griffbag

Another week, another Griff Bag! Aka Richard Griffin’s latest mail bag from over at the Toronto Star!

And… holy shit, it’s garbage clown central in there this week, what with it being published before the current four-game streak. Which… I know what you’re thinking. Sounds like par for the course, right? Well hold onto your panties, Ron.

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

Q-Richard Stoeten -

You had mentioned several times that Alex Anthopoulos has done a good job stocking/restocking talent at the lower levels implying that somehow that can save his job. I question whether this accomplishment alone qualifies him as a major league GM.

In two major trades, he has completely missed on his target – what he calls centerpiece – Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey. He has also handcuffed the organization based on the salaries he took on in Buehrle and Reyes. Yes they are contributing and fun-to-watch players, but their salaries has handicapped the organization in other areas. Perhaps I am one of the few in supporting Rogers for limiting more increase in salary. To me, it’s an issue of accountability. Ownership agreed to significantly increase salary at the time of the Miami/NY trades based on certain deliverables. Not only did AA not deliver, he went to ask for more money (Santana and possibly deals at the non-waiver trade deadline) I think Rogers is simply holding AA to what he promised he’d deliver – Do what you said you were going to do. I see AA as a director of player personnel kind of a talent, not a major league GM; at least not at this stage of his career given that he is still young. Your thoughts?

John Cheng

Uh… well then I suppose it’s fortunate for Anthopoulos that restocking the lower levels of the minors is hardly the only good thing he’s done.

But yes, Anthopoulos blew the Josh Johnson portion of the Marlins trade. I hardly think you can call him the centerpiece of it — he was bringing Buehrle on for three years, after all, and Reyes for five, while Johnson was only here for one — but clearly little about that trade has worked out the way anybody has hoped. The Dickey deal, I think, gets unfairly knocked — and I’m guilty of it too, sometimes — because people forget that built into the high price the Jays paid was the fact that they were getting a very good, manageable contract in the deal, too. He has only shown 2012 form in flashes since, but $30-million for three years of a reigning Cy-Young-winning innings-eater is a pretty tremendous proposition, even for an exorbitant cost (though with Travis d’Arnaud possibly moving out from behind the plate due to repeated concussion problems, perhaps it’s not as big as many think), and even though it has clearly not worked out the way anybody had hoped, either.

Yes, Yan Gomes was a big miss, and Mike Napoli for Frank Francisco was defensible because of compensation picks and Napoli’s impending free agency, but looks awful. However, on the other hand, the contracts for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are master strokes, as was getting out from under the Vernon Wells deal. Some of the drafting has looked quite good so far, even though the club has missed a bunch there too, and has focussed on guys who remain a good distance yet away from the big leagues. Also, had he not had a tumour on his spine in the first year of the deal, I suspect the Melky contract would be looking like a pretty damn savvy move, as well.

There is plenty to like, in other words.

Moving on, your talk about deliverables and payroll is an interesting theory — and yes, one that would be pretty damning for Anthopoulos if it were true. But it requires, I think, too gigantic a leap to take terribly seriously.

The whole organization was aglow in the spring that followed the big acquisitions of November and December 2012, and the atmosphere of coronation certainly makes it seem at least plausible that you’re right, and that Anthopoulos and Beeston understood they’d be screwed — left with absolutely no financial flexibility — if things went south, but simply felt there was no way it could fail. But we have no idea. And for a group that had so prioritized flexibility in everything they had said and done in the years preceding — and an organization that was still awfully thin below the surface and knew the damage a single injury to a key player could do to a club (in 2012, Jose Bautista had just five plate appearances after July 16th; the Jays were 28-44 from that date on) — it’s especially ridiculous to be certain that they took such a big risk knowing full well the ultimate consequences of their actions. Almost as absurd as the idea that anybody would have been crazy enough to promise anything in terms of on-field success. (Though it’s still not in the stratosphere of absurdity that saying “I see AA as a director of player personnel kind of talent, not a major league GM” is).

Yes, maybe that’s how it happened, but I think it could just as easily be the case that the confluence of the terrible year and the change at the top of Rogers’ corporate structure made ownership rethink the benefit of sending more money into the coffers of an enterprise with a proven model of succeeding on the cheap. Not succeeding on the field, mind you, but in terms of providing cheap content for the Sportsnet networks, generating ad money, generating revenue sharing money (which they’re no longer eligible for), getting a big payout from MLB because of deals with US TV networks, and watching franchise equity grow tremendously (last year Bloomberg valued the Jays at almost a billion dollars; Rogers bought the team for $120-million in 2000). The do-just-enough, penny-pinching, $70-million-payroll Jays of most of the last 15 years have done pretty well for the evil empire that controls them, and have done so by risking a whole hell of a lot less capital than they did in each of the last two seasons.

