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Baseball '05 seem painfully far off 'bout now? Well, did you realize that exactly six months from tomorrow, the All-Star squads from each league will gather in Detroit's CoPa cabana to determine whether the World Series home field will be in southern Ohio or in northeast Ohio (just kidding -- I think)? So, who will be representing Toronto in this festive gala? (Remember, your predictions will be here to link back to come July!) What about other team reps? Who will be the surprises? The annual returnees? That's right, it's today's mid-January ...

Question of the Day: Who will be playing in the 2005 All-Star Game, representing what teams? And keep in mind the annual difference between who should go and who actually goes!

And of course, please continue to ...
Make Your Own Roundup ....
Tuesday QOTD/MYOR: An All-Star Look Ahead | 310 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:27 AM EST (#4332) #
Happy to start ...

Your 2005 A.L. starting 3B, representing your hometown Tigers, is AL home run leader (with 25) Eric Hinske.

Representing the Toronto Blue Jays, battling the Tigers for "most surprising team of the year," is closer extraordinaire Billy Koch, leading the AL with 26 saves (in 31 chances) and rumoured on his way to the Bronx or Flushing to help one of the New York teams get into the postseason.

Please feel free to take your projections a tad more seriously!
_Braby21 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:47 AM EST (#4333) #
My prediction isn't too bold. Vernon and O Dog will be reserves for the American League Squad.

Anyone know how expensive tickets are generally in all-star games? I wouldn't mind driving to Detroit to check it out.
_WillRain - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:47 AM EST (#4334) #
Roy Halladay will be the surest prediction as Jays rep, dark horse = David Bush. Hudson is a good bet too because the field at 2B is scandalously thin behind Soriano and Boone. Ditto for Vernon.

The whole team:
(notsaying oughta, saying gonna)

C - Ivan Rodruigez, Jorge Posada, Joe Mauer
1B - Mark Texeria, Paul Kenerko, Aubry Huff
2B - Bret Boone, Alfonso Soriano
SS - Derek Jeter, Miguel Tejada, Michael Young
3B - Alex Rodruigez, Eric Chavez
LH - Manny Ramirez, Garrett Anderson
CF - Johnny Damon, Vernon Wells
RF - Ichero Suzuki, Vlad Gurrero
DH - David Ortiz, Sheffield, Morneau

Pitchers -
Halladay
Johnson
Schilling
Harden
Bush
Lee (Clev.) (gotta throw in a wild card)
F. Rodruigez
Rivera
Afeldt (or two)
Nathan

NL:
C - Piazza, Barnett
1b - Pujols, Thome, Nick Johnson (obligatory Nat)
2b - Kent, Giles
SS - Garciaparra, Felipe Lopez*
3b - Rolen, Lowell
LF - Bonds, Berkman,
CF - Beltran, Edmunds
RF - Sosa, Green (big comeback year)
DH - Cabrera, Helton, Craig Wilson (obligatory)

Pitchers-
Hudson
Mulder
Sheets
Schmit
Prior
Peavey
Burnett
Gagne
Wagner
Valverde
Mota
Looper

* Bwahaha!! My "complete insanity!" prediction of the night!
Rational?
reds need a rep...it's conceivable Griffy and kearns will again be limited by injuries...the NL SS field is weak as a whole...lopez MIGHT still break out (I BELIVE, DAMMIT!!) ;)
(won't I look like a genius if he does?)

In the game, Michael Young wins the MVP with a 3 run couble in the seventh inning off Braden Looper to put the AL aead for good.

What else you want to know?
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:08 AM EST (#4335) #
I want to know how silly Soriano is going to look walking into the AL clubhouse in that Houston Astros uniform.
_Michael - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:50 AM EST (#4336) #
I've got to think that Vernon Wells is the surest pick for a Jays all-star. He plays center, hits pretty well, fields pretty well, and is already known. Halladay has a chance, but there are usually too many pitchers having a good 1/3 of a season that get squeezed in.
Lucas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:36 AM EST (#4337) #
O Dog.
_Scott - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:00 AM EST (#4338) #
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050110.wkoch11/BNStory/Sports/
Blue Jays sign a Scott Boras client. No kidding, COMN.
_JackFoley - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:39 AM EST (#4339) #
Well, his numbers against lefties are outstanding. Seems kind of pricey though...
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 07:12 AM EST (#4340) #
That is one expensive LOOGY. Colour me unimpressed. Does this bring to its conclusion a painfully uninspiring off-season of signings? Yech.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:10 AM EST (#4341) #
Wow. Schoeneweis came out of nowhere.

That is one expensive LOOGY

Just because he's left handed doesn't make him a LOOGY. It just makes him at least a LGY.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:15 AM EST (#4342) #
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1105397412143&call_pageid=969907739730&col=970081600908&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes
COMN for an article on a possible Hillenbrand trade. It sounds like who Toronto gives up is still in the air. Ryan notes that the Snakes might want a back end starter which apparently makes Towers or Miller a possibility. I'm suscept the Jays would be more willing to give up Towers than Peterson.

The Globe article said that Hillenbrand would be used at DH, which strikes me as a little odd (although maybe his defense sucks).
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:18 AM EST (#4343) #
Schoeneweis's 3-year L/R splits:

vs RHB: 293/365/471 (800 AB)
vs LHB: 222/286/302 (300 AB)

Kinda looks LOOGYish to me.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:23 AM EST (#4344) #
Well, if Allan Ryan is right and it's rookie reliever Todd Peterson we might be giving up for Hillenbrand, that deal doesn't look so bad after all.

Don't they have editors over there?
_Andrew K - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:32 AM EST (#4345) #
http://mb3.scout.com/ftorontobluejaysfrm1.showMessage?topicID=4526.topic
I thought this was a very ugly signing, especially for 2 years (shades of Ligtenberg) but the 5th comment in this thread (COMN) shows Schoeneweis to be comparable to Kline. We'll see.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:40 AM EST (#4346) #
Rotoworld and MLB.com are reporting that Hillenbrand will likely get dealt to the Jays today, once the other Arizona trades are finalized.

Also, it looks like the D-backs signing Estes is pretty much a done deal, so it look like we'll be giving up Peterson.

What to think,...What to think....
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:42 AM EST (#4347) #
the 5th comment in this thread (COMN) shows Schoeneweis to be comparable to Kline

Schoeneweis may be similar to Kline vs LHB, not they're not even close vs RHB. Kline does not have to be a LOOGY, even if LaRussa insisted on using him as one. Schoeneweis has no choice. He's just lousy against RHB.

3-year splits:

Schoeneweis
vs RHB: 293/365/471 (800 AB)
vs LHB: 222/286/302 (300 AB)

Kline
vs RHB: 254/323/383 (350 AB)
vs LHB: 209/296/291 (275 AB)
_Andrew K - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:50 AM EST (#4348) #
I think the point the poster on that board I linked to was making was that if you only look at Schoeneweis in 2003, the year he was used as a reliever, he has

vs RHB: 275/329/374 (131 AB)

This is a fairly small sample size but not, as we usually consider it, uselessly small. (Actually, the "margin of error" on his OBP would be +/- .065 -- mind you, almost all of the comparisons we make are statistically insignificant!)
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:51 AM EST (#4349) #
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1105397412151&call_pageid=969907739730&col=970081600908
Since I know you've all been eagerly anticipating this, here it is!

The latest Griffin article, talking about the aquisition Shea. COMN

I'm guessing J.P. will not go to arbitration with Shea, and instead, attempt to sign him to a two or three year deal (most likely two).

Otherwise, I see no point in giving up Peterson for someone you're only going to have around for the year.
_Ryan Day - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:52 AM EST (#4350) #
Has Koch been hanging out with Rickey Henderson lately? From the Globe article:

"There's no role, no nothing right now. Billy's on the Blue Jays and Billy is very happy with the Blue Jays."
_Daryn - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:58 AM EST (#4351) #
Anyone know how expensive tickets are generally in all-star games? I wouldn't mind driving to Detroit to check it out.

as far as I know the actual public access tickets are pricey but not too bad.. the big problem is they only release 6 or 7 for public sale... the "Fan's Game" has nothing to do with fans anymore.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST (#4352) #
Schoeneweis was also used as a reliever in his rookie season, 1999, and for the second half of 2002, not just in 2003.

Anaheim realized that even if Schoeneweis could continue to give them bulk innings, they weren't particularly useful innings since he has so much trouble with RHB. They had no choice but to turn him into a spot reliever.

While it is certainly true that Schoeneweis was surprisingly effective vs RHB in 2003 (233/306/403 in 129 AB), he has had five other seasons to prove that he does not handle RHB particularly well.

By my reckoning, Schoeneweis, if used effectively, should give the team about 50 innings in a similar usage pattern to Dan Plesac's. That's not even worth $1M, let alone $2.5M.
_Daryn - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:03 AM EST (#4353) #
Ok, Schoeneweis surprised me.. I wonder how I got it in my head we were looking for a RightHanded pitcher.. clearly a lefty was needed...

I see Billy Kock is listed on the 40-M.R. that makes 39, without Myers.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:08 AM EST (#4354) #
Schoeneweis from 2002-2004:


Role K/9 BB/9 HR/9 Innings ERA
Starter 5.0 3.9 1.3 202 5.48
Reliever 7.4 2.8 0.8 93.3 3.95


What relievers put up these comparable reliever lines last year?


Role K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Reliever A 7.9 3.4 0.7
Reliever B 8.0 2.7 0.8
Reliever C 7.9 2.8 0.6
Reliever D 7.7 3.0 0.9
Reliever E 7.2 3.0 0.9
Reliever F 7.2 2.4 1.0
Reliever G 7.1 3.3 0.8


A. G Mota - 3.07 ERA
B. A Benitez - 1.29
C. T Miller - 3.12
D. D Williams - 4.42
E. S Takatsu - 2.31
F. D Borowski - 5.14
G. E Yan - 3.83

What does this prove? If Schoeneweis matches his pitching line as a reliever the past 3 years it'll be a worthwhile investment.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:16 AM EST (#4355) #
QOTD- Matsui and A-Rod will be the Yankees representatives.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:26 AM EST (#4356) #
If Schoeneweis could deliver 90 innings of 3.95 ERA (as he has cumulative over the past 3 seasons), that would be acceptable. But I don't think that's realistic. I think he can deliver 90 innings and he can deliver a 3.95 ERA, just not both.

What your stats don't show (and what I can only offer up with minimal support) is that he has been facing a disproportionate percentage of LHB because of his deficiences vs RHB. In 2003, for instance, he faced LHB 48% of the time -- and that was in a year where he was effective against RHB.

A pitcher who is used like that has a difficult time logging innings because managers have to choose their spots so carefully. I could see Schoeneweis providing 50 innings of 3.95 ERA, but for him to get up to 90 innings, he wouldn't be able to face cherry picked opponents -- he'd have to face lots of RHB and that would blow the ERA.
_Jordan - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:27 AM EST (#4357) #
I'm not sure why Schoeneweis has historically been so eager to be a starter, since he pretty clearly can't cut that mustard. The Jays have evidently told Boras that Schoeneweis has no chance of starting, so that shouldn't be an issue, at least.

Schoeneweis's 2003 campaign, his only recent season used purely in relief, was also his best, as he posted great numbers against LHB and quite good numbers against RHB. Trouble is, he threw only 63 innings that year. Assuming he duplicates that performance in Toronto next season (a big assumption, since veteran relievers have been crashing and burning in Toronto for a few years now), that's still $2.6M/year for about 60 innings, and I just don't think that's good value. Presumably, that's the state of the market right now, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Setting aside his salary, Schoeneweis will be a useful addition for this bullpen, which hasn't had a legitimate portsider since Dan Plesac left. Presumably, the 2005 pen now looks something like this:

Justin Speier (CL)
Kerry Ligtenberg (RH setup)
Scott Schoeneweis (LH setup)
Jason Frasor
Billy Koch
Vinny Chulk
Justin Miller

They're not exactly Ward Henke LLP, but if handled correctly, they should be adequate for the job.
_H. Winfield Teu - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:33 AM EST (#4358) #
As for all star tickets. I went to a game a few years back, but my tickets were free. My mother in law got them from King Soopers, the gal called her and said you won two tickets to the all star game, my mother in law said she wasn't interested, fortunately the gal said, well do you know anyone that might like them, this is quite a deal. So then, duh, she thought of me. Yeah it was the second row from the top but I was still there.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:35 AM EST (#4359) #
If Schoeneweis could deliver 90 innings of 3.95 ERA (as he has cumulative over the past 3 seasons), that would be acceptable. But I don't think that's realistic. I think he can deliver 90 innings and he can deliver a 3.95 ERA, just not both.

I wasn't suggesting he could put up 90 innings, just using his reliever statistics from the past 3 years to see what his rate stats were.

I would think 65 innings would be a realistic amount for 2005, assuming he doesn't get hurt. If he put up 7.4, 2.8, 0.8 like he has in the past as a reliever I think he'd be worth the money.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:39 AM EST (#4360) #
Koch quote from the Blair article:

"battling it out with Mr. Luxury Tax in New York,"

OK, I like him again. Good luck, Billy.

The Fan update this morning said that the Jays would have a press conference at SkyDome this afternoon. Any guesses as to what it's about? Schoenweis? Hillenbrand? Field Turf?
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:43 AM EST (#4361) #
Earlier they said it was for Schoeneweis.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:45 AM EST (#4362) #
NFH,

Schoenweis is doubtful, not really the type of player you call a press conference for.

Could be Hillenbrand, probably the worst kept trade secret ever. Although, would they call a press conference for a player they just traded for, without even agreeing on an extension yet?

Field Turf? This was supposed to be common knowledge already, wasn't it? Would they call a press conference to announce a new Jumbotron? I surely hope not!

Maybe J.P. has really flown under the radar, and we will announce the signing of Magglio Ordonez! :)

Okay,...time to get back to reality.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:49 AM EST (#4363) #
Earlier they said it was for Schoeneweis.

That is so, so sad.

I think that paints a perfect picture of how terrible this off-season has been.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:55 AM EST (#4364) #
Wow. I don't get this signing. At all.

This all but guarantees that the Jays will be carrying 12 or 13 pitchers at all time, so the bench is going to be a non-entity (most days it will be comprised of Myers, Reed Johnson, and John McDonald. Woo.) That wouldn't be a problem if this team could hit, but they can't.

There's still time for something good to happen this off-season, but right now this looks like a last-place club.
_Geoff - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:59 AM EST (#4365) #
I would bet anything that if the Shea deal goes ahead, J.P.'s offseason will be done

It seems like in this league, you can't just spend money, you can only overspend money
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:59 AM EST (#4366) #
I wasn't suggesting he could put up 90 innings, just using his reliever statistics from the past 3 years to see what his rate stats were.

Sorry Pistol, I wasn't intending to put words in your mouth nor aim any venom in your direction. You're a glass-is-half-full kind of person. Sadly, I'm not.

I am not intending to take out my frustration about this signing and the impending Hillenbrand trade on fellow Bauxites. As with all my cases of pessimism, I hope I am wrong. I hope (but don't believe) that we will see the 2003-Schoeneweis. I hope (but don't believe) that we'll have a DH capable of an 850 OPS. I hope (but don't believe) that Koch will look more like the Oakland version than the Chicago version. I hope (but don't believe) that Hinske will morph into his rookie self.

I do know that I will be watching the Jays more than they deserve. I do know that I will be pleased with a .500 season. I do know that I will expend more time than is reasonable spewing my opinions in this forum.
_the shadow - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST (#4367) #
There's still time for something good to happen this off-season, but right now this looks like a last-place club.

The Moffat Man is right on
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:02 AM EST (#4368) #
Justin Speier (CL)
Kerry Ligtenberg (RH setup)
Scott Schoeneweis (LH setup)
Jason Frasor
Billy Koch
Vinny Chulk
Justin Miller

They're not exactly Ward Henke LLP, but if handled correctly, they should be adequate for the job.


Mike and Mike, Meat Purveyors and Amateur Baseball Analysts, still think 7 relievers in the pen is at least one reliever too many. Longer bench, shorter pen, please.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:04 AM EST (#4369) #
Moffatt, I should have known that you'd beat me to the punch.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:04 AM EST (#4370) #
Mike and Mike, Meat Purveyors and Amateur Baseball Analysts, still think 7 relievers in the pen is at least one reliever too many. Longer bench, shorter pen, please.

What I'm afraid of is some infielder getting hurt, then JP calling up Pete Walker because the bullpen is falling apart. Then the Jays will have 13 pitchers and 3 guys on the bench. It happened a few times last year.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:17 AM EST (#4371) #
The bloated 7-man bullpen being bandied about does not include Batista. Do we know for certain that he's returning to the rotation? I'd like to see that, but I'm wondering if his unexpected September success as a closer means that he's the incumbent in 2005.
_Jim - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:20 AM EST (#4372) #
'There's still time for something good to happen this off-season, but right now this looks like a last-place club.'

Last year a lot of folks thought this was an 85 win team with a chance to be better then that. Hopefully many are wrong again.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:28 AM EST (#4373) #
If anything, this will be an exciting club to watch.

Last year, our main problem was not being able to get guys in.

This year, we'll have to to scratch and claw and do whatever it takes to manufacture runs and get guys home.

