Merry Christmas to me! From Richard Griffin!

There’s a brand new, mid-holiday mail bag sitting unwrapped underneath the Toronto Star‘s tree, so let’s all take a few moments to rise from our food comas– or if you’re getting to this post-New Year’s, booze comas– to dive into this greatest gift of all.

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. Hi Richard Stoeten:

Thanks for coming to my rescue on Twitter.

The R.A. Dickey rumours were at their height, and (there was) concern about the price the Jays were paying. I expressed my concern to (ESPN.com expert and former Jays’ executive)) Keith Law about giving up Noah Syndergaard, and I mentioned the comparison that had been made between him and a young Doc (Halladay). “Oh Come on!” was his reply, which is among the tamer comebacks Law posts. You later pointed out that it was none other than Pat Hengten who had made that comparison, maybe in a moment of giddiness.

My question is this: we’re all prone sometimes to falling in love with prospects we’ve never seen. Truth be told, improving your roster dramatically without giving up anyone on it is a great idea, when you think about it. Do organizations sometimes (deliberately or otherwise) over-hype their prospects to improve their trade value down the line? If Syndergaard was really that good, I can’t see AA giving up on him, even though you to have to give up quality to get it in return.

Douglas, Fox, Ottawa

Uh… maybe in a moment of giddiness? Yeah, Law’s point is kind bang on, and while around here I may have breathlessly passed along Hentgen’s comp back when he said it, I did so while also shovelling a massive grain of salt along with it. A team employee comparing a kid in A-ball to a Hall of Fame-calibre 15-year veteran workhorse? Yeah, I think you’re right that “Oh come on!” was a pretty tame comeback.

As for your question, I do think some potential is maybe there for organizations to pump up certain prospects, but probably only to a really marginal extent. It’s not like competitor clubs don’t do their own scouting. And even if for some reason they were overly reliant on the kinds of scouting data fans can get their hands on, it’s not like the BPs and BAs of the world talk only to people in a prospect’s own organization. So… how do we figure this works?

No, Syndergaard is good. Maybe the fact that the Jays felt comfortable enough to move him in this deal is telling of some internal souring on him, but I don’t see a reason to change our opinions of him in the slightest: the development of his secondary stuff will make the difference between whether he can be a really high-end starter or a power reliever.

People always want to view trades through this prism where they have to be some kind of a swindling for one side or another. They really aren’t. This deal was about timing.

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Q. Hey Griff Stoet,

Seriously, A.A. is making this team crazy good!

With the new signing of R.A.D, what is the likelihood that he will be willing to share his knowledge and wisdom with some of the other Jays pitchers. I know the knuckleball isn’t really a pitch that you teach to a power pitcher a la Brandon Morrow or Josh Johnson, but what about a command and control pitcher like Brett Cecil? How many left-handed knucklers have there been in the majors? Is this something that could happen?

Thanks for all the hard work, I’m sure you were looking forward to a nice and low key offseason, but got this instead.

Jeffrey Chik, Richmond Hill

Thanks to left-handed batters’ weak platoon split vs. LHP, and the lack of left-handed pitchers overall (in 2012, there were 26,126 plate appearances taken against lefties and 59,990 against right-handers), lefties maintain some utility for longer than right-handed pitchers, who seem to typically be the ones to turn to the “pitch of last resort.” That’s why you almost never (maybe even straight up never) see them taking up the knuckler at the game’s highest level.

Cecil certainly falls into this category, as he’s been plenty effective against left-handed hitters in his career, holding them to a .256 wOBA over the last three seasons– amounting to 90 innings worth of work, with similar numbers from one season to the next, 2012 being his worst in the split, with a .268 wOBA against.

His days as a starter may be behind him, but Cecil certainly has more left to give than someone who is on the brink of being out of baseball and forced to take up the knuckler.

 

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Q. Richard Stoeten,

I’m looking forward to Florida and ready to book my flight for some spring training games.

When I initially heard that we gave away our No. 1 and No. 3 prospect for R.A. Dickey, I thought we overpaid. I went back through Baseball America’s top 10 rankings for the past seven years, and there have only been two legit star-quality players from this list — Romero and J.P. Arencibia. There’s a couple of borderline cases in Adam Lind and Travis Snider (one had a great season, the other might still have greatness in him).

Are projecting prospects like this really that much of a crapshoot? In light of this, was this a fair trade over the long-term?

Frank S, Toronto

Arencibia a “legit star-quality” player? Uh…

Yeah… projecting prospects is a thoroughly inexact science, with a lot of failure involved. But is it quite as much of a crapshoot as your analysis suggests? No. For one, it’s not like they’re missing any homegrown talents who’ve made the majors from somewhere off their radar screen.

For two, it takes so long for these guys to develop that looking back seven years doesn’t give you a whole lot to look at. Nobody on either of the last two lists has come close to establishing himself as a big league regular, then three lists back you get Arencibia and Kyle Drabek, and you have to go four back to find Henderson Alvarez, Chad Jenkins and David Cooper.

So, your seven year sample is really more like a three or four year one, and in it they’re doing a pretty good job of identifying what few talents were coming through the system at that time.

The farm system under JP Ricciardi was weak in high-impact talent, and when Alex Anthopoulos took over and tried to infuse the minors with more of that, it meant drafting a lot more guys who are long-term projects.  Consequently, the guys on the recent lists are mostly pretty far from the Majors, and the groups from a few years back weren’t particularly strong. To me this sort of highlights the fact that speaking in generalities, either about the rankings, or about prospects in the abstract, doesn’t do a whole lot of good– especially when we have a lot of information on the specific players involved in the deal.

So… I’d say that the deal makes sense in a lot of ways, but not just because, in the most general terms possible, prospecting is a crapshoot.

 

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Q. I often hear about teams having their grounds crew adjust the softness of the dirt or the cut of the grass near the foul lines to help the home team. If Dickey has a preference or, perhaps, if it becomes clear that it makes a difference do you think that the Jays will keep the roof closed even on days when it would normally be open when Dickey is starting?

Kevin Klombies, Calgary

Without a doubt, I think the Jays will try to use the dome to their full advantage when Dickey starts. I’m not sure how easily they’ll be able to manipulate their way into keeping it closed once the weather gets nice, but definitely in the early and late season, I expect it. And I’m not 100% sure if the rule holds, but in the past the Jays were forced to keep the roof closed for all playoff home games. So… giddy up.

 

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Q. I like Dickey but would not have made trade. Hope Alex is right. Should have given up D’Arnaud or Syndergaard and someone else, not both. Why not one of them with Sierra, or Drabek, or Hutchinson. Also, why not keep prospects one more year before either bringing them up or using as trade bait. I thought they should have gone free agent route and re-signed Carlos Villanueva and possibly Shaun Marcum. Thinking that bringing in two rather than three studs all at once would be less demanding on the team as regards to egos and media attention. Basically now you can say that Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero have moved to the 4 and 5 spots instead of last year’s 1 and 2 spots.??

Thanks Richard Stoeten,

Angelo Romanin, Woodbridge

…AND…

Q. Grif Stot…

Albeit I think the addition of Dickey does make us stronger; I am concerned that the price was too high in the young talent we gave up to get him. With quality free agent arms available like that of Anibal Sanchez, wouldn’t it have been better to get a top tier free agent even if the average annual salary was higher and still keep our farm system stocked with great young talent for the future? Could you please speculate on why AA went the trade route vs the free agent route?

Doug Martin, Dalmeny

Holy shit, Angelo, GOOD POINT! Why didn’t they give up just one of the big prospects, and add in Sierra, Drabek or Hutchison??? ANGELO AND I DEMAND ANSWERS.

Oh. Wait. It’s because they don’t get R.A. Dickey if they don’t give up the prospects they give up.

As to Doug’s question about whether Anthopoulos should have just kept the prospects and gone the free agent route, maybe we should ask Jon Daniels how well it works to treat the list of available free agents like items on a grocery store shelf waiting to be added to his cart. Or even Jerry Dipoto of the Angels, who badly wanted Zack Greinke this winter, but settled on spending his money on Josh Hamilton.

Money may be the ultimate decider for free agents, but they certainly take more factors into consideration than that alone– recently in this town alone we’ve heard of players looking elsewhere in order to stay closer to their homes in the states, who don’t want to play on turf, who don’t want to DH, who want a better chance to be part of a winner.

Teams looking to deal, on the other hand, simply want to straight up maximize their assets. The Jays built up a tonne of prospect capital partly for this purpose, and using it in the way they they’ve done helped assure that they’d land the players they wanted. Sure, Anthopoulos still had to strike a delicate balance between the assets given up and the long-term financial commitments required by the deals he was assuming, but at least by using this kind of capital he could either assure he got precisely the kind of return he wanted, or got to keep his prospects.

In a vacuum adding Anibal Sanchez– even on that exorbitant deal– and keeping the prospects probably is a better option than giving up what they did for Dickey, but how realistic was it to expect that to happen? We know adding Dickey was a genuine possibility, and the cost in prospects was mitigated by the financial flexibility gained by acquiring a high-end player on a below-market deal.

 

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Q. Hey Richard Stoeten,

With the acquisition of Dickey it looks like Romero is now pushed down to the fifth starter. This has to be the first time in league history where the Opening Day starter from the year before has dropped down to No. 5 on the depth chart, no? Don’t get me wrong, this sounds like a good problem.

Barry Choi, Toronto

Well… he earned it.

 

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Q. I have attended maybe one game a year for 20 years at the Skydome/Rogers Centre, but I will make a personal pledge to attend 10 games if they install grass from March to October, complete with hydroponics and maybe even install a giant window beyond the centre field fence. What will it take to convince Rogers to spend the money? I will even pay for a Sportsnet package if required.

Charles Besko, Toronto

At first I was positive you were about to say that you were pledging to go to a bunch more games this year because of the fantastic moves Alex Anthopoulos has made to strengthen the team, and the commitment Rogers has shown by taking on so much additional payroll.

You kinda went off the rails there with the grass stuff, Charles. Yeah, it would be better, but… really? I think the Jays have done plenty this winter to earn our support.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

Other than finding depth in starting pitching to fill AAA and the final bench spot player is there anything more you see AA doing? All that is left and good in the minors are Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra. Kind of scary how the talent (trade bait) has been depleted.

How many picks (in what rounds) do the Jays have for the upcoming draft? Lastly, what are your predictions in terms of W’s for best case and worst case scenario?

Thank you Richard . . . Happy Holidays!

Kam H, Richmond Hill

1. I think there could still be a move for a bullpen piece yet to come, especially if/when it becomes clear that Darren Oliver’s salary won’t be on the books for 2013.

2. All that’s left and good in the minors? Uh… holy shit no. The high minors are thin, but most of the Jays’ prospect talent wasn’t there anyway. The only players slated for Buffalo who now won’t be there are d’Arnaud, Alvarez and Hechavarria. Those aren’t small losses, and there isn’t a whole lot of positional depth coming in behind them, but plenty of fine prospects remain in the system.

3. Unless they sign one of the few remaining Type-A free agents, the Jays won’t add or lose any additional draft picks this year, meaning they’ll pick only in the numbered rounds, beginning at tenth overall.

4. I think the absolute best case might be somewhere north of 95 wins, worst case is the low-80s, and likely scenario is somewhere in between– probably closer to the upper end than the lower. And I base that, of course, on absolutely nothing.

