Weekend Open Thread


I know Pedro Martinez isn’t exactly a beloved Yankee (quite the opposite, in fact), but that highlight video is just too awesome not to share. I figure the Yankees had enough success against Pedro (compared to other teams) that we can step back to appreciate his greatness for a second. Those changeups, man. So nasty. Here are the weekend’s links:

  • Great interview with Mets GM Sandy Alderson by Steven Tydings. Alderson discussed how he got into baseball, how his military service helps him as a baseball executive, his leadership style, all sorts of stuff. Really great interview.
  • Jon Roegele examined the strike zone during the PitchFX era and found that the zone has been growing in terms of total area in recent years. Specifically, the bottom of the zone is expanding while the edges are contracting. As a result, strikeouts (especially called strikeouts) are up and walks (and runs) are down. Pretty fascinating research.
  • Lastly, Alec Dopp examined Hiroki Kuroda‘s struggles late last year and found he was throwing way fewer pitches in the zone than earlier in the season. His BABIP also jumped about a hundred points, which to me suggests he fell into too many hitter’s counts and paid for it.

Friday: This is your open thread for tonight and the next two nights as well. Every local sports team is playing tonight except for the Knicks, so there’s lots to talk about. Enjoy.

Saturday: Here is your open thread again. Both the Knicks and Nets are in action as we all await the Super Bowl tomorrow. Talk about whatever. Go nuts.

Sunday: Ready for the Super Bowl? The game starts at 6:25pm ET and can be seen on FOX. My official prediction: Broncos 38, Seahawks 30. No real reason, just a guess. Nothing else is going on other than Super Bowl. No basketball or hockey, no new television shows, nothing. Enjoy the game.

Categories : Links, Open Thread


  1. Karl Krawfid says:

    I use to watch this video over and over.

    Easily the best pitcher I have ever seen.

  2. forensic says:

    Well, fantasy leagues are opening again, so what better way to lead into February than to start with the fantasy questions that always pop-up here (I’ll take the first hit).

    Deep keeper league, and I believe we’ll have 15 keepers this year. Here are my thoughts:

    Likely keepers right now:
    Jason Castro
    Miguel Montero
    Joey Votto
    Adiran Beltre
    Ben Zobrist
    Justin Upton
    Alex Rios
    Jason Heyward
    Matt Kemp
    Everth Cabrera
    Yovani Gallardo
    Homer Bailey
    Chris Archer
    Alex Cobb
    Mat Latos

    Montero was down last year, but I like his potential and history, and it’s nice to have two C locked up right away. Cabrera is largely on potential and weakness at his position. Rios could be a question mark, but he was pretty good last year and is in a good park, so I’m leaning towards him at this point.

    Potential keepers/long-shots:
    Dustin Ackley (just for positional flexibility)
    Mike Napoli (can hit a bit, but losing C is a big deal, also he’s a Red Sox)
    Stephen Drew (weak position, but not sure he’s worth it, though going somewhere good to hit as a 2B could help)
    Coco Crisp (somewhat weak CF class, but not gonna repeat last year)
    Adam Lind (nice comeback last year, but too much platooning)
    Aramis Ramirez (dropped last year, but tempting at a somewhat weak 3B position)
    Carlos Quentin (ever gonna stay healthy?)
    Jose Quintana (tempting…)
    Wade Miley (tempting…)
    Bartolo Colon (good park, but can he really stay healthy while batting/running?)
    Rafael Soriano
    Tyler Clippard
    Jason Grilli
    (Are the holds/saves really worth a keeper spot?)

    I won our championship last season, which is why I have so many pretty good players (I think). But, this is my first time having to choose keepers (I took over this team part way through last season and retooled it a bit), so I’m trying to figure out what is worth a spot and what isn’t.

    Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated over this weekend as we count down to drafts and ST!

    • vicki says:

      i don’t play fantasy because i’d never be able to have bitches like miguel montero and carlos quintin on my team, even if they were the right moves.

      • forensic says:

        Well, thanks for the input. ;-)

        I know about Quentin and his HBP issues and Grienke, and whatnot. But, what did Montero do? Is it just from the D-Backs fights with other West teams (if I’m remembering correctly from last year or the year before)?

        • vicki says:

          i’m pretty sure that’s his general rep. he talked all that shit about trevor bauer (of course so did his idiot owner). but what turned me off the most would probably endear him to you: he got all hall-monitor troll with puig.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Agreed. I’d just want the Yankee 25-man roster.

