Archive for Administrative Stuff
Just a heads up, today is the last day to vote for our 2012 Prospect Watch. We’ve gotten over 2,700 responses so far and Mason Williams is starting to distance himself from Manny Banuelos, though fewer than 100 votes separate the two. Make sure you get your vote in before I close the poll this evening.
Just a reminder, the 2012 Prospect Watch poll is still up and active in case you missed it yesterday. So far we’ve gotten over 2,400 responses, and Mason Williams leads Manny Banuelos by fewer than 50 votes. The poll will be open through the weekend, and it looks like this one will come down to the wire. Please make sure you vote if you haven’t done so yet.
If you’ve been reading RAB long enough, you’re well aware of our annual Prospect Watch. The idea is simple. We pick a prospect, and throughout the regular season we track his progress in the sidebar, specifically his most recent (i.e. last game) and overall season performance. Past Prospect Watch subjects include Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Andrew Brackman, Jesus Montero, and last year, Manny Banuelos. Needless to say, some years have been better than others.
Rather than just pick a prospect and run with it this year, we’re going to try to something new. For the first time ever, you folks will be able to pick our 2012 Prospect Watch candidate by voting in the poll at the end of the post. As you can tell from our previous watches, we’re looking for star power here. Solid and consistent is nice and all, but the Prospect Watch is all about holy crap performances. The occasional 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer out of Montero made all the 0-for-4 with two strikeouts worth it.
I’ve taken the liberty of picking five candidates for this year’s prospect watch, all of whom are among the team’s seven best prospects. They’re all slated to spend the season in a full season league as well, which is key. With all due respect to Ravel Santana, no one feels like waiting until the NY-Penn League season kicks off in late-June for the Prospect Watch to go up. Here are those five candidates, listed alphabetically with a short little blurb…
Manny Banuelos, LHP
We’ve never had a two-time Prospect Watcher, but I’m not opposed to idea at all. That’s just the way things shook out in the past. Armed with a new cutter, Banuelos is scheduled to start the year with Triple-A Scranton and is poised to join Joba as the only player to go from RAB Prospect Watch to the big leagues in the same season.
Dante Bichette Jr., 3B
The Yankees first round pick just last season, Bichette took home Rookie Level Gulf Coast League MVP honors last year and will start his first full pro season with the Low-A Charleston River Dogs. He’s an all-around hitter with patience and power, capable of long hit streaks and long homers.
Jose Campos, RHP
Acquired from the Mariners as part of the Montero-Michael Pineda swap, Campos destroyed the Short Season Northwest League last year and will join Bichette in Charleston. His big fastball and surprisingly excellent command should lead to a ton of performances DIPS disciplines will love. That means lots of strikeouts and few walks.
Gary Sanchez, C
With Montero gone, Sanchez is now the best hitter in the organization. Last year with Charleston he hit the same number of homers (17) as Montero did at the same level in 2007, just in 226 fewer plate appearances. Sanchez could spend the first few weeks of the season back with the River Dogs, but a trip up to High-A Tampa seems inevitable at some point this summer.
Mason Williams, CF
Williams isn’t just another cog in what figures to be a dynamite Low-A lineup in 2012, he’s going to set the table and bat leadoff. His huge showing with Staten Island last season vaulted him up prospect lists, and now he’s the Yankees best all-around position player prospect.
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The minor league seasons begins next Thursday, the day before the Yankees open their 2012 regular season in Tampa. The poll will remain open through the weekend. Thanks in advance.
As part of the NL park portion of their interleague schedule, the Yankees are taking a swing through our nation’s capitol for a three game set against the Nationals from June 15th-17th. We’re planning to have an RAB-related weekend down in D.C.; going to the games, hanging out before and afterwards, etc. Ben put out some feelers regarding your interest last month, and it’s safe to say the place will be crawling with Yankees fans that weekend.
We’re still working out most of the specifics, but we do have some updates to pass along…
- Nationals email list members can buy single-game tickets starting tomorrow. If you have access to them, buy tickets to the series that way. Don’t wait for us.