So one at least hopes Anthopoulos and Beeston wouldn’t have been so risky to have not believed this could happened — though one also hopes the front office would use every single possible tool at its disposal (i.e. hefty investment and belief in their analytics department) when it comes to these sorts of crucial questions of player evaluation, and I’m not sure we have a good answer on that one, either — but at this point it’s not like it matters so much how we got here as it does that we are here and need to find a way out. Yet, you’re right: if Anthopoulos and Beeston had more a hand in handcuffing themselves than we can yet reasonably believe — if they were too cavalier about the possibility that ownership would so emphatically stop them from increasing their payroll — then maybe they’re not the right men for the job. If they continue, let’s at least hope they’ve learned the fucking lesson.

 

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Q-Hi Richard Stoeten

Well here we are again Griff—a little later in the season than usual but same result. A side with some talent but not much grit and at times a comical lack of brain power. It will be interesting to see who goes and stays—any pretence that this is a side that should be kept together disappeared weeks ago, (as did the coffee mornings early season optimism). I think that AA and John Gibbons should be the first to exit, responsibility for failure should always start at the top. I’ve always liked Gibby for his honesty but when it was necessary to get players to adjust they either ignored him or the message didn’t get through. Lack of authority is a killer for managers.

AA has made some terrible decisions starting with the big trade. Forgive me for putting on my ‘Sage of Prescott’ hat but I did say at the time that bringing over a bunch of flashy NLers who all starred on perennial losing teams was not going to work. With the exception of Mark Buehrle they turned out to be the gang that couldn’t hit, catch or throw straight. They only thing they lead the Division in was funny handshakes and Mr Muscles demonstrations. Then we have had the constant parade of waiver duds, all touted as assets. The worst thing about this is that the young players (Gose, Goins, Pillar, Jenkins etc) were constantly shuffled back and forward to Buffalo. Given no chance to work their way through mistakes. You can add the failure to add experienced players with pedigree at the All Star and inexplicably trundling out the likes of Reimold, Francisco, Valencia etc to save the day. It all adds up to a GM with poor player perception. Talking a lot doesn’t necessarily mean knowing a lot.

Finally the plusses: Melky Cabrera, EE, Adam Lind, Captain Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, Hutchison, Stroman, Happ and Sanchez. That’s your nucleus now lets get some management who can do something with it.

Sorry about the rant Griff Stoet but it’s been one of those weeks.

Frank Taker, Prescott

Holy shitballs, Frank. I ought to print out your letter and put it on my fridge as a monument to every blisteringly ridiculous thought a Jays fan could possibly squeeze into one single addled mind.

I mean… not only are you pretending that you can see grit, but you’re also pretending it wins baseball games??!? And the stuff about the “comical lack of brain power”? Holy shitting frustrated fucking nonsense, man! Hilarious! Ohhhh, and then get set to torch the whole operation like a child breaking his favourite toy in a fit of pique. Can’t possibly keep this group together! (Dumb.) Fire the GM and manager! (Dumb). Pretend you can divine a lack of authority through your TV set and that there’s some kind of massive communication problem everybody else is utterly blind to. (Dumb!) Act like the “NL guys” thing and the “perennial losing teams” thing is, a) real, and b) not the dumbest fucking thing imaginable. (Dumb!) Say “flashy” with zero concept of how it comes off like a racist dog whistle, and gripe about handshakes like they’re being done by those damn kids stomping all over your precious lawn! (ahhhhhhhhh-Dumb!!!) Pretend playing worse players more would have helped, then ignore the actual help the club got from guys at the bottom of the roster because it doesn’t serve your point! (Dumb! Dumb!)

It’s truly breathtaking. The Lake Louise of late-season-2014 crybaby Jays fan insanity. Bravo.


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Q-Hi there, Mr. Griffin Stoeten:

A few weeks ago, pitching for the Bisons, Steve Delabar delivered two wild pitches while intentionally walking a batter. I’ve since heard that this happens more than one might think, and that those throws to the catcher around a batter are actually somewhat challenging. Is this true? If so, why? Is it that after focusing so intently on his “stuff” it’s difficult for a pitcher to deliver a generic throw? Or is poor Delabar really breaking down?

Love the mailbag.

Many thanks,

Mark Truscott, Toronto

I don’t put a lot of stock in the mental breakdown-type stuff. Even if you do, there’s no way to really know what’s in a person’s head.

 

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Q-Hi Richard Stoeten.

