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Tim McCleary's contract which expires in December, will not be renewed, according to the Toronto Sun. Thanks to Brent S for the heads-up.

McCleary was with the Jays for 10 years, and was their point man on rules and contracts issues, having worked for a significant period in the Commissioner's office. Sal Butera was recently appointed assistant GM, but his area of focus appears to be somewhat different from McCleary's. Further changes may be in the offing.

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#130650) #
That is rather unfortunate. I, in part, have Mr. McCleary to thank for one of the greatest moments of my life.

In May (during the Nationals series at the RC) a highschool coach of mine got in contact with a friend of his. That friend was also a highschool coach here in NYC and he happens to be best friends with Timmy. Every year, Timmy lets his friend bring his team up to TO and he books them rooms at the Renaissance and books them 2 days on the field. My coach, knowing that I'm a diehard Jays fan, decided to hook me up. Everything was arranged and I was going to Toronto to play on the RC Field!

When we got there, we had dinner with McCleary at some Italian Restaurant just blocks away from the RC. I got to talk some Jays baseball with him, it was great! We stayed at the Renaissance and for the most part it's a really nice hotel. That same day, we also were allowed to take BP on the RC field and hold a practice. The next day, we woke up and played an intersquad scrimmage game! I got to roam center field like my 2nd favorite Jay Vernon Wells (#1 is obviously Doc) so obviously, I was stoked.

It was capped off the next day when Mr. McCleary took me on a tour of the Jays headquarters! Right when you walk in, the 4 trophies (2 ALCS trophies, and 2 WS trophies) are in a glass case. I made sure to take pictures of that, then he showed me JP's office and it's amazing! They have a big board on the wall with the name of EVERY MLB PLAYER (sort of like a huge depth chart) and a huge wall with ALL of their minor leaguers. I tried to impress McCleary by pointing out the prospects that were having good seasons. I mentioned that Chip Cannon and Casey Jannsen were having great seasons and he was surprised about how much I knew. I came across some really young guy in the draft room and I'm guessing it was LaLonde. From what I remember, he looks a lot like TV Star David Boreanez.

Then, it was 4:30 and I got to go on the field! I saw J.P. Ricciardi on the elevator on the way down, he's a really nice/approachable guy. On the field, it was awesome, I got to meet a lot of the guys. Vern, O-Dog, Hillenbrand, and Hill all signed my stuff, with Vern signing my authentic Wells jersey. They were all really nice ESPECIALLY Hillenbrand, O-Dog, Gibbons, Menechino, and Catalanotto. McCleary told Cat and Menechino that we were from NYC and we got to talk to them. I took some pictures with most of the Jays. We watched the game from the Press Box with Mr. McCleary and I got to talk to him about the Jays all game long. I mentioned to him a glitch on one of the boards before the game. It was showing all the Jays names and Jason Arnold's appeared for some reason. I asked if he was being called up or something and he seemed stunned that his name was there. All you can eat food! It was great! Plus, Vern hit two homers off Claudio Vargas and the Jays won big.

FINALLY... I know, I know, loooooooong story. Finally, at 1 AM while I was asleep in my room at the RC, my coach called the hotel room phone. He told me that Aaron Hill wanted to speak with me. I was nervous as hell and went down to the elevator. When I got to the bar on the 1st floor, Aaron Hill was there with all of my coaches and 3 of his friends. I sat down and Aaron shook my hand and told me that the autograph he gave me was the first he's given in his career. He bought everyone wine because he got his first ML hit that day in his first game, a triple. He said that he gave the ball to his friend because he made the trek up to Toronto on the same day while his dad said he couldn't get there on such short notice. Classic line, he said when speaking about his dad "F*** Him." That got a laugh out of everyone. Somewhere along the way I also saw Justin Miller in the elevator. He wasn't on the roster at the time so I don't know why he was there. SICK TATTOOS!

So in conclusion, it's a sad day for me because Timmy McCleary made an 18 year old Die Hard Blue Jays fan from New York City's dream come true. Good luck in the future Mr. McCleary, you will be severely missed... by me atleast.

