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!!!

At his North of the Border blog, Gregor Chisholm gives us the transcript of AA’s talk with the media yesterday.

Damien Cox of the Toronto Star actually wrote a piece about baseball that didn’t make me want to punch things, reminding us all that spending on free agents isn’t necessarily the answer.

Ahh, but that doesn’t mean the Star is short on awful baseball commentary today, as Doug Smith is dumbfounded that people don’t take the leadership in three arbitrarily-decided and fucking full-of-random-variance stat categories as the ultimate measure of player value, while making the asinine claim that Mike Trout’s MVP case is only understandable through esoteric newfangled calculations, and not, y’know, his on-base percentage, runs, stolen bases, defense, and still excellent average and power numbers. No, there is one thing and one thing only that matters in this MVP debate, and it’s that some asshole in nineteen-fucking-twelve decided that RBIs and not, say, runs scored, would make up what he called the Triple Crown. Ugh.

Richard Griffin of the Star, Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, John Lott of the National Post, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com, and Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun all reflect on AA’s comments, particularly about payroll.

Elsewhere at the Post, Guy Spurrier gives us a stat-heavy grading of the seasons each of the Jays’ individual pitchers had. And he also does the same for the the hitters, while Lott looks back at Omar Vizquel’s last game, and gives us a rundown of the club’s reported leadership issues.

At Getting Blanked, Parkes takes a fuckhammer to Steve Simmons as well, while Matt Klaassen gives us some catcher defence rankings, where Jeff Mathis did quite well (12th of 118), while JP Arencibia did not (83rd).

Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Gregor looks at what went right and what went wrong for the Jays, pointing a lot to the injury troubles that plagued them.

Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTR talks to Jason Frasor, who is– finally– on the cusp of no-strings-attached free agency.

In the Sun, Steve Buffery talks to Ricky Romero, who is confident he’ll get his swagger back, while Mellisa Couto looks back on the gradual, insufferable slipping away of the season, and Bob Elliott, in a wide-ranging piece, looks at what went so spectacularly wrong, including the at-bat the did the whole season in: when Jose Bautista went down.

Jays Journal looks at some recent comments on developing players from Alex Anthopoulos, and wonders if Roberto Osuna should be treated like a teenager– the way that Aaron Sanchez and the Lansing Three have.

Lastly, there were only two Jays-related tidbits in today’s Keith Law chat at ESPN.com, and here they are…

Geoff (A. (Toronto))
The Jays’ big three arms in Lansing (Sanchez, Syndergaard, Nicolino) and other top pitching prospects are at least a couple of years away, while the major-league rotation is thin. Should AA aggressively add pitching through free agency or trades (knowing that the price will be steep), or bide his time and build more gradually from within?
Klaw
Adding one pitcher would make sense, but adding a slew with several guys coming back from injury would not.

MJ (Toronto)
Was Hechavarria as terrible with the bat as you were expecting?
Klaw
All those Vegas guys who posted inflated numbers there fell flat in Toronto. It’s a warning to Mets fans – don’t get too excited about players who rake in Vegas next year.

Comments (27)

  1. Keith Law rubs me the wrong way. “All those Vegas guys who posted inflated numbers there fell flat in Toronto.” Seriously?

    • They did both OPS under .650 and they put up a combined and defense inflated 0.6 WAR through over 300+ plate appearances .

      It’s a small sample size in which they both showed improvement and they’re still young. But I wouldn’t really say they set the world on fire.

    • Seems true enough to me, especially the first go around.

      • But if they did well, he would say “don’t trust September numbers”.

        • You never know – the Jays played a lot of games against playoff-race teams in September, so it’s not like they were playing against Cleveland’s AAA lineup or anything.

      • Over his final 120 ABs, Hech hit .284/.301/.413

        His overall #s are dragged down by his initial 6 games where he went 1-17.

        Obviously they count, SSS etc, but I thought there was some definite encouraging signs..

  2. I found this to be the most relevant portion of Law’s chat:

    Klaw (1:22 PM)
    Players aren’t analysts or scouts. You wouldn’t ask me to hit a curveball (or a BP fastball, if you’re smart), and you wouldn’t ask me to change the oil in your car. I do ask players their opinions on other players sometimes, but also bear in mind that I’m asking someone whose job is to perform but not necessarily to evaluate or project.

