Two of the newest members of the Toronto Blue Jays, starter Josh Johnson and catcher John Buck, recently took separately to the radio airwaves to react to the trade, with both of them providing a wealth of interesting, uplifting information on the trade, and their reactions to it– as well as their teammates’.

Josh Johnson

Despite some irritating phone troubles, Johnson joined Miami’s Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday (audio here - starts around 2:02:00), extremely diplomatically explaining that his initial reaction to the trade was shock, confusion, and ultimately agreeing with the suggestion that he was “pissed off”– though not because of the destination he was heading to. “I definitely wanted to stay there,” he explained. “I wanted to be there and give it one more run at it to make something happen there, because I’ve always felt that we were pretty close, and I think we had the players in place for the most part.”

Apparently like everybody else, Johnson– or “L Cool JJ” as the hosts called him– follows MLB Trade Rumors, explaining that he “was actually upstairs with my kids playing” as the trade was blowing up the internet. “I went downstairs to check my phone and I had a bunch of messages and calls from my agent. So I called him and he was like, ‘Have you heard?’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And as soon as it happened I heard a bling on my phone– it was MLB Trade Rumors, and it says ‘Blue Jays close to acquiring Josh Johnson.’ I was like, ‘um… I just did right now actually.’ ”

“I was hoping I’d go at least until about the All-Star break, and then the trade rumours would start going,” he said. “I was hoping for one more shot at making something happen down there in Miami, but that’s just how the business goes, and now I’m really excited to move on and start a new chapter in my career.”

His wife is excited, too– though it took some reassuring from a somewhat surprising source.

“She was like, ‘No no no no no,’ because we’ve never known anything else besides the Marlins, so you kind of have a routine going– you get from Jupiter to Miami, and all that stuff. We actually had a place setup in Miami for next year already, so it was kind of tough,” he explained. “She wasn’t too excited at first, but then she talked to a couple of wives– actually Frank Thomas’s wife– talked to her and she said that she loved Toronto, the kids will love it and everything, so now she’s on board and she’s excited as well.”

“We were both in shock for a good thirty minutes,” he added.

Asked if fans should still trust this management group, all he could muster was a very diplomatic “that’s tough to say,” followed by an expression of gratitude to Beinfest, Samson and Loria for giving him his start, as he was on the other side of a Marlins fire sale early in his career.

Asked if he felt betrayed, he answered with a clear no.

“I could see trading me, and Buck, maybe even Boni,” he explained, referring to Emilio Bonifacio. “I was really confused by the Reyes and Buehrle trades. I’m glad they’re coming with me, we’ll have a really good team up there, but that was kind of confusing, especially after them saying that they were going to be the for the long-term.”

“My guess is yes,” he admits, when asked if Mark Buehrle feels lied to– something we found to be most definitely the truth earlier Wednesday, with the release of Buehrle’s statement on the trade.

As for the supposed tax issue, Johnson told Le Batard, ”My brother’s actually sent me the link to the Wall Street Journal thing, and I don’t even want to read it. I just know it’s going to be more. A lot more.”

Later he explained that “Everybody tells me it’s a great city, great people, and great fans, so that’ll be worth it. Maybe I can make it up in playoff share, that’ll be cool.”

Damn straight, Josh. But you really should read the Wall Street Journal piece. It figures that you’ll lose only about $700K this year, which is obviously a shit-tonne, but certainly not that much– or nearly as much as tax obsessed Americans would have you believe– when your net pay for the season still sits at $7.7-million.

As for on the field stuff, Johnson felt encouraged by how he ended a sub-par 2012, but made no excuses for the first four months.

“I was fully healthy, yes,” he told them. “I had a lot of mechanical issues going on. I felt like, I’d go to my bullpen and I’d feel great in the bullpen and I’d try to take it to my start and everything would just kind of go haywire. I’d go back to all those bad mistakes that I was making with my delivery and timing and tempo. Everything was off until about the last two months. I don’t ever pay attention to velocity, I don’t know if it was any better, but I felt a lot better. the ball was coming out better, slider was a lot sharper– I was more aggressive in the zone– the curveball was sharper. Just those things about getting back to that right tempo, the right rhythm and everything like that is key for me this off-season.”


John Buck

Buck, who appeared, never short of answers and sounding much like a future manager, on the Fan 590′s Jeff Blair Show Wednesday (audio here – starts around 29:50), shared Johnson’s optimism about the upcoming season for the Jays’ new flamethrower.