 

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Q. Hey Richard Stoeten,

It looks like AA is just about done with the roster, but I am still wondering about the possibility of bringing in Lance Berkman to DH and dumping Lind. The respective salaries wouldn’t be far off and Berkman would give us another switch-hitter with great on-base skills, which was the Jays biggest offensive weakness last year. He can also play OF and 1B on the very occasional day as well. Bringing in Berkman would bring back memories of Pat Gillick adding the finishing touches of Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor on those World Series teams so many years ago.

Adam Walberg, London

Uh… dumping Lind where exactly? Who the fuck is rushing out to take Lind and the $7-million still owed him ($5-million for 2013 plus a $2-million buyout if they decline his 2014 option) off our hands?

And even if you could dump Lind, or take on salary regardless, assuming that you get the healthy, 2011 version of Berkman is pretty fanciful. Because of troubles with both knees he was only able to get into 32 games in 2012, and he wasn’t particularly good when he did– especially against left-handed pitching (granted, that’s based on a woefully small sample size). Even if you include his strong 2011, he’s still only posted an 86 wRC+ against left-handers over the last four seasons.

Given all that risk, I’m gonna go ahead and just pass, thanks.

 

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Q. Dear Richard Stoeten,

I value your constructive observations on R.A. Dickey. I hope you are correct. I’m a senior who has spent 50-plus years watching baseball. I also spent 38 years as a conservative financial advisor. I saw many investors buy junk at the top of the dot-com craze. Is A.A. making a similar error investing in Dickey, Inc. “at the top of the market” especially as Dickey moves up from Quadruple-A (National League) to the AL? Good chance this will be this generation’s Brock-for-Broglio fiasco (young fans, look this one up!)

Sincerely,

Selby Martin, Toronto

It’s an entirely legitimate concern, Selby, but I’m not sure why it’s only the Jays who risk being burned by a club selling off an asset at its peak value. I’m not saying Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard are these other players, but before we worry too much about buying high from the Mets, we’d do well to remember how Alex Anthopoulos sent Nestor Molina to the White Sox at the absolute peak of his value (John Sickels just ranked him as tenth best in a weak system, giving him a C+ grade), and may have done the same when he sent Joe Musgrove and Kevin Comer (among others) to the Astros in the JA Happ deal, neither of whom made Sickels’ Astros top 20.

It only takes one bad season for a prospect to lose a lot of shine, and again, while I’m not saying that’s necessarily in the cards for d’Arnaud and Syndergaard, they too could be peak value moves.

 

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Q. Wow, it feels great to be a Jays fan again! I’m so confused by all of the “the cost is too high” comments that I’ve been hearing from other fans and bloggers. Seriously? I don’t care about Noah Syndergaard in 2016, I want playoff baseball in 2013!

Also, with AA’s stated desire to have eight major league “capable” starting pitchers on the roster, do you see him offering a minor league contract to Eric Bedard? Does AA have anything else percolating on the back burner? Keep up the great work, Griff!

Cory Snyder, Cambridge, ON

Which bloggers are you referring to, or is this just an adorable catch-all smear?

Honestly, reaction to this deal has been pretty uniformly positive, though that said, let’s not go too absolutely nuts down the “now I totally don’t give a shit about prospects!” overcorrection wormhole.

There are lots of reasons why it makes sense to have traded Syndergaard, timing chief among them. With no setbacks, the earliest we could have expected to see Syndergaard break camp in the Jays rotation was 2015, the final year that Bautista, Buehrle, Encarnacion, and Romero would be on the books (barring the picking up of options), as well as the option year at the end of Morrow’s current contract. Sure, having a ready-made rotation piece might have helped them at that point (the Jays are evidently banking on Aaron Sanchez for that– plus Drew Hutchison, Sean Nolin, Roberto Osuna and others), but not nearly as much as having Dickey for the years prior, which represent the best chance to build around the club’s current core group.

We agree, it’s a gamble worth taking. But, for me, “who cares?” maybe goes a bit too far. Perhaps I’m being pedantic, and maybe we’re actually just saying the same thing here, it’s just… there’s a tonne of value in Syndergaard that I don’t want to sound cavalier about being OK with dealing. Y’know?

 

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Q. Mr. Griffin Stoeten,

A very well written and balanced column on the trade. Nice to read a column like yours. We’re still big RA fans here and many of us Met fans are not lovers of the Yankees so go Jays! Hope the trade works well for all.

Bob Grossman, New York

Agreed wholeheartedly. Nobody in this town whose opinion was worth the brain cells it was thought with complains for a second that the Jays sent what might end up being a Hall of Fame second baseman in Jeff Kent to the Mets in exchange for David Cone while on their way to winning the 1992 World Series. I could see disliking it at the time, and yet, even though it turned out that they couldn’t have possibly given up a better minor league piece to the Mets, it’s not remembered negatively at all. Nothing should make Jays fans happier than this deal working out for both sides.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

This may sound ludicrous, but hear me out. If the Angels don’t know what to do with Vernon Wells now, why doesn’t AA call up the Angels and offer to take Wells back, on the condition, of course, that the Angels absorb the bulk of his salary? We don’t need him, no, but he’d be a solid bat off the bench, a potential upgrade over Lind at DH, and a reliable backup outfielder. I’d rather see Wells riding the bench in Toronto than in California, he’s a great guy and a fan favourite to boot, especially if we’re liberated of his contract. I realize he’s maybe not the talent he once was, but in 2013 we won’t need him to be a superstar, just productive when called upon. And on a team and in a city where he’s comfortable and no doubt keen to prove himself again, he might be a nice addition. It could be the smoothest move AA ever makes.

Matthew McKean, Ottawa

Your message is on my computer screen so I can only assume that you have the internet, in which case, why don’t you go look up what this “solid bat off the bench” and “upgrade over Lind at DH” has been up to lately? And I say that as a person who think Lind is pretty damn close to awful.

I liked what I heard about Vernon when he was hear, and how he carried himself and represented the Jays and the city, but no, it wouldn’t be a smooth move, it wouldn’t be a welcomed move, it would be fucking ridiculous.

 

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Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

Like every Blue Jay fan, I am very excited about the recent transactions and I am optimistic about the Jays chances in 2013. However, I was wondering about Jose Bautista and if the injury he had this summer will affect his swing and offensive output next season. What are your thoughts about this subject.

Thanks,

Spencer Atin, Toronto

My thoughts? It is what it is. My sense is he’s going to be fine– others, like Sam Fuld, have come back from the same injury and seem to be back to their old selves– but obviously I have absolutely no idea. He says he’s fine, he wants to play for the Dominican in the WBC, both of which are good signs, but… yeah, I guess we have no idea. And what are they going to do? Try to find a replacement for him to keep waiting in the wings? Not possible.

They have no choice but to rely on Jose for as much production as he can provide, and if something isn’t right, yeah, it’s going to make things a whole lot more difficult.

They have some of the best doctors and trainers in the world, though, and a huge financial incentive to do right by him, so… why go to the trouble of being worried? There’s nothing anyone can do and it’s probably going to be fine– which is exactly what you could say of any number of players on every single team. That’s just the way it goes.

 

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Comments (392)

  1. big mouth hungry is here somehow

  2. ‘Well… he earned it.’

    hahah, best answer

  3. I can think of only one lefty who threw a knuckleball – Wilbur Wood of the White Sox. He was the last guy to start both games of a doubleheader, I believe. Had a season with 49 starts and something like 375 innings pitched.

    • Dan Boone did too

    • I don’t see any reason why Cecil wouldn’t try and learn the knuckleball, I seriously doubt he grew up dreaming of being a slightly above-average LOOGY; he has to know that he is done as a starter unless something drastic happens (like his velocity comes back or….knuckleball!!!)
      The fact is, the odds that Cecil learns a knuckler increased exponentially once Dickey came on board.

      • Although Cecil said he was going to take the same velocity course that Delabar did this offseason…..

        • I just hope that under no circumstance do we see Cecil pitch against right handed batters this season

  4. Some of those answers were almost word-for-word what Griffin said…

    I was one of the ones who were a bit worried about giving up D’Arnaud and Syndergaard and I was wrong. We need amazing pitching more than we need amazing prospects right now.

    • I think of it as a simple swap. The Jays had some pretty good prospects and the Marlins and the Mets had some pretty good players. The Jays needed the players and they needed the prospects. Moreover, the Jays still have a lot of prospects in the pipline.

  5. Vernon Wells…Why would anyone want to get him back, you already jammed a giant whale down the throat of the Angels why would you make them swallow and pull it back out again with just a hint of the bones left.. leave the poor suckers alone and maybe they will bail us out again from a stupid mistake.

    BTW that was one deal where AA swindled someone..

    • Well, Vernon does rake at the Dome. I suppose if he only cost $1-2m per year and if the Jays didn’t give up anything of value to get him, that he wouldn’t be the worst move they could make.

      • Vernon does rake at the dome? No, Vernon raked when he was a good player. He is no longer a good player.

        • The best part was that Griffin thought bringing back Vernon was a great idea!

          • puked in my mouth when i read that vernon raked at the dome….which dome are you referring to? not ours

      • One of these is Vernon on the Angels, one is Rasmus for The Jays.
        One costs 21M the other maybe 3M

        http://i.imgur.com/52Yni.png

        • Holy fuck Rasmus is terrible. Also, Vernon Wells, are you kidding me? Unless you’re just paying him $15 to be a ‘moral support’ coach let’s just stop kidding ourselves.

      • rakes at the dome.. and 1-2mil per.. ya its not about not being the worst of the things to get, its that Vernon Wells Sucks everywhere else, and you would have to wait for him to be a free agent…I can’t see AA being such as big and asshole as to go and ask the Angels to pay Vernon just to trade him back to the team and GM that shanked them so bad.. no.. if AA is smart (which he is) he doesn’t take and bulldoze a half burnt bride and looks elsewhere.

    • Fuck yeah, bring back Wells. I couldn’t disagree with Stoeten more. I know its cool to be too cool to be a fan, but I fucking love Vernon Wells. I know he didn’t live up to his contract and had to be moved. I understood that and even celebrated it because I knew it was for the good of the team, even if it did make me a bit sad that Wells and Rios never lived up to their early career numbers. I however think that if the Angels ate a significant portion of his contract it would be fun and cool to have VW back at the Dome. He’d be a good bench player. If they ate this contract, and I doubt they would, there’d be no risk.

  6. Best part of the article: “It could be the smoothest move AA ever makes.”

    Classic.

  7. that guy who wants hydroponics grass in the RC is on to something. I’ll go to more games too.

    • Knowing Rogers, they’ll cheap out and get mass imported hydro grass that’s American-made crap and then charge us fans $20 at the concession stands.

      Oh wait, you’re talking about the playing surface. Yeah, I was too.

    • You’d go to more games if the playing surface was real grass?

      So, you’re more interested in the playing surface than you are in the team?

      I’ve heard of fair weather, casual fans but that’s fuckin insane.
      I’d watch the Jays if they played in the parking garage of the Rogers Centre,with a wiffle ball and broomsticks.

      • Radar, I’m pretty sure both ABsteve and Sharkey are making weed jokes.

      • Uhhhh I would definitely be more inclined to go to more games on real grass and I probably go to 40+ as it is…you ever watched MLB on real grass? it actually feels like your hanging out, outside in a park….kinda key when you only have a few months of summer

      • Thats what I thought too. I mean, yeah grass’d be cool, but it has less than no effect on whether I attend games. You know what would make me get to more games? A GO train that would wait until 1 hour after every game and bring me back to Barrie.

