The Garbage Clowns Knew First…

Welp. Here we are. They’re not finished just yet, but they certainly will be if they don’t start winning immediately, and winning a lot. Even if they do, the Jays now find themselves behind Cleveland, in addition to the Tigers, Yankees, and the Mariners, who currently hold the final Wild Card spot in the AL. Stranger things have happened than a team coming from where the Jays are to make the post-season, but the club hasn’t made their task any easier in the last week. As last Tuesday began and the Jays headed into their first game against Milwaukee, in order to just ensure a tie for that second Wild Card spot, over their final 37 games of the year they would have needed to play a half game better than the Yankees, and three-and-a-half better than both the Mariners and Tigers. Tough, but not impossible. As it stands today, to get a share of the Wild Card they’ll need to be a half game better than Cleveland, two games better than the Yankees, four-and-a-half better than Detroit, and five-and-a-half better than Seattle over the course of their 32 remaining games. To give some perspective: the Jays weren’t even 5.5 games better than the Mariners in May, when they went 21-9 and Seattle was 16-14. The BP-powered playoff probabilities listed at MLB.com currently gives the Jays a 4.0% chance of making the playoffs.

It’s not early anymore.


Jose, Can You See?

As the annual grim ritual march to irrelevance — *COUGH* — gathers steam we seem to be shifting nicely into finger-pointing mode, and Jose Bautista sure put a target on his back and a narrative on Sunday, getting himself ejected for arguing balls and strikes. But it wasn’t, of course, just the manner in which he was ejected that irked fans so much — though, rightly, that was part of it — but it was also the fact that, in a crucial affair, his replacement, Nolan Reimold, ended up making a giant shit-turd of an extra-inning error, and striking out to end the game, and a rally-that-could-have-been that saw the Jays place runners on first and third with none out and — ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME???!!? — failing to score.

At one point this afternoon I contemplated doing an Anatomy Of A JaysTalk post to try to rein in some of the madness, but then Joanna of Hum and Chuck reminded me that I basically responded to all this already. More than a year ago.

“Hey,” I sarcastically intoned, “let’s all try to extinguish the fire in Bautista’s belly by taking giant steaming shits down his throat. At least it allows us to pretend there’s some explanation– some manifestation of karma, some vengeful umpire-led conspiracy, some unseeable force of poor leadership and selfishness–  for the way the season has gone so far. I mean, it’s far easier to point fingers and think we’ve got it all figured out than to actually grapple with the notion that things may really not be as bad as the results make it seem and that the universe sometimes just isn’t fucking fair, eh?”

After showing a GIF of the argument, I went on:

“Have we really never seen that from a good team before? From a leader before? From a presumed leader, even though we don’t really know anything about what goes on behind closed doors, before? Or are we just twisting the meaning to make it fit with whatever negative bullshit our guts are desperately telling us we must think about this frustrating team? Because I think it’s the latter, and I’m not going to let that happen to me. It was an ejection. It happens. No need to insist it’s so imbued with deep meaning.”

Yeah, it was dumb, and the timing of it was terrible — especially with so much conversation still going on about Bautista’s post trade-deadline comments and his commitment to the club. But let’s not lose sight of reality. It was his first ejection of the season, and the first for a Jays player in 2014, after it happened six times last season. Jose now joins fellow non-leaders Dustin Pedroia, Miguel Cabrera, Troy Tulowitzki, Albert Pujols, Carlos Gomez, Matt Holliday, Jason Kipnis, David Wright, and Russell Martin in getting tossed from a game this year.


Good Gri(e)ff

Speaking of finger pointing: “Once again a Blue Jays game came down to a lack of execution and fundamentals, both offensively and defensively, further dimming their fading playoff hopes.”

That’s from Richard Griffin’s gamer for the Toronto Star, and while he’s not wrong… I dunno… can we maybe not sound the FUDAMETALS idiot alarm? The commenters on that one are already pretty deep up their own assholes.

But at least one man in Griff’s piece is pointing a finger in the right direction: John Gibbons.

“The bottom line is we needed him in the game. Say your piece and get the hell out of there. We’re trying to get in the playoffs, we need you on the field. He’s a marked man in this game. Bill Welke? I thought he had a pretty good zone today. It was steady, he was calling strikes. He was looking to call strikes. But we need you in the game.”


Bautista, as you’ve probably already seen, wasn’t exactly seeing it the same way as his manager:

“If you want to stick to facts, the facts are that because I did say something, anything at all, I did get tossed,” Bautista said, denying umpires may have it in for him. “I guess you would say yes (I blame myself). But again, I feel like what I said was nowhere near warranting getting ejected. But if you want to get the other side of the story, you’re going to have to talk to Welke.”

An umpire being accountable? Pfft. Good luck.

But you know what? Bautista might even have a point. Too bad his reputation will preclude most people from listening.


Moving On…

Rightly or wrongly, the confluence of all these troubles for the Jays has got a lot of people, myself included, starting to think more and more about what this team ought to look like next year. I’m not sure it’s as difficult a question as a lot of people want to make it out to be. Bautista and Encarnacion locked for up two years at way less than their market value? Hutchison, Stroman, Sanchez, and Norris potentially on the cusp of forming the core of a dirt cheap young rotation you can feel awfully good about? The increasingly real possibility of another failed season under Alex Anthopoulos will increase the volume of those wanting to insist the club do something drastic, but maybe you just play for 2015 and — especially — 2016. Maybe you take a step back and use R.A. Dickey as a chip to get a real second baseman. Maybe J.A. Happ gets it done. Maybe you swallow hard and pay a big portion of Mark Buehrle’s contract in order to get out from an even bigger portion of it and restore some financial flexibility. As scary as it is to keep on humping the diminishing returns of Jose Reyes, and to think of banking so hard on what will, by 2016, be a 35-year-old Bautista and a 33-year-old Edwin Encarnacion, maybe we’d do well to remember just how rare their kind of talent is.

Maybe these are questions better left for… y’know… every day of the off-season. Maybe Anthopoulos can beef up the damn analytics department in the meantime.

Tangent here, but it would be a little bit fucking nice if this winter we can avoid missing details like Dioner Navarro’s poor pitch framing, which was discussed by Jeff Sullivan at Just A Bit Outside last week. Sullivan looks at the total strikes gained or lost by framing — both by a team’s own catchers, and against its hitters — and finds that the Brewers are the top team in baseball (+400 strikes), and the Jays are the bottom one (-280). It’s not all on Navarro — Sullivan notes that Jays hitters have lost out on strikes because there are so many good framers in the AL East that they face with regularity — but still! He explains:

“What does a single strike mean? Calculations in the past have put the value of an extra strike somewhere around 0.14 runs. That’s not very much, but then, you can do the multiplication. These things add up fast. If you use that estimate, then the difference between the Brewers and the Blue Jays, here, comes out to about 95 runs, just from pitch-framing alone. That’s thought to be something like ten wins. That’s just the difference between the two extremes, but that’s an enormous difference.”

I’ll still take him over Arencibia, though.

Comments (240)

  1. The garbage clowns were right, followed by “remember when I said there would be a grim ritual march to irrelevance??”
    Was this tongue in cheek?

  2. Some big decisions to be made in the off season.
    Do they stuck with this core group through 2015-16?
    (plug the holes and away we go)

    Or do they re-tool on the fly, moving some vets to acquire
    promising young players like Mookie Betts ?
    (who appears to be being shopped by the Red Sox)

    Not suggesting a massive Miami style tear down.
    But if they can get younger and better at the same time,
    there might be some merit to making one or two of those kinds of moves.

    • I’d put the chances of the Jays getting Betts at approximately zero. Otherwise, I hear you here. I could be sold on looking more towards 2016 than 2015 if they have to.

      • What could you get back if you look at trading Buehrle, Reyes, Bautista?

