Think you can– think you can– think you can bench press a Scion?

Jays In Montreal tickets are on sale! Or… pre-sale. Or, whatever. You should probably go. I suspect some kind of DJF meet-up would be in order– or the Monkey Army could just tag along with all the big plans Jonah Keri is making, which he tweets is totally cool, as is joining his crew in section 117 for the Saturday game.

Interesting stuff from late last week at the Toronto Star, as Morgan Campbell takes a look at the state of the Jays as a business entity, and how they fit into Rogers’ overall strategy. Always interesting stuff.

Elsewhere in the Star, Richard Griffin (rightly) says that the Jose Bautista trade stuff we’ve heard invented by bored reporters in recent months doesn’t make sense, while in his new Bullpen post, Griff wonders how much the Jays will need to spend in 2014 in order to compete, among other goodies. Meanwhile, Brendan Kennedy tells the story of young Haitian ballplayer Wilson Izadore, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Rogers Centre on Sunday, and speaks to Buck Showalter as he explores what the Jays might be able to learn from Baltimore. Money quote from the Orioles’ skip: “Your momentum, your attitude and your culture, a lot of the time, is driven by your starting pitcher that day.” So can we stop with the “winning culture” bullshit now, please, everyone?

In the Toronto Sun, despite the silliness about apologizing to umpires (and… OK, a bunch of others), Bob Elliott puts together a solid wish list for the 2014 Jays.

In a great one from last week, John Lott of the National Post talks to Mark Buehrle about reuniting with his family– and, of course, his dogs– after the season, and the difficulty of being away over the course of the season.

Also from the Post, mostly in the guise of game stories, Lott talks about J.A. Happ’s struggle to gain confidence and respect, as well as Buehrle’s push towards 200 innings.

Scott MacArthur of TSN.ca talks to Casey Janssen, who– despite some shaky outings of late, and a poor season overall from his club– has thrived in 2013.

Asking the question that’s on nobody’s mind, Bluebird Banter wonders if the Jays should take a shot at just-released ex-Pirate James McDonald. Big game James! (Seriously, though, why the hell not?)

At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at some (somewhat dubious) defensive analytics in a search for the Jays’ weak spots, and talks about R.A. Dickey, whose evolution– especially at home– is vital to the Jays’ success going forward. Meanwhile, Ben Nicholson-Smith, in a notebook post, looks at Adam Lind’s strong recent play, and Mike Wilner relays a great story to remind us that baseball is great, no matter what the results are.

Bernie Pleskoff of MLB.com profiles Kevin Pillar, who he likes enough to say is an “ideal fourth outfielder” in the worst case scenario.

Not to be outdone by Richard Griffin and the Griff Bag I’ll probably have hijacked by tomorrow morning, Gregor Chisholm answers reader questions in his latest Inbox post at BlueJays.com.

Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Evan Peaslee talks about Roberto Alomar’s excitement for the upcoming Canadian amateur tournament the club is going to host, while in a notebook post, he tells us about Adam Lind’s 20th home run of the year, and notes that Brett Lawrie looks good hitting in the two-spot for the club, according to John Gibbons. And Gregor tells us that J.P. Arencibia has been named the Jays’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente award, based on his charitable work and contributions to the community.

In the Globe and Mail, Tom Maloney writes about Moises Sierra’s struggles with the fundamentals, while story from the AP notes the retirement of one-time Jays farmhand (you know, in 2012!) Vladimir Guerrero.

MLBTR polls its readers to ask whether Josh Johnson should receive a qualifying offer from the Jays, and some people even said yes!

Further to a point made earlier, at Getting Blanked, Drew notes that the Red Sox are not where they are because of John Farrell’s magical abilities as either a manager, a spirit animal, or a breeder of winning culture. It’s because they’re talented.

Lastly, not Jays-related, or even baseball related, but… Joy Division and New Order bass player wearing a Windsor Spitfires shirt? Weird.

Comments (38)

  1. Welcome to you’re “Duce”

  2. Re: James MacDonald, apparently his FB velocity is down a few mph, avging around 90. Not really interested in underperforming pitchers with declining velocity.

    • Weighted balls! Seriously though, I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get him on a minor league deal or something.

  3. There’s a clear line between entertainment and advertising, and you’ve bloody well crossed it.

  4. Offering Johnson a qualifying offer isn’t completely indefensible is it? I get that given his year it is a complete overpay, but if that money is in the budget, who else are you going to give it to? I would rather a gamble on Johnson then see a trade of Sanchez and Stroman + others for another front line starter, frankly that would leave the cupboards completely bare for years. And as for directing that money towards upgrading 2nd or catcher, aside from McCann and Cano, who are not coming, who are you going to give that money to? There are not great options on the FA market at either position. So I’d rather gamble on Johnson’s upside (still had alright peripherals suggesting he might be able to bounce back) then risk making a 2014 version of the Dickey trade. If Johnson sucks again by May, swallow it and give the starts to the best of Drabek/Hutch/Stroman/Nolin and move on.

    • Good points. To play devils advocate, I think one of the counter arguments is that, if Rogers isn’t willing to add much more on the payroll, then that 14 mil could be better used elsewhere.

