ee-rays

Well here’s something that might– but might not– keep on turning its way into becoming a regular feature, but that I’ll make to look like one anyway in order to keep from having it seem too terribly out of place: a collection of random thoughts on this weekend’s series with the Rays and whatever else was going on!

- The Blue Jays are not good enough to overcome Brandon Morrow being hurt and R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Ricky Romero being this bad.

A lot of insufferable sourpusses who are too mentally weak to stop themselves from vomiting negativity and patting themselves on the back for it would sure like to pretend that I should have stopped after the seventh word of that sentence, and a lot of words have been written and hands have been wrung about all the other stuff– none of which has been perfect, mind you– but you really need to look no further than those four names. Even after games where it hasn’t been them, it’s them.

All the other shit– the defence being bad, Bonifacio being bad, Melky being hurt, Arencibia being disgustingly atrocious, random variance taking a huge dump on the situational hitting and when the decent hitting and pitching performances line up–gets glossed over tremendously with stronger starting pitching. And the fact that those starters have track records (and injuries) is why only a moron would be suggesting now that he saw something fundamentally wrong with this club in April, or in May– or somewhere along the line– or insisting that Alex Anthoupoulos has somehow shown himself to be unfit for the job. That’s not me trying to say that nothing is bad or that you ought to be enjoying watching all of this season’s promise go up in flames, just that it doesn’t give anyone license to sharting out whatever idiotic negative thought that comes into their  head and thinking it defensible on the grounds of, “But they suck! MEUHHHHHH.”

- OK, maybe J.P. Arencibia being fucking awful wouldn’t be quite so easily glossed over, but the rest of the stuff I really think would– there’d be some breathing room for the necessary context about Lawrie and Cabrera’s injuries, and the luck dragons people like to pretend don’t exist because they’re not satisfied until they can blame someone’s deficiencies of heart and wit for whatever lets loose in them the awful, crummy feelings they get whenever the team loses on the edge of a razor thin margin. But Arencibia? He seems to be intent on making sure that his shitty play– 22nd of 25 catchers (minimum 220 PA) in wOBA and 24th in the fielding metric FanGraphs uses for catchers in their WAR calculation (ahead of only Carlos Santana and his .364 wOBA)– isn’t the only reason he’s run out of town at season’s end by trying to talk his way out of town as well.

I’d implore JPA to just can it, but… no, no, please keep talking, you damn dope.

Josh Gold-Smith, writing for Awful Announcing, caught some more media-focussed venting from the Jays’ catcher on Jim Bowden’s satellite radio show, as Arencibia said that the criticism he receives is “different when it’s the people that we employ,” and says he went to Paul Beeston about the issue of fans hearing too much negativity.

Yeah, Sportsnet, you dicks! How dare you try to maintain the veneer of credibility when we all know that you’re supposed to just be a bunch of cheerleaders for the team, and especially– especially!– its weakest players. I mean, it’s one thing when you talk up Encarnacion and Bautista and relay the remarkable comeback stories of Steve Delabar and Dustin McGowan and Brett Cecil, but what are you doing for the guys that fucking suck? No, I mean the ones that really suck.

- I probably should have more thoughts about this, but there really isn’t a whole lot more for me to say about Carlos Delgado than that he’s awesome, and that his new spot on the Ring Of Honour is rightfully taken. You know the story of the wasted years and Ricciardi’s lowball offer, etc. etc. Easily the best, most entertaining hitter I’ve been able to watch up close on a regular basis as an adult– and I’m sure that’s true of a lot of you as well. (Yeah, those are quite a few caveats, but… y’know… Alomar, Molitor, Winfield, Olerud, etc.).

- It’s kind of awesome to see all the Expos fans coming down to the Rogers Centre and I hope the tradition keeps up until they finally get a team back in Montreal, and we’re talking about this year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after… you get the point. It’s gonna be a while. Good on them for trying, though.

- I’ve been entirely dismissive of all the “MEUHHHH GO SIGN HALLADAY THIS WINTER” nonsense that comes up on Twitter and in the comments here from time to time (though less so lately, with Doc out injured), and I probably should continue being so. However, I was just as dismissive of the same kind of stuff about the solution to every Jays problem being moving Brett Lawrie back to second base, and apparently somewhere along the line the club actually decided that was some kind of bright idea (and how’s that looking so far, by the way?).

(I should add, though, that while I may scoff, I’m not one of these “this is the dumbest thing ever, why are they possibly doing it?” people. It’s all about flexibility on the trade market. If they can find a deal for a third baseman who is an offensive upgrade on Maicer Izturis, it’s kinda hard to do it without knowing they can shift Lawrie over. On the other hand, maybe it’s to show teams looking for an upgrade at second base that Lawrie can be their man– though I highly doubt the club would be as clueless and fickle as the fucking fans chanting Kaw-a-saki at Lawrie over the weekend. Like… I get that you like the guy, but fucking seriously??? How dare Lawrie rush keep playing through pain and rushing himself back into action to help the team, because it’s suppressed his numbers and you can’t manage to wrap your fucking dull head around it??? For real????)

So… uh… anyway Halladay. Fuck it. Pipe dream away!

And do so even more now because Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly spoke to Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, who like the progress he’s seen from Halladay as he recovers from shoulder surgery. “It has been very encouraging because his range of motion has been phenomenal. His arm slot is closer to where it was in 2010. It’s probably a good eight to 12 inches higher.”

Get that man some weighted balls!

- I’ll save it for the podcast, but… a Ted Rogers statue outside the Rogers Centre? Excuse me while I puke in my mouth a little. (Which isn’t to shit on the spirit of the good Uncle Ted, I’d be fine with a statue of him in an appropriate spot, it’s just… in front of the baseball stadium funded by public money that he bought for a fraction of the cost? Who thought this was a good idea?)

Comments (299)

  1. So who should they trade?

  2. So sign Roy and Timmy in the off-season and get them on weighted balls? That’s the plan right?

  3. Halladay will indeed return to Toronto…when he’s inducted into the Level Of Excellence in 2020ish.

  4. I still really love baseball and the Blue Jays. They have had great, frustrating games lately; way more fun.

  5. I’ve followed the Jays pretty faithfully since ’89, and this might be the most painful season in that time. Although that could be partially because it’s happening right now (so it’s fresh in my mind), I’m finding this team almost entirely unwatchable. It’s one thing to lose with kids. It’s another thing to lose with older veterans. It’s a little bit ridiculous actually.

    • What about last year, when the team was still in it at the end of July and were above .500 THEN lost Bautista and Lawrie and then became the Toronto Blue J-AAA-ys?

      When Travis Snider left a game, hugging his teammates in a painfully obvious notion that he was just traded ON TV, yet there was nothing you could do about it?

      That was pretty fucking painful.

      • Trading Snider for me was entirely pain free. Pleasant, even.

        I never liked Snider.

      • Why don’t you mosey on over to baseball reference, Chief Dan, and check out Snider’s 3 home runs this year, or his .228 average, and tell me that he’s an upgrade over any of the outfielders on this team.

        Seriously don’t get the Snider love – be happy he’s getting regular playing time on a contending ball club, get an MLB.tv subscription and shut up already.

        • I think he just likes the player for fuck sakes. Nobody’s saying that he isn’t still terrible, are they?

          • +1. Unfortunately, Snider hasn’t had a miraculous comeback with the Pirates. He’s performing worse on offence than he did with the Jays, but I think he’s being used as a pinch hitter & defensive replacement.

            There was a lot of hope when Snider joined the Jays in 2008 that he would be a middle of the order bat

      • Not even close. Last year was frustrating because it felt like we were so goddman unlucky (with injuries), but it wasn’t as painful because the expectations weren’t so high.

        This year, sky high expectations, piss poor performance. Definitely the most frustrating season in the last 20.

        • I guess nobody was around when the jays were up by 3.5 games with a week left in rhe season ….lost every day…came down to final day and detroit beat them to win the division…..one of the classic collapses….that was 87?

    • Jays have been a huge dissapointment, but image if they’d made no trades this winter. Henderson Alvarez would be in our rotation. As would Ricky (who they’red be no way we’d be able to send him to Buffalo). We’d be pulling up replacement level scrubs to fill in for Morrow and Happ. Although maybe Happ wouldn’t have been injured becaused he’d have been up in the rotation. You get the point, its been horrible, but coulda been a lot worse.

      We tried. We failed, but we tried. Next year Jerusalem

      • uh actually no. if we’d not bothered with those 3 pitchers we could have kept villaneuva and instead pursued something else. maybe we should have only gone for dickey, or vice versa only jj and buerhle. but that’s pretty rich revisionism and even i’m not that stupid. but it is dissapointing. i think they should have kept villan though. it would have been worth the extra coin.

        the part that pisses me off was giving JPA any chance as catcher for dickey…which set the season off on the wrong foot…and then the BS that was bonifacio…shittiest guy in the last while.

    • You missed 1986, then. Stieb and Key started in the toilet and Stieb stayed there until mid-August. Bell to DH/Moseby to LF to make room for superstar Sil Campusano. Damaso Garcia imploding. This team feels like that team.

      • except that team had actually tasted the playoffs the year before. I don’t care the the jays make the playoffs and don’t do it again for 10 years, I just want October baseball.

      • Ya, I didn’t start following until ’89. Last year was a really exciting year until the Tommy John week. I felt a lot of optimism about the team going into the year, and felt really good about the state of the organization. Then the Tommy John week happened, the Romero cliff happened, they traded away (like) 9 first round picks for a #5/6 starter, traded away Snider for a crap reliever, and it got worse from there. But there was a good first 6 weeks or two months before all of that happened. Unfortunately this year, there’s really only been a good week (like the last seven or eight games of their winning streak, where it started to feel like they might actually climb back into this thing.) Other than that, they started disappointing on opening day, and have been more or less relentlessly disappointing since then.

        • Agreed with you, except for your dissing the Happ trade. It wasn’t 9 first rounders, it was like 5 low-ceiling prospects, plus they dumped a couple of really shitty players.

          Happ is 5th starter, but you know what, he’s a good fifth starter!

          Also, you’re forgetting Thames for Delebar!

          And, yes Lincoln isn’t great, but Snider sucked shit. Fuck those four scoreless innings he gave us in that win over texas make the tade worth it.

          • At least three of the guys in the Happ trade were sandwich picks and they’re young still with lots of projection. I admit that Snider’s been shit since the trade. It’s more that both of those trades were a certain bursting of the bubble – Snider used to be the organizations golden boy of the future, and three of those traded prospects were recent, really high draft picks. In both cases, they were admissions of a kind of failure (bad drafting and bad player development).

    • I’ve been watching baseball since the ’70s, and this is easily the most painful season I’ve had to endure anywhere. And the saddest thing is, after last year’s injury debacle, I was saying, “this can’t possibly happen 2 years in a row.”

      Well, it did.

  6. Jp talks as if his suckitude is secondary to negative publicity rather than the converse .

    I agree he should just keep talking. Who goes crying to upper management when someone is (accurately) criticizing you ? Not a team “leader” I’ll tell you

  7. Jays have average pitching and they are in the race easily

    • Starting pitching you mean. As whole, the staff is actually above average (according to ERA+ anyway – it sits at 101). The hitter’s OPS+ is only 98, but they’re above average in runs/game.

