While this is hardly a "news and notes" site where I'm expected to comment on any passing piece of Blue Jays news, a couple worthwhile pieces slipped under my nose this week. Both are worthy of consideration and maybe even worth a blockquote or two.
Friend of GROF Patrick Sullivan of Baseball Analysts takes umbrage with Jon Heyman's curious use of the world "neophyte" when describing new Jays bench boss John Farrell. Sully1 rightfully points out Farrell's long and illustrious baseball resume in multiple facets of the game. Allow the man to drop some science:
I think Farrell's the perfect choice for the Jays, a team whose future hinges on its young pitching staff's continued improvement. Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, Brandon Morrow and Marc Rzepczynski will average 26 years old for the 2011 season. Kyle Drabek, Zach Stewart and Brad Mills aren't far behind. Farrell will be able to lean on all of his professional skills - his MLB player experience, player development expertise and pitching coach track record - to help strengthen Toronto's biggest asset, its young pitching.Sullivan wonders if Heyman prefer the Jays select another retread off the pile, depositing a regressive old hand to work with a clearly progressive front office. Lazy general columnists like Damien Cox wondered aloud why the Jays hadn't pursued a big name for the managerial vacancy, likely bemoaning the need to "learn" stuff about the "new guy" he's never "met". Such is the burden for a star of stage and screen like Cox.
Meanwhile, at Baseball Prospectus, Jay Jaffe dons his Greek tunic and plays Jays GM for the day. Jaffe suggests doing us all a favor and DFAing Brian Tallet while letting all of Downs, Frasor, and Gregg walk in free agency. He notes that the Type A designation may drive down the price to bring them back, NSA.
Jaffe makes some great points when he reaches first base. Lyle Overbay isn't likely to return, but the glut of options at that position may bring down the asking prices and present a nice cheap pickup. Derrek Lee is a name grabs my attention. I've always liked his defense and patience. Expecting a three Win season from Lee isn't asking too much, especially if his price tag tumbles.
Some of the middle infield options leave much to be desired (O-Dog is short for 0 left in the tank, amirte?) but Jed Lowrie is an interesting case. He sort of went off like a cannon during the second half of 2010. Jaffe suggests the Red Sox might not have room for Lowrie with Dustin Pedroia and Marco Scutaro under contract. I think Theo is too smart to let a valuable cog slip for anything less than an interesting prospect. Spend money to make money, I suppose.
Important Late Addition!
The National Post's John Lott has a great piece with Brian Butterfield, the GROF-choice for manager whom Alex Anthopoulos somehow managed to retain. Again.
Butter looks towards 2011 working under his fourth different manager in Toronto, under two different general managers. That's absurd and unheard of, a true testament to Butter's contribution to the team and baseball in general. Congrats Butter, hopefully they backed a truck full of money to your door. We know you're not made of stone.
Image courtesy of Fanpop.com and my friend Julio, with whom I frequently rendezvous down by the school and/or yard.
1 - I can't recommend Patrick's new Red Sox blog Red Sox Beacon highly enough. Don't read it if you're worried about losing your pre-conceived notions of what Red Sox fans are really like.