        I know trading Bautista sounds crazy, but if you can get 2 above average young players? All depends on the return obviously, not advocating trading him at all costs.

      • Though I wonder off AA goes all in on next year, because it will be his 6th, and next year, we should start to see the fruits of his drafts

      • If Melky is going the FA route (and getting a QO)
        that may make looking at 2016 more realistic.

        1.5 yr of Price brought a solid roster player,
        an MLB ready prospect and a lottery ticket.
        What would 2yr of Bautista fetch? Dickey?

      • What would the Jays do if they looked to 2016 instead of 2015?

        Realistically, the only players with big value on the team (besides the young guys they’d most likely want/need to keep) are Bautista and Encarnacion – you might find takers for Dickey, Buehrle and Reyes but it’s hard to imagine getting big returns unless the Jays ate tons of money, and even then, I’m not sure.

        You could hold Bautista and Edwin and try moving lesser parts, but then you’re looking at 2016 and just 2016 as the big chance, which would be the last year the Jays control those two.

        The frustrating thing is that the Jays have essentially no upper-level position player prospects, which makes trading a tough scenario. It’s not like the scenario we considered last year, where we thought they could trade Rasmus for an upgrade elsewhere and not lose too much by going with Gose.

        Maybe I’m just getting swept up in negativity, but it feels to me like they’re in kind of a no-win situation this offseason – unless Rogers is magically willing to give them another bundle of money to spend.

        • Dickey is being paid $12 million next year, which is a fair price for a 4.00 ERA pitcher. Next year is his last year.

          The Jays shouldn’t have to pay any money to get rid of him, and the only reason the Jays should pay any of Dickey’s salary in a trade is to get better prospects.

      • Russell Martin please! I’m done with Navaro, He can’t frame jack shit. Hutchison gets killed throwing belt high fast balls but can’t throw at the knees cause Navaro will turn it into a ball.

        Defence first at C (Martin) , CF (Gose or Pompey in 2015) and SS (move Reyes to 2B or trade his ass). The rest of the diamond can be filled with hitters and decent fielders. In my opinion catcher is the most important position defensively, especially framing.

        • Not enough peices for a retool while keeping the core. It will have be a total rebuild with Reyes, Joey Bats, EE and others going.
          I say give it to next All-star break then decide.

        • 1. Reyes to 2B
          2. Deal Dickey (alternately Happ, or Buehrle+$7mil or so) for great glove/decent or better bat SS (Andurus?)
          3. Sign Martin
          4. figure out closer
          5. play ball

          • Not sure Reyes, with his bad range and good arm, is ideal for second, but him at third and Lawrie at second could do. Hard to see him accepting a move or the Jays asking, though.

    • I really think you need to give this at least another kick at the can before you even consider selling off the assets. You’ve still got Bautista and Edwin through 2016. If next year is another disappointment and you’re down to 1 year of control left then, yes, I’d say we need to take a serious look at getting a return while the assets are still uber valuable. Furthermore, players like Reyes and Buehrle probably become more valuable as their contracts nears expiration.

      Rogers is willing to give the Blue Jays a very high payroll but, evidently, there seems to be a lack of flexibility at some point. AA (or whoever is in charge) will need to aggressively look to maximize the assets that they have,

      • I agree. Bautista and EE are found stars and should be moved based on buy low-sell high logic, however they aren’t in a contract year. The deciding factor would be AA just doesn’t see the team improving by holding both big bats and the return for moving Bautista or EE is too high to pass on (#2 SP + high prospect near ready).

  3. Reimhold also had a great throw to 2nd earlier, and odds are not that much better that Bautista doesn’t still makes that final out. If that first play is a leadoff double, then there probably isn’t a 10th inning.

    Of course, maybe Bautista plays the ball differently and Kiewrmaier stays at 1st, but that’s still worse than the outcome of that play with Reimhold, and no, just because Bautista has an arm doesn’t mean he obviously nails the runner at 2nd too. Just pointing out on that play that there are no better outcomes, but a range of worse outcomes with Bautista.

    Yes, of course Bautista should have stayed in, and especially once the umpire told him he’d had his say and could return to the dugout, he absolutely should have done that. But it is far from obvious it was any kind of difference maker in the game as it ultimately played out.

    • What are you talking about? Bautista is the Jays best player and a difference maker. You need him in the field to have any chance to win

      • Oh, just read your comment below and realized that your comment is not attempting to be a caricature — you literally use the term “difference maker” as a description as though it is meaningful.

        Sorry. Just didn’t realize your comment was serious.

  4. Yesterday had nothing to do with “fundamentals” at the end of the game. It had to do that they had a stiff (Riemold) out in RF instead their best player. I have to agree with Gibbons comments at the end of the game. Bautista needs to shut his fucking mouth because his team’s season is on the line.

    I feel bad for Gibby and what he had to put up with yesterday.

  5. It’s pretty funny (for lack of a better adjective) reading comments from people who proudly proclaim that they knew going into the season that the Jays would win 70-something games and finish no better than 3rd or 4th. That doesn’t exactly make you Kreskin. It makes you an unpaid Nate Silver. That is exactly what the previous year’s record would indicate as a likelihood. It’s about as bold as saying Canada will finish between 5th and 3rd in the medal standings at the next Winter Olympics.

  6. This roster is essentially the same team as last season (maybe worse because of all the injuries). They didn’t make the playoffs then, why we would expect them to make the playoffs this year?

    • Are you saying that this year’s team had a greater injury problem then last year’s team? Good God.

  7. It’s just so… depressing. I’m actually really starting to wonder if there is some unseen missing accountability or managerial magic wand.

  8. Some great nicknames in that rotation, going forward:

    “Dirty” Sanchez
    Marcus Throw-man
    Drew Clutch-ison
    “Chuck” Norris
    Sean No-no-lin
    “Captain” Graveman

    “Tricky” Dickey
    “Hurly” Buehrle

  9. You can even go earlier than Milwaukee. Losing 2 of 3 to the White Sox when you don’t have to face Sale could be a red flag too.

  10. I thought the Jays have a chance of sending Buehrle to the Angels. He should clear waivers because of the size of his contract and the Angels have a need for a reliable starter. if the jays received a decent prospect, it would be a win/win situation. Those people who feel Buehrle is the difference in possibly making the post season might disagree. I am also a fan of a trade of Jose in the off season IF the return in monumental

    • if they would take his contract you’d have to seriously consider it….

    • He could keep his pitbulls in LA.

    • For Grant Green maybe.

    • I dont think the Angels have the greatest farm, a by-product of signing so many high end FA’s recently, but yeah if you can get something decent for Buerhle in addition to shedding most of his contract, you’d have to do it no? They’ve always been apt to make short-sighted moves.

  11. They need to go at least 4-2 in the rest of the homestand to have a chance
    That would be 70 wins before September

  12. Offseason question:
    How about yasmindal grandal?
    He’s unhappy in San Diego and wants a trade

  13. Bringing the pitch framing back to the AL East, the Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox and Rays are 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th in strike benefit.

    Rough, that equates to a runs / wins benefit for each team relative to the Jays of:
    - Yankees: 58 / 5.8
    - Orioles – 56 / 5.6
    - Red Sox – 53 / 5.3
    - Rays – 45 / 4.5

    It’s not hard to imagine the standings looking pretty different if the Jays had a skilled pitch framer behind the plate. It doesn’t look like WAR takes pitch framing into account at this point, but I suspect we’ll see that in the next few years, and the market for catchers will probably get a shake up.

    Stoeten’s comment about AA’s inaction around analytics is on point. That has grown to be my biggest issue with AA over the past 2-3 years.

    • It’s something when the leafs who had a who said analytics were useless last year, hire 4 analytics guys to hire a department and the jays lack behind

    • Instead of beefing up the analytics, maybe AA should focus on beefing up the team. You know, the guys who actually play the game?

