griffbag

Alright, time to get back to the business of the floundering team and… whatever the hell is going on with it. It’s this week’s edition of the Griff Bag– our weekly-ish hijacking of Richard Griffin’s latest mailbag from over at the Toronto Star. And our weekly-ish variation on the same lame preamble.

As always, I have not read any of Griffin’s answers. Except, y’know, the one I quoted in a post yesterday.

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, email it to askrich@thestar.ca and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-Richard Stoeten,

This baseball season has to be the most frustrating and
 disappointing in memory. I like many other fans drank the “Kool Aid” and 
bought into the AA rebuild. He took a huge gamble and failed miserably. The
 experts (you included) said both the Yankees and Red Sox will be rebuilding 
therefore this is the Jays year. We all know in what place both of these
 teams reside today.

Do you think the Jays will limp, stumble and play 
brain dead baseball for the rest of the season or do you think some drastic
, owner induced “fix” may be implemented ? I was looking forward to attending
 more games this year than last, but I’ve got to be honest I’m second
-guessing spending my money on a team that seems not to care. Those lame, 
excuse filled post game autopsies of every Jay loss by John Gibbons are 
also very frustrating to watch. His southern drawl and laid back demeanor 
portray a country club atmosphere and his team plays like it.


Thanks, now I feel better.




Brian Runciman, Oakville

You know in what place both of those teams reside today? You mean June 11th? Which– and this is fucking news to me– is apparently now the last day of the season?

Seriously, Brian, what a steaming load of shit this is. John Gibbons talks with a southern accent so therefore he must be running a fucking country club where behind closed doors the fat cat players and him light cigars with $100 bills as they laugh and laugh about taking money from the saps who drank the Kool-Aid? Fuck your shitty attitude, and your wilful ignorance of Gibbers’ anger at Brett Lawrie during the non-sac-fly incident and the big knock on him when he was hired– that he was a hot head who fought with his players– that animates it. And fuck the notion that they’re limping, stumbling, and playing “brain dead baseball.” It was way sloppy earlier, for sure, but for a number of weeks now it’s been the starting pitching that’s failed them, not whatever bullshit concerns that bring out the shit-eating-grins in insufferable fans who think they know better about fundamentals.

And fuck the notion that anybody should have seen Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay carrying the Yankees for a month, too.

You don’t have to like what’s happened on the field so far for the Jays, but don’t fucking piss in my mouth and tell me it’s raining.

Anthopoulos has only “failed miserably” if you’ve already insanely decided that the outcomes we’ve seen so far are a true reflection of the roster he’s assembled. Sure, it’s almost certainly going to be a disappointing season for the club, but there’s this little thing called nuance that people usually try to grasp before making thunderously fucking dull-headed blanket statements like that. A drastic, owner-induced fix? Why??? What the fuck are you talking about???

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten:



In a recent post-game interview following a less than stellar start at an open-roofed Rogers Centre, R.A. Dickey mentioned that he’d have preferred the roof closed on that particular night. He said the organization knows his preferences, but it’s up to them to decide 
whether the top is open or shut.

We’ve talked in this space and in the live chat about the non-sensical decision to keep Blanco over
 Thole on the big league team. And these things now have me wondering 
whether Dickey’s not being treated with the kind of respect he 
deserves and/or whether the Jays aren’t doing enough to provide him 
with every opportunity and the ideal circumstances to win?

I realize these aren’t make or break factors, but his age, experience, and his 
knuckleball make him an anomaly and I’d be inclined to cater to him. 
It’s not like he’s asking for a bowl full of red M&Ms, purple toilet 
paper, and a dozen bottles of green tea. We want to win and keep our 
star players happy. Am I reading too much into this?



Matthew McKean, Ottawa

You mean the part where you made up a bunch of shit about what R.A. Dickey wants and how he’s being disrespected, and then pretended that whoever catches him actually matters? Yeah, you’re reading a little too much into it.

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten -

Great stuff in your blog and columns, loved your write-up on Brett Lawrie’s latest tantrum. You and most other parents will recognize in Lawrie’s “death stare” an element of the child who makes a mistake and immediately shouts at whoever’s nearest: “That’s your fault!” He’s obviously extremely immature and unable to accept failure.

