State of the Franchise Reax

As promised, here’s a look at the various reactions from the MSMers, and others who were there last night for the Jays’ State of the Franchise event, which… in retrospect I probably could have just put into the Afternoon Snack post. I’ve got bigger and better things to do than get bogged down in shitting on Steve Buffery.

Getting Blanked

Drew absolutely nails it, eschewing the polite details and getting straight to the nut of the Jays’ subtext: the insane value they place, perhaps by necessity, on control. The extension of that being that “the Toronto Blue Jays and many of their fans don’t see the methods for acquiring better players quite the same.”

“Acquiring young players still in the arbitration or earlier stage of their career gives the Blue Jays freedom from the free market. Freedom from the whims of players wary of playing in the American League East on a sickly green carpet in Canada. When the Jays sit down with an arbitration eligible player and slide a contract that guarantees millions of dollars in exchange for their remaining arbitration years, their agent is not fielding calls from half a dozen other interested parties,” he writes. “If the Jays front office is to be believed (and you are well within your rights to not believe) this is the only time they are free to pursue the players they truly think can build up their team to contention levels.”

National Post

John Lott tries to gauge crowd reaction, talking to bewildered fans who want to see their own personal investment in season tickets matched by Rogers, who they feel are intent on keeping the purse strings tight, despite the attempts by Anthopoulos and Beeston to insist it’s a philosophical decision to avoid free agent deals.

“Among those interviewed, younger fans tended toward frustration, while older fans — who experienced the glory years of 1992 and 1993 — seemed more satisfied with the Jays’ current course,” he writes.

Tao of Stieb

The Tao wasn’t able to be in attendance, but thanks to the webcast of the event– inexplicably not broadcast on one of Rogers’ many cable channels, despite shit all else happening in the world of sports last night– and the twittering Twitter fingers of many of us in attendance, he’s been able to make a range of keen observations.

“Give people a fencepost off in the distance, and they’ll train their eyes on it to the exclusion of all else,” he says of Paul Beeston’s misstep last year, remarking that the club could conceivably spend up to $120-million. This time around Beeston left little room for the kind of outrage that his previous remark caused, except on the issue of putting in a grass field.

Also, quite rightly, to the fans who somehow thought otherwise, he warns, “don’t expect your presence at the home opener against the White Sox in 1977 to legitimize your views on Colby Rasmus’ contract.” And by “views” one assumes he, of course, means “ridiculous views.”

Toronto Sun

Speaking of ridiculous views, Steve Buffery, everybody!

“This is a team that hasn’t made it to the post-season since 1993 and has finished in fourth-place in the AL East the past four years in a row, yet the majority of fans — at least the season-ticket holders who showed up at the annual state of the franchise gathering Monday night — seem to be in some sort of happy daze,” Buffery writes in a frothy, “where’s my riot?” wankfest.

“Recent history has proven,” he writes, about to blow his credibility, “that to make it into the post-season in the AL East on a consistent basis, money is a big factor — unless you’re the Tampa Bay Rays and you had the benefit of a lot of high draft picks after years of dwelling in the basement.”

Oh, is that how that worked? Here are the ten top 10 draft picks the Rays have made in their history: Josh Hamilton (lost for nothing), Rocco Baldelli (derailed by injuries), Dewan Brazelton (washout), BJ Upton (solid contributor), Delmon Young (traded for Matt Garza, who was traded for prospects), Jeff Niemann (5.3 fWAR over three seasons), Wade Townsend (washout), Evan Longoria (best player in baseball), David Price (excellent pitcher), Tim Beckham (nothing yet). Obviously some cornerstone pieces, but it’s a lazy joke and horribly unfair to the outstanding work of Andrew Friedman to suggest that Tampa tanked for ten years and is now reaping the benefits. And it’s unfair to Alex Anthopoulos, who has demonstrated in his time as GM that he’s taken many lessons from the success of the Rays.

If you want a toss off a nice horseshit line that will get fans frothing at the mouth the way you want ‘em to, however, it works.

Toronto Star

Richard Griffin didn’t quite wet his pants the way Buffery did, but he certainly went straight back to grinding his paper’s most recent rhetorical axe. “Make no mistake,” he writes. “the support for Anthopoulos has changed out on the streets. The honeymoon is not yet over, but you can see it from here. Although he will likely never reach the nadir of public disapproval that ended Ricciardi’s tenure, Alex’s star is no longer as high in the baseball sky as it was even a year ago. The easiest explanation? The off-season has been a disappointment.”