    • Hey-o!

    • ya AA put on a show for the fans this fall, now its time for the team to put on a show next summer. Its about entertainment, and if the team is winning, people want to see that more than any other thing that the team could pull off. Sure grass would be nice but fuck if the team is playing like the Astro’s on it who is going to be around to appreciate it.. just chummycakes who wants grass…

  8. That question by Charles has to win the stupid question of the year award award. AA puts an all-star collection of talent together and the fucking guy plans to attend 1 game. He’ll go to 10 games to watch grass though. Was it a real post? If so lets find this guy and get him to take us golfing, I’m sure he’ll pay.

  9. What is it with some fans wanting to see the Jays reacquire players they traded off for the better?

    Some want to see Halladay traded back for, and I don’t get it. Now Vernon Wells? VERNON!!!??!11!? Anthopoulos pieces together a fantastic lineup, and 2 years ago pulled a massive rabbit out of his dickhole to get that salary albatross out of this country and someone actually wants it back? Even at a discount?

    My mind is going to exphnfjshfjsdhcvishiiuv..

    • Nostalgia

    • What’s wrong with Halladay? If it was in any way even the slightest bit realistic it would be pretty sweet. Guy is probably the best individual player in Blue Jays history…

      Vernon is a piece of shit though. Hard to see how you could be nostalgic for swinging K’s on chin high fastballs.

  10. Stoets,

    JPA is not worse than Ernie Whitt, Buck Martinez, Pat Borders, Greg Zaun. He’s arguably the best overall catcher we’ve ever had. And perhaps still improving as He enters his prime years. Why so much mud being fired his way?

    Big fan of the site.

    • Holy crap, wrong on all accounts other than the fact that he’s still probably improving. Martinez, Borders, and Zaun were all below-average catchers but they ALL had at least one season better then either of JPA’s seasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if JPA has at least as good of a career as those guys, but he’s not there yet.

      HOWEVER, Ernie Whitt is WAY better than any of those guys. He had 7 seasons of above average production for catchers. It took me 2 minutes to look this up.

      • When they won their championships though Borders was pretty awful. With that in mind, I think Arencibia is definitely palatable behind the plate.

      • I don’t know if Arencibia will ever be a plus receiver.

        But if he shows some modicum of improvement in terms of plate discipline, he could ruin a lot of starts for opposing pitchers with all the ABs he stands to have out of the 7-9 spot. We know he has the power to knock out 25.

        • Bottomline: Arencibia is an average to below average catcher. Stoeten is right. But it’s also true that he’s good enough to catch for a World Series champ. Nobody has all-stars at every position. If Arencibia bats in the lower third of the order he won’t be a problem.

      • At the same age, Borders threw out around 10% more base runners, hit for a higher average, walked about the same (i.e. not much), and struck out about half as much. He also hit 5-10 less HR per year.

        Zaun was about the same as JPA defensively, but also hit for a higher average, walked twice as much, and struck out half as much. But of course, he never hit as many sweet dingers…

        Truth be told, if J.P.’s power drops off Borders and Zaun are probably his ceiling. The fact that this point is missed by people just shows how impressed people still are by even modest home run numbers.

        • Defending Borders is mind boggling. His performance in 92 was a 6 game stretch for a player with a career .253 average. Not to mention how Cox gave every player on the roster (including Sanders with a broken foot) the green light to run.

          I love the guy’s hair and moustache as much as the next guy, but look at the totality of his work and its not hard to figure out why he bounced around (albeit very adequately).

          • 6 game stretch? The guy had a really good post season capping it off with a GREAT WS run. Small sample but he was something like 11-34 or some shit going into the World Series. If people are going to forget those facts and down play Borders as one series wonder, everyone else has the right to say JPA licks balls as a catcher and hits HR. he loses his power from poor form behind the plate getting beat up and leaving his hand to be broken every other year he’ll be useless in a year or 2. And unless he learns how to stop a ball thrown in his direction from the outfield or anyone for that matter the guy will be completely booed out of the stadium and he can take his smug act to the EI line

      • Re-watching the 1992 series really shows how bad Borders was overall. He obviously had a fantastic series at the plate, but the Braves just kept running on him, and with good reason. I don’t want to knock him too much though, that series was the high point of his career.

        If you look at Arencibia, right now he’s Borders with more power. And that’s a fine role for him on this team. The other commenter was right, you won’t have all-stars at every position.

        • Borders had something like 9, 10 or 11 hits in the series, but the only one that drove in a run was his home run in game #4. His hits kept the pitcher from leading off an inning and snuffing out the Jays offence. I think in the 3 games where pitchers batted in the series, the Jays only had a pitcher lead off an inning once. Had it been my vote, I would have given the series MVP to Jimmy Key. His game 4 performance gave the the Jays a stranglehold on the series they did not relinquish and he stopped the Braves in extra innings when Henke blew the save in game 6.

          • I double-checked my facts, in the 1992 World Series, Blue Jay pitchers were 2 for 6 plus a walk. David Cone had both hits and the walk, Cone was 2 for 4 in the series. Jack Morris was 0 for 2 and struck out leading off the 3rd inning of game #1.

          • @JinInOhio….fuck man…can you at least put spoiler alert in you msg. before you go spoiling game 6 for me.

          • Strange, I just saw Borders knock in Olerud with a grounder up the middle. Could have sworn he had an RBI double of the left field wall earlier in the game.

        • I’ve been thinking the same thing. He’s definitely a terrible catch and throw guy, he’s ugly on SB attempts.

          • Was ’93 the year Borders had something like 1 HR and 14 RBI at the All-Star Break? He was just freakin’ terrible in the first half but got it together a bit in the second half. Could’ve been ’94 too.

          • In ’92 Borders had 1 home run and an OPS of .605 in the first half. Second half he hit 2 home runs and had an OPS of .643.

            Arencibia hasn’t been this bad yet, and I can’t imagine him slipping so badly to be in Borders’ level of awfulness. If he played a full season last year he probaboly would have had a 2 fWAR, which is adequate, if not unspectacular.

    • Benny Santiago was better

      • STOETEN is way too hard on JPA.

        I think we tend to forget he’s still a kid, entering just his 3rd MLB season. I think he has a higher ceiling than most think. He continues to improve and has great power. I think he can hit .250 and hit 25 HRS, 75 RBI…

        PLUS he’s a good-looking kid who is always smiling. Positivity man, goes a long way.

        • Faith is good, but stats trump faith.

        • JPA is no kid. He’s already 26. Should be entering his prime.

          • This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It’s mostly announcers, but can we stop calling any professional athlete “kid”? It’s so patronizing.

        • Conveniently enough, OBP is nowhere to be found in this post

        • I agree too. JPA is one of my favorite players. I think he could even hit 30 homers. I think he could learn to take a few more walks and I think his ability to call a game is vastly unerrated. In fact, I think people just like to shit on this guy because he has the temerity to be less boring than 99% of other athletes and we Canadians really hate when anyone isn’t boring as fuck. Oh is his OBPA or is ROMBA or is WATCKu not up to par? Christ……..

          • Yeah, that’s exactly it. Because everyone hates Lawrie too right?

            No, I’m pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that Arencibia has largely been a mediocre-at-best player in every facet of his game for the last two seasons, and absolutely atrocious in others (pitching framing). You need “OBPA or ROMBA” to know see that the only thing he’s done well is hit homeruns, which I guess is enough for the easily amused/ignorant

    • its likely the catching part that makes all the other guys better. That is pretty much the most important part of a catchers game anyways.. if he hits a few mistakes its gravey, but fuck if the guy cant catch or block breaking balls in the dirt very well then he is just a liability behind the plate. That said, I personally think that if JP starts working with Dickey in trying to learn to catch the Knuckle ball will help him with his hand eye co-ordination a bit. If it doesn’t well JP is going to have a rough time of it. lol

    • Fuck what is going on here, I thought this site was for baseball fans. Jonny whatta been watching. JPA is lucky to be where he is right now, but make no mistake he is the weak link on this club right now. if AA had the opportunity to get a quality catcher within his price range then JPA will be gone faster than you can say ‘a’

      • eh?

      • JPA had an OPS and OPS + north of guys like Rasmus and Rajai Davis last season, and wasn’t that far behind Lawrie, in 102 games. Sure he struck out like 5 times more often than he walks, but he still hit 18 doubles and 18 dingers in limited action. If he could learn to take a walk and be more selective, he might have a chance to crack an .800 OPS in 2013.

        Catchers take alot longer to develop their bats at the MLB level. There is alot more going on than just playing catch and getting good wood over 4 at bats. Catchers report for many pre-game meetings and do alot of side work with scouts, pitching staff, coaches, etc. Not to mention that catchers have to crouch for 9 fucking innings, get foul tips a few times a game and generally get dinged up pretty good. Not everyone can be Buster Posey and hit from the get go. Remember Matt Weiters? He was an all-world can’t miss prospect. And he sucked for the first couple fo years in the Show. He ain’t too bad now.

        Does JPA have holes in his game? Of course dude. His pitch framing is terrible and he made some very bad decisions last season that cost a couple of games. I am not here to defend his game calling skills either. He has alot to learn. Fuck, Yorvit Torrealba looked better behind the dish than JPA. But JPA has a strong arm, his blocking skills have improved and can hit dingers.

        I think he can hit .240 with an OBP just north of .300 with an ISO above .200. All of that would roughly translate to be above average production from your 8th hole hitter who happens to be your catcher.

        I don’t know where one can find a quality catcher. Look around the leagues and look at the catching depth charts. You won’t find many Buster Poseys around.

        • I know it’s a small sample size, but I believe that young players often show signs of what they can do its just inconsistent. JP was on a hot streak before he got hurt. That has to give a little hope that maybe he can be more than what he was for most of the year. He will always strike out and won’t take walks. But I really believe there is a little more in that bat. If it comes out next year he will be a big piece of the teams offense. Its actually scary to think of what this team can do if everyone is healthy and the young guys start to peak.

    • I haven’t looked up the stats, but I think he should be at least mentioned in a conversation about best Blue Jays catchers: Darrin Fletcher was a pretty good one from what I remember for a couple of seasons.

  11. Suck it Farrell!

  12. Say what you will, but there’s no way Vernon Wells could be more useless than Omar Vizquel.

    • If anyone could do it, Vernon would be that guy.

      • Of all the things Vernon could do in that role, one of them would never be to throw everyone under a bus.

        He’d also probably have a SLG that’s higher than his BA.

  13. Pretty sure that even Opening day starter to the Minor leagues has happened plenty of times before much less to 5th starter. Jays had Dave Lemancyzk go from opening day starter to 5th, back to opening day to retired. Bomback went from Opening day starter to out of the majors. Finally Estaban Loiaza went from opening starter to 5th starter on another team.

    • Yet you may fuck up Ricky’s confidence for good though

      • If any confidence got fucked up, he did it himself by shitting the bed.

      • Ricky has confidence? Huh, who knew?

      • I don’t know, if you are a pitcher like Rickey Romero who has the abbility to do better than he did last year, and you got to pitch against every other teams fifth starter.. my guess is that he is going to have fun this year and will be just as cocksure as ever.

        • How does he get to pitch against every other teams fifth starter, after the first week shit dont line up

      • lol@RR confidence….the fuck! As someone else said, other than having that first start of the year all that shit goes out the window after the first couple of series and he is just another starter.

        He dropped turds all over his bed sheets last year and I’m not a RR hater by any means but if you want to have that title for one day of the year, it is earned and not just a confidence booster.

