Archive for Open Thread
I pretty much never look at RAB’s traffic. I’m not trying to be cool or anything, it’s the truth. I used to obsess over it but that has (thankfully) subsided. For the first time in months, I decided to check out today’s traffic for obvious reasons. Thanks to Robinson Cano‘s defection to the Mariners, we have set a new single-day traffic record at RAB. That’s what it took to beat the previous record set on July 9th, 2010, otherwise known as the day of the Cliff Lee non-trade. Believe it or not, the third highest-trafficked day in RAB history was just two days ago, when they agreed to sign Jacoby Ellsbury. I sincerely thank you for making RAB one of your stops for the latest on the Yankees.
Now that that’s out of the way, it is Friday and I did promise you links on Fridays a few weeks ago, so here are this week’s Friday links.
- If you’re wondering how the other half feels about the Cano stuff, I recommend by buddy Jeff Sullivan’s post over at USS Mariner. The common thread here is that regardless of whether the Yankees or Mariners would have signed Cano, that team still would have had more walk to do to get back into the postseason.
- In the wake of Ellsbury deal, here is Dave Cameron’s post about how speed players tend to age. It’s worth pointing out that of the speed guys who aged well, either they drew a lot of walks (Rickey Henderson, Kenny Lofton, Tim Raines) or hit for some power (Devon White, Steve Finley). The ones who did neither (Aaron Rowand, Marquis Grisson) either stunk as they got older or were a total freak like Ichiro Suzuki. Ellsbury’s walk rate is about league average and he’s a low power guy, which is part of the reason why I’m skeptical.
- Know how hitters always say it’s easier to hit once the knuckleballer is out of the game because you’re used to seeing 90+ mph fastballs and all that? Christopher Carruthers examined R.A. Dickey and the pitchers who follow him either in the same game or as the next day’s starter and found that as a whole, they perform a whole lot better following Dickey than they do in other situations. His value extends beyond his time on the mound because of the adjustments hitters have to make against his knuckleball.
- Jeff Passan, Charleson Robinson, and Rand Getlin have a story about what amounts to a human-trafficking ring involving Cuban baseball players. After they defect, some players are basically held for ransom and auctioned off to the highest bidder, with a portion of their big league earnings going to the people who held them and their families captive for months at a time. It’s pretty frightening stuff. The article focuses on Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin, but he’s far from the only guy to go through this.
- For all of you who are hockey fans like me (what else am I supposed to watch all winter?), I really enjoyed this Seth Wickersham article about the life of an enforcer and fighting in the NHL in general. I enjoy watching a guy beat the crap out of another guy as much as anyone, but it’s only a matter of time before the league bans fighting all together. Has to be done.
- Les Carpenter wrote a feature on the legacy of Chuck Hughes, the only NFL player to die on the field during the game. He had a severely clogged artery and a blood clot broke loose during a hit, becoming trapped in the artery and cut off blood flow to his heart. The tackle essentially resulted in a heart attack. Really interesting story.
Friday: Here is your open thread for the night. The Devils and Knicks are playing and that’s pretty much it. Good night to go out and forget about Cano no longer being a Yankee. Talk about anything you like here. Go nuts.
Saturday: Once again, here is your open thread. All three hockey locals plus the Nets are playing, and there’s college football on as well. You folks know how this works by now, so have at it.
Sunday: This is your open thread for the night yet again. The Panthers and Saints are the late NFL game plus the Rangers are playing as well. Talk about whatever here. Enjoy.
The Yankees officially introduced a beardless Brian McCann — does he not look like a cop? Officer Brian McCann might stick as a nickname — during a press conference at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. The videos are above. McCann will wear #34 in honor of his close friend and former teammate Eric O’Flaherty, but Jack Curry says he originally asked for #21. The Yankees said no to that. Would be nice if they did something with that number other than hold it in limbo.
Anywho, here is tonight’s open thread. The Texans and Jaguars are the Thursday night NFL game plus the Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, and Nets are all playing. Talk about whatever you like here. Have at it.
These last 24 hours have been pretty hectic. Really the last 72 hours given all the trades and signings going on around the league that somehow trickle down and impact the Yankees. Brian McCann will be introduced tomorrow and it sounds like Jacoby Ellsbury will be introduced sometime in the next week. He took his physical today. I’m guessing the Yankees will have at least one more big introductory press conference after that, most likely for a pitcher. Just a guess. Would they have one for re-signing Robinson Cano? Probably not, but I suppose they could hold one in an effort to drive up interest heading into Spring Training or whatever.
Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. The Devils are the only local team in action, so this sounds like a Netflix night. Maybe catch up on some sleep. Talk about whatever, enjoy.
Late last night, the Orioles traded Jim Johnson to the Athletics for Jemile Weeks in what was essentially a salary dump. Baltimore is up against their payroll limit and he was slated to make close to $11M next year, so now they have some flexibility. I feel like Johnson moving to the AL West is going to legitimately cost the Yankees a win next year. He always seemed to cough up close games to New York — he’s blown four of his last nine save chances against them and also took a loss after entering a tie game — and they will need every win they can get to get back into the postseason. Tough loss for the Bombers.
Here is your open thread for the evening. Both the Islanders and Nets are playing, but that’s pretty much it. You’re on your own for entertainment. Talk about whatever. Go nuts.