      The performance of this team has been entirely mediocre. Stoeten’s culprits in the rotation certainly deserve most of the blame, but this offense as it stands couldn’t produce a 90 win team unless Dickey, Morrow, Johnson and Romero pitched 900 innings with a combined ERA in the low 3.00s. That wouldn’t have been a completely unrealistic scenario, but I don’t know too many people that were counting on it – especially the innings part.

      The biggest disappointments for me this season has been Lawrie, far and away, for many reasons, and the injury to Reyes.

      The biggest pleasant surprises have been Lind’s resurgence and Rasmus proving his 2010 wasn’t a complete fluke.

    • + Billions and Billions

      (starting pitching)

  8. I don’t think the Jays will ever be able to compete with a team like the Rays–so much home grown pitching that they can trade James Shields for the #3 prospect in all of baseball and STILL have a pitching staff that dominates–I don’t think the Jays have anyone who could slot in anywhere in their top 4. Ugly.

    Hopefully the Orioles will regress in 2013, maybe the Red Sox too and the Yankees have one more year on the “cheap” before they go crazy and spend like the Dodgers. 2014 is now the whole window for the Jays . . . no pressure.

    • No doubt, the Rays are a model team for great home grown talent. And so were the Jays at a time. But you can’t always get it right in the draft. Look how much suffering the “Devil Rays” went through before they finally started churning out great talent. Sooner or later, the Rays will probably regress a little in the talent they have drafted over the years. Especially how cheap the owners are, they are going to keep losing out on their gold…..David Price will be the next hit soon.

    • The jays have a lot of pitching teams in the lower minors that many teams would envy. Sanchez, Osuna, Norris, Tirado, Labourt, Smoral, Cardona, Borucki, 2013 draftees (Hollon and Brentz) and they got Stroman & Nolin in AA. If a 1/3 make to the majors thats a success.

    • But, but… the Jays are much later to the game in basically employing a version of the Rays strategy. Barring the prospect of AA emptying the minor league cupboard again this offseason, we should see the past few drafts paying off in MLB talent by next year.

      There’s a pretty good chance that at least one of Stroman/Drabek/Sanchez/Hutch/Nolin will have it together enough to be a solid back-end option, and if things go well, a 1-2 option.

      The Jays pipeline still has talent, but it’s admittedly farther off than you’d want to see for a team looking to compete.. next year, I guess.

  9. I’d do the off season trade anytime. It was a no brainer. With that being said I’m not happy with where this organization is headed to. Look at AA drafts. they all fucking suck. Look at Gose and Drabeck and how they were advertised and how shitty they turned out to be. They need to do a better job scouting, drafting and developing talent.
    To me the Major league roster is not a major concern and it can be fixed quickly. Minor league however, needs a major overhaul.

    • AA never drafted Drabek or Gose. He got them via trades when scouts were drooling over them.

    • Jesus, it’s way to early to assess AA’s drafts. Pretty well every analysis out there talks about him taking high upside talent – prep arms and great athletes – in a high risk high reward strategy. Anyone drafted out of high school is three years minimum from the big leagues. We’ll see how AA’s drafting record plays out starting next year. And holy shit with the slagging on Gose. He’s 23, that book’s not written. Drabek… a little shakier.

      • Gose is 23 next month and has a .614 OPS with 11 SB and 12 CS in AAA, I think the book is pretty much written. Not sure where his power stroke went (he actually hit 16 homers in 2011). Unless he can get it back, his upside at this point is Juan Pierre.

        • because no one matures past 23

          • Lots of people mature past 23. If you read my post, you would have understood that even with his power gone, his upside in Juan Pierre. I thought that was pretty optimistic of me, considering Pierre has 2206 career hits and counting, and over 600 steals. Obviously Gose has a much better arm than Pierre, but I was talking about offense. If Gose can get his power stroke back, he might turn into a star, but without it, he’s going to struggle to be an ML regular.

            • Actually I would say he could try for an Otis Nixon, who was a decent player, played good defense and had good speed.

        • A half season of adjusting to AAA (completely different league than Vegas) doesn’t mean the book is written.

    • I don’t understand the perception that AA has missed in the draft. He took an organization that was ranked near the bottom in farm systems in a pretty short period of time took it near the top (prior to using assets to trade for established talent). In 2010 he draft Syndergaard, Sanchez, Nicolino, Sean Nolin, Wojciechowski… Its way too early to comment on more recent draft classes. You can question some of his major league personnel choices haven’t worked out, but I love how aggressive AA has been in reestablishing the Jays in latin america, drafting high ceiling amateur talent in the draft and exploiting the draft system as much as possible.

  10. Definitely a lot has gone wrong with the team, and obviously our biggest issue has been with our NL pitchers “proving’ all the naysayers right. No sane person could have predicted the level of terrible Dickey, Buehrle and JJ have been.
    I think our easiest fixes for next year are to make sure JJ is not back, and to find a better option than JP to be our starting catcher. I vote for McCann or Salty.
    Not sure what the plan will be for SP, but I don’t see how the Jays can count on Morrow the band aid at this point.

    • Ruiz for catcher

    • Dickey giving up HR at RC that he didn’t give up at Citi Field. Nobody could see that coming. I had to laugh when I looked up Dickey’s home/road splits. His home record is his road record plus 50% doubles and 150% HR. To be fair, his K rate is higher at home, but AVG/OBP/BB% very similar.

      I think we could have easily predicted Buehrle’s age-related decline, though we all hoped against hope.

      Johnson, on the other hand, was a wild card, and unfortunately, the Jays got unlucky with his health.

      • Dicky giving up HR at home at this rate is still ridiculous and bound to come down. You’d have been crazy to expect this, right?

        And Buehrle has been pretty much as advertised.

        • Agreed, 150% more HR than expected is nuts, but 50% more would be reasonable. Turn 7 HR allowed at home into singles, and his OPP SLG remains at over .430, and that’s rather not good.

          Look at Dickey, road, 2011. Similar numbers to 2013 home minus 1/3 of his HR allowed, but with an absurd strand rate of 82%. Just like we figured Romero couldn’t sustain his strand rate forever, Dickey in smaller parks has regressed to, and past, the mean. We could expect it, albeit not quite with such a vengeance.

          That said, I judge it well worth the risk. I just can’t abide the claim that we couldn’t have seen this coming. If Dickey’s HR/FB% at home drops to 15% the rest of the way — and nothing else changes — then he might end up slightly below average by season’s end. At 15% for a whole season, he would still have disappointed significantly.

  11. Yeah, Sportsnet, you dicks! How dare you try to maintain the veneer of credibility when we all know that you’re supposed to just be a bunch of cheerleaders for the team, and especially– especially!– its weakest players. I mean, it’s one thing when you talk up Encarnacion and Bautista and relay the remarkable comeback stories of Steve Delabar and Dustin McGowan and Brett Cecil, but what are you doing for the guys that fucking suck? No, I mean the ones that really suck.

    I got a semi reading this. Stoeten, you nailed it!

    I’d be very happy never seeing JPA take another at-bat in a Jays uniform. For some reason, he doesn’t believe that he’s awful, all because he can hit homers. And sure, in a lineup insulated with players that aren’t all-or-nothing like he is (right now the Jays have several guys of that ilk – Bautista, Cabrera, Lawrie, Bonifacio) it’s not bad to have a catcher that can hit 25 a year without getting on base. But shit – you want to be one of the core, you want to be respected – fucking play the game, and quit being such a whiny little shit.

  12. I’d like to know why it is that over the past few years, people seem to be signed by teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Cardinals, etc…and INSTANTLY start playing what I can only describe as INSPIRED baseball. James Loney?!? Overbay/Wells/Nix?!?…

    Sooooo on the same course, it SEEMS lately like guys come to the Jays and instantly stop trying to improve (JPA awfulness, Lawrie’s hitting approach, Bautista’s baserunning gaffes/aggressiveness with umps, etc).

    I think many of our reactions when Gibbons was hired was “wow, weird choice, but I trust Alex Anthopoulos. I don’t care so long as they win”. Well…lo and behold…
    In my amateur evaluation, it sure doesn’t look like Gibbons has done ANYTHING to curb this culture of mediocrity. You can sit there and say “it’s the players, not him” all you want. But why do teams like the Yankees and Rays CONSISTENTLY draw the BEST performance imaginable out of its players.

    It goes beyond luck at this point. All signs to me point to a clubhouse culture of mediocrity that NOBODY is attempting to overcome (with the possible exception of Reyes and Kawasaki). Exactly what we saw last year with Bobby Valentine.

    This is all based on nothing of course, but so are all arguments that suggest it’s just “bad luck”.

    • It’s not nearly as “consistent” as you think. You just always hear about it when it happens.
      Vernon Wells went right back to being Vernon Wells after about a month, for example.

    • It’s based on your ridiculous assertion that the players are not trying to get better and that they have no desire to be more than mediocre. You don’t have the slightest clue what goes on in the clubhouse or what struggling players are working on in the batting cage or how many hours pitchers are going over scouting reports. I know it’s easy to just assume that players are only struggling because they don’t want to do any better, but it’s really not that simple.

      • “pitchers going over scouting reports..” I guess they missed the ones that said DO NOT pitch Chris Davis down and on the outside of the box, as on Fri. Sat. and Sun. that is exactly what they did. The hitters are certainly trying to hit home runs so that can’t be a problem? Why “give up an out ” by bunting with the bases loaded and nobody out, late in the game., when a home run will get you 4 runs? Since spring training the attitude is let the boys play their game and all will be well. Unfortunately “the ship is sinking”.

        • You lost the plot when you defended bunting.

        • If you could avoid giving up home runs to hot sluggers then there would never be any hot sluggers.

          Your “efficient market” theory disproves itself.

          • The main reason “hot hitters” stop being hot is that the competitors who do their homework find out what is making them hot and pitch to their weaknesses. i.e. pitching Chris Davis “up and in”.

      • Explain to me where the progress in JPA’s game has been over the last three years. Or why it’s taking Brett Lawrie so long to learn to calm down in the batter’s box. Or why Jose Bautista has continually made baserunning gaffes for his entire tenure as a Jay.

        All three of these cases have been going on 2-3 years now. Either they’re incapable of improving (which I don’t buy), or they’re not doing the right things to improve (more likely). It doesn’t take a genius to change a batting stance, it doesn’t take a genius to calm down on the bases.

        Common sense. If your coaches are all talking about your batting stance, and you’re hitting under .200, you should PROBABLY change your batting stance. Again, it doesn’t take a genius. And the fact that the adjustment hasn’t been made can only be chalked up to arrogance.

    • How do you explain Farrell this year?

    • Vern now has a lower OPS than he did last year, and Overbay has never played quite as well as we’ve been led to believe.

      Guys get hot once in a while and playing in a place like NY that hot streak gets hyped in the media.

      Loney had a crazy 6 weeks and since then has been back to who he was from 2008-2011

      • My point is that the Yankees, with (compared to the Jays) a mediocre lineup are SEVEN games over .500 with crap picked up off the scrap heap. They WIN GAMES with their scrap. I listed three, but you know there’s way more. Travis Hafner, Curtis Granderson…hell even Andruw Jones was a serviceable platoon. And they WIN GAMES with these lineups. It’s not about individual players performing well, it’s about WINNING GAMES.

