On Francisco Cordero

Mike Wilner is not wrong that Jays fans this year have been way too hard on Francisco Cordero. Fans’ reflexive booing of their own players– which isn’t just commonplace in Toronto, it’s openly and vigorously defended– is something that truly upsets me as I grow older. I’m not sure why it didn’t always– I had a real ugly streak when it came to Eric Hinske during the last doomed years of his Jays career– but now more than ever I can’t escape the suffocating presence of sober, rational knowledge. Knowledge that baseball is the ultimate game of failure; knowledge that players aren’t out there trying to be bad; that failure to execute is due to a confluence of factors– physical, mental, mechanical, external– preventing a result that’s impressively difficult to pull off in one’s own favour in even the most ideal circumstances; that it shouldn’t be beaten over a player’s head when he’s failed in a situation where he was precisely setup to fail, especially while the decision-maker’s reception, even if still full of vitriol, is much more comfortable.

Put simply: it sucks to not just hate-on, but to, en masse, try and pulverize the very soul of a person whose personality we know nothing of, who is simply trying his best to do his job, and whose only wronging of us has been that he happens to not be very good at baseball.

And, hoo boy, Francisco Cordero is not very good at baseball.

Or, actually, technically, Francisco Cordero is pretty ridiculously good at baseball, relative to the general population. For a few years there you probably could have gone as far as to say that Francisco Cordero was great at baseball relative to not just the general population, but even at times, relative to the elitest of the elite in the sport.

That time isn’t now, though, and while Cordero has shown this year that he’s not completely incapable of getting Major League hitters out, he just hasn’t been able to do so with anything resembling the consistency required of not just a Major League pitcher, but one that constantly, inexplicably has been thrown into the high-leverage fire by his manager, John Farrell.

This isn’t exactly a shocking conclusion. Many fans had drawn it very early into the season, and had seen it reinforced with each successive meltdown, regardless of how well he performed for stretches in between– and whether or not you want to believe it, he did have a very nice stretch between May 12th and the disaster on Canada Day, in which he appeared in 25 games, allowing four earned runs over 20.2 innings, with 16 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.75 and an opponents OPS of .667.

Said stretch was so not-putrid, in fact, that seeing those numbers almost makes me want to reassess my coming over to the dark side. Truthfully, though, they’re stripped straight from the pages of the ol’ Arbitrary Endpoints Handbook. And furthermore, there were plenty of red flags about Cordero’s performance at the time he was signed, well under-market for a “capital C” closer– the declining velocity on his fastball, the ugly peripherals in 2011, despite an excellent save-conversion rate and a sparkling 2.45 ERA.

That said, in some ways that run of success may still be enough for a reasonable person– those of us capable of remembering, for example, that the early June loss in Atlanta couldn’t possibly have been hung on Cordero, or used as part of some rage-tinged laughably-illogical “every time he comes in they lose” narrative, or that even the hits he gave up tonight were rather soft– to not be too dismayed by his continued usage.

Even someone thoroughly unmoved by those facts would have to at least acknowledge that he isn’t David Pauley. He isn’t Evan Crawford. He isn’t Ryota Igarashi, Robert Coello or Scott Richmond. Y’know, if you don’t want to set the bar particularly high.

But the fact of the matter is, Cordero has proven himself too unreliable to be used in anything but mop-up duty at this point. And while I feel confident in saying that I’ll be more understanding than most if the Jays– who are so desperate they’re turning to relievers in their first year of pro ball, for fuck sakes– decide that they have no better choice but to keep running him out there; and while I acknowledge that– genius observer that I am– I wrote a post like this last year about Edwin Encarnacion, and damn near one about Frank Francisco too; when it comes to the subject of Cordero sucking, I can no longer be against those of you who were telling me so months ago. Even if some of you are kinda assholes.

But hey, the Jays took a shot. Sure, due to the CBA he didn’t have quite the same potential for value as last year’s veteran bullpen flier guys, Francisco, Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel, but stranger things have happened than a seemingly declining reliever showing that he still has a little bit more left in the tank. It was inarguably a worthy pursuit, had he been used appropriately, it’s just… holy fuck, put it out of its misery already.

 

Image via Brad White/Getty.

Comments (211)

  1. Thanks. I was getting tired of telling this to all my friends. Now just need to send on a link.

  2. Yes, Francisco Cordero cannot help that he’s a poor reliever at this stage in his career. That isn’t the problem, though, every team has poor relievers. The problem is John Farrell’s continued unnecessary and unexplainable use of him in high leverage situations. If you’re looking to boo somebody as a fan, look the manager’s way after games like this, not Coco’s.

    I will say I’m getting a bit tired of AA wasting 4M+ every offseason on bullpen guys like Rauch and Cordero (especially in Cordero’s case as there were no compensation picks there any longer). There are certainly better ways of spending that money (and this team could have really used an improvement at SP and 1B over the winter).

    • Jesus christ.

      • What’s your problem this time?

        • Maybe he just stubbed his toe?

        • His problem is, most likely, that you’re exactly the same kind of person he was talking about in the article, but this time, you’re booing Farrell instead.

          • I don’t think so. I suspect it had to do with my comment about AA’s tendency to give millions to poor relievers instead of players that could provide more value to the team.

            For the record, though, I don’t advocate booing anybody at the games. I was just saying that Farrell should be the target of any fan ire in this situation for continuing to make the same mistakes, not Coco.

        • His problem is that its stupid to shit on AA for this. Shit your intestines out on Coco – he’s murdered this team. But every year there are teams that throw 3-4 mil at a veteran reliever (like Farnsworth) who saves the pen. Just cause you’re now the king of hindsight doesn’t mean we need to crown your ass (to quote Denny Green).

          • King of hindsight? There were many against this signing from the beginning for several reasons, I was just one of them.

            http://blogs.thescore.com/djf/2012/01/24/rosenthal-get-set-for-super-pen-as-jays-sign-francisco-cordero/

            My first post on the matter:

            “I don’t particularly like the move at all and don’t see how it was worth it at all to spend this on him. Francisco Cordero has been declining for years now and put up very unimpressive peripheral numbers in a poor division and league last season. There is little reason to think he’ll do any better in 2012 in the AL East. I guess the hope is that he regains some of his value and they’ll be able to trade him based on his reputation and name as a former closer, but this just looks like this year’s Rauch to me. If Farrell keeps going to him in high leverage situations over superior options like Janssen, Oliver, and Frasor, that’s going to end up being a problem.”

          • Well Ray, it looks like Fullmer is right. Give him credit, if he wants to boo Farrell for tying his ship to CoCo, he has the right. this is pro sports, its about having fun – he didnt say he was going to wait in the bushes outside Farrell’s home Stoeten, some perspective.

          • Smart money say that wasn’t Stoeten who wrote the comment, just someone who wrote in the name “Andrew Stoeten”

            I’d gamble 4M+ on that

        • @Fullmer Fan, Obviously, your valuation proposition is a little off. It’s easy to be right in hindsight with Cordero and point out I told you so for this one case, but you’re wrong about all the others.

          While Cordero has been bad this year, another “poor reliever” in Darren Oliver has been one of their best relievers in the pen. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you don’t.

          As for the worthless Jon Rauch, he got the Jays the 58th pick in the June draft (3B Mitch Nay) and Frank Francisco got them the 50th pick (LHP Matt Smoral). In 2011, the much vilified Kevin Gregg netted the Jays the 53rd pick (OF Dwight Smith Jr). Scott Downs (actually a quality reliever) also got the Jays the 2011 48th pick (OF Jacob Anderson). Let’s see where these players all filter out.

          AA did what few other teams did in the past, on a team that didn’t expect to compete, he built a bullpen that WOULD generate value, but adding extra compensation picks. If you don’t see that, then unfortunately you’re behind.

          Now that the compensation system has changed and this doesn’t work, he’s tried to strengthen the bullpen by signing better players. Cordero was one of the best options, who would actually take a 1 year deal at average bullpen money. If you want a quality reliever, it’s going to cost 3-4 years at 4-5 million per year to start. Not a smart investment with the long list of young prospects who may fill the bullpen in a year or two.

          The brilliance of AA goes beyond what the average fan can comprehend. Take the above bullpen value building, and add in the fact he’s cash in 4 compensation picks on catchers in the last 3 years as well. (Barajas, Buck, Olivo and Molina. Jose ‘freaking’ Molina was worth a compensation pick…) How did no one else think of this?

          • Except, as I already stated, this wasn’t hindsight. That was just shown in that in the old post when I (and many others) pointed out the flaws that would likely prevent Cordero from being successful. In fact, it’s funny how predictable what happened with him really was (he did turn out to be poor and Farrell ended up using him regularly over his far better relievers in Janssen, Oliver, and Frasor just like he did with Rauch). I’d love to know how, when, and who I was wrong about with the others, though. I called Oliver a very good reliever when he signed (though I didn’t quite get his acquisition either on a team that still didn’t have the necessary talent at 1B or SP to truly contend).

