In lieu of a Game Threat…


You know what an insufferable and lonely feeling it is to be the the single sober person in a sea of screaming drunks? That’s precisely what it felt like for me reading through the comments on last night’s Game Threat, as frustrations continue to boil over among fans who seem to have let their absurd expectations crash down around them into the already ample pile of wreckage of the 2012 Jays season.

Of course, it needs to be noted that I’m absolutely not alone among the grown-ups who can survey what’s happened to this year’s Jays with some measure of perspective, but it sure as shit doesn’t feel that way sometimes– especially when so many comments get impossibly, incoherently negative, and do so all at once about the present, about the past, and about the future.

Surely it’s entirely in-bounds to take a critical eye to the moves Alex Anthopoulos has made that have brought us to this point, and indeed there have been a number of poor decisions along the way– not to mention transactions that haven’t brought results to match the enthusiasm they were greeted with– but it absolutely kills me to see things go so hard the other way, as in Richard Griffin’s ludicrous suggestion today in the Toronto Star that the Orioles and their filling of holes via the scrap heap and sprinkling them with pixie dust is some kind of non-horrendous model to be followed. Or the insistence of a commenter last night that the only good thing Alex Anthopoulos has ever done is get rid of Vernon Wells.

AA’s reputation was clearly forged on process– on intelligent risk and creative solutions– and, it seems to me, has been too rarely couched with the fact that good process will still very often lead to bad results.

Forgetting this, and forgetting crucial details regarding certain transactions and current circumstances– the fact that Aaron Hill was never going to have his option for 2012 picked up anyway, that Brett Wallace is likely benefiting from an unsustainably high BABIP and Anthony Gose is just 21, that Edwin Jackson was a free-agent-to-be and Colby Rasmus appears to be playing hurt, that Roy Halladay’s demands made obtaining the haul from Philadelphia a far more remarkable trick than it may seem on the surface– definitely does make it a whole lot easier to take a giant shit on what the GM has done.

So does pretending the jury isn’t still entirely out on both Sergio Santos and Nestor Molina, or that Tim Collins is a superstar who wasn’t also casually flipped to Kansas City by Atlanta, or conveniently forgetting the deals for Brandon Morrow and Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista’s contract, the vaunted draft classes and international free agents the Jays have acquired under the Anthopoulos regime, and the creative way the club managed to accumulate picks under the old system, and bank high-end talent under the new.

Of course Romero, Rasmus and Escobar have had disappointing seasons. Of course it’s frustrating to see the bullpen built and rebuilt over and over. Of course it’s disappointing to see the club’s most-ready prospects come in and flail away badly. And of course the starting pitching has been a disaster– and not entirely due to injury, given how well Villanueva and Happ have filled in. But while there is genuine reason for negativity in those things– or in the state of the stadium, or the pandering of Paul Beeston, etc.– it’s when that negativity starts to consume absolutely everything around it that it really needs to be put in its asinine fucking place.

The idea, for example, that Anthopoulos not only should have built a contender by now, but that he even ever intended to have a World Series in year three absolutely kills me– especially when it’s backed by taunts about the Orioles’ success, as Griffin ludicrously did in the nation’s largest fucking newspaper, that totally and intentionally ignore the fact that, when healthy, the Jays have as much talent on their roster as Baltimore, or quite likely more.

The Jays could just as easily have been where Baltimore is now– which is to say, not very easily, unless they’d managed the same combination of health and one-run-game pixie dust– but even thought they didn’t, it’s not like 2012 was meant to be some kind of crescendo where all the pieces Anthopoulos has put together began to sing at once. Shitting on the 2012 Jays like they truly ought to have been there is like shitting on the guy building your house for not having wallpaper up while he’s still working on the damn plumbing.

Obviously everybody expected more than what we’ve got, but it’s unfair to act like this was anything but a year in which the club intended to take another step forward, with some measure of opportunity presented, though not exploited to the fullest extent in order to keep pursuing the long-term vision. This was, I believe, entirely intentional–  and following that, I think it was as foolish last winter to have assumed Anthopoulos hadn’t originally pitched himself to ownership as being able to implement his vision without breaking the bank as it would be this winter to assume that the austerity with which he has operated in his first three years is an unbending character trait.

The lords of negativity have the idea in their heads that because we’ve yet to see the major spending on free agents– since extra money going to the draft, international free agents, and re-signing homegrown players evidently doesn’t count– it’s never going to happen. These last 19 years have been one long groundhog day, and Paul Beeston is going to promise money every year and then never deliver.

Well shit, if that’s the kind of narrow, lazy foundation you’re building your Jays-related worldview on, of course you’re going to be an insufferable bleating fuckface.

The fact is, we don’t know how far the club is willing to go, financially, this winter, in order to take the next step with this roster, but it’s absolutely not without recent historical precedent that they could spend, and it’s infinitely more ridiculous– from a business standpoint for Rogers, and based on the evidence of non-payroll spending we’ve already seen– to believe someone’s shitted-out conspiracy theory about perpetual mediocrity and a revolving door of excuses.

Unfortunately, in this climate of all encompassing shitting pissing negativity over anything and everything, people do believe such garbage– and that’s pretty fucking sad. Especially because it’s just so laughably unnecessary, distracting, and so corrosive to anything resembling discourse that anyone feels the need to invent shit to be upset about this franchise for. And because it tends to force people into camps on one extreme or the other– you’re either one of these shit heads who has absolutely nothing good to say, or you’re being a worthless, hopelessly optimistic apologist.

The reality is that there is plenty to be concerned about, and plenty to be hopeful about, too.

Perhaps I have a tendency to over-represent in my mind a relatively small number of trolls– “Tea Party Patriots,” or whatever these alternate reality inhabiting twats want to call themselves– who actively try to dumb down everybody’s experience, but Jesus… it truly is fucking dreadful to have to deal with this sort.

Particularly so when they’re empowered by the thoroughly misleading results of this season, Baltimore’s improbable success, and their own ability to be completely fucking blind to facts like how the spend-to-contend Tigers and Angels they were so envious of last winter are currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Who needs to acknowledge a complicated reality when everything sucks and fuck everything and WAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! WHERE’S MY CHAMPIONSHIP, amiright?

Comments (293)

  1. In Sept. of 2013,the Jays will be playing important games, shooting for a playoff spot.

    • I believe this is fairly likely. If by likely you define it as approx. 50% chance.

      • I didn’t say likely, I said will be.
        Too many factors pointing that way.
        From baseball on the field, to marketing, to the business angle and of course, the bottom line of Rogers.

        • I’m hoping that next year is like 1983 – the beginning of a very long streak of good baseball in Toronto. Not all the pieces are here yet, but we’re only a couple of acquisitions away from a 90 win season.

        • What? based on what? Obviously the team is not as bad as its record this year, but when healthy, it was around a 500 club. What specific components of the team make you so confident?

          • Assuming that the various injured players return to form, here is what makes me confident:

            Rasmus, Bautista, and Encarnacion as the meat of our order.

            Morrow, Romero (assuming he returns to 14 odd wins/year), and Villanueva as a solid core to augment via trade/free agent acquisition.

            The bullpen also looks solid for next year.

            Sorry for being optimistic and feel free to rip the rose coloured glasses off of my face.

          • They’re not a .500 club. For the first couple months of the season, they were generally 3-6 games above .500 while fielding a scuffling bullpen and getting no production out of Adam Lind or left-field. If the Jays can get a good left-fielder and replace Adam Lind, and add a starter or two, they’ll be 10 wins better than a team 4 or 5 games over .500. I think that with those improvements made, and the improvements made to the bullpen throughout the year, we’re looking at a 90-92 win team. Go Jays.

            And for all the turds calling into the Fan and saying “I’m losing patience!”, tell that to your boner for Leafs tickets. I can’t believe people are so quick to write off a good, talented baseball team that costs $12 to see, meanwhile they’re willing to trade their left nut for Leafs tickets at $120.

    • The Jays’ playoffs 2013 hopes greatly depends on the off-season (note: duh). If they went out with the exact same starting 9 as they had at the beginning of this year, they still wouldn’t make it. LF I think is passable with Sierra, but 2B absolutely needs to be declusterfucked.

      The rotation is in shambles. We all know this. Not much else needs to be said about that.

      I like the pen.

      • The Orioles have received a grand total of -2 fWAR from he 2B position this year. That’s a fucking Minus sign! Not every position needs to be filled with even average players to make the playoffs. With the improvements to the bullpen and a healthy starting lineup, plus off season additions to the bench, starting rotation, and a player like KJ at 2nd base, then this team as it stands could definitely be competitive for a playoff spot.

      • But I do agree that at least 1 more top 3 starter (assuming Romero can get his act together) is needed, plus either resigning Villaneuva or another starter with ~4.00 FIP to fill out the back of the rotation is needed (making a rotation of Morrow, Romero, ?, Happ, CV/someone else with Alvarez, Jenkins and Laffey in AAA Buffalo, Cecil in the bullpen, and Hutchison, Drabek possibly returning at some point in the season.