My questions: Is J.P Arencibia’s increasingly obvious game-calling weakness a key factor in the pitching staff’s under-performance? Was Travis D’Arnaud deemed to have better chops in this regard? I always wondered why the Jays had a huge reluctance to trade him when J.P was in the fold but maybe now we’re seeing one big reason.

Dave Finn, St. John’s

Good lord.

One, so fucking what if Brett Lawrie did something immature? This nonsense has become like the way fans pretend they’re simply aghast that the front office might say one thing and wind up doing the other, as though they’re all a bunch of FILTHY LIARS and not that it’s, y’know, something that totally just happens and, in this little thing reality, is just not close to a big fucking deal.

Two, you just drop a steaming load of nonsense like “Arencibia’s increasingly obvious game-calling weakness” as though it’s fucking self-evident? I can’t even.

Three, no, the reluctance to trade d’Arnaud was probably mostly due to the fact that J.P. Arencibia isn’t very good– not at game calling, but at… um… everything. Except power! Can’t forget that he’ll hit 20- or 30-odd mistakes a year over the. Whoopty fuck!

-

Q-Hi Rich Stoet,

Probably a question better put to Elias Stats, or perhaps covered in todays game summary so consider me embarrassed if this is the case. Blue Jays as a team in today’s 4-0 shutout of the Giants, went an entire game without a strikeout. This would be impressive if it were just Colby Rasmus. How rare is it for a team to avoid even a single strike out?

Yeah, it probably is a better question for someone like Elias, or Baseball Reference… or Google. It’s rare, but I have no idea how rare. Especially crazy, though, given that the club has two guys with 146 strikeouts combined through just 62 games– though, granted Arencibia didn’t play in that one.

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I may be totally off here, but it seems that Gibbons has come up with an interesting albeit taxing (especially when you have 17 inning games) way to overcome the annual starting pitching injury problem. Using 4 or more relievers each going 2 innings and a closer, may just be the answer as it seems to keep the opponents offence out of sync. The combinations are endless, you can play with the left righty combos, specialty pitch combination, to keep the whole lineup off balance. Essentially have a pitching lineup much the same as a batting lineup.

The question is has anyone every used such an approach, how did such an experiment fair? Do you think such an approach is at all viable in the long run, in terms of injury, arm/manpower? Can pitchers work efficiently on 2 days rest on a consistent basis assuming low pitch count per outing?

I enjoy reading your insight into the game.

Thank you,

O.S.

Pass.

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I believe baseball is unique in that a spectator can legally and directly affect the outcome of a game. I’m talking about the high and foul flyball that lands in the first few rows of seats and is reachable by a defender. I don’t know the rule book text, but common knowledge seems to indicate that the fan has as much right to try and catch the ball as the fielder. If this is true, it seems a good fan in this situation would try to jostle the opposing defender a little. Is this acceptable? I know we Torontonians are too polite and usually give the opposing player some space, but are there other parks where it’s known that you’ll have a hard time going into the crowd for a catch?

Thanks,

Eric

Jays fans are probably too busy trying to think which opposing players’ names they recognize so they can boo them for no reason. Yeah, they could jostle a bit better, I figure.

-

Q-Brett Cecil seems to have regained his 2010 form. His numbers say he’s better. Why not move him back to the starting rotation?

Eduard Guerra, Sudbury

Well, I think it’s that you’d just hate to mess with the success he’s had in relief, and also because part of the reason he’s been able to do so well is because of the switch. Because he’s being used in shorter stints, he doesn’t need to conserve energy as much and can throw with max effort, meaning the velocity increase is slightly deceptive. He’s also changed his repertoire, according to the Pitch F/X data, ditching the slider he threw 20% of the time back in 2011, and cutting his changeup usage down to less than 6% (having thrown only two to left-handers), though it also made up 20% of his pitches thrown just two seasons ago. This year he’s thrown his curve 32% of the time– up from 5-6% in 2010 and ’11– and otherwise works with a cutter, sinker and four-seamer. How would he do at trying to turn over a lineup multiple times without that slider and change? Could he keep the good aspects of what he’s done while working those offerings back in? I guess I don’t really know– but yeah… it’s kind of tempting to think about, given how well he’s pitched, isn’t it?

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

Love the mailbag. I have a few questions for you, if you have the time and inclination to answer them.

First, could you explain minor league rosters to me? Are minor rosters 25 man? When a player gets called up, where does the minor league team fill the new vacancy from? When a player rehabs, where does the guy go who’s spot the rehabber takes?