That should result in a lot more SB's, hit and runs, and a lot more action on the base paths in general.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:31 AM EST (#4374) #
Sorry Pistol, I wasn't intending to put words in your mouth nor aim any venom in your direction. You're a glass-is-half-full kind of person. Sadly, I'm not.

I wouldn't say that I'm excited about the Schoeneweis move, just trying to get to the possible rationale behind the move.

If Schoeneweis matches his rate stats as a reliever the next two seasons he would be worth the money. But I don't look at that as anything close to a sure thing.

The other thing, which we don't necessarily know, is the demand for Schoeneweis. He very well turn out to be worth his contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean that his contract is 'market value' today. Schoeneweis doesn't strike me as a pitcher that teams were looking to give 2 years to.

Batista. Do we know for certain that he's returning to the rotation?

Once Clement signed with the Sox JP said somewhere that Batista would be a starter next year.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:38 AM EST (#4375) #
Why to prefer Koch to Schoeneweis? The spelling.

Honestly, Ricciardi is killing us. What's the learning curve on the spelling of his acquisitions? Ligtenberg. Schoeneweis. Hillenbrand. Catalanotto. Even Speier is needlessly complicated for just two syllables, even for those of us old enough to remember his father.

Never mind the Baux-originated rumours surrounding Mientkewicz and Pierzynski.

Where's the love for the guys named Smith and Jones?
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:41 AM EST (#4376) #
Bring back Dave Lemancyzk!
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:42 AM EST (#4377) #
For that matter, a lot of Jays fans have found 'Ricciardi' to be a lot harder to spell than, say, 'Ash'. Of course, these are the same ones who also end up with spellings like 'Steib' and 'Eichorn'.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:44 AM EST (#4378) #
"Hi, we're here reporting for camp"

"Names?"

"Billy Koch and Eric Hinske"

"Billy, you'll be bunking with Brad Arnsberg, Hinske you're with Mike Barnett"
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:53 AM EST (#4379) #
Honestly, I don't know what people are expecting. There was nobody out there in the Jays' price range who didn't have significant warts, including Clement, Koskie or Kline. As long as the budget remains where it is this team will live or die on the success of their prospects.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:55 AM EST (#4380) #
And he drafted Vito Chiavolotti (sp?). I tried to spell that off the top of my head. Is it right?
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:56 AM EST (#4381) #
One thing to remember with the Schoeneweis signing is that, yes the Jays overpaid, but it has become more and more evident that players do NOT want to come to Toronto for whatever reason(s). So the Jays either have to A)overpay like Detroit B)make trades or C)pick up leftover scraps.

Schoeneweis could be a good addition (ignoring his salary) if he keeps his mouth shut about wanting to start. That said, he is a good guy to have if the Jays need an emergency starter or a reliever to throw three or four innings in a blowout.

Is he worth $2.5 million over two seasons? No. But as I said with Hillenbrand, Schoeneweis is better than what the Jays had before they signed him... nothing.

I realize it has been a depressing offseason after a really depressing year, but let's try and enter the 2005 season with a little optimism. Surprises can happen... remember the Royals a couple years ago?
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:56 AM EST (#4382) #
Well I should be pretty excited since I called for this deal several weeks ago. I must admit however, I'm taken back by the price. Damn, say what you want Boras certainly gets good value for his client. Schoenweis has always profiled better as a reliever since he lacks a good third pitch (change-up), but has been reluctant to move to the bullpen.
_groove - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:57 AM EST (#4383) #
Holy crap- I never realized that there were 2 h's in eichhorn.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 10:58 AM EST (#4384) #
Chiaravalloti
_Lefty - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:01 AM EST (#4385) #
I'm here as a pitcher, that's the main deal," said Koch, 30, who will be part of a bullpen by committee and who had 50 strikeouts and 36 walks. "There's no role, no nothing right now. Billy's on the Blue Jays and Billy is very happy with the Blue Jays. If I come in and throw the ball well, good things will happen."

Two things. First the above is from the Blair article. Has Jeff some knowlage that we are back to the "bullpen by committee" plan again?

And is this the newest moneyball strategy. Go out and sign disaffected players like Hillenbrand and Schoeneweis who have a history of clubhouse distraction.

Schoenweis was pretty highly touted but has never match potential with promise.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:02 AM EST (#4386) #
MatO, I like the Koskie signing. I would have preferred had players such as Polanco and Larkin been pursued, rather than John McDonald, Koch and Schoenweiss. I was perfectly content with Gustavo Chacin opening the season with the big club, and now this looks to be unlikely.

You are right that the budgetary constraints mean that the success of the prospects is the key to the future of the team, but the complementary major league acquisitions are also of some importance.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:04 AM EST (#4387) #
I realize it has been a depressing offseason after a really depressing year, but let's try and enter the 2005 season with a little optimism. Surprises can happen... remember the Royals a couple years ago?

I agree Marc. While it might not have been the off-season we were all hoping for, I still think this is a better team than the one that we started with last year.

Take a look:

-Berg, Cash, Delgado, De Le Santos, Hentgen, Woodward, Simon Pond

+ Koskie, Dave Bush, Rios, Hillenbrand, Koch, Schoenweis, Russ Adams, Grez Zaun

Plus, including the injury factor last year, and assuming the team can stay healthy this year....yeah I think it's a much better team.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:06 AM EST (#4388) #
I was perfectly content with Gustavo Chacin opening the season with the big club, and now this looks to be unlikely.

Chacin looks like the #5 starter, in my books.

Halladay
Lilly
Batista
Bush
Chacin

I think Towers is the odd man out, again.
Hopefully he has a huge Spring, so JP can get something of value back for him.

Grand Funk out.
_The Unloved Rya - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:11 AM EST (#4389) #
Where's the love for the guys named Smith and Jones?

The Blue Jays have been discriminating against common names for years. It took them until 2002 to finally have a Smith and there still hasn't been a Jones in the team's history.

This may seem odd considering the large number of people named Ryan on this site, but the Blue Jays were the last team in the major leagues to have a player with Ryan as either his first or last name. Ryan Freel broke that streak when he made his debut on April 4, 2001. The Detroit Tigers ended their No-Ryan streak a day earlier when Ryan Jackson suited up for them.

To answer your next question, yes, I am aware that I have way too much time on my hands.
_actionjackson - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:11 AM EST (#4390) #
Hello all, Happy New Year and hope the holidays were good.

As for Schoeneweis, does anyone know his splits just as a relief pitcher? My theory is that when he's getting pulped all over the yard as a starter, he loses confidence, gets fatigued, whatever, and therefore his numbers against lefties and righties should be worse as a starter than as a reliever. However the numbers break down, he should never be used as a starter. JP must be held accountable for this. Anybody but Schoeneweis! Batista definitely must return to the rotation now. His numbers don't show much difference in left/right comparisons or starter/reliever comparisons. As for the money for Schoe (new nickname), it's too much, but where have you heard that before? Carlos Beltran is looking like the biggest bargoon of the offseason, due to this market of the stupid.

The signing that concerns me far more is Billy Koch, as well as JP's repeated assertions of Billy having a "terrific ahhm". What does he see, that I'm not seeing? I hope he's right. Imagine having two bullpen signings and feeling more comfortable with Scott Schoeneweis. AHHH! Let's just start playing, I can't stand the offseason anymore.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:15 AM EST (#4391) #
One thing to remember with the Schoeneweis signing is that, yes the Jays overpaid, but it has become more and more evident that players do NOT want to come to Toronto for whatever reason(s). So the Jays either have to A)overpay like Detroit B)make trades or C)pick up leftover scraps

Marc, I think you've summed up the Jays off-season quite well, I'd only add D)Bring back players , who've previously been in Toronto and who realize its not such a bad place. I note Koch had some competing offers and he chose the Jays instead. Mike some of those guys you mentioned may have been pursued, but we did't hear about it perhaps?
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:17 AM EST (#4392) #
To be fair, the Jones-less Jays haven't been missing much. Of the 90 or so Joneses to appear in a MLB game, the first two really even marginally "great" players are current - - Larry and Andruw. Even the various Jones all-stars ... Cleon? Doug? Randy had one and a half great years.

I thought about throwing together an All-Jones Hall of Names team, but after one look, the All-Smith and All-Johnson teams would just beat the ever-living hell out of it, so I passed.
_actionjackson - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:23 AM EST (#4393) #
With regards to my Koch comment above. I realize he has a terrific arm, in terms of raw velocity, but would someone please teach him a pitch that changes plains and/or speeds. ANYONE? BUELLER? ARNSBERG?
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:23 AM EST (#4394) #
I once made a mix CD of songs named after people named Jones. It was pretty cool.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:25 AM EST (#4395) #
Koch also has a great curveball. I remember it as a thing of beauty.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:25 AM EST (#4396) #
Mick, why not do it anyway? Keeping up with the Joneses has never been so easy...
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:33 AM EST (#4397) #
Koch also has a great curveball. I remember it as a thing of beauty

I agree Matthew, he also had a pretty reasonable change-up when he was younger as well. I've always felt Koch should have been tried as a starter first in his early Jays career.I think its too late now to pursue this option, but management at the time fell in love with those three digit radar numbers and pushed him into the pen.
_Christopher - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:35 AM EST (#4398) #
I once made a mix CD of songs named after people named Jones. It was pretty cool.

Any Howard Jones on there?
_dp - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:35 AM EST (#4399) #
The Jays in the last 2 seasons have overpaid for mediocrity. Last year, it was Spier, Adams, Batista, Lightenberg and Hentgen for over $10 million. This year, unable to move the Hinske contract he saddled himself with, JP's blown a bunch of money on lesser players without getting anyone with any upside. Hillenbrand and Koskie have had their best seasons- I hope I'm wrong, but why pay a premium price for these guys? The Jays aren't doing anything in '05, and it seems like JP's making moves just to make them. I'd rather have an elite player (Delgado, Drew, Beltre) than all of the crappy guys JP has signed trying to make up for the loss of Delgado.

I'm just not sure I trust JP to acquire anyone at this point. Let him run the draft, but don't let him hand out major league deals to anyone. Lightenberg plus Schoeneweis equals one good reliever. I think BPro praised the Mets for targeting elite players and ignoring the mediocre. While I relaize the Jays can't do this, it would be good if they got some guys with upside.

Realizing they couldn't dump Hinske, and with Hill coming up, why not offer Magglio an incentive-landen contract instead of grabbing Koskie? Or Juan Gonzalez instead of Hillenbrand?
_PeterG - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:41 AM EST (#4400) #
Has a time for this afternoon's press conference been announced? Please post if this info becomes available. Thanks.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:41 AM EST (#4401) #
Any Howard Jones on there?

No. Did he have any songs about people named 'Jones'? If so, I'll consider him for Volume II.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST (#4402) #
I'd rather have an elite player (Delgado, Drew, Beltre) than all of the crappy guys JP has signed trying to make up for the loss of Delgado.

I'm not hugely excited about Hillenbrand, but it is patently unfair to refer to him and Koskie as "crappy guys".
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST (#4403) #
Gonzalez signed a minor-league deal with CLE, so I'm sure a numbe of Bauxites will exclaim "surely JP could have matched or exceeded that!" Probably true, in theory, but let's keep in mind that Juan Gone is, at best, persnickety and I doubt very much that he would have come to Toronto for a guaranteed seven-figure deal and a promise of 500 AB. He hated Detroit because, among other things, it was too cold! And he puts a lot of stock in what his seven ex-wives have to say about where he plays.

I know it annoys native Canucks to no end, but a lot of American 9and especially Latin American) ballplayers simply don't want to come to Canada, no matter what Ricciardi might offer.
_Nigel - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST (#4404) #
For '05 this really isn't so bad. The Jays had the money and no one to spend it on (sad but true). Until more pitching prospects are ready, they need someone who can throw some innings (particularly a lefthander). This team isn't going to compete for a playoff spot this year so I don't really think its a problem. What I don't like is that Schoenweis will take a roster spot and a guaranteed $2.5 million of the budget in '06. Next offseason this deal will probably be Lightenburg Part 2.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST (#4405) #
By my reckoning, Schoeneweis, if used effectively, should give the team about 50 innings in a similar usage pattern to Dan Plesac's. That's not even worth $1M, let alone $2.5M.

Fifty innings of above-average relief from a lefthander is certainly worth $1,000,000, and you could likely argue it's worth $2.5M if he's used correctly. Perhaps it's not an optimal signing, but it's not the overpay that you portray it to be.

And I'd prefer 6 men in the bullpen as well. If we need a 7th for short, or even extended, periods of time due to other factors that's fine, but I'd certainly start with six and go forward.

The Jays have: Speier, Ligtenberg, Schoenweis, Koch, Frasor and one more spot if they want to go with 6. Vinny Chulk seems to be the leading candidate for it, but other names to consider include Downs, Miller, Andrade and Walker.
_G.T. - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:43 AM EST (#4406) #
On a somewhat more positive note... I guess the Cat deal looks pretty good right about now, given what it'd cost to bring someone of that production level to TO.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:44 AM EST (#4407) #
I'm not hugely excited about Hillenbrand, but it is patently unfair to refer to him and Koskie as "crappy guys".

Well, this probably wasn't how the author intended to use the word, but considering Hillenbrand's past behaviour I don't consider him a stand-up guy at all.

He's almost the anti-Koskie.
_Christopher - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#4408) #
Did he have any songs about people named 'Jones'?

Ah, I get it now. I can't think if anything Howard did that would qualify for Volume II.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#4409) #
Why would the Jays hold a press conference to announce the signing of Scott Schoeneweis ON THE SAME DAY that the Yankees and Mets are announcing the signings Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran? To remind the average fan that we will never again be signing players of this calibre?

I think someone in the PR department has been sniffing glue. I can see this press conference having a more negative effect on public perception than a positive one.
_Mike Forbes - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:47 AM EST (#4410) #
Hey, four signings in two days with a trade to come.. Jp's finally snapped... For better or for worse is still to be determined.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:48 AM EST (#4411) #
Your 2005 A.L. starting 3B, representing your hometown Tigers, is AL home run leader (with 25) Eric Hinske.

LOL, but I honestly wouldn't count out the possibility of Hinske being traded and promptly returning to his rookie form. It may just be selective memory on my part, but it seems to me that an inordinant number of talented players have struggled mightily with the Jays, only to magically work out all of their problems immediately upon leaving. Sigh.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:54 AM EST (#4412) #
From the Clobe article re: Schoeneweis:

The signing of Schoeneweis comes one day after closer Billy Koch returned to the fold

Hmm...

Also, did any else notice Koch referring to himself as "Billy"?! That's some pretty messed-up stuff right there...
_PeterG - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:56 AM EST (#4413) #
Has the time of the press conference been announced? Would appreciate a post regarding the time of said confernce. Thanks.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:01 PM EST (#4414) #
PeterG, I'll post something as soon as I hear something. Don't worry.

I think someone in the PR department has been sniffing glue. I can see this press conference having a more negative effect on public perception than a positive one.

But who says it's about Schoenweis? I don't think they'd have a press conference to announce the signing of a relief pitcher unless it was Mariano Rivera.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:05 PM EST (#4415) #
Schoenweis is doubtful, not really the type of player you call a press conference for.

Could be Hillenbrand, probably the worst kept trade secret ever.


So Hillenbrand is more worthy of a press conference than Schoenweis?
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:07 PM EST (#4416) #
So Hillenbrand is more worthy of a press conference than Schoenweis?

You and I are more worthy of a press conference than Schoeneweis. And Hillenbrand, for that matter.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:07 PM EST (#4417) #
I think BPro praised the Mets for targeting elite players and ignoring the mediocre. While I relaize the Jays can't do this, it would be good if they got some guys with upside.

The Mets may have targeted better players but they have more money, as you said yourself, and they overpaid for Beltran, Martinez and Benson. I will bet you that in three years, NY fans will be bemoaning at least two of those contracts. Not to mention that the Mets are regretting signing Kaz Matsui, Cliff Floyd and to a lesser extent Mike Cameron.

For all those Juan Gonzalez advocates, have you even looked at his numbers the last three years? He hasn't played more than 82 games in a season and is 35 years old. Add that to the fact that the man has the desire of a stone, and you have a real dud. And you dismiss Hillenbrand for having an attitude problem... ask people "in the know" about Gonzalez.
_miVulgar - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:08 PM EST (#4418) #
Realizing they couldn't dump Hinske, and with Hill coming up, why not offer Magglio an incentive-landen contract instead of grabbing Koskie? Or Juan Gonzalez instead of Hillenbrand?

Magglio is intriguing. I have no idea what the market dictates for him at this stage.

However, I just don't see why people continue to bring up Juan Gonzalez as a viable option for a team that already relies on so many things to 'break right' to have a successful season. This is what I posted re: JuanGone on a previous thread:

I know it's enticing to imagine a productive Juan Gonzalez in the middle of the lineup, but over the past 3 years, he has had 277, 327, and 127 ABs with corresponding OPS' of .776, .901, .767.

He turns 36 years old in 2005.

I wouldn't touch him.
_WillRain - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:08 PM EST (#4419) #
Bah.
JP's fetish for awful bullpen signings knows no bounds. (and I like JP...though not as much as i once did. Still far from a basher).

