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Afternoon links!

The State Of The Bautista! At North Of The Border, Gregor Chisholm has a full transcript of Jose Bautista’s recent, lengthy chat with media.

Elsewhere, Gregor tweets that Dustin McGowan “won’t be ready for quite some time.” Because… of course he won’t. Which completely sucks for him, but just makes us keep thinking back to the silly contract the club signed him to last spring, when he was already under their control for the year, and injured. Oh, wait, but it wasn’t a ridiculous signing, it was some kind of an attempt to buy the goodwill of players dumb enough to not notice things like free agent Jesse Litsch ending up a free agent facing experimental surgery, the contract for the services of someone like Mike McCoy being exploited to the fullest degree, or any number of other decisions that show the whole notion to be a fantasy, right?

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com talks about Brett Lawrie, his burgeoning relationship with babysitter Mark DeRosa, and expectations placed on a supremely talented 23-year-old. He has a few other dispatches from Dunedin, too. There’s one on J.P. Arencibia and R.A. Dickey, who likely won’t be batterymates much this year, but who won’t be strangers either– and, indeed, Dickey will pitch to JPA against the Red Sox on Monday. Another talks about the Jays’ light schedule at this point in the spring, and another still looks at ol’ Gibbers.

“Let there be no mistake: The Toronto Blue Jays manager is well aware about the soft, white underbelly of the 2012 team,” writes Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail. “He has ‘heard some things,’ he said Wednesday, about the Blue Jays’ misadventures on the basepaths last year under his predecessor, John Farrell.”

In the National Post, John Lott has a notebook post, also talking about Dickey getting a personal catcher, plus Casey Janssen being on track for Opening Day (according to his pitching coach), and reporters finding it curious that Brandon Morrow is only scheduled to pitch one inning on Saturday, as opposed to the club’s other starters, who will pitch two. “No big deal, said pitching coach Pete Walker. Morrow pitched only one inning in his spring debut last year and is comfortable doing so again.”

In another piece, Lott talks to Pete Walker, who raves about Josh Johnson, as the former fireballer continues to learn to “pitch.” Let’s hope that works for him. Elsewhere, Lott talks to Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas about their adventures catching the knuckleball.

In the Toronto Sun, Ken Fidlin looks at the logjam at second base, and at the plan Alex Anthopoulos had all along, which he says is coming to fruition.

Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the Globe, looks at one of the few position battles happening at the Jays’ camp: for the spot as J.P. Arencibia’s backup. In another piece, Davidson looks at the Jays’ Australian spring invitee: pitcher Rich Thompson.

“I don’t think they’re a playoff team,” says one rival GM to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, referring to the New York Yankees.

Dirk Hayhurst checks in with some excellent notes from camp.

At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to people who only have MLB roster spots because of “chemistry” about why chemistry is so super important.

Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs looks at the starters in all the televised spring games this weekend: including Brandon Morrow and Anibal Sanchez on Saturday, and J.A. Happ and David Phelps the following day.

John Lott has put all of his excellent Spring Training photos up on Flickr.

Steve Paikin of TVO’s always excellent The Agenda talks to Paul Beeston.

A press release from Rogers informs us that the Jays will have spring games broadcast on FX Canada… for some reason.

And another press release from Rogers tells us that Sportsnet will be broadcasting the 1993 World Series in its entirety during the month of March. Hey, but why link to the source, right?

The Tao of Stieb takes a look at J.A. Happ.

Mop Up Duty looks at how the Jays’ new starters might handle moving into the league of the DH.

At Bluebird Banter, Emily G talks about the expectations placed on these 2013 Jays

Lastly, at Getting Blanked, Drew looks at the close to make-or-break season the Jays have set themselves up for.

 

Image via @LtTomBozco, random run-ins at Dunedin liquor stores.

Comments (62)

  1. I’m so excited to watch some Blue Jays baseball tomorrow morning. I’m not even letting myself think about how bored i’ll be by the 3rd inning.