    • It baffles me why so many people put such an emphasis on what number in the rotation a starter is. Aside from the opening day starter, and maybe matching up against the other teams ace, what does it really matter. With injruies, skipped starts, off days, that order of the rotation is going to change anyway.

      For me, I look at the rotation and see 5 guys who are high calibre MLB starters. Thats all I really care about. Can anyone convince me there is real importance to it? I dont think Ricky is upset he wont get to pitch until the 5th day of the season, I think he’ll just be happy to pitching on this team at all.

      • Why right guys off after one year? He’s a lefty with 90+ fast ball. I am sure he’ll be fine. You know that pitchers, like goalies are basically a crap shoot every year unless you happen to be one of like 10 goalies in hockey or maybe 30 pitchers in baseball.

  14. If he gets less than 300 at bats

  15. Rickie Weeks didn’t see his power numbers go down after the tendon surgery. However, there are guys like Nick Johnson who did see their power numbers disappear.

    The negativenancies will suggest that Bautista’s rather violent swing might make it a challenge for him to recover. On the flip side, Bautista had the surgery long enough ago to have his body recover before spring training.

    One never knows with injuries. Certainly alot of eyes will be looking at Bautista, Janssen and Santos, when spring training rolls around.

    • The fact that hes playing in the WBC should be a good gauge for Bautista, and for the Jays. If he takes his cuts and still notices some discomfort, he can shut it down and reasses it. And thats in real games a month before any real MLB games start. Be an interesting story to keep an eye on in March.

      • Agreed. They’ll set it up so that the guy you face today is very different from the guy you’ll face tomorrow. Maybe:
        Canuckleballer
        Hard Throwing Righty
        Lefty
        Hard Throwing Righty
        Lefty

  16. “Well, he earned it!”

    hahahh

  17. Otis Nixon looks like zombie MJ from the Thriller video

  18. Jose B’s swing on Aug 23rd looks alright to me….

    http://youtu.be/-d5raDF8n0c

    • Thanks for the reminder of what that looks like….but didn’t he come back shortly after and then out for the rest of the season?

      • Maybe since the season was a write off by that point they just said fuck it, not worth coming back. I don’t know… Swing did look good at least once though.

        • not that it matters but he came back for 1.5 games and then left to have surgery shortly after, nothing to due with a lost season.

          • My bad, good point. I guess I got a bit carried away, didn’t realize the sequence of events. That is troublesome.

  19. I’m still not overly enthused about the Dickey trade, at least not yet anyway. Two reasons: the first is the fact the Jays have never developed a first rate catcher in 35 years of trying. JPA is decent, but there are a lot of posters here who cannot stand him. I feel the jury is still out on him. The second is the Halladay trade. With the trade of D’Arnaud, the Jays now have Anthony Gose, Kyle Drabek and R.A. Dickey to show for the trade of Halladay. Would I have made that trade? No, because I’d rather have Halladay than those 3 players, and I’d take Halladay over Dickey in a heartbeat if I had to have one pitcher to start one big game. I will concede we all tend to fall in love with “prospects”, but after having certain players hyped to us the last 3 years, it’s not hard to see why people become enamored with some of these guys . I will give the pro-Dickey crowd this much- 5 years ago the Tigers traded Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz, Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrell Willis. The trade looked bad for the Tigers when they gave Willis an extension and he bombed terribly (his contract ALMOST made the Vernon Wells deal look good). Five years later we see that Willis bounced around and is out of baseball, and as for those 2 former number 1 picks who were supposed to be blue chip prospects that people castigated the Tigers for trading and said they were “nuts”, well Maybin is now a marginal player in San Diego and Andrew Miller is struggling to keep his career afloat in Boston. The other 3, Badenhop (marginal pitcher in Tampa Bay), De La Cruz (released two or three times) and Trahern (career minor leaguer who has been out of baseball since 2011) are no longer in the Marlins organization, so yeah, I understand the argument about trying to sit on prospects and getting rid of them while they still have value.

    • We all love Doc, but if the Jays don’t trade him he walks in free agency and like Delgado the Jays get nothing but a few picks for him. I still say the Jays should have cashed Delgado in after 2003, when he should have won the MVP and would have netted an excellent return. Instead, there was a very messy divorce.

      The Halladay trade had to happen to re-stock the cupboard that Ricciardi left completely bare, and because the Jays needed to re-start without him. Keeping Doc would have set the franchise back even further. And remember this: Kyle Drabek was considered the steal of the Halladay trade 3 years ago. Now he’s coming back from a second Tommy John and nobody knows what to expect after a few very up-and-down years. You want a hyped-up prospect to fall in love with, that’s what Kyle Drabek was.

    • They’re trying to win a championship, not show off their catcher. Who gives a shit who catches if it means we get RA Dickface for three years? It’s a gamble worth taking considering where the team is at (age of core, marginal utility of adding an ace). And forget Halladay, what the hell does he have to do with this deal? The past is the past, you don’t evaluate a deal based on the chain reaction of what got you to those players, you evaluate it in the moment.

    • Yeah, it would have been cool to keep Halladay, but like Sharkey says, Halladay wouldn’t have stayed with the Jays. He’s the one that requested to be traded because he wanted to play for a team that would contend. That plus he must have been tired of JPR’s BS.

      As for the Dickey trade, it’s either win now or waste Bautista entirely. Especially after the Mathis trade, Dickey is an ideal piece to that puzzle and *if* the Jays get to the World Series, it will have been worth it. If they win the World Series, it will be a complete win for the Jays regardless of how good TdA and Syndergaard turn out.

    • I don’t think that this (http://i.imgur.com/MbYee.gif) is really worth hording prospects over.

    • Dear Jim in Ohio, you are not looking at things properly. The Halliday trade was made with the Jays in a very difficult place because they had to trade him and really had like 2 teams to trade him to. What AA got for him was incredible because of this. Now, the fact that we turned one of those prospects into a guy who is basically the equivalent of where Halliday was when we traded him – ie a high impact cy young calibre star – at a time when we, like the Phillies then, were ready to compete, means that we basically aquired Gose and Drabek as bonuses to let our best player play somewhere else until we were ready to compete. In reality, I think we got a steal all things considered because Drabek and Gose could still be high impact players. As for the trade, I think its amazing. Screw prospects.

  20. Devon White was f**king awesome.

  21. “Vernon Wells a fan favourite”

    Um pretty sure people were jumping up dancing when he got moved.

    You could say Johnny Mac was a fan fav and people genuinely missed him when he left

    People were ready to drive Wells to the fuckin airport outta T.O.

    • People were jumping and dancing because of contract was leaving

      • Also a crappy batter was leaving. He was great with fans, the media and his community work, but he was infuriating to watch at the plate. Everyone and their dog knows how to get him out.

        • But when you look back, they HAD to sign him to that deal. I don’t fault them for it, given where the franchise was and who Vernon was as a player to that point. If the Jays hadn’t given him 7/126 someone else would have.

          That said, he’s a wonderful man who should not set foot inside SkyDome’s home clubhouse until he’s retired.

      • @Brainojack

        Exactly!
        He was a useless tit whiffing at every breaking ball down and away while making 18 large hence few n far between a fan favourite of any self righteous jays fan.

    • I remember saying to my buds on the ballteam, that we’ll know we are getting better and are serious when Johnny Mac is no longer on the team. I loved Jm’s hustle, heart etc but deep down he wasn’t that good and we had to get better and we have.
      The same evolved with VW-he became a crap player wnd while a fan fave he had to go for us to get better.

      I can vividly remember going to about 6 games in a row in 2008?, early in the season, when our 3-4-5 hitters were, Wells, Thomas and Rios. Each game they all went 0-4 with a couple of walks thrown in. Basically a collective 0-70. The outs were mostly strike outs and pop ups. Extremely pathetic. I knew then the team was dead and nevver went back the rest of the year, except for one game in August after we were 28 games out just for a laugh.
      I’m looking foward to a much better performance and I don’t ever expect to see our 3-4-5 hitters be so pathetic with NO changes to it again

  22. I feel like dropping Romero in the rotation – and Arencibia in the order – will result in some better seasons.
    I’m not a “stats” guy at all, definately into the mental end of the business, and, though I said exactly, well, NO words to Romero or Arencibia, I got the sense that there was a little too much on their shoulders.
    Romero couldn’t figure it out, Arencibia tried to bluster his way out of it, but both guys were searching for some answers.
    When Halladay was here, Romero didn’t have to be The Man all by hisself. He shouldered that burden fine for a year, but it might be that became too heavy a load to carry.
    I think we’re looking at a return to form for him there.
    Arencibia’s different, since he WILL have to be The Man, period (assuming Josh Thole isn’t another Ninja steal that absolutely nobody knows about). I think a little humility might lead to a bit higher OBP, etc., but I wonder, like Romero, if he won’t get dropped in the order; might take some of the pressure off him if he’s routinely batting 6th or 7th and not looked upon as a critical offensive component (ie, “whatever we get outta you is OK by me, kid, so relax”).

    Apropos of whatever, for what it’s worth, I also wonder if Lind being in a contract year will result in some rakeage…

    • I agree with you on Romero, but I think JP is the opposite at times. Sometimes he gets moved up or down in the order and he gets either boosted or pissed, but has a temporary streak. He needs a bit of fire to perform. With Romero, he can’t handle the heat, but he stepped up admiringly to be an ace in 2011, so who knows.

    • If only we had john buck…sigh

    • I’ve seen this a few time about Lind’s contract but I don’t see how it’s a contract year for him. The team has options on him ’14-16 with a 2$mil. buyout after this year. Sure if he rakes this year keeping him is a no doubter, shit I gotta think that if he hit above .265 with power they exercise said options. As finding a similar bat in free agency is gonna be a fucklot more give the new free-cash market.

  23. 102W – 60L (mostly Ricky’s starts)

  24. “maybe even install a giant window beyond the centre field fence.”

    What an apeshit ridiculous idea.

    1. There’s already a window out there – a fucking restaurant.

    2. The roof opens when it’s nice you dipshit, and there’s a weather app on your phone if the roof isn’t open

    3. Have you ever noticed the batters eye (black/greened out area directly behind the pitcher)? It would be a gigantic fucking contradiction to all of a sudden put a window out there

    4. Which part of centre field would you like the window replacing? The batters eye? The Restaurant? The hotel? or the scoreboard? I’m sure it won’t be difficult construction and you coming to ten games will certainly foot the bill for that amount of minor construction.

    Stay at home asshat. You’re the type of fan I don’t want to sit beside and hear you offer the players advice all game long anyways.

    • Building a window in the outfield isn’t that crazy an idea In fact, it’d probably be awesome. I’m sure as hell not letting that stop me from going to games this year though.

      http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2008/0509/MIL_74391976_580.jpg

      • I’ve mentioned this before.
        that area contains the main concrete supports for the roof when open. as well it faces north, not the best direction to gather sunshine

      • I’d love to see them open the stadium up and really make it a true baseball-only park, kind of like how they retro-fitted Anaheim Stadium out of the cookie-cutter mold after the Rams moved. But I can’t see it happening given the roof. The back holds the roof up.

  25. “I’m not sure how easily they’ll be able to manipulate their way into keeping it closed once the weather gets nice”

    Isn’t it totally at their discretion whether it’s open or closed? I just figured it would be closed whenever Dickey pitches regardless of the weather. I didn’t think there were any hard and fast rules determining whether it was open or closed, and it’s certainly been closed during beautiful summer days before.