We could have signed BOTH Merker AND Hammond for this price.

I don't mind taking a chance on this guy but commiting over 5 mil to him is insane.
_Mike Forbes - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:09 PM EST (#4420) #
"So Hillenbrand is more worthy of a press conference than Schoenweis?"

Not really.. But both of them combined could be! Or this could be just for everyone to see that Jp didn't get lost in Japan searching for Pete Walker.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:10 PM EST (#4421) #
You and I are more worthy of a press conference than Schoeneweis. And Hillenbrand, for that matter.

The negativity in here is downright shocking over the past few days.
I, for one, am ambivalent to the Show-en-weiss deal, and quite optimistic that Hillenbrand will have a great year.

Glad to see you've all written JP's moves off before they've even had a chance to pan out.

Grand Funk out.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:11 PM EST (#4422) #
By the way, you'll all be pleased to know that Babelfish translates 'schoene weis' as 'beautiful point'.
_actionjackson - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:14 PM EST (#4423) #
I know we haven't done as well as we'd hoped (OK that's an understatement), but let's remember there are many behind the scenes things we aren't privy to. Maybe, a lot of players think we're still a SARS colony (after all wasn't Kevin Appier a player rep?). According to a lot of US media outlets, we're a socialist state, with a huge tax rate, whose citizens all smoke pot, live in igloos, hate Americans (read: don't support fake wars), and support gay marriage, which was overwhelmingly rejected in 11 states in November. A lot of ballplayers seem to allow their opinions to be formed by these same outlets, so it's not much of a surprise that we have trouble attracting quality free agents. Remember how long it took Pat Gillick to land quality free agents? I believe it was the '90's and Winfield and Morris. This administration definitely needs to break through that negativity, but remember nothing sells like winning.

The point is this team is going to be built around its farm system, and if we can't get the guys we want, we have to get some warm bodies to protect our future from over-exposure. Hillenbrand, Schoeneweis, and Koch are not ideal, but maybe they are the best that agreed to come here (shudder). I know it looks bleak, but keep the faith, the hope lies in the farm system.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:14 PM EST (#4424) #
Not really.. But both of them combined could be!

That's what I was thinking. Maybe a conference to formally announce the signings of both Koch and Schoeneweis (and Hillenbrand if the deal has indeed been done)?
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:16 PM EST (#4425) #
Glad to see you've all written JP's moves off before they've even had a chance to pan out.

C'mon, don't paint everyone with the same brush.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:16 PM EST (#4426) #
And you dismiss Hillenbrand for having an attitude problem... ask people "in the know" about Gonzalez.

True. However, the difference is that, if he is healthy (huge "if", I know), Juan Gone's performance is worth putting up with the attitude.
_Kevin Pataky - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:17 PM EST (#4427) #
I know this is off topic, but can someone start a thread about Spring Training and specifically the Jays in Dunedin??
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:18 PM EST (#4428) #
NFH,

Do you know something we don't about this press conference? :)

All this talk about it has me intrigued. So far, people don't seem to think it's about Schoeneweis or Hillenbrand...so what then?
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:19 PM EST (#4429) #
According to a lot of US media outlets, we're a socialist state, with a huge tax rate, whose citizens all smoke pot, live in igloos, hate Americans (read: don't support fake wars), and support gay marriage, which was overwhelmingly rejected in 11 states in November.

Except for the parts about smoking pot and living in igloos, that's more or less accurate. Which should, of course, be viewed as major positive about life in Canada.
_Jonathan - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:20 PM EST (#4430) #
Any guesses on what Magglio ends up signing for?

First stab: one year, 4 million garunteed with up to 6 million in PA incentives.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:21 PM EST (#4431) #
Nope, no insider info here. Just trying to puzzle it out.

I mean, who else have they had press conferences for... Koskie, and who else?

I'm going to bet on updated SkyDome cosmetics or something else that no one expects.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:21 PM EST (#4432) #
So far, people don't seem to think it's about Schoeneweis or Hillenbrand...so what then?

Well, it was suggested above that it could be to announce the new FieldTurf. While I highly doubt it, I really hope that's the case, because there is something intrinsically hilarious about holding a press conference to announce that you're installing new carpeting in your building... ;-)
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:25 PM EST (#4433) #
Glad to see you've all written JP's moves off before they've even had a chance to pan out.

Yeah, well. I was, am, and continue to be optimistic about this organization, but it's not because of the Cavalcade of Humpties Ricciardi has imported this off-season. I don't mind the minor-league signings and waiver claims and what have you, and I actually like Cash-for-Gaudin, but I have grave doubts about Koskie, Koch, McDonald, Schoeneweis and Hillenbrand. I still think the Jays are going to be above .500 this year.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:26 PM EST (#4434) #
Mike Green, not disagreeing with your premise but I want no part of Larkin and to me Polanco is just Shea Hillenbrand II. Which is just to illustrate the point that at these price ranges you're not going to get anyone that everyone agrees on. As last year's mostly praised signings (at least in Da Box and by me) show, you're getting players where being consistently good is not a strong suit.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:27 PM EST (#4435) #
I'm going to bet on updated SkyDome cosmetics or something else that no one expects.

God...I hope not.

While I highly doubt it, I really hope that's the case, because there is something intrinsically hilarious about holding a press conference to announce that you're installing new carpeting in your building... ;-)

Yeah, funny in a sad sorta way.

Okay boys, here's the deal.

What kind of odds can I get right now, that Magglio Ordonez will be a BlueJay by the end of today?

100-1, 1000-1, 10000-1

I don't really think it's gonna happen, but it's the last hope I have in terms of turning this off-season around.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:31 PM EST (#4436) #
What kind of odds can I get right now, that Magglio Ordonez will be a BlueJay by the end of today?

100-1, 1000-1, 10000-1

I don't really think it's gonna happen, but it's the last hope I have in terms of turning this off-season around.


I'd even go maybe 20-1. Coming off of two knee surgies, and with a lot of teams likely having already blown their FA budgets, I wouldn't be surprised to see him sign somewhere on an incentive-laden contract similar to what Juan Gone and the Indians are working out.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:33 PM EST (#4437) #
What kind of odds can I get right now, that Magglio Ordonez will be a BlueJay by the end of today?

Well, he and Schoeneweis do share the same agent, I believe, so perhaps it would be some sort of package deal. Not that any sports agent would be so unethical as to provide self-interested advice to a client as to where to sign...
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:34 PM EST (#4438) #
We could have signed BOTH Merker AND Hammond for this price.

While I still don't think it's as big of an overpay as some I still don't understand why we didn't sign Hammond given how cheaply he came. While we don't know that JP didn't target him originally, Hammond isn't from the San Diego area nor does he live near it. He lives in Wedowee, AL, so he wasn't taking a hometown discount. Maybe he wanted to play for a contender as he's nearing the end of his career, but money would likely also have been a factor for a guy who has never earned a huge paycheque and who was out of baseball for a couple of years.
_actionjackson - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:34 PM EST (#4439) #
Lee, I absolutely agree those things are positive, but I'm really not sure they are viewed that way in the selfish, closed world of professional sports. For some reason the mercenaries that play team sports can't apply the 'team concept' to their country's policies. It's all about team between the white lines, but outside of them, it's all about 'ME'.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:35 PM EST (#4440) #
With a fixed budget, the Jays need cost certainty. That's why I don't think you'll see incentive laden contracts. That's why I think the Jays probably pay a bit more up front rather than a lower amount plus bonuses.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:38 PM EST (#4441) #
Maybe, a lot of players think we're still a SARS colony (after all wasn't Kevin Appier a player rep?). According to a lot of US media outlets, we're a socialist state, with a huge tax rate, whose citizens all smoke pot, live in igloos, hate Americans (read: don't support fake wars), and support gay marriage, which was overwhelmingly rejected in 11 states in November.

Or maybe it's the constant, unceasing self-congratulations about how wonderful we are in this country that turns ballplayers off.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:39 PM EST (#4442) #
Because I'm so different (please don't try being me at home, kids), I'll take Corey Koskie as the Jays rep. Eric Chavez will do his usual slow start, Adrian Beltre will struggle, and since third base is a thin position, voila! Koskie is Da Man.

[Canada] is a socialist state, with a huge tax rate, whose citizens all smoke pot, live in igloos, hate Americans (read: don't support fake wars), and support gay marriage, which was overwhelmingly rejected in 11 states in November.

Mama, I'm home!
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:40 PM EST (#4443) #
Lee, I absolutely agree those things are positive, but I'm really not sure they are viewed that way in the selfish, closed world of professional sports.

I agree complete with that Actionjackson. This is why I continue to believe that Canadian teams start out with an intrinsic disadvantage in terms of aquiring American-born FAs, leading to the necessity to overpay, even for somewhat marginal players.

Not that any sports agent would be so unethical as to provide self-interested advice to a client as to where to sign...

And ESPECIALLY not Scott Boras... ;-)
_Jordan - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:40 PM EST (#4444) #
Probably true, in theory, but let's keep in mind that Juan Gone is, at best, persnickety and I doubt very much that he would have come to Toronto for a guaranteed seven-figure deal and a promise of 500 AB.

The other thing about Gonzalez is that he had a terrific, career-saving campaign in Cleveland a few years back, right after his Detroit nightmare. That positive experience would have given the Indians a leg up on signing him right there. And as noted elsewhere, Gonzalez's name is bigger than his bat at this point. The Jays need players who have those characteristics reversed.

Again, setting aside the salaries, Schoenweis and Koch are experienced major-league arms whose primary gift to the team is that they allow Brandon League and Gus Chacin to pitch in Syracuse this year -- something I think is significant for the organization's long-term health. If Gibbons plays the bullpen right -- that is, establish roles early, give long leashes to your veteran relievers, and don't panic -- the pen should be fine. Nobody cares too much about salaries once the season begins.

My general advice is to remember that only the Mets care about wins and losses in January. Most of us thought the Jays would win 85 games this time last year, and for a variety of reasons, we couldn't have been more wrong. The 2005 Jays will play 162 actual games to determine how good or bad they actually are. And aj's last point is important: the future of this team has names like Bush, Hill, Rios, Adams, League, Quiroz, Banks, Rosario, McGowan, Marcum and Chiaravalotti. Whatever happens in 2005 should maintain or improve that future, and I think this team is set to do that.

I don't expect contention from the 2005 Blue Jays. What I do expect -- what I demand as a fan -- is a hustling, exciting, scrapping team that rolls over for nobody. I want to see The Fighting Jays back again, with aggressive pitching, crisp defence, smart baserunning, enthusiastic team play, and a refusal to cede an inch to anyone. That type of squad will do more to restore the team's image and fortunes than any number of splashy one-year wintertime acquisitions.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:40 PM EST (#4445) #
Or maybe it's the constant, unceasing self-congratulations about how wonderful we are in this country that turns ballplayers off.

Yeah, the United States never does that.....
_Nigel - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:42 PM EST (#4446) #
As for the speculation on Ordonez, hasn't the remaining budget been allocated to Koch, Schoenweis and Hillenbrand. I thought the tally prior to those signings was $46m. With Koch, Schoenweis and Hillenbrand adding up to about $6-7m for '05 I think JP's done. Essentially, I think you have your '05 Jays.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:43 PM EST (#4447) #
Or maybe it's the constant, unceasing self-congratulations about how wonderful we are in this country that turns ballplayers off.

I would say that we have reason to be proud of our country. Oh, and I doubt that self-congratulation is likely to turn off many Americans, who in my view have nothing whatever to justify THEIR national arrogance.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:43 PM EST (#4448) #
The point is this team is going to be built around its farm system, and if we can't get the guys we want, we have to get some warm bodies to protect our future from over-exposure. Hillenbrand, Schoeneweis, and Koch are not ideal, but maybe they are the best that agreed to come here (shudder). I know it looks bleak, but keep the faith, the hope lies in the farm system.

Exactly. I advocated trying to sign Delgado at $10M if possible. Otherwise I don't think the difference between Player A and Player B at these price ranges is that big taking performance, injuries, age etc. into account.
_Nigel - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST (#4449) #
Jordan - I agree completely with your post. That's why I don't have a problem with the Koch signing and the first year of Schoenweis' deal. As I said above, it's only the '06 tally I don't like on that deal.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST (#4450) #
With a fixed budget, the Jays need cost certainty. That's why I don't think you'll see incentive laden contracts.

IIRC, Juan's proposed contract with Cleveland is reported to have a $600,000 base, and is still worth only $2.55 million even if all the incentives kick in. If Ordonez would agree to a similar, or even slightly richer, deal, I should think it wouldn't be a problem.
_Paul D - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:46 PM EST (#4451) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/050111
If you want a diversion, COMN for the newest Bill Simmons. It's about the NBA though.

He also blasts Canada a little in his fourth point, saying that a German winning the NBA MVP would be 10 times worse then the Jays winning back to back World Series. So you could write him a nasty letter about that if you wanted.

Also, Lee, you and I have gotten into this before, but I really don't think that being in Canada hurts the Jays. I have class now though, so I'll let everyone mock that statement for being foolish now.
:)

(Also, don't bring up Matt Clement. The reason that Clement didn't sign with the Jays is not because of Canada, it's because the defending World Series champions offered him more money).
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:47 PM EST (#4452) #
My thoughts on the recent signings:

1) Billy Koch - I'm indifferent on this one, while I don't expect anything from Koch, it wasn't enough money to be concerned about the signing.
2) Pete Walker and Huckaby - meh, I don't think we will see these guys in Toronto.
3) Scott Schoenweiss - This one was a little surprising, I thought it was too much money and an unecessary extra year. While he will probably be a fine LOOGY, I don't like this deal. I am also concerned about the poor signings JP continues to make when addressing the Jays bullpen.
4) Shea Hillenbrand - I like this deal, I don't think Peterson will ever become an above average reliever and I really think Hillenbrand is under rated and could have a decent season. I love his low strike out numbers.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:49 PM EST (#4453) #
I have class now though, so I'll let everyone mock that statement for being foolish now.

What, you didn't have class before? I wouldn't say it's foolish, I just don't agree.

The reason that Clement didn't sign with the Jays is not because of Canada, it's because the defending World Series champions offered him more money

In that particular case, I certainly agree.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:50 PM EST (#4454) #
I would say that we have reason to be proud of our country. Oh, and I doubt that self-congratulation is likely to turn off many Americans, who in my view have nothing whatever to justify THEIR national arrogance.

Heaven knows I'm proud to be Canadian. I wouldn't trade that privilege for anything in the world. But that doesn't mean we need to demonstrate that pride by assuming an air of national superiority.

And as I have no intention of starting a pissing match with you on this subject, I will have nothing further to say on the topic.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:51 PM EST (#4455) #
What did Hammond end up signing for? It seems that the market for soft-tossing left-handed relief pitchers is not a large one, even though Hammond is a fine pitcher. Unlike Scheoeoenenejeaiieiwwieeis, Hammond can't pitch much more than an inning per game. I'd rather have Sheoeoeeewwiieieiows, though that's like preferring "Hogan's Heroes" to "Three's Company."
_Smirnoff - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:52 PM EST (#4456) #
I would say that we have reason to be proud of our country. Oh, and I doubt that self-congratulation is likely to turn off many Americans, who in my view have nothing whatever to justify THEIR national arrogance.

I'm completely turned off by THIS arrogant self-congratulation.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:53 PM EST (#4457) #
He also blasts Canada a little in his fourth point, saying that a German winning the NBA MVP would be 10 times worse then the Jays winning back to back World Series. So you could write him a nasty letter about that if you wanted.

Simmons is a moronic, obsessive Red Sox fan who makes our own beloved Richard Griffin look like a Pulitzer winner and Nobel laureate by comparison. If it weren't for the wonders of the Internet, Simmons would be absolutely unemployable.
_Ryan B. - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:54 PM EST (#4458) #
So I guess with todays action the Jays are pretty much done with off-season moves. I don't know, it just seems that for all the hype that this would be "J.P's off-season to prove what he can really do" I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth. I think we'll be lucky as fans to get a 75 win season next year.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:54 PM EST (#4459) #
But that doesn't mean we need to demonstrate that pride by assuming an air of national superiority.

In general, I don't think we do that.

I have no intention of starting a pissing match with you on this subject

Nor do I.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:56 PM EST (#4460) #
Simmons, like Griffin, is a hell of a writer and I like to read him just for the way he wordsmiths. The topic and tone in a Griffin article or a Simmons column is irrelevant to this point. They are both master craftsmen, with Simmons out ahead of Griffin, IMNSHO.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:57 PM EST (#4461) #
I don't know, it just seems that for all the hype that this would be "J.P's off-season to prove what he can really do" I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth.

I agree, although in JP's defense, he was hurt by the ludicrous contracts given out by other GMs early in the offseason that threw the market out of whack.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 12:58 PM EST (#4462) #
IMNSHO

NS = ???
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:00 PM EST (#4463) #
"In my not so humble opinion." Ask any Roster member, they will confirm!
_Nicholas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:03 PM EST (#4464) #
My math has the Jays '06 at $39 mil for 8 players ( Lilly AE. ) What is the projected budget for '05?? '06??
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:05 PM EST (#4465) #
Mick: Thanks.

