AA Doesn't Do Free Agents

We're not sure how we could be any more blunt about it.

Our faithful leader - who will no doubt one day have a street or a school or both named after him - just doesn't get down with the free agents. He's said it time and time again. 
  • He doesn't like the term or dollars required to lock down the player. 
  • He doesn't do performance bonuses. 
  • He doesn't do not trade clauses. 
  • He doesn't do player or vesting options. 
  • He doesn't do contracts over 5 years for players.
  • He doesn't do contracts over 3 years for pitchers.

End of discussion.

For whatever reason most of the people that follow the team the closest seem to have forgotten this over the past couple of weeks. The cries for Prince Fielder were still are only slightly less annoying then how deafening the cries became for Yu Darvish. The Carlos Beltran sweepstakes was a nice little cherry on top. All of them big name, high profile guys who simply do not fit in with the teams current views. This is how it is and this is how it will remain, until further notice. You, I and all the other children in this crazy game cannot change this no matter how hard try.

It's just not how the plan was drawn up.

For the record: the most expensive free agent signed by your Toronto Blue Jays since Alex Anthopoulos took the reins of the team was


Jon Rauch for a whopping 1 year at 3.75 million dollars. If you factor in the buyout it climbs all the way up to the 4 million dollar mark.

And you know what else? He doesn't owe ANY of us a God damn thing let alone an explanation. How he chooses to do his job is none of our concern provided he gets the job done. 

In AA we trust.


Final Thought On Yu Darvish


Every year I play in a uber competitive big money AL only fantasy baseball league. I consider two or three of my rivals friends and the rest are merely acquaintances. Just before the season is about to start all 12 managers get together and have an auction style draft. It's good fun and the beers flow. A salary cap of $260 is in place which must cover 14 hitters and 9 pitchers. As you would imagine this auction plays out like a episode of Storage Wars. The premium players will not be had for less than 40 bucks. If a manager thinks he's about to get a smoking deal - say Konerko for $29 - someone jumps in and jacks the bid to a more acceptable price even if they ultimately have no interest in the player. Where it gets truly interesting is when it's time to bid on a hot shot rookie. All of your trusted methods of evaluating talent - and your sanity - go straight out the window at times.

Example 1: Evan Longoria circa 2008 draft

I remember it well because it was my first year of playing in the league. I was the new guy and I had no idea what I was doing. All these players were going for prices that I thought were completely outrageous and then somebody nominated Longoria. Obviously he had some talent with the stick and his face was on the cover of every fantasy baseball publication known to man. As the bidding started I figured a double digit bid is where I would back off. To my and the chiseled league vet's I was sitting beside surprise he went all the way up to 26 bucks. I remember him turning to me and saying: "that's a lot of money to spend on a guy that's never faced a major league pitcher before."

2008 22 TBR AL 122 508 448 67 122 31 2 27 85 7 0 46 122 .272 .343 .531 .874 127 238 8 6 0 8 4 *5/D6 AS,MVP-11,RoY-1

Example 2: Austin Jackson circa 2010 draft

Coming to the Tigers in what can only be described as a blockbuster deal in the winter of 2009 Jackson was the centerpiece and a much hyped Yankees prospect, like every other damn Yankees prospect. He was going to play CF everyday and there were rumors that Leyland was going to try him out at leadoff in a pretty dangerous lineup on paper. I figured his glove was going to keep him in CF and therefore keep him in the lineup. Again, I set my limit at double digits and again he climbed out of my price range to 12 bucks. In retrospect that's a pretty fair price to pay for an everyday player in this league.

2010 23 DET AL 151 675 618 103 181 34 10 4 41 27 6 47 170 .293 .345 .400 .745 102 247 5 4 3 3 4 *8 RoY-2
Example 3: Lorenzo Cain circa 2011 draft

Involved in the Zack Greinke trade over the winter, Cain wasn't guaranteed a job on the big league roster but had had some success in the Majors the previous year. He was blocked in CF by the Melkman who had signed a one year deal with an option with KC. In a somewhat brazen alcohol induced move, yours truly made a play at Cain figuring he would be up a day or two after the Super 2 date had passed in early June. I had some extra funds to burn and it was late in the draft so I bid him up to 7 bucks and won. In doing so, I missed out on free agent to be and seven year veteran Josh Willingham who ended up being had for 6 bucks.


