Daily? Also: This is your Game Threat. What of it?

Sadly (I think), according to Tom Maloney back in last Friday’s Globe and Mail, the Jays’ tenure in Dunedin seems to be nearing an end, as he writes that the club is determined to ditch their long time digs (which frustratingly span two facilities a ten minute drive apart), and sharing a space with the Houston Astros in Palm Beach Gardens, north of Miami on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t go a bit deeper into Mike Harrington’s Buffalo News piece on Jim Negrych that I linked in the Romero post– wherein he somehow tries to cast the wholly expected regression of a career minor leaguer as some kind of response to his not getting called up, and suggests that by repeatedly taking Munenori Kawasaki ahead of him, the Jays “pandered to their Asian fan base in Toronto,” as though anyone from that continent is part of some homogeneous group, and that it wasn’t just fans in general, of all backgrounds, who found Kawasaki so endearing. Um… no.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out that I linked to some great work that would have otherwise shown up here in last night’s Game Threat, as well as in today’s Romero post.

A trio of good ones from Ben Nicholson-Smith at Sportsnet, as he looks at Brett Lawrie’s defence, which we can safely call elite. He also notes a tweet from Marcus Stroman, who says he’s upset at being overlooked for a big league promotion– in a positive way.

Ben also relays some comments from a Sal Fasano radio hit, as the club’s roving catching instructor spoke about the plan for J.P. Arencibia. “We can just get caught doing all of the other things. Media stuff every day. You’re trying to be a good guy, going out to the community,” he said. “The bottom line is if you don’t perform on the field, you’re probably not going to be around. So we have to really get him to buy in to what it’s supposed to be. We have to work hard. We have to work hard on a daily basis and, really, to his credit, he does work.” Uhh… how about that not being around thing?

Speaking of Arencibia, a notebook post from Evan Peaslee of BlueJays.com also looks at some interesting comments from Fasano about the progress Arencibia has made– in addition to telling us about Steve Delabar’s return, and Dustin McGowan’s continued insistence that he’s going to try to make it as a starting pitcher next season. Good luck to him on that. Honestly– no sarcasm.

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, before stoking more fucking nonsense about trading Jose Bautista in the midst of a piece about where the Jays go from here (and, ostensibly, about last weekend’s Royals series), did probably hit the nail on the head in his lede: “J.A. Happ reminded all of us on Sunday why it won’t be a positive sign if he is in the Toronto Blue Jays rotation in 2014.”

A pair from the Toronto Sun, as Ken Fidlin talks to a wiser– and hopefully, y’know, better– Kyle Drabek, while back on Thursday Mike Rutsey got Mark Buehrle to give him an update on his dogs.

From last week, but well worth bringing up– which I haven’t yet– John Lott of the National Post profiles R.A. Dickey, as he shared his story with young victims of abuse.

Elsewhere in the Post, and also from last week, Bruce Arthur takes a tour through the season that was, trying to make sense of all the lost coin flips the Jays seemed to poised to win back in March and April.

Another one from last week that hasn’t lost a hint of its power over the last few days, as Chris Toman of Gamereax writes that Ryan Goins isn’t the answer to the Jays’ problems at second base. I mean… right???

Interesting stuff from FanGraphs, who take a look at the best and worst battery mates at preventing the running game– and, interestingly, J.P. Arencibia appears on each list. He and Mark Buehrle were among the best in 2013. With Josh Johnson, he was among the worst.

Lastly, an infographic from Team Marketing Report showing the price of beer at all the big league stadiums has been making the digital rounds over the last week or so, but Beergraphs seems to think something might be fishy. I concur, but not for the same reasons. My issue is, the list shows the Jays’ average beer price as being 0.52 cents per ounce, which is less than the per ounce price on their domestic tall cans (16 oz * .52 = $8.32), but I’m not sure of the size of their large draught cups, so maybe it’s not so far off– especially with things being murky regarding tax, exchange rate, the difference between American and imperial ounces, etc. Actually, maybe it’s about right. The Jays’ prices are, after all, third highest in baseball, according to the chart. Kudos, Aramark, and kudos to the Jays for letting them gouge us!

Comments (48)

  1. You’re dismissing the pandering to the Asian fan base in favour of pandering to the broader fan base. What about merit – Negrych hasn’t shown himself to be deserving of a promotion over Kawasaki. Kawasaki was called up when they needed a shortstop and he did pretty well. At that time, Negrych was hitting well but they were not going to bring him up to start over Izturis or Bonifacio – even though I can’t see how he would have been worse (I’m sure he could have been, I’m just saying I can’t see how).

    To me it seems he should be complaining about Goins getting the promotion over Negrych, not Kawasaki. But the team needed someone who could play defense.

  2. Seriously move the Jays to the NL West!

  3. Seriously move the Jays to the NL West!

    • I know right? Because it logistically and geographically makes perfect sense. *cough*

      I can’t image them moving anywhere, but if they do, it would likely be the AL Central.

