The Mockingbird

Suck it Up

with 33 comments

I’ve been chewing on this for a few weeks now, and figure it’s now or never to get it out because it’s entirely possible that Beeston scoops the sentiment if he gets cornered during tonights’ state-of-the-team gala by some blowhard, or completely hung out to dry by J.P. Recently, with it obvious that the Jays’ are not spending one red cent this offseason, Ricciardi has done a skillful job of transferring the growing hatred towards him onto ownership. With statements like:

You have to pay to win, its much harder to win and win consistently with one hand tied behind your back then having the handcuffs off.”

and

Since I’ve been here, when we’ve had the resources to be active we’ve been active – very, very active,” Ricciardi said. “We haven’t made any major moves this winter. That’s true. I think the fans will be smart enough to know why.”

J.P. is clearly and openly blaming ownership for not giving him a fighting chance and/or accepting mediocrity. Then Geoff Baker raised the idea that management was deliberately tanking the team for years in order to buy the Dome (how long has he been sitting on his revelation?). and the blogosphere (see the Southpaw and Brattain for starters) has jumped on board this train of thought.

Short memories! Whether or not the low payroll rebuilding period had ulterior motives, for better or worse, that was part of the “plan” – dump the fat and draft a bunch of college kids who are more reliable and could be on the team in a few years, and then when payroll goes back up, get over the top with some choice free agents. Rogers came through on that deal – only 3 years ago the Jays signed Ryan and Burnett to huge contracts, leaving them second in the majors in commitments over the following 5 years. Then came Frank Thomas for more big bucks, and the plan was Lilly and Meche to a couple more monster contracts, but they had to settle on hemorrhaging cash on Wells with the granddaddy of them all in what can only be described as an attempt to appease fans gone wrong. Payroll doubled over three years – this is indifferent management? A hamstrung GM?

Anyway, that’s ancient history, and no doubt this off-season has been frustrating as hell (you think it’s bad on you…try blogging on a stove that’s about as hot as it is outside in Toronto right now) and the optics terrible. The free agent market has absolutely crashed, and the Jays’ haven’t spent a dime on all the bargains (Adam Dunn for 5 million? Dear god.) out there, so the growing sentiment is that ownership must have completely given up on the team and is looking to cut costs and finish in third for the next 15 years.

But J.P. also said that the payroll has heading up to 120 million in the very near future, which would make this a one year blip. And unless you think that the market is going to go back to booming next year, that is the right thing to do. Signing Jason Giambi for 5-6 million dollars would unquestionably be a bargain, and would make next season minorly more enjoyable to watch (mostly due to the moustache), but you are flat-out delusional if you think it’s going to push the Jays into the playoffs. Even dropping the bomb on Ramirez wouldn’t do it. The Jays simply don’t have the rotation or the offence that is close to competing in 2009 barring a miracle year of no injuries, rookies breaking out, and career years all rolled together.

Don’t believe that? Doesn’t matter! Seeing that Rogers is a public company, and not a private plaything, let’s both go to the board, who have to represent their shareholders and try to make a profit. (Please, please, can we all agree to can the “Rogers has lots of money” crap? It’s making online writing look as massively uninformed as everyone thinks it is). You lay out all the reasons for hope next year, how you have to spend money to make money, etc, etc. I’m going to wait until you’re done and say “yeah, but much more so in 2010” and walk out. (I might hold up a graph of attendance being up six years running – the Jays only team in the majors that can say that – on my way out in case anyone’s worried about the fan base  deteriorating).

Who important is declining? Rolen – not far to go. Vernon on D for sure, but sluggers often have their best years in their early 30’s. Ryan – I think the bullpen proved last year it can make do. At risk of being lost to free agency? Overbay – get ready for Cooper. Halladay of course is the big worry, but if he’s going to be resigned, what better way to do it than making a push in his contract year?