2010 24 MIL NL 43 158 147 17 45 11 1 1 13 7 1 9 28 .306 .348 .415 .763 105 61 1 1 0 1 0 8/79
2011 25 KCR AL 6 23 22 4 6 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 .273 .304 .318 .623 73 7 0 0 0 0 0 /98


2004 25 FLA NL 12 29 25 2 5 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 8 .200 .310 .320 .630 68 8 1 0 0 0 0 /27
2005 26 FLA NL 16 28 23 3 7 1 0 0 4 0 0 2 5 .304 .407 .348 .755 107 8 1 2 1 0 0 /2D7
2006 27 FLA NL 142 573 502 62 139 28 2 26 74 2 0 54 109 .277 .356 .496 .852 121 249 13 11 0 6 2 *7/D32 RoY-9
2007 28 FLA NL 144 604 521 75 138 32 4 21 89 8 1 66 122 .265 .364 .463 .827 115 241 11 16 0 1 1 *7/D
2008 29 FLA NL 102 416 351 54 89 21 5 15 51 3 2 48 82 .254 .364 .470 .834 117 165 7 14 1 2 2 7
2009 30 WSN NL 133 502 427 70 111 29 0 24 61 4 3 61 104 .260 .367 .496 .863 127 212 11 12 0 2 2 *79/3
2010 31 WSN NL 114 450 370 54 99 19 2 16 56 8 0 67 85 .268 .389 .459 .848 129 170 8 9 0 4 3 7/D
2011 32 OAK AL 136 563 488 69 120 26 0 29 98 4 1 56 150 .246 .332 .477 .810 121 233 6 11 0 8 3 7D


Bidding and subsequently winning these types of players is a clear lose lose situation. In order to win them you have to overpay for them relative to their real value. The only way it works out for you is when they preform above or well above their projected level, which in turn is based on nothing in the way of real experience.

For a quick reality check to all you stupid, ignorant, the sky is falling, hockey crazed, Rogers hating, moron, upset at your life, looking for the simple answer, management hating, stathead, dickholes that just can't seem to let this God damn topic go please click here


Something To Consider

PLEASE NOTE: this post was written prior to finding out that international broadcast revenues are shared amongst all MLB teams equally. The agreement can be found here and it expires at the end of the 2015 season. If your Toronto Blue Jays do win the auction AND sign Darvish you'd have to think that they would have a major say on what the next deal looks like. That's if this guy turns out to be as good as he's been advertised. It is possible that there is a clause within the current agreement that allows teams to place a premium on their games specifically for situations like this. We attempt to explore that concept below.

If you read this blog, you're well aware that Darvish mania has hit a fever pitch in this city.

One thing that has been stuck in our minds was a note from the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliot post the other night saying that Rogers told the Jays brass to get Darvish "Whatever it costs, sign him". All we've been hearing since the bomb was dropped on all Jays fans during the Winter Meetings was "payroll parameters". How do we make the jump from we'll spend money when the fans start showing up to sign him at all costs?  Sounds like to us a group of business analysts over at Rogers sat down and started to run some numbers and have realized that this Darvish kid might actually make them some money. How's that possible when we're talking about a pricetag of $125 million once the posting and the contract are settled.

First lesson learned here at 1BJW was, apparently we're quite ignorant when it comes to the actual population of Japan. 128 Million potential Rogers "customers" over there just waiting to watch their Major League playing Rock Star of a pitcher on beautiful HD feeds straight from Sportsnet Central.  Another thing we learned was that the Japanese community here in Toronto wasn't quite as large as we might have thought, only about 19000.  How many of that number can be either Jays fans or even interested in seeing Darvish pitch at the Rogers Centre. We'll look at that later.  But this 128 million is a big number, let's dig a bit more into that.

What kind of tv viewership numbers can we be looking at in Japan we wondered.

Well, here's a look at those numbers.

