Ricky Romero and Mike Nickeas have been outrighted off of the Jays’ 40-man roster, according to an annoucement from the club, which comes via a tweet from Brendan Kennedy (and others). Alex Anthopoulos said that he told Ricky this would likely happen, so… nothing to see here.

“Every player on a team has a range of possible performance outcomes. Everyone has a high end, a low end and the most likely outcome in the middle. And if more players are performing toward the top half of that range, and the manager has something to do with that, the manager is absolutely valuable. It’s still players first. You have to have talent to win. But I dismiss that a manager can’t be more than his strategy,” says Red Sox GM Ben Cherington in a Jeff Passan piece at Yahoo! Sports, sort of trying to deify John Farrell. There is, of course, no way to say whether the manager does have something to do with that, but it’s not an unfair statement. Of course, we all know Farrell wasn’t magic here, and the Red Sox sure have been helped by adding Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster, Jake Peavy, Koji Uehara, Stephen Drew, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, a healthier Jacoby Ellsbury, a healthy David Ortiz, a not shitty Buchholz, Lester, and Doubrount, and a breakout from Daniel Nava. So…

How do you spell non-tender? Based on MLBTR‘s look at the Jays’ arbitration eligibles, I’d spell it: “they project $2.8-million for J.P. Arencibia.”

Richard Griffin wrote this week in the Toronto Star that the Jays need to make catching a priority, because a catcher will magically make pitchers better. In doing so, he suggests Alex Anthopoulos is delusional if he thinks, as the GM said, that adding one starter is the place to spend all of his extra payroll– I’d suggest, however, that it’s probably more delusional to take too seriously the words of a GM not looking to tip his hand as the trade market heats up. He also writes this absolute fucking horseshit: “At the Jays’ Sunday presser, Anthopoulos admitted that perhaps they didn’t value defence highly enough when it came to building the 2013 Jays. This coming from a guy that has been GM and an assistant GM with a major-league club since 2003,” adding, “Unbelievable it took this long.” Yes, because the guy who had to have Anthony Gose, aggressively promoted A.J. Jimenez, stuck with Colby Rasmus through two bad seasons at the plate, traded for Yunel Escobar, signed Adeiny Hechavarria out of Cuba, and acquired Jose Molina in the first place (and left him only when it meant a draft pick) just learned in 2013 that defence is a thing. Like, for fuck sakes.

Bluebird Banter picked apart Griff’s ridiculousness from another angle.

Another ridiculous Griff piece came earlier in the week, as he called Henderson Alvarez a “cast-off” (uh… wasn’t he involved in some kind of a trade for a tonne of valuable pieces?), and tried to suggest that the turnarounds this season from Cleveland and Boston had something to do with their managers, and not– y’know– big infusions and improvements in talent. Ugh.

Griff also had a new Bullpen post up this week, where revealed his– surprisingly completely sensible, given what we discussed above– list of five things the Jays need to do this winter, including a nugget about Mark Buehrle, who he says “has spoken to the GM about his respect for the Jays organization and the environment, wondering why it remains one of baseball’s hidden treasures.” Nice!

Elsewhere in the Star, Brendan Kennedy wonders if the Jays’ increased attendance could factor into a payroll increase this winter. I think Rogers would be awfully silly if they didn’t see the cost/benefit of making sure the GM has the resources to make this right. But… y’know, if they didn’t, it wouldn’t be the first time they did something I thought was awfully silly.

At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith talks to Anthony Gose, who says he just wants to take a break from baseball after a long, uneven season– and who also says that he’d embrace being the club’s fourth outfielder “100 percent.” I don’t think more reps would kill him, especially after changes made to his swing– particularly his leg kick– at the end of the season.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at the Jays’ bullpen picture, and says that picking up the option the club holds on Casey Janssen is a no-brainer.

John Lott of the National Post looks at Chad Jenkins, who did everything the Jays asked for this season, and elsewhere he looks at the club’s rotation depth, as they head into 2014.

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail– ol’ Snappy The Turtle– takes an excellent look at some silver linings after this most dispiriting of seasons.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports looks inside the Reds firing of Dusty Baker. Fuck no, the Jays shouldn’t hire him.

Mop Up Duty wonders about the Jays’ poor record against the AL East so far during the Anthopoulos era. Uh… if they were a better team, I suspect the record would change.

FanGraphs has started rolling out their Contract Crowdsourcing feature for this year, and have one up on Adam Lind. Go take the survey!

The Toronto Sun passes on a feed story that quotes Magic Johnson referring to Robinson Cano (though not by name), saying that he “is going to be paid. No by us, but he’s getting paid.”

