Late as usual, but so what? No, we haven’t got a fresh new Griff Bag in our hands, but you’re still about to get a taste of caustic hijacking of his most recent, which… actually… sounds kind of disgusting, flavour-wise. But I’m sure it’s all good, as it’s time for me to answer Richard Griffin’s mail bag from over at the Toronto Star!

As always, I have not read any of Griffin’s answers.

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

Your mailbag rocks. Please do it regularly. Rather frustrating when I try to look for it on Fridays and came out emptyhanded.


1-The current Washington Nationals team, any leftover from the Expos era, whether they are players or management?

2-What so good about Bryce Harper? 19-year-old playing every day?! Who would you compare him to?

3-If you have to point your finger, who will you blame for the current Jays’ mediocrity? AA’s bad assessment of the AL East state? Farrell’s lack of experience? Lack of leadership/maturity amongst players? It seems like they lost something from last year.

4-When JP was in charge, he tried to trade Rios for either Lincecum or Cain. I think he would still be around if he were able to get that done, agree? Was this rumour real or not? Supposed Rios did live up to his potential (5 tools), would you still make that trade — an all-star fielder for an all-star pitcher?

5-What is so good about Buster Posey? Is our d’Arnaud as good? How can he earn respect of his pitchers being so young? And batting cleanup too? He is no I-Rod, no?

Thomas Lam, Richmond Hill

Shit… so many questions off the hop. Let me see…

1) Roger Bernadina was signed by the Expos and is still playing for Washington, so yes, there are some holdovers, but I have no idea, in terms of the management side, though I wouldn’t expect a whole lot. The Nats even have their own Henry Rodriguez, which is such a soft gag I’m sure Griff must have used it.

2) Not bad, huh? Age matters, and as impressive as Brett Lawrie was tearing up the Majors last year at 21, when he was 19, as Harper is, he started the year in A-ball. Now, as we’ve seen with Lawrie, a hot start doesn’t always mean it’s smooth sailing from here, but holy shit, Harper’s a tremendous talent.

3) They haven’t lost anything, it’s just not that easy to make meaningful headway in the AL East and the Jays felt their best approach this winter was to keep thinking long-term at the expense of the short. They weren’t wrong, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating to watch them now and think of what could have been.

4) Obviously, knowing what we know now, you’d go back and make that trade– whether it be Cain or Lincecum– in a heartbeat. Most do believe that it was a real thing– and I know that I’ve personally suspected that it’s falling apart is one of the reasons Alex Anthopoulos likes to be so careful with the media– but we really don’t know. More importantly, I think, is to not get too fucking gloat-y on this notion about Rios and his failure to live up to potential. He’s had a pair of 5 win seasons, per FanGraphs, two more above 3.5, and he’s been above average with the bat in five of the last seven seasons, while usually playing pretty good defence in the overall, and mostly in centre since moving to Chicago. He’s put up 2.77 WAR per 150 games played in his career. You could do a whole lot worse.

5) Posey had a four win season as a rookie, and sports a career wOBA of .353. If he had enough plate appearances to qualify for the leaderboard, that mark would put him fifth among MLB catchers over the last three seasons, ahead of Brian McCann, Alex Avila, and Carlos Santana. So… he’s an above average offensive catcher, which is what they say of d’Arnaud too, but I have no idea just how close they are, and it’s way far beyond me to try and say that d’Arnaud might ever be able to find himself in such company. I don’t mind pointing out, however, that JP Arencibia and his .297 wOBA would rank third-last on the same list, ahead of only Kurt Suzuki and Miguel Olivo.

As for Posey hitting cleanup, who the hell else on that team were they going to ask to do it? And the notion of a catcher being too young or failing to command the appropriate respect is, I think, completely, ridiculously overblow. Posey and Santana have both done it recently with no problems.

Q-Richard Stoeten,

Maybe you can explain AA’s thinking… I can understand wanting to give Cooper an extended audition…but keeping McCoy over Gomes seems to go the other way. Rajai over Vladdy still feels strange to me, and I really don’t understand keeping Omar at .215 rather than bringing up a SS/2nd base of the future. We seem to be rebuilding, sorta, kinda, but not really! What’s going on?

Peter Thomson, Elizabeth City, NC

Well, Hechavarria needs to play every day, so there’s no point bringing him up to sit on the bench behind Johnson and Escobar. McCoy was kept, it seems, for his positional versatility, and… it’s hard to care much there, not only because Gomes came back rather quickly anyway, but because we’re totally talking about a pair of bench bats. Right now Davis, I shit you fucking not, is hitting better than Vlad did last season in Baltimore, and not by a little bit, either– Davis has a .347 wOBA, a 119 wRC+ and a .777 OPS, compared to .318, 95, and .733 for Vladdy with the O’s. And even if that weren’t true, it’s not like anyone not absolutely insane was ever going to trot Guerrero back into the field, so Davis wasn’t impacting him anyway.