    I hope that the idiots that are bound to jump on Gregg Zaun’s “Get Pedroia for Farrell and nothing less!” train of thought (and generally anything Zaun and the ilk says related to player development, evaluation, and/or acquisitions) bear this in mind. Just because you’ve played the game doesn’t mean you’re qualified to have a relevant or informed opinion on every aspect related to the game.

    • I like Klaw but in this instance , he’s wrong and has used the wrong analogy.
      No, not all players are skilled at evauating but they have had unique training by expert coaches.
      Thats not to dimish the analysts or scouts know but to think the players and former players don’t know about the game is wrong.
      I don’t need to be teacher of mathematics to understand the math taught to me.

  3. As I asked in the other thread:

    What is more valuable? The guy who walks/singles and then steals second and then third, distracting the pitcher the whole way? Or the lucky number 3 batter who can score him with a ground out and get an “RBI”?

    • You’re right – it’s amazing how the supposed “best” stat there is the RBI (according to the old guard), meanwhile, being a smart baserunner and scoring a run isn’t as highly regarded.

  4. If baseball was only about hitting then Cabrera wins. If the measure of ‘valuable’ relates only to batting then I have no problem with Cabrera as MVP. Yet… I have observed that the game of baseball involves a bunch of players with leather things on their hands running around chasing and throwing. Once a ball has been struck by a bat players seem to either stand near a base or run to the next one. My thought is that there must be more to both ‘valuable’ and the game of baseball than hitting. Or… perhaps I am missing something.

    • The problem with that thinking is that it all but eliminates 1st basemen from winning the MVP.

      The greatest defensive 1b is still less defensively valuable than an average player at almost every other position.

      • No, it just makes it harder for a 1B to win. Which it should. They usually contribute little defensively or on the bases. why give them credit for it? lol

  5. its the same player except one has more pop and plays third and one steals bases and plays centre. also, the centre fielder strikes out. A LOT.

  6. Griff’s interview with Lawrie was also very good… As I’ve already read and closed the window, I don’t know when it was posted. But Lawrie briefly came across as not a douchebag.

  7. The defensive ratings for JPA i sa huge improvement from last year though (where he finished dead last). Another thing to keep in mind is that as late as August he was ranked in the top 30 (27th). After the injury, he fell off quite a bit. I think this is cause for optimism. If JPA can provide even average defense, his slightly above average bat for the position makes him a very solid player to have.

  8. I have a rhetorical question, and I’m sure that I’ll get shit on for it but anyways here it is…
    How can you say rbi’s are meaningless due to it being directly influenced by the guys who bat in front of you getting in scoring position etc (I see the point) but then make a statement about trout scoring the most runs? Isn’t runs scored dependent on the guys hitting behind you in the lineup getting hits with RISP?

    • You are correct, runs are equivalent to RBI. For some reason they are not as over-valued as RBI’s, but they are just as you say, dependent on external influences. However I don’t think that is really the point of Stoeten’s comment there. I think he is saying that you could arbitrarily take any of the traditional statistics and come to similar conclusions as you do for the tripple crown.

      • Are there RBI conversion rates? That would make sense to me as a measure of situational hitting and raw production that would get around the frequency of teammates on base.

  9. Thank fuck they are out of Vegas. Each time I think of the Lansing Three I think of Oaklands big three and the braves big three and I get a little excited. I hope Toronto one day has a big three.

  10. A lot of us wondered about Bautista’s huge September a few years back. I have to say, I am still amazed that this was the same guy most of us were saying to non-tender. Thank goodness Alex knew better than to do that.

  11. One game wildcard play in.

    Your teams chances of winning it all ride on their ability to win just this one game.

    You need everyone to be at their best and absolutely want to field your best lineup and start your ace.

    And who do you run out there to start in this pivotal and season defining game???

    Joe Fuckin Saunders

    Ladies and Gentleman. Your 2012 playoff contending Baltimore Orioles.

  12. Klaw had one other Jays related tidbit, but it was historical:

    Al (Ontario)

    What was your favourite part about being an assistant to Riccardi? Getting him coffee or making photocopies?

    Klaw (2:15 PM)

    He’s a tea drinker.

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