What I have done is turned in my BBA membership card, turned off sitemeter and remembered why I started up this bitch in the first place. It's not about pages views. It's not about making money. And it's certainly not about writing out everything that happens, as it happens, everyday.
What is it about you ask?
That's simple. A place where we are all free to discuss Blue Jays baseball. That and I need somewhere to keep all this shit together. An outlet if you will.
Anyways, a long overdue round up for y'all.
Consider this your required reading.
Consider this your required listening.
Consider this your required viewing. There were a couple of honorable mentions.
Courtesy of Jim Callis:
Every year, there's usually at least one prospect who gets caught in Top 10 limbo, and this year it's Lawrie. He would have been our No. 1 Brewers prospect, but he got traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum before our Milwaukee Top 10 came out—and after our Toronto Top 10 was published. So Lawrie won't make a Top 10 in our magazine or on our website, though he will appear in the 2011 Prospect Handbook.
Here's the scouting report that would have appeared with our Brewers Top 10 had Lawrie stayed put:
The Brewers put Lawrie on the fast track in 2010 by assigning him to Double-A Huntsville at age 20, making him the second-youngest regular in the Southern League. Very confident to the point of cockiness, he was anything but intimidated and got better as the season progressed and he adjusted to the higher level of competition. He led the league in runs (90), hits (158), triples (16) and total bases (250). Lawrie has very strong hands and a quick bat, allowing him to wait on pitches and drive the ball to all fields. He's not a prolific home run hitter but piles up extra-base hits by shooting the ball into the gaps. Lawrie needs to balance his aggressiveness with more plate discipline, however. Though he stole 30 bases, he was caught 13 times and his speed is just average. Lawrie has smoothed out some of his rough edges in the field but still must work on making his hands softer, as evidenced by the 25 errors he committed in 131 games at second base in 2010. He has solid arm strength but may not have the first-step quickness to remain at second. He won't have to be a Gold Glove defender because his bat will get him to the big leagues and keep him there. If he has to move to an outfield corner, he'll still provide enough offense to profile as a quality regular.
Lawrie will rank No. 2 on our Blue Jays list, between righthanders Drabek and Deck McGuire. I don't think Lawrie will stay at second base and think his big league home will be right field. He should join Toronto at some point in 2012.
So there. Even if Lawrie does turn out to be a corner OF, he is still suppose to profile as above average there. Currently, he slides right in at number 2 on the BA list of best prospects in the system.
Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:
J.P. Ricciardi came to the Mets in November after eight years as the Toronto Blue Jays' general manager—eight years of running a team that only once finished higher than third in Major League Baseball's best division.
So now that Mr. Ricciardi is a special assistant to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, the prospect of having to wrench supremacy in the National League East away from the Philadelphia Phillies doesn't fill him with much apprehension.
"The AL East always had two or three teams coming at you," he said by phone recently. "After having done it so many years against the Yankees and the Red Sox and Tampa being good through that cycle, I'll take my chances. Even though the Phillies are really good, I'll take my chances over here."
Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick:
The comfort that Wells has found later in life has come from the fact he realizes that he is not worth what he is being paid, but, in fact who is?
“I think the most important thing about getting contracts like this is you get to go out and do so many different things in the community,” Wells admitted.
“You get to go out and impact lives. The way I feel about it, I was blessed with that contract to go out and do things. Everybody would say I’m not worth the money and I would totally agree that I’m not worth that contract, but I don’t think there is anybody . . . but I know what I can do with that contract will far outdo what that contract’s worth.”
Jays fans, understandably, only care about results on the field.
In other news, winter is cold and the CN Tower is really tall.
Courtesy of Jeremy Sandler:
In less than a week, the Toronto Blue Jays should know if a 14-year streak is going to continue.
The club has not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since reliever Bill Risley in 1997. But the Jays have a major league-high nine players eligible this season and a team-imposed deadline of Tuesday to clear them from the books.
Toronto’s timeline shrunk last year when general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the team would not negotiate after salary figures were officially submitted for arbitration. That policy is expected to continue this season.
By my calculation the team imposed deadline or "file-to-go" strategy if my memory serves correctly is on Tuesday around mid day. I predict a flurry of signings in the next 24 hours or so to keep us happy.
Courtesy of Jeff Caplan:
Lance Berkman, a career National League outfielder and first baseman with the Houston Astros, agreed to be traded last season to the New York Yankees. He knew he wouldn't play first base for the Yanks. That is property of Mark Teixeira. Berkman went to the Bronx Bombers to serve solely as DH and perhaps a game here or there at first.
When New York came to town late in the regular season, Berkman -- who is 34, the same age as Young -- talked about what it's like to hit and then not trot out to your position.
"At the time, I had never not played every day and I didn’t realize how much I appreciate being out there and playing defense," Berkman said. "That’s one of the byproducts of this trade is it’s made me realize I love to play defense and play it every day. I knew I liked defense, but to me the game is so much easier from a rhythm standpoint, from a timing standpoint when you know you’re going to be in there and when you get to go out there and play the field."
Pretty strong words.
I thought I would include this one for all you E5 will be a great DH types out there to consider. You know who you are.
Courtesy of Cathal Kelly:
Good Lord, we need to move on. How about we try the Blue Jays.
