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So… quite the season so far, huh?

We’re heading deep into the dog days of August, and though the Jays are mathematically still hanging around the playoff conversation, and it continues to feel like a betrayal to suggest that it’s impossible they’ll close the gap and make it interesting in September, the frustration among the fan base is growing thick as a slice of Pat Tabler’s insufferable analysis.

Negative things have compounded, become distorted in scale, and have even sucked into the pile what may in other years have been perfectly reasonable cases of the club employing good process to bad effect.

Let’s go back to where it all began: how this year’s roster came together– or, in many ways, didn’t– and how we viewed it at the time.

In case you’ve forgotten, the inability to trade for front-line pitching last winter, for example, was entirely excusable given the required cost– y’known, unless you were super keen on offering up Brett Lawrie to get a deal done.

Even the decision not to add rotation depth that would block the opportunities for the group of young pitchers behind the club’s big two seemed reasonable enough– a calculated gamble with the expectation of making a mid-summer addition via trade, if needed, and of better performance (looking at you Brett Cecil, Joel Carreno, Chad Jenkins, and Deck McGuire), and better health (amiright, Dustin McGowan, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison?) among the internnal options.

The bullpen, we believed, would be a strength. Even with the red flags on Francisco Cordero– and the unnerving reverence for what he used to be– there was the one big arm the club did acquire: Sergio Santos. There was the ageless Darren Oliver. The dependable returnees Janssen, Frasor, and Villanueva. There was Luis Perez and Joel Carreno, who both looked capable in their stints at the end of 2011. And, potentially, there would have been an arm or two to slide into the ‘pen among those who didn’t make the rotation, like Aaron Laffey.

The bench at the big league level was a concern, but there were key position players in the minors like d’Arnaud, Hechavarria, Snider and Gose who were ready, or close to it, for Major League duty, and would be able to provide help midway through the season at the latest.

From what I recall, the biggest question marks as the club headed into camp– apart from which pitchers, of the many available, would step up to fill the void at the back of the rotation, and how the club would eventually handle those with innings limits– were in left field, at first base, DH, and centre. And the last two of those positions appear to have been solidified emphatically over the course of the year.

That’s obviously not a terribly rosy picture, even if you do agree with my assessment of the rotation and bullpen– and, of course, many won’t, entirely fairly believing all along that it was a mistake not to block their young starters with at least some veteran help.

Indeed, there were a number of mid-cost options that have worked out reasonably well for the clubs who pursued them: multi-year deals for Bruce Chen ($9M), Aaron Harang ($12M), Chris Capuano ($10M), Wei-Yin Chen ($12M), and one year fliers at less than $5-million on Erik Bedard, Bartolo Colon or Paul Maholm.

But the thing is, it would be a tad too revisionist to merely look at the shattered pieces of the Jays’ rotation, then at the relative success those guys have had, and to lament too hard the club’s unwillingness to throw money after them last winter (seriously, look at those names again), or to act like even the best of the bunch– Colon, and his 2.3 fWAR through two-thirds of the season– would definitely have turned the club’s fortunes around dramatically this year.

Yes, an arm like that would have helped ease the rotation troubles, kept at least one better pitcher available in the bullpen or the minors, and maybe even changed the club’s approach at the trade deadline. But so much has gone so wrong– particularly injury-wise– that it would require some serious mental gymnastics to convince oneself that all of the best possible outcomes of having one of those pitchers were destined to have happened, and would have led to the club being in a much better position than it is now.

The realists among us knew from the start that, even in good health, the club would be hard pressed to truly compete, and the actions of the front office– though maybe not their spin– pointed in that exact direction as well. And that was OK.

The club, as constructed, was believable enough as a dark horse, yet far enough away that spending on the types of pitchers mentioned wasn’t likely to move the needle enough to justify the cost– especially when you think in terms of future flexibility (because while obviously Rogers has enough money to outspend anyone, or to take the hit on contracts that are hardly close to crippling in the baseball economy, to expect the kind of massive investment in the club required to kickstart a new golden age is hopelessly naive of not only the layers of corporate murk required to push through in order to make such a thing happen, but of how Alex Anthopoulos almost certainly sold his vision in order to get the job, as well.).

I suggested at the start of the season that this year’s version of the Jays may not have a better record than last’s, but that they’d be better. This incensed the types of fans who, all along, were going to refuse to take the long view– those who, in their unwillingness to search for more than the most narrow, petty answers to their frustrations, are served, and rooted on by far too many cynical mouthpieces in the local media– but I stand by it.

And I think that, given what they’ve learned about themselves this year, the additional core pieces more firmly in place, the additional year of prospect growth in the minors, and the budget flexibility Anthopoulos continues to work to preserve for himself, there’s a very good chance that in 2013 they’ll be better still– and with better health, it’s even more likely to be reflected in their record.

Coming into the year with those kinds of stated goals wouldn’t have exactly hit a home run with the marketing department, and they belied slightly the realistic chances that the Jays had of catching the kind of bottled lightning that the Baltimore Orioles seem to have blindly stumbled upon. But all things considered, completely unsatisfying as they are (especially since they’re essentially unchanged from the goals of the last few seasons), they’re fine accomplishments.

Edwin Encarnacion is now here for the long-term. We feel far better than we did a year ago about Brandon Morrow, Colby Rasmus and Casey Janssen. Unsexy as it is, they’ve added quality relief arms, some depth in that regard, and some potentially excellent late inning guys in Brad Lincoln and Sergio Santos (and Marcus Stroman, as well). It shouldn’t be lost, either, that the club appears finally setup to give up the ghosts of the last several years and find a real left fielder and first baseman (or DH– same difference).

Granted, these are small consolations for what’s been a thoroughly dispiriting year, but they’re accomplishments nonetheless. As sickening as it is for some fans to have to bear the thought of waiting until next year– as badly as they want to be petty crybabies and insist that this next pushing back of the goal posts is exactly the same and exactly as futile as all the other ones– a simple step back would bring it into clear view that the club continues, albeit not as quickly as anyone would like, to make small but meaningful strides towards excellence, and that the picture above should in no way be the main takeaway from this season.

Comments (252)

  1. You know, I’ve never heard the word “embiggen” before coming to the DJF blog.

  2. I’m heading to the cottage in a week and a half. Complete isolation with no internet or cell reception. And no worries that I’ll receive any Blue Jays news for the entire time I’m there. I think the break will do me some good.

    AA landed Rasmus the last time I was there, so I expect some similar good news when I return to (un)civilization.

    • I used cromulent in a conversation a week ago, just to see if someone would catch my Simpson’s reference. It was completely ignored. I wasn’t sure if no one knew or if I was being counter-trolled.

  3. I really thought that Jesse Litsch was going to be an important part of the bullpen. It is sad that he was the first of a long line of unbelieveable pitching injuries.

  4. Amen

  5. so what’s the plan this offseason? we’re set at cf, rf, 3b, ss, c. what do we do for lf, 2b, 1b?
    do we add a pitcher?

    • I don’t get the question mark about first base.
      As E5 transitioned to EE, without looking at UZR or any other defensive stat, I think his defense at 1st has been very good. I’m more comfortable with him than Lind, Cooper or Gomes. And yes, being a traditionalist, I’d prefer my 1st basemen to be lefthanded but EE’s positioning,range and glove work has been impressive.
      His offense for the position is better than great.

      • I think the idea is that 1B and DH are essentially interchangable, so the hole we need filled is one of the two.

    • Um, we have an All-Star-calibre 1B. He’s currently OPSing .954

      Here’s how that stacks up against other AL first basemen, if you were wondering: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/1b/league/al/sort/OPS

    • Pitching should be top priority as it was the weakest link, moreso the rotation than the bullpen. I’d like to see a trade for a 2Bman, but the Jays do have internal options to fill the void (Hechavarria/Escobar).

  6. Slow clap….

  7. Perfect piece.

    Brilliant photoshop also.

  8. “As sickening as it is for some fans to have to bear the thought of waiting until next year– as badly as they want to be petty crybabies…”

    You must have a tiny, tiny penis.

  9. Im really pissed that I thought this team had a legit chance to make the playoffs before the season started. I kind of feel lied to with all this “swagger” and “raising the bar” talk in spring training. In the end, it meant nothing as spring training normally does. This team had no depth anywhere and thats partially because of rogers penny pinching ways. Injuries happen to every team and I will continue to maintain this training staff is inadequate. They are not responsible for all the injuries but a good portion of them as many have to do with conditioning. Having this many injuries is not a fluke and its not the first year its happened under this crew. The main thing is though this team lacked DEPTH.

    Also, I could care less they are among the leaders in RS but this team could use a LOT OF improvement from an obp standpoint. They definitely need another frontline starter as well because morrow and romero is not nearly enough. The only area that looks strong heading into next year is the bullpen.

    • Good trolling. 5/10

      I especially like the “could care less”, how much less could you care?

      • Huh, how is that trolling?? RS doesnt mean that much. They have had a few big outbursts. So what? Just look at where this team is in the standings.

        • Oh, I thought your entire post was tongue in cheek. “rogers penny pinching ways”, blaming the injuries on conditioning and the training staff, the notion you were lied to due to “swagger” and “raising the bar”. Those all fit completely with what I’ve seen as the irrational level of feedback I’ve heard.