            And once again, there is no compensation pick that can be had from keeping Cordero so citing what they did with those picks really makes no sense in his case.

          • You comment about AA’s “tendency” to give poor relievers contracts. You’re stating a track record that isn’t true. Which is why these compensation pick comments have to be brought up in this case.

            Cordero was a smart pitcher and he found a way to adapt to his changing peripherals last season. And while the NL Central tends to be much weaker, his home park was a hitter’s haven, and he would have been very susceptible to home runs there too. Jays were banking on this experience playing well here. It didn’t.

            Tell me a reliever (or other pitcher) the Jays could have signed for the 4.5 million, 1 year contract that didn’t have massive question marks.

          • AA has done it unnecessarily two seasons in a row now. Yes, I’d call that a tendency. I do hope he won’t make it a third.

            And the best description of Cordero was that he was a declining pitcher. He was coming off his worst season as a professional in over a decade with declining velocity and declining poor peripherals. Rather unsurprisingly, the 5.43 K/9 and the 4.02 FIP in the shitty NL didn’t translate too well to the far superior division and league.

            And I’ve said many times over the last year that if the Jays weren’t going to make a real effort to contend in 2012 (which they didn’t), they shouldn’t bother spending that money at all to strengthen te bullpen of a mediocre .500 team (which accomplishes nothing other than turning 81 wins into 82 or 83). Which isn’t to say there weren’t cheap bargains out there to be had last year in guys like Edwin Jackson, Bartolo Colon, Erik Bedard, and Carlos Pena to improve the team at actual positions of need.

      • I think that a lot of us realized he wasn’t going to be good, per se, but figured he could be good enough that someone might figure “change of scenery” or “former closer” meant value, such that the Jays could package him a la Dotel for someone really useful.

        Unfortunately, like Dotel, Farrell has shown he has no concept of how to properly manage bullpen arms; and Cordero has been so bad it’s difficult (but not impossible) to see him having any value at this point.

        If he doesn’t net the club anything at the deadline, anything at all–he should be DFA’d.

        • @Fullmer Fan. Credit where credit is due. I didn’t (and still don’t) think it was a bad gamble, but you’ve absolutely earned the right for a few “I told you so’s”

          • Congratulations BFF, you called it. You’re skills at talent evaluation obviously mean that you, instead of professional baseball executives, should be running the front office of the Toronto Blue Jays. I for one am shocked that Rogers hasn’t called you based on your 50/50 crapshoot call of regression on an aging reliever with declining peripherals who has shat the bed at the time of his signing, now that he has in fact shat the bed. I’d sit by the phone holding your breath, because there’s definitely a job offer coming your way.

            All sarcasm aside though, I think it’s come to the point where we can all agree that Francisco Cordero has been remarkably shitty this year, and that prospects are not looking up for him. I also, however, think that it’s important to remember that he is pitching in a bullpen that is missing one of it’s key high leverage components in Sergio Santos, which has forced Farrell to tinker with his designed to be tinker proof bullpen much more than he should have, and almost certainly played a part in CoCo’s seeing far more innings and high leverage situations than he should have. If you accept (which I do) that the injury to Santos and it’s protracted duration were unforeseeable, then you have to give some leeway to both on field and off-field management over the bullpen issues this year. It’s the same as the rotation issue.

            While you try to plan for the worst case scenario, it’s impossible to have a depth of 20 Mariano Riveras or Roy Halladays in your system in case everything possible goes wrong, so you play the averages and act on the assumption that things may go reasonably bad, or reasonably well, and then build the depth needed to deal with the former while hoping for the latter and trying to give room for your prospects to develop at the same time. Otherwise you would go insane trying to plan for every possible scenario and eventuality.

            But we all know you’re not going to give the front office or Farrell that much rope, and won’t accept excuses such as human imperfection or unforeseeable events when you can use Francisco Cordero as an excuse to throw cheap shots at the people holding your rightful job.

            So have at it.

          • I haven’t made any cheap shots to anybody here. I’ve just pointed out that none of this was hindsight (after being wrongly accused), it was all rather predictable to anybody actually attention to this guy over the last few years. If you dropped your ceaseless, apologetic defense of all things Jays/AA/Farrell for a moment, you might see that.

    • farrel has been awful. A few series ago he brought in coco ahead of janssen in two back to back extra inning games and to my surprise (not really) he lost the game. The next day He brings in janssen in in a blowout to to get him some work! Oh and jannsen has only pitched 10 innings in 2 months. What a joke, this isn’t 1980, forget the save rule!

      • 10 innings in high lev situations

      • All you need to know about how fucked up the “save” is, is that in a tie game Cordero would be sent out instead of Jannsen and that Janssen has among the lowest IP on the team.

        All they are doing is inflating his saves (as much as they can) so that he’ll take them to the cleaners in arbitration.

        Fuck the save all to hell.

        • in jannsen’s case it would ore likely be for a trade since he has a pretty good contract for two years and an affordable option if i recall correctly. his contract +saves count might make him the most valuable trade chip they’ve got on the ml roster that they’d be willing to part with.

      • is this comment a re-post from the beginning of June? because the Rangers series you’re alluding to was in mid May, and Casey Janssen has pitched 23.1 innings in the last two calendar months, almost exclusively in high leverage or save situations. Thanks for coming out though.

    • “I will say I’m getting a bit tired of AA wasting 4M+ every offseason on bullpen guys …”

      I’m getting a lot tired of the general public thinking they can manage a club better than the actual GM. Let me guess, you’re probably among the clueless who call in to the FAN590 on a daily basis and enlighten us all, right?

      Please stop “contributing” to the comments of such high-leverage articles.

      • And I suppose you’re one of those fans who supports every move this team makes regardless of the whether there is any rational base behind it? Yes, if only we could all be more like you.

  3. I was there tonight, and all I have to say is: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  4. Arbitrary endpoints or not, the fact is that he had nearly two months of above average work in May and June. I hope that people don’t think that his undoubted recent shittiness now excuses their failure to recognize his decent run over a 2 month stretch, throughout which he was inexplicably cast by many fans as a loss waiting to happen.

    • Hitters had a .355 wOBA in May off Cordero and a .362 wOBA in June off Cordero. His WHIP was 1.59 in both months and his combined FIP was over 4.00.

      Sure, maybe he had a lucky/decent stretch where some of his balls in play were getting hit at fielders, but that’s all it was. These weren’t shutdown innings. His 1.71 K/BB, 1.95 HR/9, and 5.79 FIP tells the true story of his poor season. I don’t hate the guy, but I really don’t understand the point of defending him. He hasn’t been good.

      • Firstly, thank you for engaging me in a discussion with actual objective evidence (seriously). I take your point, but I disagree with the contention that it was a lucky stretch (especially given his BABIP was well over .300 in both months). By no means am I suggesting that he was Mariano Rivera in the playoffs over May and June, and I have consistently been saying that he is an adequate option on the backend of a bullpen (i.e. he’s a serviceable low-leverage reliever). My main beef (and my point in this comment) has been that the vitriol he received during May and June weren’t in tune with his actual performance.

        I’ll admit that I didn’t realize his peripherals were as unspectacular as you quite appropriately point them out to be, however, a FIP just over 4.00 is not indicative of a loss waiting to happen or somebody that needs to be released at first chance. For example, nobody was shitting on Jason Frasor nearly as much over that same period where his FIP and wOBA were similar to Coco’s (Coco with a lower FIP, Frasor with higher wOBA).

    • I stopped listening at ‘arbitrary endpoints’ because that’s the whole FUCKING point dude. You can’t just pick out a few appearances and say “well, he was good then.” If you don’t count the third inning tonight then Henderson Alvarez pitched a six inning shutout. Holy fuck that was a good start!

      • Analyzing the overall performance confined to a data set with arbitrary endpoints is completely different from ignoring outliers within a data set, as you’re doing.

      • “If you don’t count the third inning tonight then Henderson Alvarez pitched a six inning shutout. Holy fuck that was a good start!”

        Which is what Wilner did. He is losing me with some of his stat selections.

    • Pretty sure Andrew’s “Jesus Christ” comment was due to the lack of knowledge that the main reason those guys you listed (aka “Shitty relievers”) were on this team in years when the club wasn’t contending anyways, was to take advantage of the old CBA loophole that awarded teams compensetory draft picks for Type A and Type B free agents.

      Those “shitty relievers” landed the Jays Matt Smoral and Mitch Nay in this year’s draft.

      That’s some nifty returns, considering you could never trade those “shitty relievers” for those prospects straight up.

      • Except I mentioned that loophole in the post (and specifically that there was no such benefit with Cordero’s signing).

      • I hate how we are all so happy to go “sure Rauch, Francisco and Dotel completely massacred any playoff hopes on our 2011 team, but hey, we got these great draft picks with an 18% chance of helping our club in 2015!”

        Fuck, at some point doesn’t someone have to build an actual baseball team around here?

