Fresh off practically inducting Brett Lawrie into Cooperstown, Jayson Stark of ESPN has come with another epic tome of Blue Jays optimism. Or… at the very least one third of a 1200 word blog post.

In his latest– or thereabouts– for the “Worldwide Leader,” he lays all kinds of positivity on us:

“I’m ready to predict the Blue Jays are going to shock the world and make the playoffs, as the second wild card, for the first time since Joe Carter’s home run returned to Earth 19 years ago,” he says, taking a shot in the dark with the hopes of being the one guy who got it right when the AL East dust settles six months from now.

“The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Blue Jays are the first team to win 23 of its first 28 spring training games in 15 years, since Jim Leyland’s 1997 Marlins did it,” he reminds us. “And you know where they ended up.”

“Over the past 20 years, only two other teams have won more than 75 percent of their spring training games, according to Elias,” he adds. “The other was the 2009 Angels. Their spring record: 26-8 (.765). They then went out and won 97 games for only the third time in the history of the franchise, and swept the Red Sox in October.”

So… it’s destiny? Apparently. Y’know, according to a pattern culled from a tiny sample size of an arbitrarily end-pointed meaningless number. PLAN THE PARADE!

He’s not wrong, of course, that the Jays are going to be a difficult team for anybody to beat on any given night when Brett Cecil isn’t shitbagging meatballs down the upper third of main street. “Scouts and executives around Florida continue to buzz about how this is one of the best lineups in baseball, from top to bottom,” he says. “Heck, a guy who had an .859 OPS two years ago (Colby Rasmus) is probably going to hit ninth.”

But pulling a 2008 Rays-esque year-too-early steamrolling on the flawed deities of the division? Yeah… probably. PLAYOFFS!!!!!1!

Comments (50)

  1. I’ve seen enough early-season Leafs stats-that-rival-1967 to know that this is just a big bag of horse shit.

    • Yeah but the difference is AA knows what he’s doing, not trading away picks like they’re candy.

      • I love AA. All I’m saying is that the Jays’ current talent level compared with the talent level in their division alone, let alone the entire league, is way more indicative of how they will finish the season than their record against a huge amount of players who won’t see a single inning in the majors this year.

      • you can’t trade picks i’m pretty sure,

    • First comment on an article on the Jays is about the Leafs. Good job.

      • I wanted to mention the Expos but there haven’t been any relevant stats of theirs recently.

        • So instead you went with something even less relevant? Hockey blows.

          • Cue lame-brained anti-hockey comment by insecure baseball nut.

          • I don’t understand why hockey and baseball can’t just get along? I love the Jays and the Leafs equally. It’s like having two kids. They are both different but I love them equally for who they are. If you live in Toronto but only love one team then you’re really not much of a sports fan IMO.

          • Yep I love the Leafs and Jays. I’m super psyched for baseball after that clusterfuck of a Leafs season.

    • Yeah, and you’re still supporting them which is a bigger bag of horse shit

  2. “I’m ready to predict the Blue Jays are going to shock the world and make the playoffs, as the second wild card, for the first time since Joe Carter’s home run returned to Earth 19 years ago,”

    Wow… talk about the writing melodrama out of your ass.

    Jayson Stark: I have arbitrary data that might support something dubious. Let’s publish!

  3. Fun to read… and I will admit that this team does have some sort of ‘swagger’ to it that I haven’t seen in… well, since ever, really.

    I think it’s gonna be a good year. Playoffs? I don’t know…

    • I just don’t see a team with the Jays current rotation making the playoffs. I can see them ‘hanging around’ but not making a serious run.

  4. Stark is getting my hopes up. First the Lawrie piece, and now this.

    I’m really trying to set my expectations low, like 84 wins, so I wont get disappointed. But damn you Stark and mass media,

  5. If Drabek can pull his shit together, and we get a mid-season callup (Hutch, Jenkins, McGuire), ala Alvarez, and they can provide some strong starting out of the number five spot (not getting my hopes up on McGowan) and Cecil never comes back up (hate him), then they will make the playoffs.

    If Drabek can’t figure it out, and we don’t get strong starting out of a callup, they wont make it.

    The offense and bullpen will be fine, even if Cordero and Rasmus play like crap.

  6. taking a shot in the dark with the hopes of being the one guy who got it right when the AL East dust settles six months from now

    we call that “doing a Stoeten”

  7. So glad to hear we are back – better and stronger than the 1992 edition of the BeeJays.

  8. You’re right Galen.

    Better this than the usual “Jays expected to finish 4th” that we’ve been hearing for many years.

  9. “shitbagging meatballs” << new band name?

  10. Playoffs!!1!!!!%!!7!&*

  11. The other day Wilner got into it with a caller about whether or not Spring Training wins are “meaningless” which they undoubtedly are in terms of being an effective indicator of regular season results.

    Still, there is a reason Cecil is in AA right now and Drabek is still with the big club. No matter how players and managers like to play down the significance of Spring outings – the Jays had a bunch of REALLY positive outcomes.

    Romero didn’t give up a run. Morrow only gave up a few and seems to be very comfortable with his slightly different approach to pitching. Alvarez was solid. Drabek had good outings including a very significant test against the Yankees which he did just fine.

    It certainly doesn’t mean that we can count on 95 wins. But it does mean that a whole bunch of players will be in the right frame of mind – feeling good about their game when they play for real. I don’t expect that the team will come out winning 75% of their games, but for the first time in a long while it doesn’t seem too crazy to think that this team could be in the conversation for playoffs at the end of the year. If the injuries that are currently developing for the Red Sox and Yankees start having an actual effect on the field – the Jays could fill the vacuum.

    So no, Spring stats don’t mean much for the regular season – but I’d still rather win 75% than lose that many.

