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I figure it'll be slow for news over the next few days, so hopefully this MYOR thread will suffice.

I'll be only on intermittently starting right now -- my wife has gone into labour and I'm about to be a dad, which I hear can be time consuming.
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_Paul D - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:12 AM EST (#6695) #
Congratulations!
_Christopher - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:23 AM EST (#6696) #
That's great NFH!
_sweat - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:30 AM EST (#6697) #
Congrats NFH. Did you pick a name yet? If not may i recommend showquifah, scout, rumour, apple, pear, bindy sue or six.
_Four Seamer - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:30 AM EST (#6698) #
Fantastic news, NFH. Best of luck!
_Kieran - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:43 AM EST (#6699) #
Congrats, here's hoping everything goes smoothly and you have a nice holiday present!
Named For Hank - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:45 AM EST (#6700) #
Thanks, everybody. It's going to be fun.
_The Original Ry - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:51 AM EST (#6701) #
Did you pick a name yet? If not may i recommend showquifah, scout, rumour, apple, pear, bindy sue or six.

I was thinking Named for Gleeman.

Congrats NFH!
_Wildrose - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:52 AM EST (#6702) #
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/MoneyMatters/2004/12/22/794031-ap.html
Great Christmas present Hank! To show you what the Jays are up against,(Comm) for the new contract Matt Clements actually got from the Sox, a potential $32 million with bonus money.
_Ryan C - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:55 AM EST (#6703) #
Congrats NFH. If the baby gets named after you I guess that would make it Named For Named For Hank?
_Wildrose - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:56 AM EST (#6704) #
Darn I re-read the link, its even better than I thought,$25.5 million guaranteed, with $ 9 million in possible bonus money. No wonder he chose the Sox over Arnsberger.
_Wildrose - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:00 AM EST (#6705) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=1952214
Not sure if its been mentioned, Orlando Hernandez to the White Sox completed(Comm).
_GregH - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:08 AM EST (#6706) #
Sincere congratulations Aaron. There was never more joy in my life than since my sons were born 10 and 9 years ago. May all those joys be yours!

On an unrelated note, according to Lee Sinins ATM Report:

The Devil Rays signed free agent DH-1B Josh Phelps to a 1 year contract.
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:12 AM EST (#6707) #
Apparently NFH is selling naming rights for his new child. Get your bids in today!

I think "Willie Upshaw Reynolds" has a nice ring to it.
_Brennan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:18 AM EST (#6708) #
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/video/ibn.jsp
In case anyone missed it last time, MLB is playing game 6 of the 1992 and 93 WS. COMN for the site, and enjoy!
_mathesond - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:18 AM EST (#6709) #
Congrats, NFH. I still think that either Harold/Harry or Leroy would work well with your last name - and he would have the added sobriquet of "Named for Doc"
_Wildrose - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:20 AM EST (#6710) #
http://rays.tbo.com/rays/MGBL0W8D23E.html
Here's a story on Phelps,(comm), he signed with TBAY as he built a home nearby and is getting some good playing time potential.
_Brian B. - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#6711) #
Congratulations Aaron:

Kids are a blessing, the baby years are really special!
_Christopher - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:27 AM EST (#6712) #
MLB is playing game 6 of the 1992 and 93 WS.

Bah, not until 3:15. I thought I was going to get to spend my last day at work watching.
_Jeff Geauvreau - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:31 AM EST (#6713) #
Congrats Aaron:Your child will be a real blessing for you and your wife.

Blame me for all this snow, it followed me down from the "Lake of the woods area":-)
_Jobu - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:38 AM EST (#6714) #
Three Cheer Club Cheers to Mr. Reynolds!!!

In the words of Moe Syzlack "way to get your wife pregnant..heh heh".

Now we wait and see if he goes for the family of K's, or the obscure Blue Jays. I smell a "Named for Glennalen" in the works
_Jordan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:42 AM EST (#6715) #
That Phelps signing has Tim Wilken's fingerprints all over it. Good luck to Josh, but two smart organizations have given up on him already, and the Devil Rays' coaches are not known for making the most of a player's potential.

That Alou deal (2 years/$13.6M) is incomprehensible to me, but then again, so has this entire off-season been. The Jays went into this winter with money to spend and Matt Clement in their sights. And I'm convinced that but for (a) the insane Russ Ortiz contract that blew apart the pitching marketplace, and (b) Pedro signing with the Mets and freeing up millions of Red Sox dollars, Clement would be a Blue Jay today for three years, $20M tops.

The ground has shifted under the organization's feet, again. Just when Delgado leaves and there's cash available to spend wisely, everyone else spends foolishly and the payroll bar is reset higher again. I said yesterday that a small payroll is going to be a more or less permanent feature of the Blue Jays organization, but there's a difference between prudent small and uncompetitive small. The Jays expected that $53M and no Delgado would put them in the first category, able to work creatively and intelligently to better the team; after this latest off-season money orgy, however, they're rapdily sliding into the second. What Paul Godfrey can and will do about that is going to determine the franchise's near- and mid-term future.

Aaron, hang onto your ass, because you're in for the ride of your life. Remember and enjoy every moment.
Thomas - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:46 AM EST (#6716) #
Congrats Aaron.
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:53 AM EST (#6717) #
Congratulations. And remember: having a kid is hard, but not so hard that millions of stupid and careless people all over the world can't do a passable job at it. You're probably better at it than you think you are.
Coach - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:08 PM EST (#6718) #
Aaron, the very best of luck to you and Mrs. Hank. There's been quite a baby boom among Roster members. Y'all are making me feel like a grandpa.

While I've been touting Mays as a name, I do like Ryan C's suggestion: Aaron Jr., easily abbreviated to NFNFH.
Gitz - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:19 PM EST (#6719) #
Congrats, Aaron.

This is what, the fourth newborn for Da Box within a year-and-a-half or so? (Plus Lucas got married, the sucker, I mean, congrats!)
_Andrew S - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:26 PM EST (#6720) #
Congrats!

Now where's my cigar?
_Brent - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:33 PM EST (#6721) #
Aaron! Congrats!

Now, this is a Christmas present.
_Wes - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:40 PM EST (#6722) #
What do you guys think about pursuing B.Y. Kim?

When healthy he is as nasty as they come and a year of rest coupled with a less pressure packed baseball environment could result in 120 or so Elite Innings.

W
_Wes - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:44 PM EST (#6723) #
Plus Boston is reportedly willing to eat a significant portion of his salary.

W
_jsoh - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:50 PM EST (#6724) #
Congrats NFH! Just be prepared to go completely without sleep :)

I think that this opens up some unique cross-marketing opportunities. How about naming the little one:

Batters Box presents Aaron Jr

no? :)
Pistol - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:53 PM EST (#6725) #
Batters Box presents Aaron Jr

I like 'Batter's Box presents Named for Hank Jr'.

Congrats Aaron.
_Marc - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 12:55 PM EST (#6726) #
I haven't been watching the baseball news too heavily for the last five days or so as I am in Aruba on holiday but I stopped into the Internet cafe today to see how things are going and I must say, obviously, things are not going well...
The Jays look like they could very well end up with a worse team than last year. There pitching is going to be about the same (no better) and their hitting is going to be terrible without Delgado and likely Zaun.
Teams obviously realized how crazy the free agent market was and decided to hold on to most of the non-tenders, much to the chagrin on TO fans hoping for a couple free agent bargains. Now what's left? Not much.

What do the Jays do for catching if Zaun bolts somewhere else? By the way, what does it take for a player to say "Thanks for helping me salvage my career"?

