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I’m surprised his readers found anything to talk about this week *COUGH* but apparently they did, because here we’ve got yet another Griff Bag– aka Richard Griffin’s reader mail bag from over at the Toronto Star. So… commence hijacking!

As always, I have not read any of Griffin’s answers.

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-Hello Richard Stoeten,

A Toronto sports fan who is excited for the new baseball season to start. Looking for your opinion around the catching position for the Jays, assuming Alex has yet to do anything by the time you read this, I wonder which combo will give the Jays the best chance of contending? While Travis D’Arnaud has lots of upside, he has zero experience in the big leagues, catcher is such an important role for a team, I wonder if trading J.P. Arencibia gives the Jays the best chance to compete.

Thank you for your time.

Ivan Yung, Mississauga

I run into this sentiment a lot, and I still don’t fully understand why people want to give so much credit to Arencibia for gaining experience over two seasons. Sure, it’s not that there isn’t value in knowing a club’s pitchers, or being a catcher who has gone through the Major League wringer a couple of times already, but playing the “experience” card here is, in my view, mostly a way to sidestep some crucial questions about his bat and defence.

And it’s not a particularly compelling way to sidestep those questions either. Two fifths of the Jays’ rotation next year will be new. Because of injuries to both, Arencibia has only caught J.A. Happ for three innings. He’s also been limited to only about a month working with Steve Delabar, Brad Lincoln, Aaron Loup, Sergio Santos, and hasn’t caught Esmil Rogers at all. So if you think that aspect of the experience factor matters above all else, it’s probably time to think again.

Sure, Arencibia’s weak defence has improved steadily with  experience, but many already view Travis d’Arnaud as a plus defender behind the plate (scouting reports seem somewhat divided on that), and his bat has certainly looked better than JP’s if you compare the numbers from their age 22 seasons at Double-A New Hampshire, and at 23 in Las Vegas. Arencibia had his offensive breakout when repeating Triple-A, yet d’Arnaud, a year younger and seeing the level for the first time, had a better wOBA in his injury-shortened 2012.

There are concerns on d’Arnaud, to be sure– the injuries, a lack of walks, a lot of strikeouts, and perhaps also a pair of really high BABIP numbers over the past two seasons– but it’s not like the bar has been set terribly high. And while the Jays’ recent moves may allow them the luxury of keeping both, letting d’Arnaud force the club’s hand when ready– and I don’t think anyone would tell you that, in a vacuum, that isn’t the ideal setup– the roster still has holes to be filled. If they decide a catcher needs to be dealt to do so, when push comes to shove, I desperately want it to be Arencibia on the move.

Experience be damned. Small hit while d’Arnaud gets his feet wet be damned. Concerns about d’Arnaud’s myraid unconnected injuries be damned. He’s the all-around talent.

 

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Q. Confession of a fair-weather fan. Isn’t that what they call you when you lose daily interest in your team after they stop winning? Is this not too harsh if a generation goes by before your team shows any potential to be relevant late into a season? I don’t mean winning a pennant or World Series, or division title or one of . . . how many wild card spots now on hand. I mean challenging in a meaningful way for any postseason entertainment throughout a September stretch run.

Pat Gillick’s Blue Jay teams showed the formula. It wasn’t complicated, was it? Spending the most gives your team the most chances. The Jays did that (in the early ’90s). They even perfected the rent to buy system that brought in key talent for stretch drives like Rickey Henderson, David Cone and others. It did not win us a lot of friends but as locals what did we care? It was not our money.

Labatt was a heck of an owner and what happened next could not be blamed on the brewery. They were bought out by a Belgian brewery who did not share Labatt’s commitment in the longterm benefits of public relations through professional team governance. But the sale to Rogers seemed like a perfect fit. They owned a sports network and already held the discretionary entertainment resources of an entire nation. Who has a TV/cable bill that is less than $200 a month?

Surely an age spoiler, but I remember when the cost of TV was the $500 you paid for your RCA 26-inch colour television. If we didn’t have the left over scratch to actually attend a game, at least we could watch them in the prison of our home entertainment centre. But Rogers failed to be that guy. They sat on their hands for a decade and other than renaming the Sky Dome after themselves, did little to alter the lengthy morass Jay ambition became. If the team was not interested in competing, why should fans care. . . and they didn’t.