Second, How much more rope does JPA get? He has power, but that’s about it. He can’t really hit well outside of that, he can’t take a walk, and his defence is spotty, at best. Does the club try to deal him at some point – and would anybody really be interested in him?

Third, I’ve always loved Brandon Morrow. To me, he’s seemed like he has / had the ability to throw a no-hitter for the Jays, and it really sucks to see him injured again. I wish he was healthy – don’t you wish he was health?

Fourth, do you ever read Stoten’s answers to your mailbag?

Thanks,

Tim, St. Catharines

First, what am I, Google? Second, I think he lost a good chunk of it when Josh Thole came up. Third, yeah, I wish he was health. Fourth, never heard of him.

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,


I read your last mailbag with interest. I think people forget that you actually see what is going on in the clubhouse and they should respect the fact you go beyond what most sports journos report…and that you are entitled to your own opinion. Keep it up!

 My question is this : why is Brett Lawrie not hitting? Are the Jays concerned?

Rob Brander, Sydney, Australia

The Jays would have to be concerned, I think, because as much as you might be able to give Lawrie a little bit of leeway after he essentially missed all of Spring Training, it’s not like he hit last year, either. And it’s so strange, because everybody thought that the bat would be the least of his troubles.

I think the club’s hitting coach, Chad Mottola, said it about as good as possible in a recent Q&A with Dan Laurila of FanGraphs.

“He’s a high-strung guy who has a lot of movement, pre-pitch. That’s something I’d like to eventually cut down, but at the same time, I can’t take that all away from him, because he’ll have that stuck feeling where he can’t pull the trigger the same way he’s been doing his whole life,” Mottola explained. “He’s got a lot going on in his pre-load that we’d like to settle down, but that’s something that can take years. If he’s competing at the big-league level, and I want to ask for changes mechanically… I can’t get him un-athletic at the same time.”

For now, when healthy, it sounds like they’re going to keep his glove in the lineup, and guiding him to slowly make the adjustments that he needs, rather than some kind of complete and drastic overhaul. Sounds about right to me.

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten

Thank you for the timely and incisive article on the relief pitchers especially the focus on Cecil. They have worked themselves into being both ‘effective and consistent’, two words that have been elusive or evaded by other units of the team this season. Cecil’s enlightened mindset about what defines success in a team sport shows a wisdom and Zen quality well beyond his years that invariably has influenced his ready ability to adapt and be effective right from the get go of the season. When I read his comments I thought we had his age wrong. That is billboard material for not only sports but also for other forms of work and life endeavours. He makes the old maxim ‘there is no I in team’ relevant. I remember watching him in ‘Awful April’ and how focused, balanced and energized he was each time on the mound. It read difference maker. It was a ‘relief’ to see him being quite a relief … pitcher given the absence of relief from what was going on elsewhere on the team. With his mindset he should be able to weather the season well.

Wild Card Walkaway – Your wording about a wild card comeback position avoided delusion by your added words , “sometime in the future” . However, referencing who are actually in a wild card hunt it goes beyond their own division. It is actually worse then when I wrote this time last month about the need to change managers – The Cito Gaston Case.

The Blue Jays are done and so should be their manager if not for the GM’s attachment to his out of box retro choice, team play aside. We will see how this plays out in fan attendance and revenue over what will be a long slow Summer once again.

As you know, baseball is a business first and foremost and the GM who put out huge amounts of money to secure this roster has been willing to put significant fan revenue at risk or lets be real, loss, makes no business sense and will make next season an even higher end pressurized one to produce and if not there will be a player sale if not a semi fire sale at some point to unload payrolls.

“Outstanding” …. ? – I remember, he was asked by Maloney a couple of weeks how he thought Gibbons was doing and he aid” outstanding” – really? It sounds more like a self defense response or ‘” I am trying to convince my self this is working out still”. Maybe a contextualized response like ” he is doing the best he can under the circumstances”.

Rankings – Your ranking list is both informative and underlines the disparity of just how under performing the Jays have been based on expectations of so much added talent, it made the koole aide so strong that intoxicated most so that negative or doubting factors were missed. After the suffering of 20 years, Spring heresy would not be acceptable or tolerated by most.

NL Central – good work on both the focus and content. As to the Cardinals lets face it every year most of the MLB writes down or off the Cardinals who simply in turn quietly go about their business of finding ways to win games and series. and remain in contention and Post season play as their prairie roots would define. They remain one of if not the best story of baseball in even just this century as well as sports in general from both a sustainability and a success factor… Jays take note.