        • If we put ~4FIP pitchers at the back of our rotation we will definitely contend… that’s an MLB-average starter, even in this year’s reduced run environment.

        • I’d be happy with Morrow, Romero, Happ, Villanueva and new “ace”/#2 to start the year. I’m not talking about signing Grienke, but maybe an Edwin Jackson would be a good signing? I was kinda hoping the Jays would have gone after Joe Saunders after Arizona cut him.

          If the Jays decide to go after 2 starters, I think you could do worse than a #1/#2 guy and then someone like Shaun Marcum to beef up the back-end as your #4. Under the old CBA I’m sure AA would be salivating at the fact that Villanueva’s year would likely position him as a Type A free agent at best, but now he has that decision to make – if he gets 2 pitchers one of Happ or Villanueva are the #5 and the other is in the pen as the long man. Alvarez then goes to AAA (hopefully in Buffalo!) to continue to harness his stuff.

  2. Borne back ceaselessly into the past!

  3. I feel like this is your 20th ‘chill out shitheads’ post of the season.

    Obviously it’s not really that high, but goddamn people need to calm down.

  4. let the shitstorm of hate begin …..

  5. Well said.

    If there really is a Tea Party faction of Jays fandom, composed of the loud, deranged, irrational fringes of the fanbase, then sometimes the DJF comments section seems like their Fox News. (Does that make Brad Fullmer Fan their Bill O’Reilly?)

    • “(Does that make Brad Fullmer Fan their Bill O’Reilly?)”

      yup, He always has been.
      Just enough truth to make his points seem plausible.

    • There’s nothing irrational about being critical about how this organization has been run under Rogers for the last 12 years (cheaply, without any real regard for baseball success beyond reaching a level of mediocrity that draws enough viewers and brings enough fans to the ballpark), being critical about how this team has been run under Beeston since 2009 (even more cheaply despite the excuses about how the spending has supposedly been shifted to the draft/IFAs), or even being critical about what Anthopoulos has done for the last year to improve the team…which hasn’t exactly been much (this team still has the same exact holes that it did last September in the rotation, in LF, and at 1B/DH; its flaws were noticeable even then and nothing was done about them). In fact, they’re all quite rational concerns to have about the Jays.

      But please don’t try to paint me as someone that speaks for all of the people that Stoeten is talking about in this post (especially since I hardly post here that often). I certainly don’t agree with those who believe this team has no hope (the Jays have improved organizationally and have many more assets than a few years ago), those who believe that the Jays won’t contend any time soon (this will likely come down to how committed this ownership is to winning over the next few offseasons), those that think that the Orioles are a model organization now (they’ve improved as a team certainly, but their run is mostly luck) or those who believe that Anthopoulos is some kind of failure of a GM who can’t do anything right (he’s been very good in his time here and an improvement on his predecessor in many areas, who was also an above average GM despite all the hate for him).

      It seems I’m viewed as some kind of ultra-negative critic simply because I had the gall to criticize the organization at times during its supposed happy, renaissance years from 2009 to 2011 (a time when groupthink took over the fanbase and any simple criticism of Anthopoulos or anybody else connected to Blue Jays management was knocked simply because this was the new boy wonder and he and his team could do no wrong). But no, that just isn’t the case at all. It just isn’t that simple…it never is. Like any other reasonable person that follows this team, I have my concerns (and there are a few major ones), but I am not without hope either.

      • Although I often disagree with Fullmer, and although this post was TL and I DNR (hehe). I want to come to his defense here and say that in my view he is NOT the type that Stoeten is raving about here.

        Fullmer at least has solid reasons for his beliefs (usually), even if I don’t like em.

      • “It just isn’t that simple…it never is.”
        … one could probably better frame this “debate” between “negative” and “not negative” as being between folks who get that sentence and those that don’t.

      • I disagree with your statement about the team having the same holes as last September. The bullpen has been actually solidified with quality arms rather than aging “veterans” as it had in the past with Lincoln, Delabar, and Santos added since September. One of the 1B/DH spots has been filled by EE (even though he was here, I don’t think many considered him a lock for 2013 in that position). And one of the backend of the rotation spots has been filled by J.A. Happ, who is a solid #4/5 inning eating starter (one of the holes identified at the start of the year). These may not be the sexiest filling of holes, but it is not as if as little has happened in the past year as you make it out to seem.

        There are still holes on this team, definitely. But the reality is that there will always be at least a few holes on every team. If you look up and down every roster, you will find a couple positions that are not even league average for the position, Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, they all have them. I think this team can be competitive with Sierra / Davis in LF, resigning KJ at 2B, either Cooper or a minor FA signing at 1B/DH, and a solid top 3 starting pitcher. I am not trying to tell you to not be pessimistic, as finding a top 3 starter, 2B, and a bottom tier 1B/DH FA is not necessarily a lock to happen, but it I don’t think there is as actual many holes or as much stagnation with the roster as you make it out to seem.

        • Keep dreaming if you think the team can be competitive with the guys you just mentioned filling those holes.

          • How so? The team was relatively competitive before the injuries, with basically the same offense / defense being proposed here, a worse bench, a worse bullpen, and a worse rotation.

        • OK, I give you that maybe the least significant area on the team is slightly better now (the bullpen). The performance of relievers varies so much from season to season, however, that it’s hard to say that definitively.

          Every other issue, though, from last September (rotation, LF, 1B/DH) has either gotten worse (the Jays basically have one dependable starter going into in 2013 in Morrow with Romero’s fall) or stayed pretty much the same (Rajai Davis is still the LF, Adam Lind is still holding a 1B/DH spot). 2B and SS also pose serious questions for 2013 (though I don’t think replacing Yunel is a realistic or smart option considering his contract and upside).

          The Jays are going to have to fill quite a few holes if they want to contend in 2013 (which basically means being as good as some of the best teams in baseball in NYY and TAM). It’s possible certainly, if Rogers actually commits to winning, but it won’t be easy.

      • So Brad Fullmer Fan is a misunderstood voice injecting much needed reason into the discussio, but we’re all stuck in some sort of stupid simian groupthink lockstep.

        Glad that’s straightened out.

        • I didn’t read his post as a whine or as him seeing himself as the ‘only reasoned one in the room’. If anything it was more measured and clear an argument than usual. I was hoping for an analysis that was a little more thoughtful when I saw your screen name.

          Judging by input from yourself, English, past comments from Stoeten, and others (can’t comment on Drew and Parkes specifically because I can’t remember them engaging BFF in this way), I’d say it’s worth exploring whether there may be some merit to his off-hand groupthink comment.

          • Don’t mind Tao. He holds petty grudges and often refuses to see that which is right in front of him.

        • @Tao Not sure I get this: stupid simian groupthink lockstep… I usually refer to that as line dancing – I could be misreading…

        • How nice of you to drop by to mingle with the common people, Tao. You’ve really turned yourself into a pseudo Wilner type in recent years, I give you credit for that. What’s funny, though, is that you’re a perfect example of my point (as a guy who blocks on Twitter and threatens to ban people from his blog exactly because they have different opinions to him about the organization and its direction).

          • I blocked you because you’re tiresome and nasty.

            I’m glad I’m a perfect example. You’ve got me pegged.

            Also, really glad this season has been such a flaming shit pile for you to stand beside smugly. Like you always knew all along, and we were just so blind. So blind.

          • No, you blocked me because you couldn’t handle a differing opinion about this organization (and that certainly wasn’t the first time for you in that regard). And nasty? I’ve only ever attacked the argument in any of my online interactions about the Jays, never the person. This is what I mean by holding a petty grudge.

            And you really think I’ve enjoyed this season? Where have I acted smugly here about it or anywhere else? Watching this team flounder and seeing all hope drained from the fanbase has been horrible, it’s by far the worst season since 2004.

            No, like always, you are simply prejudging and seeing what you want to see. It gets old, Tao.

          • Interesting thread.
            BFF you do make valid points but seem to forget that you also have a difficult time accepting opposing opinions to the point that Tao isn’t the only one that has banned you. I know.
            It is refreshing to see that you’ve toned it down since the old days.
            And yes, you have attacked people personally but not as much as before.
            I do appreciate your passion and knowledge.
            Your stubborness and arrogance I can do without.
            Sometimes you have to consider that the other person may have a different view, which also may be correct.

          • No, Radar, I’ll accept any opinion as long as it’s presented reasonably without condescension and has a legitimate basis behind it. I can’t control when those like Tao or Damien Cox (the only two that are blocking me right now as far as I know…quite the pair) don’t want to listen to anything contrary to what they believe and won’t even participate in discussion.

            And I still maintain that I’ve never attacked anyone personally (unless, in rare cases, that I was targeted first).

  6. The beauty and the horror of the Internet is that it allows people to say what they think about their fav team. Normally reserved for letters to editor, radio call-in shows or the pub – and now blog post commenters. I used to think people were mostly positive or glass-half-full types. Maybe not.

  7. I’m somewhat happy for the OriLOLes and their fans for what they’ve been able to do this year, but I will take ANY AL East team over them in 2013, including the Jays and whatever is left of that smouldering heap in Boston.