And Clement went to Boston?! Now we have to watch him beat us all year...

OH, and congrats, NFH.
_miVulgar - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:06 PM EST (#6727) #
NFH, congratulations... best thing that'll ever happen in your life.

My daughter's 6 months old and I'm loving every minute of it.
_DeMarco - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:17 PM EST (#6728) #
Congrats Aaron!

I would have said Ramon Castro would be a good replacement for Zaun, but he has just reportedly accepted a minor legue contract from the Mets.
Coach - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:19 PM EST (#6729) #
That Phelps signing has Tim Wilken's fingerprints all over it.

As did the trades for Kevin Cash and Mark Hendrickson. Maybe they can get something else going; a Wilken draftee for say, Jonny Gomes, who slips down the Rays depth chart with this acquisition.

Apart from the bonus of living in the area, it's a good baseball move for Josh -- he has hit very well in the Trop, and he couldn't expect nearly as many AB with a contender, so he has another chance to figure out AL righties and prove if he can be even adequate at first base.

When the Jays play Tampa in the first series of 2005, Lilly in particular should be very careful with Phelps. Every time he homers, the poison-pen brigade will cry that Toronto gave up on him too soon. To make their "point," they will have to forget about him being arbitration-eligible, ignore Eric Crozier completely, and avoid mentioning that Cleveland subsequently let Josh walk away for nothing.

...everyone else spends foolishly...

Shouldn't this mean that some relative bargains have to be available for teams that wait? Every club that overpays for an Alou or Finley seems to me like one less potential trading partner for a Kearns or Wilkerson.

By the way, what does it take for a player to say "Thanks for helping me salvage my career"?

Zaun has more than repaid the Jays for that opportunity already, with a .367 OBP, many spectacular defensive plays and leadership when the big guns were sidelined. He deserves a raise and an option for 2006, not cheap shots.
_Jim - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:24 PM EST (#6730) #
Gomes is having a sick winter league season. I believe he hit his 11th HR the other day.
_Prisoner of Ham - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:25 PM EST (#6731) #
http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3271326
Let me add my congrats to NFH. Lots of babies in my neck of the woods these days and let me say, they make dinner parties a lot more interesting.

COMN for a scathing piece by Ken Rosenthal on the Dodger moves this off-season. DePodesta's not making himself many fans.
Pistol - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:30 PM EST (#6732) #
...everyone else spends foolishly...

Shouldn't this mean that some relative bargains have to be available for teams that wait?


In theory, yes, which is what I've been saying all along this offseason.

Of course, it appears that there might be more money being spent by teams than originally anticipated (particularily the Giants) so perhaps these teams aren't overpaying for free agents.
_Smirnoff - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:37 PM EST (#6733) #
I'm struggling with that as well. Is it really overpaying if everyone else is doing it. Wouldn't that just be paying market value?
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:39 PM EST (#6734) #
my wife has gone into labour and I'm about to be a dad, which I hear can be time consuming.

You mean find this hard to believe, but you actually get used to never getting a good night's sleep. For, like, the next year or so.

Congratulations, man. And remember what I said about the tennis. Big, big money. While you're still in your prime. :-)
_DeMarco - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:39 PM EST (#6735) #
Zaun has more than repaid the Jays for that opportunity already, with a .367 OBP, many spectacular defensive plays and leadership when the big guns were sidelined. He deserves a raise and an option for 2006, not cheap shots.

I disagree with the defense part, I think he is below average defensively. Also his .232 average will no power in the second half of the season would definitely prevent me from giving him a 2 year contract.
robertdudek - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:42 PM EST (#6736) #
Some commodities in the marketplace might be overvalued - say veteran free agent pitchers. Others, like arbitration-eligible players might be undervalued. The best thing to do is search for a trading opportunity. Many of the teams signing players to these big contracts are going to regret it in the future.
_Smirnoff - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:43 PM EST (#6737) #
NFH,

Congrats. That's great news.
_DeMarco - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:49 PM EST (#6738) #
Dodger moves this off-season. DePodesta's not making himself many fans.

I could be just me, but I don't mind the moves the Dodgers have made. I think Drew is a very good player and I like the addition of Kent. I think they will be right at the top of the league again next year.
_Lefty - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 01:55 PM EST (#6739) #
Boy or girl, no matter, thats going to be one lucky kid to have a Dad like you. My guess is the babies Mum is pretty cool too.

I have a boy 11 and a girl 14. When I look at my daughter today I still see her baby face in my arms as new born. Then I give my head a shake and ache that she's nearly grown up and will give me an ulcer.

All the very best of luck to the Hanks.
Lefty
_Kieran - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:05 PM EST (#6740) #

#271332 Posted 12/23/2004 12:55 PM by Marc:

I haven't been watching the baseball news too heavily for the last five days or so as I am in Aruba on holiday but I stopped into the Internet cafe today to see how things are going


Gotta love that a guy in the tropics takes a vacation from his vacation to post on BB.

Cheers to that.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:06 PM EST (#6741) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=bayless/041223
Skip Bayless reports that Beane began saying last August that he was going to unload two of the Big Three this off-season (COMN), and makes the obvious points: a) Zito is the youngest and the most durable; b) Zito was the best of the three in last year's second half; c) Hudson's body looks ready to start breaking down; d) Mulder seems to have some confidence issues; e) their sh*t wasn't working in the post-season anyway.

That last got me looking at just how Oakland's Big Three did in their four post-seasons. They actually all pitched pretty well, with the following caveats: a) Mulder wasn't available in 2003 (in 2000, he was the fifth starter by the time the season ended and wasn't used) b) Hudson did pitch poorly against Minnesota in 2002; c) Hudson had to come out after one inning in Game 4 in 2003.

But it's not like they were bad. Hudson was 1-2 3.44 in 6 starts; Mulder was 2-2 2.25 in 4 starts; Zito was 3-2 2.76 in 5 starts.
_MatO - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:28 PM EST (#6742) #
NFH, here's hoping that the labour is quick and free of complications.
Gitz - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:35 PM EST (#6743) #
Hudson's body looks ready to start breaking down

This is silly to me. Hudson is 29-years-old. Sure, he's slight of build, but he's never had any serious arm injuries; he has years of effectiveness ahead of him.

As for Zito being the best of the Big Three in the end, this is akin to being the best expired milk: they were all pitching below their career norms (some considerably below; et tu, Mr. Mulder?). I saw nearly every Zito start last year, and with very few exceptions it was torture, like watching on C-Span a Kansas senator pimp for a tax subsidy. Going forward, why should 2005 be any different than 2004? Zito's decline, such as it was, began in 2003; the K rate dropped, the number of pitches thrown went up, but he gave up roughly the same number of hits as he did in 2002. Meyer and Blanton and Harden better be all that and a bag of chips, because I can't see Zito turning it around.
_Wes - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:37 PM EST (#6744) #
Man Boston made a killing with that Miller signing.

They have first dibs on him for 06 also.

Unless he was desperate to pitch in Beantown and willing to go there at a discount why not offer the guy a gauranteed 3 million plus incentives.

I've always loved Miller's stuff and gamer attitude and even if he were to only pitch 80 innings this year those 80 innings would have a value of around 3 million bones.

More gauranteed money would have been a well calculated risk for a "small" market team like the Jays. If you aren't wiling to pay market value for the blue chippers you have to take calculated chances on guys with possible flaws.

Who knows what Miller's motives were but this really has me irked.

