Wednesday Night Open Thread

2015 Draft Order Tracker
Former Yankees lefty Brad Halsey dead at 33

As you may have heard, two-time former Yankee Alfonso Soriano announced his retirement from baseball yesterday. He retires as a .270/.319/.500 (111 wRC+) career hitter with 481 doubles, 412 homers, and 289 steals in parts of 16 big league seasons. Soriano never learned to lay off the down-and-away slider but became one of the best power-speed players in baseball anyway. His go-ahead solo homer off Curt Schilling in Game Seven of the 2001 World Series is one of the most forgotten clutch homers in history because of what happened in the ninth. Soriano was awfully fun to watch when he was at his best. Hell of a career, he had.

Here is tonight’s open thread. The (hockey) Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, and Nets are all playing tonight. Talk about those games, Soriano’s retirement, or anything else right here. Have at it.

2015 Draft Order Tracker
Former Yankees lefty Brad Halsey dead at 33
  • https://sites.google.com/site/thaayankeeswin/ Alex

    I’ll never forget what a great 2001 playoffs Soriano had.

    In other news, I’ll be at the Islanders game, but not because I’m an Islanders fan.

    • Jman1213

      Hey, it beats going to a Sabres game.

  • RetroRob

    Imagine the career he would have had if he had been able to lay off the down-and-away slider.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      Have to believe he would have made a serious run at the Hall. Especially if the increased patience lent him a few more dozen dingers over the years and another year or two as a part-timer.

      But coupling a .270 AVG with a .319 OBP?!?!

      Woof.

    • https://www.facebook.com/daniel.wasserman.35 nsalem

      I’ve thought about it often and my guess is Hank Aaron. Same unbelievably quick wrists. Similar size. Both had good 1st full seasons and then really excelled in their second seasons.

  • JacobyWanKenobi

    I love how people still think that NY has no farm system, it’s like people don’t do any fact checking.

    • Pete22

      Most the best prospects have been at the lower levels which don’t have as much trade value, so most fans look at demonstrated performance at the upper levels. That could change next year with a couple of the best guys poised to make the jump to AA

    • LazerTown

      I really like this system more than in recent years. We previously had interesting players, but not the depth of the top 10.

      Funny thing about that article. Up above is people saying that Betances/Clarkin/Sanchez/Judge/Severino would be a starting point, and then below same saying Betts/Swihart is a big overpay.

  • Wicomico Pinstripes

    It’s always unfortunate news when a player of Alfonso’s caliber retires, but it gives you a reason to look into their statistics in some detail.

    For example, who knew he lead the league in DRS and UZR/150 in 2007, and by a not so small margin. His +17DRS beat Eric Byrnes’ +12DRS( Geoff Jenkins was the only other LF with a DRS above zero). His 39.2 UZR/150, again, easily beat out Byrnes’ 10.9. Like, what? Oh yeah, he lead the league in DP by a LF from 06-09 and 12-13.

    /Alphonso

    • chris hines

      What’s really amazing is DRS has him at -7 in 1056 career games in LF yet he was -38 in only 766 games played at 2B. God he was awful in the infield.

  • Pkyankfan69

    So I ran across this George Brett video today… It’s 3 years old, I would imagine some of you have seen it, but today was the first I’ve heard of it… Simply hilarious

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU9xz2FpQc0

  • Pete22

    I thought it was interesting that Bosch told Arod he had below average testosterone levels for his age, something I have speculated on for awhile. Sounds like his prior use of steroids may have shut down his production and he needs PED’s just to compete on a level playing field.

    There is certainly nothing in his numbers from 2010-2012 that suggest whatever he was taking gave him an advantage or helped him defy normal age related decline.

    I also though it was interesting police officers, federal agents and a judge were some of Bosch PED clients.

    • Jman1213

      Did you read “Blood Sport”? Just about everything you need to know about the Biogenesis scandal is in there. A very good read.

      • Pete22

        No I didn’t. Will google it though.

    • LazerTown

      Judge is juicing too?