    • Chip Rodriguez says:

      imo, never waste a keeper spot for a save/hold guy. Too much volatility, and I prefer to shuffle around closers/set up guys. closermonkey.com is your best friend for shuffling.

    • Cuso says:

      You know what I’m gonna say…..


      Not sure why I’m “evil-laughing.”

      • forensic says:

        lol, yup, you notice he’s not on there though. I finally had to pull the trigger on dropping him late in the season.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      I easily could get talked in to dropping Montero and keeping either Quintana or Soriano. Montero is a so/so fantasy C (trust, I also lived through it last season) and you can get a John Buck-type in the mid rounds to fill that slow. The K’s/SV’s from the other two would add more value.

      Of course, I am a few days late to the convo, so whatever.,

  3. Bono says:

    Love how throwing Don Zimmer on the ground is a “career highlight”… I forgot how pissed I (and we) were at him after that. He was definitely a punk, but in hindsight, baseball was more interesting with him, apologies to Mr. Zimmer’s shining melon.

    • vicki says:

      he was a true heavy. and yes, he was a blast. all the more fun because we were his daddy.

    • forensic says:

      I don’t like Pedro, but the Zimmer thing had very little to do with it (though the stuff that led up to it is part of it). The HBP’s and motioning and stuff was all Pedro, but Zimmer sort of brought the rest of it on himself by charging Pedro like it was some bullfight out there.

  4. vicki says:

    attention. this may be the best news you’ve ever heard:

    john sterling will be doing play-by-play for the kitty bowl sunday.

  5. TWTR says:

    I will never forget the time he hit both Soriano and Jeter in the hand. Great pitcher, but kind of a dick.

    • forensic says:

      I remember them carpooling in the ambulance to the hospital for x-rays (guess the old place didn’t have an x-ray machine a decade ago).

  6. vin says:

    Anyone can have a career highlight film if they play long enough. There’s probably a Yuniesky Betancourt one just waiting to be made. But damn, Pedro was so filthy.

    Pedro, RJ, Maddux and Clemens was an amazing generation of pitching that (most) of us were lucky to see.

    Not to mention the second tier of worthy HOFers: Glavine, Smoltz, Mussina, Schilling, Halladay, and Brown.

  7. Bernie Made off says:


  8. Michael says:

    [QUOTE]3419 ball to the Rakuten Japan Masahiro Tanaka[/QUOTE]

  9. nope says:

    I’m convinced Pedro was on the juice with Manny and Ortiz. Punk.

    • nsalem says:

      That’s a very insightful comment and you have an extremely convincing arguement. Also the fact they are all Hispanic makes your theory even more rock solid. Also since Clemens used steroids as did A-Rod and add onto the fact that Jose Canseco and GlenAllen Hill were Yankees for a few months Jeter has definitely been using steroids all these years. Also Mariano shared the same bullpen with Jason Grimsley for two years. This association on its own should keep Mo out of the HOF. Great Logic NOPE

      and I must be on the juice also because I misplaced my comment

      • Nope says:

        I’m not trying to convince anyone, that’s just my gut feeling. If you don’t believe it, good for you. Then again, you probably think Papi was just drinking vanilla milkshakes and Manny was trying to get pregnant.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          It’s 2014. There is nothing wrong with Manny Ramirez wanting to bear a child.

        • nsalem says:

          I’m quite sure that both Ortiz and Ramirez used steroids. It’s a fact based concluscion and there is also a ton of observable evidence to back up these concluscions. There is nothing that has occured in Pedro’s career that suggests the same. No flunked tests, no changes in appearance, no quick recovery from injuries, no sudden spikes in his statiscal performances, no rumour, no innuendo. His statiscal regression and loss of physical skills occured at an age which is very much in line with that of clean players as oppossed to the records of those who we have factual evidence of PED use.
          You are entitled to your “gut” feeling as your are to publish it. I am merely stating that I feel that I think your opinion is void of any meaningful logic and intelligence. My gut feeling is that you made that comment based on your hatred for the RedSox and the fact that he shared the same clubhouse with Ortiz and Ramirez and that it is an ignorant theory.
          I dislike the RedSox also, but I think it would be hard for anyone to deny that Pedro’s performance particularly in a Red Sox unfiorm is one of the greatest ever and I assert that his greatness in Boston was because he was pitching there in his peak years and for no other reasons.
          If you can produce any evidence that Pedro was a PED user , I would love to hear it, otherwise I will conclude that your statement are just an anti-Red Sox rant.

