Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Thanks to Geoff for alerting us to this in another thread. ESPN's Rob Neyer has plenty to say about the Blue Jays, the four-man rotation and the "patently ridiculous" response of one Richard Griffin. Neyer explains, "In Toronto, J.P. Ricciardi has radically transformed the Blue Jays, both on and off the field ... and yet there remain idiots who simply assume that he doesn't know what he's doing."

There's also a zombie-like cult of statistical seamheads (we are grateful to Griffin for naming us) who get it, and appreciate it. Rob mentions he might have a new favorite team, and his rave review of the J.P. Jays will cause others to take notice of what's going on in Toronto baseball. Maybe even at the Star.
Rob Neyer, Jays Fan | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Ken - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#100888) #
great rant by neyer..........good to see toronto getting even more coverage on ESPN and kinda cool that Neyer says toronto might be is new favorite team.

I'd just like to say, what someone else alluded to on another thread, i also check battersbox every day and its, in my view, the best site on the net, plus i read it and follow the jays all the way from the UK! avid fan eh.

just a thing i'd like to note, now with the jays not going with the 4 man rotation it's a bit of a funny situation both writers find themselves in, but i gotta say rob neyer all the way!
_R Billie - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#100889) #
It was early last year though that Rob Neyer said the Jays were comparable to the Devil Rays. So it obviously took some convincing to get him to his current position.
_Donkit R.K. - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#100890) #
I think everybody is forgetting something here. Everyone is talking about how the pitchers are going to break down from pitching on three days rest. Isn't this a route JP (Tosca?) wants to take for the month of June BECAUSE they have an oppurtunity to do it while keeping the starters on four days rest (for the most part anyway). Putting it that way, it makes even more sense because it IS easier to find four good starters than five. And if they are on their standard amount of rest, why keep around your worst starter? Davis becomes a good Bullpen arm now, who can at least eat some innings and , hopefully, get some lefties out.
Pistol - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#100891) #
Well, the Jays actually aren't going to a 4 man rotation after all (hit the link for details), but rather a 5 day rotation, bumping the 5th starter when another starter has 4 days of rest.

It's always fun to see Griffin exposed as a hack, even if 99% of Jays fans don't read Neyer.
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#100892) #
Isn't this a route JP (Tosca?) wants to take for the month of June BECAUSE they have an oppurtunity to do it while keeping the starters on four days rest.


The funny thing is, if the Jays were instead going into a stretch of double-headers and 8 games in 7 day stretches and kept a strict 5 man rotation, I don't think we'd hear much from anybody on the subject... even though more pitchers would be pitching on short rest. I often wonder if missing the forest for the trees is a requirement for newspaper journalists.

Mike the Internet Journalist
Dave Till - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#100893) #
I like the idea of the 5-day rotation, with a spot starter to cover long stretches of games. The Cox-era Blue Jays used to do this: start Stieb, Clancy, Leal and Alexander whenever possible, and use a 5th starter on those weeks without an off day.

Better still is to tailor a pitcher's workload to his fatigue level - if he's tired, give him an extra day. Evidence suggests that it's pitches thrown *when tired* that cause arm injuries (which makes sense when you think of it).
_The 1984 Jays - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#100894) #
The '84 Jays only had 22 starts made outside of their BIG 4: Jim Gott had 12 starts (and 23 relief appearances), Dennis Lamp had 4, Jim Acker had 3 and Bryan Clark (who?) had 3 as well. If the Jays followed their 5 day rotation for the entire season, we'd probably see a similar pattern.

What I can't figure out is why Griffin used the A's an example, who were using one of the most extreme 5-man rotations ever. In 1980 the 5th starter, Brian Kingman, got 30 starts and 20 losses.

Griffin should stick to something he's good at, like nude photography.

_Wildrose - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#100895) #
I'm too afraid to open the outdoor nudes...perhaps a Chantal Hebert picture riding a Harley or something of that ilk.
_Brent - Monday, June 02 2003 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#100896) #
Quick hijack:

It's Draft Day tomorrow and I am pretty excited. After weeks of reading vague scouting reports about "polish" and "pitchability", the big day is finally here. You can tune in here to watch (perhaps?) all the action.

Projections anyone? As always, I'll go with the safe bet: Maholm. However, I must warn you that I'm frequently wrong. The pick will probably be the exact opposite: naked Richard Griffin.
_Jurgen - Tuesday, June 03 2003 @ 12:27 AM EDT (#100897) #

More great news. Congrats, Roy.

