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That's what J.P. inherited, according to Richard Griffin, commenting on a previous batch of multi-year contracts for Blue Jays of questionable value, including Chris Carpenter, Homer Bush, Joey Hamilton, and Esteban Loaiza. The Star columnist (and I checked twice -- it's Rich, not Perkins) seems to like the Hinske and Wells deals, and there's nary a sarcastic barb at Ricciardi, even a bit of praise:

To his credit, Ricciardi made sure he approached starting ace Roy Halladay, assuring him he was next in line for the club's multi-year reward program.

Meanwhile, we're getting bored with spring training games (so are the players, I'm sure) but yesterday was a nifty little 4-0 blanking of the Tigers, if you ignore Scott Cassidy's meltdown. I saw Delgado's doubles on a TV recap, and the one in the opposite-field gap was a thing of beauty. Aquilino Lopez was good in relief of Hendrickson, who has a 1.50 ERA through 12 IP, but isn't in the September groove yet. Also impressive: Tam, Politte and Thurman, who is doing everything he can to pitch himself into a job with the big club, giving the brain trust another pleasant "problem" to solve.
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Pistol - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 08:21 AM EST (#93014) #
I'm usually the first to dismiss anything that happens in spring training, but it seems that the Jays starters put together good start after good start nearly every day so I'm cautiously optimistic.
_mathesond - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 08:27 AM EST (#93015) #
"Oh yes. At the end of the 2007 season, when Hinske and Wells will both be eligible for free agency, coincidentally, so will Ricciardi."

Griffin almost made it through without any barbs at Ricciardi, but in the end, couldn't help himself from one backhanded remark.
Craig B - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 09:45 AM EST (#93016) #
I'm telling you, it's absolute hell having too many pitchers able to contribute. Remember last year, when all the decisions about who to bring north were easy? Ah, those were the days.
_Richard - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 10:41 AM EST (#93017) #
I love these deals,the players get financial security and the organization gets cost certainty.

I'd like to see Halliday locked up as well, but we do control his contract for the next 3 years and by virtue of being a pitcher caution is warranted for any long term extension.
_Spicol - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 10:46 AM EST (#93018) #
Majewksi has been sent back to Chicago. Not a big surprise.

By sending the two players back, the Jays receive $50K in return. I ask you, was the crack the Jays had at Dubois and Majewski worth $50K?
_R Billie - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 10:51 AM EST (#93019) #
Well look at it this way...the Jays still had about $1.3 million left in the player budget which they used up as signing bonuses for Wells and Hinske. So giving the Rule Vers a tryout was a relative drop in the bucket.

And at least they got to see the players perform in front of them for an extended time so they could determine whether acquiring them down the line is worth it. It would have been nice to be able to work a deal out for them but there's nothing that says they wouldn't be able to in the future. They are presumbly still off the 40-man rosters of their respective clubs so they just have to wait for the right situation.
_R Billie - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 10:55 AM EST (#93020) #
Another way to look at it is that they acquired Aquilino Lopez for a hundred grand in cash (including the $50K spent for Majewski and Dubois). I think if you see a player who could potentially be good it's very much worth it to take the chance.
Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 11:19 AM EST (#93021) #
I wonder how many late nights J.P. had Keith Law working on this deal.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 11:31 AM EST (#93022) #
Coach: I saw Delgado's doubles on a TV recap, and the one in the opposite-field gap was a thing of beauty.

Coach, I agree.

Delgado's first double was hooked into the RF corner, a result of what seemed like an 'excuse me' dead pull of a curve or a change-up (at least based on the quick glimpse at a highlight I saw this morning).

But his second, going the other way, harkened back to 2000. As a coach, you must love to see a pull hitter drive the ball to the oppsite field gap. I can't recall, was the pitcher RH? If so, it's all the more impressive since it's not unusual for Delgado to find the left-center gap off a LHP.
Coach - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 11:45 AM EST (#93023) #
Mike, considering Keith has the world's fastest laptop and all that available data, I'm guessing he crunched numbers for a minute or two then spent some quality time playing guitar. Tim McCleary probably spent more time drawing up the contracts than it took for Law to confirm this was a smart move financially, in addition to its PR benefits. It also sends a message to the current players (and next year's FA crop) that the Jays, finished cutting payroll, are aggressively moving forward.

R Billie, good call. The Jays made a $100,000 investment that under different circumstances might have produced two or three fine players, but is still a bargain price for Lopez. So to Spicol's query, absolutely -- the "crack" at Majewski and Dubois was worth the time and money, and I hope J.P. keeps shopping in Aisle 5 every year. BTW, Rule 6 covers claimed players being offered back to their former clubs. Does anyone know what Rules 1-4 are?
_Matthew Elmslie - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 12:03 PM EST (#93024) #
Rule 1: You can't bunt to break up a no-hitter in the eighth inning.

