Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jason Bay to the Jays?

From RotoWorld. The Blue Jays are making a run at Jason Bay, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark: The Pirates would likely want Travis Snider or a package including Adam Lind and Brett Cecil in return for Bay. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is hearing that the Rays are now out of the mix for Bay.

Bay is a 900 OPS guy. And I'd trade him for Lind if I thought there was chance in hell this team would do anything this year. But they won't, and he has bum knees (I think). I guess you could still do it and go for it in 2009, but I say no, it's clear to me that with the inevitable loss or AJ and McG on the DL, and Litsch fall from grace, that next year will be more of the same.

Youth and hope should be our goal. (BTW my days with the Jays are over if we trade Snider, he's the hope. Maybe a true Superstar hitter.)


ROTOWORLD UPDATE: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jays' bid for Jason Bay consisted of one phone call in which the Pirates asked for something so excessive that no further talks were needed: Shaun Marcum and Travis Snider? The Rays might be the only team with a chance of landing Bay at this late date

Hey JP, do your job!

If the trade deadline comes and goes with AJ Burnett still on our roster, JP should be summarily dismissed for negligence. Again.

This may be the best opportunity we've had in years to improve the team's future in one quick strike, and it must be taken.

This season is going nowhere - the last two days were probably a blessing in that they pushed aside any lingering belief that these guys could get the job done. The reasons to trade AJ now are so obvious that it's scarcely necessary to set them out, but here we go:

- AJ's value should be sky high at the moment. There are a number of teams that will see themselves as one starter from a playoff push, and AJ is likely the best available. Plus his last month has been so good that he'll have seduced many GMs into believing he's a true star (full disclosure: he's not).

- AJ is gone at the end of the year. 0% doubt. If we don't trade him and he ends up exercising his option to stay with us for two more seasons, I will walk through downtown Toronto on a selected winter day wearing nothing but an Eckstein jersey. Get something for him now.

- we are NOT making the playoffs this year. We got all excited about being 6.5 back, ignoring two fundamental facts: (1) 6.5 behind 4 teams is very different from 6.5 behind one team, and
(2) our team is not good enough to make the kind of sustained run required to get over the hump. We've been average all year, mostly because we're average. That's not gonna change because the fans really, really wish it would (sorry for turning into Canate here).

- the cupboard is still relatively bare. Notwithstanding some encouraging signs on the farm, we are largely devoid of future stars. It's probably too much to expect a Bartolo Colon sort of deal, but a semi-competent GM should be able to flip AJ for at least one or two serious prospects. It remains to be seen what an utterly incompetent GM can do.

I have serious concerns about whether JP will pull the trigger today - he wants to keep his job, and would love nothing more than a strong second half push that gets us to the usual 87 wins, so that he can convince his brain-dead boss that we're almost there. Don't do it, JP - we all think you've messed up your lines for years now, and you'll be ridden out of town on a rail at season's end, no matter what. Do yourself a favour and set your legacy up now, so that six years from now we can say "man, that JP sure did suck, but at least he made that one great deal back on July 31, 2008 that was the catalyst for this great run of four consecutive World Series. Thanks JP!"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Lazarus Project

We rise again. By "we" I'm referring to MOE, not the Jays. The Jays are still out of it, despite their modest success of late. Right? But if we take two more from Tampa.....

Here's why this team drives me crazy. We have a +36 run differential, pretty much equivalent to Tampa (+37) and the Janquis (+42). BP's 3rd-order wins would have us at 59-48, which isn't bad. So have we just been unlucky? I can't quite buy it. I look at this roster and just don't see a contender. But if Lind (now at a sweet .311/.339/.529) had taken some of the 260 PAs that have gone to Wilkerson and Mench (both at .680 OPS), we might have had another couple of wins and be in the thick of this thing. God, J.P.'s an idiot.

I disagree with Canate on a few points. I think Cito has done well. Who gives a shit about batting order? It means almost nothing. He's done a much better job with the pen than Gibbons, that master of the mid-inning pitching change. I can actually watch the 7th and 8th innings of Jays games now, or could, if I didn't hate the team.

