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So it's been four days since a new feature appeared here on Da Box ... that can mean only one thing -- it must be time for ... um ... that is, it's certainly good to welcome back ... er ...

Yeah, I got nothin'. The Jays, long ago mathematically eliminated, are entrenched in fourth place, actually closer to fifth than third; only the AL Central looks like it might have a mildly interesting finish in store, and even then, probably not.

So ... Open Forum! What's on your mind? How can the Jays be playing meaningful baseball a year from today? Or are you already locked in on the Leafs' power play situation or the Argonauts', um, whatever it is they do? Are you "following" any of the remaining teams, with a rooting interest either way?

And really, it's been a while ... how are you?

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#206294) #
I'm fine.

When will it end?
TimberLee - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#206295) #

Yes. Well, the Jays have again manoeuvered themselves into a position where there is not a lot we can say without tears. So, if you want suggestions for what to do -

We could find the Canadians in MLB and check how they're doing. I hear there are 21 at the moment, and I think that would be the most ever.

We could guess who will trade for the lovely and talented Milton Bradley, and how much of his $21 million contract the Cubs will have to swallow. (White Sox - $16 million)

We could research the ex-Jays who will play in the post-season and remember why each is an ex-Jay. And weep.

We could speculate on where Halladay will go over the winter and what the Jays might get for him. And never mind crying over that one - Roy's been great.

Chuck - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#206296) #
When will it end?

A child might answer in number of sleeps. My metric of choice is Millars.
Mick Doherty - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#206297) #

When will it end?

Realistically? before the All-Star Break. Past tense, ended.

Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#206298) #
My metric of choice is Millars

If you've got the time, we've got your first baseman. 
Magpie - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#206299) #
My metric of choice

Kevin Millar Stat of the Day:
                    G   AB   R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  SB CS  BB  SO GDP HBP  BAVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
vs NYY, BOS, TB    24 77   5  6   2  0  1   3   0  0  10  23   3   0 .078 .184 .143 .327
vs Everybody Else  55 180  24 46  13  0  5  26   0  0  22  28   6   1 .256 .340 .411 .751

Yup. That would be 0-23 against the Yankees, 3-29 against the Red Sox, and 3-25 against Tampa.

What can you say. He had a nice career. He got to play 1400 games in the major leagues, he's got a World Series ring.

If things didn't end badly they wouldn't end at all.
Matthew E - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#206300) #

How can the Jays be playing meaningful baseball a year from today?

I don't think they can. I think this franchise needs a major overhaul, and I don't think they're going to get it.

I don't expect the Jays ever to play meaningful baseball again, tell you the truth. That's not a prediction, just a description of my state of mind; if they do play meaningful baseball at any point it will come as a pleasant surprise to me.


Here's an interesting thought. Do you realize that, as inconsistent as the bullpen has been all year, it's also been unusually stable? League, Carlson, Tallet, Frasor and Camp have all spent the entire season on the major-league roster. Not one of them was sent down or disabled all year. All the transactions were confined to the other two or three (sigh) bullpen roster spots, originally occupied by Ryan, Downs and Litsch.

AWeb - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#206301) #
I could focus on how the top four payroll teams in the AL are going to the playoffs (how completely unexciting) unless the Twins make it, whereas the NL is filled with big-spending teams that sucked, relative to their payroll, this year (Mets, Cubs, Astros). This is why the AL continues to be a better league, quality-wise, than the NL - big spenders are getting return on their $$, sadly for the Jays.

Last place teams and payroll in division:
Baltimore - 4th of 5 ($4 million more than Tampa)
Cleveland - 3rd, KC - 4th (of 5 teams)
Oakland - 4th of 4
Washington - 4th of 5 (Florida is last)
Pittsburgh (6th of 6)
Arizona (4th of 5, with 4th place San Diego spending less)

Conclusion - if you don't spend money, you'll be good at best (Tampa, Florida) aside from the occasional miracle year, and generally awful. If you do spend money, things have to go really wrong, ala the Mets, or just be really badly constructed (Astros), to not be a fringe contender.

