Monday links!

In their own Monday morning link dump, Bluebird Banter writes, “You heard it here first: there will be a big announcement from Sportsnet tomorrow regarding an expansion in the number of spring training games they will be broadcasting.” Outstanding.

Meanwhile, in other broadcast news, Bob Elliott tweets this: “People in high places telling Rogers Communications and The Fan that Jack Morris the right man to replace Alan Ashby in broadcast booth.” He later clarifies that Morris isn’t necessarily the frontrunner, but that “people are telling higher ups he’d be a good choice.” So… uh… by “people,” he means himself, right? No Jack Morris, please.

Baseball Think Factory links one of many stories on Melky Cabrera’s withdrawal from the World Baseball Classic with one of the few mentions of an interesting point: “Insert mention that the WBC has Olympic-level drug testing here.” Per a 2009 piece in the New York Times, it’s definitely true that the WBC has more stringent testing than MLB, but it’s still only a piss test, not a blood test. Take from that what you will, but let’s not act like Melky and his people didn’t already know this when he originally signed on to play. Seems more to me like he’s ducking the added scrutiny in the wake of the Biogenesis stuff.

MLBTR passes along word (via a tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News) that Brandon Lyon is close to a deal with the Mets.

Back to Bluebird Banter for a second, where Tom Dakers looks at something Gregor Chisholm wrote in his latest Inbox at BlueJays.com, which is that he thinks it looks like Maicer Izturis was given some kind of promise of a starting second base job when he signed here early in the off-season, given the way Alex Anthopoulos has insisted he’s the frontrunner, despite Emilio Bonifacio being just as qualified. “I trust Alex not to outright lie to the press,” Dakers writes, which is… y’know… ridiculous.

Elsewhere in Gregor’s… er.. box, he writes that he thinks the Jays have reached their payroll limit, and thus will not be able to re-sign Brandon Lyon– hence the deal that seems to be coming with the Mets, as noted above.

Jays Journal looks at some of the non-roster left-handed pitchers who will be joining the Jays in camp this spring.

John Lott of the National Post notes that Esmil Rogers has joined Melky Cabrera in declining to participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Understandable, in that Rogers kinda has a place in the Jays’ bullpen to win– one that’s certainly not locked down at this point.

There’s still a chance for the Jays (OK, the Bisons) to get their hands on ol’ Rusty Canz, as according to MLBTR, the Yankees D’d him FA late last week.

At Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal has a big feature up on Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who managed in the Jays’ system at Dunedin last year, and Lansing the year before that.

Lastly, in an interesting piece for the New York Post, Ken Davidoff quibbles with the notion that baseball, and its statistics, were the Garden of Eden before Jose Canseco came along.

Comments (71)

  1. Here’s to hoping all Spring Training games are broadcasted

  2. Not sure if you want to include here or do a sep. post, but KLAW’s org rankings are up on ESPN…

    • KLaw on the Jays:

      “A top-10 system before the big offseason trades, probably top five, but Alex Anthopoulos pushed his chips to the center of the table, stood up and said “Boo-yah!” … but in the politest way possible.”

      Gold.

  3. I am beginning to feel sorry for poor old Russ Canzler. DFA’d again. Hope AA can nab him and stash him on the AAA roster.

    • I dont. He will end up somewhere and make 200k playing AAA. Fuck, what a shitty life!

      • I should add that AA shouldn’t clear space on the 40-man roster to claim Canzler. But if after 10 days, no one claims him, I think he can refuse the assignment and be a free agent.

        As AAA depth, why not.

  4. Do you have examples of Anthopoulos outright lying to the press?

    • I think what he means is GM’s have to say shit just to say shit sometimes. While technically it may be a lie (per dictionary definition), it is purely for optics. At one point or another all front office people will say things they believe are in the best interest of the club at that moment whether they know it is or not the absolute truth.

  5. FYI – Chrome is telling me there’s Malware on the NY Post link.

  6. Canzlers going to be claimed and put through waivers to AAA and claimed by a different team

  7. i heard mike wilner imply that he won’t be in the booth full time this year, but he job will be changing in some capacity. don’t know if rogers would do this, but is there maybe they start the season with a platoon to replace ashby before deciding on a full time replacement?

  8. I have no idea on earth why someone would consider having more spring training games broadcasted is a good thing.

    • trolling?

    • I understand that the games mean less than nothing but I still enjoy listening or watching any baseball.

      • Any baseball is better than no baseball at all.