“He’s a power pitcher who is able to finesse, because he knows where it’s going. He can locate four different pitches, inside and out. Not afraid to throw one up into your chin, and he throws a real heavy ball,” Buck explained. “He’s so big, he’s kinda cheating– he’s three feet closer to the plate than everybody else. He takes a big long stride, releases the ball out front, and it’s heavy.

“In the last year or two, I think because he had the injuries and stuff with the shoulder, where his velocity just wasn’t up– except for the last year it was– he was bothered through that. So it was like he learned how to pitch through that, because he’s the type of guy where, even if he’s a little sore or whatever, he’ll still go out. But last year he was kind of able to put it together where he learned how to pitch, because of the two previous years, because he had to– learned how to sink the ball, cut the ball and stuff, because he just wasn’t blowing 95 past everybody. It’s like he kind of put that all together last year and was able to get to use both– to go up high to your chin at 95 and then throw a sinker 91 or 92 at the back door, and kind of use that change of speed, and also the movement on his ball for more effective outs, which lowered his pitch count, which ultimately results in him throwing more innings.”

Johnson wasn’t the only teammate Buck was ready and willing to rave about, though he did admit that, after the Marlins flamed out last year, “Every single one of us feel like we’re all to blame, and we all underachieved.”

“On paper you can be the best,” he explained, “but if you don’t go out there and jel as a team, you ain’t worth nothing.”

Because of the struggles last year, he says he wasn’t surprised by the trade. “You kind of got a hint of what Miami was doing, and kind of heard rumours of it. It all goes into the air, with them getting rid of Hanley. As a player you kind of get a sense.”

But “that big of a deal? Blowing up the whole team in that fashion, and all going to one team– and heck, it’s a strong team now– I don’t think I expected that, or anybody expected that. So that makes it pretty exciting.”

Part of what makes it exciting for him, he says, isn’t just the great teammates, but the fact that he’s played in Toronto for and knows not just what to expect, but what makes it a special place to play, and not nearly the kind of experience that fills some players– and occasionally their wives– with dread.

“I talked to Alex, like I said, that day,” he explained, after noting he’d been on a hunting trip when the trade broke “and was out of cell range after that. I, of course, had like three messages from each guy. I actually talked to Jose while he was in there doing his physical and stuff, and they’re all asking me, ‘What’s it like? This and that, going across the border, and travelling. Because, as a player– I kind of laugh and chuckle because that was basically me when I first came over in my first year with the Blue Jays– it was the same type of stuff, and it feels like it’s a lot more than it really is, because you’re all of a sudden going to a different country. But I reassured them, ‘Look, you’re going to be amazed how easy it is, how awesome it is to play there. It’s like, you don’t just have a city going for you, you’ve got a whole country.’

“I told them how you go to Seattle and it’s like a home game, you go to Detroit, of all places, and it’s like a home game. And that really, telling Mark and Josh and them, they were like, ‘Really?’ And I’m like– I said, it’s something. To play for the Blue Jays– I wouldn’t have said this beforehand, but now that I got to experience and live it– it’s a cool experience. I said, ‘You know how you’ve got the aura of the Yankees here in the States? Put that with the Blue Jays and times it by a whole country. I’m telling you, it’s pretty cool to have the fan base that the Blue Jays have,’ and kind of told them that.

“That definitely made Mark a lot more excited, and Josh, because you’ve kind of got that aura of, ‘Oh, I don’t know’– the fear of the unknown, if you will– and I kind of reassured them that it’s going to be a cool experience. Jose was– he wouldn’t break a smile anyways, if you ask him he’s excited to just be alive, so of course he loved it. And I think what makes it even more exciting is, heck, you look at the team that Alex put together. It’s hard not to be excited about that, probably as a fan and obviously as a player, because you realize the potential we have.”

Yes, Jose Reyes, as Jeff Blair made sure to point out, might be even more awesome that we realize– and Buck concurred.

“We had probably one of the toughest years, and he was kind of our guy last year, so a lot of that fell on him, and I don’t think there was a day where he wasn’t uplifting, or not enjoyable to be around,” Buck explained. “And there’s no doubt in my mind, by the end of this year, the city of Toronto, and like I said, the whole country, is going to love him.

“He’s fun to watch, he plays hard, and kind of to his fault, the injuries he’s had in the past, he can’t pull back the throttle. He’s on the field and he’ll give you everything. Last year he was healthy and they tried to give him some rest when we were out of it and selling the farm and he was like, ‘No, you paid me to play, I want to play.’ Heck, he was still stealing bases all the way up to that last day, even when they were kind of like, ‘Hey, take it easy,’ he was like, ‘No, I play one way.’ That’s what you want for a team in a leader, and as far as in the clubhouse and teammates, I don’t know if I’ve had anybody better. And the one person who might be better is Emilio Bonifacio.

