It’s been a great day for baseball so far, and it isn’t over yet. Even the Jays, who once trailed Tampa 7-0, brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh (don’t ask), meaning that the Rays remain hardly safe to get through to the Wild Card play-in game, or whatever tiebreaker may be necessary to determine who does. Meanwhile, the Rangers are down early, the Clevelands are up, and the Brewers– who would secure the Jays a protected pick with a win– lead the Mets 2-1 late (note: not anymore).

And there are great stories on the individual front, too, as the image above comes from Miami, where ex-Jay Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter against the Tigers– which ended on a wild pitch, as the Marlins scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, the bases loaded, and Alvarez himself on deck.

And here in Toronto, of course, there’s Darren Oliver, who ended his career with a 1-2-3 inning, with a pair of strikeouts, one of which was to his last batter, Evan Longoria, who was frozen on a curveball for a called third strike. Not many better hitters in the game to do that to while ending a terrific career.

Baseball’s pretty damn cool sometimes, even if… yeah, as far as that whole winning-run-to-the-plate thing goes, don’t ask. Seriously. If you were looking for season-ending wistfulness, here you have it. I won’t even complain about the Rays demonstrating right in the Jays’ faces why it’s absurd that our team moved away from defensive shifts this year. Well… not too much.


The Jays just missed a huge opportunity with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, with Moises Sierra striking out to Fernando Rodney ending the threat. But they’re within a run with three outs left– a run that would put a huge dent in the Rays’ playoff chances.

It would be delicious to knock Tampa out. Or maybe that’s just how I think, since, as much as they’re more likeable than other division rivals on account of their plucky upstart-ness, any time we can see the Joe-Maddon-is-a-magician narrative blown apart a little bit, I’m for it. However, the Mets have beaten the Brewers, meaning that a Jays win gives them the unprotected 12th pick in next June’s draft. A loss and they get the 9th pick– which they wouldn’t lose if they end up signing a free agent who was given the $14-million qualifying offer by his former club and rejected it.

What to hope for… what to hope for…


And it’s over! Fernando Rodney, somehow, hangs on through his second inning of work, and the Jays lose.

With the Mets win, that means the Jays, Mets and Brewers all end the season with records of 74-88. That leaves the Jays with at least the 9th pick in next June’s draft. Theoretically they could leapfrog Philadelphia as well– the Jays hold the tiebreaker with all three teams by virtue of the fact that they had a worse record in 2012– but the Phillies are currently down five runs in Atlanta in the bottom of the seventh, and likely to stay ahead of the Jays in the reverse standings.

The Rockies could finish with the same record as the Jays, Mets and Brewers as well, but they were the worst of the bunch in 2012, so they’d still have the best pick of the group, even if they beat the Dodgers this afternoon.

So the Jays– if MLBTR is correct about the compensation pick for not signing Bickford being protected is correct (and I have no reason to think that it isn’t, even though that’s not what I originally thought was the case)– would lose a second round pick, and a whole lot less draft bonus pool money, if they sign a compensation-requiring free agent this winter. Not that I really expect them to, but at least it’s not a much more realistic option– even if it means a loss today, and the legend of Joe Maddon growing stronger.

Hey, and the J.P. Arencibia era is, almost assuredly, mercifully, finally over. So that’s pretty OK, too.

Comments (76)

  1. If AA doesn’t get rid of JP he should be fired no?

    • Nope.

      Arencibia needs to be gone, it’s true; but there’s not a whole lot of options out there. If AA can’t do better than Blanco or Suzuki, I’d rather see Arencibia back, as sad as that would be.

    • The consistency and thoroughness of your stupidity is what’s most impressive. You’re the Joey Votto of sub-morons.

    • If he doesn’t then it proves that JPA has pictures of AA in a VERY compromising position.

  2. Been out all afternoon. Nice to come home to the guys coming back from behind a little bit.

  3. Win choice # 12, lose we get # 8.

  4. Hello Santana or Jiminez……

  5. Well that was entertaining although I would have traded a protected pick for a sweep and not have to watch that idiot shoot his make believe arrow in the air.

  6. It will all be worthwhile when AA fails to sign the eighth choice overall next year and the arguments for/ against stretch on for eternity…….

    • @True North..
      +1. It’s frustrating when AA is unable to sign the top pick. I think they get a replacement pick the next year but it delays the development process of the players.