  10. dkidd says:

    john sterling doing play-by-play for kitten bowl

    /head explodes with delight

    • dkidd says:


      rushed on to post this before reading through the thread

      anyway: counting the seconds

      • vicki says:

        yes, thank you, somebody gets it.

        i love the super bowl. wings, beer; i’m in like twelve pools. but the entire event has been upstaged. i am psyched.

        “you know, suzyn. you can’t predict hairballs.”

  11. nsalem says:

    That’s a very insightful comment and you have an extremely convincing arguement. Also the fact they are all Hispanic makes your theory even more rock solid. Also since Clemens used steroids as did A-Rod and add onto the fact that Jose Canseco and GlenAllen Hill were Yankees for a few months Jeter has definitely been using steroids all these years. Also Mariano shared the same bullpen with Jason Grimsley for two years. This association on its own should keep Mo out of the HOF. Great Logic NOPE

  12. Dalek Jeter says:

    He had control on par with Maddux or Mussina and stuff that could rival Johnson and Clemens. Probably the best pitcher I’ve ever seen (and probably will see) in my life. Too bad all that talent was stuffed into a 5’11″ pile of shit, and then that pile of shit was stuffed into a Red Sox uniform.

    • Kosmo says:

      The thing that always cracked me up is Lasorda, the master talent evaluator, traded Pedro for Delino DeShields, straight up.

  13. nsalem says:

    I’m psyched for the weekend. A great friend of mine did the music for the Muppets/Toyota commercial.
    Tomorrow night I get to see Wang play piano at a Chinese New Year Celebration at Avery Fisher Hall


    and the there’s a football game on Sunday night. Almost as good as a midweek Royal vs Yankee series over afew hot summer nights, but not quite.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Very cool. Congrats to your friend.

      • nsalem says:

        Oh Thank you. His name is Stewart Lerman, we grew up together in a very close knit Bronx community that has produced many successful careers. We have all remained friends for a very long time. He produced it and there are some other Bronx friends playing the music. If you google his name you can see all of his accomplishments. If you are a fan of classical music or just even the piano check out the Yuja Wang link I posted. She is incredible and I am really excited about seeing her perform this evening.

  14. Chris says:

    Why not try to sign Daniel Bard on a minor league deal?

  15. Juke Early says:

    I have tried through the years to mellow towards P Martinez. No denying his pitching greatness. And maybe I could find a way to forgive the Zimmer takedown – after all Zim was once Red Sox mgr. BUT being into cock fighting is as low rent in life as it gets. F that it’s “my culture” crap. Yeah? sfw, it’s caveman level entertainment. No excuse.

  16. Yanksinfirst says:

    Lets start a RAB Fantasy league! 10 person, espn league! comment and we’ll sort things out1

  17. The Thumb says:

    My high school just played a hockey game at YS3. On my way in I saw Derrick Coleman and Larry Fitzgerald leave a charity event for the hearing impaired. I thought it was really amazing how they tear up the field and transform everything.

  18. Jimmy says:

    Yankees sign Tracy McGrady to a 5 yr $155 mil contract

  19. vicki says:


  20. RetroRob says:


    Manny Ramirez a football player? I’m still getting used to the idea of Reggie Jackson the basketball player.

  21. Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

    Both coaches are attempting to out-bad challenge each other.

  22. Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

    Oy. The Broncos don’t look like they’re in this game.

  23. forensic says:

    So far Peyton Manning in Giants Stadium looks just like Eli Manning did this year in Giants Stadium.

    • RetroRob says:

      This is rapidly degenerating into a boring game. Hopefully Denver figures something out, otherwise I won’t be long for the game.

      • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

        Yep. One-sided games are only fun if you’re a fan of the team on the good end of the score.

        • RetroRob says:

          22-0 heading into the half, Denver not able to do anything, and they’re facing a great defensive team.

          I don’t see this game getting interesting, although not unusual for teams to change direction and come out strong in the second half. I just don’t see it. Hope I’m wrong. I’m not even rooting for a team. I just want a close game!

    • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

      Yea, but……Eli won a few games?

  24. Ethan says:

    What a boring game. I don’t like the Seahawkes because some of their players are just so unlikable (think Sherman and Lynch). I just hate teams that have dirty, non-classy people. It’s one of the reasons I LIKE the Yankees so much. They don’t tolerate that kind of shit.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      But they have guys like Russell Wilson too.

      Every team, every single team, in the NFL has players who are, as you say, “dirty” and “non-classy”.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Dirty and unclassy? How so?

