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!
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star wags his finger in the direction of Mark Buehrle, who he thinks should spend some actual time in Canada before advocating overturning our laws– specifically, Ontario’s pit bull ban. Because, y’know, this special little flower of a law apparently isn’t at all like the other pit bull bans Buehrle has encountered and disagreed with. How dare he shit on our law without knowing what makes it a unique little fucking snowflake! Because it totally is, right? Cox isn’t just stoking faux outrage among the clueless, right???
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun takes us on a detailed trip through how The Trade developed. Must read stuff.
At his North of the Border blog, Gregor Chisholm has a transcript of Paul Beeston’s talk with the media this week, during which Beeston leaves slightly open the notion of the Jays giving the Argos the boot (the way they absolutely should), as he explains that an all-dirt infield is “not going to happen for the next five years, four years, or until we deal with the Argos situation.” He adds that “the way we’d like to see it is an all-grass field, we would put it in on March 1st and leave it there until the end of the baseball season. It can be done.”
More Beeston, as he also explains, “I don’t know that but I have absolutely no reason to say the answer is no,” when asked whether even more money might potentially be available to the club. “I think we have to look at each case and whether or not it makes sense,” he added. “We have a great owner. What I said before, we’ll spend money when the opportunity is right.”
Gregor also has a transcript up of yesterday’s conference call with the media– again, at North of the Border. And at BlueJays.com, he reviews what the club still needs to do, and how it may be done at next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.
Very interesting stuff behind the paywall at Baseball America today, as Alex Anthopoulos says he thinks New Hampshire pitcher Sean Nolin will be able to come up and help the Jays at some point in 2013, explaining that “He’s up to 95 mph from the left side, throws a lot of strikes. He has a deceptive delivery. Guys don’t get good swings on his fastball, a bit like (J.A.) Happ in that respect.”
Speaking of Happ, he’s the guy a free agent needs to be better than if they’re worth much of our consideration. I didn’t think that was the case of Tommy Hanson, who we talked about this morning, so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I’m going to say the same about some NL guys who’ve been non-tendered, like Jair Jurrjens (not the same guy he used to be), Jeff Karstens (shoulder troubles every year), Mike Pelfrey (meh– certainly not clearly better) or Manny Parra (Manny Parra).
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes that the Jays are among clubs who have expressed interest in free agent Dan Haren. Now there’s a guy who I think would give the club plausible reason to demote Happ to the bullpen or Buffalo– assuming, of course, he’s healthy… which he’s kind of not. But still, I’d take a flier if it was cheap enough to be reasonable. Among the other interested clubs are a few spots that wouldn’t look any better than Toronto to a pitcher hoping to rebuild value: Boston, Baltimore, Chicago’s south side. But the Nationals and Padres are also supposedly interested and it’s hard to deny that they seem like better fits.
Bluebird Banter talks to Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles, who provides a scouting report on Melky Cabrera. Meanwhile, Mop Up Duty takes a dip into the ESPN Stats & Info-y goodness to give us the low-down on Emilio Bonifacio.
John Lott of the National Post looks at the firing of Bruce Walton, which everybody says was tough to do, though the only reason for it that we’ve really been offered is that the club didn’t want to lose Pete Walker, which… yeah, maybe that makes sense, but there’s got to be more to it than that (and, now that I remember, in a radio hit last week Dirk Hayhurst noted that he thought Walker would be more approachable in the room).
Elsewhere, Lott goes over the claim from Anthopoulos that he pulled the Marlins deal off the table because they wanted to add the Jeff Mathis-for-John Buck element, which… can’t possibly really be true, can it? Just lip service to the whole “loyalty” emphasis they like to play up, right?
At Minor League Ball, John Sickels gets set for his top Jays prospects list with an open threat for an organizational discussion. Some interesting comments.
Jim Bowden tweets that the Reds are looking for a left fielder who could bat leadoff. Presumably they’d want someone who can actually play every day, meaning Rajai Davis isn’t really a possibility, but a boy can dream, can’t he?
Keith Law of ESPN.com loves the Hanson-Walden deal for the Braves, thinking that their new reliever is fixable, while the deteriorating Hanson is very possibly not, while Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs also sees risk in Hanson, who brings his own risk as the replacement for the risky Dan Haren. Sullivan includes a GIF of Hanson’s delivery that illustrates well Law’s statement of concern about how Hanson generates so much of his velocity with his arm, and so little from his legs.
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Jack Moore looks into how the stolen base has grown in importance in recent years– something Alex Anthopoulos seems to have noticed.
Lastly, an interesting event from the guys at Tallboys Craft Beer House– specifically, Kevin, who has run the Jays Days events at Opera Bob’s– as on Thursday, December 6th, they’ll be showing Dave Stieb’s no-hitter in full, with beer tastings from Amsterdam Brewery, cheese pairings by Taste Bud, and Jays trivia. Check out the Facebook event page.