griffbag

Still here on the train, and Griff posted a Mail Bag over at the Toronto Star. Let’s see if I can’t bang this the fuck out, shall we?

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q : Hi Richard Stoeten,

Like a lot of fans, I guess, trying to work out ways we are not going to win this year sometimes seems the dominant Jays theme at this time of the year. Strange thing is, they announced the 25-man (roster) as we sat around having coffee and we all suddenly turned into optimists again. Nothing to do with the names even, just everything seems a little better than last season.

I don’t know whether you agree or not but the consensus was that defence and offence looked good. Even though it may well turn out a bust, seeing Dustin McGowan start is a bit special. And the team seems to have lost the sourness of last year. I know great players make great teams, but sometimes it’s intangible things like chemistry, break out years, etc that wins championships

Talking of special, I don’t know whose idea it was to stage the games in Montreal, but pin a medal on him. it’s a fantastic idea. No disrespect to the Jays, but memories of the Expos sure lingers on and for all of us who were fans during that time it’s a great pre-season starter.

Look forward to reading about a winning the pennant in your column next fall Griff. Until then…Go Jays

— Frank Taker, Prescott, Ont.

Fuck that noise about intangibles, Frank, it’s about current health, and about the ability to dream on the arms of guys like McGowan and Morrow and Hutchison, rather than Redmond and Rogers and Happ, alongside the dependable, if not downright potentially excellent-ish Dickey and Buehrle, that makes the whole thing feel pretty good right now. We’re kidding ourselves, surely, but this is the time of year for it — and also to get caught up in feel-good things like that and the whole Expos nostalgia trip that we’re allowing ourselves to indulge in — so… fuck it. Let’s just go with it. Shit, maybe even Goins really will be able to play enough defence to make up for his bat.

Plus, failing all else, it’s hard not to feel good about our chances of drinking a beer in the sun very, very soon.

That’ll play.

 

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Q : Hello Prof. Griffin Stoeten,

Is it true that this spring training has been taken a lot more seriously than last? It seems that way at least when considering that pitchers have been stretched out. Unfortunately, yet once more pitching remains the Jays weak spot, as much as we try to stretch the blanket of pitching talent we currently have on roster it seems that it is still too short of a blanket to sufficiently provide cover for a winning season.

Do you think there are any quality arms that are available via trade? By quality I mean a proven/solid front of the rotation (#2-3). If so, what would we have to give up? What kind of pitcher could we get for a package including Lind and Rasmus and one or more of our many depth (#6-10) rotation guys? Do you agree that if one or both (Lind, Rasmus) have a decent start we flip them for a pitcher?

BTW how is Josh Jonson doing in SD?

Thank you as always, I hope that Montreal will be a nice blast from the past.

— O

They sure have constructed a narrative about being more serious this spring to combat the narrative about not being serious enough last spring, haven’t they?

Not going to dignify the Lind and Rasmus nonsense with a response. Johnson is hurt, believe it or not.

 

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Q : Hi Richard Stoeten,

I take back my question from last week about packaging McGowan off in a trade. I was feeling desperate. Still am. But with this week’s news that he’ll be starting the home opener, I can’t think of a better feel-good story to start the season. Especially after such an uninspiring off season. Please wish him all the best for all of us.

— Matthew McKean, Ottawa

AND WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG???

 

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Q : Well Richard Stoeten, here we go again. A knuckle baller, a junk baller and 3 injury prone pitchers! Jays were in the cat-bird seat to sign free agent pitching. None signed.

McGowan, great story, hope he does well. Jays are not convinced, never seriously stretched him out. No options you make the team Redmond, Rogers, Jeffries. Wagner, Kratz, Sanchez gone but not for long. Happ 5m, Romero 7m, Izsteris 3m, Sierra can’t hold his attention long enough to play the field. New hitting coach has got his work cut out with Thole. Cross our fingers with Goins. Rogers has more money than God. What gives and how long a life span does AA have this year? Tell me I’m crazy. Thanks.

— Dave V, Thomasburg, Ont.

Dave, if you’re going to be an asshole, at least have the common courtesy of not being wrong as fuck.

 

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Q : Hey Griff Stoet,

In a previous mailbag you mentioned that there are a lot of things to look forward to for when the Jays visit Montreal. Despite those things, I can’t understand how the MLB can arrange regular season games halfway around the world in Australia, but only manage to schedule pre-season games in Montreal. If Montreal plans to sell out the Big O for 2 games, why not let them play some regular season games and really try to make a push for an MLB team in Montreal by demonstrating a strong fan base. Also, wanted to know if you’ve got your hands on a copy of Jonah Keri’s new book about the Montreal Expos, aptly titled, “Up, Up, & Away”.

— Mark

I cannot possibly understand the point of this suggestion. The games this weekend will approximate regular season games and will show the city’s appetite for baseball quite well. The Jays should give away home dates for what, exactly?

Making overseas games count ensures that teams will actually play the stars that the fans are paying to see and MLB needs to help bring the game to new markets. Not necessary here.

