Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cruel to be Kind

This isn't going to be a normal baseball season. Look no further than the next sentence (fragment, I'm a hack after all) you read: leave Cito alone.

This season, as we've all said in various round tables or comment sections or social media outlets, isn't about wins and losses. It's about growth and development and kittens & puppies frolicking together on clouds fluffier and whiter than Brett Wallace's thighs. As such, sweating the minutia of Citocity isn't worth the effort.

The games are ultimately trivial and The Zombie Cito wasn't reanimated overnight. Guys are going to get their chance to hit and odd match-ups in the name of teambuilding are likely S.O.P. all year long. We all want to see Randy Ruiz get many more at bats than he will, but I'd rather see him get real PAs with real prep, not tossed off pinch hits in high leverage situations.

"Lose one to win two later" has a whole new meaning in 2010; those two wins are on indefinite layaway; don't expect Clarence to collect during his victory lap. Let Cito build their confidence or free agency cases or whatever a player's manager is supposed to do.

One Game Closer Controversy

Nice to see far too many people who know far better all set to hang Jason Frasor after one "bad" outing. He isn't good under pressure? Funny, as Baseball Reference and I see it, Jason Frasor struck out 21 while walking only 6 in high leverage situations last year. He held batters to a .620 OPS in giving up 1 home run and 1 double. What a bum.

The fifteen-hop infield single, the sliced/blooped seeing eye double, the intentional walk to one of baseball's least successful batters; those things are not controlled by the pitcher. He's fine. He's better than fine, he's a damn good reliever with a stellar track record and decent potential trade value. He'll throw the ball just like a dozen more times and record 12 saves. Relax.

Lind Deal Late Pass

Good for both parties. Let's remember something about Adam Lind, something less than comfortable. Adam Lind is a less patient, less powerful version of Adam Dunn. He's a DH who may have already put up his career season.

Those aren't slights on Lind, they're reasonable facsimiles of the truth. He's a great hitter and the team options make the deals convenient, but I don't believe for a second that the Jays somehow picked Adam Lind's pocket.

Speaking of picking pockets and/or cherries, how long until this creeping feeling the Jays gave up on Alex Rios too early goes away?


  1. Nails, Drew. All of it. Especially this: It's about growth and development and kittens & puppies frolicking together on clouds fluffier and whiter than Brett Wallace's thighs.

    I can't stand the Cito bashing that has taken place over the last 30 odd hours, and am very glad to see that you're not taking part.

    When it comes to Frasor, everyone needs to simmer the fuck down. SIMMER!!1

  2. Drew,

    I didn't get to watch the game because of work so I'm very hesitant to disagree goes:

    Winning breeds winning. Losing breeds losing. It's just that simple over 162 games. You hear teams talk about a culture and that shit is for real.

    Cito is dead weight. He cannot and will not change the way he runs his ballclub. And this is not good news for us fans. I will continue to bash the motherfucking shit out of that man until the very day he disappears into the rafters of the Dome.

    I understand we are being told we need to accept losing. I get it. I do not agree with it.

    If you have an opportunity to score a run regardless of the situation or who is at bat or if he's going to be a free agent or what the fuck ever, as a manager of a professional baseball team, it's YOUR JOB to do everything in your power to score that run. Period.

    With respect to Frasor, I completely agree. Not the way you want to start the year but no need to consider a change at all. That is the media's/fantasy baseball's fault. But if Cito pinch hits for Overbay against a tough lefty and Randy hits a fly ball then Frasor gets an extra run to work with.....

    It's all connected.

  3. that Rios feeling, well, let's see... his replacement is Bautista, he's better than Wells, better than any Jays outfield prospect, power, speed, defence, a great arm, a bit expensive, but just a bit, 29 years old.

    the occasional mind cramp and told some fans to bite him. Certainly the negatives outweigh and he had to go, for free.

    I hope this helps

  4. Agree on Frasor.

    The Cito stuff.....I dunno. For me, it's just frustration boiling over from last year. I know W/L don't matter so much this year, but it doesn't make the daily grind any less frustrating (as fuck). I probably should have expected to see Buck hitting 6th, for example, but it didn't seem to dull my annoyance with it.