A couple Jays-related tidbits in yesterday’s Keith Law’s chat at ESPN.com (we clearly need a new catcher, and Noah Syndergaard is very good, but “he’s not Verlander or Harvey”), but the one that stuck out to me was this one that’ll sure deflate a few maple dicks: asked whether the Jays would be in position to draft Canadian prospect Gareth Morgan– who one coach actually suggested to BlueJays.com could be the first overall pick if he really puts together a great spring (uh… Rodon much?)– KLaw replied, “A hundred percent since he’s not that good of a prospect and every team should get a couple of shots to draft him. Note, however, that, contrary to popular belief, the Blue Jays do not receive bonus runs for employing Canadian players.”

Lastly, yesterday we got the band back together, as Drew, Scott, Parkes and I got together and recorded a Getting Blanked Podcast– a playoff preview-ish on the eve of the non-play-in playoffs beginning. Do listen.

Comments (114)

  1. Bastard red sox

  2. If Jp is tendered a contract this team can’t be taken seriously

    • They’ll tender him. I think AA gives him a multi-year contract to bring the price down. 2 years at $2M/year would be my guess. This team is about marketing, not winning, and JPA brings the former.

      • Jesus Christ that’s so dumb I don’t even know where to start. Not necessarily the tendering JPA stuff (although…) but the team being about “marketing not winning”. Seriously? Winning is the best marketing money can buy. They’re going to run $150 million payroll (presumably) for marketing purposes? You can market the fuck out of a much cheaper team than that. We’ve seen it for the last couple of years.

        Like… do you actually believe this shit?

      • Lol
        What a joke you are
        Yup they don’t give a shit about winning

    • Given that they paid Izturis $3 million this season, a one year, $2.8 million contract doesn’t seem that horrible for Arencibia.

      Now if your argument is that Arencibia should be released because he sucks and it doesn’t matter what price he’d accept, then sure, the Jays should non-tender him. But $2.8 million isn’t that much money.

  3. Re: Griff & Defence.

    While Griff’s comment is a bit douchey, the point is correct that at least for 2013 AA didn’t value D as much as he should have. Certainly better things could have been expected from Izturis, but Bonifaco, Reyes and Melky Cabrera were all horrible (in Bonifacio’s case) to below average defensively. Moving Lawrie from 3B to 2B was another example of them missing the boat on the importance of defence. I get the versatility argument, but Lawrie’s D at 3B is phenomenal and unless you’re getting a fantastic player the downgrade in D from Lawrie to whomever isn’t worth it.

    You want a good example of how costly the D was? The Jays & the Orioles were nearly identical in offence (100 vs 99 team wRC+ for Baltimore/Toronto) and the pitching staffs were fairly similar too (FIP/XFIP for Toronto of 4.30/4.04 vs Balt’s 4.33/3.99). So why were the O’s so much better than the Jays? As a team they saved 39.9 runs via UZR, while the Jays D cost them -25 runs. That’s a difference of what, 6.5 wins right there? That says it all as far as I’m concerned. The primary difference between the Jays/O’s this year was defence.

    Yeah, the Jays traded for defensive guys at one point or another, but you could also argue that they underestimated just how valuable the defence was from those guys. Who really thought Molina was as valuable he was until a year or two later when pitch framing became a big thing? Certainly not the Jays. In the offseason we all focused so much on Yunel’s lack of offence or the eyeblack that we forgot or neglected to point out just how good he was defensively. And he ended up being one of the best all around SS’s in the majors this year.

    People argue that the Jays have to trade one of Rasmus/Gose, but if the Jays looked at it from a defensive standpoint, there’s room for both. Maybe not next year, but after that, certainly.

    At the end of the day pitching cost the Jays their season. But the Jays really undervalued the impact of adding so many offence first guys, and hopefully next year we’ll see a more balanced approach with regards to two-way players.

    • I don’t think anyone underestimated the value of defense – I mean, we had a decent left side with Reyes and Lawrie. We had a perfectly serviceable first base tandem in EE and Lind. Bautista is great in right, and Cletus can track down balls in centre with the best of them.
      With all that, I think AA could live with Itzy and Boni working second base. AA (and us) didn’t realize that Itzy and Boni were going to be as shit-awful at second base as they turned out to be. Melky’s sore hips/legs/back issues became apparent during the first half of the season, but that’s not due to AA’s “underestimation” of defense.
      Where AA might have erred was in his belief that the team needed a knuckleball catcher. He probably let a couple of perfectly good backup catchers go in order to keep Blanco and Thole, who had some experience with Dickey.
      Injuries to Reyes, Lawrie and Melky really hurt the defense…but let’s put that down to “shit happens”, not “underestimation”.

    • Ok that’s fine, but Griff is pretending AA has never valued defence, which is completely untrue. It was douchey as well as factually inaccurate.

      I’ll give you Bonifacio, but your junk about Reyes, Melky, and Lawrie at 2B is just as bad as Griff’s. Hindsight driven ridiculousness, all of it.