 

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Q : Dear Richard Stoeten,

The 2014 season portends excitement in the same way an avalanche does.

Two aged, five-hundred-at-best pitchers, and a whole lot of dreck. Expect the usual brownouts from Lind (is he looking for the lead in Deliverance 2?) and the dullard Rasmus. The grinning, overrated clown Reyes, is already injured. By mid-May this bunch will be deep underwater; the excuses and enmity will flow like beer at a frat party.

A smart owner would soon dismiss AA and the mysterious Beeston man ASAP, give a blank cheque to someone like Pat Gillick — who I am sure wouldn’t want the job — who can trade off the so-called stars for top prospects (yes, I know, it isn’t just that easy). This team needs to make a conscious decision to suffer a couple of Astros-like seasons until the farm system is replenished.

Put me down for 69 wins.

— Selby Martin, Toronto

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but die already, Selby. You’ll be happier.

 

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Q : With all the hand-wringing over who will fill the fifth spot in the rotation this year, I find it surprising that nobody has looked to the Jays’ Class A affiliate for a possible solution. The way that they split games between the starters seemed to be highly effective for the kids on limited innings. Why not apply the same thing to McGowan and Esmil Rogers? It might get tricky if the starter runs into trouble early, but if they’re both prepared to throw 4-5 innings every fifth game day, it could ease management’s minds about durability and stamina, respectively. If we’re going to carry an 8-man bullpen anyway, why not take advantage of it?

— Mike, Toronto

Because it’s stupid?

That works* for what they want to do with all the arms they have in the minors where the win-loss record doesn’t mean a hell of a lot and the roster spots aren’t so precious. Wasting a long man by only having him prepared to throw on a particular day? Not exactly smart roster use. Fuck, the Jays have a tough enough time as it is not carrying eight relievers, and this sure as shit wouldn’t help end that nonsense. It’s not like you’d be guaranteeing a day of rest for the other guys in the bullpen — you think they wouldn’t still play the late-inning matchup game or want to bring in a closer who is… I dunno… better than Esmil Rogers???

Make McGowan a starter. Use the bullpen as is fit. Simple.

 

* Some will tell you, actually, that it’s fucking dumb to do this in the minors, too, because you’re trying to develop pitchers, yet not allowing them to turn over a lineup two and three times.

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Comments (118)

  1. Regular season games in Montreal. Is the guy a tool who doesn’t understand that it would take home dates away from the jays, or was he some sort of fan of Gary Bettman’s inane neutral site games idea from the 90s?

    • Or, y’know, the Expos in Puerto Rico.

    • Why do you assume the Jays would be playing the neutral game in Montreal? Could be any teams in MLB. Why not the Mets and the Braves? Why do you assume that if the Jays did play a game there that it would be their home game, not their opponent’s?

  2. Wow, all the knuckleheads sent in questions this week eh?

  3. Molescott!

  4. Sorry if my question made anyone kill themselves. I totally understand if you did, though.

    Outside of all the spelling mistakes, and general lack of knowledge I displayed, I’m actually a pretty swell guy.

    • All good Dave. If I wasn’t rushing to finish the post before my train’s arrival I would have given you a real rebuttal.

  5. You were too easy on Selby. Should have requested death by ebola virus or genital warts.

    • Why is that guy even a Jays fan? It’d probably be easier for him to just pick a better team than suffer through life

    • Sounds like a troll to me. It’s too funny not to be.

      • I assure you that cuntsmack Selby Martin is no troll. His emails enraged me so much that I once tried to track him down to hassle him. He is an investment advisor with RBC in his mid-60′s and obviously is a miserable son of a bitch. I flooded his work inbox until it was closed. Felt pretty good about it. .

  6. I don’t read griffin, so sorry if this question sounds stupid but..

    are these real questions? I understand idiots asking questions, but these were the best of the bunch? He seriously put this in his blog or paper?

    sheesh

  7. “DURR HOW IS JERSH JERNSN DOIN?”

    What kind of moron asks a newspaper columnist questions that can be answered by, literally, entering those exact words into Google.

  8. Ahhh train beers always make me happy.

  9. Let’s take a glass half full look at the lineup, shall we?

    Reyes – Former NL MVP, candidate this year if he stays healthy
    Bautista – His name is Jose Bautista
    Encarnacion – see above, change names
    Lind – MASHES righties
    Rasmus – Contract year numbers will look impressive
    Cabrera – Healthy and had an incredible spring, NL Batting Champ*
    Lawrie – breakout year (barely 24)
    Navarro – HUGE improvement on JPA
    Goins – every team has to have a #9 hitter. GREAT glove.

    Dickey – Cy Young
    Buehrle – #2 on any team
    Morrow – DUE for a BIG YEAR
    Hutchinson – WOW, great spring, looks sharp
    McGowan – Heartwarming story of the year

    BULLPEN – Best in MLB?

    BENCH – I miss Rajai.

    What are we wringing our hands over here? A light-hitting 2B? A couple back-end rotation guys with something to prove? Injuries that have not yet happened ? Last year everything that could go wrong went wrong. They were WORLD SERIES FAVORITES. Shit happens.