P.S. I have some pictures from my trip if anyone is interested in seeing them. Mostly pictures of me and some of the kids from the other team with the Jays. Also some random pictures of stuff inside the RC. Like a sign that read "No Gang Colours Allowed", we thought that was pretty funny. I also have pics of the trophy case and the headquarters if anyone cares.
VBF - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#130653) #
Wow, great story Depeche. I think you lived a dream that thousands of Jays fans will never get to do.
Twilight - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#130663) #
Wow dude, that's awesome! What a cool outing. It'd be awesome to meet all those guys, it's nice to know they are as nice off the field as they appear to be on the field (well, except Hinske when he gets purposely beaned in the head, of course lol).
BCMike - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#130664) #
Great story.
VBF - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#130665) #
Depeche, did any of them recognize you when you saw them in Yankee Stadium?
CeeBee - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#130667) #
That is so cool a story and you are one very lucky dude :):):)I'd love to see some pics if you can post them here. :)
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#130669) #
Someone already asked me for the few pics that I have online and I sent them. I have a bunch here at home in picture form but me, being a poor college freshmen student and all, can't afford a scanner no matter how bad I need one. :)

VBF, a few of the guys recognized me at Yankee Stadium. Rios and Chulk recognized me right away and they kept trying to throw me baseballs seeing as how I was the only Jays fan in right field during BP! It sucked though because Rios' throw landed 1 row in front of me and some punk caught it and didn't give it up. Then Chulk threw one over my head.

Finally, Chulk told me to come to the wall and he handed me a ball. I also called him "The Vincredidble Chulk" and he loved it! Some other notes that I remember... Ted Lilly and Gus Chacin can absolutly shag fly balls! It's amazing how great of an athlete both of them are. Chulk isn't too shabby either.

But yeah, how do you post pictures here? I'm assuming you have to use the HTML formatted style post and I'm guessing it has something to do with the < img > thing? If that's the case, and if someone can explain to me how to post the pics, I'd gladly post the few crappy pics that I have on my laptop.
VBF - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#130670) #
I think if you use the <img> and </img> and put the url of the picture between the two it should work.
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#130671) #
I figured this picture would be fitting for a few reasons...
1) Because you love Vernon VBF, biggest Vernon fan I've come across
2) That man in the background is Tim McCleary. Kind of a send off if you will...
So yeah, that's me getting my jersey signed by the amazingly humble and nice Vernon Wells with Tim McCleary looking on... YOUR MAH BOY TIM!!
King Ryan - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#130672) #
No, that won't work. The HTML code is:

<img src=>;
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#130673) #
Did the picture in my last post not work? I can see it clearly...
Gerry - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#130674) #
We can see it. Post some more if you wish.
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#130675) #
Here are the rest that I have on my laptop. Nothing special, and as you can tell, I'm definitely an amateur photographer if I'm even deserving of that title... NFH is probably beside himself ;) I think Baby Theo could have done a better job. I can't wait to get the rest of them!

In the group pic with ODog, I'm the shorty all the way on the left. That animal posing as a baseball player in the BP picture is Jose Guillen... BEAST in person! The pictures of Vernon were taken by me, with a disposable camera (as were all pictures, lol) as he was batting. He ends up hitting a homerun in both of these pictures. The pic of the RC is symbolic because it was the first pic I took while I was there. And the pic titled Top of the stadium is self explanitory. We ran over to the right field side and went to the TOP OF THE STADIUM. Pretty damn steep.

I thought I should mention that we got to change in the Toronto Argonauts locker room. The bathrooms are pretty sick! We also got a tour of the Jays locker room. Pretty cool, I had heard that the year before when Delgado was there, that Carlos had his own rocking chair in the locker room. No rocking chairs this year :(
VBF - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#130676) #
That's Carlos alright. I got a Christmas card from the Jays in 2003 (from the organization, not the players) with a big picture of Carlos in his rocking chair reading to preschoolers. I like living in the past, man.
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#130677) #
Living in the past is great VBF, I love it! If people didn't live in the past, who would remember the Charlie O'Brien's of the world?!

And I don't think it's right that I take this thread away from Tim McCleary. Anyone think another Assistant might be added? Are there any good candidates out there? What's up with Grady Fuson, where did he land? They got rid of him in Texas, correct?
BallGuy - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#130678) #
Depeche, those are awesome stories and osme great memories. Your enthusiasm is great. No, this thread is no longer about Tim McCleary, it is about your trip to RC and adventures forthwith and desevedly so.
Cool stuff!
VBF - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#130679) #
I think I heard it radio, but the Jays are probably going to find their new assistant from the outside world. Mike Rizzo comes to mind immediately.
DepecheJay - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#130680) #
Thanks BallGuy, it was definitely one of the best experiences of my life.