        • Well said. I’ve long wondered what the true value of a compensation pick is. You arbitrarily wrote 18%, but surely the projected value (using, say, fWAR) of a pick can be calculated given an approximation of where that pick will fall in the draft can be discounted by the years away that pick is likely to be for the team. Adding this value to a player like Rauch, Francisco, etc, who will also contribute a certain amount of value to the team can help us evaluate how wise a signing those guys are.

          My sense is that the value is considerably less than a lot of people like to believe.

        • YES! YES! YES! YES!
          Thank you very much!

    • Also what were those situations? The 2 month stretch you speak of were the type of inning he should have been pitching all along: largely Garbage / mop up innings. If you recall he needed to “build his confidence back up” according to Farrell. He has an ERA around 9 is high leverage innings!!! Yikes.
      Why are we even talking about Coco. He is completely inconsequential and if Farrell would stop bringing him into games where the outcome was in question, we would be just fine.

  5. It’s farrels fault as much as its Corderos.

    the reality is that blowing a close lead late or letting a game get out of hand late has more negativity then general shittiness in a lost game or earlier in the game.

    hes not our worst reliever, he’s just the worst reliever whos been in close game situations.

    • Nah, he’s by FAR our worst reliever, considering sample sizes.

    • He’s easily our worst reliever on the big league club, not including guys from AAA and AA who were here for a cup of coffee.

      • why wouldnt those guys count?

        • because if they count then you might aswell count anyone in the organization, and the reason they’re pitching for the las vegas 51s is because they’re not good enough to be in Toronto – which is probably true about cordero at this point too.

    • Well maybe it was because you figured there were upgrades at 1b for 4mil. Or that, on top of running out an inexperienced rotation, they should stock the bullpen full of rookies as well.

      BTW Frank Francisco was pretty good last year.

      • The rotation wouldn’t have been as inexperienced if some of the money that was spent on the bullpen was spent on it instead (or you know, if the team actually increased their payroll from well below average to improve both aspects of the team… though, I admit, that is likely too much to ask).

        Also, anybody would have been an upgrade on what Adam Lind has provided this season (.200/.284/.372). Heck, Overbay, who was only paid $1M by the DBacks, would have been easily.

        • Romero, Morrow. Those two guys were locks.

          Cecil came into camp in superb shape. They had to find out what they had in him.

          Alvarez earned a spot if he pitched well in ST. McGowan was a guy they really wanted the 5th spot for. Drabek was always a possibility.

          They were rumoured to have pitched for Latos. They bid on Darvish.

          In the end though, 2012 was always supposed to be another development year to a point, without the expectation of playoffs, but if everything went right, who knows.

          I’m going to guess you are one of those fans that is still pissed the Jays didn’t sign Bedard.

          Assuming they didn’t try to sign Bedard.

          • Going into a season with such young and inexperienced pitching in the rotation was undoubtedly a major mistake and it’s one that I doubt AA will make again. It’s just unfortunate that some of the money that could have been used to improve that aspect of the team was instead wasted on a reliever like Cordero.

          • And Bedard and his 4.57 ERA in Pittsburgh would translate great into the AL East this season…

          • Over the course of this season, the team has thrown out a pitcher who can’t miss batters in Henderson Alvarez (2.82 K/9 and 5.32 FIP), a junkballer who can’t keep the ball in the park in Brett Cecil (2.01 HR/9 and 5.49 FIP), a pitcher who literally can’t throw strikes in Kyle Drabek (5.93 BB/9 and 5.60 FIP), and a bunch of guys who have no real business in making major league starts in Laffey, Chavez, and Carreno.

            Is anybody really arguing that the team couldn’t have used a stopgap guy like Erik Bedard or that he wouldn’t have been an upgrade over these pitchers?

          • And Bedard would be an upgrade?

            Alvarez posted a mid 3.53 ERA and 3.97 FIP last season, did you predict this kind of regression?

            Posting Cecil’s numbers isn’t even realistic and if you’re going to post stats all over the place, you should know 21 innings is not enough sample size. A 1.60 HR/9 last season, along with a 0.94 HR/9 the year before, which seemed to be realistic to get back to considering how Cecil put more work in over the offseason.

            Losing three starting pitchers in a week and your ace (Romero) having a bad year is not something any team would survive.

            To be honest, the Jays have done a great job staying in contention for a playoff spot with the bandaids and duct tape they have been using. Villeneuva, Laffey HAVE been holding it together for now and that hasn’t been the problem.

          • Bedard’s 3.85 FIP would be 2nd among full-time starters on this team in 2012. Yes, he would have been a huge upgrade on the endless line of bad pitchers that the Jays have thrown out this season.

            Henderson Alvarez’ drop was not something all that unexpected. Performance variability is the inherent risk of young and inexperienced pitching (well that and injuries). That’s exactly why it’s important to have stopgap and backup options (which is where guys like Colon or Bedard would come in and be valuable in eating up innings).

            And you’re right, maybe Cecil can get back to his fantastic 2011 level of a 1.60 HR/9 and 5.10 FIP in time. I’ll be looking forward to that.

          • Colon would eat alright… You didn’t watch the second half performances he posted in the Rogers Centre? His July, August and September numbers were terrible, and the reason why he didn’t get much interest on the Free Agent market.

            As for Bedard, a 3.85 FIP in Pittsburgh is a lot different then in Toronto. Need to consider he gets the pitcher hitting and much weaker lineups overall. Imagine getting to face Houston and the Cubs that often, as well as San Diego, San Fran and the Dodgers… No chance he posts that in Toronto with his approach. He throws about as hard as Cecil these days

            As for Cecil, you obviously missed that the target for him is the 2010 season, since last year he was out of shape and not throwing well. The Jays saw his offseason approach as a step forward, improving his physical fitness.

            With young pitching, you need to give it a realistic chance. Wasting innings on journeymen starters when you’re still building makes no sense if you want to see what the kids can do. Morrow is proof of that, and it’s paying off now.

            Alvarez will show the same promise in time, once he harnesses his secondary stuff. Hutchison had started to show some great results before his injury. And while Drabek was still wild, his maturity level on the mound was night and day different from last season.

            Remember when Morrow was posting a BB/9 above 5 and he started to figure it out? (First two month of 2010 season and the 2009 season)

          • Bartolo Colon had a 3.83 FIP/3.57 xFIP last season in the AL East. While he declined in the 2nd half, he still managed FIPs of 3.35, 4.95, and 4.35 in his last three months (with an xFIP around 4.00). He’s followed that up with a 4.19 FIP in 2012. That would be a significant upgrade on what this team is getting out of most of its starters, so yeah, he would have been a fine acquisition and good use of money.

            As for Bedard, I’ll still take a 3.85 FIP in the NL translated to the AL East over the parade of horrible 5.00+ FIP starters that the Jays have thrown out in 2012. That’s a pretty easy one.

            If there was a good reason to expect Brett Cecil to reach his 2010 level, I suspect we would have seen him this season sooner than June and he wouldn’t have been sent to the minors immediately after his poor spring. His failure is just another example of the importance of needing additional pitching depth.

            Using guys like this wouldn’t have hindered the development of any young pitchers (and it’s a bullshit argument to suggest as much). In fact, it would have prevented the team from over relying on them (which they ended up doing) and would have provided improved production on what they ended up getting (unsurprisingly). In time, the young pitchers would have gotten their shot anyway (presumably after Alvarez learned how to miss a bat and Drabek figured out how to throw strikes).

            The thing I don’t understand is that you advocate not spending on the rotation to “give the young pitchers a chance,” but you don’t apply that same principle to to the bullpen with the team adding stopgap veteran arms. I have a strong suspicion, though, judging by your steadfast, apologetic defense of everything that the Jays/AA/Farrell have done on this page, that it has something to do with the fact the Jays made the choice to spend there. If they had gone after and acquired Bedard/Colon instead, I suspect you’d be right there defending those moves as well.

            It must be nice to believe that all of the Jays young pitchers will develop and grow just as Morrow did. It’s blindly optimistic, I suppose, considering the failure rate of young pitching at the MLB level, but nice all the same.

          • Razor you’re simply not being honest with yourself if you think the starting rotation was ready to contend coming out of spring training.

            Here’s the harsh reality of the starting rotation coming out of spring:

            Romero – good #2 starter, probably regression candidate

            Morrow – ace stuff, never put it together although theres reason to believe he will. statistically has been a #3 or 4 pitcher the last two years.

            Alvarez – looked great in 13(?) starts last year, walked no one and gave up a little too many homers, doesnt strike anyone out, because of which projects as a #3 at best currently.

            McGowan – very injury prone, cannot be expected to pitch the full season.

            Drabek – great stuff, wasnt good enough to pitch in the MLB last year, not sure if he can pitch there this year.

            Hutchison – has pitched 3 games above A ball to date, mitch be MLB ready but is on an innings cap.