“A lot of people don’t talk about him in this trade,” he continued, “but he brings so much value to the lineup, so much speed, so much versatility in his defence. He is an extremely athletic individual. He plays a high level outfield and a high level second base– he could literally be a starter at each of those positions on any team in the Major Leagues. And he switch hits, he knows how to bunt. I’ve seen him hit base hits by doing that run-and-slap bunt– a hard ball to third base, and safe. Chipper Jones, he’d come up, and if he was hitting left handed, Chipper would kind of look at him and just say, ‘Go ahead, go to first,’ because he knew he could manoeuvre and manipulate the ball so well.

“He’s just one of those guys in this trade that, he gets overshadowed by the Jose and Buehrle and Josh, but his name is going to come up a lot more, because he is a very valuable piece of offensive power, and defensively because of his versatility.”

Um… yeah. I’ll take that. Every last damn word of it.

Comments (162)

  1. This is all kinds of awesome.


  3. Fuck me, I’m all of a sudden a pretty huge John Buck fan.

  4. Really can’t ask for anything more as a Jays fan from those guys. They pretty much said all the right things as far as I am concerned. Just have to get them to call up Haren and sweet talk him into taking a Melky like deal for the season to be complete.

  5. I kind of got misty-eyed there with all that talk of the Jays nationwide fanbase…I’d still trade Buck for whatever I could get…but I did love that whole thing…

  6. Thanks Stoeten this was really good

  7. I heard the Buck interview. His words sounded really genuine. Coming over with someone who already played in Toronto (and knows AA) will really help the other guys adjust.

    But seriously, those Miami broadcasters in the Johnson interview. Wow.

  8. Wonder when the Jays will hear from Oliver on whether he wants to come back or not. So many roster spots depend on what he’s going to do.

  9. I figure an extra $700K in the provinces’ coffers from Josh Johnson should easily pay for my surgery once a lifetime of alcoholism and Jays fandom finally gives me a massive heart attack.

    Circle of life.

    • It’s probably going to end up being far less than that once all the tax planning goes into effect. When you’ve got assholes like Mitt Romney paying an effective tax rate of 14% with him turning down fucking deductions to look good, you know these guys are going to be in the same boat once their accountants and financial planners get involved.

      • 50% of capital gains in Canada are taxed at an individuals tax bracket. So basically if you have capital gains they’re taxed at half the rate for your regular income. This (as it is in the US) is setup this way so as to encourage people to put up capital in new businesses. The theory is they’re risking a lot, so they’re allowed to profit more on any benefit they receive for taking said risk.

        But of course anybody who engages this is an asshole *eye roll*

        • Yeah too bad the theory and reality don’t work out quite the way it’s supposed to. Also Romney isn’t an ass for what income tax he pays. Anyway I really don’t want to bring politics to the board so apologies for bringing Romney up. The point is when you’re making that kind of money in the States and you have high priced accountants and other planners working on your behalf you just don’t end up paying anywhere close to what you would have normally.

    • What’s funny is that some of the things Big Hurt’s wife likely sold JJ’s on– good schools, good community ammenities, safety– are luxuries afforded by our higher taxes. Can’t have nice things and not want to pay for them.

      • Well, maybe not schools since any ballplayer’s kids will likely go to private school, but the point remains.

        • I’d be surprised if any baseball players send their kids to school in Toronto. Most of the school year happens over the off-season, so usually once kids are school-age they’ll stay back with the wife in the off-season home then come visit during the summer. As such, when I worked for the Jays here, you’d mostly just see the girlfriends and wives with no kids or very young ones.

  10. home opener is going to blow the fucking lid off

  11. ALL the intangibles!

  12. Good article! I also second the notion of taking every damn word of it! Cheers

  13. I didn’t listen to it, but just reading it, John Buck can talk. Very statesman like. First he sells Johnson, Buehrle, Reyes and Bonifacio on TOR/CAN, then he sells Reyes and Bonifacio on TOR. He’s no mush mouth.

    • what the fuck did Mathis do that AA almost didn’t do the deal because they wanted to send Buck too?

      • I think it was the money for the most part from the way AA talked about it but even then he sounded reluctant to do it. I guess it goes to show you just how respected veteran catchers are for some of these teams.

