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!!!

Cleveland president, and former GM, Mark Shapiro has a fantastic, wide-ranging interview with Fox Sports Ohio, in which he briefly praises the manager the club fired this year, Manny Acta, and also lays out the challenges that his organization faces. A lot of interesting stuff– and a lot of overlap from what you might hear in Toronto, were our president or GM able to speak succinctly. It’s getting noticed because of his claim that the organization views one win above replacement as being worth $9-million on the free agent market, but has a wealth of other stuff, as well.

Speaking of guys from other organizations, by way Baseball Think Factory, here’s something I’d love to hear the Jays say, from the mouth of Theo Epstein, via the Daily Herald: “If there was one thing that I was surprised by in a negative way it was how pervasive the lack of plate discipline was in the whole organization, at the major-league level, upper minors, lower minors, draft decision making and protocol. It’s just something that has not been a factor for a long time, and we’re paying the price for that,” he explained. “It’s embedded. It’s institutionalized, so we have to be really, really vigilant in turning that around. I believe 90 percent of the game revolves around controlling the strike zone, when you combine what it means to do so from an offensive standpoint and also from a pitching standpoint. It’s something we weren’t really good at. We didn’t walk enough. We didn’t get on base enough. Our pitchers walked too many hitters. We didn’t manage counts as well as we need to. Because it’s embedded, we need to dig deep and build a really strong foundation in that area because we’re suffering from that.”

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun speaks to Roberto Alomar, who is stumping to have his brother hired by the Jays as their manager. “We need someone who wants to put his heart and soul into his team,” he also says. “Someone who wants to be here.” And, presumably, someone who’ll put him on the coaching staff.

Rob Bradford of Boston’s WEEI tweets that Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar won’t be interviewed by the Jays for their managerial vacancy– though he was the last time around.

The Jays have granted the Marlins permission to talk to Mike Redmond about their own managerial vacancy. Redmond was with Dunedin this year, and Lansing last year, and according to the Miami Herald, he’s held in especially high regard among ex-teammates and managers. Redmond was a catcher for the Marlins from 1998 to 2004.

In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin suggests that the Jays shouldn’t go after a retread manager, and lists a number of candidates who he thinks could emulate the first-year success of Mike Mattheny, with some interesting insight, despite the preposterous subtext that a manager has some kind of otherworldly impact on a club’s record.

Elsewhere in the Star, Griff recaps the first game of the World Series, and suggests Brett Cecil should by watching closely at how Barry Zito does it.

Mike Cormack of Sportsnet gives us a rundown of the Jays’ managerial candidates– a post that includes a poll in which Manny Acta is faring horrible. Get it straight, Sportsnet readers!

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Mike Aviles says he’s not concerned with the managerial mess consuming his new team, while Shi Davidi reports on the in-limbo members of the coaching staff, whose status remains unchanged.

Didier Morais of NESN writes about how John Farrell wants to employ an “aggressive, up-tempo” style with the Red Sox. Good luck with that, shitbirds.

From the Calgary Herald, apparently Paul Beeston told a senate committee yesterday that proposed sports gambling legislation would undermine the game of baseball in this country. Sure?

Toronto Sports Media, for whatever it’s worth, is hearing rumblings that Paul Beeston is upset with the coverage the Jays are receiving– especially from the Rogers-owned media in this city.

“The Blue Jays and Baseball Canada have extended their already strong relationship by creating the first National Coaching Clinic at Rogers Centre,” writes Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com. “The clinic is set to take place from Jan. 4-6 and will target coaches working at all levels of competition in Canada. Coaches also will be able to earn professional development credit during the course at four different modules.” He adds that “the Blue Jays will provide a number of former players to participate in the event. Duane Ward, Sandy Alomar Sr., Rance Mulliniks, Homer Bush and Doug Davis will all be taking part, with additional names to added at a future date.”

Japan’s Shohei Otani, who I mentioned in yesterday’s Snack, was drafted by the NPB’s Nippon Ham Fighters yesterday, and MLBTR fills us in on what it means, with info from the excellent Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Basically, the Fighters now have until the end of March to sign him, though since Otani has indicated he wants to go to MLB, it’s not expected he will. At that point, he’ll be a free agent– though clubs will be subject to the spending limits and penalties that are in place under the new CBA.

The Score’s Tumblr has a wicked-awesome old ad from CBC for the Jays’ first season.

Lastly, if you want to keep hating Kevin Youkilis, look away, but his imitation of Mike Aviles’ swing is pretty awesome:

Comments (54)

  1. But if you want to keep hating Kevin Millar…….

  2. sal fasano pls

  3. Kevin Millar is brutal.

  4. That $9 million figure would make nearly any free contract look valuable which is why it struck me as so odd for a small market team to be throwing that kind of number around. A 2 WAR player would be creating surplus value right up to $18 million a year.

  5. In five years when the next rebuild needs another change of identity, can we rename our team the ham fighters? And can our logo be a picture of a lumberjack attacking a pig with an axe? I’d go buy that jersey today…

    • From the CBC ad, the red belt in the uniform is an interesting look that would make the maple boners stand on guard. Maybe that will be the next uniform “new look”.