W
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:42 PM EST (#6745) #
a Kansas senator pimp for a tax subsidy

Yikes!
_Jordan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:50 PM EST (#6746) #
You mean find this hard to believe, but you actually get used to never getting a good night's sleep. For, like, the next year or so.

He's not kidding, Aaron. No, seriously.
_Nick S - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:51 PM EST (#6747) #
Wes - players would rather play for a tradition-rich franchise that just won a world championship in a great American city than play for a last place team in a Canadian city with only a long-shot chance at beating NY and Boston. JP offers more money (Kline, Worrell, probably others) and the players don't care. Pitching in Boston is a great showcase to earn a big contract. Would you rather play in a city that oozes passion for baseball and sells out every single game in its historic ballpark or would you rather pitch in a city with a fraction of that passion and play in a half-empty dome every fifth day? Come on. Be realistic. These are human beings who are not stupid. This is not fantasy baseball where you just pick up a player. There are a lot of factors that go into a signing. You seem to only concentrate on the money aspect. I guarantee that another $1.5 million this year would not have affected Wade Miller's decision to sign with Boston over Toronto in even the slightest bit.
_Four Seamer - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:55 PM EST (#6748) #
Apropos of all this discussion of Steve Kline, consider me one Jays fan who is happy he signed elsewhere. I'm not going to go through the details, but anyone who read the GQ article about him knows exactly what I'm talking about.
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:55 PM EST (#6749) #
This is what, the fourth newborn for Da Box within a year-and-a-half or so? (Plus Lucas got married, the sucker, I mean, congrats!)

I politely request that you guys knock it off. The peer pressure coming from these parts is overwhelming. Let's make 2005 the year of no new marriages and no new children! :)
Pistol - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:56 PM EST (#6750) #
Given what Wade Miller signed for, and the fact Houston apparently wasn't willing to do a similar deal, I think his shoulder might be worse than most of us think. It's not just Toronto that didn't get him. There's plenty of teams with money to spend that could have used a pitcher like Miller.

Hudson's body looks ready to start breaking down

This is silly to me. Hudson is 29-years-old. Sure, he's slight of build, but he's never had any serious arm injuries; he has years of effectiveness ahead of him.


I didn't read the column (Bayless is on my 'Do Not Read' list), but if you changed that his 'body looks ready to start breaking down' to 'he's had various nagging injuries that have possibly hurt his future effectiveness' it might sound better. I'm pretty sure Skip Bayless is no authority on the health of athletes.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:56 PM EST (#6751) #
you have to take calculated chances on guys with possible flaws.

Sure, but I dunno about this one. Shoulder injuries scare the be-jeesus out of me. From last July:

[Miller]has a frayed right rotator cuff and expects to return after resting it for two weeks.... "I'm going to take a few weeks off, get some rest and hopefully come back better."

And in September:

"My status is I'm shut down for the rest of the year and I'm just going to start rehabbing now and get ready for next spring...I'm sure a couple of months off is definitely going to help, I think."

He signed for $1.5 million plus $ 3 million in incentives, passed a physical, and his agent says he'll be ready by Opening Day. It's a great pickup if that's true, and if he isn't ready Theo won't notice the $1.5 million...
_R Billie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:57 PM EST (#6752) #
Come on man. Everyone's doing it. Don't you wanna be cool?
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 02:58 PM EST (#6753) #
Come on man. Everyone's doing it. Don't you wanna be cool?

No. I've gotten rather used to being lame. That's how me and the cats like it. :)
_MatO - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:03 PM EST (#6754) #
Miller also had some elbow soreness and a "tired arm" during the 2003 season. A giant red flag is the Astros unwillingness to try and resign him at that price. They know more about his arm than any other team.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:04 PM EST (#6755) #
Let's make 2005 the year of no new marriages and no new children!

I think I can promise that I'll be doing my part. Or not doing my part...
_JayFan0912 - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:06 PM EST (#6756) #
Questions, Miller, Zaun, etc.

Which right handed 1b/dh are the jays pursuing ?

In regards to miller, can you blame him ? He goes to the world champion, a high payroll team, which will score runs in bunches. He increases his value, and would probably get overpaid if he does well.

With the team being the way it is I am not so sure I would resign zaun, I would just start Quiroz right off. From last year, as time went on, he did better against mlb pitchers, and it makes you wonder if it is really a good idea right now to delay his arbitration time. I also don't understand why the jays don't have patience with league as a starter ... why hurry him into the bullpen. It's not like they are contending.

If the team can't find a decent bat via trade, this team is going to suck, badly. If you look at every player on the roster, there are questions ... There is no guarantee halladay will ever pitch as effectively as he did, and lilly's had the best year of his carreer, can he repeat ? ... Can there be enough offence ? Is the bullpen good enough ?
Not only that, but with the current roster, this team is two injuries away from being the worst team in the majaors next year. Just imagine if halladay and wells go down next year.
Joe - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:10 PM EST (#6757) #
http://me.woot.net
Let's make 2005 the year of no new marriages and no new children!

I second that, on both counts.

(As of October 2005, my girlfriend and I will have been together for 6 years. And I'll be graduated. The pressure is already increasing.)
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:14 PM EST (#6758) #
I'm pretty sure Skip Bayless is no authority on the health of athletes.

No doubt, but it sure looks to me like he's reflecting the Beane/Oakland party line. I think it likely that they're worried about Hudson going forward. Not that they could re-sign him anyway.

I was thinking... well, Pedro's a small skinny RH and he worked 217 IP last year, struck out 227 guys. And he just turned 33, right?

Of course Hudson is even skinnier than Pedro (TH listed at 6-1, 164 and Pedro at 5-11, 180.)

Reminds me of Pete Rose talking about Dave Concepcion (6-2, 160). When told that Concepcion was out of the lineup with a pulled muscle, Rose said "He may have pulled a bone, but there's no way that man could have pulled a muscle."
Gitz - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:20 PM EST (#6759) #
Hudson and Pedro are completely different pitchers: Pedro's got a fairly active delivery, while Hudson is nice and compact. Juan Cruz, on the other hand, IS skinnier than Hudson, and with a violent delivery to boot. Keeping him in the bullpen, grooming him to be the "Futuer Closer," that's the prudent decision (not that these people need my advice, naturally). Make him a starter and he's done after four starts.
_H. Winfield Teu - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:24 PM EST (#6760) #
Wish NFH our best...Kids are the greatest!!! If you name him/her Named for Hank, would the child be named Named for Named for Hank?

Take extra care of your wife the next few days....Then....Sleep in.
_Wes - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:26 PM EST (#6761) #
If Miller thought his shoulder was done, and Iím sure he has a feel for such things, why would he sign a deal for only 1.5 mill guaranteed? (Unless every other GM thinks heís too risky to offer significantly more in guaranteed cash)

I agree that he is most likely trying to showcase himself with a high profile team.

Who knows if Toronto had a shot, but I sure hope J.P. played every card he had.

Itís pretty tough being a Jays fan these days, the only solution I can think of are reforms to baseballís playoff system. Generally Iím a traditionalist but with the top players in the game being half man, half chemistry experiment I donít see how a more equitable playoff structure would hurt anybody (it certainly wouldnít hurt league revenues).
_John Northey - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:31 PM EST (#6762) #
Well, marriage has already happened this year for me, plus the new house. However, my wife is really getting the 'I want a child' virus now. Luckily she agrees we should wait until 2006 for at least the birth of it so no new kids or weddings from me in 2005. Congrats to all the people here who've had them in 2004 though! And don't let marriage scare you. If you love her and can see yourself with her in 40 years then get married. If you can't then you should look for someone new who you could be with for 40+ years. Yes, we do have a retirement planned out already (way up north near Atikokan, cheap land near a lake with our dream house built when we're ready)
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:34 PM EST (#6763) #
If Miller thought his shoulder was done, and Iím sure he has a feel for such things, why would he sign a deal for only 1.5 mill guaranteed?