      • I have no idea how any of that works. If the Marlins send Buck to TOR, obviously it’s a paydump. But, when you send the payroll cash to offset the two contracts, I guess that means Anthopoulos wanted him or Florida desperately wanted him gone for some unknown reason. But when he claims he didn’t wanna trade Mathis (I assumed because he re-upped him, and likes to be a man of his word type) I get totally fucking lost what it all means. I don’t know, it’s almost like Florida needed Buck to leave.

        • He did talk about it in his PTS interview; I think that he felt he had made a commitment to Mathis (the anti-Loria?).

          The money would have been a factor, but it sounds like (from his interview anyhow) AA turned down the deal for a couple hours over Mathis…

          • Yeah, I heard him on PTS, but to me something is left unrevealed. I mean can it be, that MIA truly wanted Mathis for some ungodly reason? I just cannot see, nor believe that.

        • I guess from the Marlins perspective it was still better for them to get the deal done and get out from the entirety of the mega contracts even if they did have to add some cash back. If their goal was saving money they certainly did that. But yeah my jaw nearly hit the floor when AA said that about Mathis and the deal nearly falling apart.

          In light of the Bruce Arthur article where Beeston said a couple of other big deals feel apart, you have to wonder if it was over something similar.

          Team X GM: We’ll do the deal if you give us Lind.
          AA: Sorry keep Hernandez or Lee, the doughy white boy is staying here.

          • I think that was more for optics (as stated above, to position himself as the anti-Loria), given that he was dealing Mathis just months after signing an extension. He apparently had no qualms about dealing Escobar a year and a half after extending him, so I guess the immediacy of the trade after the Mathis extension gave him some sort of a moral quandary.

          • that’s all i could think of: he didn’t want to break a promise to a guy (mathis) that he had made in earnest.

            i don’t think that’s optics as much as just being a solid dude, y’know.

            with that said: buck seems like he brings some serious intangibles, such as: liking it here?

        • my final thought was they see more value with mathis on the field then buck. cant really argue with that contracts aside

        • @ Shane

          I read somewhere that the deal was done when it was because Loria had to dump as much salary as possible.
          The reason was given ( and I haven’t taken time to confirm it) that Loria did it just days ahead of the deadline to qualify for MLB revenue sharing..
          Perhaps one one the smarter guys here could confirm this by digging up a link.
          Guess we could start with

          What is the MLB deadline date for MLB revenue sharing?
          It would answer a few questions.

          • Wher the fuck is night_manimal when you need him?
            Fuck,dm is good at this shit too.

          • @ RADAR

            So, you’re saying: Even though they paid out TOR $4.5M to covers Buck’s salary difference, having him and his $6M off their spreadsheet, it helped Loria get to a low enough point to qualify for revenue sharing?

            If that’s the case, I hadn’t read that, but something like that would make sense as too why TOR took a player they didn’t want, because they had someone they already liked and wanted to honour a commitment to. If TOR just excepted the player and paid his contract like a normal price-of-doing-business salary dump, this would be a completely normal deal.

            Maybe it’s just me, but I find this whole element of the trade interesting, and yet no media has even touched on it. When the GM says JEFF MATHIS almost caused your blockbuster Organization changing trade to fall apart, my ears as a journalist would pop up.

          • @ Shane
            I try to find the link.

          • @ Shane

            I miss disqus edit.
            There’s even a rumor that Loria was shopping Escobar to dump more.
            And the Marlins now have the lowest payroll in baseball, underneath even the A’s.

  14. What the Buck?! This guy has more class than Ron Burgundy’s moustache!

  15. Buck, future politician. Said all the right words and tried to convince all the trade-Buck fans to vote Buck 2013 Jays. I’m on board.

  16. Fuck yeah this is great stuff to read. Spring training can’t come soon enough

  17. This is awesome. What an ambassador for the Jays Buck is. Can’t wait for a road trip from the east coast to Toronto, and, oh yeah, to Boston when the Jays go there. Now all AA needs to do is convince Rogers to go all in and get Greinke…we would be the contender for the next 3+ years like AA said he wants

  18. Goddammit now I like the shit out of John Buck with his fucking 6 million dollar salary. Thanks a lot Stoeten …

    But seriously, it was a fun read.

  19. Thanks for putting these transcriptions up. Very very exciting interviews.

  20. So nice to have continual good news and good stories.

  21. Buck may have just earned his 2013 salary already with those comments – especially if L Cool JJ re-signs with the Jays :)

  22. Jays just signed Cesar Izturis

  23. all the izturises

  24. BTW not sure if anyone else listened to Johnny Mac’s interview on The Fan the other day. A lot like Buck’s even though he was talking about Gibby. I just got the feeling he’s got big league coach or manager written all over him one day.