But this changed last Tuesday. Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle may turn out to be nothing more promising than innings eaters. But every team needs them. No one needs that more than the Blue Jays, if you will recall last year, and the one before that, and the one . . . you get the idea. Jose Reyes will remind us of the glory days in middle infield and whether the others make significant contributions is rather beside the point. The owners at long last have gone all in, and that is already meaningful to this fan, and surely others who have been waiting for the better part of two decades for the return of fair weather. And this literally just in, that the Jays just signed Melky Cabrera . . . as I was saying. Hey if money is no object suddenly why not buy back Doc to repay him for 10 years of loyalty.

Bill Barlow, Toronto

Well, Bill, I’m glad you’re excited. And you’re absolutely right that Rogers didn’t do right by this club for far too long. But first, let’s please stop the Halladay nonsense. Cut the cord already– though if he doesn’t get extended and makes it to free agency next year, sure, make a run at him and see if he cares as much about a reunion as the fan base does.

Secondly, Pat Gillick and Labatt didn’t just materialize out of thin air in the late 80s. Gillick’s first club to crack .500 came in the seventh season of Jays baseball, and they didn’t make the playoffs until season nine. The clubs of his that lost in the ALCS in 1985, ’89 and ’91 were largely homegrown and trade-built, running very average payrolls (though there was not nearly the vast disparity then that there is now) that were largely tied to revenue and attendance.

We saw JP Ricciardi’s house of cards fall apart as he wasn’t able to turn money into results, and shit, while nobody would trade ’92 and ’93 for the world, it’s not difficult to argue that some of the problems of the years that followed were due to the large payrolls the club built then. So the formula you’re espousing isn’t nearly so simple– there’s a reason that, until this point, Alex Anthopoulos has run the club much closer to Tampa’s model than what you’re suggesting.

It can absolutely work, and spending big can fail, but I can’t disagree with you that it’s immeasurably nice to finally be giving the other path a try. That’s for sure.

 

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Q. Hello Richard Stoeten,

I was just wondering that with the Argos lease up after this CFL season, will the Blue Jays management decide to install a dirt infield at the Rogers Centre? What do you think is the likelihood of a decision like this? With this mega-trade complete soon I’m concerned whether Reyes is satisfied with playing on turf, having battled leg injuries in the past, do you see this as a potential problem for the Blue Jays in the years to come?

Thanks,

Justin Dennis

There are two sides of this coin, actually, as I’ve heard it pointed out that it could also be an asset to the club to keep the fast-moving infield carpet in the hope of giving guys like Reyes and Melky Cabrera a better chance of slapping singles past opposing defenders. But certainly a dirt infield would look better, and might help out a guy like Reyes– though I haven’t heard anything resembling a complaint from his direction, in the reports that I’ve been watching.

Of course, a full, natural playing surface is the ideal. Likelihood? We’re still looking at a couple of seasons at the absolute earliest, if it’s even possible at all. It sure got easier with the marriage of Rogers and MLSE, as it’s eliminated the competition between Rogers Centre and the ACC when it comes to hosting concerts and other events, which might make a baseball-only more feasible.

As for the Argos, as fun as it is to take cheap shots at them, I don’t wish ill on their club, the CFL, or those who happen to enjoy it. That said, at this point they don’t belong at SkyDome anyway, and if it’s necessary for the Jays to push them out in order to do what’s in the best interest of both organizations, I’m all for it. Where the football team ends up– York University? A refurbished Varsity or Lamport Stadium?– I really don’t care. That’s their problem.

 

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Q. Are Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio both better hitters than Lind??If yes, is Bonafacio as good of an outfielder as Bautista or (Melky)? If yes, then wouldn’t it be better to have EE=DH, Jose or Melky at 1st, Izturis at 2nd, and Bonafacio at RF/LF??? Then we don’t have to see Adam Lind . . .

Breezy Stafford, New Orleans, LA

I’m all for schemes to keep Adam Lind out of the Jays’ lineup– and judging by the curious frankness of recent radio interviews with Mike Wilner and last week’s one with Jeff Blair, I’m getting the sense that maybe he wants out of here as well– but I don’t think that works in reality as well as it maybe does on paper.