I've heard rumblings on TVO's "Studio 2" this evening, however, that Lidle refuses to take part in the four man rotation. Truth or fiction?
Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, June 03 2003 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#100898) #
I've heard rumblings on TVO's "Studio 2" this evening, however, that Lidle refuses to take part in the four man rotation. Truth or fiction?

I heard his interview with Mike W @ FAN 590 on Sunday night and he seemed less than enthused about the idea. He didn't say he disliked the idea, but he seemed to be choosing his words **very** carefully. His diplomatic approach on the radio suggests to me that he's probably been saying something entirely different behind closed doors.

I figure he won't be here next year, but probably only for financial reasons. He'll probably have an inflated W-L record due to the big bats on the Jays, which will give Lidle an inflated value on the market. J.P. will then probably go out and find another very good pitcher who for whatever reason ended the season at 8-10 or so.

_Shane - Tuesday, June 03 2003 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#100899) #
This is yet another reference to Rob Neyer's article last year where he compared the teams on the field and somehow he's at fault. That early Blue Jays squad had Homer Bush, Raul Mondesi, the struggling Felipe Lopez on it, and the living death of Darrin Fletcher. They didn't look good, they weren't, and thankfully better players came along to fill their corpses and the team then got better. Why does Neyer always get nailed to the post on this one?
robertdudek - Tuesday, June 03 2003 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#100900) #
Becuase that team also had Carlos Delgado, Shannon Stewart, Jose Cruz, Vernon Wells, Eric Hinske, Roy Halladay, Dan Plesac and Kelvim Escobar (highly thought of at the time).

Can anyone honestly say that the D-Rays of that time had remotely the same level of talent? Neyer claimed that the Orioles were a better team than the Jays, but that's hard to swallow too, since they were a bunch of mediocre old guys with very few promising youngsters.

The ridiculously bad permonance of the Jays' pitchers last April blinded Neyer to the serious talent that Toronto possessed. The schedule (again) was a factor. Toronto had as tough a first month as they did this year. Neyer failed to adjust for the schedules the Jays and Orioles were playing in his analysis.

Criticism of that article is legitimate. And I think Neyer would agree that the main thrust of his piece was off-base.
_R Billie - Tuesday, June 03 2003 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#100901) #
He gets nailed because the article looked rushed without a lot of deep analysis. He basically said both teams were bad and there was little hope for either to improve much by comparing their same bad stats for that month to each other. Now I'll grant you both were bad in April but by no objective measure could you conclude that the Jays would be fighting the Devil Rays for last place for a big portion of the season even if they made no moves.

Maybe I'm remembering the article wrong but I came away very disappointed. I would have been a lot more impressed if he took note of what the Jays were *trying* to do and predicted that they would turn things around eventually. Instead he just drew comparisons between them and one of the worst run teams in the league. I guess now that they've won 21 games in a month it's safe for him to jump on the bandwagon.
_Shane - Tuesday, June 03 2003 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#100902) #
This topic means very little to me, and Neyer's a nice fellow, so this is probably it for me on this.

What i'm seeing is an analysis/column based on the then current AL East standings, and using a breakdown of position comparables to come up with some conclusion...The Orioles aren't even mentioned in the piece, but by the title, "Rays vs. Jays: the AL least", I guess you can assume that they're considered better or better off? He does say the Blue Jays are better than the Devil Rays this year ('02), and next ('03), but pretty much saying that how the teams will improve is related to how well they'd do in '02 draft is a pretty narrow analysis and scope.

No one ever liked the Vernon Wells "has been in neutral for three years" line, but he'd lost a lot of his buzz since that earlier season when he climbed those several minor-league levels, and Neyer wasn't the only one saying as much.

But again, when you're using a line like: "But for the most part, the trees planted by general managers don't bear fruit for two or three years, at best" is focusing only on improving you're team through the draft, is excluding trades, waiver claims, signings, etc. Aswell when you're (Neyer) refering to there 'not being much help' on the farm, he's doing so speaking about pitching, excluding commenting about a Phelps or a Hudson.

I don't know? Maybe it is a pretty shoddy article. If he really felt this down on the Org's future i'd be surprised, either that or it is just a poorly concieved piece that you'd think he'd put more time into. I guess I take it back. It' just not written all that well, you'd think he could have done a better piece if he'd wanted to. I guess you shouldn't write your columns in the time it takes to finish on the toilet.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, June 04 2003 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#100903) #
I guess you shouldn't write your columns in the time it takes to finish on the toilet.

I dunno.. I find the pieces which I start closest to my editorial deadline are the ones that are the most read. I have yet to figure out why.

Rob Neyer, Jays Fan | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.