      • yeah, but hiring FO guys who can help you determine players who have good value and other things that can have an impact on wins and losses.

      • Sigh. Obviously any changes in approach have to be reflected on the field and in signing players. I’ll spell it out. It appears the FO has not taken pitch framing into account in pursuing catchers. Doing so would potentially “beef up” the team on the field by about 4-6 wins, relative to the rest of the division.

        Additionally, we’ll probably see good framing catchers go up in price in the next few years as common advanced indicators like WAR begin to take that skillset into account, so it would behoove the team to a) find a good framing catcher and b) lock them up.

    • i was wondering about the pitch-framing stuff a bit…the jays really only have one traditional ‘control’ type pitcher (buerhle); you’ve got a knuckleballer, and IMO, pitch-framing has to sort of be tossed out with dickey simply to the erratic/unpredictable nature of the pitches. after those two, you’ve got a two youngsters (stroman/hutch) who have been inconsistent & haven’t ‘earned’ the benefit of the doubt re. the strike zone (larf), and happ, who’s a journeyman vet. pitch-framing obviously isn’t nothing, i’m just curious how the variance in the staff plays into the poor showing in that regard, and whether having a noted ‘framer’ behind the plate would offset things all that much. at best, maybe bring it closer to neutral?

      • It’s interesting to think about how all of that washes out. I imagine as investigation of framing gets more sophisticated, it will start to differentiate the impact it has for a given pitcher, or whether a given pitch or location is more likely to be called a strike. Think about not just the raw count of low and away sliders that seem to be made into strikes by the catcher, but how likely that pitch is to frame as a strike given how often the same pitch is called a ball or a strike in similar situations – you could conceivably evaluate not just the raw pitch framing totals, but the “degree of difficulty” of framing a given pitch as a strike.

        I wouldn’t quite be able to write off the relevance with Dickey. It could be argued it’s more important for him. A pitcher like Buerhle who hits his targets could be an easy sell for the catcher. Getting a dancing knuckleball that surprises the catcher but still hits the outside corner to still *appear* like it ended up where they wanted it to seems a much harder task.

        As an aside, a lot of writing on Fangraphs and other analytics informed baseball writing provides interesting insight into players and situations, but it’s rare to see folks like Jeff Suilivan get excited about the possibilities that investigating a new aspect of the game creates. That’s what I see in the discussion of pitch framing – people who know what they’re talking about saying “Check it out, this is important, even if we don’t fully understand it or know how to measure it yet!”

        • with dickey, just catching the damn ball takes so much effort & concentration, that to focus on also framing it so borderline pitches are seen as strikes seems to be a tall order. unlikely, it would seem, to find a catcher who’s both adept at catching a knuckler who’s also an above-avg framer (who can also hit, natch).

          for buerhle, i think the catcher has an easier job of ‘framing’ because he’s a control pitcher with a reputation as a guy who has to hit his spots, and as a vet, my guess is he’s gonna get the benefit of doubt by reputation alone over guys who don’t have that same rep., to the point that i’m not sure the abilities of the framer matters to a great deal.

    • Pitch framing? You don’t think Francisco, Valencia, Tolleson, Kawasoki,Riemold and Rasmus have anything to do with this. Hutchison gave up one run over 6 innings but the Jays seem to face Cy Young every game. This team has tried to compete with other teams cast offs for two years. Fact is they are not good enough to play winning baseball or they would stil be on active rosters. Oh ya every team has injuries!

      • Other players have a tonne to do with it. Pitch framing is a small piece of a big puzzle, and what the article Stoeten linked says is a) the Jays suck at it and b) it costs them runs; c) which costs them wins.

        Yeah, great, get better players. Improve in whatever way possible. However large, and more subtle point, is that good framing appears to be a market inefficiency. It doesn’t cost that much (yet), and has a significant impact over the course of a season.

        So, when AA is looking to improve the team, he could, say, over pay a middling talent for slightly improved productivity at second base. Or find a strong defensive catcher who will strengthen the entire pitching staff for less money.

    • I am sure AA has access to analytics beyond what we do. Catcher framing is still a very controversial topic in the public area and those numbers are by no means definitive. If you look solely at those numbers it would make the catcher by far the most important player on the field, and the MVP probably should have been a catcher at least since Bonds retired.

  14. Now before anyone throws the ‘Garbage Clown’ or ‘Troll’ moniker my way, please note that this is a serious question. I read DJF and comments religiously but don’t chime in often. Is it possible that some of the players would intentionally sabotage their chances of winning games as a giant f*ck you to managament? Some of the plays recently just have me scratching my head: Valencia’s slow lob to first to miss an out, Mune’s pretend double clutch to miss the double play, Rasmus slow footing in the outfield… I mean, I know it sounds incredible, but is it possible? Anyone? Does it ever happen?

    • Like, really? Dooooooooooooooood. Give yer head a shake.

    • No.

      • Any thoughts on why it would never happen? Did you see some of those plays?

        • Please stop.

        • I think the reasoning is that these are literally the best players in the world at the sport. They make mistakes, but without some clear incentive to play poorly (i.e. Black Sox), there is no reason to think that they intentionally play badly.

          The incentives to play well include: better pay, likelihood of playoffs, more playing time.

          The incentives to play poorly include: telling your boss that you would have done things differently in an indirect manner where the message may not actually get across, hurting your career.

          • That makes sense; thanks for that. I’m not sure that professional players are immune from human nature though, particularly with the outsized egos that come with the territory. We know the clubhouse wasn’t happy at the trade deadline. We know that a player or players said after a recent loss, “see? this is what happens.”. We were told that certain players are here because AA sold them on a plan to win in the shorter term. As individual players, you could make a few strategic errors without hurting your stock to badly I think. And if you want out at the end of the season? I agree it’s a little far fetched, but I just don’t think it can be dismissed as fantasy.

            • You’re a drug-addled lunatic. Or, a troll. Both, perhaps.

              • That’s a pretty narrow world view Mr. Fink. I’m actually a structural engineer from Winnipeg and I’ve been a fan since 1987.

            • The huge egos is a reason why they wouldn’t do so though.

              Plus it’s just not likely in the DNA of anybody who has put in the time and effort into becoming the best in the world at something.

              Not to mention, it wouldn’t really be a fuck you to management. That would be a pretty vague and indirect message.

            • Sure, I get that it was a serious question, but I personally think it is somewhat close to fantasy. My own perspective is that the trade deadline issue can’t possibly have that big an effect, but certainly some players may feel upset from it. There are also a load of factors in whether a trade happens or doesn’t. It’s not a choice of To Do or Not to Do.
              Also, I can’t see any of those guys literally thinking “I’m going to dog it a bit on this play”. All of those players have also made clearly good plays since the trade deadline passed. Even if they don’t have a sense of wanting to win and look great each time they go on the field (which I assume they do and always have in spades since they were very young) I can’t imagine they’d ever prefer to play worse.
              Finally, on the examples, Rasmus can’t afford to choose to look bad, especially when his recent batting probably doesn’t carry him far – contract year. Kawasaki has been a AAAA player for awhile – can’t see him thinking he’s got room to screw around a bit. Valencia was actually a trade, recall. Just doesn’t make enough sense.

              • True enough. Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

                • If I saw my boss do something stupid, or at least something that I disagreed with and would rather have seen him do something differently, I might consider checking out and saying ‘I work for an idiot.’ But if my contract was up at the end of the quarter, or end of the year (all three guys you noted could be without contracts come the winter and looking for new ones), I sure as shit wouldn’t want any competitor company to think that the failures of my organization were because I suck or because I stopped trying. Worse, being of the belief that the organization was about to stop doing well, I’d really worry that I could be to blame, and would work harder to look like the cause of our suckage.