  12. Get two or three starting pitchers and we might just make the playoffs. Until then it will be 4th again for the forseeable future.

  13. I love this line from the article:

    “Don’t ignore the OTHER team in the AL East. If you do, you’ll be making a gigantic mistake.”

    LOL @ OriLOLeS. The Other – singular. Consider yourselves ignored.

    • Might be tempting fate a bit there, no? Probably not wise to be LOLing @ … anyone really, at this point in the season. Just saying.

      • yeah – only problem with this is I would have to believe in fate to attempt to tempt it.

        I can confidently tell you that the Orioles still suck. I have no problem suggesting they’ll finish 5th in the division.

        Secondarily I can tell you that I was laughing that the fact that Stark was suggesting not to ignore “the other” team in the AL East (when most focus on the Yanks, Sox and Rays) while completely ignoring the “other” other team.

  14. While I also think that it is unlikely for the Jays to make the playoffs this season, it sure is nice to read someone predict just that for the Jays… Much better than the same old Finish-fourth-in-a-tough-division prediction that we’ve grown accustomed to over the last several years.

  15. Given the course set by AA, what I most want to see from this season is effective play from a bunch of the young starters and young bats. If those guys stay healthy and move up a level or two, then all will be good. Similarly, I’d like to see continued progress from Lawrie, JPA, Morrow, Alvarez, Santos, Thames and/or Snider and Rasmus. We won’t see it from everyone, but if we see it from most of them, the season will be a success. To me, the final W-L record is much less important than the progress we see from the individual players throught the organization. Not expecting any wild card, but 85 wins to go with the player development would be a nice bonus. Is it Thursday Yet?

    • We will not see progress in a steady annual stream +5 game increments. When winning happens, it will come in a blurt – all at once. This isn’t a science experiment, there is no plotted acceleration curve. Jays are ready now, AA get your scouts ready to get your prized pitcher for the August stretch run. Playoff tickets will be printed in early September.

  16. I agree with you about spring training small sample size. But, hypothetically speaking, when does it cease to be a small sample size. For example, if 25 teams in the history of spring training had won 75% of their games and every one of them made the playoffs, would it still be random luck or would their be something to it?

    For the record, I think 3 instances is too small, and we shouldn’t try to glean much from it, but when would we be able to?

  17. Whose office is that in the picture? BALLINNNN

  18. Oh glory be !!! I was never so happy in my life as when I seen this little bit of news pop up on my iPhone.

  19. Why is Ace still the mascot? Shouldn’t we go back to BJ Birdie now?

  20. All this unbridled enthusiasm is really making me uncomfortable.

  21. At the same time – the world wide leader seems to be sleepin’ on the Jays.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings

    Jays are #12 – which is probably right at this point.

    Yankees #1 though? I’m not sold on that at all.

  22. “Heck, a guy who had an .859 OPS two years ago (Colby Rasmus) is probably going to hit ninth.”

    Yep, and a guy who accumulated a .720 OPS over the past 2 years is probably going to hit 4th.

  23. The problem with most fans is that they can’t be happy either way. Sure, the standings in spring training doesn’t mean anything. Except it promotes a winning attitude on the ball club, and sets the tone for the season. Why not try and win every game? Why not go out there and play hard? Spring training is not a vacation. Some fans are so hypocritical, they say “Spring Training doesn’t count, wait till the season starts”. But if the Jays’ record was 7-23, everyone would be calling them losers and saying “What the fuck is the matter with them?” and calling for AA’s head on a platter. And thank you for the eternal golden voices of optimism who are calling for fourth place again this year, and thinking the Jays don’t have a shot at the playoffs. Do you think Cleveland or Tampa is better than Toronto? Do you think the fucking Orioles are going to clinch 3rd place and win the wild card? The Shining Yankee Dynasty is looking pretty tarnished, and the Sox are going to be a bigger joke than last year. So you fucking losers can wear your goddam blue and white Phoneuf jerseys all summer, and you can say “Wait till next year” for the 46th straight fuckin’ year.

    • Anthony, you may have had the smartest comment on here, yaaay for realism :)

    • Yes!!

    • The Yankees finished spring training 9-19. The Rangers finished 12-17. Nobody in those cities is calling for anybody’s head on any platter. The reason why nobody gives credence to spring training is because no team uses the entire team they intend to use during the season. It serves as a tryout of sorts. Starting pitchers will pitch one, maybe two innings in any given game. ESPN just ranked the Yankees #1 in the league going into the season. If I had to bet, I would say that your entire knowledge of baseball comes from reading the ESPN article about Lawrie being the best player ever over and over again until your erection goes down. The Blue Jays have an incredibly bright future, but to say that based on their spring training record is ludicrous. They have a top-3 farm system and some very strong young talent in the big leagues, as well as a perennial MVP candidate in Bautista. That is why they are good. That being said, they will likely be fighting for the new wild card spot. As for the Leafs, I don’t know why you hate them so much. Blue Jays fans also have been saying “wait till next year” since 1993, and that was without any playoff berths. I hate to compare you to the very “fucking losers” you referred to in your comment, but there were plenty of Leafs fans who sounded exactly like you before this season. To be honest, I don’t even know why you need to make a distinction between being a Jays fan and a Leafs fan. They are in different sports and play in the same city. They will never compete with one another. They are owned by the same fucking people. My point is, you seem like you’re a really big idiot.

  24. That mascot does not look right. He’s still got silver and black in his face. Either change Ace’s appearance or pay off the dude who invented BJ Birdy with a nice handsome retirement sum, get the rights to BJ Birdy, and bring back the true Blue Jays mascot!

  25. [...] another epic tome of Blue Jays optimism. Or… at the very least one third of a 1200 word blog post.http://blogs.thescore.com/djf/2012/04/03/stark-on-jays-dont-ignore-em/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

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