The thing about Timmy is that he kind of knew it was coming, which is kind of sad to me. He made some comments while in his office to Coach Ottinger (his best friend) and he really made it sound like he was expecting the worst, as in, not coming back to the Jays.

Hopefully he catches on elsewhere because he's a great family man and on top of that he knows his stuff.

And this trip was all about perspective. All those other guys you see in the pictures didn't think of this as such a big deal. Sure they wanted autographs and what not, but they really were NOWHERE NEAR as excited as I was. They couldn't understand why I was so jazzed so I simply told em, imagine playing at Yankee Stadium and then watching Batting Practice with some of the players. That's their equivalent.

Oh, I should add that I was SHOCKED at how much of a nice guy Shea Hillenbrand was. I now have a Jays hat with his, Hill's, and ODog's sigs on it. I had heard that Shea was a bit "round around the edges" and not such a nice guy but he was definitely a very nice guy. Something like this makes you realize how these guys are simply human and you appreciate their efforts more.

Just talking about this has me pumped about next season!
BallGuy - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#130682) #
Hell, I'm getting pumped too just reading about this stuff! I remember last year there was a brush with grade 'B' celebrity thread but this is way better than that.
Thaskins - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#130686) #
Can we assume the guy JP brings in could be the next GM of the Jays if JP decides to leave when his contract expires? I get the feeling that Paul Godfrey is a big fan of JP’s approach to the GM position and if JP were to leave the Jays would promote an internal candidate? Any idea’s out there of this could be?
Pistol - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#130688) #
Tony LaCava would probably take over as GM if JP left. He turned down a chance to interview with the Devil Rays for their GM position a few weeks ago.

I can't ever remember a situation where a GM left a team voluntarily (at least someone that wasn't of retirement age or leaving for another GM spot) so I don't see JP leaving regardless of what he might say. I think he'll be the GM until he's fired and I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Paul D - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#130693) #
Didn't Pat Gillick leave the Jays, Orioles and Mariners willingly?
Shortstop - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#130696) #
I think John Hart just left Texas willingly.
VBF - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#130699) #
Check out this. Who?
Jordan - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#130700) #
Anthopoulos is a member of the scouting department -- highly regarded by Jon Lalonde, if I recall our interviews correctly. Given I'm not familiar with.

I suppose it's a compliment to McCleary that they appointed two guys to replace him.

This whole thing is still strangely quiet -- nobody seems to be saying anything about McCleary's departure except in very measured platitudes and careful statements. Weird.

Four Seamer - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#130702) #
Bart Given is Mr. Jody Vance.
Mike Green - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#130706) #
Josh Byrnes, former Bosox assistant GM, was hired as the Snakes' GM. Another team bites the statistical analysis apple!
Pistol - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#130707) #
I think it flew under the radar, but Rogers sounds like they had a pretty good quarter, including a boost from the RC and the Jays.
Thomas - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#130708) #
That is a very unexpected direction for the Diamondbacks. Maybe I spend too much judging the current status of the organisation on the Russ Ortiz signing, but I thought their interview of Byrnes was motivated more by curiousity rather than general interest.

I'm quite curious to see how Byrnes will do in Arizona and this should end any hope anyone had of acquiring Jackson or Quentin.
R Billie - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 04:16 AM EDT (#130720) #
Brian Giles is officially a free agent. I really hope the Jays are out to make a serious bid on him. I would rather have one Brian Giles making $11 mil than some combination of Jarrod Washburn and Juan Encarnacion for the same money. The Jays need some star level players to help anchor the team. Doc cannot do it by himself as the last couple of years have shown.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#130724) #
I like Giles (and Ramirez), but expensive, aging hitters are a real risk. At 34, I don't think Giles is worth the money he's going to command.

Baseball Prospectus recently noted that the Jays' problem is that we have mostly average players across the board. They recommend dealing from our strength (pitching) to acquire a star player or two. I like the idea, but its got to be the right deal. 34-year old hitters on the downswing who require multiyear contracts at $10M+/year just don't do it for me.

If Ramirez wasn't on an AL East team, it might be worth making a pitch for him. But I hate the idea of sending our top young talent to Boston (which is what it would take to make a deal).

