Monday links!

At Yahoo! Sports, Tim Brown ranks the Jays the second best team in baseball, while Jon Morosi of Fox Sports would like to troll you with the fact that big spending doesn’t always work out, so… so what?

Oh, and hey, on a similar tilt, over at Baseball Prospectus, PECOTA is projecting the Jays to come in with 85 wins– good for fourth in the American League East, behind the Yankees, Red Sox and Tampa. Cue angry ranting, but… be honest. It could happen.

Of course, that’s not what a lot of folks who read Parkes’s Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday over at Getting Blanked late last week thought, as there was some comment outrage that he’d dare put together a series of entirely pertinent questions about the Jays’ roster heading into the season.

At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron looks at the worst transactions of the off-season. Guess which Jeffrey Loria fire sale comes out  on top?

Via MLBTR, John Gibbons talks to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. “You’ve got to look at the Yankees,” he says when asked about who is the AL East favourite, “they have earned that respect. You have to expect the Red Sox will bounce back and look what the Orioles and Rays have done. They have the confidence going in. Until we can do something like that, something like what the other teams have done, it’s better just to shut up. But we do like our talent.”

Elsewhere at MLBTR, they have a 2014 free agent power rankings up, with Josh Johnson at third, behind Robinson Cano and Adam Wainwright, with Roy Halladay behind him in fifth.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star returns with his first massive Bullpen column of the season, featuring an essay on R.A. Dickey, a rant about Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse, a seriously fantastic story about his travels in the Great State of Texas (seriously: $1.50 Lone Star tallboys at the bar), and the recap of a chat he had with readers today, which maaaay have to be hijacked at some point, depending on how quick ol’ Zubes can come up with another round of balls-awesome Valentine’s cards.

Griff happened to be in Texas, you likely won’t be surprised to know, for a lengthy feature on John Gibbons, which showed up over the weekend at the Toronto Star. Definitely worth the read.

Get ready for it: pitchers and catchers report this week, so there will be a flood of Spring Training stuff that isn’t particularly distinguishable from itself, regardless of the source. Which isn’t to say that Gregor Chisholm isn’t doing the lord’s work, reporting from Dunedin on expectations as camp begins for

Meanwhile the Toronto Sun appears to want to blow its entire load of spring articles all in one shot, as Ken Fidlin touches on the health of pitchers Sergio Santos, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, and the hope for a return to form from Ricky Romero. Fidlin also asks ten burning questions facing the Jays– which I’m sure certain Getting Blanked readers will be astonished he had the audacity to attempt.

Seriously? The Globe and Mail gets slide-showy, with a post that is titled “The Blue Jays get to work in Spring Training,” and features no text, just a bunch of pictures from Reuters. R.A. Dickey in a Jays batting practice cap, though.

Elsewhere in the Globe, Jeff Blair gets us looking to the spring with some actual words, at least.

The Tao Of Stieb wants us to embrace the boring when it comes to Spring Training. Boring, at least, means the roster is pretty damn set.

Blake Murphy of Bluebird Banter tries to gauge what a reasonable expectation for Jays attendance this year is.

Jays Journal takes a look at some of the outfield non-roster invitees who’ll be in camp with the Jays this spring.

From @metsblog, it’s what a Travis d’Arnaud Mets jersey looks like. But before you get all wistful, simmer the fuck down. We have R.A. Dickey.

A pair of gems from Jonah Keri at Grantland, as he sits down with Orioles GM Dan Duquette, and looks at the worst contracts in baseball– a list that still includes the Vernon Wells deal that Alex Anthopoulos mind-bogglingly got Tony Reagins to swallow.


Image via @cylerasmus, pheasant shoots.

Comments (65)

  1. PECOTA standings are so stupid. Projects Jays for more runs for and fewer runs against then the Rays but a win less. Okay.

    • ..I take it back, read it wrong. Still prefer ZiPS to PECOTA though, PECOTA doesn’t exactly have a shining history of not-fuckingupedness.

    • Realistically they are saying it’s a 3-way tie between Rays/Sox/Jays…which is probably not far off the truth.

      • Did the Red Sox do anything to improve that I missed?

        • They overpaid on two year deals to old guys that are predictably slightly above average. They will be as good as Jays teams of the past have been. They can definitely surprise the league, though. I never said they Jays I predicted to be .500 couldn’t make it if all the cards fell right… did you?

        • added enough to keep themselves out of last imo. no more

    • It also has the Astros at 63 wins, I’ll take the under.

    • Winning only 84 games and having the Red Sox win more games would fucking suck and I would probably drink poison if it happened.

  2. Those pictures from Spring Training literally just warmed my soul.

    Those hats, though… geeze, I don’t know what to think. Not bad… but… meh?