Simmons, like Griffin, is a hell of a writer and I like to read him just for the way he wordsmiths. The topic and tone in a Griffin article or a Simmons column is irrelevant to this point.

OK, so they're good writers. I am far more interested in the value and insight of the content than the quality of the writing. IMHO both come up very short on that measure, but at least in Griffin's case the content is somewhat relevant.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:05 PM EST (#4466) #
What did Hammond end up signing for? It seems that the market for soft-tossing left-handed relief pitchers is not a large one, even though Hammond is a fine pitcher.

I was reading Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster over the weekend. I don't remember the specific numbers but he expected Hammond's numbers to be worse in 2004. Hammond's WHIP was 1.34 last year, good but not great.

Maybe JP has a new policy. Relievers are very unpredictable and appear to have a good year then a bad one. Last year he signed Speier and Ligtenberg off good years and they did not live up to expectations. This year he signs Koch and Schoeneweis off bad years when they should be due for a good year. Eureka!
_Rob C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:07 PM EST (#4467) #
From the Griffin article, and Hillenbrand's mouth:

"They think we're stupid. On-base percentage is overrated unless you're the leadoff man."

Hmmm... I think we just found our new Sportsnet colour commentator!
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:09 PM EST (#4468) #
Maybe JP has a new policy. Relievers are very unpredictable and appear to have a good year then a bad one. Last year he signed Speier and Ligtenberg off good years and they did not live up to expectations. This year he signs Koch and Schoeneweis off bad years when they should be due for a good year. Eureka!

I know you're partly kidding here, Gerry, but isn't this partly the logic behind DIPS? You know, a guy who gives up a disproportionate number of hits one year should, in theory, give up fewer the next?
_jsoh - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:16 PM EST (#4469) #
Simmons, like Griffin, is a hell of a writer and I like to read him just for the way he wordsmiths.

I enjoy reading Simmons' articles, especially the NBA/NFL ones. When he gets yapping about baseball, its all undiffereniated RedSox angst.

The key to Simmons is to understand that he's not being serious. I cannot believe, for one second, that he takes himself or his column seriously at all. He's just a whacky sports fan having fun with a word processor. He's trying to entertain you. Not inform you.

Well. That, and work in as many Hoosiers and White Shadow references as humanly possible.

Griffin, on the other hand. Sure, he might be an excellent wordsmith (dunno, dont read the fishwrap.. er.. Star), but the fact that he portrays himself and his column as a serious arbiter of the Toronto sports scene is what makes people go slightly off their chum.

Remember. Simmons = intentionally cheesy. Griffin = headlining Fromage '05.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:16 PM EST (#4470) #
Check out Rotoworlds take on the Schoeneweis signing....

Well, the good news is that the Jays do intend to use Schoeneweis as a reliever. As they did with Kerry Ligtenberg last year, they're paying him twice what he deserves. Still, he'll probably be useful out of the pen

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the move.
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:24 PM EST (#4471) #
As they did with Kerry Ligtenberg last year, they're paying him twice what he deserves/

This is exactly what I was worried would happen. JP's got money burning a hole in his pocket, so he's making signings at prices that are higher than can be justified. That's fine for one year, but it's going to kill JP next year. What does this guy bring that a cheap guy doesn't? Odds are he's going to have next to no impact on wins/losses over the course of the season...why commit for two years?
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:25 PM EST (#4472) #
By the way, has anyone else heard anything more about this press conference?

Is anyone other than the Fan reporting it as being called, and failing that, has the Fan said anything about it lately?

Can someone down there in T.O. take a listen and see if they can find out anything?
_mistermike - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:28 PM EST (#4473) #
Roy Halladay will be the surest prediction as Jays rep, dark horse = David Bush.

David Bush on the 2005 All-Star Team? What are you smoking?
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:33 PM EST (#4474) #
I've been listening on and off all morning and haven't heard them say anything about it since about 10:00, Pumped.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:34 PM EST (#4475) #
Even Speier is needlessly complicated for just two syllables

It's not even really two syllables - the vowel in Speier is a diphthong.

For all those Juan Gonzalez advocates, have you even looked at his numbers the last three years?

Absolutely, and from them I take away two things. One, the man can still hit. Two, his track record for getting hurt has caught up to him, which is why a former MVP (I know, he didn't deserve it) is signing a minor league deal with incentives. If he is ever going to provide Bang-For-The-Buck, this is the year. Unlike Hillenbrand, he is actually capable of having an outstanding year with the stick. (Which makes him like the poster boy for what I always thought Moneyball stood for!)

Alas, with Juan-Gone you have absolutely no idea what you're going to get. This why there's actually an argument to be made for Shea's dependable mediocrity.

Actually, I'd much rather waive whatever money is left at Magglio, but I don't expect that to happen...

an inordinate number of talented players have struggled mightily with the Jays, only to magically work out all of their problems immediately upon leaving.

It always feels that way, whether it's true or not. On the other hand, we'll always have our memories of Raul...

"On-base percentage is overrated unless you're the leadoff man."

Be nice, everybody. It doesn't mean he's stupid. If my career high in walks was 25, I'd be saying much the same thing, too.
_dp - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#4476) #
Not to mention that the Mets are regretting signing Kaz Matsui, Cliff Floyd and to a lesser extent Mike Cameron.

I'm not sure where this comes from. There's no way the Mets regret the Cameron signing- if they wanted to deal him, they could, and without taking any salary back. Going into '04, it was assumed that the Mets would push for Beltran, but that they could move one of those guys to RF or deal Cameron if they got him. If Beltran had signed with the Yankees or Astros, and the Mets didn't have Cameron, they'd be looking at Jeff Duncan in CF.

Matsui, they've tried to move him. But that isn't to say they regret signing him. If he gets a performance bump his second time around the league at a less demanding position (he struggled at SS last year- I think primarily due to playing on grass, he had to hurry throws that he would've had more time for playing on turf), Matsui could be well worth the money this year. Floyd I've never understood- the Mets knew he'd be injured, and didn't pay that much for him. I think he's been worth the money so far.

I'm not holding the Mets up an example of a well-run ballclub. They're not, at least they weren't before Minaya, and it's too soon to tell on him. But JP the last 2 winters has made questionable moves, and seems to be repeating the same strategy that didn't work last year. This year, between Schoenweiss and Lightenberg alone, the Jays will have over $5 million tied up, still with no clearly-define closer (either by talent or designation). Cat and Hillenbrand will make close to $6 million between them. Hillenbrand is walk-averse and Cat's injury plagued.

My thinking is that the Jays would've been better off with one big-ticket FA, maybe with some upside, than with a bunch of guys who they're paying for past performance.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:39 PM EST (#4477) #
Thanks NFH,

I guess maybe someone at the Fan assumed or expected they would call a press conference to announce the signing.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:46 PM EST (#4478) #
When he gets yapping about baseball, its all undiffereniated RedSox angst.

Which is exactly why I can't stand him, or, for that matter, 99% of the ESPN Page 2 writers. I have a real problem with anyone who constantly bashes the Yankees and their free spending, yet treats the Red Sox as bunch of lovable underdogs. I mean, heck, they've only got the SECOND highest payroll in the game...

an inordinate number of talented players have struggled mightily with the Jays, only to magically work out all of their problems immediately upon leaving.

It always feels that way, whether it's true or not.


That's what I was thinking. I think those guys just have a tendancy to stick out in the minds of fans.

On the other hand, we'll always have our memories of Raul...

Unfortunately. ;-)
_miVulgar - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:48 PM EST (#4479) #
Simmons is a moronic, obsessive Red Sox fan who makes our own beloved Richard Griffin look like a Pulitzer winner and Nobel laureate by comparison. If it weren't for the wonders of the Internet, Simmons would be absolutely unemployable.

Simmons is brilliant. His Ewing-theory and unintentional comedy collections are comedic genius.

He worked for the Kimmel show, which is great work if you can get it and pretty much dismisses your 'unemployable' comment.

Remember. Simmons = intentionally cheesy. Griffin = headlining Fromage '05.

So true.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:50 PM EST (#4480) #
Simmons is brilliant. His Ewing-theory and unintentional comedy collections are comedic genius.

Well, I suppose we have rather different notions of what constitutes "brilliance" and "genius"... ;-)
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:53 PM EST (#4481) #
"On-base percentage is overrated unless you're the leadoff man."

Be nice, everybody. It doesn't mean he's stupid.


What about calling his GM a "faggot" on the radio? Is that compelling proof that he's stupid? Another move I'm not wild about if it goes down, given that he isn't that good, he's somewhat expensive, JP is giving something up to get him, and he doesn't seem like a particularly good guy to have around the clubhouse.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:56 PM EST (#4482) #
What about calling his GM a "faggot" on the radio? Is that compelling proof that he's stupid?

No, not really.

Ignorant and hot-headed maybe.

Just think of it as a "competive spirit", if that helps any.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:57 PM EST (#4483) #
What about calling his GM a "faggot" on the radio?

Maybe he was calling him a cigarette, which would be a pretty impressive use of his lexicon.

In all seriousness, fans tend to tolerate this kind of garbage from the stars, but from moderate Joes (or Johns, as in Rocker) their patience will run out quickly.
_Jonathan - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 01:58 PM EST (#4484) #
I may not be a fan of having Shea the player on the team, but I'm in favour of his personality in the clubhouse. The Jays' team character has been far too morbid for too long. Time for a change, because god knows, what they have sure isn't working wonders.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:00 PM EST (#4485) #
MatO, Polanco's 3-year split against lefties is .322/.370/.502, plus he's a great defender at several positions. Larkin hit .289/.352/.419 last year, and earned 700K.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:01 PM EST (#4486) #
I may not be a fan of having Shea the player on the team, but I'm in favour of his personality in the clubhouse. The Jays' team character has been far too morbid for too long. Time for a change, because god knows, what they have sure isn't working wonders.

I think that Koskie will be invaluable in that respect as well. In fact, I think he'll become a far greater leader in the clubhouse than Delgado ever was.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:01 PM EST (#4487) #
Simmons, like Griffin, is a hell of a writer

Well, Simmons is funny as hell and Griffin seems to have left his sense of humour in the Montreal press box many years ago. Which is strange - I expected Griffin to be funny when he came to the Star - his reputation preceded him. But... not to be.

I do notice that I enjoy Simmons much more when he's writing about the NFL or basketball, which I don't follow nearly as closely as he does.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#4488) #
One thing about the Koch signing. He can now (theoretically) resume his upward march on the Jays' career saves list. If memory serves he's one good year away from passing Duane Ward for second place.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:05 PM EST (#4489) #
What about calling his GM a "faggot" on the radio?

When was this??? And JP still wants this guy?

Is that compelling proof that he's stupid?

No, not really.

Ignorant and hot-headed maybe.

Just think of it as a "competive spirit", if that helps any.


Not the kind of competitive spirit I would want on my team. Ignorant, hot headed, AND stupid.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:10 PM EST (#4490) #
He called Epstein a faggot on Boston radio shortly before being traded from the Red Sox. Epstein is well groomed and unmarried...not that there's anything wrong with that.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:13 PM EST (#4491) #
Not the kind of competitive spirit I would want on my team. Ignorant, hot headed, AND stupid.

Hey, I'm not advocating what he said, but because the guy says something stupid (which he may or may not regret), that does neccessarily make him a stupid or bad person.

Frankly, I don't think anyone should be condeming him before he even gets here...I think he at least deserves the chance to prove us wrong before we throw him to the wolves.
_Cristian - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:13 PM EST (#4492) #
I was calling for Schoeneweis to be signed a month ago so I'm not going to back away from the signing now.

If you look at Schoeneweis' 2004 by month, he had flashes of brilliance as a starter. True, even then he rarely struck out anyone but he was the White Sox second best starter for a few months. He got into trouble when he started pitching hurt in late summer (I know, the Ligtenberg comparison becomes more apt). If he's kept as a reliever he can be an effective guy who is well worth the contract he's signed. I wouldn't even categorize him as a LOOGY, but as a lefthanded long reliever/spot starter.

Colour me impressed by this signing. I think there is a lot of upside here.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#4493) #
I know you're partly kidding here, Gerry, but isn't this partly the logic behind DIPS? You know, a guy who gives up a disproportionate number of hits one year should, in theory, give up fewer the next?

Gitz: Actually I was not kidding. After years of running my team in a DMB league my theory is that non-closers appear to have a more up and down performance from year to year, I need to keep a DMB roster of about 8-10 relievers, so I have six good ones to use each year.

I was thinking of doing a study on this but I had not got to it yet. I did think it was related to DIPS and sample size and regression to the mean. As you say if a reliever has a good year he usually regresses the next year. Billy Beane looks like he figured this out, he would bring in a reliever, have him do well, trade him away and sign someone else. This year JP has signed a couple of guys who have had good seasons in the past, coming off poor years. It will be interesting to see if it pays off.
_Mosely - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST (#4495) #
Off topic: It looks like Rob Dibble has been released by ESPN. Say what you want about his knowledge of baseball, or his baseball smarts, or his arrogance for that matter, but the dude was funny and his insights into life as a player were great. I listened to him on The Dan Patrick Show everyday.

IMHO, this really stinks.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:21 PM EST (#4496) #
He's just a whacky sports fan having fun with a word processor. He's trying to entertain you.

Yes! Absolutely! And...let's face it. Life can't be all DIPS and VORP and UZR ratings. This is professional sports. Sitting on the couch and drinking beer and making jokes has a part to play as well.

And JP still wants this guy?

Ricciardi's a big enough man to deal with it. After what his second baseman said about his wardrobe....

Anyway, Hillenbrand was talking about Theo Epstein and trying to goad Epstein into trading him. Which reminds me: Griffin is interesting today for the way he keeps circling around things. Like he can't quite decide what he thinks about this one. We do have the obligatory rip at the Moneyball crew:

even though Hillenbrand was already an all-star at the position. Epstein, yet another Billy Beane disciple, liked Mueller's on-base numbers.

Didn't Bill Mueller lead the AL in batting average after Epstein acquired him? Contribute an absolutely huge hit in the comeback against the Yankees? That part get cut out by the copy editor, Rich?

Anyway, with Hillenbrand about to be acquired by Ricciardi, Epstein's foolishness in replacing him is quickly forgotten as we move on to Ricciardi's foolishness in obtaining him, mostly by depicting Hillenbrand as a self-righteous jerk.

"If they get rid of me, they'll know what they have. You've heard of Jeff Bagwell?''

I know Jeff Bagwell. I've seen Jeff Bagwell play ball. You, sir, are no Jeff Bagwell.

That's just funny. None of this really matters. And I wouldn't worry about what it means for the clubhouse either.
_Overhand-Daryn - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#4497) #
Hey.. any one hear anything about the news conference yet?

Also, what are the terms of the Schoeneweis deal? I see we are calling the "Schoeneweis signing" now.. its done??

Overhand Out
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:24 PM EST (#4498) #
Hey, I'm not advocating what he said, but because the guy says something stupid (which he may or may not regret), that does neccessarily make him a stupid or bad person.

Let's see. He said something completely ignorant and unnecessary, which he should have known would be extremely objectionable to pretty much any decent human being, in a public forum. In my books, that's a pretty good reason to assume that the guy isn't exactly bright or a "good person", unless I have some compelling evidence to the contrary.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:27 PM EST (#4499) #
After what his second baseman said about his wardrobe....

Say what?

Anyway, Hillenbrand was talking about Theo Epstein and trying to goad Epstein into trading him.

Which is no excuse whatsoever for such a comment, and I am far from a fan of Theo Epstein.
_Overhand-Daryn - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:29 PM EST (#4500) #
Alas, with Juan-Gone you have absolutely no idea what you're going to get. This why there's actually an argument to be made for Shea's dependable mediocrity.

We don't need "dependable mediocrity"... we need to take a chance at catching "lightning in a bottle"...

Overhand Out
_Geoff - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:31 PM EST (#4501) #
In a Toronto Sun article today, J.P. again referred to League as a memebr of the 2005 bullpen. I think, like it or not, League is a favourite to start 2005 in the Jays pen

1. O-Dog
2. Frankie Cat
3. V-Dub
4. Koskie
5. Shea
6. Hinske
7. Rios
8. Zaun
9. Adams

Bench:
Myers
McDonald
Menechino (DHing when Shea plays 1st against lefties)
Reed (platooning with the Cat)

Doc
Lilly
Batista
Bush
Towers/Chacin (I think J.P. sees an actual battle here)

Frasor - Closer
Speier - RH setup 1
Schoenweis - LH setup 1
Koch - Middle innings
League - Middle innings
Chulk - Middle innings
Ligter - Middle innings/ROOGY
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:35 PM EST (#4502) #
After what his second baseman said about his wardrobe....

Say what?


I'm like a source of dumb things ball players say about their bosses. The O-Dog said that JP looked like a pimp in 2002, and was cut shortly thereafter. He meant it in the hip way, although it didn't appear to be the reason that he got sent down.
_Smirnoff - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:36 PM EST (#4503) #
I would say that we have reason to be proud of our country. Oh, and I doubt that self-congratulation is likely to turn off many Americans, who in my view have nothing whatever to justify THEIR national arrogance.

