Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

Toronto Standard tells us that Brett Lawrie is “a burgeoning gay icon” in the city, albeit inadvertently. “While Lawrie’s position as Church Street’s favourite 3rd baseman may be unintentional,” we’re told, “his support is rock hard.” Ha! Get it?

Jays Journal picks up on what Jon Hale wrote about Ricky Romero’s changeup last week, noting that the pitch has been over two miles per hour slow this season than last, with the extra break Hale told us about. They agree, it may simply be too good, identified too easily, not generating the same kind of swing-and-miss, and remedied by throwing it more firmly. Get on it, Jays!

In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm tells us about the flu bug that’s hit the Jays, the fact that the club insists games aren’t meaningless, as jobs for next year are on the line right now, and about a mechanical hitch in Anthony Gose’s throwing mechanics– a crow hop– that is preventing him from unleashing his powerful throws from the outfield on time.

Everybody’s talking about Buffalo, after Alex Anthopoulos, while still saying all the right things, made it clear to reporters this weekend that the club is interested in the Queen City– as they should be, and as has been expeceted for… well… years. John Lott of the National Post and Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com have particularly good pieces on the potential transition.

Our old friend the Tao of Stieb muses on what he saw at the Rogers Centre this weekend, as he was up from the Nation’s Capital for a visit, and points us to the audio of yesterday’s JaysTalk, where he and Wilner jammed on a version of the Beatles’ I Want Choo (She’s So Heavy).

In an article I– or someone with a vaguely similar name– make and appearance in, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star wonders what can be done to improve the fan experience at the former SkyDome Hotel– and finds out that it’s probably not a lot, since playing up the Jays connection doesn’t suit Marriott, the current owners, or their business model.

Elsewhere at the Star, we’re told that Connor Stevenson, the 13-year-old who was shot in the head in this summer’s incident in the Eaton’s Centre food court, threw out the first pitch yesterday afternoon.

And in Richard Griffin’s latest bullpen piece at the the Star, he examines the AL’s surprising A’s and O’s, and rightly criticizes the Jays– Brett Lawrie and Rajai Davis in particular– for their baserunning woes.

Mike Rutsey of the Sun also looks at Lawrie’s mental mishaps over the weekend. So does Shi David of Sportsnet, while at BlueJays.com, Gregor relays John Farrell’s insistence that he has no plans to stop running the bases aggressively.

Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter isn’t so much upset about the mistakes, as he is the fact that Lawrie, again, doesn’t seem to own up to them. Right on.

Back to Sportsnet, Davidi looks at Omar Vizquel, who is closing in on Babe Ruth as he moves up the list of most hits all-time. So… there’s that.

Davidi also writes that first base coach Torey Lovullo is on the Red Sox radar. In fact,  ”Lovullo interviewed with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and his staff last fall, and impressed them enough that he was brought back again after Bobby Valentine was hired, to discuss moving over as bench coach.” And… hang on a second. That had to be after the Farrell directive came down, right? So… bench coach is considered a promotion from first base coach? I guess it is– which, I guess, makes sense– because otherwise it would sound like the Jays let someone interview for a lateral move.

At ESPN.com (Insider Olney), Buster Olney looks at the potential market for Josh Hamilton, which is rather limited– and, thank fuck, according to his estimation, doesn’t include the Jays.

Alexis Brudnicki writes for BlueJays.com that the Jays and Baseball Canada have strengthened their relationship somehow– the specifics of which I’m not sure of, because… y’know… I don’t read articles about Baseball Canada. But you probably do! So there’s one for ya!

The Blue Jay Hunter looks at who may comprise the Jays’ bullpen next season.

Lastly, Baseball Think Factory passes on a book excerpt that informs us that Tony La Russa’s last moments as manager of the Cardinals were spent choking on his own rage, one year after the fact, over Keith Law’s Cy Young ballot that kept Adam Wainwright from winning the award in 2010.

