Well, I’m not here to buy douchebags, so it doesn’t really concern you.
Following up the earlier stuff about the Jays’ tight payroll, twitterer @Cameo60 tells us that Mike Wilner was on the radio today, confirming that he’s heard what Shi Davidi has heard about the Jays’ draft budget (unless it was just a repeat of what Shi said, which I guess is possible), which is that they “have enough $ to get what they need done, they don’t have as much as in the past.” Well, since teams can now only spend a small amount above their bonus pool allotment without severe penalties, no one has as much as in the past. But if that’s a suggestion that they’re going to spend below their limit, that would certainly be dumb.
Interesting post from Blue Jays Plus, where Gideon Turk tweets at Keith Pelley about this sort of stuff, and gets some surprising responses. For example, after being asked last night “Do you mind giving the Jays some extra cash now so they can add to the roster?” Pelley responds, “why????” Presumably that’s a “why … are you possibly moaning about this after a ninth straight win????” and if so, it’s somewhat understandable. Told that he was being asked this “because Liam Hendriks isn’t getting us into the playoffs, and AA shouldn’t have to borrow money from the players,” Pelley wisely skipped the unserious posturing as though anyone half reasonable could believe Hendriks is long for the rotation and jumped straight to the borrowing bit, responding simply that “he doesn’t.” I know, it’s really, really easy to whine about Rogers. But who’s to say that Paul Beeston’s reluctance to ask for budget increases isn’t at the root of what happened this winter, and not the fact that, as Gideon theorizes, Pelley is “the man who has been in charge of stopping the Blue Jays from landing numerous players via free agency and trades these past few years”? I certainly don’t think it’s clear one way or the other, but hey, rage away. I’ve been there.
Oh, and now there’s also this:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) May 29, 2014
The Jays are fun as fuck right now. You know this, I know this, and now a whole lot of people know it too. One of them is Grant Brisbee, who wonders at SB Nation whether the Jays are really this good, quickly looking at who is or isn’t performing to expectations, and finding that “it turns out that when the Blue Jays aren’t all hurt, ticking off the old, vengeful gods, and playing J.P. Arencibia, they’re pretty danged okay.” Not only that, “baseball would be better if the Blue Jays were really this good,” he says.
Great, interesting stuff from GROF over at theScore, as he examines how often teams with retractable roofs will open or close them.
Another day, another series of Jays talkin’ on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Podcast, as Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian marvel at the offence that has been on display at Rogers Centre this year. Starts around the fifteen minute mark, and isn’t a terribly long discussion (despite its inclusion in the episode’s description), but I’ve already written this much about it so… yeah. There ya go.
Elsewhere from ESPN, Mark Simon looks at which teams have been best and worst at turning various types of batted balls into outs, and we find the Jays among the league’s worst in terms of turning fly balls into outs. PLAY DEEPER, COLBY!
Yesterday I linked to Jonah Keri’s latest power rankings for Grantland, but didn’t include this tidbit: Jonah looks at “cluster luck” — a concept he explains thusly: “when a team’s batters cluster hits together to score more runs and a team’s pitchers spread hits apart to allow fewer runs, that’s cluster luck” – finding that the Jays have been the fourth luckiest team in the majors in that regard so far. Amazingly, though, it’s all on their pitching, and the hitters actually have a negative cluster luck number. Wacky.
And one last ESPN.com item, as Keith Law’s chat from last week wasn’t terribly heavy on Jays-related tidbits, but did provide us one Schadenfreud alert, after KLaw was asked whether he could envision Tyler Beede slipping out of the first round. “Absolutely,” he said. “He was not good at all yesterday. And teams are concerned about the makeup.” Take the money, kids.
Over at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith takes a look at the suddenly respectable starting rotation for your Toronto Blue Jays. The ERA of the club’s starters so far this year (3.75) is more than a full run better than last year’s disaster (4.81), and they’ve really been quietly dependable… if, y’know, maybe relying a bit too much on luck and better defence than we saw in 2013.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi recaps last night’s game, with a focus on the aggressive work of third base coach Luis Rivera, while Mike Wilner dreams in extrapolations, wondering what things would look like if the Jays actually kept up their current pace, and the Tao of Stieb revels in the missteps of the Jays’ rivals.
Eric Koreen of the National Post looks at Casey Janssen, and how he’s stabilized the bullpen since his return from the DL. Nails much?
Gregory Strong of the Canadian Press, via the Toronto Star, on the other hand, looks at the Jose Reyes of old — as in, the guy who it feels like we’ve been seeing atop the Jays’ lineup for the past couple of weeks. Fuck, this is fun.
Elsewhere in the Star, Brendan Kennedy recaps last night’s improbable win, while Richard Griffin looks at the the speed and excitement that Kevin Pillar and Anthony Gose have brought to the Jays’ lineup — then he wonders what happens when Colby Rasmus gets healthy, suggesting it’s Pillar and not Gose who’ll likely get down. I hope not. I sort of like the club having the option to platoon Rasmus and the right-handed hitting Pillar a bit, or to use Pillar as a DH.
In the Toronto Sun, Steve Buffery talks to Adam Lind about his role on the team and his happiness to be here, while sort of implying that it might not be completely insane for a club to want him to be an everyday player — i.e. one who faces lefties — which, of course, it is. Totally insane. Still great though!
Elsewhere in the Sun, Bob Elliott talks to Jose Reyes about his former Mets hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, who was reportedly fired this week on orders from ownership, and over the objections of the club’s GM, Sandy Alderson. Or something like that. And Steven Simmons somehow writes a piece that doesn’t make me want to break things, looking at the quiet superstar that is Edwin Encarnacion.
Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail looks at Anthony Gose, and the great problem the Jays have in having him, while the Globe also announces that it’s looking for pictures and memories to be shared by fans for the upcoming 25th anniversary of the SkyDome’s opening.
At Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer shows us some spiffy Jays-inspired threads that the Buffalo Bisons will war in an upcoming game.
A Blue Jays player finally makes the Fringe Five at FanGraphs – a list of the game’s “most compelling fringe prospects” — and it’s Taylor Cole, who has been completely under the radar as he has “recorded perhaps the best strikeout and walk figures among all qualified minor-league pitchers (31.3% and 6.0%, respectively, in 59.1 innings).”
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Tony Blengino takes a long look at where Mark Buehrle stands at the season’s quarter pole. Short version: he has overachieved.
The Huffington Post does some clickbait-y thing about signs you know you’re at a Jays game. It’s a thing. (A thing that I apparently didn’t originally make clear-enough is awful. It’s that, too.)
And lastly, speaking of clickbait, that Edwin parrot shirt, man. Only about three days left in the sale, apparently.