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!!!
Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star calls the Gibbons hire the recent move the Jays have made that has given him the most hope, thinking it shrewd of Alex Anthopoulos to be putting his professional future into the hands of a man he knows and trusts, and lauding Gibbers’ “candour, his humour, his lack of ego, his warmth. No one in baseball is warm. Everyone’s too terrified it will be mistaken for weakness. Gibbons gives it off like a furnace.”
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated sees some red flags on John Gibbons– notably the pitcher injuries suffered on his watch. I dunno… it’s not a non-concern, but I don’t think anybody could have prevented Dustin McGowan, BJ Ryan or Shaun Marcum from eventually blowing up good. And AJ Burnett and Roy Halladay have been fine since then.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports talks to a number of people around the league who are confused by the Jays’ latest hiring, with much focus on the Lilly and Hillenbrand incidents.
In the tweet that provoked the reaction from JP noted earlier, Gregor Chisholm notes that the Texas Rangers have interest in not just Arencibia, but in John Buck as well.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet talks to an understandably excited Jose Bautista, who says he was promised when he extended with the Jays that pieces would eventually be added to make this a better club, and that he’s always had faith that Alex Anthopoulos would keep his word.
Mike Wilner captures the key reason why the media has, far more than a lot of fans, welcomed back John Gibbons with open arms, noting that “in one introductory news conference, new Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons smiled, laughed and kibbitzed more than John Farrell did in two years on the job.”
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail calls Gibbons the most underrated manager in Blue Jays history, and notes that BJ Ryan once said “that in his first year under Gibbons he only got up once in the bullpen without getting into a game.” Nails.
Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Jays have interviewed Baltimore third base coach DeMarlo Hale as the possible first bench coach of the second Gibbons era. He says Manny Acta may be a candidate for the position as well.
Kiley McDaniel checks in from instructs for FanGraphs, and raves about Roberto Osuna, who he says “has two/three starter upside with much lower risk than most teenage pitchers,” and who he notes would be entering next year’s draft were he American, and would likely be the top high school arm available were that the case. We’re also told that Matt Smoral has two/three upside with a good changeup, though he’s yet to throw that pitch as a pro.
At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm writes that the Jays have no qualms about Melky Cabrera or his drug suspension, providing amply quotes from Alex Anthopoulos on the subject.
Elsewhere at the Star, Richard Griffin had a post-news conference chat.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweets that the Marlins are already looking to move Yunel Escobar. What, too expensive?
Elsewhere on Twitter, apparently #MakeJoseAJay is a thing. Referring to Jose Canseco. Uh… please stop encouraging him.
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, today’s podcast “considers, among other topics, the impact a deep minor-league system can have on an organization’s ability to acquire major-league talent — not unlike what happened in the recent trade that saw Toronto acquire Mark Buehrle, John Johnson, and Jose Reyes from Miami.”
Baseball Analytics examines two of the best power sliders in the game– both of which now reside in the Jays’ rotation, belonging to Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson.
Cee Angi of Bluebird Banter tells Jays fans that they’re going to love Mark Buehrle. Sure, I’m ready for that.
Lastly, at Getting Blanked, Drew weighs in on the announcement of Gibbons’ hiring, as awesomely as you’d expect, while Scott Lewis brings us a picture of the saddest protest in the history of ever. Oh, Marlins fans. Orange Bowl for this???