Media Musings

Alright, so spring has begun in earnest, and while I guess I can sorta understand people losing their shit for every pitch of the exhibition season like it was the fucking World Series (note: not really), I consider myself more of a big picture kinda guy.

Or… OK, fuck, I’m mostly just saying that to excuse the fact that I’ve been lazy as fuck keeping up with the camp minutia and have like five days worth of links to unleash in some way or another. And instead of just shitting them all out into a monster motherfucker of a post (think twice the size of this monstrosity), let’s break it up a little bit– specifically, let’s take a look at a few media-related things that we should have touched on over the last couple of weeks, but that got overlooked, mostly thanks to the Jays making a signing of some sort or another (and, of course, my seeming inability to handle anything more than a post a day at this point– if that).

Changes At Sportsnet

Way old news, but just to be official about it, it was reported late last week, as you can read here from the National Post, that Rance Mulliniks and Sam Cosentino have been dropped from Sportsnet’s telecasts of Jays games, meaning (as far as I know) Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler will be your full-time TV crew. Though Shi Davidi, according to a tweet from Steve Simmons (and… I’m not sure where else, exactly), has been snatched away from the Canadian Press and will join the Rogers empire. I have no idea whether that means he’ll be part of the broadcast, or if he’ll simply be helping their Jays web coverage go from “completely fucking useless” to “completely fucking useless, except for Shi Davidi.”

I avoid the Sportsnet broadcast of games enough of the time to not really have much of an opinion on the broadcast changes– streams are probably split 50/50 between the home and visitor broadcasts, and I catch huge numbers of games either at the park or on radio– but I suspect I’ll miss ol’ Swami Rance and his predicting every single fucking pitch, if only to break up the Tabler-Martinez combo every once in a while. I didn’t mind Rance at all, to be frank, though I always got the impression I was in the minority on that.

Islands In The Stream

Speaking of streams, FanGraphs recently asked users how much of a premium they’d be willing to pay to get a blackout-free version of MLB.tv, and more than 50% said they’d pay $40 or more on top of the cost of their MLB.tv package, and 17% saying they’d pay over $100 extra. I’m somewhere in the middle, but I’d definitely pony up some cash for a thing like that.

Cable? No, the last time I paid for cable I found it way to easy to sit on the couch like a lump of shit cycling endlessly through the channels, and that’s just not the way I want to spend my time or money, personally.

Of course, the completely-not-greedy fucks at Rogers would surely be an obstacle to getting MLB.tv blackouts removed– though, to be fair, I don’t know what would have to be done, contractually, to make it happen. But it’s a thing that should happen, yet I suspect that for the foreseeable future industrious young cable-free baseball fans (note: but certainly not me) will have to keep on scraping the bowels of the internet for ways to get for free something that they’d gladly pay a fair price for,* because… y’know, worrying about how things might actually make a shitload of sense doesn’t seem to be part of the business model over at .

* I know this kind of sounds a lot like the rather weak argument made by many music pirates about the exorbitant cost of CDs (you know, back when people actually bought CDs) being the main factor driving them to get music for free off the net, which never really held up. However, the quality and reliability of streaming sites is so hit-or-miss that it would seem to me that someone providing a legit, high quality, reliable stream could justify asking for a premium, and would be able to get people to bite. Keep in mind, though, that I’m completely talking out my ass on all this.

And Speaking of Rogers And Shit That Doesn’t Make Sense…

Sportsnet One, everybody!

Ho ho ho! See what I just did there?

Ahhh, but OK, it’s slightly unfair of me to suggest that Sportsnet One doesn’t make sense. The completely fucking useless and unnecessary– beyond being home to poker reruns and replays of year-old Olympic events– fifth Sportsnet channel absolutely has a clear, obvious, and completely sensible purpose to the greedsters at Bloor and Jarvis: blackmail. Straight up fucking unambiguous, unrepentant, you just keep on wasting your time banning shitty Dire Straits songs there, CRTC blackmail.

