Monday Night Open Thread

Here is your open thread for this busy Monday in the baseball world. The Red Sox signed both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, the Mariners gave Kyle Seager a $100M extension, and the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot was announced. Like I said, busy.

There are two Monday Night Football Games tonight because of the snow in Buffalo last week. The Jets are playing the Bills in Detroit at 7pm ET and the Ravens are playing the Saints at 8:30pm ET. The Islanders and Knicks are also in action, and there’s surely some college basketball on as well. Talk about those games, today’s baseball news, or anything else right here.

Weekend Open Thread

Happy Friday everyone. Buster Olney (subs. req’d) continued looking at the top ten players at each position today with shortstop. Andrelton Simmons, not Troy Tulowitzki, claimed the top spot. That’s weird. A hundred games of Tulo is still more valuable than 162 games of any other shortstop these days. Current Yankees starting shortstop Brendan Ryan did not make the list. Here are some other links for the weekend:

  • If you’re only going to click only one link this week, make it this one: Ben Lindbergh researched the transaction tree for every 40-man roster player in baseball and figured out which one dates back the longest for each team. So, as an example, the Yankees got Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit, got Betemit for Scott Proctor, got Proctor for Robin Ventura, got Ventura for David Justice, got Justice for Jake Westbrook, got Westbrook for Hideki Irabu, and got Irabu for Ruben Rivera. Make sure you check it out.
  • Brian MacPherson spoke to several executives about the importance of makeup, particularly for young players who may initially struggle in MLB. “How they handle it, truly, is how they handle adversity. If you’re good, it’s hard. If, mentally, you can’t handle the failure, that speaks volumes about you needing more time. If you struggle mentally, it’s going to carry over to some part of your game and you’re not going to produce,” said Marlins GM Dan Jennings. “You hope you can see that failure down below, and see how they handle it at Double-A or Triple-A. But at the big-league level, it’s a production league, and you’re always gauging and trying to read that, your time to allow that to allow that to go is really predicated on, No. 1, are you willing to commit for ‘X’ number of at-bats or ‘X’ number of games, and No. 2, is it affecting you in the standings?”
  • In a related piece, Kiley McDaniel mused about the importance of failure in the minor leagues for top prospects. Learning how to cope with failure for the first time at the MLB level ain’t easy. It’s a positive thing in a player’s development for them to hit the skids at some point in the minors so they can learn how to adjust — physically and mentally — and get back on track.
  • Russell Carlton wrote about three people who explain where baseball is right now. One is Hank Conger, who represents the emphasis teams are placing on pitch-framing. Another is Michael Cuddyer, who represents the wonkiness of the qualifying offer system. And the last is Gabe Kapler, who represents what may be market inefficiencies in the front office.
  • And finally, Kevin Ruprecht attempted to use PitchFX data to measure the quality of a hitter’s contact. There’s some scary math in there, but it’s interesting stuff. There’s a significant increase in production when a fly ball is hit more than 310 feet — balls hit 310 feet went for a .151 AVG and a .398 SLG from 2012-14 while balls hit 311 feet went for a .197 AVG and a .505 SLG.

Friday: Here is your open thread for the night. The Islanders, Nets, and Devils are all playing — the Rangers were postponed because of the snow in Buffalo — plus there’s college basketball happening somewhere. Talk about those games or anything else right here.

Saturday: This is your open thread once again. All of the local hockey and basketball teams are playing except the Rangers, and there’s college basketball and football on as well. Anything goes here. Talk about whatever.

Sunday: Here’s your open thread one final time. The (hockey) Rangers are playing and the late NFL game is the Cowboys and Giants. You know what to do by now, so keep doing it here.

Thursday Night Open Thread

Buster Olney (subs. req’d) continued his look at the top ten players at each position yesterday with second base. Robinson Cano sits in the top spot because of course. He is far and away the best second basemen in baseball and has been for about five years now. The Yankees don’t have a player on the list because they don’t have a second baseman at the moment. If the season started today, I’m guessing Martin Prado would be at third and Jose Pirela at second. Thankfully there’s still three months of offseason to find an upgrade.