                  Maybe some pro baseball players are overgrown children who get upset when the GM doesn’t do his job the way they want him to. But more than likely they’re professionals who do their job to the best of their ability, and just want to see the team get stronger.

    • Absurd. Why would any player do this.
      It has no real negative impact on “Management” and it makes them look like a crappy player.

    • Could it happen? Maybe.

      Would it happen? Consider that Rasmus is playing for what ought to be the biggest contract of his life. Why would he slow-foot it out in the outfield?

    • Hey, you jocked my handle!

      • Oops – didn’t know it was taken. Is ‘shit-for-brains’ available? Lol.

        • You handled yourself well Bird Brain.Welcome to the comment section.
          To answer your question bluntly.
          No, the players would never purposely sabotage the team.
          If any player was perceived to do this,above everything else that would happen, the other players on the team would deal with it behind closed doors. And it wouldn’t be pretty.
          It never happens.
          Some players can lose intensity and check out a bit ( No,I can’t read minds but I can provide tons of examples including some quotes). They’ll still play hard because at the end of the day,it’ll affect their paycheck. But they’re not robots
          The players you mentioned, are who they are, they play to their abilty.

          PS. I noticed that nobody mentioned the Rays defensive miscues that allowed JF and Muni to get on base in the tenth.It’s not just the Jays that have defensive lapses.

    • I don’t think anybody intentionally performs poorly.
      I think its more a result of playing on what I call “automatic pilot.”
      Its more like going through the motions than being actively into it.

      Maybe you’re tired or bored or dispirited or feeling ouchy or whatever.
      So maybe you’re half a step slow, chase a bad pitch,
      double clutch, get a bad jump etc.
      Should not happen. But they are human it does happen.

      • Don’t have time to wade through the entire discussion so forgive me if this has been covered.
        I think it’s just as likely that with injuries and fatigue and frustration with everything including not getting any new players at (what now looks like) both deadlines, that all the Jays have a tendancy to “go through the motions” rather than play with any enthusiasm. One thing about MLB is constant and that’s this: If you get a label as a “quitter” or any other negative moniker like “cancer” or “lazy”. It’s damn near impossible to get rid of it.

  15. I kind of find the Jays in a difficult situation heading into this offseason.

    It’s not like we should be sitting here arguing this is a bad team – but you could definitely make the case that the team as it is isn’t good enough. It’s hard to see the improvements they need coming internally, too. Sure, they’ll have some good pitching depth next year, but you have to count on some big performances from young guys to expect a much better rotation then they had this year.

    You hope the Jays will re-sign Melky, but even if they do… it will be a lot of money spent that doesn’t even upgrade anything on the team, just keeps a player they already had.

    The obvious solution is to spend to find some better upgrades and improve the talent around the field (at 2B, CF, a reliable pitcher) but that seems hard to expect unless other talent like Buehrle is moved away.

    • Though if aa Is back for 2015 as he should be for now, does he to for 2015 knowing that a bad next year gets him canned. Problem is if he doesn’t do that he isn’t going to be the gm rebuilding the stuff he built

      • @not that jays fans.

        I think AA does realize that next year will be his last year but he doesn’t want to damage the team’s long term prospects.

        Perhaps he will accept a an assistant GM job omewhere else or they could give him a job reviewing waiver wire claims.

        • I would like to see AA stay long term. He’s proven he has a lot of talent. He’s made mistakes, like all people make mistakes, particularly when they are new to the job.

          I’m sure he’ll learn from the mistakes he’s made and be even better. I’m personally glad he stood pat at the deadline and didn’t pull a Bryan Colangelo to try and make things good for the short term.

          Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago he was as ninja assassin. No one could have predicted the trade he made, which we were all so excited about, would turn out the way it did.

  16. it’s difficult to get excited about 2015.The core will be older. Melky & Casey could be elsewhere.

    If AA couldn’t get any funds this year, isn’t it even less likely that Rogers gives him more money for 2015?

    The rest of the AL east will rebuild.

    I will still watch the games, but I am seriously considering not renewing my flex pack tickets

    • Good chance Melky is back. If he’s not, feel free to be pissed off.

      You’re probably right about Casey, but a bullpen can always be improved fairly cheaply during an offseason. Maybe you don’t get anyone as good as Casey, but you get 2-3 guys who are better than someone of the guys we have now.

      Next year will probably be a lot like this year. A pretty good team, with a chance to do great things… but also a chance to shit the bed. At least we have some up and coming young players to get excited about now.

  17. So now playoff odds are ok or…?

    Seriously though. Stoeten brings up some good points about the future. Think about the outfield next year. Melky will be the top hitting outfield FA and Colby will be the top CF on the market. IMO that’s an awfully tall order to bring either back, even in spite of Colby’s regression this year.

    That leaves us with a 2015 outfield of Bautista, Pillar, and Gose? Couple that with whatever financial restraints may or may not be governing this team. Excuse me for thinking the best thing for this team is a retool. We’ve got some great assets and a couple great farm pieces already.

    The future is bright, just maybe not as quickly as we’d like.

    • @paul,

      I wonder if AA would bring back Colby if he can’t get Melky. Colby would be cheaper than Melky.

      AA always likes discounts

      • Sure, I like discounts too!

        Your 2015 free agent CF per MLBTR are as follows:

        Emilio Bonifacio (30)
        Franklin Gutierrez (32)
        Colby Rasmus (28)
        Grady Sizemore (32)
        Denard Span (31) – $9MM club option with a $500K buyout
        Chris Young (31)

        Span has been a consistent 3 WAR player and that option will get picked up. We’re then left with…yeah. Colby’s the youngest and has far and away the most upside of that group.

        Sure this season he’ll come at a discount from whatever he was projected at over the off season but he’s really the only starting CF available. He’ll get paid. We should be pleased that even given his season, I’d expect him to turn down a qualifying offer and look for something longer term. The CF market picks up in 2016, I don’t imagine he’d want to be a part of it.

  18. Stick a fork in this turkey because it’s done in 2014.

    Rogers should not bring AA back, but they will.
    Dickey needs to go, pronto
    I guarantee they will not bring back Cabrera and the outcry from fans will be huge
    If they stick with this core then the results in 2015 will be similar.
    Although I really don’t know if Rogers would allow AA or any other GM to blow up the team, to move the 2 pieces (Edwin and Bautista) that make the team an attraction and somewhat relevant. But it needs to happen.

    • Stick a fork in this turkey because it’s done in 2014.
      96% done :)

      Rogers should not bring AA back, but they will.
      I’m indifferent on this.

      Dickey needs to go, pronto
      These types of comments are pointless. He’s an asset. And one that is worth more than zero. So why would be “need to go”? He only “needs to go” if he’s taking up space that someone else could do better in… Which right now is not the case. You can say, I think we can trade dickey for something more valuable to the team (you’d probably be wrong, but you can say that)

      I guarantee they will not bring back Cabrera and the outcry from fans will be huge
      Can I collect money on that guarantee if you’re wrong?

      If they stick with this core then the results in 2015 will be similar.
      Possibly. OR it could be like 2013 :) ORRRR it could be something completely different.

      Although I really don’t know if Rogers would allow AA or any other GM to blow up the team, to move the 2 pieces (Edwin and Bautista) that make the team an attraction and somewhat relevant. But it needs to happen.
      WHYYYY? Why would you ever ever want to move those two players, under those contracts??? WHYYYYYYY!?!?!?!?!?!

      • Because the Jays have more holes in the dyke than fingers to plug them?
        Because JB and EE are the only assets they have that could conceivably plug those holes?
        Because almost everything the majority of the Pollyanna garbage free clowns who post here have posted has been proven wrong (again) and should consider maybe, I dunno; coming to grips with the fact that they are the ones who don’t know what the fuck they are talking about?
        Or you could keep them and start building for 2016??? But garbage clown…there’s that.