95 percent of Japanese watch TV daily and that nearly 60 percent of daily viewers watch for three hours or more.
127,000,000 population
120,000,000 total viewers
72,000,000 watch for three hours or more.

Well holy shit we say, there's a lot of "customers" just waiting for Rogers to push their product to. In Japan there is just one public broadcaster and that's the folks at NHK so it'll make negotiating a broadcast deal with much easier as it's just 1 deal to make.

After a bit of digging we found that the Leafs charge broadcasters $1.25 a month per tv set to get their games and the NFL Network charges $0.81 a month for their product. Ok, that's a bit high for Blue Jays product lets be honest and while we're fans of our team, would these new "customers" in Japan want to watch all our games or just the games staring their National Hero? We here are leaning to just Darvish's starts. Let's start running some numbers here.

Let's start real cheap with charging just a penny a Darvish start, typically he'll get 5 starts a month, here's hoping anyway. 

$0.01 Per Start
$0.05 a Month mulitplied by 72,000,000 possible viewers to watch a ballgame.
At this point, you're thinking, that's got to be a high number and you'd be right.
$3,600,000 a MONTH or $21,600,000 a SEASON! 

I don't know about you, but a penny a start seems damn cheap, I couldn't imagine if they could actually could get a whopping nickle a start. Being the math wizards we are here at 1BJW, we can tell you that equals $108,000,000 a season!  Yes, that's a lot of zeros. What could you charge if he pitches against the Yankees or Red Sox? What could you charge if he lines up against Dice-K? The money is truly endless.

Say what you will about our teams owners, but Rogers is in the business of making money. They do it very well, hence they just ponied up $533 million dollars to buy a stake in the Toronto Maple Leafs. We know the rates we pay here in this country for our Rogers Services and how so very kind they are to us. So what if they can even get a penny a start for him, that'll cover 86 percent of his salary and posting before a fan even steps in the building.

Let's look at that now for a moment shall we? We here at 1BJW don't generally buy the argument that the fans will come to just see a certain player. But maybe, just maybe the curiousity is high when/if Darvish starts here and fans flock in to see his first few starts to see what the deal is. Is the hype real? Maybe, just maybe some of the 19,000 Japanese people that live in the Toronto area will come to see one of their countries own. Maybe. Might happen, we really don't know.

So let's just say, that on the night's that Darvish pitches that the Blue Jays are lucky enough to get an extra 3000 per home start. I'm guessing the first game he pitches here is a sellout and maybe the first few are up there.  So an extra 3000 a home start averaged over the season doesn't seem like a strech to us. With this signing, the buzz in the city is sure to build. Will that translate into people in chairs? Maybe, maybe not. But winning sure will and we've all got hope that this will.   

But let's just say the average price of a Blue Jays ticket is $40 and you can't go to the ballgame without getting a pop or two and something to eat. So on average another $40 per person. Average. 

So, 3000 people at $80 bucks a night is:
$240,000 extra a home start night.
Hopefully Darvish makes 15 home starts throughout the season.

$3,600,000 million a season.

Well wait, just a second here. $21,600,000+$3,600,000 is: 

$25,200,000, again we say, that's at a penny a start.

We haven't sold a jersey yet and we're already about $200,000 ahead.

The buzz this potential signing has created has been huge the last few days. Will they sell more seasons tickets because it appears that the Jays are actually taking risks and are attemping to put that competitive team we've longed for, for so many years. Maybe. The number of people that are saying that they'll buy more tickets this season just because it appears that Rogers actually cares about winning with this team. The numbers speak for themselves, what Rogers really cares about is making money.


The Blue Jay Rally Call

I'm not even certain that I want the braintrust to win this ridiculously stupid blind auction or not. But hey, what the fuck else are we doing?


