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!!!

Jon Hale takes on some of Richard Griffin’s Ricky Romero nonsense at the Mockingbird, and it is– as you’d suspect– delicious. And so does Parkes, over at Getting Blanked. Nailed it.

Shi Davidi kinda nails it at Sportsnet, writing that “of course there’s tension between manager John Farrell and general manager Alex Anthopoulos,” but that’s perfectly normal and OK, and ought to be presented in that context. They’ve clashed, he writes, “as every manager and GM do, dating back to last winter, when Farrell hoped for a mid-to-back of the rotation starter to stabilize the staff, while Anthopoulos aimed higher and either balked at the prices or couldn’t complete a deal.” But everything is better than it appears, he suggests, noting that “some players say there are no clubhouse fissures in need of repair, and no issues that a healthy roster and some wins wouldn’t instantly fix.”

Bluebird Banter writes that, rather than merely tweeting about it, Jen Royle should have written a more substantial piece on what a GM told her about tension between Anthopoulos and Farrell, which I think entirely misses the point. Stupid rumours get thrown around on this team all the time– and aren’t met with nearly the scrutiny Royle has faced, which ought to raise some eyebrows about why that is, I think– but, as I said when I wrote about it, I think the way she handled the reaction, or didn’t take steps to prevent it in the way that she presented the information, was probably her biggest error.

Elsewhere, Davidi writes about Omar Vizquel’s comments, suggesting that they may have some legitimacy, “but ultimately Farrell expects his players to act like men, not boys, and wants to treat them as such.” And he wonders why Vizquel didn’t “raise his concerns with Farrell in private earlier when there was time to salvage the year?” Right?

“Next year the Jays will wrestle with the comfort they’ve developed with failure,” writes Dirk Hayhurst in an interesting piece on Ricky Romero. “That’s why it’s always good to have a player on the team that takes failure personally.”

“They said they wanted to get another look at (Jenkins), and you know, I’m on board with that,” says Carlos Villanueva being a good soldier in the wake of being scratched from his last start– though this is probably good spin for him, so I guess I can see how he’s on board. Still, seems like he’s not likely to be back– and frankly, as much as I’d be interested to see what he can do, you’d really rather the club only have one of him or JA Happ in the rotation, if you can at all help it, and Happ’s under contract. The quote above can be found in the Villanueva piece by Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, but also many others.

Elsewhere in the Star, Richard Griffin lays out a five part plan for Alex Anthopoulos over the winter, the first of which includes ignoring Rogers’ concerns about whether or not additional spending can guarantee a winner, spending what he needs to anyway, and telling ownership that “he’s making the move anyway and if it doesn’t work out then they can fire him.” Not sure it works that way, but… sure, why not?

Elsewhere still, Mark Zwolinski looks at the Jays’ roster as we move towards 2013, and does a nice job with it, though I’d quibble with the notion that Henderson Alvarez’s problems are mental and not entirely due to a lack of a decent third pitch. Interesting that he suggests the Jays want Hechavarria in the Majors next year.

Sticking with the Star, Damien Cox shits out something about the Jays no longer having injuries as a full-on excuse for how 2012 went so wrong, as though anybody is actually suggesting that’s the entirety of the reason. Then he writes some jumbled nonsense about hockey. OKaaaaay.

“What Brett’s understanding is how physically taxing a 162-game schedule is,” said John Farrell on Sunday, according to the Toronto Sun. “Once you go through that full cycle, you’re able to look back and say: ‘Okay, there are times when I can be a bit more under control, but not sacrifice who I am as a person and a player.’ ”

Shi Davidi has a lengthy look at Lawrie, as well.

In the Globe and Mail, Robert MacLeod runs down the events of last night– specifically, John Farrell’s delightful ejection.

MacLeod also asks a bunch of excellent questions that he deems to be crucial to the Jays going forward.

In the National Post, John Lott looks at Brett Cecil, who is thriving in a bullpen role for the Jays, and talks to Brian Butterfield about the long-ago time when he managed Deion Sanders.’s Cut 4 thing shows us Wayne Gretzky throwing out the first pitch at last night’s Jays game. I wonder what he thinks about the NHL lockout nobody cares about.