Comments (69)

  1. Why “thank fuck” not Jays not being included in the Hamilton market?
    Obviously there’s an upper limit on what would be a reasonable price to pay, but surely he’s worth consideration, no?

    • That said… considering the probably price tag, I’d much rather BJ Upton (assuming he’d be willing to play LF)

      • I don’t think I could watch this team if they had BJ Upton. For some reason, I’ve always had an irrational dislike for his skill set. Poor contact, streaky hitter. Second of all, why would you target a defensive-minded RH-hitting CF when this team needs a LH-hitting DH?

        I know that poor contact doesn’t make him a bad player, and I know that having one or two good defensive players doesn’t preclude acquiring another (see: Hechaverria, Adeiny), I just don’t see how he wouldn’t be overpriced for what he offers this team.

        • I agree on the need for LH bat over a RH one I suppose.
          And I can’t argue on the poor contact thing.
          But the guy has power, speed and OBP skills – plus we all know what happens to 29 year olds (he will be soon) when they come to the Blue Jays!!! BJ has never lived up to his potential, but he still has a tonne of it. and if we could be had for <10million a year for a reasonable number of years. I'd do it….. BUT I don't think he'd agree to play LF (unless he had no other choices, which is unlikely) so the point is probably moot.

    • From a realistic standpoint, I think if the Jays had the money for Hamilton, they’d be inclined to spend it in places most concerning, such as the rotation. If the Jays had the coin to get Hamilton and shore up the rotation, we’d be the Yankees. Just my observation though.

    • Well, we already have one outfielder who’s likely due for a move to 1B/DH pretty soon, do we really need two?

      I guess Stoeten’s talking in terms of the expected cost and the resources at our disposal. Hamilton would help the team yeah, but we have finite monies and they’d probably be most efficiently spent somewhere else.

      Really though, has signing big names to shitty contracts really been something we have to worry about during the AA era?

      • Pretty sure the two most expensive free agents they’ve signed since Frank Thomas are David Eckstein and Darren Oliver.

    • No. Because his price won’t be reasonable.

    • Because he has such trouble staying healthy– which probably wouldn’t he helped by our lovely turf– and is a solid bet to not produce to the level of the contract you’d expect he’ll get.

      • I’m merely arguing that if the market is going to be as weak as it’s rumoured to be. It doesn’t hurt to kick the tires.

        That said AA seems to kick the tires on anything and everything at least once (or is believed to do so).

        THAT said, when he signs somewhere else for 8 years at 20+million per season I won’t have a single shred of regret.

  2. There’s no reason we would want a stud LH bat between Joey Bats & EE. As we all know – 40 HR left handed batters who has the ability to play CF with a cannon for an arm grow on trees

    • Yes, they should want a stud left-hand bat, and Hamilton would be a great risk if you’re signing him for one year, or even just two or three, or at a far lower price than he’ll command. Thing is, you’re not.

  3. Can we all just pray Brett Lawrie doesn’t say or do anything homophobic that would ruin his apparent fame in the gay community.

  4. i also cant quite understand why anyone would be thankful enough to say “thank fuck” that the jays wouldn’t be in on hamilton. because, y’know, having 3 of arguably the top 5 power hitters in all of baseball in the middle of your line-up would be just a terrible terrible thing.

    • Dude is a potential train wreck who will get mega $ and years.

    • Change your name. And not back to JewDarvish, fuckface.

      • Not defending him – cuz the name is ridiculous…. But would “CockPuncher” be an acceptable name?

      • +1

      • changed. i realize the back-end of hamilton’s next deal will be crippling to whatever club decides to sign him to it, but still, two or three years of josh hamilton sandwiched between bautista and EE? fuck i will take that trio anyday of the fuckin week. that’s a bat that actually propels this offence to legit WS contention (granted the rotation is shored up).

        in the unlikely event AA gives michael moye a ring, seriously inquiring about his client, we should be creaming our pants at the possibility of having a lethal 40 jack bat protecting jose and/or EE…i mean who the hell is really gonna be upset if we signed josh hamilton. for years we’ve all complained about the ownerships commitment or lack thereof to winning, then when there’s the possibility of landing one of the best players in the league, we don’t want to do it because of the problems the contract will create three or more years down the road?

        i will be freakin ecstatic if we even tried to go after joshie, let alone sign him. we question AA for saying the team won’t increase it’s payroll by 40, 60, 80 mil…and then we’re gonna whine if we actually did that?