      Are we really judging Richard Sherman by a 20-second soundbyte when, frankly, he’s been amazing and thought-provoking since then?

      I admire Lynch for having some conviction and letting his actions on the field speak for themselves.

      I find both guys extremely likable. Two of my favorites in the league. A lot of likable players on both sides.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        Skip to about 3:25 for the relevant part, but you know…you should watch the entire thing because Jon Stewart is hysterical.

      • Ethan says:

        I don’t care if it takes you 20 seconds. His response was rude and reprehensible.

        I don’t like Lynch because the sport is entirely about the fans. Without the fans sports players would be a bunch of overweight fools hitting each other trying to chase a ball. Sports are about the fans, simple as that. When you response in a way that isn’t for the fans I won’t like you. I don’t care why Lynch wouldn’t talk to the media, there is no reason that I would think is acceptable.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          The media != the fans.

          Not even in the same universe.

          • Ethan says:

            The media are the primary avenue to the fans. So by refusing to participate on media day which really is for the fans (even if indirectly)I find incredibly rude and shows that he is so out of touch with what actually matters in sports.

        • The Great Gonzo says:

          As a fan, I completely agree with Jorge. I find Sherman to be a fascinating dude, and I have nothing ill to say about Lynch. They’re just guys (and in Sherman’s case, very well educated guys) that are under a microscope.

          WE, ‘TEH FANZ’, take what the media feeds us and turn it into opinions that are not entirely truthful. Some of it is race based (Sherman is a ‘thug’, while if Eric Decker did the same thing he’d be ‘spirited’), some of it is in the spirit of making a story so the media has something to hold on to during what turned out to be a very boring media week at the Super Bowl.

          • Ethan says:

            See to me the fact that he is educated makes it even worse. A Stanford educated guy should not let that happen. I think it puts the school in bad light and makes his education even more of a joke.

            I STRONGLY disagree that if Decker did the same he would be “spirited”. I would dislike him just as much as I dislike Sherman for his reaction. If anyone, at any level, has that kind of reaction after a win it will sit sourly with me. I don’t care if it’s someone on my team or even a friend. You do not disrespect someone else like that. Maybe I’m just an idealist but all players should be humble and respecting of the other team (something called sportsmanship). And the fact that it was right after the game really doesn’t make it any better, that’s when his reaction shows his true colors. To think he’s “the best corner in the game” is douchey.

  25. Frank says:

    This game is over. Time to watch the puppy bowl on animal planet.

  26. lee says:

    wow, how did Denver ever make it to the Super Bowl? they make the 2013 Yankees look good!

  27. forensic says:

    Four touchdowns and three two-point conversions to get to… 29 points?

    I don’t think Math is something Troy Aikman should try anymore.

    • lee says:

      to Aikman’s credit, at least he is calling out Denver for stinking it up more than Seattle really doing anything. Joe Buck, on the other hand….. well, he’s just being Joe Buck i guess!

  28. BamBamMusings says:

    Worst Super Bowl Ever!

    • forensic says:

      The Giants-Ravens Super Bowl was probably the worst, in my opinion. That was a blow-out and it had the Giants on the losing end.

      But, yeah, this is certainly among the worst.

      • Kentucky Ed says:

        I suspect some of you guys aren’t old enough to remember some of the stinkers from the early SB’s. When the Giants won SB XXV by one point on Scott Norwood’s wide right it was the one of the first competitive games in years. Buffalo went on to get wiped the next 3 years. I’m convinced the tradition of Super Bowl parties began back in the years when Minnesota lost 4 games in 8 years and scored in double digits only once. Look at some of these scores: http://espn.go.com/nfl/superbowl/history/winners In most cases in the 70′s and 80′s the wipeout games weren’t even as close as the scores indicate.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          This wasn’t supposed to be the type of blowout it wound of being, though. For example, ’85 was expected to be not much of a game. What was anticipated here, and what we got, were two very different things.

          The Super Bowls you speak of weren’t competitive, but they weren’t letdowns either. This was a massive letdown of a football game. I wouldn’t disagree much with the “worst ever” tag. The Broncos’ play was terrible and sloppy where they absolutely had the personnel to match up with the Seahawks’ defense.

  29. forensic says:

    Wow, what a mess of a game.

    Even the commercials weren’t all that great. Only maybe 2 or 3 really good ones.

    • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

      The Coke ad that has predictably pissed off a bunch of racists, bigots and xenophobes was sublime.