This is your open thread for the night. The Thursday NFL game is the Chiefs and Raiders, plus I’m sure there’s college basketball on somewhere. None of the local basketball or hockey teams are playing. You folks know how these things work by now, so have at it.

Wednesday Night Open Thread

According to agent Marc Kligman, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte signed a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training with the Athletics today. He became a minor league free agent after the season. Venditte, 29, spent parts of the last seven seasons in the Yankees’ farm system, where he had a 2.46 ERA with a 10.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 384.2 innings. He’s famous because he throws with both arms, but his stuff is fringy from both sides, especially since he had right shoulder surgery in 2012. Maybe the A’s will give Venditte a chance. That would be neat. I am kinda curious to see him. Venditte is from the Colter Bean class of relievers though, a guy with great minor league numbers but not the stuff to hack it in MLB.

Here is your open thread for the night. The Rangers, Knicks, and Nets are all playing, plus there’s bound to be some college basketball on somewhere. Talk about those games, Venditte, or anything else right here.

Tuesday Night Open Thread

If you had any doubt the relief pitcher market would be insane this offseason, left-hander Zach Duke signed a three-year deal worth $15M with the White Sox today. He was awesome this past season after reinventing himself as a sidearmer (2.45 ERA and 2.14 FIP), but this is the same Zach Duke who had a 6.03 ERA (4.20 FIP) last year and a 5.32 ERA (4.49 FIP) from 2010-13. If one great year gets Duke that contract, David Robertson and Andrew Miller are going to get paaaid.

Anyways, here is the nightly open thread. The Knicks, Devils, and Islanders are all playing, and I’m sure there’s some college basketball on somewhere. Feel free to talk about those games, the bullpen market, or anything else right here.

Monday Night Open Thread

Buster Olney started his annual look at the top ten players at each position yesterday — not quite sure why he started it on a Sunday, but whatever — with the catchers and continued today with the first basemen. Both articles are Insider only. Brian McCann ranked eighth on the catcher list, behind Devin Mesoraco and Yan Gomes and ahead of Miguel Montero. That sounds about right to me. Mark Teixeira didn’t even make the first base list. Not even the honorable mention. From here on out, I’m guessing we’ll only see Yankees make the left field, center field, maybe starting pitcher (Masahiro Tanaka), and relief pitcher lists. That’s all.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Steelers and Titans are the Monday Night Football Game, plus the Nets and Rangers are playing. Ryan Callahan will be back in Madison Square Garden for the first time since being traded away last March. That’ll be neat. Talk about anything and everything right here.

Weekend Open Thread

In honor of Giancarlo Stanton’s new record contract with the Marlins, I figure I’d liven up this weekend’s open thread with a video of every homer he hit from his rookie year through 2013, because why not? (Here are his 2014 homers.) The Yankees aren’t featured in the video — Stanton has homered against 21 of the 29 non-Marlins teams but not the Yankees! — though some of their current and former pitchers are. Anyway, enjoy. Here are some links for this weekend:

  • Jorge Arangure managed to sit down and interview free agent Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, who is expected to sign very soon. Tomas has been working out in the Dominican Republic and he’s already a legend there.
  • At the GM Meetings this week, David Laurila spoke to several GMs about baseball’s decline in offense. Specifically, he asked them it they believe this is the new norm or just part of a cycle, and how it impacts their roster-building strategy.
  • My pal Eno Sarris wrote about Giants swingman Yusmeiro Petit and what has made him so successful despite pedestrian stuff. The key is the deception in his delivery, which Eno breaks down with some GIFs and images. The piece is two weeks old now but it’s still interesting stuff.

Friday: Here is your open thread for the night. The Knicks, Devils, and Islanders are all playing tonight, plus the college basketball season is getting underway. Talk about those games or anything else on your mind right here.

Saturday: This is your open thread once again. All three local hockey teams plus the Nets are in action. There’s also a ton of college football and basketball on as well. You folks know how these things work by now, so have it.

Sunday: Once again, here is the nightly open thread. None of the local basketball or hockey teams are playing and the late NFL game is the Patriots and Colts. Talk about whatever here.