          • Its not all BS and irrational though. The only debateable point is the influence of the training staff but ive heard a good training staff can make a difference in keeping players healthy. The “swagger” talk was BS and just meant to get the fans hyped up for the start of the season. I really thought lawrie was going to be better offensively to be honest. He has been a bit of a disappointment in that regard. Same with escobar. Two of the swagger players right there. If rogers gave the jays more money they could sign legit major leaguers and not have to use minor league scrubs like gomes.

        • What do you mean, runs scored doesn’t mean that much? What do you think wins games, OBP? Does the team with the most OPS at the end of a game record the win?

          • The advanced stats give a clearer picture. Relying on RS to give you an indication of how good the offense is like relying on hr and rbi to tell you how good a hitter is.

          • Um, the amount of runs a team scores is pretty significant when measuring the offense.

            It is NOT at all like using RBI to judge a hitter.

          • I would say that the training staff’s influence is far from the only debatable part of your post. I would, personally, disagree with your characterization that runs scored is meaningless, that you actually thought this team had a legit chance at the playoffs, the lack of depth “anywhere” as all being irrational. So basically everything you wrote, except for the fact that the bullpen looks strong for next year.

        • You got to be trolling because only a complete moron would suggest that ‘advanced stats’ and then reference offensive advanced stats and outright say that they were more important than, actual, you know, runs scored… You know that they judge a game won or lost on runs scored alone right? Lol. Classic case of not seeing the forest for all the trees

          • Never said runs scored was meaningless. They just dont tell the whole story about the offense. Thats all

        • would you prefer them to start the season with “here we go for another .500 season!!! buy your tickets today!!!”

          if this team was healthy and Romero wasn’t a complete fuck up, they would easily still be in playoff contention. I guess they should have foreseen this in ST and given you the heads up, so that your hopes weren’t shattered.

          • Yeah, I feel lied to too…you know with all those promises that everyone would be healthy all-year long.
            Oh wait…shit happens.

        • The key is to look at the standard deviation of runs scored.

          Jays are good at scoring 10 runs in any given game but then get shut down for a few games.

          It would be interesting to compare the jays run standard deviation with other teams.

    • You are an idiot.

    • The team had no depth anywhere yet you thought they’d make a run at the playoffs?

      With seven rookies in the lineup?3 in the starting rotation,some on an innings limit?With question marks about Jbau hitiing only 9 dingers after 2011 allstar break?Colby stating he played out the string at the end of 2011?And Farrell still trying to figure out how to manage a team?
      You let your emotions overrule your logic.

      • Cmon most people on this forum thought this team had a legit chance at the playoffs before this season. Dont be a fucking hypocrite. Having said that, not a great chance but a legit chance. Remeber all the no more nix, patterson etc. talk and how this team was supposed to be improved and with the extra wild card they had a shot. Lawrie was supposed to be our trout but it didnt turn out that way.

        • I’ll admit I thought this team had a chance, but I was expecting Romero to not shit the bed, and Johnson to rebound.

          Underperformances made the bed, injuries put them in it.

          • Agreed. The possibility of underperformance is the scariest part about building a winning team. You just never know.

        • Disagree. I would say at the start of this season, most on this forum were seasoned veterans of Blue Jays watching, and were in no way inclined to believe there was more than a long shot chance of being in the post season. As the season progressed, this site filled up with casual fans and Rogers Marketing Converts who maybe thought a post-season shot was the Jays’ to lose.

          • I thought this team would win 85 and have an outside shot at the playoffs if some stuff went their way.

            In a season with normal injuries, and not this mash unit … I think that’s probably about what we would have seen.

        • Lawrie was never rated as a trout. Clearly this is a case of an impatient, frustrated leafs fan that had an irrational and uneducated view of the short term prospects for this team now blaming said team for his incompetence AND the almost record setting rash of injuries. How do you get out of bed with that amount of dumb?

          • Buck and Tabby made the same comparison when Anaheim was in T.O., and it’s so totally unfair to Lawrie. Trout appears to be historically great, no one should have to measure themselves against that to be considered even vaguely successful.

          • The media hype of lawrie was very similiar to trout. Even ESPN hyped up lawrie. Was that unjust to lawrie? Probably.

        • Very true. I think the average win prediction here was around 85, & it is likely the team would meet or exceed that target with good health.

          Other teams have faltered this year.

          There are question marks every year about every team.

          Romero regressed badly, & Edwin became an all star calibre player.

          That’s why they play 162 games, you never know what’s foing to happen.

          When was the last time the Jays were favored to get a playoff spot? 2006? 2008?

        • I would say most people still thought the Yanks Rays and Sox were ahead of them, as well as one of the Angels or Rangers. Not sure how you didn’t figure that out.

      • Are people seriously giving up on Lawrie? He’s 22 and in his first full year in the bigs. Come on people.

    • You do realize that the Yankees were playing Dewayne Wise, Jayson Nix, and Freddy Garcia starting all in the same game, right? Don’t you wish the Jays had that kind of amazing fucking depth right there! The Jays had depth, it’s just that it was pushed to its extreme with 8 of their top 15 pitchers on the disabled list, plus their starting catcher & top prospect catcher, best player, best pitcher, and best reliever. They had very good depth at catcher, but then their 2 top starting options at the position got injured (JPA and d’Arnaud).

    • You feel lied to? Why didn’t you actually do your own, you know, research?

  10. Haven’t read this yet, due to lack of time. But just gotta say, I abso-fucking-lutely love that image.

  11. I think 1B for the future is solved with EE. I see the holes in the field being in LF and DH (as well as 2B).

    I’m hoping David Ortiz can be a nice solution to the hole at DH.

    Should have signed him last season and given up the 1st rounder for him, but looking back now, if the Jays got Ortiz, we probably wouldn’t have kept EE or given him as much of an opportunity to succeed the way he has. But hopefully this off-season, we can get Ortiz on a two-year deal.

    • I won’t allow a David Ortiz signing.

      • Hush!

        Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! The money will be there at some vague point in the future that I refuse to elaborate on. Rogers is Great! Buy more tickets!

        • Watch more TV. Use cable Internet and of course talk to your friends on your Rogers wireless and home phones about how great the Jays are!

        • LOL!

          Wonder what the swagger marketing plan for 2013 is?

          How about a TV ad with Dr James Andrews, saying I fixed up the starting rotation one ligament at a time & watch the 2014 Jays .:))

          • If they were smart, they’d take it and run with it, do some riffs on the Six Million Dollar Man, Robocop, the Terminator…

    • I kinda feel like thats the plan for DH, seems like Ortiz isn’t all that content in Boston, especially after getting only a 1 year deal. And a Dominican middle of the order of Bautista, Ortiz, EE is looking pretty good to me. I think it will probably take a 3 year commitment (probably 2 years plus a option year with a hefty buyout), but with how Ortiz is producing over the last couple years that doesn’t worry me too much.

  12. “In case you’ve forgotten, the inability to trade for front-line pitching last winter, for example, was entirely excusable given the required cost– y’known, unless you were super keen on offering up Brett Lawrie to get a deal done.”

    Love how you take the RUMOR of one of the possible deals (that the Mariners required Lawrie in a trade for Pineda, which was entirely reasonable) and extend it to the rest of the starting pitching that was available this offseason. There’s no reason to suggest Lawrie would have been required to acquire an arm like Mat Latos, Gio Gonzalez, and Matt Garza.

  13. The term I will remember this season by is clusterfuck.

  14. Well at least we’ll always have July 20-22 to look back on fondly.

  15. I have been a fan of all of AA’s moves so far this year, but I will be severely disappointed if they don’t acquire some starting pitching in the off-season, either via trade or free agency. I don’t think you can go into 2013 with a rotation of Morrow, Romero, Alvarez, Happ and Jenkins? Not sure about that last one since Laffey and Carlos are free agents.

    I guess there’s the possibility of stretching out Lincoln or Stroman. But then that leaves only Mcguire and Stilson as depth.

    That’s a pretty sad possibility. If you can add two quality starting pitchers though, then it’s looking fairly good.

    • I can’t see how they won’t go hard after pitching in the off-season. I was a big proponent of a wait-and-see approach for this year to see what they really had in guys like Drabek, Cecil, Carreno, Hutch, and McGowan. I think a lot of those questions have been answered now, and at least 3 of those guys won’t even be in the mix for 2013.

      • In all probability zero of those guys will be in the mix for next year. Drabek, Hutch and McGowan for injuries. Cecil because he’s not that good. And Carreno will likely get a shot as a reliever, but I doubt as a starter.

        • How does this add anything to what I posted? I said AT LEAST 3 won’t be in the mix (because they’re injured) and didn’t at all imply that the other two would be there. Anything else you’d like to paraphrase?

      • I couldn’t see how they wouldn’t go hard after (quality) pitching in the off-season last year… and yet here we stand. I think they’re just unwilling to pay the price for it (in both prospects and in dollars).

        • Unfortunately, that will probably happen again.

          The Lawrie for Pineda rumored trade shows now much uality pitching costs.

          Pineda then got hurt for the entire year.

          If the Jays are unwilling or unable to trade prospects or add salary then they have to hope that their own prospects come through at an above average rate.

        • I can. A rebuilding team in the third year of a re build wanted to see how the prospects would perform.

          Really not rocket science that the team didn’t want to saddle itself with hefty contracts before they could compete.

  16. Excellent post Stoeten.

    While there certainly could have been one or two moves made last offseason to contend, it seemed all along that this was more of a building year where contending would only happen if a number of players took a step forward.