Now who is going to be better in two years than one? Loads. Adam Lind is on his way up. You’d better believe Travis Snider will be better at 22 than 21. Alex Rios and Aaron Hill will be in their prime. Brett Cecil and J.P. Arencibia will be ready. David Purcey, Brandon League, Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Jesse Litsch are all very young arms with some real upside that are just getting their act together.

The only way the Jays are going to see the playoffs in the monstrous AL East this century is with good timing – keeping wasted, crowd-pleasing money spent on patch jobs like Eckstein last year into the bank until it can be combined with an injection of youth. I don’t understand how fans can criticize the team for holding out false hope year after year and ending up with mediocrity and in the same breath be outraged when money isn’t frittered away on a season when the competition is the fiercest it has been in years and the rookies are way too raw. This team has to take a year off eventually, and this is the perfect time to do it. I doubt anyone will come out and say that tonight, but isn’t it obvious that’s what’s happening – and that it’s not a entirely bad idea? Suck it up, fans – oh how it would make this bleak off-season seem so much more bearable if Beeston used his interim status to shoot some cold, hard truth from the hip.

Written by halejon

January 20, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Posted in Seriousness

33 Responses

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  1. I take it all back. 2.5 for Bautista? Fuck. FUCK. FUCK!!!!!

    halejon

    January 20, 2009 at 9:32 pm

  2. Hehe. That’s a quick turn around, 12 minutes to an about face.

    At any rate, one criticism of JP is that he’s been a buy high type of GM. Thomas? Could’ve had him for a song in 2006 (and think of that team with a good DH) and JP didn’t touch him. 2007 comes around and he gets a big contract.

    This year, it would take two signings to make the team better than it was last year and last year. Sheets (who could be had for 2*$12M apparently, exactly AJ money) and a DH/LF type hitter (choose one not named Ibanez) which could be done for sub $10M.

    That’s what I think ticks people off. That’s all the team needs. That budget allotment was what was thought to be available the day the 2008 season ended. It is all fine and good to wait until 2010, but what if Doc feels something pop in his shoulder (knock on wood)? Then you’re immediately talking about 2011. While at the beginning of 2009, 2010 looks like the better shot, who knows how it is going to look at the end of 2009 or in the spring of 2010. Lind could be a wash out (I half-expect this), Marcum could come back ineffective, Hill goes the Koskie road and the list goes on…

    …but things have changed, for the worse, and I don’t think it is wrong to blame ownership for not spending on cheap deals at the one time in recent memory that they are out there. It is all well and good for 2010 to look good now, but each and every season surprises, good and bad, happen. Tip the balance in 2009 to more bad than good, going into 2010 could look worse than 2009 at this point.

    Christopher Taylor

    January 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm

  3. Surprisingly, that’s not even a record. We run hot and cold around here…:)

    I agree that would make the team better than it was last year, but better than all but one of the Rays/Sox/Yankees/Some wildcard monster? I just don’t buy that they’re that close. I mean they still start the season with Halladay/Sheets/Litsch/Purcey/?!?

    As for the possibility of some combination of Marcum/Hill/Lind/Halladay falling apart in 2010, well there’s always that risk. But does that mean you have to try and go for it every single year just in case your team implodes before the most obvious window of opportunity? Seems like a trap to me. Any of those things could just as likely happen this season and make any money spent a total waste. Without being able to know that I think it’s a very safe bet that there’s going to be more talent to plan around in 2010.

    It hurts that this is happening right when the market is super cheap, but if the economy recovers enough by next year to make baseball’s economy boom again – well, frankly I’ll be overjoyed.

    halejon

    January 21, 2009 at 12:28 am

  4. The Bautista thing was inevitable (unless traded)because the Jays tendered him months ago.

    brent in Korea

    January 21, 2009 at 1:36 am

  5. I’m one to agree with you Jon. If there are free agent bargains to be had this offseason, next offseason is going to be glorious. In even the most positive of economic outlooks we’re not going to be much better off this time next year and most major league ballclubs will be reeling from the past season’s poor financial performance. Teams will be even *less* inclined to increase payroll.