  25. Buck should be quiet, or the Sux will want him as their manager, and try to trade Farrell back.

  26. Remember the idiots, Stoeten was one, who wanted to make a shitshow because Buck was playing in September instead of Arencibia? It shows the importance of building capital among the players.

    • I think Stoeten has been one of the defenders of playing John Buck late in the season, where the Jays made the commitment to him and they weren’t going to shaft him.

      I’m almost positive he’s said something along those lines before.

      • no stotes was not in favour. he used it as an example to sling more shit at Gaston.

        i personally agree with the perspective of others that allowing Buck to play and hit 20HR was a good move that increased capital. hindsight is 20/20, but it sure seems like there was absolutely no need to get JPA any more bats at the time. he’s had plenty of time to develop and unfortunately has showed us that he’s pretty much equivalent to a ‘good’ john buck anyway.

        seeing these words from Buck convince me all the more that in some ways I’d rather see Buck in the lineup than JPA. I prefer this attitude and think its a better thing for the team, given that there isn’t much difference in stats/results. (it might be different if JPA was a much better player than buck).

        trade JPA.

    • @calling out idiots.

      Good point.

      It seems that AA has built a good reputation with players.

      Cito gave extra playing time to Buck , so he could get 20 HR in 2010.

      Cito made sure he had a good contract year.

      • @ oakville

        Buck was played to ensure his Elias ranking so AA could amass more draft picks. So was Scutaro and the others.
        The by-product was a good contract for Buck.
        It was a smokescreen and Cito was the scapegoat.
        The perfect fall guy to play the vetrans and everybody would say “thats just crazy old Cito”
        What other manager could Beeston use to get the job done?
        Cito’s reward ( golden parachute) was a 4 year “consulting” contract at 500 K a year
        The Jays reward, a shit load of draft picks.

        • You probably even believe this.

          • Guess you missed the IMHO?

            So what’s more beliveable, that Cito cared whether Buck got a big contract ( he was going to get signed by someone anyway) or that Beeston, AA and Cito wanted Buck played, to up his value and aquire draft picks?
            You posted a link earlier this year that Farrell ( in his first year)was instructed by AA to play certain left fielders
            .Why?Increasing a certain players ranking to hoard more picks?
            Didn’t you report that AA wasn’t happy about K Johnson accepting Arb thus depriving the Jays of another pick?
            Maybe a crazy theory,but it is certainly plausible.

          • Possibly plausible, but Buck finished in the Elias Rankings that year ahead of Miguel Olivo, Jason Varitek, Yorvit Torrealba, Gerald Laird and Rod Barajas, all of whom were Type-B catchers. I think they could have afforded some slippage.

          • Correct me if I’m wrong but IF Buck didn’t play and hit his twenty HR’s ( I think a career high) his value was in danger of slipping below those and out of Type “B” staus?And wasn’t the difference between a Type “A” and “B” was a full round of draft picks?

            Regardless, AA was hording.So much that he paid 500 K for Olivo.
            More important than money or the development of younger players, the focus at the time was maximizing vetran players to aquire draft picks.
            And to throw this out there. the rush was because Beeston knew the loophole would end in the new CBA.He certainly had the connections at MLB head office for inside information, having hand picked his successor.
            Again, just a theory.but I beleive Beeston gamed the system before it could be cancelled.

          • man you will really be stubborn when it doesn’t reflect well on you eh?

            its insane in the face of a good argument to say Cito is batshit crazy and just played Buck because he was a veteran.

            it was totally AA’s MO in those years to play scrap pile players with possibility of increasing their 1 year value in order to amass picks/trade value/etc.

            Gonzalez, Buck, for sure…and even some of the others that didn’t work out -Rivera being one…I don’t have a tough time believing that these guys were run out there as long as it appeared that their value might increase by doing so. It didn’t make sense at the time (other than Snider) to run the prospects out there too much quite yet.

            why could they afford some ‘slippage’? to what end? to getting JPA at-bats??? to what end? obviously to no end. Its not like at the time they wanted to see what they had to decide who in their farm system they were going to stick by…TDA wasn’t on the map yet. To get JPA at-bats and trade him? no. that hasn’t happened so that’s not it.

            the more sensible answer is that getting someone like Buck at-bats while he’s doing well & increasing value gives you either something in terms of picks OR maybe they could get lucky and trade Buck in season at whatever high value he could obtain.

            so stubborn! CIto hate-on: for a guy who managed a team to 2 WS and…when he came back, managed a somewhat rag-tag to winning records…wtf man. you give the guy no credit.