Let's see. He said something completely ignorant and unnecessary, which he should have known would be extremely objectionable to pretty much any decent human being, in a public forum. In my books, that's a pretty good reason to assume that the guy isn't exactly bright or a "good person", unless I have some compelling evidence to the contrary.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:38 PM EST (#4504) #
Which is no excuse whatsoever for such a comment, and I am far from a fan of Theo Epstein.

Agreed. I just don't think Ricciardi's going to care much because Hillenbrand said something stupid and insulting about someone else.
_dp - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:38 PM EST (#4505) #
I think that Koskie will be invaluable in that respect as well. In fact, I think he'll become a far greater leader in the clubhouse than Delgado ever was.

Hopefully this will make up for his inability to hit like Delgado. Seriously. It'd be great if all the Jays needed was a guy to step up as clubhouse leader for everything to come together. If everyone in the lineup posted career years, they'd have a shot...

I really wish they'd live or die with:

C- Zaun/GQ
1B- Hinske/Crozier/cheap minor league FA
2B- Hudson
SS- Adams (no choice at this point- backup is McDonald)
3B- Koskie
LF- Gross
CF- Wells
RF- Rios
DH- Cat

Even Koskie seems really, really unnecessary after '05 if Hill develops. Hillenbrand, if they are going to do a multiyear deal, seems like a complete waste of money, especially with that attitude.

For all the bashing JP takes for being an OB% guy, a lot of his acquisitions/comments about offensive philosophy don't seem to go along with this.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:39 PM EST (#4506) #
Frasor - Closer
Speier - RH setup 1
Schoenweis - LH setup 1
Koch - Middle innings
League - Middle innings
Chulk - Middle innings
Ligter - Middle innings/ROOGY


Where does Chad Gaudin fit in? AAA? Given Gaudin's experience, I think I'd rather have him on the big team than League.

With Schoenweis on the club there looks like there's no room for Scott Downs (or Ryan Glynn, etc.) Syracuse should have an excellent pitching staff in '05.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#4507) #
Oh my lord, you're all a bunch of grandmothers.
So what if he shoots his mouth off?
He's a gamer, plain and simple.

Grand Funk out.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:46 PM EST (#4508) #
More often than not, I am appauled at Canadians attitudes towards Americans. It's one thing to criticize the American political system or their leaders, but another to disrespect the people of their nation.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#4509) #
The O-Dog said that JP looked like a pimp in 2002, and was cut shortly thereafter.

Yes, O-Dog in his wacky way was complimenting Ricciardi: "He knows how to dress, he might have been a pimp back in the day." Something like that.

I wonder: does the whole Hillenbrand-EDpstein exchange mean something else if we believe that Theo Epstein is gay? Would that be like if he's been playing for White Sox, and gone on radio to blast Kenny Williams, saying "Trade me, n*gg*r."

Probably not, but I must admit, I've been thinking in terms of Hillenbrand trying to goad Epstein, rather than anything else.

My bad. There's more to it than that.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:49 PM EST (#4510) #
How much lightning in a bottle does a 35-year-old chronic malcontent like Gonzalez posses?

I still don't understand how someone who batted .309 last year and had 15 home runs, 80 RBIs and a VERY low strikeout rate... is considered dependably mediocre....

OK... everyone who is lambasting JP for this rumoured acquisition, I challenge you to give me a name of one other player he could have gone after (within reason) rather than Hillenbrand, whether it be via free agency or trade. And tell me why they are a better player than Hillenbrand.

I'll even start: Eric Byrnes. He has power, speed and excellent defensive skills. The A's are open to trading him (given the trade talk between Arizona and Oakland). He would fit nicely into left field and allow Reed to become a valuable fourth outfielder and allow Cat to DH, which will hopefully keep him healthier. I'm guessing it would take someone like Francisco Rosario to get him.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:51 PM EST (#4511) #
There seems to be a lot of animosity on the board today...damn Hillenbrand signing!!!
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:52 PM EST (#4512) #
Oh my lord, you're all a bunch of grandmothers.

Yes, because all of us said the same thing.
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:52 PM EST (#4513) #
OK... everyone who is lambasting JP for this rumoured acquisition, I challenge you to give me a name of one other player he could have gone after (within reason) rather than Hillenbrand, whether it be via free agency or trade.

Marc, I just don't think that there's any good value out there right now in terms of available players. I'd just as soon see JP fill the holes as cheaply as possible, and not spend the money that's left in the budget. Any other business in the world, would you invest in payroll if there were no good values out there? It's absurd.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:52 PM EST (#4514) #
Apparently Schoenweis is coming up on the Fan.
_Ducey - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST (#4515) #
I actually think that they Jays may be better off this year than last. I don't know if anyone has even studied it but it seems like around a third of the players get hurt during the season - on average. This could be a little high or low but my point is that last year the Jays were really thin after their first line guys. This was exposed in spades by injuries.

As a GM you have to expect some injuries - even to guys making $16 million a season.

This year, the Jays are deeper and stronger at almost every postion (except first) than they were last year. Look:

C: last year: Myers/Cash/ GQ out of AA
this year: Zaun/Myers/Huckaby/GQ out of AAA
3B: last year: Hinske/ Cosby?/Berg?
this year: Koskie/ Hinske/ Hillenbrand ?/ Hattig/ Cosby
SS: Last year: Woodward/ Gomez/ Adams out of AA
this year: Adams/ Menechino/ good glove from Baltimore/ Hill from AA
2B: last: Hudson not yet established/ Berg/ Gomez
this year: Hudson/ Menechino/
1B: last: Delgado/ Phelps?
this: Hinske/ Hillenbrand?/ Crozier/ Hattig/ Vito in AA
OF: Last year: Wells/ Cat/ Reed/ Pond/ Gross (53G in AAA)/ Rios AA
This year: Wells/ Cat/ Rios/ Reed/ Gross/
DH: last yr: Phelps/Cat/ Myers/ Berg?
this year: Cat/ Myers/ Hillenbrand/ Koskie/ Hinske/ Crozier/ Hattig

On the pitching side there are about a 25 possibilities for the bullpen including Ligtenberg, Speier, Koch, Scott S., Frasor, Chulk, Gaudin, Miller(someone listed them last thread). This is a deeper group than last year by far especially when you consider the kids coming up like League, Banks, Rosario.

In short, no Beltran, no Pedro, no Delgado, but lots of possibilites - if enough of them come thru with slightly better than averge years - who knows?
_okbluejays - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 02:59 PM EST (#4516) #
A brutal signing for JP. Just because you have money doesn't mean you should spend it. I wouldn't be shocked if Andrade or one of our other youngsters outperformed him if given a fair shot in the pen, and they are cheaper and under control for longer. The day will only get worse if we deal for Hillenbrand. I'd like to see the analysis that says he's worth the money he makes.

I would rather have taken the money put towards Schoenewies and put it towards overpaying for Clement and then carry an extra infielder or hold an open competition amongst our youngsters for that last relief spot.

JP, you're losing me.
_Phil - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:01 PM EST (#4517) #
I have to say that lately I've been agreeing with Grand Funk about almost everything. I don't really have much time to post very often, but I read the site everyday. Keep it up.
As for the deals lately, I'm excited about most of them, considering what we've had to work with.
Koch = low risk gamble with some possible upside
Koskie = mid risk, with some upside, and hopefully win some fans simply because he's Canadian
Hillenbrand = a good trade simply because he is consistent,(*see side note)
Schoenweiss?? = I like the signing although don't know about the 2 year deal. However if he does have a good year then everyone will be saying what a great deal it was.

As for Hillenbrand having a bad attitude and for calling his boss a faggot. Do I think that this is acceptable? No, but I'm willing to give the guy a chance and let him prove himself in Toronto. It reminds me of a time when I was working and I got upset and called somebody a faggot. Does this mean I hate gay people? Not that I am aware of, but simply thought of it as a negative word. I apologized to that person, but at the time of saying it, I wasn't even referring to his sexual preferences, since the guy obviously wasn't gay, and I knew that at the time. Let's look at it as a slip of the tongue, and give him a fair chance. Hope this comment makes sense.

As for the whole Canadian/American thing, let it go. As two countries that border one another, why do we fight about such immature things as who is more conceited or which is a better country. I know lots of idiotic Americans who are so wrapped up in themselves that it's ridiculuos. That being said I know a lot of Canadians who are the same, and does that mean I'm not proud of being Canadian. Not at all. I also know a lot of beautiful, polite, respectful Americans, (my props to anyone in Spokane, Washington) as well as Canadians. Let's not fight the ones we should love. This is another add on here. But I really do admire the Americans pride in their country. We here in Canada don't even sing the Canadian Anthem in Schools anymore at risk of offending someone. I think that this is wrong, and that we should be more patriotic (sp?) to our country. Not to make fun of this but did anyone witness the Canadian players at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Half the players didn't even know the words to our anthem. And we are arguing with a couple of Americans about who is proud and whatnot. I would be willing to bet my entire savings, (ok so I'm in debt and can say that) but I'd bet that the majority of Americans know the Pledge of Allegience and the Star Spangle Banner, whereas I bet less than 50% of Canadians do.

Not trying to stir up anything or cause a comotion, just wanted to ask everyone to go back to what we do best, talk baseball!!!!!
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:01 PM EST (#4518) #
For that matter, a lot of Jays fans have found 'Ricciardi' to be a lot harder to spell than, say, 'Ash'.

So that's why everyone just writes "JP."

I can't allow myself to mock anyone's spelling for.. oh, the next two weeks. A few days ago, I was congratulating myself on spelling "Grudzielanek" correctly, and I was so pleased with myself that I didn't notice that I had "Grudzielanek" possibly platooning with "Almomar."

You all remember Robbie Almomar, don't you?

I still don't understand how someone who batted .309 last year and had 15 home runs, 80 RBIs and a VERY low strikeout rate... is considered dependably mediocre....

For a first baseman/DH? That's Mediocre. With a capital M.

VERY low strikeout rate

Makes no difference whatsoever. Doesn't matter. Nobody cares. There are worse things a hitter can do, like make two outs instead of one.

You're right, Eric Byrnes would be much better!

Oh my lord, you're all a bunch of grandmothers.

No doubt about that, but try the Don Cherry experimnent with Hillenbrand. Whenever Cherry says "Swedes" or Hillenbrand says "faggot" substitute a common word used to describe black Americans. And then decide whether you care or not.

Your call.
_Smirnoff - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:01 PM EST (#4519) #
Let's hope the Sports Guy's Ewing theory comes into play with Delgado.

I liked the Koskie signing a lot. If Shea comes on board, who knows? Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised at how far the prospects come next year. I still think that the plan has gotta be to trade Hinske, but we'll see...

Schoeneweis could serve as a starter if need be, which maybe gives a little roster space and depth to play with. I still hope it's too early to tell what this club will look like in April, because I don't see us finishing higher than 4th, but 2005's club doesn't seem to be the priority in the scheme of things.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:06 PM EST (#4520) #
Having said that, would I want to pass on a player because he said something stupid and offensive? Not a chance. Professional sports is neither rocket science nor a civics lesson, and very often the guys you want... well, they shouldn't be anyone's role models.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:08 PM EST (#4521) #
The Jays official site has acknowledged the Schoeneweis signing, but it is never a good sign when your new team gets your name wrong twice on their Web site: "Schoenweis."

VERY low strikeout rate... Makes no difference whatsoever. Doesn't matter. Nobody cares.

The ability to control the strike zone and one's bat doesn't matter at all? What about the ability to make contact. Doesn't more contact = more chance for a ball to drop in for a hit?
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:11 PM EST (#4522) #
I'm not a huge Hillenbrand fan. I've gone on the record as such. I'm still however, a huge J.P. booster.

I think we have to remember for us, this is all make believe ,fun and games, rottisere baseball on the net. For Riccardi its his life long dream job, running a MLB team. He's dealing with the REAL world, a disgruntled media, declining fan base, and fiscal limitations placed upon him by ownership. He wants to keep his job, he wants to see his plan through to fruition, so for me I'm cutting him some slack, some of these moves might not be optimum, but they do help get the team heading in the right direction on a short term basis.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST (#4523) #
No doubt about that, but try the Don Cherry experimnent with Hillenbrand. Whenever Cherry says "Swedes" or Hillenbrand says "faggot" substitute a common word used to describe black Americans. And then decide whether you care or not.

Your call.


MY CALL is that Phil hit it on the head.
He wasn't calling Epstein a fudgepacker or a bumlover or anything, he was just using faggot as a MILDLY derogatory term, the way millions of the rest of us do every day.

So, the way I see it Magpie, you're taking his comments COMPLETELY literally. If Hillenbrand was to call him an asshole on radio, would you think he ACTUALLY thought Epstein was a puckered anus, a sphincter, a hairy starfish? No, you wouldn't. You'd think he was just using a commonly accepted put down.

Same thing.
It's 2005. Get with the program.

Grand Funk out.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:14 PM EST (#4524) #
The ability to control the strike zone and one's bat doesn't matter at all? What about the ability to make contact. Doesn't more contact = more chance for a ball to drop in for a hit?

Yeah Magpie, come on. Doesn't matter, nobody cares. I care! I'd much rather see a guy make contact of any kind, at any time, than strikeout.

You have a guy at second and you don't care whether the guy strikes out or not? Hmmmm. Ground ball gets him to third most of the time, fly ball gets him to third a lot of the time...strike out gets him nowhere.

How does that make sense?
_Justin B. - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:17 PM EST (#4525) #
It depends what level of aggregation you're concerned with. At the event level, of course a strikeout is bad (excepting double/triple plays of course). But in the aggregate, when you consider a player's value to the team, the number of strikeouts is largely irrelevant; it's his total production (OBP/slugging/baserunning/defense/"intangibles") that matter.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:18 PM EST (#4526) #
I can't ever remember calling someone a faggot? I didn't even know people still used that word? I would have to think that Arshole is the more commonly used derogatory term these days.

That being said, I'm will withold my judgement about Hillenbrand's character until I see for myself what kind of player he is. Right now my judgement on him is based soley from a stat sheet.
_Harry LeRoy - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST (#4527) #
In a Toronto Sun article today, J.P. again referred to League as a memebr of the 2005 bullpen. I think, like it or not, League is a favourite to start 2005 in the Jays pen

Wow, this sucks...He's the best pitching prospect we've got and JP's dumping him in the pen cecause we of our short-term need there?

I hope to hell this is just for a year or so, Santana style, because if Richardee makes him a "closer" I would give up and become a Colledge Football fan or something...
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:20 PM EST (#4528) #
I think what Magpie was trying to say, that if a guy is a .320 hitter, it doesn't matter what percentage of his outs are strikeouts.

It doesn't mean strikeouts are un-important. If one guy hits .320 because he hardly ever strikes out and another guy hits .220 because he strikes out all the time, of course that's a huge difference.

But when looking at strikeouts, keep in mind that the two most common scenarios in baseball are:

1. Bases empty
2. Runner on 1st

In the first case an out is an out is an out.

In the second case, a strikeout is often better than a groundout.

If you're scouting college and minor-league players, then strikeouts are very, very important, as guys who can't control the plate in the minors tend to do very poorly in the majors.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:22 PM EST (#4529) #
It's 2005. Get with the program.

Grand Funk, you're a moron. But no, I'm not meaning that literally, of course I don't think your IQ is below 60 or you wouldn't be posting. I mean the term in a colloquial, not literal way. And it's 2005, so you can't possibly be offended by that.

Am I right?
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:24 PM EST (#4530) #
Getting back to baseball, if anyone is still caring, based on the earlier challenge, there is now an All-Jones team posted to pick apart.

This team -- the All-Jones, not the Jays -- just blows.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:28 PM EST (#4531) #
In the second case, a strikeout is often better than a groundout.

True Moffat, unless of course you're a team trying to manufacture runs, and are sending the runner in that situation.

Nonetheless, I do see you're point, and it is well taken.

However, I still think that overall, you want to see contact, but that's just me.

I guess this all stems from the amount of baserunners the Jays left on last year. Hinske especially, seemed to strike out a lot in key situations when he could have at least advanced runners. But hey, I guess that's why they have the bunt right?
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:28 PM EST (#4532) #
And it's 2005, so you can't possibly be offended by that.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, no matter how clouded they may be by the sickening PC-happy society we unfortunately live in.

Grand Funk out.
Mike D - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:29 PM EST (#4533) #
You're right, Mick. You're not calling him a boring low-grade provocateur or a bizarrely self-aggrandizing rebel without a cause.

You're just using moron as a MILDLY derogatory term, the way millions of us do every day.
_nate - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:30 PM EST (#4534) #
weak off-season, if you ask me -- i'd rather see a young guy called up and get knocked around a little bit than see the jays spend 5.2/2 on a mediocre (AT BEST) left-hander --
_Pleg - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:30 PM EST (#4535) #
This Schoenweiss signing sucks. If the Jays go for a budget pick in the draft this year, I'm gonna be awefully annoyed. That money could be used so much better elsewhere.