Fortunately for us fans who actually like the way things are going, and who Griffin– among many others– seems surprised exist, the guy running the club isn’t the one falling prey to such short-sightedness.

Globe and Mail

Jeff Blair of the Globe, in addition to giving us the nugget about Lawrie-for-Pineda actually being discussed, goes in a different direction, explaining that “in a not-very-subtle way, Beeston just told team owner Rogers Communications Inc. the time to test its resolve is just around the corner.”

He also seems very intrigued by Beeston’s assertion about a grass playing surface, which he believes would still leave the Rogers Centre open to holding other events, though it “would necessitate the Rogers Centre being configured as a full-time baseball stadium, Beeston said, which would not be good news for another building tenant, the Toronto Argonauts. The Argos’ lease expires after the 2012 CFL season.”

Nuts and Bolts

Bob Elliott also wrote a State of the Franchise post for the Sun, dealing more with the nuts and bolts, the questions and answers from Beeston, Anthopoulos and Farrell. Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com and Mike Wilner of the Fan 590, both of whom I got a chance to speak with, which was a treat, also both mostly went deep into the nitty gritty of what Beeston and Anthopoulos were saying. Good reads, all.

Comments (88)

  1. Deion and Bo aint got shit on Tony Plush !

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl… 

  2. The teams’ messaging was pretty poor at times this season, I agree with Blair on that. But when you operate in a silo that’s what happens from time to time.
    Stating you expect to make the playoffs soon is pretty big news, no? That excites me.

  3. Can we make “Buffery” a dictionary word now. That fan with the idiotic “blame Rogers” sign is very Buffery. He’s Buffery’d up that clueless article

  4. Only thing is, what else were they going to say? Maybe it’s a thing that they felt confident enough to say it, but… didn’t strike me as anything worth getting excited for. Maybe if you’re planning ahead for things to get enraged about down the line, I guess.

  5. I like Blair’s angle that Beest essentially put Rogers on notice with his not-so-subtle comments about multiple playoff appearances over the next five years.  “Give us the resources or me and my boy AA are the fuck outta here”.

    At least that’s how I interpreted his interpretation…

  6. I think it was a realistic assumption on Beeston’s part to say what he did regarding the playoffs. We’ve been told basically every time that this rebuild is different and that it’s meant to be sustainable. Based on the sustainability aspect he would be correct in thinking that once they’re good enough to make the playoffs once then doing it again shouldn’t be an issue. Of course making the playoffs might not happen until 2014 in the first place. For me, it’s going to require a major leap forward by the starting pitching staff as a group and for Rogers to pony up above and beyond what they’ve done of late.

  7. Obviously most of the Ray’s top draft picks were disappointments. But what about Buffery’s point that money is a big factor to make the playoffs in the AL East? Following the Tampa model without accounting for the amazing pitching staff is like not acknowledging the Moneyball Athletics had Zito, Hudson, and Mulder. They were not successful only because of undervalued fat guys.
    I like the Jays’ pitching prospects but I think it might be overoptimistic to think there are three numbers 1s down there.  

  8. I guess Beeston can make comments like this because he’s not going to be with the team in three years when the fans start revolting and asking where are these playoffs you promised.

  9. But he calls himself “THE BEEZER!” Foam-mouthed fans are now “beezers”

  10. Gotta love The Star’s/Griffin’s awesome lesson in illogical whining: “AA isn’t as bad as JP, but he’s close.  Why? Because AA didn’t do what JP did when he overpaid a bunch of shitty FAs in order to myopically appease the whiners.” A+

  11. I’m wondering if this installing grass thing is bullshit or not. It seems highly unlikely, but I do know of a lot of CFL folks who don’t think that the Argos will be playing out of the ‘dome come 2013.

  12. following up on blair’s point about grass and the skydome then becoming an exclusively baseball stadium, if the jays do go this route it likely spells the end of bils in toronto and for the immediate future, the prospects of the nfl coming here in the near term

  13. The Tampa and Oakland analogy is a very good one. Both teams success was based first and foremost on the skill of their starting pitching. Both teams have had some kind of additional mythic qualities attached to them while ignoring the primary factor of their success. That’s not so say the other portions of the team weren’t assembled with some skill, but it overlooks the fundamental reasons for that success.