Jays Prospects picks out the Jays-related nuggets from the chat at Baseball America about their top 20 Gulf Coast League prospects.

Jays Journal urges the club to make Marcus Stroman a minor league starter next year, and have him work his way out of the role, comparing his electric stuff with that of the similarly-statured Kris Medlen of the Barves.

Jays Jounal also gives us a prospect primer on the catchers in the Jays’ system.

The Blue Jays Hunter pieces together some kind of ridiculous narrative about John Farrell  having checked out and practically being half out the door. Ian also writes about Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler not being quite so bad as we might think, and honestly, during a game last week I kinda had the same thought myself.

Forbes has a list of the top 20 selling MLB jerseys of 2012, and two Jays– Bautista (16) and Lawrie (20)– made the list! Bluebird Banter reprinted it with no link, but fortunately I found the actual source.

Check out last week’s episode of the Productive Outs Podcast– the PRODcast!– for a special appearance from our own Drew Fairservice!

And lastly, at Getting Blanked, Bill Parker looks at the philosophical split between front office types and the on-field staff in their employ.

Comments (48)

  1. Cox: “Finally, the struggles of Anthony Gose and Adeiny Hecchevaria at the plate — that’s not at all to write either player off — has illustrated that the youth the Jays are banking on isn’t guaranteed to succeed, or at least not on the timetable they want.”

    I guess that’s that, then.

    • Breaking news, young player struggles at plate.

      Thanks Damien.

      • With the NHL lockout now firmly entrenched, puckheads like Cox will invariably wander into the world of baseball. Well, fuck me.

      • Apparently Damien hasn’t been watching this 12 game hit streak by Hech or the fact that he’s been getting multiple hits in nearly every game for the last three weeks? He’s getting there.

    • The only person being written off is Cox…

    • Yunel tells me that Cox is more than his name – it’s also his hobby.

    • Wait a damn minute here.

      You mean to tell me that some of the Jays prospects may not develop into all-stars? There is no guarantee of success with any of them?

      I once was blind but now I see.

  2. “Stupid rumours get thrown around on this team all the time– and aren’t met with nearly the scrutiny Royle has faced, which ought to raise some eyebrows about why that is, I think–” Bloody hell… I hope you’re wrong but I doubt it.

    • I think he’s referring to a sexist angle. Which I truly hope he doesn’t open up after all of the Yunel crap he wrote about.

  3. jayson stark’s awards column just went up on… of interest to jays fans his AL least valuable player (LVP) was yunel escobar and his AL cy yuk was ricky romero.

    • beat me to it

    • Too bad about the LVP – I know that Francoeur really wanted it this year

    • Escobar as the LVP is just fucking stupid. I mean, yea, he had a down year, but he was still average for the position when including defense, something Stark completely fucking ignores. There are plenty of better options on the Jays (Lind, Johnson, Rasmus for example). Stark gets my nomination for least valuable writer in this case …

      • He just OPSed .642 on the year. I don’t care if he played better defense than the Russian Winter, that is a shitty, shitty, shitty stat line.

    • Ricky I can see but Yunel? Without the eyeblack blackeye I doubt he qualifies for LVP.

    • He said something I found really interesting to me: “Ask the people around this club who grumble that “Yunel Escobar finds a way to do something stupid every game.” Ask the scouts who use words such as “disgusting” to describe his daily lack of focus and commitment.”

      I’ve always wondered if his teammates are pissed by how much/often he hogs the ball on plays. He seems to want to do every play by himself.


    stark gave romero the cy yuk award, and escobar the least valuable player award

    • Escobar? He of the 1.9 WAR? I’d lean towards Kotchman, Young and Francoeur for LVP.

      And shouldn’t the winner be on a playoff team?

  5. ‘Not sure it works that way, but… sure, why not?’ – LOL

    Griff… what a idiot.. Hey AA while your at it, why not tell other GMs you are taking their stars for very little, whether they like it or not.

  6. Some thoughts:

    1. I don’t understand why anyone thinks Farrell is going to Boston? For this to happen the Sox would have to give up significant compensation which is never going to happen. Or the Jays fire Farrell. I wish this topic would go away.