    • You beat me to it. I remember that as well. All those who are praising Buck now, were shitting on him and moreso Cito for playing him over JPA.

      Hypocrite much?

      • methinks you ‘remember’ what you want to remember.

        i wanted to see JPA as much as the next guy…but I ‘got’ why buck was being run out there.

    • another thing that I think is idiotic is how often people believe being a baseball manager consists of setting up a lineup and changing pitchers. there is a hell of a lot of personnel stuff going on that none of us witness. you won’t win a world series just by having a nice GM or manager, but it will pay off in ways like this.

    • Calling Out Idiots, you mean like how they built all that capital by trading Mathis three months after signing him to an extension?

      Might I suggest using your head for a second or two attempting this kind of troll *GOTCHA* bullshit. It only makes you look like a fucking moron, I’m afraid.

      • You just pulled the same GOTCHA bullshit. I thought we went over the fact that AA DIDNT want to trade Mathis, but it was apparently a deal breaker. The fact that he didnt want to trade him AND signed his extension shows, me at least, that he wanted to up his worth, to try and keep the farm system happy through dealing him at some point, which is what Calling Out YOU was talking about in the first point. Comb your beard and iron your flannels or something instead of insulting every blogger who has a decent opinion about things…

        • exactly.

          but he’ll argue this until he’s blue in the face because otherwise its a bit of egg on his face & would mean conceding an inch of credit to Cito.

        • Hilarious, J2thaAMES. This is what you’re going with? This supposedly makes sense?

          And “we” went over something? When?

  27. Arencibia for Matt garza do it AA!
    I’m all aboard the buck train until darnaud is ready

  28. hopefully Buck can work his magic and convince Johnson to sign an extension before he tears shit up in 2013

  29. Wow. That was amazing what Buck said.

    He may suck at baseball, but damn he has a way with words.

  30. A few random thoughts from the trade:

    1) Buck is worth keeping around, if only for his veteran presence and experience catching JJ and Buehrle
    2) JJ totally looks like AJ Burnett
    3) There have been way too much discussion on dogs since this trade and
    4) People are always so quick to bring up taxes when comparing the US and Canada. In that case it’s only fair to talk about our superior social services

  31. One question…..Where the fuck is Ice Cream Jonsey?

  32. Even though none of the players in Miami had a NTC, Buck’s interview illustrates how important AA’s relationship building is in recruiting players.

    AA signed Buck with the promise that he was the starting catcher for the year. Not only did this net a draft pick, but Buck seems like the perfect ambassador for selling the trade to Buehrle and Johnson.

    Compare AA keeping his promise, as much as many shitted on it at the time, with how the Marlins do things.

    Melky Cabrera may very well have signed in TO anyway. But it’s entirely possible that the Marlins trade, which pushed the Jays into legit contender territory, made TO his destination of choice if other teams offered similar money.

    We were on the other end of this last year when Beltran chose a contender over TO.

    Thus, the residual effects of all these intangible things that AA believes is starting to bear fruit.

    • @jays2010

      good point. Jays took the long term approach of treating players well to build a good reputation in the MLB so that former/future Jays players speak well of the team.

      I was baffled in 2010 when JPA couldn’t get any starts because Cito wanted Buck to hit 20 HR’s to help him get a free agent a contract to feed his family.

      I posted a reply to your comments about my thoughts on super 2 etc..

      My view is that it doesn’t make sense to try & finagle with a hot young prospect like Brett Lawrie & keep him in the minors in 2011 because you are desperate to avoid playing him in the MLB so his service time counts & it acclerates his fre agency.

      If the Jays are fighting for a pennant & you need to win every game, you don’t leave awrie in the minors so Johnny Mac or Mike Mccoy is playing 3B to save a few bucks.

      As a team, you want to create the image of doing whatever it takes to win. It saves money in the long run because you want potential free agents to want to come & play for the Jays

  33. Its still disappointing that after over 30 years in the league that Toronto still needs players as ambassadors to sell others to come and play here. It feels like 75% of the American players don’t want to come here – that stinks! Educating the MLB players on Toronto is the answer, I just don’t know how you do it.

    • You raise a good point but that’s more to do with American culture than anything else. For so many Americans the world basically just ends at the border.

    • luckily Latin and Asian players probably don’t see much difference

    • @ birddawg

      I find that most Americans don’t know much outside their own state.It’s just the way it is.

      • I know a few American families that won’t travel outside of their county. Not because they don;t have the means to either. They just said, “Why would we?”