      Reyes was gone a third of the season, and therefore unable to hurt the team with his admittedly mediocre defence. That’s if you care about his so-so D and ignore that he’s top 3 offensively at SS. By wOBA he’s 4th behind Tulo, Jed Lowrie and Jhonny Peralta. I bet you’d still take him over Lowrie or Peralta. When he came back he obviously wasn’t himself on a bad ankle.

      There was every reason to think Melky would have been perfectly capable in LF. He’s not great, but he’s also not nearly as incapable as what we saw this year. And yeah, let’s just totally ignore the fact that he had a fucking tumor pressing on the nerves in his spine and affecting his lower body strength and mobility all season, or pretend that Anthopolous somehow should have known about it when signing him. I doubt an MLB physical generally includes spine tumor screening.

      If Lawrie’s D is valuable at third, it should be more valuable at second depending on how you feel about the defensive spectrum and positional adjustments. If his D had been as elite there as it is at third, it would have been even more valuable. Look at how shitty offensively second base is around the league. A hitter that projects like Lawrie does is even more valuable at an offensively barren position like second than he is at third.

      Even if you really, honestly believe your own business about them underrating defence, your statement that “the primary difference between the Jays/O’s this year was defence” is absurd. By your own numbers, defence could have saved the Jays 2.5 wins. They would have won 76-77 games instead of 74. Take away the 6.5 game difference all together and the O’s still win 4 or 5 more games than the Jays, who are still in the basement of the division.

      Defence was a difference between the two teams, but to say it was THE difference is so untrue that it’s not even funny.

      • Hey Blackboard, 2 things. First, although I was expecting better defense from LF and 2b, and perhaps Anthopoulos was too, I just don’t think there’s any excusing running Cabrera out to LF when he was playing on one leg. That went beyond under valuing defense to deliberately ignoring it. I feel the same way about the insistence on letting Arencibia play so many innings.

        The other thing, and I’m not sure about this, but my understanding is that the positional adjustment is not that far off between third and second.

        • I don’t think Anthopulos had a particularly great season. I don’t mean how the acquisitions played but rather the poor in season decision making. Burning an option on Nolin for a one and done, letting Cabrera play LF on one leg, not pulling the plug on Arencibia or at least scaling back his playing time, the Lawrie at 2b experiment (not the experiment itself, but trying it mid season, then pulling the plug so quickly)… I’m sure there were others too, this is just off the top of my head. Many things that looked like knee-jerk moves.

          I don’t know much some of this stuff was manager but some of it was clearly the GM.

      • @ Blackboard

        “I’ll give you Bonifacio, but your junk about Reyes, Melky, and Lawrie at 2B is just as bad as Griff’s. Hindsight driven ridiculousness, all of it.”

        Reyes has a strong arm, but he’s never been a great defender. He hasn’t had a positive UZR since 2008. So that’s not hindsight. Cabrera hasn’t had a positive UZR since 2009. So again, these were things we should have known entering the season.

        “Reyes was gone a third of the season, and therefore unable to hurt the team with his admittedly mediocre defence. That’s if you care about his so-so D and ignore that he’s top 3 offensively at SS.”

        I’m in favour of acquiring Reyes. Never said otherwise. Even with his poor D, as you said he’s a top 3 SS. Not disputing that.

        “There was every reason to think Melky would have been perfectly capable in LF. He’s not great, but he’s also not nearly as incapable as what we saw this year. And yeah, let’s just totally ignore the fact that he had a fucking tumor pressing on the nerves in his spine and affecting his lower body strength and mobility all season, or pretend that Anthopolous somehow should have known about it when signing him. I doubt an MLB physical generally includes spine tumor screening.”

        Again, not against the Cabrera signing. Just saying that your post is an example of how people didn’t realize that Melky was not a good defender. He had the potential to be a good hitter, but even at his best he’s not a good defender.

        “If Lawrie’s D is valuable at third, it should be more valuable at second depending on how you feel about the defensive spectrum and positional adjustments. If his D had been as elite there as it is at third, it would have been even more valuable.”

        Lawrie’s strengths as a defender are his quick reaction time and his strong arm. At 2B those skills aren’t as important, which is why Lawrie is a better defender at third base than second. His skillset fits better with 3B.

        ” Look at how shitty offensively second base is around the league. A hitter that projects like Lawrie does is even more valuable at an offensively barren position like second than he is at third.”

        I agree with this point, but I think the defence Lawrie provides at third is more significant than the offensive upgrade you get by finding a quality 3B.

        “Even if you really, honestly believe your own business about them underrating defence, your statement that “the primary difference between the Jays/O’s this year was defence” is absurd. By your own numbers, defence could have saved the Jays 2.5 wins. They would have won 76-77 games instead of 74. Take away the 6.5 game difference all together and the O’s still win 4 or 5 more games than the Jays, who are still in the basement of the division.”