    • I don’t think the O’s are nearly as bad as everyone says. Jones, Wieters, Markakis, Machado and Reimold is a hell of a young core. JJ Hardy is a great defensive SS having an off year at the plate.

      Hammel and Chen may be legit, their peripherals aren’t terrible. Then they have Britton, Tillman, Arrieta and Bundy as young guys with potential.

      • stoeten doesnt like they are good so they were just lucky this year.

      • Thank you! The Orioles aren’t thaaaaat bad. They have just as good of a core as the Jays do.

        • I’d take Bautista, Encarnacion, Lawrie, Rasmus (sans cornrows), and Escobar over the O’s core. Pity three of them are hurt.

          I’m also not sure I buy the “they’re not good; they’re just lucky” angle. They have a phenomenal bullpen and solid pitching in high-leverage situations will stop you from losing games. The players are good, and given the volatility of bullpen pieces, the team got lucky in having them all together this season.

          • It’s not luck that they win lots of 1 run games, they have a solid pen, thats what wins 1 run games. The reason that they have so many one run games, is that they only have 1 batter batting .300, thats the luck aspect that I think stoeten is referring to. We’ve seen what a line-up of sub.300 hitters can do, we see it every night at the Rogers center. Throw in a few unproven arms that are throwing smoke and you have yourself a pennant race. Makes me think that we’re not actually that far off, we just need things to be tipped in our direction ie; a little luck, sort of like what is happening in B’more right now.

            STEVE FUCKING DELABAR?!?!?! C’MON!

          • Sorry but good teams, over time, score more than their adversaries. End of story.

        • The Orioles actually seem to have exactly as good a core as the Jays in terms of overall performance this year:

  8. Well said.

    I just think its easier to be negative than positive… its hard to see the forest for the trees, so its simpler to just scream at the trees for being there.

  9. The invention of internet posting is a goldmine of human thought. it shows precisely the amount of intelligent beings in society and the ratio of neanderthals involved in watching sport.rational thought is mostly evaporated in the emotional baggage of winning and losing in the attachment of oneself to a team with a city name. it truly is amazing to see into a strangers mind when they withhold nothing but their true thought.

    • True , but what else would we do on a Wednesday night while enjoying a few cold ones?
      Debate the socio-economic effect on an section of the demographic that contemplates naval fuzz?
      That’s not a lot of people.
      Baseball’s more fun to talk about.

  10. Well said and very true. Though I obviously view this season with disappointment (only a true apologist wouldn’t), I am by no means viewing it as a step back in the development of what will ultimately be a very exciting and competitive team. And next year could very well be that year. I mean, hell, look at the Orioles. We’re a Robert and/or a Dino away from contention.

    • If we add Lew Ford and Nate McLouth we’d be unstoppable.

      • Against my better judgement I started watching the game tonight only to discover that Nate McLouth was hitting third!! Jesus Mary and Xenu – a first place team with Nate McLouth in the three-hole?!? What does that tell you? That the 2012 Orioles are quite possibly the worst first place team (this late in the season anyway) in the history of baseball. Hell, in the history of sports short of that Australian dude winning an Olympic gold medal is short track speed skating because everyone else fell down. (Don’t get me started on the Olympics – a cesspool of corruption and cheating run by fascists for the benefit of authoritarian regimes and rich countries to beat up on each other in order to make some moronic political statement.)

        Anyway, I think the worm is finally turning. The Red Sox have hit the “reset” button, the Yankees are showing their age, the Rays are the fucking Rays and the Orioles suck. Blue Jays 2013!! AA get me some players. Beeston get me some grass. The kind you play on, that is. Fucking Beeston. Fuck you and your Rogers Centre Billy Graham wankfests and tractor pulls. Get me some fucking grass!!!!

    • This year does need to be looked at as a step backwards, but not so far backwards to have undone all the good put in place. The farm is still quite solid, and there is a solid core in place of young talented players at many positions.

      Where you see a step backwards is in the starting rotation. There is obviously Romero, but that really isn’t the biggest issue. It’s more that we didn’t have any of the young starters from AA up (Hutchison, Alvarez, McGuire, Jenkins, Cecil, Drabek, and even McGowan) take a step forward to be a solid arm in the rotation. Hutchison was probably the closest, and he probably won’t be available next year.

      I do think that the club is more informed about what it has with these pitchers (Alvarez needing more time in the minors, Cecil to be converted into a LOOGY, McGowan a hope and a dream, etc.), and hopefully this step backwards will allow AA to pursue other options, as he has with Happ for one of the back of the rotation spots.

  11. Word.

  12. The jays werent making the playoffs this year unless everything went right, instead everything went wrong. shit happens..

    I think everyone should shutup until the end of the offseason. its now the time for AA to be aggressive, and surround the team with necessary pieces to win

  13. Stoeten, people aren’t- where’s my championship, it’s where are meaningful August / September games?

    The Beest came out with that ridiculous call out to fans. The fans come out and the team has fallen apart- into little pieces of shredded arms, wrists, backs, etc.

    The attendance is up- the team now has to put up (the cash) or shut up (about attendance).

    • Exactly. Attendance is up now, there is a clear hole in the rotation, and there has been 3 full years to build player capital to work with. This will be the offseason to begin to be upset if there is a lack of movement. Why anyone thought this was the year to blow their load is beyond me. Of course, if they make a bunch of moves this offseason and start slowly, all the assholes will be back in force.

    • +1.

      I don’t think most of the fan base demanded playoffs.
      People wanted a team that could win 85-88 games which would have made August & September fun to watch.

      Watching this team has been like that death march in the movie Bridge on theRriver Kwai.

      Every week, someone went on the DL , then the injuries were worse than expected.

      Beeston’s demands to the fans will backfire becaue f the Jays don’t spend in 2013 when the fans came out in 2012, it will be horrible PR.

      Beeston has boxed in AA, who may want to play it safe & wait for 2014 or 2015 to compete.

      What happened to Lawrie? Will he play anytime this year?

      • I forgot to add that having the Rays & Baltimre be ahead of the Jays is AA’s worst nightmare.

        The Rays continue to find ways to add players who immediately perform well for the Rays even they don’t cost money.

        Secondly, the Orioles come out of nowhere after 15 seasons of incompetento be tied for first place, which ruins AA’s slow & steady rebuild.

        If I was a Rogers bean counter, I would ask AA why he can’t compete on a Rays payroll ? or why can’t he rebuild as quickly as the Orioles.

        Sadly, AA’s prospect acquisitions haven’t done well. Gose,Sierra, & Hech have not done well nor should they be expected to do well, but AA marketed the team as smart about getting prospects.

      • You act as if Beeston and AA actually have a choice as to what their budget is. Did it ever occur to you that they are doing the best that they can given their contraints?

        • That’s a very good point. The problem is AA & Beeston keep repeating that Rogers never turned down any request they had for payroll.

          I suppose this is a PR move to make Rogers look good, but it is disingenuous.

          AA & Beeston are not idiots. They know they have holes on the team , so when they pretend that they don’t need to sign qualified MLB players at FMV, & go with stop gaps they undermine their credibility.

          It would have made more sense for AA to say he wants to develop home grown talent & that FA are useless.

          The problem is AA & Beeston cannot admit that there are payroll parameters from Rogers because it would damage Rogers credibility.

          At least with the Expos, fans knew the team had no money.

  14. Cheque please!

  15. I got a very reliable source that tells me the Rogers Centre is getting all new seats for next season. Apparently they are non-combustable and can’t catch fire (so made of steel or something like that).

    They will also try to put the seats at an angle so they face home plate, but that isn’t 100% yet.

    • Sitting on steel seats in mid-July, THAT’S what we need

      Was there really ever a problem with the plastic seats being… lit on fire?

    • Will they be as comfortable as the pieces of shit we used to sit on at Exhibition Stadium?

    • That’s good news. Very good seats with cushions & cupholders near section 222.

      My wife wantsseats with cupholders to put beer in.

      • They used to give you a clip-on cupholder designed to fit on Skydome armrests if you buy anything from the JaysShop.
        Not sure if they still do, but you could ask

        • Hmm. I haven’t seen that in the last few years.

          My wife refuses to sit in section 118 or 119 during day games because it gets too hot., so on day games, we sit in section 221 with cup holders & shades.

          Night games are fine in section 119.

          Dinner at Arriba overlooking Rogers Centre is excellent

  16. I’ve stopped caring because this season’s been over for a month. I invite everyone to join me in watching every Blue Jays game as exhibition from here on out. It’s almost enjoyable.

  17. Anyone noticing Rasmus isn’t standing up tall at the plate anymore? He’s still over the plate, but is crouched again. Don’t know how long that’s been going on for.

    • He also isn’t as open as he was when he “corrected” his stance. It’s good to see another Rasmus fan. But damn do they ever pound him inside…

  18. “The reality is that there is plenty to be concerned about, and plenty to be hopeful about, too.”

    Best line of this post.

    I wonder if this team will be able to compete for a playoff spot in 2013.

    On the positive side it is statitically impossible to have the team have this many man days lost to the the DL in 2013.