      • he’s not carl crawford or adrian gonzalez, and as we’ve witnessed this season and even prior with vernon wells, albatross contracts aren’t as immovable as we think. there will always be some eccentric owner willing to take on a bat as deadly as hamilton’s, regardless of what he’s due to make.

        also, who was the last player to suffer long-term problems with his health due to playing on the turf? excluding arm injuries obviously. there haven’t been too many i don’t think. at least not enough to come to the conclusion that the turf is somehow exponentially more harmful to a player than regular grass. i mean, i can understand how the harder playing surface naturally puts more pressure on the joints, but suddenly that’s a reason why we shouldn’t go after josh freakin hamilton???

        obviously it’s not gonna happen, but geez man, i wouldn’t praise the lord if AA didn’t go after him.

  5. Clearly Omar Vizquel and his 12000 PA’s and 47.3 career WAR is superior to Babe Ruth. I’m pretty tired of hearing about Omar passing the Babe.

    • Yeah – he should just kill himself. He should not be at all proud of his accomplishments in life.

    • + gazillions

      • To Danny, not IMW.

      • MINUS gazillions and one.

        Seriously, what’s the harm in pointing out this milestone for which Omar Vizquel has every right to be proud?

        Does anyone in the entire universe really think that this is somehow a threat to Babe Ruth’s legacy? Does anyone think that every single baseball fan (or even a casual follower) who has even a shred of intelligence can’t recognize the difference between Babe Ruth and Omar Vizquel Come on!

        Do you hear/read how much of a dick you appear to be when you mock Vizquel for this? Just take one step back and think it though for fuck’s sake. How would you like your career accomplishments treated like that. It’s being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole and nothing more.

        I’m fully on board the “Omar should have retired by now” bandwagon and I think he’s a waste of a roster spot, but seriously…

        • When I watch Sportsnet’s broadcast, I get the sense that Buck and Tabby don’t know the difference between Vizquel and Babe Ruth.

          And Vizquel should not be in the HOF, even though they talk about him as a no doubt candidate.

          • You missed my “has even a shred of intelligence” qualifier. Buck and Tabby don’t fit. :)

            And no… I don’t think he’s a HOFer either. HOdF (defense) maybe?

  6. I have several gay friends who are fans of the Jays, that Lawrie is “hot” is not one of the reasons. Interesting piece though.

  7. That hotel article was painful.

  8. Funny how wilner now says that the thinks yunel might get traded after all his antics. Isn’t it funny how all the rumours we heard about these guys are all true? Everyone in atlanta hated yunel and he was run out of town and now it seems the same is happening here. Lawrie had a poor attitude and didn’t listen to coaches in milwaukee and low and behold he’s doing the same shit now. Rasmus couldn’t hit in st louis and other than his home run totals he’s not hitting that well here. So much for alex swindling other gm’s.

    • And those guys cost us Alex Gonzalez, Shaun Marcum, Zach Stewart, Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski, and Corey Patterson…so we lost nothing in getting them.

    • Ands Jose Bautista is a bench player with an attutude problem too.

    • Dumb.

    • Oh please. Really. Yunel may be a little bit weird but like I really give a shit if he calls off Kelly Strikeout for a pop up.

      And Lawrie and Jose both are whiny bastards and they are who I want on my team. So sick of the TMZ style nitpicking of every facial expression and word out of these guys mouths. I don’t care that Lawrie doesn’t care what some reporter thinks of his playing. I just don’t. Lawrie doesn’t need to apologize to my ass and Yunel doesn’t need to not be creepy on my account.

      Stop caring so much.

