Football Open Thread

The Jets are in Cleveland (1pm ET) and the G-Men are getting a visit from the Cowboys (4:15pm ET). Here’s your thread for all of today’s gridiron action, so have at it.

Sunday Morning Links

Here’s some links to check out before the Jets take on the Mangenius, the Giants sack Jon Kitna 17 times and the Pats find a way to beat the Steelers.

Mike Fish at ESPN.com has a piece on Roberto Alomar’s life since his career ended.  I knew it was bad, after reading this column it’s worse than I thought.  Alomar who will get into the Hall of Fame this year was an amazing ballplayer.  I think because he played for 7 teams and didn’t play any of his peak in a big baseball market he’s a little overlooked, but he was special.  Alomar was a very similar player to Derek Jeter and I can’t imagine how he’d be viewed had he spent his whole career in the Bronx, Boston, Philly or another good baseball hotbed.  He certainly would have gotten into Cooperstown on the first ballot with room to spare.  His career fell off a cliff in 2002, but what he did as a second baseman for a 10 year stretch was pretty amazing.

Former Yankee prospect Brandon Weeden is finding success on the football field.  Weeden was the first player selected by the Yankees in the 2002 draft  He showed some early promise but his baseball career was derailed by injuries.  I enjoy stories like this so I’m glad to see he’s having success.  Weeden is 27 years old, so I wonder if his coach Mike Gundy considers him a man or not?

Marc Carig wrote on his blog about the difficultly he can run into writing for different audiences through different mediums.  It’s a very good piece and while I’m sure many have you have seen it, if you haven’t I suggest doing so.  Like now.  Also take a look at Craig Calcaterra’s take on Carig’s post which is also informative and thought provoking.  Pretty good stuff in both posts.

Here’s a good piece over at Yahoo by Kendall Rogers on Karsten Whitson and why he spurned a couple million bucks to go to college. I think we can often interject ourselves into players lives’ without truly knowing how they feel so it’s good to see Whitson’s explanation.  It’s definitely something to consider when free agents don’t sign where you hoped or expected, or when draftees decide not to sign.

Open Thread: Maybin on the move

(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Apparently it’s “let’s forget all about that Miguel Cabrera trade” weekend in Florida. After dealing Andrew Miller yesterday, the Marlins traded the other key piece in Miggy haul today, sending Cameron Maybin to the Padres for a pair of relievers. Righty Burke Badenhop (3.67 FIP in 67.2 IP this year) is the lone survivor of the Cabrera trade, the other five players are all elsewhere now. How about that.

My quick take: I like the move for both sides, more for San Diego though. They have bullpen pieces to spare, and Maybin’s still only 23 if you can believe it. Lots of talent, and it’s worth a shot to see if he can figure it out on your team. Florida needed bullpen help, and the two guys they got are promising. Ryan Webb has a great arm, but his stuff is so lively that he has trouble controlling it. Mujica got lost in the Padres bullpen given some of he other guys they had in there, but struck out 72 and walked six (!!!) in 69.2 innings this year. The deal makes sense for both sides, I’d just rather be getting Maybin.

Anyway, here’s the nightly open thread. Both the Nets and Isles are playing, and of course there’s a zillion college football games on. Talk about whatever, enjoy.

Yankees interested in John Buck?

Via Buster Olney (Insider req’d), the Yankees have some interest in free agent catcher John Buck, but they’re unlikely to offer him more than a one-year deal given the young catching they have coming up through the system. With Jorge Posada expected to take over as the full-time designated hitter, having a veteran catcher around to provide insurance behind Jesus Montero and Frankie Cervelli would be a wonderful thing. That said, Buck is going to try to cash in on the best year of his career (2.9 fWAR) as he should, so there’s a next-to-zero chance that he’ll settle for one year.

If anything, I expect the Yanks to sign some veteran to a minor league deal to stash in Triple-A, similar to Chad Moeller last year. There’s also a very real possibility that they’re trying to drive up the price for the Red Sox, who have legit interest in Buck.

Easy big fella!