    As for the Jays pitching prospects, they were one of the reasons why I was advocating a rapid advancement similar to the one Hutchinson went through the last two years. All three of them have high ceilings and while Syndergaard at this point might be the only “true” #1, a couple of good top of the rotation starters would go a long way to success. If you were to combine those guys with the core pitching group of Romero, Morrow and Alvarez then within 2 years the Jays could find themselves in a similar position to Tampa or Oakland of the early oo’s. The really good thing about the Jays situation compared to those two teams is that they could conceivably be that much better offensively.

  14. Stoeten, the unfortunate thing about all of this is that people who I would consider smart ball fans would agree with you that we are happy that this is the course that the club is going. Hell I wish it would have happened 10-12 years ago. Unfortunately you come off as a guy who feels the need to make anyone that doesn’t agree with your postion (the people who pay for the majority of the tickets) feel stupid or feel the need attack them for their opinions. It’s times like this that we need to come together as fans, not attack each other. Shouldn’t we be hating on the Yankees and the Bosox with their fans who are a bunch of fackin’ queeeahs instead of trying to rip each other apart?

  15. John Lott gives us a great photo of AA in the National Post….http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/0…

    not much to speak of about the article though

  16. It would probably make good sense for the Argos to move the hell out of Rogers Centre anyway, to a nice, natural turf smaller venue where the fans can enjoy it feeling closer to the action, in the elements, the way football is SO much better enjoyed … more so than baseball, even. It did good things for the Alouettes when they did it. And if that helped to get natural turf for the Blue Jays in their stadium, well, that’d be like a dream come true, for me. 

  17. I have no idea what point you’re trying to make here. The Rays didn’t get the pitching they have now by being terrible for so long, nor did they break the bank to get it. Matt Moore was an 8th rounder, Jeremy Hellickson was a 4th rounder, James Shields was a 16th rounder. With the exception of Price and the now-departed Garza who they got for Delmon Young, the success in their pitching staff has been a result of good scouting, drafting, and player development, as well as front office savvy in pulling guys off the scrap heap (see the Raphael Soriano trade for a great example of that). 

    Zito and Mulder were high 1st rounders, Hudson was a 6th rounder, but all three fit into the Moneyball mold in that they were college players who were relatively close to the bigs (though certainly not undervalued). 

  18. It’s kinda my shtick.

    Fair point though.

  19. I wonder if part of the reason that those of us who were around for the old days remember that is wasn’t just 92-93 but rather a full decade from 84-93 that the Jays were a strong, relevant team.   I see many similarities of this team to the feel of those early 80′s teams and am willing to put in the time to see what happens.

    The ones who couldn’t be trusted to not shit themselves when the Jays were winning championships just don’t have the same perspective.

  20. By point is that Oakland and Tampa have been looked upon as models of building teams when so much of their success was because of their pitching staffs.
    You can try and explain it all with “good drafting and development” but I would also argue there was a fair bit of luck involved. If you think there’s a good chance of the Jays finding a Matt Moore in the 8th round you must buy a lot of lottery tickets.

  21. It will be interesting to see what AA does before the deadline and through free agency next season, especially if this team is close to contending for a playoff spot. He’s carved out a niche as a GM who buys low and acquires young controllable players while also bringing in trade chips to help him acquire those young, controllable players (see: bullpen).  At some point, if this team is truly in contention (as we have been led to believe they will be), he’ll have to go out and acquire those pieces that make a fringe playoff team a real contender. I can only assume it will be a hell of a lot easier than turning Zach Stewart, Octavio Dotel, Corey Patterson and Mark Rzepczynski into a potential star like Colby Rasmus. 

  22. Not to mention many, many fans HATED the Jays approach during the “good old days.”  How the Sun and the like called them the “Blow Jays” after their inability to get over the next hump. 

    It wasn’t all unicorns and blow jobs during the Golden Era, either. 

  23. I agree completely that luck is involved when talking about prospects, as I suspect the Rays would when they look at all of the losing lottery tickets they have in their past (Hamilton, Brazelton, Baldelli, Pridie, Dukes, etc). With the scouting department the Jays have now, I have no doubt that they’re trying to give themselves the best chance of finding those lucky prospects, though. There’s evidence of that right now; Hutchison is a potential mid-rotation guy who was a 15th rounder; Henderson Alvarez was an international FA signing.

  24. Andrew… sorry but I kind of missed your point.

    Let’s see… Rays 10 top 10 draft picks generated:

    Garza, Price, Niemann and Longoria, Hamilton, and Upton.