        I didn’t say it was the only reason. I’m just saying there’s a major gap between the D the Jays got and the Orioles got, and the difference between the two was 65 runs. That’s pretty significant when you realize the wRC+ and FIP for the lineup and pitching staffs were very similar.

    • @Mark


      I agree about lawrie to 2B being a dumb move. Boni & Izturis were bad as well. Was there defense any better when they played on the road?

    • Of course Anthopoulos didn’t value defence properly this season, especially with the worsening turf. I wasn’t at all saying that he didn’t.

      • Even when the Jays have finished with +.500 records, they have never advanced because they have never been able to beat the East. In the old days they couldn’t beat the Sox and the Yankees. Now it’s the Sox, the Yankees and the Rays and the Orioles. To beat those excellent teams they need excellent defence and I’d suggest that they have tended over the years–not just recently–to value pitching and hitting first and then a long way back, defence. This has not been a particularly slick-fielding team. That’s why I’d not be unhappy if they kept Gose and Goins around a little. There’ve been too many adventures in the outfield and the infield and I’d like to see the situation stabilized.

      • And I never said you were. Just that it’s important and good to see that they’re finally valuing it properly. You don’t need to go extreme like the M’s did a few years ago, but you can’t ignore it either.

  4. $2.8 for Arencibia… good God. That money is far better spent on literally any other catcher available.

  5. This is so fucking painful to read. All I ever read is that managers don’t make a difference except for only when a team sucks. What happens when fangraphs or baseball reference comes up with some crazy WAR for managers that shows that maybe managers can make a difference?

    Rip me apart all you want but I’m happy for the Red Sox and Farrell and I only wish the Jays could have won the wild card so they could have endured the shit kicking that the poor Rays had to face today.

    • Well, they actually don’t have the magical powers that people want to ascribe to them. Player performance is too varied from year to year, so manage all you want. If enough players are having down years, so too goes your year managing.

      • I agree with you about the magical powers part, but I want to use Boston as an example (sorry!). Last year you could argue that Boston started the season with a better roster (based purely on talent) than they did this year, but the shit hit the fan quickly and nobody liked playing for Valentine. This year, Boston does start the year with a competitive roster but you hear players like Pedroia and Ortiz saying its a completely different mentality in the locker room and the guys find it easier to play hard for their manager. Now I don’t necessarily buy into that, but I think there something that could be said for players putting in a stronger effort for their manager (despite the millions they are getting paid) because that’s how life works sometimes.

        And look at the players that all left Boston in the Dodger trade and are all doing well in LA and enjoying life in the playoffs. Maybe I’m saying that Farrel and Mattingly are just better than Valentine…but I don’t have any advanced stats to talk about so what the fuck do I know.

        • Then you don’t agree with me about the magical powers part.

          Beckett was a below replacement level pitcher this year, and Crawford and Gonzalez each had seasons that were among the worst of their careers– they weren’t BAD, but not great, and rate-wise, not any different than last year. So, did Valentine manage them down, or did they maybe not have the talent you pretend
          you know they had at the start of last year.

          As for what the players say, it’s impossible to take it seriously. For one, their perceptions don’t necessarily reflect reality– just because they think some magic something is happening doesn’t mean that it is. And for two, how likely is it that they’ll throw their coworkers under the bus? It’s very easy to shit on Valentine at this point, and very easy to start believing that there’s magic chemistry that would still somehow be there if their record was flipped.

        • The issue I see with this argument is the fact that trying hard in baseball doesnt necessarily make someone a better player. You can make the argument for a reliever coming into a game trying to throw as hard as he can but other than that effort doesnt equal success. S

          • So saying guys find it easier to play for their manager doesn’t necessarily correlate to more wins or better individual numbers

            • I think it might be one of those things that manifest in the negative. An inspirational manager may or may not impact his team but a bad manager probably will. And this club’s bad manager may be another club’s savior as we haven unfortunately seen. Farrell called Romero out in public, apparently micro-managed the team and seems to some extent have pissed off the players at least according to Vizquel’s parting shot. The team really didn’t flourish with him as manager. Perhaps he just wasn’t comfortable and it showed. As for our present manager, in some ways he’s better. But for my money he’s gone a little too far the other way. He seems to have let drills and preparation fall somewhat by the wayside. I’d like to see a better-prepared bunch on the field next year!

    • Did you read the part where I agreed with the quote that said it’s certainly possible? My issue is how morons exaggerate and invent narratives involving the possible impact of it because of nebulous and flatly wrong feelings they have about what they think they’re seeing.

      • Well if it’s possible, then why is someone a moron for suggesting it? If you’re talking about ‘narratives’ this one isn’t a complex construct. Possibly players play better for some managers than others. Possibly they don’t. I don’t see anything moronic in either assertion.