    Except… Canada has been sheltered at least a little bit from the effects of the credit crunch. By this time next year I suspect the Jays financial outlook will be rebounding quicker than most other teams in the majors. Combine a bear market with a team with about $25MM to spend…? Some awesome things could happen.

    -jw

    jw

    January 21, 2009 at 1:36 am

  6. I’d say it is more likely that the Canadian dollar tanks (stays low?) as people move into “safe” US dollars and the Jays need equalization payments in 2010 than get much benefit from the better state of the banks in Canada.

    To Jon: I guess my advocating “going for it” isn’t quite what I’m after, with the market for players being what it is, one judicious signing with the money allotted to AJ for 2009/2010 would be enough. Such a signing would be as much for this year as next (perhaps with an eye to get a bargain on a 2010 team option).

    It is about hedging one’s bets, there’s no value in just “getting dress up and showing up” as JP said yesterday. All that is wasted is an opportunity at striking a good FA deal (I’m far from convinced that the market won’t be better next year, we’ve had these one year blips before (for example after the tech bubble bust after the A-Rod/Ramirez offseason) and unless the economy takes another step down, I’d bet heavily that the FA market will be better next year.

    Christopher Taylor

    January 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  7. I kinda like that idea of buying low for a couple years down the road – but I think that guys like Dunn and Sheets will be more likely to sign one year deals on the cheap because they know they’re getting the shaft instead of giving long-term or options to try and squeeze blood out of the stone that is this year’s FA market.

    halejon

    January 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

  8. Christopher, I doubt very many people will consider the USD very “safe” anymore even in comparison to the CND. The markets are too volatile to predict right now but I suspect most people in currency trading would consider the Euro the surer thing. What that means for the exchange rate a year down the road, who knows?

    What I do think is that the Jays’ income will be hurting less than other franchises’ as our economy is, in general, in slightly better shape. People are predicting about 0.3 (or was that 0.8?) decline in GDP in Canada for 2009, which is better than is probably going to happen south of the border. Still not good for us by any means but the ability to be bleeding slower is an advantage.

    jw

    January 22, 2009 at 12:44 am

  9. Is there really a minor economic debate going on in the comments of this blog? Now I remember why I do this.

    I will chime in with “who knows” – as an exporter, we really need the U.S. to pick up for the CAD to rebound. Even if the Canadian economy is in better shape, it won’t necessarily reflect in the price of the dollar in the short term, which will have a more significant impact on the Jays even if their income goes back up. But then if US team incomes are way down, the FA market will likely stay crashed as well…

    halejon

    January 22, 2009 at 12:58 am

  10. JW: The US dollar is a common reserve currency – many governments around the world are now buying US bonds (which drives the US dollar up) as they are about as safe a bet is out there. While I understand/agree with your pointing out that the Euro is increasing in prominence, my information is just me parroting the Economist, apparently the Euro just isn’t there yet as a reserve currency, hence the strength of the USD. The CAD going to par in 2007 was wholly due to a commodity price spike which has long since passed, I think an $0.80 is the best Jays fans can hope for going forward. With that, we’re back to equalization payment territory.

    Jon: yeah, good to see a nice back and forth in the comments, it most definitely is a “who knows” at this point – the economy could bounce, as happened after 2000/2001 or could go even further sideways. I just can’t see the FA staying bad, the commodity is just too scarce, the reward too great. Even during the depression of the 1930s baseball survived and thrived. More recently baseball marched ahead in 2000-01, the early 90s and 80s.

    That said, even this year’s market isn’t that down, the best players got their dollars, CC, Tex, AJ, heck even Ibanez, all got top dollar. Even if the rest of the 2008-09 FA goes cheaply, there’ll probably still be inflation in players salaries.

    I believe/think in a year or two, we’ll all be pointing to this off-season, saying, “If only…” — and I can feel how much it’ll suck / leave a bad taste in my mouth to see what team the Jays could field for a $100M payroll. As Jays fans, I’d bet dollars to donuts that there will be at least 3 contracts signed this offseason that we’ll wished we’d gone in for… I’m as certain of that as I can be, not that I don’t think I could be wrong, but I’m just hard pressed to imagine the set of circumstances in which I would be.

