Managers aren’t one-size-fits-all, says Drew in today’s URL Weaver at Getting Blanked, and some fit better in certain situations than others. However, “if the manager has worn out his welcome, burned bridges and turned off key parts of the clubhouse, then it time to make a change. But if the the problem is too many bad players with no viable alternatives in sight, it is hard to pin that on the man tasked with filling out the lineup card. Hard and dumb, frankly.” Uh-huh.

Fascinating stuff from Marc Hulet of FanGraphs, who saw the Lansing Lugnuts recently– though he was really out to see 17-year-old Dodgers prospect Julio Urias– and files reports on a few key ones: Kendall Graveman, one of the Jays’ recent no leverage college senior picks, in whom he sees a 4/5 starter upside; Dalton Pompey, a Canadian sleeper still headed in the right direction; Santiago Nessy, who many like but Hulet thinks will need big adjustments to advance beyond Double- or Triple-A; and others. Read it.

Great stuff from last week at Gamereax, as Chris Toman takes an in-depth look into Brett Lawrie’s embrace of the need for change. Mop Up Duty has some fancy heat maps that show the differences between Lawrie pre- and post-DL as well, which are worth a look as well.

Richard Griffin isn’t about to let his Toronto Star colleague Damien Cox get all the troll pageviews for having a silly piece about John Gibbons, so he insists today that AA’s words yesterday don’t mean much, and that “it will be ultimately up to ownership to determine whether John Gibbons is the 2014 manager.” Right. Anthopoulos gets skewered for being a flip flopper if he goes back on this, and skewered for scapegoating Gibbons. That creates a nasty little perception situation for Rogers if they do, so… I’m not buying it. I’m not buying that Alex went rogue and didn’t discuss this with, at the very least, Beeston before going to the media with the vote of confidence, either.

Elsewhere in the Star, Don Cherry– a man renowned for his understanding of both foreign cultures and relatability to modern millionaire athletes– says that the Jays need to stop clowning around in the dugout when they’re losing. Funeral dirges for all!

Elsewhere still, earlier in the week Griff posted his latest Bullpen post, in which he speaks at length to Jose Bautista, reacts to last week’s John Farrell statements, and more!

In the Globe and Mail, Jeff Blair gets somewhat ominous, looking at the lack of easy fixes on the horizon for the Jays, and stating that “this rot has been two years, two different managers and two different coaching staffs in the making. It’s time to find the common threads to a multiyear mess, as opposed to simply appeasing the chattering classes.”

In another piece for the Globe, Blair talks R.A. Dickey, keying in for the knuckleballer’s search for success in his new home ballpark.

Outstanding stuff from John Lott of the National Post, as he tells us about Mariano Rivera’s venture into a Rogers Centre boardroom as part of his farewell tour, in this, the legendary reliever’s final season.

Elsewhere in the post, Lott takes a look at Ryan Goins, whose first impression at the big league level has been a good one– not just with fans but with teammates, too.

Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet recaps John Gibbons’ appearance on Jeff Blair’s Fan 590 show, noting that the manager says he’s “disgusted” with the results of this season so far. As, y’know, we all are.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, we have Michael Grange, prior to yesterday’s kiss of death, suggesting that firing Gibbons wouldn’t accomplish much, while Shi Davidi reviews yesterday’s Anthopoulos scrum and reminds us that it has been injuries, not John Gibbons, that have sunk the 2013 season.

Elsewhere still, Davidi writes about Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman– two key pitchers at Double-A for the Jays, who the club tells him won’t be rushed.

Stroman, however, will be rushed at one point… to the Arizona Fall League. See what I did there? Gregor Chisholm writes about it at BlueJays.com, noting that Stroman, Nolin, Aaron Sanchez, and A.J. Jimenez– as well as others– will be in the AFL. Get me a ticket to Arizona! Or… let’s maybe wait to see if the Jays stick with the plan– Stroman, Nolin and Jimenez are on the club’s 40-man roster, and could still see action in the Majors as September call-ups.

At Grantland, Jonah Keri writes about Japan’s next big thing: Masahiro Tanaka, who Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker says “is not quite as good as Darvish. But he’s got better stuff than Iwakuma and a harder fastball than Kuroda, with a similar splitter and slider. Except he’s younger than those guys.” Once again, there’s a way to get a very nice rotation piece without having to worry about the player being lured by more desirable locales, lower taxes, more forgiving stadiums, or whatever else. Just gotta bid the highest. Do it, Rogers.

Or do this: via MLBTR, in a recent Boston Globe piece, Nick Cafardo writes that A.J. Burnett (no, really) “could be a candidate to stay in Pittsburgh. The veteran has even hinted about retirement, but it’s hard to imagine a big, long-term deal for him out there in free agency. The Blue Jays, who are in need of a revamped starting rotation, could try to lure him back for the short term, since Toronto is where Burnett had some success and felt comfortable, but he may stay in Pittsburgh for the remainder of his career.” Do it, Alex, A.J., everybody. Seriously. Short commitment, durable pitcher, hilarity ensuing? Do it. (Won’t happen though, but seriously… do it.)