I'm sure he doesn't think he's done (they never do!), so I would assume that was more or less the best offer he had. Or at least comparable enough that Boston was as good as any...
_garth - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:36 PM EST (#6764) #
joe
maybe you can use jp's reasoning (.ie ready to commit by 2006... 2007...2008)
Gitz - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:37 PM EST (#6765) #
Yes, we do have a retirement planned out already ...

Cripes, I'm struggling to get past the next hour!
_John Northey - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:38 PM EST (#6766) #
Playoffs...
If we can't go back to just having the winners of each division going to the playoffs then we might as well go whole hog and have 16 teams in it imo. I find the playoffs have lost my interest in the first round and I can't get fully into it until the World Series now unless a team I really like is in it. I used to love the playoffs but now it just feels like too much of a crapshoot. If that is how it is going to be (a luck of the draw thing), make it a full one. Give us Jay fans hope every year.

Personally, I'd rather add two new teams (Las Vegas and Montreal again) and have 8 divisions with 4 teams each, division winners only go to the playoffs. Unbalanced schedule of course. Radical realignment so we get tight regional rivals (Toronto & Detroit, together again). Now that would be fun. Make a nuclear division with NY, NY, Boston, Philly in it too so no more risks of NY vs NY or NY vs Boston or people without money or access to it having to live with those nuts (Philly has tons of potential cash if they tap it).
_Mick - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:41 PM EST (#6767) #
I like 'Batter's Box presents Named for Hank Jr'.

Named for ... Hank Jr.?

You want to name the kid "Williams"???

If that, then at least go with Named for Ted or Named for Billy.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:49 PM EST (#6768) #
Why are we all assuming that the child will be a boy? Aaron, name the kid after Dale Murphy or Robin Yount and you'll be fine either way.
_Mick - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#6769) #
Why would you name a child "Murphy" or "Yount"? (Remember, NFH=Aaron=last name.)

Maybe former Royal pitcher Rich Gale or Hall of Fame 1B Bill Terry would do in a pinch.
Pistol - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 04:28 PM EST (#6770) #
I could be just me

I'd go with that. I find being other people is tough work.
_Mylegacy - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 04:30 PM EST (#6771) #
http://www.bostondirtdogs.com/
Boston Dirt Dog site is reporting that Varitek is signing a 4 year $40 million contract (COMM for details).

RATS, I thought he's be a great platoon with Myers. Oh well...
Named For Hank - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 04:35 PM EST (#6772) #
Gotta love that a guy in the tropics takes a vacation from his vacation to post on BB.

Didn't I post from Tobago in June of '03? I found a crazy tin shack on the beach, with giant letters painted on the side of it:

DIVE RENTAL
COLD DRINKS
BOAT TOURS
CANDY
INTERNET

Inside was a very old gentleman with huge white dreadlocks, a mini fridge filled with drinks I had never heard of, several jars of candy, and two dusty original Bondi Blue iMacs sharing one dial-up connection.

As to names, we have a bunch of them. When the kid comes out, first we'll determine boy-or-girl and then we'll stare at 'em and figure out what name fits.

And Vanessa was a mighty good tennis player in her youth, so that could be a real possibility.

Thanks, everybody, for all the kind wishes. We're hanging out and "enjoying" the long process of labour. ;)
_Mick - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 04:41 PM EST (#6773) #
Whatever you do, don't name the kid "Fehr" or your wife's time in labor could stretch into months.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 05:24 PM EST (#6774) #
We're hanging out and "enjoying" the long process of labour.

There's a very excellent chance you're going to get cursed out in the next few hours.

Vigourously.

With feeling and emphasis.

You will hear the phrase "Never again."

It passes.

It passes, in fact, at some point after she first holds the child in her arms.

Alas, we do not yet have instruments sensitive enough to measure how brief that moment is... :-)
_Brent - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 05:42 PM EST (#6775) #
As to names, we have a bunch of them. When the kid comes out, first we'll determine boy-or-girl and then we'll stare at 'em and figure out what name fits.

Let me be so bold as to offer a suggestion. Get this:

Seven

It's cachet baby. It's got cachet up the ying yang.
_Ron - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 05:47 PM EST (#6776) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1952658
Varitek re-ups for 40 mil/4 years.

He's going to be 33 next season. He's at the age where he has probably already peaked and a drop off in performance wouldn't be shocking.

But when you got buckets full of dough like the Red Sox who cares that you will be paying a 36 year old catcher 10 mil.
_Tom Servo - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 05:50 PM EST (#6777) #
I'm just a lurker (youse guys is so much wiser than me!) but I got both married and turned into a daddy during 2004!

Yeah, I just wanted to join the party. Carry on. :D
_Nick S - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 06:03 PM EST (#6778) #
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/MLB/Toronto/2004/12/23/795318.html
"He'll be our first baseman this year. We need him to step it up.

The above statement is from an article by Mike Rutsey. It was made by JP and the "He" in that statement is Eric Hinske. I hope like hell Eric turns it around, but...yikes. The lineup as it now stands is unacceptable. I give JP the benefit of the doubt because there is still time left in the offseason, but statements like these do not give me a lot of confidence about next year's offense.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 06:09 PM EST (#6779) #
My name choice for NFNFH: Neko. Honours the New Pornographers, Aaron's band of choice, and works for both genders.
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 06:15 PM EST (#6780) #
As cute as my new little kitten is, I don't think Aaron should name his newborn after her.

Maybe Aaron should let his kid pick his/her name once he/she is at an appropriate age. I can just hear NFH lobbying his 8 year old son:

How about Aaron Jr? The kids at school can call you A-Ju!

/Only a week left to win "The most inappropriate comment of 2004 award". Get your ballots in today! :)
_Prisoner of Ham - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 06:20 PM EST (#6781) #
It seems to me that if we're stuck with Hinske at first, and stuck with Rios in right, and stuck with a lot of low-priced talent partly because we can't attract any high-priced talent here, then we have to maximize what we've got.

How do we do that? Coaches. Butterfield showed what's possible when you apply the right coach to a situation. I have some faith that our new pitching coach will have ways and means of getting more out of our staff than the nice guy who preceded him. But I have no faith that Mike Barnett has the capability of turning around the ship he's launched.

If we can't get high-priced players, why not get high-priced coaches for a fraction of the cost? Get a psychologist to get inside Hinske's head and help him figure out why he's swinging at so many bad pitches and letting the good ones go by, and help him find some level of productive calm. Spend a boatload on video and a battery of helpers, and force these players to sit and watch and learn (because from what I hear, not all of them bother).

If we can't get a right handed slugger, get Gibson some better right-hand men.
_Prisoner of Ham - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 06:23 PM EST (#6782) #
And by Gibson, of course, I meant Gibbons.
Aaagh!
Mike Green - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:00 PM EST (#6783) #
POH, Oh, you had me hoping. I would've taken either Bob or Josh Gibson. Who needs a high priced free agent when you can simply summon a legend?
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:04 PM EST (#6784) #
With the Dodgers having (a) signed JD Drew and (b) not having traded Shawn Green, does this mean that Green goes into 2005 as the team's first baseman, leaving Choi twisting in the wind? If so, what would it take for JP to shake him loose from his old buddy DePo?