    With apologies to Paul Krugman, he was wrong about depression economics returning the last time and he’s wrong this time too.

    Christopher Taylor

    January 22, 2009 at 1:48 am

  11. The problem with a deal someone else made is if we were in on it, the deal would have been more expensive for whoever had ended up signing it. If we’re regretting this offseason in 2010 it will be because of the team we fielded in 2009, not because of the team we’ll be fielding in 2010. (I still think that’s a big if.)

    Torgen

    January 22, 2009 at 7:26 am

  12. Fair enough. I just think that it’s unlikely for commodity demand to remain low with emerging economies like China, Brazil, and India driving demand. I haven’t read the Economist article so I’m not going to try to argue against it (probably wouldn’t be a good idea anyways). My argument is that demand for tickets, merchandise, and cable packages will be relatively higher (i.e. decline less) in Canada regardless of the valuation of the currency, which I believe could still be high compared to most years that weren’t 2008.

    I agree that the recession shouldn’t affect baseball as much as people worry, as the entertainment industry is rather resistant to the effects of economic slowdown. People who have less money will be less likely to spend on big vacations or luxury items and more likely to spend on cheap entertainment such as baseball tickets. There still remains the effects of loss of sponsorship and advertising (such as GM for the Jays) which is a significant portion of revenue. There’s the possibility that companies increase their advertising budgets in order to stimulate demand back to previous levels but so far we’ve seen mostly belt tightening.

    And regardless of whether or not the recession actually affects baseball, owners will likely to take the opportunity to cut costs by spending less on players. They have a ready built excuse so why wouldn’t they take it? The Yankees aren’t poised to be big players next offseason and most other teams are belt-tightening.

    That’s in addition to the fact that I don’t believe that salary inflation is sustainable at the current rate and will have to slow eventually. Also player contracts are already in place which seem to escalate assuming a continued rapid growth in the industry which I think seems unlikely at this point in time.

    jw

    January 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  13. Chris said:

    “This year, it would take two signings to make the team better than it was last year and last year. Sheets (who could be had for 2*$12M apparently, exactly AJ money) and a DH/LF type hitter (choose one not named Ibanez) which could be done for sub $10M.

    That’s what I think ticks people off. That’s all the team needs. That budget allotment was what was thought to be available the day the 2008 season ended.”

    This is exactly the point. This team has PROGRESSED to the point that it needs only minimal additions to stay in the hunt. The Jays needs are MINIMAL. If ownership allowed a couple of (good) signings the Jays would be in the hunt for sure. A big bat and a #2 starter would only cost $15-20MM, and the team could progress again, as opposed to regressing and losing fans.

    This team was built to compete in 2007 and forward, and we as fans deserve at least the feeling of contention, which wouldn’t cost much at all at this point. Capture the moment, take advantage, EXPLOIT the market. It could still be done tomorrow.

    Andy Mc

    January 22, 2009 at 7:57 pm

  14. “The Jays needs are MINIMAL. If ownership allowed a couple of (good) signings the Jays would be in the hunt for sure.”

    I guess I’ve already made this clear, but I don’t think that’s true. That 20 mil brings back a very similar team to what went into last year, replacing Burnett and taking a flier on a another old guy like Thomas was. Looking back, was that really a contending team? Meanwhile New York, who was better than us, has gotten WAY better, and Tampa and Boston have no particular reason to decline. We finished 11 games back last year! To me that requires a BIG boost, nothing minimal will do.

    “we as fans deserve at least the feeling of contention”

    Would you rather have an endless feeling of contention or lose it for a while for a serious shot at going all the way? I think Jays fans have had the illusory feeling of contention for years now. And going 100 mil for both of the next two years would certainly prolong that. But I think going 80 this year and 120 next year is much more likely to deliver the real thing.

    halejon

    January 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm

  15. New York gained Burnett, Sabathia, and Teixeira and lost Pettitte, Mussina, and Giambi–no slouches themselves. For my money, the Yankees’ biggest offseason move has been activating Wang off the DL. The Jays pythagenpat record last year was 92.5 wins, and the Rays just proved that a team that expects to win 92 games can make it to the world series. Tampa has a great reason to decline: regression to the mean.