I’m with you on Vizquel. His presence is… novel.


Q-Hey Griff Stoet,

So now that the Jays season is over, who do they trade for prospects? I’m thinking anyone on a one-year deal, like Johnson, Oliver, Encarnacion, etc. Also CoCo if anyone bites (the number of GMs that believe in former closers is incredible), but I’m thinking he’d have to be waived. Though you could consider using him as an innings eater to save our young arms and get us a higher draft pick.

Rob B., Oshawa

Oh for fuck sakes. I don’t know what’s more insufferable– that you actually think the Jays’ season is over, or that you just so casually say as much. Or perhaps it’s the Cordero shit, as though he’s no longer in any way even fucking serviceable– though I’ll totally grant you too much of his work this year has been of the astonishinhly fugly variety– or that it’s not amazingly absurd to suggest changing his role in some kind of thunderingly fucking dull-headed tank nation scheme.

If they can’t keep themselves in it over the next six weeks, all the one-year guys become available, unless they can and want to re-sign Johnson and Encarnacion– both of whom I’d be totally fine with keeping.


Q-Hi, Richard Stoeten.

What really happened with Guerrero? Is this good, bad or insignificant?

Chris M., Collingwood



Q-Hi Richard Stoeten:

Although the Jays are still in tight contention for a wild-card, one gets the ominous feeling from watching them the past three weeks that their fortunes are on the decline. I’m not sure with an under-performing Romero and Drabek, injuries to Morrow and Santos, with only Hutchinson really performing as expected or better, this staff can really contend. We also have question marks at 1B/DH (bye bye Vladdy) and LF which remain unanswered. How do you envision Anthopoulos addressing these issues over both the short- (deadline) and long-term (end of season)?

Brian Campbell, Ottawa

Things haven’t exactly been peachy for the Jays, no, but it’s far too early to pack it in, even with problems in the rotation having compounded since you wrote your letter to Griff me.

Over the short term, though, I don’t know there’s a whole lot to do, other than to hang on and see how things play out. They could add a shitbag for cheap, but I can’t imagine Anthopoulos doing anything dramatic to impact the short-term outlook for the club, unless such a move simultaneously helps them in the long run. It just wouldn’t be prudent.

Looking more towards the end of the season, I imagine we’ll see Travis d’Arnaud come up at some point, and Adeiny Hechavarria in September, or sooner if another middle infielder is moved– though I still just don’t really see how he’s going to provide more value than Escobar already does– and Snider again at some point, quite possibly. Beyond that, who the hell could really say? Over the winter they’ll have to figure out the middle infield situation, decide if Snider did well enough in the second half to negate the need to find a left fielder, they’ll have to figure out whether and what it will take to keep Encarnacion, will look to add more Big League calibre pitching by moving prospects, Arencibia, and possibly Hechavarria or Thames or Snider, they’ll revamp the bullpen once again on the cheap, and if someone will take their money, maybe even sign somebody– though the other stuff probably has to be taken care of first before they’re a desirable destination, so maybe Anthopoulos will look to position himself better that way before July 31st.


Q-Howdy Richard Stoeten,

As much as I hate to see Morrow out for an extended period of time the curious conspiracy theorist in me is intrigued by the reaction of Ownership and Management in the next coming days and weeks. To me it seems like two roads can be taken, you ramp up any plans of bringing in Major league talent to the roster in order to stay competitive in the AL East Race or you start preparing your talking points for the end of the season along the lines of ‘we battled inconsistency all year and the Morrow injury really put us back….yadda yadda, etc etc.’

My point being it is one thing to pass on a talent like Prince Fielder this past offseason when the asking price turned out to be understandably unreasonable but it is quite another to pass on pursuing pitching talent like Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and/or Wandy Rodriguez when your team is above .500 and 4 games out of first place in the standings midseason.

 Do you think this situation will lead to some insight into the collective minds of management and Rogers or am I reading too much into it? Getting back to my inner conspiracy theorist, If ownership resembled a Mark Cuban, Maverick type, who runs his team with a passion to win, we think we know what path would be taken while an owner constantly checking balance sheets and quarterly profit margins they might see this as just the excuse they need not to take on salary to stay competitive.

Your thoughts? 

Derek from the East Coast

Derek Andrews, Fredericton

Like most conspiracy theories, that’s pretty insanely fucking ridiculous, Derek. If the Jays don’t make a move for short-term pitching help, it will be because the cost is too great and the benefit too small. That’s it.


Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I’m really beginning to wonder the authenticity in Paul Beeston’s statement that he expects the Blue Jays to make the playoffs at least three times over the next five years. The fact of the matter is that it is becoming quite clear that Rogers is not willing to make the commitment to make this team a contender. Take for instance the Blue Jays silly stance on the fact that they will not go beyond their own self imposed player value. Because of this, they did not trade for market value for Mat Latos. They will not sign free agents beyond 5 years, and hence the loss of Prince Fielder. They will not go beyond their own value on signing international free agents and thus have lost out on Aroldis Chapman and Yu Darvish. Imagine if Rogers had opened up their vault, and in a perfect world added Fielder, Darvish, and Chapman to this year’s roster. All the cost would have been is money, and in each case, the Jays could have had all three. The irony of it all is that all these three players would have fit the exact needs of the current Blue Jays roster: a power hitting first baseman, a starting pitcher, and an elite closer.

I’ve always felt that the biggest curse to Blue Jays fans is the success of Tampa Bay Rays. Since they have shown that they can win on a very tight budget, I begin to wonder if Rogers is thinking the same thing, and will continue to rein in their millions of Rogers customers dollars.

Zaki Ameen, Milton

Yeah… unfortunately, there’s this thing called reality.

Yes, Beeston is clearly full of shit when he makes grand claims about how many playoff experiences to expect, but that’s his job. The trade for Latos would have cost a shit-tonne in terms of prospects, and would have only brought back Mat fucking Latos, so there’s really no faulting the Jays for not paying a steeper price than what Cincinnati did. The 5-year rule would be dumber if there was any reason to believe that the Jays won’t break it if necessary, and Prince Fielder got a crazily large contract that would be crippling to the club on the back-end if at some point Rogers decided it no longer made business sense to keep gifting money to the Jays– which is what they would be required to do in your pay-everyone-everything scenario, which is completely unfeasible in the first place. And who knows when the down-value back-end of that deal is going to start, with Fielder’s body type.

Yes, the Jays missed on Chapman. Darvish too, but that’s a lot of money for a guy who, right now, sure is allowing a lot of baserunners. He’s got tremendous stuff, but it’s way too early to start chastising the Jays for that one, too.

Of course those moves would have made the 2012 Jays a better team, it’s just… yeah, that whole reality thing.


Q-Jays fan, temporarily living in Chicago for the summer.

 What’s the latest on Santos??

Omair Rana, Chicago

Santos suffered a setback in his rehab a couple weeks ago, and there’s still no timetable for his return– at least, that was the last I’d read. He’s going to be an important bullpen arm for them for a long time, so they’re not rushing anything.


Q-The Blue Jays have a pretty good team this year, is the rest of the league afraid there might be a repeat of the 1992-93, with the all bad calls against the Jays, are the umpires making sure that does not happen?

Shirley McArthure, Niagara Falls



Q-When will Farrell pull the plug on Cordero? He’s had a great career, but he’s just not effective now. Yet Farrell has consistently gone to Cordero over Frasor in important situations. Cordero made sense when Santos first went down. But we’ve now seen that he doesn’t have it anymore. Do you agree that Cordero should be moved down the depth chart? Personally, I’d consider cutting him loose and bringing up a kid. I was at one of the Boston games and the whole section groaned when Cordero got up in the bullpen. The natives are getting restless.

Kevin Siena, Toronto

I know this letter is a little stale, but holy fuck. I mean, yes, Farrell has overused and misused Cordero– there is no doubt about that. And it’s undeniable that there have been a lot of outings– too many outings– in which he hasn’t been good. But the vast fucking chasm between how actually bad he’s been and the perception of people who are ready to fucking cut him remains absolutely fucking staggering. Shit, I mean, since his blow-up in Oakland on May 8th, even with a couple of Arencibia-aided turds, he’s pitched to a 2.12 ERA and held opponents to a .687 OPS.

Sure, that’s a small sample size with an arbitrary starting point, but that’s astonishingly far from the loss-waiting-to-happen perception fans have of him. He’s given up runs in four of his last 21 appearances, and earned runs in just three. Do I really have to explain that that’s not DFA material? Is the turnaround of Frank Francisco last year really so fucking difficult to remember? Or the usefulness of Octavio Dotel as a trade chip?

I’m not claiming Cordero has been good or is about to morph into the guy he was a few years ago, just asking for a little goddamned perspective.


Q-Hey Richard Stoeten,

I wanted to get your thoughts on Wandy Rodriguez. I personally think he would be a great fit as a No. 3 starter behind Romero and Morrow. He’s a guy who can give you close to 200 IP, hasn’t had an ERA over 3.60 in the last 5 seasons and is under team control through 2014. He will most likely be available come trade deadline day if he’s not traded before then. What do you think the Jays would have to give up for him? In addition, what are some other names Jays fans should keep their eye on leading up to the July 31st trade deadline as a potential starting pitcher? Finally, IF they do manage to bring in another starter who do you think gets sent down/moved to the pen? Thanks! Keep up the great work!

