Open Thread: Giants-Chargers

It’s very slow around baseball today, not atypical this soon after the World Series. I figure half of New York will be watching the Giants face the Chargers this afternoon, so use this thread to chat about it.

That’s never happened before

Update: Once again, Baggarly is wrong. Thanks to commenter Alex for pointing it out. After escalators, Manny Ramirez was the highest paid player in 2004 and won the World Series. That’s twice now for Baggarly.

Because baseball loves its stats, and because the Elias Sports Bureau keeps every stat imaginable, we often hear off-beat statistical happenings. Player A is hitting .345 in the second half in night games, for instance. We also get historical milestones, such as, Player B was the first Panama-born player to record six straight outs in Game 6 of the World Series. Of the many that surfaced this year regarding the Yankees, one got more airtime than others: no team has won a World Series with a 35-year-old shortstop since 1955. Sure enough, it happened again in 2009.

The 2009 Yankees had another first-time-in-a-long-time milestone as well. According to Andrew Baggarly*, the last time the World Series champions also had the highest paid player in the game was the ’86 Mets. They had Gary Carter at $2.8 million, less than a tenth of A-Rod‘s 2009 salary. All of this is a friendly reminder to not think that just because something hasn’t happened in a while that there’s some causal reason for it.

Hat tip to Pinto for the pointers.

* I will never be able to hear Baggarly’s name and not think back to this report. He ran with an unconfirmed rumor that “Sabathia has declined the Yankees’ six-year, $140 million offer.” While that might have technically been true — Sabathia ended up signing for more — it was just horrible timing on Baggarly’s part. Cashman flew to San Francisco that very night and got to work on Sabathia’s contract.

Today’s football open thread

The Jets are on bye this week, but the Giants take on the Chargers at 4:15pm ET. Feel free to go nuts talking about any of today’s games, just keep the conversation in this thread, please.

B-Ref’s user survery

If you’re like me, you use Baseball Reference about a zillion times a day, yet continually find new stuff that you didn’t know was there before (example: I just recently learned they have called and swinging strike data for pitchers). It’s amazing that such a valuable resource like that exists only because of Sean Forman’s passion for the game. Take a second to fill out this survey to give the gang some feedback. It took me five minutes, tops.

Open Thread: AzFL Rising Stars Showcase

Things in Yankeeland are a little slow these days, but for all the right reasons. Everyone is still celebrating the club’s 27th World Title, and the most exciting part of the Hot Stove Season doesn’t start for another two weeks or so. It’s been just three days, but I already miss the hell out of baseball. If, like me, you’re battling the withdrawals, you can check out the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Showcase tonight on MLB Network.

It’s essentially the AzFL All Star Game, and even though Stephen Strasburg won’t be playing because of a muscle strain in his neck, the game still will feature oodles of talent. In the starting lineups alone, you have eight first round picks, three superhigh profile international signees, and a handful of late-round sleepers. The rosters read like a who’s who list of top prospects (off the top of my head, I see no fewer than 18 first round picks), so it’s almost like a second Futures Game.

The only Yankee farmhand participating in the game is lefty reliever Mike Dunn, who we saw briefly in September. He’s surely get to face a batter or two at some point. If you’re interested in checking out the game, it’ll be on MLBN at 8pm ET.

Feel free to chat about it here, or whatever else you want to talk about. The Rangers, Devils, Islanders, Nets, and Knicks are all in action tonight, plus you’ve got more college football games than I care to list. Anything goes, just be respectful of each other.

Light rumors for late Saturday afternoon

Mike was on duty at MLBTR today, and he found a few Yankee rumors. Nothing big, just some basic stuff on the Yankees’ free agent decisions. Check that out for starters; it has items regarding Matsui, Damon, and Jeter.

Later in the day, Drew Silva linked to a bit by Tim Kurkjian with a few Yankee bits. He thinks that the Yanks will let both Damon and Matsui walk, replacing their production with Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. I’m not sure I agree with this at all. He also mentions that we should “look for the Yankees to re-sign [Andy Pettitte] for at least one year.” That would be ideal.

World Series hangover: Joba, Pedro and feelin’ good

The Hot Stove League will soon heat up, but as a bright November weekend dawns in the City of New York, Yankee fans are still recovering from their collective World Series hangover. To that end, we have a few stories for your Saturday reading pleasure.

A World Series moment with the Chamberlains

It’s sometimes easy to forget that Major League Baseball players are young kids who are struggling to adjust to a world very unfamiliar to them. Subject to more debates over the last 2.5 seasons than any 24-year-old should, Joba Chamberlain has been growing up in the New York spotlight. Starter, reliever, overhyped or not, Joba has heard it all. When the Yankees won the World Series on Wednesday, Joba and his dad shared a moment captured by photographers and Yahoo! Sports’ Big League Stew author Kevin Kaduk.

The story is a great reminder about how baseball is about families. It’s about how baseball is about the people and how the players we analyze, the players we admire and the players some people criticize are, at heart, just people similar to you and me. At ‘Duk writes, baseball is always about a father having a catch with his son, and Joba and Harlan had the joy of sharing a baseball moment this week that doesn’t come around too often.

Yanks’ son leaves in a huff

While Joba and Harlan had their hug, Pedro Martinez was feeling less than happy about the game. After his Game 6 defeat at the hands of the Yankees, Pedro tried to duck out on reporters. The media throng cornered him in the hallway, but he would speak only in Spanish to them. One fan taunted him with a chant of “Who’s your daddy?” but Pedro was clearly upset about losing the game. Beating Pedro made this World Series victory even sweeter.

A calm in New York

For Tyler Kepner, 2009 marked his eighth season covering the Yanks and their first World Series under his watch. From World Series losses to 0-3 ALCS comebacks, it has been a tumultuous few years in Yankeeland, but as Kepner wrote on Wednesday night, this World Series restored a “peaceful, easy feeling” to the Bronx. No team has won more games in the 21st Century than the Yankees have and now they have their title to go with it. It has indeed been a peaceful time for Yankee fans.