    Torgen

    January 22, 2009 at 8:55 pm

  16. Ken Rosenthal predicts that Ben Sheets will sign a one year deal worth only $6-8MM

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9112648/Don't-be-foolish,-the-Yankees-aren't-done-yet.

    Adam Dunn (just an example FYI) is only expected to receive the same. Add $12-16MM to this team right now, and things look really good. You can talk about how good the Yankees and Rays are all you want, but this team has a shot as it sits now, and would be a legit contender after adding two quality FA’s such as these.

    Andy Mc

    January 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  17. Rogers has built the fan base (and team quality) back up, why waste that? The average fan in Toronto is so fickle that the attendance will drop significantly, and the “$120MM” for 2010 will never arrive after a money-losing season.

    Ownership could avoid this by adding the MINIMAL capital the Jays need to make a run, with Cito running the show from the start this time.

    “Would you rather have an endless feeling of contention or lose it for a while for a serious shot at going all the way?”

    No, I wouldn’t, but there is NO guarantee that $120MM for 2010 will be as effective as $100MM for 2009 could be.

    Spend some cash now, and this team will bring 30,000+ to the dome all summer. Do nothing, and we may see a lot of games with 10,000 fans at them.

    Andy Mc

    January 22, 2009 at 9:20 pm

  18. I don’t have much to add beyond what Andy Mc has added, but I think he makes some great points. The 2008 team was quite under-rated. It wouldn’t take much of an uptick on offense (such as, say, not sucking with RISP at historical levels for the first three months of the season) and much on run prevention (Sheets) to improve on the 2008 team… and the 2008 team, as Andy Mc points out was really just luck away from being a 92 win team.

    I just can’t help but think that the Jays are being “penny foolish and pound wise” – to mix-up a metaphor. Like Andy Mc, I doubt that $120M in 2010 will be there… the Jays haven’t made a significant signing/upgrade since Thomas in 2006 (as last season’s moves were all sideways, Rolen, or minor, Scutaro). I don’t think Jays fans should be happy with that. Not that the team should just make a move, to make a move, but Beeston’s statement that “If we can’t be a $120 team, we might as well be an $85 team” is just silly. Better is better and each season brings surprises. I’ll be happy if the Jays, as currently constituted, compete all season and are within spitting distance of the playoffs. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me, but it’ll leave a bad taste as I’ll remember back to this point in the year when it would be downright easy to get just that much better.

    Christopher Taylor

    January 23, 2009 at 5:14 am

  19. “Rogers has built the fan base (and team quality) back up, why waste that? The average fan in Toronto is so fickle that the attendance will drop significantly”

    Why? Despite all the whinging and hardly a sniff of real contention, attendance has gone up for six seasons in a row. I think the average fan has shown he can swallow another year of mediocrity. I mean it’s not like the Jays are going to lose 100 games with their current roster.

    halejon

    January 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm

  20. “The Jays pythagenpat record last year was 92.5 wins, and the Rays just proved that a team that expects to win 92 games can make it to the world series. Tampa has a great reason to decline: regression to the mean.”

    I was all over this last year, but the Jays have me re-thinking pythag projections.

    2008: -6
    2007: -2
    2006: 1
    2005: -7
    2004: -4
    2003: -1
    2002: -2
    2001: -3

    Just doesn’t make me very confident predicting they’ll win 92 with the same team as last year in the long run.

    And the Rays Bullpen especially is due for a fall, but on the other hand they’ve got more young studs improving or hitting the majors right now.

    halejon

    January 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  21. If you can quantify why they shouldn’t have won 92, you get to call your version of the formula pythagenhale.

