Nope, still not a whole lot going on…

“Team officials say they are sensitive to the pent-up demands of the fans and have every intention of eventually laying down sod,” writes Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail. “But the organization is now saying it will likely be at least five years before grass will replace artificial turf.” Ugh. Then again, what else can they say until they get the Argos the hell out of there?

At Getting Blanked, Scott tells us all we need, or could possibly care, to know about the newest Tampa Bay Ray, one-time six win player, Kelly Johnson. Jeff Zimmerman wrote an interesting take, looking ahead to Johnson’s 2013, for RotoGraphs back in October.

Speaking of the Rays, at Grantland, Jonah Keri looks at the club’s recent threats about the lack of viability in their market, and MLB’s supposed lost belief in the franchise, and says it’s just more of the same– and that relocation isn’t really on the horizon. “The Expos remain the only team to move to a new region in more than 40 years, and that move required years of feckless ownership, massive erosion of corporate, political, and fan support, endemic financial and civic issues unique to Montreal, and the league to finally buy the team itself before finding a new buyer three years later,” he explains. “The Rays might be struggling to draw fans, but they’re not even in the same universe of hurt that demolished the Expos and forced their eviction.”

Buster Olney features Colby Rasmus among his players facing make-or-break seasons in his latest at (Insider Olney). Yep.

In a team release back on Friday, the Jays announced that they’ve extended their partnership with the Vancouver Canadians. Elsewhere, Gregor Chisholm previews the AL East at

Similarly-ish, at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Martinez looks at potential impact rookies in the AL East for 2013.

At Bluebird Banter, Minor Leauger is none too pleased that the Orioles are hosting a WBC exhibition game against Spain, while the Jays can’t get Team Canada to come into Dunedin for a visit.

The fellows at Back In Blue, via Bluebird Banter, have some sort of Google Hangout video you can watch, and… what’s this? A 2013 Jays mashup video set to a song by that Serena Ryder girl I went to high school with? Yeah…OK.

Blue Jays Way reviews the week that just ended.

At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron defends the sorts of gritty players the Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be building their team around… sort of.

Lastly, Russell A. Carelton, aka @pizzacutter4, takes a hammer to the Verducci effect over at Baseball Prospectus.


Image via James_in_TO.

Comments (95)

  1. I am so excited to play against Kelly Johnson 15 times next year.

  2. Well, waiting 5 years for real grass sucks … but at least it seems like it’s actually going to happen. It wasn’t that long ago that nobody would have taken that idea seriously.

  3. In a just universe, MLB would move the entire Rays organization to Miami and let them take over that swanky new ballpark, while moving Loria and the current Marlins to Tampa.

    • In an even more just universe Loria never would have gotten his hands on the Expos in the first place, leaving baseball a much happier and Loria-free place.

    • In a just universe, MLB would move the entire Rays organization to Miami and let them take over that swanky new ballpark, while pushing Loria and the current Marlins into the ocean.

      Corrected for you.

      • Billions Billions Pudge! My thoughts exactly. Loria could serve well as the centre piece of a new coral reef.

        • Mr. Sagan, it is you, who deserve the Billions Billions for discovering Jeffrey Loria’s one redeeming quality…he’ll be environmentally friendly when he leaves this mortal coil.

  4. I feel like Colby’s had a few “make or break” seasons already.

    No reason to think that he wouldn’t be able to find work for the foreseeable future if he puts up numbers similar to last year’s. Maybe he’s just a so-so hitter with streaky power and an ok CF?

    I do hope that he’s able to finally figure out how to adjust and readjust his approach.

  5. KJ isn’t that bad of a pick up and to perfectly honest I’d take him on a 1 year deal over 3 years for izturis annnnnnny day.

    I know we all saw him strike out a lot, but he did work the second most walks on the team (3rd if bautista played another week) and provided above average defense at a premium position.

    • You’re so wrong about this. Kelly was an unmitigated disaster last year and terrible in 2011 as well. I could just say he had 0.8 WAR last year and leave it at that, but I absolutely want to drive the point home:

      Yes, Kelly was second on the Jays in walks last year. He was also second among AL 2B in walks. This obviously indicates a very patient hitter. But in Kelly’s case, his complete lack of ability to make contact means that his patience led to a preposterously high number of strikeouts; Kelly was dead last in OBP among players with at least 60 walks. Nor did he walk particularly often for a player with so many freaking Ks; only BJ Upton and Drew Stubbs had a lower OBP among players who struck out more than Johnson. And all of this was done with a .290 BABIP, so there is no indication that his BA would improve without major adjustments.

