There was a lot to like about Toronto’s 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins tonigh, assuming you’re a Blue Jays fan.

Not to dismiss Ricky Romero’s best outing of the year, which was a great performance, but I was most impressed with, as has been the case most of this season, Jose Bautista. His at bat in the top of the ninth inning against Joe Nathan was particularly mind blowing.

  1. Bautista takes a curve ball for a strike (0-1).
  2. Bautista fouls off a four seam fastball high and inside (0-2).
  3. Bautista fouls off a four seam fastball high and away (0-2).
  4. Bautista takes a four seam fastball low and away (1-2).
  5. Bautista takes a curve ball low and away (2-2).
  6. Bautista fouls off a curve ball right in the middle of the strike zone (2-2).
  7. Bautista fouls off a slider near the middle of the middle of the strike zone (2-2).
  8. Bautista takes a fastball high and away (3-2).
  9. Bautista fouls off a curve ball high and inside (3-2).
  10. Bautista hammers a four seam fastball down the middle of the plate over the left field wall.

Coming into tonight’s game, Bautista had an OPS of .969 . . . with two strikes. His sense of the strike zone and his vision for the pitches he’s seeing is so superior to anyone else in baseball that he can afford to sit, and toy with a pitcher until the pitcher makes a mistake or gives Bautista a pitch he wants to hit.

Comments (38)

  1. Best hitter and most valuable player in baseball. He’s so locked in that he’s making guys like Pujols and Votto look inferior to him.

    Boy, I’m sure glad we have this guy under contract next season.

  2. Not that Bautista isn’t a monster, but Matt Holliday’s ops is .954 with 2 stikres this year and Lance Berkmans is .938, so he’s not exactly alone up there. If he keeps being ridiculous, I can certainly see Berkman dropping off. It might be interesting to keep track.

  3. Dustin, perhaps you can look this up.
    My empirical observations tell me that Bautista is incredible in situations where he falls behind 0-2. I cant remember seeing a hitter fall behind in counts so often and either work it into a walk or eventually get a hit. Am I right, or just biased?

  4. After falling 0-2, he’s still getting on base 35% of the time. It’s only happened 20 times this year though.

  5. That’s still pretty ridic. Because he’s either taking balls which he should be taking, which he is, or swinging moronically early in the count and not seeing enough pitches, which he clearly isn’t awesome. Still early in the season, but when you see a guy doing smart things outside of “hitting the baseball really hard”, it’s tough to think it’s going to be dropping off any time soon.

  6. He is an absolute animal and is the most exciting athlete Toronto has seen since Vince Carter

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLLTfsaymHs

  7. ps it was the ninth inning not the 8th

  8. Is it just me, or does “The Most Interesting Man in the World” not bear more than a passing resemblance to Jose Bautista?

  9. Bautista is a major regression candidate and he does not deserve anything close to 5/65. terrible contract.

  10. Dustin Parkes says:
    02.16.11 @ 10:15 PM EST

    Should’ve been more clear, by successful, I mean 4 WAR. If a team is willing to pay Bautista more than $54 million over four years after a season like that, let them. I don’t see how this contract could possibly work out well for the Jays.

  11. Dustin Parkes says:
    02.16.11 @ 11:06 PM EST

    The thing is. The Blue Jays could’ve ended up paying $7.6 million or $10.5 million for that $17.5 million value in 2011, then gotten the picks or made a trade, and found a 3 WAR player that won’t cost the team $13 million.

  12. “There would be several options available that wouldn’t come remotely close to costing the Blue Jays $13 million dollars. Orlando Hudson, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Juan Uribe are just some of the names of players who had somewhere in the neighbourhood of a 3 WAR season in 2010.”

  13. Dustin Parkes:
    I like what AA said today about never signing a deal that you don’t think will be tradeable. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this contract will be tradeable.

  14. Dustin Parkes:
    Baseball compels him to regress toward the mean.

  15. Dustin Parkes:
    Agreed. But I’m talking in terms of likelihood, and it’s extremely likely, based on every player that’s come before bautista that he regresses from last season. No one would be happier if he hits 60 out of the park next year, but it’s just so very unlikely based on what every player has done before.

  16. Dustin Parkes:
    I would hope that none of it is for that. Again, to go back to what Stote said in his last DJF post, baseball teams should be trying to make deals that work out ridiculously in their benefit all the time. Right now with the Bautista contract, we’re hoping it just breaks even. That should say a lot about this deal.

  17. AA may have just made a deal that will “work out ridiculously in their benefit,” let’s say that.

  18. Jeff, those quotes are hilarious. It’s amazing how stoeten and parkes know so little about baseball and yet are getting paid to comment on baseball.

    The fact is you always take a chance on getting elite level talent, because it doesn’t come around very often. And we should be thanking Jose for not hiring Scott Boras as his agent or we’d be screwed right now. If 60 mil is the cost of taking that chance, I take it every time.