Fair or not, I will probably always remember Chris Stewart as the guy who struck out on two strikes. He was so awful in the second half and that just seemed like the ultimate rock bottom. Stewart is a backup catcher who was miscast as a starter, and that is on the team, not him. The Yankees planned on giving him significant playing time, they admitted it before the season, but it was a plan that was doomed to fail. Frankie Cervelli saved their bacon for a few weeks in April before suffering what amounted to a season-ending hand injury. The Yankees agreed to sign Brian McCann last week and traded Stewart to the Pirates today, a move that makes sense for both sides. He can be a backup and the Yankees have a real starting catcher.
Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Saints and Seahawks are the Monday Night Football Game, plus both the Rangers and Devils are playing. It goes without saying at this point that there’s some college something on somewhere. Talk about Stewart, McCann, any of those games, or anything else right here. Have at it.
From all of us here at RAB, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there. I am especially thankful for everyone who’s taken the time to read and comment (good or bad!) over the years. I’m not joking when I say RAB has been a life-changing experience. I’ve met countless awesome people and made so many great friends who I otherwise never would have met without the site. Thanks for making all that possible by helping make RAB what it is today.
Outside of major news, I don’t anticipate posting much the next four days just because it’s the holiday weekend and I want to chill out for a bit. It’s a long season, man. I need a break. Our season review series wrapped up yesterday, but if you missed any of the 15 What Went Right or 24 What Went Wrong posts, click the links to go back through the archives. I am officially declaring the 2013 campaign a thing of the past and am looking forward to the rest of the offseason and the 2014 season. The Yankees have lots of work to do and that means the next few weeks should be pretty action packed.
Here is your open thread for the day. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday with family and friends and eating lots of food. Thanksgiving is easily my favorite holiday. Talk about that food, the day’s various football games, and whatever else you want right here. Enjoy.
Hopefully all of you stuck traveling are doing well right now, I hear things are pretty chaotic because of the weather. Holiday travel always sucks but bad weather makes it like, a trillion times worse. Hope everyone is doing okay.
Here is your open thread for the night. All five hockey and basketball locals are in action, plus there’s college something on somewhere. Talk about whatever. Have at it.
Remember how Brian McCann was going to be in town for his physical today, the last step before his five-year contract becomes official? Scratch that. It looks like he won’t take the physical until next week, according to Wally Matthews. Blame the weather. They’re worried that if McCann comes to New York this week, he could get stuck here due to the upcoming storm and miss Thanksgiving with his family. Considering the way things went for the Yankees in 2013, I’m more concerned he’ll get poked in the eye with a TSA wand during a private screening and being sidelined until June. Oh well. Spring Training isn’t for another two months anyway. No rush.
Here is your open thread for the night. The Nets are the only local team in action, so between that and the rain, it’s a good night to catch up on the Netflix queue. Feel free to talk about whatever here. Have at it.
According to Jerry Crasnick, catcher Brian McCann will take his physical tomorrow morning. Assuming he passes — he did have shoulder surgery last winter, so it’s something more than a formality — his five-year, $85M contract with the Yankees will become official. It’ll be really nice to have a catcher who can hit again. I’m a huge believer in above-average production from the up-the-middle spots being a key to success and that’s what McCann brings to the table. Hooray.
Here’s your open thread for the night. The 49ers and Redskins are the Monday Night Football Game plus the Rangers, Devils, and Knicks are playing. Talk about those games, McCann’s awesomeness, or anything else here. Have at it.
In case you missed it last week, I’m going to start using the Friday/weekend open threads as link dumps. Basically random interesting stuff I come across throughout the week that isn’t Yankees related and doesn’t wind up on RAB. This week’s collection of links is just okay, maybe a six out of ten. Wasn’t a great week for the internet. Lots of people are on vacation this time of year and plenty of others are already looking ahead to the long Thanksgiving weekend. I know I am. Anyway, enjoy.
- David Laurila interviewed Michael Girsch, an assistant GM for the Cardinals. He spoke in detail about a bunch of stuff, including the team’s internal data-compiling/sharing systems, their draft philosophies, their hitting philosophies, biomechanics, all that and more. The Cardinals are the darling organization of baseball right now and pretty much everyone wants to copy them. This is a (small) look under the hood. Pretty interesting stuff.
- In the wake of the Prince Fielder-for-Ian Kinsler trade, Grant Brisbee looked at the various awful contracts around baseball and tried to figure out which one will be moved next. He comes up with Josh Hamilton and I tend to agree since the current market has downgraded Andre Ethier’s contract from awful to merely pretty bad.
- Zachary Levine (subs. req’d) compiled a list of baseball memes the internet beat to death in 2013. I don’t remember seeing too much of “Robinson Cano‘s 99 problems,” but the others were inescapable. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop making gritty jokes about the Diamondbacks though.
- And finally, if you’re a Breaking Bad fan, you’ll love this. It’s Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reading through the final scene of the series for the first time. It’s one giant spoiler, so don’t watch the video if you haven’t seen it yet. Pretty awesome.
Friday: Here is your open thread for the night. The Islanders and Nets are the only local teams playing tonight so ZZZzzzzzz. Talk about either game or anything else here. Have at it.
Saturday: Keep the open thread going right here. All three hockey locals plus the Knicks are playing. You folks know what to do, so do it.
Sunday: Only a few more hours left in the weekend, but at least Thanksgiving is coming up. Hands down my favorite holiday. The Broncos and Patriots are the Sunday Night Football Game and that’s it. The Nets already played and none of the other locals are in action. Talk about whatever. Go nuts.