    On the negative side, some of the injuries may be career threathing like Bautista, in the sense that if Bautista becomes Lyle Overbay or Edwin in the year after wrist injuries, then the team will have a hard time slugging it’s way to 90 wins.

    The bullpen seems to be in better shape for 2013 if Santos is healthy enough to pitch as a set up man.

    Do the Jays keep Adam Lind as DH? bench bat?

    Who’s on 2b?. I assume it is Hech.

    Who’s in LF? Sierra? or free agent?

    Do the jays spend to get Ortiz, who has been hurt this year?

    Who’s the starting pitchers? Morrow,Romero, Happ?.

    Is Romero a 5th startere or back to 2nd starter?

    Will AA be allowed to acquire a free agent pitcher or will he have to empty the farm for one?

    What about Farrell?

    Does AA offer him an extension ? I assume yes, but does he accept?

    Many questions for 2013.

    • It’s going to be a fun off season. More fun than most of this actual season, imo.

    • They could also take advantage of an ageing Yankees club and a dysfunctional Bronx Zoo-esque Red Sox club to do exactly what Baltimore’s doing this season, except with more hope for sustained success over the next few years. We have no idea.

    • Very good of you to point out the negative oakville.You forgot to add your usual “rogers are heap bastards” line.
      Every team has question marks at the end of the season.
      Now make your comment about the positives.
      If you can’t,I can.

      • heap= cheap
        Fuck I miss disqus.

      • @ Radar.

        The positives are that Edwin has become an All Star & we have a potential HR leader on a cheap contract for 3 years.

        Edwin has learned to play defense.

        The Jays have solved the 1B problem.

        Unfortunately, Adam Lind is not qualified to be a full time DH.

        Another positive is the bullpen can be shutdown in 2013. No more Coco.

        Another positive is a healthy Lawrie,Rasmus,Bautista & Edwin can rival the WAMCO of 1993.

        Positives from the starters is that Morrow can be an all star.

        Happ can be on a rotation & knows how to strike out people.

        Carlos V could really help the team in 2013.

        Rasmus is an excellent CF defensively & has shown he can hit for a month.

        davis is an excelent 4th OF who can steal bases.

        • White vs lawrie.. OK, close.

          Alomar: Rasmus. umm..yeah, not really

          molitor: Jose…advantage jose

          carter: Edwin..advantage edwin

          olerud: Lind LMFAO

          so head to head, it would seem an even matchup..but wamco didnt have holes like lind and rasmus

          • Good points.

            but for a few weeks the Fab 4 of 2012 did some damage.

            The decline of Adam Lind baffles me.

          • REALLY?!?!?! Edwin (E5) over Carter?!?!?! Seriously??? Were you born in the early 90′s or something??? One good year equals better than Carter? Wow, perspective my friend? And When did Rasmus play 2b/Alomar play CF? Apples to oranges my friend. Lawrie vs. Alomar and Whyte(trust me, it’s spelled Whyte) vs. Rasmus would have been a more proper match-up.

        • +10000 to this post and your negative list as well.

        • @ Oakville
          Still think they’re that far away.

          • My assumption in March 2012 was that a healthy Jays team would win 85-88 games.

            If that had happened, people would be talking playoffs 2013.

            Biggest disappointment of 2012 is Ricky Romero.

            AA invested 30 million in him & he looks like he should be demoted to AAA.

            Bautista’s injury is scary for 2013. Does he hit 15HR? 25 HR? 35? in 2013.

            The offseason for AA will be make or break for the team.

            He either puts together a team that can win 90 games on paper in 2013 or he bloviates about payroll parameters or giving up too much in terms of prospects for MLB ready players.

            My strtegy is to renew my flexpack for 2013 & sell off half the package to casual fans I know if he does nothing in the offseason.

          • I think AA and his staff will come through.

            The one everyone forgets and will be the one who comes through is Beeston.
            That’s the question evryone should be asking.

  19. I come here to read this stuff so I know I’m not the only Jays fan on this planet who actually has a brain capable of thinking properly. Well done as always Stoeten.

  20. I call this lecture “The Orioles got Lucky and the Jays got Injuries”

  21. Well said (again).

    I think the more calm fans just have less to say so the sky falling crowd sound louder. Like what can I say right now? The offseason is impossible to predict and will have everything to do with 2013. Right now it feels like spring training in September.

  22. You know what pisses me off? When bloggers become so above the opinion of others there is no other opinion that is valid. Without question the expectation of the casual fan was over the top for this year. Starvation does that in a market that has been promised so much but delivered so little. One must remember the casual fan does matter and will decide if this team stays in this market…yes it is about economics and wins and losses despite the closed minded approaches of some.

    The arrogance that I see from some of your blogs tell me you are a fan of being right and not the game.

    In short try seeing the other side little blogger these fans make you money and the Jays too! Think about it.

    • If these “fans” are completely wrong, ultra-negative, idiots, then how does their “Im not going to another game until they spend money!” attitude help make money? Im sure there shittty misinformed attitudes permeating the marketplace is a real money maker too huh?

      • Huh? You just reinforced my point.

      • The problem isn’t there aren’t as many brain dead Blue Jays that will show up regardless of team results.

        This isn’t the Leafs.

        The jays neglected the fan base from 2007-2010, so it takes time to rebuild.

        The reality is that it does cost money to attend games, pay for SN1 & cable packages to follow the team.

        The Jays are an entertainment product.

        If the product is crappy, it’s hard to convince a family of 4 to buy 4 tickets in section 118 , pay 70$ plus each for tickets plus food plus t shirts etc…

        The Jays rely on fans spending real money to support the team.

        In an ideal world, Rogers Centre would be full with fans paying full price for tickets & who would applaud every player no matter how the team performs.

        The fans would be patient & give AA 5-10 years to build the team efficiently with no bad contracts & allow him 5-10 drafts to get enough prospects to build a home grown championship etc.

        Unfortunately fans have a choice on how to spend their money & Rogers won’t fund the Jays for 5-10 years without fans or tv ratings in order to let AA build the team in a WAR efficient manner.

    • oh, and the old, “promised so much” line? How does this garbage start? Nobody promised anything. If you listened to attentively to Cox, and Blair during spring training that is your fault. Dont give me the Beeston “2 or 3 playoffs in next 5 years” B.S. either. Realistically, 2 playoffs by 2016 wasn’t outlandish at the time and still isnt.

      • Thanks for coming by Wilner, don’t you have work to do?

      • The team was heavily marketed in the spring as ready to compete.

        The spring training record was extraordinary.

        It is sad to watch the ricky romero ads now & all the players talking .

        AA was very cautious, but he didn’t do enough to pour coldwater on the fans & telling them to come out in 2014 or 2015 instead to watch a competitive team.

        It would be counterproductive to have AA talk down expectations.

    • @ Tom W


      From an accounting point of view, the hardcore baseball fans that will watch a 60 win team in 5th place is probably around 12-15K in Toronto.

      There are another 5-10K casuals that will show up to watch a bad team because it’s summer & the TFC sucks.

      The Jays have been able to get an extra 5-8K fans this year due the Jays BUZZ.

      Ratings are up over 20%, April-July although I would like to see Jays ratings for August, when the team started to falter.

      The buzz this year with new unifoms, new players etc made Rogers Centre the place to be & brought attendance up to avg 27K.

      • Oakville, you lost me at “from an accounting point of view.”

        • LOL.

          As an accountant who has some experience in the entertainment business, I am fascinated about different revenue streams sports teams have.

          The revenue generated from cellphone data usage of fans who watch games n their cellphones from a competitive team would exceed what it would cost to pay a $10 million free agent pitcher like edwin jackson.

          Rogers is a weird company, because when Ted was alive he spent a fortune to upgrade cable systems, cell phone infrascture etc to convince subscribers to pay more money per month to use their phones.

          Rogers lost millions per yearin the 1990′s & early 2000′s in order to increase cash flow in the late 2000′s.

      • Its the self righteous attitude of those that will look at a W/L record and call it deceptive, yet see a fan base that can’t spend their lives calculating ridiculous averages as being a reason to spend their money on a team.

        I find it strange that those that actually make money off this team, tend to look down on those that provide their income…indirectly or not..

        • +1.

          Running a Jays Blog is profitable because there is increased interest in the team.

          If the team became a consistent loser, then fan interest would decline & no one would bother arguing over team strategies.

  23. Oh jeez. After all that running Lind’s back is going to go wonky again.

  24. lind was really flyin there .

    • I never thought any man (not named Molina) would make Adam Lind look fast. And then came David Cooper…

  25. I’m Maverick.

  26. “Just once in a very blue moon…”

  27. Cletus is lost!!!

  28. Forget it, Marge, it’s Chinatown!

  29. “Emphatically” doesn’t mean true.

  30. Stoeten, there are just as many people who believe in what Anthopolous and the Jays are doing as there are the Lemmings precariously hanging off the ledge of the CN Tower.

    The only difference is they bitch louder then we praise.
    It’s easier to bitch.
    It allows you to curse and create new nouns like fuktard and adjectives like fuckery and shittastic.