    Let’s see… going back to 1997 the Jays have had 3 top 10 picks. Vernon Wells, Felipe Lopez, and Ricky Romero.

    So what were you arguing? Even if they screwed the pooch on Hamilton are you actually arguing that they haven’t been reaping the benefits of all those years of cellar dwelling? I usually agree with you but that requires a serious re-think. Lots of terrific players get taken later in the draft (i.e. Pujols) but… even so…

    KK

  25. Wha? Stoeten hardly rips anyone a new asshole for anything. It’s baseball and the forum you’re participating in refers to alcohol and intoxication. Grow a pair and stop pretneding that this is the American political landscape.

  26. “Obviously some cornerstone pieces, but it’s a lazy joke and horribly unfair to the outstanding work of Andrew Friedman to suggest that Tampa tanked for ten years and is now reaping the benefits.”

    I think it’s crazy to suggest that tanking wasn’t the biggest factor in Tampa’s ascent. Sure, finding Zobrist and Pena off the scrap heap and building a viable bullpen on the cheap were great accomplishments, but the bulk of that team was directly built through the value received from their early draft picks. Longoria and Upton were their 2 best players, Garza & Bartlett were HUGE pieces procured from trading Young, Scott Kazmir was still one of their best pitchers in 2008, and David Price was insane from the time he was called up.

    That being said, AA has built up the system to a tremendous spot, and it’s quite possible he can get the team back on the right path without the benefit of those early draft picks. I just wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the massive impact tanking had on Tampa’s success.

  27. Except Garza, Bartlett and Kazmir are more a testament to great trades than making top draft picks. Young was looking to be a bust when they traded him and Kazmir came from the Mets org.

  28. Yeah, of course there’s luck involved. For every Matt Moore, there’s tons of guys who don’t pan out but teams that have poor scouting in numbers and a bad development system will not be producing these gems, at least not at the rate of teams that do have the things(Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays).

    It would not surprise me if the Jays were to see a similar success story with late pick(post fourth round).

  29. Good point on Kazmir, not sure why I forgot he wasn’t their pick.

    It’s easy to make great trades when you have a former #1 overall pick with 5 years left of control coming off his 21 year old season when he finished 2nd in ROY voting. That’s sort of the point about the value of picking in the top 5 consistently.

  30. And there’s the more obvious argument that you were able to pick up talented players late in the draft under the old CBA because of college commitments and contract demands which allows a player to fall. See Matt Dean(13th Rd, Texas commitment, 737,500) and Dickie Thon(5th round, Rice commitment, 1.5M). Matt Moore was the result of good scouting and player development but you can absolutely find a well known, very good prospect late in the draft.

  31. http://www.minorleagueball.com

    Good post by Sickels. When you compare the grades he handed out to Jays minor league pitchers this year there’s certainly a lot of substance in the hope that a lot of them will pan out in the future.

  32. Fair enough. He was second in ROY voting? Must not have been a good year for rookies cause his numbers weren’t great. Exactly o WAR, and a line of .288/.316/.406.

  33. That’s a pretty solid line for a 21 year old OF in his MLB debut over 681 PA, and you know the voters love their old time stats (.288, 13 HR, 93 RBI, 10 SB). Dusty PEDs won it that year.

  34. An elite player can be acquired through free agency (costs a shitload of cash), trade (costs a shitload of talent) or by drafting them. AA seems to be averse to free agency or giving up high upside players in a trade (he gave up little of value in the Escobar or Rasmus trades). There is a lot to be said about good scouting and development but I wonder how many elite players can be acquired under these principles.  

  35. Man, I’m all screwed up here. Didn’t realize he was only 21 when he got called up. I’m going to go ahead and chalk this one up to working late after not sleeping much last night.

  36. Think Mcfly! Think!

  37. The assertion that AA is averse to trading high upside players is based on what, exactly? You have to have the chips to cover the bet, and the Jays really just started building their stack since AA took over.

  38. Well he’s never done it before but I take your point.

  39. Why don’t you make like a tree, and get outta here…

  40. At what point will the authors of this and other blogs put equal emphasis on team performance to the extent they do on being sound and efficient economic managers.

    I mean no one pays good money to see their accountants and company CEO’s perform.

    I think some balance is needed. The object always remains winning.