I know that Valentin has been signed to play 3B for the Dodgers, but perhaps he could be used in a LF platoon with Werth (with Bradley in CF) and perhaps Hinske could be sent over with JP including a good chunk of change to cover much of Hinske's contract.

Who'd you rather have at 1B in 2005? Hinske or Choi?
_PeterG - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:18 PM EST (#6785) #
Hinske
_Ryan Lind - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:19 PM EST (#6786) #
You named your cat Neko? I hope it doesn't speak Japanese. :)
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:24 PM EST (#6787) #
But I have no faith that Mike Barnett has the capability of turning around the ship he's launched.

He's had the job for three years:

2002 - 813 runs scored (7th)
2003 - 897 runs scored (2nd)
2004 - 719 runs scored (12th)

So I have lots of faith in the 2003 Mike Barnett...

That Alou deal (2 years/$13.6M) is incomprehensible to me

There are a number of interesting things here. Alou was awfully good last year, but the 39 HRs are more than he hit in 2002 and 2003 combined. So it looks like a fluke, and it probably was. His numbers at Wrigley last year were absolutely insane (see below)

Furthermore he's moving from a pretty good place to hit (Wrigley) to a very tough place to hit, unless your initials are BB. (Bonds says Pac Bell has actually made him a better hitter, precisely because it's such a challenge. Sigh.)

Alou in the last three years, away from Wrigley:

2002 - .267, 8 HR, 34 RBI, .408 slug, .316 On-Base
2003 - .278, 8 HR, 49 RBI, .443 slug, .349 On-Base
2004 - .247, 10 HR, 39 RBI, .416 slug, .300 On-Base

(His Home-Road splits aren't all that out of whack until last year, when he turned into Hack Wilson's cousin or something at Wrigley:
.339, 29 HR, 57 RBI, .714 slug, .414 On-Base)

That's not a $6.5 million corner outfielder, and it's not like he's earning the money with his glove.

So the Giants are much more likely to be receiving the 2002-2003 model, plus he's moving into Pac-Bell. Alou's numbers took a major hit when he left Enron for Wrigley, and it'll probably happen again.

And he's going to have to play RF in San Francisco, which also seems a little optimistic. He hasn't played there regularly since 2001, he's spent most of his career in LF, and he will be 39 next July...

Is there any good news for the Giants?

Just this - Alou has hit better with men on base (.301) than with the bases empty (.268) over the last three years. And he hits particularly well when there's a runner on 1B (.330, 20 HR, .559 slug, .412 on-base in 315 at-bats).

The guy who hits behind Bonds comes up an awful lot with a runner on first...

That's about the only bright spot I can see.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:26 PM EST (#6788) #
Who'd you rather have at 1B in 2005? Hinske or Choi?

Hinske at 1B and Choi at DH would work nicely for me.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:33 PM EST (#6789) #
Who'd you rather have at 1B in 2005? Hinske or Choi?

Player A ($ 310,000, 25 years old)
343 AtBats, .251, 15 HR, 63 BB, .370 On-Base, .449 slugging)

Player B ($ 900,000, 27 years old)
570 AtBats, .246, 15 HR, 54 BB, .312 On-Base, .375 slugging)

Duh.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:34 PM EST (#6790) #
Did I do that?

Italics BEGONE
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:34 PM EST (#6791) #
BEGONE, I say!
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:35 PM EST (#6792) #
It's not working....
_lurker - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:36 PM EST (#6793) #
Let's try this.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:37 PM EST (#6794) #
Well done, Lurker. How'd you do that anyway?

Usually turning them on and turning them off works for me, but not this time.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:44 PM EST (#6795) #
If so, what would it take for JP to shake him loose from his old buddy DePo?

Is there a chance at all, I wonder, that DePo would like to demonstrate that he is someone you can close a deal with? After all the nasty things Randy Levine said about him the other day?

I'm sure he'd much rather unload Green than Choi, however. The guy who slugged .459 but makes $16 million, as opposed to the guy who slugged .449 but makes $300 thou...

Alas.
_Mmick - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:45 PM EST (#6796) #
If you try to turn them off by turning them on and then off again, you have an odd number of tags, meaning one of the [i] tags is not closed. In effect, you're closing the one you just opened, but leaving the original one "on."
_Ryan Lind - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:50 PM EST (#6797) #
Check out Choi's HRs by month:

April: 9
May: 2
June: 2
July: 2
August/September: 0

One ridiculous month, and the HR power is gone.

Still, his OBP remained great, and SLG remained better than Hinske's, so I wouldn't mind acquiring him if it didn't cose much.
Mike D - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 07:55 PM EST (#6798) #
Bah. Although Choi brings all five tools to the table -- walks, power, walks-and-power, pow-alks, and walk-wer -- consider me a skeptic. He was absolutely atrocious at the plate after being sent to L.A. It's widely believed around baseball that he has severe, Phelpsian holes in his swing.

Interestingly, he was actually having a fine year with make-contact guru Bill Robinson in Florida; his batting average soared and his overall offensive profile was enhanced by his natural power and patience. But it seems like he needs specific tutelage to be a consistently productive hitter.

Maybe I'm just jaded from hearing that "this really will be the year" that the slow-moving, slow-swinging, minor-league walk machines like the Chois, Custs and Carlos Penas of the world will open up a can of OPS whoop-ass. Choi's already been traded twice, and the acquiring team hasn't made out like a bandit either time.
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 08:10 PM EST (#6799) #
Maybe I'm just jaded from hearing that "this really will be the year" that the slow-moving, slow-swinging, minor-league walk machines like the Chois, Custs and Carlos Penas of the world will open up a can of OPS whoop-ass.

I know.. that concept is so 1996. :)

I wouldn't mind Choi, but I wouldn't pay a lot for him. I could see him being turned into a .240 ground-ball hitting double-play machine in Toronto, which would be "A Bad Thing" (TM)
_Ron - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 08:15 PM EST (#6800) #
Well I'm not that high on the Jay's hitting coach, Barney. A lot of the Jays young hitters didn't take the next step (Phelps, Cash, Woodward, Johnson, Hinske, etc...).

The only "young" player that improved last season with the stick was the 0-Dog.

If Mr. Chinese Lettuce needs a strong hitting coach to produce, I don't think the Jays are for him.
_actionjackson - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 08:59 PM EST (#6801) #
I may be wearing those rose coloured glasses that keep getting talked about, but let's allow the big studs to fall where they may, and the big markets to ratchet their payrolls through the ceiling (all the while stuffing their stockings and rosters with over priced players). Does it not make sense that the bargains will become available by trade once this ridiculous orgy of spending is over? After all, even the rich need to clear space on their rosters, especially when they bloat them up in the pre-Christmas feast.

A hypothetical example would be if the Red Sox signed Delgado, which looks a bit doubtful now that the "heart and soul" of the team is back in the fold (somebody start a rumour that the Yankees are pursuing him hard, maybe Theo'll go after him). This would shake Millar or Mientkiewicz free. I would prefer Millar, given his right handed power and ability to play 1B/OF/DH. What would it take to get him? I know it's hypothetical, but it's a possibility that could arise. We don't yet know all the possible variables, so it's a little premature to right off 2005 or scream for a new GM. JP made some moves last year that were positive on paper and turned to s**t on the field.

Somebody mentioned using Wilken's sentimentality for the good ole Toronto days, by luring him into taking one of his favourite selections for Jonny Gomes, another seemingly solid righty power/OBP bat for OF/DH. Great suggestion, what would it take to get him? Instead of bemoaning all the lost overpriced guys, let's keep trying to think outside the box, because that's what it's going to take to get this boat turned around.