- Getting group tickets through the Nats for that series is a bit of a pain, so we’re going to look for group tickets on the secondary market. With any luck we’ll get a good deal through our partnership with TiqIQ. If you are interested in getting tickets through us this way, please be aware that you’re going to have to pay secondary market prices, which may be more than face value.
- As Ben mentioned last month, you’re responsible for transportation. If you have access to or find reasonably priced lodging, go for it. We may be able to get a room block somewhere but the price probably won’t be pretty.
- We’re planning to do meetups with readers before and after each game, but the locations are TBD. They’ll almost certainly be within walking distance of the ballpark, unless you happen to know of some awesome places further away.
Nationals Park is pretty nice, I was able to catch a game there last summer (here’s the box score … Sean Burroughs homer!). My advanced scouting report on the concessions is weak though, I didn’t do much exploring. The odds are in favor of us seeing a Stephen Strasburg start since it’s a three-game set, and with any luck Bryce Harper will be up by then as well. We can watch him launch some bombs and start counting down the days until he’s in pinstripes together.
If you have any questions or concerns about the trip, please let us know in the comments and we’ll try to answer them all either tonight or tomorrow morning. The trip will be a blast, and we hope to see many of you down in Washington.
Spring Training is an exciting time of year. Every team is in contention, everyone’s in the best shape of their life, and optimism is abound. When the Yankees held their first official workout this past Monday, a minor little detail flew under the radar because of all the excitement: it was RAB’s fifth birthday.
Five years and five days ago, Ben, Joe, and I launched this site never imagining it would become as popular as it is today. In one of my very first comments, I confidently proclaimed that “there’s a better chance the Yanks will draft Jesus Christ than have Brackman fall all the way to 30.” In the five years since that comment, Brackman did fall to the Yankees and the 30th overall pick, had Tommy John surgery, spent three unproductive years in the minors, and been released. The Yanks did add a Jesus to their system as well, just for good measure.
We can’t thank you folks enough for the support you’ve shown us through the years. Without you guys, RAB probably would have closed up shop a long time ago. Instead, we’ve managed to expand a bit, adding some great writers, hooking on with the YES Network, and infiltrating more popular sites like FanGraphs and MLB Trade Rumors. We even scored some time on Newsday a few years back. Our plan for baseball blogosphere domination is finally starting to come to fruition.
In all seriousness, thank you for helping make RAB what it is today. You guys keep us on our toes and force us to be better. The five years have gone by in the blink of an eye, but we’ve welcomed in a New Stadium, said goodbye to The Boss, and celebrated a World Championship during that time. Here’s to another amazing five years, and many more after that.
Bumping up for those who missed it on Saturday: Got a new toy for you folks to play with: the Amateur Signing Bonuses page. It’s a list of signing bonuses the Yankees have paid out to amateur players (draftees and international free agents) in the recent and not-so-recent past. It is in no way complete and it never ever will be because some signing bonus information just isn’t available publicly. The page is under the resources tab in the nav bar above, just under “AVE BLUES” in the street sign. Enjoy.
Over the weekend, Joe wrote a post highlighting some of the Yanks’ more alluring road trips for the 2012 season. I’ve seen games in all but two of the stadiums Joe profiled. Safeco Field in Seattle and Nationals Park are absent from my list. While I’m not likely to make it to Seattle this season, the Yankees travel down to D.C. this June, and we will be too.
As part of what promises to be a weekend of New Yorkers and Yankee fans from all over the East Coast zipping down to D.C., we’re gathering interest in a RAB-related weekend. Joe, Mike and I all plan to take the journey for the three-game set from Friday, June 15-Sunday, June 17, and if enough readers want to join us, we’ll look into securing some ticket blocks for the games. We may do a stadium tour on Friday, and of course, we’ll find a spot for some Saturday night brews as well.
To gauge interest in the event, I’ve put together a short survey. For those of you with serious interest in joining us for the weekend, please take a minute or two to fill out the form. We’ll collect responses and email those interested once we get a sense of the numbers involved. The cost of tickets and accommodations is to be determined, but if we have enough interest, I believe we can do a stadium tour for $12 a head. A word of warning: You will have to get yourself to and from D.C. (Those of you who already live in the area should definitely join us for the games.)