Here is yet another Jose Bautista question.

He attributes his umpire problems to his fiery nature, that he’s just being himself when he feels that balls are called strikes. The question: did he have his umpire problems before he was a star, or has his stardom changed his “nature”?

Bill Cooper, Kingston

He’s been like this for as long as I can remember, but I must admit, while the data on ejections is sparse — the great Umpire Ejection Fantasy League only has data on players back to 2012 — Googling around hasn’t landed me a lot of information about him getting himself ejected prior to his superstar turn. Then again, back before that it wasn’t a story. Must’ve been nice.

 

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Q-Hi Richard Stoeten:

Although I guess you could argue the Blue Jays still have a mathematical chance of making the playoffs I suggest we will see pigs fly before that happens. My question though is about next year. I don’t know what the Blue Jays intentions are to resigning Melky Cabrera or Casey Janssen and I don’t know if Jose Bautista will demand a trade although if he did who could blame him. The question to have AA and or PB answer is why they or any other player would want to play for the Blue Jays next year and beyond given the sorry state of affairs they are now in? Money? They can get that anywhere. They want to win and go on to the playoffs and a shot at the World Series. How can the Blue Jays management offer that with a straight face?

Stan Grossman

What a load of garbage, Stan.

 

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Q-Richard Stoeten,

I enjoy your Q&A with fans. It’s great to get an unbiased view on baseball matters considering Rogers ownership of the team and of Sportsnet/The Fan, etc. My comments and questions are as follows:

The Blue Jays are in the top 10 in MLB salaries. While Rogers did increase the payroll in 2012 it looks like they are very reluctant to increase it further unless it can be coupled with on-field success/increased gate/increased ratings.

When looking at the Blue Jays payroll it looks like they get salary relief in 2016 as the contracts of Buherle, Dickey & Romero are all set to expire. In watching this season, it is very clear that Buherle & Dickey are not front of the rotation pitchers however, both are paid as front of the rotation pitchers. The Blue Jays are near the bottom of the league in team ERA. While the young pitchers look promising for 2015 and beyond it is unlikely the Blue Jays compete in 2015 with current payroll and Buherle & Dickey as 1-2 starters. On balance the offence looks fine provided the core players stay health.

Question – Do you think a market exists for Buherle & Dickey? Both consistently pitch 200 + innings and might be ideal as a 4th or 5TH starter for a serious playoff contender. If the Jays can manage to trade Buherle do you think they would be in a position to go after James Shields and someone like Ervin Santana? Perhaps, the contracts of Shields and Santana could be light in the first year and then higher in 2016 and beyond to coincide with the Blue Jays salary relief 2016 and beyond?

Question – Do you think the Blue Jays have more flexibility this year to acquire free agents given payroll structure and relief in 2016 and beyond?

Question – What do you think AA’s priorities will be this off season? Last year it was pitching but Rogers did not provide dollars to address it. How do you think AA goes about addressing starting pitching this off season?

Thanks,

Sohail Tahir

Don’t get bogged down by what “number” a starter is. Stroman and Hutchison aren’t paid like capable threes, at least one of whom could be a two in short order (no pun intended), which means… what, exactly? Even if it did mean something, Dickey at $12-million isn’t being paid like a number one anyway. In a world where Clayton Kershaw makes over $30-million, and Masahiro Tanaka has six more years at $22-million, you can hardly criticize the Dickey contract, even if he hasn’t pitched like the guy the Jays were hoping they were going to get. Yes, Buehrle is getting paid too handsomely, and all because of past performances given elsewhere, but that alone isn’t killing the team, and the talk about not being able to compete next year is absurd. It’s maybe not an ideal setup, but have a gander at where the Angels are at and what their rotation looks like, for example.

Now, obviously having the best player on the planet kinda helps them, but this thing that fans are so fucking desperate to do where they write off the Jays chances already is ridiculous. I’m not saying blow the farm and go all-in on 2015, but a full year of Stroman? Another year of maturation from Hutchison? An Aaron Sanchez or a Dan Norris taking the bulk of the 17 starts that went to Brandon Morrow, Dustin McGowan, and Liam Hendriks, or possibly just straight-up replacing J.A. Happ? Sure, there will always be bumps in the road with young players, but you’re telling me that isn’t a rotation that, along with Buehrle and Dickey, can’t go out and keep a good offence in a hell of a lot of games? Sorry if you can’t see past your frustration to that very basic fact. And how’s this for another one: as I noted in a recent Daily Duce, 16 playoff games have been started by pitchers aged 23 and under in the last two seasons, and 47 have been made by pitchers age 24 and under in the last four.