    In fact, after the first few years we had the Dome, it has seemed that closed is the default position and opening it is relatively rare. I would imagine that they could just say, “it might rain” every time he pitches, and find some forecast to support that, if anyone gave them grief about it.

    Given that it’s pretty much accepted that teams will grow higher infield grass to help out slow infielders, or water down the base paths to slow down opposing base stealers, I don’t see what the problem is if they want to close the roof when Dickey pitches. From a fan’s perspective, I’d certainly rather see a win under the roof than a loss under a beautiful sky.

    • The dome’s normal position is closed. But the Jays can’t simply pick what days the dome is open or closed because it creates an unfair advantage for them. Dickey will pitch with the dome open on decent weather days.
      I don’t understand your point about the jnfield grass, you do recall that the Jays have a couple of speedsters who stealbases right? The point of grass is to attract star players to come to Toronto. Turf increases the likelyhood of injuries and makes there players not want to come here.

      • “But the Jays can’t simply pick what days the dome is open or closed because it creates an unfair advantage for them. Dickey will pitch with the dome open on decent weather days.”

        I know what you’re saying, but is there actually a rule somewhere that says ‘if you have a retractable dome, you must open it when the weather’s nice?’ I really doubt it. I’m not sure how MLB could really enforce that.

        • Beileve it or not, it IS up to the Jays on a daily basis what they do with the dome. It’s the same as if they were visitng a different location each day for the game-maybe inside, maybe not.
          the lastt few years they have made a point via the media to announce many a time that the dome w/b open on middling days ( temp around 60, maybe a bit of wind) to get the fans who enjoy “the great outdoors” to show up.
          So, yes, they can play indoors every RA start if they want-it’s up to them

          • The roof position decision is the Jays to make, although I beleive that decision is relingquished to the Umps half an hour before game time.
            MLB decides during the playoffs.
            I can’t believe that the Jays would close the foof for a Dickey start on a sunny July day – never happen

          • Guidelines for Movement of Retractable Roofs
            The decision as to whether a game begins with the roof open or closed rests solely with the home club.
            If the game begins with the roof open:
            It shall be closed only in the event of impending rain or other adverse weather conditions. The decision to close the roof shall be made by the home club, after consultation with the Umpire Crew Chief.
            The Umpire Crew Chief shall notify the visiting club, which may challenge the opening of the roof if it feels that a competitive imbalance will arise. In such an event, the Umpire Crew Chief shall make a final decision based on the merits of the challenge.
            (Arizona, Houston, Seattle, Toronto): Once the roof is closed during a game, it shall not be reopened.
            (Milwaukee Only): The roof may be re-opened by following the procedures for opening the roof as detailed below.
            If the game begins with the roof closed:
            (Toronto Only): It shall not be opened at any time during the game.
            (Arizona, Houston, Milwaukee, Seattle): It may be opened when, in the opinion of the home club, the climatic environment has reached a level where fan comfort and enjoyment will be best served by opening the roof to the natural atmospheric conditions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following guidelines should be applied opening the roof during a game.
            The roof may be opened only once during the game.
            The Umpire Crew Chief will be notified at the commencement of the inning that the roof will be opened at the inning’s conclusion.
            The Umpire Crew Chief shall notify the visiting club, which may challenge the opening of the roof if it feels that a competitive imbalance will arise. In such an event, the Umpire Crew Chief shall make a final decision based on the merits of the challenge.
            The opening of the roof shall only commence between innings.
            (Arizona Only): The roof shall be opened in a pair of 2 minute, 15 second intervals; one interval at the conclusion of an inning and one interval at the conclusion of the next inning.

            Source: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/ground_rules.jsp

            • Thanks man, didn’t know about that rule. So I think then that it’s closed whenever he pitches.

          • Thanks Tom I learned a lot from your post. Chanse, appreciate your point of view. As for me, a closed dome on a nice day and I won’t go.

            • @birdawg

              Really that surprises me. I mean I understand yer stance and respect it somewhat. However

              Why is winning not whats most important. As a fan I think we could all suck up the fact the domes closed for performance reasons beneficial to our club.

              IMHO we can learn from the Indianapolis Colts fans. When the offense was run by Peyton Manning an entire stadium larger than the dome would go silent for every play to allow the players to hear Peytons audibles.

          • @chanse…don’t get me wrong I love the game and the team, but I’m still trying to get over lights at Wrigley. The game of Baseball is meant to be played outdoors, sunshine, beer, pretty girls, exciting plays, beer, whatta mean safe!, beer, naw man I wasn’t looking at your girl that way, beer, yeah well f***you buddy,beer, shove, punch, kick, officer this man (belch) attacked me, handcuffs put on and led away. Its the tradition of the game we’re talking about here.

        • @birdawg

          I have to disagree.
          If Dickeys numbers show better results with the dome closed I dont think it should matter if its sunny and plus 25.
          If its a noticeable advantage for RA then you capitalize on that advantage and keep it closed regardless.
          I dont see the big deal in this either. Winning should always be the focal point for not only the players but fans as well.
          And to those fans arguing would ya rather watch a 9 inning shutout with the roof closed or enjoy sunny day with a weaker outting by the pitcher. I dunno take the good with the bad.

          • I have to agree with birddawg on this one. If it’s 25 and sunny and they close the dome, I would be pissed because it’s a terrible environment to watch baseball with the roof closed. You want to win but you also want to draw fans and make money and an open dome would attract bigger crowds.

            If you could somehow prove that an open dome caused Dickey’s ERA to jump by 1 or more, then maybe I would understand but without any proof, I’ll risk it.

            • It’s so fucking hot on those days that my swampy ass would love a closed roof. I’ve actually stayed home some afternoon games because it gets so uncomfortably hot.

          • Hey Chanse, I did some research and found out that this Dickey fellow won the Cy Yong award last year, and 95% of his games were outdoors. To quote the egg heads here, his indoor starts would be too small a sample size to draw any conclusions from.
            Conversely, if we close the roof and have ‘man in white’ day during Dickeys starts the other teams will go crazy with rage. This would be a brilliant move by Jays marketing and management . Wow 50,000 spies in white – we can’t lose. Its win – win either way

      • I think he just referred to the grass w/r/t the fact that other teams use their grounds crew/field to their advantage.

    • They aren’t supposed to open the dome during a game if it starts closed, that’s according to MLB’s official ground rules for SkyDome (other retractable stadiums have their own unique guidelines for their roofs). But the Jays did that like 3 times last year. It’s up to them, and I think they will keep it closed unless Dickey’s pitching on Canada Day or something like that.

      • @Sharkey.

        I think RA Dickey said he can pitch when the roof is open. He gave an interview to PTS saying only 2 or 3 of his wins last year came in Domes/Closed Roofs, so unless it’s windy or rainy , I assume Rogers will keep the roof open for him.

        They do open the roof if the weather gets better. It’s nicer especialy if it is 20 Celsius plus

  26. Stoeten:

    Before you use the example of Molina for Santos, keep in mind it was a Molina for a guy whose arm was about to fall off and who may never be right again. This season will tell the tale.

    • Even today, I think it’s a trade they still make. A guy now ranked 20+ in the Chisox system ( that’s weak) for a smoke thrower who has demonstated MLB prowess on the cheap. Yes there is a chance he bombs, which would make the trade crap for crapola. BUT, if he is like he was in ’11 it’s a NINJA deal!

      • I agree fukstik, there’s really no way the trade could be a bust for AA. At absolute worst it becomes basically a wash and at best its a POWER NINJA move.

        That being said, I guarantee the Sox and Jays both knew the situation with Santos’ arm/shoulder issues when the trade took place.

    • Keep in mind Molina looked mediocre at AA and the nice strikeout numbers from 2011 all but disappeared, all while suffering an elbow injury of his own, as well

    • I remember shortly before the winter meetings last year and it might have even been at the start of the meetings but Fuck Face Farrell was being interview and he said something to the effect that he could see Molina competing for next year’s closer job.

      I thought it was odd at the time as I didn’t remember a whole lot of hype for him at the time. And within the next week or two he was being traded.

      Agree with BMHS, at worst a wash and that both parties likely knew of potential shoulder/arm problems.

  27. In the ‘where are they now’ category Cory Snider lives in Cambrige now?,,

  28. Borders was never a very good offensive catcher. But he may have been the very best at keeping balls in the dirt in front of him. Gotta think that makes the pitching staff a lot more confident.

    Although I seem to remember Borders giving up a passed ball late in his career that cost his team a playoff series….maybe he fucked it up for the Twins?

  29. In the argument from the top about where JPA ranks with all the previous Jays catchers almost no one put any stock into the most important parts of catching. Everyone was comparing offensive seasons when the most important part of a catchers game are:
    Pitch selection, pitch framing, defense/run prevention. SS and catchers are similar in the fact that offense is a bonus.

    It doesn’t matter if JPA hits 25 bombs, Borders was better because he could frame a ball that was inches off the plate and get the call. He could get in a rhythem with a pitcher, he was excellent at blocking pitches in the dirt, he was better at throwing out baserunners(don’t judge on only watching 6 games replayed from his entire career) and he had a badass moustache.

    I hope JPA blows up and has a terrific year but it’s unfair to compare catchers solely on their offensive stats.

    • I’m glad you mentioned the moustache; that was all-world!

    • They said he was second worst throwing out runners in the regular season(1992).

    • That’s all very important, but it’s difficult to measure unless you’re an expert so all I did was quickly look at WAR and wRC+.

    • Caught stealing is a stat I feel is skewed. The quicker the ball gets to the catcher, the less time the runner has to get the steal. I can’t speak about the early 90′s, but Romero, Morrow, Drabek, and others over the last 2 years are pretty slow in this regard. But, for his career Borders was much better than Arencibia so far.

    • I have to think that Framing the ball is hilarious. How many strikes could it possibly make the difference on in a game? 3? 5? Give me a fucking break. I have watched baseball religiously for 20+ years and only in the last year have I heard people talk about framing. It has the relevence of an oxford comma. If people get bitched at for over valuing batting average or rbis then they should get punched in the fucking face for mentioning pitch framing. Give me a goddmamn motherfucking break. This getting intolerable.

      • Jimmy, you’re angry, intolerant, and missing a verb.

      • As a catcher I can tell you framing is very important. If you can get the borderline pitchers on the corners for your pitchers it puts the hitters on the defensive. Framing has been around forever so I’m not sure where you get “last 5 years from”. Maybe that’s just when you’ve noticed it.

        Receiving is much more then just catching a ball, it’s why you sometimes see a pitch that looks like it splits the plate and the catcher drops it or catches it awkwardly and the ump ends up calling it a ball.

        There’s also staying low with little movement as you catch the ball to give the ump the best view possible.

        Lastly, if a catcher sets up OFF the plate but the pitcher nails your mitt and receive it cleanly, maybe even drag it a bit back over the corner you’d be surprised how many times you get the call. IF you watch close enough Jimmy, you’ll pick these things up.

        • You miss my point completely. I know what framing is, as does everyone. It doesnt require that close of paying attention, the point I was making was that all of a sudden its the most important thing a catcher does when in reality the umpire is not stupid and is tricked maybe a few times per game. Framing is just a current buzz word being thrown around by people who want to act like they are extremely detailed analytical observers when in reality outside of some professional scouts, the only reason anyone knows whos a good framer and who isnt is because they read it on the fucking internet. Keep in mind to that we’re talking about something that has a borderline marginal impact on the outcome of games and is virtually imperceptable to notice on tv.