        • You honestly think that trading two of the most team friendly contracts in baseball… which happen to be for the two best players on the team will somehow HELP the team?

          • IMW you are trying to impart sanity into insanity. You can’t. These types are still pretending there aren’t two sides to everything. If you could be better off by losing two of the best hitters in the game, why would another team do that deal? It is completely insane rhetoric.

            • IMO, you only consider trading EE or bats if the org is convinced they don’t have either the talent or the resources to acquire the talent needed to contend before their contracts are up.

              which, i mean, why would anyone think that? that’s garbage clown thinking! of course they’ll do whatever it takes. you guys heard AA, the money’s there, don’t be silly, it’s still good, it’s still good…it’s gone.

            • sons, you’re an idiot. You should run for mayor.

          • I have my doubts that trading JB and EE would better the team.
            I have no doubt that the Jays should see what the market is for trading them.
            To say that they should under any circumstance, not be traded; is where I’m drawing the line.

        • And it’s putting your fingers in a DIKE.
          Putting your fingers in a dyke…well, that’s a whole other website.

    • You’re out of your mind.

  19. …and here comes all the crazy.

  20. I have a few rants I would like to direct at many members of this blog and some at Stoeten as well. I enjoy this blog and the work Stoeten does (read daily by rarely comment), so when I say a couple things about you Stoet, it’s not because I think you’re an idiot, I just think sometimes you view of certain opinions are misguided, and sometimes mean spirited. But that’s ok.

    I commented awhile back how it makes way more sense to rebuild this group around the young pitching, instead of JB and EE. JB and EE need to be dealt to bring in young bats. We are assured more inconsistency from the young pitchers for 2-3 years before we can expect the stability needed to win. At that point (if all goes well) we SHOULD have a very good young staff – and all in the same age range. Trade JB and EE for young bats in the same age range, cross your fingers they turn out into what we hoped, then we now have a much longer run of potential playoff success. If we hold JB and EE for two more years, what the hell do we have for value when they leave when the pitching is ready to thump – little to nothing? It’s such a bad decision to hold onto these guys for another shot or two. But I was basically told I was insane (including by Stoeten). Funny how people seem to be coming around to the conclusion this might be in fact the best way to go.

    Here are a few rants I have to throw around that bug me about the thinking many have on this site:

    RANT #1: Believe it or not there are three groups of Blue Jays fans – not two – as most seem to believe. These are the groups:
    a). The sky is falling, everyone sucks, trade and fire everyone. <- dummies
    b.) Don't worry about it. It's not as bad as it looks. There is still time (despite every arrow pointing in the opposite direction). <- dummies.
    c.) I don't AA is stupid. I don't think JB is a poor leader. I don't think the sky is falling. I actually see a lot of positives in this team. But I understand this current core isn't working. Let's rethink how this is built.

    I'm in group C. I wish more people were. The majority of people seem to be in group A & B. I would put Stoeten in group B.

    RANT 2:
    Who gives a shit what the fans think about a rebuild and how pissed they'll be. As I said before, I hope never to hear this from my team's GM: "Hey, before we do this trade, let's check with the fans first." Ownership doesn't care what you or I think. And they SHOULDN'T!

    RANT #3:
    When you lose – fans stop coming (most teams). When you win – fans pile in. So your point of the fans will be pissed and stop coming if there is a rebuild – again, who gives a shit. They'll be back the moment they are ready to win. Period. End of story.

    RANT #4:
    We don't need to hold onto our little window of opportunity because our poor little team resides in the East. I'm sick of hearing fans complain about how we can't compete with money teams like Boston and Yankees. OR that we can't have an long potential playoff run in the East (because the Yanks and Sox won't allow it) Fuck you! Build the team right (around good young pitching) and you'll be just fine. Do we need to look beyond Tampa Bay for how to do it right? All their pitchers right now are all in the same age range. Do we need to look beyond how long the Yankees have been without a WS?

    RANT #5:
    Stick your advanced stats up your ass. Fuck you and your WAR. I've been in baseball pools like many of you for 2 decades or more. I use the same ideas behind picking players that I've always used – without advanced stats – and I still win a great majority of my pools or finish very high in standings. No, baseball pools aren't like being a real GM – but at the same time – they kinda really are. Looking at a pitchers WHIP is still one of the best ways to predict what kind of pitcher they will be.

    Rant over. Love the blog. Mostly.

    • Fuck you and your WAR would make a great t-shirt.

    • Are you off your meds?

      • Don’t comment with stupid short responses like this Fink. Lay your game plan on the table.

        • I meant what I said.

          Your post is nuts.

          My game plan? I’m a fan, pal. What’s it matter, what I would or wouldn’t do or like done?

          • Well, you seem to be ok with giving your opinion that I’m nuts. But then stop short by saying you won’t give yours because you’re a fan, and well, it doesn’t matter.

            Can’t have it both ways. Either don’t comment or put your thoughts on the table to be criticized.

            • You have some decent points, but you lost some cred when you said screw WAR and that you won 20 years of baseball pools without relying on WAR and that WHIP was the go to all stat for pitchers.

              You do realize WAR isnt a very good way of determining which player is best for your fantasy team? Simply because different leauges weight different stats differently, not to mention defense is a large component of player value and yet is completely ignored in fantasy?

              And yeah Whip is fine for fantasy, but there are much better stats for real life determination like fip and xfip, which take into account park factors and hr/fb rates to try and normalize how lucky/unlucky a pitcher is. And dont’ forget BABIP which kinda accounts for how many bloop hits are there/crappy defense behind the pitcher. And K/BB rates, which helps with how good he is with controlling his pitching? Just cause you dismiss WAR and advanced stats doesnt mean they aren’t incredibly good tools besides the old stats.

              • @revolu

                I was referring to all the advanced stats and was using WAR as an example because it’s so trumpeted nowadays.

                I understand fantasy stats are different than real life stats. My point is I never use advanced stats like so many others do in fantasy pools, and I’ve yet to see how it’s hurt me. So they aren’t the end all and be all. All they are is just another measuring stick. None of them provide you the right answer and some of the old school stats are just as dependable. I’ve proven it to myself time and time going against guys who only use these new stats.

                So my point with WHIP was this…give me five starters with WHIP’s at 1.10-1.20 and I guarantee you I’ll have great pitching staff. I don’t care what park they pitch in, whether they are fly ball pitchers or ground ball pitchers, whether they throw 100 or throw soft stuff. If they are consisently putting up WHIPs that low you always have a chance to win. It’s the only stat I need to know. Now, it’s up to the GM to put together the team that gives those WHIP’s even better value (ie: good d around them).

                Conversely, if I have a staff full of WHIP’s of 1.40+, watch out, shit is going to be bumpy all season.

    • I’m all for getting younger. Bautista will bring back a kings ransom and I’m not entirely sure waiting is the wisest move.

      He’s at the age now where if h has a bad season next year, his trade value will plummet as (rightly or wrongly) the narrative will be that he’s over the hill.

    • Rant #4 is the one that drives me nuts.
      Fans and most of the media have been conditioned to believe that crap.
      Billy Beane and Richardi both said it well, “I want to do Moneyball with money.”
      The Jays could be the Rays…with twice the payroll!
      Imagine the possibilities.

      • Yeah the Rays benefitted immensely from being complete dogshit for a while.

        They basically needed:

        A) A decade or so of really high draft picks
        B) a really smart FO
        C) luck

        If any of these factors are not present, it’s almost impossible to do what the Rays did. And at this point, I don’t see the Jays having any of the 3 present.

        • I think the Rays have benefited more from a smart approach to building a team then all those top picks. If you look at their top draft picks over those years (1999-2008), very few of them came to be anything.

