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?