Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays

The post-race hangover fog is finally lifting, and I can’t let these build up any longer, so let’s get through a couple days worth of links!

According to an official release, the Jays have got themselves a replacement for David Cooper not named Andy LaRoche– though, similarly a one-time hot prospect– Lars Anderson. Sure… why not?

Gregor Chisholm mentions the Anderson waiver claim in a notebook post at wherein he also tells us about the spring debuts of R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson, and players union head Michael Weiner showing up at camp, noting that Melky Cabrera will be subjected to additional testing this season, and suggesting that the changes to MLB’s revenue sharing system are the real reason for Rogers’ sudden interest in spending.

Another piece from Gregor talks about the two rather different welcomes given John Farrell and Brian Butterfield this afternoon. “ Toronto’s former third-base coach who joined Farrell in Boston was greeted warmly by his former colleagues, as multiple players came up to shake hands and share a few laughs,” while Farrell faced more questioning from reporters about his acrimonious exit from town. A separate piece focuses solely on Butterfield, who loved his time in Toronto, but who needed to make a choice this winter when the Jays were searching for a manager and couldn’t guarantee any coaches a spot on the reworked staff.

Another Gregor piece still looks at the evolution of Brandon Morrow, who felt good after Saturday’s start, though it didn’t look so hot on paper, and another piece looks at possible second baseman Maicer Izturis. And yet another notebook post looks at the very pleased Michael Schwimer, Mark Buehrle and Jose Bautista– who clubbed his first home run of the spring, with no ill effects on his wrist, on Sunday.

Speaking of Schwimer, Shi Davidi tweets that the Phillies told their now-former pitcher that a handful of teams were interested in him, and that he was happy it was the Jays who got the deal done.

Davidi also writes at Sportsnet about Michael Weiner’s visit, and the suggestion that Melky Cabrera could still be suspended for past actions, if evidence comes to light– something Alex Anthopoulos said earlier in the month he wasn’t worried about.

Plenty more from Davidi, who writes that about Marcus Stroman, the cool reception given to John Farrell, the awkward situation J.A. Happ is in, and John Gibbons, who is, of course, re-embarking on his career as a big league manager.

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun looks at hotshot Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon, who grew up in Texas, but who has Canadian citizenship, and a pair of Canadian parents. He’ll start for the red and white during the upcoming WBC, likely against Team USA, Elliott says.

Elliott also writes about the WBC weirdness surrounding another Pirate: Jussell Martin, who appears to have taken his shortstop’s glove and gone home from Team Canada. In a second piece, Elliott writes that Martin is “dead wrong” about his decision, and talks to members of Team Canada who say Martin’s decision not to play is a big deal.

Elsewhere in the Sun, Ken Fidlin writes about the Jays coaches, who are getting used to each other as much as the club’s players are, and Sergio Santos, who feels great, finally. He also writes about Josh Johnson’s arm, which is feeling great after his first outing of the spring– though he was sitting at 93, not the 96-98 he was once used to– and a safe-as-possible plate-blocking technique for catchers devised by Sal Fasano that’s catching on throughout the minors.

I still don’t think it’s quite right to shit on John Farrell about honour and breaking his word, as Steve Simmons does in another Toronto Sun piece, because the fact of the matter is, the Jays let him go to Boston, and didn’t have to– much like how they kept him from bolting for there after his first season here. But I can’t disagree with Simmons’ scoffing about Farrell’s dismissive comment yesterday that, “I think, if memory serves me correct, I was traded.” I mean… come on.

John Lott of the National Post writes that Mark Schwimer likes the vibe of his new clubhouse, which is quite different from the regimented, dare I say Halladay-run, clubhouse in Philadelphia. Lott also looks at R.A. Dickey’s kindred spirit, Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright, who finally got around to reading the dictionary. Turns out the zebra did it.

Lots more from… er… Lott, as he also looks at the return of John Farrell, and honestly-mistaken prospect Marcus Stroman.

The Toronto Star prints a piece from Marc Carig of Newsday, who looks at the good start Travis d’Arnaud is off to in Mets camp.

Elsewhere, it’s another excellent, lengthy Bullpen post from Richard Griffin, who talks about Marcus Stroman, John Gibbons’ laid back style, Jeffrey Loria’s ridiculous open letter to Marlins fans, and more on Jussell Martin.

Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the National Post, writes about the musical selections in the Jays clubhouse.

Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune talks to Justin Morneau, who walks back last week’s comment about playing for the Jays a little bit.

Bunch of Jeff Blair items in the Globe and Mail, as he talks about the hard feelings starting in the AL East, with the breaking of Curtis Granderson’s arm (and the subsequent hitting of Brett Lawrie), and the return of new villain John Farrell. He looks at R.A. Dickey, who made his spring debut today, as well as the “instant connection” forged between Dickey and John Gibbons.