For one, the club has invested a lot in Jose Bautista, not just in terms of money, but in making him the face of the franchise, a conduit between the players and front office, and an expected leader in the room. It’s his team, if you will, and if he wants to be in right field– and he does– he’s going to be there. Plus, playing both Bonifacio and Izturis every day drastically limits the versatility which is such a key attribute both players bring.

Frankly, it’s not the worst thing in the world to have Adam Lind as the club’s DH against right-handed pitching– his .343 wOBA against them last year is far from terrible. I’d like to see them go a whole other way at DH, but it seems more likely they’ll simply find a lefty-mashing platoon partner for him, or… maybe even not– it’s not like they won’t hold their own against lefties with Bautista, Encarnacion and Melky. Regardless, I can’t imagine it being the way you suggest.

 

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Q. Richard Stoeten,

Having covered the Expos, you know Tim Wallach, you know what kind of person he is. You will not find a better managerial candidate. He knows how to manage, he is a players type manager and one that works well with the front office. He is the best man for this JOB!!

John Mo, Scottsdale, AZ

Um… right. It seems the voices in your head have told you much about this Wallach person.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

Just an observation regarding Reyes playing on turf: he’s a shortstop. He’s typically positioned over the dirt portion of the infield. Isn’t the turf-grass comparison overblown???

Thanks,

Mike A, Toronto

Uh… no. Because the Rogers Centre has those tiny little cut-outs that surround only the bases. Pretty sure Reyes doesn’t situate himself directly on top of second.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten:

It’s probably safe to say that my last (post-blockbuster trade) question was premature. The Melky Cabrera signing and the rumour mill indicate loud and clear that AA is not done reworking the lineup. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. Exciting times.??

Matthew McKean, Ottawa

Uh… yep.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

I am a bit puzzled by this huge trade and the positive buzz that it is getting. As much as we all want a winner in Toronto in any sport, I wonder if this move is any different than the Riccardi era moves. Jose Reyes at five years and $96 million would not be lauded as a great free agent deal nor would Mark Buehrle at three years, $48M. Health will be the likely deciding factor. At this point we might as well go for it. Do you think that a combination of Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia plus a high prospect would pry David Price or Jeremy Hellickson from Tampa?

Matt Meisner, St. Catharines

Well sure, Matt, if you want to look at it like a fucking spoilsport. And you’re not wrong that there is significant risk to taking on these deals or that Miami has already reaped the benefit of their backloaded structure. But what happened two weeks ago is so much bigger than just this single deal in a vacuum that I can’t possibly look at it that way.

Rogers has put up the kind of money we always feared might never be there, the Jays have acquired players that they very likely couldn’t have on the free agent market– at least without the kinds of overpays that they’re on the hook for anyway– and the club is now a destination. I don’t think for a second that Melky Cabrera would have so quickly signed here had the Miami trade not have taken place, for example, and I think there is now a much greater possibility of more free agents choosing Toronto both now and in the near future.

It could still blow up in their faces, sure, but not only do they appear to have the resources to make it work– they always have, frankly– they appear willing to actually use them.

 

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Q. Richard Stoeten,

Looking back, were there any clues that The Trade was going to happen? i.e., any subtle hints AA dropped, or moves made (or not made); because this came out of nowhere, which is somewhat shocking nowadays.

Brent Shepherd, Victoria, B.C.

It’s my view that far, far too much is made of the myth that the Jays’ silence is total, and any deal in the works will only be heard when it’s completed. Sure, Alex Anthopoulos wants to work in silence, and fears that too much information in the public sphere can take away an edge that he may have in trade talks, but all kinds of stuff that he’s done since assuming the role of GM has not been done entirely in stealth. I wrote about it back in July, in fact.

That said, the deal with the Marlins seemed to come completely out of left field, partly due to AA’s valuing of silence, and I think partly because of the fact that it came together rather quickly. There were no hints of this one that I heard of, prior to its particulars going public (which, it should be noted, happened several days before the deal was made official).

 

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Q. Do you think AA would talk to Jose Bautista about who to hire as manager? Or at least run it by him first?

Ben Smith, Peterborough

It’s not quite a Vin Skarter situation, but I’d suspect that Bautista has some form of input on much of what Anthopoulos does. That’s probably less because AA fears Jose and feels the need to cater to him, though, and more because he genuinely values his opinion. I’m entirely guessing, though.