  3. the jays may have assembled the least athletic looking pitching staff in mlb history

  4. Yeah, I’m okay with the ‘no words’ as those pictures made me hard.

  5. So when Jon Morosi does it, its trolling but when Dustin Parkes does it, its objective analysis. What a crock of shit.

  6. Nice photo, looks like they were out doing some bird hunting. Maybe goose or ducks thats a pretty big barrel on Colby’s gun.

  7. Yay projections!!

  8. Any Best Shape of My Life stories yet?

  9. Can you feel it? Even Afternoon Snacks are getting denser. ‘Real’ news starts to roll in. Spring training is around the corner and THE EXCITEMENT IS PALPABLE

  10. I’m not buying the Pecota projections. A rotation of Nolasco, Alvarez, Eovaldi, Turner and Slowey, or something pretty similar, is going to lose over 100 games easily in the NL East. Stanton’s 60 solo home runs won’t change that.

  11. i could definitely see the season going down in glorious flames.

    but we’re jays fans, we are to expect the worst are we not?

  12. Anybody listen to Dustin Parkes latest troll job on the Blue Jays. Went on Red Sox podcast to “preview” Blue Jays season. Here are some gems
    1) Brett Lawrie is a piece of shit and will never be good.
    2) Brett Lawrie isn’t really Canadian because he’s from BC. People from BC are more like Californians then Canadians. People from BC are also assholes which is why Brett Lawrie is one.
    3) The Tampa Bay Rays are going to win the AL east and give Parkes wood. He loves their middle infield of Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson because he only hated them and was down on them when they were on the Blue Jays.
    4) RA Dickey moving to the AL East might now work out because hey, when you are a soul sucking troll why be positive?
    5) Josh Johnson is going to fail because he can’t find the strike zone
    6) Everything that could go wrong, will because Parkes is going to will it to happen because he’s a Blue Jays hating troll who relishes in both the failure of the Blue Jays and the heart break experienced by their fans. In fact, the greatest thing for Dustin is the failure of the Blue Jays because then as Jays fans when we are all feeling down and blue, Dustin can come along and kick dirt in our faces and make us feel worse! That’s how he get’s his troll powers.

    we should start a fund and save up enough money so that we can pay off somebody in immigration Canada to deport Dustin Parkes to California. Then he can spend all day writing and talking about his beloved SF Giants and Blue Jays fans can be left in peace rather then having someone take great joy in pissing in our cornflakes.

      • @sean Parkes is right in that many questions about the blue jays in 2013 have to be answered positively for them to be a playoff team. (Reyes knees holding up on turf, the pitching staff living up to the hype and expectations, bautista’s wrist to be fine and etc… However, I believe he has a biased point of view towards the jays as he is a huge giants supporter and is very negative towards the jays in general. So, while parkes may be a homer and “hater” at the same time for the giants and jays, his point of the jays being crowned champions of baseball in 2013 prematurely isn’t absurd

        • What bothers me about Parkes is that he relishes in Blue Jays failure and seems to want to will it to happen. He goes on a Red Sox podcast supposedly “representing” the Blue Jays and then spends 30 minutes giving Red Sox fans joy with his negative predictions of a Blue Jays collapse. A joy that the fuck would never give Blue Jays fans. He’s always negative about the Blue Jays to the point that he seems to take great joy in their failures. First time Blue Jays have a team that experts are predicting is good and Parkes is still fucking slamming them left and right. Brett Lawrie is an asshole. Dickey and Johnson are going to fail. Sure bad shit can happen and for the Blue Jays, seems to happen more times then naught but spring training is suppose to be about hope. Parkes takes that hope and then takes a big shit on it. Then if Jays fans dare call him out for being overtly negative he cries like a little bitch and acts like his some objective even keeled baseball expert which he fucking isn’t because he goes out of his way to troll and slam the Jays as much as humanly possible.

        • The Jays easily have the best team in the AL East. The only problem with the team might be the bullpen. And that’s a big problem, but the questions and lingering doubts about the team are unfounded. You could apply the same skeptic rationality to any team in the league. If everything goes wrong like last year the team won’t be good. But if things kinda just go along evens stevens regular like, the team is the best team in the AL.

          This just made me thing of something. The Jays had a lot of injuries last year. Is there a system out there that looks at the import of days lost to specific players and their value? Instead of a team losing 1000 games to injuries could you instead lose x amount of WAR? Obviously losing 3-5 win players hurts more than losing bullpen arms. Is that accounted for?

          • Not easily. Hyperbole. The Rays are pretty close.