      In the end, Kelly Johnson was a player who watched many, many pitches go by. But unlike someone like Lyle Overbay, he was completely incapable of protecting the plate when he DID fall behind with the result that his patience may well have wound up detracting from his batting average. Either way, a complete waste of a lineup spot with the exception of one glorious month.

      • agree with you, Ray.
        It was why he was awarded a premium fukstik award before the season was even over. Premium because he has been well below average for three years now, so there is no basis to suggest he will get any significantly better. Plus his defence, by the end of the year was horrid with a lot of ground balls leaking into the OF for singles and driving up some of the pitchers ERA’s in the process.
        We are better off with Izturis or even Derosa for fuksakes

      • I still have a fuckin headache from watching KJ last season. Why anyone would wanna watch that again is beyond me. Izturis is stronger defensively and fits offense better at bottom of lineup with ability to play small ball or even just put the ball in play for that matter.

    • Above average D? I thought he was very average, at best.

      The only redeeming factor that I can give him is, like with Rasmus, he was probably injured.

    • KJ for 1 year over Izturis for 3? Seriously?

      KJ was horrifyingly bad in 2012 AND in 2011.

      Ray did a nice job of explaining why you are so wrong here.

      So so so wrong.

  6. oh wait didn’t stoeten say to offer kelly johnson the qualifying offer back in july? So I guess we lost a draft pick when he would have turned down 13 mil.

  7. Why put grass in a 29 years old venue that feels more like the Millenium Falcon than a baseball stadium? Level it.

  8. Very technical,but an absolutely exceptional BP article.
    Just in awe of the analytics used.
    I always thought Verducci was too simplistic in the parameters he used.Not enough detail and lacking a proper control group.
    Thanks for the link Stoeten.
    A tip of the cap.( You’re gonna have to get the crotch grab from someone else)

  9. WAR last 2 years

    johnson 2.9
    izturis 1.5

    • Johnson wasn’t coming back anyways even before the trades and signings

    • fWAR last 2 years

      Johnson 2.9
      Izturis 2.9

      • Also, Izturis was a backup utility IF last year b/c the Angels were stacked. Rate stats were all better than Kelly’s.

      • Yeah, but comparing fWAR doesn’t make the decisions look bad. That only works if you compare Johnson’s fWAR to Izturis’s bWAR.

        Also, Bonifacio has 3.9 fWAR the last two years. The Jays replaced Johnson with two options that have put up equal or better numbers the last couple years.

    • Izturis wasn’t their starting 2nd basemen. Homo Erectus, your idea has been ejectus.

  10. 5 years to put in grass at the dome? My spidey sense tells me that timetable might be moved up if this team starts to perform as well as people are hoping the Jays will in the next few years.

  11. Dunno if anyone saw this, but ZiPS projects the Jays as the second-best team in baseball this year, after the Nationals. Was in today’s fangraphs chat.

  12. The whole thing about the Argos preventing grass from being put onto the field seems odd to me. Is not football also desired to be played on real grass, not carpeted cement?

    I get the field sizes are different and there is a great deal of work to switch between the two different fields – which obviously is the main reason here.
    I did read the idea of “transportable sod” to be used at the Dome, which would allow them move the grass to a place where they can control optimal growing conditions for it when not it use. If that were the case, you would think they would be able to do the same for the Argos, no?

    Not that I really care about the Argos, but I imagine there are a few people in this city who do. Hell they are the only championship team we have – that is of course until October, 2013 rolls around – amirite?

    • Have you ever seen the Oakland Colliseum? That’s why multipurpose baseball/football grass fields don’t work.

      • It’s way worse with the Argos/Jays since the two seasons overlap so much. Two games into the CFL season and the field would be shite.

    • I think the issue with the Argos and real grass is that football is much harder on the grass than baseball and after a couple football games the grass will be a disaster

    • Go watch replays of the Seahawks-Redskins game. The grass was so bad from the season of football that it probably caused four injuries.

      • They use the same turf for baseball and football. The only turf that’s solely used for baseball is the warning track, which is dirt-coloured. So of course using the same turf repeatedly for baseball and football is going to turn it into garbage near the end of the season.