    Torgen

    January 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm

  22. “Not that the team should just make a move, to make a move, but Beeston’s statement that “If we can’t be a $120 team, we might as well be an $85 team” is just silly. Better is better and each season brings surprises.”

    It might be wrong, but silly?! Beeston is saying (although he can’t come right out with it) that he can’t get 120 million this year and that he thinks a 100 million team doesn’t have a chance in hell anyway. I think the huge majority of impartial evaluators would agree with that.

    Better might be better, but it’s pointless if it’s not enough, and terrible if it stops you from doing something down the road that would be. Ok, if the 120 mil isn’t there in 2010 then this is all moot, but from what J.P. and Beeston have said, doesn’t that seem to be the deal that he’s made with the powers that be? I think it’s risky, but that’s just what the Jays need to get out of this quagmire of good but not great in a great division.

    halejon

    January 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm

  23. Something to do with leverage? Or blowouts. I guess when it was a Homerdome then really weak opposition pitchers would get superbombed. SB/Sacs are an argument for leverage. We had some really crappy closers. I dunno…but doesn’t -21 (210 runs?!?) since 2002 seem like a bit of a statistical anomaly?

    halejon

    January 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  24. Our SB differential was only, like, -7 this year. The Rays had +40 and outperformed their records by less than the Angels, who were only +20.

    Torgen

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm

  25. Sorry, the Rays were +66, which still makes my point.

    Torgen

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm

  26. I checked again, and ours was -6. None of this counts CS, and we should, if we’re assuming that SB leads to high leverage runs instead of average leverage runs like power. If you count a CS as only -1, we’re at +4, and the Angels are only +3.

    Torgen

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm

  27. “Ok, if the 120 mil isn’t there in 2010 then this is all moot, but from what J.P. and Beeston have said, doesn’t that seem to be the deal that he’s made with the powers that be?”

    I don’t think anyone, especially JP or Beeston has said that there is going to be $120MM for 2010. What I believe they said was, that they need to win to get revenues up to a point where thay can ask for a raise in payroll.

    Your point is moot indeed, because without HIGHER revenues than last season, a season that was hyped as “The Season,” where it seemed clear steps had been made towards contention, the payroll figure WILL NOT RISE.

    So, the team should “take a step back,” and then expect an influx of cash when the revenues suffer?

    Andy Mc

    January 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm

  28. Jon wrote: “doesn’t -21 (210 runs?!?) since 2002 seem like a bit of a statistical anomaly?”

    I just did a sign test (a statistical test that looks to see if the median of a vector is statistical different from zero) on the error of the pythagorean projection and the test came out “non-significant” (p = 0.07043). So, no, there’s no evidence of anything anomalous in the Jays under-performance of their pythagorean projection since 2001.

    Also, you’ve picked a favorable end-point with 2001. In the preceding three years the Jays over-performed their pythag by 6, 1 and 3 wins. Include those years in the sign test the p-value is 0.5488 … hmm, I’m always impressed with how well pythag projections work when I look at them in detail and this is yet another example.

    On your point of leverage/blowouts, it would be interesting to know what team statistics correlate with over/under performance of pythagorean projections. Although, I have vague memories of reading a study that basically boiled down to “deviations from pythagorean projections seem to be due to luck more than anything else”… I wish I could find it though as I was just searching for it with the hope of citing it, so I could be making it up or mis-remembering something else.

    “t might be wrong, but silly?! Beeston is saying (although he can’t come right out with it) that he can’t get 120 million this year and that he thinks a 100 million team doesn’t have a chance in hell anyway. I think the huge majority of impartial evaluators would agree with that.”

