Frankly, for all the jillions of times that players throw the ball around, I'm surprised somebody getting clunked doesn't happen more.
I'm sure the season can't end soon enough for JPA. Aside from his issues at the plate, he also channeled Dick Stuart late in the game, having balls bounce off his glove on a Middlebrooks steal attempt and when Pedroia ran to second, after singling, on a throw home.
JPA's slash line is not too far off Bonifacio's (as a Jay, not the HoF version currently playing in KC): 195/230/364 vs. 218/258/321.
For comparsion's sake, Josh Thole's career line in over 1,100 plate appearances is .215/.321/.321. And he can catch the knuckleball. It shouldn't be discounted that his performance has trended downwards in each successive season, although one could argue that his injuries and a small sample size this year provide a partial explanation, at least, for that trend.
I'm with Mike, for the most part. I think the Jays should get the best catcher they can, regardless of whether he can catch the knuckleball. If he can, that's a great bonus and it would keep JP in consideration for the backup job in 2014. If he can't, the Jays will either have to go with Thole as the backup or find another reserve catcher with the skills to catch the pitch. To my mind, the front office would be compounding the problem if they let JP's defensive deficiancies limit the team's options at starting catcher.
I don't think there is definitely not a role in Toronto for JP in 2014 if Dickey's here. However, if the team could make a competitive offer for McCann (for example), I think it'd be a significant error for them to back off from the bidding if they assessed that McCann couldn't catch the knuckleball and therefore couldn't have McCann and JP as the club's catchers.
CBDC, good quote, but can you explain Dickey's extension from Dickey's perspective, if all players view Canada like you claim?
Dickey signed what was nearly essentially a free-agent contract in Toronto in that he had never played here before. He was going to be a free agent after 2013 and had a pretty good chance at a decent payday given his 2010-2012 record and his 2012 Cy Young Award even if he was as thoroughly mediocre as he was this year.
You might suggest that Dickey took the guaranteed money, but would you argue that Dickey, if he was a free agent this offseason, wouldn't get at least $25 million over 2 years? Based on, for example, the contract of Ryan Dempster, I don't think he'd have trouble with that amount coming off an average 2013 season.
I don't think Dickey explicitly wanted an extension. I think he was amenable to one, but that the teams were the driving force behind it.
I think the Mets and he couldn't agree on a price for an extension and given that the Mets were in danger of losing him after the 2013 season to free agency, they chose to maximize his value based on his 2012 season. The Jays wanted an extension to be sure they weren't trading d'Arnaud and Syndergaard for only one year of Dickey.
And I'm still not convinced that Dickey wouldn't have gotten a relatively similar contract this offseason coming off a mediocre 2013.