Murray/The Star-Ledger

I’m as big a fan of Jesus Montero as there is.  I’m glad the Cliff Lee trade didn’t go through.  I’m glad they didn’t trade him for Roy Halladay.  I have not seen him catch in person though I think the Yankees should try him at catcher until they’re 100% sure he either can or can’t handle the position.  As bullish as I am on Montero, Bill James’ 2011 projections for him just seem insane.  If you haven’t seen yet, James predicts a .285/.348/.519 line with 21 HR’s.  Yes, that’s in the major leagues.

How realistic is this?  First, considering this in a perspective solely to Montero, that line is eerily similar to his 2010 AAA line of .289/.353/.517 line with 21 HR’s.  So James prediction essentially says Montero will repeat his numbers as a 20 year old getting his first taste AAA as a 21 year old getting his first taste of the major leagues.  For all of us who followed Montero this year, we know that he got off to a horrible start and a ridiculously hot finish.  While the slow start is  certainly a possibility (and maybe even a probability) in the major leagues, is there any way Montero would go on a tear like he did last year, hitting .351/.396/.684 after the All Star break?  It took a run like that just to land at his final AAA line, and I can’t see that type of production in the major leagues over such a long period of time.  That’s Pujolsian.  So I’d say for Montero to approach his AAA line in the majors in 2011, he’d have to be pretty consistently awesome for 6 months (with the expected normal peaks and valleys) as a 21 year old rookie catcher, in New York, playing on a team that expects to win the World Series.   Good luck with that.

How realistic is Montero’s projection in a historical context?  Since 1901 how many 21 year old (or younger) catchers have ever slugged over .500 while catching at least 100 games?  Answer: none.  Stretch that out to 22 years old and you get two catchers:  Johnny Bench in 1970 which was his 3rd year in the league and Brian McCann in 2006 in his first full season, though he was not a rookie.  Even going out to the age of 23 there are only 4 more catchers who slugged .500 or greater (Nokes, Carter, Hartnett, Mauer) at such a young age.  And yet, James projects Montero is to slug .517 as a 21 year old rookie.  Opening this comparison up to all positions there have been 30 seasons (by 23 players) since 1901 to slug .500 or greater at age 21 or younger, again none of them catchers.  The list literally is chock full of Hall of Famers as you might expect.  Even if James’ projection for Montero were based on him solely DH’ing, you can still see just how historic his line would be.

I am pretty sure that Montero will not reach James’ lofty projections and it’s unfair to expect him to. That will not make him a bust, overrated or a disappointment.  Let’s all acknowledge that now.  If somehow Montero makes history and hits those projections we will all be beyond thrilled.  I can’t wait to see Montero’s first at-bat in the majors and expect to enjoy the ride, I just want to keep things in perspective, which I simply feel James projections do not do.

Pettitte: ‘It would be one more year and that would be it’

Via KHOU.com, Andy Pettitte indicated that if he does in fact come back and play in 2011, that it would be his final season. “I’m just going to wait and see what my heart wants me to do,” said the lefty. “Right now, I can tell you my heart’s right here in Deer Park.  If something happens and I play one more year that would be it. It would be one more year and that would be it.”

I can’t imagine there’s anything left that Andy wants to accomplish after the career he’s had, so hopefully he comes back for next season and if nothing else, gets a proper send off. While I would understand if he wanted to call it quits now, we all want him back for selfish reasons. Hopefully he does.

Open Thread: Boston adds an arm

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Via MLBTR, the Red Sox swapped lefty reliever Dustin Richardson for former sixth overall pick Andrew Miller this evening, reuniting Miller with his UNC running mate Dan Bard. The big lefty has been a bit of wreck as a pro (5.95 BB/9 career), not coincidentally after the Tigers rushed him to the big leagues a few weeks after being drafted in 2006 (he debuted against the Yanks). I wrote a post at MLBTR a few weeks ago saying that I expected Florida to either trade or non-tender Miller this winter, and sure enough they did. He was intriguing as a non-tender guy on a cheap contract, but through arbitration he’s going to pull down something like $2M. Eh. It’s also the second year in a row that Boston acquire a former Marlins’ top prospect; last year they grabbed Jeremy Hermida. That worked out rather crappily.

Well, anyway, here’s your thread for the night. Both the Devils and Knicks are in action, but talk about whatever your heart desires.