    The reason I think the statement is silly, is that I just don’t think it makes any sense – the only way a $100M 2009 Jays team is just as good as an $80M 2009 Jays is if management decided to give the players currently on the roster the extra-money. I don’t buy that there’s a dollar figure where this team goes from no hope to competitor, it is all incremental, if $20M buys a better bat, a better starter… the team’s playoff chances improve. I’d maintain that no move is pointless and as long as the moves are smart they shouldn’t hamstring the team in the future. I have an especially hard time accepting that if the Jays gave Sheets (or any other player) 2/$24M they’d be prevented from doing something going into 2010, as that’s what the team was on the hook for with AJ. I feel like I’m not expressing myself well – but I guess it boils down to this: I can’t blame the team for not increasing payroll but I can blame them for not using the “Burnett money” to pick up bargains for this year and next as the money was already “spent”.

    Taking another tack, let’s assume that the Jays decide to go to $120M in 2010… what would the team spend it on? The SS available in 2010, Tejada, Wilson & Greene aren’t as good as Furcal; the SP options, Beckett, Bedard, Myers, Harden, Escobar (I really hope the Jays don’t give big money to him as losing him after 2003 really ticked me off) look decent but how many will a) be healthy or b) make it to FA? If the team wants an OF/DH, Ankiel, Bay, Crawford, Dye and Guerrero all look decent, but wouldn’t a cheap Abreu, Burrell, Dunn, Giambi or Ramirez have been/would be even better, especially with the uncertainty of what would be available in 2010 and at what price?

    Sorry for running on and on with this tome of a comment, but I guess my frustrations with this off-season finally came to a head with the news this week. Up until the news from the meeting, I was fairly convinced that the Jays were waiting for late January pr early Feb to get a bargain on a player who would be an upgrade. Now the only positive news is that Cecil will get a shot to make the team out of ST. If 2009 is truly a rebuilding year for the Jays, then Snider, JPA and Cecil should all be on the team from May on. That would be fun to watch, but I think we’ll be seeing too much of Inglett, Barajas and Richmond. Now that’s a team I don’t want to watch. I’ll eat my (copious) words if we see that team of re-treads and then in 2010 the Jays are competitive and have a $120M payroll, but I have a sinking feeling that we’re not watching a one year blip but a shift in strategy toward the one we saw during the bad ol’ interbrew years.

    Christopher Taylor

    January 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

  29. JPA topped out in AA last year, so I think Jeroloman is a better candidate to get to the bigs in 09, and I might actually prefer that given his ability to draw walks.

    Torgen

    January 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  30. Torgen: There’s no question that JPA doesn’t walk but Jeroloman has no power whatsoever and absolutely crashed in 25 G at AAA. Also, I don’t know why you’d think JPA “topped out” at AA as on prospect lists he consistently rated much higher than Jeroloman and often viewed as the Jay’s second best position prospect behind Snider. At worst, JPA is probably going to be a player like Barajas, Jeroloman at best is Gregg Zaun with less power and better defense.

    Christopher Taylor

    January 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm

  31. I know…I mean longterm for the SB/sac. I don’t personally believe most of this crap but you could argue that the Angels get more leverage than it seems they should because they run constantly with 2 outs when it’s not really such a loss to get caught, and hit and run so much their differential gets penalized for busted H&R but not credited for successful ones.

    halejon

    January 23, 2009 at 8:37 pm

  32. “I don’t think anyone, especially JP or Beeston has said that there is going to be $120MM for 2010. What I believe they said was, that they need to win to get revenues up to a point where thay can ask for a raise in payroll. ”

    Listen to that interview with J.P. He says: “Paul Beeston is targeting a 120 million payroll at some point in the near future.” I guess I’m reading between the lines a little, but they never talk about payroll expectations more than that, and that quote sounds like more than idle hopes from the GM if they do really well to me.

    halejon

    January 23, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  33. I just meant that he didn’t get any higher than AA. Isn’t it a bigger jump from AA to MLB for hitters than for pitchers? Anyways, 25 games is a small sample size, so I don’t think we can assume Jeroloman is another Quiroz/Thigpen yet. According to wOBA, Zaun was actually better than Barajas in ’08, and Jeroloman’s skill set generates a higher wOBA than Arencibia’s. At the very least, Jeroloman’s numbers make him look like a leadoff hitter, which I’ve seen lots of complaints about us not having.

    Torgen

    January 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm


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