 

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HERE’S [WHERE GRIFF INCLUDED] A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS THAT ARRIVED JUST BEFORE THE TRADE THAT REFLECTED THE FEELINGS OF FRUSTRATED FANS SINCE THE SEASON ENDED.

 

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Q. Great blog Richard Stoeten — I really enjoy it. Would love to see you team up with Doug Smith, during summer months, so we could get daily tidbits, in addition to your regular coverage.??

My question is with respect to all of the bullpen signings — do you see this as a strategy by AA as a selling point to potential free agent starters? i.e. sign with us and you’ll have one of the best/deepest bullpens protecting your back?

David Moon, Toronto

It’s an interesting thought, but no, I don’t see it as that at all. Building a strong bullpen has value in and of itself.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

As much as I approve of the Blue Jays/Marlins deal, there’s something that we’re forgetting in all of this. The Jays could have acquired two of the three big-name players, Reyes and Buehrle, last off-season for nothing more than the money they will now pay them anyway. Had Anthopoulos picked up Reyes last off-season, he could have acquired the two Marlins pitchers without having to give up so much young talent. He could then have used these prospects to acquire other established players. Was this deal a panic move in response to growing criticism from the fan base? And is this deal an indication that the Blue Jays are so far off the radar for free agents that unless the Blue Jays go out and trade for talent, players will simply not sign here?

Thanks, Richard

Christian Butzek

I’d shit all over you for the first part of your question, Christian, but from your last line, it’s obvious that you grasp understand why the Jays felt it was necessary to actually trade for these players. Ask Carlos Beltran: top tier guys who could essentially write their own ticket were simply not going to sign on to play here as long as the situation was hopeless. It worked for a short while during the Ricciardi era, before the rise of Tampa, when it looked like a player here or there may have given the Jays a shot. But to have signed those guys last year, they would likely have needed to add more dollars and more years to the deals they are now on the hook for.

That doesn’t mean they’re great contracts– or, in fact, that part of the reason the front office jumped at this deal wasn’t market- or P.R.-related– but so what? MLB took away the club’s revenue sharing windfall, and now are behaving like the big-money owners we’ve always known they are. They can absorb the hit.

 

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Q. Well, all of a sudden, it’s exciting being a Jays’ fan again. And finally you might have some meaningful September (October?) baseball to cover. I didn’t like losing Hechevarria and some of those young pitching prospects, but this is HUGE. And they kept the two big power arms in their rotation. So a chunk of the future is lost, but they still have a lot of young pitching depth with Drabek and Hutchison, Syndergaard and Sanchez and most importantly, Rogers is finally acting like the mega corporation that it is, rather than Kansas City North. The $170M of additional salary is a rounding error for them and given their increasingly negative profile in the city of Toronto, they had to show that they were serious, especially given their stakes in Raptors and Leafs. I know it’s not official, but I can’t believe that Selig would veto this, after having let the Red Sox do essentially the same thing. As for those Expos fans in Montreal, they are probably experiencing a touch of schadenfreude and “I told you so” today about that creep Loria. That man should never be allowed near a baseball franchise again. He’s now destroyed two, not one, franchises.

Best,

Marshall

Yep. That’s got it.

Comments (70)

  1. CUT THE CORD ALRAEDY !!!!111!111one!!!1!

  2. I know you don’t read the replies but thought you’d get a kick out of the last lines in Griff’s response to Bill Barlow.

    “As I facetiously tweeted earlier, as long as you’re talking about bringing back former personnel, at the end of the 2013 season, assuming the Jays have competed hard and had success, AA should call the Red Sox and ask for permission to talk to John Farrell. Then when he gets JF on the line just say, “Blow me” and hang up.”

  3. “Ivan Yung” is the ultimate red threat

  4. When Frank Thomas was at bat and would stand with his back foot totally outside the box, was that evidence that he lacked “grit”? Or was he just a great competitor trying to get any advantage he could?

  5. Stoeten,perhaps it’s the MLB experience and not the familiarity with the current roster that’s important.Playing at the major league level is much faster and with TDA having only 1/2 a season at AAA and that being in the PCL, I’d rather see him work out any problems in Buffalo than rushing him to the Show.
    Also comparisons between the two maybe unfair due to two operations that JPA had before his second stint in AAA, Just saying the stats maybe skewed a bit too much.