            Does this rotation look ready to contend to you? i would bet against that rotation winning this division every time, and thats ignoring the fact that mcgowan and hutchison will NOT be able to pitch the full season. They clearly needed another starter, infact – if they wanted to contend they really needed an ace.

  6. Sometimes you get Coco, sometimes you get Darren Oliver. Who has been, if I might be so bold as to point it out, the polar opposite of Coco at about the same price.

    What I can’t understand is the use of an 8 man bullpen, which seems to have 5 effective guys in it. Well, I do understand it, since those last 3 guys are, as observed, somewhere in the 20-28 range on the depth chart. Coco should be down there on the depth chart as well. He’s not capable of a clean inning, it seems, an I don’t want to dream about what happens if he comes in with runners on base.

    Stick him in the 6th inning, or in low leverage situations. But he’s like a box of chocolates, and in the 8th inning, you need to know what you’re going to get…. and with Coco you just don’t .

    And he certainly doesn’t help his own case when he appears to be (the emphasis is on appears) too fat to cover first on a grounder.

    • Oliver, of course, was coming off a fantastic year in a tough hitter’s park and showed no signs of decline. You couldn’t say the same for Francisco Cordero. He was coming off his worst relief season in a decade with declining stuff and peripherals. There just wasn’t much reason at all to think he’d be successful here.

      • Because even pitchers with a great year (eg, Lincecum) fall apart at unforseen times. Oliver is old, and it could have easily been him. But it hasn’t been.

        Bullpen arms are often toe the rope of randomness to be great. Scott Atchison and Franklin Morales have been brutal in Boston before this year. Now they’re the best arms in the pen. Sometimes you sign Heath Bell to a large contract and sometimes you trade for Ernesto Frieri for two middling prospects. See Matt Capps, Ryan Franklin and Trevor Hoffman. Chris Perez in Cleveland has been awaiting a correction for the last couple years. Brandon League hit his expected wall this summer in Seattle.

        • Uh, yeah. You’re now outlining reasons why you shouldn’t bother spending 4.5M on FA relievers like Cordero (or even Oliver for that matter) which I completely agree with. As JP Ricciardi showed through building his pens (BJ Ryan notwithstanding), there were always bargains available on the cheap (Speier, Downs, Tallet, Accardo, Camp, Carlson) or guys already in the system that would work fine (Frasor, Janssen, League).

          The variability in performance of relief pitching is a major reason why a team shouldn’t spend that much money on it compared to other areas of the team.

          • How did that work out for Ricciardi? Find average players to string together a decent bullpen.

            I really did prefer the approach Anthopoulous took, since they’ve helped stock the farm system through his work.

          • It worked out great for the bullpen, which is what we’re talking about here.

    • 8 man bullpen when your best two starters are LUCKY if they pitch into the 6th, and the other three are a struggling Alvarez, Romero and Cecil. Just need the arms.

    • And he certainly doesn’t help his own case when he appears to be (the emphasis is on appears) too fat to cover first on a grounder.

      Yes. And all the more when Jonathan Broxton hustles his enormous ass over there promptly the very next inning.

  7. Coco has made millions and millions of dollars playing a game. I think he will be alright even if they leave him at the airport on the way to Chicago. Everybody’s gotta go sometime.

  8. It’s sad to see the way Toronto Fans treat their own. I hate the Red Sox, but would the Red Sox fans treat their ball players like this. The quality of the fans often reflect the quality of the city…. Class the fuck up Toronto.

    • Yeah, because Boston hasn’t been running their most popular players out of town for years.

    • Of course the Red Sox fans would boo. Fuck, they booed their own manager after a handful of games this season. And the treatment of Carl Crawford?

      Toronto seems to be under the impression that it’s the only city with casual fans, under informed media people, stupid callers, boo boys, even goddamn Mexican wavers. Happens for every team in every city in every country for every sport in the world.

      On a side note, booing sucks, but I hope Cordero (and most ballplayers) are philosophical enough to get through it. You do well you get cheered, you do badly you get booed. It’s all pantomime. In that regard, I liked Santos’s reaction to getting booed earlier this season when he said “I’d boo me too after that”.

      • Well that damn stupid wave in the middle of every game doesn’t look too good on Toronto’s baseball intellect.

    • Yea Boston fans would never boo a guy like John Lackey. Nor would they ever accuse their WS winning manager of having a prescription drug problem. Dumbass.

    • Wrong night to try this… Carl Crawford harrassed by racial slurs in the middle of Red Sox Nation playing a rehab game in New Hampshire tonight.

    • Eastcoastbias i just spoke with Josh Beckett and he said he would agree with you but he ate a couple pieces of chicken and had a beer so he’s in a boston jail cell right now.

    • LOL you fucking loser. Maybe try educating yourself on a topic before writing such ridiculous things. I saw Chris Perez booed so loud off the field opening night in Cleveland, it made a TO boo sound like a fucking sexy whistle.

  9. Good analysis, Stoeten. Very rational and thought out. It’s possible to defend how Cordero gets treated (and the incredible amount of confirmation bias that happens on Twitter when he pitches badly) while agreeing that he’s pitched terribly.

    It’s impossible to defend Farrell’s use of Cordero at this point. Certainly relievers tend to be up and down, but he should be the seventh or eighth guy in the ‘pen with what he’s shown this year. I can understand guys wanting roles and certainty, but there has to be some allowance for performance. Farrell’s lack of flexibility here is odd, even with the injuries the Jays have had to the pitchers.

    There’s always more than we know involved with managing, but it’s plain to anyone that Cordero doesn’t have it right now. His best use is protecting the parade of young arms the Jays are trotting out, and soaking up some low leverage innings for the remainder of his contract.

  10. I really don’t enjoy watching Cordero put in any meaningful situation during a ballgame, but I can empathize with the sentiment about “no longer [being] against those of you who were telling [you] so months ago.” I mean, obviously there were red flags when it came to Cordero, but why not hope he overcomes them rather than be first in line to predict that he wouldn’t be any good? There’s a fine line between realism and cynicism that many seem to have crossed, and it sucks to have fans like that. It’s not like you get fucking points for being right about a dude failing.

  11. I agree with those who continue to question the way Farrell is handling the bullpen. He has been saying that when the game is still within reach, he is looking for a pitcher in the bullpen who can pitch a clean inning and give the Jays a chance to catch up.

    Well what was wrong with Perez? He had only thrown 12 pitches when he came out and he looked great! There was no need to yank him at that point. That could have pushed everyone back and the need to use Cordero might not have even come up.

    I’m just tired of seeing Perez cruising, 12 pitches in, mid inning, and see Farrell come out and pull him. If Farrell manages the game properly earlier, we might not have needed to see Cordero at all.

    • Yeah, pulling Perez made no sense tonight at all. He probably could have finished the 7th and possibly even pitched the 8th as well. Out of all of the relievers lately, Perez’ use has possibly been the most questionable (pulling him for David Pauley last week after one batter in a tie game was incredibly bad).

      There’s even a Hitler parody video out there on Farrell’s bullpen management now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tKL1-0p-vO4

      • AMAZING! The Hitler videos are amazing and this one is well done..Fuck Wilner…best line LOL

        Made my morning thanks!!

      • The Hitler videos are always gold, but that was fucking incredible.

      • For once, Hitler is making sense and I agree with him. Farrel’s bullpen management sucks this year and it sucked last year. Is he incapable of learning from his mistakes and adjusting? Only a moron puts Cordero on the mound in situations where the game is on the line at this point. He did the same thing with Rauch last year. Go out and get another reliever who can actually relieve AA!

    • I was equally confused by this. Was the third batter a ridiculously bad match-up? Perez is among the most reliable guys in the pen; did he not want to wear him out in advance of the weekend series?

  12. The reason coco gets booed is because he shouldn’t be in there in the 8th, ever. Why in the world does farrell use perez in the 7th then coco in the 8th with noone warming? Farrell excells at turning small deficits into blowout losses. The only reason coco is run out there is because he’s a veteran and the veteran gets the 8th. Perez is a rookie, can’t use him over coco. And you can’t have anyone warming because you can’t insult the veteran either. For fuck’s sakes is this 1929?

    The fact is if coco didn’t have that 4.5 mil salary he’d would have been waived by now. But alex cannot look into roger’s accountants eyes if he did that. Name me just one other reliever that has a whip of 1.8 that pitches as many innings as coco does.

    Just for comparison this pitcher had 9 straight scoreless appearances then gave up 3 runs and was WAIVED with an era of 4.6 and whip of 1.5. His name, chad qualls.

  13. Not only has he come to symbolize Jay’s bullpen woes but other issues as well. There always seems to be that one guy (or two, in Jays’ case) who gives the trials and tribulations that face everyone focuses their hate. It’s not fair, but that’s the fan mindset.