    2. Is it just me or has Henderson Alvarez looked a lot better this past month? He’s actually striking out hitters!

    3. I’m so happy that Laffey and Villanueva have struggled lately. I was starting to get concerned that one or two of them might be back next year in the starting rotation.

    4. Miguel Cabrera is responsible for 27.9% of Detroit’s runs scored this year, while Mike Trout is responsible for 23.8% of LAA’s runs scored this year.

    • What do you mean by “responsible”?

      Who’s been more responsible for preventing runs, while we’re at it?

      • Responsible = either drove in or scored the run themselves (minus home runs because that would be counting twice)

        As for preventing runs, I guess it depends on your definition, if you go by the number of outs that the player made or assisted on, then the 369 batters Cabrera’s prevented from scoring far outweighs the 263 that Trout prevented. However if it is ability above other as the same position, well that is subjective at best and I doubt the difference is the 30 or so run difference that Cabrera’s offensive production provided.

        • Not quite sure that your measurability of ‘responsible’ is really that sound. Trout is a lead-off guy and Cabrera is in a run-producing area of the lineup. You might say that Trout then has a higher chance of getting runs, which is true, but you can get multiple RBI at any given time, only one run. Thus, your definition is flawed. And the absence of any defensive metric just solidifies this as sloppy analysis.

          I won’t be nearly as upset as others (Keith Law for example) will be if (when) Miggy takes the MVP, but your explanation here certainly is not going to hold up as a reason why he should.

          • So what you are saying is that Trout is less valuable as a leadoff hitter?

            Why do I have to include defensive metrics? My thought was only about offensive production and was meant to allowed you to make whatever conclusions you wanted. I never said it should stated that because of my analysis Cabrera should win the MVP, I was simply stating a fact that Cabrera has played a much bigger role in the number of runs scored for his team than Trout.

            The defensive stuff is beyond me, I’m not sure how you compare a 3B to a CF and who is responsible for saving more runs, and what the number of runs this equates to.

            • @Peter DeMarco

              Let me preface this by saying I’m mobile now so if the comment ends up in the wrong place I blame my phone.

              Nobody is saying Trout is less valuable because he hits leadoff, but it helps explain why he doesn’t drive in as many runs because he has inferior hitters trying to get on base ahead of him.

              I realize you didn’t directly reference the MVP contest, but surely you can see how it’s hard to take any comparison of the two out of that context. I’m also well aware of your feelings on advanced stats (which favour Trout) so kind of read it as an endorsement of Cabrera. My bad ;)

              Granted there’s no perfect way to compare the defensive contributions of players in different positions, but total outs they participate sure isn’t it. Otherwise 1B would be the most valuable defensive position :) Defensive metrics are a decent supplement to your beloved eyeball test, which I would hope Trout passes with flying colours!

        • @Peter DeMarco

          Well seeing as how that’s not the definition of preventing a run, those numbers are meaningless. Sure every base runner is a potential run, but to say every out a player participates in prevents a run from scoring is stretching it by a mile. Just counting the number of outs they contribute to disregards the difficulty of the play and the positions of the players altogether.

          I’m not going to go to bat for the infallibility of defensive metrics because everyone knows they’re imperfect, but Trout absolutely shit hammers Cabrera by every conceivable one them.

          Trout: DRS 23 and UZR 11.7
          Cabrera: DRS -4 and UZR -9.2

          So while they may be imperfect, the differences are far outside any possible margin for error. Trout’s D saves runs, Cabrera’s costs them. Trout is well above average, Cabrera is below.

          Given that their offensive contributions are so close (by any measure other than your own arbitrarily chosen percentage of team’s runs scored) I think it’s clear how Trout’s vastly superior D more than closes the gap.

          Oh wait, you don’t trust defensive metrics. What does your eyeball test tell you?

          • Dillion,

            Even by my calculations Trout and Cabrera’s average offensive production is close. However because Cabrera played 22 more games than Trout he contributed much more to the total offense of the team. In fact between 30 to 32 more runs than Trout contributed to his own team.

            If I read your analysis above correctly, Trout saved 23 more runs than the average center fielder, and Cabrera gave up 4 more runs than the average 3B. Therefore wouldn’t that equate to Trout being 27 more runs valuable than Cabrera defensively?