    Stoets, I admire your passion and how you can turn into Ben Stillers character from Mystery Men
    but relax, there are sane fans out there who love the Blue Birds and know we;ll have another banner to hang from that rusty roof sooner then later.

  31. why is it one or the other? why is it party line or sky is falling?

    why cant it be “the jays are sucking right now and are likely years away from contending, but there is a decent core in place and good talent in the minors?

  32. I like to think I’m a pretty level-headed guy, but I did think about killing myself because of last night’s game

  33. So two of those strikes to Hech were a foot outside

  34. I love the “well, when healthy, we were only a .500 team”

    Yeah, and on June 15, the last time we had a healthy team, we were 32-32…and Oakland was 30-35.

    WHat a team is 65 games into the season is not necessairily what they are.

    • @Rob A.

      They were a 500 team before the injuries with a weak schedule.

      The new bullpen would have increased wins. + 2-4 wins

      Farrell mismanagement & baserunning blunders would have cost 5 games .

      The tougher schedule in the next 100 games would have made this team around 83-85 wins with healthy players.

  35. Wow!

  36. Nice hit Devon White.

  37. that little black boy can run

    • Way the fuck out of line.

    • I trust the reason you haven’t apologized is because you are currently hiding under your rug.

    • yeah that kind of seemed totally unnecessary, didn’t it?

    • You suck BlueJayWay. You are a racist fuck and proof of my post below.

    • Yup gotta agree with all of the above: racist shit.

      • Really, thats racist? You dont even have to be racist to be racist anymore. Everyone is a fucking critic! U all laugh when Travis Snider was called lunchbox, I didnt hear any “Hey, stop being prejudice against fat dudes!” Or David Cooper’s non-existent chin, or is it ok to make fun of the way someone looks??? Wait, wasn’t that the point of… oh, nevermind

        • Calling a professional athlete a “little black boy” is extremely racist as it diminishes him as less than a man and not large.

  38. I wish that effort was put into a more interesting post.

    There are enough of us who aren’t insufferable idiots. We can recognize the great moves the organization has made and piss and moan when they play badly. In the end of the day, it is baseball we’re watching and piss poor baseball at that. Bitching about it, as you do on the podcasts, and as many of us do at work, in bars etc. is definitely par for the course.

    It’s frustrating to read through a couple pages of brow beating when you normally post much more interesting – or at least entertaining things.

    P.S. triple gose! I’m happy again.

  39. SHUT UP!!!!

  40. I have been following this internet for a long time and I can tell you, that ever since 9/11, hyperbole has been endemic and fighting it is a fruitless task.

    As long as people have no fear of repercussions they will take the most idiotic positions and fight them so far past the point of common sense as to lose all sense of reality.

  41. also this season may be almost over but man is it nice to see Morrow pitching again. That change-up to K McLouth was lethal

  42. Why can’t we just say ‘The Jays are sucking right now’ and leave it at that.

    I challenged you, Stoeten, in another post to tell us what to expect next year after your comment about ‘wait until you see what we have next year’. This is expected to be a really think free-agent market so I”m not sure where the players are coming from that are gong to help this team and I strongly suspect that it’ll be 2014 before we even smell contention. I’m not gonna scream and stamp my foot. But you seem to think that fans are somehow lesser beings because the combined frustration of 19 years of nothing has boiled over in a shit-storm of a season that wasn’t just torpedoed by injuries but also exposed some serious problems all over the field. As far as I’m concerned this season was great for that reason alone. We have holes in the outfield, holes in the infield a hole behind the plate and multiple holes in the rotation. OK AA. let’s play ball. Now is when you show us what you got. Let’s see who you pick up now and where you spend whatever money you’re given. Because if, in 2014, we are still playing for pride in September I think it could be the end of this team. Baseball isn’t important enough in Toronto to support a generational loser for very much longer. And Rogers now owns the Leafs.

  43. PS Fuck this dumb board that won’t allow any editing. I mean it’s a ‘thin free-agent market’…

  44. Hey guys & gals, damn this is embarassing, can you recommend a sex-manual???
    Like, with diagrams & flowcharts? Got some serious ute’ to smash after the game.
    Just wanna make sure I can find everything, you know, while I’m smashin. Thanks.

    • My second-best advise to you is to stop searching for a unicorn to mount, and concentrate on your second so-called myth.

    • It’s easy.
      Get a flashlight.
      And look for the little man in the boat.
      He’s hiding under something.
      Just look around.
      You know you’ve found him when you see the smile.

    • Awesome, I guess you’re not truely somebody until you’re impersonated on DJF.

    • “What’s wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don’t have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate. Give her a kiss, boy.”

  45. Gose, Darnaud, Sierra, Nicolino, Syndegard, Sanchez, Marisnick, Stroman, …………etc

    The talent is great.
    It is recognized in the industry as a superior stockpile.
    Why are people so sure we aren’t on the right track. Blows my mind.
    In seasons past the right things were said by Jays brass – well be competitive, we’ve got a chance, blah blah blah
    But now if you’ve read anything on Baseball America, Baseball prospectus, Espn or listened to interviews with Keith Law, Pete Gammons or anyone employed to study this shit then we’d realize that we truely have one of the best futures in MLB.

    Go ahead, bitch about the quality of the product you’re currently watching, it’s your right as a fan but don’t condemn AA or the process. It doesn’t happen over night, ask Brian Burke.

    • + Billions and Billions

    • Gose could be a star if he could hit, which hasn’t happened yet.
      D’Arnaud is a stud, but has missed half a season 2 of the past 3 years from injuries.
      You didn’t know who Sierra was a month ago. Most likely Thames 2.0.
      The Lansing 3 are 2 more years away at least, anything could happen.
      Marisnick did not perform this year, who knows where he is at.
      Stroman hasn’t really done much as a pro, and is suspended for the next 50 games

      • But… dude… that was the point.

        They’re not all supposed to develop into superstars. The idea is, if you collect “potential superstars” like pogs, odds are one or two will actually hit that ceiling.

        No, the Lansing 3 aren’t the second coming of Smoltz/Glavine/Maddux. But if one of them turns into an ace, isn’t that all this team will need after we buy a pitcher?

        Sure Gose/D’Arnaud/Marisnick/Hechavarria could fail. But odds aren’t high on getting zero big league regulars from that list. Someone will turn out to be good.

        And that’s the point. They’re not all going to be awesome. Some will fail. But some will rock.

    • I’m actually optimistic about the future. That being said, prospects don’t mean shit til tbeg make something of themselves.

      Exhibit A: KC’s much hyped bevy of pitching prospects

      Exhibit B: Gose & Hechavveria

    • Good points but the problem is that the prospects have to perform at the mlb level.

      Jays PR dept has been hyping Gose, & Hech for 2 years. they are here now & not helping the team more than the average mlb player.

      Wll the prospects improve? Probably, but is it enough to get into the playoffs?


      • @ Oakville
        You do know how old Hech and Gose are don’t you?
        They both should be in AAA but are here because of injury.

        I guess we should just give up on Syndergard, Nicolino and Sanchez already because they probably won’t pan out either?
        Just more Rogers hype and PR?

  46. Ball.

  47. Yescobar doesn’t saunter into 2nd.

  48. “Perhaps I have a tendency to over-represent in my mind a relatively small number of trolls”


  49. Bunting? fuck me

    aha it worked

  50. and the Rays tie it up against the Yanks!

  51. I get all the positive outlook, look at what AA has done and all that, but it only buys so much good will. Eventually the major league product has to be something other than a hot mess.

    • +1 to CCPD

    • Yeah why didn’t he just simultaneously re-build the entire minor league system AND immediately field a championship caliber major league team?

    • It’s a sad reality that paying customers demand to see an entertaining team win games at the MLB level.

      Life would be much easier for Rogers if fans would be patient & wait for the Lansing pitching trio to make the Blue Jays team in 2014 & help the team win a championship in 2016 or 2017.

      • Are you kidding? Since 2005 we’ve been told the season we’ll win is three years away.

        • I know that, but the new strategy under Rogers is to build a team with low payroll & only spend payroll above average 1 or 2 years out of 10.

          It’s cheaper to get a guy like Lawrie at 480K per year come out of the box & immediately help the team.

          The problem is that Lawrie ‘sp erformance is rare

      • I’m not a Rogers apologist but are they to blame for Lawrie and Bautista missing most of the second half of the season and Romero losing, what, 13 straight decisions? If Romero pitched anywhere near what he did last year, and Lawrie and Bautista were in the lineup, even with the patchwork rotation they’ve had, you don’t think it would at least be interesting down the stretch?

    • +2. It’s too bad that Rogers could not find a way to charge bloggers who post about the Blue Jays an annual fee of say 100K per website plus charge people that post comments about the Blue Jays a fee of 5$ per post

      This way, Rogers could earn revenue to offset payroll costs of players.

      Fans wouldn’t have to show up to games, so payrol costs for ushers, conession workers could be kept low.