  14. Um, why is there somehow this consensus that booing is tantamount to a war crime against the poor, poor professional athletes that play in our city? Cry me a fucking river boys! I know Coco is laughing all the way to his Crystal Jacuzzi (price tag; $4.5MIL).
    He played like shit, he’s gonna get booed off the field. If you don’t like it, watch the game at home on mute. Then I don’t need to see you all constantly bitch about Buck, Pat and your fellow fans.

    • Being a dick for the sake of being a dick shouldn’t be encouraged.

      • I was there last night; didn’t boo when he came out, didn’t boo on the first run. But when that fat sack of crap couldn’t be bothered to make it over to first base, I let it loose. I challenge any of you not to do the same in that situation (with that many beers).

  15. it’s too bad for Cordero. He has been pretty awful this year as a whole, and probably doesn’t deserve a major league roster spot, but it’s not like he’s going out there trying to sabotage the Jays chances of winning. And he’s never going to turn down Farrell telling him to get out there.

    And anybody comparing Cordero to a 1B or a SP, Cordero is 1/5th – 1/10th of their price. He has absolutely no relation to whether or not we signed a 1b or SP. in a tough division, we have to swing for the fences, unfortunately cordero hasn’t worked out, and unfortunately Farrell keeps trotting him out there like he will work out.

    But remember, a good pen has about 8 different arms they can go through. The Jays bullpen has used 18 different arms this season. While some of these arms have been starters turned relievers, it’s hard for 18 arms to be successful no matter what. I do wish Dyson was left out for more than one out tonight, that’s for sure. But hey, Casey and Darren have increased their trade value this season, and if we can get pieces for them, that has to be considered a bonus.

    Who knows what AA’s plan is, but taking on Cordero for a couple million was a worthy investment, that hasn’t worked out. With all the good, there has to be some bad. Can’t be perfect every time. Until the last couple meltdowns, Cordero had done a good job collecting at least some decent trade value for a C level prospect.

    I don’t really know what i’m saying anymore. Fuck yeah drunk karaoke.

    The jays offense rules, the pitching has been absolutely shit on this year, and we’re still only 2.5 games out of a wild card spot. It’s not THAT bad in jays land.

    • Colon cost half of what Cordero did, Bedard cost the same, and Jackson was a little over two times as much. We could have used any one of those guys in 2012.

      • That argument’s bullshit. If Cordero had issues going into the off-season, then Colon and Bedard had fucking flares shooting out their asses. It was just as likely that Cordero ended up becoming an above average reliever while those two either shat the bed or went on the DL for extended periods of time than the current state of affairs we find ourselves in. It might seem like an obvious move now, but it sure as hell wouldn’t have 4-6 months ago.

        • No, it seemed pretty obvious then too that the Jays could have used some stopgap SPs and that Cordero would likely be a failure of a reliever in the AL East.

          Bartolo, in particular, was coming off a very good year in the same division. It’s puzzling how he got so little of an offer.

          • Jays rotation looked pretty good coming into the season. Romero, Morrow, Cecil locked in, with Alvarez likely to be the four spot and McGowan, Drabek fighting for the 5th spot. Cecil was replaced with Drabek who took a big step forward. And Hutchison came in and was really starting to show his stuff.

            Signing Bedard or Colon would have been dumb. Jays wouldn’t have seen Drabek and Hutchison and they would have been pounded as hard as Cordero. Colon was falling apart in the second half last year and Bedard has been terrible in Pittsburgh this year.

          • The fact that you’re calling a rotation that planned for guys like Cecil (with his history of inconsistency that included a MILB stint in 2011), Alvarez (the 21 year-old rookie with only 60 major league innings under his belt), McGowan (with his enormous injury history and the knowledge that his last significant major league innings were four seasons ago), and Drabek (a guy who still hadn’t yet proven that he could throw strikes at the MLB level) to be a significant part of it “pretty good” tells me all I need to know about how delusional your perspective is in this case.

            The Jays’ rotation was always the weak link of this team. There’s little doubt that Colon and Bedard would have been a great help to the Jays as stopgaps and a far better use of the money spent on a bad reliever like Francisco Cordero.

            Bedard, BTW, hasn’t been terrible with the Pirates. He has a 3.85 FIP which would be 2nd behind Morrow on this team for full-time starting pitchers.

            • To make comments about the jays picking up colon and bedard in hindsight is stupid. History of both players had major, major injury liability issues.

              Whereas to use the argument that cordero was a bad pickup due to obvipus decline, where as having a major injury issue isnt? Evidence that pitching in the nl is easiar see burnet, apparently the most reliable pitcher they have, yet the yanlees basically gave him away.

              If the jays were never serious about competeing in 2012 having sp prospects get a feel for the bigs early is more useful than washed up maple bonor. Its like when people boo alvarez i usually thinking he is 21 morrow 27 u gonna tell me he wont be as consistant by then?

          • the one thing you don’t understand and will never understand, which makes you so fuckin annoying and insuferable

            is that free agency IS A TWO WAY STREET
            you cant just fuckin sit there like a pompus asshole and say well we should have got bedard we should have got colon, or bedard.

            They have to want to come here too, and on 1 fucking year deals to restore value why the fuck would they come to the AL fucking east.

            use your brain man holy shit. you’re a broken record

          • They looked pretty good, it’s true. but we all knew they were performing way above their heads collectively. and we knew at least 2 of them were on innings caps.

          • They’d come for more money, like basically every other free agent in the history of professional sports.

  16. The problem with farrell is he doesn’t look at stats, never has. He looks at the role of the player and unfortunately it takes him a month to figure out if that role is wrong. He took a month to move lind out of the cleanup spot, to move coco out of the closer role etc. The good thing is farrell eventually gets it right but it just takes a fucking long time. I’m hoping farrell now gets it that you can’t use coco in a close game EVER.

    • Farrell has already cost this team .. 4 or 5 games due to his use of CoCo, thats a lot of games to just throw away. Had we not been burdoned with an incredible number of pitching injuries, maybe we would still have a chance at the wild card or even the division, but throwing away that many games in the first half just from one guy in the bullpen is likely too much to overcome.

    • I don’t really have a huge issue with taking a bit of time before making line up and roster moves – to ensure the player is making your decision for you.

      The Cordero situation is a bit different. It is a toxic deadly combination of sticking to role plus lack of understanding about leverage and proper usage. Even if we don’t totally agree on how long the manager should wait before changing someone’s role, I do totally agree that he has kept Cordero in the role of high-leverage usage far too long.

      It doesn’t do Cordero any favours either to be continually put in positions for which he is not currently suited. Put him in lower leverage spots and make future decisions based on his performance in those spots. There is a chance with half a season left that he can improve.

      Actually, you’re totally right about taking too long to adapt. Farrell took too long to adapt Dotel’s usage as well.

  17. Booing awful performances is almost never wrong. That cat shit the bed hard tonight. Not booing would have been disingenuous. It was right, proper and appropriate to the situation in context of both the game that was happening and the season to date.

    What’s stupid is ignoring the obvious. Coco is done.

  18. Booing makes very little sense from a fans point of view as well. If your team’s player is giving full effort, what is the point of possibly further damaging that player’s confidence by booing him? It is completely illogical yet fans feel because they pay for their ticket they can do whatever they want. Sure, you can do what you want, but if someone is giving their all it is probably in your best interests to support them. I mean, that’s what fans are there for, aren’t they?

    • The unemployed autoworkers and such tend to get pissy watching millionaires do shitty jobs and get 2 weeks off for hang nails and blisters. Throw in a few beers and stir.

    • lol this is such a terribly thought-out arguement. You’re saying getting angry and voices your displeasure is illogical…. right.

    • Consciously or not, booing is the fans’ way of telling management they don’t appreciate having to watch this guy.

      If you just want Cordero released, you should enjoy the blowups and boo as lustily as you like.

      • Yes, because booing REALLY informs front office decisions. Remember how Bobby Valentine got booed lustily at the first of the year, then was immediately shitcanned and never heard from again?

  19. All things said its really a shitty way to close out a career (No pun intended). I gotta wonder if he isn’t thinking the same.

  20. I’m sort of on board with the “suck it up” philosophy. Fans pay 20-100 bucks to take in a game, fans pay 30-80 bucks a month for the privilege of watching games on TV, fans buy the memorabilia….fans pay for the sport. So ya. Being accountable TO THE FANS AND THE MEDIA is a HUGE part of being a professional athlete making $4.5 million. PARTICULARLY after doing something as asinine as not covering first base.

    What kind of weird fans exist who don’t get unreasonable? This isn’t parenthood, it’s sports. People get unreasonable, because they can. And they pay TOP dollar for the privilege.

  21. After the blown save against Seattle, or at the LATEST the next one vs. Oakland I would have moved Cordero to mop up duty or Righty vs. Righty. duty, I never understood why Farrell insisted on using CoCo in medium-high leverage situations. Take the atlanta game for example, i wasnt so mad at Coco for that loss, but i was stunned that Farrell went to him, philisophically i found it extremely frustrating.