Toronto isn't going to make fringe improvements to this team and make the playoffs anytime soon, barring a sudden rash of aging for the Yankees (damn you immortal Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Pettitte, Matsui, Damon, Rodriguez, you're all 34 or older, start sucking already! Rodriguez is the youngest in that group, by the way, and he's the one with the bum hip.) and a few mishaps for the rest of the division alongside fewer mishaps for the Jays. Blow it up, trade your best player and try to get a great positional player back in return. And accept not being a contender for a few years. Revel in it.
Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#206302) #
Right.  Personally, I'd start with the centerfielder and catcher as my first choices for holes to fill.  I don't mind if the club loses 90 games for the next couple of years, as long as there is a reasonable plan and reasonable decisions are made. 
krose - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#206303) #

I'm looking forward to some excellent match ups in the playoffs. The Yanks look good in the American League but that starting rotation could be a problem. Wonder if Hughes might make a start or two?

The Phillies are a good bet to be back from the National League. The Cards also look good. Have little faith in my Dodgers; but if Manny gets hot all bets are off!
krose - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#206304) #
Mike: Yes, I think so; up the middle first. I could be entertained by watching high upside talent improve with experience at the major league level.
cybercavalier - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#206305) #
Right.  Personally, I'd start with the centerfielder and catcher as my first choices for holes to fill.  I don't mind if the club loses 90 games for the next couple of years, as long as there is a reasonable plan and reasonable decisions are made. Mike: Yes, I think so; up the middle first. I could be entertained by watching high upside talent improve with experience at the major league level.      Agree with Mike. Taking advantage of the free agent centerfielders, sign one, Move Wells to RF. Catcher and shortstop, em, there are mant remedies to those two position. Assuming minor league promotions and no free agent signing, my 2010 batting order for the Jays and 51s will be.   Toronto   2B Scutaro/Ingeltt CF Wells LF Lind SS Hill 1B Overbay DH Ruiz 3B Encarnacion RF Snider C Barajas   Bench IF Inglett 3B/LF/RF Bautista OF Lane C Barrett   Las Vegas   vs RHP   CF Buck Coats DH Matt Watson 3B Kevin Howard 1B Brian Dopirak C Kyle Phillips 2B Howie Clark/Mayerson LF David Smith RF Aaron Matthews SS Angel Sanchez   vs LHP   CF Matthews 3B Howard DH Dopirak RF Smith LF Watson 1B Phillips SS Sanchez C Erik Kratz 2B Clark/Mayerson   Bench C E.J. Ebarb OF Nick Gorneault   You may see that I include former Jays AAA players David Smith, Matt Watson and Erik Kratz. Call me nostalgic, but I think it is a wise choice for management to sign some veteran AAA players who are on the verge of making MLB to encourage more veteran to come to Toronto. I don't know about Arencibia.
Mylegacy - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#206306) #

I've been enjoying the games.

I want the Jays to play and look good for 6 or 7 innings then lose in the 8th or 9th. Simple really - we're in the number 8 draft position now - with a bit of luck and a few more loses I think it's possible to get down to the 6th overall draft spot. Lovely jubbly.

We HAVE to resign Scutaro - I can see no alternative. IF we don't next year we can try to get to the 1st overall Draft position.

As to the bullpen's woes - make sense to me - with 54 rookie starters going 4 to 6 innings each outing the pen has no clear 7th 8th or 9th inning guy - it's been all hands on deck and man the pumps!

IF we resign Scutaro I'm reasonably excited about 2010. Five of Halladay, Marcum, Romero, Cecil, Rezalphebet, McGowan, Richmond, Tallet and Downs, Frasor, Camp, Accardo, Janssen, League and a league of others should do pitching wise. I expect at least one of the Baby Lefties to BLOSSOM. Offensively - 30 homers from each of Hill, Lind, Ruiz, Snider and Wells will be a good place to start.

Is it April yet?

Chuck - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#206307) #

If things didn't end badly they wouldn't end at all.

Yes, but it should have ended badly on someone else's roster to begin with. The man was toast last year. No one needed to be an oracle to assume more toastiness was in store for '09.