  5. Welcome to the fifth stage of grief when it comes to the Manager....Acceptance. I've been here for a while, but I notice many in the fandom seem to be stuck in Denial or Anger.

    We just have to assume that the Manager is not going to make the consensus move at any point in time in any particular game, and get over it.

    Pointing out every flaw has already become tiresome. I suppose some are just eager to demonstrate that they're indeed smarter than the Manager. Where in fact, the fandom reaction to a poor managerial (non)move has become more predictable and more retarded than the (non)move itself.

  6. My Welcome was to Drew. Ack seems to be teetering into Depression. I'm just around the corner if you need help my friend!

  7. As far as Rios goes, not sure if anyone caught Jeff Blair on the Fan590 yesterday. He's of the belief that Rios should've been lead-off/CF, that he appeared more comfortable in that role.

    Thought that was mildly interesting.

  8. The Rios thing always was and always will be an interesting decision. It truly had to be a 50/50 call. I think the boys (JP, AA, Beest) probably were sitting around looking at Chicago's claim and debated it and then just had a "fuck it" moment and let him go.

    Would you rather pay $50m on five years of Rios or $50m on 2 Aroldis Chapmans?

  9. I am not sure we will ever know the answer to the Rios question. Even if he puts up monster numbers this year, that doesn't mean he would have done so with the Jays. I think that letting him go outright like that was probably good for his career as it finally gave him the wake up call he needed.

  10. Good call Gil. I think ultimately, I just need a handful more "WTF" decisions so I can just throw my hands in the air and say "All right, I give."

    re: Rios - who's to say the Jays would be where they are right now - which is a good place, in my estimation - if nobody bit on the waiver claim. It's impossible to tell how that transaction altered the course of TBJ history. So let's just move on....

  11. re: Rios - who gives a fuck? (It had to be done.)

    In the end, he's no longer our brain-cramp. We no longer have to continue to ask when he will finally "get it."

  12. As a big fan of Rios, I never liked seeing him go, especially for nothing. I remember reading quotes from shocked anonymous GMs who said they would've taken his whole salary AND given up a return, but Rogers (the guys saying "money is no object" these days) went for the straight salary dump. How nicely would Rios fit in RF and leading off? Whatever. I read somewhere that he has made a mechanical adjustment lowering his hands to cover the outer half. Then again, he made the same adjustment in TO too and then lost it again (see Jon Hale blog). I guess he'll always be the Blissfully Oblivious Gazelle but I, for one, give a fawk.

    As for Cito, I blame the Internet. Too many voices, too many JaysTalk rejects given a voice, too many anons on DJF, it all just inflames the issue to create the illusion of an atrocity of some kind. It's just Citocity in 2010. This was supposed to happen!

  13. Even if Rios somehow returns to 3-5 WAR form, it probably wouldn't be enough to move the Jays out of last place.

    Rios will be 32 in 2012, the earliest that the Blue Jays will realistically be able to compete, and will be making $12.5MM. He would stand to make another $25MM in 2013 and 2014 in his age 33 and 34 seasons. It would be an optimistic projection for Rios to sustain 3+ WAR performance through 2014. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the Jays to be able to land a decent CF/RF for under $12.5MM/yr when the time is right.

    While the comparison between Lind and Dunn is not bad (Dunn has averaged 2.7 WAR since 2002, almost exactly what Lind projects to average), I still think Lind has the potential to be a more productive hitter.

    Lind's 330 total bases in 2009 are more than Dunn has produced in any year of his career. In fact, Dunn has only surpassed 300 total bases once and his average since 2002 is 269.5 TB, nearly 20% less than Lindy's first full season.

    Dunn walks more than Lind , but he also strikes out significantly more and makes much worse contact. Dunn has never come close to hitting .300 (his .267 2009 was a career high). Lind did it in his first full season in the bigs. Dunn may have a bit more home run power, but Lind will hit more doubles.