    • I agree that in an ideal world he’d start there– I even said that– but he’s going to need MLB experience at some point, and if you’re arguing that the big leagues are faster, how can you expect him to get there by playing in Buffalo?

      As for skewed stats, again, d’Arnaud was better than post-op JPA in Vegas… a year younger and seeing the league for the first time.

      I don’t even dislike Arencibia, but I think because he’s likable a lot of people bend over backwards to make excuses for the fact that he’s kinda shitty. Call me when his OBP cracks .285.

      • Can’t disagree and didn’t mean to sound like a JPA apologist,it’s just that catching is the most difficult position and I wish for TDA to be fully prepared and not set up for failure.If that means sending out JPA and Buck until that time I’m okay with it.
        I also want TDA to be comfortable and physically ready after the injury.
        Minimum 1/2 season in AAA is needed.
        IMHO

        • I get the whole dont rush the young talent too fast arguement but Darnaud is what 24/25yr old? Its not like hes Jurickson Profar @20yr. Where would San Fran be without Buster Posey? im not comparing Darnaud to Posey but he is the class of catchers in the minors is he not? How old was Posey when he stepped up? 23? Give Darnaud the reins IMO.

          And with most eyes being on the players aquired in trade via the Marlins wouldnt this be an opportune time for Darnaud to come in and not exactly be the center of attention to start the season?

          Just seems like an opportune time to move JPA to me in an attempt to aquire an arm like ‘Dickey’ perhaps.

          In saying all that its not the end of the world to me if JPA starts the season with Jays I just would rather see them gun sling it with TDA.

          • If d’Arnaud had been healthy when JPA went down last year, and played those two months in the majors, the whole conversation would be moot, I’m convinced.

  6. Mark Buehrle admitted that the Marlins offered him the most money.

    If I’m not mistaken, I believe the Marlins were the only team to offer Reyes a 6 year deal according to the rumor mill.

    Reyes’ agent also mentioned that AA checked in on him last year as AA has long been a fan.

    The Jays were coming off an 81 win season after 2011 and there was quite a bit of buzz about the team after acquiring Colby Rasmus and even Kelly Johnson.

    We’ll never know for sure, but I think it’s likely the Jays could have signed Reyes and a Buehrle-like pitcher if they offered them the most money like the Marlins did.

    I’m thrilled that Rogers has finally ponied up. But if they were so inclined, I think they could have had these players (or comparables) last year.

    Two things changed. The spike in attendance/tv ratings as well as the influx of TV money that all 30 teams will enjoy shortly.

    Between AA, Beeston & Rogers I’m glad they had the foresight to spend now. By the end of the offseason, I think $120 million could be the new $100 million.

    • They would have needed to offer bigger, longer deals than even that, though.

      • There is no proof that the Jays would have had to do any better than slightly beat the Marlins offers.

        Not to mention that the Marlins did get the benefit of the cheap first year of the contracts.

        The Marlins got players by making the best financial offers. I see no reason why the Jays couldn’t have done the same last year.

        That said, I’ll ignore the catchers, DeScalfini, and consider Bonifacio & Escobar a wash as Escobar’s value is lower due to his makeup questions.

        I’d have no issue if the trade were just Alvarez, Hech, Marisnick & Nicolino for Josh Johnson. I don’t value prospects as highly as many due on the internet and I don’t see a true impact guy in the quartet so I’d have done the 4 for 1.

        I like this trade because Rogers has finally used some of their financial muscle and because I don’t think the Jays gave up that much.

        • That’s insane.

        • Alvarez Hech Marisnick and Nicolino for possibly one year of Josh Johnson who, though I love him has a history with injury?

          You gotta be fuckin kidding right?

          • You honestly think those 4 guys are worth that much?

            As of right now, and obviously things can change for better or worse:

            Hech = Low end regular/backup middle infielder
            Alvarez = #5 starter/reliever
            Nicolino = Polished lefty with #3 starter ceiling, likely 2 years away if things go well
            Marisnick = Toolsy player who has not performed particularly well in the minors considering his age at each level.

            I’m sorry, this group doesn’t particularly impress me.

    • The other point is, Beltran has denied receiving a contract offer from the Jays.