      • lee says:

        yeah, i did a double and triple-take on that one as well. it’s going to be interesting to see the blowback Coke gets on that one. very un-Coca Cola like.

        • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

          Check out their Facebook page. The boycott threats have already started. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people being utterly stupid about it, too.

          I applaud them for that ad.

        • Ethan says:

          I really liked the Coke commercial. The US owes so much of its success to the hard work of immigrants. We should embrace them, not ostracize them as too often happens.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:


          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            I actually missed this commercial, but good on them. We can all now enjoy high-fructose corn syrup together. :)

            Doberhuahua for the win.

            • forensic says:

              Doberhuahua, the Volkswagen angels, and the two Doritos commercials were probably the only really good ones to me. Although, I admit the Full House commercial was kind of good too.

              I barely even remember the Coke commercial they’re talking about.

            • RetroRob says:

              Doberhuahua was the best of the lot, although it was a weak class of commericals this year.

          • Dalek Jeter says:

            I don’t do this often, but ^This. 100% This.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              I finally, at least, read a description of the ad.

              “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages. And here I was expecting Mexican gay puppy rape.

              I’d say I don’t understand how there are still people in this country that find people dominant in another language other than English weird, but I’ve actually been to those places. I feel sorry for them more than anything else.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                I believe that immigrants should learn English, but mostly because having a common form of communication makes the culture transition easier. I certainly did my best to learn Italian/Thai when I lived overseas. I think that it’s a great theory that we should learn their languages too; but if folks are immigrating from many different countries, well, I’m just not going to learn 3-4 other languages to help everyone.

                However, by no means should they exclusively speak English, and the cultural contributions they bring to the US are immeasurable. Someone from Brazil, Spain, Turkey, Japan, or whatever, singing America the beautiful in their native language, to me, was a moving tribute. Well, insofar as a short commercial designed to increase Coca Cola profits can be moving.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                  Of course.

                  The reality is that you can become quite successful within a large cultural enclave like, say, Miami, without mastery of English. I know many people who are an example of that. Then, once you drive about 50 miles north, you are certifiably fucked. There needs to be some LCD we can communicate on.

                  I also have always thought that this attempt to carve out some sort of U.S. “culture” based on the values of a few is hilarious, quite desperate, and completely at odds with how this country actually grew.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                And another thing, I’ve found through my (admittedly limited and pretty poor) education in various foreign languages, it helps you think in different ways, see things in a different light, approach problems from a different angle.

                I don’t want to live on an Earth where we all have the same background, speak the same language, have identical cultural customs, eat the same foods, etc. Yawn.

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        Funny, I saw it live and looked at it again right now. LITERALLY didn’t affect me at all. Nice commercial, I get the message, but it didn’t raise my blood positively or negatively. It just sorta was.

        So I am either indifferent to race in America (in a “we’re all special snowflakes” sorta way), overly accustomed to the idea that Americans actually look different and speak different languages (what a concept), or am such a simpleton that I require humor in order to get my attention during Super Bowl ads.

        I am OK with any of those responses.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          Probably #’s 2 and 3.

          Actually, definitely #3.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          I liked it more in hindsight; once I thought about it.

          But I definitely didn’t really care at all when I saw it live, mostly because of your final reasons(requiring humor).

        • RetroRob says:

          I’m with you. I watched it and was unmoved.

          Then again, I live in a very diverse area of the country and spend about 20% of my time working internationally, so I’m used to being around many different types of people. Even trolls on RAB!

  30. Wheels says:

    Bring on baseball season!

  31. forensic says:

    Clearly Cano has inspired the entire city of Seattle.

    Watch out for the Mariners this year, they’re going all the way…

    to third place…


    • vicki says:

      the worst part about the outcome is all the happy mariner fans.

      that, and the inevitable “peyton can’t deliver in the big game” articles. you know more are coming.

      • Eselquetodolosabe says:

        Ok, sorry, obligatory chime. His arm was noodle-like. Kinda looked like he was shooting jump shots, and not slinging the pig-skin. Quack, quack ! Now let’s wait for Skip “Base-less” to reiterate his belief that The Colts quarter-back should still be Peyton Manning.

      • Ethan says:

        While he played poorly this game really wasn’t Peyton Manning’s fault. Yes, his poor play was part of it but allowing a punt return in the Superbowl? Unacceptable. You can’t fumble in the superbowl. One of the picks he threw was when he was hit.

        Manning is STILL one of the greatest QBs ever to play the game hands down.

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