    Winning as efficiently as possible, a sound objective in today’s corptocratic society, is noble, but frankly, it’s an entertainment business and I believe the vast majority are willing to pay the premium to be consistently entertained

  41. I respectfully disagree. They refused to comment on theFarrell to Boston rumors.

    NESN was practically reporting a done deal.

    They didn’t put a kibosh on the Darvish bid, which  AA now has confirmed that he placed a low bid on him etc….

    They allowed expectations to run wild which has created a negative buzz among fans even though this team on paper is better in Feb 2012 than it was in Oct 2011.

    It will probably have a negative effect on season ticket sales & I wonder if the home opener will sell out as quickly etc..

    They even botched the logo announcement by refusing to invite bloggers such as yourself.

    At least they allowed bloggers into the state of the franchise event.

    Just curious, were you & Parkes allowed to ask questions during the fan Q & A? or did you have to wait till after the presentation?

  42. Butthead 

  43. Someone should have asked how the fuck can we be going into the season with a rotation so unproven and unreliable? After Romero and Morrow you’ve got Alvarez, who I love, with all of 10 big league starts. You’ve got Cecil who is a complete wildcard. You’ve got McGowan who is at least as likely to be injured April 5th as he is to be healthy and should really push someone out of the rotation rather than be counted on to secure a spot. And you’ve got Drabek who for sure could use some more seasoning in the minors before being counted on as a full season big leaguer. I love the prospects of seeing Hutchison, McGuire and even Jenkins this year but they are late season, possible September call-ups, if they make an impact at all this year. I’m all for playing young guys when they’re ready but as we saw with Drabek in 2010-11 just because you make a nice late season call up it doesn’t mean you can be counted on the following year. I’m willing to concede that 2 spots should be allocated to the most healthy/deserving of Alvarez/Cecil/McGowan/Drabek but I don’t believe 3 spots should allocated to them.

  44.  This is heavy.

  45. If that’s true, then Beeston has outwitted Rogers.

     I hope Beeston & AA made a deal with Rogers where they said we can get to 88 wins on a low budget, but if we do, Rogers promises to open the vault to get a starting pitcher or bat to put us into the playoffs.

  46. I am shocked that Beeston would admit that he thinks the Jays can make the playoffs 2 or 3 times in the next five years.

    That means that the Jays believe that the young core will do well on the field & will have their contracts extended.

    It also means that they expect Romero & Bautista & Morrow to stay past 2015….

    Would these guys want to stick together as a core to bring playoffs to Toronto year afte year?

    or will something bad happens that breaks up the CORE???

    I am curious to see if this CORE likes each other enugh to stick together for a multiple playoff run?

    If so, AA might be smarter than we think.

  47. Didn’t the Rays make some smart trades in addition to the high draft picks as well as an intelligent manager?

  48. rotation’s still better than last year

  49. Could the Argos play where TFC plays?

  50. Very good point. This blog has some of the smartest baseball talk on the web. I have learned a lot over the past few years. As an expos refugee, it was tough to make the leap to the Jays.

    I think it’s weird that Toronto has owners who can outspend the Yankees & Red Sox & turn the Jays into the summer Maple Leafs but chose to be very cautious in rebuilding.

    AA is behaving like an Expos GM & watching every penny.

    I hope that AA is ble to put a lineup together to get close to 90 wins which will convince Rogers to get the missing pieces of the puzzle.

    The offseason has been disapointing due to high expectations, but looking at the lineup there are no scrubs to complain about.

    I can’t hate anyone on the lineup which is a plus.

  51. MLBTR says the Red Sox are in the hunt for Edwin Jackson with a one year 5 – 6 mil offer.  Unless he doesn’t want to come to Toronto, I still think he might be a bit of a steal this offseason, shitty WHIP notwithstanding. 

  52. I haven’t heard numbers and it’s hard to account for how many of the extras were bloggers but it really seemed to me that there were a fair number more people there last night than last year.  Hopefully that’s a good sign as far as overall season tickets go.

  53. Listening to the 11AM podcast of the Blair show today.  Worth a listen.

    Says the people’s he’s talked to say grass and transforming the stadium into more of a ‘baseball stadium’ is doable. 

  54. Um, except for some of the callers who are so fucking stupid.  wow.

  55. As an expos fan during that era, I am curious if fans were going on talk radio & bashing the jays after each playoff failure or missing the plyoffs by a few games.

    Were there naysayers during the Gilick era as vociferous against stand Pat as they are now against AA?