Remember prospects? Last year this probably would have warranted its own post. Now, not so much. But still, Baseball Prospectus has its top 101 prospects list up, and it features two Jays: Aaron Sanchez at 32 (four spots behind Noah Syndergaard), and Sean Nolin at 97.

Elsewhere at BP, R.J. Anderson looks at the changes Aaron Hill has made to his swing since joining Arizona– which the Diamondbacks believed in enough to sign him to a lengthy extension. The Jays really couldn’t have figured this out?

Scott Johnson of Franchise Mode looks at the overall team ratings in MLB ’13; The Show, which have the Jays as the fifth-best team in baseball, with the sixth-best offence and the seventh-best pitching. Their defence ranks just 26th, though.

Jonah Keri of Grantland takes a excellent look at the Yankees, their lack of depth, and how they could be a completely different team after free agent exits slated for after this season. Try not to get too giddy when reading this one.

The Tao of Stieb’s 30-odd Jays in 30-odd days piece takes us to both Adam Lind, as well as Brad Lincoln.

Elsewhere at the Tao, the Org Guy writes about organizational depth, which… heh. I see what he did there.

The Blue Jay Hunter wonders if Jose Bautista’s violent swing, and wrist-y follow-through, may have something to do with the wrist injury he sustained last season.

Extra Base Hit looks at some of the many ex-Jays around the league, and how they looked in their new uniforms on Photo Day.

Kyle Matte of Jays Journal looks at Esmil Rogers’ slider, which he suggests has been the key to his evolution.

House Of The Bluebird takes a side-by-side look at a couple of great Jays over-the-shoulder catches: Devon White’s famous World Series one and the one made by Anthony Gose on Sunday.

Blake Murphy of Bluebird Banter looks at what to do with Adam Lind.

At Getting Blanked, Drew looks at Vernon Wells’ claim that he wants to retire at the end of his current contract. Yeah… I don’t doubt it, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be up to him.

Lastly, a programming note: I’m off to Dunedin early tomorrow– largely just to check out the scene, take some photographs to use on the blog (though that might not be entirely necessary, as it seems as though Getty Images has actually sent a photographer to Jays’ camp this year, thank you very much Al Messerschmidt– so feel free to say hi if you see me at the park.

Comments (62)

  1. Late evening?
    What kind of sick fuck is up this late at night, reading about baseball?
    I mean,um, great idea.

  2. What’s up with Jussel Martin?

  3. 26th ranked defense?

    our 3B/SS defense combo is top 3 in the league easy.

    1b/2b, OF will atleast be average. we also have some really good fielding Pitchers.

    only real defensive weakness is catcher.

    • Uh… UZR/150 had Lawrie 6th and Reyes 16th at their positions last year. By DRS they were first and 20th.

    • 26th ranked D is an absolute joke. I’d rank it in the top 10 and that is not bias.
      Where are they weak? Who do you not want the ball hit to?
      Where are they fielding some unathletic guy playing only because he can hit?

      I don’t get this at all.

  4. Jussell Schwarzenegger is being a bit of diva.

    I like how Arron Seebeeah gave him a dog and asked to play Centre for USA.

    The was an earlier quote of Martin saying that he is an athlete, not a catcher. Lawrie and Jussel would have been great together talking about how big a thief cocks are.

    Hey, when are the Drunks Jays Fans gonna film a Harlem Shuffle together? Wasted and blacked right the fuck out style?

    • I meant to say Jussell Schmartin……… And JP gave him a dig……….. Typo…….. I HATE Myself!

  5. Stoeten, keep an eye on the baby sitting dynamics with Lawrie and Derosa for us.

  6. Your next post I hope is on what you see first hand at spring training, up close and personal. That would make a sweet blog no matter what you report.

  7. This is not a snack. This is a buffet andsmorgasbord!

  8. Oh fucking score, a post midnight link dump

  9. The fact that Lind clearly hates Farrell makes me forget about how bad he’s been

    Go Lindy!

    • +1
      Lind is dumb, but man do I appreciate his honesty.

      My favourite was JPA saying something at the end of last year about BEING a Blue Jay, instead of just working for the Jays.

      I know it’s not likely, but it would be awesome if Lind really believes Farrell messed him up and suddenly this year he returns to his 2009 level. Nevermind that he started sucking under Gaston.

    • Great point. I started truly hating Lind last year, but now that all that hate is focused on Farrell, I’m pulling for Lind again. You just know Lind and Romero hate Farrell’s guts and I love that.

