Run Differential Perks Me Up
I must admit, I was kinda scared when I saw that Dave Perkins of the Toronto Star had written a piece with the sub-heading “Run differential shows huge gap between Toronto and AL East powerhouses.” But honestly, as friend of the blog Drew Fairservice pointed out to me, you do gotta respect the fact that he’s trying.
And while I don’t quite get why he’d be so concerned with comparing this year’s Jays with last’s, or how I’m not supposed to notice that the Red Sox team that missed the playoffs by a cunt hair didn’t exactly have a monstrous run differential compared to the Jays, I think Perk has it right when he nods at how Alex Anthopoulos “talks out loud about restocking his pitching, particularly his bullpen,” while fans dream about Fielders and Pujols.
“That is what the Rays did a year ago,” he says, “when they lost all kinds of players, mostly for budget reasons. They rebuilt the bullpen from the scrap heap and promoted from the farm and caught the baseball and somehow showed, yet again, that it all can work.”
No Points For Trying
[Note: I'll pause a second for you to stop laughing.]
No, seriously. Jon Heyman. The Sports Illustrated
troll writer and PR director of Boras Corp. wanted to get a lot of traffic on the article he just wrote, picking award winners for the 2011 season. So he did what he does best: he made it a complete fucking farce of a farcical fucking farce.
Jose Bautista is fifth on his AL MVP ballot. CC Sabathia is not in his top three for the AL Cy Young. Matt Kemp is third on his NL MVP ballot. Joey Votto ninth and Roy Halladay seventh, behind sixth place Lance Berkman. Dave Dombrowski and Kevin Towers are each league’s GM of the year.
“I get asked all the time, how much money do we have to spend,” says Alex Anthopoulos in the Globe and Mail‘s roundup of his year-end press conference, “and Paul’s words to me are always, make your case, irrespective of who the player is.” He added, “I don’t believe in, you have X-amount of dollars to spend so let’s find a way to spend it. You’re limiting yourself to one off-season and one pool of players.”
“There are a lot of good players out there in free agency,” Anthopoulos says in MLB.com‘s post-mortem roundup. “The best way to explain it is, we like a lot of players, but we like them at a certain price.” He also said that he thought the coaches “all did a great job relative to the talent they had to work with,” adding, “I expect them all to be back.”
“I know it’s not easy for the fans to hear that at times but I think long-term if you know you’re doing what you believe is right for the organization and it’s not trying to make a splash in the winter and getting a slap on the back,” he said, according to the roundup in the Toronto Sun. “If you operate with the thought of putting the best product on the field and trying to win as many games as you can while also maintaining the long-term, I think the fans will understand. Fans are way more knowledgeable today than they were a long time ago.”
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun offers his suggestions for what the Jays should do this winter, and they certainly don’t take the path of least resistance.
First, he says they should trade catcher JP Arencibia.
Aaron Cibia came better than advertised defensively, showed he’s got great power for a catcher, and couldn’t possibly do worse at getting on base– and while I’m not sure where his ceiling is, it’s probably going to be high enough to make him an above average offensive catcher.
Why trade him then? A “top evaluator,” according to Elliott, says that he thinks prospect Travis d’Arnaud “could be for the Jays what Buster Posey was for the San Francisco Giants.” Ho-lee!
He also suggests not going after Yu Darvish– who’s posting fee alone, he thinks, might reach $100-million– and going after Mark Buehrle. Personally, I don’t think Buehrle will come cheap enough to take on the risk that his arm doesn’t fall off, or that a move to the AL East isn’t pretty much a terrible idea, but for the right price, you could certainly do worse.