      • Not if you end up drafting an older player anyway. And if it is a better draft year as everyone keeps saying, I’ll wait for a better player. Look how young Harper and Trout are. Talent matters more than age.

  7. Great updates connecting the dots on the draft picks, Andrew.

  8. The ending of the Alvarez game was great.

  9. with ya on the JP era…it was hard to watch

  10. John Maddon getting himself tossed late in the game, was planned, and masterful.

    He was trying to motivate his players to get through this last game as they were losing a 7 run lead, and in my mind, that was a work of art. Lind hit into a double play. That’s smart managing. He planned it.

  11. If Jp isn’t gone I’m not watching next year

  12. I’d still take his as a pinch hitter with pop. He’s still cheap right now.

  13. How is next year’s draft class looking? Can’t find too much on the powers of Google.

  14. Maddon getting tossed certainly seemed to fire his lads up, but the real story was the Escobar shift on Lind. Tampa pays a lot more attention to fielding position than most teams and it benefitted them quite nicely on the play in question.

    • @True North

      +1. Hopefully the Jays can use the shift more in 2014. Butterfield must have left an instruction manual with the Jays when he left for Boston.

  15. So, we pick #9 next year. And #11. Not bad.

  16. Hopefully we pick like #30 next year. :)

  17. 0.194

    Jape is the Ricky Romero of position players. To get the same value, I’d suggest that Jiminez would have to hit about 0.165. I think he’s up to the task…


  18. Looks like we’re gonna get three ‘win or go home’ games in the next three days.

  19. Can’t wait to see a major overhaul of this team, maybe some coaching changes as well. As much as been made here of trading Hose A Bautista being a stupid move, I wouldn’t be too sad to see a Hose A and Erin Cibia-less lineup next year…

  20. Moving forward, apart from JPA who really really has to go for his own sake as well as ours, I’d like to see the end of Luis Rivera at 3rd base I’d like to see Rajai Davis back here if possible. I’d like to see Izturis on the bench. I’d like to get a decent outfielder. So far on a small sample size I can live with Goins at 2nd base and Gose in the outfield. Gose is a plus defender and so is Goins. On the whole, with the emergence of Santos and Esmil Rogers and Hut Hinson and Drabek due back,, if we can get one new arm and an experienced catcher–and I know they are thin on the ground–the team might do OK.

    It always pisses me off when I see our rejects doing well elsewhere. This year it was Boni. But playing in the AL East and facing that calibre of pitcher day after day, when you go to the Central or the NL it must feel like a vacation!

    • I agree with Rivera and JPA going. Can handle Goins hitting at the bottom of our lineup. Izturis on bench is prime. Not sure why we need more OF with you slotting Gose in there.

      I like idea of Gose in CF. Trade Colby unless you can lock him up cheap, then find room for him.

      Use Colby to get another starter or catcher.

      Hard to believe we had Yan Gomes and literally, just gave him away.

      And TDA…gone.

      AJ!!! Where are you??? Are you ready yet???

    • Oh ya, who is Hut Hinson.

  21. A new catcher, two starters, one outfielder and I’m fine with Goins at second base if it means the team can afford those upgrades

  22. I just want to say that I am thankful this team didn’t blow losing the protected pick although I would have preferred picking 7th considering how shitty this season went.

  23. Needs in order of importance IMHO:

    LF and 2B you could write off the offensive production and hope for a defense first approach that gets some sacrifices down in key situations. With Cabrera due back and Gose & Sierra around. I don’t see the Jays needing to invest significantly here.

    on the other hand the shitastic display we have seen behind and throwing to the plate needs to be upgraded. Challenge is both of these will require cleaning out the cupboard of what we have left in the minors and considering our depth is in the low minors and we missed out on a first rounder in 2 of the last 3 years. I can’t see us wanting to go and give up the rest of the cupboard. Especially with our injury history. We will need the likes of Stroman, Nolin, Drabek and Hutchinson for 2014 depth. But if you trade 2 of them and think that Romero, Rogers and Redmond can be equivalent depth in a hopefully short term assignment, then you probably do it.
    C you have a back up who is playing FT. He’s probably fine if he is playing 65-72 games. So you need to find a platoon partner who will play 90-95.
    All this talk of Salty/ McCann is fun, but not what is needed.

