It is indeed the most traffic-whoringest time of year! Here’s what’s out there that I wasn’t about to make full posts out of, as Day Three of the Winter Meetings turns into the final night down in Nashville…
Shi Davidi has a big post at Sportsnet, reflecting on the legacy of Cooperstown-bound Tom Cheek, and on the subject of business, also tweets some comments from Alex Anthopoulos, who explains that “If anything was to be done it would be well after the meetings, but we’re really not getting anywhere.”
Naturally, Mike Wilner– who beat the drum for Cheek’s induction harder than anyone– has a series of great remembrances as well, over at whatever they’re calling Miked Up these days. While the National Post re-publishes John Lott’s excellent, heart-wrenching piece following Cheek’s death.
Looking back at John Farrell’s talk with the media yesterday, Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail finds it striking that the former Jays manager referred to his job here as an “opportunity,” and later suggests that “Anthopoulos essentially said Tuesday that Farrell was not approached about an extension as a means of smoking out his true intentions because, well, because he had other things on his plate.” He adds that the GM “would never say it was because he realized Farrell wasn’t the right guy for this team, but if he truly believes Mike Aviles was good value in return, it’s all anybody needs to know.”
And let’s go back to the great John Lott of the National Post, who, in addition to a piece on Farrell’s comments, provides a transcript of all the Toronto-related questions he was asked during his scrum.
On the same topic, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star veers more towards outrage, lamenting that “Farrell has been let off the hook too easily,” adding that “it seems while the Red Sox were playing old-fashioned hardball in their efforts to spirit Farrell out of Toronto, the Blue Jays were content to play softball.” Referring to the apparent disciplinary problems at the end of the Jays’ season, Farrell wonders, “would you care as much about making sure [a mistake] doesn’t happen again when you know it won’t be your problem next year.”
Elsewhere, Griffin digests comments made by Alex Anthopoulos today, highlighting the lack of activity, the GM’s distaste for all things innuendo, and his insistence that Brett Lawrie is gonna be just fine.
Jonah Keri– who, don’t forget, will be joining Drew, Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTR, and I, tomorrow morning at 11 PM ET for a Google+ Hangout– writes at Grantland about the Rays’ tremendously astute pickup up Yunel Escobar– y’know, at least from an on-field perspective.
Elsewhere at Grantland, Jonah tries to wrap his head around a world in which the Yankees are fiscally responsible.
Elsewhere, Sullivan takes a look at Jeff Keppinger, noting that the newest member of the Chicago White Sox got $12-million over three years at age 32, after having produced 2.2 wins per 600 plate appearances over the last three seasons. Maicer Izturis, also 32, came in just ahead, with 2.3 WAR/600, and he’ll make $2-million less over the course of his contract. And Marco Scutaro? He was slightly better than that, at 2.5 WAR/600, but, of course, he makes double what Izturis does, signing a 3-year, $20-million deal with the Giants. He’s 37.
Via MLBTR: Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and hilariously botching Nike’s decathlon-based ad campaign in the run-up to the 1992 Olympics, tweets that the Jays don’t want to move Emilio Bonifacio. “At least not yet.” Meanwhile, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports puts on his Captain Obvious hat in order to inform us that Darren Oliver is unsure whether he’ll play next year– but adds, perhaps newly, that Black Magic hasn’t requested a trade.
Not that we really care, but apparently Joe Blanton is off the market. MLBTR also has the details on this one.
Over at Extra Base Hit, I think Darren is starting to get a sense of how little the Clevelands intended to be doing while down in Nashville. Look at that white board!
At Getting Blanked, Scott Lewis notes that Joey Votto will be putting on the red and white this spring– not just for Cincinnati, but for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Lastly, and in keeping with the topic above, behind the paywall at Baseball Prospectus, which makes it reason in its own right– among many, many others– to subscribe, is a piece from Hudson Belinsky on the evolution of baseball– and, particularly, scouting for big leaguers– in Canada. Dripping with pure maple gold.