Of course, other teams have aided and abetted them, like the Jays giving them Carpenter, one of the worst moves of their organization but no need to review that failure form the past when there is one unfolding in front of us right now.

Jake Malone

Admit it, you wrote the first draft of this on the wall of your padded room, right?

-

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

While it seems that the experiment of moving Melky Cabrera to the leadoff spot and Bautista to second in the order has generally been a success, do you think it’s time to move Arencibia further down and move Lind to the cleanup spot with Rasmus batting 5th? JP has been been putting a lot of rally killing whiffs recently.

Gary Teeling

Against right-handers, Lind has definitely earned his way into the cleanup spot– which feels extremely weird to say, but it’s true. Not sure I wouldn’t still split up the lefties and have Arencibia between Lind and Rasmus against right-handers, though, at least until Lawrie gets back. Against lefties, I don’t mind Arencibia up a bit higher though, and Rajai Davis in the lineup for Lind somewhere. So… yeah.

-

Q-My name is Rabbi Zev Icyk.

Bob Elliot wrote an article about me just before the Jays made the big trade in November. I am 25, 6’2 180, newly married, played college baseball in the states for three years (I pitched and threw a no hitter), born and raised in Toronto, know the game of baseball inside and out, and am poised and determined to become the next manager of the Jays. If Anthopoulos would have made the right choice for manager back in November, the Jays would not be in the predicament they are currently in. It is because of the lack of motivation and brotherhood that is in the clubhouse that has caused this 23-33 start, and this problem must be fixed.

In my five years of college I have compiled a 3.7 GPA while playing college ball and being an observant Jew (a very demanding workload). I know what the Jays need and I will provide the motivation and leadership that will bring us to where Anthopoulos wants us to be. I am a passionate, intelligent, full of energy, and positive young man that has the drive to lead the Jays back to the top. When Gibbons gets fired this week or next, please call me.

If you think it’s a “lack of motivation and brotherhood” that caused the club’s poor start, maybe try starting with little league.

Comments (76)

  1. Brian Runciman = OWNED

  2. If you thought the team was good up until Opening Day, then AA did his job.

    If you consider the injuries we’ve had: Morrow, Johnson, Santos, Reyes, Lawrie, Bautista, Dickey, Happ, Oliver, and probably 2 or 3 others, you can’t really blame Gibbons for much.

    The story of this season is simple: for the first month our starters sucked, for the second month they’ve been injured.

    And again, considering AA added a Cy Young winner, a workhorse, a potential ace and Happ – basically bringing in capable guys to replace 80% of the rotation, I hardly see how this is AA’s fault. He and Gibbons have even done a pretty good job of getting something out of the waiver wire and out of random shitballers they found out back of Denny’s.

    • Not that you’ve said anything incorrect but those at the top of an organization have to ultimately be accountable for the overall performance of the organization.

      If the team doesn’t win then AA didn’t do his job well enough this year regardless of how anyone felt up till opening day… I’m not saying he should be fired, I think he’s deserving of a one year mulligan, but teams aren’t judged by their opening day roster.

      Failure is failure and it should be worn by all from AA on down.

      • Yes but from that high up you have to be judged over longer periods than a few months.

        AA had a pretty solid run of “winning” more trades than he lost up until this offseason when payroll was finally opened up allowing him to assemble “his” team. This core will be around 3-4 years. 1/3 of a season, with an inordinate amount of injuries is not enough to judge.

        • Those few months have been bad enough that this season is effectively already a write off. He’ll (rightly) get a mulligan on this year but if the team somehow manages to not right the ship next year…

          Let me ask you a question: Including this year how many kicks at the can do you think he should get? Basically how long do you think he should have to make a winner before his job should be in jeopardy? I mean I think he get’s more then just this year but I know I don’t think he’s entitled to an infinate amount of job security.

          He get’s no absolution for the inordinate amount of injuries, a lot of people made mention that a lot of the assets he invested in had prior histories of being breakable goods. He doesn’t get excused for gambling on team health being good and losing that gamble.

          • But what has he done wrong exactly?