Remember how fabulous everything looked this time last year? Look what happened. The degree of last year's optimism just about equals the degree of this year's pessimism. But you just can't tell. We can guess, predict, quantify, but until we get playing real games again, we DON'T KNOW. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays, wish NFH well, and pass the turkey with all the trimmings please (I know it's not politically correct to say "Merry Christmas" anymore, so just pass me the damn bird!).
_... - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 09:58 PM EST (#6802) #
"If Mr. Chinese Lettuce needs a strong hitting coach to produce, I don't think the Jays are for him."

F`uck you, ya racist dipsh`it son of a b`itch.
_Aaron - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:06 PM EST (#6803) #
Wow, there goes all my respect for you, Ron.
_Brennan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:06 PM EST (#6804) #
Choi is another word for lettuce, so i hardly think Ron's post is deserving of such hate.
_Brennan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:08 PM EST (#6805) #
http://www.aloha.com/~craven/lettuce.html
Actually its not, but its something very close... COMN
Pistol - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:09 PM EST (#6806) #
I'm sure he'd much rather unload Green than Choi, however

If it wasn't for the no trade clause I'd investigate trading for Green.
_Nolan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:29 PM EST (#6807) #
Wow, even if "choi" didn't have anything to do with lettuce, I can't see how what Ron wrote is racist...certainly not deserving of that response. It might be akin to me labeling Koskie as Mr. Canadian Bacon (or something like that, I'm not too clever), and I can't see that be taken too badly.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:33 PM EST (#6808) #
Ron, that was neither clever nor appropriate. You can make your reasonable point about Mike Barnett without making a joke of Choi's name and particularly without referencing a sensitive area like race.

Anonymous poster, we don't want to see personal attacks on other posters and we don't want to see that level of profanity. Please don't make that mistake again.

It's Christmas, folks. What say we let this one quietly die and move the conversation back to baseball.
_Pete Warren - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:38 PM EST (#6809) #
I think Kevin Millar would be a fine addition to the Blue Jays. However, he would not DH. Therefore there is a problem and he is out of the question.
_Pete Warren - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:39 PM EST (#6810) #
Who's you guys's bet to be the LOOGY's or LOOGY next year?
_Brennan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:42 PM EST (#6811) #
I don't know Jordan, i thought it was pretty clever and not at all inappropriate. Many posters here make name jokes all the time, and i'd wager Ron's wouldn't have elicited much comment if not for the anonymous flame.
_Nolan - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:52 PM EST (#6812) #
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylc=X3oDMTBpcDBuM2RlBF9TAzk1ODYxNzc3BHNlYwN0aA--?slug=ap-cardinals-eckstein&prov=ap&type=lgns
I haven't seen this mentioned yet on this site-- AP reports that the Cards just signed David Eckstein to a 3 year, 10.25 million dollar contract. COMN.
_Andrew S - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 10:53 PM EST (#6813) #
Why does it seem like every Jays' fan is either convinced not a single Jay will exceed his 10th percentile PECOTA projection, or that every last one will exceed his 90th?
_Cristian - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:00 PM EST (#6814) #
Are the new PECOTA projections out?
_Pete Warren - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:01 PM EST (#6815) #
I agree Andrew S
None of us really "dare to dream" on the site much. But with the Jays recent luck and performance the last few years, who can blame us.
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:11 PM EST (#6816) #
NFH: Don't let anybody tell you that you're doomed not to sleep. It's not necessarily true. Our son, now one-and-a-half, was sleeping through the night after a couple of months. It all depends on the individual kid.
_Ron - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:13 PM EST (#6817) #
http://ks.essortment.com/whatbokchoych_rgsv.htm
Wow I didnít know I would get flamed by an ďanonymous posterĒ for making a friendly joke.

I was comparing Choiís last name to Bok Choy (pronounced the same) which is Chinese Cabbage.

I donít know how anybody in their right mind would consider what I wrote racist.

BTW Iím Chinese.

AnywaysÖÖÖÖ..

Letís get back to talking baseball.
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:15 PM EST (#6818) #
Don't let anybody tell you that you're doomed not to sleep. It's not necessarily true. Our son, now one-and-a-half, was sleeping through the night after a couple of months. It all depends on the individual kid.

Matthew's right. It's very individual. My son didn't start sleeping through the night until he was 3. Yes, 1000 nights of crummy sleep. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Of course I can't even wake him up in the mornings now.
_Andrew S - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:24 PM EST (#6819) #
I agree Andrew S
None of us really "dare to dream" on the site much. But with the Jays recent luck and performance the last few years, who can blame us


Actually, I find there are a few who dare to dream, but basically nobody who dares to be realistic

This team is almost certainly going to be better than last year. Last year everything that could go wrong did. And it went almost as wrong as one could reasonably believe possible. While I won't expect 90+ wins, that is about as realistic as the less than 65 a large number of posters seem to be predicting. 75-85 is what's likely. Sure, they Jays could lose 100 games, or win 100 games, but both are exceedingly unlikely.
_Mick - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:32 PM EST (#6820) #
"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

So yes, back to baseball:
let's keep trying to think outside the box

Actually, I'd like to see many, many more people thinking inside Da Box.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:33 PM EST (#6821) #
Don't let anybody tell you that you're doomed not to sleep. It's not necessarily true. Our son, now one-and-a-half, was sleeping through the night after a couple of months.

And how were those first couple of months? :-)

I just think its best if NFH is prepared for whatever may await.

(Not that there's any real being prepared...)

BTW Iím Chinese.

But on the Internet, most people reading won't know that. See, this is one of the limitations of this here medium we are using to communicate with each other. Hey, what the hell, we learn by doing. Or something.

Why does it seem like every Jays' fan is either convinced not a single Jay will exceed his 10th percentile PECOTA

Once bitten, twice shy. There was so much optimism here last spring, heading into the season.

Now we're all setting ourselves up to be pleasantly surprised.
_John Northey - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:39 PM EST (#6822) #
So, how many wins does everyone think the Jays will end up with in 2005 then?

I think the offense will be visibly better as Wells, Rios, Adams, Cat, and Koskie should all do better than they did last year or better than the guy they each are replacing. First base is the only spot that should decline, and that is from a mediocre year for Delgado which might not be replaced but could be acceptable should a good mix be found, heck even Hinske might be able to do a good enough performance to keep the Jays offense from being weakened too much.

The pitching should be better too with Halladay geting a full season in (hopefully) and Bush getting a full year too. With Lilly and Batista I think we've got a solid top 4 with good competition for the 5th slot/last slot in pen. Closer has to be better than last years mix and match.

I see at least 75 wins and a good shot at 85. 90 or more is dreaming and would require as much good luck in '05 as bad luck in '04. It could happen, but then I could win the lottery too if I bought a ticket.
_Ron - Thursday, December 23 2004 @ 11:55 PM EST (#6823) #
Once factor when trying to predict wins that many people forget is the improvement from the main competition.

On paper a case could be made all 4 of the Jays AL East partners have improved.

The off-season is far from over so it's hard to make a stable prediction right now because I'm sure the roster will see a few more changes.

But just for discussion, assuming JP doesn't add any major stars to the line-up (i.e. A Carlos Lee type player)I would predict the Jays will win 71 games next season.

Considering the Jays offence was terrible last season and they lost their best hitter, I don't know how the offence would vastly improve.

