I seem to recall trying to live blog a chat that Richard Griffin had with readers at the Toronto Star once, and that it didn’t go particularly well. And yet, apparently that’s not going to stop me from trying it again, as the Toronto Sun is hosting a live chat with Alex effing Anthopoulos, beginning at 11:15 AM ET today, and I figure it’s worth following along.

Sound about right?

Check out the live chat on the Sun’s website here, and keep refreshing as I try to not get too bored by the horrible questions being asked. Follow along below the jump!

11:10 AM: The chat window isn’t really doing anything just yet. Shouldn’t it be? We shall see…

11:18 AM: Alright, we’re off– apparently this really is a thing. So head over there and get asking some questions.

11:22 AM: Everything’s a little milquetoast off the hop, with AA “commenting” on season ticket sales– the best they’ve been in years– and the Braves’ acquisition of Justin Upton. A couple of “what else was he going to say?” answers here.

11:27 AM: In case there was any doubt, Alex essentially says that the club is pretty much set– at least as far as 1B/DH goes– and that they’d be interested in bringing someone in on a spring training invite, but that’s about it. Expected. He also makes it clear that there’s a competition still between Josh Thole and Henry Blanco to be the club’s second catcher, though I’m pretty sure it sounded like he was leaning Blanco last week, when he was in Buffalo.

11:30 AM: LOLZ here as a commenter asks about the boots Colby Rasmus was pictured in during the winter tour, and whether he found them himself or they were provided by the club. “Haha,” AA begins, “We did provide Colby his boots and jacket. He liked the boots so much he decided to wear them to a luncheon where everyone else was wearing a suit. haha.” Oh, Colby.

11:35 AM: Casey Janssen is the closer, Anthopoulos says, crushing another softball in this little bit of batting practice. He passes on the question about who replaces Alan Ashby, as it isn’t his job– which… yeah, I hope he has better things to be concerned about– and he points to Sean Nolin as a close-to-the-Majors prospect that he sees having the potential to soon contribute (though he’s still well down the depth chart, for the moment). A question from Benny Fresh in there, too, apparently.

11:41 AM: Some actual nuggets here, as Alex says– and not for the first time– that Maicer Izturis, not Emilio Bonifacio, is the front runner to be the starting second baseman. And, though he could have easily said no, or that the team we see now is the team they’ll go with, he says that he anticipates that ownership would be willing to add even more salary at the trade deadline, if the club was presented with the opportunity to add salary. I haven’t really thought about that kind of stuff for a while, to be honest. Um… nails.

11:44 AM: ”What I can say,” he says of Justin Upton, “is that sometimes players list Toronto on their no trade clauses which then makes it more difficult to acquire them in trade.” What kind of denial does that sound like to you? Does it change when you recall that Parkes made the case in a recent Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday at Getting Blanked that Upton may have actually been the target in the “megadeal” reported last week, that fell through prior to the Marlins trade?

11:49 AM: As you’d probably expect him to say– at least while the Argos are still kicking around the Rogers Centre– Anthopoulos is non-committal on the subject of bringing a grass field to the Rogers Centre, and says that, while it’s “been discussed quite a bit recently” (externally, he means? internally???), Beeston has been saying that he doesn’t see it happening for five years. Ugh. Obviously he says the right things, but I get sense– if only because it’s damn obvious– that this is going to be one of those things like the old logo and jerseys, where as soon as he’s free to say he hated it, he’s going to say he hated it.

11:53 AM: Asked if it weighs on him– like it does some fans– that he traded away so much of his prospect capital this off-season, Anthopoulos firmly says no. “Ultimately people don’t give away quality major league players for free so as long as you’re happy with what you’re getting back, you don’t look back.” I get that, but man… it couldn’t have been that easy, could it? Earlier in the chat he reiterated something I’ve always been keen on pointing out, which is the fact that his aim all along had been to build prospect depth with the intention of trading a lot of it. I entirely believe that, but still, he traded a lot of it. But, of course, as with just about every question here, what the hell else was he going to say?

