The regular season has ended, and yet Yan Gomes is still playing. The Clevelands are fighting for their playoff lives, hoping for a chance to take a crack at the Red Sox in the ALDS, awaiting the winner of tonight’s Tampa-Texas tiebreaker, and the addition of Gomes– worth 3.7 wins per FanGraphs (2.7 per Baseball Reference) in just 88 games– has been a huge part of that.
So, it should be noted, have the additions of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Danny Salazar, Scott Kazmir, and a re-born Ubaldo Jimenez– meaning, the Francona-is-magic brigade can kindly take a seat, thanks.
Regardless, given the atrocity that Jays fans have endured behind the plate this season, which Alex Anthopoulos still won’t commit to replacing– though given that means submarining what little is left of his theoretical value, I suppose it’s understandable– there has been a lot of post-facto hand-wringing around here among those who’ve taken notice of the season Gomes has had.
That’s not remotely close to unfair. Esmil Rogers has had a very good season himself, but you simply cannot give up MLB-quality everyday catchers for a middle reliever, no matter how good or versatile he may be. Especially when you’re committing to J.P. Arencibia.
Frankly, the Jays are lucky that Rogers had as good a year as he did– thanks in no small part to bullpen coach Pat Hentgen and the introduction of a power sinker to his repertoire. Otherwise dealing away Gomes would look even more like an unmitigated disaster.
Even without the Rogers component, however, there are reasons to not fly too deeply off the handle about it– even if they may illuminate something not too pretty about how the club operates.
In the transcript of the Alex Anthopoulos conference call after Wednesday’s quiet trade deadline, which Gregor Chisholm has helpfully provided over at North Of The Border, there is something that I found rather conspicuous by its absence.
Asked about his areas of focus as the deadline approached, here’s what Anthopoulos had to say:
“We’re always in the market to add a starter especially with the way the rotation has been for us so we definitely explored some things there and we’re still looking to acquire some middle infield help, that’s definitely something we’ve taken a look at as well. Those were probably the two areas we were most active in overall and then there were some other ideas thrown at us that were larger concepts but just didn’t seem like things we needed to rush to do now.”
Now, here’s where I’d normally say that maybe the GM didn’t bring up the club’s gaping hole behind the plate because he didn’t want to throw the incumbent under the bus, but… uh… he certainly doesn’t seem terribly bothered by the notion of doing that to his de facto second baseman, so… what the hell?
Off the heels of the pitch-perfect 2013 Blue Jays Adventure RPG video comes a new video-game parody about the Toronto Blue Jays for your viewing pleasure.
This one, called Super Baseball Toronto GM Ninja Battle is a street-fighter style tale of Alex Anthopolous and his rise to power as the GM of the Jays. I won’t spoil any of the battles for you, just know that digital Beeston is nails.
This video is part of a great longread from Canadian Business and is the master work of @Cashewmirman, a Jays must-follow and creator of such frequently awesome content that I am sincerely doubting my own abilities in comparison. Check out all of his work at Weekend Punks, which currently features an animation of Anthony Gose running through a wall.
Getting an early jump on putting this disasterfuck of a season to bed, Alex Anthopoulos joined Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler on the Sportsnet broadcast for a talk during what turned out to be a lengthy the top of the second inning of Friday night’s game, commenting on the year that was and what we can expect as we move into the off-season. Continuing a recent trend, Anthopoulos was a bit more candid than we’ve become accustomed to during his three seasons at the Jays’ helm, especially with regard to how he’s looking to reshape the roster during the winter.
“I’m not as concerned with guys who have options,” he said, explaining an evolving philosophy– or, at the very least, a what it seems he hopes will be a newfound ability to avoid relying on the organization’s young players. “They want to be up here– but we’re going to do what’s best for the organization. We want to see some of the young guys play, but there isn’t anything wrong with having them wait if we can have guys that can help the team right now and have that depth, because as we’ve seen, over the coming year guys won’t perform, guys are going get hurt, and we need that depth– it’s going to be important. So, if we can fill spots and have some of the young guys waiting in the wings to force our hand, that’s definitely going to be something that we’re going to adjust to.”
Boston-based reporter Jen Royle, formerly of MASN and YES and currently writing for SB Nation, among other things, cause a bit of a stir last night on Twitter, as she went out on a limb with an exclusive “scoop” on… internal conflict between the Jays’ GM and manager?
Source: The Jays are willing to let Farrell go Boston as long as they’re compensated due to friction btwn JF and GM Alex Anthopoulos
I put the word scoop in quotes, of course, because this sure as fuck is a powerful bit of information to have slipped past the local wretches, coming to us from a source whose mere existence, I’d wager hard, is as much a revelation to Jays fans as her claim.
Ahhhh, to think back on more quaint, innocent times here in Jaysland… like last Thursday! That was the day, long before any of this week’s unfortunateness, when the Jays were kind enough to let our very own Drew Fairservice sit down with Alex Anthopoulos for a wide-ranging interview that you can see in full over at Getting Blanked.
Obviously it would serve no purpose for me to reprint here what you can simply click the link above to see (seriously, do it), but what I can do is pick out the most interesting, eyebrow-raising segments and explode them all like so many small homophobic-slur-written-on-eye-black-in-a-different-language controversies… er… or something. And naturally, the main topic in an Anthopoulos interview that any fan is going to skip to regards payroll, and what we can expect to see there going forward. So let’s focus on that.
When we do so, we see that, unfortunately, at times, somewhat like his predecessor, I’m starting to get the sense that Alex actively wants to distance himself from the question. Granted, any of what appears to be a newfound appreciation for opening up on the subject may be due to the fact that, as he explains near the end of the conversation, “with more time spent in the job, it is natural that you get more comfortable in your own skin. At the same time, you get to know your own media so well and build relationships. You can let your guard down at times.”
On most days around the time I intended to have this published, I’d be tossing up an Afternoon Snack post, but let’s be honest, today there were really only two things in the Jays-a-verse worth discussing, and everybody’s already been talking about them: Ricky Romero’s continuing struggles, and the talk Alex Anthopoulos gave to assembled reporters before last night’s game. So I’ll focus in on those. I began earlier with last night’s tales of Romer-woe, and continue here with AA’s talk…
Alex Anthopoulos spoke with reporters prior to yesterday’s loss to the Mariners, which naturally led to a number of stories in the local papers– for example, John Lott reviews the chat’s highlights at the National Post, Mike Rutsey has it covered for the Toronto Sun, and Brendan Kennedy provides a handy digest at the Toronto Star.
Here in the online world, however, space isn’t at the same– or any– kind of premium, meaning that Kennedy, in the Star, as well as Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com, at his North of the Border blog, have been able to provide full transcripts. That not only means that everyone can read the entirety of what was said, but that other sources– like yours truly, for example *WINK*– can pull out whatever they feel was most interesting. And, indeed, there were some nuggets.