    I’d say the Jays haven’t exactly had any unexpected breakouts other than EE, though I feel somewhat confident he can maintain it.

    Everything that has gone wrong this year sucks, but I feel like many questions have been answered and the holes heading into 2013 are now painfully obvious.

    This post is espescially refreshing in light of the fact that every injury seemingly brings out the “Rogers cheapness” & “AA apologists have egg on their face” morons.

    Kudos.

    • raised my glass to you.

    • Dumb fuck

      Explain the difference between building and contending? Is there really a difference? You contend by building a good team.
      This idea of needing all stars at every position is before we spend and then are contenders is just crap. There has not been a team ever that had that kind of set up.

      Now I don’t disagree with AA’s philosophy: Develop young talent (primarily pitching) and acquire core prices. We now have 6 core offensive pieces and a bullpen that could be lights out. We need some luck and more importantly 2 starting pitchers.

      Don’t give me this bullshit about building and contending. That’s the way losers talk. We have the right pieces in place ( sans the 2 starters). With a good off season 2013 can definitely be the right time.

      • Thanks captain obvious.

        What I meant is what has been repeated here for months:the Jays had a ton of question marks heading into 2012 and one or two additions wouldn’t have necessarily put them in a significantly better position to answer those questions.

        Many questions have been answered heading into 2013, imo. Not all of the answers are positive (i.e. relying on Romero & Morrow as a #1 and #2 is ridiculous), but the areas of need are now obvious.

    • The injuries to the team were obviously much worse than expected but the fact remains that the team could have invested more at the beginning of the year to provide more depth.

      It is bizarre for certain fans to demand that every player on the 25 man roster play at their”ceiling levels” & at excellent contract value as well.

      I doubt any winning team can pull that off.

      The unfortunate reality is that the team is not going to be part of a playoff race again this year.

      I assume most people want to cheer on a winning team & don’t care how the championship is won. A cost effectivechampionship is great if you are the owner, but that rarely happens.

      I get the feeling that if this blog existed in 1992 & 1993, people would be bashing Joe Carter because he doesn’t have a high OBP & bash the team for having a high payroll.

  17. Ugh. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agree with everything you wrote. But I’d also be lying if I said I had anything near the kind of confidence you have in next year’s team. My three biggest question marks;
    1. I can’t see how AA justifies signing and/or trading for a really solid LF with Gose waiting in the wings. Does he move forward assuming Jose will move to 1B? Does he trade Gose? Or does he stand pat so as not to block the kid – that third option scares me (just a little).
    2. Pitching; it is never going to be easy to get a frontline starter, and what we have to give up (in cash or prospects) is never going to be easily digestible. Do we have the balls to pull the trigger, especially with so many still young pitchers a year closer to the majors? If we do go for it, is the preference going to be paying the prospect premium and saving on the dollar side?
    3. Its so easy to say that this team will get better every year b/c of prospects & youth. So tempting to stand pat knowing that one wrong move could scuttle the entire trajectory. Will AA remember that for every prospect maturing, there’s a Bautista or Encarnacion aging? We know he knows how to get into perfect drifting position, but does he know when its the right time to rev up the engine and blow past the cars ahead?

    I have no reason to think AA will fuck these things up, but shit, there’s still a lot up in the air.

    • In regards to your second point, they don’t necessarily need a front line pitcher. If you have a top offense, you can get away with average pitching. Kind of like the Rangers, they have great offense, good defense and good, but not great pitching.

    • Good post Ray

      I love what AA has done rebuilding the organization.
      I love the obvious (though not publically stated) plan to focus on player development.
      I accept that next year is likely another wait for the low minor guys to step up to higher levels.

      What is my concern about AA is whether or not he can be the man to make the next leap from propect hoarding and system building to going for it now. Likely offseason 2013.

      So far, he clearly hasn’t thought the time is right and I agree with him. When the time is right, my hope is that he’s as competent at taking us through the next phase as he’s been in this rebuilding phase.

      My bet is that he can do it.

      • The last part is key: it is a bet. Far from a certainty. I too like many of the things that AA is doing and support player development in the grand scheme of things, but looking at some of the injury issues with our prospects (Hutch, Drabek….) and underperformance (Deck, Jenkins in minors, even Alvarez is questionable and recently neither Snider nor Lind really panned out), it is far from a sure thing that these lower-level prospects pan out. I hate to sound like a bitter old-timer, but we’ve seen so many prospects come and go. Prospect porn gives one a boner, but it is porn, after all, not the real thing

        • out of the 10 top prospects,
          one will be a long term star,
          another will have a solid career with maybe an all-star season,
          1 will be a serviceable player,
          1 a utility or bench guy,
          5 will be trade fodder you hope your GM identified as not becoming as much as hyped,
          3-6 will either get hurt or simply never reach their potential to be a MLB contributer. Hopefully those are the ones you’ve traded.

          Having 4 of your top 10 prospects contribute anything of significance at the MLB level would be excellent.

    • Very good post. Running this team is like juggling 25 plates in the air.

      It’s hard to know which plate is going to fall & crash at any time.

    • Why does AA owe us a competitive team exactly? He obviously is a prospect development guy. so why is he being shoehorned into having to deliver an MLB product already?

      They have enough players to keep you from turning the channel, some of them are controllable for years after this one and should be either traded before becoming expensive or retained, so why are we entitled to winning baseball NOW? if 2018 – 2023 we’re bottom of the AL East, fine, his plan was poorly executed, but what the hell is with the premature demands to spend?

  18. This post drives me crazy. It was completely acceptable to suggest that the Jays needed another starter last offseason, and many did so. It is not revisionist history to say that, now that it’s turned out to be true. Toronto entered the season with one proven starter, and now he’s been pretty bad (Romero), plus one guy with a shot at excellence but who was a question mark to put up 200 innings.

    • I think he’s just saying that it wasn’t exactly crazy to think the other way either. Lot of question marks – Cecil, McGowan, Drabek – have become some kind of depressing but more definitive piece of punctuation (ellipses maybe?). Whereas in winter 2012 you could talk yourself into Cecil becoming 2010 Cecil, Dustin McGowan becoming 2008 McGowan and Kyle Drabek not being a worthless piece of shit, in 2013 no one realistically believes any of those things.

      Having said that, I too was a little astonished that no moves were made…

      • I would not call Drabek a “worthless piece of shit”. It is possible that his start to the season was more indicative of his future abilities then the month before the injury.

    • Absolutely! I particular,y don’t like being talked-down-to because I don’t buy every bit of spin put out by the front office and apparently regurgitated here. Stoeten I know you work for them, but please u der stand it’s unlikely they will fire you for the odd post that doesn’t lick AA’s boots. They should have come away from last off-season with a pitcher and I don’t buy the Brett Lawrie excuse, handy as it was. There were a bunch of prospects in the farm that could have been used for this purpose. And the whole intent of a negotiation. Is to accomplish something worthwhile for both sides. Lawrie goes on the table at the beginning, but something else could have been achieved there and Lawrie comes off. Or not. He’s a great p,Ayer but without great starting pitching this team is going nowhere

      • Come to think of it, would Lawrie be too steep a price to pay now? His stock has definitely fallen. Lawrie/Gose/JPA + for a top 2 starter? Sure.

      • I think many of us here can accept that it didn’t make sense to acquire a Latos/Pineda type given the cost.

        What won’t be acceptable heading into 2013 is scoffing at the price of an Edwin Jackson-type. Because the price for someone like him is simply money, and probably not a huge amount of it.

        Espescially when it is now painfully obvious that a mid-rotation starter wouldn’t be blocking anyone of significance.

      • Yeah that’s dumb on a whole lot of levels. Not even worth going line by line. Suggesting Stoeten works for the team (or maybe you meant Rogers, which is also dumb) is one of the more ignorant things posted around here recently. Congrats!

      • “I don’t like being talked down to, so let me talk down to you with ridiculous, intellectually bankrupt shit I just made up about you, and a few platitudes I very obviously don’t understand.”

        • Wait a second, ‘a few platitudes I very obviously don’t understand’?!

          Here’s the thing Stoeten, I don’t want to go all Mike Wilner on your ass, but ‘platitudes’ are common tropes that are overused and banal. They aren’t something to understand or not understand. Platitudes by their nature are easily understood.

          And I stick by what I wrote. When this was an independent board you were way tougher on the team than you are now. I have read post after post justifying AA’s moves and not all of them are defensible.

          • You DO know that The Score is a competitor to Rogers and not the same company, right? RIGHT?

          • Wow just go home Isabellareyes… “When this was an independent board”? While it may be part of The Score now, The Score is a competitor with Rogers and therefore better served by tearing them down, not building them up.

            It’s a shame that you stick by what you wrote. An immediate retraction would have made you look a lot smarter. I would argue that pretty much all of AA’s moves are, at the very least, defensible in terms of process even if the product hasn’t been great. They may be arguable from either side, but he hasn’t really made a single move that is totally indefensible.

      • Good point Isabella.

        I am baffled why fans that don’t immediately support every move AA makes are attacked as crybabies.

        The franchise can’t sustain itself on the hipster crowd of saber geeks who probably are too cheap to afford to pay for decent tickets .

        One of the keys to being a good GM is to know when to trade the prospects.

        Anyone in 2008 or 2009 that said that Snider would be traded for a middle reliever would be laughed at.

