The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, especially if you’re a blogger and want to half-ass your way through a post of some retrospective-ish content– or perhaps a self-congratulatory anniversary post– and go get drunk (as most of us are primarily want to do).

For me, that kind of task was made even easier– theoretically, at least– by the whirlwind two months the Jays had on the trade market following the conclusion of the World Series. No longer would it be necessary to view 2012 entirely through the prism of arm injuries, fan deaths, Romer-woe, eye-black slurs, Farrell betrayal, Lawrie impudence, clubhouse concerns, the spectre of a permanently-closed roof, and whatever else went completely off the rails.

I’ve made up a list of headings for a DJF Guide To The 2012 Blue Jays Season that I may or may not do– a work that’s been half in progress since I decided I couldn’t stomach it back in October– and they’re infinitely more positive now than they would have been if the piece had been posted at season’s end. Nothing is more striking an example of that sea change, I think, than one of the few entries I had completed in full back in my late-September first draft– the one for the letter “A,” and Alex Anthopoulos.

So, as a gift to you as we usher in what should be the best Jays season in decades, here’s what I was ready to lay on Anthopoulos as the season came to a close, in all its vitriolic glory…

Anthopoulos No Longer a Greek God
At the end of the 2011 season Alex Anthopoulos was as revered as any young, entirely unproven GM in the game, and over the course of the calendar year that followed he’s unwittingly crafted the absolute blueprint for how to piss away goodwill. No, last winter’s free agency gut-punch and this summer’s parade to the disabled list can’t entirely be reasonably hung around AA’s neck, but what can is that he’s taken a full fucking year off from acquiring position players or starting pitchers of anything resembling consequence. Seven non-relievers acquired in the last calendar year have played for the Jays: JA Happ, Aaron Laffey, Jesse Chavez, Jeff Mathis, Ben Francisco, Yorvit Torrealba and Omar Vizquel. That might be acceptable if, y’know, the club he started with was any damn good.

It’s still mind boggling to think of how little he did over a calendar year, even now, as he’s added six true contributors for 2013– RA Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, and whichever of Izturis and Bonifacio ends up playing second base– to an already impressive core.

And OK, so maybe this isn’t exactly a message from Alex Anthopoulos himself, but I suspect you see what I mean– and how awesomely different things already are around here.

So… Happy New Year, thanks for a great six years of DJFdom, and here’s to a better 2013 for the Jays and their fans, and to the good news that last year set the bar so low it practically can’t not be better. I mean, we’re almost two full days into 2013 and everybody’s arm seems to be intact. Not a bad start!

Oh yeah, and I just realized that this comment from “Carl Sagan” on the most recent Griff Bag was our 200,000th since we switched to Disqus (which, yes, we all want back), in May of 2010. Two-hundred thousand!

Comments (54)

  1. I can feel the love.

    I like it

  2. Thanks to AA, some fun times ahead with some pennant fever.

  3. AA GOT MAD SKILLZ

  4. Just when you thought you knew the answers, AA changed the questions.

  5. AA once took a year off from acquiring players of anything resembling consequence just to see what it was like. If you put it as a Chuck Norris joke or most interesting man in the world format it sounds good!

  6. AA is in boss mode

  7. And Carl won a trip to Spring training 2013 from the Score for being the 200,000th comment since disqus was implemented?
    Lucky bastard.
    What was the runner up prize,Stoeten?
    SP and fukstik were sooooo close.
    They’re gonna be pissed.
    Maybe Stoeten can arrange for them to experience foraging his beard for morsels of food.

    • That beard is known as the Flavr Savr.

      • The gift that keeps on giving.

        Give it to fukstik.
        It’ll give him something to do out in the field.

    • I was so excited I almost forgot to read my comment……Btw dont bother…was engaging in a little navel gazing. If there really IS a prize, I may have to convince my wife that Florida is not really that dangerous and all that stuff about gun violence is just talk…..

  8. FFS, Stoeten, GM AA traded away damn near the whole Ricciardi team and at some point, you need to see what you have in the players. The 2012 team was supposed to be a somewhat competitive team and came out like gangbusters in Spring Training.

    Then everything imploded spectacularly.

    AA hasn’t just built a contender, this team is the favorite for the World Series. That’s insanely good for a team that hasn’t even made the playoffs recently.

  9. The pimping AA remains Stoeten’s best photoshop work.

  10. suck it farrell

  11. This is old news, but anyone else notice Dowbiggin’s ridiculous assertion that Gregg Zaun (of Zaunbie Nation fame) was the one who got AA to make some trades:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/dowbiggin-big-stories-never-escape-when-theyre-caught-on-tape/article6764228/

    • It’s a little known fact that it was actually Gregg Zahn who gave Bobby Valentine the idea to invent the wrap.

