Great stuff from Matt Klaassen at FanGraphs in a piece titled “Iannetta, Conger, and the End of the Arencibia Era.” A much more thorough look at the yesterday’s rumour than my piddly little hung over piece. The big takeaway, though, is that the Angels will probably be able to extract a better price from the Jays than those of us around here want to believe, precisely because they know they have Anthopoulos over a barrel. This, one might surmise, is why AA was so reluctant over the summer to acknowledge that Arencibia has to go– at least he has some internal options when it comes to the other holes he needs to fill.
Money comment about AA on Klaassen’s piece: “What is it with this man and giving up people that play the hardest position to play for people that play the easiest position to fill?” Napoli, Gomes, and, in a roundabout way, Perez, all gone for relievers. Shit, you can probably save another spot on that list for a certain someone this winter, too.
“Everything about him — from his posture to his approach — was rigid to the point of snapping. Even his conversation had the stilted gait of a police briefing. Nobody ever ‘went’ anywhere. They ‘proceeded’ places,” says the Toronto Star‘s Cathal Kelly of the newly jovial John Farrell’s time as the dour manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. “His authoritarian style extended into the clubhouse, which became fractious and unruly. Baseball players can bear a tyrant — many of them love being pushed around — but they’re baffled by aloofness. If the boss shows no interest, they inevitably fall to fighting amongst themselves.”
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes that the Nationals have interviewed Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale for their vacant managerial position. “By interviewing Hale, who is African-American, the Nationals fulfilled the obligation set forth by Major League Baseball to interview a minority candidate for a managerial opening. The Nationals did not seek out Hale strictly for that reason, though,” he explains. I… uh… I certainly would never want to impugn the Nationals, Hale, or the qualities he could bring as a manager– not that I know much about him, though I do know that it was considered something of a coup when he joined John Gibbons’ staff last winter, as he’s a very well-respected figure in the game– but you’ve got to wonder, at least a little bit, how much truth there is to that last bit. I’d certainly hope not, but we all remember that Cito Gaston stopped going to interviews out of frustration for always feeling he was a token candidate. It’s a topic that probably deserves more thought than a blurb in a link dump, though, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Old news, but still worth noting, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that the Jays are interested in A’s pitcher Brett Anderson. Cue scoffing from those who see the Jays’ interest in another guy with a spotty health record, but it’s all about the cost, isn’t it? “There are numerous interested teams, particularly Toronto,” Slusser says of Anderson, “which has pursued the A’s Opening Day starter for two years and which had a scout following him again at the end of this season.” Perhaps more than just due diligence, then? Doesn’t mean it’ll come to anything, of course.
MLBTR passes along word that the Royals are willing to listen on Billy Butler after a down year. A down year, I should note, that followed the departure of rumoured new Jays hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. Hmmmm?
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet notes that the Jays have replaced their strength-and-conditioning coordinator, Bryan King, after a couple of injury-plagued seasons. “While King is by no means responsible for the epidemic,” he explains, “the club is planning to re-examine its entire strength and conditioning program before the 2014 season.” Yeah… uh… probably a good idea.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Davidi talks to Sean Nolin, who is apparently 40 pounds lighter than he used to be.
Elsewhere still, Ben Nicholson-Smith explains why the Jays will be watching which teams give their impending free agents qualifying offers, as the fact that they’ll only lose a second-round pick should they sign a guy who turned such an offer down doesn’t give them quite the kind of incentive to go after someone as a lot of people think. It impacts their bonus pool, and given the way that the club has operated in the draft under the new CBA, I think it would be surprising if they gave their pool such a hit– and surprising, therefore, if they signed one of those guys.
In the Globe and Mail, Jeff Blair talks about the sting of John Farrell being in the World Series, if, y’know, you really want to read a thing like that.
Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star talks to Joe Carter, who admits how close he was to signing with the Royals, instead of the Jays, following the 1992 season.
Gregor Chisholm notes for BlueJays.com that Carter’s iconic home run off Mitch Williams to win the 1993 World Series happened 20 years ago tomorrow. Hard to believe it’s been that long… watching the Jays since then it’s felt like at least 40. HEYO!
Some people have been tweeting at me that they’ve started getting emailed about the 2014 Ballpark Pass, the return of which is thoroughly welcome among those who are still able to get it (i.e. only this year’s pass holders). Bluebird Banter had the details last week.
Lastly, since I haven’t mentioned it around here yet, before it gets stale, be sure to check out last week’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast (we might even do a DJF one again sometime soon!), while over at Flip Flop Fly Ball, our old friend Craig Robinson shows us what bobbleheads would look like with normal sized heads, including a (Mets era) R.A. Dickey one that somehow makes him look even more like the Burger King guy than normal.
And one more for good measure: it’s The Quazcast! Yes, Jeff Pearlman– former senior writer for Sports Illustrated, DJF Podcast guest, and author of The Bad Guys Won, The Rocket The Fell To Earth, Boys Will Be Boys and more– is podcasting for theScore! And in his debut episode he talks to Shawn Green about, among other things, his time playing under Tim Johnson! OK… it’s mostly other things, but still! Have a listen and subscribe to The Quazcast on iTunes.