      • Pete22

        Not our Judge fortunately

  • RetroRob

    …oving forward, my comments will appear in mid-stream sty…

    • Canarsie Yankee

      I used this in conversation today. I think I managed to create the impression that I’m some kind of weird sex addict.

  • InvalidUserID

    So, what would it take to pry Tulo from the Rockies (now that they’re willing to listen)?

    • Y’s Guy

      Stupidity if you’re talking about trading for him before he takes the field again after hip labrum surgery.

      • Farewell Mo and Jeet

        Exactly. You gotta be nuts to trade a bunch of prospects for a guy owed $20 million per year until 2021 at which time he will be 37 who has played 47, 126 and 91 games the last 3 years now coming off labral surgery as mentioned above.

        • Jman1213

          If the Yankees want him, Colorado needs to eat a minimum of $40 million.

        • Wicomico Pinstripes

          He’s still been worth 11.8 fWAR in that time frame. In that same time frame, Ian Desmond(14.0), is the only SS that has been more valuable. Take that time frame back another three years and he’s been worth 28.7 WAR, easily beating Hanley’s 23.5.

          With that being said, he’s still a 30yr old SS, who’s due at least $116M through 2020, and just had his season ended by major hip surgery. Is there definitive risk involved? Yes. But, one could argue 120 games of Tulo and 42 games of a replacement level player is still one of the most valuable SS in baseball, regardless his salary.

          The question is, how long can he produce this particular kind of value, and what are the Rox looking for in return.

          • chris hines

            The problem is you’ve only gotten 120 games once in the last 3 years and the other two he’s totaled just 138. Now he’s having hip labrum surgery, he’s not a good bet to be productive or healthy going forward, at least not enough to justify the salary AND the prospect total.

    • chris hines

      They probably wouldn’t be willing to trade him for anything anyone would be willing to give up right now. Plus they’ll probably want the team trading for him to eat most of that salary, so that pretty much kills any trade potential.

  • disqus_8l0Rnnq4zz

    I’m a bit down. My workplace is going through a change as all but one (of six) coworkers left for other opportunities. The replacements are not nearly as friendly or open. We used to spend time together outside of work, happy hour, barbecues, golf, etc. The new people have their own things and are all business.

    • Canarsie Yankee

      I’m bracing for massive turnover in my department. Sucks because we’ve made it work for a while and I’ll be losing some valuable employees. Plus, I’ll have to set up an endless series of interviews and then do them all. Most will come from the area right next to ours and it will definitely cause some stirring when a number of them don’t make the cut.

      I don’t have what you had, though, so I’ll say be grateful for it while it lasted.

    • Pete22

      I never had a job where you could leave early enough to make Happy hour. Jealous. In retirement Happy hour can start for breakfast. Sel restraint pushes that back to 4 pm

      Losing coworkers stinks. I once had to fire a whole country of workers, over 100, some of whom I knew for years, and that bites more than I can say.

  • LazerTown

    Are you actually trying to force us to watch that person swing that wood thing again. Good riddance, was great trade sending him to Texas, sucks we got him back.

  • Canarsie Yankee

    Eat a dick, snow.

  • http://www.pornhub.com Scott Steiner
    • Jman1213

      Sorry to hear of Admiral Halsey’s passing. That said, I’m not really sure what a “recreational climbing accident” is.

  • HoopDreams

    The trade proposals over on MLBTR for CarGo and Tulo amuse me, Verlander and Jose Igelsias for those two? cmon man! *Cris Carter voice*

    • ScottinSJ

      Here’s my Hoop Dream: Carmelo Anthony doesn’t shoot 5-for-21 and the Knicks don’t lose to the lowly Pistons. All Anthony needs to do is shoot 40%. What a sad joke.

      • vicki

        and i see jr smith is still doing jr smithy things.

        • ScottinSJ

          I don’t throw around the words complete fu-k up lightly, but that’s what he is. It’s simply insanity that they don’t part ways with this loser.

          • HoopDreams

            They are trying to trade him I heard, hes a clutch player but at the same time drives me crazy

            • ScottinSJ

              He’s John Starks without the heart. It’s beyond time to dump his sorry ass. It’s an embarrassment to even carry him on the roster.

