2010-10-16

What I'm Thinking In 140 Characters Or MORE

Twitter is just silly sometimes. I think its time for me to take a break.

I had the nerve to say your Toronto Blue Jays need a big money closer. That's right, I fucking said it.

We blew 16 save opportunities in 2010 and we finished 10 games out of the wildcard.

Now, obviously it's not that simple. In fact - statistically speaking - it doesn't even really look like it needs addressing.

I should mention that I had just finally got around to watching the series in Minny that I had taped on PVR. And what I saw was Kevin Gregg blow yet another lead. Perhaps a bit of a knee jerk reaction.....

Let's take a look at what Boy Wonder thinks:

--Asked what areas needed improvement, Anthopoulos pointed to the poor bullpen ERA and the club's subpar on-base percentage. He believes both areas need to be improved.

That's a "poor bullpen ERA" WITH free agents Scott Downs and his 2.64 as well as Jason Frasor and his 3.68, they are both as good as gone.

Needless to say, the brain trust has got a bit of work to do down in the pen.

So, back to the Twitter. Some unnamed people think that it's a good idea to roll with what we got. You know: Gregg, Purcey, Camp, Janssen and any 3 of the following names: Carlson, Accardo, Buchholz, Roenicke, Rzep, Hill, Litsch, Ray, Richmond, maybe McGowan.

My original point was if that was the case, then we need a "steady closer". A guy that inspires confidence. A hammer. Someone who can come in and clean up a mess or win a tight game. Generally, these guys are "big money" guys.

Knowing full well that even the Rivera's and the Soria's of the world eventually blow some games, it's not quite as simple that if we:

A: sign or trade for a top notch stopper

B: we win more games

A + B does not = playoffs.

People were quick to point out a big money guy is a waste. Relievers are hot and cold. No point in signing a guy like that if you can`t get him the save opportunities. A closer should be the last piece of the puzzle.

All of which is very true.

However:

Shaun Marcum had 20 quality starts
Ricky Romero had 20 quality starts
Brett Cecil had 18 quality starts
Brandon Morrow had 15 quality starts

It is not completely unrealistic to expect about 80 quality starts out of our top 4 guys next year. Throw in a number 5 guy that doesn`t suck and you got 90 - 95 quality starts. That`s 90 - 95 games that you are most likely winning and you PLAN on turning over to a bullpen that just lost some uber important high leverage guys, that some people think can merely be replaced from within the organization.

Go out and get a great closer and the game becomes 8 innings. Everyone on the team knows it. The other team knows it too.

So all you really have to do is squeeze another inning out of our starter then mix and match the 8th.

We win!

Conclusion:

I think a top shelf guy to anchor the pen is the way to go especially if you wanna roll with what we got. And yeah I do remember the name BJ Ryan. I also remember some dude named Randy Myers.

I can completely understand why I got shit on for saying what I said considering BJ`s contract just came off the books. But what I also said was giving out 5 year deals is insane. To ANY arm. That includes Ricky.....

All great teams have a rock in the back end of the pen. We need one.

Sign Rafael Soriano for 3 years at $30 mil. It will cost you a 1st round pick, which totally bites and won`t happen.

OR

Trade for a stud and pay the price, which won`t happen either.

Is it the number 1 priority for the offseason? No, of course not.

Is it even on the list? If it is, it's pretty far down said list.

But in my humble opinion it is the quickest, simplest way to improving this team and closing the gap on the big boys.

It won't happen, which is fine.

And we will continue to blow leads - perhaps at a much higher rate - which is not fine.

I guess I'll just try to keep my opinions to myself because clearly, I'm a fucking hack that knows dick all about the game.


8 comments:

  1. I think it IS on the list in terms of finding one - i think it's NOT on the list in terms of paying 8 figures for one.

    If, for instance, AA could trade Zep and Jeroloman and Seirra to KC for Soria - I think that would be pretty high on his list of things to do.

    But no, I don't think we're going to see a repeat of the Ryan Experience here, soon or ever.

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  2. Southpaw's got the right idea- I don't think AA's going to roll the dice with what we've got, potentially losing three guys in the bullpen all at once.

    I can't remember who it was, but I've heard the bullpen described as a "chain"- lose one link, and they slide up to higher roles. Having a good closer lets guys like Downs/Frasor/Purcey/Jannsen stay in roles they're good at.

    I think the Jays got as much ash they could have out of Gregg- good value with the occasional blowup. He's not a hammer, but he'll do until we get one. Wouldn't be surprised if AA picks up his option for next year.

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  3. I agree the hammer-closer is needed. I disagree with doing it for 2011. One more year of growth and development and *then* sign your Marianathon Hofforia closer.

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  4. or find a John Axford in the rough like Milwaukee did 24SV 2.50ERA and is cost them $400,000!!

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  5. @Southpaw,
    I have to agree with you, no one in their right mind would want a Ryan Express experience again.
    Trading for a guy seems to be the only logical plan, other than exercising the option on Gregg. (which I still believe will happen)

    @DaveC,
    What you said about the chain makes perfect sense. Even if we plan on Gregg being the guy next year, the issue will be getting him the ball. Not replacing Downs will require Camp or Purcey to step into the set up role, which I'm sure they could pull off. But finding people to fill their now vacant spots could prove difficult with what we got.

    @Anon,
    I know in my heart that 2011 will be another growing year as you put it. I just can't believe some people think that replacing 2 key parts of a Major League bullpen can simply be done with what is currently on the 40 man roster. I'm all for trying guys out in new roles but we didn't bother to do that at the end of this season. And if we plan on going into spring training with what we currently have, I think it would be a huge mistake.

    Thanks very much for the comments gents. Very interesting points of view to consider.

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  6. Jonathan Broxton and Jonathan Papelbon (who I hate) are two big name closers who should be available. Although I don't think the Jays get either, nor should they.

    I say McGowan!

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  7. If McGowan is healthy you have to consider him an option. Although if his body is up for it be makes a mighty fine starter, but we do have 20 or so of those already...

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  8. @Argos!
    Those are 2 pretty "big money" guys you brought up right there. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) they are both gonna be free agents at the end of the 2011 season. Hence, I have to agree with you in saying they probably are not a fit here.
    For the record: I hate Papelbon too

    @Mattt,
    I wrote a post about McGowan last offseason and it still pretty much applies. Check it:

    http://1bluejaysway.blogspot.com/2010/01/but-youre-strange-animal-i-got-to.html

    I came to the same conclusion.

    Thanks for stopping by folks. Much appreciated.

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