Open Thread: Tragedy

(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

No, I’m not referring to this afternoon’s loss in the title. This is serious. Earlier today news broke that a charter flight carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (Russia) crashed shortly after takeoff this morning, killing 43 of 45 people on board. Included in those 45 people is the team’s entire roster, the coaching staff, the training staff, and four of the club’s top prospects. Several former and notable NHLers were on the flight, including former NY Rangers and NJ Devils.

Thankfully, we’ve never had a sports tragedy of this caliber happen here in the United States. The Marshall Football Team tragedy happened long before I was born, and stuff like this never really comes into our consciousness. Or at least my consciousness, I don’t want to speak for you. I mean, how many flights a year does a typical MLB club take a year? What happened today is just terrible, and I’m not sure how I’d react if something similar happened here, especially involving a team I follow. Obviously any kind of accident like this is horrible, but sports is such a big part of my life that it almost takes it to an entirely different level. It’s hard to think about. The entire team is just … gone.

Anyway, sorry for the morbid open thread. ESPN is showing two games tonight (Phillies-Braves at 7pm ET, Mariners-Angels at 10pm ET), and the NFL season starts as well. The Saints and Packers will kick off at 8:30pm ET on NBC. You all know what to do, so have at it. Anything goes.

Warren, Phelps, and Banuelos to join Yankees (kinda)

Via Josh Norris, the Yankees will bring Adam Warren, David Phelps, and Manny Banuelos to New York for the upcoming Red Sox series (Sept. 23rd-25th). They won’t be added to the roster though, instead they’ll just workout with the team and observe the series from the stands. The Yankees do this pretty much every year with their top non-40-man roster prospects, giving them a taste of the big league life without actually letting them live the big league life. The fact that Dellin Betances is not included suggests he might be getting a legit call-up soon, but that’s far from confirmed.

FanGraphs interviews Ken Singleton

Over at FanGraphs today, David Laurila interviewed former Mets, Expos, and Orioles player Ken Singleton, one of the YES Network’s many play-by-play/color commentors. They spoke mostly about Singleton as a player and his brand of plate discipline and on-base percentage (career .388 OBP), something he excelled at in an age when no one had really paid too much attention to it. “I’d rather be underrated than underpaid,” said Singleton. “Over the course of my career, I walked more than I struck out. I take pride in that.”

The interview, which you can read here, gets RAB’s highest level of recommendation. Make sure you check it out, it really is a great read.

Game 141: The greatest lineup ever

Think the Yankees are tired after playing until after 2 a.m. last night? They’re trotting out an interesting lineup today, one that contains just one player who started last night’s game. That’ll give everyone a nice rest before heading south to Baltimore and then West to Anaheim. Chances are the best of the bullpen will also get the day off today, due to heavy workloads.


1. Eduardo Nunez, SS
2. Russell Martin, C
3. Nick Swisher, RF — why not go all out and just start Dickerson?
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Andruw Jones, LF
6. Jesus Montero, DH
7. Brandon Laird, 1B
8. Greg Golson, CF
9. Ramiro Pena, 2B

And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.

Greg Bird named number two prospect in Cal Collegiate League

Baseball America continues to plug along with their lists of the top prospects in the various wood bat summer leagues, and they recently named Yankees fifth rounder Greg Bird as the number two prospect in the Cal Collegiate League. Bird, a high schooler catcher/first baseman from Colorado, signed for $1.1M on deadline day and was playing with college kids this summer.

The article is subscriber-only, unfortunately, so I can’t give away too much. They do praise Bird for his “above-average raw power from the left side” and the way he “excels at driving balls middle-away.” His work ethic is also considered a plus. However, Bird is still considered a first baseman long-term, mostly because he lacks the agility to stick behind the dish. The Yankees didn’t give him that much money for his glove, though. Sixth rounder Jake Cave was recently named the top prospect in the Coastal Plains League.