              • HoopDreams

                Hopefully Calderon convinces Marc Gasol to come next year, getting tired of Stoudemires awful defense

                • ScottinSJ

                  Agreed, but at least he gives it his all and can still score. Besides, this is his last year as a Knick. Wish we could say the same about, A-Rod, Tex and CC (Beltran too).

              • Mick

                Somehow get Kobe here to teach them how to win. Phil and Fish know how but they need someone on the floor who will instill the fear of losing in them.

          • Mick

            They will..

  • bigdan

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24785296/yankees-early-rotation-targets-mccarthy-hammel-and-capuano

    Yanks apparently going decidedly mid-market with pitching. McCarthy, Hammel and even Capuano. Not sure I’d consider Capu mid-market though. Recent reports suggest to expect nothing very quickly.

    Hope this means there’s money left for the offense.

    • ScottinSJ

      C’mon, isn’t this what nearly everyone expected? They’re not going for a major face lift for at least two more years.

      • LazerTown

        I don’t know if they really want to go 4 years without playoffs.

        • chris hines

          With the second WC they have a chance to make the playoffs in the next two years without commiting 7 years and 100M+ to one or more of Hanley, Panda, Scherzer, or Lester. They may not be able to do much once they get there but I don’t you can write them off on making it, especially if CC can give around 30 starts of league average ball.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      For the benefit of everyone else, since dipfuck above me chooses who he responds to, it’s not really a terrible strategy. Certainly not my first choice, but the point, to me, is to add some certainty to a rotation that will be counting on a lot of uncertainty at the top of it. McCarthy continues to add upside and risk. Pairing him with a Hammel solidifies that middle, especially if Kuroda walks. I’d rather them go big after one of the big three, but that’s not nothing. Hell, you can add all three and have Capuano play swingman.

      • chris hines

        Hammels who has had an ERA of 4.6 every year of his career but three, one of those a 4.33, and the most recent spent the last half the season putting up a4.26 (5.10 FIP) with the A’s in the most pitcher friendly park in baseball? If you get 170 innings of league average ball out of the guy you count yourself lucky and he’s probably getting 3-4 years, I’d let someone else go that route. If I wanted unreliable on a 3-4 year deal I’d go high upside with Liriano, he may walk 5 per 9 innings but at least he’d have a chance to be spectacular every once in a while.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Fair enough. More saying the principle isn’t the terrible than being married to specific names here.

          We’ve also proven on here that mixing up Jason Hammel’s name with Cole Hamels’s results in Hammel’s pitching better.

      • Mick

        C’mon…

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Don’t make me defend a stance I claimed “wasn’t terrible,” Mick.

          • Mick

            Listen. You know it’s not your opinion on strategy but your 1st line. People respond to who they want to respond to on here.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              No. This is a public forum. If you actively ignore intelligent commenters on here because you know they’ve got your number and, instead, choose to only indulge those who either go along with your game, or aren’t smart enough to know otherwise, you’re an asshole.

              No one asked him to come on this forum. He chooses to come here and piss on everything that’s been established here because he thinks he’s above it all. If anything, from reading his tangents on things unrelated to baseball, that may be his BEST quality.

    • Pete22

      I never liked the idea of spending big on Scherzer or Lester, but sort of expected they would simply cause they need to make a splash to keep attendance from dropping. If they don’t spend on pitching, I expect them to do so on offense.

      In a perfect world (for me) they do both, and bump payroll to 280-300 w/ the tax, but I know its not happening.

      I will be very surprised if the best they do is something like Drew, Headley, McCarthy. Maybe they could have done so if they made the playoffs this year, but after 2 straight non playoff seasons it would be suicidal.

      • bigdan

        If you read close it seems like the years are driving them away. I’m ok with that. And I like McCarthy. But if he’s the only pitcher they add there sure is a ton of injury risk in next year’s rotation. Might need Severino to make the leap.