And hey! Maybe it worked and now your humbled local cable provider will allow you to pay some extra money in order to get it and watch the 38 games that will be shown exclusively on the otherwise completely fucking useless network this year.

And Now I Say Something Nice About Rogers…

Actually, there was some interestingness from the Rogers announcement linked in the section above, though I don’t quite know what to make of it:

“Viewers and listeners will see a much more integrated broadcast in our television and radio production,” said Rob Corte, Executive Producer, Live Events, Rogers Sportsnet. “We’re excited about the opportunity to engage Blue Jays fans like never before.”

Um… does he mean integration between TV and radio? Because that can only be a good thing, I think. Then again, it might just be a meaningless buzzword.

Holy Buck

And still with the Sportsnet crew, here are a couple of tidbits from Buck Martinez last week– before the first intersquad games had taken place– during a chat with Bob McCown on the Fan 590, which, if nothing else, serve to remind us that, whatever we think of Buck as a play-by-play man (and I don’t dislike him, necessarily), he can be a hell of an interesting analyst when he wants to. (Though… I’m not quite sure about all the references to guys’ bodies there Buck– especially when you include his comments about Eric Thames being “chiseled” and Edwin Encarnacion being in great shape from Scott Carson’s latest front office slobber job at Sportsnet.com. People are gonna start to wonder, Buck.)

On Brett Lawrie:

“Is he what I anticipated? He’s stronger. He’s more impressive physically. He runs well. He’s got a stronger arm than I had thought. Last year he played second base– he’s going to play third base all spring long. He hits the ball out of the ballpark and [yet] he doesn’t have his timing down yet. And his approach at the plate is ‘hit everything to the right side of second base’– that’s a great approach. He’s 20 years old! I’m tellin’ you what, that’s an impressive quality to find in a young hitter, because most young hitters come to camp and they want to jerk the ball out of the ballpark down the left field line as a right-handed hitter. He’s working on something– he has a gameplan.

“This kid had 60 extra-base hits in Double-A– sixty! He had 16 triples. Now, you’ve got to think that’s a pretty impressive number of extra-base hits in Double-A, because he’s still maturing physically. He looks like a super-charged Dan Uggla right now: big forearms, Popeye forearms, great quads, good body, and he can run! He’s an exceptional base runner, and in his head he knows timing, he knows breaks, he knows reads in the outfield, he runs the bases very well. He’s got an exceptional arm that plays well at third base. I’m with you, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Brett Lawrie sooner than later. That being said, I haven’t seen him in a game yet. But physically, he’s pretty impressive.”

On Travis Snider (with a twist of Lawrie at the end):

“Let me qualify Snider last year. He had a tough time a couple times last year. But when he hurt his wrist initially, I think at the end of May, he was as hot as anybody in the American League at that time. Foul line to foul line, bullets all over the ballpark. It took him longer to come back from the wrist injury than I think anybody anticipated, but we started to see that stroke at the end of the season. Mind you, just like you said: very young man, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of roller coaster rides emotionally and physically, but he too, I think, is on the verge of busting out. And you’re right, it takes a while for these guys. And every one of them, I don’t care how gifted physically they are, every one of them handles it differently mentally. They handle the failures differently mentally– my impression, and it’s only an impression early, of Brett Lawrie is, he’ll be able to handle anything.”

Alan Ashby FTW

I say this every year, but the level of stupidity required by the Houston Astros to have let Alan Ashby go as their analyst back in 2007 still boggles my fucking mind. He showed up on Monday afternoon’s Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590, and nailed it as usual, telling us about how he thinks today’s players have a tendency to over-train in the off-season, leading to things like rib injuries once they come in and start hitting (*cough* *Snider* *cough*), that he thinks Zach Stewart is still a year away, that he was surprised that Scott Richmond doesn’t get included enough in the conversations as one of the candidates for the back two spots in the rotation, and that he’s also surprised that Drabek even needs to battle for a job.

