Oh boy. I really had no intention of making this kill yr idols week over here at DJF– or, at the very least, shit on people whose work you generally like and respect– but… holy fuck, Jayson Stark. Holy mother-effing eff. I really, really, really want to get off this horseshit– we have a Vernon Wells return and a rather curious Hechavarria promotion to get to– but get ready for more sign stealing garbage!
Congratu-motherfucking-lations, Jayson, on giving me yet another person to call a complete fucking moron: you, buddy!
Here’s the section about Jose Bautista that appeared in Stark’s Rumblings and Grumblings column today. Let’s see if we can’t pinpoint the exact spot where he should have stopped typing, pulled out the page, crumpled it up, thrown it away, tied off and done another shot of heroin, punched himself in the face for the time he wasted sloppily shitting out all the words leading up to that point– not to mention actually thinking it wouldn’t be a terrible idea asking people to read this putrid slough– then started over. [Note: I just assume Stark does most of his work on an old-timey typewriter, then puts all those pages of "ideas" into a microwave that for some reason he believes is a fax machine, and then, when nothing shows up from Stark again, an ESPN editor just pokes some unpaid intern with a stick until he churns out a bunch of bullshit and puts Jayson's picture on it.]
We’d love to believe all the denials coming out of Toronto [Note: Really? Would you? Because, no, I really think a lot of people very much would not.] that the Blue Jays would never, ever steal signs. But other clubs have been buzzing about that possibility since last season. One of the biggest reasons has been the transformation of Jose Bautista — but not so much in his power numbers as in his amazing ability to lay off tough breaking balls he used to hack at.
“This guy could always hit a fastball,” one scout said. “But he’d chase so many other pitches, he didn’t get in enough hitters’ counts to get those fastballs. Now he doesn’t chase those pitches. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen a player make that change and do it that dramatically.”
Bautista at home last year: 55 walks, 44 strikeouts, .403 OBP, 1.118 OPS.
On the road last year: 45 walks, 72 strikeouts, .353 OBP, .879 OPS.
His splits this year aren’t anywhere near so pronounced. But let’s just say AL executives and scouts we surveyed didn’t dismiss this sign-stealing flap as preposterous. Nevertheless, said one AL exec, “I’m guessing you won’t be seeing a guy in a white shirt holding up his arms there anymore.”
So… to summarize: Jose Bautista got really good out of nowhere, and his stats showed something that might be fishy, and now he’s still really good, but his stats don’t really look fishy at all, but… oh, just go ahead and wildly speculate that he’s cheating anyway. Fuck him, amiright?
Crotch grab in the direction of Brad Fullmer Fan for the heads up on the column.