Oh. Now look who’s bossy with counting.
“All those losses are totally on the players. All that heat that’s on Alex and Gibby – they don’t deserve it. We should be getting a lot more heat as players, and that’s why the focus should be on each individual showing up ready to go and playing better than they did last year,” says Jose Bautista in an interesting piece from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. “What I think is that at times everybody – not only on our team and in our city – tries to look for the one person to carry the team and be the leader and be the one appointed person that’s responsible for everything. When you’re talking about a team sport, that’s pretty unfair assessment to make. I embrace the role of being a leader, I embrace the fact that people look up at me to that way, that I could be that person for the team, but at the same time it’s within each individual player to do whatever it takes and what’s best for themselves as individuals to be the best players they can be, which in turn will make a better team as a whole. Those are just my thoughts.
“He was a truly great manager. How he handled his players to how he handles the game itself,” says Cody Decker, who played most of 2012 under John Gibbons with the San Antonio Missions, speaking to Blue Jays Plus. “He trusts his players to do their job. He was practically an artist when it came to keeping the clubhouse loose. He made the game easier.” Interesting stuff.
“The Jays cannot afford to take a step back in attendance,” writes Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star in an interesting piece explaining what he thinks the Jays need to do. “That means, simply, that another losing season is unacceptable. It suggests the GM can’t wait until the holiday season, or later, to make another impact. Jays fans are not in a forgiving mood. Attendance is the key. Thus the GM’s job hangs in the balance.” Honestly? I can’t say I agree. Not about whether the GM’s job is in peril– clearly it is– but about how important it is to do something splashy and quickly, and how vital it is to see zero drop in overall attendance. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think if the crowds are slow to return at first, but build over the course of the summer because the team is playing well, that’s going to be more than fine. Build a winner on the field first, Alex.
There are always nuggets to be found in Gregor Chisholm’s Inbox posts at BlueJays.com, and his most recent is no exception. For example, he talks about the club rethinking some aspects of their player development strategy, and the fact that Josh Johnson’s agent doesn’t appear to have had any dialogue with the Jays, as he continues to explore the free agent market (as I wrote about last night).
Another from BlueJays.com has Gregor taking a look at how the Jays can get creative about payroll, listing some of the guys that the club could move in order to save some dollars– which is something that I did about a week ago, because obviously this is one of the key questions this offseason. $150-million only gets you so far these days, apparently.
Benny Fresh (i.e. Ben Nicholson-Smith) does some non-Sportsnet work, forecasting the free agent market– which now appears to be in full swing– for USA Today. Nifty!
Still with Benny Fresh, but back at Sportsnet, as we’re told that Robinson Cano is still asking for $310-million– and according to Ken Davidoff and Dan Martin of the New York Post, he’s apparently held a secret meeting with the Mets. I still don’t think for a second that the Jays will make a play, but the pipe dream can continue for at least a little longer, I guess.
Another one from Sportsnet, from late last week, as Ben Nicholson-Smith also tells us that former Jays pitcher Ted Lilly is going to see action in the Venezuelan Winter League, as he tries to show he can still pitch effectively after needing the nerve endings in the right side of his neck cauterized [note: yikes!] to alleviate the neck pain that derailed his Dodgers career.
One more: Last week was a bit of a whirlwind, what with the GM Meetings and all, and I don’t remember if I linked this: according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet quotes Paul Beeston as saying that he’d love to see Major League Baseball back in Montreal, and that 32 teams would be ideal for the game. I don’t actually believe for a second that the Jays are really that keen on giving up a big chunk of their national market, but it’s nice enough that he said it, I guess. And getting rid of everyday interleague play by having 16 teams in each league would be nice, too. Bud Selig had some encouragement for the notion as well– though he made clear that he has no plans for relocation or expansion.
Jack Moore continues his outstanding Primary Sources series at Getting Blanked. Read it.
Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, Jack asks whether Hot Stove season has become a thing of the past.
In other laments, Bluebird Banter bids adieu to the most well-travelled Jay in recent memory, Mike McCoy.
The Tao Of Stieb gives us his thoughts on John Lott and Shi Davidi’s new book on the 2013 disaster, Great Expectations.
Late last week, the Jays inked former big leaguer, and excellent Triple-A hitter, Dan Johnson, to a minor league deal. Enjoy him, Buffalo. Nothing to see here, Jays fans. MLBTR has the details.
Great stuff from Robert Steele of Jays Journal, who looks at the guys in the Jays organization who may be at risk of being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
Elsewhere at Jays Journal, it is that the club should be cautious about trading their relievers, though with the surplus, and the number of ones who are out of options, I’m not sure they should be that cautious… or cautious at all, really. Relievers, man.
It’s mostly paywall’d, but Russell Carleton of Baseball Prospectus looks at why teams “overpay” for free agents this time of year– a topic well worth exploring.
For the Canadian Baseball Network, Bob Elliott says farewell to Gaku Tashiro, who he calls Japan’s Peter Gammons, as he returns to Tokyo after thirteen years covering the big leagues.
The Canberra Times tells us that Jays farmhand Jack Murphy powered his Canberra Cavalry into the Asia Series final. “The Cavalry have rewritten the record books since arriving in Taiwan last week, becoming the first ABL team to win an Asian Series game, the first to make the play-offs, the first to make the grand final and the first non-Japanese, Korean or Taiwanese team to win a game,” writes David Polkinghorne.
Alex Remington of FanGraphs looks back on the career of Mark DeRosa on the occasion of his retirement. Meanwhile, his colleague, Jeff Sullivan, writes about the most startling trend in the game: the huge influx of hard throwers in recent years.
Lastly, in case you missed it last week, we returned with a new DJF Podcast! And also, we’re now on Soundcloud– which is something many of you looking for an iTunes alternative have asked for in the past. Of course, you can always still find us on iTunes, as well. As for more podcastery coming your way? Drew is on vacation this week, so you’ll have to wait at least one more for another, but as soon as something actually happens, we’ll be there to talk about it.