          1999 – Josh Hamilton – got nothing for him.
          2000 – Rocco Baldelli – career basically over before the Rays were good.
          2001 – Dewon Brazelton (traded for Sean Burroughs) – so….nothing.
          2002 – BJ Upton
          2003 – Delmon Young
          2004 – Jeff Nieman – was solid but hasn’t played since 2012
          2005 – Wade Townsend – who?
          2006 – Evan Longoria – really nice!
          2007 – David Price – really nice!
          2008 – Delmon Young – eventually traded for a package that netted then Garza
          2009 – Tim Beckham

          This year they have built a solid young rotation – and looking good again going forward. The Bluejays are in the same position. Poised to build a very solid young rotation – but they need to rebuild their offense now by trading the older players they have. It will suck for a couple years, but they we should have a much better, younger foundation.

          • See taht’s all fine and dandy argueing they werent thet successful in the first round of the draft.

            But the fact remains their franchise player who is on an incredible team friendly contract probably would be on that team if they didnt have that draft pick, or price. Sure they made shrewd draft picks after the first round of course. But their team would be hella crappier without longoria.

    • And yeah, you seem to have figured out the dynamic of the blog pretty good.

      If you have something to say that ppl don’t want to hear, you’ll be subject to insults and personal barrage (which intensify if started by Stoeten as his minions get bolder with Dear Leaders consent).

      If, however, yiur garbage clown ism ends up being right, your expected to never bring up the fact that, ya know, you were right all along. Just accept your abuse and keep your mouth shut if you don’t toe the party line, pretty much.

      That said, there’s lots of knowledgeable posters here who make it worth it to drown out the mental midgets.

      • Oh, stop, will ya, with the hard-done-by / lone voice in the wilderness schtick?

        I couldn’t care less what you or anyone else thinks of my posts, in the event that swipe was intended for me; and it’s not what’s said, necessarily, but the manner in which it’s said that gets dander up ’round here. You oughta know that better than most.

      • You know what I love best about this blog? The deep sea diving. And the being attractive to members of the opposite sex. Also the delusional meltdowns that end with “I won’t be posting here again”.

        That stuff is great around here.

      • I would guess that one of the biggest problems most people have with some of the things you say on here is that you use a lot of poor arguments to backup your claims. I know that’s the issue I’ve had with you. Saying you think they should have traded Francisco and prospects for Headley isn’t a ridiculous statement even though I disagree with it. Saying they should have made the trade because Headley has 20 career WAR Francisco is useless IS a ridiculous statement.

        If you said “2+2=4 because my neighbour watered his lawn this morning,” your point would be correct even though you would still kind of be an idiot.

    • No, see the problem is that everyone PERCEIVES everyone else as being part of “Group A” or “Group B” depending on which side of the line they fall on relatively and reacts accordingly.

    • Great rants… Agree with everything.

    • Tampa bay is doing it right, but you want them to ignore advanced stats? How exactly do you think TB evaluates players?

    • You do well in fantasy baseball so therefore fuck WAR. Thats… amazing.

      • No, I wasn’t just talking about WAR. I was referring to all the advanced stats and using WAR as an example because it’s so trumpeted nowadays.

        I understand fantasy stats are different than real life stats. My point is I never use advanced stats like so many others do in fantasy pools, and I’ve yet to see how it’s hurt me. All they are is just another measuring stick. None of them provide you the right answer and some of the old school stats are just as dependable.

        So my point with WHIP was this…give me five starters with WHIP’s at 1.10-1.20 and I guarantee you I’ll have great pitching staff. I don’t care what park they pitch in, whether they are fly ball pitchers or ground ball pitchers, whether they throw 100 or throw soft stuff. If they are consisently putting up WHIPs that low you always have a chance to win. Now, it’s up to the GM to put together the team that gives those WHIP’s even better value (good d). Conversely, if I have a staff with WHIP’s of 1.40 plus, watch out, shit is going to be bumpy all season.

        • This is because you are playing with morons

        • Just get 5 pitchers who are in the top 25 pitchers of MLB, brilliant strategy, I am sure in real life that is just as easy to do as in your stupid fantasy league.

          • You’re not understanding my point alex. The point is it’s a singular old school stat that can tell a lot about a pitcher. Little information aside from that is needed.

            • I know that I’ve reached “an age” when WHIP is described as an “old-school stat”…

              Fuck you for calling me old you son of a bitch!!

  21. So what to do about 2015? All available evidence says there should be more of the same. No now impact players will be had. Rogers isn’t going to loosen the purse strings further even if AA dangles some of the young pitchers which I hope he doesn’t do. Bautista and EE have diminishing stats. If the consensus on most of the young pitchers is that they basically won’t be seeing MLB action until 2016, why still have Bautista and EE? They will diminish further. Both would be more valuable trade-wise to teams with the two years left on their contracts. I would see about trying to get some younger position players who would be well in line for performing in the 2016 season. I don’t think Reyes is going anywhere due to the contract $$$. May be able to get something for Buehrle. Dickey, enh, whatever.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    • Bautista has diminishing stats? isn’t he having his best year since 2011?

      • He’s getting older and his ISO is dropping every year, dont forget he’s lost alot of time being injured with this year being mostly healthy

    • I’m not saying that trading Bautista and EE would absolutely be stupid, but it would take a very, very good package to make trading them before trade deadline 2016 not really, really, really stupid.

  22. I was at the game yesterday, and I certainly expected to come back to read posts and comments about The Ejection. But during the game, I was more puzzled by something else:

    Why would you pitch to Evan Longoria in the 10th?

    It was second and third (after the atrocious error) with nobody out. Sure, you don’t love adding another baserunner to the pile, but if you walk Longo, you create a force play at home. Plus, you don’t have to pitch to Evan-fucking-Longoria.

    Anyone else have a huge problem with the decision to pitch to him?

    • Well, but you have Loney up next, and both Cecil and Loup had been used. Santos is going to remain on the mound, so I think you pursue an out with Longo rather than waiting to pursue the first out with Loney and loaded bases. Considering the circumstances, you can try to play for zero runs, but it’s extremely unlikely, so you play for minimal runs, which they did rather effectively.

      I would normally agree about Longo because in the past he’s been pretty awesome, but given that he’s less likely to get a hit than Loney and has been pretty pedestrian all year, I think I’d go with what they did.

      Debatable, but not a huge problem.

      • I feel like you have to play for zero runs. Hell, it’s second and third with no outs. If you’re going to give up one, there’s a good chance you’ll give up two. And it’s tough to really count on coming back with at least two in the bottom half.

        I don’t even really care who is up or who is on deck (though it was even more noticeable because it was Longo up there). I think you have to walk the batter, load the bases, and set up the force at home.

        A fly ball to the outfield is a run. A hit is a run (obviously). And even some groundballs are runs. With 2nd and 3rd, nobody out, the only good outcomes are a strikeout or a infield pop-up.

        Load the bases, and those two outcomes are still good. Plus, you can play a bit deeper and groundballs are a bit of an easier out at home (force play). Or, if it’s in the hole towards second, you might have to concede the run, but you might have a chance at a double play.

        I just can’t see one good reason to pitch to Longo there. A righty-lefty matchup on deck is wildly insufficient as a reason, in my opinion.

        • Yeah. Fair enough. I’m pretty sure splits and RHP/LHB played a role, though, and it’s up to you whether to dismiss them. I personally think there is pretty good evidence that they matter, and that they probably put the Jays in a slightly better position to still win.

          In the end, playing zero runs also has a much higher risk of more runs. Generally, run expectancy (other things being equal) is about 2 runs for that position. Bases loaded would bump that up another 1/3 of a run, and have you pitching to a guy with better average (so it’s not even “other things being equal” but a better hitter). However, the Jays kept it to 1 run (while pitching to the middle of the order). Can never say what would have happened, but it wasn’t poor strategy — again, assuming you buy that type of strategy, which not everyone does.

