Friday links!

As you can see in the picture, via Twitter, above, the Jays have been honoured by MLB with the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which is apparently a thing. Good on them and the folks at @JaysCare.

It’s paywall’d, but that’s OK, because you probably don’t want to read the whole thing anyway: Hudson Belinsky of Baseball Prospectus lavishes praise on our old friend Young Beedah, who he calls “a guy who has a chance to explode as one of the best players in college baseball this season,” and says that he “could see him becoming something like the academic, super-fun personality that Brandon McCarthy has assumed.”

Joshua Menzies of Jays Journal asks an interesting question: what if last winter the Jays had signed Prince Fielder, Yu Darvish and traded for Gio Gonzalez. The Jays would have had a much better 2012 and the farm system would be more intact, but that’s over $325-million committed to just Fielder and Darvish, compared to the $203-million the Jays will ultimately spend on Reyes, Johnson, Buehrle, Cabrera and Dickey.

Elsewhere at Jays Journal we get a rundown of some potential positional sleeper prospects for the Jays.

In the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott insists that the Hall of Fame voting system isn’t broken, pointing out that there are “52 players (14 by the writers) on the last three shut out ballots who would up being elected.” Yeah, most of the deserving guys will probably eventually get in, but it’s not quite the same. By 2017 there will be, by my count, 26 guys on the ballot who deserve either election or damn serious consideration, assuming no one gets in between now and then. And even if few of them do, with only ten names per ballot, it’s going to be a long strange few years for the candidacies of Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Schilling, Walker, Raines, Edgar, Palmeiro, Biggio, McGwire, Sosa, Piazza, Maddux, Mussina, Glavine, Thomas, Kent, Randy Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz, Sheffield, Griffey, Edmonds, Manny, Pudge, and Vlad.

At FanGraphs, Mike Axisa wonders why the market for Shaun Marcum has been so quiet this winter. Meanwhile, Dave Cameron offers a thoughtful take on whether the Mariners were overpaying for Justin Upton before he used his no-trade clause to block the deal.

It’s satire, people: at Bluebird Banter, an exclusive look at some new Jays caps for 2013 *WINK*.

At Getting Blanked, Scott Lewis informs us of Kelvim Escobar informing us of Kelvin Escobar having signed with Milwaukee. Remember him! Elsewhere, Drew takes a look at the trade market for Michael Morse, which doesn’t include the Jays, in his estimation, although…

Jonah Keri of Grantland excellently breaks down some of the Hall of Fame ballot’s smaller stories.

At Flip Flop Flying, our good friend Craig Robinson notices some very curious similarities between his pixellated Bryce Harper art, and the pixellated Bryce Harper used in a new ad for MLB: The Show uploaded to YouTube by the official PlayStation account.

Lastly, be sure to check out Parkes’s new, excellent, but difficult to succinctly describe, venture for theScore.com, Fanatico.

Comments (55)

  1. Keep up the good work Stoeten!

  2. Keep on keepin on!

  3. Philanthropic Excellence Rocks! Go Jays!

  4. Re your comments on the Elliot piece – lots of worthy names will crowd the ballot, plus there is a risk of some former players not getting due consideration. At least, that is my opinion on Lofton not being able to get 5% this year.

    • I want to double down on the Lofton thing. Only 59 guys in all of fucking history scored more runs. That is the point of the game, right — to cross fucking home plate??? And now the guy is off the ballot. That’s one of the biggest stories of this last HOF ballot, and it’s getting over-shadowed by all the steroid bullshit.

      (And for the record, I’m not saying Lofton is a slam-dunk HOF-er. Just that his career is worthy of much more serious consideration, which now won’t happen.)

    • I think the rule should be changed so that you fall off the ballot if you don’t get one vote. That would then eliminate the stupid votes for Aaron Sele, Sandy Alomar, Shawn Green (love him but for fuck’s sake). Maybe if you get at least 1 vote but still poll below 5% for 3 consecutive years you fall off the ballot. Just my thought.