When I put on my rose colored glasses I see:
- Wells playing like he did 2 seasons ago
- Rios and O-Dog becoming all-stars
- Adams becoming a stud SS
- Hinske hitting 30 HR's with 95 RBI's
- Doc bouncing back into CY Young form
- Lilly improving
- Bush becoming an all-star calibre player
- The bullpen becoming lights out with League closing

When I take off the rose colored glasses I see
- A team that has no hope at even contending for a wild card spot
- A team that will battle the Rays for 4th place in the AL East
- A team filled with questions marks in virtually every department.

Hopefully the Rose Colored Glasses side wins out and the Jays shock the MLB Baseball world next season.
Thomas - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 12:05 AM EST (#6824) #
COMN for a scathing piece by Ken Rosenthal on the Dodger moves this off-season. DePodesta's not making himself many fans.

I don't agree with a fair amount of what Rosenthal says in this column, but am I the only one very impressed with what he's doing this offseason? He seems to be churning out a high quantity of quality columns and he appears to be right on top of breaking stories and rumours. Of all of the mainstream columnists on national sites, his work over the last few months has put him near the top, IMHO.
Thomas - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 12:33 AM EST (#6825) #
they were all pitching below their career norms (some considerably below; et tu, Mr. Mulder?).

I think we've seen the best of Mulder. Not that he will breakdown completely, but he will never be quite the same pitcher he was in 2002-June 2004.
_Andrew S - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 12:43 AM EST (#6826) #
Ron, the problem is that when you remove your rose colour glasses, you put on glasses covered in vomit.

Why not just look without either?

Yeah, the Blue Jays offense was awful last year ... but almost everyone had a terrible year. If everyone last year had a career year, we'd expect the offense to go down with no change in it. Conversely, when everyone has a bust of a year, we expect the offense to go up with no changes. It's a natural expectation.

I'd say I expect about ... 79 wins, with a standard deviation of 5 wins.
_Magpie - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:05 AM EST (#6827) #
Put me down, at the moment, for 76 wins.

But I'm expecting some more additions to the offense (like a real DH? Is that too much to expect?) - in which case, I'll go way out on a limb and say... 80 wins.
_Geoff - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:34 AM EST (#6828) #
I did the math this morning and with Shea Hillenbrand and Gregg Zaun we can reasonably expect the team to have a .754 OPS - this past year we had a .732 OPS - to have a .500 record we'd need a 740-745 OPS against (don't ask me why but the middle of the pack teams have a marginal advantage in OPS vs. OPS against - 740-745 OPS against would be about 5th in the A.L. - so the question is, do we have a top 5 pitching staff - if not, I dont think we can expect to be a .500 team
_Nolan - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:42 AM EST (#6829) #
http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3269142
Well, I find it to be no fun at all to be pessimistic and so my prediction will be based entirely on hope and funny, pink shaded glasses. Thus, I predict a season of 88 wins.

The sad thing is that total is probably about 9 wins shy of even a wild card birth.

If everyone on the team has a season in which they reach above expectation type uotputs, we could make the playoffs...but that is everything going right. Luckily, I believe that God is a Jays fan and I also believe that seasons like last season only happen in order to make the next season seem even better, and so I believe that next season will be great.

Best case scenario:

C-Quiroz [.275/.340/.410, 17 HR and good defence]
1B-Hinske [.285/.375/.510, 27 HR]
2B-Hudson [.310/.360/.450, GG and AS selection]
3B-Koskie [.270/.380/.550, 30 HR]
SS-Adams [.300/.360/410, 100 R and solid D]
OF-Wells [.330/.390/.585]
OF-Rios [.305/.350/.475, suprises us all and slams 19 HR with 35 2B]
OF-Cat [.320/.410/.450, and stays off the dl]; Gross [.280/.350/.460]
DH-Someone slams 35 HR

SP-Doc [regains CY form and wins 22]
SP-Lilly [Cuts walks and wins 18]
SP-Batista [shaves walks down with his era and earns 15 wins]
SP-Bush [Shows he's for real maintaining a mid-3 era and wins 17]
SP-Chacin and Towers step up to win a combined 20 games

RP-League comes in and dominates
RP-Lightenberg stays healthy and bounces back
RP-Chulk puts last months behind him and pitches well
RP-Frasor becomes a lights out set-up man
RP-Speier saves 39 and, with Frasor, shuts down the late innings

These are so rosy and hope filled that I know I'll get flamed....but the thing is that I would not be at all surprised if any of those players met those expectations/hopes [Rios' prediction is probably the most improbably, but slightly possible...other than that, I believe it's all do-able, just maybe not all in the same season].

Moffatt--> In regard to your view on White Sox prospect Brandon McCarthy, Dayn Perry agrees 100%:

You don't hear McCarthy's name mentioned all that often, but he's one of best pitching prospects in the game. Remember the name.

COMN
_actionjackson - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:44 AM EST (#6830) #
Mike Bauman has a good article on MLB.com about small market teams and the need for a cap or better revenue sharing titled: "A small-market Christmas wish". IMHO, Ted Rogers is entitled to make a profit on this venture, but he loses favour with me if he sucks it dry because after all, I'm part of "his base". All the arguments I've heard about big market/small market, seem to miss the point that the system is out of whack when the top team pays $150 million more ($6 million more per player) than the bottom team.

In the "free market" all it takes is one bozo organization (the Mets) to give a mediocre pitcher (Kris Benson) ridiculous compensation (3yrs/$22.5 million!) and suddenly the market for even the mediocre players becomes unattainable for the bottom feeders. What happened between last offseason and this one? How is it that suddenly Eckstein and Matheny are worth 3yrs/$10+million? You are not going to convince me that most of these signings are worth what they got. But, round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. For a couple of years I thought sanity had prevailed, but boy was I wrong. I would rather see a "free market" but too many times I've seen this outbreak of stupidity. Please Bud, protect the owners from themselves. They know not what they do.

I just want to see merit and intelligence triumph across the league, not just your Oaklands and Minnesotas, the poster children for the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" crowd. Just like the steroid testing in the last CBA, whatever was done to fix this disparity didn't go far enough. Now I guess we know how the fans of other lower payroll teams have felt for years. It doesn't feel too good does it?
Named For Hank - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:50 AM EST (#6831) #
http://aaronreynolds.ca/gallery/Family
It's a boy.

COMN for the gallery where pictures will be... tomorrow. Now it's bedtime.
_Ryan Lind - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:56 AM EST (#6832) #
Nolan, if all that were to happen and the Jays only won 88 games, I would be really pissed off. ;)
_Magpie - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:04 AM EST (#6833) #
Nolan, if all that were to happen and the Jays only won 88 games, I would be really pissed off.

Yeah, when you get 82 wins from your starters, it does seem reasonable to expect more than 6 from the pen...

But still... fuzzy warm feelings. Nice to contemplate.
_Magpie - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:05 AM EST (#6834) #
It's a boy.

Welcome aboard!

Woo-hoo!
Pistol - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 08:37 AM EST (#6835) #
Please Bud, protect the owners from themselves.

Yes, more money needs to go in the owner's pockets. I feel bad for them.
_whizland2000 - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 09:03 AM EST (#6836) #
presenting a poem by Rich. griff.

COMN
_whizland2000 - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 09:04 AM EST (#6837) #
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1103842213345&call_pageid=969907739730&col=970081600908
presenting a poem by Rich. griff.

COMN
_Four Seamer - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 09:09 AM EST (#6838) #
presenting a poem by Rich. griff.