          • @Peter DeMarco

            Correct. I assume where you’re going is that Cabrera is still 5 runs more valuable?

            If so, that doesn’t take into account base running, and falls prey to the same old RBI trap in that individual players cannot control whether or not players are on base for them when they get their hits.

            If you compare any stats that do account for these factors, Trout again comes out on top by a healthy margin. wRC+ is good because it takes into accounts all offensive contributions including base running, but ignore RBIs for the above reason.

            Trout: 175 (75% more than average)
            Cabrera: 166 (66% more than average)

            We could also look at wOBA (Weighted On Base Average) which does the same but is scaled to OBP instead of using 100 for league average.

            Trout: .423
            Cabrera: .417

            So yeah, by any comprehensive offensive stat that controls for what an individual hitter can actually control, Trout wins. Factor in defense and there really shouldn’t be an MVP discussion to speak of.

          • @ Peter DeMarco

            Oh yeah, and not that it should matter at this point, but Trout also provides his vastly superior D at a premium defensive position.

      • Captain, if you honestly think that defensive matrics are a realistic barometer of player performance, please go ahead and google ‘yunel escobar’ and ‘derek jeter’ and open their b-ref pages. Did you notice that Yunel has more WAR than Jeter? What is your reaction to this news;

        a) Of course Yunel is better than Jeter. With that range he could hit .150 and still be the best SS in the league.

        b) Hang on, Yunel is OPSing nearly .150 less than Jeter but is somehow more valuable? Something might be wrong with this measure…

        • @Ray

          But that’s not true of Fangraphs. So really your beef is with how each site calculates WAR, not with the defensive metrics themselves necessarily. Again, not claiming defensive metrics are perfect, but your example doesn’t really prove anything.

    • About #4. I wonder how they compare when it comes to runs against?

  7. Buck and Pat aren’t terrible? lies!

    Just count the number of times Buck says “This. SEEEEEEEZUN” in tonight’s game… hell.. in the first inning.

  8. I don’t understand how JA Happ and Villanueva are considered equivalent. I’m not positive but it certainly seems like Happ throws at least a little harder than Villanueva and isn’t just out there trying to trick batters. Plus (big plus) he’s thrown 30 starts before.

    I’m probably biased because I was completely enamored with those Happ starts before he hurt himself, but I’d much rather see him in the rotation than CV in April. The money disparity is just icing on the cake.

    • I can’t see where anyone is preferring Villanueva.

      • “You’d really rather have only one of him or JA Happ in the rotation, if you can at all help it.”

        I would like to see Happ in the rotation, period. He’s been really good here so far.

        • He specifically says he prefers Happ. Which I think we all agree with. So I wouldn’t make too much of the fact that both could be considered for fifth starter.

        • He has not been really good here.

          In his 6 starts he has given up 4,4,1,1,4,3 runs, while completing 6 innings twice and more than 6 once.

          At best he pitched like a borderline 5th starter in a very small sample size.

  9. Have the Jays become the island of misfit ball players?

    A large part of me continues to stay patient, it’s really not nearly as bleak as it seems. But, I admit a small part of me thinks this rebuild is over before it began.

    Nothing really broke AA’s way this year, fromthe prospects to the big leaguers.. Hopefully he has better luck in 2013.

  10. Here’s a new stat for you. It’s call the CHAD stat. Why the fuck do we keep drafting players named chad? I looked at BR and there are no good players inthe history of the game named chad. ok maybe billingsley. Yet we’ve got a lifetime supply of them, including 1 coach. And they both look soft and pudgy. Can we at least drat players that are in shape?

    CHAD stat is highly reliable. DO NOT draft any more chads.

    • Lol!

      Actually every Chad I’ve ever known has been soft and pudgy. SSS of 3 in my lifetime, but still! Chad Kroeger is the only other famous Chad I can think of, and while not pudgy is still both hideous and untalented.

  11. Speak for yourself, I CARE ABOUT THE HOCKEY LOCKOUT AND I’N NOT ALONE. Why don’t you get a little more Canadian and a little less american, Stoeton. That’s right. Your love for baseball to the exclusion/hatred of hockey makes you less Canadian and more american.

  12. hmm. I have to say, Dirk is a fairly good writer. That’s the first of any of his work I have read.

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