Open Thread: Regular Season Reminder

With the final Grapefruit League game in the books and the team on their way back to New York, all we have left to do is countdown the 40 or so hours until the 2011 regular season gets under way. Now’s as good a time as any to remind you about all the different ways you can access our fine blogging establishment, some of which you may find easier than others.

Before we get into that, make sure you review our commenting guidelines. Emotions run high during the season, especially when a team with a $190M+ payroll has a patchwork rotation, but we have to make sure we maintain some sort of civility in the comments. Please review them, even if it’s just a fresher.

RSS Feeds
Hopefully by now you’re taking advantage of the magic that is really simple syndication, or RSS. If not, that’s cool, but I recommend signing up for something like Google Reader. This site will tell you everything you need to know about using RSS feeds, but in short, you can subscribe to the feed of your favorite sites, and instead of manually visiting each one multiple times a day, the information will be brought right to you as it’s posted, all in one convienent spot. Our main feed can be found here.

Subscribe via E-mail
If RSS feeds aren’t your cup of tea, you can get RAB sent right to your inbox. Just stick your email address in the appropriate box to the right (the one that says “Subscribe to RAB via email,” duh), and all of our content will be emailed to you as it’s posted.

Twitter
Has anything changed sports coverage in recent years as much as Twitter? Any breaking news will be posted there first, in 140 characters or less. You can use a (free!) service like Tweet Deck or Echofon to easily follow your friends, favorite sportswriters, celebrities, whoever has a Twitter account.

We have two separate Twitter feeds here. Our main feed is @RiverAveBlues, where the three of us will muse on various topics, post any breaking news, engage in discussions with readers, stuff like that. It’s worth signing up just to read Ben’s knee-jerk reactions during the games. Our second feed is @RABfeed, which will automatically link to all of our posts as they go up. That’s pretty much all it’s there for, but it’s useful.

If you want, you can also follow the three of us on our personal accounts: @bkabak, @joepawl, and @mikeaxisa. I can’t promise everything we tweet about will be about the Yankees, or even baseball for that matter, but you won’t regret it.

Facebook
It’s probably our least utilized social media presence, but there’s still over 2,000 people that are fans of RAB’s Facebook page. I’m not much of a Facebook person myself, but I recommend hitting our page up to connect with fellow Yankee fans.

Contacting Us
If for any reason you want to contact us (maybe you have a question, or a link to a cool story, etc), the best way to do so is to use our little “Submit A Tip” box. You can’t miss it, it’s just to the right of the main column. If you want to tip us off to a trade rumor that we’ve missed, or something like that, please make sure you send us a link. Otherwise it’ll only take us longer to get a thread up about it.

If you want to contact us individually, then just drop us a line. Our addresses are in the far right sidebar.

Other Places To Read Us
Believe it or not, the three of us use our blogging superpowers for good elsewhere as well. I contribute to MLB Trade Rumors and RotoGraphs while Joe contributes to FanGraphs. Curious about the NYC subway system? Ben’s got you covered there at Second Ave. Sagas. He’s gained some notoriety through the site, so check it out.

So, you got all that? Good, now use this as your open thread for the night. The Twins and Braves are on MLB Network (live), plus the Nets are on as well. Oh, and CC Sabathia will be on Letterman tonight, so that’s cool. Oops, that’s tomorrow. Talk about whatever, go nuts.

Food For Thought: Nick Swisher

It’s been more than two years since I implored the Yankees to look into Nick Swisher as a potential buy-low option, but of course I was talking about adding him as a first baseman since it looked unlikely that Mark Teixeira was coming to New York at the time. Anyways, you all know what happened next; Swish has gone on the enjoy two tremendously productive seasons with the Yankees since then, but just how productive compared to the rest of his career?

Bill Petti of Beyond The Box Score examined Swisher’s year-by-year park adjusted OPS totals (which is what you see above), and showed that the Yankees’ right fielder hasn’t really taken his offensive game to another level over the last two seasons. He just rebounded from his hideous 2008 season with the ChiSox to perform like he had with the Athletics in 2006 and 2007. Go figure.

OPS, even adjusted, isn’t the best metric, but for quick and dirty stuff like this it’s perfectly fine. Swisher has posted a .376 wOBA with 7.4 fWAR over the last two years compared to a .364 wOBA with 7.2 fWAR with Oakland from 2006-2007, so the difference is negligible once you consider just how inexact some of this stuff is. It’s pretty obvious that his 2008 season was nothing more than an unfortunate fluke, but I still blame Ozzie Guillen.