  52. Fuck the bunt Buck, let the kid hit.

  53. Nicely done Hech.

  54. Yescobar looked a little faster than Omar to my eyes, and a little more dangerous as well.

  55. Romero missing his next start, getting 9 days rest.
    Cooper shut down.

  56. Sweet. Hist swing seems quicker and more fluid.

  57. Holy Fuck!!

  58. My name is Cliff, brother of Joe. I got me some crack. I want me some hoes!

  59. I’ll be watching the nats, enjoy your positive thoughts and”potential”.

  60. Why all the love for Rasmus? He’s hitting .227 and has four HR since the All Star break.

  61. The double play giveth. Can I get an amen.

  62. I just spent six months in a leaky boat.

  63. The problem with Stoeten’s analysis is the insistence on an either or approach to international / draft and FA spending.

    Everyone in the ALE is spending on the draft now and everyone ex Baltimore was in the past.

    You need to make incremental FA improvements year on year rather than this crazy ‘wait till we are ready then spend’ notion.

    This policy of waiting means you put yourself under huge pressure if you have a season like this and you’ve publicly said its time to compete. The Jays don’t operate in a vacuum. Stoeten’s in virtual Wilner like fashion loves to put down the critics but the truth is the critics exist, are growing and affect TV, attendance and the Jays mood music.

    Spending on a few FAs last season and adding each year would have been safer than the wait and see approach which now leaves the Jayd scrambling for expensive FAs this off season when they have little choice but to spend to stop the hysteria

    Just my 2 cents

    • But what kind of pressure would they have been under if they did make a FA acquisition last offseason? I mean, if they went out and got someone significant in the offseason, and if everything else went the same way (injuries, shittings of the bed) then the Jays still would be well out of the playoff picture. Then there’d be that much more pressure from both the front office and the fans.

    • I disagree with your assessment.
      By signing FA’s before you are ready potentially blocks players you may already have while limiting future resources when they be needed the most.
      Also if the current team regresses then you may be forced to dump the high paid players or pay them while waiting for the rest of the team to catch up.
      Better to build,find which are your weak points and buy the pieces you need.

      • @Radar.

        Building a team internally is fine.startegy when it works.

        Unfortunately, the jays home grown drafted players have not been successful.

        Romero is a disaster this year.

        Lind was dFA’d & is now a candidate for bench in 2013.

        • Ah Oakville.It not just drafted players but trded players that build.Every year there are players that under perform.Thats why you don’t commit till your closer.
          Yes Romero is a disaster. But did you know that in April?
          Who predicted EE’s emergence?He was realeased 18 months ago.
          Things change, which is why you don’t blow your load until the risks are minimized.
          Or the Jays could just stock up on expensive FA’s and become the Red Sox.

    • +1. A team should spend on FA when good players are available. If you wait until ‘it’s time’ then you may be caught buying in a pure seller’s market. Then instead of overpaying, you have to waaaay overpay.

    • Yes, they do need to make incremental improvements to the team. Every year. For example (only listing transactions that may impact the Jays in 2013):

      2010: Trade for Escobar, Trade for Morrow, Extend Romero, Trade for Gose, Trade for d’Arnaud, Sign Hechavarria, Trade for Villaneuva
      2011: Sign Encarnacion, Trade for Rasmus, Extend Bautista, Trade for Santos, Trade for Lawrie, Sign Rajai Davis, Extend Escobar, Trade for Mathis
      2012: Extend Morrow, Extend Encarnacion, Extend Janssen, Sign Oliver, Trade for 2 more bullpen arms (Delabar, Lincoln), Trade for Happ, Extend Mathis, …

      This does not look like the transaction history of a front office that is taking a wait and see approach. They have been acquiring pieces without sacrificing the future, and have started ramping up spending on the roster starting last off season (the payroll jumped 18% last offseason, and it is projected to jump at least another 7% this year to be above 90M again).

      This off season, all they really need is a top 3, a top 5, and one position player to become a serious threat for a playoff position. So,1 major FA (top 3 starter), one medium FA (position player), and one minor FA (top 5 starter, with Villaneuva possibly being extended to fill that role before the end of the season). Again, this is not what I would call a wait and see approach, nor have they backed themselves into a corner to over pay for whatever scraps are available.

    • I agree with you.

      If you spend on Free Agents, you, generally, have them more MORE THAN ONE FUCKING YEAR.

      Who cares if we shit the bed while a free agent was playing well this year. He’ll be there next year.

  64. I do not understand why there is confusion and bickering here over booing or dissing the jays.
    The reason people are upset is simple: the jays have the payroll of a mid market to small market team. However, the jays should have a large market payroll.
    (They play in one of the largest and richest cities in north america
    their fan base extends far beyond that city: to border towns and cities and to the widest reaches of canada.
    the team is owned by a mega corporation that fails to fairly value intra company dealings in what should be an ‘arms’ length’ fashion.
    and finally, with the economics of sports and baseball changing exponentially, to the point where the Dodgers are valued at between 2-4 billion dollars, there is a real fear that the jays ownership will be left even farther behind in the payroll department.

    that is it. All the rest, whether AA is a good GM, Farrell is a good manager, Rasmus is an overrated fielder, all that is nice material for discussion/arguments. But the crux of the complaints here lie in the payroll issue.

    • But not signing FA pitchers means your young pitchers are rushed and get hurt. And dintbhavevto EARN rotation spots.

      Plus astute FA signings have positive trade value and relieve pressure on young players.

      Waiting till 2013 means you are dependant on the FA market the year you happen to choose to ‘conpete’

      More than anything I’m bored of hearing that Rogers spending on the draft and intl players proves they are not cheap.

      How many teams exactly neither spend in FAs nor on the draft (pre restriction). It must be a group of 0 or 1. It really isn’t anything to write home about.

      Also I like coby but for the sake of consistency vs Lind how much rope does he get? If he hits like this year next is that it? The injury excuse could be used for our Clean up hitter too…

      • +1.

        Unfortunately for Rogers , the extra spending on draft picks & international free agents is publicly available, so the analysis done by one of commentators showed the Jays spending a few million more than the Yankees or Red Sox.

        the difference of 5 million or so on minor league spending was trounced by the spending on the MLB teams where the gap is at least 100 million between the Jays & Red Sox & Yankees.

        Luckily for Rogers there are enough teams that are spending low amounts on payroll that are still competitive in the AL East, like the Rays that the Jays can justify not spending.

        Unfortunately, the Jays prospects have not come through yet.

      • Exactly! This team has attempted a strategic smoke screen and been caught.

        • +1.

          The best thing is that Rogers controls the broadcasts so there is very limited negative coverage of the team.

          Having MLSE & Rogers working together ensures that any Bell media doesn’t trash the team.

          Luckily , most rational people don’t spend time analyzing total spending on the team & results.

          The bad news for ROGERS IS THAT TOO MANY FANS LOOK AT OLD FASHIOned stats like wins & losses & making playoffs & winning championships.

          AA has a few years grace period because fans were told that he is not responsible for any draft picks prior to 2010.

          Players from 2010 draft still aren’t at the MLB level.

          Personally, I think AA will have till 2015 to put together a playoff team or else Rogers will fire him & find someone else to rebuild the team.

    • +10.

      The good news for the MLB is that the game is very popular & broadcasters like ESPN just agreed to double the amount they pay to the MLB to broadcast games.

      Sports properties are very valuable because you can’t fast forward a game on your DVR if you watch it live.

      More teams in small markets like Cincinatti & San Diego are benefitting from extra broadcast revenues whichthe teams use on payroll.

      The problem for Rogers is that they know they benefit from extra advertising revenue but they still want to give the Jays 200K per broadcast game.

      Unless Rogers allocates part of the extra advertising revenue to the Jays, the Jays will fall further behind.

      Rogers only hope is that AA’s investment in scouts & accumulating draft picks will provide enough upside that the team can compete cheaply without having to pay free agents etc…

      This is a make or break offseason for Rogers.

      • Fuck Oakville. You’re so misinformed it’s ridiculous.

        The Jays, under the old CBA, were classified as a small market team. Broadcast revenues were understated so the Jays ( Rogers) were able to recieve from the MLB approx 30 million per year.
        If they stated broadcast revenues they lose 30 mil.

        That pissed off the Yanks and Bosox and the loophole was closed under the new CBA.

        • That’s why everything changes and they can now spend without losing the 30 mil.
          It ain’t there any more.
          Now they’ll spend to generate a greater interest in the Jays and revenue streams across all platforms will increase damatically.
          Just a few years ago, not all Jays games were broadcast on TV.Rogers created SN1 with the excuse of broadcasting ALL BJ games.
          Subscription fees alone for SN1 are estimated at 10 to 15 mil per year.
          Thats without ad revenue.
          Don’t get me started on the Score aquisition.

          • Point being the payroll has been limited to astute baseball business strategy? I bloody don’t think so.

          • And why is that so unbelievable Tom?

          • @ Radar.

            The Jays are losing 30 million in payments from MLB. with the new CBA.

            The jig is up for Rogers. No more accounting shell games..

            I am sure Rogers would love to have a small market label & collect 30 million without having to spend on the team.

        • @Radar.

          How am I uninformed.

