It’s been a week since the last Duce, so this’ll be a big one. We’re real… uh… bunged up with content.
“Observers expect the Jays to seek ownership’s approval on a payroll increase of $20-million to $25-million – up from about $127.8-million (U.S.) this year,” writes Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail in an interesting piece exploring the Jays’ relationship with Rogers shareholders.
Marc Hulet of FanGraphs gives us a minor review of the Jays’ system in 2013, and… uh… it’s about as confidence inspiring as the big league club has been. He doesn’t buy Dan Norris’s apparent turnaround, slays the club for not signing their top draft pick (even though they get it back in a deeper draft next year), and points to Todd Redmond as the system’s key graduate. Franklin Barreto, though!
Scott MacArthur has a Q&A with Pete Walker up at TSN.ca, and among a number of interest things he has to say, he suggests that R.A. Dickey had “some things that he was tipping early on.” Batting practice game against Boston ring a bell, anyone?
Great stuff from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, who tells us about two seemingly unlikely best friends on the Jays: competing centre fielders Colby Rasmus and Anthony Gose.
Elsewhere in the Sun, Elliott tells us of the departure from the organization of Tom Burns, a respected long-time scout who recently left the Jays for the Padres, reportedly upset at how scouts have been treated since Brian Parker took over as scouting director last year, and also with the fact that he’d been moved from the amateur side to the pro side. He’s the twelfth scout to leave under Parker’s watch– two others left on their own, while nine were fired.
Bruce Arthur of the National Post talks to Alex Anthopoulos, who acknowledges feelings of guilt over how poorly the team has played this season, and interestingly tells us that while “it feels like there are so many things to fix,” “Anthopoulos keeps coming back to two things: the pitchers, and the doctors.” Hmmm. Could changes be afoot? Shouldn’t they maybe be? Shi Davidi also tried to look into why the Jays find themselves so often injured in a piece over at Sportsnet.
Elsewhere in the Post, John Lott looks at how the Jays are dealing with the problem of reliever workload.
Back to the Globe, where Tom Maloney looks at the tough task Alex Anthopoulos has ahead of him this winter, while a CP piece tells us that when the Jays head to Montreal in March, the 20th anniversary of the ’94 Expos will be celebrated, as “former manager Felipe Alou has confirmed to The Canadian Press that he and other members of that dominant squad will be at an exhibition game next March at Olympic Stadium.” Cool. Hey, and I still bet Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard will be there too!
Elsewhere still in the Globe, Maloney looks at the turning points of the Jays season. Hey, I think I was at that last one on the list but was too drunk to remember what happened!
In his latest Bullpen post at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin harps on the Jays’ lack of preparation during Spring Training, which… yeah, can’t wait to keep hearing people regurgitate that.
Elsewhere in the Star, Brendan Kennedy catches up with Johnny Mac, who is living the dream and post-season bound with the Red Sox. If they do anything this October, at least there will be McDonald and Brian Butterfield to feel good for.
Elsewhere still in the Star, Kevin McGran talks to John Gibbons, who tries to find some positives in a season of disappointment and discouragement.
And one more from the Star, as Brendan Kennedy looks at why Ricky Romero and Kyle Drabek aren’t starting.
Rob Neyer takes a not-terribly-deep look at the sidearm knuckleball R.A. Dickey has been breaking out of late over at Baseball Nation.
Acta Sports looks at the Baseball Info Solutions data on the slowest players in the league, in terms average time from home to first on potential double play balls, and you’d never guess who finished tied for fourth-last with Yorvit Torrealba: Edwin Encarnacion! The fuck?
A completely not shocking tweet from Mark Simon of ESPN shows that the Jays rank second last in baseball when it comes to turning ground balls and bunts into outs. A second tweet shows them as fifth worst in turning balls up the middle into outs– better than the playoff-bound and almost-bound A’s and Royals.
Alex Speier of WEEI looks at the success of the Boston Red Sox, who are having a great year despite being in a “bridge” year, with the homegrown core of the next great Red Sox run getting closer to being regular big league contributors.
An interesting and worthwhile post from Dirk Hayhurst on dreams, fitting in, and understanding oneself.
The Jays’ Tournament 12 for the best Canadian amateur players wraps up today, and Gregor Chisholm tells us what it was all about over at BlueJays.com.
I couldn’t let this one from last week slip by: even though it’s about soccer, Richard Whittall’s analytics primer from over at Counter Attack is well worth a read. So do it.
More stuff from theScore, as our news team’s Steph Rogers passed along a tweet from John Lott last week that shows that Edwin Encarnacion’s wrist wasn’t entirely feeling that bad.
Lastly, more from our neck of the woods, as Craig Robinson checks in with his latest infographic for Getting Blanked, taking a look at how often WAR correlates award wins.