Josh Cymbalista, Thornhill

I think “great” fit is a stretch, Josh. He’d be OK. But expensive– he’d be owed some fraction of his $10-million salary this year, plus $13-million for 2013, and a club option for that amount the year after, with a $2.5-million buyout, according to Cot’s. He’s already lost a tick on his fastball– down to 89.2 mph this year, from it’s 90.2 peak in 2009– and he’s struck out 8% fewer batters faced this year than he did in 2009.

That said, he’s OK, can eat some innings, and it’s a manageable cost. If there’s nothing better, fuck… sure.

Matt Garza, though, is much better– though, naturally, costlier. Beyond that, you hear names of guys who will be free agents next winter– Greinke, Hamels, Ryan Dempster– but I can’t see the Jays giving up assets for a two-month rental. If we know anything about Anthopoulos, if he makes a deal, it will probably for someone we haven’t heard of.


Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I enjoy the mailbag. It is my understanding that there are pay restrictions in place for the first year of a minor-league contract but after that the system is open. If this is correct, and with the new penalties in place for teams that exceed the MLB draft signing bonus, is there any indication that the Blue Jays or other teams may try to entice those hard-to-sign draft picks (like Anthony Alford) by paying them on the back end by offering rich minor league contracts.

Aaron Asee, Toronto

I forget where, but I heard this subject come up with regard to Alford elsewhere, and I believe MLB monitors these contracts, and can penalize teams who violate the system– or perhaps they can render the contract invalid. I don’t totally know, to be honest, and I wouldn’t put it past clubs to already be looking into ways to game the system, given what we’ve already seen from the draft selection process itself.


Q-Dear Mr Griffin Stoeten,

What do you make of the withering of Brian Jeroloman ? He is performing (?) atrociously at New Hampshire.
 And, why on earth did the Jays sign Koby Clemens, given the logjam of genuine first base prospects in AAA and AA?
 Thank you.

Thea Varley, 

These are organizational filler guys. Meh.


Q-Greetings Richard Stoeten,

Yesterday, my wife and I, retirees, watched the Jays nose under the .500 water line for the first time, and I suspect this bunch of deck chair shufflers will accelerate to the bottom, on merit.

We went to watch Strasburg pitch in any event, knowing he’d bury this weak Toronto bunch. 
It was a lovely sunny day, at least, and the beer (at $10 !) was cold. 
On two occasions we tried to buy food: the lineup for all food was approximately 15 minutes long, even during play, so we contented ourselves with the beer. Only one harried server worked each food counter. Isn’t this mediocre organization smart enough to anticipate more customers on a day when the opposing pitcher is named Strasburg?

Must we be subjected to ear-piercing, gawd-awful “music” between each batter? Is the younger generation that bored? Do we require a command to “Make Noise” from the scoreboard? Our ears are still ringing. Doesn’t this club need to create premium seating (not club boxes) for fans who want to watch the game away from the diaper changers (yes!), fans who arrive in the third inning, and the constant movement to the concession stands by the children and the grossly obese?
 Aren’t we tired of AA’s flanneling speeches that admit nothing? 
Doesn’t he need to (quickly as possible ) package the likes of Drabek, Arencibia, Escobar, etc. onto another dull-witted organization? 
Are these enough questions?

 Thank You,

Selby Martin, Toronto

Must local children insist on trampling their grubby feet across your freshly manicured lawn?!??!

The problem at Strasburg’s start, Selby, wasn’t so much the fact that fans flocked to see the Nationals’ phenom, but the fact that it was a school day, so the Dome was full of screaming kids. And apparently kids fucking love hot dogs, because I was there too and the food lines were absolutely ridiculous. I suppose you’re right that I shouldn’t be so nonchalant about Rogers’ complete fucking ineptitude when it comes to running the stadium they bought for a song, but this kind of shit happens so often that you just get really used to it.

And I totally agree that the in-game screaming-at-us is almost as absolutely insufferable as the wave.

But… you’re really that fucking put out by people having to go to the concession stand, or– heaven forbid– bringing children or being hefty? The fuck?

Worse still, what do you have against Escobar?

Comments (82)

  1. Love this answer:

    “Harper hit two ground balls so hard they accelerated past Kelly Johnson at second base for singles”

    That’s actually physically impossible, there Griff. Nothing hits the ground and then speeds up.

    • Bryce Harper can break the rules of physics.

    • You haven’t seen stoeten body surfing

    • perhaps he meant accelerated towards homeplate

    • If it had enough spin in the right direction it theoretically could accelerate. Not really going to happen but just throwing it out there.

      • You used to hear all the time how ground balls would speed up on astroturf. I’d guess it’s like the “rising fastball” thing–they seem to speed up because they don’t slow down like normal.

        • Bang on – “accelerate” in this case means “go faster than I expect it to at that point.”

      • Of course it could accelerate: top spin on a struck ball could very cause it to gain forward velocity when it hits the ground. Trying playing or watching billiards if you don’t believe spin on a ball can cause it to accelerate.