  22. The fans are not actually booeing coco. They are booing the decision of the idiot manager to leave him out there to get pummelled. If farrell had taken him out after the 2nd or even 3rd hit, I highly doubt coco gets booed. But farrell waits until rome has burnt to a crisp. Farrells rule is a veteran pitcher must be allowed to finish an inning no matter what the cost.

  23. “Pulerize the very soul of a person” – this is a bit of a stretch, wouldn’t you say? why do you make this so emotional? I dont get it.

  24. Bautista was ready to smash some dude who was booing and being an ass the entire game after the last out. Not every player responds well to negativity (Rasmus). Before I open my mouth at a game, I ask myself “Is whatever I yell going to help with a possible win for the Jays?” No? Then I will put my ego in check and shut my mouth and hope the jays can concentrate on winning, not listening to my bullshit.

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    • Farrell needs to know how mind-numbingly foolish his bullpen management has been in regards to CoCo, and obviously the 5 or however many games coco has blown for this team isnt sending him the memo

  25. “set up to fail”? When coming on in relief at the top of an inning when the Jays’ offense has put us back in the game, only to allow the first 3 batters to get on base, and then allow 3 runs to score before getting yanked (just after losing an embarrassing rundown at first base), who exactly set the man up to fail? I’ve been a Cordero apologist all season but I’m on my last legs here. Yes, the man can pitch better than I can – what the fuck is your point?

  26. Like Andrew said why Farrell keeps running Cordero out there in these games where the jays need a hold so they can get their offense back on the field or bridge the gap to frazor-Jansen is beyond ludicrous ! How many times do you smash your head into a wall before you realize it’s a bad idea for fuck sakes. I guess if alvarez could have made it through 6 we wouldn’t be having this debate but after that bullshit non strike 3 call he decide to melt down so … There’s that!

  27. Hey guys I just want to apologize for my horrible performance on the night you can probably tell by the way my hair has been looking lately that I’m off my game.

  28. whys does that graso pitchs likes a monkey? ja ja ja

  29. Who else was available in the pen other than Cordero? Jesse Chavez? Oliver, Frasor and Jannsen had all pitched 2 days in a row. Perez and Dyson had already pitched that night. So it was either Cordero, Chavez or Drew Carpenter, am I right?
    I didn’t like it either, but I don’t think there were many other options.

    • Agreed. But Farrell didn’t need to pull Perez after 12 pitches, and Dyson certainly could have gone more than one batter. If managed better, we could have not even needed to see Cordero…

  30. OK folks. What Stoeten is REALLY trying hard to tell everyone is:

    Pull your maple dicks out and start acting like the polite Canadians you really are!

  31. If I was manager of the Jays I’d roll the 41 year old Darren Oliver out there every night.

    2 man rotation, 3 bullpen arms. That’s all you need!

  32. Cordero has struggled a lot this year, through some very ugly apparences. But at this point in the season, whats the point of letting him go? You aren’t going to find a replacement at this point. We have no RPs in the minor who could legit take his spot, you’re also not going to find any relievers through free agency or through trade at this point in the year.

    Basically, you gotta just roll with him till the end of the year. He’s still been good through some stretches during the year, and has a handful of major league experience. Id rather have Cordero out there then calling up some Carpenter/Pauley guy to take his spot, who will likely get knocked around just as bad.

    We’re stuck with him for now, so just roll with it and hope for the best.

  33. So the only allowable way to criticize is the way Stoeten wants the fans to? Give me a break.

    When you fill up a team with the dregs of other team’s left overs, this is what you get. A crappy team that over achieves to maintain their 0.500 record.

    The futility of 20 years of the Jays, as well as the realization by the fans that Beeston’s “3 playoff appearances in the next 5 years” is just BS spewn out to sell gullable fans tickets, is coming out at the expense of a crappy reliever.

    Sooner or later the boos will turn into apathy and even more empty seats. That’s when Rogers will really care, when it effects the ROI.

  34. Mentioned it on Twitter, but the jays took the same risk on Darren Oliver and, well, that’s working out ok…

    Also, relievers are a lot like umpires, in that (for the most part) you don’t talk about them. Oh sure, you’ll notice a 100Mph fastball or a foolish curve, but for the most part when do people talk about relievers? When they’re struggling…

    Though I do believe tonight was more about bad luck than anything, Mark Simon mentioned that this was an interesting signing on an earlier version of baseball today during spring training because of how much contact CoCo induces now, and didn’t know if the Jays defense could handle it. They’ve obviously proved themselves quite capable defensively this season with the ridiculous lack of miss in their pitching staff, maybe Cordero has just taken the brunt of the bad luck plays they aren’t making? That’s what I’m hopeful of, that and the fact that it will turn around…

    • I’m pretty sure we’ve been gushing over Casey Janssen all summer dude

      • not as much as people have been hating on Cordero… Janssen has been much better than Cordero has been worse, if you ask me…

  35. There are lots of guys who either struggle or are struggling. I have no idea why Cordero stands out in a crowd. Luke Scott of the Rays is currently mired in an 0 for 39 slump. Billy Butler of the Royals went 1 for 28 aginst the Jays this year. Yes, Cordero has had some rough times, but spewing venom won’t help anything.

  36. It is super disappointing to see the Jays loose like that. It was also very disconcerting that the home plate umpire was so inconsistent.

  37. Cordero in 2012:

    Late & Close: 1.022 OPS against
    High Leverage: .938 OPS against
    Medium Leverage: .996 OPS Against
    Game Tied: 1.224 OPS Against
    Within 1 Run: 1.114 OPS Against
    Within 2 runs: 1.046 OPS Against

  38. I feel bad for Cordero, but not too bad. On a brighter note, how about that event staffer in the photo? Hello!

  39. One of your better posts Stoeten. I could not agree more

    • Yea I feel the same way. Great post.

      This team will continue to take fliers on relievers like this, and no one can really blame them. Just look at Fernando Rodney. He was pretty crappy the last two years (seemed like he was walking people for the fun of it) but with the Rays this year (on a $1.75M contract) he’s been amazing and is going to the All-Star game.

  40. I’m not coocoo for coco.

  41. You know, all I can say about the Coco thing is this: last year we had to suffer through Octavio Dotel AND John Rauch. It was tough to watch on many, many nights. Many of us were calling for us to DFA both of them. But Rauch got us a sandwich pick that we’re now pretty happy with, and Dotel helped us get Colby Rasmus (who we’re also quite happy with.) I’m not saying Coco is going to get us anything, especially with the new CBA. But I also can’t say that AA won’t be able to squeeze some kind of long-term value out of him. I wouldn’t have thought that Dotel could be of any use at all. But he was. AA believed in Encarnacion when everyone thought we should DFA the guy. People couldn’t understand, on this very comment board, why Bautista was being given regular at bats. I remember one commentor saying that Bautista had the worst swing he’d ever seen. Basically, what I’m saying is that AA and his team are pretty good at what they do, and know more about things than we do. That doesn’t mean we cant be critical of his moves sometimes. But we also have to acknowledge that he’s pretty fucking good at his job and knows a lot more about what constitutes an “asset” than we do.

  42. Stoeten is a hipster doofus.

  43. For the love of god stop using FIP to describe what a pitcher has done. FIP is a predictor or estimator. If you want to use it then say something like “based on his FIP he will probably pitch better or maybe worse”. Any stat that does not acknowledge defense or the fact that even strikeout pitchers pitch to contact sometimes is beyond silly when you are talking about measuring what actually happened. It doesn’t take a genius to see that hitters have only a tiny bit more control than pitchers do of where the ball goes once contact is made. You might as well start quoting wins while you are at it.

  44. like the gist of the article. needs more hot fire though. this “rational thinking” thing is overrated.

  45. Let’s address the issue of booing which so many of you piously shun. Stoeten is right. No one goes out to play badly. I’m sure Coco says to himself before every outing ‘this time I’ll kill them!’. But the fact is that he has been pitching quite badly for a while and he probably should not be sent out there in pressured situations until he gets his confidence back or until they drop him whichever comes first. So do we have the right to boo? I think we do. We’re not just booing him, we are booing the guy who sent him out there and the guy who hired him. We are letting them all know that we don’t like what’s going on here. This isn’t Mrs Joyful’s Kindergarten For Teeny T-Ballers. It’s the major leagues. And Cordero is being paid a ton of money to do what we hope he does best. And so is everyone else on the team. As fans we are not at the ballpark to enhance their emotional development. We are there to watch our team win. I’m not of the belief that only Neanderthals go there with that mind-set and the real fan is simply there to watch a beautifully-played game. That attitude would be laughed out of Yankee Stadium or Fenway and only really exists in places like Toronto where the team hasn’t won in years and years so what else can we say?