“To me, Kyle Drabek is the four starter,” he said. “I saw enough of Kyle Drabek late last year, and also combine that with the way he pitched in the minor leagues, to believe this guy’s ready to pitch on the big league level. He right now has the second best stuff on the staff, so I’m a little bit surprised to see his name as one of the ‘candidates’ for the back two spots of the rotation.”

And you’ll never believe this, but my favourite part was what he said about John Farrell, and how he insisted he wasn’t contrasting him with Cito, but… come on…

“He’s a big guy, so he brings a presence,” Ashby said of Farrell, who he says he just met the other day. “On top of that, he’s very intelligent. I think he’s going to articulate things maybe better than we’ve had in the past. And I think that’s important, not only in terms of speaking with the players, but with the media, to present your views, and the reasoning into moves or lack of moves during the course of a ballgame. I think it’s very important that articulates well to the media, to the fan, and then you get a better sense as to what’s going on, why things are going on. To me, that’s a big step forward.”

Later, after McCown asks about Farrell’s “presence,” Ashby adds, “because he’s that, because he’s a guy who shows that he’s an intelligent guy– and I don’t want to imply that other people haven’t been– but he is. I think he brings all of that. He’s been an executive, a minor league director already in his young life in professional baseball, so he’s got a track record, though he has never managed in the big leagues– and I think that has been a bit of an issue to this point. But I will say that players, early on in this camp, have been impressed with how the camp has been run. … Players like what they’ve seen to this point.”

Of course Ashby doesn’t want to imply such a thing, he’ll just kinda do it anyway.

Worse Than Baltimore?

A reader recently emailed me to ask me to rip the shit out of Jim Bowden for a FoxSports video in which he says that the Jays will finish last in the division.

Now, Jim Bowden is an idiot– of that there is no doubt, and even if there was doubt, he eliminated it by stating in the video that Jose Bautista signed a $50-million contract (it was $64-million) and that Adrian Beltre had once hit 50 home runs (he hit 48 in 2004)– but this reader wasn’t the first person I’ve seen beside himself at the suggestion that the Orioles might be better than the Jays in 2011, and the thing is… it’s really not that crazy.

Would I bet on the O’s finishing ahead of the Jays? No. But there’s talent in Baltimore: Like Lind and Hill, Jones and Markakis can be a lot better than they’ve shown. You’d love to see Travis Snider come near the 27 HR .902 OPS season Luke Scott had last year. Wieters is still an immense prospect waiting to break out. Vlad, Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds were horribly short-sighted additions, but might have some juice left. And there’s big talent in the arms of Matusz, Arrieta and Tillman.

I do think Keith Law has it right when he tells Steve Melewski of MASN, in a hilarious piece (and don’t forget the comments!) where he really shits all over the O’s off-season, that “the Orioles are clearly the worst team in a five-team division.” But he adds that “the only way [they have a winning record] is if Matusz, Arrieta, Tilllman, Wieters, Jones and Markakis, four of those guys take big steps forward.”

It’s a lot to ask, but… so much so that Jays fans should be angry at the suggestion it could happen? I just don’t get it. (Hey, some bullshit formula from the Wall Street Journal even suggests the O’s had the best off-season of anyone!)

Quickly-ish

The baseball world is mourning the death of sport psyschologist Harvey Dorfman today at the age of 75. Jays fans will remember him as the author of Roy Halladay’s robot manual The Mental ABC’s of Pitching, though personally, I remember him most from his mid-80s golf videos.

Meanwhile, legendary Dodger Duke Snider also passed away this week, but at least in this part of the world he’ll be remembered as much for his broadcasting work alongside Dave Van Horne with the Montreal Expos. At FanGraphs Montrealer Jonah Keri reminisces about growing up listening to Snider’s calls, while former Expos PR-man (hey, did you guys know that he worked for the Expos???) Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star eloquently toasts his hall-of-fame friend.

