Open Thread: USA vs. Canada

On the final day of the Olympics, the gritty underdogs that are the USA hockey team will take on those big bad hosers from Canada for the gold. USA already beat Canada once in the tournament (despite being completely outplayed), and they’ve outscored their opponents 22-6 in their five games so far. Puck drops at 3pm ET on NBC, so enjoy the game and talk about it here.

Chan Ho wants a ring

Chan Ho Park finally made it to Tampa today, a week after agreeing to a deal with the team, and Edwar Ramirez was DFA’d to make room for the Yanks’ new No. 61. Park told Erik Boland that his first choice was to return to the Phillies, and he told Marc Carig that other teams offered him a chance to start, but he told both of them that he came to the Yankees because he wants to win a ring.

I usually joke about players saying they want a chance for a ring, because the money almost always makes the decision for them. At age 36, Park has made his money, over $84M during his career, and by all accounts he’s the greatest pitcher to ever come out of South Korea. He’s got his money, he’s already got the fame back home, now he wants a World Championship. At least now we know we’re on the same page.

Edwar, we hardly knew ye

Chan-Ho Park finally made it to Tampa today (more on him later), and to clear a roster spot on the 40-man, the Yankees have designated Edwar Ramirez for assignment. Ramirez, entering his age 29 season, has been with the Yanks since mid-2006. Over parts of three seasons with the big league club, he has appeared in 96 games and has thrown 98.1 innings. He has a career ERA of 5.22 and an impressive K/9 IP of 10.6, but he’s also walked 5.1 guys per 9 and has a tendency to give up the long ball. His “Bugs Bunny” change-up can be devastating, but he’s struggled to find consistency in his stints in the Majors. I’d imagine some other team will pick him up quickly.

Sunday stories: Spring training, Posada, Montero, Rivers

There’s nothing new from us yet, but while you drink your morning cup of coffee check out these stories.

  • Arizona ponying up for spring training. Florida has long been the favored site for spring training, but this year, for the first time, they will host the same number of teams as Arizona. The state has done a lot to accommodate teams, including subsidies for training facilities. Plus, I’m sure players enjoy training in the dryer weather. Give the Yankees fan base in Florida, I doubt they’ll ever make the move.
  • Jorge not thinking about the end. Clearly, a ballplayer won’t admit weakness, especially to the press. So when Jorge says that “they are going to really have to rip [the uniform] off me” to get him out from behind the plate, we can just attribute that to his competitive nature. But at a time when many focus on Jorge’s shortcomings, it’s nice to read a laudatory article on him.
  • Marc Carig has a Q&A with Jesus Montero that you’d probably have found anyway. My favorite quote: “I like to have fun when I’m hitting. I love to hit. If we don’t hit in baseball, it’s not baseball. This is the best thing in my life: hit home runs, have fun, hit batting practice. Hitting for me is the best thing in my life.”
  • It sounds like Mickey Rivers wants a full-time gig with the Yanks. He usually appears as a special instructor in spring training, but wants to work as a minor league instructor.

Finally, I have a serious question for people who read on the weekdays:

Should RAB focus more on weekend stories?
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Open Thread: Updated tribute video

We posted this video way back in November, but we’re reposting it because a) it’s awesome, and b) it’s been updated to include the 2009 season. It’s well worth ten minutes of your time, so check it out.

Here’s your open thread. The Nets and Knicks are both playing, plus the Olympics are in their second to last day of competition. At 10pm ET, Slovakia will play Finland is the hockey bronze medal game, so that might be worth a watch. Anything goes, so have it at it.

Early Spring Training rotation announced

Real live baseball is just a few days away, and Bryan Hoch has the Yankees’ early Spring Training rotation for us…

March 3rd vs. Pirates: Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Al Aceves
March 4th @ Phillies: CC Sabathia (vs. Roy Halladay)
March 5th vs. Rays: Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain

The best part? All three games are on MLB Network (the Pirates and Rays games will be on YES as well), so we get to the see the Yanks in action. Based on how these things usually go, each of those guys mentioned above with throw two innings max, and the rest of the game will go to the lesser-knowns of the staff. We might even have ourselves an Andrew Brackman sighting.

Chad Jennings has the pitching probables beyond those first three games above, and he also mentions that Sabathia didn’t throw today because of the rain. He’s going to throw tomorrow instead, so don’t worry about it. Rumor has it Chan Ho Park should be in camp by then as well, though he’s about a week behind everyone else. Hooray for Spring Training!

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Former Yankees stick together

Over the past few years we’ve joked about the Pirates being the Yankees’ AAAA team. Since the Xavier Nady-Damaso Marte trade, in which the Yankees sent four players to the Pirates, three more players have gone from Scranton to Indianapolis. It appears they’ve formed a bond, likely because of their familiarity with each other. Dan McCutchen and Ross Ohlendorf, who came over in 2008, share a house in Florida with Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett, whom the Pirates claimed when the Yankees designated them for assignment in 2009. Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tells the story, which I figure appeals to Yankees fans more than Pirates.

There’s nothing I can really add to the story, so head over and check it out. I don’t think the Yanks will miss any of these pitchers, but it’s nice to see they’ve landed somewhere they can get a real shot at the major league roster.