  2. “The Shack in Kits” is playing tomorrows game with audio for fans in Vancouver :) Hope to see you out!

  3. who’s next to Jose in the photo?

  4. Team Chemistry is important, not so much in a positive sense,
    but in the sense of avoiding negative things.

    To be effective, 25 guys do not have to play nicely together in the sandbox, enjoy a game of mini golf together and go out en mass for brown pops. Probably more fun when its like that, but that kind of relationship is not essential for success.

    However, if you’ve got jealousies over salary or playing time, cliques who don’t like this coach or that player, coaches giving players conflicting messages, managers playing favorites or appearing to play favorites, guys whinging about customs or currency or whatever…… then you have the potential for it all to fall apart.

    The best recipe for positive team chemistry boils down to one word: WIN.
    Do that and the rest will take care of itself.

  5. What’s up with brad lincoln

  6. AWWW SHIT

    Went to buy my mlb.tv today and when I tried to pay it said that I already did! It’s like.. a free 130 bucks!

    Seriously though, gotta stop using my credit card when i’m drunk .

  7. The Jays are playing on FX Canada presumably because there were already commitments on Sportsnet and it’s a chance to expose some people to a new channel that they might purchase.

    • Interesting that FX Canada is a channel available to Rogers subscribers but not Bell subscribers…feels like a move meant to stick it to Bell, which is hilarious considering they’re partners now in MLSE…all’s fair I guess

    • http://www.broadcastermagazine.com/news/sportsnet-and-fx-canada-add-blue-jay-games-to-broadcast-schedule/1002088867/

      This article seems to suggest that FX will be on free preview for existing Rogers customers for the Jays games.

      Looks like they’re just giving it a shot at poaching a few Bell customers. I doubt Sportsnet has any programming that they’re committed to on these random weekday afternoons. On February 28th for instance, all 4 Sportsnet channels have some variation of Connected, Soccer Central, On the Edge, and a snowboarding magazine show between 1 and 4 PM ET.

  8. I’m so glad we aren’t talking about Thames vs. Snyder this spring!! What a long way we have come in the last 12months!

  9. Have to hand it to the marketing team for running the 1993 World Series now. I figured they’d wait until next winter, but they’re clearly doing a great job hyping up now. I’m still hoping they show the 1992 ALCS at some point.

    • I don’t even need to see the whole ALCS, just that Alomar comeback game. Classic

    • I was hoping they would show them during Christmas again. It was nice to watch them pretty much back to back at a quiet time of year rather than spread out over a month.

    • +1. They are defnitely setting this season up as the return to the World Series in 2013.
      I would be happy with a playoff appearance.

      I moved to Toronto before the Jays won the world series in 93.

      Wilner will get swamped every time the Jays lose a game.

  10. How awesome is Paul Beeston? One of my favourite parts of Paikin’s piece (aside from having a hate-on for gambling) was when I learned that he does not know how to send an e-mail. Imagine being in any executive job interview and had to explain that you do not know how to use e-mail. Terrific.

  11. Andrew Stoeten says: 02.13.13 @ 10:57 PM EST
    “Anyway, was the McGowan deal defensible? Sure, it could be defended reasonably enough.”

    Do you truly need someone to look up ‘ridiculous’ and ‘defensible’ for you in a dictionary and/or thesaurus to realize something cannot be both at the same time? Because I’ll gladly point you in the direction if needed.

    Either you were wrong when you said the deal was defensible (unlikely).

    Or you know very well the deal is defensible but keep suggesting it is ridiculous for any number of reasons (likely).

    • Ouch. If you consider the very high cost of starting pitching, anyone with a shot at making the team gets a contract.

      McGowan was healthy when they signed him. I think he neede a very low WAR to make the contract valuable per Sabremetric valuations.

      McGowan did have a track record with the Jays before getting hurt

    • Jays2010, enough of your false dichotomies please, it’s embarrassing to watch.

      • Haha I really don’t think you know what a false dichotomy is champ.

        Suggesting something is ‘ridiculous’ and yet ‘defensible’ is an oxymoron.