Speaking of Montreal’s baseball legacy, on Monday the home Jackie Robinson lived in while a member of the minor league Montreal Royals was commemorated with a plaque. You can read about it from the Globe and Mail, though that’s not the site where I found this link to the Google street view of the house, which is at 8232 Avenue de GaspĂ©, a short distance from Jarry Park.

The Jays’ new ad campaign is up and viewable (y’know, for like two weeks) at BlueJays.com. And… uh… “Hustle and Heart”? Just… ugh.

Lastly, Mike Wilner has up and joined the world of Twitter (@IntoTheWilnerness). Now, if you’re an NHL reporter, I know you’re probably in a rush, but maybe take the two fucking seconds necessary to make sure that’s spelled right and that it looks like a legit account before going and retweeting something you think is from him. There could be fakes lurking out there!

Tuesday Afternoon Amendments:

Ahhh, would you look at that, I put in the wrong Twitter address up there for Wilner. Now, you might think that, given what I was saying regarding yesterday’s hockey Twitter flap, I was just being super clever. Nope, I’m just an idiot. The link has been corrected.

And speaking of corrections, I think you get my point re: the CRTC way back there in the comment about Sportsnet One, but it’s been pointed out to me that it was actually the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council who actually gave enough of a shit about a 25-year-old song to ban it.

Comments (54)

  1. I think I’m in the minority too but I liked Rance. I especially liked him with Jamie because he usually no-sold Jamie’s stupid jokes and old baseball references. I would have preferred it if they cut Tabler. He’s terrible.

    Also, up until about 2 weeks ago, I completely forgot Sportsnet One was a channel.

  2. Stoeten – Also regarding media, Greg Brady said on his show the other day that Alan Ashby would be doing some TV work this year. He also said it hadn’t really been made public yet. I think that’s smart. Ashby is outstanding, there’s no doubt.

    One thing that really surprised me last year was that I totally didn’t mind Jamie Campbell as an instudio host. In fact, I actually thought he was quite good. I enjoyed the roundtables he did with Shi Davidi/Blair/Bastian etc.

    You do get the feeling that Rogers is actually starting to invest in making a good TV/Radio product here. Maybe it’s Keith Pelley?

  3. oh no sam fat fuck in too tight suits was let go! is there room back at the butcher shop after he told pop he was never coming back?

  4. by the way, rogers just raised the vip cable package by 3 bucks, just in time for baseball season.

  5. A lot of people have the Jays last in this division. It’s a bunch of young guys learning on the job (cough cough…JPA…cough cough) so that could well happen. They’d better not finish last in 2012 though…

  6. The Blue Jays acquiring Ashby a few years ago was a bigger offseason pickup for me than anything else the Jays could have done. Sure, I’d like them to trade for Albert Pujols, but I don’t think any one player could have the positive effect of increasing my entertainment for 7 months like Ashby has. As Stoeten would say, the guy is fucking NAILS.

  7. If hustle and heart is not good marketing, what is your idea

  8. Cogeco has added sportsnet 1 at no extra cost for subscribers to the 4 regional channels. This is good news.
    There is no real need for another sportsnet channel. It would make more sense to have a jays channel and put all games on one channel.

  9. This campaign is more entertaining than the blue jays in suits. It is important for fans to connect with the younger players

  10. I don’t mind the marketing stuff at all this year. Last year’s was horrible (was one of the birds about to get beaten with a bat?).
    Ashby has substantially increased my interest in and understanding of the game, and he and Jerry are great together. The soundtrack to summer.
    Hopefully “integrated” means they’ll get rid of the fucking time delay between the radio and television signals.

  11. GOOD NEWS JAYS FANS!

    In the new upcoming season not only will Rogers be completely retarded but also the MLB schedule will be equally as dense with the brand new addition of having 1 afternoon weekday game EVERY WEEK combined with the always popular SportsnetOne

    This special-ed tagteam duo will combine for a grand total of FIFTY-ONE GAMES this season where the average will not be able to watch this season including 12 games in Augest!

    This is going to be a great year, I can smell it already!