That all said, I think you’re absolutely right that the Jays could, and should, look to get creative with deals this off-season, and that finding a taker for the Buehrle contract might be worthwhile, even though they’re going to take a bath on it, just to free up some payroll. But it depends, of course, on what they get back, how much they’ll need to eat, and what they’ll be able to with the money that’s freed. It’s easy to slough off Buehrle given his struggles of late, but he’s been a tremendously dependable pitcher — there’s huge value in all those innings, even if he’s just going to be a league average pitcher — and not a terrible role model to have for the young guys coming up, either, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into thinking. Then again, you’d have probably thought the same of Roy Halladay when he was here, and a lot of good that did anybody. Plus, it’s not like you keep pay him $20-million you don’t have to just for that.

Still, it will certainly not be a crime if they keep him.

They may not have a choice in the matter, either. Let’s not forget that a team with enough money to take on a bunch of Buehrle’s salary might rather use that capital on whatever it is the Jays are eyeing for themselves. So it’s no slam dunk there will be a lot of takers — and you’re right to think the Jays’ bigger asset this winter might be how clear their books are in 2016 and beyond.

 

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Q-Hey Richard Stoeten,

We Toronto fans will rarely ever see a winning sports team with Corporate Ownership.

My anger towards ownership this past off season wasn’t that they hadn’t spent enough money but more that they had a bunch of guys in their prime, or close to the end of it, and they needed to do everything necessary to make a playoff push. It seems Rogers decided to put the hand break on winning right when we had a chance, 1st place in the AL East, Possibly breaking 3 million in attendance and TV numbers in August/September of over a million a game wasn’t even enough to have them add some salary! My belief has been, as much as I would hate to see this happen, if you aren’t going to go for it, you might as well maximize your assets and start a fresh. I believe we are at that point, if Rogers refuses to upgrade the roster, which they’ve shown for almost a year that they won’t, shouldn’t the Jays go through a massive firesale this summer and rebuild for 2-3 years from now? Goodbye Bautista, Reyes, EE, Lind, Dickey, Buerhle, Rasmus, Cabrera, Janssen. Even if you have to eat a significant amount of some contracts to get better prospects, it will be worth it down the road. I hate this idea but I am tired of being the Buffalo Bills of Baseball, stuck in the middle again.

Thanks,

Marc Oliver

You ever have one of those moments when your piece of shit computer seizes up and stops doing exactly what you want when you want it to, and you just want to throw it through the nearest fucking window, and you know it will feel tremendously great for a second, but then you realize that if you do you’re going to spend the next few months having to use your imagination to jerk off, so you don’t do it?

Why do I get the feeling you’re the guy who just goes ahead and smashes the fucking thing anyway?

 

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Q-Richard Stoeten,

When can we officially call the Jays season over? Their recent 2 month slump has been a record breaker for them, if there is one thing to learn from their 2 month swoon, they have zero clubhouse leadership. The so called leaders of the club house could have taken a different approach after the trade deadline, and what they should have said is forget the management, let’s go out and win this thing, ie. Major League style. I wrote a question before the deadline stating I hope they stand pat at the deadline so AA could see what he had in this team, I still stand by what I wrote, cause if I was AA, this offseason I would be making a few changes to the clubhouse. After seeing this monumental collapse, I would look at moving one of the 2 of Buehrle/Dickey, let Rasmus walk, re-sign Cabrera, look and see what the return of a Bautista trade would be, acquire a 2nd baseman, sign a 1-3 pitcher, look at acquiring a Prado type of player, resign Lind. Over the past 3 months one thing should have been understood, this current batch of players on the Major League roster cannot compete in the AL East going into 2015.

Scott Cochrane, Niagara on the Lake

The Jays were 15-11 in July, champ. The pissing and moaning about what you pretend you’ve seen about “the so-called leaders of the clubhouse” is the dumbest thing I’ve seen this side of Frank’s mountain of garbage. And, please, get off the ridiculous Prado thing.

That said, while you’re using some awfully negative words about “this current batch of players,” you obviously like most of them. I say that because all you’re really telling me is that you’d “look” at moving one of the veteran pitchers and the market for Bautista, and then you’d let Rasmus walk. That’s not exactly blowing up a team that has a poisonous clubhouse and no hope of competing. And it’s all pretty damn reasonable stuff, too — even if I couldn’t possibly disagree more about moving Bautista. You’re so far ahead of the game with a pair of bats like his and Encarnacion’s in the middle of your lineup, and his contract is so good, that I just don’t see how you possibly expect to get better that way. This roster isn’t working, but it doesn’t need a whole lot to make one think it can still be very good in the near-term, either — pretty much exactly like you said… once we took away the ridiculous posturing.

