Today’s the day! Well, kind of. Ten more teams are scheduled to have their pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today including the Yankees, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Angels. Some teams have already reported to camp and others still won’t report for a day or two, but generally speaking, this is “report day.” Either way, baseball’s back! Sort of.

In case you missed it yesterday, it was actually quite a busy day here at Getting Blanked. Our fearless leader put his weekend of eating Doritos and watching reruns of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on hold to challenge the circular logic and backward thinking of one Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail. Dowbiggin insists Rogers is somehow hurting the Jays’ chances of success and uses the lucrative TV deals negotiated by teams like the Angels and Rangers as fodder. This argument is getting so tired, but Dustin once again refutes it using that little thing called logic. It’s a good read.

Then I posted a piece about Gary Carter that I’ve been meaning to write for a couple weeks now. I use the words of Buck 65, Dave Kaufman and Annakin Slayd to relay just how important Carter was and is to the city of Montreal and Canadian baseball.

Outfielder Mike Cameron surprisingly announced his retirement after 17 seasons today despite having signed a contract with the Washington Nationals back in December. Cameron was expected to form the right-handed side of a centerfield platoon with either Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel, but the 39-year-old has instead decided to hang it up. Cameron has always been a vastly underrated player. He was traded twice very early in his career, including from the Reds to the Mariners in the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati. Cameron was a tremendous defensive player and hit 20 or more home runs eight times. His 52.6 career fWAR ranks him ahead of Moises Alou, George Foster, Kirby Puckett, Tony Oliva and Bernie Williams among others.

There’s also the following video from back in 2002 when Cameron hit four home runs against the Chicago White Sox in his first four at-bats. Two thingsmake me very happy about this video. 1) The first home run came off of Jon Rauch and 2) Hawk Harrelson sounds like he’s about start crying.

The Phillies have signed swing-man Kyle Kendrick to a two-year, $7.5-million contract which voids the one-year, $3.585-million deal he signed earlier this offseason in order to avoid arbitration. Kendrick has two more arbitration eligible years remaining after this year so this does give the Phillies some cost certainty, but it’s still a curious move considering Kendrick was already under contract. Kendrick posted a 3.22 ERA in 34 appearances including 15 starts in 2011, but struck out just 12.3% of the batters he faced while giving up 14 homeruns in just 114.2 innings.

Despite the best efforts of Jon Heyman, Johnny Damon will not be coming back to the Yankees. The Yankees are still reportedly interested in bringing in Raul Ibanez who is two years older and did not have as good a year as Damon in 2011, but it’s likely that he’s asking for far less money.

Andrew Baggarly of says that there is mutual interest in a contract extension between Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants and Cain would like to continue talking until the end of Spring Training. Cain is scheduled to hit the open market at the end of the upcoming season.

Sticking with Baggarly, he says that the Giants are going to take it easy with catcher Buster Posey, who is trying to come back from a gruesome ankle injury that sidelined him for most of last season. San Francisco will give him some time at first base to ease him back into playing every day. The story is totally acceptable until Baggarly ends the piece with this gem

“Posey is every bit as important to the Giants as Barry Bonds used to be.”

I’m going to guess he was being hyperbolic.

After gauging his value on the trade market, it appears as though the Cubs will try to re-sign Matt Garza to a long-term deal. The Cubs are clearly very high on Garza, having said they view him as a legitimate number one. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but if Garza can sustain his 2011 numbers, there may be something to that. He was sixth in the NL in fWAR, tied for seventh in xFIP, and had a 3.13 K/BB ratio in 2011.

Finally, Chan Ho Park is pretty awesome: Hat Tip to Gord Bacon for the second one.



Comments (6)

  1. Harrelson: “That might be the first time in history that two guys have hit two home runs in the same inning”


    Because no.

  2. I agree that the free agent spending debate has become tired this off-season. But I don’t think the Blue Jays TV revenue debate is tired at all. Night_manimal’s comments on Parkes’ post yesterday were much more insightful about that topic than anything “logical” that Parkes said.

    I understand that Dowbiggin’s article wasn’t well written, but I think it’s great to see journalists ask these questions because few, if any, teams have a less transparent financial situation than the Blue Jays.

    It is very difficult to determine how much the Jays’ TV contract is worth but it would be possible to make a decent estimate by finding out how much each 30 second commercial spot costs per 50,000 viewers and comparing it to the same thing on Fox. There are obviously quite a few more complications but they could be worked around.

    • I agree. I usually find Parkes does a great job of refuting otherwise weak journalism surrounding the Jays, but his attempt to refute Dowbiggin missed the point.

  3. Travis,

    i love your weekend content, but your statement that Parkes is using “logic” to refute the article shows a complete lack of…oh yeah, logic. Parkes completely missed the point that Beeston is saying when attendance goes up that so will salary. Media deal values are going up much more than attendance revenue in the internet and wireless age. Rogers is a Media company that can fully monetize Blue Jay content in streaming and wireless advertising, not to mention offering advertisers exclusive content on one of the top 10 TV rated teams in MLB. Either Beeston is lying that salaries will go up when the Blue Jays value creation goes up, or he is an ignorant dinosaur that doesn’t understand that Media rights create more value than attendance in today’s world. Beeston/Rogers apologists on this site can continue to erode their credibility or start to call out the team for transparency on what their spending policy really is.

    Further, the excuse put forward by Parkes and Stoeten that focuses on the Fielder and Darvish contracts simply are weak and not well thought through. The bottom line is that noone knows what AA would be able to do if the TV rights were say $80mm instead of mid-30′s. My bet is that he would be able to build value in the team both now and in the future.

    C’mon guys take the blue pill!!!

    • I just don’t see how we can speculate at all on what Rogers is willing to spend and what it’s based on. I mean, I am no Rogers apologist. I hate the company for number of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with baseball whatsoever.

      My opinion is that the Jays haven’t spent on free agents in the AA era because there haven’t been any free agents they’d like to spend it on. I doubt very much it has anything to do with Rogers. AA didn’t want to give Fielder more than five years and so he didn’t. It’s that simple. It’s not like he was the only GM unwilling to spend on him.

      This idea that magic TV money=free agent spending=winning is ridiculous, whether you agree with Dustin’s argument or not. Is Rogers making money off their media arrangement with the Jays? Of course! That, to me, is likely a motivating factor behind them purchasing the team in the first place. We speculate when we say that Rogers is unwilling to reinvest some of that money into the team, because we have no idea. It’s unfair to blame them when it’s pretty clear that it has far more to do with AA’s policies than with the ownership group’s.

      Now, that’s all I’m going to say on it, because honestly, I don’t care about it. Like…at all. I want to watch baseball and I’d like it if the Jays were good. I don’t think Rogers has prohibited that under the current regime.

      My forte is writing about baseball…this shit has little to do with baseball and I won’t waste anymore energy on it.

    • And if you believe anything that comes out of Beeston’s mouth, you’re the one taking the wrong coloured pill. Honestly, his job is to manage PR; he’s a professional bullshitter. Do I think attendance has something to do with payroll? Of course. But do I think it’s the end-all and be-all? No.

      Beeston’s job is to quell rabid fans and media so that his hired GM can do his job relatively free of pressure and media-created bullshit. Saying payroll goes up with attendance creates a convenient scapegoat and also may help drive ticket sales a little (it also has the added bonus of being somewhat true on some basic level). It makes sense that he’d say that. I think it bears zero relevance to Parkes’ argument or to Dowbiggin’s.

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