    • At first I was going to say something snarky about not knowing how to spell ‘tomato.’ Then I realized that it was BY FAR the smartest part of that comment.

      Yunel is being ‘run out of town’ only to the extent that we have a younger player at the same position and holes elsewhere.

      The disclaimer ‘other than his home run totals’ is pretty much the same as saying ‘other than the kitchen and living room’ the house isn’t that on fire.

      Fuck, what the hell do you think the idiom that you inexplicably spelt ‘low and behold’ even means? Because I have to assume you thought it meant ‘lo and behold, I’m about to regurgutate an unsubstantiated chunk of idiocy’ and the ‘w’ stood for ‘why do I comment on a Blue Jays blog when I clearly hate baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays and the English language.’

  9. There was an excellent point brought up on the weekend game threat by ‘allisauce’.


    Read this last night, from Chisholm’s notes:
    “The biggest issue is the couple of hops Gose goes through after he catches the ball and prepares to release the ball. The same could be said for Sierra, who also is going through a similar issue.
    “What they’re currently doing, typically what you do is when you receive a ball on the ground, you’re receiving it as you’re stepping to the ball with your glove foot,” Farrell said.
    “Then in a matter of one step you’d like to see the ball in flight. But there’s a crow hop involved almost like they’re crow hopping to long toss. It’s taking an above-average arm and playing down a full grade on a scouting scale.””
    So, this leads me to wonder:
    How in the world does a guy get all the way through the minor league system with what appears to be a major flaw in a very basic element of the game? I mean, is this not what the minor leagues is for? Surely someone had to have seen this at some level and tried to address it, no?

    I have wondered about this myself . Does anyone think in the process off signing talent there may have been an oversight in making sure the proper coaching was in place?

    I truly don’t know but it would be an explanation to what I have seen…thoughts?

    • Thanks…

      I think what I want to add to that after some thought was that I/we don’t know that these haven’t been addressed in the past, or at least tried to be addressed and the need to accelerate some players due to injury perhaps brought some of these guys up while they WERE addressing the problem.

      I guess I just wonder how long this has been a problem for (is it something he just started doing recently? That happens), and if its been going on for a while, why it wasn’t addressed much earlier.

  10. I am 100% in favour of the Jays signing Hamilton. Why wouldn’t we want to do that? Is he a risk? Of course! Every FA is a risk. But at some point the Jays have to take bigger chances, and if you’re going to take a chance on someone, it might as well be a guy who has MVP credentials and a great power stroke.

    Hamilton would likely have to move to 1B sometime soon though, but he could play LF or the Jays could consider shipping out Rasmus for pitching.

    They won’t get Hamilton, but they should try.

    • I would much rather AA put that time and about a 1/4 of that money into signing Bourne. He is a legit lead-off guy who is much lower risk than Hamilton

  11. I’ve been getting pretty annoyed recently at all of the writers and/or bloggers who keep referencing the Angels and Tigers to make the point – ‘be careful what you wish for; spending to contend doesn’t always work.’ Um, it totally fucking worked! I’d probably kill a man – well, at least some kind of animal – to have one of those two teams. Its just so mind-numbingly stupid that spending money on superior players would somehow be a ‘bad thing.’

    The common counter to that is ‘well, then you’re stuck with a bad player on a large contract.’ Bullshit. There’s always a sucker who will pick up your shitty overpriced player on the grounds that he might possibly turn it around. Don’t believe me? WE MANAGED TO TRADE VERNON WELLS!

    So I understand that signing Josh Hamilton would not be an effective use of limited resources, and that he will most likely (definitely) get paid more than he’s worth. I also don’t expect the team that woudn’t pay for Yu Darvish when he was the exact type of player they needed to spend a big pot of money on a player they don’t for no particular reason. But can we at least drop the act that ‘avoiding’ one of the best 5 or 10 players in MLB is somehow some great miracle for the team?

  12. My own support for Travis remains rock hard. Or at least wood hard. Or at least rotten twig hard.

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