AJ Burnett is an interesting possibility if he doesn't get too pricey. His situation reminds me of the Clement bidding war last year--once the bidding gets too high, you just have to step aside (and aren't you glad the Jays got priced out in the Clement sweepstakes?).
CaramonLS - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#130725) #
I completely agree R Billie.

I just hope GMs get too involved in the Konerko sweepstakes and Giles is able to fly a little under the radar.
Ron - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#130726) #
The Padres offered Giles a 3yr/21 mil deal and his agent said it was not close to getting a deal done.

Giving a long-term (I'm assuming he won't sign for anything less than 3 yrs) big contract to a 34 yr old on the downside of his career is just asking for trouble.
If Giles was 28 yrs old that's a whole nother situation.

I believe JP will be trying to land more solid hitters in the ilk of Hillenbrand this off-seaosn.
Rich - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#130730) #
Greenfrog, BP also made another important point about the Jays' offence - that Rios absolutely killed the team's production and needs to be moved into a lesser role. A line of .262/.306/.397 ranks with Sammy Sosa's as the worst in the majors among starting rightfielders.

I know he's young and a good defender, but I agree that JP needs to look for a significant upgrade in right this winter.
R Billie - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#130736) #
Baseball Prospectus recently noted that the Jays' problem is that we have mostly average players across the board. They recommend dealing from our strength (pitching) to acquire a star player or two.

This is exactly the problem that many on the board cited this past off-season and throughout this season. It only puzzled me more to hear JP say on the radio one night that he doesn't like having star players but would rather build a team of players of "similar ability". Which might be great for camaraderie but it's not going to get you to 95 wins in a division with Boston and NY.

I think BP is exactly right in this case. Trade from pitching depth to get an impact hitter from someone. And augment that further with a signing like Giles. Two very significant impacts to the offence while hopefully not losing much of the existing strength.

I like the idea, but its got to be the right deal. 34-year old hitters on the downswing who require multiyear contracts at $10M+/year just don't do it for me.

I don't disagree but in the absence of a lot of great hitters in their prime available on the market what is the alternative? If the Jays don't spend extra to get Giles, what will they spend the money on? As I said above, would you rather see them spend the same money to acquire a mid-rotation starter like Washburn and mid-range outfielder like Encarnacion? I would much rather have two years of star level performance out of Giles after which I can hopefully trade him.

Otherwise you keep falling into the same trap the Jays fell into this year. Sign another Hillenbrand. Sign another Koskie. Sign another Schoeneweiss. Get a Washburn. Get an Encarnacion. Fill your team with players who are decent but have no particular overwhelming strength. Watch your team come in third behind Boston and New York yet again, only this time you have the honour of paying more for the result.

Whoever the Jays acquire they will have to overpay. So ask yourself, is it more efficient to overpay middle range free agents? Or star players? To me the answer is obviously star players. At least if your goal is something better than third place.

Replacing Rios with Giles alone could result in six more wins next year. Is that worth paying $2 million over Giles' market value? Without question. Especially if you can turn around and trade Rios in a package for another valuable piece of the team.

Flex - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#130740) #
Rich Aurilia has been cut loose by the Reds. Given Aurilia's 14 HR this year, JP's stated desire for a handy-dandy backup infielder able to handle any position, and this profile bit from ESPN : "Aurilia (in '04) showed enough arm and range to have value as a utility player at any infield position" can a deal to put him in a Jays uni be far behind?

Jordan - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#130743) #
Giles' 2005 splits:

Home: .267/.378/.417
Road: .333/.463/.545

To put that road OBP in perspective: Giles posted a stunning 70/24 BB/K rate away from Petco. That is not a misprint. His 35-homer days are probably gone, but 20+ HRs, a .300 average and 100 walks is his calling card.

Even playing half his games in a hitter's graveyard, Giles posted a 148 OPS+, the same as in 2003 (he fought injuries and posted a 126 OPS+. in '04) The Jays' highest OPS+ in 2005 was Frank Catalanotto, at 115+. Even if he does decline somewhat, Giles is still much better than anything the Jays have to offer on offence. He's played 150 or more games for 5 of the last 6 seasons -- he's as healthy a 35-year-old as you could ask for.

All of which is to say, if the Blue Jays don't take a seriously long look at Giles, they are way off track.
Rob - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#130744) #
The Jays' highest OPS+ in 2005 was Frank Catalanotto

John-Ford "154" Griffin would like a word with you, Mr. Furlong. He had as many homeruns in 2005 as Cat had in 2004, after all!

