn’t work the way it played out.

  21. OldYanksFan says:

    Here’s something VERY interesting…

    I wonder if Hiroki and/or the Yankees know this.

    Would this mean Hiroki was pitching behind in the count more?
    And batter were then sitting on a pitch?

  22. Dan says:

    I love how the Yankees ownership has made an effort to have Yankee Stadium be multi-use just like the old place was. I hope they try to have more even college football and hockey there in the future, as well as boxing, UFC and the like.

  23. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Next time you complain about Randy Levine, just forget that it could be far, far worse:


    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Forget? REMEMBER.

      Brain fail.

    • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

      Ooh, yea, that’s right. No one can discredit the integrity of the Macho Man “Randy Levine” when compared to a pathetic little worm like that. The Macho Man “Randy Levine” may be the master of the ugly curly haircut, but I’ve never stolen money from innocent people, yea. Except for maybe the idiots stupid enough to shell out thousands of dollars for luxury boxes, yea.

    • Chris W. says:

      Funny, he doesn’t look at all like a douche.

      • vicki says:

        lulzy. he couldn’t look more like a douche if he wore a hose for a hat.

        he is missing the standard issue goatee though.

    • Chip Rodriguez says:

      This is why I loathe the luxury tax system.

      So teams that exploit the rules in order to slash payrolls and maximize their profits while screwing over fans get no punishment. But teams that strengthen their lineups to provide fans with the most competitive teams and best quality baseball risk getting taxed. Absurd.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Samson is a piece of shit. I remember not being able to watch that Marlins show on Showtime a couple years ago (“The Franchise”) because of how insufferable he was.

      • RetroRob says:

        I don’t think I had ever seen him interviewed before, most likely because he’s associated with the Florida Marlins. Yet I did see him interviewed last week about his appearance on Survivor and he instantly made my skin crawl.

  24. mustang says:

    “Hearing Garza’s 4-yr deal with #Brewers guarantees $50mm, with $4mm more available in incentives and a vesting option for 5th year at $13mm”

    That seems real fair maybe even good for the Brewers.

    What do you guys think?

    • RetroRob says:

      If Garza pitches as he has in the past and remains healthy then it’s a good deal.

      The medicals, however, scared off quite a few teams.

  25. billyball15 says:

    Rangers/Devils at Yankee stadium was fun to watch.

    I really miss old Yankee Stadium. The way it was built and positioned it appeared that the acoustic and fan volume was louder. Being there during big moments you felt the floor vibrate under your feet. I wish there was a way to get that feeling back.

  26. Reuben Sierra's Chains says:

    Cano hanging with Jay-Z at the Grammy’s. Damn.

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