  10. The use of the word acrimonious causes me to shiver in the rainy western night as I see Stoeten gently slither his way into bed with Parkes,,,there is an embrace and then no words need to be spoken…the smell will be abrupt yet insipid…a meeting of the grey that shall forever ban chemistry and managers from baseball creating a post apocolypic game of King Felix vs Cliff Lee that will never end…their hands meet in a fierce yet supple embrace that says…”We know more than they ever will…”

    A rogue warlock screams in the night…He is only know as “Lord Fairservice” the one who may save us from this hell… Only he can moderate this purest devil’s dandruff of hatred…The one man who may be able to accept the fact that baseball players are human and that intangibles are a reality…or perhaps he’s been “put on the DL” as our new dark overlords will call it…

    • Stoeten wrote “Mark Schwimer likes the vibe of his new clubhouse, which is quite different from the regimented, dare I say Halladay-run, clubhouse in Philadelphia.”

      Isn’t this about team chemistry?

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Ginger Cambell do an interview with Marcum, RR, Cecil and Morrow and they basically said that Halladay was intimidating and now that he’s gone the others feel more at ease and it’s a much lighter clubhouse?

      Don’t get me wrong. I’d much rather have a team of Halladays then a team of loosey-goosey guys, but it’s about meshing personalities.

      As I’m watching the 1993 world series, there is a glaring contrast between the 1993 Jays and 1993 Phillies. Jays were full of Hall of Famers and down to business veterans. Phillies were a loose bunch of truck drivers. Completely different teams, but both made it to the series because their respective teams gelled and were on the same page.

      • I’m not super passionate for either side of the clubhouse chemistry issue, but there is no way to provide any evidence that the Jays or Phillies got to the WS because they meshed as a team or were on the same page or whatever. Do you think that none of the losing teams that year got along well or had similar approaches? It’s not that I think a good clubhouse atmosphere is meaningless, but saying it is the reason a team made it to the WS kind of ignores that what really got them there was playing better than all the other teams.

        • I agree with you Maggie.
          Worded it wrong.

          I guess what I mean is that the “personality of the team” doesn’t matter as much as if the team comes together.

          I would rather have a team of good players that come together, support each other as a group and play as one, then a team of all-stars who play for themselves.
          I think the team approach and chemistry does affect wins/losses.

          You’re right, it’s impossible to quantify. It just seems like that’s why a team like the A’s surprise us to make the playoffs and a team like the 2011 Red Sox are a let down.

  11. Blurp… Another month of ST to go and the Intl tournament. It’s too early for a Farrell encounter unless it is Pat Hentgen landing some punches to that big ugly trapjaw.

  12. I hope most of you judgemental pricks who lumped Stroman in with the guys who take anabolics read that article.

    Hey Stoten,
    Simmons is the nerdiest:
    probably least athletic/virgin/plays yahtzee with guys on a staurday night/ has a world of warcraft Elf that is level 172/ knows every word to every Twiight Movie/ Knows the rules to Quidditch/sports reporter in Canada.

    But yet, he knows that we are RIGHT to hate/blame Farrell for his departure.

    I’m trying here man, but sometimes you need to help yourself.

    #siding with that geek Simmons

    • John Farrell team beat the Jays yesterday. I’ll say this for him. He is probably one of the all-time great spring training managers.

      JF getting booed by a crowd of seniors yesterday. That is funny. RADAR?

      I used to hate Simmonds, then I started watching him on The Reporters and now I can’t help but laugh my ass off everytime he does his thumbs up/down segment. EVERYTIME he does it, he loses his train of thought, starts rambling and backtracking making no sense, and looks into the wrong camera then is so worried about finding the right camera he forgets his point. It’s a train wreck that is awesome to watch. I can’t help but like him now because it’s just so funny.

      I rarely agree with him, but he’s bang on with this assessment.

      Suck it Farrell!

      • Watch out for the seniors.
        They look harmless then you mess with them and they’ll fuck your shit up when you ain’t lookin.
        Especially keep an eye on the “Eastside Mall Walkers” crew.They are well connected with many soldiers in chapters across Ontario.
        I heard they control a lot of the black market Viagra sales.
        Farrell got off easy with that bunch.

  13. Stoeten, you get the wrinkles out down there? Or get shutout?

  14. I’m going to the game @ NY’s stadium in tampa on Thursday so see you there if you are going

  15. Anyone got a pic of Schwimer in the new Jays uniform yet? That seamless white number. For my wife’s sister I mean. She thinks he’s hot to trot.

  16. Going down to Spring Training to see TB vs. Jays on Friday, Saturday vs. PHI and Sunday the PHI vs. the Jays at Brighthouse field. Should be a dandy!

  17. Bringing back wells seems like a bad idea right?

  18. I like taking a chance on Lars Anderson. I can’t believe his power he showed at 19 is gone at 24. I think a swing adjustement and he might be a later bloomer like Chris Carter of the A’s

    • Just guessing but I think when they make these decisions they muse about whether he can be fixed. I think they think with someone as good as Mottola Anderson’s potential could be realized…not to mention the low-risk, high reward part.