      Also, it sounds like Theo Epstein is trying to change the culture of the Cubs. He should realize culture doesn’t matter. It’s purely coincidental that all the individuals in the Cubs system are players who lack plate discipline.

      • I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but I’m pretty sure when he says ‘culture’ he doesn’t mean everyone’s sitting around drinking chardonnay and congratulating each other on first pitch hacks.

        I think he means coaches should emphasize, especially in the minors, taking longer at bats. Kind of like we did with Brett Lawrie (lot of good that did). I actually think its a pretty good idea and could work wonders for the Blue Jays (Lawrie, Cletus) despite what Adam Lind thinks.

      • +1

  6. RE: Roberto Alomar

    He did an interview yesterday on the Fan & it seemed fairly apparent that he wouldn’t want a spot on staff if his brother were named Manager. Seemed to be pretty happy in his current role…didn’t seem at all keen on joining uniformed staff.

  7. My odds are on Alomar getting it, two years in a row he has done work with Jays foundation then. Definately something he likes about canada and baseball. Baseball is in his blood, and he was a decent catcher in his day.

    • That was Alomar Sr I think.

    • For what it’s worth, because I know you all care about what I have to say, here is my top 3.

      1. Alomar Jr.
      2. Manny Acta
      and a distant third: Brad Ausmus.

      The first two mainly because they seem like smart baseball men who would likely be able to communicate better in Spanish with our Latin players.
      Alomar is number 1 because I get the impression if he was given a chance here he would be loyal even after he gets fired. He would be appreciative of being here. Also it would probably boost the Jays already good reputation in Latin America.

      The only other thought about a new manager is to go for a guy that none of us have likely heard of before. A minor league developmental guy. This will drive all the win now people crazy, but maybe the best approach would be to hire a stop gap for a year or two, like we did with Bobby Mattick for 1980-81. He was brought in for two years for the development of our young guys at the major league level. He taught players like Bell, Barfield, Moseby, Steib and Upshaw what it means to be a professional and what it takes to become winners. He took no nonsense from anybody, held everyone accountable, and turned immature players into pros. He was an instructional manager, which carries more clout than instructional coaches.
      He was also terrifying and intimidating.
      He wasn’t a tactician, and wouldn’t be a good hire for a competitor, but he was perfect for growing the baby Jays into one of the elite teams between “83 to 94.
      Once they were ready to compete, he moved to the minor league development position and made way for a fiery winner in Bobby Cox.
      Gillick built that team the right way. The problem is that in today’s society where everyone needs instant gratification, we are way too impatient to do things proper.
      Yes, it’s been 20 years for the team, but I really see this as year 3 of an 8 year plan. I don’t hold AA accountable for the lost Ash/Jp years.
      It took Gillick a lot of growing pains from 1976 to 1983 to build a sustainable winner. A lot of people forget that.

    • I think Acta should get it. From what we’ve heard he’s a great guy. You can’t judge him by his career win loss record because he managed a massively shitty Nationals team and a nearly as massively shitty Indians club.

  8. I liked the sportsnet interview of Aviles, seems like a genuine hardworking guy. Seems like he’s got some good work ethics.

    Not that it matters that much if he sucks like no tomorrow, but it’s always a positive to have.

  9. So Las Vegas and Canada will allow one game bets on baseball, yay NDP..like Selig needs an excuse to try and get baseball out of Canada

      • NDP MP introduced the bill

        • Well, it is mind-numbingly retarded that parlay bets are legal but single game betting is not. Degenerate gamblers are more likely to bet parlays while casual betters more likely to bet single teams. The way the law works is just an excuse for the companies that run the business to make extra money (see Beer Store, The) without actually having any impact on the underlying ‘problem.’

          It’s just completely asinine to force people to make three team parlays if you’re allowing them to bet at all; it’s like making prostitution legal, but only if they’re over 40. And why the hell would Bud Selig give a damn that people can bet on the Jays now instead of betting on the Jays, Yankees and Rangers? Because they’re more likely to win?

  10. If it is true that “Paul Beeston is upset with the coverage the Jays are receiving” he has none to blame but himself. Not necessarily for what has happened, but for not having been in front of the message, and therefore always be reacting to another message.

    I think that the trigger of much fan unhappiness is the cone of silence that AA operates under. I understand why he has and applies the philosophy, but the result of it is a hole in public information that will be filled by anyone with half a brain in the sports content biz.

    Moving forward, I think Beeston has to do more. More interviews, more public speaking. This would pick up the slack from a GM that doesn’t give the press much.