        Why is it that the ragtag Yankee lineup (who this year had Vernon Wells hitting cleanup for awhile) and the Rays (who this year have had James Loney hitting cleanup) have been consistent winners for several years now? To me, the TREND appears to be that players actually perform better (perform better = winning) when they play for the Yankees/Rays. Am I wrong?

        • The problem lies in the fact that you’re only talking about the hitting when the main reason the Yankees were winning games was their pitching.

        • Shit, you’re right! The Jays should be focused more on acquiring guys with really high Game Winni-ness. HOW WERE WE EVER SO BLIND???

          • You know what I’m talking about. These players all STEPPED UP their game upon joining the Yankees. Now you can call it whatever you want, but there’s no question that Johnson, Dickey, Buehrle, JPA, Lawrie, Bautista, Romero et al have NOT stepped up their game this year. Without checking stats, I’m almost positive that this is the worst season for every one of them..

            To say that this isn’t a trend is to ignore the baseball you’ve been watching for the last ten years.

    • Wells sucks this year. Possibly as much as he has ever sucked. Overbay is mediocre at best, people would really hate him in TO for the year he is having now. Jayson Nix is, almost unbelievably, even worse than both.

    • Wait, so you focus on Bautista’s baserunning and ump complaints, and totally overlook that Bautista is the absolute poster child for being a player who immediately gets better on a new team? The Jays acquired a 40+ homer hitter for nothing off the scrap heap so don’t say the Jays aren’t lucky every once in a while with player acquisitions.

    • This is so far from being on the level of arguments about bad luck being a factor it’s ridiculous. Sorry. “Inspired?” “Culture of mediocrity?” Come on. Stop validating the horseshit lazy writers churn out by actually taking it seriously.

      • I bet JP Arencibia would LOVE to read you calling his season “bad luck”.

        Calling four months of poor performance the result of “bad luck” is like saying “if they keep doing things the way they’re doing things, then eventually they’ll start winning. Do you really believe that?

  13. I think it’s time to do this again. AA and the front office don’t know what the fuck they are doing. 8 man bullpen, 3 man bench, one game no bench

    • I get that’s not ideal, but what, honestly is the impact of this? It’s arguably helped the bullpen stay strong with a shitty, shitty rotation performance. At worst – it costs a game? Two? Obviously you can’t give games away, but that’s no reason to clear out the front office.

    • That stuff has had pretty much zero impact.

  14. Defense doesn’t matter. Speed is everything. Bonifacio

  15. Lawrie moves to second to weeken 2 positions.

  16. Bring up scrubs, watch them get bombed then DFA the next day. How many times has this happened?

  17. While I sorta agree with the promotions angle of the Ted Rogers statue.
    I thought about it a little more.
    At the time,as I remember,Interbrew ( Interbev) was looking to sell the team for many years. Not many Canadian companies had the interest and the money to purchase the team.With the Can $ low and interest in the team waning both on TV and the turnstiles., it looked like an unwise investment.I think Ted even mentioned it at the time.
    It was Rogers first foray into owning a major sports team.
    Hell, they didn’t even broadcast all the games on TV.
    If Ted didn’t buy the team it woulda likely gone to something like the teachers fund or somebody else with a secondary agenda.
    So , if they want to put up a statue to him, go for it.No skin off my back and he might deserve it.

    • Because Rogers has no secondary agenda? Jesus christ.

      • Of course, they do.
        But at the time it was considered a poor investment,by a lot of experts.
        It took many years for the team to recover from the shitty dollar.
        The Jays were in in such poor shape financially they were able to convince MLB that they were a small market team and reap 30 mil a year.
        Not all the games were even televised until 2010.
        Not that I’m saying “poor Rogers” but the team was on the market for quite awhile with no takers.
        Having an owner whose secondary interest is content for their platforms is the optimal situation.

        • Yeah, equity in MLB teams is such a notoriously bad investment. Franchise values not always going up at all.

          And you’ve got the revenue sharing thing backwards. They were in poor shape and convinced MLB they were small market? Really? Wasn’t that maybe they convinced MLB they were in poor shape to get the revenue sharing money?

          • While franchise values rise. would they rise enough to overcome operating losses for a sustained number of years?No doubt that was all factored in. But the point is missed that the Jays had no suitors and Interbrew publicly stated that they weren’t in the baseball business but in the beverage business.
            And they were in poor shape.
            Remember what the Canadian dollar was worth at the time.
            Godfrey was quoted as saying ” the Jays are bleeding money” and his mandate was to stop the bleeding.
            It’s why JPR was hired. ( documented) He sealed the deal when he said he could operate the team with less and immediately fired scouts and tried to get undervalued assests.
            Ironically, when that didn’t work he started whining that he didn’t have enough money to compete with the Yanks and Boston.

            • BTW.
              When’s the next DJF soiree?
              I thought we could sit down,you could buy me a few beers,have a few laughs,argue a bit.
              I’ve already purchased “class B” body armour for the occassion, with my name embroidered on it.
              I was going to go for the “class C” but it made me look fat.

            • And this has what to with them not having a secondary agenda?

        • @Radar

          +1. You are correct that Rogers stepped up & bought the Jays when no other traditional owner such as Molson’s or BCE or John Bitove etc. IIRC , Rogers did not own the stadium , so they were stuck with a bad lease for a few years.

          I think they ended up getting a steal on the Skydome because the group that owned Skydome were losing money.

          The values of he franchises really grew over the past few years with labor peace, & the value of broadcasting rights , “multi platform revenue ” etc…

          I have a book on the Expos finances during the Brochu period & you could have bought a limited partnership interest for a few million.

    • His statue should go on Rogers corporate campus, not at the fucking Dome. An owner should only ever be considered for the statue-at-the-park treatment if they:
      1) were the original owner of the team/brought the team to the city where the ballpark is located (i.e. the O’Malley family in LA for the Dodgers.
      2) Have owned the team for an ungodly (30+ years, for arguments sake) amount of time AND have seen the team do a complete, and sustained, competitive turnaround in the long time that they have been owned by said owner (i.e. Steinbrenner in NY).

      Neither of the above applies to “Uncle Ted”. His (company) name on the stadium should be more than enough…it’s especially galling to see his statue at the Dome before any player has been given the statue treatment. Is there an over/under on how long it will take before that statue is significantly vandalized/toppled/destroyed?

  18. Give up best prospects for a 38 year old knuckleballer who pitched in shitty NL East and in a huge park. How many other GM were lining up to do this?

    • Write your god damned ramblings in your poorly thought out post. Done inundate the forum with more drivel than it needs.

    • You forgot to mention that the 38 year old knuckleballer also won the Cy Young.
      Yeah, I know it probably means SFA at this point…but the Cy Young award is sort of A Big Deal. At least all the pitchers, GM’s, and sports writers think so.

      • He’s a knuckleballer who’s 38 years old. Why did the Mets take AA’s offer? Because it was the only offer. What other sane GM would offer top prospects for a 38 year knuckleballer? Maybe if the guy was 32 or a picther comparable to Halliday when he got dealt, then its possible, yes.
        The deal we made, we will regret in the future.

        • Keep talking out your ass.

          • whats up with you anyway?
            You’re the one who actually said all of AA’s deals were marvelous!
            The opposite is happening and you’re still a big AA fanboy.
            STOP IT.
            If you want to run a BLOG, let the people speak WITHOUT your damn shit coming out of your mouth.
            Soon this blog will be filled with only people who are fanboys and your loser friends.

            • I’m not saying the deals have worked out well, I’m just asking that people not be complete morons about it, and if they want to be taken remotely seriously when discussing what’s gone wrong, not make shit up like “Why did the Mets take AA’s offer? Because it was the only offer. What other sane GM would offer top prospects for a 38 year knuckleballer?”

              • But you haven’t answered the question… why did AA make that ridiculous offer for Dickey? Tell me honestly….. if you were AA, would you offer those can’t miss prospects for Dickey?

                Where is Beeston now? Who’s minding the store? Doesn’ t he care that the supposedly favorite team in the AA East in mired in last place. Not only mired in last place but actually playing pathetically. No direction whatsoever. Is AA running the team from upstairs with a direct headset down to Gibbons?. Why is JPA still the everyday catcher. Why did Laurie get called up when he should be developing in AAA. Why doesn’t current management have the guts to discipline players such as when Joey Bats has his famous temper flares, or JPA shoots off his mouth, or MULTI-MILLIONAIRE players don’t run out infield outs, the list goes on…….. and on. Why is AA still in charge? Why is Gibbons still the manager? Hello Beeston…. hell, hello anyone from upper management… stop your steak and lobster dinner and see that the fans….. the real fans are upset with the direction the club has taken with AA in charge.

                I actually enjoy reading this blog but will all the friggin fanboys quit ragging on us REAL fans who actually care about the franchise as a whole and have the guys to criticise BAD management. Ok, maybe Stoeten can’t criticize management because he is paid… but let US do so. You can’t keep tell us to shut up or ban us. Then you’ll have just a wonderful disneyland of fanboys telling each other what a friggin NINJA AA is, when in actual fact he is the CANCER of this team. AA’s moves remind me of the Leafs years ago when they would swap youth or draft picks just to try to get into the 8th playoff spot only to be knocked out in the 1st round easily. Whats the point? Build for the future, build for 4 or 5 years from now… don’t make stupid deals just to reach the playoffs… especially if your club is fragile as the Jays were going into the season.

                I will continue to watch every game, no matter how they do. But I actually liked watching last season more because we had so many prospects coming up, something to look forward to! It’s really a shame what has happened to this club. Well whats done is done, and all we can hope for is some of these players made miracle comebacks next year.

                • Now I see why Andrew can get so surly. This shit is unreadable. I was glad to skim it, mostly skip it.

                • You give genuine critical people a bad name, though, because you don’t have the foggiest fucking idea what you’re talking about.

                  why did AA make that ridiculous offer for Dickey? Tell me honestly….. if you were AA, would you offer those can’t miss prospects for Dickey?

                  Because they needed a top end starting pitcher after deciding that they’d be wasting the primes of guys like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion if they didn’t step up and make a big push for 2013, which they began doing with the Miami trade. Dickey won the Cy Young and was willing to sign a reasonable extension, and all he cost was some of the prospect capital the club had been building over the previous years for exactly this purpose– to trade them.

                  At first I thought the price was far too high, but I eventually came around because it just didn’t make sense to not go all in once they’d acquired Buehrle, Johnson and Reyes as well.

                  Where is Beeston now? Who’s minding the store? Doesn’ t he care that the supposedly favorite team in the AA East in mired in last place. Not only mired in last place but actually playing pathetically. No direction whatsoever.

                  What do you think the president of a ballclub does? Even if this drivel wasn’t completely meaningless, Beeston is powerless to do anything at this point, so I’m not sure what you expect.

                  Is AA running the team from upstairs with a direct headset down to Gibbons?

                  He should be, shouldn’t he?

                  Why is JPA still the everyday catcher.

                  Because they don’t have anyone better.

                  Why did Laurie get called up when he should be developing in AAA.

                  Because the team wants to win games, Lawrie has shown he can hit minor league pitching already, and his glove is valuable enough that he’s an upgrade on the alternatives even if he needs some time to get into mid-season form. And… weren’t you just complaining about them not doing enough to win games? Aren’t you about to again?

                  Why doesn’t current management have the guts to discipline players such as when Joey Bats has his famous temper flares, or JPA shoots off his mouth, or MULTI-MILLIONAIRE players don’t run out infield outs, the list goes on…….. and on.