        • Yeah, but by the third inning all the scrubs are in the game and you could care less about the results because the results mean less than nothing. Dont get me wrong, the first spring training game is exciting because you see all the new players but after that it gets extremely boring and pointless to watch.

          • I have become accustomed to watching meaningless baseball in Aug. and Sept. so I can live with it.

          • Not for me…watching new pitchers – even in an ST game, is fun. They go 4 innings at most and then you get a new one. Looking foward to see where Mcgowan is; how Rogers, Jeffress and Nolin will do, etc etc

            There is one bad thing though. Not mentioning any names , but the Yankees like to give other teams a feeling of false confidence by tanking at crucial points.

  9. A significant number of signs have been pointing towards Jack Morris becoming our new broadcaster for the last few months. At this point I don’t think the whisperings can be ignored, and I would assume he is the favourite.

    But we’ll see. Perhaps someone might have a change in heart.

  10. I actually think the Jays are better off keeping Izturis at 2nd and bonafacio as a utility.

    keep the guy who can only play 2nd base at 2nd base and keep the guy who can almost play everyone open to play everywhere.

    plus he’d be a far better pinch runner in late innings, with half of lind’s AB’s going to be up for grabs, it shouldn’t be too hard to get bona 400 ABs

    • Who is back up SS? Bonafacio, Izturis or DeRosa?

      • Bonafacio for sure would be the SS if Reyes goes down.

        Agree with the pinch running, but you also have Davis there aswell. Maybe Lind becomes a back up and Boafacio gets some DH PA – wouldn’t be bad in the 9th spot. Enough power threw the line up to use the DH for speed – even though normally a power spot. or you could see Him play RF and Jose DH some. Lots of options, not a bad place to be in really.

        Anyone remember Johnny Mac hitting 9th as the DH, man those where the days – Grand slam Johnny Mac lmao.

      • I’d say Izturis as the superior defender, with Bonifacio filling in at 2nd.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. We’re (hopefully) going to see Rajai DH-ing a lot against LHP, so it would be nice to still have someone with Bonifacio’s speed on the bench to pinch run in late innings. Plus his defensive versatility make this a no-brainer.

    • What you suggest is likely going to happen, at least to start.

      On Sunday, MLB Rumors posted the following:
      “It appears Izturis received some sort of promise from the organization he would be the starting second baseman before agreeing to his three-year, $10MM deal, according to Chisholm. Look for Bonifacio to be used in a super utility role even though, in Chisholm’s view, he has more upside than Izturis and would bring another element of speed to the lineup.”

      Th entire Chisholm post can be found here:
      http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130130&content_id=41256522&vkey=news_tor&c_id=tor

      A couple of weeks ago I suggested such a deal might be in place.

      Everything AA has said; or more to the point, has not said,
      has suggested Izturis as the 2nd baseman
      with Bonafacio as the utility guy.
      At no point has he said anything
      about there being a competition for the job
      or anything that would suggest otherwise.

  11. If Jack Morris becomes the broadcastered, I wonder if a pause in his dialogue, means he is scowling?

  12. The notion that Bonifacio and Izturis are equally qualified to start at 2B is hogwash. Izturis is the better fielder and no worse a hitter than Bonifactio. The latter has speed and defensive versatility which make him a valuable bench option. The reason AA insists Maicer is the frontrunner is because it only makes sense. There’s no reason to create some bogus controversy around this.

    • I agree. Izturis should be the starting at 2B. For one thing, AA probably promised him that the job would be his when he signed Izturis as a FA. Things can change of course, and boy, did they ever after the Marlins trade.

      Bonifacio could steal the job but to start the year, let Mighty Maicer handle the keystone.

      2B does remain a source of concern as the job will be occupied by guys who were primarily utility players in recent years.

      • You say you agree with him, but it almost seems like you didn’t read what he wrote…

      • I have a hard time believing that “promises” like this are ever made at the Major League level.

        • It happens all the time. Remember John Buck? AA promised to give him the AB’s all season long, even after JP came storming in. Everyone thought it was Cito sticking with the vets, but AA told Cito to play Buck so he could stick to his word.

          • i still don’t buy it.
            Buck got those reps because he was playing well and because the games were meaningless. In my opinion there’s no way a major league GM would risk the team’s success because of a promise.

            Now I can believe that he told Izturis that the job was his by default. But I don’t believe for a second that he couldn’t lose it or Bonifacio couldn’t win it away from him by their respective performaces.

            Making a guarantee like that would be totally foolish.

            • Agree IMW

              Any spot at any time is up for grabs. Team first.