Leave any questions you have in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them tonight or tomorrow morning. This excursion south promises to be a fun one, and hopefully, we’ll meet some RAB fans along the way.
When we got serious about our Series Previews last year, we included a link or two promoting blogs for whatever team the Yankees happened to be playing next. We kept a masterlist of these sites and it’s been available for everyone to see the whole time, but the problem is that it was hidden away and never promoted. That’s about to change, as you can now find our Team Blogs Page under the Resources tab above. Consider it the official list of RAB-endorsed blogs. We enjoy them all and suspect you will too.
Just a heads up, we’ve done some behind-the-scenes reshuffling, and we now have a new “Resources” pull-down menu in the nav bar above. It’s directly under the “Ave Blues” in the street sign in the banner. This is where you’ll now find neat stuff like the 2012 Draft Order page, the Depth Chart, the Blogroll, and Joe’s ongoing Guide To Stats project. I plan on added some more stuff to it in the future as well, but I’ll let you know when that happens.
I probably should have done this last Monday, when the offseason officially started, but I guess a one week delay won’t hurt anyone. If you’re new to RAB, first let me say welcome, and second, let’s talk about all the different ways you can use this site.
First and foremost, if you plan to comment, please review our commenting guidelines. Nothing outrageous there, we just ask you to help keep things orderly and on topic. We do have an Off-Topic Thread setup for you guys to share anything your heart desires, which you can find right under the street sign in the banner at all times. Easy enough, right?
Hopefully by now you’re taking advantage of the magic that is really simple syndication, or RSS. If not, that’s cool, but I recommend signing up for something like Google Reader (even though the new version sucks). This site will tell you everything you need to know about using RSS feeds, but in short, you can subscribe to the feed of your favorite sites, and instead of manually visiting each one multiple times a day, the information will be brought right to you as it’s posted, all in one convienent spot. Our main feed can be found here.
Subscribe via E-mail
If RSS feeds aren’t your cup of tea, you can get RAB sent right to your inbox. Just stick your email address in the appropriate box to the right (the one that says “Subscribe to RAB via email,” duh), and all of our content will be emailed to you as it’s posted.
Has anything changed sports coverage in recent years as much as Twitter? I don’t think so. Almost all breaking news will be posted there first, in 140 characters or less. You can use a (free!) service like TweetDeck or Echofon to easily follow your friends, favorite sportswriters, celebrities, basically anyone with a Twitter account.
We have two separate Twitter feeds here. Our main feed is @RiverAveBlues, where the three of us will muse on various topics, post any breaking news, engage in discussions with readers, stuff like that. Our second feed is @RABfeed, which will automatically link to all of our posts as they go up. That’s pretty much all it’s there for, but it’s useful.
If you want, you can also follow the three of us on our personal accounts: @bkabak, @joepawl, and @mikeaxisa. I can’t promise everything we tweet about will be about the Yankees, or even baseball for that matter, but you won’t regret it. All of the recent additions to the site can be found here: @Larry_Koestler, @MosheRAB, @Matt_Warden, @sprotster (Stephen), @firtheart42 (Hannah), and @BronXoo (J.R. O’Grady).
It’s probably our least utilized social media presence, but there’s still over 3,000 people that are fans of RAB’s Facebook page. I’m not much of a Facebook person myself, but I recommend hitting our page up to connect with fellow Yankee fans.
If for any reason you want to contact us (to submit a mailbag question, or sent us a link to a cool story, etc.), the best way to do so is to use our little “Submit A Tip” box. You can’t miss it, it’s just to the right of the main column. If you want to tip us off to a trade rumor that we’ve missed or something like that, please make sure you send us a link. Otherwise it’ll only take us longer to get a thread up about it.
If you want to contact us individually, then just drop us a line. Our addresses are in the sidebar.
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Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move on to the open thread. The Monday Night Football game is the Bears at the Eagles (8:30pm ET on ESPN), plus the Islanders are playing as well. You guys know what to do by now, so have at it.