                  Because doing that would be counterproductive. This isn’t little league and Gibbons isn’t their dad.

                  Why is AA still in charge?

                  Because he has done an excellent job to this point, despite this season not working out as well as anyone would have hoped. He took a risk, it isn’t working out, but he has done more than enough to deserve to retool the club and try again.

                  Why is Gibbons still the manager?

                  Because he’s done nothing to deserve losing it. Contrary to popular belief, managers don’t have the ability to will their players into winning ballgames. His job is to put the players on the roster in the best position to win, and he does that pretty well– especially with the bullpen, which he has helped make a strength of the club.

                  Hello Beeston…. hell, hello anyone from upper management… stop your steak and lobster dinner and see that the fans….. the real fans are upset with the direction the club has taken with AA in charge.

                  No, fans were over the moon with the direction the club took until the results on the field didn’t match the expectations. Most of them are capable of grasping that sometimes there just aren’t satisfactory answers as to why a thing like that may have happened, and understanding of the fact that they’ve got no choice but to let Anthopoulos do his best to fix it and try it again.

                  I actually enjoy reading this blog but will all the friggin fanboys quit ragging on us REAL fans who actually care about the franchise as a whole and have the guys to criticise BAD management.

                  You’re not being critical, you’re using this comments section like you’re a 14-year-old girl and this is your diary. Your little fantasies don’t qualify as criticism, and people trying to force the dialogue into the realm of reality aren’t fanboys, they’re just sick of people coming around here to piss and moan because their every wish isn’t being fulfilled by this team. If someone wants to be critical and sensible, that would be great. As I hope I’ve made clear, nothing you’re saying is sensible.

                  Ok, maybe Stoeten can’t criticize management because he is paid… but let US do so.

                  Don’t be this shitstain. I can, and do, criticize all the time. Just because I’m not saying what you want to hear doesn’t mean I’m in the tank for anybody.

                  You can’t keep tell us to shut up or ban us. Then you’ll have just a wonderful disneyland of fanboys telling each other what a friggin NINJA AA is, when in actual fact he is the CANCER of this team.

                  No, we’ll have people actually capable of using their brains to express all kinds of viewpoints, positive and negative, about this team.

                  AA’s moves remind me of the Leafs years ago when they would swap youth or draft picks just to try to get into the 8th playoff spot only to be knocked out in the 1st round easily. Whats the point? Build for the future, build for 4 or 5 years from now… don’t make stupid deals just to reach the playoffs… especially if your club is fragile as the Jays were going into the season.

                  Do you even remember last season? Do you really think it would have been tolerated if AA had done nothing and kept building the farm again this year? Do you think the key engines of this team, Bautista and Encarnacion, would have anything close to as much left by the time the prospects arrived (assuming they didn’t have to be traded themselves for prospects)? Do you think he doesn’t still have a tonne of talent in the system anyway? You’re mad that they’re not winning this year so you’d rather they have four or five more losing seasons first?

                  You’re just searching for something to be angry about, and the shitty thing is– the disservice you do to actual critics is– you cloak yourself in this bullshit about being a “REAL” fan and not a fanboy, and then you latch on to absolute horseshit when there are plenty of things to be sensibly angry about.

                  I will continue to watch every game, no matter how they do. But I actually liked watching last season more because we had so many prospects coming up, something to look forward to!

                  You are either lying to me or to yourself. Though… OK, this year has been a drag, but holy shit, the Jays are in a much better position for 2014 and 2015 now than they would be if they were waiting for the prospects they dealt away, none of whom will be rookies until next year at the earliest.

                  It’s really a shame what has happened to this club. Well whats done is done, and all we can hope for is some of these players made miracle comebacks next year.

                  Miracle? I can only shake my head at this. I know you’re frustrated, but it shouldn’t make it this difficult to think straight.

                  • One thing I don’t get is why Lawrie and Bonifacio keep getting reps at 2nd but Thole can’t get reps at the plate.

                    I love Gibby’s in game management but I really didn’t get Bonifacio vs RHP with Kawasaki riding pine.

                  • wow..actually a decent response on Stote’s part for once!

    • the guy was a cy young you fucking troll moron. go back to the Sun.

    • Holy fuck. Who let Roger La Joie onto this blog?

  19. Sign useless Izzy for 3 years. I don’t remember a bidding war

    • Armchair gm fuck off

    • Actually, Izzy has improved greatly in a last month or two.

    • Given that “Izzy” had a reputation for being one of the top bench players in the league, probably a few GMs.

    • The third year was the result of a bidding war. There were a bunch of teams that were willing to give him two according to reports at the time. You can argue the merits of that call all you want, but it’s not like AA gave him three for no reason.

  20. Sign Melky for 2 years. He would have signed for 1 year but we took him for 2 years. No other front office wanted this juiced up piece of shit

  21. Josh Johnson is who he wanted. He got him with 1 win in July, a bloated ERA and many injuries

  22. I don’t see the need to upgrade 2B/3B.

    Am I the only one who has liked Maicer? He started off terrible, I’ll grant you that, but a lot of his terrible play had to do with some tough luck on BABIP. He is making decent contact, as his line-drive rate is pretty much on par with what he has been his entire career. He is walking slightly less, and has hit a few more groundballs, but overall his play is pretty similar to what I expected from him.

    Lawrie has been crap. But battling injuries. I don’t know what to expect him, but don’t wanna give up on him. So he should be safe at 3B.

    The obvious upgrade needed in the lineup, for next year, is some production from behind the plate. Then maybe another guy like Izturis, who can fill in and play decent for when Lawrie gets injured. Thought we had that guy in Boni, but may have to go looking again. Also would love to trade Lind and get a DH I have more faith in. My pipe dream would be signing Ruiz and Morales.

    As for pitching, stand pat and hope to get bounce back years. Though would love Timmy on the weighted ball program.

    • Maicer is perfectly fine at 2B, and Lawrie is (at least defensively) an elite third basemen. I have no problem with an infield of Lawrie, Reyes, Maicer and Edwin moving forward. Second base is not as big a problem spot as people make it out to be. Starting pitching – the position we were all high on at the start of the season (and rightfully so) – is.

  23. Rowdy Tellez Debut today for GCL…1 for 2 so far…2 RBL DB with two outs and a SO….

  24. Mark Burhle. Over 10 years in AL Central? I’m wondering if they ever thought that his 80 mph fastball may not work in AL East? Nice contract also

  25. Who the fuck is this ‘The Big Guy 1968′?

    Are you a fat 45 year old or something?

  26. What is Defense? Bonifacio. They should play him everywhere. Makes errors at every position but adds roster flexibility. That’s why they moved their only great defensive player out of position in Lawrie. Gives roster flexibility. How did that work out? But please remember about Bonifacio and his speed. JPcan’t catch, throw, block pitches in the dirt. He can hit homers and who needs a good defensive catcher. This is the end of my rant. I’m actually a huge Toronto Blue Jays fan who goes to Spring Training and owns Season Tickets. I actually like AA as a person. I have talked to him about Schwartz Deli in Montreal but O can’t watch this shit any more

    • With all of your insight, what’s your opinion of Gose playing RF and Pillar in CF?
      Sorta backwards, don’t you think?

    • How did that work out? It’s been like three games, for fuck sakes.

      Perspective, please.

  27. Stoeten, you’re obviously not wrong about the impact of Morrow being hurt and Morrow, Dickey, Johnson and, to a lesser extent, Romero not being good. But it’s still fair to just say “The Blue Jays are not good enough.” Their overall record swings on the record in one-run games, and if you look back through the game logs, you’ll see that the last two days contained the same elements as almost every single one of their 1-run losses: a mediocre pitching performance, golden opportunities to score wasted, and often at least one gift run.

    If the starting had been better, they’d be in the mix for the WC right now. But with better performance from the offense in the close games, they wouldn’t have a losing record and we could reasonably talk about a late-season push.

    • The BJs score an average of 4.53 r/g. Leage average pitching gives up roughly 4.22 r/g. Over 97 games, that’d give the Jays a RD of +30 and Pythagorean record of 52-45. I think it’s fair to say the the pitching, by far, has been the biggest weakness for the team.

      That doesn’t even separate the SP from the RP. If the Jays got league average SP, they’d be even better than 52-45. Right on pace with the O’s and Rays.

      • I’m not sure if you meant to, but you’re agreeing with me GBL. Better starting pitching would mean a better record – but that’s Baseball 101, it’s obvious. Better hitting in 1-run games would also mean a better record, just not as better as it would be with acceptable pitching. That’s obvious too, but the thing with this team is better hitting in 1-run games isn’t some notional concept – in each and every 1-run game, they have failed to execute when given multiple opportunities. And that is a sign of a team that’s not good enough.

        We’re like the Bad News Orioles. Their pitching isn’t all that good either, but they don’t give away a lot of runs on defense and their offense scores enough that they usually end up on the right side of 1-run games.

        • It’s not actually a sign of anything, though.

          • I think I get what you’re saying – that good starting pitching would obscure the other shortcomings on this team – and I agree with that. But I respectfully disagree that their record in one run games isn’t a sign that they’re not good enough. They’ve given up extra outs and failed in situations with high run expectancy in running up a record of 11 gamed under .500 in one run games. That’s a team effort.

            • Too much noise in that to make a conclusion like you’ve made. Was Baltimore’s record in one-run games last year because they were actually really, really great? (Don’t answer if you think it’s yes.)

              • There was a lot of luck involved, for sure, but you also need to not give away outs and a bullpen that gives the offense a chance to get in it.

                The counterargument to the point about it all being about the starting pitching is that the pitching overall is mid-pack and they haven’t lost a single game when leading late. I wish the starting was better, but the pitching, overall has given them chances to win that have been missed more than taken advantage of.

    • Sure, but the starting is something actually fixable. You can’t magically add clutch hits. You can add good hitters, but the only glaring places to improve are behind the plate and wherever Izturis is. Depending on how the season plays out, of course, you might add LF, DH and even CF, too, but right now that’s not the case.

      • That’s true. It is amazing how 2 holes have seemingly pulled the whole line up down when it comes to one-run games, though.

        • Well, I think “seemingly” is the operative word there. They’ve been awful, no doubt– Izturis has been better of late, though– but it feels worse than it is, I think, because they’ve been playing so often with zero margin for error, thanks to the bad starting pitching.

          • Stoeten, actually the black holes are often sucking in the whole offense. Check out the piece up on BBB. Bautista, Encarnacion, Lind, and Rasmus all hit better with RISP than without, yet the Jays are at the bottom of the entire league in all offensive metrics in high leverage situations.

            Failure’s the defining feature of hitting, so Bautista will k with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs but we can see from Ashbourne’s data that it’ll even out for him and 3 or 4 of the others. Yet the team, as a whole, sucks in high leverage situations.

            • Pay no attention to situational hitting stuff.

              • OK, I’m asking in order to learn: why?

                I understand that good hitting teams will hit, but with the Jays we have a good hitting team that scores a lot of runs but is grouped with a lower class of offenses when situation is in the mix.

  28. It would help if AA and front office were better also

    • I guess you’re right.

      If they could just trade for a Cy Young winner, they’d be better.
      Umm sorry they did that.
      If they could just trade or sign the 2011 and 2012 Batting champions.
      Umm they did that too?
      If they could just sign EE and Jbau to resonable contracts?
      What they did that too?
      If the jays had any allstars on the team.
      They had 4? What the fuck?
      If Gibbons only knew his shit.
      Leyland picked him to coach?that leyland must be an idiot.