            • Disagree IMW.
              Buck’s playing time allowed AA to obtain another draft pick.
              While I agree with team first, AA was trying to amass as many picks as possible before the new CBA changed the rules.
              The Jays weren’t in the playoff hunt.
              The goals of AA at the time were different,it was all about the end game.

              • Although the end result makes your arguement, i just dont see any manager doing that. Maybe both are wrong. Maybe they didn’t want to over work their backstop of the future?

                • @ coach LB
                  I’m going to preface this with the disclaimer “I don’t actually know” just so Stoeten doesn’t burst a blood vessel in his brain.
                  But in hindsight, it explains a lot of decisions made at the time.
                  From AA’s hiring,Beeston assuming the presidents role fulltime,the hiring of the scouts,Cito retaining the manager’s position, the playing of vetrans,amassing draft picks,non signing of FA’s,etc.
                  I could go on, but you get the idea.
                  And you’re right.Not just any manager would do that.
                  JPA was playing well at the time and there was a huge out cry when Buck was played, rather than giving the catcher of the future more experience.
                  IMHO,I think it’s been part of the plan all along.
                  All of this led to thinking the Jays would be in playoff contention in Sept. of 2013.

                  • well, i think they were hoping for sooner then 2013. but i get what your saying. Unless we can read minds, we are all just guessing at the motives. Doubt even Stoeten could tell you what AA was really thinking.

              • An even better explanation.
                the point is, it wasn’t some kind of unbreakable “promise” to Buck that’d he’d be Catcher for Life.

                • Buck was gonna be gone.
                  Remember when Cito said he was playing Buck so he could get a nice contract.
                  I think that team had seven guys hit 20 dingers.

      • Would be cool if Maicer pulls a Scutero and get real good with regular playing time as opposed to being a “utility” guy.

        • He hits in the 270 range. All he has to do is get on base and he could get 80 runs and the bottom of the order. His D is good, so if he has a carreer year, great, but if not, he adds value no questions.

  13. Morris would be worse than zaun no?

    • Wait, are you saying Morris would be worse then Zaun, or Zaun worse then Morris…….everytime i read it i hear a spanish voice in my head, you know the one that says NO like its a question at the end of everything……”you want to upsize it, no?”

  14. If the idea is to have Davis DHing against lefties you might actually see Bautista get some time off from fielding as the DH with Davis playing right. He showed last year that he has an underrated arm – and while he isn’t the greatest CF – he’s got to be more valuable on D than Bautista is in terms of range etc.

    • Adding a bat due to injury or suckage from Rasmus at the trade deadline is a possibility

    • Yeah not a bad idea. If Rajai’s getting in the lineup anyways it doesn’t matter if it’s at DH or in RF. I agree he has better range than Bautista but more overall value I think is debatable. Maybe it’s confirmation bias but I can remember Rajai booting or whiffing on a lot more balls than Jose, and not just difficult ones to get to either. Jose’s cannon in RF is waaaay better than Rajai’s arm, whether you feel it’s underrated or not.

      Jose’s arm + glove > Rajai’s range? Vice versa? Who knows. But yeah, never a bad idea to give the franchise a day off in the field.

      • Whiffing and booting…when I think of Davis its second thing I think of after his speed. Davis may be able to reach a ball in the gap 2 steps faster than JB, but if he flubs the catch that makes no difference. Moreover JB isnt THAT slow. If all you’re looking for is a bat against lefties and the OCCAISONAL day off for JB, ok.

    • Something about watching Davis in the field make mes nervous. It’s like he has no idea where the ball is or where its going until it’s already begun its decent.

    • Underrated arm? Just because people use hyperbole to describe how pathetic it is, doesn’t mean it isn’t laughable.

      For the purpose of giving Bautista a half day, it isn’t a bad idea, but let’s not go crazy praising Rajai’s throwing ability.

      • Gose first in line if Rasmus sucks or does bonafacio move to the OF

      • Was it Davis who threw a ball to home last season and it just sailed over everyone, not coming even close to the plate?

        Or was it Sierra? Or maybe it was Thames…

        Honestly, our outfield has been so bad the last couple of seasons, everything starts to blend together…

  15. Morris is OK in the booth – as long as its not a year full of
    “Why is Morris not in the Hall of Fame?”

  16. Jose Conseco has bitch tits

  17. Don’t know how I’ll watch regular season games in residence this year. Anyone have any solutions? Yes, I do live within the Jays blackout area for the mlb.tv app.

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