    • harper walks on water

    • When a spinning baseball traveling through the air hits the rug in the Rogers Centre it can indeed accelerate: angular momentum transferred into velocity and all that.

    • That’s a clown observation brah!

  2. these people. . . . don’t know how you do it, Stoeten. on a semi-related note, if I were a child reading these letters, the whole adult-infalibility thing would instantly go up in smoke. . . . to quote a friend:


  3. From Atlanta to Toronto it’s apparent that geriatric people hate Escobar.

    • He’s Black AND Latino… they don’t like either, let alone both

    • this is a Great comment.

      • I’m retired and I LOVE the guy. He’s probably better than Hech overall and has a canon for an arm. That said, every 40 games or so he has a brain cramp.
        Trade KJ at the deadline for a power hitting lefty 1B. Put Hech at 2B. Keep Yunel and Hech.

        • Sure you should keep both but if one of those guys is going to man SS, it’s going to be Hech. Better defense + weaker bat.

  4. I have been watching baseball for a while but would like to know how do you tell the difference between some of the pitches thrown like the difference between a 2 seam fastball and a 4 seamer? or the difference between a slider and a breaking ball and curve ball.
    are you able to tell by just watching on TV?

    • Dont’ know the rules on this post, if anyone can answer…as a former pitcher (SW Ontario only) 2 seamer is a fast ball thrown with the laces (hour-glass shaped laces) and will run in on a same sided batter.
      Four seamer held across the laces, I never got any movement on that, so locating that pitch was easier (usually threw when behind in the count.
      Breaking ball is an umbrella term but usually a used for a curve.
      Yes you can usually tell even on TV the difference between curve, slider, split, fork, change etc. If you watch the catchers signals when no one is on base, you will see the call from the catcher (pretty much little league stuff…1 = Fastball, 2 = curve. With a speedy runner on first and less than 2 outs if the catcher throws down a fist, its a pitchout, a thumb to the right is a throw over to keep the runner honest,

      • Birddawg: Absolutely excellent comment. Please continue to educate some of us less experienced in the nuances of the game!

      • Yeah thanks birddawg…very enlightening…I thought though that a 4 seamer was a little slower than a 2 seamer and if a 2 seamer runs in (on a same sided batter) how is a cutter different?

        • 4 seamer tends to be faster.

          A two seamer and a cut fastball move in opposite directions: a 2 seamer cuts to the arm side of the pitcher while a cut fastball moves to the glove side. There are other differences but that is the main one

          • A cutter goes towards the inside of the batters body.
            If your a right handed pitcher you would throw the cutter against a left handed hitter and vice versa.
            The cutter cuts at the last second making batters think it’s just a fast ball and then…. whammy!

            The Four seamer or the typecial fastball, any one can throw this pitch without any trouble… only you won’t touch 90 MPH or anywhere close to that.
            It barely has any movement hardly none at all and is usually faster simply because the pitcher puts no movement in it- no dancing around no certain release point or arm slot- just grip it, put some pressure windup and throw it with all you have.

            The two seamer is slower because they put movement on it. You put pressure on the ball holding your fingers down on it giving it spin.
            The ball then spins out of your hand away from you.(most pitchers lose anyhwere from 2 MPH or a little more off their four seamer, when throwing the two seamer) (You can get some sink on the two seamer aswell it’s not as drastic as some of the sinkers these Big league guys throw)

            There’s the running fast ball or split finger( go check out someone throwing a running fastball on youtube with a batter in the box it’s quite the pitch)

            You throw, release, and grip the ball idffrently for every pitch.

            If you ever try to throw a changeup and it just falt out sucks and get’s shelled every time you throw it- try throwing a palmball(put the ball deep in your palm, thumb outside and realese it, like you would a fastball)- which is very easy, it might not be good either and get shelled, but you don’t lose as much speed off it as you would on a changeup. We Can’t all be big league ptichers and the PalmBall is really easy to throw.

            I”m just coming off being a postion player OF(LF, RF mostly) did pitch a little in highschool( wasn’t that great) I’d throw a Fastball(Not that bad) Palmball and a really shitty attempt at a slider attempted it 2 maybe 3 times this last year.

            I remember throwing one slider way off the plate not even fucking close, the batter had a wtf look on his face. My buddy the catcher had a smirk that everyone in the ball park could probably see under his mask.(It was bad, I never threw it again)

            If your in any type of league or still in highschoo or whatever, try a bunch of different pitches… why not?
            One might stick.

            Just realized how long this post is, but fuck it not deleting it. I know he has some people already responding with good comments and tips and stuff, just trying to help aswell.

            If anyone bitches about how long this post is, all’s forgiven, cuase I’ve added the warning danger
            product label and description at the end………………Don’t Read it.

    • Also, most times you can judge by the speed of the pitch.