  56. I see no reason why the core group wouldn’t stick together for a long period of time especially if they are successful. Team chemistry seemed really good this past season and I think will get better. The one thing I think that a lot of younger people are forgetting is about the way Beeston and the organization treats all the employees – players included. In his first tenure that was always commented on by players and used to be a selling point for the organization. It might take another year or two for the team to get that rep back but it will come if Beeston stays.

    The great thing about most of these guys having to play in Toronto is that the majority of them actually get to see how good it is to live and work here. Most free agents that pass on Toronto as being “too foreign” are basically clueless about the city.

    As for being shocked about what Beeston said, I’d be more shocked if he didn’t say it. After all, everything we’ve done the last two seasons and most likely this season is in preparation for that isn’t it? If we’re not in the playoffs by the end of 2014 I’d be seriously disappointed. Hell, I’m going to be reasonably upset if we’re not at least a very strong contender by 2013. By that point there really should be no excuses other than massive injury time.

  57. Please tell me more! I seem to remember the Jays blowing a divison lead against the Tigers?

  58. Very good point. AA spent a few years getting as many draft picks as possible. Can AA actually sign a valuable free agent?

  59. At least now there is some proof that he actually tried to sign guys and guys that most of us here were drooling over in players like Beltran and Oswalt. He ultimately can’t do anything if they say no. Hearing that made me feel much better about a basically blah off season. It also tells me that AA like Farrell and Beeston believe the team can contend sooner rather than later.

  60. This is a very good point. As an accountant, I would analyze cost per win. So, if the Rays can win 60 games on a 30 million payroll, it means that each win costs me 500K.

    Thus, the maximum payroll for a 90 win team would be 45 million.

    That is not realistic.

    Currently, the Jays should win  85 games on a 85 million payroll which is Ok,

    The Yankee will spend 170 million to get 10 more wins, which is inefficient use of resources from an accounting perspective since you are spending 85 million to get an extra 10 wins.

    However, the chance to see the Jays win the division with a parade on yonge street would be priceless.

    Rogers would become heroes, which would be a huge publicity bonus.

    I might even switch to a Rogrs cellphone..

  61. Good points about the starting rotation. We have 1.5 quality starters. I hope Morrow is able to pitch in APril.

    The other 3 are wildcards, but I would rather have Litsch be a spot starter thann Jo Jo Reyes or Dana Eveland.

  62. I hope so. I am looking forward to opening day.

    Does anyone know if the Jays will rejig the starting rotation so that Morrow r Romero are the home opening day starters??

    The Jays are starting on the road this year, with a day off before they come back to Toronto.

    Who is the home opener starter?

    Tallett was a mess in 2010.

    Romero last year was magical.

  63. That sounds very cheap. AA should try to get him as insurance for this rotation.

  64. People have to remember that all wins are not linear in value or cost. FanGraphs did a great piece on that.

  65. I too manage money in my day job.

    I think the authors raise some fantastic and thought provoking arguments, that mostly pique my analytical tendencies

    But fuck it, baseball is escapism from the daily mundane. I will always view it as entertainment to be consumed. Not a vehicle to drive the underlying p/e ratios on my Rogers shares

    I think the heat needs to be turned up on this mgmt group to provide quality higher end entertainment, not low cost content for various media platforms

  66. I would like to go to this event next year. I am not afraid to ask tough questions while still being respectful.

    I would have asked about broadcast rights & using the imputed funds for the jays payroll.

  67. Hmm. I am very confused by Beeston. He is now talking playoffs, but they don’t have the budget to spend.

    If Lind flops in 2012, who is the 1B to put you ove the top?

    If Kelly Johnson does well, but signs as a free agent elsewhere, who fills the hole in 2013?

    The bullpen looks better, but if the starting rotation fails, then the bullpen will get overworked.

  68. Very good point. They did go after Beltran, who i assume would play LF, would allow AA to trade Snider or Thames.

     I was impressed with Frrelllast night who was humble to give himself a C for last year’s performance.

    I think he will be a better manager in 2012, which is worth a couple of wins.

  69. I haven’t heard any mention of what I thought was a confirmation of Keith Law’s rumblings that the Jays didn’t sign Beede because of health concerns. In his response, AA first compares the failure to sign Beede to free agents who don’t take more money but then he also talks about the health of players and assigning a value based on that. I took that as positive confirmation of what Law heard but I could be looking into a little too much…

  70. Well it’s based on the assumption that Beeston word is good and that the team will spend when needed. I’ll be the first to admit there’s holes or potential holes on this team that will have to be filled from the outside.  I am pretty much on the fence as to whether or not this years team as it stands now will win more than 83 games.