      You want me to keep going?

      • what RADAR said

      • Radar – I’ve said much the same thing (only perhaps not as eloquently) on a variety of message boards and websites this season.
        My favourite responses from 99 percent of the armchair GM’s wearing their 20/20 hindsight glasses are –
        “Oh, but all of those trades/acquisitions have laid to waste our farm system of can’t-miss prospects.”
        “All these players suck…so the trades were bad. AA, that jumped-up little mailboy, should be shot, hung, pissed-on, and gotten rid of.”
        “Gibby isn’t MOTIVATING them. Get rid of him.”"
        “Gibby isn’t teaching them the fundamentals. Get rid of him”.
        “Gibby hasn’t won anything. Get rid of him”.
        “The players are too loose.”
        “The players aren’t motivated”
        “There’s too many Dominicans, and they’re LAUGHING all the time”.

        And if one attempts to introduce anything resembling an argument to the aforementioned – we’re nothing but excuse-makers.

      • I don’t usually agree with RADAR, but when I do, I prefer that post.

      • Holy crap RADAR. That’s one of the best throwdowns I’ve ever seen here.

        Seriously. We were favorites. And even then it was 8.5/1. Unfortunately this is one of the 7.5 “other” years. But the moves were good – at least for the present couple years and not factoring in money (which is not our concern).

  29. I’m sorry this is now the end of my rant

  30. I have followed the Blue Jays since day 1 in 1977 (before that I was a fan of the Oakland A’s from 1969 through 1976). I can’t quite call this the most disappointing season (1986 and 1987 were pretty disappointing) but it ranks right up there as the most frustrating. I’d have bet my right arm Josh Johnson would have a lights out year pitching for his next contract, instead he’s on a pace to go 2-9 and has not looked good against the AL East at all, and after getting swept at home this weekend, it may be time to accept the inevitable and start making changes.

    You are correct to say most of this falls at the feet of the starting pitching, but the pitching issues aside, this club as it was constructed wasn’t really that good. I am in no way advocating the firing of Alex Anthopoulous, but the responsibility for this mess is on his shoulders as he is the architect of this club. AA is not the first, nor will he be the last GM to think he had it all “figured out”, only to watch the best laid plans blow up in his face. I like AA and I’m sorry this underacheiving situation exist, but the sooner this plan is scrapped, the better. Again, let me reiterate, I know Boston and New York were perceived as vulnerable this year, that the Orioles were thought to never be able to do the same trick twice and the Rays would always be in a state of transition because of salary, that Bautista and Encarnacion were in their prime and it was time to load up and “go for it”. This is like an “emporers new clothes” situaution where we have to be an honest and admit it just isn’t there.

    One last concern is the whole “prospects” thing. It seems none of the prospects they have raved about have been much to write home about. Most were over-hyped to us as great future players. JPA, Brett Wallace, Anthony Gose, Kyle Drabekand Michael Taylor (remember Taylor was acquired in the Halladay trade and then flipped to Oakland for Brett Wallace) Taylor has it .135 in parts of three major league seasons and all indications are the A’s thought they stole him from us and now they’re ready to move on from Taylor. We’d all be wise not to drink the prospects “kool aid” and take a wait and see approach to all these guys, if we do, we won’t be wringing our hands and posting on blogs trying to figure out what went wrong in the future. As Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells always told his players, “You are what your record says you are”. He was right. The Blue Jays are 45-52 and sitting in last place. Like it or not, it’s a reality we have to accept. Your comments, positive or negative are welcome. You have the right to your own opinion.

    • You’re right, Anthopolous totally predicted a bunch of injuries and just said “fuck it let’s go!”

    • I agree about JJ.I too woulda bett my left nut.His poor performance has cost him 10′s of millions.maybe even 100 million.
      Hope he can rebound at some point. Just glad, based on this season, the Jays didn’t offer 7/150 before the season started.Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.

      As far as prospects go, what in the hell do you make of Pillar?

    • You’re worried that the Jays traded away prospects that didn’t pan out?

      • My point being, prospects are always horribly over-hyped and this club has never done a great job of bringing impact players through the system, save for the mid 1980′s. In the world series years we had Olerud and Borders as the only drafted players (and Olerud never played in the minors) and in 1993 it was Sprague, Fernandez, Borders and Olerud. Everyone else came from somewhere else.

        Pitching injuries not withstanding, this offense is marginal and I’m not sure how good they would have been with healthy pitching. Playoff contender? Probably. World Series contender? Doubtful.

    • That’s what prospects are like, and Parcells is way wrong. It’s a cheap lazy crutch to assume that the record means all. The Jays could end up with as bad a record as last year– you really think it’s a worse team, or a team that’s farther away from success? Hardly.

  31. Jim in Ohio – I guess you didn’t get the memo. Negative comments may be tolerated, but they aren’t welcome.

    • No, it’s fucking blatant, troll-y stupidity that won’t be tolerated, and with your intentional misreading of that very clear fact, you’re getting closer to falling into that category. Other people will read a thing like that and, think you’re not a shitstain, may be inclined to believe it. Piss off.

  32. For the life of me I can’t understand the piling on to AA. He made solid deals that haven’t worked out. The shitty performances by players capable of better have nothing to do with him.
    JJ for one year with a club option to qualify after cannot be seen as a bad bet to make when it was made. Obviously the year has not gone well to say the least but there’s nobody that would doubt his talent had he stayed healthy. And people that trot out the “1 win” stat clearly don’t understand how little they mean, and how little support he’s gotten. If he walks this winter and we get a first round pick its not the end of the world
    Buerhle has been Buehrle. Eats up innings is fairly dependable, and is our only starter that arrives on the mound every 5 days. Huge contract, yes, but really we’d be putting position players on the mound without him.
    Reyes – injured, yes, but fucking outstanding.
    Dickey is a huge disappointment, and in spite of his Cy was arguably the riskiest deal of the winter. However, if we trust the idea that he’s hurt, I imagine we’ve seen his worst and I think there’s a reasonable chance next year is better for him.
    I think the worst thing we could do is blow it up. First, some of these guys will bounce back next year from off years. Second, for all those touting prospects and picks, IMO the team is playing against a clock – Bautista and Edwin’s peaks. We have a couple years left before we have wasted both of their primes. Any moves made have to coincide with the arcs of these two players.
    If we added a starter in the off season and stood pat with most of the rest I honestly believe it could work out. For me, Lind, Janssen, Oliver, JPA, and Lawrie are tradable. I’d also eat some salary and move Buerhle.

    • JJ’s a FA after this year.
      And the pick isn’t guaranteed.
      The qualifying one year offer is around 15 million. Then he has to turn that down.
      He might accept it, to raise his value for a future contract.

      • To raise his value for a future contract? No.

        He would accept it because he doesn’t see more money on the market, or thinks it’s better to come back and try to rebuild value and hit the market again next year.

      • So do they have to offer the qualifier in order to be eligible for the pick? And he has to turn it down? Sorry, just not up on my MLB CBA stuff.

  33. “Even after games where it hasn’t been them, it’s them.” What the fuck does that even mean? Do dickey, jj, morrow, and burls hit in the bottom half of the lineup? Sorry, you can say that 60% of the teams problems or majority stems from starting pitching but the bottom half of this lineup is atrocious. Lately, Id argue only the top 3 + maybe rasmus has been productive. Also, just the approach in general is brutul. These hitters have no baseball iq when they step up at the plate. They dont work counts and just swing wildly at shit the majority of the time even when the pitcher is doing them a favour by being wild. Why werent they able to beat a mediocre pitcher (hellickson) and rookie (archer) the past 2 games? The starting pitching was ok. I’ll tell you why. The offense isnt that good! Why are teams like the red sox able to beat pitchers like hellickson, archer, even price with much less difficulty? Because they have good approaches at the plate and have deeper lineups with hitters that know what theyre doing.

    • Can you please just stop talking out your fucking ass.

      It means that there are always going to be games where the offence wastes a decent pitching performance, but in the overall it’s the pitching that’s killing them, and anybody bothering to blather on about the approach and baseball IQ of the guys in the bottom of the lineup is wasting his, and everybody else’s time. It’s not rocket science.

      • Instead of getting all defensive and making me seem like a fucking idiot that doesnt know what im talking about and has zero validity, just say you partially agree. We can agree that jpa is awful? Check. Maicer a part time player? Check. Rajai cant hit righties and should only be in the lineup vs. lefties? Check. Melky hasnt been good when in the lineup this year? check. Boni is shit? check. These are all points we agree on. Yet, you somehow feel the need to call me an idiot(or variation) on points we agree on. Yet, you continually say starting pitching is the BIGGEST problem and no need to worry about the lineup. I know you have a strong hatred towards comments but would it really hurt to not treat every commenter like a fucking idiot that doesnt know what theyre talking about.

        • Just because we may agree on a few points doesn’t mean you weren’t saying ridiculous nonsense, though.

          • So you see no difference in the approaches at the plate for jays vs. red sox hitters? That was the main thing i was trying to convey (which relates to baseball iq). We’ll agree to disagree then.

            • I hate when people talk about “approach at the plate”. If a guy stands there and takes 2 strikes right down the middle, and then strikes out 2 pitches later, everyone will call him a meathead. The line between milking a walk and getting a hit is thinner than you think and has a lot more to do with simply how good the hitter is or not.

              If you look up league stats for SP, bullpen and hitting, you’ll quickly see that starting pitching is where we are way under-performing. It’s as simple as that. And you could even extrapolote how the pitching has taxed the bullpen making their job even better than the stats show and how it has messed up the roster and bench depth.

        • The lineup has hit a shit tonne of runs. That’s their job so, yes, as a whole you can say the lineup has been fine. JPA is atrocious but a team doesn’t need to be above average 1 through 9 to be very good. They need to be above average as a whole both offensively and defensively. Currently, they’ve only got it down offensively so it’s entirely fair to say that the pitching is absolutely the problem.

        • adfq….it really has been the SP that has been our biggest problem this year. yes our offense can be better, but our SP has to be a lot better for us to have a chance.

        • @afdg

          +1. The Jays problems are a combination of poor hitting & poor starting pitching, with pitching being more of a problem.

          I was in Europe for two weeks & I am saddened that the team played better. I was reading Blair’s book on the plane, & I think even if we had WAMCO from 1993, Jays would not be leading the division.

  34. I’m going to say fire Gibbons. Yep, you can blame Reyes for his bum ankle, Cabrera for his bum leg, Lawrie for his ankle, and so on that forced Bonifacio and Izturis to play most of the time. And the starting pitchers are all bums as well, from Buerhle complaining about his pit bulls to Dickey’s book to Romero’s suckage to Johnson’s, Morrow’s and Happ’s injuries.

    But I found it absolutely stupid to put your most dangerous hitter in Bautista in the 2 spot. Bautista hits in one of two modes – the home run or the pull hit to right field – two very distinctive swings. If he’s in the home run mode, he will fly out more than 80% of the time. Bautista belongs at 3 and Encarncion in cleanup. Adam Lind or even Colby belongs in the 2 spot. Did you see Bautista’s stat with a man on first or with one out – terrible. So yeah, I blame Gibbons with that dumbass decision. And with Cabrera back, throw him back at the 2 spot where he belongs. But Bautista at the 2 spot is dumb.