Lastly, at Sportsnet, Dirk Hayhurst makes a pitch for the Jays to go after Justin Morneau (mostly just to placate the maple dicks who have yet to noticed that he’s no better than Adam Lind). For this to ever be a thing, you’d have to pay one platoon DH $2-million to go away, instead of picking up the extra $5-million his option costs you, then you pay Morneau whatever he commands, and then voila! You have a guy who has posted a 101 wRC+ this year (Lind’s is 124), a 122 against right-handers (Lind is at 144), and a 131 and 124 over two- and three-year samples against right-handers (Lind: 132 and 121). Hey, but at least he would have the right passport, eh?

Comments (49)

  1. When I read that about AJ Burnett I had the same reaction. Would be double the ridiculous if Doc comes back too.

  2. I think we saw last off season that when AA and Rogers are in a ‘win now’, ‘willing to spend’ mode, they can be creative and make things happen that don’t seem readily apparent beforehand.

    I still think that AA’s plan this offseason was a good one, even though this year has been a bust. If Johnson and Morrow are their 2012 selves, this season looks VERY different right now. So, I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing what he can do this offseason. Not expecting it to be nearly as dramatic, of course.

  3. seriously…do it…

  4. Beyond someone’s passport being a pretty stupid reason to acquire somebody, I don’t remember people giving Brett Lawrie a ton of rope earlier this season when he was struggling.

  5. AJ was under Gibby right?

  6. Not entirely big news, as we all probably expected it to come sooner or later. But Johnson out for the rest of the season:


  7. “So, Toronto’s looking pretty good now, isn’t it, with our ample parking, and Daily Duce posts.”


  8. More curious about the post under that one


    I’d be all aboard that train, if Kendrick isn’t a possibility.

    Both the Nats and Jays had really disappointing years, mutual bedfellows could make good trade partners.

    I’d be willing to weather some subpar hitting from Espinosa in exchange for his speed and plus defense at 2b. He should benefit from hitting at the RC too, considering his plus power.

    • he also has some experience playing SS – quality back up in the event Reyes borks his leg on the turf again

      cheap salary – AA would have to deal some pieces, but nothing super substantial – wouldnt kill the payroll as much as Kendrick would

      a switch hitter, falls into play well with the other switch hitters they acquired last yr

      i really like this option to be honest

  9. Lind HAS to be done as a Jay, right? I mean, you can’t take up two spots for DH. I’m not advocating for Morneau, more like Melky or Morales.

    • I could see AA use the option, then flip him later or mid season

      But you’re right, no point in multiple DH’s – Lind’s making 8 mil to be a platoon player and a very terrible 1b – too much money

      • Also, I assume Lind’s salary is budgeted for. So, although, at this point at least, they’d be flushing $2 mil down the toilet for declining the option, they’d be saving $5 mil that could be better spent elsewhere.

  10. A.J. Burnett, durable pitcher. Lol! Talk about paradigm shift!

  11. Are all teams analyst/announcers as bad as the Jays?

    Seriously, Hayhurst, Zaun, Buck and Tabby are all pretty terrible.

    Jack Morris has been a pleasant suprise though.

  12. The Jays really do need to find a way to bolster the starting rotation for next season without further pillaging the remaining prospects in the pool. I’d be all on board for AJ Burnett – even just to have the collective minds of the Toronto media explode in unison.. Still I wonder if the better play might be for Tanaka. He’s not going to be Darvish – but a guy who can keep the ball down in the Rogers Centre is huge. We all know that. He’s young and the Jays could get him for nothing but money.

    • Burnett and Morrow could each pitch half a season!

      • Since 2008 Burnett’s starts made by season are: 34, 33, 33, 32, 31, and so far 24. Next.

        • Of course if we sign him, he’ll find some injury that’ll shut him down for the year. Just kind of luck we seem to have.

          On the other hand if our luck were to regress, Burnett would have a chance to become Cy Young so who knows.

          • Well I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with JJ. This year they paid 13.5 mill for dick. On the other hand AJ Burnett, Like Stoeten says would probably not be a long term but he’s definitely not cheap.

  13. Do it. Just do it. Do it.

  14. While Damien Cox is substantially worse, it’s not as if we’re subjected to his ramblings about baseball every day.

    Meanwhile, the sheer quantity of trolling coming from the mouth and pen of Hayhurst is reaching dizzying heights. What’s next, a column about how Jason Bay should play left in 2014? The RC is a smaller park than Safeco Field….he’ll hit dingers and provide leadership~!!!!!!!

    • I don’t even think Hayhurst believes half the stuff he argues either. I think he just does it to get a rise out of people.

    • Don’t forget that he’ll play with grit too!

