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.

Comments (23)

  1. Just compare his swing rates on breaking pitches to other sluggers. He swung and missed on a lot of sliders last year. I thought sliders and changes would be the death of him.

  2. bring the pain, Stoeten. just the way we like it. 

  3. I think we’re seeing the big downside of the mainstreaming of stats in baseball. It was fine when it was nerds with econ degrees writing manifestos on OBP, but now every asshole with a calculator thinks he can prove his point with some cherry-picked stats.

    They should just say it “feels” like the Jays are stealing signs, and leave it at that. At least it would be kind of honest.

  4. My feeling is that this whole fucking thing is jealousy that Bautista got so good without anyone knowing it was coming.  The industry is mad at itself for not predicting something so they need to shit all over something.

    In the end…who fucking cares?  Stark and everyone else need to get over this, because MLB has made it clear, they’re not investigating anything.

  5. Even if 

  6. I kind of hope that the Jays take cheating to new levels. Nobody can prove anything conclusively. MLB doens’t give a shit. It hasn’t translated into more wins. The Jays were not trying to win anything this year.

    Much ado about nothing.

  7. Even if Bautista did OPS 0.879 last season (his road split) for all splits, that would still be a significant enough jump to warrant widespread speculation. That clearly inserts another factor in the Bautista improvement, the 0.700-0.879 jump factor.

  8. Stoeten, you’ve got courage my friend. Bravo sir. A lotta little kids in here talk shit, but you back it up my friend. I’m sorta surprised by KLaw’s response to all this too. Actually, really surprised.

  9. Good, I had hoped you would skewer that misleading little section.  This desire to discredit Bautista’s accomplishments in the American media has gotten to be far too much. 

  10. “Cinco Ocho loves haters,” Papelbon said. “He loves to drink the
    Haterade, man. That’s what Cinco Ocho fuels his engine with —
    Haterade.”  “Some people in this clubhouse need to be told how great they are to go
    out there and succeed,” Papelbon said. “I like to be told I can’t do
    something. Cinco Ocho needs to be told he stinks, and then he just takes
    the Haterade and fuels his engine. That’s how he works, man. That’s the
    God’s honest truth.”

    “I really don’t think about it, man. I don’t,” said Papelbon, when asked
    about his uncertain future. “A lot of people ask me that, too. Cinco
    Ocho is the kind of person that lives in the moment, man. He doesn’t
    really think about the future. He doesn’t really think about the past.
    He’s kind of on a one-way train. It’s hard for Cinco Ocho to realever?lly
    think that far ahead.”

  11. Papelpon is a bigger douche then Youk and that’s saying something. 

  12. I have a lot of free time and an abiding desire to read stuff about the Blue Jays, whether Spydome bullshit or otherwise.  That said, I can’t help but be amused – in that ‘aww, cute’ condescending way – that DJF continues to discuss comments made by *colleagues* of the two original fucktards.  I can appreciate your outrage but can’t wrap my head around your surprise, especially when, as you note, there are much better things to discuss.  I think we’ve safely reached the point where you can borrow GROF’s One-Sentence Post format, summed up thusly : “More Disney hacks stand by their bitch.  Yawwwwwwwwn.” 

  13. Goose Fra-Ba

    Goose Fra-Ba

  14. The worst thing about that Stark article was that due to the owners not getting their shit together, he no longer thinks expanded MLB playoffs is inevitable by 2012. Fuck, that would be really disappointing.

  15. Because I have way, way too much time on my hands… Bautista Swing & Whiff rates for Sliders and Curveballs from the last four seasons:

    If you adjust the number of breaking pitches he hit in 2009 to what he faced in 2010 he does swing at breaking balls 61 fewer times, so an adjustment may have been made.  How much that matters I don’t know given that he’s swing at a few more breaking balls this year.  I’d bet an adjustment accounts for part of the difference and randomness  the rest.  There’s only 2 1/2 full seasons of data there given the 

    Whiff rate seems to be just full of randomness to me… couldn’t remember the GM quote (I thought it might have been swing-and-misses so I included it).

    Looking at comparable hitters would take a while and not even I have that much time on my hands.  I hope I transcribed the data correctly.

  16. youkilis is the fucking devil himself. that ugly fuck needs to be castrated

  17. Better keep that “The Book Of Moron” engine running. I have a feeling you’re going to be making many more posts of this nature right through the time MVP voting has concluded. I think I’ll paraphrase that old song by The Coasters, which ironically begins with the line: “Take out the papers and the trash”…Hmm, how delightfully apropos…Hackety hack (please talk back).

    Keep that engine runnin’ Stoeten.  ;)

  18. i think tom is one of my new fav commenters on here

  19. No kidding.

  20. Here’s a theory that I haven’t heard yet – maybe some pathetic douchetard had taken it upon himself to try to help the Jays out by sitting behind the pitcher dressed like a giant tampon, raising his arms in a useless attempt to signal breaking and offspeed pitches to the Jays hitters, completely unbeknownst to anyone but said pathetic douchetard.  It would explain why it’s not working worth shit.

  21. Let’s say hypothetically that Jays brass knew about the cheating, and were fine with it. Do you think they would give a guy, whose “meteoric rise” is all about knowing if it’s a fastball or a breaking ball coming at him (snorts with laughter, because apparently you can hit a million more homers than you ever did before by just knowing if a pitch is going to be 90 mph or 80 mph), why would they ever give him that contract extension? Why not cheat, use that cheating to turn a guy into someone who suddenly rakes the shit out of the ball, then trade him for a fuck-ton of talent knowing he isn’t going to be anywhere near the same player because they won’t have such a great system of cheating in a different ballpark? I mean, don’t these morons who write these stories think before they write?

  22. I thought about this too – even if someone finds video evidence of this guy, it doesn’t mean the Jays are in cahoots with him. Good call.

  23. The man in white must have been off Friday night, but after today’s whipping of Weaver, I’m sure this proves Toronto cheats

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