 

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Q-Richard Stoeten,

I promise that this will be the last time this season I will bug you about the Jays and their Annus Horribilus. As I’ve maintained for some time now, despite the inconsistent performance by both the starting pitching and the bullpen, it is really the lack of run support that has caused the team to lose any hope of making the playoffs…..in fact, I have been saying to myself for some time that I believe the Tampa Bay Rays will finish the season in third place in the AL East, with the Jays in fourth.

I guess the nadir of failing to score a run came in the 10th inning of Sunday’s game, with runners on third and first and no one out. Two of the top hitters on the team and Bautista’s replacement couldn’t get a deep fly ball to the outfield and at least tie the game. I find it interesting that, after the early days when the team was scoring plenty of runs and Kevin Seitzer was getting all sorts of plaudits for his input, no one seems to be giving him any grief for the lousy hitting for the past two and one-half months. I’m guessing that there will be significant changes to the on field personnel next season. I doubt that Melky Cabrera, arguably the best player this year, will want to sign at any price. Bautista and Janssen both were outspoken at the lack of activity at the trade deadline and their performance hasn’t been great since, particularly Janssen. Colby Rasmus either hits a homer or strikes out, although his defence has been very good. And, although there seems to be some very good young pitchers either on the team or in the minors, the same cannot be said for position players.

Overall, after a dismal performance this year, I don’t see any huge upside for next year unless the GM is able to pull off some blockbuster trades.

Hugh Sampson

Whoopty fuck to your prediction, Hugh. Pat yourself on the back for being a shitty, negative fan. As for the run scoring, you’re right that they should be better, but that hardly means they don’t have a lot of very good weapons, either. The lack of offence is tough to watch, yes, but try remembering that baseball is hard. Try not inventing horseshit like your doubt that Melky would sign here for any price, or that you’ve seen something in Bautista and Janssen that justifies your ridiculous and utterly transparent belief that they’re not trying. Try understanding that it would have been as dumb to praise Seitzer then as it is to shit on him now.

Oh, and does the garbage clown not see any huge upside for next year? That’s shocking.

 

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Q-Hi Rich Stoet,

The big bats of the Jays have not been performing at all recently and Bautista has been swatting gnats instead of the ball – then he takes his frustration out on the home-plate umpire – not very sportsman-like. With the Jays bats in the deep freeze they are losing far too many games of late and add to that the fielding miscues and it is a recipe for losing.

All this time I was under the impression that AA was the great deal maker – but it looks like the team to admire, at least I certainly do, are the Tampa Bay Rays who with a pay-roll half that of the Blue Jays they have such a great, youthful, promising team. Whereas the Jays have a mixed bag of older players, some young players from the minors and some cast-offs from other teams. If Tampa Bay can find ways and means of bringing in such young, talented, great players why can’t the Blue Jays take a page from their book and do like-wise.

Best regards,

Tony D’Sousa in Toronto

Go watch the Rays then, Tony.

 

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Q-Hi Rich Stoet,

Seeing repeat performances from Stroman and Hutchison shows that they are not ready just yet for prime time and should be sent back to the minors to get some finise to their pitches like keeping the ball low and not throwing one in the hitters happy zone where experienced hitters can take them deep. I see that the Jays are doing a lot of rushing of minor league players like the young fellow who was in A ball and now in AAA because he is pitching very well in the minors. Alas, it all boils down to the owners not wanting to spend on some good proven mature starting pitchers. It is sad to see all of the big bats on the Jays team being silenced by a good pitcher like Smyly last evening, as professionals their job is to hit any pitcher as best possible and not meekly fold their tents.

What’s the story with Brett Lawrie who everyone saw on his first day back doing stretches in front of the fans – not sure if he tweeked something at that time. Is there any time frame for his return before season’s end. He is sorely missed by his team playing the way he does, going all out at 3rd and had just started to become a solid bat as well. Hope to see him play for even a few games before season’s end and I look to see what the tight-wad owners do in the off season to round off this team with the few pieces that it needs to be in contention in 2015 – if not it will be another bust.

Have a great week-end Richard Stoeten.

Tony in Toronto

Sentence one: Utterly insane.

Sentence two: Graveman was too old for the levels he was starting out at, so yes, he moved quickly.

Sentence three: Huh? They’re paying Buehrle and Dickey $32-million next year.

Sentence four: Give me a break with the “meekly fold their tents” garbage.

Brett Lawrie is hurt.