“It seems to me like they’ve got everything in place. It feels like, to me, like they’ve got it right and they shouldn’t touch it now. They feel me to like a bow and arrow, like they’re ready to launch.”
Are we talking playoffs?
“I’m not going to push it.”
A psychic’s look at your Toronto Blue Jays future fortunes. Yeah. Right.
Courtesy of Chris Jaffe:
According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Toronto Blue Jays have lost 2,709 games in franchise history. There have been more important losses, more heart-rending losses, and more memorable losses, but none of losses were quite as lamely filtered away as one that came 10,000 days ago today.
After nine innings, they battled the Orioles to a 4-4 tie in Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. The top of the tenth got off to a great start for the visiting Blue Jays, as Cliff Johnson led off the frame with a go-ahead homer. Jays led, 5-4. As an added bonus, Barry Bonnell followed that up with a single. Things were going great.
They were about to go stupid.
A great reminder on one of the reasons why teams like to carry an extra lefty in the pen. Keeping guys close at first base late in a tight game is a weapon that far too many managers don't use nearly enough.
Courtesy of Roto Professor:
The Closer: Octavio Dotel
He became the front-runner for the job once he signed his free agent contract, but he is far from a lock to maintain it all year long. In fact, it is arguable that he is even the best man for the job.
Dotel pitched for three different teams in 2010 (Pirates, Dodgers & Rockies), compiling a 4.08 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He certainly still is a strikeout artist, posting a strikeout rate of at least 10.55 each of the past four seasons. However his fastball, which is a pitch he throws over 80% of the time, has been losing a little bit of zip in recent years:
- 2007 – 93.5 mph
- 2008 – 92.5 mph
- 2009 – 92.6 mph
- 2010 – 91.7 mph
Another question is his control. He’s never posted good control numbers (career BB/9 of 4.09), but he has been even worse over the past two years with walk rates of 5.20 and 4.50. Throw in his struggles against lefties (they hit .301 against him in 2010 while his strikeout rate was just 7.66 and walk rate was 7.25) and there should be major concerns with his ability to shut down games (in the AL East he’ll have to face batters like Mark Teixeira, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and others).
In fact, it's over 85% if you include the cutter, which clocks in at a cool 89.7 MPH. I have to think the guts of this article is bogus. It's basically saying Dotel throws a slider and a fastball. That's it. A cut fastball, regardless of the fact it has the word fastball in it, in my opinion, is another pitch altogether. It has to be thrown slower and thus moves more than a fastball.
A more appropriate statement to make regarding Dotel's velo in "recent years" would be: Since 2007 he has thrown the fastball almost 60% of the time and it comes in between 92 and 93 MPH. He mixes in a cutter and a slider.
Unfortunately all the shit about lefties is accurate.
All that said, I'm looking forward to watching him break some bats for us this year and try to remind yourself during one of the inevitable meltdowns this upcoming season that shitty bullpens do make the game of baseball more interesting.
Courtesy of R.J. Anderson:
Offenses driven behind low on-base percentages and high slugging percentages have existed throughout the history of the league (with league context being key in defining what a high slugging percentage defines). But recent seasons have led to a proliferation of these offenses. Perhaps we should take to calling them the Joe Carter offenses in honor of the Blue Jays’ legend with a slugging percentage of gold and an on-base percentage of tinfoil. I fully understand that even if the Jays returned the same lineup they would be unlikely to replicate their 2010 feats. Still, I wanted to know how the teams alongside the Jays fared in the year thereafter.
This is a must read.
Courtesy of R.J. Anderson:
What Bautista’s season means is simple and complicated. Bautista owned 59 career home runs in more than 2,000 plate appearances entering the 2010 season. He then added 54 jacks in 683 plate appearances. A journeyman becoming the most feared batter in baseball in the blink of a winter is an unpleasant thought because history provides little comfort. Keep Bautista’s lack of a 20 home run season in mind as you read the accomplishments of the other players to hit 50-plus in a single season.
Courtesy of TSN:
With the Toronto Blue Jays being better than expected last season, fans of the club hope that the Jays can contend in the AL East in 2011, but what should they expect in 2011 from Jose Bautista, who led the majors with a surprising 54 home runs last season?
In order to help Jays' fans get a glimpse of what could be, we're collecting different projection systems' results so fans of Canada's lone MLB team can see what others are expecting the Jays to do.
Some projection systems go head to head. Interesting to note the differences.
Courtesy of Matt Klaassen:
2. Edwin Encarnacion, July 4, -.224 WPA. The Jays were playing the Yankees on Independence Day when Encarnacion came up to the plate in the tenth with runners on first and second, no one out, and the score tied at six. He bunted into the air to the third baseman and Adam Lind got thrown out at second. The Jays went on to lose in the bottom of the inning.
As a manager, it's not really fair to ask your player to do something in a game you know he can't do. In extra innings against the Yankees? That is just plane stupid.
Courtesy of Scott Carson:
Now, there's a new sheriff in town and his name is John Farrell. While he's a former pitcher and pitching coach by nature, he's been around the game long enough to have a strong opinion on what direction he would like his team to take at the plate. Based upon his introduction to the Toronto media and subsequent comments at the winter meetings, you Cito-bashers out there -- and I know there are more than just a handful of you -- must be enjoying the fact that the Jays will be bringing a lot more 'small ball' into the mix.
Sounds like anyone you might know?