    Dunn - 16.9% career
    Lind - 8.9% 2009 / 6.9% career

    Dunn - 32.5%
    Lind - 18.7% 2009 / 19.4% career

    Dunn - 71.5% career
    Lind - 82.7% 2009 / 82% career

    Dunn - .249 career
    Lind - .305 2009 / .288 career

    Best 2010 Projections (Both Bill James)

    Dunn - 159G 683PA 141H 40HR 30-2B 121BB 103RBI
    17.7%BB 32.6%KK .251/.389/.518

    Lind - 153G 642PA 180H 31HR 43-2B 52BB 113RBI 8.1%BB 18.1%KK .305/.364/.542

    I would trade Dunn's 60-70 extra walks for 40 of Lind's hits. More hits, better contact and less strikeouts have the potential to produce more runs, even if Lind gets on base slightly less.

    I would also like to think that Lind has the potential to not be the worst outfielder in MLB. His 2007 7.7 UZR after 80 games in LF is not a terribly small sample size, and is better than Dunn's high watermark of 6.2 in his age 23 season. I don't think it's unreasonable to believer there could be a chance that Lind is able to best Dunn's -27.7 UZR over the past 3 years.

    Of course, putting Lind in LF is another story for another day.

    Let's also not forget that Lind has a true passion for the game. I don't think you'd be happy if we brought Adam Dunn here. What do you really know about the player?

  14. I know that he signed as a FA with the worst team in baseball and wants an extension with them. Maybe JP was on to something.

  15. Even if Rios puts up a monster season in the Windy City, I do t think this is somehi g we can bold against the Blue Jays brass. Cito Gaston is not Ozzi Guillen... the differnces are glaring, and Rios seems like the kind of player who needs someone to force him to get his ass into gear rather than taking The Manager's laid back approach in a misguided attempt to build up his confidence. Confidence was never the issue with Rios - if he does thrive, it probably has as much to do with his change of scenery and attitude than anything else.

  16. Holy jeebus, sorry about the ridiculous amount of iPhone keyboard-related typos in that comment.

  17. I meant to mention that. Rios is definitely a change of scenery candidate.

  18. Awesome comment Anon. Good points all around.

    I don't mean to dismiss Lind's abilities but they're similarly limited players. I hope/believe Lind can have a longer peak than Dunn thanks to his incredible use of all fields. Good info though, lots to think about in your comment.

    As for Rios, yes he was due to deteriorate due to age any day now. But a five tool outfielder is a five tool outfielder. I hope he pulls it out, he's a lot of fun to watch.

  19. I have a request to see what kind of pitches Wells hit for his three home runs, please.

    -brent in Korea

  20. His homer in the first game was low and away. I had to watch it 3 times to believe it.

  21. With regards to Rios, I definately think he could be a change of scenery guy. As for him performing better under Guillen than Cito, I can't see it. He stunk it up worse for Chicago than the Jays last year and I imagine he'll eventually end up in Guillens dog house for his brain farts. I loved the move for the Jays at the time and still do. I believe I heard that Kenny Williams got in a little trouble for putting in the claim thinking the Jays would want something and not approving Rios contract through ownership.

    Cito, bang on Drew,

  22. Rios was never gonna work out here. He had a couple of reasonable seasons but he was unreliable and prone to really unfortunate brain-cramps. He might be a great asset to the Sox but I don't think he was ever a great asset to the Jays. You could point to Wells--yes, it's early in the season--and say 'he's coming around and Rios would have come around as well' but Wells never lost focus the way Rios did on a regular basis. I agree with Bwilly. Rios could be a change-of-scenery guy. Or he could be a dud who made one eye-catching play. We saw him do that kind of stuff at the RC on occasion. And we saw him day-dream on first. Stand and watch a ball in the outfield rather than go and get it and prevent a run scoring. Forget to go back and touch the bag while standing on third with one out and the batter hitting what should be a run-scoring sacrifice to left field.

    It really doesn't matter what he might do in the future. What he did in the past was enough to get rid of him in my opinion.


Send forth the witticisms from on high