    For the Red Sox everything went right. THEY GOT LUCKY.

    I think this team can make the playoffs. AM I THE ONLY ONE?!? WHO’S WITH ME?

    • That lineup could be ridiculously good. 1 through 7 (8?) have all-star potential.

    • Fuck it I by in now.

    • “Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR BLUE JAYS!!!”

    • Post of the offseason. I agree.

      At the buzzer too. From half court.

  10. Am I the only one who finds Selby’s “question” utterly hilarious?

    • Probably just full of angst because their name is Selby

    • Selby should go back to being a usual ” go leafs go” jays fun.

      I would like to ask him where the fuck was his question instead of ranting about the jays sucking/ being old, referencing a movie that is older than any active jays player.

  11. Actually the tandem starter concept has been knocked around in sabermetric circles ( read MGL ) and if there ever was a team who could try it given their personal it’s Toronto.

  12. Damien cox is a fucking moron lord

  13. “Unfortunately, yet once more pitching remains the Jays weak spot, as much as we try to stretch the blanket of pitching talent we currently have on roster it seems that it is still too short of a blanket to sufficiently provide cover for a winning season.”

    This sentence gave me an aneurysm. Selby sounds like he’d be a fun guy to hang out with.

  14. Weird question: Is Hutch still considered a rookie?

    • I believe Hutchison ended up with 1.1 innings too many in his rookie year before he got injured, thus costing him his rookie status. I’ll look it up though.

      If wikipedia’s rookie definition of “50 innings pitched” is correct, Drew Hutchison had 58.2 innings pitched in his rookie season, thus making him a second-year player.

    • What’s weird is the Expos, who aren’t even real, are basically retiring Gary Carters number.

  15. Black out in western Canada??? Don’t quite understand why they would do that. Is it a rogers/shaw/telus thing or do they think everyone out here are M’s fans?

  16. It’s starting to feel like ball season, ladies and gents. Even if this game doesn’t mean fuck all it’s nice to see the starting lineups playing in front of a full crowd.

  17. Dudes…Is this the Game Threat or…is there one?

  18. Heading to the DL. I just tore a shoulder capsule watching Lawrie throw to first.

  19. Ahh Jose

    Nice to see that again.

  20. Jays hit a home run and no fog horn follows it. We need more of this.

  21. I don’t see why putting regular season games in Montreal is so crazy. We can see the novelty will get enough fans and it expands the “Canada’s team” narrative.

    It could even be expanded having Seattle play in Vancouver rather than going to Toronto. BC Place has had exhibition games before.

    • Why do that though? Seriously.

      • I mean, how much more Canadiany would they get if they played during the season.

      • The only reason is to build the TV audience as Canada’s team. Marketing. I don’t know that it’s a good idea or a bad idea.

    • I don’t entirely hate the idea, but I that’s just because I love Montreal. Like, one series a year. I get the reasons against, but I think it’d be super cool.

  22. Can’t get enough of seeing Santos actually on the mound.

    So many good AA trades. Hey, you can’t really count on health.

  23. Some of those mets throws are pretty wild.

  24. Ok that just sucks

  25. damn TDA

  26. Travis d’Arnaud homers off Marcus Stroman. You couldn’t script this.

  27. yes i’m late to the party but mlb.tv is fucking sweet

  28. Mooney!

  29. EN EN EN!

    EN

    EN-CAR-NA-SHOWN

  30. EN-CAR-SEE-ON

  31. GO RAPS GO

  32. Something is wrong with my mlb.tv. Looked like Kittenface just got a hit off a lefty.

  33. Another Lind hit off a lefty…

  34. lol Zaun

  35. Ginger and Zaun were cuddling, how cute.

  36. FUCK GREGG ZAUN

    … Campbell.

  37. So the Jays were one of four teams not to receive any votes from the Fangraphs staff in terms of making the playoffs. The other three were Houston, the White Sox, and the Twins.

    Wow.

    I still believe… for a few more weeks, anyways.

  38. Love me some Muni

  39. How can you not love Mooney as a bench player?

  40. fuck i’ve missed baseball

  41. Fuck off with the inside pitches to Eddie. For fuck sake.

  42. FUUUUUUCK!

  43. Let’s see… I could face Encarnacion with a runner on 3rd and possibly blow the game… or I could hit Encarnacion with a pitch and face Jonathan Diaz… Hmmm…

  44. It’s too bad our bench is short right now or else we could pinch run for Edwin, and attempt a double steal.

  45. Nice Nanita

  46. Sweet.

  47. stop hitting encarnacion in spring training, baa!

  48. Jays win!

    Glad the people in Montreal got to enjoy that.

  49. More of this during the real season please.

  50. After all the negativity, it’s pretty awesome just to see some baseball. This is our team, I’m stoked to watch all year.

  51. A little sleepy for the first part of the game but a nice but a satisfying finish.

  52. Excellent game.

  53. Mike Trout extended for 6/144.5. Wow.

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