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!!!
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com calls the Jays the best team in the AL East, and notes that “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.”
Using comments from Alex Anthopoulos at Tuesday’s media conference, John Lott of the National Post breaks down the evolution of the Jays-Marlins trade, which began with the Jays expressing interest in Josh Johnson, and obviously escalated wildly.
“The most noticeable thing was the body language: Alex Anthopoulos looked more relaxed than at any point in the past two years and John Gibbons looked as though he had received a contract extension instead of being hired to manage the team that fired him four years earlier,” writes Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, giving an excellent take on this week’s managerial announcement. “Anthopoulos sounded and acted as though he very much believed what he said: that he had a stronger conviction about bringing back Gibbons than any other move he’s made as Toronto Blue Jays general manager.”
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet goes back deep into the Gibby era, reintroducing us to “to John Gibbons, the straight-shooting Texan with so much more beneath the surface than meets the eye.”
Over at The Mockingbird, Jon Hale surprises even himself for how much he likes the hiring, ultimately concluding Gibbons “is somewhere between action hero and modern saint.” So… Chuck Norris minus the beard?
The Miami Herald talks to Yunel Escobar, who is happy with his trade to the Marlins. “If I tell you that I wasn’t surprised at first, I would be lying, but then I thought that it was the best that could happen to me. I’m at a crucial moment in my career, and I don’t plan to waste it. The Marlins have put their trust on my skills, and I hope not to let them down — or the fans,” he explained. “I can say that Miami is my home, and there’s nothing better than to play where I have so many friends, so many compatriots. The commitment is big, I know, but it’s no greater than my desire to play here.”
Beyond The Box Score looks deeply at the Jays’ new acquisitions, and figures that they now look like a 90-win club, though they’re hesitant to say yet that Alex Anthopoulos has done enough, especially with so much off-season left for the other AL East clubs to catch up.
Fish Stripes reminisces mostly fondly about Josh Johnson’s time as a member of the Marlins.
MLBTR has the details on four minor league contracts signed by the Jays yesterday: Ricardo Nanita, Alex Hinshaw, Jim Negrych and Neil Wagner.
Jays Journal gets down to number 29 on this list of the Jays’ top prospects, looking today at Matt Dean.
Mop Up Duty tries to cull some information about John Gibbons’ managerial style by taking a look at some numbers. Money factoid: his San Antonio club attempted stolen bases at an above average clip last year, perhaps suggesting that Gibbers is more apt to steal when his club has the players to do it. His team also led the league in holds, for whatever that’s worth.
Bluebird Banter checks in with part three of their series on the Jays’ failed prospects of the last decade.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs looks at how the Red Sox have gone to Carl Crawford’s polar opposite in left field by signing Jonny Gomes. Do I want to believe they signed him to keep the Jays from getting him? Yes. Yes I do.
Lastly, at Getting Blanked, Scott Lewis skewers a member of our Book of Moron, Kirk Minihane, for again saying something stupid in the realm of PEDs. Meanwhile, Craig Robinson of Flip Flop Flyball checks in with his fortnightly infographic, and this one is a doozy, as Craig whittles down the clubs in baseball to find a new favourite, after it surfaces that NewsCorp has bought a large stake in his once-beloved Yankees. Meanwhile, Lewis informs us– or, at least, those who care– that there won’t be an MLB title for the Xbox 360 this season, and Parkes notes that the MLB Network is coming to Canada (finally).