  19. I’m sure we could sign Vernon after 2014 to a very reasonable 18mil a year. He is a great clubhouse guy and has all the tools we are looking for in a bat boy.

    • I just think he’d be another roadblock to Gose and Rasmus. If he hit .300 it’d be different. But they have to give a healthy Rasmus a chance to sink or swim this year and Gose needs to get his average up so he doesnt embarass himself in the show.

  20. Wait. Why would it not be Vernon’s choice whether he retires or not?

    • IMW, you’ve got to be kidding. He can’t play the game anymore. If his contract was up now, he’d have “retired” this year.

      Nice guy though. Wish him well.

      • I totally misunderstood the comment. I, for some reason, interpreted it as saying someone might force him NOT to retire. Which makes no damned sense.
        … now that I’ve had some coffee I get it.

  21. “Are we supposed to go out there and have a wrestling match or something?” joked Gibbons (re: Farrell returning)

    Gibby the Best.

    • Did you watch the Brunt interview with Gibby on “Up close”.

      He is the anti-Farrell. So unpolished, upfront, folksy and honest.

      My favourite part was when he was asked how getting the job came about. He said Alex called him and said do you want to come up to Toronto and discuss a possible coaching job. Paraphrasing, but he said something like “So I’m thinking sure I’ll come up, get some free dinners, you know….” lol.

      The more I learn about him, the more I think this is a great hire. Felt like a let down at first when the names discussed were Francona and Torre, but now I’d prefer Gibby anyway.

      • I just hope we’re as charitable if (or when) the the inevitable sweep to a division rival happens – and the bloom comes off the Gibby rose.
        It’ll be interesting to see what kind of comments will be flying around here about Gibby-shoulda-done-this and how he’s “lost the clubhouse”.
        But hey…I’m stoked.

        • excellent point fastball.

          A slump is inevitable and over 162 games Gibby will make mistakes (or in hindsight his decision will appear bad).

          I hope we’re able to be patient with him. Don’t need to be perfect every game. Just win 90 to make the playoffs, then with 3 Aces in our rotation make some noise in playoffs.

      • Francona was hired by Cleveland on October 6 and Farrell was released on October 21st so it would have been pretty much impossible that Francona was disscussed. And who really thought Torre was going to quit MLB and come manage the Jays?

        • Are you new to this site?

          Your timeline is accurate and can be taken from any baseball reference site.

          Now in reality, who didn’t speculate that Farrell was likely headed to Boston the minute they hired Valentine.
          How many of us put up with the Boston rumours of them getting Farrell half way through last season?
          For all of August and September 2012 we were talking about “what if Farrell” leaves and the hope was we’d hire Francona, Torre, etc.
          The dates you listed are correct, but the sentiment started around the all-star game last year.

          So there’s that.

        • But people did discuss both of them, Djiboutian. Farrell-leaving talk began long before he was ever released. It doesn’t really matter if Torre was realistic or not, lots of people here talked about him as a possibility. Just saying.

  22. Watching that catch by Gose… I really can’t wait until the Jays replace Rasmus with him in centre. I say this as some one who’s higher on Rasmus than must, but seriously, unless Rasmus bounces back in a big way this year, it’s hard to make a case that even by the end of the season Gose will be less valuable than him.

  23. I think mottola’s been working on him and he’ll be ok. Hope it’s confidence in Mottola and not wishful thinking.

  24. So inquiring minds want to know.
    Will Wilner take Stoeten up on inviting himself into the booth during today’s game?

    Andrew Stoeten ‏@AndrewStoeten
    @Wilnerness590 That could be arranged. Especially if, say, I was writing about sitting in with you guys for a half inning tomorrow. *COUGH*

    • One could only hope he would tell Farrell to suck it midbroadcast

    • The reply to that tweet makes that seem… unlikely:

      Mike Wilner ‏@Wilnerness590
      @AndrewStoeten See, but then you’d be biased. You’d feel you owe us, and would be accused of doing a payback piece. #GetThatCoughLookedAt

      • That’s a pretty good response.

        I’ve actually wondered about Stotes becoming more mainstream and a so called “real media” type.
        In the early years he was dead set against getting to close to the team recognizing the value of being distant… now I’m not so sure.
        Likely inevitable, given the success…

  25. I hadn’t thought about Gose in a while before you linked that Gose/White comparison GIF. Prospect porn is fun, but hot damn is it nice to not be counting on a prospect to bust out in order for the team to succeed.

  26. Looking at the photos of the ex-Jays was midly interesting.
    Seeing TDA in a Mets uniform, my first thought was that it’s awesome we have the best uniforms in the league. Men should not wear Orange.

    Then I smiled seeing Vernon, like a friendly reminder he still exists. Then that smile evaporated by the next photo of Darth Farrell.
    Then the next photo looked like another coach, and it was Marcum. Man, he looks haggered.

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