So… is it All Griffin, All Day here at DJF? Um… apparently, as– even after the Hentgen stuff– there’s still more Grifftacular content to be mined from the lead baseball writer at the Toronto Star, who chatted with readers back on Friday, and offered enough treasure for me to make a full post out of it. (And apparently there’s a mail bag on its way at some point, too!)

I’ve mentioned a couple times– both here and while podcasting– that I’d read Griffin’s previous chat, and actually found a lot of valuable, interesting stuff in it that hadn’t managed to find its way into his pieces for the Star. Lo and behold, the same can be said for the most recent one. Around here we’ve always been of the mind that Griff is at his most enjoyable when writing less formally and more off the cuff, so I guess it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Anyway, here’s what intrigued me in this week’s GriffChat…

- Griffin thinks– or at least he did on Friday– that there’s a non-zero possibility that Vladimir Guerrero will join the Jays when they leave Tampa for Texas after Wednesday afternoon’s game. “I’m sure Vlad would be fired up for the Rangers,” he adds.

- On the subject of John Farrell’s bit-part in the tossed helmet melee of last week, Griffin assures us that, “Oh he got fined alright. And he glared at me when I asked him if he might be suspended. That was close, but I’m sure the fine was healthy.”

- Eric Thames’ struggles haven’t gone unnoticed by the club, nor has Yan Gomes’ versatility,  he suggests: “I get the feeling from Thursday’s Farrell session that Rajai is going to be seeing more starts in left than Thames now because he talked about wanting a lefthanded bat on the bench. When Lawrie comes back, I wouldn’t be surprised if Francisco was the odd-man out until after inter-league because the Brazilian Bomb is more versatile in NL parks.” He later adds on Gomes that “Farrell likes him a lot.”

- At the same time, he thinks that the Jays are going to be giving Ben Francisco more looks until Interleague starts, or Vlad comes up, to see what they have and “to gauge if there is any interest” in him on the trade market.

- More reason Brett Lawrie’s actions were, literally, indefensible: “I think that with certain umpires that even if he doesn’t hit another umpire ever with equipment, they will look for him to be a problem. So, yes, it will linger.”

- John Farrell likes Henderson Alvarez– a lot. “Ask that question to Farrell and he looks at you like you’ve got two heads,” he says to a reader who worries about sustainable success for the young Venezuelan due to his low K rate. “He says Alvarez has a heavy sinker and that to strike guys out even at 95-96 mph he needs a better breaking ball away from righties and since the pronation of the wrist on the sinker is the opposite, it will take time — or never.”

- Asked of the ex-manager’s role with the club that still employs him, he explains, “Cito spends most of his time scouting golf courses. He has earned whatever title and salary he gets from the Jays, but even when he was managing he had little interest in who was in the minors.” That’s our Cito!

- “Rasmus is important to the Jays because of his really good defence,” he says. “They will be patient and leave him in a bottom three spot.”

- Lastly, regarding the winter trade market he explains, “Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos were both on AA’s radar, Latos more than Gio. The concern with the former A’s pitcher is that he did not throw enough strikes to compete in the uber-patient AL East. But the Jays prospects were all at least a year away and that was a problem for Billy Beane.”


Image via @ShiDavidi.

Comments (28)

  1. Vlad is looking sharp in the Jays’ uniform…and his receding hairline dreads.

  2. “The concern with the former A’s pitcher is that he did not throw enough strikes to compete in the uber-patient AL East.”

    Like all the strikes Drabek, Alvarez, and Hutchison throw… LOL

    • You included Alvarez in your post about pitchers who don’t throw enough strikes to compete in the uber-patient AL East…LOL

      • So close but not close at all.

      • He also included guys who came into camp as the club’s 6th and 7th starters, at best… LOL.

        • Yup. It was supposed to be:


          Best laid plans o’ mice and men and all that good stuff.

        • He also made a pretty good point about the current state of things (regardless of their original projected start positions), and did it with a bit of good ol’ Drunk Jays humor. LOL?

  3. Literally indefensible? That’s some real poetic license.

    Because a bully picks on you, you should not fight back, because more bullies will pick on you? Sounds like the logic of a kid that got beat up a lot.

    • Yes, because that context is exactly the same.

      • Not my analogy, it’s yours/Griffin’s.

        And I am frankly surprised that a progressive blog such as this would resort to old school thought of “not showing up umps” and “young people gotta pay their dues”.

        The calls were bad, clearly. Manners are nice and all but the ump’s have a job and there is no obligation to have manners toward an ump that is fucking up the game. You don’t need to be white or old or young or black to expect a ball in the other batter’s box to be called a ball.

        • But it is more than an expectation to show respect to an umpire/official in any sport/event regardless of competitors age/experience/tenure/etc. even if the umpire does blow. If a cop writes you a 67 in the 65 are you going to go apeshit on him because you thought you were at 64? No you have to bend over and take it up the tailpipe just like what players are expected to do.

    • This sounds like the logic of a psychology school drop out

      • So if an ump is picking on you and calling balls 6″ off the plate against you, you should sit and take it… bunch of winners here on this blog.

        • I can’t see your point becuase you keep mixing piss poor metaphors, sarcasm, and overall shittiness into a nice blend of nothing

          • @Brainojack

            “So if an ump is picking on you and calling balls 6″ off the plate against you”

            That is not a metaphor. It is what happened.

        • I think what you’re missing is that there’s a way to disagree with a call that doesn’t involve acting like a spoiled brat. It’s called “being an adult professional”.

          • Not too mention plenty has been made that the Jays had some favourable calls outside the strike zone that night too. Both teams had similar strike zones.

        • There is a difference between disagreeing like an adult professional, and exploding, throwing shit, getting suspended, and getting a lingering reputation as a hot-head that umpires are going to be extra mindful of.

          Lawrie being upset isn’t the issue, the issue is Lawrie being upset and then acting like a jackass.

          • +1

          • You are basing a lot of narrative on what happened in less than a second. Any player in a 9th inning one run situation getting 2 bad calls in a row like that might yell and argue. You are turning the one second in which he threw his helmet into the ground (poorly) into a brand he will carry for life.

            You insult umpires more than Lawrie did.

            He got his 4 games. Only the media (including here) is making this into more. The men are back at work at their respective jobs. Move on.

          • sons, you’re circling. At first Lawrie was just standing up for himself against a bully and we should leave it alone, now it’s that they’ve both moved on and we should leave it alone.

            Well, which is it?

            Or is it just that you can’t reconcile the fact that you want to defend him with the fact that the way he acted was indefensible?

            And please, the rose coloured homer glasses through which you view the helmet toss are pretty rich. It wasn’t a quaint toss of his helmet to the ground (poorly), it was a violent throw of his helmet at the feet of an umpire who was looking the other way, to get his attention, with total disregard to what was going to happen if the violently thrown helmet bounced up and struck him. I’m not saying he meant for it to hit him, but he very obviously meant for it to get his attention, and his supposedly pure intentions would pass the smell test a whole lot better if he’d tossed it, y’know, any other direction– which he easily could have done if not for the fact that he was in the midst of a rage episode that is kinda precisely the problem in the first place.

          • umpires will definetly have a worse opinion of lawrie now, havent complete;y moved on. sons is a troll

  4. Well now I know what happened to Buckwheat

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