        There isn’t any point diverting attention. This isn’t debatable.

        • If you knew what a false dichotomy was, you’d understand that that’s not what I’m referring to.

          As for ridiculous/defensible, please go ahead and find the rest of the comment you quoted from me, which you have conveniently left out here. If you really need to zero in on that, I think it says a lot about what you’re trying to argue.

          And as for Longoria and Bautista, I’m pretty sure those guys weren’t pitchers coming off over three years in the wilderness, two major shoulder surgeries, and an injury in camp the week the deal was signed. Major, major difference– and yes, the dollars are too, we’re still talking apples and oranges.

          More importantly, though, just because risk and reward were visible and built somewhat into the contract doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good risk to take. As was pointed out at the time, the Jays certainly could have waited for more data in terms of health and barely lost an inch of leverage, if any– same potential reward, that much less risk. This is the primary objection to the deal, though there is also the issue of having McGowan take up a roster spot for so long– we saw the Jays in a bit of a 40-man crunch all winter, which this contributed– as well as the guaranteed money– which could have been used towards someone like Brandon Lyon this year.

          While not terribly significant, and maybe offset by the “reward” of a magically healthy McGowan, those aspects of the sunk cost are parts of the risk, as was his horrific track record when it comes to health, as was the fact that he was already under contract for the season and in no way needed to be signed at the time they did. If they’d signed him to the same deal, or even a bigger one, two months into the season after a healthy camp and ten or so consistent starts, it’s a whole different story. But they didn’t, and the fact that the deal is not panning out because of McGowan’s health, which everyone saw as a possibility from miles away, does not at all mean… hey, well they saw that risk coming, so it’s OK. And as I explained above, just because it seems like pretty insignificant cost doesn’t make it OK either. At the time a very good case could be made that it was dumb to be extending him– that the risk, even the minimal one, because of the cost, greatly outweighed the reward. And it was dumb. And that’s not after the fact analysis, or ignoring what you’re calling the “baseball reasons” you’ve pretended here you were so sure I’d just gloss over. It’s actually precisely because of those baseball reasons that it was dumb.

          So… enough already.

          But, for the record, I should add, I’ve seen all your patronizing tricks before, and all your little diversionary tactics. I’ve done this shit for a long time. They’re the hallmarks of someone who for some reason badly wants to “trump” me but doesn’t actually have the argument to back it up. It’s tiresome as hell, and if you attempt to circle this wagon back into what you think is comfortable ground for you, I’m probably not going to be along for the ride, because it just means banging my head against the brick wall of someone’s willful ignorance. Like I said when I called out your horseshit about strawmen, this is the internet, and I’ve written a lot of things on it. You can look them up if you want to understand what I’ve said on this in the past. You don’t need me to hand-hold you anymore than I need this ego-stroking “gotcha” wank job game you’re playing.

          • You say “enough of your false dichotomies please” which implies I have used one in this comment thread.

            Please explain what you think a false dichotomy is and where I have used it here.
            Copying and pasting your entire original comment doesn’t change anything. I have read your entire original comment. There is no point using a longer quotation. It is unnecessary.

            You have used a contradiction of terms. Hence, this is a legitimate dichotomy. Hence, your argument is baseless. Once you admit the contract is defensible, the contract cannot be ridiculous. Period. There is no debating this. And this is not a semantic argument so please do not go down that path either.

            There is no need to go through the laundry list of reasons against the contract. I am well aware of them. Each contract, including Longo and Bautista have similar laundry lists.

            And please. Stop appealing to your own authority. You may have “done this shit for a long time” and seen “someone who for some reason badly wants to “trump” me but doesn’t actually have the argument to back it up”. It doesn’t matter that “this is the internet, and (you’ve) written a lot of things on it.”

            Bravo. None of this makes your argument logical.

  12. He’s clearly being sarcastic based on the constant over bitching about one AA blunder.

    Yes, the contract looks bad because he broke down like everyone assumed he would.
    If he dominated, it would be brilliant.