      A typical breakdown might go something like this for a Major League starter:

      4 Seamer: 93MPH
      2 Seamer: 90MPH
      Slider: 85MPH
      Change Up: 82MPH
      Curve: 80MPH

      Obviously this will depend on a given pitcher and his reper-toih. Most TV Analysts just go by the given pitcher’s typical pitching aresenal and the speed on the stadium gun – which is why from time to time you see a slow slider called a changeup or something like that.

  5. Has anyone on here every seen a question they had sent to Griff and seen it destroyed and left in shambles by the Hipster that is Stoet McGoats?
    If so did you feel rediculously fucking stupid. I’m not trying to offend anyone but jesus some of those questions are fucking brutal.

    • Starting with the grips their deffirent. The four seasme rhas less movemnt but you can get more on it(throw it harder) the two seamer has more movement away or towards the batter. The two seamer is great for groundballs because it will move coming in at the batter(could be a little outside and then paint the corner at the last second) when they swing at it they will most likely not get good wood on it(unless they’re looking for it or a cutter).(we really are talking seconds here). The two seamer is almost like a really fast not as drastic in movement slider.(great for ptiching away)

      The slider is a pitch that literally slides(or breaks away from the batter) it can come right down the middle and move away from the batter or towards the batter(Depending what handed batter your facing)(used for swinging strikes, mainly on a pitchers count unless you have a very good slider and are comfortably throwing it at anytime.) A lot of major league pitchers have so much movement and speed on their slider it’s sickening.

      A breaking ball can literally break away from the plate(their are many types, Curveball, Slurve, knuncle curve, the 12-6 curve(Chris carpenter makes people look foolish with this pitch) The 12-6 curve starts high and just litterally drops in the last seconds making even the best hitters look foolish(breaking from hadn on the clock would sit 12 and drop to the 6)
      it’s pitched from an overhead motion.
      Breaking balls in general have a breaking motion, sideways or downward movement.
      Breaking balls can be hard for a catcher to block as they end up in the dirt alot or far away from the batters box.(See JPA)

      The slider, cutter, breaking ball any pitch that has breaks is a breaking ball.

      If youy want to learn how to throw and grip these pitches youtube offers great grips and how to throw it.(where to release, sidearm what angle(degrees)

      • Thanks, i have been watching youtube videos tonight.
        The knuckleball is my favorite pitch, but so few pitchers throw it good.
        A good breaking ball really makes a hitter look silly, swinging at a ball 2 feet in front of them in the dirt.
        Still remember as a kid Wakefield pitching a great game against the Jays, announcers said he had his knuckler floating like a butterfly.

        • Knuckleball is extremely hard to throw.That’s why a lot of players don’t throw it.. You should try it for fun.I tried it. I can’t do it..

          • Don’t give up on the dream RADAR. Master the pitch and get AGGRO and you just never know.

          • At my age, it’s not the arm slot but the finger pressure that’s important to be successful..

            We’re still talking baseball ,right?

          • My dad used to throw a knuckeball at me every once in a while when we played catch when i was a kid. It always drove me nuts.

        • Knuckleballs: consciously embracing randomness to achieve something. By definition that is fucking sublime.

  6. Thank you for expanding on what I’ve been saying for a week or two about Coco. The guy has been more than adequate for a larger part of the season than the shittastic first month that he had. Janssen, Oliver and maybe Perez are the only clearly superior options than Coco out of the bullpen right now and the latter two are LOOGYs or long relievers. Nothing wrong with going to Coco in a non-mopup situation

    Also completely agree re: replacing Escobar with Hechavarria is insane. This is particularly true because Hechavarria’s value is primarily driven by his range, which is redundant because Brett Lawrie is beside him. We already see all the balls to Escobar’s right, which Lawrie already gets to. Hech’s range is basically wasted with Lawrie on the field. Escobar’s bat is by virtually any reasonable measure superior to Hech’s projected MLB bat. In my opinion, if either has to go, it should be Hech. He has far more value to virtually any other team in baseball than the Jays because a sizable portion of his defensive value isn’t rendered redundant.

    • It will be Escobar’s higher trade value that will be his demise as a Jay. Thinking we have seen this before with Fernandez and Manny Lee. I don’t think we will see an Alomar back, but we do need a second baseman and we will soon have 1 too many SS’s

      • And Alfredo Griffin before that.
        Still remember the Bill James quote.( I paraphase)

        Why is Alfredo Griffiin keeping Tony Fernandez out of the big leagues?

        And Griffin was a co rookie of the year award winner.

        • But Fernandez hit way better than Hech ever will. So the range of Hech is redundant because of Lawrie and Hech is at best a so-so hitter.