Ball Hall’s Tip O’Neill award up for grabs

St. Marys – The 26 Canadians that donned major league uniforms in 2011 was the largest number in more than a century, and that means the voting for the Tip O’Neill Award is going to be as challenging as ever. The annual recognition stems from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum and is given to the player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

The Ball Hall is seeking input prior to the decision being announced on December 14th. Please send your top three choices in order by emailing baseball@baseballhalloffame.ca or you can vote on our website at www.baseballhalloffame.ca (there is a poll on the bottom right hand corner)

Larry Walker is the all-time leader in “Tip” awards with nine. Jason Bay sits second with three, while Justin Morneau and Eric Gagné, with two each, are the only others to win more than once. 2010 recipient Joey Votto has a chance to join the club of multiple winners after another stellar season, but he is up against some strong competition from the likes of John Axford, Erik Bedard, Jesse Crain, Russ Martin and Brett Lawrie.

The following is an alphabetic summary, from Axford to Votto, of the Canucks who played in “The Show” in 2011, along with a pair of candidates from Team Canada’s men’s and women’s teams:

John Axford (Port Dover, ON) – Led the Milwaukee Brewers to the playoffs with a National League leading 46 saves, won the NL Rolaids Relief Man award and finished ninth in Cy Young voting. The 6’5”, 195-pounder’s single season save total ranks third in Canadian history, trailing only Eric Gagné, who chalked up seasons of 55 and 52 saves. The moustachioed right-hander compiled a 1.95 ERA with 86 strikeouts, 25 walks, and 59 hits over 73 innings. Beginning April 24th, he converted 43 consecutive saves, and overall converted 46 saves in 48 save opportunities. His ERA after the All-Star Break was 0.84. In six playoff appearances, Axford had a win, three saves, struck out nine in seven innings, and landed a 1.29 ERA.

Jason Bay (Trail, BC) – After a late start due to injury, the 2009 Tip winner smacked a dozen homers, 109 hits, 19 doubles, 57 RBI and a Canadian-leading 11 stolen bases for the New York Mets. Won NL Player of the Week on September 12th. OBP - .329, SLG – .374, BA – .245.

Erik Bedard (Navan, ON) – Won five games in 24 starts with the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox. Struck out 125 hitters in 129 innings pitched, ERA – 3.62.

Megean Cornellsen (Grand Prairie, AB) – Team Canada outfielder was named MVP in the USA Baseball Women's International Friendship Series, with six hits in six games, seven RBI and four stolen bases. OBP – .421, SLG – .353, BA – 353.

Jesse Crain (Toronto, ON) – Appeared in 67 games for the Chicago White Sox, collected eight wins, 2.62 ERA, struck out 70 and allowed 50 hits in 65 innings.

Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, BC) – The Chicago Cubs opening day starter amassed 10 wins, threw 202 innings, striking out 191, and had a 4.80 ERA in his Canadian-best 34 starts. Nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award.

Scott Diamond (Guelph, ON) – Had seven starts for the Minnesota Twins, winning one, striking out 19 over 39 innings, and had an ERA of 5.08.

Jeff Francis (Vancouver, BC) – After injuries limited him to just 19 starts in 2010, the tall left-hander rebounded to start 31 games for the Kansas City Royals, winning six, pitching 183 innings, striking out 91, and amassing a 4.82 ERA.

Taylor Green (Comox, BC)– Milwaukee Brewers third baseman appeared in 20 games as a September call-up, batted .270. Was Pacific Coast League All-Star and Baseball America 2nd-Team Minor League All-Star. At Triple-A, 120 games, 141 hits, 22 HR, 36 doubles, 88 RBI, BA – .336, SLG – .583, OBP – .413.

Rich Harden (Victoria, BC) – Limited service with Oakland A’s due to injury, 15 starts, four wins, 91 strikeouts in 82 innings, 5.12 ERA.

Blake Hawksworth (North Vancouver, BC) – Relieved for the LA Dodgers, hip problems limited him to 49 games, two wins, 43 strikeouts in 53 innings, 4.08 ERA.

George Kottaras (Toronto, ON) – Back-up catcher with Milwaukee played 49 games, batted .252, five HR, SLG – .459, OBP – .311. Hit for the cycle in Houston on September 3rd, the first major leaguer to do it in 2011, and the first Canadian to hit for the cycle since (who else?) Tip O’Neill did it twice in 1887. 2011 CBHFM inductee George Wood (Pownal, PEI) also hit for the cycle in 1885.

Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) - Charlie Hustle attitude brought electric atmosphere when the third baseman was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays, playing 43 games, batting .293, with 44 hits, nine HR, 8 doubles, 25 RBI, seven stolen bases, SLG – .580, OBP – .373, and a memorable extra-inning walk-off HR against the Boston Red Sox. The right-handed slugger was just named to the Topp’s 2011 All-Rookie Team. At Triple-A, played 69 games, 103 hits, 18 HR, 61 RBI, 13 SB, BA – 353, SLG – .661, OBP – .415. Was Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Month in May, named Baseball America 1st Team Minor League All-Star, and Baseball America Triple-A All-Star.

Chris Leroux (Montreal, QC) – The 6’6”, 225 lb right-hander appeared in 23 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning one, striking out 24 batters in 25 innings, and compiling a 2.88 ERA.

Adam Loewen (Vancouver, BC) – Completed the remarkable transition from major league pitcher to major league position player due to arm injury. Called up to the Blue Jays in September, played 14 games, six hits, one HR. At Triple-A, in 134 games, smacked 159 hits, 17 HR, 46 doubles, stole 11 bases, BA – .306, SLG – .508, OBP – .377. Recently signed with the New York Mets.

Trystan Magnuson (Vancouver, BC) – Pitched in nine games with the Oakland A’s, striking out 11 in 14 innings, 6.14 ERA.

Jonathan Malo (Joliette, QC) - Shortstop led Team Canada to bronze medal at World Cup and gold at Pan Am Games. Named to World Cup All-Star Team (quite a rarity for a Canadian middle infielder), batted .382, collected 13 hits and played exceptional defence while starting every game for Canada. Batted .316 at Pan Ams. Team Canada improved to 6th in world ranking. Batted 226 at Double-A and Triple-A in NY Mets system.

Russell Martin (East York, ON) – New York Yankees everyday catcher was an American League All-Star, finished first in assists, and in 125 games had 99 hits, 18 HR, 17 doubles, eight stolen bases, BA – .237, SLG – .408, OBP – .324.

Scott Mathieson (Vancouver, BC) – Limited action attempting comeback following third elbow surgery, including two Tommy John elbow ligament replacements. Pitched in four games, five innings, struck out five, 0.00 ERA.

Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) – Former AL MVP with Larry Walker career-like potential still feeling effects of concussion, playing only 69 games, with 60 hits, four HR, 16 doubles, 30 RBI, BA – .227, SLG – .333, OBP – .285.

Mike Nickeas (Vancouver, BC) – Back-up catcher for the New York Mets saw action in 21 games, 10 hits, .194 BA.

Pete Orr (Toronto, ON) – Utility infielder for Philadelphia Phillies played in 46 games, 21 hits, three doubles, three stolen bases, .219 BA.

Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC) – Hampered by injury, only had one outing with the Toronto Blue Jays. Closed out the Pan Am Games gold medal game with three innings of sparkling relief against the USA to hold Canada’s 2-1 lead, and striking out the game’s final hitter to give Canada its first ever gold medal at the Senior level.

Mike Saunders (Victoria, BC) – Seattle Mariners outfielder played 58 games, 24 hits, five doubles, six stolen bases, .149 BA.

Matt Stairs (St. John, NB) – Ended incredible MLB career having played for a record 13 teams. The power hitting outfielder who hold the major league record with 23 pinch-hit homeruns. Saw limited action, mainly pinch-hit, in 56 games with Washington Nationals, totalled 10 hits and a .154 BA. Ironically, despite the left-handed slugger’s sure-fire future Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame career numbers, Stairs did not win a Tip O’Neill Award in any of his 19 seasons. Arguably could have won or shared the Tip in his best season, 1999, with 38 HR and 102 RBI, but Larry Walker knocked 37 HR and 115 RBI in 20 fewer games, and won the batting title with a .379 clip, and a superb OPS of 1.168, while Stairs batted .258 and had an .899 OPS.

Mark Teahen (Canadian Citizen, father born in St. Marys, ON) – Third baseman traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Toronto Blue Jays, played in 78 games, 32 hits, four doubles, 14 RBI, and a .200 BA.