Since it's Christmas, I will refrain from commenting on how pathetic, mean-spirited and idiotic that poem is.
_Paul D - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST (#6839) #
No kidding Four Seamer... I actually want to email the Star and complain, although that's probably what he wants.

Did that line about JP being a condescending New Englander even rythme?
_Kieran - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 10:13 AM EST (#6840) #
#2713136 Posted 12/24/2004 01:44 AM by actionjackson:

Mike Bauman has a good article on MLB.com about small market teams and the need for a cap or better revenue


Can someone provide a link to this article, I can't seem to find it.
_Jordan - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 10:14 AM EST (#6841) #
Wow...I'm not upset; I'm actually embarrassed for Griff. That was really, really bad. I mean, parodying 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is cliched and hackneyed, yes, but this version was also not remotely funny and made little attempt to maintain rhyme or meter. Parody, particularly the kind that incorporates personal criticism, is something you really shouldn't attempt without a degree of proficiency in it. Unfortunately for him, Griff is way out of his element here. Painful.
Pistol - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 10:28 AM EST (#6842) #
parodying 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is cliched and hackneyed

No kidding. I read the first two lines and hit the back button on my browser.
Pistol - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 10:52 AM EST (#6843) #
And now I can't wait for the 'Blue Jays New Year Resolution' column.
_Magpie - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 11:39 AM EST (#6844) #
Hang on; did the child arrive after midnight?

If so, disregard the previous. All except the Congratulations part.
_Vernons Biggest - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 11:47 AM EST (#6845) #
If everything goes right this team could win 85-88 games. However rarely does everything go right for any team. I think there'll be major strides by some players (Hinske, Rios) and star players (The Doctor, Wellsie), but for everyone to have a career season, seems unlikely.

IMO, this team will win 81-82 games, and I will be happy for then.
_Razz - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 11:49 AM EST (#6846) #
Classic Griffin. Actually the best line might have been the aforementioned "condescending New Englander." Which intentionally did not rhyme.

"Even J.P. was touched by the work of the Rick,
As he began treating fans with respect not as a condescending New Englander"

Surprisingly, quite witty of Griffin. I'm surprised at his subtlety in not calling JP a Prick.

Waiting for a Boxite to retaliate with a version of "The Griffin that stole Christmas."
_Robbie - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 12:49 PM EST (#6847) #
Looking at some of the remaining free agents, there are a few names of some players that might be had for relatively cheap that seem like options worth exploring at the very least. Some of these guys didn't even play in 2004, but at minor league deals, you never know...

- Dan Miceli
- Chris Hammond
- Shawn Estes
- Jim Mecir
- Jaun Gonzalez
- Roberto Hernandez
- Tony Clark
- Jeff Nelson
- Brian Jordan
- David Segui
- Paul Shuey
- Scott Stewart
_Mick - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:08 PM EST (#6848) #
Nolan, if all that were to happen and the Jays only won 88 games

My math might be off, but I think Nolan predicted 88 wins for the team and then attributed 92 wins to the rotation alone ,, now THAT'D be a neat trick.

I know, Nolan, best-case scenario for everyone individually doesn't equal (and exceeds!) the probable best-case for teh team, but it reminds me of when I was a kid and in the pre-season would write down predictions for each team, starting with the BRM at 107-55 or something, and my dad would remind me that the totals had to be .500 ... to even it out at the end, inevitably I'd have to conclude the Cubs or the Gians or someone would be 45-117.
_John Northey - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 01:32 PM EST (#6849) #
I have to say it, Juan Gonzalez would be a good pickup for the Jays.

Right handed bat, DH/LF/RF, tons of power still, might be cheap. If he can be had for under $5 million (plus incentives) I'd go for it. He may be another Joe Carter (lots of RBIs and outs), but Joe at his best was a heck of a good player, maybe not HOF good but darn good.
_Braby21 - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:06 PM EST (#6850) #
At this point, the Jays should look at any option possible.
_David C - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:10 PM EST (#6851) #
I just heard that Johnny Oates passed away - anyone have confirmation?
_David C - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:12 PM EST (#6852) #
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_news.jsp?ymd=20041224&content_id=925717&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp
Here it is
_Paul D - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:40 PM EST (#6853) #
Classic Griffin. Actually the best line might have been the aforementioned "condescending New Englander." Which intentionally did not rhyme.

Oh yeah, I feel sort of embarrassed that I didn't catch that. I wasn't reading very deeply.
_Mick - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 02:43 PM EST (#6854) #
I considered a separate Johnny Oates thread, but he has no visible ties to the Jays or Expos, so I didn't ... anyway, this was in e-mail from MJ Hindman, who is essentially assistant editor to Jamey Newberg on the Texas Rangers NMLR site, earlier today:

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I pass along to you that we have lost a great man on this day. Johnny Oates--who led the Texas Rangers to three division titles, the only titles in the club's history--has left us and his horrible, unending physical pain. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Oates family and all who knew Johnny and were touched by him.

I immodestly reprint an excerpt from a past report that I wrote the day after Johnny was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in its inaugural class.
========================
The Texas Rangers haven't done a great many things the right way in their mostly troubled thirty year history, but most of what they did do right came when Johnny Oates presided over the clubhouse. So yesterday, they certainly could not have been more justified in making sure that Oates was included in their initial club Hall of Fame class--and that he was present to enjoy his induction.

Oates is one of the finest gentlemen to have ever worn the Rangers uniform and, of course, he gave us our proudest moments as Rangers fans with three playoff appearances in his six full seasons. A review of the history of the Texas Rangers reveals, all too often, an organization in disarray--from the "Seasons in Hell" of the 1970's to the past three confusing and disorganized years. The club has suffered through far too many people whose actions were an embarrassment in some way or other and while the Rangers h! ave been at times virtually leaderless, it has more often been led by idiots.

Never was there a moment, however, that you had to apologize for Johnny Oates and under his watch, the Rangers seemed to have clarity of purpose, strength of conviction, and a consistency in their actions that had never really been there before. I believe that those characteristics were, as much as anything else, a reflection of the man that Johnny Oates is and has always been.

I hope that everyone truly appreciates that what Oates did yesterday required a colossal amount of strength. Trust me. I know. This man knows that he is going to die, probably soon, and painfully. Meanwhile, he gets to live in a body that will constantly fail him, prevent him from doing what he wants to do, and punish him unmercifully almost every minute of every day. The fight he is in right now requires epic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual courage and Johnny Oates clearly has all of those things in spades.

Oates is on one hand, a rock of a human being and on the other, a sensitive and caring man whose love of his family and their love for him--not to mention the love that his former players obviously feel for him--speaks volumes about who he really is. To me, Johnny Oates oozes class and dignity and integrity and moral character and courage and strength of every kind, and while he makes me proud to be a Texas Rangers fan today, that impression is wholly subordinate to the fact that he is exactly the kind of man I aspire to become someday.
M.J. Hindman
_miVulgar - Friday, December 24 2004 @ 05:32 PM EST (#6855) #
No kidding Four Seamer... I actually want to email the Star and complain, although that's probably what he wants.

I've written before and, to the paper's credit, Graham (editor) has responded.

The only thing they really have to say is that the Jays are a last place team and not beyond reproach.

I tried to differentiate between criticism (which I heap on the Jays with fair regularity, along with praise), and personal, biased "journalism" that is embarrassing to both the newspaper and its readers.

I don't think they get the difference.

Griffin might actually be decent at what he does... it's just impossible to tell in lieu of all the crap he feels compelled to write.

He should just let go. It's sad.
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