            The Marlins deal was so universally loved that people literally asked Bud Selig to veto it. Melky is turning out to be a great signing. Dickey – meh so far but the guys we gave up have still done nothing significant (promise notwithstanding). Lawrie for Marcus remains well worth it. Sucks that Lawrie sucks right now, but Marcum would have been long gone regardless. Losing Wells was great. He got a decent return at the time for Halladay. Santos for Molina was called one of the trades of the whole offseason last year. Technically it’s a wash as both are useless currently, but I’ll still happily have Santos for a few more years. Bautista’s emergence and signing were under AA and it’s a story almost unmatched in baseball history. EE has had a similar emergence and is under a very good looking contract now. League for Morrow still looks like a trade you do 10 times out of 10.

            Additionally he has gamed the draft wonderfully and doubled the scouting staff and macde a good name for the Jays amongst agents, players and other teams (as near as we can tell).

            Again, what has he done wrong exactly? Yeah the result isn’t there. Almost like there’s a reason you play the games.

            • “Melky is turning out to be a great signing. ”

              What are you looking at? Melky hasn’t worked out at all yet, his 94 wRC+ is 27th among 36 the 36 qualified AL outfielders. I still like the signing, but he hasn’t been more than replacement-level offensively.

              • Frank – I said “turning out”. My impression was that he stunk for the first month and has been quite hot as of late. Especially since taking over at leadoff.

            • On a micro level not a lot, on a macro level what he’s done wrong is, thus far, fail to assemble a contending team and ultimately that’s what matters. None of those things matter if the team can’t do that. Those things are all process that is intended to create a positive result… if the results don’t come then it was all just a waste.

              Since I’m curious I’ll repeat my question: How many kicks at the can do you give him?

              • Jam I give him as many kicks as he wants, so long as he keeps signing guys to team friendly deals. Romero, Morrow, Santos, even Dickey, Happ, EE are all on deals that don’t really kill us if they go to shit. Even Bautista’s deal is perfectly reasonable for the club.

                What is the alternative? Get JPR back in here to sign Wells for 120M?

                What else can you ask? Is it really AA’s fault that Reyes and Lawrie both had slides into second that nearly tore their legs off? Or Happ’s bonk in the head? Or even Romero’s complete collapse?

                • So basically what you are saying is that there is absolutely nothing that would cause you to terminate his employment… you’re entitled to your opinion but I think that would amount to a startling lack of accountability.

                  It’s his job to build a contender if he can’t do it in a reasonable amount of time given reasonable resources then I think the org ought to find someone who can. Is that reasonable amount of time right now? No. The end of the year? Still no. Is it soon thereafter? I’d say yes. This is AA’s time (of the nut up or shut up variety) he’s got to make it count.

          • Good post. Avoiding injuries is a skill, and one the front office doesn’t seem to value.

            Every year the A’s, Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox and Rays staffs stay healthy, because they acquire pitchers will clean deliveries and little history of arm trouble. Then they have organizational philosophies on how to treat these pitchers, which has shown results.

            The Blue Jays actively acquire pitchers who have been hurt in the past, thinking of the discount involved. Drabek, JJ, Happ, Morrow and others had a history of injury before coming to Toronto. Now they’re getting hurt. I won’t comment on the individual picks, but in last week’s draft the Jays took many pitchers whose value had plummeted because of injuries. Those pitchers will probably experience more injuries in their future.

            It would be okay if there was some quality depth in AAA to make up for the injury concerns, but there is not. So a few predictable injuries and some ineffectiveness in the first third of the season is a death sentence. The aforementioned teams have controllable young arms sitting in AAA, who can give quality innings if needed.

            • Happ getting hurt this year, is not due to an arm injury. That was a freak play.

              • But Happ does have a history of other injuries including a forearm strain in 2010 that saw him miss 72 games. There’s no knowing that he would have stayed healthy without the freak injury.

          • Winning organizations have one thing that losing organizations don’t: stability.

            Yes, the season has been a disappointment
            and yes there may have to be some roster changes.

            AA has most of the “core” signed or with club options through 2015
            and some of it, including Bautista and EE through 2016.

            As far as I’m concerned AA is our guy through 2016
            and whatever happens, happens.

            If we’re still lookin’ at nothing thru the end of 2016,
            look for a major house cleaning.

            • Think that’s a bit of a chicken or the egg preposition… I mean do organizations win because they’re stable or are they stable because they win?

              • Excuse the tangent but the (chicken) egg clearly came first. I have no idea why this is an expression.