        • @isabella.

          Where I work, some people are happy working for laid back managers, others are more successful with tough managers.

          Colby seems much happier & more productive here in Torronto with a laid back managerial style.

        • Nobody’s a moron for suggesting that it’s possible, what’s moronic is what I said: when people exaggerate and invent narratives involving the possible impact of it because of nebulous and flatly wrong feelings they have about what they think they’re seeing.

    • Managers manage personnel! And if your personnel isn’t healthy, no matter what sport it is, it’s real hard to compete. Mot to mention that baseball is a real creul game, just like the game of life. Some years it seem like absolutely nothing goes your way, then other years you just can’t do know wrong. That’s life, shit happens. What ever rose spell Farrell is giving off right now, it’s only a matter of time til that smell resembles farmer fields early in the spring. The amount of players that have had rebound years, Ellesbury, Drew and Napoli staying healthy, Nava having a breakout year. Nothing against the success that they had this season, I don’t see them being able to repeat this same result. They are last years O’s, their timely hitting, and “magic” that they’ve had is nothing more then being beneficiaries of good fortune and having a roster that, has for the most part, been able to stay healthy and have productive years. If the Jays were to do the same thing next year, would that mean Gibbons all of a sudden brought some special magic to the team. Or would it mean that the roster that the G.M. had originally assembled all of a sudden live up to it’s expectations. Either way, you comments ring very little truth and more frustration with not being included in the one time of the season, where what players do everyday, all of sudden becomes magical, solely because what every single play, every a bat, every pitch has so much more significance, and not being a part of that hurts! But let’s be logical. Did you see any magic in Farrell’s two seasons here? I didn’t.

      • That’s the beauty of it. The Jays will not be in that position with Gibbons as their manager. I can see another slow start being his doom.

  6. So if Gibby buys them some hot tubs, ice cream and gives out handjobs, which would make players enjoy playing for him, that magically = wins????!!!!!??!?!?

  7. Yep, that’s exactly what I said Farrell did. Hot tubs, ice cream and hand jobs….WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!

    Farrell is gone and he isn’t coming back, get over it.

  8. “we” are long over it. you’re the one attributing wins to this magical juju you think managers have.

  9. Stoeten, no need to non tender, can just option him to Buffalo and pay him less than he made this year. Hopefully, maybe too optimistic here, but hopefully he can rebuild himself enough in Buffalo to actually be a 2.5 million dollar player. If not, non tender him after next season.

    • You still pay him his big league money if he’s in Buffalo.

      • Are you 100% sure? I don’t think it’s guaranteed.

        • If they tender him, keep him in the organization and option him, yes.

          • Thanks Andrew. I read something different on BBB and MLBTR but I think you must be right. Article 6 of the CBA specifies the maximum reduction in salary from year to year – for JPA it would be 40% of his 2013 salary – but this must apply to negotiated contracts or non-arbitrated contracts. It doesn’t make sense you could pay a guy with a arbitrated amount 60% of his previous year’s contract.

            • Someone very knowledgeable in these matters insists the arbitrator’s award is not guaranteed/2-way.

              This is an ‘important’ issue (to the extent that asset management by one’s favourite team can ever be important) because the rule would likely determine whether JPA is retained to start for Buffalo for 300k or non tendered.

              I mean, they can’t let him be the starter in Toronto again next year, can they??

          • I think they only have to pay him 60% of what he made last year if they option him to the minors.

  10. I don’t get it. As a teacher, every day we are asked to improve student’s ability in our subject of choice–and none of us gets to say, as you are all arguing, “WTF do you want us to do, it’s the talent? We are asked to bring every student up a level from where they are. So, in other words, F to D., D to C, C to B and so on….

    What Boston’s boss is saying is that when players play up to the top of their ability, ie, their skill-set seems to be progressing or responding well to the coach (regardless of what their level is), then coaching can be seen to be, from an overall standpoint to be well executed.

    If shitty players or students still suck shit and haven’t acquired anything new or are playing nearer the bottom of their ability, then coaching can be seen to be ineffective. How come Boni (yeah, I know, SSS) played better for KC? How come Hill did so well in Arizona? Why is it that so many of our players leave and do better for their new organizations (yes, I know, not all–but enough)?

    People in every profession are marked on the same curve, and just because these individuals hit a baseball instead of learning a new language or math doesn’t make the comparison totally invalid.

    • This is not a good corollary. I’ll let someone else break it down and just respond to your question about why guys always do better when they leave Toronto with this: Bautista, Rasmus, Escobar, Morrow, Lawrie. I suspect it’s usually about usage and sometimes about environment but both things are about players’ skill coming out, not about teaching.