11:57 AM: Anthopoulos says that there’s far too much downside to him ever being on Twitter, even with a secret– and presumably fake-named– account. Obviously it’s important for someone in the front office to keep tabs on Twitter, but I can buy that it’s an additional duty that the GM doesn’t need to have on his plate… I think.

12:01 PM: Ahhh. Anthopoulos answers a question about the stats the club uses in evaluating players by saying that they’ll use just about everything– more granular numbers, or even larger, WAR-style ones– though he doesn’t say which. A lot of that kind of stuff is proprietary and calculated differently depending on the front office, it would seem. So they’re not the stats that are publicly available, but they’re based on the same principles. As much as the Jays rely on scouting– and damning of stats as it maybe seemed the other week when Anthopoulos told Peter Mansbridge that he’d rather rely on his eyes– that stuff, the way I see it, is really just a differentiator. In a very “Moneyball” way, scouts are being employed to find inefficiencies and things that aren’t being seen by pure numbers, and since– as AA said on the CBC– everybody has just about the same stats, I can understand why he said he’d take his eyes over the numbers, though I don’t think that’s a rejection at all of the advanced statistical universe. It’s a huge part of the foundation of everything, RADAR.

12:09 PM: Anthopoulos is a Led Zeppelin fan– have you read any of the Winners History of Rock And Roll series they’re doing at Grantland lately? Interesting stuff, and I’d link it, but I’m falling way behind on this chat.

12:11 PM: I think– well I know from some of the names– that some DJF folks are showing up to ask questions, because they’re getting better. Alex sounds like he’s entirely unworried about not having Marcus Stroman to fortify the club’s bullpen later in the season, as he says that the PED-suspended first-rounder will continue to work as a starter, until he proves he can’t do it. He also shows that he understands the key to success in the shitty modern economy: rent free living.

12:15 PM: Some rapid fire stuff as the chat starts winding down. A lot of people asking how to follow in his footsteps, and I think he gives a great answer, explaining that “You’d be amazed how many talented people get opportunities but blow them because of arrogance and a sense of entitlement. Basically, no job should ever be beneath you. Today I’ll still do the same job as our interns if it was needed.” I don’t want to say it, but I’ll say it: some lessons learned from JP Ricciardi there? Maybe not what he’s talking about at all.

12:18 PM: The Jays are going to make Canada pround! Aaaaand, that’s it for the chat. Thanks everyone.


Image via the Toronto Sun.

Comments (87)

  1. I wonder if he types as much as he talks.

  2. hes going to get 100 questions about any potentail moves on the horizon book it

  3. I’m afraid to see how the Sun handles something like this. Anticipating lots and lots of terrible questions.

    1st example: Hi Alex – still shopping for a DH or 1B by any chance?

    EE isn’t good enough for the DH role??

  4. AA is not going to be too far out on any limbs comment wise. Nature of these chats I think

  5. “Did the team provide Colby’s boots for the winter tour?”


  6. A Colby’s boots question. Now this is more like it.

  7. Me: Frantically typing questions that I think are insightful
    Toronto Sun: selecting “colby’s boots” questions…

  8. The colby boots question was awesome IMO.

  9. do you ever check DJF?

    AA: I’m Ron Hassey’s Gigantic Face

  10. Lol at the person asking if Anthopoulos would trade for JUp. Too bad he got traded to the Braves 20 minutes ago.

  11. BooooO! Want grass field!!!

  12. Kenny Williams is his favorite GM to talk to because of this exchange:

    AA: “How do you feel about Alex Rios”

    KW: “We’ll take him!”

  13. FYI – As of 11:51, the live blog is no longer accepting questions.

  14. Hopefully everyone can put the grass issue to rest, at least until 2018.

  15. AA plays Bass! Stoeten plays bass! Stoeten is AA!!!


  16. lol at RADAR getting called out in the blog content.