  19. I think you guys are being a bit harsh. Nobody has a crystal ball and no rational person was predicting that Jose Bautista was going to enjoy a breakout on 2010 this season that is even bigger than the breakout he had last year vs. the rest of his career. It remains to be seen if he keeps it up all year long, but admonishing someone for not correctly predicting that Jose Bautista, having enjoyed arguably the greatest breakout season of all time is going to improve to an even larger extent the following year is ridiculous.

    With that said, I do agree that in order to win in the AL East you have to be prepared to take some financial risks at some point. Those risks can involve resigning your own best players to multi-year deals into their free agent seasons or signing big ticket free agents. The idea of developing enough impact talent all at once and/or “winning” enough trades with other teams is, at best, going to produce some transient success. It’s very difficult to sustain that long term without at some point committing to a few really great players past the point where they become expensive.

    Jose Bautista’s contract was a risk at the time it was signed and it still is now. Signing anybody for that number of years or that amount of money is always going to be a risk. He might get injured tomorrow and never play again or never be the same player again. Nobody can predict the future.

    With that said, I thought that it seemed like a sensible risk at the time of the signing and still support it now. In general teams have a more complete set of information on their own talent and as a result they are in a better position to pass judgment on the value of those players than other teams would be. I think that this is especially true of the Jays based on their increased emphasis on scouting.

    If during this past offseason the team’s scouting staff thought that Jose Bautista stood a good chance of being an average defensive right fielder and producing an OBP like last year with about 20 fewer home runs per season over the next few years then it was a deal that they had to make. The extra years were probably just what needed to be added in order to get the deal done and enjoy the flexibility of a team option (which AA and his staff clearly love).

    If they thought that in addition to that expected level of performance he had a not insignificant chance of continuing to be one of the game’s ten best hitters then there’s just no doubt about it.

  20. Hey Jeff, I hope you enjoyed your Saturday you pathetic fuck.

  21. It took 10minutes, and it was very entertaining, you fucking clown! Simon, or ‘Parkes’.

  22. I’m with Nick.

  23. Bautista is terrible. Way over-paid. He only has 14 HR and it’s mid fucking May. TERRIBLE CONTRACT!

  24. Nick, the possibility that Bautista was an elite player going forward was exactly the reason to sign the contract. Nobody expected exactly this, of course, but there was always the potential that the contract would be a massive steal (which it appears to be).

  25. hahahaha, try to “reason” your way out of this performance, idiots.

  26. Jeff,
    I’m sorry if you have been living in a box for the last month and a half, but the Bautista deal is looking like a bargain. Since September of last year he has been locked in and he has proved this year that last year was no fluke. He has a bloody 1.667 OPS at home this year- that is obscene if you know anything about baseball.

  27. Exactly, Fullmer_Fan. I apologize if I wasn’t clear in may previous comment, but that is what I was trying to get at. I agreed with the contract when it was signed because while there was some risk there was also a lot of upside. Bautista could actually be half the player he’s been so far this year (in terms of WAR/games played) for two years and then produce nothing after that and he would justify the entire five year deal. If he produces as he has to this point for the rest of this season then the contract will have paid for itself before he enters its second year. The Jays will be playing with house money at that point.

    Of course, production in 2012-2015 has more value to the Jays than production in 2010 because those are years where (to carrying degrees) the Jays are expected to have a better shot at contending, at this point at least.

    The reality is that you have to be willing to take risks to succeed in the AL East and this risk was a good one to take. I thought that at the time of the signing and I still think it now. Does that make me some kind of magical baseball seer with a crystal ball that predicts the future or a heightened level of baseball knowledge? No. Does not agreeing that Bautista’s contract was a worthwhile risk to take make Parkes and Stoeten incompetents? Hell. Fucking. No.

    They made rational arguments at the time that I and others happened to disagree with and obviously the Jays disagreed with them too. You cannot look at one isolated case or even at the end results of a bunch of different cases to evaluate a person’s judgment, you need to look at their process. If you get something right then you examine it and see what about your process caused you to arrive at a conclusion that produced a good result. You also see if there’s anything that could lead to an even better result next time. If you get something wrong then you look at what caused it, but you are also careful not to ignore the part of your process that you got right and change it for the sake of change.

    Underrating your process when you are wrong and overrating it when you are right have to be two of the most common mistakes that people make.

  28. Exactly, Fullmer_Fan. I apologize if I wasn’t clear in may previous comment, but that is what I was trying to get at. I agreed with the contract when it was signed because while there was some risk there was also a lot of upside. Bautista could actually be half the player he’s been so far this year (in terms of WAR/games played) for two years and then produce nothing after that and he would justify the entire five year deal. If he produces as he has to this point for the rest of this season then the contract will have paid for itself before he enters its second year. The Jays will be playing with house money at that point.