      • I suspect the guys who seem to do well are finding themselves playing against weaker teams than they are used to. It works here in reverse and may be why teams like the Jays and until recently the Os have had such a hard time. NY and Boston seem to have developed players themselves who played in the East from the getgo. The Rays had to depend on their own farm. But the Jays never seemed to be able to bring on enough of their own guys and the ones we kept maybe weren’t the ones we should have kept. I think that’s changing now but it’ll take time before the effects are felt. I wonder if sluggers do better here than other places because the RC is a band-box so it’s comfortable for them. But lighter hitters don’t.

        • ^this

        • +1.

          Hill,Rios & Boni went to weaker divisions.

          Escobar & Kelly Johnson stayed in the AL East.

          • It’s not like Boni was simply playing the W-Sox and Twins. He got Detroit (great pitching staff in any division), Cleveland and obviously (like every other team) played games outside of the the Central as well.

            I’m far from blaming the Jays for his play but it’s not genuine to just say it was the division.

    • @david


      I do wonder why Hill , Rios Escobar,Johnson ,boni are playing better after leaving the Jays.

      Many factors go into a player’s performance. Health, natural decline, personal issues etc.

      Gibby seems to be laid back & treats the players well. That works for some players.

      • Hill made a change to his swing. The other guys are playing entirely as expected. Escobar had a worse season than in his first full one with the Jays, Rios’s two best seasons by fWAR by far were in Toronto, and Bonifacio’s “improvement” is in a sample that’s too small to be taken seriously.

        • Agreed, 200%. Its always an illusion that players are better after leaving, with a few anomalies.

        • @Stoeten.

          OK makes sense.

        • I said at the time of the trade, they should have kept Escobar to play SS and Reyes at 2B.

          But that may only be because Escobar was my favourite player, and even after the whole eye black thingy, I was very fond of him.

        • “The other guys are playing entirely as expected.”

          AA expected he was trading away a 3.5-4 win MI’er? One that Miami didn’t even want. Doesn’t that make him incompetent?

    • The corollary maybe works if we’re talking about player development, but at the big league level players aren’t coming in at the equivalent of grade schoolers learning math or a language when it comes to playing baseball. What they need help in is refining or maintaining the ability to repeat something they’ve already been extremely successful with. It’s just not close to the same. And sure, there is room for coaching to be effective and not effective, but not to the level you’re suggesting.

      Even when the impact is bigger– think Jose Bautista– the coaching end of it comes down largely to “hey, I think this would work for you,” and then it’s the player who actually has to physically implement the change. That sort of thing is rare, when we’re not talking about at the minor league/developmental level– which we’re not– because those kinds of dramatic revamps don’t really happen at the level. They do sometimes– Bautista and Encarnacion made changes like that (though Edwin was demoted, and also did a lot in the off-season), and Esmil Rogers added a sinker this year, for example– but not enough to really look at coaching at this level the way people try so desperately to do.

      Even if it did– even if the coaches had their hands in every pie and were directly responsible for telling players how to physically use their bodies the way they do on the field (rather than letting their experience, knowledge, intuition, and past success guide them), we don’t have close to enough data to pretend we can come to the sorts of conclusions you think we can. John Farrell looks like he might have coached well in the same way that the earth, from what little visual information was available in the middle ages, looked like it might be flat.

      Also: as noted in a comment above, the perception that Jays players do inordinately better when they leave the organization is only that. There are guys who’ve done better, there are guys who’ve done worse. Coupled with natural variances in performance from year to year, I’d bet it’s about the way you’d expect.

      • Not trying to troll you but just for clarification.
        If Valentine was still managing the Sox and with the personel changes that were made,your opinion would be that the results would have been similiar?And the core players would have had similiar performances this year regardless of who the manager and coaches were?
        Plus or minus 3 to 5 games ( the accepted standard for manager influence).
        Just your opinion, I realize there’s no way of proving or disproving.
        Trying to see your side.

    • Major league baseball players are at the absolutely elite level. You’re comparing students (not sure what age, but doesn’t really matter) to grown men at the pinnacle of their profession. A proper comparison would be to take the top surgeons or lawyers in the world and say they need a proper boss/teacher so they can continue to improve.
      Sure, perhaps the right person might help a little bit, but when someone has reached that elite level they don’t need a teacher to coddle them and help them continue to improve.

      • Sorry Deere.
        That anaolgy just doesn’t work.
        I’m trying to be nice.
        Comparing top level surgeons and lawyers to top level atheletes and how they perform is too far of a stretch.

        • Why not? At least from the standpoint that they don’t need someone to show them how to do all the fundamentals and coach them to be better at their jobs? I’d say it’s a hell of a lot closer than comparing them to high school or elementary students.
          People get to the big leagues – or the top of any profession – because they’re extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily motivated, and have put in the time to learn all the skills and knowledge required. Sure, when you get there you don’t stop. But like Stoeten said, it’s more about slight refinements and making sure they keep doing what’s made them successful. It’s not about making sure they know how to hit a cutoff man and what base comes after first.