          • You’re being dramatic, no one said it’s the most important thing a catcher does, just another nice skill one can possess. And it’s not imperceptable on tv, as I said if you watch one of the good guys work, you’ll see them creeping out off the plate but receiving the ball so it looks like it catches the plate. Framing has become more widely used a term now, to that I agree with you but it doesn’t change the value of the skill. If thats your mindset I’m sure you hate WAR, OPS, VORP and all those new trendy BUZZ terms.

          • I’m probably not looking at this with an unbiased opinion anyway. I catch so I’ve put things like game calling, blocking, keeping runners honest, framing and defense at a much higher priority.

            Agree to disagree.

          • I don’t hate any stat or idea that adds to my knowledge of the game. What I hate is people who cherry pick stats completely out of context. Yeah, I am exaggerating a bit, but my rage is not directed towards framing, or even talking about framing. Its directed towards people who say things like “JP Arrencibia is a terrible framer and thus a horrible catcher” because anyone smart enough to actually observe the game and who would be able to judge for themselves how good of a defensive catcher he is, as opposed to reading it on the internet and repeating it like its gospel, would be smart enough also to contextualize the information so thats its presented as a part of a larger problem and not a singular fact that represents everything there is to represent. I hope I am making myself clear here, I don’t mean to say its not a valuable piece of information. Like WAR is valuable too; I just can’t people writing like these are the only things that mean anything. Players actually have to play, the stats are only guidelines. As for JPs vale to the team, I beleive its way way higher than people – especially here where theres kind of a snobbyness towards actual fans – make it out to be.

          • I thought we were talking about Pat Borders.

            I agree that there is an over use of stats, most of what I have learned from the game has come from playing and from coaches. Some of the new stats I like, some I don’t, but new ideas keep view points fresh.

            I watched a Phillies game last year and the Phils were in the field. I can’t remember who they were playing but there was a runner on third base. The batter hit a fly ball to right field and I watched as Placido Polanco positioned himself between where the ball was going and the runner who was tagging up on third base. Polanco was trying to obscure the runners view of when the flyball was caught so he couldn’t get a good jump off the bag to try and score. I had never seen that before, smart gamesmanship, Polanco trying to give his RF every advantage to throw the runner out. You can’t measure something like that with a stat.

            Personally when I make arguments they rarely involve stats.

  30. We should hire this guy as our pitching coach.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19262

    Funny stuff.

  31. Does the SPCA know he likes to suck whippets?
    Does Buehrle know?

  32. from fangraphs:

    “For both pitchers and position players, WAR is entirely context neutral. This means that it doesn’t take into account that some hits are more important in games than others; sometimes, a single can be more valuable than a triple, depending on the time and context.”

    i’ve been thinking about it for sometime, and I just cannot imagine how a single could ever be more valuable than a triple in any situation. they can be equally as valuable, say if the bases are loaded in the bottom of the 9th, but I cannot for the life of me see how a single can ever be more valuable than a triple.

    unless I am totally off on this occasion and lots of others, I feel there is sometimes dubious logic involved in a lot of fan graphs related analysis and evaluations. although sometimes they also have some very good material.

    • Well that’s what it means by context neutral. An RBI single is more valuable than a triple where the guy ends up stranded on third. Without context a triple is, of course, more valuable than a single. In the context of a game situation the single could have a bigger impact. Hence, context neutral.

      • This brings up a good point regarding stats vs traditional viewing of baseball.

        The stats guys ignore things like context, psychology, motivation, team enviroment, intangables, etc.

        The traditional guys just write stats off completley. Like, “screw those nerds”

        Like EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, the correct answer lies somewhere in the middle. Making WAR the be all end all of a players value is just as, if not more, stupid and misleading than saying that because he had 18 wins hes great or that his 100 rbis prove hes a great player.

        In reality, to paint an accurate picture of a players value, you have to gather as much information as you can. Attempting to find one number that does this is counterproductive and is ironic consider the motivation for inventing the stat in the first place.

        • Jimmy sometime a K is better than a HR in baseball. For example a guy fouls off 10 pitches before K’ ing on a wild pitch late in the game. The next guy doubles the runner home and the opposition has to go to a depleted bullpen, use a guy who they were saving till the next day and damn, they lose both games. The guy who fouled off the pitches is a hero and all he has to show is a K for his effort. Sabermetrics that!

        • yup it’s really interesting that a game like baseball, which has relatively few rules, still cannot be understood 100% statistically. you cannot know 100% what went on in a baseball game by looking at a stat sheet. a pitcher can in theory pitch a really good game, make 100+ quality pitches in the right spots with no beach balls left up in the middle of the plate, and still give up a decent amount of runs.

          also, another way that the traditionalist pulls some weight, is with the idea that some hitters are “clutch.” this is often thought of as 100% wrong by some stats people. but it would be a mistake to think that all baseball players function like robots, and that all players handle difficult psychological situations equally. some people really are more prone to “choke” if, regardless of their skill level, they cannot control their nerves as well as other players.

          an example of this that comes to mind is free throws in the NBA. for some players they probably have little problem with high pressure situations, or even thrive on it. but I’m sure other players will have more difficulty making two consecutive free throws when there is 1 second left in the game and they are down by 2, rather than making two consecutive free throws in the first quarter. pressure can tarnish some people’s performances, I know even with myself that I’ve generally played worse in sports in pressure situations.

        • @Jimmy

          Very well said.

        • Stat guys dont ignore context you fucking tool, the dumb fucks that you talk to may ignore context but any stat head I know looks for context and tries to apply context, just not hypotheical, un proveable shit like clutch performance and how the ball player “feels” or unmeasurable “leadership qualities” Should we start tracking players religion and see if one is better than the other, maybe god likes a certain religion better and we can judge a player by that.

          What non retarded people do is look at stats with context and evaluate players and situations based on more than one stat or a feeling I have from watching SOOOOOO much more baseball than the next guy

          • so your response to me – and i’m not going out on much of a limb here when say what i wrote was easily the best comment on this entire board, as far as being well thought out, nuanced and sensible – so your response to me was to repeat exactly what I said, only saying it like an asshole. Gotcha !

      • “sometimes, a single can be more valuable than a triple”

        after reading that I thought regardless of the context of the game, the triple is always more valuable than a single. but I guess what they were getting at was that different hits have different impacts at different times in the game. a single that scores 2 runs is more valuable than a homer that scores one. although this would account for a player’s impact on the game, and not necessarily their skill level. bautista could get 2 walks, a home run, and a single in a game and yet had less impact in the score of the game than a pitcher in the NL that went 1/4 and gets a lucky 2 rbi single but hits into 3 double plays.

        stats are really interesting to read about, but it’s interesting that a game like baseball that has relatively few rules still cannot be represented entirely by statistics.

  33. I’m watching the 1992 World Series very closely to see how we stack up to a World Series team. On paper, our Starting Rotation is better. Our lineup is better. If you notice the 1992 team did not have all stars at every position. You don’t need all stars at every position to win. They actually had 3 very average players in their lineup in Borders, Lee and Maldanado. So when people write we need to upgrade on Lind, we can live with Lind. When people write the importance of the 25th guy, I disagree with that also. The 1992 team had a very weak bench with Tom Quinlan, Turner Ward, Derek Bell etc. The big difference with 2013 vs 1992 is the bullpen. The 1992 team had a shutdown bullpen with Ward and Henke. You do not win a World Series without a shutdown bullpen. If AA does not upgrade the bullpen, then all of his work on the Starting Rotation and lineup will be wasted. We must sign Rafael Soriano. You need a shutdown closer especially considering the injuries to Santos and Janssen. We must bring back Brandon Lyon. We have to hope Oliver returns. If not, we may have to go out and get another piece. I would like to get some input
    Reply | Quote | Edit | Delete Topic

    • well Baltimore got their ticket to the post season from their bullpen. I hope AA does what he can to try and get Oliver back, maybe even give him a raise.

      the 1992 team also shows that a team simply has to be fortunate to win it all. the giants had scutaro hitting .400+ last world series as borders did in 1992. stuff has to go your way to win

      • also Gruber was awful offensively in 1992. there’s been some debate, but I think the 2013 lineup could be better than 1992, provided J Bau is his former self

    • Soriano is unlikely but I am sure AA can get Brandon Lyon back.

    • I doubt very much that Soriano is a realistic option as one, he is going to cost a draft pick and two, Boras is tying to get him the best deal possible. Just look what the Dodgers paid for Brandon League.

      There has been too much chatter about Janssen’s surgery in my view. Its a simple clavical shave which did not involve any structural part of his shoulder. He elected to do it to save pain and discomfort more than anything. Mariano Rivera had the same procedure done in 2008 or so and he did not miss a beat. Interesting note, both throw alot of cut fastballs.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Brandon Lyon return as a middle reliever, but I doubt he would go for a one year deal + option, which is what the Jays likely have on the table. Frasor is done in my view, at least for a team vying for a post-season berth. He is likely headed going to a club like the Cubs or the Brewers. Good luck to him.

      Oliver, according to Chisolm and others, is likely going to retire.

      If everything breaks right in spring training, and assuming that everyone is healthy, the Jays bullpen is likely going to be something like this:

      CL – Janssen (R)
      SU – Santos (R)
      SU – Delabar (R)
      MR – Lincoln (R)
      MR – Loup (L)
      MR – Rogers (R)
      LR – Happ (L)

      Some nice young power arms in there, but one wonders about how reliable some of these guys will be over the course of the year. I also worry about not having a proven lefty killer as our LOOGY (note: Cecil could be inserted instead of Loup as he is out of minor league options).

      I am supposing that Happ will be the long guy as he is also out of minor league options. He could also spot start on occasion.

      Depending on how things go, I think that AA wants to open the season with a nearly set bullpen with some power arms in the minors. Come trade deadline season, he can then go and acquire the missing piece. My guess is that he will be looking for an established LOOGY if the team is in the mix of things.

    • I personally think we already have a shutdown bullpen. Janssen, Delabar, Santos, and Lincoln are a great top four. I don’t know much about Rogers but AA traded Farrell for him (with a step in between) so I doubt it was just to send him to the minors. Happ fills the necessary swingman role, which leaves Loup. Loup earned a shot at the bullpen in my opinion, but if AA wants to sign a Lyon or a Frasor to fill the last bullpen slot… it’s the last bullpen slot. I mean, whatever, right? Oliver would be nice, but can’t really act on replacing him until after he decides.

      • We got Santos to be our closer, so lets take a breath and let him do his job.

        • I thought that Janssen was nails as the closer last season. Unless Santos blows everyone away in spring training and Janssen struggles, its gonna be Janssen to start the year.

          Things can definitely change during the course of the year. Wouldn’t be surprised if Santos is closing games by July.

          Regardless, having a two-headed closer is a good thing.

  34. Nah, I think we’re fine as is. If it is determined that extra bullpen help is needed then it can be obtained at the deadline (or earlier). Not a good idea to spring a giant contract on a high-profile closer.
    I’m comfortable with what we have for the year, though it would be nice if Oliver comes back.

  35. So Ugueth Urtain Urbina is available…

    Oliver replacement? Career 12.5 WAR, 10.5 K/9, 3.45 ERA and 128 ERA+. And he’d probably come cheap.

    • He’s a right hander and… uh… don’t think it means much to look at the career stats of the guy who just spent the last six years in jail.

