Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack…

“They aren’t a secret anymore,” says Alex Rodriguez in a Jays-fluffing piece at the New York Post. “They are knocking on the door. It is undeniable that they are going to win and win for a while. They are reaping the benefits of great scouting, patience and doing things right,” adds Brian Cashman.

Lots of great stuff from Getting Blanked today– as usual– and lots of it Jays-related, like these Jays vanity plates, an awesome home run distance infographic, an appearance from Tiny Tim Collins (in Jonathan Broxton’s pants), and a scouting report on the supposedly-available John Lannan.

“I have no time to experiment,” says today’s starter Dustin McGowan, according to Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail. He also talks prospects, getting in on the new trend of believing Adeiny Hechavarria is totally going to not just be fine, but probably awesome.

At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm gets on the AA-driven Hechavarria train as well, and in a notebook post tells us that the club thinks their spring record has at least some meaning when it comes to internal depth, he looks at E5′s potential rebirth as E7, and gets a pleasing report from John Farrell on Brett Cecil’s start this week against Minnesota.

John Lott of the National Post goes in depth in a great piece on Adam Lind today, getting all FanGraphs-y with swing rates and talking to Lind himself about overcoming his dislike of workouts.

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun also talks to Lind, who thinks this Jays team is playoff-bound. The Sun also talks to Jays “prospect” and famous name, Koby Clemens (and not long after, they briefly inform us about jury selection at his dad’s trial).

Lastly, does this sound familiar? “If your idea of success is a contending team year after year, I can do that. But it will take 10 years.” Alex Anthopoulos in a parallel universe where he could get away with a 10-year build? Nope. Pat Gillick, in 1977, as quoted in a Sports Illustrated piece after the Jays won the 1992 World Series.

Comments (28)

  1. When I sent a link of that NY Post story to a buddy of mine in NY, his response was that they have written that exact article same about the Jays every year for the last 10 years.

  2. We are down to 21 days to go. Three weeks. Twenty-one days.

  3. “If your idea of success is a contending team year after year, I can do that. But it will take 10 years.”

    Took 10 years, which was fine as a new club. The problem is: lasted less than 5 and disappeared for two decades. Contending “year in and year out” is about 10X as difficult as contending. The Jays need to do the latter again before worrying about the former. “We never win because we keep trying to win all the time” would just be moronic.

    With Stoeten being on a permanent crusade against knee-jerk negativism, it often needs to be pointed out that assuming they will make it because they are on the right track is every bit as ridiculous as assuming they won’t because they didn’t in some arbitrary past.

    • 1985-1993 is more than five years

    • Saying the Jays contended for less than 5 years is pretty contentious. From 1984-1993, they never finished with less than 86 wins, racked up 5 division titles and only two seasons where they finished below 2nd place. I’d say that’s pretty close to contending year in and year out and it lasted for 10 seasons:

      1984 Toronto Blue Jays 89 73 0.549 2nd, ALE
      1985 Toronto Blue Jays 99 62 0.615 1st, ALE *
      1986 Toronto Blue Jays 86 76 0.531 4th, ALE
      1987 Toronto Blue Jays 96 66 0.593 2nd, ALE
      1988 Toronto Blue Jays 87 75 0.537 3rd, ALE
      1989 Toronto Blue Jays 89 73 0.549 1st, ALE *
      1990 Toronto Blue Jays 86 76 0.531 2nd, ALE
      1991 Toronto Blue Jays 91 71 0.562 1st, ALE *
      1992 Toronto Blue Jays 96 66 0.593 1st, ALE * * *
      1993 Toronto Blue Jays 95 67 0.586 1st, ALE

      • True. Longer than 5 years by your (quite reasonable) standard. Also, by that standard, it took Gillick less than 10 years to get there. But, if 86 wins is “contending year in and year out” then they have actually done a bit of that recently. What do the Yankees and BoSox do when they win 86/87 games? Not happy campers. That is what contending year in and year out means.

        The larger point is that this whole “contending year in and year out” thing is often presented as a place one can reside in some sort of equilibrium. Do this and you’ll get there. But the late nineties Jays (amongst other cases) remind us that you can fall into a structural hole just as easily from that spot as any other, and you won’t see it coming 10 years in advance.

        That AA can build a winner seems easy to believe: every year a few GMs pull something out of their hat. But unless AA has some secret sauce (other than $200m payrolls) that prevents cyclical spirals, I simply don`t think they are doing anything that different and I would not expect results to change that much in the long term.

    • No, it’s not “every bit as ridiculous,” it is far less ridiculous. I get that you’re saying that the possibility that it ultimately won’t work out is way beyond zero, but that doesn’t mean it’s on the same level.

      And what the fuck else are they supposed to do but head down the right path? This is just being pissy for the sake of being pissy. WAHHHHHH.