          Rogers played some accounting games by keeping payments to the Jays at 200K per broadcast whereas FMV would be much higher.

          The Jays succeeded in playing poor & got 30 million from MLB per year. OK.

          Did they use the 30 million to build a competitive team?

          MLB caught onto to Rogers scam, so they cut off the payments to the Jays because they are not a small market team.

          Rogers is in trouble because more & more teams are geting extra broadcast revenue which is being used to pay players.

          Rogers can’t crypoor anymore.

          It’s one thing to say you can’t compete with the red sox or yankees, but no one believed Cincinatti or san diego is a bigger tv market than Toronto or the rest of Canada.

          How is it possible that the Reds agree to pay Joey Votto 200 million plus??

          Reds are a small market team with new broadcast revenue coming in 2013 & later years.

          Don’t you think if the Jays were owned by a private individual , TSN or Rogers would pay a fortune to get 162 games of content???

          • Nothing personal, but this is why most accountants can’t see the vision, the big picture.
            Of course.if the Jays were owed by a private individual,Rogers would pay through the nose for the content.
            Now that Rogers has milked the old CBA for all it was worth and the golden goose is dead, how do you think Rogers will maximize revenue from owning the Jays?
            Will they go cheap and watch the property decline in popularity and decrease revenues across all platforms?
            Or as the last payments come in from MLB, increase the brand’s awareness by creating a better product and the excitement that goes with it?
            Seen already,Increase in attendance by 25%, increase in viewers on SN by 50%,Creation of new SN-10-15 mil per year,increase in bandwith usage,no doubt an increase in ad revenues. increase in pregame and after game sports shows,content to fill up TV and radio air time,magazine pages,internet pageviews and so on.
            All provided by something they already own.
            I think the overall bottom line is improved by the interest in the Jays.
            If fans become apathetic about the Jays and lose interest, Rogers stand to lose not 10′s of millions but 100′s of millions.
            And if they increase interest across Canada, what’s that worth?Certainly more than a few FA’s.
            Rogers has the opportunity to make the Jays and SN networks the Yankees and YES networks of the North.
            Remember Rogers ain’t stupid. They got people smarter than you and me calculating all the extra dollars.

  65. Cheers, love this post.

  66. Great post Stoeten. This year was never the year. The American media pumped them up after a successful spring, and it created high hopes for the hopelessly uninformed.

    Your builder analogy sums it up best…

    • The American media pumped them up? Christ, they had a hard time admitting they won back to back WS.

      • Rosenthal, Jayson Stark and others wrote pieces on how the Jays were ‘sexy sleepers’ after their 21-4 record.

        I dont have time to go find the links, but those articles are out there. I didnt dream reading them.

    • LOL!.

      The toronto media pumped them up.

      Rogers marketing hype built the team with those ads in spring.

      The USA barely acknowledes Toronto is a MLB team.

      • Stoeten wrote this post for people like you Oakville….

        • Thanks Beest!

          Kenny Ken Ken was routinely on the Fan speaking highly of them as well.

          It was not just the Jays PR machine pumping them up. And on that subject….why would the Jays PR machine do anything OTHER than pump them up?

          Should they run ads next year of “Come on out and see the flailing Blue Jays who were 5-21 last August!” Like will that sell fucking tickets Oakville?

          Use your head man. They own the team. Its their product. What else do you expect?

          If you don’t like it, go cheer for another team, but I can assure you that the other 29 teams have hope springing eternal in their opening day marketing material. If not, they fucking suck.

  67. I say this while acknowledging that I think Stoeten is a dick sometimes and also hilariously unprofessional and far too snarky and bitchy:

    That was an absolutley brilliant argument and article. Not as good as Bill Clinton’s election clinching speach which I just had the pleasure of viewing, but pretty fucking good.

  68. Just read this…

    Stoeten – you are THE reasonable voice of the Blue Jays media. Genuinely, I believe you put more thought and insight into your posts than guys who have been doing it for ages and are probably paid a load.

    Good read and good job.

  69. The difference between the orioes and the jays is very simple. the manager. There’s no way they win with farrell running the ship. This team hasn’t had a good manager since fregosi. No matter what moves alex makes it won’t make a difference because farrell will find a way to fuck it up. Alex will show some balls if he mans up and fires his ass along with the rest of the staff. Otherwise it will just be more of the same.

  70. Steoten, 95% of people that read your blog aren’t fucking idiots and don’t complain, and see the long view. Keep up the excellent posts like this and ignore the trolls.

  71. Although perhaps people are jumping ship too quickly, they do have a reason to be frightened.

    The Jays are clearly taking a very long term approach to their team. This is evident in the hires, the acquisitions, the management and the coaching the Jays receive.

    It is very hard for people to accept that this long term approach will work, when similar plans have been sold to the fans as a panacea. On top of this, the team has spent relatively little outside of a one or two year window at the end of ted Roger’s life.

    Simply using common sense, it appears unlikely the team will win in the near future (like next year or the year after) given the financial inequalities that are inherent in the game as it relates to our payroll. The amount of luck and good fortune required to succeed in this model is very challenging, as you can see.

    Now, that doesn’t mean they couldn’[t start reaping benefits in say, 2015 when the Lansing Trio should be ready. But it’s hard for people to wait when they’ve waited so long for a winner already. And because it’s far from a sure thing, considering the opposition has far less margin for error, it seems silly to decide that the team is clearly doing the right thing.

    It seems presumptuous to label these individuals all whiners or losers. They have a point–and they could be given some latitude for their collective frustration. Sure, you pay lip service to it in your article, but you don’t take it seriously either. And that is a shame, because although it’s not a narrative of the blog, it should be part of the conversation.

    • When you use the word “frightened” in your opening sentence David, as in ‘fans have a right to be’, you pretty much show, right from the get-go, that the sentiment framing your personal perspective is just as out-of-whack with the bleating masses that insist that the odds be ever in our favour. As most (adults) know, luck itself cannot be demanded from whatever powers-that-aren’t. A pisser in itself (if you’re just discovering …) but it’s even worse when we end up with an extra helping of the not-so-good variety like we seem to have been battered around with this season. But don’t worry. Odds suggest that that particular ingredient will even itself up, in time … even if it takes a hundred or so years. Which, looking at the history of teams in the league, isn’t all that wild a notion. (Lol. Sometimes, you gotta laugh, dude.)

      • ya, so I can’t edit this but it should probably read, “… just as out-of-whack as is the bleating masses …”.

  72. Can we get a Rasmus will be fine post? Seems like if he makes contact now it’s a miracle.

  73. Well, as AA said in his recent interview (I paraphrase)

    Come on, guys, he IS a center fielder. He’s hits well for a center fielder…and his defense is good!

    In all seriousness, he probably won’t be a star, but he probably is in the upper tier of center fielders because he can definitely contribute power and a decent hit tool. He may never completely bust out…but we said the same about Edwin. He does have nice physical tools, so we’ll see. He’s really the least of the team’s worries at the moment, anyway.

    Anybody hear Farrel’s last comments in the star about Rickey? “Will he turn it around next year? You’d like to think so.” This after Ricky is forced to skip a start.

    Ouch. Sounds like somebody lost the coach’s confidence.

  74. I think when healthy – they are close. If you add one stud bat (prefer LH), we could be OK with Hech at 2nd, Sierra in LF with Raji as 4th OF… Get rid of Lind and Kelly (unless you keep Lind as a PH / occasional fill-in). The line-up would be fine

    Then extend Carlos V. and add a #1 no matter how….(whether overpay or give up a good haul in prospects)… The #1 we add, Morrow as #2, Romero as #3 (less pressure may help him), Carlos V as #4, Happ as #5… Alvarez, Cecil + whoever of the injured bunch is ready next year is the insurance for injuries…. I think that 5 man rotation with the solid pen we have is plenty enough pitching to make a playoff run

    The key is the big bat and #1 SP..

    • Yep. I’d love to see one of those guys who always seems to end up on base in the lineup too. The guy that walks a lot and squeaks a bunch of singles through the infield, and has enough power to hit a double. I think that guy looks great on this team. I don’t know who he is though.

    • I think a #1 is overdoing it though (don’t get me wrong, a better pitcher is … better). Happ and CV are league average starters, so that is a very solid back end of the rotation. Morrow, when healthy, has shown that his previous years of solid peripherals were not a mirage and has put up the numbers to be considered a #1 starter. If you get a solid top 3, and resign CV, I think you have a very competitive rotation.

    • FYI: There are only a couple of handful of aces in MLB. In no particular order, most would list them as follows:

      Lester (Red Sox)
      Verlander (Tigers)
      Weaver (Angels)
      Kershaw (Dodgers)
      Dickey (Mets)
      Sabathia (Yankees)
      Halladay (Phillies)
      Hamels (Phillies)
      Lee (Phillies)
      Wainwright (Cards)
      Cain (Giants)
      Felix (Mariners)
      Price (Rays)
      Strasburg (Nationals)

      Lots of fringe guys (thinking of guys like Greinke, Gallardo, Cueto, CJ Wilson, etc. etc.). But none of these are true number 1 aces.