And if it had to end in Toronto, then his role should have long ago morphed into Mr. Jocularity in the clubhouse and Mr. Splinters In My Ass come game time. Why Cito is accommodating a farewell tour I cannot fathom. Millar is not a longtime Jay who somehow deserves this. He's getting a million bucks to stink. That should be enough. 

Chuck - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#206308) #
Offensively - 30 homers from each of Hill, Lind, Ruiz, Snider and Wells will be a good place to start. Is it April yet?

No, but it's clearly happy hour.
Mick Doherty - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#206309) #

Nahhh. I can see hitting on three out of five there. And if Wells ... oh, never mind. Sentences that start that way are verboten around here!

But turning Late-September-out-of-it into Happy Hour, that's a trait to be admired in these here parts!

christaylor - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#206310) #
On the topic of Ex-Jays going to the playoffs - It hurt a lot to watch Carpenter take on the Cubs on the Saturday national game.

Carpenter seems like a loyal guy who has rewarded the Cardinals faith in him. I suspect that if JP had shown Carpenter the loyalty the Cards did the Jays would be a different position now, or over the past few years.

Shame. Roy, Carp and Escobar have (at times apart from injury) really have turned into the pitchers that we thought they would become in the early part of this decade. Too bad the Jays didn't tap them and keep them together. Something special could have happened.

This might seem like a pipe dream but my memories of a young Roy, Carp and Escobar are pretty vivid and there seemed to be much more potential among them than any of the young group (aside from McGowan when the hype was the strongest). I have a hard time imagining that any of Marcum, McG, Litsch, Romero, Cecil, Zep will have careers that reach the highs of the promising pitchers that JP was gifted in 2002.

I was a JP fan for a long time and was on board for much of his time here, but it is time to find a president, a new GM and a new manager. The organization needs a new direction or rather, a direction. With JP we though we were getting a new-style saber-style GM; we got a scout who cares about how much a success player enjoys playing baseball. Time to get what the team was promised in 2002.
Brian W - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#206311) #
At this point I'm willing to commit to a full scale rebuild.  Trade Halladay for a good young pitcher (Buchholz or similar) plus a good hitting prospect to fill one of the gaps (3B/CF/SS/C), hope that Scutaro declines arbitration, try to deal Overbay and promote aggressively.  A rotation with some combination of Buchholz, Romero, Cecil, Litsch, Marcum, Rzepczynski, Stewart and Purcey.  A lineup that includes Lind, Hill, Snider, Ruiz, Wells and whatever else we can plug in.  Won't win a lot of games but it would at least give the team a clear direction.  Of course, this only works if the team is willing to spend the money necessary to take advantage of the high draft picks it's getting.

MatO - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#206312) #

I suspect that if JP had shown Carpenter the loyalty the Cards did the Jays would be a different position now, or over the past few years.

The Carpenter argument.  Again.  In 2002 Carpenter tore his labrum ( death for most pitchers) and was basically guaranteed to not pitch for anyone in 2003.  He was in the last year of his contract at about 3.5M (IIRC) with one year left before he became a FA.  The Jays, who were cutting payroll at the time, had the option of signing him to a long-term deal (yeah right), offering him arbitration with a max pay-cut of 20% or non-tendering him.  As everyone expected they non-tendered him and he signed with the Cardinals as a FA.  There was not one peep at the time about it.  Carpenter wasn't even that great a pitcher at the time.  He's since had TJ surgery and come baclk from that too.  He's simply amazing.  A freak.  He's a way better pitcher now than before the injuries, but with the info at the time I wouldn't have done anything different.

As for Escobar, he's been injured as often as he's been healthy with the Angels. 

Dewey - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#206313) #
"...but it is time to find a president, a new GM and a new manager. The organization needs a new direction or rather, a direction."

It's time to find an owner willing fully to support the team.  Until then, all the new Presidents and G.M.s available won't matter much.  J.P. is now little more than a company man, doing its bidding (or not bidding).  Sad.