And yes, the financial flexibility to add to this roster in the off-season — to keep Melky, to add a real second baseman (or… um… how about shortstop?), to add a piece to the rotation, to help fix the bullpen — would go a long, long way. These are dismal times, and not a lot of people are ready to look at how much of a chance they could give themselves if they fix it right, but I really do believe there’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. It may not be a surer path to the World Series than tearing it all down and collecting as many prospects as possible, but the difference can’t possibly be a lot, and the journey will be a whole lot more palatable than crossing our fingers and turning into the Cubs for three or four years.

 

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Comments (155)

  1. I was in toronto last week and was talking to some guys about the jays,
    one guy was just going off about r.a. dickey and about how he’s not pitching like the ace he’s being paid to be.
    I tried to explain to him that he’s making about 1/3 of what an “ace” would make, so he’s actually pitching just fine for his contract and i dont even want to think about where we’d be without his 200 innings.

    • I think we were all expecting at least a decent version of cy young dickey, but now he’s essentially an innings eater and giving us a decent chance to win most games, basically buehrle at a cheaper contract.

      I mean it’s just fine, but…. expectations….. cost of prospects… urgh….

    • Yup I think people undervalue “eating innings”. 200 innings of 4.00 ERA is worth a lot more than 120 innings of 3.50 ERA. Dickey and Buehrle allow us to mix and match between the Happ’s and the Stroman’s etc. Without those ~400 innings covered we would be scrambling all over for pitching.

  2. I couldn’t even do it. Hats off to you, Stoeten, for having the intestinal fortitude to bother answering these dumbass questions.

  3. The most amazing part of this mailbag is that none of the questions were from Selby.

  4. Elite starting pitching costs a boatload of money and with the extra TV revenue, this off season, you are going to see some silly money thrown at Shields, Scherzer and Lester. Dickey’s contract is already a bargain, Happ’s option is worth it and Buherle’s contract is going look a lot better too. The rest of the starters are dirt cheap. There will be trade value in arms so hang on to them and thankfully we have a GM that doesn’t listen to yahoos on message boards.

    • agree (maybe not re. happ, but w/e)…there are going to be a few teams hunting for an elite FA SP, and the ones that miss out may then start eyeing buerhle as back-up plan that’ll cost less (if the jays are willing to eat some of the $$). i may be delusional, but i think the jays rotation with stro/dick/hutch/sanchez (praying)/ and either happ or a cheap(ish) option sounds pretty good.

      • Just thinking….Could it be that AA has already nixed trades because of how highly he values the IPs these 2 guys provide. When you get to the part where the other GM says
        ” And how much of the contract do you want to eat?” I’m betting AA says “none” or words to that effect. Thats a minimum of 400 IPs per year. (last year 427) Amazing. And Buehrle is a solid lock for that again next year too. He’s been over 200 IPs since ’01.

  5. I don’t quite get the animus directed towards Marc Oliver. I thought his comments were quite reasonable.

    Teams should be either be going for it or re-building, hanging onto the mushy middle is almost the last thing I’d like to see Roger’s pursue.

    I don’t follow the analogy either, he’s basically saying, just start over and get a new, cheaper computer.

    At any rate you handled the other guys with aplomb.

    • Yeah it actually wasnt that bad, he made a decent point about rogers being Scrooge mcduck on the payroll, you might as well go through a firesale and go ala cubs/astros to get to some serious young talent.

      Though obviously there are alternate avenues that could be just as good, like try and trade some contracts to upgrade the roster to keep the dope core that is Bats, EE and Reyes, not to mention a kickass potential young pitching staff roster.

    • I agree. I think with the right moves the Jays can get pieces to help them contend for a wild card spot in 2 years. Bautista and Edwin alone should be able to get the Jays some really good young talent. Use the two first rounders they’ll have next summer on guys coming out of university and the past two years could be the biggest blessing in disguise for this team.

      • we have two first rounders next year?

      • I dont get that tho. EE & Bats are proven middle of the order players. You trade for prospects there is no guarantee that they ever amount to anything, hell Stroman could shit the bed from here on out ( I don’t think that happens but no one knows.) Why create a huge hole in your strongest aspect (offense) for a few “could be goods” Bats has become such a great all around hitter that I think he is good till he is 38-40, maybe less power but still a hitter.

        They have a good core and added to it this year (Sanchez, Stroman) and need some tinkering and could be a contender at least for wildcards for the next 2 years. You would rather blow it up and wait 2 years then possibly win in those 2 years? I dont get that

        • Team’s gotta change somehow; at this point I’d rather give up two guys who are excellent at their jobs and put faith in our scouting and development staff to groom the returns into key members of a young team, than give up more prospects to get one or two guys who still leave the team vulnerable at other positions and watch both Edwin and Jose walk away for nothing/get traded for peanuts after 2016.