      The Jays are NOT going to make a deal to get an ace as there are likely no deals on the table. Or, the Jays would have to simply give up the farm system and send key core MLB players to acquire an ace.

      AA knows this which is why has has focused on building a better, more versatile bullpen, one that can hold onto leads provided the offence produces.

      Trade targets should be on proven and durable number 3 guys. I am thinking of guys like Masterson (Indians), Santana (Angels), Bailey (Reds) or either Cahill (Diamondbacks) or Anderson (A’s). Any one of these guys will cost a small fortune in terms of prospects and MLB pieces. Hopefully, AA can nab one of the above guys to fill out the rotation behind Morrow and Romero.

      Quality starting pitching is very valuable and thus, very expensive to acquire. A number 1 ace? Well, easier said than done. The Jays simply can’t simply add an ace without some major restructuring of their MLB roster and minor league assets (read: emptying the cupboards).

  75. At the start of the year, when the Jays and O’s were BOTH healthy, they kicked the shit out of us and were clearly a better team. The Jay’s injuries made the gap between the two teams larger and larger, but don’t forget… from DAY ONE they were the better team.
    It pains me to write that, but it’s true.
    What would it have taken to be in the playoff hunt this year? Two players: Yu Darvish and Edwin Jackson.
    How many prospects would we have had to give up to get these players? ZERO.

    Fuck Rogers.
    And Fuck AA for not having the balls to negotiate with Jackson’s agent.

    • So by your logic the Royals are better than the Tigers since they just swept them?

      The Jays also swept the Orioles on May 28 – 30 outscoring them 18 – 9.

    • Dumber than dumb with more dumb on top of that dumb. Tea Billy dumb. Dipshit dumb would be a compliment. So beyond the pale of dumb that it makes the cerebral aptitude of the lower end of the 24/7 UFC sports demographic intelligent by comparison. The mentally delayed have weighed in and they collective think this comment is dumb. It really doesn’t get much dumber than this comment. So incredibly dumb with a cherry on top. Fucking dumb.

    • Luis Mendoza of the career 13-18 5.70 ERA outpitched Justin Verlander on August 28 when the Royals beat the Tigers.

      I hope we can trade for Mendoza so we have a #1 who is better than Verlander

  76. The SkyDome was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago.

  77. Maybe this is the curse of Pat Gillick. We’ve been shit ever since he left…

  78. I hear a lot of talk about how much has been spent on the draft and International.

    Is is really that much?

    Wasn’t the draft around $8mil cumulative this year?

    How much was International?

    Scouting staff salaries?

    Anyone know?

    • Folks mean previous to this year and the new CBA-imposed spending limits on the draft and amateur FAs

  79. As silly as this sounds, this kind of shit always reminds me of idiot fans of bands who expect a band to release “The Last Album 2.0″ and just immediately get pissed when it’s not EXACTLY what they expected it to be.

    Did the Jays have a good club coming in to this season? Sure. Were they going to need stand out performances, all season long from their big names to even stand a chance? Yup. At best, hopes should have been that the Jays would have been healthy and a few games out of the last wild card going into September with a chance of trying to scrap their way into the playoffs.

    In other words, people need to check their fucking ridiculous expectations at the door. Just because you have a CHANCE at making the playoffs does not mean that you (universal you) should expect it to happen. Please, Stoeten, at the start of next season, write some sort of “this is what the Jays need to make the playoffs” and then when people freak the fuck out at this point in 2013 you can remind them that the team isn’t AS good as they think it is.

  80. Well said.

    I will only offer the following point to ponder because I think the numbers of Escobar, Rasmus,and Romero tend to get overblown as reasons for failure. The Jays will enter this off-season with the same needs they entered last off-season: two starting pitchers (one being an ace), a first baseman, a second baseman, and a left fielder. Moving Encarnacion to first will only create a hole at DH.

    Last winter, they chose not to spend too much money to plug those holes (an arguably understandable though disappointing move at the time). So the ‘creative’ solutions were:

    - hoping that three of McCowen, Hutchinson, Drabek, Alvarez, and Cecil would work out
    - going with Adam Lind at first (again)
    - resigning Kelly Johnson
    - letting Thames and Snider battle for left field

    We can now objectively say that all of these moves were catastrophic failures and thus was the season.

    Now, going into the off-season, the needs are the same and the free agent options may be worse. The success in how Anthopolous revisits these needs and addresses them will define his tenure and Roger’s status as owners willing to contend.

    • It wasn’t even that they chose to spend an insignificant amount of money to fill those holes, they literally didn’t spend any money at all on them. In fact, if KJ hadn’t accepted arbitration (which I’m not sure they wanted him to do considering their comments about him in the offseason), I suspect they would have gone even cheaper at 2B.

      They’re going to have another year to get this right, though. A lot of it will come down to whether this ownership is willing to pony up.

      • The Jays increased payroll by 18% last off season. They are on pace to increase payroll by at least another 5-10% this year, and that is if they just stick with the status quo, signing only a couple free agents to 4-5M contracts.

    • @ Mark

      Excellent point. Last season had a much better crop of free agents than this season. Entry into free agency isn’t a secret so you could see what was available then and now. Last season was probably the time to add a couple of pieces. This season there may not be a couple of pieces even worth considering.

  81. Add Ortiz, Marco Scutaro, Greinke, extend Carlos V.

    Boom, playoffs

    • No, NO , NO, NO.

      Carlos V should be let go. He isnt ever going to be a good starter. Ortiz is old. Scutaro? Please fuck off. Grienke is a 100 million disaster waiting to happen.

      What the Jays should do? Play Hech at short and move Escobar to second. Let Lind and Arencibia play the majority of DH at bats, maybe sign a right handed hitting power bat to go with them. Bring up JPA for catcher. Find a left fielder, hopefully Justin Upton. Trade for Felix Hernandez.

      NOw thats the playoffs.

        • Felix could not be had for the players listed in the Vancouver Sun article. Sure, the Jays have the assets, but it would begin with guys like Lawrie. Then you would have to add one of JPA or TDA (the choice would be Seattle’s), then Seattle could choose one of the Lansing trio (Sanchez most likely), then some young MLB quality arms (Loup or Crawford or Dyson).

          Listing names like Lind, Cooper or McDade is a fucking insult to King Felix.

      • You’re absolutely right, he is never going to be a good starter. Except he has been an average starter so far this year. And was an average starter last year. But other than that, he has not been a good starter, and therefore would be a terrible option as the #4/5 starter for this team.

        I agree with having Lind platoon at DH, though I would rather not see them waste Arencibia in the role of right handed option – better to sign a cheap right handed batter than waste JPA’s value as a slightly above average catcher.

        But seriously, Felix Hernandez and Justin Upton? You should change your name to Wishful Thinking Jays Fan …

      • Disagree with letting Lind/J.P. getting DH at bats. I stand by signing Ortiz

        Agree on Hernandez.

        Justin Upton would be a miracle.

        Agree on Hech and Yunel.

    • Shin Soo Choo

  82. I agree with 99% of this post. Once the injuries set in, the whole season blew into little bits. Right now, I just want it to be over. My biggest concern is Ricky Romero, who has fallen off a cliff. He’s had a few good starts, but when he gets his ass kicked, it’s bad. I have to laugh when I listen to Wilner every night and he acts like Ricky will just wake up one day and be his old self. I find that notion far fetched. As I’ve heard other teams announcers say numerous times, “this guy has lost all confidence in his ability to throw a strike.” As for the people who post on here and say “they should have done this, or they should have done that”, all I can say is hindsight is 20/20. I’ll stand by my suggestion that they should get Chris Perez and Jason Kipnis from the Indians.

    • Hindsite may be 20/20, but some of us were saying they should have picked up some FA starters and a left fielder before the season even started.

    • Add Shin Soo Choo to that list.

    • Romero’s decline is very scary. .

      I wish he had had an diagnosed injury , so his decline could be explained.

      Hopefully he bounces back next year

  83. I take that it in this metaphor that the Rogers Centre is Gastby’s big white elephant of a house, Jose Bautista is his expensive motor car, and Daisy Buchanan is ‘meaningful games in September’ – the thing constantly reached out for but never reached as we are borne back ceaselessly into the past.

  84. Some great comments that could be comforting to the disenchanted fans who read this blog. Sadly the narrators constant belittleling of folks with differing points of view, turn an otherwise fine post into an attack.
    AA wasn’t selling the re-building theme this year, it was more towards contendinding for the second wild-card. So the results are in, and the BJ’s fell well short! No point to reiterate the sorry excuses that got us to where we are. It was clear as soon as Rogers bought into the Maple Leafs during the off-season that the BJ payroll parameters came into play. There was no financial will to get the bench strength, or starting pitiching that was needed to win the WC orstave off a normal season of injuries. Who’s doing the whinning here anyway?

    • +1.

      AA’s payroll parameter speech came out at the time of the acquisition of MLSE .

      Rogers has made a huge investment in 3 sports teams . They may feel that’s it’s OK if the Jays don’t win because they have diversified into 3 other badly performing teams.

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