    Of course, production in 2012-2015 has more value to the Jays than production in 2010 because those are years where (to carrying degrees) the Jays are expected to have a better shot at contending, at this point at least.

    The reality is that you have to be willing to take risks to succeed in the AL East and this risk was a good one to take. I thought that at the time of the signing and I still think it now. Does that make me some kind of magical baseball seer with a crystal ball that predicts the future or a heightened level of baseball knowledge? No. Does not agreeing that Bautista’s contract was a worthwhile risk to take make Parkes and Stoeten incompetents? Hell. Fucking. No.

    They made rational arguments at the time that I and others happened to disagree with and obviously the Jays disagreed with them too. You cannot look at one isolated case or even at the end results of a bunch of different cases to evaluate a person’s judgment, you need to look at their process. If you get something right then you examine it and see what about your process caused you to arrive at a conclusion that produced a good result. You also see if there’s anything that could lead to an even better result next time. If you get something wrong then you look at what caused it, but you are also careful not to ignore the part of your process that you got right and change it for the sake of change.

    Underrating your process when you are wrong and overrating it when you are right have to be two of the most common mistakes that people make.

  29. I am sorry for the double post. That was an error in my process.;)

  30. You are absolutely bang-on, Nick. That’s the point. Parkes argued that the contract was “insane”, and “made no sense”. He went too far, looking for any reason to call it a bad deal, like a little Kieth Law parrot. And he jeered people, JAYS FANS FOR FUCK”S SAKE, wo love and cheer for Bautista, who argued that Bautista could produce at a more “normal” rate (25+ HR, .350+ OBP, good, versatile defence) and STILL BE WORTH THE 5/65, or be traded, easily.

    Parkes used his “gift” for arrogance, and his poor research skills, to build a case against Bautista, and treated the contract like another Wells deal.

    Well, guess what? I was offended by that. I fucking live and die with the team, and I fucking love Bautista. I watched him destroy AL pitching, and I was convinced he COULD do it again, and that he would easily be worth $13m/year. Parkes decided to take a confrontational tone, and he will sink with the boat that he crammed full of bullshit.

  31. The reason stoeten and parkes deserve to be mocked is that they CONTINUE to bash jose bautista even while he mashes even more. They make comments like “it’s only been a month” or “those last contract years are going to be really bad”. They simply make themselves look like fools. What other team’s fans bash the best player in baseball? If they would simply admit they were wrong they could actually start enjoying the ride. It’s almost as if they want jose to fail so they can say they were right. I honestly believe they simply don’t like jose and never will.

  32. I don’t know if I can make this a rational, reasonable thread, but I’m going to try my best.

    Well… that was quite a weekend for Bautista. I think I truly enjoyed Wilner’s line of (paraphrase) “Bautista does hit opposite field home runs, but only in parks north of the Rogers Centre. Because he can.”

    Dustin, earlier this season you gave Bautista’s OBP if all singles, doubles and triples were outs and it was something like .340. What is it after this series?

    Not that I’m starting to advocate this, but… theoretically speaking, Bautista starts hitting at age 29 after 5 journeyman years. What would it take for him to start getting HOF consideration? I’m not saying he IS a HOF player. I’m just saying, because it’s a different path what would it take? 5 straight years of 50+ HR followed by another 3-4 of 30+? Would that do it? What do you think?

    (And to back up Dustin, Drew, and Stoeten… While I think it was a reasonable gamble, especially given this current season and what it would cost to sign him after this year, it is still very early in the contract. All contracts look great at first. I’m sure they’d be happy to say 3 years down the line, we were wrong.)

  33. @Grouchy. Where have Stoeten or Parkes bashed Bautista recently? There is a big difference between saying the contract may not be worthwhile and bashing the player.

    Also, how many times does it need to be mentioned have to wait until at least next year’s performance to judge the deal? Jose was locked up this year no matter what. That said, the longer Bautista keeps this up the more likely it is that the deal will end up being an amazing one.

    Fun thought. What if 2011 is actually Bautista regressing? (ie 2011 is his true talent level and 2010 was an off year)

  34. Mark, read my quotes on what they said. Their comments on jose are usually negative in some way. If snider was raking would they be so negative on him?

    And you are wrong, you don’t wait until next year to judge a deal or any deal. All contracts must be judged at the time they are signed based on the information available. I am not calling the contract good after 5 weeks. That is monday morning qb’ing. It was a good deal at the time. The hinske deal was a good deal at the time as well even though it didn’t work out. Just like the longoria deal was a huge risk but was good as well.

    The jose deal was a risk, but the risk goes both ways. He could have left as a free agent and gone to NY or boston and then demolished us for the next 5 years. Parkes doesn’t even consider that.

  35. That means there’s no such thing as a bad deal, because all deals are good at the time they are signed. Otherwise they wouldn’t be offered. People thought the Vernon deal was good at the time.

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