  3. Pretty sure if Dickey asked for a dozen bottles of green tea, that would be a lot easier to accommodate than closing the roof for all of his starts or starting a specific catcher.

    • I dunno…and really i dont know. But how hard would it be to close the roof on cloudy, partly cloudy, and rainy days when RAD pitches? Keep in mind it’s only once every 5 days too.

  4. Here’s what Griff answered to the Stoeten question, since I know you’re contractually not allowed to read his responses:

    “A.S. says he doesn’t read my answers — so why should I read his. Besides, as I’ve often explained in this space, I’ve been told my answers are funnier. ”

    Shots fired.

    (Also, oh my God, Rabbi Zev Icyk. Jesus Christ, that whole e-mail.)

  5. Rabbi manages Blue Jays is the next shitty baseball movie. I’m starting this script now.

    • At some point could u work in “Jew Jays are on a roll” and a montage of an unconventional spring training envolvlng brotherhood building exercises like canoe races, a talent show and obstical courses?

      • Of course. All of it leading up to the big game on Yom Kippur. Will the Jew Jays atone for their sins and win the division? And more importantly, will the evening service end on time so the rabbi can manage the game? (If he’s anything like my rabbi he’ll talk too long and miss it)

    • C’mon man! Who is this REALLY?

      You’re REALLY Woody Allen aren’t you?

  6. Hmmm. I wonder how many of the questions sent to Griff’s mailbag are actually questions directed to Stoeten from DJF readers. Seems like a fun way to troll him.

  7. “Koole Aide?” Is that the low sugar alternative for the slow folks?

  8. Ouch!
    Man, the full-frontal snark assault is out full-force today, no?
    Runciman and some of these other toolbags are slinking back to their troll-holes, dragging what’s left of their badly-chewed tails between their legs.

    Is this a bad time to ask for money?

  9. Holy shit Stoeten, you shouldn’t have wasted the “padded room” quip on that first guy because Rabbi Zev Icyk is a fucking lunatic. I don’t even really know where to start, to be honest. Okay, yes I do.

    He leads off this letter to a newspaper columnist with biographical information including his WEIGHT and MARITAL STATUS!

    Then he mentions that Bob Elliot wrote an article about him, presumably because a Rabbi trying to manage an MLB team out of college was the craziest fucking thing he had ever seen in his life.

    Then he wants to manage the goddam BLUE JAYS! And not the Dunedin Blue Jays either! The real life team! And he wants to do it because he believes that a 25 year old Rabbi is better able to motivate multimillionaire, 30 some-year old, multiethnic baseball players than a guy who has spend 26 years around Major League Baseball!

    And that’s not even the best part! Part of his pitch for the job to a guy who, remember, has 0% influence over hiring is the fact that he averaged an A- while taking 5 years to complete his degree! Even if that was an amazing average, and even if he somehow took baseball studies as his major in college, who gives a fucking shit dude? Honestly, the fact that he thinks his GPA is relevant to managing an MLB team might amazingly be the thing that makes him MOST unqualified for the job.

    Rabbi Zev Icyk, congratulations. You are the biggest fucking dumbass who’s ever written anything about baseball. Next up you should write Lloyd Robertson about getting hired for Prime Minister of Canada. If you’re as much of an asshole in person as you are via email, you’re probably pretty well qualified.

  10. OMG that last one: CLASSIC

  11. Guys I’m 6’1, 160 lbs (soaking wet), dating a girl for 8 months, and can throw a 75 mph fastball on a good day. Where do I sign for the 1st spot in the pitching rotation?

  12. God I have hated this fucking season.

  13. HOLY FUCK… what has happened to the gene pool??

    I actually kinda feel bad that Griff has to answer these in a serious manner. Poor bastard.

  14. GD. I was getting all fired up to say I was going to quit reading Stoeten’s answers to the Griff Bag based on the truly awful quality of the questions this season when Rabbi Zev Icyk fires off that brilliantly insane comment. God bless his 6’2 180 pound married ass and the Div 4 clown college he threw a no hitter at while maintaining a 3.7 GPA.

    Screw DeMarlo Hale, the next time Gibby has to take a night off I say we throw the Rabbi in there to see how a manager that encourages a culture of brotherhood affects the Jays. He can obviously also pitch an inning or two if required.

  15. Man I really wish Brandon Morrow was health.

    I mean .. think of where the Jays would be if only he were health.