        • chris hines

          Well you start the year with Tanaka, Sabathia, Pineda, McCarthy, and Greene. One of those guys will likely go down or be inefficient enough that by the time Nova is ready he’ll be rotation bound. Do we really need to take up another 40 man spot in order to send Greene to the minors to start the year?

      • LazerTown

        I kind of wouldn’t be surprised if they do something major. 1-2 years sure, but are they really going to do nothing yet again?

        • chris hines

          Well would you consider Moncada major? I personally would much rather see something along the lines of Headley, McCarthy, Drew, and Moncada then try and grab Hanley or one of the big time pitchers. At least then they’ve dedicated the money into the future, it may not work out but I think it’s a better gamble than trying to throw more eggs into this aging veteran basket with Hanley or Scherzer.

      • Mick

        Someone once said they need to implode before they learn anything. This is an entirely different business model than Yankee fans are used to. Let’s hope this reinventing of the wheel works or else just sell the team and sleep with your money.

    • Mick

      Makes one think Hal’s priorities are askew.

  • chris hines

    If Soriano had ever been capable of playing even decent defense at 2B and remained at the position for the majority of his career he’d get some real HOF consideration with those numbers.

    • Pete22

      Yeah, that position adjustment for middle IF’ers in WAR makes a career 112 OPS+ HOF worthy.

      At 2B B-Ref has him at -11 DRS/yr while Jeter is at -13 DRS/yr. One got moved, the other stayed

      • chris hines

        Not really a fair comparison to make between Soriano and Jeter’s defense. First of all DRS only goes back to 2003 so it leaves out all of Jeter’s defense until age 29 and Soriano until age 27. Jeter also played his position in the IF much longer so it’s a much larger sample size that includes age 30-40 which would be a steep decline from his prime ability, while Soriano stopped playing the position by age 30 and surely would’ve gotten much worse. I’m not saying Jeter was ever a great defensive SS, he wasn’t, but I think it’s very safe to say he was a better SS at his best than Soriano ever was a 2B. Neither was great but one was a complete butcher and the other was sure handed enough to be at least decent in the early part of his career. Now you can debate whether or not Jeter should’ve been moved off SS sometime in his early 30’s, you’d probably be right, but Soriano was always faking it in the field.

  • bigdan

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24784861/phillies-among-teams-eyeing-cuban-prospect-tomas

    Tomas looking lean and strong. Power for real. Scout says he’s a middle of the order bat. Nice. For some team.

    • Mick

      We can’t afford him, lol.

      • Pete22

        But, but, but I posted a link yesterday showing someone from the FO said the Yankees could spend 500 million and break even

  • bigdan

    I think the Yanks have gone to school with Arod and CC. Last year it was Cano. This year perhaps no Lester.

    Call it the School of Hard Knocks.

    • LazerTown

      Do we really want to give $150MM+ to someone who has looked like an ace exactly 1 year of the past 4?

    • bardos

      Thinking about Lester, his good numbers were put up in Fenway Park. A successful lefty in Fenway… think about it… It seems like he is too perfect a fit for Yankee Stadium. No draft pick attached. A left-handed thrower. AL East trained and experienced. Only costs money.

      I don’t see how Cashman and Hal do not view this as a perfect storm

      • Mick

        Think Cano and the M’s.

      • Y’s Guy

        mega contracts for over 30 pitchers are money pits

      • Pete22

        Have you really looked at his numbers the past 4 years? Last year was great, contract year. 2013 was awful till August when they got Peavy and Lester worried about his option being picked up. Pitched great the rest of the year to make sure his option got picked up. 2012 was awful, kind of like CC in 2013. 2011 was good until September, then he collapsed along with the rest of the Red Sox in an epic choke, and was one of the poster boys for chicken and bear gate.

        Some players turn into pumpkins with a big deal. Lester will be one of them.

        Besides, if the Cubbies put a competitive offer out there he is going back to Theo. No way he wants to pitch in a division where he makes 4-5 starts against the Red Sox

  • bardos

    I think the odds that A-Rod is forced out of the game in one way or another, that he will not see Spring Training in 2015, have now measurably increased.