      • A “formal” offer. So what?

      • @Jays 2010

        Im not huge on over valueing prospects either. However

        Hech’s bat improved at every level he played at and he has gold glove written all over him and above average speed. To call him a back up infielder is just wrong in my opinion.

        Alvarez your right isnt more than a #5 starter but he is only one pitch away from complimenting that fastball and at 22 theres lots of time to develop that pitch.

        Nicolino had the best control and off speed pitch on the jays minor league depth chart and very good stats to go with it.

        Jury is still out on Marisnick but the 5 tool upside has to be worth some sort of value.

        So yes I still think giving all that up for one year of a pitcher with injury history is out to lunch

        I do see yer point though. Agree to disagree

        • Well that’s the optimistic way of looking at it.

          My point is I don’t see a true centrepiece prospect/young player in the trade. Just an assortment of good pieces.

          For 1 year of Johnson as well as a chance at an extension or a draft pick the price seems fine by me.

  7. I actually kind of agree with the d’Arnaud thing. Even if the plan were to have him start out as the main catcher or become the main catcher sometime this year, I would want another credible catcher around in case he proves to not be ready. In previous years it may have been different, but given that they obviously have playoff aspirations now, I think it would be risky to have d’Arnaud without a net. Given what you guys have said about Buck, I think you’d agree that he wouldn’t be a good candidate for that role. So that leaves JP who is at the very least a credible big league catcher.

    • Without a net? The net is the fact that he doesn’t have to be very good to be better than Arenvibia.

      • I just think that catchers can have a big impact on a pitcher’s performance – which would seem to be confirmed by the fact that some pitchers have personal catchers.

        If d’Arnaud is shit when he starts out and is back there fretting about how badly he’s playing, I think it could have a non-negligible negative impact on the pitchers. But I could be wrong.

    • Agreed. There is no rush to move JPA. We’re assured that TDA is the “real deal.” That anything like Travis Snider was the “real deal?” Until the kid proves his worth in the majors, it would be a mistake to move JPA. In this domain, stats rule; intangibles are given no credence whatsoever. That acknowledged, let me point out that JPA has strong leadership abilities, he’s English/Spanish bilingual, is a presence in social media, a fan and player favorite, and a strong booster of the city. In a group of individuals that needs to come together as a team, his off the field skills could be a huge asset in realizing that objective.

      • Stats rule.

      • With all do respect who gives a bakers fuck if he speaks spanish or chit chats on twitter? And how do you know he has strong leadership capabilities? Just because someone is a popular figure doesnt make them a leader. And how many years of experience does he have to be called such a leader? What has he accomplished? Last time I checked its important to lead by example to be called a leader and its hard to do that when your never on base. This whole JPA persona thing is so over rated to me.

        The bottom line is TDA by all reports has all the goods to be a better player and JPA could fetch a nice arm in a package deal. To me as a whole that would benefit the Jays the most in an effort to achieve not only post season birth but post season success also.

  8. The question about Reyes playing on the turf Stoeten. The guy meant since Reyes played on shale all his career playing SS, the grass vs turf debate is irrelevant.

    • Friday, guys on PTS were speculating about grass in the Rogers Centre..you know…the kind on the field. Their points were: the Argos are known to be looking for a smaller stadium, possibly at York, their lease is up next year, the Jays have invested heavily in players and Beeston wants to put in grass. They also opined that the one Bills game a year would not be a problem. Not holding my breath, but stranger things have happened.

      • Thanks for the Breaking news. By the way, this has been in discussion for the last couple of years.

    • No, he didn’t. He talked about his positioning.

  9. Regarding Bautista’s input into the manager search, I listened to an interview he gave on the Fan right after Gibbons’ hire and he really seemed completely out of the loop as far as the hire was concerned. He expressed his lack of experience with Gibbons and didn’t really seem to have an emphatic opinion one way or the other.

    Seems like AA played the hire pretty close to the chest. I can’t blame him given the media onslaught caused by the Farrell situation.

  10. I’m all for a good round of fan bashing, but it’s a little disingenuous to cram the guy’s dick in his ear about Halladay when he wrote Griffin and not DJF. :)

    • This your first Mail Bag experience here? For fuck sakes.