        • Thing is their value aint getting any higher, and bautista isnt getting any younger and his iso is dropping every single year.

          If you truly go for a firesale, you could get back an enourmous haul, especially if you eat salary to get decent prospects via reyes, buehrle and dickey.

          But that’s just one route, not one I would be comfortable with.

          • I just assume Melky’s gone if they do go the re-tool route.

            Of course, I should mention I don’t have a lot of faith in the Jays’ scouting department under AA when it comes to other teams’ prospects. Returns over the years have been a bit underwhelming.

            • We havent made any big trades though since the doc right?

              I can’t recall any trades where we get a prospect of significance at the time of the trade, hardly fair assessment if he’s made only like one trade for some “sure fire” prospects

              • True, but it doesn’t have to be a blockbuster to pick up a good prospect in a trade. Also, that was a lot of hot garbage that came over in the Doc deal.

                • Well Doc = Part of dickey (d’arnaud), drabek, and gose(wallace)

                  darnaud turned out to be the gem, and gose is an alright defense first cf. drabek’s a hot mess for sure though, though 2 tommyjohn’s can do that to you too.

      • What’s the point of trading your best 2 players if you want to compete in 2 years? Doesn’t it make sense to keep them and have them as part of that “competing” team in 2 years, rather than trade them for pieces that may not work out?

        • Then how do they improve in other areas they’ll need help in? And who’s to say that those two are going to want to re-up by that time?

          Their trade values will never be higher than it is now, and the Jays aren’t good now. I’m just putting two and two together.

          • Nonsense. Trading your two best hitters for lottery tickets doesn’t improve the team at all.

          • no, you are not putting 2 and 2 together. you are being a dumbass. If you trade EEE or Bautista you won’t get proper value and just create more holes on the team….

    • Guy’s an idiot.

  6. Holy shit, Frank. I’m…I’m just speechless.

    I am without speech.

    Holy shit.

  7. On a different note
    I named one of my fantasy teams
    The clown garbage posse

  8. Holy shit, Frank’s picture is in the goddamned dictionary entry for “garbage clown.”

  9. I read “Garbage Clown Central”. I fucking laughed so hard 911 was considered. The woman started laughing too and asked me what was so funny. I told her and apparently her lawyer will be calling my lawyer.

  10. The quote below is “gold” level snark, Stoeten. I laughed.

    You ever have one of those moments when your piece of shit computer seizes up and stops doing exactly what you want when you want it to, and you just want to throw it through the nearest fucking window, and you know it will feel tremendously great for a second, but then you realize that if you do you’re going to spend the next few months having to use your imagination to jerk off, so you don’t do it?
    Why do I get the feeling you’re the guy who just goes ahead and smashes the fucking thing anyway?

  11. ^ This. What a bunch of idiots.

  12. What I should do is print this out and hand it to people who complain to me about the Jays.

    Fucking spot on.

    On a side note, casual jays fan guy at work today told me he likes where the team is heading and even if we don’t make the playoffs this year at least they’re heading in the right direction.

    I had to stand and stare for a second because it’s the first reasonable thing i’ve heard someone say to me in a while and I should probably hug him.

  13. “Finally the plusses: Melky Cabrera, EE, Adam Lind, Captain Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, Hutchison, Stroman, Happ and Sanchez. That’s your nucleus now lets get some management who can do something with it.”

    Eight of those nine players were acquired, drafted, or signed to extensions by AA. But cool, Frank, be an insufferable dick.

    • I also appreciate how Happ fits into the “plusses” category and is part of the “nucleus” while Buehrle and Dickey, who have both been significantly better than Happ, miss out.

  14. If, and it’s a big if, we resign Melky it will be fun as hell to watch Gose, Pillar and Dalton Pompey battle it out next year for the starting CF job.

    Winner gets CF, second place gets the 4th outfielder spot and third gets a set of steak knifes.

    Put that fucking coffee down……..

  15. Gasp, even Brett Gardiner gets ejected.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/feinsand-yankees-hit-boiling-point-homestand-started-article-1.1925797

    Did New York’s media questioning his leadership?

  16. The is exactly the reason why I have not yet thrown my computer out the window.

  17. This made my day.

  18. Heheh “annus”

  19. The best line is clearly:

    “They only thing they lead the Division in was funny handshakes and Mr Muscles demonstrations.”

    Jays are 4.5 back in the WC in Sept. This is amazing! And they won a series in Tampa which to me after the last 7 years is the equivalent of winning the World Series!