      But at the end of the day, does it really matter if you’re a “first ballot” Hall of Famer? They don’t put how many years you were on the ballot on your plaque, you’re either in or you’re not. I think you have to expand it somehow, or tweak the rules for falling off the ballot like I suggested, because with expansion of the league to 30 teams more players get chances to play, and there are more cases that deserve at least some form of consideration.

    • Bob Elliott’s basis for defending the HOF selection process (or lack thereof) is ludicrous.

      He’s saying don’t worry, the people that should get in will eventually get in. So in other words, these mistakes will get corected, so it’s all good.

      I’m sorry that gets it wrong most of the time until it eventually maybe gets it right is not a system you can say isn’t broken.

      If a student sits for an exam and gets the answer wrong 14 times before finally, maybe getting it wrong, are you going to give them an A and say job well done? No fucking way.

      The HOF selection is like a wreck of a bus filled with passengers who have little clue how to drive all shouting out instructions, as the bus careens around in a series of wrong turns, double backs and u-turns, that eventually, sometimes gets remotely close to the intended destination, before taking off again in circles. It’s a joke.

  5. I definately think there is a compelling argument that the Jays could be younger, better and maybe even slightly cheaper had they been willing to spend last offseason through various combinations of signings and trades.

    However, revenues were up this past season and it’s entirely possible the money wasn’t available last winter.

    But there’s also an argument that spending a few years ago by extending Burnett, Halladay and keeping Wells & Rios would be an even more expensive team that is less of a contender.

    Whatever, the team is great now.

  6. I actually didn’t hate what the BBHOF guys wound up doing. Those guys were obviously great players regardless of what impact (or non-impact according to the Dustin Parkes “steroids never made anyone better at anything ever” school of thought) PEDs had on their stats. But they did just blatantly cheat, then lied about it to a man (which they wouldn’t have done if they truly thought there was nothing wrong with the practice). Shutting down the hall for a year hopefully sends the right message and gets the pious bullshit out of the voters’ systems for next year.

    Now, if we wind up with a HOF that shuts out Bonds, Clemens and Bagwell (at least) because of their suspicions, then I’m in the ‘idiots and charlatans’ camp. Don’t really understand how Biggio didn’t make it though…

    • They also need to weed out the voters. This morning Blair mentioned the Montreal Gazette editorial cartoonist has a Hall vote because he joined the BBWAA Montreal chapter and briefly covered the Expos, and that their BBWAA chapter needed an extra member. That a Montreal editorial cartoonist who barely covered the Expos as a journalist gets to vote for the Hall of Fame until he dies is a serious problem, whether he’s a baseball junkie in his spare time or not. I think lifetime votes should only be given to BBWAA members who spend their life’s work around baseball.

      • or after 5 years of not covering baseball you lose your vote

      • The BBWAA is notoriously full of dubious members, with the integrity of their ranks varying significantly from local chapter to local chapter.

        I don’t mind having legitimate baseball reporters (not just “writers”) be “part” of HOF selection (not the only part), but allowing the process to be run by what is a labour association or private club (neither being disinterested, transparent custodians) is bad for the game.

        In my opinion, the Hall of Fame ought to take control of the process and selection membership. It’s a museum for god’s sake and ought to be able to come up with a serious, even scholarly approach that holds up to scrutiny.

  7. Here’s an interesting article.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-seasons-worst-called-ball/

    What got me is how both bad calls happened because of incredibly bad pitch framing.

  8. “Difficult to succinctly describe”… I’d say difficult to describe at all. What is he actually trying to do there?

  9. Thole will supplan arencibia fully this year

    • That is unbelievably unlikely. Unless you mean supplant him once every five games to catch Dickey or supplant him while JP is on the DL. In which case yes, he will probably ‘supplant’ him.

    • Better chance of Jiminez doing that than Thole.

    • Thole should supplant JPA, though.

      He’s better against RHP and I can’t imagine he’s any worse of a defender.

      The only reason JPA will get more starts is because he is the incumbent.

      Which is ridiculous.

    • 50/50 split would be acceptable

      • JPA will start 100 games barring injury bring on the bets. To say hes splitting duties or being supplanted by Thole is ridiculous guys.

        • The majority of starters in baseball are right handed and Thole is the better option against RHP.