Rene Tosoni (Toronto, ON) – Minnesota Twins outfielder played in 60 games, chalking up 32 hits, five HR, seven doubles, 22 RBI, and a .203 BA.

Joey Votto - (Etobicoke, ON) – NL All-Star and Gold Glove winner finished sixth in MVP voting. The 2010 NL MVP batted .309 including 29 HR, 72 extra base hits, and a Canadian record 110 bases on balls. The Cincinnati Reds marquee player led the NL in BA on the road (.334) and BA with runners in scoring position (.383), and led all MLB first basemen in games (160) and innings played, total chances, putouts, assists and was second in double plays. Had 185 hits including NL-leading 40 doubles, 103 RBI, scored 101 runs, and stole eight bases. SLG – .531, OBP – .416, OPS – .947 (9th in NL).

The award is named after Woodstock, Ontario native James 'Tip' O'Neill, who was one of Major League baseball's first legitimate stars. With the St. Louis Browns in 1887, the outfielder set major league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, and total bases that season while compiling his astounding major league record .492 batting average, and SLG-691, H-225, D-52, T-19, HR-14, TB-357, R-167, RBI-123. Bases on balls were included as hits in 1887, but if O'Neill's average was calculated by today's standard, it was .435, the second highest in major league history to Hugh Duffy (.438).

Past winners of the James "Tip" O'Neill Award:

2001 LARRY WALKER (tie) 2001 COREY KOSKIE (tie)
2002 LARRY WALKER (tie) 2002 ERIC GAGNÉ (tie)

On a personal level, my write in ballot looked like this:

1. Brett Lawrie
2. Brett Lawrie
3. Brett Lawrie

After some heated debate, it was accepted. Exercise your right and vote now!

The winner will be announced tomorrow. 


Blue Jays Acquire Francisco From Phils

The following piece appeared today on PhoulBallz.com, a Phillies site run by 1BJW's own Jay Floyd.

The man known to Philadelphia faithful as “Benny Fresh” is heading north of the border, as the Phillies have dealt outfielder Ben Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league left-handed pitcher Frank Gailey.

Francisco, was acquired by Philadelphia in a July, 2009 trade that initially brought star hurler Cliff Lee to town in exchange for four prospects.

In his time with the Phillies, Francisco batted .260 with 16 HR and 61 RBI in 225 regular season games played. The 30-year-old is likely best known for his homerun in game 3 of the 2011 division series against St. Louis that locked down a win for Philadelphia. In 17 career postseason games, the California native has tallied a .105 batting average.

Gailey, a 26-year-old lefty, was born in Philadelphia and attended West Chester University. In 2011, Gailey split time between Class A Advance Dunedin and Double A New Hampshire. In the Florida State League, Gailey was strong, going 4-2 with a 1.84 ERA and a .168 batting average against in 26 relief outings, earning himself a promotion to the Eastern League. Gailey wasn’t as sharp with the Fisher Cats, as he sported a 1-4 record, a 5.70 ERA and a .286 batting average against in 19 games.

Originally a 23rd round draft choice by the Blue Jays in 2007, Gailey has posted a 2.45 ERA overall in his 5 professional seasons.

The 5-foot-9-inch 190-pounder has never pitched above the Double-A level. He projects to be developmental depth, much the way veteran minor league relievers Justin Friend and Les Walrond were at multiple levels of the organization last season.

Image- Philly.com

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The Week That Was

Image courtesy of Minor Leaguer via Bluebird Banter

Exactly one week ago today we stated that agent Dan Lozano and his associates were headed to Toronto. The name Albert Pujols was liberally thrown around as being in attendance but never once confirmed by us.

Didn't really get the chance.

The biggest dog on the porch, the mighty Drunk Jays Fans and their crazed monkey army jumped all over it and away it went into retard land. In fairness, the post itself was written in a somewhat complementary tone while the comments section was predictably a gong show.

The overall reaction was naturally mixed and since we weren't prepared to disclose the source of this information - still aren't/never will/stop asking - it was quickly scrutinized and for the most part discarded. The main stream media did their best to disproved it while team officials totally denied it.