  17. there wasn’t one interesting nugget in the whole muhfukkah

    • really? I thought the truth about who purchased Colby’s boots was both interesting and important.

      • These are the things that make a player stand out……where can i get a pair with his number on them……bluejays shop have them yet?

  18. Such Plus Pround of my Blue Jays

  19. Ahh Stoeten.
    Not understanding what I said again.
    I’ve always maintained the importance of stats as a tool in player evaluation.Your stance has been that stats are the only evaluation tool needed and that scouts who utilize the “eye” test are misguided fools.
    It’s a combination of the two, stats and observation.
    And I’ve said AA has a ton of people to pour over stats that even fangraphs doesn’t have access.Do you really think that WAR is a stat he uses to base his decisions on?
    Get your head screwed on right and think logically.

    • if you really, truly, honestly believe anyone in the SABR ‘community’ thinks stats are the ‘only’ evaluative tool, well, shit, i dunno what to tell you. IMO, the SABR folks have a bigger issue with those who use CERTAIN old-timey stats to justify the narrative they’re trying to create. to me, the ‘battle’ (such as it is) isn’t really between ‘stat guys’ & ‘eye guys’ (i.e. scouts), it’s between ‘stat guy A’ & ‘stat guy B’ – they may not agree with each other, but both accept the value scouts bring to the table.

    • Yes but your observation through the tv, applied against your lack of substantial baseball experience, renders it nearly worthless.

      • +1

        In the absence of years of experience and training, all we – the common man – have at our disposal is oodles and oodles of stats. If we want to make relatively informed decisions, we need to use the tools that best suit us.

        I’ll accept the eye-test from those qualified to administer it. However, if your name is Radar or Damien Cox, I’ll take it with a grain of salt.

        • So GBL,those people who utilize stats only because thats all they know ,have an opinion that is more informed than scouts who utilize stats and observation base their decisions?
          The problem is that many stats fans use the stats alone, to denegrate others who use all sources of information avaialable.

      • perfect reply.
        can i ask this forum something i’ve never understood.
        SABR guys throw out whip as a normal stat that has merit,
        but hits and batting average are pointless.
        do hits matter or dont they?

        • In what way would hits possibly NOT matter in the game of baseball?

          • I’ve been on this blog for a year and everyone who uses batting average as a stat is called an uneducated idiot. Batting average is based off of how many hits you get as compared to how many opportunities you’ve had.

          • I’m not really sure where to begin with this.

        • David, do you still see ‘stat’ leaning folks quote OBP? Because I often do. WHIP is essentially a pitcher’s OBP.

          It’s a quick and easy stat so it is ofen used. Obviously it doesn’t tell the whole story as no stat does. And OBP is as easy to quote as a batting average but it is a little more incompasing which is why SABR guys tend to not quote ‘hits’ or ‘avg’

          • makes sense- not perfect, but quick and easy.
            everytime i’m on here there’s a new stat that doesn’t offer new information. They used to have obp and slug adn now those have been replaced with a formula that calculates the difference for you in case you’re retarded.

      • Lack of baseball experience?

        • Sorry, I don’t know your credentials. You may be Greg Maddux, sitting with your feet up and posting on a Jays blog. Or you could be Damien Cox.

          Likely somewhere in between but, as the vast majority of fuckwits on the internet are, indeed, fuckwits, I tend to err on the side of caution.

          No offence intended of course. And, if there is some reason why we should give credence to your ability to descern a players ability by watching him, then please let us know.

          • @GBL

            I thought this was a blog not a job interview.
            I’ve don’t feel the need to justify my baseball experience.
            There’s a ton of people,on this blog, who have much more knowledge than I.
            You think I’m full of shit.So be it.
            I will say that my experiences go beyond reading a stats page from Fangraphs or BR.
            Fangraphs and BR ARE a useful tool in evaluations but not the only tool.