        Prospect value rise & fall, players get injured, players under/over perform

        From what I have read JP Riccardi was treated as a saint as well when he arrived with Billy Beane credentials.

        AA is trying his best with the resources given, but stop fapping over his every move.

        • @oakville69: You’re a fucking idiot. First you insult me as a human being for being “too cheap to afford to pay for decent tickets” for which I invite you to go fuck yourself you elitist piece of shit.

          You’re right that “one of the keys to being a good GM is to know when to trade the prospects” but then completely contradict yourself by saying that “anyone in 2008 or 2009 that said that Snider would be traded for a middle reliever would be laughed at”. Well guess what? It isn’t 2008 or 2009 and Snider’s value was about to fall off a cliff if he didn’t cement his role in the Jays OF this year. Therefore, a case could be made that this was the perfect time to trade that particular prospect for what is likely a very valuable reliever. At the very least Lincoln has proven himself capable of doing his job at the major league level (even if that job is less valuable than an every day major league OF) than Snider has.

          You then go on to acknowledge that “prospect value rise & fall, players get injured, players under/over perform” which is true, and yet completely contradicts your insistence on valuing Snider at his 2008/2009 levels. I don’t even think I need to point out how hypocritical this is.

          I think you’re too stupid to see that though, so here goes. Snider’s value had fallen, to the point that any educated observer could see that the odds of him being an every day OF were diminishing to the point that the Jays would have been risking getting nothing but a 4th OF for him (that 4th OF being Snider himself). Therefore, they could be justified trading him for something that projects to be more valuable than that going forward. Lincoln has been lights out as a reliever. Can you imagine a pen with (healthy) Santos, Jansen, Oliver and Lincoln for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings? Not too shabby if you ask me…

          • +1

            The worst part is that Oakville is clearly not trolling, at least intentionally.

            He truly believes the bullshit he spews.

      • Rogers own The Score? Stoeten works for the Jays?

        Okay……

    • I totally said that it was fair to have wanted them to get a mid-cost pitcher and that it was a “calculated risk” to not do so.

      • Hopefully AA will be allowed to spend 10 million on an Edwin Jackson type for 2013.

        It seems the Jays will need 10 starters per year , so what’s wrong having one veteran innings eater.?

        I wonder if AA would go after Shaun Marcum on a 3 year plus option contract?

        The quest ion for 2013 is that the Dodgers will be flush with money & some other teams as well so they may easily outbid any offer AA makes if his hands are still tied by the Payroll Parameters.

        • So then shouldn’t more of your hate be directed towards Rogers and not AA?

          Seriously, you act as though it’s only people on this blog that consider AA a godsend. Listen to what baseball experts say and he is universally considered a top GM around the industry.

          For all that AA has done in 2.5 years he deserves far more praise for building a sustainable organization than he receives from simple minded people like you.

    • I am ok with a healthy Romero, Morrow, Alverez, Drabek + one of nearly 10 worthy 5th starters. Especially with an offence that was number 1 in the league.

      • Drabek out all next season. So Villanueva/Cecil/Laffey/Happ would be the options that are currently on the Jays roster. V and Laff would need to be re-signed

  19. I have not been the biggest Yu Darvish screaming psycho, but I do think he warrants a mention in this possibly premature/probably right on time break down of expectations versus results for 2012.

    Again, so it is clear, I was not someone crying for the last four months over the miss (and it is hard to argue against it being a miss at this point), but it does seem a glaring omission in this post, if only to respond to the fact that Yu “trended” pretty fucking strongly most of this season.

    • +1000

    • The same Yu Darvish that’s walking 5 batters per 9?

      • That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll continue to do so. We all know baseball is a game of adjustments. He was scary good for a rookie to start, and now the league has made adjustments. Only time will tell if he adjusts back. Declaring him a bust is premature. He’s got some of the stupidest stuff around and, while he’s expensive, it’s only (someone else’s!) money and I wouldn’t mind having had him around this year. Hey at least he’s still healthy!

        • I wonder if anyone looked at the addtional revenue generated by the Rangers from TV ratings when he pitches & attendance?

          I wonder if they have Japanese tour groups that fly into Arlington to see Darvish pitch?

          Some teams are willing to invest their resources in players.

        • Read the article on fangraphs about Yu’s lack of control. Remember he may be a “Rookie” but he is 25 and has played 6 years of pro ball.

          He is a nibbler much like Dice K. Sad considering his stuff.

    • I assumed it was addressed in the bit about the naivete of expecting crazy investment from Rogers.

      • I thought that was for Prince. But your point is taken and consider mine rescinded.

      • In what universe is expecting a competitive bid for Darvish from a team that wants to be competitive in the AL East, and claims to have good financial backing, a “naive” exectation of “crazy investment”?

        Fielder I could understand, more because of the poor contract and physical concerns, but Darvish?

        Has it become “naive” to expect anything more than bargain hunting trades and draft pick hoarding from this team, in their effort to build a consistent contender?

        At some point “realist” crosses a threashold into “apologist”.

        • 50M to TALK TO A GUY?

          You are as insane as the Rangers but worse because you don’t have the money.

        • If anything, an investment in Fielder makes much more sense than an investment in Darvish. I don’t really understand why people are so hot and heavy for Darvish, who has proven nothing in MLB, and then how people tend to be so hard on Fielder, who has done nothing but produce.

          I’m not saying that the Jays should have spent the money on Fielder, but doing so would have been a far better investment than the gamble on Darvish.

    • he may have trended pretty strongly, but he’s been pitching fairly mediocre.

  20. By the way I love the way this site is set up so you can’t edit the posts in an iPad. Makes for a lot of incoherence…

    In other news, I’m going to a Dodgers game tonite. Should be interesting.

  21. Great post.

    I understand that this year was never the year to ‘go for it’, but man, it does hurt that the team is this bad. Nothing AA or Farrell could really do- underperformance and injuries made sure of that, but fuck if I don’t feel completely emotionally unattached to this team.

  22. - DHs are easy to find, and if required, we could put some combo of Esco and Hech at SS-2nd Base. Next offseason will (or should be) all about starting pitching, starting pitching, starting pitching…..
    - Romero coming off a substandard season, Morrow coming off an injury, Alvarez looking mediocre, Villanueva a free agent and Drabek and Hutch injured. Dems slim pickings

  23. Thanks for pouring some water on the fire.

    It still bugs me that AA does the media circuit and talks about us as a contender. We have so many holes to fill until we are a legitimate contender. Don’t treat us like idiots

  24. Stoeten – what’s the eta on this message board being updated?? shit is terrible

  25. I get a bit tired of the ‘fans are stupid’ meme (of course they’re stupid – this is sport, and if we weren’t stupid, we’d probably be doing something more useful with our time, like curing cancer, or solving the Arab-Israeli problem)

    BUT, I do think it’s worth pointing out that, while fan stupidity is one thing, there is a particularly prominent strain of fandom that is particularly odious. That’s the whingeing, moaning group who seem to think they are owed a winning team ‘because there’s been nothing since 1993′.

    First of all, no sport, no team owner, no athlete, owes the fans a damn thing. They put on a show, provide a product. You can buy it, or you can ignore it. If the product is not good, stay home, support another team, start following Greco-Roman wrestling, but don’t whinge.

    Second of all, what makes you think the length of time since a world series makes YOU any more deserving of playoff run than a Yankees fan? It’s nothing to do with you, suck it up. And if you mention your Rogers bill, I will personally pants you.

    Third of all, related to the ‘I deserve a win’ concept, is the ‘I feel cheated because they’re not as good as I thought they were’. The point of sport is its uncertainty. If you want a sure thing, maybe sport isn’t your thing. Moreover, if you buy marketing hype, you’re an even bigger idiot than I thought you were. Do you really believe every piece of marketing you see? If you do, you probably think women with periods like to do gymnastics and sit on white sofas a lot. I hate to break it to you, but they exaggerate a bit. If you got your hopes up too high, or think that an injury-riddled season tells you much about anything, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

    Fourth of all – how can you call yourself a fan of a sport, if your logic in essence amounts to ‘there’s no point watching unless they win’. That’s not ‘supporting’ a team, that’s leeching off their success as a way to increase your own sense of self-worth. Unlikely to bring a happy and fulfilled life.

    For myself, I’ve probably gotten more pleasure out of this hot mess of a season than any previous one in the last ten years. With the exception of a couple of games the last week or so, the team has generally been worth watching. You have to enjoy the journey more than the destination, because when it comes to World Series rings, the destination is likely to be a long way off.

    • Great post Ben

      Good points,

      I laughed at the “I get a bit tired of the ‘fans are stupid’ meme” before going on to suggest they’re idiots.
      I spent the weekend trying to educate them. It’s hopeless.

    • No owner owes the fans a damn thing? you really wrote that? uh, isn’t his/her entire wealth based on fans buying tickets, jerseys and watching the product on television. And the argument that real fans will watch even if the team loses for 20 years because it’s not about winning – is Roger’s paying you to write this?

      • Ben..I say this with love..but go Fuck yourself. If you aint in the game to win it..then get the fuck out. These fuckers get paid to play at this level..and they get paid a fuck ton..so someone better figure out how to fucking win a game.

        • @SocietyofWeed…

          Yeah, but you and I aren’t in it to win anything, and we have no power over anything. I want the players on the team I watch to play to win all day, every day. You and I are just the dumb fucks who watch it. We have no part in proceedings, and no right to expect any different.

