Welp. So we’re back in business, a little later in the day than we’d like to be, so… yeah, pretty much par for the course. Happy New Year, and I hope everybody had as lazy a holiday season as I did. And now, today’s links (plus ones from a whole bunch of other days that I didn’t bother doing anything with)…
Bob Elliott’s yearly 100 most influential Canadians in baseball list is out over at the Toronto Sun, and we’re still not quite yet even at the San Diego Chicken level of one of the umpteen-dozen honourable mentions, but one day we’ll get there… one day. Paul Beeston tops the list.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe ranks the Jays’ roster as being the fifth-best in baseball, though he oddly writes that “We’ve learned from experience that injuries almost always derail this team. But if they can avoid them, watch out.” Uh… OK?
Similarly, Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney) has been ranking teams by the various elements of their roster, with the Jays having the seventh-best infield (excluding catchers), per his calculation. The club’s x-factor, he says, is Brett Lawrie, as the people he’s spoken to “have doubts about whether he can ever be reined in and refined in a way that allows him to become an elite player. ‘Totally out of control,’ said one longtime rival coach, noting that at times, it looks like Lawrie will just keep running on the bases until somebody tags him out.”
Olney also says the Jays have the seventh-best rotation, while he places their outfield outside the top ten, noting that it could be one of the best, but that there are significant questions about Bautista (wrist health), Cabrera (suspension) and Rasmus (shittacularness).
At Getting Blanked, Drew breaks down the Rays’ one-year agreement with David Price in today’s URL Weaver, while Scott Lewis delivers what looks to me like the perfect cover for the 2013 version of MLB: The Show.
Earlier in the week the crew put their heads together and named their 2012 Getting Blanked Man Of The Year… Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
In a lengthy piece, Mike Tierny of the New York Times writes that Ryan Freel’s wife thinks concussions had something to do with his suicide.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that Sergio Santos is still the key to the Jays’ bullpen.
Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com looks at reliever Steve “Sometimes You Eat The” Delabar, and the throwing technique paying dividends for him.
The Tao Of Stieb notices that people got seriously amped for Sportsnet’s re-broadcasting of the 1992 World Series over the holidays, and took to podcastery to break it all down.
At Grantland, Jonah Keri thinks the local TV bubble is about to burst.
Matthew Leach– Matty Leach-bomb!– of MLB.com looks at how a couple of blockbuster trades (hint, hint) will shape division races in 2013.
At MLBTR, Ben Nicholson-Smith checked in on teams who were in the market for pitching this winter and… hey, would you look at that! Seems like the Jays might have done something to acquire some. Why the hell is this the first I’m hearing of it???
Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus takes a look at the non-pitching value of pitchers, including a mention of Jays RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle, as a couple of guys who can be very helpful when it comes to run prevention, thanks to their defence.
Lastly, here in Toronto the guys at Bluebird Banter and Tall Boys Craft Beer House are screening Knuckleball!, which, of course, features RA Dickey, at 7 PM on Thursday night. That’s, like, tomorrow.