        • It’s an excellent analogy.

  11. Wow. Cespedes.

  12. Jesus, Cabrera looks like Melky

  13. Jeff Blair warns AA about quick Fixes. He bashes JPA saying mgmt doesn’t trust him. No Core players like Pedroia. No good pitchers like Lester


    • I’m I the only one who is optimistic about this team in 2014?

      The pen looks great.

      There are only 3 holes in the starting line up, which by todays standard is not a lot. Two of which can be covered by cheap premium defence in house solutions (Gose and Goins) if the market bears no fruit.

      Gose has shown twice that after some time to adjust at the MLB level he can carve out some sort of plan to survive offensively at this level, and the meth turf is plenty of reason to have Goins.

      As for catcher, considering the bats at the top and middle of the line up a good defensive or Don cherry type can be carried considering the rest of the fire power in the line up.

      RAD,MB and BM along with a stable of potential solutions for the 4th and 5th spot is richer than the Jays have been in along time at SP as far as depth at the MLB level.

      A nails starter, solid catcher and 2nd baseman are all on AA’s list this year I’m sure, but considering the amount of times this guy has pulled the trigger on big deals during his tenure as GM I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be aggressive in finding the best solution that the market has to offer.

      Sure 2013 was tough, but there is mucho talent on this team at the MLB level already.

      Blair is right about one thing, there are no short cuts, but that is because AA has done much of the hard work already.

      • Agreed
        We should take the 2013 Red Sox approach

        • I’m optimistic for 2014. As long as they get a living and breathing entity not named Arencibia to catch, they’ll be hugely better. McCann or Navarro please. Or Ruiz but it sounds like he and Philly don’t intend on parting ways. 2b is already better, so any import would be double improvement over Mouser.

          The SP depth will be so improved, even without an addition.

      • I would be a bit worried about next year if payroll was stagnant or going down.

        But if it’s going up by 20 or 25 million as has been reported, I don’t see why they can’t take another good crack at putting a good team together.

        Blair can point out how we dont have a Pedroia I guess (What’s Bautista then? EE? Reyes?) but this team lost because the starting pitching fell apart. If Morrow and Johnson had healthy seasons I bet the team would have been in the race at the end of September.

        Anthopolous is extremely creative and he has some more money at his disposal. I’m excited for the offseason.

        • So am i

        • @JP

          +1. I would rather have Bautista,Reyes & Edwin than Pedroia.

          Blair is too negative.

          • Really now

            • @Insert.

              Blair makes it sound like the Jays have no good players. He’s wrong.

              Jays were missing Lawrie at opening day , then Reyes for 50 games. Bautista went down in August. Edwin went down in the last two weeks.

              I am pretty sure their record is better with those 3 in the lineup.

      • @Famous.

        Who is the starting LF? Gose?

        Are you suggesting Colby Rasmus be traded?

        I am OK with Goins at 2B

        • @ oakville69

          I think Rasmus should be in LF.

          He hits enough to play a corner.

          His arm is good, but it would play very good in LF.

          Having both Gose and Rasmus in the outfield could perhaps improve Bautista’s range in RF if the jays position the fielders in a way take advantage of the range in CF and LF.

          • Hitting has become so bad across the board that this isn’t as crazy an idea as it once was.

            Maybe something to consider if Melky doesn’t come back the way we hope– assuming both remain in the organization.

      • I think we need a high end starter, better health and more luck next year to have a decent shot at winning the world series. of course we need something at C and 2B. Not necessarily stars, but something more than we have now.

        • @yeah.

          It should be easier to get an upgrade at catcher. I wonder if AA keeps Thole because he can catch Dickey. It’s a limitation.

          No problem with JPA as a backup.

          Could he find another catcher that can catch a knuckleballer ?

    • Keep it coming, wrrtsie, this is good stuff.

  14. Sign Ruiz to catch 100 games (2-years, $18 million should get it done from what I’ve read). Then Jose Molina to catch 62 games (on a one year deal).

  15. Stoeten, I find the posts appear in a strange order and differently on my iPad than on my computer. Is there any way of fixing this? Because it leads to answers before questions and weirdness in general…

  16. Chooch Ruiz?

  17. Does Rob Ducey endorse that his name is being used as a connotation toward having a morning bowel release of human waste?

    If so, he’s a fuckin beauty.

  18. So no one watching the game then? Not that I blame you. Rays getting beaten up. Again. I hope our guys are watching and taking notes because if we got a handle on the Rays it would help a lot.

    • If we can beat the rays next year only the Red Sox stand in our way

      • Something we haven’t been able to do it years and years and years.