      • Here comes the peanut gallery…

      • Yes, dickhead, this is the first time I’ve ever seen your fake mailbag.

        Christ, you’ve managed to go from zero to annoying on this Halladay thing in no time flat. Trying to immediately go shrill and get casual fans to shut up about bringing the best player in franchise history back when the Phillies look to be sinking and the Jays rising is so inexhaustibly hipster of you.

  11. Stoeten – as the Brent Shepherd from
    Victoria that posed the above question to Griffin, thanks for not mocking me too terribly ;)

  12. Lets talk about dirt infields for a second…..do we know it would be easier on the legs?

    Obviously a REAL dirt infield would….but wodnt the same problem occur? Or would it be worse? I dont know the layout of the RC, but I assume the turf is laid out over a concrete floor. Its he concrete that is so bad. Wod spreading some dirt over the concrete make it better?

    Having played soccer on the new turfs (which seem to be made with shredded rubber) and seeing how much cushion they actually have, I have to imagine turf on top of a concrete floor is easier on the legs then just dirt spread over a concrete floor.

    seems to me theyd have to cut an infield cutout into the concrete floor as well to get any better results.

    • They would excavate concrete to install a dirt infield. It wouldn’t be dirt spread over the concrete. Very expensive.

  13. Can you guys post something else about Melky soon? I want to rip into you about your unqualified jocking of him, but I missed my chance when he was first signed.

    • Melk is gonna have an awesome year. He should see a lot of good pitches to hit with Reyes getting on base and the Dominican bashers hitting behind him. And im sure he has lots to prove.

      Im pumped

      • I like the signing too, but these guys are drinking the Melky-Aid. They’ve gone further than arguing that he might be just as good as he was pre-testosterone – I remember that one of them, on the podcast, can’t remember which guy it was, almost went so far as to suggest that anyone who is concerned at all about how he’ll do now is an idiot. Of course people should be concerned. The use of testosterone and all the other shit they take would not be so widespread if it wasn’t in general improving players’ performance.

        • so are you saying testosterone gives you good hand eye co-ordination or super powers? Or turns you into a telepath so you know what pitch is coming? Speeds up the swing so you can swing later? And as soon as you quit taking testosterone does your muscles all of the sudden go away? Does the MLB have a detox program where they make sure you don’t work out for six months? Maybe we should be asking Melky what his mutant power is..or was…

          • Thestarv that is the dumbest defence of juicers. Obviously they’re still skilled players. But are you saying that increased bat speed doesn’t make it easier to square up a fastball? No one has ever argued that a juicer isn’t a skilled player. They just say it enhances the skills they already have.

        • TOOSHAY

          Im focusing on the year he had in KC when he batted a clean .305 in a fairly weak lineup. Even if he stayed on the shit it would be foolish to assume he would replicate his 2012 numbers he was raking prior to suspension.

  14. I think Mike A. was referring to where Reyes would be positioned on a traditional field (i.e. the dirt), saying that would be what makes the turf/grass “problem” less so… Because he didn’t spend much time on the grass anyway.

    • that’s undoubtedly what Mike A. was talking about, before stoeten condescendingly shot him down.

      it’s a good question too. wouldn’t standing on dirt for an hour or two every day (which reyes has been doing his entire career) put more pressure on the joints than the cushioney turf? for outfielders i could understand the concern, but for infielders? not so much.

  15. I see Griff’s twitter page has the same graphic you use Stoeten, is that the source or did he rip it from you?

    • Stoeten and DJF is the source of Griffins avatar and has acknowledged such.
      They have even inteviewed Griff for a podcast.

  16. I think I read that d’Arnaud was part mexican or something… so maybe he speaks spanish too

  17. Things that have happened so far on my birthday:

    Rob Ford isn’t the mayor any more.

    A Griff bag.

    Best. Birthday. Ever.

  18. The irony of this is Stoeten calling someone else a spoilsport due to skepticism ….

  19. Personally I think if you held on to Arencibia this year he’d have a lot more trade value next offseason, or even at the trade deadline, than he does now.

    His counting stats are going to look amazing batting in that lineup and we know there’s a segment of GMs that values that. He was injured last season so simply not being injured would bump his value up.

    Don’t get me wrong, if someone wants to overpay for JPA I’ll take it, but I think Arencibia’s trade value has room to grow.

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