    • He would come cheap but would likely encounter many problems with a work visa. The dude is a convicted murderer or some shit like that. And he is 39.

  36. As a catcher I can tell you framing is very important. If you can get the borderline pitchers on the corners for your pitchers it puts the hitters on the defensive. Framing has been around forever so I’m not sure where you get “last 5 years from”. Maybe that’s just when you’ve noticed it.

    Receiving is much more then just catching a ball, it’s why you sometimes see a pitch that looks like it splits the plate and the catcher drops it or catches it awkwardly and the ump ends up calling it a ball.

    There’s also staying low with little movement as you catch the ball to give the ump the best view possible.

    Lastly, if a catcher sets up OFF the plate but the pitcher nails your mitt and you receive it cleanly, maybe even drag it a bit back over the corner you’d be surprised how many times you get the call. IF you watch close enough Jimmy, you’ll pick these things up.
    Yaddy Molina does it all day long.

    • Oops, that was meant to go half way up the board in a reply to a JImmy rant.

    • If JPA ever catches Dickey, look for a new defensive alignment for the Jays infield when there are 2 strikes on the batter: Lawrie stands well behind the catcher to throw to first on past balls and record the K.

      • JPA would have to set up in front of the plate in that case.

        • Spud this post has been interesting, I learned the Dome rule and this one. Guess its time to take a nap, all this learning is exhausting. Perhaps at somr point we can review the 19 ways to comitt a balk. I learned the hard way on this one too.

      • Nice thought Birddawg but against the rules I’m afraid.
        As a fromer pitcher ( not very good) i can tell you there is a rule that prohibits more than one fielder in foul territory when the pitch is thrown, thus Lawrie c/n do that.
        Even some managers do not know this rule. Back in ’73 Gene Mauch of Montreal tried to put the 1B at the screen when Joe Sparma was issuing intentional walks ( he threw wild pitches all the time). He got away with it briefly til the other team figured it out and that was that.
        Don’t think that there hasn’t been other guys wishing they could do it

        • Grammar errors!

        • Did not know that rule. You can play the game a lifetime and learn new things allthe time

          • I never stop learning about the game,birddawg.

            Wish some people could admit the same thing.
            This place is gonna be nuts when the season starts.Price of fame,I guess.

          • @ Radar

            I think it’s the complexity of the game that has drawn me to it all these years. There is always something new to learn.

          • @ Tom W

            And therein lies the rub.
            Between the “it’s a simple game’ and AA,we are all of different knowledge sets and experiences.Stoeten,Parkes and Drew are considered experts by some and they are very knowledgable about certain aspects but miss other aspects. By some people,I’m considered knowledgable but compared to some on this board ,I freely admit to being clueless in their area of expertise.
            So who’s right and who’s wrong?
            Neither and both.
            My first disagreement with Stoeten, I pointed out that we watch the game from a different perspective.He didn’t understand then but I think he’s coming around.
            It’s cliche but baseball is truly an anology for life.
            Exceptionally simple and extremely complex.

            PS. An example, a person can watch the game for 20 years and not understand pitch framing.Not his fault,,just a different perspective.
            When the season starts, it’s gonna be a zoo in here.

          • @ Radar

            Yes it is going to be a busy site come spring and I would hope there is some consideration given to changing/upgrading the comments section to something a little more user friendly and organized.

          • @ radar, you missed my point dude. I understand pitch framing. My problem is with how and what people talk about, not the actual skill. I was also pointing out that umpires are not stupid and are . at most, tricked only a few times every game. I mean, most umpires have their own strike zone and call balls and strikes based on how they feel and what they ate for breakfast and whether their wife is on the rag or what not.

          • @ jimmy

            According to studies into pitch framing,( I’ll get the links later) it’s very important.I won’t quote the numbers without looking it up first but it can up wins in a year.
            When he was with the Jays, J Molina was listed as the very best.
            Sorry guy , you’re just flat out wrong.Talk to any coach,pitcher or catcher who’s played at a high level.

  37. Nick Carfado lists his top 10 rosters in the MLB and lists the Jays at #5.

    http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/12/30/the-best-rosters-baseball-heading-into/LPjnjLEjn7zQNOvL51SjaI/story.html

    At first I thought it was crazy to have the Jays that low- I figured they’d be around #3. Then I read the 4 ahead of them and not only does it make sense, the Jays are the first in the AL East (only team in the AL East to make his list). I think you could make an argument the Jays are better than the Angels on paper for being far more diverse on offense, and blow their pitching staff out of the water; Weaver and Wilson are the only 2 good or better SP they have.

    Rergardless, the Jays being thought that highly of is a nice feeling after a 20+ year old clusterfuck of poorly GM’d teams (excluding Anthopoulos’ years).

    The Royals being on the list made me giggle though.

    • thanks for that. Lists are interesting and he backs up his opinions. Personally I agree with you and the Jays s/b higher than 5. The guys who know the most (Las Vegas bookies) say the Jays are either 1 or 2 based on their odds and analysis. I’ll go with them.
      Unfortunately we still have to play the games. Go Jays!

      • The vegas bookies don’t know best lol. They boosted up the jays odds because they predicted heavy betting on the Jays after the trades.

      • Bookies base their odds on a lot more factors than who actually has the best chance of winning. To say “bookies know best” is wrong. Bookies make their odds based on so many non-baseball factors that it would be a mistake to just look at who has the lowest odds and call them the best team.

        • I said Cafardo’s was an opinion and so was the commenters and for that matter so is mine. Opinions are like asses, everybody has one.
          Wecan sit here allnight who has the “best” but there is no definitive choice. Are the Jays in the top 10? I think most of us would say yes. Top 5? probably. First or second? Don’t know, I;m merely suggesting that since Vegas had them listed 1 or 2 ( since dropped a bit) they would consider more factors than Cafardo and thus I give their opinion a higher weighting in a statisitical sense.
          Sure they have their own agenda, which is basically to encourage an equal amount bet on allteams somehow, and they use the “odds” to do that but there is some valuable validity to the inherent ranking they provide.
          So I still say, along with the earlier commenter that the Jays are higher than 5th, that’s all.
          We still have to play the games, though. Now, back to my merlot

    • To be fari, Hamilton/ Pujols is a fucking crazy combo. Its better than Miguel/Prince or Jose/EE. Its probably the best combination in the history of baseball.

  38. Lineup, rotation and pen… 2 questions on each:

    Lineup:
    1. What will Melky bring to the table after being caught and in a non contract year?
    2. Will Jose be the same after the wrist injury?

    Rotation:
    1. Is JJ no longer the same pitcher after a bad first half last season with his velocity down?
    2. Will RR be able to rebound after a horrific season?

    Pen:
    1. Can CJ close under the spotlight for a team with the pressure to win now?
    2. Who replaces Darren Oliver as the late inning rock + lefty specialist?

    • Nobody knows the answers,absolutely nobody.
      That said, let’s speculate,based on what is known.
      Lineup.
      1. Melky woulda been the NL batting champ in 2012.Even if he regresses to become a 280 hitter with defense then it’s worth the gamble.If he thinks he has something to prove on a playoff bound team so he can get a big new contract in 2 years,he could rake.
      2.Bautista has been interviewed and said he spoke to 30 people who have the knowledge about the surgery and seems confident. Will he temper the violent swing mechanics for fear of reinjury? Good question.

    • 1. Melkey is 28 and he doesnt even ever hit home runs. Unless he reverts back to being a lazy fat ass I think this question is irrelevent.

      2. A stupid question. Jose will be fine. I think theres tons of more pressing questions such as was EEs breakout a fluke? Can Reyes be the player he was? Is Rasmus going to live up to his potential? can Lawrie overcome being a world class douche bag to be a good enough player to warrent putting up with his abhorent personality?

      1. Josh Johsnon didnt forgt how to pitch. He will be fine. Almost all flame throwers lose their velocity and if they are good they just learn how to pitch more. If I am not mistaken Morrow used to hit 100 and is now a better pitcher. Also, I actually think Morrow is our best pitcher.

      2.yes because left handers who throw in the 90s are always good.

      1.closer is the most overrated position in sports. If Santoes is healthy, hes the closer anyway.
      2. Darren Oliver is 400 years old, too much is being made out of his departure.

      • 1. Wasn’t talking about homeruns with Melky…. talking about overall hitting… he was winning the batting title race, hitting like a mad man until he got caught. Best he ever hit prior to that was around .300 with KC. And he “cheated” during a contract year. This is not a contract year. MLB watching him like a hawk after he insulted them with the fake website. Reason for concern.
        2. How can you be sure Jose will be fine? And considering he’s our number 3 hitter, and this is a wrist injury that happened on a swing, its a very valid question. Certainly other questions exist – I’m just bringing up the more key issues IMO.
        1. Did you see JJ’s first half of last season? Definitely reason for concern. And learning how to pitch to make up for lost velocifty isn’t something that comes automatically. Even after JJ started throwing his new curve more, he always wasnt completely confident with it. Thats something alot of pitchers face as they lose velocity (look at Tim Lincecum), and not all of them remain their former selves.
        2. Did you watch any of RR’s games last season? You can’t be serious.
        1. Closer is kind of important when the game is on the line… and Santos’ health is still a big question mark until he throws consistently off a mound without issues. And even then, if that happens, there will be rust.
        2. Again, did you watch any baseball last year? Oliver was a huge part of the pen… his departure is a big void to fill. He’s old but he has not declined with age yet, and as a lefty specialist, he’s a rare commodity.

        • @Hassey, great questions I’m hoping we see the Bautista that put’s every ounce of his torso into swings.

          As for Josh Johnson, he missed most of 2011 with a shoulder injury. I’m speculating here but I’d say that his early struggles/velocity issues in 12 were the result of rust and nt having his arm strength back up to where it should be.

          I really believe JJ will be lights out this year.

          • Yeah I have faith in JJ. Hopefully last year when he did hit rocky patches, it wasn’t a sign of anything other than rust. Plus it’s a contract year for him, which can’t hurt.

      • @jimmy douche
        I guess there is such a thing as a stupid question.

        Who is this Santoes guy you speak of?

        Gonna be a long year reading your puke inducing comments…good thing only one day left.

      • wow! are you just being polemic or are you really that stupid? A few of your comments are okay…the rest would be okay on a tsn forum!

        • I’m not trying to be negative, just pointing out that if there are concerns, these would be them, in my opinion.

          I get that every team has a list of questions. And compared to most of the league, I would much rather have these questions about my team than the several other and potentially more concerning ones I could come up with for other teams.

  39. Watching game #6 and it struck me how nice and clean looking the backstop and surrounding area looks by not being plastered with advertising.

    • Yup. One thing I’m worried about is if they’re going to continue with those awful ads by first and third base they introduced right at the end of last season. I sent an alcohol-induced rager of an email to Rogers to voice my displeasure. Was probably only read by some lowly intern, but my oh-so-clever drunken quips made me feel better.

      • Please consider posting your next ‘alcohol-induced rager’ here on DJF, where many of us love ‘oh-so-clever drunken quips.’ We are, of course, your natural constituency.

        Sometimes you want to go
        Where everybody knows your name,
        And they’re always glad you came;
        You want to be where you can see,
        Our troubles are all the same;
        You want to be where everybody knows your name.

        • I’ve had nothing to rage about since. Now when I turn to the alcohol I usually just giggle incessantly thinking of the 2013 season. I’ve lost some so-called friends because of this, but have found out who my true friends are. They’re giggling too.