      • True, and there is certainly a valid argument there. My point is simply that I do not think tendering a contract is as laughable as some might suggest either. If AA’s priority is once again to address the rotation, then adding better than a 4th or 5th starter, which he could likely already get out of Drabek/Hutch/Stroman et al., is going to cost you at least as much. And Johnson still has the potential of being much better than a 5th starter. It is a gamble, sure. But depending on what AA anticipates being available, it might not be a bad one.

    • Bang on.

      • @Stoeten.

        If AA has 14 million to spend whether or not it’s the last 14 million, can’t he do better upgrading other positions or get a half decent pitcher somewhere.

        If AA spends 14 million on Johnson & he gets hurt next year, or pitches nearly as poorly as he did this year, that would be pretty bad for AA going forward.

        I can’t see AA risking 14 million on Josh Johnson for 1 year. 2 years for 14 million would be more justifiable.

    • Exactly. Johnson is worth the risk.

      • I agree. He will have had a season’s worth of AL East experience and I think that’s worth taking a punt on him rather than some other ace pitcher from another division who has started against the Sox and Yankees and Rays maybe twice in a year.

    • Dimes. Nailed. It.

    • Offering Johnson a Qualifying Offer is like knowingly kissing a girl with a mustache. It’s just wrong.

      • As opposed to unknowingly kissing a girl with a moustache? What didn’t you know: that you kissed her, she had a moustache or she was a girl?

      • But she could always shave the mustache and look smokin’ hot

  5. Elliot is spot on regarding moving the outfield walls back and (to a lesser extent) the in-the-action section closer to home plate. I just think with the dome being so hitter friendly, the Jays lose the power hitting advantage their lineup has over most other teams when playing at home.

    If it can be done–without moving the bullpens into foul territory–it should be considered. Maybe even raise the left and right field corners to the height of the 100 level outfield concrete facing?

  6. Put the money you expected to have to give Johnson next year towards Tanaka and Abreu. Pick up Linds option then trade him to the rangers. Hell sign guerero to play 2nd while we are at it

    • Meh

    • I want to see the Jays spend money instead of prospects. As we’ve seen this year the prospects are best served as depth until they force your hand. When was the last time that’s happened? Or when was the last time injuries occurred and they had an adequate replacement come from the minors?

      Spend money and keep the young talent

    • @matty.

      Lind hits very well at Arlington. I am sure he would love it there. Who could the Jays get for Lind from the Rangers?

      • Lind kills it in Arlington. I’m sure they are aware of this but sss. I’d take the 7mm saved and the roster spot for Abreu. Or a Jansen, lind for kinsler. But kinsler kinda sucks.

  7. I am really beginning to love the whole ‘spirit animal’ cliche…..fucking fine Stoeten…

    Lqtm…spirit animal….lqtm

    • Dude, I bought a place in Errington!

      • You did? Whoa, you are like…my neighbour man.

        Id say we have to get together for a session while enjoying some terrible Blue Jays baseball.

        I have been looking at a few acreages out there myself.

        What road are you on? Have you actually moved yet?

  8. http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4689239-74/pirates-defensive-season#axzz2f4BnFVMH

    Two things:1) I wish the Jays would be bold enough to implement these types of progressive, organizational-wide changes. 2) Maybe they are and none of the big sports columnists can even come close to providing the analysis Travis Sawchik did here.

  9. I don’t give a shit if they spend the money on Johnson or not because its not my money, but I think people are getting their hopes up if they expect him to do well.

    • There IS a budget. Whether they say so or not. So if they spend their money foolishly, then it will be a shittier team. Do you not care about a shittier team?
      Likewise, do you think having a huge team payroll and cost of tickets are in any way correlated?

      • Payroll and ticket prices aren’t as closely related as you think. Popularity and ticket prices are closely related. Team success and ticket prices are closely related.

        If a team has a high payroll but sucks, and fans stop showing up, do ticket prices stay sky high? Not likely. Look at the White Sox as an example. Higher payroll than the Jays, terrible team, poor attendance, reasonable ticket prices.

        Ticket prices rise primarily as a result of greater ticket demand.

        • You’re right essentially. A couple of things to note though: ever-increasing payrolls throughout the years does lead to higher ticket prices, quite likely. paying mediocre players a big contract is the major driving force in increasing payrolls i have heard (superstars will always get big bucks).
          do ticket prices ever go down? this is a serious question. did the white sox reduce their prices?

  10. Good for Showalter. He is exactly right.

    Your team has 3 hits, no runs scored, and it is the end of 5 innings:

    If your starter is throwing a 1-hit shutout, you feel good and know that you’ll eventually get that 1 run you need.

    If your starter has given up 2 runs, you despair and are sure your team can’t possibly win..

  11. http://deadspin.com/an-astros-game-had-just-1-000-tv-viewers-1333179616

    It was a home game, so you can probably add about 40,000 in attendance to get the total viewership…right?

    You can sort of understand why Rogers is so pleased drawing 500k a night out of a horribly underachieving Jays team.

  12. +1 on stopping the winning culture bullshit. baseball is not the same as hockey or football.

    • Baseball is barely a team game. Its a bunch of individual match ups with results based on individual performances. There just happens to be 9 men on the field. Football and hockey require cooperation from teammates to succeed, not so in baseball.

  13. Hey, you’re the goto extrep. Thanks for hanging out here.

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