    And with all of the lineup juggling in May probably screwed enough with the hitter’s heads to mess with their ABs. It was especially dumb to stick Arencibia in the 5 spot game after game until late June. Blame Gibbons too. Consistency matters, especially at the elite level where the most minor changes really messes up the psyche.

    And blame the organization for not bringing up a catching instructor to help out Arencibia as well. But JP seems to be so fricking arrogant this year especially after being told by AA that he was the starting catcher this year and didn’t get traded. I hope AA gets demoted to New Hampshire for a year and let Thole catch with a AAA catcher as backup.

    And blame the organization for even trying out Brett Lawrie at 2B, mid season, when he has NO experience playing the position, on turf, at the MLB level. The games against Tampa were key, and when you see Lawrie miss DP opportunities and balls fly past Izturis at 3B, you think that the Jays are just bush league. Dumb-ass decision that just puts Bonifacio permanently on the bench (with Cabrera back), perhaps where he belongs.

    So fire Gibbons (why rehire someone you’ve fired, Cito), fire AA too and let some professionals who know what they are doing run the club. I commend AA for the trade decisions. He brought the right personnel to the team, and even the starting pitching he brought was a good choice given his options. He can trade fine, but he can’t run the team.

    • Firing Gibbons will accomplish…what? You’re firing him just for appearances sake? Like it’s easier to fire the manager, and then proudly say “Well, we did SOMETHING”…and boy, that’ll change their fortunes.
      I’m not entirely sold on JB hitting second, either – but Lind and Rasmus aren’t your prototypical 2-hole hitters, either. Who on this club is “the right guy” to hit second? It’s only a factor for the first time through the lineup, right?

    • Your best hitter should hit second. Lineup juggling doesn’t do anything to anybody’s head. They had Don Wakamatsu here last year and Gibby was a catcher. There is a very obvious and often-stated reason for having Lawrie at 2B that you’re willfully ignoring just so you can do your sad little venting, and you’re judging this on all of three games.

      That’s a lot of fail.

      • My sad little venting. Boo hoo.

        Bautista is not the team’s best hitter in terms of BA. And statistically, the best player bats 3rd, you moron. Is Detroit’s Cabrera hitting 2nd? How about Pedroia, or Donaldson, or Chris Davis. In fact looking at Baseball Reference, the best players routinely hit 3rd or 4th. How has Bautista hitting second worked out???

        Lind and Rasmus this year are more likely to hit over Bautista. Bautista belongs at cleanup or in the 3 spot. Or Cabrera.

        And Arencibia hit cleanup and 5th in the lineup until early June which was moronically stupid.

        And what is the reason for having Brett Lawrie play 2nd? Trade bait? For what? No one is going to pick up Brett Lawrie with his attitude and lack of maturity so far. He is an excellent defender at 3B, and it’s stupid to experiment with Lawrie (or any player) in a new position when you are trying to win games. Izturis is a capable 3B, but he’s also capable at 2B as well. Lawrie is not.

        Gibbons was fired once before for good reason. Cito has been fired twice for good reason. Both have good qualities.

        It’s the little things that add up to the team’s failures. We’re looking for reasons why the Jays are 7 games under .500 and it’s been much, much, more than 3 games that this has been going on.

        Obviously starting pitching is a problem. But you can’t overlook the lineup and the offense too.

        • Teams generally don’t bat their perceived best hitter second, you’re right. That doesn’t mean that’s optimal– newsflash: baseball managers often aren’t very progressive when it comes to advanced stats and theories about the game. They still sometimes use outdated numbers, like batting average.

          The reason for having Brett Lawrie at second is positional flexibility and the fact that they think he can be an elite defender there, as well as at third. If there is a third baseman available on the trade market who can help them going forward, they can now deal for him knowing that Lawrie will be OK at second base. It’s pretty simple. Also: Lawrie’s maturity was an issue when the Jays acquired him, so that point is moot.

          I said three games because that’s how many times we’ve seen Lawrie at second– such a small number as to make whatever flaws you think you’re seeing pretty irrelevant.

          The little things appear like they add up to the team’s failure because the pitching has been so bad. Sorry, but it all comes down to pitching. Doesn’t mean the lineup and defence and roster management is perfect, but they’re not worth a fraction of the hand-wringing they’ve received.

          • Newsflash: Gibbons is not exactly progressive… far from it.

            The Jays don’t need infield flexibility. They have Izturis who can play 3B and 2B. Izturis’ fielding has been equally split between 2B and 3B with average results. DeRosa can play 3B but hasn’t played much 2B since 2008. And Boni can play 2B and OF. Let Lawrie play 3B and leave him there. Trade a couple of relievers for a 2B and get rid of Bonifacio at the same time.

            The flexibility of this team should be the four man bench and the late speed that Gibby should be able to bring into this game in Bonifacio and Davis.

            And let’s stop completely blaming JP for the team’s woes. He’s ok in the order hitting 7th or 8th.

            Starting pitching – I can’t see the Jays taking Dickey/Johnson/Burhrle out of the starting rotation and given the Jays are like 12 games out of a playoff spot, there’s no reason not to pitch Esmil until his arm falls off next month or bring up Romero.

            • Newsflash: you wouldn’t know progressive if it bit you on the ass, obviously.

              The Jays need infield flexibility because ideally they can improve on Izturis (and no, DeRosa can’t play every day).

              JP is not the Jays’ problem, but no, he is atrociously bad as a hitter. Even a guy who uses batting average should be able to get that.

        • You’re conflating Statistically with conventional wisdom. Turns out the two don’t jibe in this case. It’s been know for over a decade but is only starting to trickle into reality now.

        • Read “The Book”. Of the top 4 hitters in the lineup, put the WORST one third.

    • Huh? AA can trade but he can’t run the team? Gibbons is responsible for injuries? So much fuckery in that post. I guess you’re part of the cesspool that Stoeten referred to.

      • Yeah, there’s more to managing the team than making trades.

        And yeah, there’s a way to construct a lineup around injuries. I don’t blame Gibby for the injuries. I blame Gibby for the juggling of the lineups, putting Bautista in the 2 spot, and for batting Arencibia 5th for a month when he sucked.

        There are great managers throughout baseball. Why are they great? If managing has nothingto do with player performance, then why do folks like Showalter, Madden and Girardi have success and continued employment with the same clubs?

        When I started the season, I was in the same camp as everyone else. Gibbons isn’t to blame, it’s the players. But you know what, it is the players. And the pitchers. And the management.

        • @Tim That you think batting Bautista second is not only wrong, but somehow relevant to the team’s success, invalidates all your other comments. And THEN you mention BA as some kind of indicator as it relates to the team’s best hitter. Go back to the 1980′s. Or, the Sun. (And if you work real hard, maybe you can start commenting on Sportsnet.) You’re not ready for the Show, dude. You’re not smart enough.

          • Bautista doesn’t belong 2nd in the order, and it is relevant. Just as Arencibia batting 5th was relevant. Batting order is relevant. If you believe that Bautista is your best hitter, then you bat him third. If you don’t believe he’s your best hitter, then given the way that he hits and strikes out, it might be better to put him at clean up and put Adam Lind at the 2 spot.

            It doesn’t matter now anyway.

        • Umm… good players? When they don’t have players any more their teams plays poorly and they get fired just like every other manager.

          Seriously Tim, every single one of your comments in this thread reflects some of the worst analysis I’ve ever seen. Should probably just quit.

    • “…pull hit to right field.”

      Kind of hard to pull the ball to right field as a RH batter. Let me enlighten you. If a RH hitter pulls the ball it goes to LF. If a LH hitter pulls the ball it goes to RF. You’re welcome.

  35. Izturis should be batting second for now. need a contact guy that might be able to bunt. Then EE bat third and JB fourth.

  36. I look at this team, and I feel like they have great talent returning next year, they just need some pitching. think of the indians last year, they were “all in” on the team they built , they sucked, this year they have a little more consistent starting and they’re right in the mix.
    at some point the jays need one of their young guys to come up through the system and be a factor. I see no reason to not see what you can get for lind, jansen, jpa, davis, boni, and see if anyone would absorb buerhle’s contract. I’d love if they extended rasmus, but he’d have to be open to it.

  37. Jays’ problem is pitching. The team is 8th in the league in runs scored, and 3rd in home runs. The Jays starters are 29th in the league with a 5.09 ERA. They have allowed the most runs in the league. They are worse than Minnisota. They are worse than Houston. How the fuck are you supposed to win games when every day the starting pitcher is a shitbag?

    The starting pitchers have allowed the 2nd worst amount of home runs. Why is the rotation made up of flyball pitchers in this division, with such small ballparks? I only blame the pitchers for sucking shit – not Anthopoulos (yet). If this shit continues next year, I may have to point a finger at the GM for not building a 25-man that reflects the ballpark you play half your games in.

    Stats are found here:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/pitching/split/127/order/true

    • More starter stats to choke on:

      All starters for the Jays this year have a combined 3.0 fWAR. THREE POINT FUCKING OH. The combined HR/9 is 1.43! The combined FIP is 4.84! Fuck!

      Additional stats found here.

    • How is this AA’s fault? He got Morrow and did not injure him personally. He got Happ and didn’t injure him personally. Same with JJ. He got a CY winner in Dickey. He got a solid back of the rotation guy in Buehrle. No one complained about the Romero extension when it was done.

      • To play devil’s advocate, there was already some injury history on Morrow and Johnson when they were acquired, so he’s not completely bulletproof on those.

        • It was also a bit disconcerting, if that’s the word, to hear Collins say Dickey’s regression and injury were a result of the volume of innings he threw. A cynic would hear that to mean it may have been predictable.

          • A Cy Young “jinx” where the pitcher has poor statistics the year after a Cy Young year has been seen in the past. However, at the cost that they have retained Dickey for the next two years, even if he is a 3 or 4 starter he is OK.

            Really, did we really expect the knuckleballer to be our best starter? Starting the season, I personally was hoping that JJ and Morrow would be mowing down the hitters, with Dickey, Buerle and Ricky further back. When Buerle is your second best starter and Esmil Rogers is a revelation, you have pitching problems.

            Morrow was awesome when available last year. More of the same would mean a lot of winnable games.

            Baseball is hard. Sometimes you gamble and win, sometimes you lose. However, there are two years left in the window with the group on hand.

      • Which is why I don’t blame Anthopoulos now, which I did state. Right now the onus is on the players to perform up to their standards, but if it continues into next season (a good sample size is needed for 2014 also), how can you not blame the GM? He’s the one that has to bring in players he figure will succeed. He did it this year, but it hasn’t worked out.

        The one pitcher I’m most concerned with is Buehrle. Dickey would be a logical choice, but he’s been battling injuries, so the fan in me gives him some rope.

  38. jack morris made a fabulous comment. the jays pitchers no longer track pitches before starts. he was shocked. might explain why the pitching sucks

  39. Sorry boys I find it pathetic, stupid and completely unfair to not hammer a team when they are this bad.Opposite is also true.

    • Exactly the kind of moronic horseshit I loathe the most around here. How about being realistic and not let our every comment be dictated by hopelessly warped emotions?

      • Sorry Stoeten first cheerleader role belongs to Wilner and co.But keep it up you are in pace to be even more apologist then them.When a team sucks ,it sucks and that’s it..