  12. my family and i loved sam cosentino on the broadcast. especially on away games, it felt like we had “one of our own” amongst the enemy fans. We will miss him.

  13. People dressed up in creepy looking blue jay outfits trying to decide on what is good marketing!

  14. Please stop your fucking whining.

    Is Rogers and MLB also closing the doors to the stadiums and not allowing you to subscribe to sportsnetone for those 51 games? Im pretty sure thats not the case.
    If you actually cared to spend a few bucks and support the team, you’d probably find that you are, in fact, able to watch every single game you want.

    But thats not good enough for you, because evil Rogers and MLB have made it so that theres only (only!!) ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN games that fit into your personal schedule and are available on the cable package that you decided to subscribe to. How dare they.
    Nevermind all the people who work afternoons and evenings who will be happy to be able to catch a single game a week live. Who gives a fuck about them, because now you only get to watch 111 games without spending an extra dime. Boo fucking hoo

  15. Re: Ashby and Drabek -

    Wilner went on last night in the ol’ twitter about how he thinks that Drabek will probably start the year in AA, with Zep and Litsch making the team. Said it was based on service time. I’m in Ashby’s boat and think that the only way Drabek doesn’t make the team out of Spring is if he sucks large.

    Also, Wilner is a terribly annoying twitterer.

  16. I thought I read somewhere that Ashby would be doing some TV work this year.

    Could be wrong.

  17. If you need a good laugh, check out this article from ESPN. com (“AL East: Ranking organizational leadership”):

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweets

  18. They ranked the Evil Empire below Angelos? Wow.

  19. “I avoid the Sportsnet broadcast of games enough of the time to not really have much of an opinion on the broadcast changes.”

    “Cable? No, the last time I paid for cable I found it way to easy to sit on the couch like a lump of shit cycling endlessly through the channels, and that’s just not the way I want to spend my time or money, personally.”

    I’d love to stop watching the games on TV and go to the ballpark, but with HD combined with the prices of decent seats makes it a no brainer to stay at home and watch the broadcast. I don’t enjoy games where I have to pay 70+ dollars per seat to get a view of home plate and a way to read balls/strikes.

  20. “Keep in mind, though, that I’m completely talking out my ass on all this.”

    Isn’t this whole blog about you talking out of your ass? No offense, but you’re a fan. That’s why we all populate the site…don’t forget that.

  21. I should thank Darryl Johnston for enabling me to waste 3 minutes reading that pointless garbage, and 20 seconds typing this comment.

  22. If the NHL is any indication, MLB games probably won’t be available on atdhe.me anymore. If you’re boned on the SN1 bullshit and atdhe.me in fact doesn’t stream ball games anymore, download Stream Torrent from here [this is a cracked version. The original software no longer works for some reason]:

    http://www.myp2pforum.eu/threa

    Find the streams on http://www.myp2pforum.eu.

  23. I still watch hockey games using atdhe.me.

    Last year I had to rely on myp2pforum a bit more for baseball (for Phillies games and other games, since I have SN1).

  24. Hmmm.. perhaps Homeland Secrurity is on to me then heh. Everytime I load an NHL stream it just reads “stream not up yet” or something resembling. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow since the game’s on MLBtv.

  25. This is the new atdhe site dude:

    http://atdhenet.tv/

    In addition to all the soccer on that bullshit atdhe site, there are a bunch of NHL, NBA and College Basketball games on today. Any site other than the one I linked to is a hacker site. Also, get rid of the click potato shit. Finally, there is an application to fix the Stream Torrent issue within the folder labeled ST-Fix.

    Cheers,

    The Cheap Bastard

  26. I read that too, somewhere.

  27. Sam Cosentino, the proverbial nice guy gets cut, and Mike Wilner is still able to report on the Jays(Fan 590). Wow, what an unjust world we live in.

  28. My guess is, Wilner was forced into the twitterverse by the Rogers overlords. In the past, he has made no bones about his hatred for social networking sites. The only reason he relented with facebook last year was because it was the only avenue to vote for Tom Cheek.