          As for the ‘they get paid a lot, so they better win’ argument. That applies equally to every player in the major leagues right. So all players should always win, all the time? Do you see the weakness in that argument?

          The point of the exercise is that across MLB exactly 50% of games will be lost and 50% won. That’s a whole lot of very highly paid people failing a whole lot. You having an expectation that well paid athletes should succeed does not change that.

      • Actually most owners of sports teams are independently wealthy. It’s how they buy sports teams. That’s like saying the local pizza place owes you extra toppings on your pizza, or a large for the price of a medium, because you go there and nowhere else. they don’t owe you shit besides delivering the product you’re paying for. In their case pizza, in Rogers’ case, 162 games of baseball a season.

        Mmmmmm. Pizza

        • Eh, I dunno… if they sell you on buying a delicious pizza loaded with toppings and it arrives at the door 30 minutes late, cold, with mediocre toppings (in both quality and quantity) I think you have cause to complain… What was delivered wasn’t what was advertised.

          • Very true.

            That’s why the team tries to sell tickets every year & tries to get fans interested in watching every game.

            I have never seen a broadcast say this team sucks, don’t come out to the game etc….

            If Rogers decided to be honest with fans & say the budget limit is 75 million they know damn well ticket sales would fall & ratings would drop.

            They try to hype the prospects so fans have a reason to watch but they don’t perform , fans get angry because they were lied to.

            Apathy can kill a sports franchise.

      • @Barfly. See Paul Brodeau. What he said.

        And no, ‘real fans’ don’t have to watch a losing team for 20 years. That’s the point. ‘Real fans’ can become a fan of whatever they like, which is probably healthier for all concerned than feeling you’ve been cheated because your team is losing.

        • People don’t feel cheated when the team loses – they feel cheated when they don’t feel like the team is doing everything in it’s power to win. Especially when those people are paying thousands of dollars a year on tickets and merchandise, and enriching the pockets of the people who run the team.

          Pro sports wouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar empire it is today, and athletes wouldn’t command the millions they get paid, if people were expected to treat a game of baseball as nothing more than a meaningless lark. The competition in sports is what keeps people coming out and paying top dollar, and with that competition comes expectations from your team.

      • True. It’s funny that every Rogers broadcast encourages viewers to come to games . buy merchandise etc.. Watch the team.

        It would be hilarious if Buck & Tabby started bashing the twitter tuesday crowd & said the team sucks etc…

    • I really love this comment. I’ve had this argument many times and it’s usually very heated. I totally get the “vote with your dollars” argument, but when fans start advocating for other fans to stay home and not support a losing team, I can’t help but think they’re being entitled, insufferable twats. I go to baseball (& hockey & football & basketball) games because I genuinely enjoy the sport and I enjoy watching it played at a high level. Because I’m human, I like it when the team I’m rooting for wins and when the teams I hate lose. That, however, is not a requirement for me to enjoy the sport and the people who play it. If I got to sit in the park, I’d happily watch Cubs-Astros games as often as I could afford to for eternity and be happy as a pig in shit for getting to do it. You can all vote with your dollars however you want, but some of mine will be going towards baseball.

      • On this issue, since the dawn of time (how is that for pompous?) fans have cheered when their team has won and booed when it has lost. When a player makes errors or a coach sucks they have yelled: “Fire the bum!” This is part of the joy of sports fandom and as far as I can tell it is common across cultures. What I find bizarre (at times surreal) on this blog is that many think that unless you are an ass-kissing management fanboy your are some kind of traitor to the team or (you do not understand baseball). It strikes me as being exactly the opposite: supporting a team is being critical and honest and holding its employees to a high standard. In recent posts questioning the upside of David Cooper and expressing discontent at being below .500, people have responded to me with “you eat shit for breakfast” and “I hope the door slams in your teeth as you leave, dipshit” Really?

        • Barfly:

          You are bang on.
          It’s fine to criticize a play, or a managerial move, or even to express disappointment that the team didn’t sign FA’s.

          Having said that, what’s infuriating is the “fire AA because he’s stupid” when he’s clearly a great GM.
          or “Gose sucks and will never be good” because he went 0 for 4 last night and still has tremendous potential.
          or the “Fire Murphy, hire Motorolla” cries by the same fans who then complain how our AAA hitters can’t hit in the majors.

          There is constuctive criticism and ways of expressing your disappointment when we lose.
          Then there is the spreading of lies and revisionist history to the point of poisoning the minds of casual fans.

      • If you were replying to me, I wasn’t advocating the ‘vote with your dollars’ approach. If you read that, you misunderstood me. The point of what I was saying tallies exactly with what you say – ‘enjoy the process’.

        I’d only argue for ‘voting with your dollars’ in so far as the many unhappy souls who make themselves miserable watching the Blue Jays would be better investing their entertainment dollar elsewhere – for their own sanity.

      • OK, but there aren’t enough of you to support a team.

        Look at the expos. Everyone cried when the team left, but the ownership put a crappy team on the field for years & lost the team.

        The Leafs are still able to draw fas because of a natural love for hockey but that doesn’t exist for other sports in Toronto.

        Look at the Raptors. basketball is a more popular sport with the kids today but that team is suffering with attendance etc.

        Look at TFC. They sold hype for a few years but the team is so poorly managed that those games are have attendance problems now.

        Soccer is a popular sport in Toronto but people won’t pay for a crappy product.

        • What a load of crap.

          I suggest you study the history of the sports before you make comments like you have made.

          The ownership of the Expos put an excellent product on the field as long as they could afford to. The reason they lost the team was because they could no longer afford to compete with the high market teams, including Toronto, AND the bias against Canadian teams in MLB. When Loria took over ownership of the Expos he deliberately did everything he could to destroy them because he wanted a team in Miami. He got that wish and turned over the ownership of the Expos to MLB who then proceeded to destroy the team through lack of action because they (Bud Selig in particular) wanted no baseball teams outside of the USA – especially post 9/11 (one of the reasons that Toronto was also slated for contraction in Nov 2001 before it was finally settled on Minnesota and Montreal) . Montreal has a long and historically significant place in baseball. If it wasn’t for the Montreal Royals, and their place as a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson would never have broken the colour barrier in MLB. The main reason there is no team in Montreal (either minor league or major) is because of the decisions of MLB, not because of the fan support for a baseball team in Montreal

          The Leafs are a horrible team and will continue to be a horrible team as long as the ownership continues to rely on the irrational support of their fans. The only reason they still exist is because the ownership knows that the fans will continue to support the team – Harold Ballard knew this and every other owner since has known this. Until the Leaf’s fans start adopting the attitude of the Canadiens’ fans and stop supporting losing teams, the ownership has no motivation to field a winning team. This is also one of the reasons that Toronto’s ownership continues to oppose the creation of a team in Hamilton and was opposed to the team in Ottawa – they know that these teams will draw the Maple Leaf fans who are tired of waiting for a team to succeed in Toronto. Maple Leaf fans are a bunch of masochists – especially the media – the love their losers because without them they would have no story and no opportunity to continue to whine about the ownership and sell their stories.

          Basketball in Canada has never been a popular sport, primarily because its season conflicts with hockey. Exceptions occur in Halifax and Toronto because of the black population in those regions (they tend to associate basketball with black success more than hockey) and Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of BC (where hockey was less popular because of the shorter season for playing outdoors). When the NBA decided to expand to Toronto and Vancouver it was solely because of money. The league was looking to expand and those were two areas which could support expansion at that time. Vancouver subsequently lost their team to Memphis because a) they had a crappy team that the fans couldn’t support, b) they were losing money – in large part due to the $C<$US exchange rate as well as the lack of fan support, and because of anti-Canadian bias. Toronto's team continues to suck because a) American players want to play for American cities, and b) good players want to play for winning teams.

          As far as Soccer goes. The large multi-ethnic population of Toronto is what led to the creation of some of the most successful soccer teams in North America. Soccer (for the most part) has never been a popular sport except among the ethnic minorities and when Toronto began to become more multi-ethnic in the 1970's, the sport began to boom. British Columbia, again Vancouver Island and Vancouver, also began developing a large following for soccer, mainly because of the large proportion of English and Scottish immigrants but, again, because of the longer season for supporting the sport as opposed to hockey. One thing you said which is right is that the supporters of Toronto's soccer teams won't pay for a crappy product. This is also true in Vancouver and you can see that the ownership is striving to put a more marketable product on the field – I would suggest that this is also the case in Toronto for the TFC.

      • I think there are several thousand astros tickets available.

        Have fun!

    • You make some good points about enjoying the sport etc.

      However the number of true baseball fans who are willing to spend real dollars to watch a bad team is probably around 10K in Toronto.

      Rogers wants to make money & unfortunately for them they don’t have a monopoly on the entertainment dollar.

      You can’t force people to watch baseball games & pay money to go to games.

      The team was excellent from 85-93 & attendance, ratings dropped off gradually.

      A generation of fans was lost & is being rebuilt now.

      However with the short attention span of kids today, will they be as excited for the next 2 or 3 years if the team doesn’t win more than 83 games a year?

      I doubt it.

      I understand it’s fun to attack casual fans but there aren’t enough hipster saber geeks in this city to keep the team afloat.

      This blog and other blogs sucess has a direct correlation with renewed interest in the team.

