Our friend Will Hill from TSN stopped by his old haunt down at 1 Blue Jay Way this week to chat with Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos, and provided us with some insight on what’s been going on down there since Beeston formally accepted the removal of his “interim” tag.
“God’s honest truth, Thrill,” Beeston told him, “I didn’t decide to take this job until just the last two weeks. And it was all about Alex. This kid, he comes in my office and starts talking baseball and you can’t help but get excited.” He added that he’s “been amazed at the quality and quantity of work Anthopoulos has already put in,” and that he thinks “we can be the Boston Red Sox”.
“I think it’s flattering that he said that about me,” said Anthopoulos. “But I know that ownership has lobbied him intensely. I know the commissioner has too. I think everybody here in the office has. So to sit there and lay it in my lap, isn’t fair. I think collectively all of us should be proud that we got him to stay.”
So… nothing too entirely new, but it’s good to see that it’s still a bit of a love-in down there.
Another ex-Ricciardi front office employee, Keith Law, stressed the same thing on Prime Time Sports last night, noting that the most important thing is that the president and the GM have a great working relationship. “To the extent that Anthopoulos has new ideas, wants to make changes to the structure of the department, to the way that they handle the amateur draft, to the way that they scout internationally, he should have a lot of flexibility to do so. And I’ve already heard that they are making some changes to the way the structure the scouting staff, which is great,” he said.
“You know what? That’s absolutely tremendous. JP Ricciardi gutted that scouting staff. It really hurt us in the amateur draft. It left us, I think, unprepared to scout and then draft top high school players. They realize that’s a core competence for a good baseball organization and they’re trying to get back there. And Paul Beeston is very much on board with some of these moves. I think Alex is a bright guy, he’s going to have good ideas, but you can’t execute those unless the guy above you in the hierarchy is willing to go along with it.”
Hill Wins Fielding Bible Award
I actually felt that Aaron Hill looked a bit stiff in the field—especially in the early parts of the season, when this fucking shitshow was worth paying attention to—because of the long layoff due to his concussion problems in 2008, but that shows precisely how fucking much I know, because according to the National Post, a panel of ten voters—including Bill James, Peter Gammons, Rob Neyer and Joe Posnanski—have concluded that Hill is the best fielding second baseman in baseball, just edging out Dustin Pedroia.
It was a pretty seriously underwhelming first player move for Alex Anthopoulos, who claimed model of conshitstency (see what I just did there?) Sean Henn and his usual 7+ ERA from the Orioles, designating Michael Barrett for assignment. But Bob Elliott—never one to have any kind of agenda to promote Canadians in baseball—let the GM put a nice spin on it in his report for the Toronto Sun.
“He throws 94-95 m.p.h. and his slider has depth. He’s never been able to put it all together. In all likelihood he might not be a guy in our bullpen, but our coaches have had success with reclamation projects,” Anthopoulos said, referencing Scott Downs, Shawn Camp and Jesse Carlson, useful arms who’ve were pulled off the scrap heap.
“The Yankees gave Damaso Marte a three-year $12 million US deal, we can’t. If we have to claim 10 arms and click on the 10th, it’s a good investment with a huge upside.”
It’s absolutely fucking true. No matter how much a certain segment of retarded Jays fans wants to roll their eyes at these kind of moves, they’re fantastic when they pay off, and the times that they don’t… so what?