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!!!
For those of you who haven’t already heard enough about it, RA Dickey himself will be on Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590 this afternoon at 5:20 PM ET. So… there’s that.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney) looks at how the new CBA is still causing problems for free agents, as the spending constraints in the draft have made holding high draft picks crucial in maximizing bonus pool money, which has made clubs extremely reluctant to part with them for low-end Type-A’s like Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano. After what the Jays have just done, both in terms of spending and in terms of depleting the farm system, I wouldn’t expect them to go there.
Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs checks in with part four of his series from instructs covering the Jays, looking this time at one that got away– Wulimer Becerra– as well as 2012 first-rounder DJ Davis. “Davis shows the ability to handle the bat head and make adjustments,” he writes, “which leads me to believe that unless his pitch recognition is terrible (I’m chalking many of his strikeouts to approach/mechanics) that a Kenny Lofton-type offensive approach is doable and likely his best choice. The ceiling with this approach (.280, 15 homers, 20+ steals, above average defense) is still an above average regular and would remove some of the risk associated with Davis’ future.”
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports taps into Toronto’s inferiority complex, polling 20 non-AL East scouts and executives, 13 of whom call the Jays the division favourites.
Speaking of the Star, though, Richard Griffin had a chat with readers about the Dickey deal the other day. Here’s the recap.
John Lott of the National Post writes about RA Dickey’s comments on a conference call yesterday about releasing his book earlier this year, which revealed abuse he had suffered as a child– and has earned him a cover spot on this week’s Sports Illustrated, an issue dedicated to 2012′s “inspiring performers.”
Hayley Mick and Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail also look at this aspect of Dickey’s storey, praising him for using his platform to fight sexual abuse.
MacLeod also looks at Dickey’s comments on pitching indoors, which he likes– though his stats at Rogers Centre aren’t particularly impressive (they were accumulated, however, when he was a more traditional, fastball-slider-changeup pitcher).
Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com talks to Tom Candiotti about Dickey. The former knuckleballing Jays pitcher thinks the new one is in a great place for his bread-and-butter pitch.
Gregor’s MLB.com colleague Anthony Castrovince likes the deal for both clubs.
And elsewhere, Gregor takes a look at the pitch that the Jays’ brass made to Dickey in Nashville, once the trade had been signed off on between both sides, late last week.
At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks about the Jays’ new faith in Dickey’s pitch of last resort.
Overlooked in the whirlwind of Dickey nonsense, John Lott of the National Post writes about Jerry Howarth, a well-deserved 2013 entrant to the Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame. Congratulations to Jerry!
Also overlooked this week: Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney) writes about Josh Johnson, and how big he could cash in with a healthy, Josh Johnson-like season in 2013.
Bluebird Banter wishes good luck to Scott Richmond, who is off to Korea to pitch for the Lotte Giants.
Mop Up Duty looks at the sad history of Blue Jays catchers, by WAR.
Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs reflects on the year in home runs off of slow pitches, including one from Brett Lawrie.
Baseball Prospectus flashes back to a couple of pre-draft videos of recently-drafted Jays prospects: Marcus Stroman and Matt Smoral.
Today’s edition of Craig Robinson’s fortnightly infographic at Getting Blanked features a fantastic, anatomical diagram of Kevin Youkilis.
Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, it’s Wade Boggs dancing– presumably starting to close in on the magical number 70.
Lastly, at MLB.com, Peter Gammons writes about the returning relevance of the Toronto Blue Jays. So… obviously…