  16. I’m on board Zev Icyk for manager.

  17. Andrew: umadbro?

  18. In case you missed it, Dickey was blaming the moisture on his lack of non shittiness last night.

    And you know what? He might have a point .

    But you know what else? This is the risk you run when your ace is dependent on weather and climate to be successful.

    Radar, i forget, do Verlander, Price, and those guys have to worry about that shit?

    • I’d be willing to give Dickey a pass if he didn’t enter the start with a 4.66 ERA.

      He hasn’t earned the right to use such excuses, since there’s little reason to believe he would have performed better under perfect conditions.

    • Price: no. Verlander, maybe a little more so, a wet baseball on a cold day could potentially screw a pitch or two.

    • Are they as effective in shitty weather?
      Nope.
      Is using the weather as an excuse, a cop out?
      Yup.
      Would I still trade two prospects for the current NL Cy Young,strikeout leader,no history of injury,inning eater who has shown improvement every year for the last 3 years to fill a rotation spot that I had nobody else for and needed desperately and i can get without kiling the payroll budget and without signing for a 6 year/100 mill.?
      Yup.

      • “Would I still trade two prospects for the current NL Cy Young,strikeout leader,no history of injury,inning eater who has shown improvement every year for the last 3 years to fill a rotation spot that I had nobody else for and needed desperately and i can get without kiling the payroll budget and without signing for a 6 year/100 mill.?
        Yup.”

        Perfection

      • You just like him because his initials match up with half of your palindromic screen name.

  19. need more supreme-being clubhouse presents/presence. If you don’t have the answers, fill those gaps with opinion. Fact.

  20. I take issue with this statement:

    “it’s been the starting pitching that’s failed them, not whatever bullshit concerns that bring out the shit-eating-grins in insufferable fans who think they know better about fundamentals”

    I’m not simply cherry-picking last night but that was an excellent example of very poor fundamental baseball. Defense is difficult to quantify statistically but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. While the FIP numbers suggest that the starters have certainly been shity in their own right, the team defense has played a roll for guys like Dickey and Buehrle.

    I listened to Keith Law’s podcast this week. He took issue with a team’s third pick in the draft (the Giants maybe?). Suggesting it was way too big a risk to waste your third round pick on a one tool player (power). His main concern was that the player ‘has shown no ability to field his position’.

    This was a third round pick. A high school third baseman, at least five years away from the majors!

    I thought to myself, we have multiple players that can’t field their positions at the major league level.

    I’m an AA supporter. I believe he didn’t know just how bad these guys would be as a group. Injuries and the fact that they’re playing below their career averages certainly exacerbates the issue, but…..I hope as a front office they learn from this and begin to place a higher value on players that can actually field their position at replacement level or better.

    • So the defensive weakness the Jays had at the start of the season was?
      CF-Rasmus-nope
      RF-Bautista-nope
      3rd-Lawrie-nope ( even though he’s still learning the position)
      SS-Reyes-nope
      1st-EE-nope
      LF-Cabrerra-(with the hamstring problems yup) but preseason- nope.
      That leaves 2nd and catcher and you can argue those all day.
      Were Izturis and/or Bonafacio thought to be defensive liabilities before the season started? Nope.

        • What I gather from this list, and the area of stolen strikes, and after watching interleague play, is that American league umpires seem to call the outside pitch at a much higher frequency then their national league counter parts. And since the top of this list is dominated by national league catchers, the only logical conclusion is that our pitchers have been getting a lot of outside pitches called for strikes. And it has nothing to do with JP’s framing, which we all know, can be excruciating to watch.

      • Ok RADAR, I’m sure you’re right. Not too sure about the Izturis/Boni comment. Are you saying that Izturis and Boni were considered above average defenders before they came to Toronto?

        I often think about the ESPN fantasy guys when it comes to Boni. Last year they had a segment called Bona-fide or Bonifacio? In the segment they would list a player and attempt to figure out if he was actually good (Bona-fide) or just looked like he might be good, but in reality was shitty (Bonifacio).

        Fundamentals aren’t just defense. I hate to quote Zaun but last week he said the Jays were the worst bunting team he’s ever seen in all his years of baseball. I’m not going to call him liar on this one as he’s been around the game for a while.