  24. I am glad the season is over. It was very frustrating watching bad baseball with little regard of executing the basic skills. I am happy to see Lawrie improve as the season went on. I hope next year he keeps improving his hitting and his maturity. Keeping Derosa is a must as well. Goins showed me a lot. He showed that he can play a solid 2B and end innings by starting double plays. Edwin must be at first. If someone asks about Rasmus or Bautista for trades, I would listen. Bautista really dropped the ball this season. I don’t see him as the leader of this team anymore. I see Reyes becoming the energy next year

    JPA cost this team 20 wins. He must go. Shit attitude, shitty skills and dumb. See yeah.

    Gibbons next year during spring training needs to prepare better with this group. Pitchers need to be going 7 in April or the pen will be taxed. Also work on infield and hitting the cut off. If they have a slow start, fire his ass.

  25. I believe the Jays would be retarded to get rid of Jose or EE. In case anyone wasn’t around at the start of the year our starting pitching sucked. There were a few games when Johnston pitched well and had no run support but there was more games when he just shit the bed.
    The big bats weren’t as consistent as I would have liked but who the heck are we going to replace either one of those guys with.
    I think the Jays have to ask themselves if they can afford not to get McCann in the off season. I would love to see that fireball in a Jays uniform. I still don’t have a feel good on any pitcher out there right now but than what the hell do I know.

  26. Rivera *really* needs to go. After Butterfield’s good and creative coaching at 3rd, he was neither good nor creative. I expect and hope for a coaching shake-up. I’ll be surprised if he’s out there next year. Gibbons really needs to implement defensive shifts. And the team needs to drill, drill and drill some more. They showed an appalling lack of fundamentals this year. If they get out-pitched or out-hit that’s one thing. But booting the ball and lousy defence cost them a bunch of games this year.

    • @Isabella

      +1. We need more shifts.

      Better defense. The clubhouse spring training has to end after this year.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed Butterfield’s absence.

      I’d say he has a good shot at managing a team next year. Especially if Boston wins it all.

  27. I was at 8 games this season, including today’s. All 8 were losses. Yes today was exciting at times, but apparently being able to see my team win even once was apparently too much to ask.

    Same as always, here’s to next year!!

  28. AA has to do sooooo much this offseason. starting pitcher, starting 2b, starting c, another of. Jeez, thats a long list and he cant just do it all through trades which he prefers. They will have to sign some FAs. As I mentioned, a nice FA target would be infante. He is not a world beater but can put up a decent obp and improve the dreadful bottom of the lineup. For catcher and starting pitching they will very likely have to trade unless AA has his sights set on garza. Going to be another very busy offseason fixing this clusterfuck.

    • I also think Infante should be a target. He’s been worth about 2-3 WAR pretty consistently for the last few years. As Boston has shown this year. Two or three underwhelming FA signings can be pretty effective, especially as you’re moving from below replacement level to more like an average player.

      For this reason, I also hope AA can sign Ruiz for catcher. Philly will probably resign him, but if not…

  29. It would be easy to point out that Alvarez’s 3.94 ERA would have been the lowest of any of our starters this season (and ditto for his FIP and xFIP).

    But if Alvarez had been pitching against the AL East, in the ballparks of the AL East, I imagine that would have been a different story. Note that Alvarez only posted a 5.09 K/9, meaning he still can’t strike anyone out; he just lucked out on an insane 2.8% HR/FB rate, something that I’m sure would have been different in the Rogers Centre, or Yankee Stadium for that matter.

    • Yes, it’s all luck that we trade away usefulness and import garbage. All luck.

      • Did I say anywhere it was “‘all luck?”

        No, I said that, given the baseline stats Alvarez put up, he could not have pulled that ERA off in the AL East.

        • I think you’re totally right, but he was pretty decent when he came back, and he’s 23.

          He only needs a K and a half per inning more to start to look really good.

          Anyways, sorry to come off as an ass.

  30. Fuck you Bud Selig. Seriously, a Cleveland Racist’s 10 Game win streak to end the year and plus the Bucs going 4-6 against the Reds to win their respective Wild Cards and advance to the Division Series wasn’t exciting enough. Gotta love that both those teams played like a Boss down the stretch but could both lose a “coin flip” of a game and not get to the ALDS/NLCS.

    • yet, at the same time, we get three straight days of win or go home baseball. that is entertainment, unless your team’s in them. Man I wish our team was in them.

  31. AA’s last chance before he gets to sell used cars for the rest of his life.

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