  40. These dumbfuck torontoians that claim to know alot about baseball were the same fuckers that said to bring back halladay, trade for morneau, bring wells in as 4th outfielder, and thought J.P atrociouscibia is the catcher of the future and heart of the team. It digusts me when these bandwagon toronto sport fans get mad at the team not performing. They should fucking stick to cheering to the red soxs, y’s, phillies, bruins lakers, heat or who ever they fucking claim as there favourite team. These same fucks thought rudy gay is a elite superstar player which is laughable, if bosh could not do shit for raps wtf will gay do? Kessel was public enemy #1 now he is fan pleaser. Phanuef should be traded? R u kidding me, that is the guy that plays against the best players on the other team.

  41. Ask yourself a simple question. How does this team improve next year when all the money has been spent and there are no prospects ready to come up?

    I think the only logical choice is to start trading what value is left and get some near ready prospects back.

    If you trade bautista and reyes and lawrie you’ll get a huge haul back of prospects and you’ll be ready to contend again soon. Nothing is going to change next year so might as well blow it up now.

    • Or, y’know, you acknowledge that they’re still much better than they’ve played, and stop pretending there aren’t lots of pieces in the organization that can help them.

      • That’s a classic contradiction in terms. The w/l record is the measuring stick of how well you’ve played. The angels can say the same thing.

        If they’re not playing well now, then why would they suddenly change and start playing well next year?

        • Because there is all kinds of noise that goes into the win-loss record that is not predictive in the slightest.

    • Blow what up? Jays been injured why would you trade Bautista? or Lawrie who is young himself.

    • Blowing up the team is just idiotic. Considering an overhaul on the rotation should be a question going into the off-season. Doing it at the trade deadline is kinda silly. The two big-name starting pitchers that should be available – Garza and Peavy – are both home run prone, and would probably be worse in the SkyDome/AL East.

    • So lets say we get a large return of prospects back for these trades. Now, what? AA will explain that we need to be patient again and the constant whining that AA or Rogers won’t spend? Sorry, you’re 2 years too late.

      Oh please bring back that fun again. :/

  42. If the jays are serious about contending next year they need at least 3 new starters next year, and 3b and a new 2b and new catcher.

    rotation maybe looks like

    rogers
    happ
    romero
    hutchison/morrow
    peavy via trade or free agent

    trade buerhle, morrow, dicky if possible

    you can’t contend with a 3b hitting .200, a catcher witha .250 obp and a 2b who can’t turn dp’s.

    and get rid of davis and bonifacio for fuck’s sake.

  43. I think I actually agree with this post in that, the starting pitching has been atrocious and if it was even close to as good (or decent) as we could have reasonably expected, it wouldn’t matter so much if our catcher was shit or Boni hasn’t worked out as planned.

    But I don’t get the fucking attitude.

    You seem to construct for yourself a pretty safe little narrative in which you can go on and on about how it’s early and people are idiots if they question anything about this team. All it needs is time!

    But when it comes time when everyone acknowledges this season is a wash, anyone is an idiot if they want to tell you that they knew anything before now.

    Again, I actually think that the best course of action is to keep this team pretty much in place. If you can get a return on some of your relievers, deal them, but let’s play this like the Red Sox and hope our pitchers rebound in 2014.

    I just think it’s pretty obnoxious to say that anyone who questions AA or Gibby is a moron. You’re finally starting to see this shit-kicking of a season instil some humility into some of the Jays. Maybe you could use a little yourself.

    • “You seem to construct for yourself a pretty safe little narrative in which you can go on and on about how it’s early and people are idiots if they question anything about this team. All it needs is time!”

      Oh, is that what I do? No nuance whatsoever, eh, just complainers = idiots? Right. You’ve obviously been reading very closely.

      “But when it comes time when everyone acknowledges this season is a wash, anyone is an idiot if they want to tell you that they knew anything before now.”

      They did not KNOW anything at all, so I feel pretty good calling the people pretending they did out.

  44. A lot has gone wrong for this team. Nobody had the foresight to predict Ferrall and the massholes to be one of the best teams in baseball. A lot went right there. Stay the course with some tweaks in the offseason. If a year from now nothing has changed than blow the fucking thing up

  45. I still have faith in AA, because the General Manager’s job is to build a good team on paper.

    I’m starting to have some doubts in Gibbons, however, since the coach’s job is to turn on paper into reality.

    So far, there’s enough legitimate excuses that it’s too early to pass judgement. Dickey’s been injured and honestly should’ve gone on the DL instead of pitching as badly as he has. Reyes’ injury killed our offense. We’ve had a lot of bad luck. Next May or June is when judgement ought to fall.

    This doesn’t mean don’t try to improve the team in the winter–absolutely, do that. But it’s still too soon to be calling for Gibbons’ head.

  46. While much of this stuff IS AA’s doing, I don’t think it’s his fault per se. AA is a young GM that relies on gathering information and sound advice to make his decisions. His process and strategies were sound and should have led to better results. But the vast majority of his moves have not worked out. From what I can tell, this must be from two reasons:

    a) He’s gotten bad information. The Jays scouting at the minor league and pro levels has obviously been very bad. Time and again under AA the Jays have missed on high draft picks and players acquired from other organizations. Every team has ups and downs on this stuff, but the Jays by and large have been way, way down.

    b) He’s had limited resources. This has forced him over and over again to have to try to buy low on players (Escobar, Lawrie, Rasmus, K Johnson, etc.), which is an impossible strategy to consistently produce results with.

    So as I’ve said before, I think a lot of the failings here are organizational ones and run much deeper than a single person’s influence. No matter who is in charge, the Jays can’t consistently draft good players, develop good players, trade for good players, or sign good players. Not surprisingly, this makes them not good.

    • a) Evidence?
      b) Evidence that it’s impossible?

      • I don’t know about evidence, but what does concern me is that the Marlins trade was apparently built off AA’s pursuit of Johnson. At this point that’s looking like a whiff. Getting hurt has impacted his results, but AA would have known he is an injury risk in targeting him. And, obviously, the performance has been uneven even when he’s ostensibly been healthy.

        The jury’s out on Dickey, but that could turn into a whiff too. Same on Izturis, I think. These are guys he went out to get, unlike Buehrle and Bonifacio (and Reyes, who I don’t think one can complain about, maybe other than his range) who he didn’t target.

    • Took a look at the draft results since AA became GM and the only two players that could have been drafted by the Jays who have had any major impact in the ML is Chris Sale and Jackie Bradley Jr.
      Sucks we missed out on Sale but so did a few other teams. And Bradley is a baseball player.
      So…yeah.

      • You’ve missed a lot of good names. In 2010 alone I can come up with Olt, Gyorko, and Gausman alone, all of which were passed on over 4 times. Good thing we’re scouring the market for 3B, 2B, and young pitching eh?

        Also, it’s not just the lack of MLB impact, but also the lack of develop into prospects that will soon contribute. You’re missing the big picture.

      • Sale was by far and away the biggest regret – there were signability concerns I believe, but most Jays fans wanted him….Deck McGuire – ugh

  47. Dickey has not been injured. His road era is in the 3′s and home is 7. 17/23 home runs came at home.

    So he can’t pitch at home. Maybe they need to close the dome and crank the a/c.

    • He has been injured. He pitched through neck/back pain that lowered his velocity and altered his release point.

      I don’t disagree about the home environment, though. They should be scheming to find anything that might help– not that that’d do much good, I’d wager.

      • The injury didn’t affect his road numbers did it? you can’t be just injured at home right???

        • Yes, but the lack of velocity can be punished more in a hitter friendly environment than they might be in KC, San Francisco, Cleveland and Tampa. Those are four away where he had four of his best away starts, and all are pitcher friendly by the park factor data at ESPN and FanGraphs (except KC, which is slightly hitter friendly by FG and slightly pitcher friendly by ESPN).

      • Two words. Giant fans.

  48. Stoeten and all, a naive but sincere question: How can the rotation be improved next season? Acknowledging that what seems to be one way today can change in a flash, at the moment it looks like Johnson and Buehrle aren’t going anywhere. In which case the rotation next year would be Dickey, Morrow (fingers crossed he stays healthy), Johnson, Buehrle, Romero/Happ/Rogers/etc.

    The names – and, more worrisome – the performance could be exactly the same as this year!?

    If Dickey keeps sucking the rest of this year, I don’t think we should expect he’ll be better next year. If he really turns it around, then there will be well-founded hope for him for next year.

    Ditto Johnson.

    Many want Buehrle gone, but if the rotation is going to feature Johnson and Morrow again next year, the Jays might be better served keeping him.

    Better depth might mean we don’t see 13 different guys take the mound by July next year, but if Buehrle’s in the rotation again, and Dickey’s middling again and he’s the other guy actually starting every 5 days, we’ll once again have a rotation with a bunch of #5 pitchers plus hoping on Morrow not to get hurt.

    • Johnson will likely be gone. Dickey, Morrow and Buehrle (if they’re here and healthy) really aren’t so bad. There will be risks no matter how you put a rotation together, so… we’re just going to have to live with some once again. And with the continued evolution of guys like Hutchison, Stroman, Drabek, Nolin and Sanchez, they’ll have better options to replace guys with if they get hurt or don’t perform– assuming some of those younger arms aren’t dealt.

      They could use finding a top 25 pitcher in the league (maybe Dickey can really still be that?), but that’s easier said than done, as we saw over the winter, and I wouldn’t expect it to be through free agency.

      The good news is, Baltimore has demonstrated that you don’t need a rotation full of aces in order to be good, but… it would seem that much of the optimism has to lie in Morrow and Dickey being better, which is better than relying on Drabek and Henderson Alvarez being better, but yes, there’s concern.

      • Thanks for the reply, man.

      • I disagree with your assertion that baltimores rotation isn’t good. tillman, gonalez and chen are very good.

        • furball, please don’t intrude on my qt with Stoeten with your inanities.

        • I disagree with your disagreement. They’ve outpitched their peripherals, high strand rates. Chen has been pretty good when healthy, but Gonzalez is the next-best and ranks 55th in MLB by fWAR. Baseball Reference likes them much better, though, so you could be right and they may just be the types to outpitch their FIPs (I don’t know off the top of my head), but that’s still just two guys who’ve actually been healthy (and again, Chen would have been up there). So… actually… shit. Maybe it’s semantic, but maybe I’m wrong on this one and not giving them enough credit. They’re performing well, that’s for sure.

      • I’ve been wondering if Johnson is gone as a result of walking with no QO – they just decide to invest the $14-ish million on something else. I can’t really see him turning down a QO?

        This is dumb of me, but I’m actually hoping getting laid by Kara Lang has returned Romero to his Ms. America level.

        For April/May 2014, I’m worried all of Stroman, Hutchison, Drabek, and Nolin would basically be #5s anyway, not saviors the way a good Dickey or Morrow or Romero would be. Sanchez can’t be a savior until at least July next year.

        As to your point about Baltimore – this is something I agree with. The Jays could be like that, rather than the current Bad New Orioles they are, if they could do better in those 1-run games. Then we could accept that all the aces are pitching like #5s. It’d still be head-scratching, but not hair-pulling.

      • So is this you saying that you don’t think Esmil is gonna stay a viable starter? I would think he is at least a 5th starter.