    Going forward into 2013 and beyond I am also assuming AA will have made further core upgrades by the trade deadline of 2012 and then more during the winter of 2012. If Gose, d’Arnaud and Hutchison are everything they are supposed to be then I see a much stronger team before any outside additions are made in 2013.

    I’m not worried about the pen. I am worried about the starters.

  71. I find baseball to be a great sport & I have been a fan since I was a little kid. I was an expos fan till the bitter end & saw how a franchise could have won a world series in 1994 on a chea payrol & then had to dismantle the team in 1995 because they had no money.

    I fear that the Jays are being penny wise & pound foolish.

    It seems tha Rogers wants a team with little margin to manoeuvere to get to the playoffs.

    Waiting till the all star break to make a move is less risky, but you should have the best team on the field starting in Aprl.

    A win in April is worth as much as a win in September.

  72. 83 wins would be a dissapointing. I am hoping for 85-90, assume Farrell manages better, no serious injuries , & improved performance from Lind, E5 & the starting pitchers.

  73. Wasn’t listening to sports radio back then (or now, I suppose) but there definitely was lots of the sky is falling in those days.  Especially during the stand pat era (one point he even went something like 500 days without a deal) and quite particularly during the ’87 aftermath.

    Still, I think even at the worst it wasn’t anything like it is now with fans having seemingly endless outlets to keep up with the team and to express their frustrations.

  74. Unlike some teams, don’t think the Jays have said anything yet.

    Complete shot in the dark, but wouldn’t be surprised if Romero starts the season opener and Morrow was held back for the home opener (assuming he’s not one the DL to start the year again).

  75. It’s definitely worth going.  Was actually surprised there weren’t more tough questions, especially after Alex so expertly talked around the Darvish question. 

    That would be a great question but little chance of getting a straight answer for that one.

  76. Not sure, but I’d guess not since football might be tough on the natural surface. I’ve heard the U of T stadium thrown around, but I have no idea how feasible that is either.

  77. Yeah, the Argos at BMO is really the obvious solution.  20k seat stadium.  Seems perfect for CFL.

    But I think the field would have to be adjusted for CFL size.  Plus the TFC didn’t want a football team on there putting wear and tear on the field.

    I believe the Argos formally looked into sharing the facility a couple years ago but were denied.  Something like that was in the news.

    If the natural grass thing does happen in the dome (which all you guys seem to think is bullshit, but I’m choosing to believe it might happen) I really don’t know what would happen to the Argos.  They’ve already slipped so far off the radar in the Toronto sports scene.

  78. I don’t think the Bills work full time in the RC, regardless.

    There isn’t enough capacity in the RC for NFL standards (it would immediately become the smallest stadium in the NFL).  There was lost of talk about digging down and adding seats that way if they came full time.

  79. Hey –  I should follow up with my post from a day or so ago.

    Two things I failed to consider:  The Argos contract being up at the end of next year, and the possibility of the RC being a baseball-only stadium in the summer.

    Thinking about it, there’s every possibility that during the fall/winter the grass gets removed, the floor cleaned up and the RC has its concerts, shows, and monster truck rallies.  Then, in late February, they truck in a bunch of dirt and sod, lay it down and have it grow for a month before the players get to town.

  80. The logical solution (outside of BMO) was shot down by teachers at U of T:  add some seating and put them in varsity stadium.

  81. Personally, I interpreted that quote from Beeston as a bit of internal pressure to start seeing results on the field on the big league team.

    They’vce likely had the conversation, but to me it was a public affirmation that “we’re done building the base, its time to focus on the big league team, and we expect results”.

  82. They mocked Gillick and called him “Stand Pat” because he refused to upgrade the team at the deadline. They blew a 3-1 series lead against the Royals and got whupped by the A’s in the ALCS twice. People were pissed then just like they’re pissed now. It’s the reason for sports – lashing out. 

  83. I think the point about waiting until the all-star break is less about being less risky (implying a plus/minus of value) and more about simply getting more value at that point in time. You don’t get a Rasmus, an Escobar, or a Johnson in trades in the off-season for cents on the dollar, but at the all star break, the opportunities are there.