    Fact is that booing is one very good and public way to call a team out for messing up. It occurs when one player performs badly but it’s rarely directed just at him. AA screwed up by bringing Cordero here. Farrell screwed up by sending him out in that situation. Cordero screwed up by sending big fat meatballs over the plate and by not being able to get over to 1st base. All of these gentlemen are being very well payed to do what they do and we are the ones doing some of the paying. Do they ask us into the boardroom to discuss Cordero’s peripherals? No they don’t. Booing is our only immediate way of letting the team know our unhappiness at their performance. And I’ll say this: when players are booed for no good reason–and it happens–I’ve heard other fans shut the boo-birds down right quick. So it isn’t as indiscriminate as you think.

    • Clap clap clap. Unfortunately the difference between Boston/NY to T.O is in Toronto they have another way of showing displeasure far more disturbing than booing and that’s a shitload of empty seats.

    • Thank you. Well put.

      • All I know, is that when I went to the game on Canada Day and they brought in Cordero, I immediately got up from my seat to take a piss and said to the complete stranger to the right of me “this game is over: watch the left field wall, that’s where is ball is going.” He was subsequently Trouted, then Trumbo’d.

        The other night, with the game at 5-3, I was at a cottage with barely audible 590. My father was listening to the game; when I heard him say they were bringing in Cordero, I laughed and told him to throw the radio in the lake.

        Instincts should rule over stats. In this case, stats are supporting instincts. For fuck sakes, with Perez, Frasor, Janssen, Oliver, why in fuck’s name would you bring in CoCo? As much as I like Farrell in some respects, he is really fucking inept when it comes to managing this bullpen.

  46. Hahahaha, this bullshit is hilarious. Stoeten reallllllly likes to troll. Cordero flat out sucks, and defending him against the fans is ludicrous. People pay hard-earned money to go to a game and watch that fat, sweaty turd toss away wins, and he should have been relegated to our last option a long time ago, if not completely ousted from the 40 man. This is why you make millions of dollars, correct? To perform in high pressure situations requiring the skill and nerve to succeed?

    A friend commented to me last night that she would rather see them put a fucking ball on a tee up there, than have Cordero on the mound. And this is worthy of our time and money as fans?

  47. What happened to blaming everything on Parkes? I miss those days.

  48. Booing your own team kills me. Its dumb. Its entirely childish – as though home fans deserve to watch only blow-out victories in every game for the entire season. Its a bunch of fairweather, morons who would be the same rioting on Yonge St because “everyone else is” if the leafs could ever win a cup (HA!).

    That said.. what the fuck. I know that the Janssen, Oliver and Frasor had all pitched recently – but is there anyone watching that didn’t see Coco coming into the game and think – “well that’s the ball game..”

    I honestly have no idea what Farrell’s approach is. Why is it that guys like Perez get used situationally, and Corderro continually is trotted out there with the expectation that he’s getting a full inning? Its infuriating. Why was Perez lifted for Dyson – other than to try to get the rookie into his first game with limited responsibility? Is that an effective use of your best remaining reliever knowing that Frasor and Oliver were likely unavailable?

    Its almost impossible to find a metric in which Corderro is NOT the worst among the Jays pitchers who have tossed more than 20 innings. Regardless of the motivation for bringing Corderro in over the offseason – it is very clear that he doesn’t have it. He doesn’t get hitters out. He doesn’t have trade value. He isn’t capable of pitching in close games. Its time to identify this new reality and respond accordingly. If this was Juan Rivera taking at bats from Travis Snider we’d be shitting our pants.

    Relief pitching is the ONE area in which the Jays can afford to take flyers on guys within the organization in hopes that someone can be at least better than Corderro. If it doesn’t work – do what you are doing anyway – keep sending guys back and forth. At this point – we should be seeing every single relief pitcher that has ever wanted a shot at the bigs. They simply have nothing left to lose – since Coco is all but guaranteed to blow it when he’s brought in anyway. With luck they may find another reliable arm who catches a hot streak.

    • I get that booing individual players short of them just not trying is a harsh thing to do but booing in general is also the simplest way for fans to tell those putting on the show (management) that the product they’re offering is not acceptable. Lets face it, at the end of the day sport, just like a play or a rock concert, is just another form of live entertainment. If you’re not happy with what you paid for you have every right to show your displeasure. I am sure Rogers would rather have some fans boo than show their displeasure by not showing up at all. At the end of the day booing is the oldest and probably the most tried and true form of the customer complaint letter.

      • What an extremely well thought out, cogent argument.

      • what about throwing tomatoes?

      • Agree 1000%. It’s a super high-paid form of entertainment, and fuck me, if some seemingly lazy, high-paid slab of human garbage is destroying games on a regular basis, why are fans not entitled to boo? Give me a fucking break. I suppose if you order a hot dog outside the stadium and you end up with a dog coil rolled up in a bun you have no right to complain to the chef.

        Do you think Cordero really gives a fuck about Toronto fans? Why should you give a fuck about him?

  49. Can we start blaming Farrell for his absolutely attrocious mismanagement of the bullpen already?

  50. I’m not sure if it’s the perpetually bad Maple Leafs or the general lack of baseball knoweldge that the average Jays fan has, but more and more I find myself wondering if Jays fans aren’t the very worst in baseball. From the lack of attendance at the games, the often incoherent, vicious, personal comments on message boards to the general classlessness of the ‘fans’ it really makes me question my loyalty to the team itself.

    I love the sport of baseball and I enjoy wondering where my Jays fit in and talking about upgrades – the beauty of the sport etc. Over the past couple of years though, the general viciousness, the apparent desire (from some so called fans) for the team to fail really leaves me scratching my head and for the most part, having to tune it out in order for me to enjoy my hobby.

    • A lot of people aren’t baseball fans – they’re winning fans.

      • Been saying this for years.
        Well said.

      • This is a game. Someone wins, someone loses. If you can be zen about that, then great for you. But I care that my team loses and I am thrilled when my team wins. Winning, in general is not just good for my temper it’s good for the team. Back when the Jays were winning, the stadium was full every night and there was a ton of money to rectify problems like Cordero. Now not so much.

        The issue of loving the game vs loving to win as far as I am concerned is ridiculous. But then I come from a soccer background. I never once at any football ground, heard any fan say that or anything approaching that. Loving the game is a given. That’s why we watch it. But within that we care about our team. That’s why we’re there. Or we watch on tv. Or listen on the radio. It’s not an academic exercise. It’s a sport.

        • But Isabella even the best of teams lose 60 games and they win 60 games.To become unhinged over losses is unrealistic and bad for your health.No team has gone 162-0.On every team there is a Cordero.As a fan, I recognize this. Sometimes a good hit is negated by a better catch.

          • Radar, I understand that. It’s not that I expect the team to win 100% of the time. It’s that I really dislike this disengaged ‘why are we so focussed on winning’ attitude when what we are watching is a competitive sport, so competition is built right in there. When the team wins, everything, including the payroll, is better because more fans will come out to watch a winning team. If we’re reduced to permanently admiring the pretty catch or the pretty pitch, that’s nice. But if this continues there will be maybe 1000 die-hard ‘admire-the-game’ fans left to clap politely in a big empty stadium. Admire the game by all means. But build a winner please.

      • nicely put… and a lot of people are just plain old bitching fans

  51. I’m not a big fan of Cordero, but I still like him more than I ever liked Tallet (maybe it was the facial hair?). Cordero gets the same stamp of disapproval from many fans that Frank Francisco received last year, a few bad innings with some really solid stretches in between, but people only remember the bad (which in Cordero’s case has been some really awful bad).

    JP Arencibia gets the complete opposite in reactions from the court of public opinion, a few great games followed by long periods of suckage. He’s got a .297 wOBA, a 4% walk rate and 29% strikeout rate (which to my understanding, is not that good), but all that is forgotten with a few timely homers…

    • The lesson to be learned from all of that is that if a baseball player in Toronto wants the local fanbase to overlook his god-awful performance on the field, he should express his interest in the game of hockey and engage in Twitter-banter with members of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  52. Well put, and well presented (on both sides). Thanks, Stoeten. This was much-needed.

  53. Stoeten, I am glad you are finally starting to admit that the mental side of the game DOES have an impact.:

    ‘ that failure to execute is due to a confluence of factors– physical, mental, mechanical, external’

    Jansen excelling as a closer, Lawrie in the lead off spot….these are example of players feeling comfortable in roles and their performance increasing for no measurable reason other than that.

    As much as advanced stats are the future of analyzing this great game – their will always be a place for the immeasurable, it’s what makes watching the game fun for most.

  54. What do you mean I have to RUN over to cover first base. Awww Hell No!

  55. Farell is overusing his worst relievers because the starters aren’t getting it done … he has said that he wants to use Frasor/ Oliver/ Jannsen to protect leads and, of the other guys, he wants them to keep games close when they’re behind… so we are behind early and getting shitbaggers too much work. Oliver needs to pitch MUCH MORE. He can hack it. If he comes in in lieu of Cordero, the game likely remains close and who knows.