          • I’ve never heard of range redundancy as being a problem, let alone being a reason to trade someone. At the deadline Clubs want a player who has experience, not a rookie with potential. Your point about Fernandez’s hitting is right, so thats why we got Alomar. You couldn’t get Robbie with Lee. Got to give to get, and Hech won’t get you much

          • Also Escobar will be too old by the time the BJ’s challenge for the WS…another reaon to keep Hetch

  7. “it’s” -> “its” in “and I know that I’ve personally suspected that it’s falling apart is one of the reasons”

  8. Swamp Sex Robots, here we cum!

  9. Re: Wandy Rodriguez

    A trade renders the 2014 option year a player’s option. Thus, the 2.5 million buyout is no longer in effect as 2014 is no longer a club option.

    Not sure if AA wants to sink a good portion of his discretionary budget (assuming he has one) with Wandy. I would rather see AA be aggressive in trying to lure some of the more intriguing FA options in the offseason.

    • I don’t think that’s true unless it happens to be specific to that player’s contract. I’m thinking of when the Jays were able to acquire Olivo and then promptly declined to exercise his option year and offered him arbitration to get the pick. Unless there’s another element here that I’m not aware of…

      • It is specifically written in Wandy’s contract. If the Jays trade for him, you can be pretty sure he will be a Jay in 2014 for 14M.

    • I read the Wandy 2014 club/player option thing over on MLBTR comments section last night. Suffice to say, if it’s true, AA will have read it by now and knows all about it.

  10. Please don’t allow such long questions in the future. Make them get to the point.

  11. Selby Martin can go fuck himself. It’s a baseball game, not church. I’ve never been to a live game, but one of the cool things about watching the Angels play is that there always tonnes of kids and families having an (apparently) great time.

    This from a guy who had his ‘blank cheque is waiting to fund the first boat- or planeload out’ to send people to Afghanistan to dig latrines and thinks that Quebec isn’t fit to govern itself because it’s people.

    Fuck you and your faux-tough-clueless-about-baseball-angry-dad routine, Selby.

    • In my experience there is a huge difference between Rogers Centre and US stadiums. For example, at Safeco you rarely have to wait in much of a line for food, and if you do you know it is going to be quality. They also don’t rely on loud music and lame gimmicks as much to get the crowd into it.

      My advice to Selby, sit in the 200s. The times I have sat in the 200s, I haven’t had to wait in a single line. Plus the beer girls remember you because they get so little business, so you only have to show ID once. There also seemed to be less families in the 200s when i was there.

    • I don’t know anything about Selby Martin, but I’ve been to games at the Skydome/Rogers Centre and at Angel Stadium and comparatively the Rogers effort sucks sucks sucks. The Angel fans drink cheaper beer, eat better food, get the food much more quickly, and sit with other knowledgeable fans who follow and cheer the game without doing the wave or getting cheering/noisemaking direction from the scoreboard. The music at Angel games is less blaringly loud, although the difference may be that they are of course outdoors. As to changing diapers in the stands, I haven’t seen that at either stadium. Pretty much all of this also applies to Safeco Field, where I’ve seen about a dozen games. The Blue Jays stadium experience could be improved considerably. Deal with it.

      One more thing. Fatsos. Everybody over the age of about 45 is creeped out by the relentless invasion of the land whales. Some are simply more honest about it than others.

  12. That was hilarious how patient you were in answering Thomas’ (first one) question. Thought you would have fucked him up, for sure.

  13. Why do people actually pay for food at the game? You are allowed to bring your own, ya big dopes

  14. As much as I harped on about getting a number 2 pitcher for the offseason, I do like GM AA’s tone now that he won’t get squeezed trying to get some shitballer because the rotation exploded their arms. It’s better to sit around and see if we can get another Escobar, Rasmus or Johnson because it has been working out pretty well, I think.

  15. we need AA to do a Gillick move; Tony & Freddie for Robbie & Joe. That move changed everything. As for the playoffs this year, they do lead the league in walks?

    • I’m more than a little tired of all the Gillick/glory days comparisons. (And you’re not the only one doing it.) You know: this years team is a bit like the ’84 one or Gillick didn’t make any big free agent acquisitions or we need a Dave Winfield type free agent. It’s as though what Gillick did is the only model of success or something. I LOVE what AA is doing. But it’ll happen the way that it happens.

    • Not the time.

    • Yeah in hindsight it changed everything. But please name the actual players now to trade. At least then you will be putting some details to your bullshit.

  16. The guy about the food needs to chill, has he ever been to an american stadium? They would have 3 people in front of me in the line at US Cellular field for example, and it would take an entire inning to get served. At least the served you in 15 minutes when guarenteed the line was ridiculously long.


    • But at least the food is usually good at US stadiums. Rogers Centre is atrocious.

      • 100 level has great food. 500 level is like being in a 3rd world country.

      • i take it you never had the prime rib sandwich, or the bbq chicken nachos over at muddy waters, or the wings over at quakers – shoot even the poutine is pretty darn good. Need I add the prime rib sliders? there is plenty of good food – just not in the 500 level.

        On a side note, if i recall correctly when Anaheim had the all star game two years ago? MLB did a poll on best stadium eats and i think skydome was voted in at 3rd?