          • I find it hard to completely trust a man who giggles incessantly. I fault AA. He’s done much too good a job, and look what we’re left with–a bunch of grown men giggling like schoolgirls.

            Please attempt to work up some good old-fashioned moral outrage occasionally, if only for my sake. I’d be quite satisfied with a mild rant or two for starters.

        • That’ true spuds and remember what the doormouse said,’ feed your head’.
          With apoligies to the Airplane, I really am out here in the fields, …with my merlot and pearl dipped pen.
          Carry on

          • When out in the fields, be careful lest you cast your pearls before swine.

          • When the truth is found to be lies
            And all the joy within you dies
            Don’t you……

          • spuds: “don’t you want somebody to love
            don’t you need somebody to love…
            They were much more surrealistic almost on a pillow, before becoming Jefferson starship. I wonder what the white rabbit would have said to Grace if it knew she would grow to be 10 feet tall?

        • NORM!!!

  40. It seems strange not to have the boxscore always onscreen.

  41. Winfield is a fucking BEAST. The bat looks like a fuckin toothpick in his hand. Love his pre swing hitch as well. If only Lawrie’s were as easy to look at as that.

  42. need ta get me a pair of those Carter high tops for softball

  43. holy fuck… didn’t remember that Maldanato play

  44. not talking about his amped up throw on the nixon play

  45. I’m just gonna make this space my own

  46. GODDAMNIT HENKE, ITS A FUCKIN’ SCHOOL NIGHT! – My Dad in 1992.

  47. Curiously enough it was not in fact a schoolnight.

  48. Get ready for it

  49. You know Pat O’brien, went out and got some scummy fulton county beave after this one

  50. maybe if it was a school night way back when i would have learned how to properly use a comma

  51. well i’m emotional and i’ve begun drinking again… i’m sorry dad.

  52. I bet Ron Gant and I are doing the exact same thing right now: eating cookie dough straight from the tube

  53. Like losing my virginity (took way too long), this memory of winning the World Series will be a part of me forever.

    It’s definitely up there with feeling my first pair of titts.

    • If only you’d had an older brother to help you and point the way. Alas, he was far too busy learning how to frame pitches and set up off the plate to help a poor bastard get lucky. Shame on him!

      • I know, I know.

        • Actually he’s my older brother Spud, and he offered me no help with the ladies, though I did inherit his Playboy Collection.

          • Ugh. DNA samples galore.

            (At least you already shared it, I guess.)

          • I think mom kept his crib next to the microwave.

            But what he may lack in intellect he makes up for in fiery, passionate speech and a healthy dose of piss and vinegar. He looks and acts a lot like Brett Lawrie. Tiring but incredibly interesting.

          • That’s sweet, you old softy.

            Keep warm.

            • Yeah, I just finished cleaning up the barf off my shirt after that one.

              Certainly nice words Smasher. Should we cuddle up together and watch episodes of the Golden Girls soon?

          • Oh, and I forgot, he’s also skilled in the art of sarcasm.

          • Like Bastard, like Smasher.

            Who woulda thunk it?

  54. What was I think on that last play?

  55. Omg guys, we won the World Series!

  56. Is SN planning on a replay of the ’93 series. Cause that would top off my holidays like a room full of wenches would for a drunken pirate!

    • Hold that thought for a year would be my guess.

      Find something else to float your boat in the interim.
      Like the 2013 edition.

      (and I thought we agreed we’d speak no more of drunken pirates.)

      • My mistake…I forgot that Tom W needed no more flashbacks of his epic pirate eve. Must have posted this after I uncorked that last bottle of Captains’.

  57. I think the chances are high now that AA moves in on Stanton. I think a package of Sanchez, Gose, Norris, Jiminez and Osuna gets it done. Do it AA!

    • The real oakville69 never misses a chance to say LOL & +1, which is why he is a serial replier.

      • Spud, you are somewhat of a profiler, what would possess some poor unintelligable soul to pretend to be someone else?

      • +1.

        I have no idea why people keep trying to impersonate me.
        The Jays won’t get Stanton from the Marlins, so that makes no sense.

        It was fun watching game 6 of the 92 world series today. Tabby got an at bat.

        40,000 fans screaming at skydome watching a game played in Atlanta.

        The stone faced look on Ted Turner & Jane Fonda’s faces after the two run RBI by Winfield in extra innings.

        Cito & Beeston accepting the World Series trophy.

        Looking forward to recreating those experiences in 2013.

        The 92 Jays had a lot of great veteran players.

  58. Was this David Justice his pre-Hally Berry restraining-order era?
    Flash forward and Berry has had restraining orders against several ex husbands.

    • Ya, I think Hally Tosis is the true creep in these relationships.

      Do you remember when she left the scene of an accident she caused where she hurt some folks?

      I saw her interviewed months later and she said she left because her forehead was cut and her face is her livelihood. Class act.

      http://articles.latimes.com/2000/may/11/local/me-29022

      • Yeah, she’s a snivelly little hot bitch.

        As if she couldn’t remember the incident as she drove away.

        Anyone she the latest piece of trash she dates / dated that spit on the paparazzi?

  59. The Candyman can.

    And did.

  60. Stanton is the exact type of player the Jays should have been going for the previous two years. Now, it doesn’t make as much sense.

    The Jays are pretty much set and just need to keep finding Delabar’s and Santos’ to round out the bullpen. I can’t imagine what the circus will be like around Dunedin this year. Let’s just hope the team doesn’t get off to a 2-8 start or something where the Chicken Littles can do their thing.

    • By the same token (only the other side), let’s hope that they don’t finish with a 24-7 record either.

  61. Joe Carter. What a smile and the charisma, unparalleled.

    You know, I’d gladly french kiss him if I ever saw him. And that’s a compliment because I kiss well and am highly heterosexual.

    • Ditto. I’d gladly french kiss him as well, and I am a great kisser and highly heterosexual.

    • Ah, the old Tricky Dicky/Red China gambit.

      I’m sure that he’d enjoy it too. He’s studly.

      • I am not a criminal

        • For some strange reason my suggestion to you to “stop sweating” has been deemed to be needing adjudication.

          (By the bye, you’re making me hot. Just sayin’.)

          • I’ve been aiming to be wife #3

          • Ha! Cute.

            I have a friend who for years has always referred to his ‘present’ wife as his ‘current’ wife; I just got word that the latest Mrs. is also the latest ‘Ex’.

            Would you consider a trial period?

          • I’m going to take that as a maybe.

          • @SP
            I’ll request a LOA. I can use a change of scenery. I do have a flexpack though. Logistics will have to be worked out.

          • Well if nothing else I’d be a change of pace; I’m always being told that I’m different. After all, a change is as good as a rest.

            You wouldn’t lack work. Out west we have more crazy people than you can shake a stick at, and it doesn’t do any good even if you do. Thank God I’m nearing that time in life where I can sport a walking stick with a nice heavy handle and not be accused of carrying a cudgel.

            Finally, consider the number of new beer cans you could find for your cave.

            ~~~~~~~~~~TBC~~~~~~~~~~
            (continued, considered, confirmed, take your pick)

        • “I am not a crook”

  62. I love everyone on that team. Although I don’t know about any french kissing…

    • With a name like that, you’ll figure something out I’m sure.

      Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

    • Yeah, I’d let Carter cut my hair, but I gotta draw the line at kissing: French or otherwise.

  63. I have to say, I’d forgotten that back in the day we apparently had to actually remember the score, and various other game-related details.

  64. And i have to say that Devon White- now that I see him again was by far the best CF they’ve ever had. And what a runner! Effortless strides.

  65. @Karen

    Next time I’ll add a spoiler alert.

  66. FFS, It’s Tabby!!!!

  67. Alomar delivers.

    I’m wearing my vintage #12 road jersey while watching the game. (No name, a Sally Ann find.)

  68. So many things going through my mind:

    • So, was Halle Berry the fiancé of David Justice that Deion Sanders allegedly threw a drink at when they won the NLCS?

    • I apparently mashed up a lot of details from the 92 and 93 series. The most important one: 92 was the year of quality pitching and a lockdown bullpen; 93 was straight mashing.

    • McCarver will never not be infuriating.

    • The Jays team looked like a big family. The Barves looked like they all hated each other (specifically Deion Sanders).

    • Speaking of Sanders, dude was playing on a broken foot?

    • The Game 1 camera loved Ed Sprague’s wife.

    • Whenever I see the Grubes, I think/hope Brett Lawrie.

  69. You have to love Pat Borders accepting his MVP trophy with his pants undone.

    Gold.

  70. @Brisco
    I dont think you’ll find anyone in the known universe who disagrees with you on McCarver. And. come to think of that…wasnt it he and Sanders who got into that loker room fight?

    Also, there were a LOT of broken hearts in the USA that night. Anyone notice the deafening silence?

    • McCarver said he was selfish for playing for the Falcons the same night of the NLCS’s game 7. After they won, he threw a bucket of water on him, to which McCarver replied, “You’re all man, Deion.”

  71. Anyone else think the Braves might have bunted their way out of a World Series? Two of the outs in the 11th came on bunts. Some shitty bunting earlier in the series too.

  72. Found this little quote nugget on Fangraphs:

    “What we do with the data, internally, may be different than what other teams do. We’re always looking to find ways to improve the way we process data, and use data, and build our own internal metrics to, again, help with the process of assigning value to players. But really, fundamentally, all data starts externally.” — Ben Cherington, January 2012

    Jesus fuck. Reading that makes me love AA more. Now would I French kiss AA? No, but I would double dip with him over crackers and wine.

    I can just picture Cherington and Farrell have discussions over external data. Well he is one data you can process you masshole fucks, SUCK IT.

  73. Anyone have insider? Olney just came out with best rotations in baseball.

    Wonder where he ranks Toronto

    • 7th. 3rd in AL behind Tigers (1st) and Rays (6th)

    • How is he ranking rotations that aren’t even set yet?

      • For the most part, they are.

        • Onley, has not been terribly sharp of late, the more he says the worse he gets. Dickey (#1 starter) and Morrow(#4 Starter) I believe have shots at 20 Win seasons. Johnson is going to be playing for next years contract so he’ll be balls to tyhe wall, and RR should be the best #5 in the world. Com’om Burhle. Jays #1 rotation and you heard it here first !!

          • Jays are a favourite to win the 2013 WS, and you can’t do that with the #7 ranked rotation. ESPN should invest in some knowledgeable talent, rather than recycle these insufferable scribes that spew crap to appease their US fanbase.

          • Stifle yourself, Edith!

            We’re in stealth mode, ‘dawg.
            No need for full disclosure.

            By the time the rest of the league decides to take the Jays seriously, it’ll be too late.

          • If you ever want to become the ‘Big’ Spud around here, it won’t be by playing possum. Thing is I want this team to have the swagger that the 92. 93 Jays had, and that won’t come by layin’ in the weeds

          • As I recall, the Jays had swagger coming out their ying yangs after their 24-7 Spring Training last year, to no avail.

            Most on this blog made merciless fun of the OriLOLes all season last year, right into the playoffs. If the rest of the league/Americans/the media care to underestimate our chances by employing Ben Cherington’s internal metrics or whatever, let them.

            (Concerning your first point, I haven’t got the royal jelly.)

          • Last year’s ST record gives swagger? Spud, time for some rye and royal jelly. Last years popgun team had no cause for swagger, but this year’s Jays are big, mean and will be expecting to win every series.

          • 2013 Blue Jays: Hustle & Heart v3.0

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