    • Good enough answers for me. I knew this wasnt really a solution – I have to assume the people making the real decisions are probably a little more educated, and definitely a lot more compensated than I am – I was just curious I guess.

  13. Since it’s a slow news day…What’s going on with the MLB Network coming to Rogers? I thought I read something about the possibility…is there a confirmed launch day?

    • Quick! To the Intertubes!!

      • Ha…yeah, the last I see was in November, when they announced it could be happening. Nothing since? I’m sure the next Rogers customer rep will know a ton about it when I call :)

        • Well I’m far too fuckin lazy to look for updates on this. So thanks for doing the leg work!

          I think calling the Rogers rep about this would be funny, if not helpful.

  14. I would like to Counter Dave Cameron with Aaron HIll, he had a decent year for Arizona last year, but to call him a Gritty player? (And to some dumb ass, who will say DC did not mention Hill, my argument is that saying Arizona is trying to acquire gritty players when they have Aaron fucking HIll as the 2B?

    • By the racial commentary rules of baseball all white middle infielders are ‘gritty.’ Including Aaron Hill.

  15. Kelly K Johnson the K master

  16. Something Boston-related that actually could be of great interest. This is from Boston Magazine, and they absolutely rip in to the Boston sports media here. There’s some great insight into how the 2011 beer and chicken story came about, and the Valentine stuff as well. Really a fantastic read.

  17. kj will come back to bite the jays in the ass this year becasue hes obviously on the rays

    • Your poor placement of the word ‘obviously’ earns you zero marks for sarcasm

  18. every fucking time the jays play the rays someone I’ve never heard of is batting cleanup and has a career day.

    • +1 for me making me lol. It’s true.

    • Gents, we should drop the defeatest attitude.
      Anthopolous put together a winner, let’s act like it belongs here.

      I’m also all for heckling the fuck out of Kelly Johnson. Last year Kelly tried to masturbate but once he found two balls he couldn’t pull the trigger.

  19. Tampa owns the Jays at the Trop until proven otherwise. This team is much better assembled than Florida was last year but seeing is believing. Alex did a tremendous job. Rogers finally put out and the fans came out last year. It’s on the players now to do their part.

    • I don’t think it’s just at the Trop. I can’t count the times I’ve watched them beat us at the RC. Even when they finished 5th season after season, they were killing us. But there are 3 opportunities to get to the Series now. Even with the Rays owning us, I think we’ve got a chance

  20. Honestly, I still would have preferred Gibby as the bench coach pit bull but he’s better than the retreads that were floated around in the media.

    • I think, after the Farrell mess, AA just wanted someone he knew he could trust. He’s worked with Gibby before and got on well with him. Also Gibby’s not the guy who will stand for Escobar-type shit and Lawrie-type craziness. They really need the anti-Farrell down there for all kinds of reasons and that’s what Gibby is.

  21. 5 years for grass? The pressure was on to build a contender when the Beezer came in, and the plan seems to be working.
    I want to know why you can strip a team out and build a Championship favourite in less than 4 years, then take 5 MORE FUCKING YEARS MAYBE to put in fucking grass. Unlike prospects, sod grows between sidewalk cracks, tell me again why it can’t be done.And FUCK the ARGOS, in the HEART.

    • Kick the fucking Argos out move em to varsity problem solved

      • I think they recently renovated Varsity so that it has only 5000 capacity.

        • They’ve been adding seats to the Molson Stadium in Montreal for the Alouettes almost on a yearly basis. I’m sure they can expand Varsity. The problem there, if I remember well, were the neighbors.

  22. enjoy our sloppy seconds Tampa. also a team doesn’t “have our number” after both rosters have had dramatic change. plus it will be a season series played entirely in domes meaning Dickey is going to destroy them.

    • Deep down I feel that we will likely finish the season series close to .500 with the Rays

  23. I am wondering how long teams can be playing the we don’t have much cash and must be cheap with payroll, when the dogers are getting like 280 million, for new regional sportsnet channel.

    If baseball makes companies owned by the media (rogers) than you gotta think that MLB wants them to be pumping in about 75 million for the full seasons’s rights.

    Those expecting the jays to do a marlins after the year are kidding themself.

  24. Finally….some press that doesn’t fall to their knees in awe of the greatness that are the Yanks and RedSox.

  25. Can Melky get suspended again?

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