Case closed.

Courtesy of Jon Heyman

told no truth to internet reports pujols/lozano visiting toronto today. #stlcards look like his best (only?) $200M chance

Courtesy of ESPN

Pujols not meeting with Jays #bluejays #cardinals #mlb

Courtesy of Bob Nightengale

No truth to talk that Pujols and Lozano are or were in Toronto. Lozano in LA office Tuesday

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick

In an interview with the Star just last month, Jays president Paul Beeston expressed lingering bitterness over the way similarly high-priced free agents used his Jays as a negotiating tool back in the ’80s — before they had won anything. Beeston singled out free-agent reliever Rich Gossage and his agent Jerry Kapstein allowing the Jays to think they were in the running, then using that offer to bump up the price elsewhere. The long-memoried prez insists the Jays won’t get fooled again.
He proved it last year when the anticipated Blue Jays bid for the much-coveted and seemingly undecided Cliff Lee, the cream of that free-agent crop, failed to materialize. The same professional disinterest espoused by Beeston, on behalf of the Jays in dealing with top free agents in non-contending winters, is expected with Pujols and Prince Fielder. It’s a philosophy he passed on to GM Alex Anthopoulos. 

Courtesy of John Lott

“We’re not doing anything for a short-term fix … We’re not going to buy a team,” Beeston said. 

Courtesy of Shi Davidi

One question to draw a reaction from Anthopoulos was a sarcastic query about where he and Dan Lozano, the agent for free agent slugger Albert Pujols, had lunch this week. Some blogosphere fiction suggested Lozano was in town to visit the Jays, which drew a smirk from Anthopoulos, who struggled to maintain his policy of not replying to rumours and speculation.
"I've read all kinds of reports and again, I'm not ceased to be amazed about some of the false things that come out," he said.

Every single one of them refuted our claim and there are some heavy hitters on that list. All except Jeff Blair. We love Jeff Blair. He hasn't yet lost his ability to think outside the box.

Courtesy of Jeff Blair

The GM managed to get Beeston to overcome a significant aversion in getting him to sign off on a five-year contract extension for pitcher Ricky Romero in 2010, but it would be an even neater trick getting Beeston to think big, bigger, biggest in the free-agent market. That leaves the Blue Jays not even on the periphery for the likes of sluggers Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols – unless Beeston and Anthopoulos are working some kind of ruse.
All’s fair at this time of the season, folks. They might have us all exactly where they want us.

Here's what the message boards and comment threads had to say about it. Spoiler alert: not very positive

Courtesy of BlueJays.com (skip to page 6)

Courtesy of Pro Sports Daily

Courtesy of Sportsnet

Courtesy of Drunk Jays Fans

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd finally our personal favorite Mike Cormack

Hopping on Fan 590 with @JeffSammut590 after 9 to talk #jays, #mlb & ridiculous Pujols rumours.

The Pujols bit was the lead story and was quickly whisked under the rug. To paraphrase the conversation - as it happened on the fucking radio - it went down a little something like this:

Sammut: What's the deal with this Pujols rumour?

Cormack: It's just some silly blogger. They like to throw a bunch of stuff against a wall and see what sticks. Next question please.

It was at this point in the game we decided it was best to fold our hand. A memo went out to all staff: maintain full radio silence until further notice. The hate mail piled up while we just sat back and took names. Nobody believed us. And frankly, why would they? With this much evidence pointing to the contrary it was fairly easy to move right along to the next rumour.

What we took away from this entire exercise can be summed up like this: unless your name is known and respected in the baseball community there is absolutely zero point in trying to share a little snippet of juicy news you heard about your favorite team.

Even if we revealed our sources and told the other 90% of the story that we are privy to, it would have remained an extreme uphill battle for the good guys (us) to reclaim our honour that in the end just isn't worth the headache. We consider this an extremely valuable lesson learned. From this day forward there will be no more of this type of goodness from us.

Most of you reading this still probably think to this day we are a total joke and that's honestly completely cool with us. For those people we counter with just one simple question:

How did we possibly get our hands on this bad boy?

There's that and a FULL WEEK LATER there's this.