    • Please note that ESPN.com used the word “clinched” when describing the win. Low bars are the best bars bro

  20. Don’t you hate doing this segment? :p

  21. Another terrible article by Stoeten aka “Rogers pawn”

  22. Love these mailbag answers!

  23. Ben Lindbergh tells us to pay attention to Norris and Pompey on grantland

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/mlb-whos-that-guy-september-call-ups-joc-pederson-maikel-franco-daniel-norris/

  24. You go ask Stan Grossman, he’ll tell you the same thing

    • I was wondering if anyone else noticed that name, I remembered if from fargo more than little miss sunshine

  25. another awesome Griff bag :)

  26. “finding a taker for the Buehrle contract might be worthwhile, even though they’re going to take a bath on it,”

    How much of a bath should they be willing to take on Buehrle? Obviously he’s overpaid and if someone would take all or almost all of the contract that’s great, but as soon as we start having to eat more than 3 million of his contract I wonder if we don’t end up paying almost as much to replace him, and maybe for someone less consistent. Thinking specifically about what Santana and Jiminez got last year and what they are. I guess the hope is that Sanchez/Norris guys are ready to step up and we don’t replace him?

  27. Gardner
    Gomes
    Puig
    Jeter
    Arod
    Braun
    Pedoria
    Trout

    Hate these players

    • Trout is awsome, just not on the bbq. On a serious note how about those obtuse Angles kickinh

      • Don’t get me wrong if he was a Jay I’d love the guy. Lala is fresh but shit where did this Nats run come from?

  28. Need to settle an argument with a pal, hoping you stellar baseball minds can help out.

    Is Rasmus a corn-holer or a cousin fucker?

  29. I like how it’s always the same people who go on about how the team “needs more chemistry” and “needs to be less individualistic and act more like a team” who complain about the fancy handshakes and players smiling (gasp!) and all that

    • That’s nice. I like how you use an ongoing sentence and continue going on about bullshit while using a dumb screen name that reflects shit all.

      • What’s an ongoing sentence?

        • It goes on and on and on bro.

          • Besides the lack of punctuation, I thought it was a nice remark.

            Alot of people bemoan how we have no chemistry, but clearly alot of the players click with each other.

            • The only missing punctuation is a period, so it’s not like he was missing a bunch of commas or something.

              But yeah, I agree… people complain about BOTH how the team has no chemistry and is just a collection of individuals and how the handshakes and smiles are stupid.

              • that is because they are no-nothing fucking dumbasses. that is an excellent observation if true dead-arm period.

  30. This is the stupidest collection of questions and rants that I have ever seen in Griff’s Mailbag. The opinions are expressed with such staggeringly uninformed certitude. The main thing it makes me feel is a deep well of sympathy for people in the media who have to listen to and interact with these people. Ugh.

  31. Exactly how smart do you have to be to reach the lofty position of

    ‘Sage of Prescott’ ?

    I may just move there.

  32. Off thread rant
    Man Eric karabell whining on his podcast is annoying

  33. “Flashy” is thinnly veiled racism?
    Lol
    The fuck

    • How often do white baseball players get referred to as flashy?

      • Is Edwin flashy?
        Is Bautista flashy ?
        Is Melky flashy?
        No
        No
        No
        Is Jose Reyes flashy?
        Yes.
        Does flashy have to be entirely a bad thing?
        No

        • I agree that not all Latin American players are described as “flashy” and that the word isn’t really a negative thing in of itself. It’s just kind of a subtle thing about the choice of words that are often used to describe people from certain places or cultures that are built up over time to create a certain image of them.

          This isn’t a perfect analogy, but in a way it’s similar to how Asians are frequently seen as very regimented and hard-working people. It’s not a bad thing to study hard or whatever the case may be, but it becomes a bit of a projected assumption when you see people who you think fit that mold, even if it’s not the reality. Like it’s impressive that they’re such hard-workers, but it’s more than “we” are generally comfortable with or what is a socially acceptable amount of studying.

    • It seems like it’s one of those tendencies to describe players from certain places that way. It’s not necessarily conscious, and I’m not completely sure how to put it into words. But guys like Jeter and Pedroia seem to be described as strong/responsible/good/consistent defenders, while Latin American players in particular (like Escobar and Reyes) are often described as “flashy” or “stylish”.

  34. I have to often remind myself while reading these that these people wrote into a Newspaper. That in itself explains a whole lot.

  35. Looking forward to tonight’s Sweep Threat.

  36. According to Retrosheet, Bautista was ejected once in 2010 and 2011, twice in 2013. Not exactly Milton Bradley.

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