    I think AA has earned a pass on a contract that doesn’t even come close to being an albatros.

    Stoeten, please stop commenting about that contract. Enough already.

    • Exactly. At this point, there is a good chance McGowan never pitches in the majors during the length of the contract.

      It’s an after the fact explanation at this point. The risk/reward was evident at the time to anyone who analyzed the deal.

      • @Jays 2010

        Very well said.

        If the Jays had a 50 million payroll budget, spending 3 million on Dusty would be money waste.

        However, if we asssume a budget of 125 million per season for the next 3 years, Dusty’s contract is a rounding error.

      • Yeah… it’s absolutely not after the fact, but I guess I understand how saying that’s the easiest way to distract us from the nonsense you’re trying to pass off as obvious.

        In fact, you argued with me about what a great deal it was at the time. Go look it up, then come tell me how any of this is after the fact or that your position at the time was completely unopposed and obvious. I mean… for fuck sakes, you’re really that desperate to be wrong twice about this? Accept that you were way wrong from the outset and let it go. Stop trying to rewrite history in service of your ego. Thanks.

        • As I said, it is after the fact in that the risk/reward was evident at the time. You saying “I told you so!” after each McGowan re-injury doesn’t change the fact that the risk/reward was perfectly defensible at the time. Which you have admitted.

          I take you at your word that I argued in favour of the deal at the time as I was in favour of it. Just as I was in favour of the Lind and Bautista contracts. I agree with AA’s philosophy of taking risks on potentially impact players.

          Does your opinion of the Bautista contract need to be brought up every time he hits a HR? It doesn’t change the fact that you had good reasons for having reservations about the deal at the time.

          As I have stated before in defense of the McGowan contract, the risk is far lower on his deal than on Longoria’s first deal and on Bautista’s. There was every reason for Bautista’s deal to flame out considering he only had one great year at the time. There was every reason for Longoria’s first deal to flame out considering how many elite prospects fail to meet expectations.

          None of this matters, though. Give me some evidence that something that be ‘ridiculous’ and ‘defensible’ at the same time and perhaps I will warm up to your point.

          I mean… for fuck sakes, you’re really that desperate to be wrong twice about this? Accept that you were way wrong from the outset and let it go. Stop trying to rewrite history in service of your ego. Thanks.

  13. 92 world series was fun to watch because it was on over the holidays and could be shared with others who had memories. Watching random 93 WS games on superfluous weeknights in March won’t be as fun. Save it until next Xmas.

    • Agreed. They can always show it again in December though, I really wouldn’t complain if they did.

    • Totally agree.
      It would be awesome for Baseball starved fans (especially those of us that are sick of hockey’s dominance) if they showed all the Jays playoff games. Well, maybe just the ’85 series, and the ’92, ’93 ones. We lost in ’85 but wow was that some exciting baseball. Show it during December and January.
      Give current fans what they want, and also use it like a marketing tool to recruit new ones.
      Seems like a win/win

  14. Great Pics from Lott on Flickr.

    Can NOT believe it starts tomorrow!!

    One more sleep!!!

  15. Between Reyes’ tank top and the bottles and signage behind him, it feels like there’s a line up the middle of the photo which makes it look like a bad photoshop. It’s not, but it’s a weird coincidental occurrence.

  16. Stoeten – regarding the comments about the McGowan contract, I agree the signing/extension as a show of goodwill is silly, but my recollection is that the reality was McGowan wasn’t willing to rehab any longer without additional financial security (I apologize I can’t remember the source of this notion). Do you recall hearing / reading the same thing?

  17. I’m so starved for baseball I found myself watching somebody playing Jays/Angels on MLB 2013.
    So with Lawrie on third, less than two outs, and Lind hits the ball the bounces three times to the pitcher for the out. lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcw1T8KQwk0

  18. What’s that about Jays being a $225 million business in the Paikin/Agenda blog? Is that a random number or is that the Jays actual revenue that Beeston let slip?

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