Archive for Open Thread
The AL is such a mess this year, isn’t it? I’ve started scoreboard watching every night — it just sorta happens organically each year, there isn’t a set date when I start paying attention to other teams around the league — and I have no idea who to root for because everyone’s lumped together. The Orioles and Mariners play four games this weekend, for example. I’d like Seattle to sweep so the Yankees can potentially move closer to the top spot in the AL East, but that will hurt them in the wildcard race. Bah, whatever.
Here is your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing plus MLB Network is showing a few games tonight, both at 7pm ET and again at 10pm ET. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here. Have at it.
Here’s your open thread for the last few hours of the weekend. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is a good one, the Dodgers at the Cardinals (Kershaw vs. Martinez), so talk about that game, this afternoon’s walk-off win, or anything else right here (no religion or politics please). Have at it.
The second half Yankees are a much better team than the first half Yankees, aren’t they? I’m glad they’ve got off to a nice little start after the break. If you’re stuck inside for whatever reason, use this as your open thread tonight. The Mets are playing a little later (no FOX games tonight), so talk about that game, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here. Have at it.
Update: I just realized the Extra Innings package is having a free preview for the next days, so search around for the channels and you can watch any game you desire tonight.
It’s the last night of the All-Star break. Everything returns to normal tomorrow, when the Reds arrive in the Bronx for three games. If you’re looking for something to read and have already checked out our Midseason Grades (catchers, infielders, outfielders, rotation, bullpen), then I recommend this Dan Barbarisi piece surveying the Yankees clubhouse. He asked the players who was the best dressed, who is most up to date on current events, who they’d let marry their daughter, stuff like that. It’s pretty fun, check it out.
Here is your open thread for the remainder of the night. There is no baseball so I’m going to leave you on your own for entertainment. I’ve got one Orange is the New Black episode left and I might try to catch up on 24 too. Exciting night at the Axisa household, as you can tell. Talk about anything and everything right here. Enjoy.
Now that the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game and all that is in the past, there’s nothing left to do these next two days but rest. As someone who spends too much time watching and thinking about baseball, I will enjoy the two days off. I get the sense the second half of this season will be a little crazier than usual, especially as the games wind down in Derek Jeter‘s career. Enjoy the time off while you can.
Here is your open thread for the night. The Triple-A All-Star Game will be on MLB Network at 7pm ET (UTIL Jose Pirela was the only Yankees farmhand elected to the game) and that’s pretty much it. You’re on your own for entertainment otherwise. Talk about anything on your mind right here.
The All-Star break is officially underway and tonight is the annual Home Run Derby. It’s an event that, like just about everything else in the history of the universe, is better enjoyed in person than on television. It can get a little slow and start to drag on at times, but hey, I love homers. This is fun.
If you haven’t heard, the Derby has a new format this year. There are five players per league and they each get seven outs per round, not ten. The top three homer totals in the first round in each league advance. The player with the most homers in each league gets a bye to the third round while the players with the second and third most meet head-to-head in the second round. The winner of the third round in each league meet in the finals, so it’ll be AL vs. NL. Kinda cool. Little more exciting that the old format, that’s for sure.
There are no Yankees in the Home Run Derby this year, which isn’t all that surprising. Mark Teixeira is pretty much only guy on the roster who belongs in the same sentence as the Home Run Derby but meh. Robinson Cano represented the Yankees every year from 2011-13. Here are the ten Home Run Derby participants. I don’t know the order in which they’ll swing, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (captain)
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
Josh Donaldson, Athletics
Brian Dozier, Twins
Adam Jones, Orioles
Todd Frazier, Reds
Justin Morneau, Rockies
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (captain)
I thought it was kinda weird there are two Athletics and two Rockies in the Derby, but it turns out it’s not uncommon for two teammates to participate. It happened as recently as 2011 (David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez) and has happened a bunch of other times throughout history. My official prediction is Frazier over Jones. Don’t ask me why. It’s just a guess.
The Home Run Derby is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET and you can watch on ESPN. Talk about that or anything else right here. Enjoy.
Happy Saturday everyone. The weather is gorgeous in New York tonight, so hopefully you aren’t stuck spending it inside for whatever reason. If you are, use this as your open thread. FOX is carrying a series of games tonight and I assume Tri-Staters will see the Phillies and Nationals. Talk about anything you like right here.
(Video h/t @NYMoot)
The Yankees were dealt a pretty significant blow yesterday, when what they called elbow inflammation landed Masahiro Tanaka on the 15-day disabled list. He returned to New York for an MRI and will soon travel to see team doctor Dr. Ahmad, who is currently in Seattle for a conference. Even though the team does not have a full diagnosis, Joe Girardi indicated to reporters the situation was serious enough to warrant a DL stint with or without the upcoming All-Star break. Argh. Here are some scattered thoughts.