        • Yup you are wrong
          How the fuck are you so soure

          • *sure

            • Sure about what? I can’t remember the last time we had a winning season against the Rays. If we can learn to beat them it will at least improve our standing a bit. What’s wrong with that?

              • Nothing just I’m mad

              • You win by playing well.

                Also, the Jays were 8-11 against Tampa this year. Same as Boston. It was the Yankees that killed us. Sorry if that doesn’t fit this silly narrative, though.

                • Stoeten, what are our stats against Tampa over the past ten years? How many winning seasons have we had? You’ve got the stats and I haven’t. It’s my perception that we lose to the Rays more consistently than to any other team. If I’m wrong then this a silly hypothesis. Not narrative, the two words mean different things. If I’m right, then it would be a good idea to learn to beat them.

                  • The stats are all freely available online and easy to find.

                    You are using your silly perception to prop up a narrative, so you’re wrong on that. But yes, the Jays have lost a lot in Tampa over the years. The thing is, all this stuff is basically talking about clothes. How guys here 10 years ago doesn’t tell us much about now or the future. There may be something systemic about what the Jays’ record against teams they continually struggle against, but it’s really hard to separate the signal from the noise there– especially since in the overall those teams have been better and would have been expected to beat the Jays, with a lot of variance in the small sample of games making the result that much more unreliable.

                    • I’ve gone looking for the specific stats and can’t find them online. Maybe easier tomorrow with a computer not an ipad. I take your point. Ten years ago was a different team with a different front office and bla bla bla. But we couldn’t beat these guys when everyone else was turning them into an omelette on a regular basis. This is not a ‘narrative’. You do seem to be stuck on that word. I don’t think there’s an explanation. But my original suggestion was that turning the tables on the Rays and winning a season on them for a change might be a step in the right direction. And I’m still waiting for a reason why that is a silly sentiment. Unless your point is that the clock gets reset at the beginning of every new season. Which I would completely agree with if we were talking about, say, the Orioles. Who have basically been mostly bad but did get to the playoffs in 1997. Were there again in 2012. And made it interesting in 2013. They play in the same division we do. Anomaly or not, we have not played well enough in any version of the team to even make it interesting since I think 1998. I don’t have a ‘narrative’. Can’t give you a reason. But beating the Rays would be one move up rather than down.

  19. The Fuck Sox are going to sweep this series.

    • The Rays are into the bullpen with 3+ to go. Let’s hope Farrell can show off his intellectual deficiencies.

  20. Zaun is right – the Rays have had hardly any clean innings.

    For the shitburger of a season we had to watch, you would think the baseball gods would throw us a bone and let us watch these fuckwads get sent packing.

    • By John Farrell? I’m having trouble cheering for either/or. (But that’s on us for losing Game 162.)

  21. bring back Molina.

    • @Tocher


      I think Molina could help JPA. Tell him how to frame pitches.

      • +1

      • If it was as easy as explaining how to do it, don’t you think JP would have done it by now? You discredit Molina by assuming what he does so well with framing is that simple. He’s got a talent for it.

  22. I’m not sure JPA is teachable at this stage in his career. I’d rather have a Molina as the everyday catcher backed by Thole. And Arencibia can practice framing pitches on someone else’s dime.

  23. Stoeten, good morning. My comment and Yeah’s about JPA’s arbitration award may have gotten buried. Apparently the arbitrator award applies only when JPA is in the majors. When he’s in the minors, he is paid 60% of this year’s salary ~300k.

    • I don’t believe that’s accurate. That’s the case for split contracts, but players who go to an arbitration hearing cannot sign those. They get standard, one-year, MLB deals. And there’s no incentive for Arencibia to not go to a hearing, if the Jays for some reason tried to get him on a split deal, so… yeah, if they tender him a big league deal, that’s what he gets paid.

      Check the section “Arbitration-Eligible Players” here (just search the page for that or for “split” and you’ll get to it– the 6th occurrence of it), and note that it has been updated very recently.


      • Thanks as always. I’ll read it after putting the kids to bed later. G

        • This stuff is way too complicated for me to ever feel I’ve totally gotten a handle on it all, so it’s very possibly I’m missing something here, but I did quite a bit of looking around at CBA stuff, and I believe I’m right.

          Thanks. Uh… enjoy? hahaha.

          • It’s enjoyable, nice warm little person falling asleep on you. I think you’re right. It just wouldn’t make sense you could circumvent an arbitrated award like that. I think that 40% rule would have applied, for example, had they put Arencibia in Buffalo this year. He wouldn’t have made a minor league salary, but he wouldn’t have made MLB minimum either. As we understand it, if the Jays walked away from an arbitrated award now and some other team signed him to a minor league contract, they could pay him 300k.

  24. Future jay Beltran?

    • Turned the Jays down once, not sure why we think he’d not do it again, and where does he play? Gotta move Melky or Lind, no?

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