  29. Yeah… Total aside, but I’ve given up voting for Cheek. I want him to make it and all, but it’s pretty clear that fan voting means jack squat when it comes to the Frick award.

  30. I am not a fan of Spandemoanium, but a while back he said that Brett Lawrie would head north with the Jays after ST. I laughed at the time, but now I have to wonder if the kid isnt ready.

  31. Regardless of his on air persona, Wilner is a good broadcaster and knows a lot about baseball.

    Cosentino seems like a good guy, but sorry, he was terrible on play by play and awkward as the show host. It did not sound like an MLB quality broadcast. Reminded me of Warren Sawkiw.

    Jamie Campbell seems like a really good guy too, but phasing him and Cosentino out of the game calling is really encouraging, frankly. (And I`m not trying to be a complete dick. Campbell is good as ingame host, and I`m sure Sam is better suited at other stuff too).

    Guys like Ashby, Jerry, Buck, and Wilner are more appropriate for a major league broadcast, in my opinion.

  32. So glad a new post is up! But be sure: I read not one word of what that boorish, abrasive pig writes. I jump right to the comments section. Much prefer what goes on among us.

  33. I can`t believe ESPN ranked Rogers behind Peter Angelos! That`s a damn low opinion.

  34. That was the shittiest thing I have ever fucking read!

  35. Right with you brother, right with you.

  36. I take it about as seriously as I would take game results using replacement players. After all these guys are the replacement writers for Neyer, until they determine his replacement. They should definitely scratch this guy’s name off the list though.

  37. Feelin it dawg, feelin it.

  38. Are we sure that isn’t Bleacher Report masquerading as ESPN?

  39. mike wilner is the momar kadafi of baseball. he’s an ugly fuck who you hope will just die but never does.

  40. you are an idiot. wilner is not a broadcaster, he is a guy who has a talk show on radio. big fucking deal. any idiot can do that.

  41. why couldnt they let go of tabler instead of mulliniks??

    tabler is completely useless as a broadcaster, he hardly says anything worth remembering. mulliniks could be annoying at times, but at least his analysis didnt sound like it came out of some baseball commentary manual

  42. So what number do I dial to call in to your show idiot?

  43. Thanks for the link bud. The cracked version of ST works perfectly though.

    The Jays need a color commentator who both has had experience with the game, but is more well versed with the statistical info being used today. It gets old listening to the TV crew talking about batting average, fielding percentage, and my personal favorite, wins for pitchers. I recall Buck saying that wins are the best statistic for pitchers, and that Hernandez shouldn’t win the Cy because Sabathia had 20+. Ugh.

  44. call my show anytime

    1-877-409-6677

  45. I still doubt it, maybe the bat is more advanced than he’s been given credit for but he still needs to learn how to play third bag and play it well enough, this is the major leagues.

    Probably wouldn’t fill Lawrie with confidence if while he’s trying to learn how to adapt to major league pitching, he’s being scrutinized by the fans for raw defense.

  46. Fuck guys like Cosentino and Campbell who tow the company line, at least Wilner speaks his mind, although if those thoughts are going to be along the lines of Drabek being sent down to Double A for a third year(or half year), he should probably shut up.

  47. To clarify, I think there’s a possibility that his service time is manipulated but if so, he’ll be in Vegas, shitty conditions be damned.

  48. Ok, couple early pre season rants here.

    1. Mike FUCKING McCoy? This piece of shit is still in the mix for a “utility” role on the big club? To be a utility player dont you need to possess some…ummm..errrr……….UTILITY?

    lets break down McCoy’s performance last year…..

    .195 avg
    .267 obp
    .244 slugging

    averaged one strikeout every 4 at bats.

    people will point to his solid batting average in COLORADO SPRINGS (where Tilson Brito could hit .350) two years ago as a reason to give the guy another shot..

    the guy looked completely overmatched vs anyone with a half decent fastball.

    surely we can do better than this piece of snark?!