My patience with J.P. has run out. I'm not saying I'd want to replace him, cause there's a lot of crap out there, but he certainly has blind spots I hadn't expected him to have. Where's the OBP love? Why hate hitter's strikeouts? Why disregard fielding metrics? It's almost worse for him to disregard these things than other GMs. I mean, Joe Jr., for example, didn't have the benefit of being in an organization with Alderson, Beane, Depodesta, et al. Ricciardi did. Given his environment, I'm disappointed at how seeminly hard headed he is. Sure, to his credit, he accepted some of the good, new fangled, sabrmetric ideas, but, gee, in that environment you'd have to be an idiot not to. The problem is he doesn't seem to me to have the intelligence do these things on his own. He's a fine disciple or foot soldier, but I don't think he's up to the task of leading.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:31 PM EST (#4536) #
I guess this all stems from the amount of baserunners the Jays left on last year. Hinske especially, seemed to strike out a lot in key situations when he could have at least advanced runners. But hey, I guess that's why they have the bunt right?

Hinske also struck out in a lot of non-key situations as well.

The problem with Hinske isn't that he strikes out too much per se, but that he strikes out too much and grounds out too much and flies out too much and hits about .230.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:33 PM EST (#4537) #
The problem with Hinske isn't that he strikes out too much per se, but that he strikes out too much and grounds out too much and flies out too much and hits about .230.

Yeah, no kidding eh! Well, I hope he's able to turn it around...it's going to be a very long season otherwise.
Mike D - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:36 PM EST (#4538) #
Back to baseball...Marc and Pumped, you should use the fantastic Batter's Box Google search bar to look up past debates over batter's strikeouts here at Da Box. We, as authors, are far from unanimous on the strikeout point.

There's me and Mike Green on the one hand, arguing kind of a "reverse-DIPS" point that strikeouts are more harmful than other outs because failing to put the ball in play in the first place creates a drag on batting average and OBP while putting less pressure on the opponents' defence. On the other pole of the continuum, you've got Moffatt, Magpie and many in the analytical community, arguing that strikeouts are no different from (and potentially less harmful than) outs in play, and that they force the pitch count upwards besides.

We've had this debate many times before, and we'll have this debate many times again.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:37 PM EST (#4539) #
I do agree, that strike outs are not a stat that is overly important. And frankly I don't look at it that much, but people were ragging on Hillenbrand so much, I felt I needed to point out a number of positive things in his favour...
However, that said, how many .320 hitters (with 600 plate appearances) do you see strike out 100 times? How many .220 hitters (with 600 plate appearances) do you see only strike out 30 or 40 times? Not many on either account.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:37 PM EST (#4540) #
Hinske struck out less last year than in his good year.
_Pleg - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:37 PM EST (#4541) #
"He wasn't calling Epstein a fudgepacker or a bumlover or anything, he was just using faggot as a MILDLY derogatory term, the way millions of the rest of us do every day.

So, the way I see it Magpie, you're taking his comments COMPLETELY literally."

Grandfunk, you've got it backwards. If he meant it literally, it wouldn't be a big deal. What's wrong if Hillenbrand had said, Epstein is a homosexual or Martin Luther King was an African American.

The problem is that he was using a nasty, derogatory term. To say that "faggot" is MILDLY derogatory displays both a great deal of stupidity and insensitivity.

Give me the difference between "faggot" and "ni**er" - that is unless you think the latter is MILDLY derogatory as well.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:39 PM EST (#4542) #
The ability to control the strike zone and one's bat doesn't matter at all?

Precisely, and this guy does not control the strike zone. He hacks at everything. He puts the ball in play and he gets more hits but he also makes many many more OUTS.

Last year, Hillebrand hit 15 HR and 80 RBI; Marc Bellhorn hit 17 HR and 82 RBI. Hillebrand, however, batted .310 and struck out 49 times; Bellhorn hit .264 and struck out 177 times. But was Hillenbrand actually better than Bellhorn? They're actually quite similar production-wise although they get there in quite different ways.

Hillenbrand had 604 plate appearances last year. He reached base 210 times and made about 406 outs. He had 54 extra base hits.

Bellhorn made about 620 plate appearances last year. He reached base 231 times, and made about 397 outs. He had 57 extra base hits.

The major differences are Hillenbrand hit 39 more singles than Bellhorn, 120 to 81. Bellhorn drew 64 walks than Hillenbrand, 88 to 24.

A single does have more utility than a walk in a number of ways. It has more advancement potential, for one. It can score a runner from second.

The bonus in what Bellhorn does, besides the extra baserunners, lies in the additional work he causes for the pitcher. Every at bat requires extra pitches - he's working the count rather than hacking at the first pitch he sees. He often ends up striking out as a result.

So are Bellhorn's 64 extra walks equivalent to Hillenbrand's 39 extra singles?
_Pleg - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:39 PM EST (#4543) #
"Grandfunk, you've got it backwards. If he meant it literally, it wouldn't be a big deal. What's wrong if Hillenbrand had said, Epstein is a homosexual or Martin Luther King was an African American."

OK, that came out wrong. Yes, it would be factually wrong, but there's nothing morally wrong there. Simply a mistake of sexual identity.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:40 PM EST (#4544) #
However, that said, how many .320 hitters (with 600 plate appearances) do you see strike out 100 times? How many .220 hitters (with 600 plate appearances) do you see only strike out 30 or 40 times? Not many on either account.

Oh, totally. I don't think strike-outs are unimportant. Don't get me wrong. I think they're very important. I just don't think they're any more or less important than any other type of out.

The important thing (to me) is whether an established player is a .320 hitter or a .220 hitter. Once I know that (and his power, OBP, etc.), I don't really care how often he strikes out.

Again, I'd say that's for established players. For guys moving up levels, I think the strike-outs become far more relevant relative to other outs.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:41 PM EST (#4545) #
I'm just tired of seeing players not move the runners up, and have so-called 'productive outs'. Also, with Hillenbrand at the plate you can do more things with the runners, like effectively hit and run and have him take a pitch without worrying that it would leak to a K.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:48 PM EST (#4546) #
Also it's not just that Hillenbrand rarely strikes out, it's that he does this while continuing to hit for power. He had more extra base hits than K's. Not to many people accomplish this feet.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:48 PM EST (#4547) #
I'm just tired of seeing players not move the runners up

I'm tired of the Jays not having any runners to move up.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST (#4548) #
I'm tired of the Jays not having any runners to move up.

That too, and I don't think it's going to be much better, if at all this year.
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST (#4549) #
Also it's not just that Hillenbrand rarely strikes out, it's that he does this while continuing to hit for power. He had more extra base hits than K's. Not to many people accomplish this feet.

Is this a feat worth getting excited about though? Is there any connection between having a great XBH/K ratio and scoring runs that isn't captured by looking at things like OPS or a more advanced metric?
_west coast dude - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST (#4550) #
American players are intimidated by our penchant for quoting Chaucer, John Donne, Herbert Spencer, Christopher Marlowe, not to mention Rudyard Kipling in our military. We're masters of the abab quatrain and they're still struggling with couplets. Makes it hard for us to be humble, but let's try.
I like the schoe signing. A loose cannon gathers no moss and he calls a spade a spade. That's entertainment. In this country, in the next few years, anyone who disagrees with "tolerance" will not be tolerated, IMO.
Koskie our bona fide Motown man in July.
_lurker - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:52 PM EST (#4551) #
JP, you're losing me.

I'm sure he's really broken up about that, too.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:53 PM EST (#4552) #
Speaking of strikeouts, or lack of them, I was just looking up the starting shortstop for the 1979 Pirates, and was delighted to see he only struck out 14 times (along with 28 walks) in 532 at-bats. A no-prize to the person who names the SS.
_actionjackson - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:55 PM EST (#4553) #
Tim Foli.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:56 PM EST (#4554) #
Hillebrand, however, batted .310 and struck out 49 times; Bellhorn hit .264 and struck out 177 times.

Magpie, my question isn't whether Hillenbrands extra hits were equal in production to Bellhorns walks.

But, out of the 128 more strikeouts that Bellhorn had, how many of those Hillenbrand outs resulted in a runner advancing?

It's kind of a rhetorical question, and I don't expect you to have the answer to it. I guess you would also have to consider how many of the outs that were not strikeouts resulted in double plays, right?

Sorry if I'm not following, but I am admittedly useless when it comes to statistical analysis. Just trying to understand the reasoning.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:57 PM EST (#4555) #
Give me the difference between "faggot" and "ni**er" - that is unless you think the latter is MILDLY derogatory as well.

You're kidding me, right? You HAVE to be kidding.
There's NO COMPARISON between the two.

Let's end this debate now.
Anyone who wants to argue this further, just look back at Phil's post. He explained it pretty clearly.

Grand Funk out.
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:03 PM EST (#4556) #
But, out of the 128 more strikeouts that Bellhorn had, how many of those Hillenbrand outs resulted in a runner advancing?

This seems like the type of question that there should be an answer to. I suspect that it's not player specific-the work on productive outs seems to indicate that there isn't much of an ability to make productive outs. I would guess that there's some sort of rate at which outs move runners along, depending on the specific gb/fb/K ratio of outs that a players makes.

For the type of team that the Jays have right now, considering that the team seems to have a tough time getting baserunners, the value of guys who don't K and make flyball outs when they do make them is probably more important than it would be on a team that gets a lot of baserunners, as that would seem to increase the chances of moving runners from second to third, and moving runners from third to home.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:03 PM EST (#4557) #
Bellhorn and Hillenbrand would both have a spot on my team, for different reasons. Plus, having Bellhorn's production at second base makes "only" getting 15-20 home runs and 80-90 RBIs from Hillenbrand at first base OK.
But that is why baseball is a team game. It's OK to have a below average offence at first base, if you pick that offence up at a different position. It's just too bad that the Jays don't have someone to pick up the difference from Delgado to Hillenbrand. But that doesn't mean Hillenbrand is a bad player.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:06 PM EST (#4558) #
Give me the difference between "faggot" and "ni**er" - that is unless you think the latter is MILDLY derogatory as well.

Not to play the devils advocate, but I think you just answered your own question by spelling one and not the other.

And I'm not talking about my own feelings about the word, but clearly there is a difference in public perception between the two.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:08 PM EST (#4559) #
It's kind of a rhetorical question, and I don't expect you to have the answer to it. I guess you would also have to consider how many of the outs that were not strikeouts resulted in double plays, right?

Bellhorn hit into 8 DPs last year, Hillenbrand 18. I wouldn't be surprised if Bellhorn had more runners on base last year than Hillenbrand, so that's a pretty big differential.

I really don't know how many more runners Hillenbrand advanced than Bellhorn. Number of RBI should be relatively correlated with that, as it measures the number of runners advanced to home, and you figure that should be proportional to the number of runners advanced to third base, etc. Anyhow, he has to advance a whole bushel of runners to make up for the extra 10 DPs.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:09 PM EST (#4560) #
OK, actionjackson, your no-prize is ... nothing. I was being literal. But good work on getting it so fast; I knew the question wasn't challenging, not for some of these people, but still! Two minutes. Impressive.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:11 PM EST (#4561) #
Or to put it a different way, if you take out the RBIs they got when they drove themselves in on home-runs, both Hillenbrand and Bellhorn got 65RBIs. Which means they both advanced the same number of runners to home.

I imagine that they probably advanced the same number of runners to the 2nd and 3rd as well. This comparison is probably a little unfair to Shea, as playing for the D-Backs, he probably had fewer chances to advance runners than Bellhorn did.
_west coast dude - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:13 PM EST (#4562) #
I said schoe when I meant shea. Excuse me.
_Ron - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:16 PM EST (#4563) #
I keep on telling myself this off-season is just a bad nightmare.

I would like to believe JP has something big brewing that will shock and awe all Jay fans.

Today's signing doesn't make any sense. If JP didn't use up the budget I wonder if Mr. Rogers would have added the savings onto next year's budget.
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:17 PM EST (#4564) #
faggot" and "ni**er

Neither of them are words that you'd use in public, and most people aren't that impressed when someone uses them in a private conversation either. Nigger is probably considered to be more offensive because of a couple of reasons, but mostly because of the way that American history is all bound up in questions/issues of race.

I think you're missing the boat on what PC is all about, or at least what's so objectionable about it, GFR. At least from my perspective, what I found bothersome about it, and about people who are really PC, is the way that any questioning of public decisions about race or sexuality gets a person labeled as intolerant. Even if they're objections on merit, the label is applied. Look at the demonization of the Tories in the most recent election because many of their members are anti-gay marriage. The same is true of many Liberal backbenchers, particularly from rural ridings, but the Tories are the ones who get slapped with the label.

The actual freedom to call someone a faggot or a nigger-I'm not going to get all hot and bothered about protecting that freedom, and I think someone using those terms is displaying that they are, in fact, intolerant. Both words are extremely derogatory, and in light of their history, I don't really see the need for anyone to use them. When I hear a guy using it in a radio interview, it tells me that he's someone I don't really want to be associated with, and I question whether he's the type of person that the Jays want on the club. For all the discussion around here earlier about how resigning Delgado would sell tickets, if Shea comes here and calls someone a faggot at some point, how is that going to affect the image of the Jays in the community? Toronto is a pretty liberal city, and I can't imagine that going over very well.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:20 PM EST (#4565) #
Here's the list of guys with more than 300 AB's that had more Extra Base hits than K's last year:
- A. Pujols
- T. Helton
- V. Guerrero
- B. Bonds
- S. Casey
- A. Ramirez
- M. Lorretta
- S. Hillenbrand
- AJ Pierzynski
- J. Pierre
- N. Garciaparra
- Mike Sweeney

Now, who knows if there is a co-relation between this stat and good hitting, however that is a list of some pretty good hitters.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:26 PM EST (#4566) #
Forget more extra-base hits than whiffs. One of these years Bonds is going to get more extra-base hits than at-bats. Mark my words.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:27 PM EST (#4567) #
Oh gosh, all this stuff while I was thinking about baseball and Bellhorn and Hillenbrand... anyone call me names? Hope so. Who can I count on?

So, the way I see it Magpie, you're taking his comments COMPLETELY literally.

Of course. Death, taxes, GFR...

I admit it - it's the delightful possibility that Theo Epstein is gay that makes this issue come alive for me!

Actually, I don't know whether to take it literally or not. Is Theo Epstein gay? Do you know? If he is gay, is it OK to call him a "faggot?" If not, why not? Was Hillenbrand using a generic insult, or was he attempting to specifically insult Theo Epstein? I don't know, and I doubt you know, and I'm wondering what difference it makes.

And if we don't know and understand the context, we do not know what he said or what he meant. That's how language is. That's how words function.

Let's take the N-word, the word that can no longer even be spelled out in polite company. Even here, context is everything. How can I go into a store and request a Richard Pryor CD without it? How can I discuss the lyrics of Tupac Shakur? That's one context, and I maintain that in those contexts even I can use the N-word without being offensive. Context and purpose are everything.

But, on the other hand, using it as a weapon, using it in an attempt to hurt and offend... that's something else altogether. And not only would Kenny Williams go upside my head if I did, he'd be right to do so. I'd have it coming. Because I was using what he was as something to insult him with.

So if Theo Epstein is gay, and I call him a "faggot" I'd have to expect him to go upside my head as well. For the exact same reason. Because I'm attempting to use what he is as a stick to hit him with.

Phil's story misses one central point. He tells of using the word "faggot" to insult someone who isn't gay - well, he might as have used the N-word. It had nothing to do with the person he was talking to. Phil, what if the guy had been gay? What would you have said then? Would you have picked a different insult? Gone for the generic and politically correct "moron" or "dickhead?"

Anyway, from the context, I think - I don't know and neither do you - that Hillenbrand just wanted to rip his GM and get himself traded. I don't think he was aiming at ten percent (or whatever) of the population, just his boss. Nothing wrong with that, not in my book anyway.

Actually, for all we know, he may have first thought to say "Trade me, asshole" and then figured "I can't say that on the radio" and this was the first alternative that came to mind. Which they wouldn't put on the radio, either...

Let's end this debate now.

Ah, there's no debate. Far worse things have been said by far worse people. And I'd still let them DH if they could hit a big league fastball.

I can go off on very long tangents about language and how we use it, and the relationships between speakers and words and meanings and contexts and society... it's my thing.

clearly there is a difference in public perception between the two.

There is now. It's just a moment in time. Thirty, forty years ago - well, you heard in the United States Congress. Never mind in print. These things are always in flux and always evolving. And always in vain, I might point out, but that's another story.

but that he strikes out too much and grounds out too much and flies out too much and hits about .230.

There were a hell of a lot of pop outs too. You forgot about those.

how many of those Hillenbrand outs resulted in a runner advancing?

No idea whatsoever. Some, no doubt. How much difference does it make? Enough to offset the 10 extra double plays? No idea.

How many .220 hitters (with 600 plate appearances) do you see only strike out 30 or 40 times?

Well, how many .220 hitters get 600 plate appearances? And if there are any out there, what the hell?
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:34 PM EST (#4568) #
Wow, Jonny! That was cool.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:34 PM EST (#4569) #
Jonny German is my hero. (Though after Leno, I'm all heroed out.)
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:36 PM EST (#4570) #
Smirnoff:

If you think what I said was ignorant or objectionable, then there is really no sense in debating that. What I said was in the context of a response to someone claiming that Americans would be turned off by Canadians' self-congratulatory nature. I was observing that Americans, in general, are themselves viewed as being self-congratulatory to the point of arrogance. Arrogance is never justified. Do you understand now?