Rule 2: Don't steal if you're up by five or more runs.

Rule 3: If a guy hits a home run off you, knock down the next batter.

Rule 4: Respect the streak.
Craig B - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 12:16 PM EST (#93025) #
Actually, I think Rule 4 is:

Yankees Win! Thuhuhuhuhuhuhuh Yankees Win!

_MikeJ - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 01:12 PM EST (#93026) #
It's my understanding the rules are not made available to the general public; too complicated for us simple fans to understand, I guess. Rule 4 covers the June draft but I have no idea what 1-3 are.
Dave Till - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:00 PM EST (#93027) #
Rule 5: If you get hit by a pitched ball, your pitcher has to hit somebody of comparable value on the other team. (Don Drysdale used to use the 2-for-1 approach: you hit one of his guys, and he'll hit two of yours.)

Rule 6: There is no Rule 6. :-)

Rule 7: Guard the lines in the late innings.

And, from Jim Bouton's Ball Four:

Rule 8: Always wear your cap peak front.

Rule 9: Don't talk about winning both ends of a doubleheader - think of one game at a time.

Rule 10: Always look downcast after a loss.

Rule 11 (for the clubhouse): What you see here, what you say here, what you hear here, let it stay here.
Dave Till - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:01 PM EST (#93028) #
Argh. My italics have run away from me.

That should be better.
Dave Till - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:01 PM EST (#93029) #
Argh! Help!
_italian - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:39 PM EST (#93030) #

_benum - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:41 PM EST (#93031) #
I knew it would take an italian to remove those italics...

p.s. Dave you did a double i around Ball Four (missed the slash on the second one) You needed to close two italics.
_HTML Ranger - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:42 PM EST (#93032) #
What have we here?

(with my hands on my hips) Stop, damn italics!
_HTML Ranger - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 04:43 PM EST (#93033) #
The HTML Ranger never said that speed to respond was his greatest asset!

Dave Till - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 05:53 PM EST (#93034) #
So that was it. I closed one, but didn't close the other. It all makes sense now. :-)
_Dave, lowering - Tuesday, March 18 2003 @ 05:54 PM EST (#93035) #
And I could have checked that by viewing Page Source. Consider me officially dumber than a sack of hammers.
_Mick - Wednesday, March 19 2003 @ 12:01 AM EST (#93036) #
Rule 12: Give says to give Rickey his props. Rickey is a Hall of Famer and should be in someone's camp. Rickey says Rickey can help someone.

Rule 13: See Rule 6.

Rule 14: No All-Star Game Shall End in a Tie.

_steve - Wednesday, March 19 2003 @ 10:49 AM EST (#93037) #
The headline of the today's National Post Blue Jays column reads: "Jays' talent pool shallow beyond starting nine". Aside from the shoddy writing on Sandler's part (why should we expect anything better from a National Post baseball writer?) and a headline that doesn't quite match the tone of the article, there is a semi-notable quote from JP:

I think we're trying to figure out if we want to go north with 11 pitchers or 12. We're trying to decide if we want to go with two catchers or three....

Sandler assumes that Tom Wilson is the catcher on the bubble, with Ken Huckaby and left-handed hitting backup Greg Myers sure to go north.
_DS - Wednesday, March 19 2003 @ 11:05 AM EST (#93038) #
I don't know any organization other than the Yankees that has enough depth to cover injuries to key players. Even then I think the Yankees could be in trouble if someone like Posada went down.
_Best_Mate - Thursday, March 20 2003 @ 03:42 AM EST (#93039) #
I thought Rule #1 was that you couldn't talk about Fight Club...
_Mick - Thursday, March 20 2003 @ 10:27 AM EST (#93040) #
If Posada gets hurt, then John Flaherty and Chris Widger catch and the Yankees win 96 games instead of 98.

Or the Yankees trade Nick Johnson to his Uncle Larry's team in Philadelphia for Johnny Estrada. (Oh, wait ...)

You get the idea, though. If the Yankees' depth "problem" is turning the job over to a couple of guys who as recently as 1999 went .278/14/71 (Flaherty)and .264/14/46 (Widger), in a league where the possible All-Star catchers (after Posada) include A.J. Pierzynski, Toby Hall, Ramon Hernandez, Bengie Molina and Jason Varitek ...

Yeah, I'm OK with that.
robertdudek - Thursday, March 20 2003 @ 12:22 PM EST (#93041) #
As recently as 1999? That's 4 years ago. A catcher's hitting abilities can change a lot in 4 years.
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