    2. Jessie Litsch in the ‘Mix’ as a starter over any other live body.

    If Mr. BABIP and % runners stranded man gets the nod over other more worthy candidates Ill be reprogramming my receptors such that pain is pleasure

  49. Tabler’s homo erotic references to players bodies…”He’s big…..and shtrooooooong…with broad shoulders and a huge cock” (ok..ok…i made up the last part there)

    but the point remains. We get it pat..you like the male form. there is nothing wrong with that, however I dont want your man love to enter into your broadcasting life. keep em separate

  50. Kalling all Klaw-heads,

    Further on the media tip, you can now have more exposure to your boy (and no Insider fees required) starting soon. Law is going to be a three-day a week co-host of ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast (T,W,Th is to be his schedule). Here is the link:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn

  51. On another topic, we do like to congratulate ourselves on building for the future and accept that the Jays have great depth at catcher. It seems true, but others clubs are trying to take that mantle, including the friggin’ Rays, so don’t sleep on anything AA. Here is BA’s answer to a question from a Toronto reader:

    Who has the better catching prospects, the Blue Jays or the Yankees?

    Michael Nath
    Toronto

    Michael originally proposed this question via my Twitter account (@jimcallisBA), and his query drew follow-ups such as how New York would stack up if Jesus Montero weren’t considered a catcher and how the Reds compare to the Blue Jays and Yankees. Let’s tackle all three.

    New York has the best group of catching prospects in baseball. Montero (No. 3) and Gary Sanchez (No. 30) are the two highest-ranked catchers on our Top 100 Prospects list, and Austin Romine also checks in at No. 98. J.R. Murphy has an interesting bat though he probably will have to move from behind the plate, and Kyle Higashioka offers promising power and arm strength.

    I like that collection of catchers a little more than Toronto’s. The Blue Jays contingent is led by Travis d’Arnaud (No. 36 on the Top 100), J.P. Arencibia (the Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP last year) and Carlos Perez (the top prospect in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2010). A.J. Jimenez and Brian Jeroloman are decent sleepers, too.

    Even without Montero, who probably won’t be a long-term big league catcher, I’d still give a slight edge to the Yankees. Sanchez and d’Arnaud are comparable prospects, and while I’m not a big fan of Romine, I prefer him to Arencibia. If Perez continues to develop, he could tilt the scale in favor of the Blue Jays.

    The Reds have an impressive catching tandem in Devin Mesoraco (No. 64) and Yasmani Grandal (the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft and a near-miss for the Top 100), but their depth behind those two doesn’t compare to that of the Yankees or Blue Jays. Three other teams that are well-stocked with catchers are the Rockies (Wilin Rosario, Will Swanner, Jordan Pacheco, Michael McKenry), Rays (Justin O’Conner, Robinson Chirinos, Luke Bailey, Steven Vogt, Jake DePew, Nevin Ashley) and Athletics (Max Stassi, Josh Donaldson, Ryan Ortiz).

    If the Nationals had kept Bryce Harper behind the plate, they’d have the best catching prospects in the game. As it is, they still have a pair of Top 100 Prospect backstops in Derek Norris (No. 72) and Wilson Ramos (No. 96).

  52. Every TV crew in every market uses counting stats. We get it, your so much more “evolved” than everybody else. Why are you wasting your skills sitting on a blog 24 hours a day? Why aren’t you employed by some front office somewhere? Just to clarify, Martinez didn’t say wins are the best statistic, he said they have some relevancy when discussing the CY award and that Sabathia’s wins shouldn’t be dismissed. Who is going to be your next mark tommorow? I know, why don’t you take on Ken Burns. I mean, he produced an entire documentary without referring to XFIP or ISO, clearly an idiot.

  53. You’re a sad, deluded Toronto homer if you don’t see that it’s likely the Blue Jays will be last in the division and that Baltimore will probably make the leap over them this year.

  54. Homer is far from sad…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

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