    • bardos

      Actually there is only one deal that makes sense for all concerned: A-Rod does show up in Spring training, but finds that he is “too debilitated” to play any more.

      This is a win-win-win situation.

      MBL wins because he is now gone. A-Rod wins because he now collects $61 million. The Yankees win because it is the insurance company which will pay.

      In fact, who knows if this deal is already in place? Look to the Headley signing as a clue.

      • calripyankee

        What would MLB writer do without Arod to report on?? I d rather have Arod for 3 more yrs, than sign Headley for 4 yrs at $50 mil as some are suggesting..

        • bardos

          Good number for Headley: 3 x 12 = 36

          • calripyankee

            2 yrs max.. At maybe $10 mil per.. I hope some other team offers him that, and he accepts.. Prado at 3B and Refsnyder at 2B, would improve the offense.. No more big money FAs..

            • Y’s Guy

              Arod doesn’t have to go along with any of that, because he’s already guaranteed to get his $61M. In fact, it’s doubtful he’d get all the HR bonus money in an insurance policy, so there’s probably even a disincentive for him to not play. Also, Arod’s a baseball lifer, so he’s not going to just step aside anyway. And MLB may not like Arod, but they can’t do anything about his ‘confession’ because they already punished him for what he confessed to. So what are they going to go after him for now, cooperating with federal agens?

      • bernbabybern

        I’m pretty sure A-Rod can’t just say he’s debilitated and that’s it. He would have to have doctors determine that to collect insurance.

        • bardos

          In a perfect world, all doctors are completely honest and above-board. We’ll see how this plays out.

          • bernbabybern

            It would probably have to be the insurance companies doctors so he would have to really be unable to play.

            • bardos

              I guess I’ll just have to go back to the drawing-board to figure out how that win-win-win situation gets fitted into this reality stream.

  • Wave Your Hat

    I’m curious whether the Yanks would go after both McCarthy and Hammel or just one of them, since they seem interchangeable. If they signed both, and DRob, they’ll have to up the payroll significantly to add offense, and without more offense I don’t know how effective MCarthy and Hammel will be.

    • Mick

      The problem is they think they have enough offense and last year was an aberration.
      Pitching has become their priority as it will keep them competitive.

      • Wave Your Hat

        I hear you but if that’s what they are thinking it may make for another frustrating year.

        • Mick

          Well, it’s a SSS but that’s what I think they are leaning to.
          Hitters want long term deals and Hal is against it.

          • Wave Your Hat

            It’s just that I wonder if MCarthy and Hammel are good enough to consistently win games where they get only 2 or 3 runs to support them. I’m not sure they really make the staff any better than it actually performed this past season.

            • Mick

              They are supporting cast type of pitchers.
              I can see him making a big splash for an Ace as insurance against Tanaka going down.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Well, that’s what many of us would like for him to do.

                To me, the point behind the two mid-range guys would be keeping the ship afloat if the two top dogs wind up pitching to worst-case scenarios and miss extended time again, not to lead the rotation themselves. You slot them in at 3-4, and allow for a Greene and Phelps to fight it out for #5 to start the year, and everyone else becomes depth.

        • Mick

          Let’s see what attendance is if they repeat last years season without Jeter.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      To me, the point would be to utilize the money to pursue more than one pitcher. I don’t think one mid-range (OR MID-STREAM AAAARGH) starter does a whole lot to solidify things. Two of them isn’t the worst idea I’ve heard. It’s the second best way they could address the rotation this off-season, to me.

  • blake

    Soriano could probably play 3 more years if he’d get rid of that 50 oz bat he swings…..joking…..heck of a career…..not a HOFer but certainly better than most

  • Y’s Guy

    Michael Kay went off on Francessa yesterday, calling him a liar over the reason Francessa was dropped by YES. Francessa had said on his show that he was dropped because YES wanted editorial control, which is what sent Kay over the edge. Kay denied that YES exerts any editorial control over his show, which is laughable. Kay, who makes just about every single one of the million$ of dollar$ he earns from the Yankees, has proven to be a reliable lap dog for 20 years now and that’s exactly why they switched to him.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I don’t think it’s laughable at all. Kay’s show is on ESPN Radio. What overrreach would YES have with ESPN?