          Of course, they lost … so it sucks. Captain Hindsight tells me they should have tried something else :)

  23. Anthopoulos will get money. A person could understand Rogers withholding money after last season, when AA spent like a drunken sailor and ended up losing several wins from the previous season, going 74-88.

    But this season? So far we’re 66-64, have been in the playoff hunt all season, and Rogers has been getting bad press all season long for being cheap asses.

    Now that AA has demonstrated that he can build a team that can contend, Rogers might be willing to let him spend again.

    • That would be nice. Forgive me if I play ‘wait and see’ on that one though….

    • Doubtful. The Jays already have a substantial payroll this year ($132M). Doubt it will go much higher.

      A challenge is $41M will be wrapped up in 2 players – Buehrle and Reyes. That’s $7M more than they make this year. Which coincidentally is Rasmus’ salary this year.

      I’d be interested to see if someone has done an analysis of this year’s roster with each player’s pay versus what they’re making next year. Anyone seen such a thing?

    • With arb players like Lawrie, Hutch, Cecil and Thole, plus major salaries of Reyes, Buehrle, Dickey, and Romero, the Jays will find it difficult to keep payroll below $130M without cuts:
      Locked up salary for 2015 is $96.2M according to Cots. Add:
      (note: arbitration $ pure estimates based on current salary and relative production)

      Melky (FA) $12M
      Morrow (buyout) $1M
      Lind (option) $7.5M
      Rasmus (FA) $7M
      Janssen (FA) $7M
      Cecil (arb) $2M
      Thole (arb) $1.5M
      Francisco (arb) $1.3M
      Reimold (arb) $1.75M
      Valencia (arb) $0.75M
      Lawrie (arb) $2M
      Delabar (arb) $0.5M
      Hutchison (arb) $1.25M
      Drabek (arb) $0.5M
      Kawasaki (arb) $0.6M
      Mastroianni (arb) $0.5M

      Subtotal: $47.15M

      Total: $143.35M

      Let Janssen and Rasmus walk reducing the payroll to $129.35M. Janssen replaced with Santos/Loup/McGowan. Rasmus replaced with Gose.

      Should Melky fetch +$12M/yr he’ll sign elsewhere and Reimold takes his spot + comp pick.

      I don’t see Kawasaki or Francisco returning saving another $1.9M further reducing payroll to $127.45M.

      • Thanks Paul. That is not an overly compelling lineup you put forth. However, if Buehrle is moved, that could change things.

        I do agree there likely won’t be much/any movement on total payroll versus this year.

        • The most logical scenario is shedding Buehrle’s contract for a 2B. Shed Reyes’ contract only opens up SS hole.

  24. What’s the word on Lawrie, re: a possible return to action.
    Or should they just shut him down and say “see you at spring training”?

  25. I am the biggest dumfuk on this board.

  26. Folks this is a mediocre team with some star talent that is not being properly utilized.

    Major changes are required or else 2015 will be 2014.. Or will it be 2013? Or 2012?.. Do the sheep see a trend here?

  27. 35 year fan – I am perfectly OK with how the core of this team was put together….. here are my issues with the 2014 Blue Jays

    #1 – My biggest issue by far has been roster management
    A – Why when we had the many injuries and our line-up from 5-9 looked like a AAA squad did we have no right handed bats? Or no one who even looked like a pinch hitter on the bench? We had 2-3 mop-up guys in the pen and a bunch of LH guys who couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag

    B – Why the obsession of keeping up players that contribute zero who ran out of options instead of guys who might actually accomplish something… But even with this flawed plan, why did we let Esmil Rogers leave for nothing? He was better than the garbage we were saving

    #2 – I like the Valencia pick-up, but it would have been really nice to bring in another piece or two like that when our team looked like a AAA line-up. Somehow Yankees got 3 contributing veterans that they gave up almost zero for. Other teams did the same – why not us if for no other reason – to artificially look like we are trying to win (for the players)

    I am really depressed to think that we had one of the best 3-4 hitting combos of recent times in Joey Bats & EE for a few years with ZERO playoffs to show for it

    • It’s very depressing as a fan isn’t it… They’ve wasted 2 of the best hitters in the game over the last half decade.

      And the reason why the Jays couldn’t bring in anyone at the TD? It’s money, budget, payroll parameters… The same reason why they couldn’t get a free agent in the winter.

      It’s so simple to see yet people won’t accept the truth. The team as constructed is not good enough to make a wild card in a very down year in the AL east… Figure it out.

    • Re: #1B – Esmil Rogers was the definition of a player contributing zero who ran out of options. So… do you think they should be keeping those players or not? If you want them to get rid of them, you shouldn’t be happy with the Rogers DFA, shouldn’t you?

      • I agree that Rogers wasn’t contributing anything, but since that is their trend to keep out of options guys – why was he the one they gave up on? He is the one with upside above replacement level. If we are keeping nothings, keep a nothing who has contributed instead of nothings who do nothing

    • #2 It was not expected Lawrie would come back for 1 at-bat and 1 putout before going down for what may be the rest of the season.

  28. hey look at me I’m a hypocrite who said I wouldn’t be posting here again, and yet here I am!

  29. Anyone know of a good Pitt Pirates blog? Game recaps, rumors, daily posts (more often than not), not drinking the Kool-Aid, maybe the occasional podcast, not heavily moderated comments. Anyone?

    I tried http://www.drunkpiratesfans.com, but it didn’t work.

  30. It starts with making a decision on Melky. If he cannot be retained, then I think a more extreme reload should be in order. there are nice bits and pieces of a future team here – Hutch, Stroman, Lawrie, Gose, Sanchez, Norris, Pompey, etc., but most of those guys are still unknown commodities at the big league level. Would not be realistic to think they are going to make up the difference between this year’s Jays and a contender. It might happen, but probably not. If you lose Melky, and I think we can all agree Colby will not be back, the team will be short two starting outfielders with only one iffy option (Gose) as an internal replacement. You’re lineup gets measurably worse under that scenario, and that’s relative to the Jays of the last 2 seasons which were evidently not good enough.

    You keep Bautista and Edwin unless someone blows your mind with a deal, but the less cost-effective portions of the team should absolutely be on the block. Picking Lind’s and Happ’s options up becomes mostly unnecessary, so you shed a little more salary there too.

    Based on the progression of the kids next season, the futures of Edwin and Jose, and therefore the rest of the organization, become more clear for 2016.

  31. I don’t really understand all the Bautista criticism by the media, this kind of thing happens, stop picking on him because he’s the teams best player and look at the real reasons why this team could be better.

  32. I still think with a few strategic moves made now, this team could be very good next season. Trying to go for it this year, or standing pat is likely a mistake.

    I also understand that it is also possible that the the type of players the should deal for now, that will help them next season, just might not be available, but I’d sure as hell try to see if they are.

  33. One more thing:

    I also find it a bit unfair to call fans that are frustrated “Garbage Clowns”, I think that Jays fans have a right to be frustrated with this team and should be allowed to vent, even if what they say is a bit of an overreaction. They still want this team to win as much as anyone and really don’t take any enjoyment in the Jays loses.

    • Big difference between a “frustrated fan” and what has come to be known as a “Garbage Clown”. Heck, Stoeten himself is clearly a frustrated fan (based on his recent pieces). I too am a frustrated fan.

      Garbage clowns are irrational fukwads who ignore rational thought for the sake of being shouty and self righteous.

      • Plenty of ‘em here today, Pete, if you’re looking for examples. Scroll around.

      • I find frustrated fans can often become irrational fuckwads because they are just looking for an outlet to vent. And yes there are also some that are just fuckwads, but they are that way all the time.

        • We must always strive to be better.