      The fans are angry now , so that is good for business, because angry fans like to bash the owners, managers players etc…, & post a lot which drives page views.

      However, if the team’s current rebuild fails, then apathy will likely set in which will damage the financial viability of this blog.& Jays related business’s.

      • Again, a load of Crap.

        You obviously haven’t been reading the attendance records. For 2012 they have risen. They passed the 1 million mark faster than they have since 1998.

        TV viewership is also up – there has been a 53% boost since 2010.

        I recently attended the games in Seattle, and I can tell you that the Blue Jay fans outnumbered the Mariner fans – that means that there were 10K fans per game in Seattle to support a team which got swept in three straight – the fans I met, and talked to, hoped for a better result but realistically they know that the Blue Jays have little hope to contend for the WC spot. Blue Jay fans come from across this country, not just Toronto, there were buses from Saskatchewan and Alberta as well as BC. The new Blue Jays recognize that and that is why they have renewed their commitment to supporting baseball across Canada, not just in the Toronto area. I think that it was also obvious that during the recent sweep of the Bosox in Boston that the BJ fans outnumbered the Redsox fans, especially in the final game – a phenomenon which I have never seen in the 33 years since Toronto has been in MLB – a large number of those fans come from the Maritimes and used to support Boston, now the cheer for Toronto.

        Their rebuild is towards the future, not the present. I see very many encouraging signs that they are following the right path and I am sure that most fans also see this.

  26. Yes Stoeter, you are spot-on. No one promised anyone a rose garden this year. And the injuries could not have been predicted. And we are closer to the future and I really really like our bullpen.

    I think a lot of people are biting their tongues and trying to be reasonable.

    Having said that…. I sure hope to see one or two big signings this winter. Either a starting pitcher, a 2B, LF or 1B/DH.

    I’m happy to have Gose coming up, but it could be 3 years before he is good, if ever. I like our prospects but I don’t like banking on them. Let’s add a good veteran or two and let the farm system earn its way up here. If we sign a good enough player and the farm starts biting at the heels too much, we can always trade away the veteran.

    • Those positions are so easy to fill that it’s asinine to give up value to address them.

      Payroll dollars are finite. As 16 year old Venezuelans and 38 year old relievers remain a market inefficiency, they must be targeted heavily.

  27. AA is a fool with no plan!

    This was our year to go for it because Bautista isn”t getting younger!
    He took a calculated risk last winter and failed miserably.

    Where was the plan for what we all knew would happen:

    Closer: Santos Injured.
    Bullpen guys: Perez injured.
    SP:: Drabek injured
    Morrow injured
    Hutchinson injured
    RF: Bautista injured.
    Cather: JPA injured

    I think there’s been one or two minor injuries. But no plan to deal with them!
    Every other team in baseball could have easily handled these minor injuries!

    I feel lied to and cheated because I thought we’d have a better team that our record shows.
    Damn the BJ”s PR machine for raising our hopes!

    Next spring training if they show some confidence and believe in their abilities I’m not going to fall for it again! It’s all B.S. marketing promises and swaggar!

    Fire AA!

  28. While I do agree with your view, I think you are maybe overstating the value of “making progress”. Are there really that many teams that aren’t making progress? I mean, if you split the league into two camps (contending and building), I think you could pretty uniformly conclude that almost every team is making progress. It’s a pretty low bar, no? At the end of day, this is more about grading on a curve so it’s all relative. And relatively speaking, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to be disappointed in this season and disappointed in the notion that goalposts are being pushed back regardless of what happened to them last year.

    • Did the TB Rays makes progress up to 2008? Their win totals, by year, from 2002: 55, 63, 70, 67, 61, 66, 97.

      Progress is not always linear in the W/L column.

      • ^^ THIS.

      • So you are saying all/all this was a year of progress? Really? This was the year (or close to the year) that AA envisioned? Forget the wins, but I don’t think the nets of this year are that comforting. Yes we had bad luck with injuries, but we also found out we really only have one dependable starter, no first baseman, no left fielder, and our roster is dotted with middling players with the exception of the Jose Bautista who we already knew was a star before the year began. I mean taking stock of everything, what makes you think this team will have any shot of contending next year?

      • this is the classic “use the rays” as en example of how to do things and then refer to their decade long suckitude.

        do you jackoffs realize that the entire team took a direction change once they replaced management? the new management came in and everything changed..that management changed things in a quick hurry…with strong drafts and even more shrewd trades and the ability to find value in cheap free agents..particuarly the pen.

        meanwhile we have to trade prospects and starting left fielders to field a decent pen.

        so no..the tampa example does not apply here at all.

        • New management came into Toronto 2 and a half years ago.

          And threw shrewd trades (Lawrie, Wells, Escobar, Morrow, Rasmus) drafting (Stroman, Davis, Alford, Smoral, Norris, Robson)

          To use the Snider trade as a basis of your argument fails to acknowledge the fact that the Jays gave up bit pieces and a B prospect to get a CF’er who is better then Lawrie.

      • props to allisauce!

      • So the Jays are winning 97 next year?

    • “the notion that goalposts are being pushed back” – What goal posts have been pushed back? Having been a close follower of the Jays for a while now, and friends with many close followers, I can assure you no one was thinking of 2012 as a contention year. As far back as 2009-10, I have been hearing and thinking 2013 earliest and 2015 latest for the real start to being in contention. In fact, is that not one of the primary points of Stoeten’s post?

      • Stoeten himself mentioned goalposts being moved back, that’s what I was referring to. I hear you on 2012 not being the contention year, but I guess the point I was making was that looking at the Jay’s year relative to the league, I don’t think you can say it was a year of progress. So yes, two steps forward on some fronts, but if the average steps forward are greater you still are further back.

    • Very true.

      Don’t forget that AA’s apologists will move the goalposts as far as necessary to justify the mistakes made in the offseason.

      The injury excuse gets the Jays off the hook for 2013 according to AA’s special kids .

      The team is perfectly capable of getting replacements for Hutch & Drabek who haven’t done much in their MLB careers.

      Bautista in 2013 returning to pre 2010 Bautista with a bad wrist is what sinks the team in 2013.

      • Can you please define an AA apologist Oakville?

        Is it someone who understands he only has so much control over the budget?

        Is it someone who realizes he has no control over fluke injuries?

        Is it someone who thinks he has done a terrific job over the last 2.5 years turning the franchise around, even if the major league product is more or less the same?

        Why does AA have so many apologists within the baseball industry? What is it about him that has so many experts around the sport apologizing for his middling performance?

  29. Is there any point in watching this shitshow? I don’t even get upset if I miss the game now, cuz I know there’s no point. Fuck, thames and snider had more hits than our ENTIRE team last night. We can’t even shut down a team that scored 2 runs the last series. And everyone keeps talking about how half our team is missing. Well not so. Only bautista was a big loss. Lawrie was struggling. Lind was in AAA for half the season while not sucking. Everyone keeps saying what a shitty hitter JPA is so why is he a big loss?

    The real issue is the same as it’s always been, we have a bunch of hackers who don’t walk and don’t use the whole field. So when we face a good pitcher we get shut down easily..

    If AA has any balls he will fire this entire coaching staff and start fresh next year otherwise it will be the same shitshow next year.

    • You’ve already used your “thames and snider had more hits than our ENTIRE team last night” line. If you’re going to be a whiny chicken little bitch at least get some new material. Preferably of the relevant sort.

  30. “…Bruce Chen ($9M), Aaron Harang ($12M), Chris Capuano ($10M), Wei-Yin Chen ($12M), and one year fliers at less than $5-million on Erik Bedard, Bartolo Colon or Paul Maholm.

    But the thing is, it would be a tad too revisionist to merely look at the shattered pieces of the Jays’ rotation, then at the relative success those guys have had, and to lament too hard the club’s unwillingness to throw money after them last winter (seriously, look at those names again), ”

    Stoeten, what about other pitchers who were free agents last summer who had some pedigree and level of success like Edwin Jackson or Hiroki Kuroda – both of whom are good pitchers and who were signed for only one year by their respective teams. The short term of their contracts would not have blocked the young pitchers development on this team. Signings like these players (who many fans on this site advocated) would have provided pitchers who could throw 200+ innings and provided real depth at reasonable value (ie. $10 Milliion). They were also the types of pitchers that the Jays would have had some real chance of signing last summer.

    Given all of the recent talk that a pitching staff (starting and relief) should be 15-20 deep to account for injuries, pitching limits for young pitchers, etc. – it was not a “caclulated risk” as you have suggested for the team to rely on the pitching that it had without dipping into the free agent market.

    • You think those pitchers would sign a one year deal if they had to play in the AL East without a Yankees’ lineup at their backs?

      • What exactly is wrong with the Jays offense as compared with the Yankees? And, what would have stopped the Jays from outbidding those teams by a small margin in terms of Dollars or by offering a 2nd year on the contract.

        • Well, beyond Bautista, there were a lot of question marks in the lineup before the season.

          Who says a “small margin” overpay would be required to play in Toronto? A one or two year contract means another bout of free agency is around the corner. Facing the AL East proportionally more often definitely factors into the decision.

  31. I think you’re being optimistic about what they’re going to do about Lind. My guess is that they’ll still run him out there next year so long as he does not completely shit the bed when he gets back off the DL. Maybe the demotion put some fire in his belly and he’ll get his act together, but there’s no reason to place a lot of faith in that.