    • Cox is still worst.
      Like I said yesterday, dude needs to stick to hockey and tennis.
      He’s really pissing me off lately with his dog-pile-on-the-rabbit trolling.

  15. Does every other item have to be about Gibbons?

    Really, why should anyone give two shits whether the manager stays or goes anyways… most overvalued part of a baseball team is the manager. Since I figure they have to keep paying him regardless of whether he’s fired or kept I guess I’d rather they kept him to save a few bucks and then just not renew his contract if they would rather have someone else hand over the line-up card each game.

    • El oh el

    • Gibbons can only be fired as he gets an extra year added to his contract if he’s employed on Jan. 1st, to avoid any sort of “lame-duck” season. The Jays would either have to hope he retires/resigns in order to save money on him.

      I though, just want to see what tweaks AA can do to see what happens to the team. A lot of underachievers this year, so hopefully *fingers crossed/knock on wood/what’av’ou* everyone gets closer to their norms. That and the injuries go away.

      • That’s a terrible contract structure for the team. I’d never hire someone under those conditions unless the final year was not guarentee’d (AKA I wouldn’t have to pay him in the event of a firing).

  16. Getting hard to read Hayhurst articles. What the fuck has happened to him?


  17. Johnson officially done for the season. Does he get a QO? I’d take a flyer for sure, there’s no chance he turns it down.

  18. Hayhurst’s arrogance & idiocy is astounding. Jack Morris has been surprisingly very very good. Wilner needs to take some basic math classes,& humble it up a bit…saying April & May losses don’t matter seems to be coming back to bite him. Cox is embarrasing himself….if you don’t understand baseball & never did, just quietly stay away from it…there’s no shame in that .

    Is Stroman on the 40 man? For sure?

    • “Hayhurst’s arrogance & idiocy is astounding”

    • Why, because he takes a position that is contrary to your position?

      Yeah, he must be dumb.

      • Takes a position contrary to my own? Don’t recall saying that Gary. Do you just imagine things ? I said his arrogance & idiocy are astounding….perhaps a little reading comprehension in order for you Gary??

        • They’re all paid to give an opinion- especially one that gets a response or “creates a dialogue” *barf*
          At least Hayhurst knows baseball.
          Cox is coming at it from a hockey angle and that shit just doesn’t fly.

        • Oh ok, my bad. I guess when you call someone an idiot that means you agree with him then.

          No, my reading comprehension is just fine. I understand that when someone lashes out at your little Blue Jay world you need to counterattack, not with constructive responses but name calling.

          Hayhurst, Zaun, Tabler, etc are all very accessible around the ballpark and around the city. Walk up to them and keyboard warrior to their face. I suspect you won’t because it’s much more comfortable for your kind to do it from the safety of your room.

          • Gary . . . You should stop with the assumptions . Never said a word about hayhurst attacking blue jay world….never said a word about disagreeing with hayhurst….i actually agree with much, not all, of what he says. What i said was he is arrogant & an idiot. I will add pompous, and extremely unlikable. Why do you have to keep assuming more and adding more? You need to relax and read slower and with more thought.

  19. This might not be the place for this comment but Holy commentor contradictions batman! At the beginging of the season, Morris was “terrible and focused on the wrong kinds of details” and Hayhurst was “insightful and a breath of fresh air”. What happened in 5 months to change your minds?

    Not saying MLB experience is everything but there might be some validity to the insight of a former player who pitched for 17 years, won four World Series’ (significantly contributing to three of them) as opposed to a pitcher who made 25 MLB appearences in 2 seasons and wrote a book about them.

    We shouldnt be so quick to judge. That being said, hopefully Dirk improves as time goes by.

    • That’s not really fair though. You don’t need a hall of fame career to be able to objectively analyze baseball. Joe Maddon and several other mlb managers never played in the bigs, yet here they are.

      • But yes, Jack Morris has been surprisingly solid this year and I prefer him to Tabler in the booth.

        • I do not disagree with you. Im not saying that someone needs hall of fame numbers to contribute to the game/conversation/broadcast, only that a wealth of experience in the game adds value. To your point, Joe Maddon has been involved in baseball for 30 years (either as a minor league player, minor league manager or other jobs within the Angels org before joining TB).

          In all fairness to Dirk, that wealth of experience needs to start somewhere, hopefully people stay patient with him.

    • I’d say the Morris has stayed pretty focused on in-game commentary and not caught up on extra radio/tv appearances that have allowed him to pontificate and provide more thoughts and feelings than just the facts. Hayhurst is in a position where he is expected to have a comment or answers to everything and has obliged, thus resulting in total horseshit when it comes to subjects he doesn’t have an actual answer for. Refusal to say “I don’t know” or “there is no explanation” is usually what leads to verbal diarrhea exiting many an analysts mouth.

  20. Odds the people calling into radio stations say Gibbons is too laid back are the same who called in and said he was a hot head who’d brawl with Lawrie back in February?

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