      • What’s more likely? MLB moving the jays to the central, or getting rid of divisions altogether and just having two leagues?

      • What’s more likely? MLB moving the jays to the central, or getting rid of divisions altogether and just having two leagues?

        • Oakland moves to Montreal; Montreal to the East, Toronto to the Central, KC to the West.

          All we need is a French Canadian Billionaire!

          You’re right, it’ll never happen.

  4. Best beer deal is the Bottoms Up guys. $10.50/20 oz gives about the number they quote.

  5. I *really* want rid of JPA. Every starting pitcher we had fell off a cliff this season and the common denominators are turf and JPA. Yeah it’s the AL East and bla bla bla but Buehrle has pitched in the AL before and Dickey and Johnson have a fair amount of interleague experience to at least give them an idea. I think Arencibia has regressed. I don’t think the pitchers trusted him this year to call a good game or catch a wild pitch and they kept on trying to make excellent pitches to counteract the JPA effect and it didn’t turn out well. I don’t believe he was real good for any of them. Also he has a lousy approach at the plate. We need a decent trustworthy experienced catcher who the pitchers will relax with and if we get one I suspect we will all of a sudden start to see the guys we thought we were getting as pitchers.

    • We had a third string catcher on an old team and i know for a fact half of the pitchers wouldn’t throw their splitter or bounce anything with a runner on if he was catching. I know JPA is in the top 1% of humans on the planet in regards to catching, but his comments lead me to believe where he see’s himself as a player and where he actually sits in regards to his peers are worlds apart.

    • Dumb.

    • I have a hard time pinning the pitchers ERA on JP. The pitchers in the bullpen seem to have no problem with him receiving. The problem is Morrow was injured, Dickey underperformed and Happ, Romero,and Johnson just aren’t that good anymore.

      • Yeah but three out of three just ‘not that good anymore’? The pitchers did somewhat better in the second half but I can’t believe they all shat the bed quite that badly without there being some linking factor. Also the back-up catching was weaker last season and the season before. Ricky Romero’s last decent season was when JPA was catching with Jose Molina. I believe the catching has been a much bigger problem than it has been perceived.

    • As much as I can’t stand JPA and would love the Jays to acquire a good defensive catcher like Carlos Ruiz, it’s extremely difficult to know what, if any, effect JPA has had on the pitchers.

      I do think it is an area worth exploring, though.

      It seems plausible that a catcher might have some affect on the pitching staff.

      I mean, a couple of years ago pitch framing wasn’t a (quantified) thing.

      There are plenty of reasons to hate JPA without scapegoating him for the failures of the rotation.

      • It’s not really a question of scapegoating. When a complete rotation fails two years running I think we have to look at external factors because it’s possible that there is some problem that might be having an unforeseen effect and exacerbating a situation. One constant in the equation is the catching. The fact that, three years in, Sal Fasano is trying to drill fundamentals into JPA suggests to me he’s not progressing as well as he might. Also in the past two years the other catchers have been weak as well. And coincidentally our pitching seems to have dropped off a cliff in the past two years. So, yeah, I’d like to see an upgrade–actually a complete house-cleaning–at that position.

    • ok, so what is your plan to replace him? I don’t think there is much out there and we cupboard is kinda bare on our end to offer up in a trade. Also, Buerhle had a bad start, but he is having a pretty good year now.

    • With respect, I don’t think you know what regressed means.

  6. Can they realistically afford to carry TWO backup infielders next season in Goins and Kawasaki?
    And if only one can stay – who should it be??

    Discuss this amongst yourselves.

  7. Stoeten, your link to Nicholson-Smith’s article on Lawrie is broken.

  8. Is that Stoeten they keep showing eating that hot dog?

  9. The beer sucks at Skydome!

    (And ACC for that matter…)

  10. Cool

  11. Sweet. Jeffress looks fantastic out there.

  12. Well that sucked.

  13. Okay, I don’t care who disagrees. Mark Buehrle is amazing at any price. He reminds me of Doc-lite; steady as fuck, guaranteed to go six, and if he’s got his command he will mow motherfuckers down.

    If the Jays are serious about contending in 2014, I would trade Buehrle for full salary relief. I’m not confident that Garza would have a better 2014 in Skydome than Buehrle.

    The only regret I have in 2013 is trading our top prospects for fucking RA fucking Dickey. It’s not even that he’s fucking sucked (which he has). It’s the goddamned fucking excuses; “oh, my back hurts,” “oh, the wind was too strong,” “oh, Venus was in retrograde.” Fuck off!

    We had a solid team after that Marlins trade; we should’ve seen what we had in 2013 and then added or subtracted depending on how the season went. Instead we traded a potential future ace and a potential future allstar at what happens to be our weakest position for a 38 year old with two good seasons under his belt. People are already comparing it to the Bartolo Colon trade. What are we, the fucking Maple Leafs?!?