    • Yeah, Zaun can be irritating but the little f*cker Dowbiggin is a Canada Grade A asshole.

  12. i would still rather have had AA sign edwin jackson and keep syndergaard and darnauld…..but then again i love watching that knuckler do the boogaloo all the way to home plate. fuckin torn, and i hate it!!! wanted RA for a bag of magic fuckin beans, fuckin mets!!! greedy bitches

  13. Two-hundred and nineteen thousand one-hundred and thireenth!

  14. @pubesack
    Fuck right off

  15. I want to bear AA’s children Schwarzenegger style.

  16. 10,000 twitter followers.
    200,000 comments since May 2010
    Who’d a thunk it?
    Do they count the number of comments every day or weekly?
    It’s gotta take a lot of time.

  17. AA deserves an award for what he put together in 2 months. It’s like a perfect storm of teams doing things to help th Jays.

    Who would have thought that the Marlins would do a fire sale of the entire team with players who did not have no trade clauses?

    Who would have thought that the Mets would give up RADIckey?

    Melky Cabrera decides to do his comeback with the Jays at a relative bargain?

    Did anyone see the Westjet package for Spring training at Dunedin for 2 games plus a meeting with Jays personnel etc with hotel & flight for $1,999?.

    It’s tempting but tax season for me so I can’t get away

    I think other companies may offer Jays travel packages to other cities throughout the season.

    I do want to do a road trip somewhere this season to see other parks.

    • Maybe it was a good thing AA didn’t handcuff himself and had the flexibility,financially and personel wise,to take advantage when the opportunity arose.

      Almost like he was preparing himself,creating a position,in case he had to jump at something that might become available.

      • @RADAR . Very good point, but it seems that he didn’t expect Rogers to authorize a 125 million plus payroll.

        Most of these deals don’t get done without Rogers agreeing to increase payroll.

        Perhaps the injuries to the young pitchers, Bautista & Farrellball convinced Rogers they have to make big changes to the team??

        If the Jays had won 83 games in 2012, would AA be able to convince Rogers to do a massive overhaul & sell the farm prospects to get MLB talent?

        • IMHO
          It’s all connected and fluid. The timing needs to be right and yes the money is and was there.
          But if the buzz isn’t there,if the interest isn’t there,if the TV ratings aren’t there,etc.Then the money isn’t there.
          The increase in payroll will be paid back many times over.
          And remember the Jays still have flexibilty in the long term. No 10 year contracts,nothing inhibiting their abilty to make the neccessary changes in the future.
          AA didn’t need to convince Rogers,he had to convince Beeston. He’s in charge of the purse strings.Of course Rogers needs to be advised and has final veto power but Beeston’s the one in charge.

        • It’s a conspiracy Oakville.

          We need you to do some digging and find the truth.

          Because the simplest explanation, that Rogers/AA are doing what they always said they would do, clearly isn’t good enough for you.

  18. Happy Sixth birthday, Stoeten.

    I can see your slant on AA’s methodology.Your confusion with a lack of action.
    If there were some explanation on the reasons why,it would have been easier to understand why AA did what he did.
    If somebody just coulda pointed out that changes were on their way.
    Like in early June of 2012,might have been a good time..

  19. Anyone knows what happened to raptorized John? Some caller on rumack show just offered condolences.

  20. I gotta say Zubar nailed it with that gif. Cracks me up every time.

  21. Well, like you guys said, it was a perfect storm of opportunity, and kudos to the Jays from the top on down for allowing the team to capitalize on it. I’m not gonna award us the World Series yet, but I re-upped my tix a while back and look forward to the games.

  22. In tribute to Jason Frasor’s years of service, I think the post about his signing with Texas should take at least 48 hours to appear.

  23. It’s too bad about Frasor signing with Texas.

    If/when Oliver retires, he would have been a pretty good option for 1 year and $1.5 million.

    • Too bad we lost a guy with a 1.47 WHIP in 2012 and 1.75 WHIP in 2011? You sure about that? He as a debacle in the making every time he came into the game. This is great news. Good riddance.

  24. So does Frasor’s signing mean we can get Whiteside back?

  25. Just to remind ourselves of the day when the world as we knew it shook on its axis and changed direction:

    http://blogs.thescore.com/djf/2012/11/13/morosi-jays-on-verge-of-acquiring-josh-johnson/

    I never get tired of reading that post!

  26. What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I liked this blog post. It was good. Keep on posting!

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