          • Face it, any team is a just a couple of injuries to key personnel away from sinking like the Titanic in the standings.
            Yeah, there’s a lot of “what if’s” – but if you want to dwell on the negatives, it’s all good.
            I prefer to take heart in the viewpoint that “if everyone just has a DECENT year”. we’ll be there in the end….which is a far fucking cry from previous years, when we needed everyone had a CAREER year. We know that JB and Edwin are capable of 40 plus homers and over 100 rbi…and they NEEDED to do that to give the guys any shot at all.
            I’m hoping that we don’t have to depend on the offense to have to score 6 runs every night. Maybe hope that our starters are be capable of giving quality starts more often than not, keeping the opposition’s runs down – so we might win the occasion 2-1 or 1-0 sphincter-puckering game. Maybe the Janssen/Santos combo turns into Henke/Ward – without one guy having to change into a superhero’s outfit every time out.
            Me…you might say i’m a half-full kinda guy. At least right now.

        • reyes knees?

          thought it was a hamstring. Anyways every team has question marks going into any season. I will take the jays “question marks” any day compared to the resta the leagues. And maybe i am a bit biased but i do love the jays

      • I think it is an overreaction to say that Dustin was overly negative about the Jays. The person he was most critical of was Farrell. All the rest of it was the standard type of criticism that can be levelled against any team. Kind of like precautionary criticism.

        My only beef was with how amateurish the entire production was. The sound would drop to inaudible at times. The host must have put a grand total of 30 seconds into preparing the questions. Each question, while they may have contained a germ of relevance took five times more words than necessary to express. I assume the host is more of a fan than a professional broadcaster but still, this was a pretty poor show.

    • Parkes talking Blue Jays on Red Sox podcast = recipe for disaster.

  13. I like the use of the upside down ‘P’ on the d’Arnaud jersey.

  14. I just gotta say that man the Jays really could be a disappointment this year. I mean I hope they don’t because I haven’t seen a lot of good jays teams being born in 1994. But hell this team could end up not doing that great if other teams exceed expectations or if some of our new pitchers don’t end up working out. I just really don’t like how defensive some people are of this team (its getting near leafs territory) and it’s really starting to get to me. Anyway, pitchers and catchers are reporting so I guess we’ll find out soon. Just remember, like that’s just your opinion man

    • they definitely could be, but for a group of bloggers that stress probability in everything they say, it seems odd that this much negative stuff comes out. Vegas odds makers, whose calculations i would put ahead of any others, seem to think we’ll be pretty good.

    • Dude do you understand what rooting for a team even means? If we KNEW we would win, there would be no point watching anything or even playing. Believing you have a legit chance and being excited to watch it unfold does not equal being an idiot. I’m so sick of this attitude.

  15. Someone did a close-up of Will Rhymes from that Dickey knuckleball gif. His face is priceless.

  16. I read through the Sun’s “10 burning questions” and answered pretty much all of them with “Who cares?” or “Doesn’t matter to the Jays’ success”….

    Not very worried

  17. Man, Rasmus looks like an extra from “Justified” in that shot.

    • Looks like he just blowed somthin’ up real good.

      • Showed the old lady the photo and her first question was: is he from Justified or Duck Dynasty? Second: why are you showing me this? Third (after I told her who it was, not a question): Cletus is awesome.

    • The funniest part of the picture is how in the URL “pheasant shoot” is misspelled as “peasant shoot”… one letter, but such a hilariously different meaning.

  18. I was reading the Griff chat and came across this gem. Someone asked about EE:

    Griff: “After watching EE’s development late in the ’11 season as a hitter and first baseman, I told John Farrell last spring that EE was going to have a huge year. He was not so sure. He said he needed to drive in more runs and show he could do it in the clutch.”


  19. Is the typo in the image file name intentional?

  20. Absolutely love the response from Gibbons when asked about AL East favorites. The perfect attitude to have

  21. People still read what Parkes writes?

  22. Oh my fucking god, those new hats are hideous. Just saw Dickey wearing his last night on SN. Seriously, they could not be dumber looking.

  23. Call him whatever you want but you have to admit Cletus is unique. Between the boots in Winnepeg, the cornrows and the fatigues, he keeps things interesting.
    I hope he mashes this year.

    • Doesn’t have to Mash, 25 HRs would be great, just getting on base would be great, you can drive in a lot of runs with 3-4 hits an inning ;)

  24. @FTS Totally agree with you. Redneck boys are normally boring and cliche to me, but something about Colby piques my interest. With his quirky down south style, he seems to be the “odd guy” that every championship team seems to have.

  25. Baseball Prospectus projected the jays to give up more runs than Cleveland. I don’t want to be overconfident but I can’t see that happening in the season.

  26. Cletus. I still see him chucking rocks in the fetid sport they call curling. Now that was beautiful.

  27. Rasmus! ‘ And then one day I was shootin at some food, when up from the ground came abubblin crude, black gold, Texas tea’.
    You make me feel very sophisticated Colby!
    Dang hillbilly boy.

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