On Thursday morning Blue Jays manager John Farrell spoke with Jeff Blair for a segment on the Fan 590 (audio here), touching on the basic storylines from camp that, for some reason, we still get blanket coverage from the local newsmedia, though they’re pretty damn insignificant by just about any kind of measure. Shit, now there’s a paragraph that’s really gonna suck the readers in. Here are some highlights!

On Brandon Morrow, Farrell said that a transformation started at the end of last year. “I think you’re seeing the maturity of a guy who knows what his next step is,” he says, referring to Morrow’s comments at the press conference to announce his contract extension that he needs to be a bigger asshole on the mound. Farrell also says that every young player goes through having to think about their contract situation, and now that Morrow has his extension, he can better “focus on the advances that he needs to make.” In general, we’re told that Morrow needs to work on his curve and changeup, “so he can take advantage of his fastball that much more.”

Right. And how about working on pitching from the stretch while you’re at it?

Asked about Brett Lawrie and what he needs to do this spring, Farrell answered simply, “to pick up where he left off.” He then lavished praise on his young, maple-dick-tickling third baseman, saying that, while a lot gets written about him, but the thing the club sees day-in and day-out is that his approach is pretty simple: he just wants to set the world record for Red Bull consumption win and to get better than a player. In fact, Farrell says, Lawrie had texted him– about what, we’re not told– at 10 o’clock the previous night. I don’t have a clue what to think of that, really. ”There is no questioning his confidence,” he adds in the understatement of the year.

“He could very easily get caught up in all the hysteria that surrounds him,” Farrell says, “but he’s got a very strong support system at home, and it shows up every day he walks on the field.”

Speaking of hysteria, Farrell was speaking before Brett Cecil’s start, which was notable for the pitcher’s lack of velocity, and the subsequent reaction in the Twitterverse. But it sounds like the Farrell would be less upset about that than with the issues Cecil had with his command– he told reporters, Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun among them, that the ball didn’t feel good coming out of his hand, and that he was having trouble keeping the ball down. That’s precisely the sort of trouble Farrell told Blair he wanted this spring’s winner of the Vernon Wells Best Shape Of His Life Award to avoid.

As opposed to last year, Farrell says that Travis Snider “knows the situation he’s in” and he “doesn’t attach to every comment or word that might be talked about him.” He explains that in previous years Snider was eager for feedback, eager to know where he stood on the team and in the organization, and that maybe his up-and-down experiences have hardened him up a bit, that he’s matured, he knows where he stands and what’s at stake.

Farrell also notes– as he and Anthopoulos always do on this subject– that there’s more to the left field battle than spring stats. It’s Eric Thames’ job, and “Snider is going to have to come in and flat out take the job away from him.”

And, how will we know whether he did or not, if it’s not based on spring stats? We won’t. Which will make whatever decision they make a whole lot easier to justify. But that, of course, isn’t to suggest that’s somehow wrong to toss spring stats, for the most part. Quite the opposite.

Lastly, Farrell heaped more praise onto one of the club’s aspiring backup middle infielders. Guess which one.

Oh, sit down, McCoy and Valbuena!

Comments (26)

  1. Drunk texting the manager, classic!

  2. Is old man Vizquel reaping the praise??

    • It’s more than likely Hech.

      • Young players with high expectations and high investment costs don’t vie for backup roles.

        • You’re right, I wasn’t thinking of “backup” as a bench player. I was thinking of “backup” as the guy who would fill in if Escobar or Johnson went down, which it sounds like will be Hech based on the glowing reviews he’s been getting.

  3. “maple-dick-tickling third baseman”

    nice.

  4. “maple-dick-tickling third basemen”

    I’m glad to see The Score hasn’t stifled your creativity.

  5. I like the approach they are taking with Thames/Snider, it’s like they have learned from how they have handled Snider in the past that they need to give Thames every chance in the world to succeed.

    • I think in general this situation, with two young and similar guys fighting clearly for a job, and with the loser going to AAA, not the bench. Is just clearer than having Snider vs. random verteran filler.

      However, not that long ago, it was kind of Lind vs. Snider… not dissimilar at the time. I worry for Snider.

  6. It’s been said, like, a million times already, but that picture just reinforced it for me again: the new uniforms are fucking fantastic.