1. Everyone is thinking it, so let’s just come out and say it: the prospect of losing Tanaka to Tommy John surgery is terrifying. (There have been so many Tommy John surgeries this year that I don’t know how someone could not think about it.) The timing of the procedure would especially suck — Tanaka would miss the rest of the season and at least the first half of next season. Considering
how prone the Yankees are to setbacks the Yankees would likely be conservative during his rehab, he might not return until next August or September. I’m getting way ahead of myself here, but like I said, it’s hard not to fear the worst whenever a pitcher goes down with an elbow injury these days. My fingers are crossed and I am really hoping for the best. Things will be a little tense until Ahmad gets a chance to look at Tanaka.
2. The Yankees have not yet announced who will start in place of Tanaka on Sunday — the 15-day DL stint means he will also miss at least one start after the All-Star break, but they can figure that during the break next week — and it seems like Chase Whitley will be the guy unless he is needed out of the bullpen again at some point between now and then. The Yankees can’t recall Bruce Billings because of the ten-day rule — they used Tanaka’s injury to call up Zoilo Almonte, so they can’t use that to bring Billings back early — and right now Triple-A Scranton’s scheduled starter for Sunday is TBA due to a recent rainout and subsequent doubleheader. It might just be a bullpen game the day before the All-Star break. Two or three innings from Whitley, two or three innings from David Huff, two innings from Adam Warren, etc. Yikes. This team needs the four-day break in the worst way right now.
3. If Tanaka does have to miss an extended period of time for whatever reason, the Yankees will have to consider selling at the trade deadline more seriously than at any point in the last, I dunno, 20 years or so. Or at least consider not buying. That might be the Yankees’ version of selling — not doing anything and standing pat. They are 13-5 in games started by Tanaka and 33-39 in games started by everyone else, and at some point the injuries become too much to overcome. That’s what happened last year. They’ve lost four-fifths of their Opening Day rotation to injury (at least three to long-term injury) and there are too many underperforming everyday players in the lineup to compensate. The Yankees are not a move or two away from serious contention even with Tanaka. Remove him from the equation and it’s damn near impossible. Make another small Brandon McCarthy for nothing to soak up some innings and save the bullpen trade, but give up something of value? No way. The organization prides itself on contending every single year and I can’t imagine throwing in the towel on 2014 would be easy after spending all that money over the winter, but losing Tanaka for an extended period of time would be the straw that breaks the 2014 Yankees camel’s back.
4. Now, in the unprecedented event that the Yankees do decide to sell before the deadline, who exactly can they market? David Robertson for certain since he’s due to become a free agent and literally every team could use another shutdown reliever. The Tigers, Dodgers, Angels, Braves, Giants, and possibly the Athletics would all have interest in Robertson, at the very least. I’m sure they would have no trouble finding a team willing to take Shawn Kelley off their hands too. Hiroki Kuroda has a full no-trade clause but might be willing to waive it for one of the two Los Angeles teams since his family still lives there. Brett Gardner would fetch a nice return but his contract makes him worth keeping around. Hard to see a team giving up enough to make trading him worth it. Other than those three, there’s not much to offer. Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki have no trade value, same with Brendan Ryan. Maybe a team would be willing to give up a Grade-C prospect for Kelly Johnson or Frankie Cervelli, but I doubt it. Point is, even if the Yankees do decide to sell at the deadline, their most marketable pieces are a rental reliever and a rental starter. The cupboard is pretty bare.
5. Without Tanaka, these Yankees are about a two out of ten on the watchability scale. That is true regardless of whether he misses the minimum 15 days or something longer. His starts along with Robertson and Dellin Betances innings are pretty much the only time I get excited to watch this team. That’s just my opinion. I mean, yeah both Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury have been awesome, but they aren’t must-see television. The Yankees in general are a very boring bunch, mostly because they struggle to score and have no exciting young position players in the lineup everyday. Remember when we were trying to convince ourselves Yangervis Solarte was a guy? Yikes. You’re welcome to feel differently and I hope you do, but man, to me this is the most boring and uninteresting Yankees team of the last 20 years or so. Maybe I’m just a grouch.
The Yankees acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks earlier today, and he will make his first start with the team on Wednesday. McCarthy, in case you’re unfamiliar with him, reinvented himself as a pitcher in 2010 by embracing sabermetrics and PitchFX analysis. He focused on missing bats, limiting walks, and trying to keep the ball on the ground to avoid homers. I recommend this Eno Sarris post and this ESPN The Magazine piece on his career turnaround. “I didn’t want to suck at baseball anymore,” he said. Check the links out. Pretty interesting stuff.
Here is your open thread for the rest of the night. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Rays and Tigers (Price vs. Porcello), but before that the All-Star Game rosters will be announced at 7pm ET on ESPN. Yes, ESPN. Not MLB Network. My guess: Derek Jeter (starter at shortstop) and Masahiro Tanaka make it, Dellin Betances and every other Yankee do not. Remember, making it and deserving to make it are two separate things. Talk about any of that stuff and anything else right here.
Happy Saturday everyone. It’s a surprisingly nice day outside — I thought I remembered seeing it was supposed to rain today, but I guess not — so hopefully you’re out enjoying it. If not, use this open thread to talk about whatever you like. Have at it.