    I get your point about trying to field the best possible team in April, but think about it this way: Would you rather the team have waited until the off-season to make a move to acquire a CF and a 2B for this year, almost certainly paying significantly more then they did when the moves were made, or would you prefer that they already made those moves in-season last year without losing that much (Zep and Stewart being the only thing of value lost to acquire those 2 players)?

  84. Yes. During the period when Pat didn’t make a trade, idiot fans cried on the radio (instead of in their blogs) about Pat not making a trade, as though making a trade were some source of magic. There were the “Blow Jays”. There was “where’s our fucking closer?”, then “why the fuck did we trade for Bill Caudill?! Gary Lavelle sucks!”, then “Duane Ward is a choker!11!1!” John Olerud played with no passion and would always be a .265 hitter with 15 HR — not an elite 1B. Send him to the minors! Get Kent Hrbek! Get Keith Hernandez! Get Don Mattingly!!1!!1!

    So we’ve been through this before. Just because people are too young to remember and too stupid to read doesn’t mean that we have to pay any attention to what they’re saying.

    It wasn’t all roses. Remember Barfield falling apart in ’88 and ’89? Sil Campusano? Where did Upshaw’s power go? Mike Sharperson is the wave of the future! Lou Thornton! Willie Aikens! Ron Shepherd! The Jays had a lot of young people in which they had high hopes that flatlined before they got started.

    All this is to say, calm the fuck down. It might not work, but it’s a fuck of a lot better than the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s a fuck of a lot better than Wells, Hinske and Mondesi. It has a real chance of working, so let it work, motherfuckers!

  85. In ’86 the Jays showed that ’85 was a fluke.

    In ’87 the Jays showed that they didn’t have what it takes, losing 7 in a row at the end of the season. George Bell had 0 RBI that week. Tony Fernandez had a broken elbow, and Ernie Whitt broken ribs, so that’s 1/3 of your offence gone.

    In ’88 both Bell and Barfield disappeared. Stottlemyre got his first real audition, and could never make it past 5 innings. There was the whole Campusano craziness. The Jays tried to make way for the wave of the future and it failed miserably.

    In ’89 the Jays got very fucking lucky in the AL “Least”. It was magic, but then everyone saw exactly how much better the West was than the East that year.

    In ’90 the Jays “choked” again, even though they got virtually no offence from Lee, Bell, and Mookie Wilson (but he was a scrapper! Think Reed Johnson, but older). Also, Olerud had one of his “mediocre” years: .265 with 14 HR (but .794 OPS and on the climb). Of course, the Jays were retooling with good young talent (Hill, Whiten, Olerud, Ducey if they’d only given him a real shot,  and still remained in it until the last week of the season. Chokers.

    In ’91 the Jays choked again. This one was Candiotti’s fault, except that Gruber disappeared, Manny Lee was Aaron Hill (.561), Stieb fell apart, opening the door for Guzman to try to win the ERA title (about 25 innings short of qualifying, and 2.99).

    In spite of all that, with the exception of ’86, which was a total shitfest (look at Key and Stieb’s April numbers and cry), it was a fucking awesome time to be a Jays fan.

  86. The one sticking point I keep coming back to with the ‘dome being baseball only, though, is the possibility of Toronto hosting Grey Cup, which happens once or twice a decade. I suppose they could work around this seeing as the Grey Cup is always after the end of the MLB playoffs, but it might present a logistical challenge. I can’t see the Argos or the city being enthusiastic about not being able to host, since it is a pretty lucrative event, but really they need an available venue that can hold upwards of 40k to do so. 

  87. Yes I thought about that too… but what about if the stadium was Jays-only *during the season*.

    Grass goes in in February, and is removed in early November, repeated yearly.

  88. I guess I’m just wondering how cost and labour-intensive it is to pull up the grass and put down turf for a football game. I’m neither an engineer or a gardener, but, assuming it is feasible to pull up the grass in the fall and re-sod in the spring, that still doesn’t account for what the football teams are going to play on. You don’t need a playing surface to host a monster truck rally, or an AC/DC concert, or a trade show, just for football. Although, if it’s only one game a year/every couple of years, maybe football could be played on the grass for an Argos playoff game (ha!) or Grey Cup.

    I suppose my thinking is that if Beeston says that it would need to be baseball only for natural grass, and that precludes the Argos from playing ~9 games a year (1-2 of which usually fall after the Jays season anyhow), then it probably precludes them from having a football configuration at all anymore. I could be totally wrong about that interpretation, and I hope I am.  

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