  7. Lawrie: HEY! coach! Razzmataz is going mud-riding! We got a spot for one more. Are you in Bro?
    Farrell: Who the fuck is this?
    Lawrie: Bro, its the beast! We’re going balls out tonite!
    Farrell: Is Zaun with you?
    Lawrie: Yeah, Zaun is going to be our bitch, LOL. He’s riding shotgun!
    Farrell: Dude, I gotta prepare tomorrow’s lineup
    Lawrie: Pencil me in Bro. Dunno about Razz though, the way he stares behind the wheel of his half-ton, its fucking scary He’s talking crazy shit about doing wheelies over at Jeter’s place.
    Farrell: Do me a favour, when you get to Jeter’s place, make sure you knock out his flower bed. My wife hates the colour scheme. If you do that, I’ll bat you higher in the lineup.
    Lawrie: Fuck yeah! Consider it done Bro.
    Farrell: And keep Rasmus away from any tattoo parlours. Don’t want Tony be calling. He’s a pain in the ass already.
    Lawrie: No worries Bro. We’re riding with our old black unis, they won’t fucking recognize us. EE and is with us. He’s got some live chickens and some firecrackers. Says he’s gonna do some voodoo shit for Razz. Gonna rid the LaRussa curse Bro! We’re missing a fedora hat and some chew. Zaunie said he’ll take care of that.
    Farrell: You guys aren’t drinking any booze now are you? Don’t want any DUI shit.
    Lawrie: No way man, Bautista got us a case of Booster Juice. That stuff is the shit Bro! And don’t worry about the truck Bro. McCoy is lined up to get her all shiny in the morning.
    Farrell: Gotta go, AA is beeping me.
    Lawrie: Tell AA to go easy on that funny greek cheese for the post-meal spread. Razz says it stinks up his grits.
    Farrell: Will do.

  8. The Spring Training starting LF battle is a horse-shit fabrication. At first it was an open competition. Then it was Thames has the inside edge. Now… “It’s Eric Thames’ job, and Snider is going to have to come in and flat out take the job away from him.”

    Bullshit.

    • In case you missed it but ever since the season ended last year it was stated that it is Thames’ job to lose. Which means Thames has the inside edge, it’s his job and Snider will have to come in and flat out take the job away. They all mean the same thing.

    • There’s nothing bullshit about it being Thames’ job to lose. He deserves it with the production he had in the majors last year.

  9. Why ddidnt we just put Snider on the team last year for better or for worse, why do you mismanage this guy so much and yet are so careful with everyone else… Idon’t get it. He’s going to end up like a Alex Gordon who will eventually come around in a big way…I hope to god we dont send him to the minors again and then end up trading him for nothing only to watch him breakout somewhere else in the AL.

    No hatred for Thames he did a good job last year but he doesnt strike me as long ter solution. Snider already has 4 outfield assists, 2 HR and 6 RBI in 4 games….if he keeps that up and we dont add him to the Roster…..

    And also, why is everyone so high on EE all of a sudden? The guy is a bag of garbage who pulled a page out of Vernon’s book last season and put up big numbers during garbage time where it didnt matter anymore….Why can’t the loser of Snider vs Thames DH??? at least they can spell each other in the feild when days off are needed. I swear to go if Farrell even lets EE think of touching a piece of leather this season I’m gonna snap.

    • EE was on fire for a full 3 months of the season (June, July, August). As for your misguided and obviously unverified comment about him only putting up numbers when it didn’t matter, he had a terrible September.

    • Its likely that by the end of the trade deadline, or in the off-season, that one of Snider or Thames will be dealt, if we are lead to believe that AA is actively looking for some pitching.

      I wouldn’t piss all over EE just yet. He’s got some legit power. I think given the opportunity to DH and spell Lind at 1B against tough lefties, he could post some decent numbers. Fangraphs Power Rankings have him listed at number 6. Here is what they have to say:

      «He (EE) didn’t hit for the power that he did in 2010, but E5 once again cut his strikeouts, and that helped carry him to the best wRC+ mark of his career. I expect more of the same this season. Whenever you hear some “expert” tout the fact that Adam Lind is a good player because he has hit 20+ homers in three straight seasons, feel free to press mute and click over to FanGraphs for a few minutes of serenity. As for Travis Snider, he may only have a few minutes left in his tenure with Toronto if he doesn’t show and prove right out of the gate.»

      With the glut of outfielders (Davis & Francisco are likely going to be on the 25-man roster as bench players), I doubt we will see EE in LF. We might see EE in LF in an intra-league away game for a few innings, maybe even a whole game! But otherwise, he’s not going to be the next Manny in LF on a regular basis.

    • How bout them Maple Leafs, eh?

  10. I’m getting a little irritated by the maple-dick references. The fact is that the Jays have only one Canadian player on the roster and worse, for a Toronto team, none from Ontario. I have been watching industrial league ball in the Toronto area for years and there is no doubt that some of those good Ontario boys could play.

    Cincinnati is a team that takes Ontario content seriously. Even though Cincinnati is not even in Ontario, they have Ontario players. Toronto which is in Ontario, doesn’t. The Jays are anti-Ontario and anti-Canada. This is a team that’s happy when the US wins the Baseball World Cup.

    These guys you know, have more players from the Island, what island I’m not sure but some island. Like Cuba, yeah Cuba. The Jays have more pinko commies on their roster than they do real Ontario boys.

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