        • @CTW
          Izturis and Bona weren’t above average but arguably serviceable.
          I was presenting a counterpoint and I certainly don’t know what the answers are.
          Lawrie not hitting, other injuries,Bautista going 4 for 40,starting pitching not working,etc.
          The bottom of the line up gets on base and the top can’t drive them in.
          Logically, this team shouldn’t struggle as much as it does but it does and it stinks.

    • Well the Jays are right in the middle of the pack for runs scored. Where they are near the bottom is ERA. And the starters are the ones contributing most to that poor ERA. So yes – it IS the starting pitching. Plain bad for the first month. Sore and injured for the second month.

      • sons

        True & I agree. I’m just saying that defense plays a role in ERA, especially for guys that have success working to achieve weakly hit ground balls (Dickey & Buehrle).

        As pervious mentioned, the FIP numbers suggest that they could certainly use the defensive help. They’ve been bad enough on their own. Worrying about the defense behind them can’t help.

        • Agreed – between JPA and Lawrie missing time and Reyes and Boni being brutal… yeah doesn’t help our ERA.

  21. The rabbi won’t be able to manage Friday night or Saturday games. So I guess we won’t be seeing him in the dug-out anytime soon.

    Lawrie reminds me of Youkilis. Lots of movement and nervous tension in the batter’s box. Youk has always hit well, but if Lawrie could harness all that stress into the swing of his bat I think he’ll do ok.

  22. Stoeten with jays fans is like Bonds with the media.

    Next question, because it was STUPID.

  23. I don’t know… Some guy got hired to manage the reserves of a pro football team in Azerbaijan based on his skills in the Football Manager series of games.

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/11/22/football-manager-player-becomes-a-football-manager

    Maybe we should ask the good Rabbi how good he is at Out of the Park Baseball.

  24. I hate reading shit like this, from the first question in the Mail Bag: I was looking forward to attending
 more games this year than last, but I’ve got to be honest I’m second
-guessing spending my money on a team that seems not to care.

    Fuck this dumb fuck. I’m willing to bet that in the last ten years, this moron, as well as numerous other mouth-breathers in Toronto, have gotten down on their knees and sucked as much as cock as needed for Leafs tickets, but heaven forbid they should spend $11 on a .500 level ticket for a team that just went out and made an honest effort to win this year, AND it’s only a couple months in. What a ridiculous bastard this guy is.

  25. Love how you pass on all the questions that actually relate to coaching aspects of the game.

  26. Against right-handers, I’d like to see Lind move up to the third spot, followed by Encarnacion and Rasmus, with Arencibia likely moving down to 6th.

  27. FRANK said
    “Every year the A’s, Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox and Rays staffs stay healthy, because they acquire pitchers will clean deliveries and little history of arm trouble. Then they have organizational philosophies on how to treat these pitchers, which has shown results.”

    Really Frank? Did you make that deduction watching a hockey game? The A’s stay healthy? Brent Anderson pitches 3 weeks a year. Brandon Mccarthy is lucky to get in 3 weeks and have you ever heard the name Rich Harden? He is Chris Carpenter south. Speaking of Carpenter and the Cards its not like he hasn’t had a shoulder injury or twelve. Not to mention Wainwright, Lynn, and now Motte have all have had Tommy John. Add in Jamie Garcia who almost had to have surgery when he hurt his arm in the playoffs and I see what you mean. They are a picture of health you jag off.
    Have you ever watched Tim Licecum pitch? Yea that is such a clean delivery. Why aren’t the Jays teaching everyone on their staff to pitch that way. Speaking of clean deliveries everytime Romo throws a pitch I can just see that elbow getting ready to explode. Not like Brian Wilson didn’t blow out his arm either.
    I guess last year Lacky didn’t blow out his elbow, or Bailey wasn’t on the DL all year or most of this season either with a LONG HISTORY of injury with what’s their name again? Oh yea the fucking wonder A’s! Bucholtz being injuried was a figment on my imagination or that Dice-K’s arm didn’t just fall off. Oh not to mention that Hanrahan hadn’t lost 3 miles off his fastball before the Red Sox aquired him. Yea that is picking up a healthy arn with a clean delivery.
    The only reason Tampa doesn’t have more guys on their DL is they trade them if they make over a million dollars. Ever hear of Scott Kasmir? His arm fell off on the plane over to the Angels. Matt Garza was another one who’s arm went less than 1/2 a season after they dumped him.
    Next time your just want to quote The Almighty All Knowing Greg Zahn do us a favour and go to the shitcan to clear your mind instead.

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