Open Thread: Random stuff

That’s a video of Ichiro pitching in the 1996 All Star Game in Japan, which may be the coolest thing ever. He may just be a glorified singles hitter with the bat, but damn, is he fun to watch.

In other news, Andy in Sunny Daytona took a bunch of pictures from minor league camp the other day, which you can see here. Make sure you click “Show Info” in the top right corner so you know who you’re looking at. Now we have some good shots of Slade Heathcott in a Yankee uni. Neat.

And lastly, a couple of people have emailed in asking about this Jayson Werth report at MLBTR, which of course I wrote. I’m pretty sure at least a few of them realize that. Anyway, it turns out that Reggie Jackson has a longstanding relationship with the Werth family, which could be helpful if the Yanks decide to pursue the outfielder when he becomes a free agent after the season. We’ve talked about the possibility of the Yankees signing Werth before, but what does everyone think about this new development?

Other than that, use this sucker as your open thread. The Rangers, Devils, Isles, and Nets (going for win number ten, w00t!) are all in action, plus you’ve got college hoops. I’m in 85th place out of 149 teams in our Yahoo! pool. Sigh. Enjoy the thread and the night.

TMZ: World Series rings coming April 13th

Although many Yankee fans have assumed that the team would be getting their 2009 World Series rings at the team’s home opener on April 13, a recent report suggests otherwise it turns out they’re right. According to gossip site TMZ, the Yanks will be receiving their rings on April 13th at home against the Angels, the team they vanquished in the ALCS to reach the World Series. TMZ originally said they would receive their rings on the 14th, but they changed their story earlier today. The team, though, has yet to confirm this report.

A tier-y goodbye

I couldn’t even tell you how many times I sat in that section. More than I care to count.

Spring Training Game Thread: Surprise!

Well look at that, today’s game is on TV. It wasn’t originally scheduled to be, but apparently YES picked it up after all those rain outs in the past few weeks. Color me surprised, especially since it’s a road game. But then again Lakeland’s not really that long of a haul.

About the only exciting thing to look for in today’s game is Joba Chamberlain‘s one inning relief appearance following starter A.J. Burnett. Let’s see if he breathes fire and snorts and grunts and farts and all that other manly stuff great relievers are required to do. It’s all about looking scary, amirite?

I guess the other thing to watch for today are Marcus Thames‘ at-bats against lefty Nate Robertson. He picked up a knock off famed flamethrowing southpaw Jamie Moyer last night, which I guess we should consider progress. Anyway, here’s the lineup…

Gardner, LF
Johnson, 1B
Posada, C
Thames, DH
Granderson, CF
Winn, RF
Pena, SS
Russo, 2B
Laird, 3B

Scheduled Pitchers: A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain. Chan Ho Park, David Robertson, Boone Logan, and Al Aceves are also available.

Available off the bench: Abe Almonte, Neall French, Austin Krum, P.J. Pilittere, Justin Snyder, David Winfree, and Jon Weber.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET, and as I said, YES will have it live. Enjoy the game.

Photo Credit: Gene J. Puskar, AP

Saturday Morning Links: Oppenheimer, Strasburg, Heart

As few links to check out before you start your day…

Oppenheimer among the game’s future GM’s

For nearly a decade, GM Brian Cashman was smart enough to make sure that no one in the organization was in a position to replace him, though now that’s unavoidable. Not only was pro scouting director Billy Eppler in the running for the Padres’ GM job this offseason, but scouting director Damon Oppenheimer is also considered a future GM candidate. He’s been on the radar as a future GM since before he took his current gig with the Yanks, and it’s only a matter of time before some team hires away and gives him the keys to the future of their franchise.

The last few Next Big Things

Before Stephen Strasburg captured the title of best college pitcher ever, the moniker had belonged to quite a few others throughout the years. As it turns out, none of the more recent Next Big Things were able to really deliver on their promise, with the exception of Mark Prior’s staggering 2003 season (211.1 IP, 2.47 FIP, 7.6 WAR) before his arm turned into a worn down rubber band. Strasburg is better than all those guys ever were, but a reality check is always nice.

There’s no stat yet that measures heart

Surely you’ve heard about Nomar Garciaparra’s mini-rant on Baseball Tonight the other day about how stats don’t measure heart (oh yeah, what’s this?), which of course is the classic argument against advanced stats. You just can’t measure intangibles is how it generally goes, but as Joe Posnanski points out, if that kind of stuff impacts the game, shouldn’t there be tangible evidence of it in the stats? If you only click on one link in this post, make it this one.

Open Thread: All business

I love that picture. He just looks mean. The fact that it was taken after a questionable called strike in yesterday’s game is irrelevant, A-Rod looks like he’s about to go raise some hell. Just … awesome. It’s just awesome.

A-Rod was supposed to meet with the feds in Buffalo to talk about Dr. Galea today, but apparently the meeting was never scheduled. The two sides will sit down and hammer it out sometime between now and Opening Day. Tonight’s game against the Phillies isn’t on the tube locally (as far as I know), but it’s Friday, you shouldn’t be cooped up watching baseball anyway. Use this sucker as the open thread if you must be stuck in front of a computer; feel free to talk about the college basketball games or A-Rod or whatever else you want. Just be cool.

Oh, our oath of silence regarding the fifth starter’s spot is hereby lifted. Thank you for cooperating throughout the day, the break was refreshing.

Photo Credit Brian Blanco, AP

A-Rod’s rental on the market for $55 million

Here’s a good “You know he’s a rich athlete when” story: Alex Rodriguez‘s condo at 15 Central Park West for which he pays $30,000 per month in rent is on the market for $55 million. The landlord took A-Rod‘s apartment and the place next door, combined them into one giant loft and selling it for that princely sum. Curbed says the price comes out to $10,576 a square foot. Any takers?