Bean counter or ballplayer?

(From the CUA archives)

You might not recognize the man pictured to the right. Two and a half decades after this snapshot, he hardly looks like the same person. Were he to wear a baseball cap, there wouldn’t be any hair protruding. He also wouldn’t be wearing a uniform, since his current job is more administrative. The only familiar aspect, really, is the same haven’t-slept-in-weeks look. Yes, the man to the right is Brian Cashman, from his ball playing days at Catholic University of America.

At CUA’s campus newspaper, The Tower, Douglas K. Barclay reminisces on Cashman’s time at the university. While he is often chided for not being a baseball guy — he never played professionally at any level — Cashman’s decision to attend Catholic was centered solely on baseball. “The Catholic decision…was pure baseball,” he said.

Really, this post is just an excuse to display an image of Cashman that might catch people off-guard. It’s certainly not how we’re used to seeing him. But make sure you read the entire article. It’s a quick one, and it provides us with a little more insight about the man making the decisions for the Yankees.

Feliciano to be shut down for ten days

Via Wally Matthews, the Yankees are shutting down lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano for ten days in an effort to battle an injury now described as soreness in a muscle behind his left shoulder. He won’t pick up a ball in that time, so it seems like it’ll be at least three weeks before he returns to the big league team. As for his replacement, right now it’s a toss up between Steve Garrison and Luis Ayala, though I imagine the former is the favorite since he’s a fellow lefty and on the 40-man. Let’s hope the ten days does the trick and Feliciano makes it back before the end of the April.

The RAB Radio Show: March 29, 2011

In two days there won’t be an RAB Radio Show in this time slot. That’s because the Yankees will be playing their first game of the season. It will be a welcome change when we stop dissecting the minutiae of spring training and start dissecting the minutiae of games that count.

For today we’re talking about some of the oddities regarding the final few roster spots. In particular, we’re looking at how Pedro Feliciano’s injury will affect the Opening Day roster, and what it means for Eduardo Nunez.

Podcast run time 25:29

Here’s how you can listen to podcast:

  • Download the RAB Radio Show by right clicking on that link and choosing Save As.
  • Listen in your browser by left clicking the above link or using the embedded player below.
  • Subscribe in iTunes. If you want to rate us that would be great. If you leave a nice review I’ll buy you a beer at a meet-up.

Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.

Curry: Gardner to leadoff on Thursday

Via Jack Curry, the Yankees have said that Brett Gardner will be the team’s leadoff hitter when the regular season begins on Thursday. Derek Jeter will slide down a spot and hit second. Based on what we’ve heard this spring, this seems like this will be the arrangement against right-handed pitchers while Jeter will lead off against lefties with Nick Swisher hitting second. If Gardner’s going to get on base at the same (or even slightly below) last year’s clip, there’s no reason not to at least try it. I approve.

ST Game Thread: The Final (Spring Training) Game

Alex is ready to go back to New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

At long last, the Yankees will play their final game of the Grapefruit League schedule today. Once this one is over, the team will pack up and fly back to New York and prepare for Thursday’s season opener against these same Tigers they’re playing today. The weather still isn’t great in Tampa, so chances are the regulars will just get an at-bat or two and hit the showers. No sense in risking injury at this point. Here’s the starting lineup, which will probably be what we see against Justin Verlander on Thursday…

Brett Gardner, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robbie Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Andruw Jones, LF
Russell Martin, C

Available Pitchers: Freddy Garcia, Rafael Soriano, Bartolo Colon, Luis Ayala, Mark Prior, Wilkins Arias, Andy Sisco, Eric Wordekemper, and Pat Venditte.

Available Position Players: Austin Romine (C), Eric Chavez (1B), Eduardo Nunez (2B), Ramiro Pena (SS), Doug Bernier (3B), Ray Kruml (LF), Melky Mesa (CF), and Justin Maxwell (RF).

Depending on where you live, you can watch this game live on either YES or ESPN at 1:05pm. Remember, it doesn’t matter if they win or lose, just that no one gets hurt. Enjoy.

Note: Congrats to Manny Banuelos for winning the James P. Dawson Award as the top rookie in camp. Jon Weber, of all people, won the award last year, Gardner the year before.