          • Now now RADAR. I don’t think the ‘H’ was necessary in that IMHO.


          • Well, fair. You may be the exception.
            Most people who post about what they ‘see’ are likely full of shit. I’m sure you can agree with that much at least.

        • @RADAR – sorry to explode this on you. I was trying to keep my point simple, not attack you.

          Intuition and naked eye and all such: (a) CAN be right by anyone, (b) can still be thrown off by all manner of unknown future events, no matter how RIGHT you are/were, and (c) are going to be much less random coming from experienced baseball people who have lasted over many years (while the idiots gets weeded out).

          Stats are available to anyone equally and often negate narratives and feelings that people form that simply are not true. They also can be used in debating things, whereas the rest is useless and just puts opinion vs opinion.

      • I’ve always wondered about the “baseball experience” angle and Anthopoulos himself. It’s not like the guy was an accomplished player in his youth – he’s always been a suit. So to what extent are his “eye tests” really just “what my scouts tell me”?

        • @ dougiejays

          AA has worked his way up from the bottom.he’s been a scout and has learned evaluation technics from other scouts.
          In his most recent interview he stated his analysis of Halladay was based heavily upon stats UNTIL he spoke to another scout who pointed out how good Halladay really was.This made him realize the evaluations of players go beyond stats alone.

          • Yes RADAR – I agree. AA has worked his way up as a scout and did it full of eagerness to improve and humility.

    • I understand completely, RADAR. You pay lip service to stats and keep raging on in an argument that doesn’t exist against a straw man you’ve built in what you think is my image.

      • Seeing that we’ve argued many times about evaluating players on stats alone,I’m surprised. Live in denial all you want,but your everpresent mocking of old school scouting when you take the stance that sabermetrics is the best way to evaluate a player,is well documented.
        I’ve never denied the value of stats in player evaluations just the over reliance of the stats as the only factor to be considered.
        At least I consider other factors,you think that your way is the only way and that no other opinion is valid.
        Even though AA has stated the same,you don’t seem to accept even his opinion.
        i don’t think you do understand.

        • I think his point is more that you are assuming he dismisses everything but stats and this is not true.

          I for one, think like everything that there is a middle ground. And I think this site seeks it for the most part. I don’t have the personal time to turn baseball into a University level math course. Not to mention, I’m weak at math even if I had the time for it.

          Yet I have never had to stop reading a post because it was so SABR’y.

        • I very plainly say that you’re arguing against a straw man, and that what you think I think isn’t the reality, and so you double down on the nonsense?

          This seems pretty pointless then.

  20. Can’t believe AA didn’t answer any of the questions I asked him under the moniker “Stoeten’s Beard”…

  21. Is Rick porcello a good trade target?

  22. RA Dickey got the Cy Young, so should get opening day. As for Morrow and the rest – I say pull up their records against whatever teams are coming up and look at how many righties/lefties they’ll face and just put them in the order that makes the most statistical sense for them. Avoids all the personal aspects of it. After the first week it doesn’t matter. But if it helps win one more game that week, it’s worth it.

  23. +1

  24. I didn’t know Joe Sheehan worked for the Jays…

  25. So this is what rock bottom looks like.

  26. This post is why you get paid the big bucks Stoeten. Thanks.

    “as he says that the PED-suspended first-rounder will continue to work as a starter,”

    Not sure who put the emphasis on Stroman “continuing” as a starter but it’s interesting, considering he wasn’t used as a starter last year and was being hyped up as a possible fast tracker to the majors as a reliever. I fully endorse the decision to have him start and not move him into the bullpen until we’re sure he can’t handle a 180+ lP load.

  27. AA da boss.

  28. With all the cash and kids the Jays have thrown around this winter, I’d be shocked if they weren’t willing to beat that Upton deal.

    Upton could have blocked it or price may have been higher earlier in the off season.

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