          The only reasons not to start Thole against RHP are political.

          It’s the same reason Wells started in CF for many years when it should have been Rios.

          And people on this board were screaming to get Vernon out of CF.

          • Jays biggest positional weakness is definetly the bench spots; who should fill them?

          • Actually Thole and JPA are almost identical vs righties. Last year JPA had a much higher OPS (180 pts) and in 2011 he was slightly worse (20 pts). In addition, JPA actually has some potential whereas Thole is what he is. There is absolutely no reason to actively start Josh Thole ahead of JPA unless Dickey is pitching.

          • @Ray

            Thole is younger so I’m not sure how you have come to the conclusion that JPA has more potential.

            Also, OPS puts too much emphasis on slugging and not enough on OBP.

            Not to mention, JPA has benefitted from a hitter’s park/man in white.

    • Arencibia last year was worth 1.3 WAR in an injury-shortened season.

      Thole was worth 0.1 WAR despite playing more games than JPA.

      Can we please stop with this Thole is better than JPA nonsense?

      • WAR does not in any way tell you who is better against RHP.

        • Okay, let’s break it down a bit more for you.

          vs. RHP in 2012:
          Arencibia: .230/.275/.412/.688, wRC+ of 84
          Thole: .241/.305/.286/.591, wRC+ 62

          As you can see, Arencibia is much better against RHP than Thole.

          Arencibia may get on base a little less, but makes up for it with his ability to knock one out of the park every week or so. Thole has 7 career HRs in four seasons.

          • One season is a SSS

            Thole is 10 points higher on wOBA in their respective careers.

            Not to mention Thole really fell off the map against both righties and lefties after returning from his concussion last year.

            If you look at 2010, 2011 and pre-concussion 2012, Thole is clearly the superior option against RHP.

            Now that he has had nearly a year to recover from his concussion, there is good reason to think he’ll be back to being a fair amount better against RHP than JPA.

  10. Looking at Lofton’s numbers:
    How come he didn’t get Rookie of the year? It was close, like real close, but did RBI’s have that much weight?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1992.shtml#ALroy

    • Though Lofton lead the league in SB, Listach had some great numbers for a middle infielder. Might have also been in part due to Milwaukee being just 4 games out of a playoff spot and Cleveland being 10 games below .500

      • ahh yes, i hadn’t looked at any defensive stats. CF is a premium position too though.

        probably team ranking, which is kinda bunk

  11. Rios was a blue jay drafted home grown 5 tool player. That is a lot different than what Thole brings to the table man. Not comparable IMO.

    JPA has 30 hr potential and his biggest struggles came after returning from injury, he was finding his stride somewhat as the year closed. Im not a huge JPA booster but like I mentioned earlier I will make any bet with you on 100 games started behind home plate barring injury.

    • above thread directed at jays 2010

      • And what JPA brings to the table is a lot different than guys who have had some pretty good peak years in Wells & Rios.

        JPA has a .298 career wOBA against RHP

        Thole has a .307 career wOBA against RHP

        Not to mention Thole’s numbers against RHP are even better prior to his concussion last year.

        I can understand the idea of giving Rasmus a chance against LHP because of his pedigree.

        And I can understand why the club gave Lind more opportunites than people would have liked against LHP considering his amazing 2009 season and how valuable the contract is if he ever gets back to it.

        But an optimistic outlook for JPA would have him as a league average starting catcher.

        Might as well platoon them and get more overall value.

  12. Stoeten, where did yesterday’s snack go?

  13. That’s one hell of a scary photo, it’s like the Crypt Keeper is shaking hands with a melting marshmallow.

  14. Jays have nothing left for upton right?

    • No money and no spot on the field, correct. If we weren’t broke. I’d love to get Morse. Don’t think the Nats would take Lind to balance the salaries though…

  15. 41 year old henry blanco??????????? HUH

  16. Bye bye mike nickaes?

  17. Yeah there’s no Henry Blanco coverage wtf?!? I need to know everything about this! :D

  18. [giggle giggle]The Red Sox are interested in Lyle Overbay![/giggle giggle]

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