        • They have good notchos but everything else sucks. Spadina hot dogs, PLLLEEEASE! I’ll take a burkies dog house any day over that pig feed!

  17. I feel bad for that last guy’s wife, he must insufferable to live with. Other than baseball, his hobbies likely include running over childrens’ bicycles with a large buick

  18. For some unknown reason today feels like one of those quiet days when you’re just sitting there at your desk in the office, when all of a sudden “Jays trade Hechavarria and Syndergaard for Hamels.”

    • A less remote, though still remote, possibility for shocker of the day would be “Jays call up Snider and D’Arnaud”.

      • They will both be traded for help with our playoff march. Snider is crap and d’Arnaud will be a bust. Jays need established players, not more lottery tickets/experiments. These ROOKIES ARE RUINING OUR PLAYOFF MARCH!

      • I know they want to give Hech and TDA the full season in the minors, but how much would it really set their development back to hand them the reins now – by now I mean within the next 4 weeks.

        I wonder if they could get more for JPA now than in the offseason when other teams are in less of a rush and know he is surplus? Are there even any trade partners for JPA?

        • Not a lot is there, maybe the Pirates or the Twins.
          Tell the truth I actually can’t think of a lot of teams that need a everyday catcher. Some have them already, some have prospects they hope.

          It actually might be easier to find a trade partner for a backup catcher, a Jeff Mathis- than an every day catcher.

          • Ya. I thought the Nats could use him but their cupboard is likely pretty bare?

          • The Nats would be a good one, with Ramos hurt and not knowing how he will perform coming back from injury.
            They traded Norris.

            But your right, what would they give us in return, they gave it all to Oakland.

  19. Asked BJ Hunter as well: Why isn’t it just called an “M”?

  20. This season has officially lost all of the hope and excitement we had back in April. SO much negativity and sarcasm. It’s just not fun anymore.

    Sure, the Jays can win a few and get back into the fringes of a wild-card spot, but really, come on, it’s over. The Jays needed several things to happen, they haven’t, and the recent SP disasters pretty much put the nail in the voffin. I hate to be that guy, but c’mon. It’s over.

    • You ARE that guy. The dumb guy.

      • Leave it to BBB to break me out of my funk:

        Gose, Hech, TDA, Snider… what organization wouldn’t want to have this type of high ceiling knocking at the door.

        With the 4 arms about to climb through the system (Nicolino, Norris, Sanchez, Syndergaard), and Rasmus, Lawrie, Morrow, Romero, Hutch, and Alvarez becoming real pro’s this year (ups and downs are a part of that) there still is no other team I’d like to follow than this one.

        In it or out of it, September will be great fan fodder for Jays fans.

  21. Are the dutch kicking around the ball again today?!?!?! There must be some piece of Jays ‘chum in the water’ that we can feast on. Or is it Wake up at 5pm Wednesday over at the Score palace?

  22. Expect Escobar, johnson and encarnacion to be traded this year. I doubt AA ponies up for EE as he rightfully is going to ask for a big raise. Johnson is a strikeout waiting to happen. JPA should be tossed in there too or keep him and shift d’arnaud to first base. Hechavaria will be a late season call up and maybe ready next year. Of course if Escobar is willing to move over to 2B that opens a few other possibilities. Arencibia gets on my nerves he has regressed in his game calling and blocking. He reaches out and snatches the ball and quickly tosses it back without framing it for the umpire like it’s his call what a strike and ball is. Terrible receiver

    • I agree they have to do something with the catcher situation because if JPA stays like this, AA’s hand will be forced with D’Arnaud at which point JPA’s value totally plummets. Now AA might still be able to bait a GM with his power potential and youth. Having said that, you might be able to get good return for d’Arnaud now while he’s tearing up AAA and before any worts show at the major league level. Personally, considering the catcher landscape, I’d try to move JPA and call up D’Arnaud.

  23. A list of guys playing 2nd that the Jays may trade for this year
    Second base candidates from the last 2 years include (ignore the guy named Lawrie)

    # 2012 # 2011
    1. Cory Spangenberg, SD 1. Dustin Ackley, SEA
    2. Jonathan Schoop, BAL 2. Brett Lawrie, TOR
    3. Kolten Wong, STL 3. Billy Hamilton, CIN
    4. Oscar Tejeda, BOS 4. Jason Kipnis, CLE
    5. Cesar Hernandez, PHI 5. Danny Espinosa, WAS
    6. Delino DeShields, HOU 6. Oscar Tejeda, BOS
    7. Charlie Culberson, SF 7. Cesar Hernandez, PHI
    8. Scooter Gennett, MIL 8. Jemile Weeks, OAK
    9. Reese Havens, NYM 9. Eduardo Nunez, NYY
    10. Joe Panik, SF 10. Johnny Giavotella, KC

    9. Reese Havens, Mets: When

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