        • I would like to call attention to the fact the word “fuckwad” is under-appreciated and underused in this day and age.

          Such a strong and expressive term, so glad you’re giving it its due.

          It’s the NSFW version of “garbage clown”.

      • Oh, I thought “garbage clown” is a term for anyone who I disagree with and nice way to lump them all together.

        I’d agree with Peter. Put that genie back in the bottle. Name calling isn’t sophisticated no matter how hard you try to make it so.

        • frustrated fans aren’t garbage clowns, people who say wrong stuff on purpose to get a reaction are the garabge clowns

          • the whole garbage clown thing went off the rails a couple weeks ago, when pretty much anyone who wasn’t optimistic about the jays’ PO chances were labelled thusly.

  34. This is likely an exercise for the offseason, but with playoff odds becoming longer by the day, I think it would be interesting if Andrew dedicated a post to the reload versus retool argument. In other words, 2015 vs. 2016 and beyond.

    On the pitching front, you’ve got Hutchsion, Stroman, Sanchez, Norris, and soon Hoffman, Osuna and Castro as potential rotation pieces. Ideally, Pentecost becomes your catcher in 2016 under either scenario using Navarro as your stopgap until then. Everything else though is potentially in play. Do you take another swing with Bautista/Encarnacion/Reyes/Dickey/Buehrle group or cash in those chips (Reyes and Buerhle to a lesser extent due to their salaries) and reload with position player prospects to line up with all of the young pitching on the horizon? You could conceivably turn a lot of this roster over, free up a considerable amount of cash, and potentially be a team on the rise in 2016 if you make a few smart trades. In addition, you would have significant payroll flexibility to augment that crop of young players. It would be interesting to consider realistic returns for that current group of players and see how that might fit with the young players we currently have and those on their way. On the other hand, you could look at moving some of that young pitching to give it another go with the current group. You could make a case for either, I suppose. I would be interested to read Andrew’s take.

  35. Blair’s latest column. Sanchez as closer?


    Blair’s beating the drum that Casy is fed up with Jays. Boo. I hope AA doesn’t go back to getting another Francisco Cordero type.

    • Whether or not Casey is “fed up”… and really, he might be (and justifiable so?)… He’s probably going to be priced out of the city anyway. He’s going to try to get “closer money” on the open market (because he should try!) and the Jays don’t historically spend a lot on relief pitching.

      Maybe he’ll take a discount, or maybe the interest won’t be as high as he and his agent hope and he’ll come back, but i wouldn’t count on it…. Especially when you factor in the possible “frustration”

    • I think Sanchez is too valuable in his current role to be the closer. He has been eating a lot of really high leverage (crucial!) innings lately and he wouldn’t be able to add as much value in the traditional closer role.

  36. The Jays have the same problems as last year. Pitching and defense. The offense has been good enough, the pitching and defense haven’t.

    • You clearly haven’t been paying attention. The offence has been insufficient for almost two months.

      • The Blue Jays have the 5th worst ERA, 7th worst FIP and 3rd worst xFIP in all of MLB this year. Their defense is ranked 7th worst on FanGraphs. How are you going to win the world series with pitching and defense like that?

      • they were missing some big bats and it was a SSS. they will come around again.

        overall, on the year, they are still the 5th best hitting team in MLB.

  37. Oh look, meaningful games in late August, and very likely meaningful games to be played in September. THE HORROR.

    Things didn’t work out as we all hoped? They aren’t leading the division by 10 games by now? Why that means (to some) that they ought to trade one of the best hitters in the game and one of the best sluggers in the game, both under very team-friendly contracts, in utterly insane. “Hey let’s create 2 gaping holes in the lineup next year for some return of unproven players and 75 cents on the dollar if we’re lucky.” Great plan.

    This team is a few tweaks (upgrade 2B, resign Melky) in the off-season away from being a very good team again next year, and certainly a playoff-caliber one. But players have to play well, guys need to stay healthy, shit happens, it’s a long season, [insert more platitudes here].

    Let’s just look at the rotation for next year: Dickey-Buehrle-Hutchinson-Stroman and one of Happ-Norris-Sanchez is a pretty damn good rotation, one with actual depth in AAA.

    For shits and giggles – and giving the pitch-framing argument more validity than I think it currently deserves – they could even look at upgrading at catcher is something is available.

    Holy fuck does the negativity that pops up here ever get insufferable. This is a very good team. They are (IMO) very very close.

    Go Jays!

    • I agree with a lot of what you are saying (especially the trade Bautista/EEE/get rid of everyone bullshit), but I think they are good pitching and defense away from having a good team. They have been giving up way too many runs the past 2 years….

    • Nicely stated Steve-o. I have been thinking the same things. Everyone wanted to play meaningful games in August. Here we are.

  38. Can’t believe this team’s on the verge of another second half collapse. Three years running.

    • didn’t they have a first half collapse last year?

    • Huh? Last year’s team collapsed on opening day. They had a great 11-game streak that brought them close to .500, but beyond that, they were terrible all year.

    • Last year the “collapse” if you want to call it that, was in April.
      In 2012 they had one month above .500 (May, 15-13)

      Narrative: you’re doing it wrong.

      • Yup
        Last year the team was bad from day one
        2012 team collapsed because 3/5 of rotation got hurt in three days

        • It took about a two weeks for the wheels to fall off after the rotation fell apart. It was on July 28th that the Jays were 4.5 games out of a playoff spot in 2012. Then they went on a 5-21 tear before playing about .500 ball for the rest of the season.

  39. I blame the Garbage Clowns.

    If you believe in the theory that thoughts create reality, I can blame the garbage clowns.

    Way to go fuckheads.

    • LOL

      Or on the flip side,the “anti Garbage Clowns” were delusional in their assessment of the team.I blame them.
      Fans overreacting,positive and negative?
      Say it ain’t so.
      ( tongue-in-cheek)

      • That’s not “anti garbage clown” though. You can be a Garbage Clown by being overly pie in the sky positive too. Garbage Clown behaviour is irrational and inflamatory for the sake of being irrational and inflamatory.
        Anti-Garbage Clowns would be people who act rationally and consider arguments carefully. Regardless of where they land.

        • Sorry IMW,I was trying my hand at humour,trying to be an asshole.
          Okay okay,I’ve already perfected asshole and now working on my PhD of Assholes designation..

    • If you believe in the thoughts create reality theory, you believe we don’t actually exist so; you can save yourself some time and go kill yourself (I’m joking, do not go and kill yourself).

  40. In the debate concerning the future of AA, the chronology of events should be considered.

    • How anyone thinks getting rid of AA is a good idea, based on everything we know, is beyond me. What does the chronology of events have to do with anything?

      Is the franchise in better shape now than when he took over? (yes – inarguable) Are they competitive? (yes) Is the farm in good shape? (yes*)

      *depleted though it may be because of trades, there is still a lot to be excited about

  41. Again if this has been covered I apologize. It seems before you start with rearranging the roster and trading people the 1st thing I would do, is make damn sure what the budget is. I think shortly after AA announced his shopping list last fall he got blindsided with some Rogers’ type telling him about payroll parameters.

  42. Ah, it’s early….

  43. There is way more to strikes or balls being called or not than the catcher framing the pitch. That is not a great judge of the catchers framing ability since that is only one variable in that outcome

    If the pitcher is right around the zone and the glove all the time he is going to get more calls. If the catcher is set up on the outside and the pitch goes on the inside it may be called a ball.

    If a pitch breaks really hard out of the zone right at the plate it may be unjustly called a ball. If It breaks hard towards the plate right after the plate it may be unjustly called a strike.

  44. I think the whole pitch framing dialogue misses one crucial point — Dickey’s knuckleball quite frequently catches a piece of the plate but fools the batter and the umpire. I would suspect if we removed Dickey from the equation it is more passable.

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