    Sorry about the rant; I’ve been drinking and watching the 2013 Blue Jays at the same time.

    • Dickey trade hurts the most but he can make up for it with a solid year next season (in my eyes at least).

      • I couldn’t agree more; just referring to 2013.

        • You think this year was bad? Imagine those trades never happened.

          What’s our rotation? Morrow, Romero, Alvarez (out for a few months to begin, so yea), Happ, and then…Cecil????

          So yea, this year couldve REALLY sucked, like, almost houston bad. I want to give it at least next year before I jump off the bridge.

          • Don’t forget hecc would have been our catcher too. Who needs reyes, right?

            • Escobar is a vastly better option at SS with the difference in salary.

              Considering the Marlins traded him shortly after acquiring him, I’m thinking the Marlins trade may very well still have worked if Escobar & Bonifacio had not been included.

              Moving either Escobar or Reyes (preferably Reyes) to 2B would have been a lot better than what we have seen for a similar cost.

              • That’s kind of where I’m coming from. If we’d kept Escobar out of the Marlins trade and signed some sort of stop gap 3/4/5 starter on a one or two year deal (sort of like what the Orioles did) we would have had a team equally likely to contend on paper as this team, but with our prospect powder dry.

                Then AA could have seen what we had this year and adjusted instead of going all in when we had a 3-4 year window. Fuck.

    • so Buerhle is amazing at any price but we should trade him asap? wtf? and, no, no player is amazing at any price.

      we desperately needed starting pitching and AA got starting pitching. Dickey had a bad year, sure, but you don’t get Cy Young pitchers for such a low salary for nothing. quid pro quo. lay off the sauce!

  14. Pandering to the Asian fan base? The guy realizes that the only people who maybe give two shits about Kawasaki’s ethnicity are Japanese people, which is a small minority of the Asian community in Toronto, right?

    Why do people always gotta make it about race?

  15. MLBTR just pegged Syndergaard as the top SP in the minors. Ouch.

    • I keep hanging on to what keith law keeps saying: that he has the results but lack of secondary will hold him back whereas Sanchez is better based on pure stuff. But I don’t know,, symdergaard seems like a very, very good prospect.

      • For years under Keith Law, it was “probably a bullpen arm, no third pitch”

        He gets traded to the Mets, and suddenly “#3 starter, possible ace if the curve develops further”.

        Player development ftw

  16. where is the ‘a bit deeper’ into the Harrington post? do you mean that paragraph is the deeper discussion/analysis/commentary?

  17. tons of AA nuggets from his 590 appearance this morning – should make for a nice off day post

    • most interesting comment IMO was he said Goins was their best defensive 2b since O Dog

      considering he also talked a lot about how shitty their defense has been and how that was a big thing they overlooked in the offseason I am getting the impression that Goins may get a big look in the offseason as being a part of the future of the club

  18. I emailed Mike Harrington, who’s shit-eating profile states some BS about the cold weather in Winnipeg in January freezes flesh instantly.


    We can agree to disagree. Kawasaki’s energy and enthusiasm were so contagious that the Jays are still in last place. For them to need him so desperately — in a year where he’s batting .219 with a .316 on-base percentage and .303 sluggling AND had exactly ZERO extra-base hits in Triple-A — shows how pathetic they’ve been. How fragile are they mentally that Gibby had to call a clubhouse meeting to explain why the BACKUP infielder was getting demoted?

    Come on. As for Negrych, remember I said he DIDN’T deserve a September callup. But you think a guy who hit .394 in spring training and was still hitting .350 in Triple-A in mid-June might be worth a try for a struggling team? No. Let’s just sell a few more tickets to see our mascot-like Japanese player who does the funny YouTube interviews.

    And it’s not even about Negrych. As we’ve seen this month, Goins should have been up — and likely playing ahead of Kawasaki — WEEKS ago. Race talk isn’t prohibited. If it makes you uncomfortable so be it. Ask scouts who’ve come through Buffalo. Ask players in that clubhouse. Ask fans in that stadium what they think. I have. You haven’t.

    Romero is obviously about the money. Doesn’t make it right. Read my thoughts on Romero from Monday here:


    Thanx for your interest in The News.


    Mike Harrington
    Buffalo News Sports Report

    • That’s a pretty poor response. I don’t think anyone’s saying race talk is prohibited, it’s just stupid. There are plenty of reasons Kawasaki should be up ahead of Negrych.

      But no, Kawasaki shouldn’t be up because he has no extra-base hits with the Bisons! I mean… we’ll ignore the 4 doubles, FIVE triples and a homerun with the Jays. And the solid defense. And the working-the-count approach. And the 0.6 fWAR he’s been worth in less than half a season. He’s hear because he’s a Japanese mascot.

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