And thus ends Saturday Night Facetious Theatre.

Rich - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#130745) #
How about Rios, Bush, and League for Adam Dunn?

Oh, and then sign Giles.
Craig B - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#130752) #
"Dad, I'll trade you this delicious doorstop for your crummy old danish."
Braby21 - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#130753) #
How about Rios, Bush, and League for Adam Dunn?

I hope that's a joke...

Why would the Reds want those 3 players?? They're not exactly prospects anymore. And they haven't shown too much in the Pro's...especially to get a player who hit 40 HR's in the last two seasons.

Hill/McGowan/League maybe gets Dunn??
Ron - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#130754) #
If I'm the Reds GM and JP calls about Dunn, the conversation comes to a quick end unless Doc or Wells + another player/prospect is coming my way.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#130755) #
Any trade talk of Adam Dunn and the Toronto Blue Jays will feature Gus Chacin, either Hill or Adams and probably Zach Jackson or David Purcey... If not more. Dunn won't come cheaply and there are more then a few teams willing to shell out their prospects for a slugger like Dunn.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#130756) #
I agree that Rios is a real concern. He showed promise last year at times (and proved that he can actually hit a home run in the big leagues), but his season raised some pretty large red flags, including

- His horrendous BB:K ratio (28:101, which was actually worse than the previous year's 31:84)
- His declining OPS over the course of the season

At this point I'm not particularly optimistic. Although he had a great 2003 season at AA (but hit only hit 11 HR in 514 AB), his stats in *every* other season have been mediocre. With basically zero ability to control the strike zone, he isn't going to go far. Of course, if he can hit .352 with 11 HR next year, I don't think anyone will complain.

The point is, for the most part, past performance is the best indicator of future success. Is Rios young? Yes. Talented? Well, yes. Is it too soon to write him off? Maybe. I'd like to see him put on some weight, get some first-rate coaching and mentoring--was he properly coached in 2005?--and give him one more full season to get on track.

If we can package him for a star player, fine. But otherwise, I don't quite want to write him off yet--skeptical as I am. I don't think I can take another Felipe Lopez.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#130757) #
Incidentally, is there some reason why everyone expects Cincinnati to entertain offers for Dunn--a 25-year-old slugging LF who makes $4.6M a year? Isn't this the kind of player you keep and build your team around?
Braby21 - Sunday, October 30 2005 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#130760) #
The reason would be the fact that the Reds were shopping Dunn around the trade deadline. I think it's pretty much common knowledge that they're open for some nice prospects in return.

To the poster above, I don't think the Reds would ask for Wells or Halladay, b/c there's really no point in trading Dunn if they're not getting young, cheap talent. Some combo of 3 of our top 5 prospects might get it done.

Basically I can't see it happening, b/c JP thinks Dunn K's too much and JP has a tough time parting with our young talent.
BallGuy - Sunday, October 30 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST (#130774) #
Maybe if the doorstop is mint flavoured ;)
Rich - Sunday, October 30 2005 @ 01:19 PM EST (#130777) #
<i>is there some reason why everyone expects Cincinnati to entertain offers for Dunn--a 25-year-old slugging LF who makes $4.6M a year?</i>

I can name 4, right off the top of my head:

1. Reds ranking in runs scored among 16 NL teams: 1
2. Reds ranking in runs allowed among 16 NL teams: 16
3. Griffey / Kearns / Pena
4. They have very little pitching depth in the minors and need to acquire some more young arms.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 30 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#130782) #
Makes some sense, although if I'm the Cincy GM I might want to keep Dunn over the other three hitters you mentioned. Pena's career OBP is .303. Griffey is 35, injury-prone, and makes over $10M/year. Kearns's total AB over the last four years: 372, 292, 217, 387 (with a downward-trending OPS--under 800 the last two years).

Not that I'd complain if the Jays managed to land Dunn, of course. But Dunn seems to be the cornerstone player of the lot (age 25, played full seasons the last two years, 40+ HR in each year, high OBP, good production, relatively cheap).
Rich - Sunday, October 30 2005 @ 05:29 PM EST (#130789) #
I agree with you. I'm not suggesting it would be wise of the Reds to move Dunn, just that if I'm JP I'd be trying to pry him loose, knowing I have a surplus of young pitching that the Reds could dearly use.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.