        • Not necessarily. Just that it could be a bunch of guys pitching like #5 starters again, or no better than #3s, certainly no dominant ace and the bullpen and offense would need to pick up the slack.

        • Esmil will run into his innings limit in about 5 starts – he can’t pitch past mid-August without Villaneuevaing his arm.

          • Dude, stop pulling shit out of your ass, please.

          • @Tim Seriously, dude. You’re too stupid to be commenting here. I know ignorance and self-awareness are mutually exclusive, but go back to the Florida State league.

            • The track records on turning relievers into starters mid-season isn’t great. Given that Rogers wasn’t stretched out at the beginning of the season, he won’t be conditioned to go the rest of the season.

              Rogers won’t be starting beyond the middle of August. Look for the return of someone else to take his place.

        • I think I just forgot about him. He could be OK, too. Hard to gauge at this point.

  49. You’re right. It’s the pitching that’s killing us. The rest is possibly fixable (except JPA) but the starting pitching has been horrible. Either all these guys are having their bad years at once or AA did his best but made a big mistake this last off-season. I’m still Pollyanna enough to think that it’s the former and this is as much of an anomaly as last year’s injurgeddon. So maybe next year will be better all round…

  50. Statue of Ted Rogers should go in front of Rogers campus, where it belongs. Civic-minded Jays fans should try to stop it being put up in front of the stadium, that’ll just be gross.

  51. I’ve been waiting for the injury bug to bypass Toronto for a few years now…..hopefully next year is the year. Injuries suck, even for the other teams.

  52. I mentioned this in the other thread, but we really can’t overstate difficulty of division. The Jays can get back to .500 but they’ll still be a last place team. Fun little run differential by division:

    ALE +171
    ALC +2
    ALW -124

    NLE -120
    NLC +167
    NLW -96

    Two balls-to-the-wall divisions and four pretty bad ones. That isn’t to excuse the Jays’ season away entirely, it’s to point out that the division has come exactly as advertised, and the Jays only needed a few things to go wrong to get completely buried like they have been. This is why I was skeptical coming into the season (skeptical in the sense that I refused to bet on the team, not a totally irrational naysayer); the Johnson and Reyes injuries didn’t come out of the blue, and neither did the Morrow injury, for that matter. But they’re still an above-average team with crazy bounceback potential.

    • Nice stat. But the Jays acquisitions in Burhrle, Johnson, and Dickey on paper should have save the team about 2/3rds of a run per game which would have added about 60 runs to the Jays total thus far.

      Cabrera was a gamble – after getting banned for half a season, we knew that we weren’t sure what numbers he was going to post. But we expected a .300+ OBP from Bonifacio with plenty of stolen bases, and we expected good numbers from Izturis too (he is getting better).

      Reyes being out was unexpected because we all thought turf would be the issue, not a bad slide into 2nd.

      Add in Lawrie’s poor performance (thus far) due to injury. But you have to be happy with Lind thus far and Rasmus too.

      I hope that AA goes conservative at the deadline and just trade away a couple of relievers for a starter or even some prospects. The team has their opening day lineup finally and it will be interesting to see how they come together for the rest of the season.

      And while the Jays have lost alot of close games, the Jays have yet to lose a game when they are leading after 7 innings. The fact that the Jays have been able to come back late (but not against Tampa) makes the games interesting, at least, even if the Jays turn out on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

      • My point was that a) this injury-riddled mess was always a distinct possibility and something brought up frequently at the time of the Marlins trade and b) even after all of this bullshit, the Jays still rate out as a middle-of-the-pack team. Obviously they should continue to look into adding pitching depth and replacing Johnson’s non-production, but finding some replacement-level players to fill Bonifacio and Arencibia’s black holes of suck and having some guys have comeback years next year would do wonders.

  53. Bets on whether JPA gets dealt at deadline day or end of season? Stoeten, kind of want your input on this as well.

    • I’d put the chances of deadline day at about zero.

      How about a non-tender?

      • At this point, it seems to be the only possible outcome. The home runs are nice, but a position-less player who can’t get on base simply has no value.

      • Yikes!

        • Why? Losing a disgruntled, replacement-level player is no problem at all.

          • Should or will? I’d be a little surprised if he actually got non-tendered or traded, but yeah, they need to be shopping for someone who will nail him to the bench.

          • I still want to believe there is potential for better. Even a bit better would go a long way, either to the Jays or in trade. If there is potential, my yikes is about losing it for nothing. Also wasting all these at bats now.

            • He could possibly come back and hurt them unless he’s dealt a long way away. On the other hand, there’s the face-loss thing for Jays management and the potential he still has. On the down side, the guy has no brains at all. so deal him onr non temder him, meh.

    • End of season seems entirely possible, maybe even likely. I’m not so sure about the trade deadline though. Even if the Jays consider this season lost, they’d still need somebody to replace JP with for the immediate future… and I don’t think Thole or Nickeas are necessarily better options. Then again, JP is absolute shit in every aspect, so even if Thole plays like crap, he’d likely only be a little worse.

      • Hell with a little work Thole will probably get a whole lot better. He already beats JPA in setting the target and blocking balls.

  54. McGowan to the rotation in 2014 if his shoulder/arm don’t explode? Discuss.

  55. Meh. I still like AA. He turned a near-last minor league system into arguably a top five system within two years (though he dismantled it even quicker). I could give a fuck about Johnson, Buerhle, and A Milli-o now but I still say that Miami deal, at the time, seemed great (except for Buerhle, who I thought would be average at best). I supported it then, I’ll support it now.

    The two things I still don’t support — and didn’t support at the time — was the Dickey deal and keeping Arencibia. I remember a LOT of commenters and posters here and elsewhere, including myself, saying the Jays were giving up too much for Dickey, and that Arencibia was shit and should be replaced. I shitted on both then, I shit on both now.

    As for Gibbons… whatever. Almost everybody who knew and remembered Gibbons well said that his biggest strength was relief pitching, and the relief staff has been awesome this year… so I don’t chalk that up to coincidence. I also can’t exactly blame him for injuries, and I have no clue at all if he had any influence on the starting pitching crapping out. So… whatever. Fire him if need be, but I have no fucking clue as to who could replace him and do a better job.

  56. [...] For a temperature check on how it’s going for the Jays right now, we turn to the geniuses at Drunk Jays Fans: [...]

  57. AA has taken a high risk strategy during his tenure here; by his own admission.

    He was forced to “buy low” in the hopes of “building high” because of financial limitations at the time. To go along with this mantra, he has picked players with natural tools and speed, because they seemed far more likely to turn out. Sort of the “anti-Ricciardi”.

    He has continued to target these players with his draft selections, as well, which is also a risky strategy. Unfortunatey, some of the high end international free agents have slipped through our fingers despite this, due to some mitigation of risk–which I don’t understand, given his priority on upside.

    Of course, given how baseball giveth and taketh away, some of these have worked and others have failed miserably. Often, he has had to take considerable risk on injury prone players coming off decent years, or injury risks with nice peripheral stats.

    He has tended to eschew mainstay arguments of defense or offensive approach as quibbling over things which are not central to winning or losing, and he has not hired anyone with a name value to manage (not in the sense of a major head name, although Hale/Farrel were highly thought of assistants).

    Rasmus: worked/although his strike-out rate is still terrible
    Lawrie: Unknown/not worked yet
    Bonifacio: failed
    Dickey (a risk due to his age): failed
    Morrow: failed (he won the trade–but Morrow still has injuries that continue to cloud his potential–)
    Reyes: risk due to injury proneness
    Johnson–injury risk–see Brandon Morrow
    Melky–faied, steroid use reason for cheap deal
    Arencibia–didn’t acquire him but is a classic AA gambit–physical tools (power, strength, athleticism) but low Baseball IQ and emotional issues.

    All the players he received (outside Arencibia, who was here) had major holes due to mental make-up, being strike-out prone, or injury prone (or likely to be, in the case of Morrow, who has diabetes).

    It’s great that Edwin and JBau turned out–but those were really fortunate breaks for the team–they had no idea they’d turn out. I think, to be honest, that if they hadn’t turned out, maybe AA’s long term plan might have borne more fruit than this one, but that is water under the bridge.

    Unfortunately, if he was given the money one year earlier (….just like Ricciardi had to wait) he could have accentuated the roster with Fielder and Darvish–and no one would have complained if it didn’t work–because we’d still have Synndergaard (sp.) and D’Arnaud. to step in.

    Remember: AA could not go out and Ranger/Yankee/Red Sox it up in the free agent market–so most of his deals had to be for pre-paid players at a fixed rate. Given that the teams that originally signed these players were willing to trade them at these rates, it stands to reason that they had weaknesses (long term contracts, injury proneness, steroid use).

    In other words, he was able to buy cheap for a reason.

    It’s not really his fault, as he basically was forced into this stance by the nature of the market here. Girffen says it’s difficult to get anyone to coach here or come here via free agency ,even when they try to pay more–see Beltran, Carlos.

    Given this situation, it’s not really surprising it failed, as it had a high degree of risk.

    • A couple quibbles with your assessments:
      - JPA is a Ricciardi-era draft, so not “a classic AA gambit”
      - Rasmus did start out the year horribly, but his K rate has improved dramatically in the past 2 months. At one time, it was 40%. I’d even say that Rasmus has showed the ability to improve by making adjustments – albeit slowly – and that within the next couple of years, he should be (barring injury) one of the top CF in the game. Look at the numbers and compare him to Adam Jones – he’s in the same league.
      - Melky and Bonifacio: saying they’re failed is certainly true for 2013, but with Melky, I don’t think it’s really dumb to attribute his underperformance to past steroid use rather than having two injured legs all season long. With Bonifacio, sure we expected more, but the Jays knew that he was a long-term project in terms of raw skills that needed development. He’s been a better hitter in past years, so it’s logical to assume that he can’t be as awful next year. Also, moving a guy around the field can have negative consequences on his hitting (remember Edwin). And finally, we need to remember that both Bonifacio and Melky were NL hitters, and adjusting to AL pitching is probably a factor. They were both fastball hitters – Bonifacio way more so – and they’ve done poorly against the breaking ball up here.

  58. Contrast this with the Orioles, for example, who went the more traditional way–

    Remember when everyone laughed at them for trying to sign JJ Hardy/Chen/ et al? Or when they guffawed when they hired a name manager? Or when they re-signed Jones to a big contract? Or cried while bellyaching about how “lucky” they were last year and how it couldn’t last….just like they did with the Rays who are another team that kicks our ass in terms of record (not necessarily head to head) The Rays are less traditional, but they built their team on pitching, OBP and defense–which tends to work pretty good over speed and power as a mainstay.

    Remember when their GM was pitilessly laughed at for actually trying to build a decent team at league average prices? The Orlols? How dare he try? The Orioles were wasting money competing the old way. Why didn’t they blow it all up? But I guess it’s all Machado and Davis, so you can all save face about not knowing it would happen.

    Here’s why–perhaps all those fuddy duddies have a point about competing and culture–just maybe. But hey! You all knew better–oh wait..you didn’t.

    Even the crappy Yankees, using our own castoffs, kicked our ass head to head. You know why? They have a good approach at the plate and they don’t beat themselves (don’t make many errors, play crisply, pitch ok not great and don’t swing at every f*king pitch they see).

    AA has to start targeting REAL stars, at REAL prices, not bargain basement injury prone past their prime pseudo stars.

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