Grand Funk:

He wasn't calling Epstein a fudgepacker or a bumlover or anything, he was just using faggot as a MILDLY derogatory term, the way millions of the rest of us do every day.

Millions of us? Certainly no one that I know or would want to be associated with.

Phil:

As for the whole Canadian/American thing, let it go. As two countries that border one another, why do we fight about such immature things as who is more conceited or which is a better country.

I certainly wasn't doing that, and I don't think anyone else was either.

I also know a lot of beautiful, polite, respectful Americans, (my props to anyone in Spokane, Washington) as well as Canadians.

Of course. I have nothing against Americans (OK, I have nothing against the American proletariat; the government and its policies are another matter).

Let's not fight the ones we should love.

I fail to see wh

We here in Canada don't even sing the Canadian Anthem in Schools anymore at risk of offending someone. I think that this is wrong, and that we should be more patriotic (sp?) to our country.

I agree. That we do not promote pride in our country even in that small way is pathetic and reprehensible.

I'd bet that the majority of Americans know the Pledge of Allegience and the Star Spangle Banner, whereas I bet less than 50% of Canadians do.

Less than 50% of Canadians know "O, Canada"? I sincerely doubt it. I don't know one person living in this country who doesn't know it by heart (then again, maybe that reflects more on the sort of people I know).
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:39 PM EST (#4571) #
Oops, I see to have misplaced part of my response.

Let's not fight the ones we should love.

I fail to see why we should "love" Americans more than any other citizens of the world.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:45 PM EST (#4572) #
Less than 50% of Canadians know "O, Canada"?

No way. Hell, most of us know it in two languages.

terre de nos aeux
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux


You pick up stuff watching hockey in this country.

As for the whole Canadian/American thing, let it go.

We often talk about countries as if they were single entities, when they are of course communities of individuals. Tempting to do, of course.

Anyway, I think America and Americans are much like all the other countries. Much to be proud of, much to be arrogant about, and much to hide in the cupboard and sweep under the rug. Just like the rest of us. On the one hand Charlie Manson and on the other hand Thomas Jefferson. And you can do something similar for anyplace you can think of.
_dp - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:46 PM EST (#4573) #
Staying away from the discussion of Hillenbrand's comments...

The one thing that we do know about a hitters' walks and strikeouts is that they tend to be consitent from year to year. Hillenbrand's OB% is about 30 points higher than his BA (career- .322/.288). So, in order to have an "acceptable" OB% for a 1B, he's gotta hit .310, like he did last year. The problem with that is that BA tends to fluctuate a lot, so you can't count on Hillenbrand to repeat that. He hasn't hit .310+ since AA. If you build your lineup around guys who have a BA dependent OB%, you're going to wind up with a lot of unpredictability. Shannon Stewart was a rare exception to this- a guy who could hit for about the same average year in and year out. But you do a lot to stabilize the offense by getting high BB rate hitters. JP has seemed to abandon this because it also tends to bring high K rates. Based on his drafts, he wants guys who can walk at a decent rate and not strike out too much, even if they don't hit for too much power. His major league acqusitions/jettisons show that he's looking for guys who don't strike out much and hit for a decent average. At the minor league level, I remember the Jays stressing plate discipline as a crieria for andvancement, but that's OTH.

I'll also reiterate the "working the pitcher" advantage of taking walks/striking out.
_BCMike - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:47 PM EST (#4574) #
Uggg, I think this thread is a perfect example to cite in the blog vs forum format debate... and there's even baseball news relating to the Blue Jays to talk about.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:47 PM EST (#4575) #
200 posts on January 11 and it's not even 5pm!
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:51 PM EST (#4576) #
We often talk about countries as if they were single entities, when they are of course communities of individuals. Tempting to do, of course.

Anyway, I think America and Americans are much like all the other countries. Much to be proud of, much to be arrogant about, and much to hide in the cupboard and sweep under the rug.


Well said Magpie, although I don't believe that arrogance is ever justified. You are right that people are largely the same around the world, and that treating citizens of one country as a homogeneous group does not make much sense. When I make a negative comment about any country, it is in regards only to that country's government/policies/economic structure.
_Jobu - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:51 PM EST (#4577) #
OK, actionjackson, your no-prize is ... nothing.

Does Stan Lee know you stole his bit? That man has some powerful friends....
_dp - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:51 PM EST (#4578) #
On the one hand Charlie Manson and on the other hand Thomas Jefferson. And you can do something similar for anyplace you can think of.

Problem lies right there. I'm an American, I like Canada, I like Canadians for the most part, though the ones I've dated have been a little strange. Americans are really ignorant. Jefferson shouldn't be a hero. He should be a man with faults. I've never been more ashamed of my fellow Americans (not the government) than during the French-bashing, the "we-saved-your-ass" comments by rednecks and talk show hosts without the slightest recognition of France's role in the US Revolution. Not ignorance about the rest of the world, but ignorance about their own country's history. It's a scary place now.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:58 PM EST (#4579) #
I like Canadians for the most part, though the ones I've dated have been a little strange.

Now THAT is funny. :)

I've never been more ashamed of my fellow Americans (not the government) than during the French-bashing, the "we-saved-your-ass" comments by rednecks and talk show hosts without the slightest recognition of France's role in the US Revolution. Not ignorance about the rest of the world, but ignorance about their own country's history. It's a scary place now.

DP, I understand what you are saying. Still, I wouldn't blame the American proletariat for that. I see it as more a product of the disinformation spread to the people by mainstream American media and the American government/power structure, and of the hostile and imperialistic attitude that the US government (in particular, the current adminstration) holds toward other nations.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 04:59 PM EST (#4580) #
Shannon Stewart was a rare exception to this- a guy who could hit for about the same average year in and year out.

Well, Stewart's OBP was not entirely dependent on BAVG - but one of the strange things about Stewart. He came into the league batting .286 and .279 with On-Base around .370.

He then raised his BAVG by twenty points - he's hit .300 every year since - without moving his On-Base at all. Which seems weird.

It's as if he took 15 walks a year and turned them into about 60 extra plate appearances - God knows how - in which he would go roughly 25 for 60. Which is OK. He was making more outs, sure, but it seems a pretty decent trade-off.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 05:11 PM EST (#4581) #
I like Canadians for the most part, though the ones I've dated have been a little strange.

You, too?

Jefferson shouldn't be a hero.

I know what you're saying - but I often think Americans (too close to the issue? take it for granted?) don't understand how much a hero Jefferson is to the rest of the world, in a way that Roosevelt (FDR) and even Lincoln aren't.
_Tom Servo - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST (#4582) #
So does anyone actually know what's up with that press conference? If it was up there, I missed it by scrolling past the argument over slanderous terms for minorities. It was making my head hurt.
_dp - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 05:36 PM EST (#4583) #
Magpie-

I just meant that Stewart managed to be pretty consistent w/BA, not that his OB% wasn't composed of BB. Stewart's BA was over .300 except for the .279 season (the .286 season was under 200 PA). From '99-'04, Stewart's BA has been between .304 and .319. Damn consitent for a stat that fluctuates so much.

Lee-

DP, I understand what you are saying. Still, I wouldn't blame the American proletariat for that.

As much of a Marxist as I try to be, at some point you have to give people credit/blame. These are reasonable, thinking people that manage to hold absurd and ignorant beliefs not grounded in reality. Corporate/state media can only shoulder so much of the blame. People are too scared to think for themselves here, and it sucks. The saddest part is most of them have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Until the election, I thought that this bizarro America was a product of the media, that after all the blunders, all the arrogance by the adminsitration, the people would see through it. But they didn't. And we have only oursleves to blame for any negativity directed at us by the world. Part of the cross you bear leaving in a democracy is having to take credit/blame for the actions of your elected officials. It isn't the media that says "I don't care how many people have to die to make me feel safe- we were attacked!". People out on the street say that. All the time. Long after 9/11, you had people calling for the US to nuke "the middle east". Arrogant racism that masks itself as enlightened because it's being done to spread democracy.

In conclusion, I like Shannon Stewart. And girls with french-canadian accents...
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 05:40 PM EST (#4584) #
I just meant that Stewart managed to be pretty consistent

Yeah, I was just looking at his numbers and having one of those "Well Isn't That Odd" moments.
_miVulgar - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 05:46 PM EST (#4585) #
And girls with french-canadian accents...

Amen.

Except for Celine Dion.

And my Grade 9 French teacher, who still gives me nightmares.
_Ron - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:08 PM EST (#4586) #
I'm looking ahead at next year's crop of FA's and there's a few players I would love to see in a Jays uni.

Starting Pitchers:

Tim Hudson, Tim Wakefield, Kevin Millwood, Matt Morris, Jeff Weaver Jamie Moyer, and Kevin Brown

Relievers:

Jason Isringhausen, Ugueth Urbina, Billy Wagner, Tom Gordon, Paul Quantrill, Mike Stanton, and Alan Embree.

Infielders:

Paul Konerko, Bret Boone, Nomar Garciaparra, Aramis Ramirez ,and Mike Piazza

Outfielders:

Johnny Damon, Brian Giles, Carlos Lee, Preston Wilson, Bernie Williams, and Juan Pierre

I Wonder if there's any chance of the Jays taking a run at Lee, Konerko, or Embree.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:19 PM EST (#4587) #
What did Hammond end up signing for?

$600,000/1 year.

Check out Rotoworlds take on the Schoeneweis signing....

Not to deny Rotoworld's usefulness as a news website, but evaluating moves based on their two-sentence long editorial comments is like trying to analyse the Iraq war based on a one minute soundbite from a talking head on CNN or Fox News.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:22 PM EST (#4588) #
Weaver, Brown, Gordon, Quantrill and Stanton ... they can't ALL be free agents? And if they are, you really want to reassemble the 2000 Yankees in TO?

Didn't Millwood sign with the Indians?
_Ron - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:26 PM EST (#4589) #
Didn't Millwood sign with the Indians?

Milwood signed a one year deal with a base of 3 mil plus incentives.
_Jobu - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:29 PM EST (#4590) #
I really don't see the appeal in signing alot of old, way past their prime, players for a helluva lot more money than equal production from our youth. Mostly those Yankee cast aways scare the hell out of me when I think of them in a Jays uni just waiting to get injured and take a large slice of the Jays payroll pie with them.
_Doug C - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:38 PM EST (#4591) #
mmm... Pie...
_Ron - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:38 PM EST (#4592) #
Ah shit, I meant to list all the big name FA's for next season, I don't mean the Jays should take a run at every player on that list.

But the 3 guys I listed at the end of my post interest me the most.
_Rob - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 06:59 PM EST (#4593) #
We here in Canada don't even sing the Canadian Anthem in Schools anymore at risk of offending someone.

What in the hell are you talking about? Come to my school tomorrow and tell me the name of the song that will play at 8:25 in the morning, like it does every single day.

Not to make fun of this but did anyone witness the Canadian players at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Half the players didn't even know the words to our anthem.

Yeah, and everyone in Canada is as intelligent as hockey players. How do you know they didn't know the words, anyway? Did you ask them? I don't sing the anthem at sporting events -- I do know the words, of course, in both languages -- so does that mean I don't know the anthem?
_J.D. Clubbie - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 07:27 PM EST (#4594) #
Guaranteeing Schoeneweis the 2d year may be the price of getting him to Toronto at all. It can't be easy attracting free agents to a team that hasn't contended for a decade.

I don't think this deal is as bad as it looks for two reasons:

1) The fact that players with some recent success like Koch and Schoeneweis are apparently no higher than 4th or 5th in the pecking order points to what should be an improved bullpen.

2) If the horrible Yankees signings this winter (Unit excepted) are any indication, New York may be beatable sooner than anybody expects...possibly even in 2005. Boston looks a hair weaker right now as well.
_Phil - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 07:35 PM EST (#4595) #
Hey Rob, next time you get all pissed off about something make sure you read the whole comment and you should realize that I was trying to make peace on the boards, not stir up crap. I'm sorry if you took my post the wrong way.
I don't know what school you go to, but ever since I was in grade 7 we have stopped singing "O Canada", and I've been teaching for the last 15 years in the Atlantic Canada and not one school that I've taught at has sang the anthem, although I will retract my statement and say that maybe in some schools they still do, but in most schools they do not.
As for the players not knowing the anthem, I apologize for that as well. I was just going with what I saw, and what I saw was a lot of players mumbling something incoherent to along along with the music. If you call somebody moving their lips to random words and every once in a while actually being in phrase with the anthem, "knowing the anthem", then I guess we just have different definitions of what knowing the anthem would be.

I don't sing the anthem at sporting events -- I do know the words, of course, in both languages -- so does that mean I don't know the anthem?

This doesn't mean you don't know the anthem, but it does prove my point about how patriotic we are. Need I say more?
_Joseph Krengel - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 07:45 PM EST (#4596) #
http://www.canadasdebate.com
Bear in mind that some of those players were singing in english, others in french, and on the ice in a large arena any anthem played over the PA is going to reverberate quite a bit. It's hard to keep perfect pacing when you're singing along with an echo.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 07:47 PM EST (#4597) #
Hey, *I* know the words to both "O, Canada" AND "The Star-Spangled Banner." I guess that makes me bi-patriotic?

You can win bar bets in Texas by claiming you can sing all the words to a foreign national anthem, in that country's majority language, then come out with "O, Canada." Ticks people off, too, "Canada don't count!" I think a lot of Texans (unofficial state motto: "We used to be a country ourselves, and are better than all the exisiting countries still") believe Canada is a little burgh outside of Minneapolis.
_Rob - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 07:52 PM EST (#4598) #
Hey, *I* know the words to both "O, Canada" AND "The Star-Spangled Banner." I guess that makes me bi-patriotic?

Can you sing our anthem in French? That would be pretty impressive...if so, I will have to designate you as a member of the Triforce. Sorry, Her Majesty's Official Triforce.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:03 PM EST (#4599) #
We here in Canada don't even sing the Canadian Anthem in Schools anymore at risk of offending someone.

Sounds like someone's been reading too much Margaret Wente.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:05 PM EST (#4600) #
I saw Phil's retraction of his statement so I take back mine above. The point remains I've never been to a school where they didn't play the anthem every morning and I've never heard of any school not playing it. I think your school is the aberration.
_Vernons Biggest - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 08:54 PM EST (#4601) #
So what did the press conference end up being? I was unable to access outside communication for the last few hours.
_Andrew S - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:01 PM EST (#4602) #
Wow, I have to say I'm shocked at the number of people who think such derogitory terms are unacceptable, not things you say in public, et al.

Just shocked.

I say and hear such things in public all the time. Can't say I've ever used a racial slur or whatnot for it's intended usage, though I do use them all the time where they're inappropriate. I suspect it depends on how you mean it.

But then, maybe I'm just hard to offend. Can't say I mind if anyone calls me a slutty gui lo, because I am.
_Paul D - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 09:26 PM EST (#4603) #
Sounds like someone's been reading too much Margaret Wente.

You know, in some ways Margaret Wente reminds me of Bill Simmons. As long as they're writing about something you know nothing about, they're interesting.

Once the start writing about stuff you do know about, they're alot less interesting.

Simmons and Easterbrook are the only NFL writers I follow, and I suspect it's because I don't know much about the NFL that I like them.
_greenfrog - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST (#4604) #
I don't have all that much to add about Schowenweis and Hillenbrand. This has been a weird off-season. All this patching--I'm starting to forget what it's like to really get excited about trades and signings. Lately JP seems to be making deals very defensively. It isn't that Schowenweis and Shea are bad players. They just aren't very good players. Both have very average career stats and some obvious limitations (Hillenbrand doesn't walk, and has insufficient power for a 1B or DH; Schowenweis doesn't pitch well to RHBs and has mediocre BB:K numbers, and is making too much for a LOOGY).

I will only say this once, but I have to get it out of my system: I wish we'd landed Carlos Lee (I also wonder whether acquiring him might have piqued Clement's interest in the Jays some more). Hell, I would have thrown Peterson into the Hinske-plus-Batista offer. It's the death-by-a-thousand-cuts effect of JP's deals that is killing me.

Lastly, I don't think the Jays farm system is as deep as we thought a year ago. There is a handful of good players, but the star has faded a bit on some players who were once considered studs (Banks, McGowan, Rosario, Peterson, Rios), and there don't seem to be a lot of high-ceiling players coming down the pipeline--especially among position players. So the hope that we'll just get by with these average acquisitions until the fabled farm system bears fruit seems a bit wishful at the moment.
_Keith Talent - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:28 PM EST (#4605) #
A rant to no one in particular:

What's so great about being patriotic? You were born in Canada, why is that something to be proud of? Who cares! We're not that great. Patriots to me are people who think their lives sure are dull, thier passions so bland, that they have to get excited about their country: the one thing they had absolutely nothing to do with. And watch out for the snowballing excitement of the dull and stupid: an aggressively ignorant "Molson Canadian" commercial is the most harmless expression, but a lot of wars are fought over the same stupid sentiment. Patriotism is for suckers. People are people. I live in Canada, I'm a Canadian, Whatever. Doesn't 50K people in a stadium singing a song glorifying a flag seem... creepy? Canada is my home, and because I've travelled to other countries, I know this intrinsically and I'm absolutely comfortable to be here. Why do I have to stand up and sing about it? At that moment, I'm not so comfortable being here. Canada's fine just the way it is. I'm so sick of hearing how "we need to be more..."--fill in the blank. We need to be LESS proud of ourselves and more concerned with what we do in our everyday lives, as individuals, as members of a community. Backpacking across Europe with a goatee and a Canada flag stitched on your backpack while criticizing American foreign policy to anyone who will listen isn't helping anyone's day. When foreigners confuse Canadians with Americans it's because we're the closest thing to an American there could ever possibly be on God's green earth. And there's nothing worse than a smug Canadian who believes himself to be of more moral stock than his neighbours to the south.

