Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of (and that I need to distract myself with in order to keep from arguing with the commenters), with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!
Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail has the full quote that caused yesterday’s Keith Pelley kerfuffle, and… I’m not sure it looks quite as good as the concepts I was defending. “There are only four types of fans,” Pelley said. “But the group which I think is most important are the people who just come because it’s fashionable. And social media can make something fashionable or not. As well as winning.” Uh… not sure why winning gets slipped in there as some sort of secondary part of the strategy, but I’m hoping it’s mostly because it just didn’t quite come out right. Because it all starts with winning. Period. Full stop.
Bluebird Banter’s Minor Leaguer gets the full quote from Ladurantaye’s notes, and I’m not sure it’s any better.
The Jays’ tentative Spring Training schedule is out, and they’re starting early this year, because… who wouldn’t want more Spring Training? The first game for the club is Sunday, February 24th, and while those in the area will obviously want to be at the Daytona 500 that day, you snowbirds look like you’ll have some extra opportunities to see seven innings of minor league fodder.
MLBTR has a bunch of stuff from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who suggests that the Rays are more open than ever to trading a pitcher for some offensive help– even Matt Moore, apparently. Yikes. They could use a catcher, theoretically– though, on the flip side of that notion is Ben Lindbergh’s latest at Baseball Prospectus, where he wonders about the possibility, put out there by Joe Maddon, that Jose Molina might have saved the club 50 runs with his defence. If true, would have made him one of the top 15 player in baseball, he posits. Um… didn’t we have this guy?
Say what you will about Sergio Santos, though Nestor Molina hasn’t graduated as a prospect yet (he’s listed as having the best changeup in the organization), the ex-Jays farmhand has dropped from being the second-best prospect in the White Sox system last year to out of the top ten, according to this year’s list from Baseball America. Ouch.
Buster Olney tweets that Jason Bay is looking for “opportunity and a place where there is some familiarity,” which makes Cleveland a fit–Terry Francona, of course, was Bay’s manager in Boston– and I’m sure will have people thinking that he should come to Canada, as well (because Toronto and his home in BC are practically the same, right?). Hey, on a minor league deal? Sure. Amazin’ Avenue fills in some details on his buyout agreement with the Mets, via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
John Lott of the National Post writes about the tricky balancing act Alex Anthopoulos faces this winter: “building a rotation that can help turn Toronto into a contender next year while avoiding contracts that extend beyond a pitcher’s best-before date.” And, y’know, not decimating the farm system or creating giant suckholes elsewhere on the roster to do it.
In the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott writes some nonsense about a bunt-loving rabbi wanting to be the next Jays manager.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks at the Jays’ history of promoting guys from within their organization to be the club’s manager, which hasn’t always worked out so hot– but sometimes has!
At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm has himself a little mail bag post, which I might have to hijack if the week continues to be this painfully slow. No Griff Bag sightings for a while now.
The Blue Jay Hunter looks at a number of potential trade candidates who could help the Jays’ rotation, as well as Jeremy Hellickson.
Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter talks to recent acquisition Jeremy Jeffress.
At Baseball Prospectus, Maury Brown ranks the top ten expansion and relocation markets for MLB– Montreal’s eighth!
At the end of yesterday’s podcast at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron and Carson Cistulli talked a little about the Maicer Izturis signing, while elsewhere at FanGraphs, Jeff Zimmerman winds up comparing Edwin Encarnacion and Buster Posey as guys with similar numbers in some ways, but completely divergent ones when it comes to IFFB%.
At Getting Blanked, Drew combs through the Marlins roster looking for trade targets, after Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that virtually everyone on that roster is available– though Drew warns us not to get too excited. “While he didn’t have no-trade protection written into his contract, Jose Reyes has the no-trade protection OF his contract.” It’s insanely back-loaded, as is Buehrle’s.
Lastly, elsewhere at Getting Blanked, we see Parkes’ quiet vision on display, as he dives into how the worlds of drugs and sports connect.