      • Not suggesting THEY do anything different. “And what the fuck else are they supposed to do but head down the right path?”: total straw man.

        Suggesting observers see the difference between observing the past and forecasting the future. It is by no means “far less ridiculous” to assume an organization will do something tomorrow based on none of their past experience than it is to do so based on some of their past experience, which is what the complaining essentially amounts to.

        It`s easy to show that inherent pessimism is just fussing. It is exactly as ridiculous to take the recent and real improvements in the organizational talent level to mean “On the path to contending year in and year out.” as opposed to the far more reasonable conslusion that they are “on the path to opening a window.”. The Jays hype in the US media recently is of the latter type while the DJF-branded optimism is of the former, much less solidly founded kind.

  4. Here’s some cold water for the Hechavarria fire, from Kevin Goldstein:

    The not-so-good

    Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Toronto Blue Jays

    As slick-fielding, weak-hitting shortstops who defected from Cuba and signed big-money major league deals with American League East teams, Iglesias and Hechavarria have been the victims of constant comparisons. While Hechavarria finished with a 25-game flourish at Triple-A Las Vegas last year, one National League scout says he’s still not seeing much progress at the plate.

    “First off, he can really play shortstop, but I just don’t think he’s going to hit,” the scout said. “He’s fine on fastballs, but he really struggles with anything off-speed, and I have not seen any progress in that area.”

  5. Adam Lind != AA draft pick
    15-20min working out? #LeastMode

  6. So I read John Lott’s piece on Lind, and is anyone else becoming ever more certain that Adam Lind has one of the worst attitudes in professional sports? Not in a cancerous, me-first, whole-team-hates-him-but-can’t-say-so sort of way, but in a stupid, arrogant and lazy (but still a nice guy) way.

    Everyone knew he was going to have to improve his fitness level to play first base before last year, and presumably someone on the Jay’s fine coaching staff would have suggested this fact to Lind as well. He didn’t, and then he got hurt. Shock and awe…

    Basically that shows me that he thinks he knows better than his coaching staff and trainers (stupid and arrogant), or he just didn’t want to put in the work (lazy, but still a nice guy).

    Now that he’s cost the team a write off of a season at first base, he’s motivated to put in a whole 15-20 minutes a day at the gym? Give me a break.

    I know it’s not going to be every guy on every team, but I want a player who WANTS to be the strongest, fastest guy on the field, not just be in the bare minimum physical condition to field his position.

    I swear, baseball lags behind only golf in realizing “Hey, if I’m good at this sport as a fat slow guy, I’d probably be great at it if I hit the gym every once in a while”. I’m glad to see the Jays finally putting a premium on athleticism, and I think it’s painfully obvious Lind doesn’t.

    Don’t even get me started on him not jumping at the chance to get some advice from Fred McGriff. I won’t call it arrogant, more like humble to the point of stupidity. As Lind put it: “I’m going to phone a guy with 493 homers and say: ‘Hey, it’s Adam Lind?’” No, idiot, you’re going to phone a guy with 493 homers and say “Hello SIR, it’s Adam Lind” and then you’re going to listen as politely and attentively as your dumb country *** knows how!

    Sorry, up until this off-season I had given him the benefit of the doubt and still think he has the potential to be an effective contributor. I’ve just come to be baffled by his attitude and lack of work ethic which I think is becoming hard to deny.

    • That explains the 15-20min tweet above.

      Nice post Canuck. Food for thought on Lind for sure. Thank you sir.

    • +1 – the new clout point (like) system.

    • “in a stupid, arrogant and lazy (but still a nice guy) way.”

      I think you misspelled “white”.

    • hmm sounds like this maybe somthing interesting to read..

    • my IQ just took a serious woopassin’ right there..

    • I’ve thought this the whole time reading his quotes this winter. Good of you to articulate it. This is the part of “make up” that is very important, imo. Personality type doesn’t matter, but work ethic does.

      If you rememember at the end of 2010 when Lind to 1B was being discussed, Cito said something like “he’s getting married in the winter and I’m not sure he’s going to want to put in the work to transition to 1B”. Apparently Cito was right.

      Lind signed that sweet contract with all the options while he was a DH/LF. AA wanted to make him more valuable by sticking him at 1B. I guess Lind felt he didn’t need to be any more of a bargain than he already was like the rest of the sap Jays that continue to work after signing extensions.

      I have no proof of this, but during the Brandon Morrow extension press conference AA talked about investing in good people and that he had a problem with guys not putting in the work after signing extensions. I think that was a direct reference to Lind.

  7. Interesting Lott article on Lind. Could it be a combination of lack of working out and poor coaching that lead to Linds spiral this year? Roof will be seen when the year starts, but if he can get partially back to his 2009 form it will go along way towards putting this team on the way to a playoff run.

  8. I stopped reading the Sun piece after “Can they win 162?” I should have known better than to read any Sun articles. My bad.

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