  34. Arencibia made a point of saying how helpful Buck was to him when they played together. Buck said everything right in that interview. I’m happy to have him back. I bet he gets a pretty good reception first time he steps back out on the field.

  35. Jays sign another Izturis to replace Adeiny as the AAA middle infielder:

    Seems like a good depth move.

  36. Wow, John Buck is kind of awesome.


  37. So now that Johnny Gomes has gone to the Sux, who do Jays get to platoon with Lind (assuming he stays)? Youk might be nice, have him play 1st and EE DH against lefties and possibly sub for Lawrie after he runs in to too walls, fences, fake boobs, etc. Probably too expensive for that role though.

    • if they got Youk they could find him a spot to hit in the lineup one way or another. if he was hitting well enough he could be the full time 1B or DH. he will be pricey though, and we could probably get a pitcher at a similar price. AA might have his eyes on Haren, Sanchez, or Dempster all of which could round out the rotation nicely.

    • Rather save the money for a pitcher and just platoon Davis with Lind. Their splits fit pretty well together.

    • Too expensive and not very likely to sign on to be a part-time guy, I’d wager.

      I could ditch Lind and go with Youk every day, but that’s a lotta money in the overall to make it happen. Would probably have to find someone to take Lind’s contract, which isn’t likely.

      • Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty realistic appraisal. But hey, Vernon Wells got traded.

        And as much as I personally think he’d be ideal for the role, I think you’re probably right that he wouldn’t want to be a part-timer.

  38. haha man Rogers is so sly, sign another Izturis, just change the #s and no need to make a new jersey, same with JJ now getting KJ’s old scrubs

    cheap bastards will probably trot Buck out in his 2010 uniform to save some coin haha!

  39. love the buck quotes but…

    just to be a cynic, let me translate this from “i am talking to the flagship station for the team i just got traded to” lingo


    ‘You know how you’ve got the aura of the Yankees here in the States? Put that with the Blue Jays and times it by a whole country. I’m telling you, it’s pretty cool to have the fan base that the Blue Jays have,’ and kind of told them that.


    i put that “kind of told them that” in there because what i actually said was the jays play in a different country, its a hole, the weather is “pretty cool” outside of july and august, and its totally not the states but at least we get to play the yankees a lot

    Fuck Buck

    • Fuck Buck? or fuck your cynicism? the parts about playing in Seattle (I’ve been to games in Seattle and it literally IS a home game) sounded pretty genuine. Sure Reyes, Johnson, and Buehrle might not feel like they got traded to the playboy mansion but I doubt any of them will speak a bad word about playing in Toronto (maybe besides the turf).

      sometimes the canadian inferiority complex kicks in and if anyone says anything positive about their experience playing here people have a knee jerk reaction and think its bullshit.

    • you obviously are not from ontario are you?

  40. By the way, CRTC finally approved mlb network in Canada

  41. jayson stark loves the jays:

    When the 2012 baseball season started, those Toronto Blue Jays had a lower payroll than the Colorado Rockies. And the Cincinnati Reds. And the Seattle Mariners. And 18 other teams. Feel free to look that up.

    But when the 2013 baseball season begins, that’s a neighborhood you definitely won’t find the Blue Jays hanging out in. Not anymore.

    Toronto Blue Jays

    Thanks to the Miami Marlins’ fabulous Talent Exportation Department, there are now only four teams in the entire sport with more money already committed to their payrolls for next season than the Blue Jays. And here they are:

    1. Dodgers: $185.8 million
    2. Yankees: $146 million
    3. Phillies: $136.3 million
    4. Tigers: $112.8 million
    5. Blue Jays: $109.7 million
    (* Source:

    And the Blue Jays aren’t done. They aren’t done spending (not with more than $90 million already committed to 10 players in 2014). And they aren’t done shopping. They’re out hunting for more top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers as we speak. And even after sending seven players to what’s left of the Marlins, this is a team with the system depth to make another major trade.

    But let’s worry about the Blue Jays’ next major trade some other time, OK? For the moment, let’s just ask: How good are they right now? I tossed that question at one NL executive this week. And here’s how he answered it, with no hesitation:

    “I would have to pick them to win that division. The Yankees are getting older. Boston is done — for next year. Tampa Bay is going to lose players. And what was Baltimore’s record in close games — like 28-1? Tell me that’s going to happen again. So right now, for me, the Blue Jays are the best team in that division.”

    All right, so they don’t have a true No. 1 starter to match up with a CC Sabathia or a David Price — “but what they do have is a lot of No. 2s and 3s,” the same NL exec said. And some of those No. 2s and 3s have a chance to be more than that. Brandon Morrow comes to mind. Ricky Romero comes to mind. And then there’s Josh Johnson.