BTW: the argument people are saying "why does JP feel he has to spend his whole budget"; answer: because the budget will never go up if he doesn't spend it all.
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:47 PM EST (#4606) #
Couldn't agree more with 95% of what Keith is saying. As for the last bit though...the Jays are a pretty big part of Rogers. We're not talking about the budget for pens or something in accounting. Surely the organization is sophisticated enough that JP, head of the baseball department can say "There aren't good enough investments out here for this money. There may be better investments in the future. Not spending my entire budget now is not a sign that it's not necessary, but rather that it doesn't make sense."

I was hoping that JP and the Blue Jays were sophisticated enough to realize this. If so, it would have been a positive sign in at least one way, as it would seem to indicate that those running the organization could be receptive, at the right time, to the argument that an increase in spending could have benefits in terms of being the difference between making/missing the playoffs. Instead, we've got two years of Schoeneweis. Is it even worth preserving the budget if this is what it's spent on?
_actionjackson - Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 11:49 PM EST (#4607) #
If JP don't spend it, Mister Rogers gonna buy another yacht, mansion, whatever. I wish they could pour it back into the amateur draft, but that's a real crapshoot, paying big dough to someone who hasn't played a big league game.
_Ryan C - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 12:49 AM EST (#4608) #
as it would seem to indicate that those running the organization could be receptive, at the right time, to the argument that an increase in spending could have benefits in terms of being the difference between making/missing the playoffs.

Wow you're reading alot more into the Schoeneweiss signing than I am. I dont see how JP spending his budget now, even overspending on a guy, has any bearing on Roger's feelings towards opening up the purse strings later on.

I think if you told the majority of Torontonians that they Jays could have had Schoeneweiss but decided instead to just pocket $5 million over the next two years and not spend it, they'd be a little ticked.
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 07:32 AM EST (#4609) #
I also wonder whether acquiring him [Carlos Lee] might have piqued Clement's interest in the Jays some more

I'm thinking that if you're American and the World Series champions want to make you their #2 starter and are offering you lots of money, that's got to look a lot more attractive than going to a foreign country to be a 70-win team's #2 starter.
_Lee - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 09:58 AM EST (#4610) #
DP,

People are too scared to think for themselves here, and it sucks. The saddest part is most of them have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Until the election, I thought that this bizarro America was a product of the media, that after all the blunders, all the arrogance by the adminsitration, the people would see through it. But they didn't.

That's fair, but at the same time, when the government and the media are engaged in a concerted and ongoing effort of fearmongering, at some point it becomes hard for people, most of whom still have a naive trust in the good intentions and altruistic motives of their government, to "see through it".

It isn't the media that says "I don't care how many people have to die to make me feel safe- we were attacked!".

Actually, watching major American media shortly after the attack, I think that's exactly what was being implied...

Andrew,

I say and hear such things in public all the time.

That doesn't mean it's not still offensive.

Keith,

What's so great about being patriotic? You were born in Canada, why is that something to be proud of? Who cares! We're not that great. Patriots to me are people who think their lives sure are dull, thier passions so bland, that they have to get excited about their country: the one thing they had absolutely nothing to do with.

Patriotism is for suckers.


I really don't know what to say about this, except that I sincerely hope that very few people in this country share such a peculiar and counter-productive opinion.

Backpacking across Europe with a goatee and a Canada flag stitched on your backpack while criticizing American foreign policy to anyone who will listen isn't helping anyone's day.

Backpacking across Europe isn't particularly productive, I agree. But debating the dangerous foreign policy of the only remaining military superpower in the world (and a nation whose ambitions have gone essentially unchecked for about 14 years now) most certainly is not pointless. In fact, far more people need to do it.
robertdudek - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST (#4611) #
I'm surprised at the level of ignorance about offensive production displayed in this thread. Among all things in baseball, offensive production is the thing that sabermetrics has the best handle on.

Strikeouts are mildly worse than other non-GIDP outs. Each one is worth about -.04 runs as compared to another type of non-GIDP out on average. This is reflected in the most sophisticated run estimation formulae developed to date.

The problem with someone like Hillenbrand batting in the middle of the order is the ground ball double plays. Being a righthanded contact hitter, Hillenbrand should not be batting in the middle of the order, because the DPs are going to kill the offence. Starting the runner isn't a solution either because the lined into double plays and pitchout/caught stealings are going to nearly offset the GIDPs saved. The only thing that would help is to have a guy can steal 30 out of 40 attempts over the course of the season batting in front of Hillenbrand: I don't think the Jays have anyone like that.

Last year the Jays grounded into tons of double plays relative to the number of baserunners they had, and this year it might get worse.

Hillenbrand is an average offensive player who will likely earn about 4 million dollars in arbitration this year. That production is below average for a 1B/DH, and that amount of money is at least 2 million dollars more than the production is worth.

The discussion of batter's strikeouts isn't one of those "my opinion is as good as the next guy's" types. There's actual concrete knowledge about this issue that is virtually indisputable.
_Mick - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 10:20 AM EST (#4612) #
There's actual concrete knowledge about this issue that is virtually indisputable.

Robert, well said, but you know as well as anyone here that "facts" are often presented as "disputable opinions" for the sake of engendering arguments. This is the hobgoblin of people who can't admit they're wrong or feel a literally divine right to hold certain beliefs. (I'm thinking here more of the "let's teach creationism as a viable alternative to evolution" snit that's been going on for eighty years ... not to open a whole new can of worms here!) The "evolutions is just a theory" folks are the same people, on a much grander scale of course, who say "DIPS is just a number." Scientists, like "statheads" are dismissed as being ignorant of the real truth obscured by numbers.
_Tyler - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 10:27 AM EST (#4613) #
that amount of money is at least 2 million dollars more than the production is worth.

Thanks for the insight on the general difference in cost of a K v non GIDP out. I'd be interested to read stuff on this...do you have any links.

A question though. How do you figure that Hillenbrand is getting at least 2 million more than what his production is worth? What's that based on?
robertdudek - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 10:38 AM EST (#4614) #
A below average regular is worth about 2 million dollars - that's about 80-90% of the average major league salary. Google "Tangotiger baseball" - you should find a bunch of essays on offence.
_Ryan Day - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 10:46 AM EST (#4615) #
The only thing that would help is to have a guy can steal 30 out of 40 attempts over the course of the season batting in front of Hillenbrand: I don't think the Jays have anyone like that.

I suspect Vernon could approach that, if the Jays let him run more. Alex Rios could probably do it, too.
_Tyler - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 10:56 AM EST (#4616) #
Thanks for the source on the offence essays. As for a below average regular being worth about 2 million dollars because that's 80-90% of the average major league salary, I don't know that that necessary makes sense. It seems to me that the value of an individual player will change from market to market. If a team needs X number of runs above replacement level to have a shot at the playoffs, dividing that number by the payroll should give you an idea of how much they can afford to pay for runs.

I was looking at this earlier this off-season using VORP. Woolner claims that there is a correlation of above .9 between a team's total VORP and their winning percentage. The Yankees had 570 VORP last year, the BoSox about 640. If you say that 550 is the baseline for reasonable contention for the playoffs, for 4 million bucks on a budget of 50 million, the Jays need 44 VORP out of the guy. This obviously doesn't include defence, and the real amount that the team needs to get is lowered by the fact that a team will have a bunch of young guys with great VORP/$ rations.

It still seems to me that he's a lot more overpriced for the Toronto market than just 2 million; he just doesn't add much in offence above what you'd get from a replacement player, according to VORP.
_Tyler - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 11:11 AM EST (#4617) #
Sorry, I should have qualified that last statement. He seems to have an awful lot of value tied up in batting average, which varies a lot. If it's a bad year...he's not going to be very useful.
_Andrew S - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 11:35 AM EST (#4618) #
Sorry Lee, but it's still not offensive. You can choose to take offense, but the word or phrase isn't offensive in and off itself.

Apart from which, I strongly suspect that we Canadians, as well as the Americans (and anyone else who might be reading from a country where freedom of speech is an important value) have an ethical duty to say things others might find offensive.
_Andrew S - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 11:37 AM EST (#4619) #
Also, am I the only one who looks at Shea's stats and their trends, his age, and thinks he's probly about due for a career year?
_Matthew E - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 11:56 AM EST (#4620) #
I strongly suspect that we Canadians [...] have an ethical duty to say things others might find offensive.

Okay. You're a reprehensible, sock-sniffing ne'er-do-well. How's that?

The use of the word 'f****t' (no, I'm not going to type it out) as an insult is symptomatic of North American society's terrible treatment of gay people. I grant that suppressing the word doesn't help in and of itself, but objecting to the word gives us an opportunity to fight the underlying idea. Ask Matthew Shepard whether this is a harmless issue. Ask a guy I know who was attacked by two guys because he's gay. Ask yourself which side you're on.
_Lee - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 12:59 PM EST (#4621) #
Sorry Lee, but it's still not offensive. You can choose to take offense, but the word or phrase isn't offensive in and off itself.

Andrew, the word Hillenbrand used is a derogatory term describing a certain group of people. He did not use the term literally, obviously, but meant it in a insulting manner. By using that term as a insult, not only was he putting down Theo Epstein, but he was also implicitly expressing the opinion that people who are members of that certain group are somehow lesser than the rest of us. If that isn't offensive, I'm not sure what is.

Apart from which, I strongly suspect that we Canadians, as well as the Americans (and anyone else who might be reading from a country where freedom of speech is an important value) have an ethical duty to say things others might find offensive.

Well, freedom of speech is obviously important (although I don't happen to believe in it as an absolute). But I don't understand how that should ina ny way compel one to say things which are obviously offensive and unnecessary.
_Andrew S - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 03:15 PM EST (#4622) #
Matthew, there's a far cry between using a term that's a derogitory term for a group and actually having and dislike for that group.

I can use a racial insult for someone without dislike for his race. For what it's worth, in my primary circle of friends we often use derogitory terms that normally wouldn't apply to that person, sort of as a joke, because we don't respect the "offensive power" of those words. Someone who actually uses faggot as an insult for gay people because he or she doesn't like them doesn't need to be hated, they need to be laughed at.
_Matthew E - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 03:45 PM EST (#4623) #
Matthew, there's a far cry between using a term that's a derogitory term for a group and actually having and dislike for that group.

No, there isn't. There may be a cry, but it's not a far cry. If you're using such a term as an insult, you may not actually have contempt for that group, but you're going along with the idea that that group is contemptible. And you're telling the people who do have contempt for that group that you're on their side at least a little bit.
_Lee - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 04:41 PM EST (#4624) #
there's a far cry between using a term that's a derogitory term for a group and actually having and dislike for that group

When YOU use that term, YOU may not be consciously intending to deride the group to which the term was originally meant to refer. I understand that. However, there is an implicit degradation of that group in the use of name meant to represent them (even in a derogatory fashion) as an insult. I guess the point is, why bother using such a term at all, when even if you do not consciously mean to insult that group, there are likely to be a great many people offend by your use of that slur? To me, it show a like of forethought and compassion.
_Ryan C - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 05:17 PM EST (#4625) #
Hillenbrand should not be batting in the middle of the order, because the DPs are going to kill the offence.

Good point. So where do you hit him then? #2? #6/7? It seems like a big waste to put a guy with a .300 avg in the 8 or 9 spot.

I dont know if it's worth noting or not but Im going to anyway. Last year was the best offensive year of his career to date and he hit mostly #4 with a little #3 time as well. However in speaking to a couple D-Back fans they were of the perception that he was a notorious rally killer last year. What all this says I dont know.
_Andrew S - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 05:26 PM EST (#4626) #
I think mostly I use such terms because they're funny.

And I can't really see a compelling case that there is any implicit degredation. I can use the phrase Rule of Thumb without any implicit support of wife-beating.
_greenfrog - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 05:31 PM EST (#4627) #
You can't have your DH or 1B hitting 8th or 9th. That's just a joke.

I wonder whether JP is going to redouble his efforts to move Hinske now that Shea is signed. Which raises an interesting question: contracts aside, who would you rather have at 1B for 2005--Hinske or Shea? I think they're about comparable. I would probably give Shea a slight edge for the superior batting average and comparable power, although if Hinske can rebound to about .270/.350/.450 then I think Hinske is the superior player.
robertdudek - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 06:00 PM EST (#4628) #
Tyler,

You'll notice I wrote - "at least 2 million".
robertdudek - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 06:09 PM EST (#4629) #
Apart from which, I strongly suspect that we Canadians, as well as the Americans (and anyone else who might be reading from a country where freedom of speech is an important value) have an ethical duty to say things others might find offensive.

How's this for free speech - the above passage is idiotic nonsense.

It's our ethical duty? Freedom of speech isn't about being able to use derogatory terms (and the definition of that is normative, so it will differ from community to community, though that does not make it any less real) "freely". Freedom of speech is about the right to freely debate political, social and philosophical ideas in an appropriate forum; it isn't about going into an Irish pub and screaming "You dirty Mick scum, go back to Ireland!" (please excuse the vulgarity).

It's these types of IMPORTANT discussions that fascists authorities in some parts of the world want to curtail, particularly if they challenge authority directly.
_Mick - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 06:22 PM EST (#4630) #
"You dirty Mick scum, go back to Ireland!"

Excuse me? You big dumb Canuck!

I think that's the pithy example here ... if y'all found out that Americans consistently used a slang term for "Canadian" to mean "idiot" (we don't, as far as I know), then you'd be plenty ticked off, Lee and others. I actually posed the question at work today, to some of the best corporate communications minds in the southwestern USA, and asked them, as someone did here yesterday, is there a qualitative difference between using the terms (and I won't spell out either) fa**ot and ni**er?

They were generally and genuinely stunned by the fact that anyone could even ask the question and assumed that I or someone with edit rights had removed the references entirely. Three cheers for free speech that this conversation exists unedited.

Nobody in the room called me a Mick, though they did so without use of the article. :-)
robertdudek - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 06:38 PM EST (#4631) #
So, did they think there was a qualitative difference?
_Andrew S - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 08:12 PM EST (#4633) #
As a genuine dirty Mick, I gotta say, it is in fact about both. However, the important part, I think, is to say things people don't want to hear. Regardless of what it is.
Gitz - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 08:24 PM EST (#4634) #
Andrew S., you are an imbecile. And, yes, I do mean it in the sense of someone having an IQ below 25. I bet you didn't want to hear that, did you?
_Tyler - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 08:26 PM EST (#4635) #
Not sure if you want to this Gitz, but I agree with you.
_Rob - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 08:31 PM EST (#4636) #
I agree with Gitz and Tyler here. And yes, I don't think I've ever said that before.
_Andrew S - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 08:39 PM EST (#4637) #
Uh, to be honest, I don't really care. Sure. I am an imbecile. I took an IQ test in grade 3 from the Ontario government and the results came back as a 19, after I successfully found my butthole with a flashlight and only one hand.

On a totally unrelated subject, I'd never imagined a player with a .287 career OBP would have a OPS+ over 100, but what do you know: Tony Armas proved me wrong. Guess I am an imbecile.
_Mick - Wednesday, January 12 2005 @ 11:22 PM EST (#4638) #
However, the important part, I think, is to say things people don't want to hear.

Pishposh. Say things people don't want to hear, sure -- if they are true and relevant. Those are two fairly important criteria. Derogatory stereotypes often, but not always, have roots in some warped form of perceived truth, but they are certainly not relevant. Ever.

The Armas example is, as you say, totally unrelated -- so much so I assume you know how ludicrous it sounds. Any imbecile, since that seems to be the term of choice in this conversations, can show N=1 with an example of their accidentally being right about a single thing.
Lucas - Thursday, January 13 2005 @ 12:43 AM EST (#4639) #
This is pitiful, Andrew.

Perhaps you have some colleagues with whom you can throw out derogatory racial/ethnic/whatever terms with abandon, but you have to know that you can't apply such behaviour to every situation. If you don't agree, try it next time you're in a business meeting, or a courtroom.

And you couch this in terms of "ethical duty?"

Armas, by the way, spent most of his career in very pitcher-friendly parks. Slugging .500 in Oakland in 1980 was a tremendous accomplishment. Think Garret Anderson if you want a rough comparable.
_Andrew S - Thursday, January 13 2005 @ 06:42 AM EST (#4640) #
Og course the Armas example isn't really relevent. I was just looking up his stats at the time and was surprised.

Perhaps it isn't pragmatic to do such things, but that doesn't really have that much influence on it's ethicality. I'm not 100% positive on that, I'd need to think about it, but it sounds right.
_Mick - Thursday, January 13 2005 @ 09:09 AM EST (#4641) #
Thus endeth the thread ... a career .310 hitter, at that.
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