    • + lots and lots and lots. “Get in front of the message, stupid!” should be hanging on the wall in that front office. Ricciardi leaked like a sieve and used the media in much the same way that the Sux front office does. It turned everything into a 3-ringed circus so I understand why AA has been so close-mouthed. But we get it, you are not JPR. Sometimes a situation calls for a press conference or a leak to a friendly hack. AA/Beeston realized that too late during the Darvish Debacle (TM). And they didn’t learn their lesson yet. And they really really need to. This fanbase is getting meaner by the minute and the recent unpleasantness didn’t help things. My feeling is that they should nail down their budget as fast as possible after the managerial hire and then set about managing fans’ expectations accordingly. If they have to go dumpster-diving. Again. It won’t be pretty. But it will be a whole lot uglier if the fans are expecting a big splash in the off-season.

      • What’s more disturbing to me is the notion that the “Rogers-owned” media members should go lightly on the team. That’s scary.

        • Having a consistant editorial view among different media properties is as old as the printing press.

          That said, being looked at as a shill is a very dangerous thing to do in current times in my opinion . Even if they wanted to protect a sister property they couldn’t. It’s too risky from an editorial perceptive.

    • Don’t say anything about AA’s communication strategy, man. People here know that no General Manager has ever been fired because of his ability to communicate direction to the fanbase. If he actually communicated a message, he would never be able to trade anyone or sign any free agents, ever.

      I mean, imagine if he had tempered expectations about Yu Darvish. Then we never would’ve lulled the other teams into a false sense of security while we swooped in and grabbed Aaron Laffey at below market rates. GM 101 bro.

    • The media in Toronto is treating the Jays with kids’ gloves for fuck sakes. Aside from the occasional Buffery buffoonery, or disconnected rants from idiots like Cox and Simmons, the media in Toronto has bent over backwards in terms of media coverage.

      Imagine if the New York Post or the Boston Globe each sent a reporter to cover the Jays for a week? Jesus, the level of alcohol consumption would shoot through the roof at Rogers corporate headquarters.

  11. Anyone see the Buster Olney tweet that Farrell compensation came down to Aviles or Bailey?

    I know he’s injured all the time, but Bailey isn’t more valuable than Aviles?

    • Bailey is probably around $4.25 million in arbitration this year and with a good, healthy 2013, $6-$7 million in arbitration for 2014. If he’s hurt or shitty in 2013, he gets non-tendered. Best case scenario, he’s an 8th inning reliever or closer that costs you $10-$12 million over the next two years. With his medicals, that’s a sizable risk. Aviles is/was the safer and far cheaper choice.

    • In trading Farrett,any player will do.

  12. I’d like to see Alomar as the next manager and maybe as a bonus get Robbie in a more active teaching role. I think Roberto would be a big help to the infielders and base stealers. Maybe it’s just my perception but Acta doesn’t seem to be enough of an ass-kicker to get some of the young guys onto the message.

  13. Even if Sandy Alomar Jr gets hired, why does every keep assuming Rberto wants to be on his staff? The job he has now seems pretty awesome, and a lot less work.

    Has Roberto ever publicly stated he wants to coach?

  14. Yes, the Jays should totally give Cecil a 7 year $126 million contract and ride out the first 5.95 years of left arm shittiness so he can win them a World Series on the back of his (by then) 81 mph fastball.

  15. Just when baseball was getting free from the terrible example of Jamie Moyer, Barry Zito turns into Jamie Moyer. Left-handed shitballers, take heart: you could be the next Barry Zito!

  16. God, you and your complete lack of fucking knowledge towards a manager and their impact on a team is fucking annoying…

    No they aren’t going to take a .450 club and make em a .750 club, but they set the tone and attitude for a ball club which is critical to success. Get a fucking clue.

  17. Can we get Youk to play first?

  18. Not a fan of Youk, but that impression of Aviles’ batting stance absolutely killed me! LOL

    • I hated Youk when he was on Boston, but he’s the kind of guy I could like on my team.

      That impression was hilarious.

  19. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Playoff Threat: World Series Game 2~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the World Series between the Tigers and Giants, in San Francisco:

    DETROIT TIGERS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
    1. Austin Jackson, CF 1. Angel Pagan, CF
    2. Omar Infante, 2B 2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
    3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B 3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
    4. Prince Fielder, 1B 4. Buster Posey, C
    5. Delmon Young, LF 5. Hunter Pence, RF
    6. Jhonny Peralta, SS 6. Brandon Belt, 1B
    7. Avisail Garcia, RF 7. Gregor Blanco, LF
    8. Gerald Laird, C 8. Brandon Crawford, SS
    9. Doug Fister, SP 9. Madison Bumgarner, SP

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  20. Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the World Series between the Tigers and Giants, in San Francisco:

    DETROIT TIGERS
    1. Austin Jackson, CF
    2. Omar Infante, 2B
    3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
    4. Prince Fielder, 1B
    5. Delmon Young, LF
    6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
    7. Avisail Garcia, RF
    8. Gerald Laird, C
    9. Doug Fister, SP

    SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
    1. Angel Pagan, CF
    2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
    3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
    4. Buster Posey, C
    5. Hunter Pence, RF
    6. Brandon Belt, 1B
    7. Gregor Blanco, LF
    8. Brandon Crawford, SS
    9. Madison Bumgarner, SP

  21. Check out the calves on Aviles. Wow- only person I’ve seen with calves as big as mine!

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