    Josh Johnson

    “To me, he’s a No. 2 or 3 now, not a No. 1,” the exec said. “His fastball isn’t the same. The number [on the radar gun] is the same [as it was in his prime]. The life and the finish aren’t. … But I think he’ll be better next year. He’s still got a chance to come back [from his shoulder issues]. And this is a big year for him [with free agency a year away].”

    Now add in the ever-reliable Mark Buehrle. Add in a bullpen full of live arms and, theoretically, a healthy Sergio Santos. Add in an offense that was three runs shy of leading the major leagues in runs scored the day Jose Bautista got hurt last July — and now has imported the top-of-the-lineup energy of Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio. And what do you have?

    You have the best team in the AL East. On paper. On Nov. 21. That’s what.

    And even though it’s only Thanksgiving weekend, it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that about the Toronto Blue Jays. Wouldn’t you say?

    • awesome. Olney’s blog video there about how the jays have much to improve was stupid. “Buerle and Johnson coming over from one of the bottom 4 run producing teams in baseball in there division to the al east to 4 of the top 15 run producing teams play”. Hey Olney, ya dumb ass you can’t count the Jays in the top 15 and Rays are not in the top 15, way to go jerkoff. Also don’t for get they are losing upton, Pena and kepinger, there rotation is fantastic but I have a feeling they will be a worse offense than last year that will cost them a few more games. even taking in to account the 15-16 mill or so they get back from upton pena and Kepinger. I don’t see them as beeing able to drastically improve there offense and see it getting worse.

      • My brain is so full of fuck after reading all the “in to”‘s and “there”‘s in stead of their, and the one time you used for get. Grammar nazi, I know, but my brain hurts now.
        Olney is such a dumbass. Agree with you %100 on the projections.

  42. I can’t wait for the season to start! WE GOT THIS!

    Sorry not sure if u guys know, but Jays just signed Cesar Izturis to a minor league deal. WOW! Both brothers are on the jays. CRAZY!

  43. aight, i a got a serious semi reading this. boners up!

  44. [...] recapped the radio interviews with newly-acquired Josh Johnson and John Buck at The Score (“Johnson and Buck Speak!“). Josh Johnson joined Miami’s Dan Le Batard Show and Buck joined the Jeff Blair Show [...]

  45. Probably one of the best pieces ever put on DJF bar none. I absolutely loved every word.

    I am now 474% more excited for next season.

  46. I decided to take the jays 2011 team by team record and see what a minor improvement in bad records would do.

    boston 8-10 add 2
    bal 12-6 minus 2
    ny 7-11 add 3
    tb 6-12 add 4
    nl 8-10 add 2

    that puts you at 90 wins. if they can pound balt and boston more gravy.

  47. The reason the wall street journal article is a fail, as jeff blair said yesterday morning between 9-10 Reyes did not buy a house in Miami and, thus was not entitled to the amount of tax he is expected to be losing as people are thinking.

  48. Can John Buck’s old Blue Jays helmet designs go with the new uniforms – or will he get a new one designed to better fit with the new colours?

  49. “Maybe I can make it up in playoff share, that’ll be cool.”

    As Stoeten would say: Nails.

  50. Who would have guessed a month ago that we would appreciate something John Buck & Frank Thomas’ wife would say?

  51. it appears to me that there is more value to a player like Buck than his advanced stats will tell us.

    there has to be some way to figure that into WAR calculations so sabremetricians start to care about it… there just has to…

    i dont care if the guy ever starts a game behind the plate, he could be the goddamn bullpen catcher, but he is without a doubt an incredibly valuable Toronto Blue Jay moving forward because he bridges the gap between the Miami players he came over with in the trade, and the “unknown” of playing for the Blue Jays.

  52. I just got around to listening to the AA interview with McCowan and Brunt from the other day.. I have to say – that is more info than we’ve ever had from AA. I can’t believe how candid he was in comparison to how secretive he had been last year.

  53. John Buck is a class act, all the way.

  54. Sweet and getting sweeter everyday. These guys seem really authentic – and based on what happened in Miami, might realized that it’s all about working together as a team

  55. Always loved Buck. Glad he’s back. Hope he stays longer than Napoli. Thanks for the share A.S.

  56. Got a little misty reading this. It’s all a little too good to be true. Call me a believer.

  57. [...] Yes, it’s kind of sad that Buck will be heading the other way especially after all those nice things he said to Johnson and Buerhle about Toronto, but Toronto needs a familiar backstop to catch [...]

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