    • The Jays have an entire training staff and pitching coaches to determine whether or not someone can “hack it”, so perhaps your assessment about Oliver is unfounded. Do you not think that someone else may have determined as well that he’s the more effective pitcher, but then weighed their options and determined that he’s a 41 year old man, for christ’s sake?!?! Do you think that some genius will just put up his hand in the next team meeting and say, “Hey, maybe we should use Oliver more often”, to be followed by unanimous applause and tickertape??

  56. 1. I don’t believe in booing the home team. It really does nothing productive
    2. If I had a reason to lose my shit last night, it wasn’t when Cordero could not execute his pitches, but rather when he failed to run out a routine play. I think it is very reasonable for fans to expect effort from professional athletes, even when their skill level is declining
    3. It is hard to boo a manager in a game. If you try, you will only end up making the player on the mound feel like crap

  57. All I know is I really should have booed the fucking douchebag sitting next to me who was asking around for people to help start the wave when we were losing 5-2. Rather than start the argument I just kept silent, but really man…games are getting so hard to go to because of all the clowns/tourists the fucking Dome brings out. I just want to sit at the game with knowledgeable fans who don’t cheer and do the wave when we are losing and a kid throwing his first major league inning just walked the first hitter he ever faced. Or people who are dancing and cheering when we are down 8-3. In my opinion the place should have been silent with disgust after Coco’s inning, no booing, no dancing, no nothing! I want to see fans with their heads in their hands and straight faced disgusted. But that’s just me haha.

  58. I agre fans have a right to boo but do it at the right time. IE When Farrell came out to get COCO the booing at other times does not help OUR JAYS players in a game.

  59. This Cordero bashing is stupid. Say we DFA him. Why do we bring up to fill his spot? Coello, Crawford, Carreno, Richmond, Beck, or Pauley?

    THE CUPBOARD IS EMPTY! DEAL WITH IT!

  60. MLB Trade Rumours linked this article. way to go

  61. “I can no longer be against those of you who were telling me so months ago. Even if some of you are kinda assholes.”

    I’ll take it!!

  62. it’s nice to see Stoeten’s finally agreeing with the fans that Cordero is terrible this year and Farrell is worse because he keeps putting him in high leverage situations.

    • pretty sure he didn’t say farrell was worse. he just said that farrell is throwing him into high leverage situations. John Farrell is not a bad manager. He’s not a great one, or maybe even very good. but he is a new one and deserves some time to get his legs under him. it’s not like there’s 30 Joe Maddons and/or Davey Johnsons out there. It could be worse, we could have Charlie Manuel/Bruce Bochy/Clint Hurdle/Don Mattingly or even Cito behind the bench. Farrell is learning with the rest of the team, has one year left on his deal, and is likely to see it out. Fucking deal with it already.

      • What exactly makes Farrell a “great manager?” Because it certainly isn’t his bullpen usage or his inability to platoon Lind over the last two seasons that is pushing him over the top.

      • I should clarify that it is Farrell’s decision when to use Coco. He should be smart enough to figure out that using Coco in high leverage situations gives the team a higher chance at a negative outcome.

        It is the manager’s responsibility to put your team in the best position to win the game.

        It’s getting embarrassing to watch Coco blow games at the Rogers Centre on a regular basis.

        As a fan who pays at least 100$ per person when I bring the family to a game , I don’t want to waste hard earned money watching Coco in a high leverage situation.

  63. one thing people need to understand is that I don’t think that alex is that stupid to see how bad cordero was going to be, or maybe he was, but I think alex knows more than anyone how the trade market works. He signed cordero knowing that his high save total and veteran status would attract high value at the deadline. This is what other gm’s look at.

    • I personally think that he just never envisioned Cordero as being much more than a 6th inning guy/mop up guy/situational ROOGY. The Santos injury and depletion of bullpen depth due to having chavez/Villanueva having to stretch out due to the rotation clusterfuck has kind of shot all that to hell.

      • What I don’t get is why doesn’t AA talk to Farrell about using the Shitballer in high-leverage situations? He just signs the guy and washes his hands of the situation and lets Farrell do his thing, even though he continues to make the same mistake?

      • Except, no, that wasn’t the case at all. They gave Cordero the 8th inning job at the beginning of the season and kept him there until Santos went down (at which point he was moved to closer). It’s quite clear based on his use that the team (and therefore Farrell) expected him to be a late-inning, high-leverage reliever.

        But I guess I’ll leave you to your bullshit excuses.

  64. Is it a given that Richmond would be worse for the spots Cordero has lately been used in?

  65. I love the way wilner gets mad when people say he’s defending coco. He says he’s just saying the facts. However wilner has said that coco is not a horrible pitcher. The fact is that he is. If you look at all the relievers in the entire league

    over 20ip, coco has the 3rd highest whip.

    over 30ip coco has the highest whip

    over 20ip, 10th highest era

    over 30ip, 3rd highest era

    hes also given up the most hits of any reliever

    so yes he’s horrible, but most managers are smart enough to know not to keep running out your worst reliever over and over again.

    • +1

    • +2 Very good analysis. You should bring up those stats to Wilner & watch him go nuts trying to explain a way out of it.

      I think he told a caller last night that if you take out Coco’s 3 blowups this month he is a good pitcher!!!.

      Coco has had a good career & is declining. Use him in mop up situations & everyone is happy.

  66. I said it about a month ago. Escort him out of the Rogers Centre and burn his uniform. I watched Coco pitch against Washington. He has nothing left on his fast ball and you can hang your coat on his slider. He still is not getting it done.

  67. Booing is the only way for me to express my feelings towards Cordero’s performances, the only way to let the frustration out, the only way to let Farrell know he’s wrong getting this guy in, the only way to say that I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS GUY ANYMORE. What else can I do? Just sit down and take it?
    Sure, it might not help; sure, Cordero might get his feelings hurt, but other than booing, there’s nothing the fans can do, so I completely support it.
    Cordero is awful, he doesn’t belong in a major league team, and Farrell is an idiot for getting him in the most important moments of games. And I will keep booing until either Cordero leaves, or he starts pitching well again. Hopefully the former.

    • Or you could just be an adult and accept that sport is a business and that it doesn’t fucking matter what you think. The Jays aren’t (and will never be) a publicly-owned team and thank magical space daddy that they aren’t beholden to make their decisions on the basis of fan input.

      • Rogers is a publicly traded company & would be more responsive to a decline in attendance & ratings.

        Rogers won’t be getting equalization money with the new CBA.

        I suspect the financial damage from a failed rebuild by AA would hurt the stock.

        Luckily for Rogers they have diversified their sports investments & now own part of MLSE.

      • Says the guy who can’t properly spell one of the greatest Jays pitchers of all time.

        Paid ticket = right to boo. Simple.

  68. Cordero was virtually legendary in the NL. Yes, his stuff is declining, but having watched him last year and prior to that, my personal opinion having seen him enter spring training & now midway season is that he is 40lbs heavier and clearly not well conditioned to compete. It’s not like he was ever an athletic wonder, but the recipe for success could be as simple as sending him down to get in shape for a bit, or simply telling him to lay the fuck off the cheeseburgers. Not sure why nobody has touched on this, I was stunned at how much heavier he looked coming into Toronto this season.

  69. I agree that booing can be “counterproductive”, but so is running your worst pitcher every single night, even when games are close. Not running to first on standard play…inexcusable, taking succesfull pitchers out after one or two batters…questionable, but booing Corderro (the god-damned monkey man) when he plays terribly on a regular basis is completely rationale and understandable from the fans perspective. For all you softies out there, grow a pair… and wake up… CORDERRO IS GARBAGE.

    On the other hand i find it hillariuous to see Fulmer taking up half of this page floating his own boat about how “he could have called this from the start…shoulda got Bedard…Colon…blah..blah blah”. Many people knew that the bullpen was weak from the start…so what. The game of baseball is not a perfect science and pitchers can turn themselves around with the help of a supportive coaching/training staff. Ideally, i agree they should have beefed there starters up (that is clear after 3 of them got injured) but its about time you get over the fact we didnt get bedard or colon. At this point i think the best move is to hold out untill the jays can make a legitmate pick up before the trade deadline.

    Offence has been incredible this year, pitching has sucked. Anyone who says differently has not been watching the same jays team that i have withnessed during this embarassing kansas series. 2/4 is not enough, and its not due to lacking offence, its due to the fact we have no ace, starters are injured, and Farrel keeps running Corderro out to the mound in high-leverage situations. sry for the rant….but im getting tired of hearing people defend corderro (or the decision by farel to go to corderro in close situations) as well as fulmers repeptitive broken record comments with respect to the fact that he knew better (cuz many of us did ur not the only one), yes the bullpen is cheaper to restock…but the real difference will be made when the jays decide to dish out a larger amount of money to aqcuire some non-injury prone starters that can fill the void that has been left ever since we lost Halladay. Corderro sucks, ive accepted it. get over it now

  70. On a more positive note…. Darren Oliver has been STELLAR… wish he was a bit younger so we could hang on to him a lil bit longer.

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