    • CLEARLY he would have been awesome in 2012 if not for debilitating injuries. So we can’t put any stock in his bad numbers.

      Same thing for 2011. He was hurt. Gotta give him a pass.

      Same thing for 2010. He was hurt. Gotta give him a pass.

      I’m quite sure that in 2013 he will return to the player he was in 2009. And his contract is club-friendly and offers substantial upside.

      He will be our full-time DH next year.

      • I know you think that your fake Paul Beeston routine is funny. But it’s not. Sorry.

        • It doesn’t really matter who posts. Stoeten, Wilner and many of the posters on this board will say the same thing and be willing to defend Lind for at least another year. We have them well-trained.

          • Bingo!. Maybe the Jays could sell retro 2011 Black jays uniforms as Flashback Fridays in 2013.

            Why not bring back Cito & Kevin Millar & David Delluci to help sell ticks on Fridays in 2013.

            Let’s celebrate 2013 with a 20th aniversary of a World Series winning team !!

          • I think Stoeten is aware of being criticized of being a Wilner puppet.

            He isn’t that bad .

            Wilner needs the full time gig from Rogers so now he defends Snider’s trade for Brad Lincoln.

            Since when does a sub 500 team need 60 innings of solid middle relief??

            Will that make the team a contender??

          • Really? You’re going to argue that Lind gets defended around here? He’s been consistently targeted as the worst “1st baseman” (and in case the ” ” didn’t make it clear, I use the term as loosely as it’s possible to do so) in baseball for months.

            Seriously, just fuck off or get funny. Take your pick but your current shtick is played out.

        • Actually, sometimes I find it kind of funny…

      • LOL!

        So Funny but you know that’s what Wilner will say.

  32. Yo! all you lamenting bitches! the season ain’t over yet.

    just gotta go 37 and 16.

    book it!

  33. All the Jays have to do is win tonight…because it is getting really fucking annoying watching them play like shit against Tampa.

  34. Before the season started, everyone knew this team needed a LF, DH and two starters to grab a playoff spot. Those are the easiest positions in baseball to fill.

    Well, it’s August and the team still needs a LF, DH and two starters.

    I think AA has done a terrific job. He’s the best GM in the game. But every fan and pundit knew the holes the team had and nothing was done to address them. The team has the exact same holes for next year. Now, eventually those holes will be filled with the draft selections AA has made. If the team doesn’t add a single free-agent, it probably makes the playoffs in 2015 and 2016. But Christ, if there was even a slight bit of correction between market size and salaries for this team we’d have meaningful August and September baseball.

    The plan for 2012 specifically, I guess, was to hope that two pitchers emerged. They could have even been Drabek and Hutch. They probably would have been if they didn’t get hurt. The plan was to hope that Lind would suddenly wake up and realize that he will be out of baseball starting in 2014 if he doesn’t work harder. Left field… er, was just written off. I guess the hope was that Rasmus would hit like a LF in center.

    So, this organization is going to get shit on when they don’t fill the obvious holes in the team, regardless of how well certain people like Anthopolous, Farrell, Bautista and so forth are doing in their particular roles. The message the commissioner’s office gave by not including Toronto the shitty town lottery for extra draft picks was to grow up, quit whining and quit giving the fans conditions and homework before spending a little more and instead invest a more revenue back into the fucking team.

    When your merge the gaping chasm — the giant fucking gulf between the team is spending and what they ought to spend (NOT what they theoretically could spend… what they ought to spend) with the fact that the holes are the easiest ones in baseball to fill with free agents, the fans have every right to be enraged. And yet the crowds have been pretty great this year.

    Again, Anthoplous has done amazing work and it is almost inevitable that the team is headed for a decade of good times… eventually. But holy shit, grabbing a one-year rental of an arm for $12 million next season isn’t going to cause every single asset owned by Rogers to spontaneously explode in a firestorm of devil semen. I’d like to see 2013 with a little less invested in “hoping.”

    • This is a well thought-out comment.

      I get the feeling AA thinks you’re one year early.
      I have no proof, and nothing he’s done to specifically back up my hypothesis, but I believe the spending will start in the 2013 offseason, not this one.

      Having said that, I HOPE they do plug holes with reasonable FA contracts. Even overpay talent for a shorter length contract. I’m not expecting it though.

      If they don’t spend after 2013 and when we theoretically should have a solid core and a deep system (meaning all levels, not just A), then I will be the spokesperson for the Rogers is cheap brigade and do what I can to create a backlash against them.

      I have one more off season of patience left… but it’s wearing thin.

      • Good Job Loop.

        Do you want to buy my unused flexpack tickets for the rest of the year to watch the kids compete?

        Why do you want the team to spend in 2014??

        Why do you want at team to compete in 2014 when it could cost them money??

        If Bautista demands a trade in 2013 becaue he is tired of Rogrs, you should bash him as an ungrate.

        You can’t complain about a team wasting everyone’s patience in 2012 & 2013. & say you will bash Rogers in 2014..

        You should spend as much money as possible on the team in 2013 by buying tickets etc, so that AA can save face with the fans.

        #sarcasm

        • Good Job Loop. THANKS PAL

          Do you want to buy my unused flexpack tickets for the rest of the year to watch the kids compete?
          AREN’T ALL TICKETS FOR FUTURE GAMES UNUSED AT THIS TIME? WHO HAS USED FUTURE GAME TICKETS?

          Why do you want the team to spend in 2014??
          BECAUSE BY THEN OUR CORE AND FARM SYSTEM AT ALL LEVELS SHOULD BE SOLID AND READY.

          Why do you want at team to compete in 2014 when it could cost them money?? HUH?

          If Bautista demands a trade in 2013 becaue he is tired of Rogrs, you should bash him as an ungrate. SO MANY MISTAKES HERE IT’S LIKE YOU TYPE HOW YOU THINK.

          You can’t complain about a team wasting everyone’s patience in 2012 & 2013. & say you will bash Rogers in 2014.. PARDON? I COULDN’T UNDERSTAND THIS POINT AT ALL.

          You should spend as much money as possible on the team in 2013 by buying tickets etc, so that AA can save face with the fans.
          SORRY BUDDY. YOU’RE CLEARLY DRUNK AND MAKING NO SENSE.
          NITE NITE

    • Agreed… and as many have pointed out the transition from drafting College to High School left a gap in the development system…. I don’t know the answer to that, but certainly adding more reliable proven guys for a couple years would have helped bridge that, or at least not put too much pressure on the system.

      I still think they should have signed Fielder though, so what the fuck do I know…

      • I kinda wanted them to sign Fielder too.
        Not Pujols.
        Fielder at what, 27 years old, should still be very productive for the next 2-6 years when we’re going to be deep in the playoff race.

        How good a linup would we have with Rasmus, Lawrie, JoeyB, Fielder and EE?

        Then I watched him play first base. Fugly. Then I watched him get walked and clog up the bases barely able to make it to second when the next batter singled to right field.

        I’m glad we didn’t spend on him.

        • Good job Looper.

          The important thing is to laugh at Fielder when the Tigers are in the playoffs.

          The Jays were much smarter to invest in Adam Lind and his 20 minute workouts.

          Tigers fans must be outraged every game when they think what the 24 million extra in the Tigers owners pockets could do.

          Tigers fans would cheer Adam Lind & his team friendly $5 million contract.

          Of course, Lind is media savvy with his intellectual post game observations.:))

          Don’t forget that Fielder’s WAR in year 8,9 & 10 of his ctract would be below his salary WAR.

          Fielder could talk about 2 world series wins that he brought to detroit but that wouldn’t be as much fun as watching a post game tribute to adam lind on his tractor in Indiana in Flashback Fridays 2017.

          • Maybe this is what you don’t understand.
            After not a sniff of playoff baseball since the 1980′s, and breaking records a few years ago for one of the worst records in baseball histroy, the Tigers focused on player development and finally in the last few years have tasted the playoffs.

            Do you not understand that the cycle of each team is independent on the cycle of other teams?
            Detroit was ready in the organizational life cycle to spend big money and go for it now.

            We are not near the peak like Detroit.

            You don’t get it.

          • Different timelines different divisions how do you not get that Fielder would have been a bad signing.

            Your lack of critical thinking astonishes me.

            When you look at the age of Detroit and Division you know they HAVE to go for it now. The Jays are younger, and will only get better for the next 3-5 years.

    • Very good post Ice Cream.

      I agree 100% that the team did not fill the holes that existed on March 1st.

      They wasted everyone’s time with the battle for LF, that thames won, then he gets demoted in May.

      Sadly, Snider was hurt so they went with Rajai Davis & let Snider come up in July for 10 game showcase.

      It’s true that MLB is tired of Toronto playing games with revenue sharing, so the new CBA cut them out.

      Also, MLB won’t let AA hoard draft picks so he can build cheaply.

      Other teams get FMV for broadcast rights & the Jays get 222K per game from Rogers.

      That’s peanuts based on ad rates for content that gets 500K plus per game.

      It’s hilarious to watch the hipsters defend Rogers not spending 12 million on a solid pitcher when it has a fair market value of 20 billion.

      A 12 million dollar pitcher gets you about 4 WAR, which helps the team stay competitive & puts less stress on your bullpen.

      Snider gets traded as a “sell low” candidate for a middle reliever.