      Kay frequently takes an “uncensored” approach with the Yankees on his show. I don’t really think it leads to any great, “wow, I can’t believe he believes that!” insight, but he will openly disagree with something the org did on his show in a manner on which you’d never see him do on YES.

      Francesa is such low-hanging fruit that I can’t understand why anyone bothers with him. He’s the audio version of the tabloids. There’s a certain audience for that. That audience isn’t a very intelligent one.

      Really, we all listen to hear LaGreca make fun of Kay’s weird hangups, like condiments and not watching scifi movies because they’d never happen in real life.

      • Y’s Guy

        Oh, c’mon, he makes way more money from the Yankees than from ESPN. If he had to choose between the two, he’d drop espn in a heartbeat but he’d do anything to keep the YES gig.
        I said he complains around the edges on his radio show, almost specifically to show that he’s not the shill he is on all of his other YES endeavors. He’s safe and that’s why YES went to him, because they knew they wouldn’t have to exert any control, the money, which Kay loves above all else, takes care of that.

        • Y’s Guy

          last week I heard Kay chastising LaGreca about how he bites the hand that feeds him, about how he disrepected ESPN higher-ups and telling him that’s why he doesn’t have his own show or his name on Kay’s show. This is Michael Kay in a nutshell. He self censors more than the Yankees would ever need to censor him.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            What exactly are you looking for Kay to say, though? Do you honestly think there’s that much hidden insight in that huge head of his? I’d wager what he gives is about what he has to offer.

            There are few truly intelligent radio hosts out there who can speak to both the casual and hardcore fan. I appreciated Hank Goldberg down in Miami for years because he’d rip fantasy-land-type callers to shreds any chance he got (I’ll admit that he yelled at me, in my one lone phone call to him, over defending Week One of the XFL – “How was the line play? YOU DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE!!!” – He was right.) Cowherd actually shows an ability to think outside the box often. Other than that? They don’t give much more than your average blog commenter. I’d wager someone who could actually speak in advanced stats WHILE appealing to the average fans would bore your average rush hour driver.

            • Y’s Guy

              I expect almost nothing out of him or MF. But this feigned indignation at the inference that he can be controlled was laughable. He ranted for 9 minutes, often outright yelling. He is where he is because he doesn’t have to be controlled, he does that for them.

              • Mick

                Francesa never mentions Kay by name. Kay just started saying Mike’s name last night. Kay is waiting for an air war between them but Mike won’t bite. They have opposite personalities. Kay is shrill, Mike is low key. Kay tries to appear cordial to his “fans”, Mike is just rude and could care less but he is honest. Kay comes across the phony.

            • Mick

              Fran is asking Big Mike to match resumes, ratings, longetivity and paychecks right now. This will escalate at 3 o’clock. Kay got his goat thanks to a caller.
              Bring it on….

      • Pete22

        My sense is that Kay is critical of the Yankees in an objective way, which is why I am one of his few fans (or silent many) . However, the last 2 years he is a bit less so, perhaps because they have been so awful and its self-evident. He has no objectivity when it comes to Jeter and CC, but everyone has a little fanboy in them, and thats Kays bit.

  • MB923

    So I was looking at the box score of Jeter’s last home game and I was looking at the wWPA during the game

    In the bottom of the 9th inning, Pirela led off with a single. That put the Yankees wWE (Winning team’s Win Expectancy to 70%). On the next play, Gardner had a sac bunt. Want to know what the Win Expecteantcy went to then? 69%. It Decreased.

    Yes without the sac bunt, the Yankees don’t win the game (or I should say win the game on the next play), but apparently it seems sacrifice bunting a runner over from first to 2nd decreases your chances of winning.

    • Pete22

      Giving up an out. Of course, that does not account for the fact a terrible pitcher was on the mound and not a league average one. If that were accounted for the numbers might be different since the odds of getting a hit in the next 2 AB are much higher