I think it's a little optimistic to talk about moving Hill to short when right now he's lying in a dark room next to Al Toon wondering if he's ever going to see the field again. Assuming he does, the evidence is that he's an average shortstop and great second baseman. Why downgrade a position of strength? Because Joe Inglett hit well for a couple of months? That's madness. For all the rhetoric, shortstop has not been a significant weakness for us this year (in fact, Eckstein and Scutaro have outhit Hill). One of the main reasons we're still somewhere on the outer limits of possible contention, despite down seasons from almost all our supposed good hitters, is that we've had one major upgrade: moving the majority of the PMoD's at-bats to a couple of guys who actually resemble major-league hitters. McDonald looks good out there, but you can't win if he's your starting shortstop. Cito's one worrying tendency, in my eyes, has been to start McDonald a few times a week. That has to stop.

Rolen's been awful at the plate the last six weeks. Can he be done at 33? He's still lovely in the field, so I would think not. His athleticism is still there. Let's not forget, he was a better hitter over his career than Glaus before '08.

Losing McGowan would hurt, but let's wait to see who we get in the off-season, whether Janssen is coming back from his injury, and whether we get a new GM before we talk about our hopes being crapped on for '09. Take it easy, Canate.

My pessimism is not dead. It will never die.

All I ask is for effort.

I have failed myself again.

Sorry loyal MOE reader. Canate hasn't given anything to this Blog for months. That's going to change right here, right now. I'm working this Eckstein style (low skill, hard nosed, and Caucasian!)

In lieu of a plan for this post. Here are some quick hits:

CITO. Why not. I forgot why I disliked him so in the 90s. Okay, his batting line-up was suspect. But who cares if Devo lead off, or if Joe Carter batted 4th. Joe Carter got RBIs and Devo scored runs. We could use both on this team. He may have left Sean Green to often rot. But Adam Lind is ...

LIND. The kid can hit. Who knew. Who could have predicted. It's amazing the Jays fished this career minor leaguer and got him to flourish ... Oh wait ....

INGLETT. The kid can hit. Who knew. Who could have predicted. It's amazing the Jays fished this career minor leaguer and got him to flourish at 2B. With a still gapping hole at SS, I vote that Hill (if he's back next year) moves to SS, and Inglett takes over the two-bag with Scutaro and McD on the Bench.

ROLEN. Ughhhh. But he's healthy right? Is he done, or just off? Let's discuss.

RIOS. If I had immunity and a gun he may not have left the game in Anaheim, which I was watching live. All the skill in the world, and seemingly diminishing focus. If he only had Eck's will power, focus, and skin tone. (New readers may excuse my apparent racism for satire. I get the New Yorker so I understand satire.)

McGOWAN. This is devastating. TJ surgery a couple years ago. And now a labrum. Sorry guys, he won't be pitching for the Jays effectively in 2009. This teams hope just got crapped on.

MARCUM. I hope he's not pitching hurt.

AND J.P. RICCIARDI... He's very elegant. And I like elegant GM's. But I don't want to deal with his issues. He's got to go. For all the reason's we know, but also because I'm giving this team one calendar year, almost to the day (2009 trade deadline) to compete to win the AL or we blow this sucker up Oakland A's style. J.P doesn't have the job security to rebuild, so we'll need a new GM who can deal and wait. THE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAN will be my continuing opus over the next year. I shall try to develop a blue print to a Jays 2011 Banner. Get ready... THE PLAN IS COMING

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Earth to JP: We Need Tough Guys

I came across this quote in ESPN Magazine:

One AL East player on the Blue Jays: "They have the most talent in our division, but they don't know how to win. They have too many nice guys and no real tough guy."

On another note, welcome back to TO - Reed!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wells Back Soon; Who Should We Drop?

Will Carroll reports that V-Dub should be back in about a week, well ahead of schedule. Who gets sent down or out? The candidates include Wilkerson, Mench, and Inglett, and I suppose a case could be made for getting rid of any of them.

But Wilkerson's made some nice defensive plays, including in the 8th inning of yesterday's heart-breaker, and his bat seems to be coming around (.400/.478/.550 over the last week). Mench has done nothing, but I'm not willing to write him off after 40 PAs. He's got a history of crushing lefties and we need a platoon partner for Stairs. Even Inglett has some value in terms of defensive versatility.

That leaves Shannon Stewart. He plays a single position, LF, and that very badly. Over almost 200 PAs he's batting .249/.335/.314. Those are brutal numbers from a corner spot. Looking back, he hasn't had a useful offensive season since 2004 (when he hit .304/.380/.447 in 92 games for the Twins). For some reason I supported the signing in the off-season, but I'm completely at a loss as to why at this point. Let's cut the weakest member of the roster and move on.