  35. I wish Darren Oliver could start.

  36. Stoten’s clit embiggens when Wilner face fucks him.

  37. Wheel of Pitchers

  38. I actually don’t care if the Jays ever compete, as long as I can intelligently dissect why people are wrong to be upset that they are not.

    Baseball is about more than wins and losses; It’s about proving that you’re smarter than the kinds of people who intimidate you.

    Glad I came over to the “rational” side.

    • LOL!.

      The Jays apologists can enjoy themselves by fapping over AA’s latest move & whatever MRI results comes from the team.

      Today’s game thread has 41 comments. That won’t pay the bills.

    • #sarcasm rules. I had to reread this post.

      Join the “rational side”. I seriously wonder if any of the stats geeks have enough money to attend games.

      The key for the geeks is to rationalize every move even if they would be vehemely against it a week before.

      Did anyone listen to Wilner trying to justify the Jays acquiring Brad Lincoln a reliever who will pitch 60 innings, for travis Snider last night??

      Wilner has always been a Snider supporter, but Rogers must have threatened him so now he is rationalizing a “lights out set up man”

      Here is a lesson for the geeks. 60 innings with a 2 ERA will allow 13.33 runs.

      A mediocre journeyman that has an ERA of 4.50 with the same innings, will allow 30 runs.

      Thus a total difference of 17 runs over a season.

      Does anyone not think that Snider’s defense over a year will not save more than 17 runs over Rajai Davis?

      Snider’s bat will create more than 17 runs over Rajai Davis over a year even if he hits 250.

      The geeks need to read the stats books again.

      • Is it possible that you’re actually getting dumber?

        • No.

          I just can’t take the Rogers apologists too seriously anymore.

          Trading Snider for Lincoln is a bad move & is opposite to what AA normally does.

          AA ‘s modus operandi is to to acuire undervalued assets like Rasmus, Escobar.Morrow & turn them into valuable members of the team.

          It’s nice to have a middle reliever, but this team is not 60 innings of 2.7 ERA away whereas they don’t have anyone to be a full time productive LF.

          AA traded Brandon League for a trouble starter/reliever Morrow.

          If he did the opposite would you applaud getting Brandon league for Brandon Morrow??

          You can’t defend Snider for Lincoln using AA’s philosophy.

          • So you admit that AA has made numerous great trades (Escobar, Lawrie, Rasmus, Morrow) and crucify him when he makes one trade for the present needs that was probably not the greatest trade.

            WOW

      • “I seriously wonder if any of the stats geeks have enough money to attend games.”

        I seriously wonder if you have enough self awareness to realize what an Oakville stereotype you are.

        Stats geeks (aka rational baseball fans( are cheap? Well then I guess Oakville residents are entitled, elitist douche bags. You know, since we’re stereotyping and all.

        So unless you can afford to go to every game and sit in the 100s you’re not entitled to an opinion? Is the amount of money you spend per season directly correlated to your level of understanding of the near infinitely complex issues involved in managing a baseball team?

        Yeah didn’t think so.

        Go fuck yourself.

        • Oakville is a joke.
          I’ve got a suspicion he’s actually Mike Wilner who takes on the persona of his callers to practice arguements on here.

          It’s a running theme with him that you have to be rich and able to afford going to games to be a real fan.

    • “Baseball is about more than wins and losses; It’s about proving that you’re smarter than the kinds of people who intimidate you.”

      YOU DON’T CAPITALIZE THE WORD AFTER A SEMI-COLON.

      If you think you intimidate the realists, or rationalists, well..
      you’re about as intimidating as a throw cushion.

  39. Another year closer with an amazing farm team. Hopefully like the Pirates … hopefully unlike the Royals.

  40. No I did not know. I thought this was now a Rogers board. My apologies, Stoeten, for that.
    But I still think you are way too far up AA’s ass! The team is a lot better and looks like it could do really well. But not everything in the ballpark is rosy. And the pitching staff is especially not rosy. I’m all for giving the kids a chance, but we need a couple of vets to give the kids advice and pointers and I hope that is priority 1 this off-season.

    In other news I saw the Dodgers beat the Rockies tonight. Dodger Stadium is pleasingly retro but the food they have there is even worse than the RC and more expensive. Parking is a nightmare. But one thing they do better: I didn’t see any other team’s merch being sold to the seats or in the booths…

    • So which veterans would give our young pitchers the correct advice…that is the question.

      Veteran shitballer Jamie Moyer would have been ideal; sadly AA never gave him a chance.

      In my opinion, not bringing up old man Moyer was the biggest blunder during the AA reign.

      If you combine Moyers “knows how to pitch” with Drabek’s “knows how to have great stuff”, fuck, that is an unbeatable combination.

      Moyer may retire this offseason.

      Isabella which veteran – I’m sorry, I should use the correct Tab-tinez English – which vetrun has the rhetorical skills to convince our young pitchers to not suck?

  41. ok. so you’ve got officially ZERO more times you can play this card.

    absolutely zero. and that will go for AA as well.

    if the team doesn’t turn out a season that tops 2010 (ie 85-90 wins) then this load of hogwash will be proven to be just that. you can’t possibly rationalize that the team is ‘improving’ in light of diminishing results (its pretty much guaranteed that their 2012 record will end up worse than 2011 at this point,)

    so far gose, hech and sierra don’t look that special and none of them appears able to hit at major league level. Jenkins looked good, but how that will play once video gets reviewed by other teams remains to be seen.

    its looking a bit like an elaborate house of cards to be honest. and its infuriating that the rabble is starting to talk about trading bautista, one of the only honest-to-god superstar level players this team has had since Doc left.

    you people are kinda nuts and kind of kidding yourselves. this team is now officially a god damn mess. every time I see Molina frame a pitch or go deep into a count or make a key hit I am reminded that there is no guarantee the koolaid we’ve been sold is actually worth a piss. supposedly everything this team has done has bee movement towards improvement…but the record doesn’t show it and now what I’m seeing on the field is becoming mighty questionable.

    those batting averages are god awful.

    and I hate zaun. absolute hate him..but he wasn’t wrong in saying that the team does well enough when it can smash home runs against weak pitching but doesn’t seem to have the skill set to manufacture runs or get small hits off strong pitching.

    i just don’t know about this ‘direction’ anymore. i’m not seeing post-season in what hech and gose and sierra and JPA and escobar and johnson and cooper and happ and laffey and frasor and davis and so forth are bringing to the table.

    guys like bautista and lawrie and rasmus and morrow and jansen and oliver are about the only pieces I see as playing at a level that can compete in the major leagues.

    this kool aid ain’t really doing it for me.

    • Very good post.

      Be careful about not drinking AA’s kool aid.

      Luckily for AA, the team’s injury situation won’t allow any grades to be handed out an the end of the season.

      If the team doesn’t get into a playoff by 2015, which would be a generous 6 seasons,
      what would happen to boards like this?

      Will the posters here that approve of AA turn on him & the franchise vehemently.??

      I saw the vitriol that JP Riccardi had to deal with, so would fans cut AA some slack since he is more polite.??

      • Among your dumber habits is to congratulate fellow idiots on their moronic posts.

        Well done.

      • Grades

        Morrow A
        Romero D
        Hutchinson B+
        Alvarez C-
        Drabek F

        Lawrie B
        Rasmus B+
        Bautista B-
        EE A
        Johnson C-
        Escobar C
        JPA B-
        Davis C-
        Lind F

        Bullpen D- but has shown improvement.

        Grades are out man.

  42. I love how we belittle what the orioles have done so far. And no. I’m not the straw man jays fan – I agree with your assessments and I’m not using the orioles to say “we could have done that”. It’s just hard to dismiss what they have done unless you fill it with glib phrases as “lightning in a bottle” and they will “regress to the mean”. Both of which assume an a priori knowledge of how good a team actually may be while seeking shelter behind the wall of SABR. And in the end the sophisticated game of player and team analysis through such stats is not so sophisticated (to borrow from research on the insurance industry) as it relies on what we think a team should play like. Like losing to a university team in the pre-season

    • I amI beyond impressed with what the Orioles have done. I don’t care what the stats say, they have performed excellently. And the Pirates have been a happy surprise for their fans as well. I guess that just leaves us and KC down there in the Playing For Pride Again sandbox.

      Colby Rasmus seems to be working out well. EE has transformed himself. But JPA does not fill me with confidence, I’m not sure that the kids are all that wonderful. And starting and relief pitching is just a swamp

      • The Orioles have a worse rotation then the Jays, but a better bullpen. So by your logic the Jays are one or 2 BP arms away from competing.

        Have you seen the disaster that is the Orioles rotation?

  43. They need a dugout management overhaul. I’d like to see what Butterfield would do as manager. I have no faith in Wakamatsu. Maybe Farrell should replace Walton. OK, so maybe more of a rearrangement than an overhaul… I just can’t stand Farrell as an in-game manager and don’t think he’s improved from last season.

    • What evidence do you have to suggest anything whatsoever about Wakamatsu? His ability to sit of a bench in a manly fashion? Let’s face it – the only thing you have ever seen Wakamatsu do is wander about in a dugout. Your ability to judge him is fuck all.

      • You’re wrong. His role is bench coach; he’s supposed to provide advice and help slow the game down for the skipper. I can tell he’s not up to it because Farrell seems behind all the time. Also, Waka was an AWFUL manager when he had his chance.

  44. no one wants to admit that Cito ruled, cito ruled, cito ruled.

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