I read an interview the other day about the 'shakeup' at Rogers, and it seemed clear to me that the new boss (an accountant) doesn't have the Jays anywhere near the top of his priority list.
Dave Till - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#206314) #
I, also, am very pessimistic about the future of this franchise. I don't think that the current Rogers management are interested in spending money on the team. It's like Interbrew Part II, but with fewer Flemings and/or Walloons. If there is to be any hope at all, the Jays have to draft well next June and sign all of them.

By the way, guess who has the highest batting average of all Jays hitters this month? It's Vernon "You're The Reason We Don't Have Nice Things!" Wells, who was hitting .328 in 19 September games going into tonight. (And he's 2 for 5 tonight.) Not much power - only one dinger - but hey. He's still wildly overpaid, but he might not be done yet.

Compare that to Alex Rios, who is hitting .130 with no extra-base hits and one walk this month. He has scored and driven in precisely one (1) run. I now feel sorry for him; no player deserves to have that happen to him.
Thomas - Monday, September 21 2009 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#206315) #
The pitcher who broke camp as Toronto's number three starter and who didn't miss any time due to injury won his first game of the season today. On September 21.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 03:23 AM EDT (#206316) #

Can we sign Jason Bay?  (Can he play RF?)  Can we trade for Russel Martin, his value is at it's lowest?  Can we obtain Rich Harden (only need 25 starts)? 

Why?  That should be apparent.  We look to have $40.0 M.-$45.0 M. for signing free agents.  We look to have VALUE(S) to trade.  Early September, Beeston said, we'd made more money this year than we did last year.  Estimate ticket price @ $50.00.  Then $120.0 M. can be paid for with 2.4 million fans attending.  Concession, programs, souviners and the like can be counted for at least $20.00-$30.00 per person (@2.4 million fans) which covers operating costs.  The money can fill 3 holes, while trades can 1 or 2 more holes this year.  2011 is another time, 2010 is all that matters now. 

AWeb - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#206317) #
With Scutaro out the rest of the  season, I hope his heel injury is nothing bad. I had one as a kid, and it lingered for months, and I seem to recall being told there was very little that could be done. Annoying injury, since it didn't have sharp pain, but instead just enough to force a limp.  But hats off to Scutaro, who played in 144 games and had by far his best season. Maybe the 15 games missed at the end of the year keeps his price down a notch and the Jays resign him?

christaylor - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#206318) #
I never said the Carpenter argument was anything original. Despite not being a great pitcher at the time, we'd seen flashes from Carpenter and his ability wasn't questioned. True it seemed like he would be finished with the torn labrum but given he's said he'd have stayed with the Jays if they'd offered the terms of the Cards it isn't that much of a stretch to imagine what might have been if the Jays had kept him.

I wouldn't say the decision was wrong, but it does serve as a cautionary tale and the same situation might come up with McGowan. There's nothing wrong with showing loyalty to players that have come up and developed in the system, especially if they are the right sort of player (like Carpenter). Given that the Jays seem to be entering another cost-cutting mode, it seems worthwhile to remember the lessons of Carpenter and Escobar. In the grand scheme it would have taken modest sums of money (certainly less than the money wasted on Ryan and Thomas) to keep both.

When JP was cost cutting he also was playing things in a very risk-averse way. Even the deals he made to cut costs were very risk averse -- the deal for Prokopec was a good example; he looked like he could be a back end of the rotation starter if he developed. I hope during this next round of cost cutting the organization doesn't turtle as JP seemed to... on this score the 2009 draft (and taking difficult signs) shows that the organization won't be as allergic to risk as it was from 02 until 05.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#206319) #

Jeff Blair continues his call to clean house, the headline is "change must be complete" and to summarize "everyone must go".

I agree with Blair on this point, I believe JP Ricciardi will be fired, at least for marketing reasons.  The Blue Jays are a business and tickets have to be sold over the winter.  2009 has been very disappointing and the fans are currently voting with their wallets.  The Jays will have to have a story to sell the fans for 2010 and a new GM with a new plan needs to be part of the story.  Rogers could elect to keep JP to have him finish his contract but the $1 million plus they save by keeping him will be offset by lower ticket sales from fans who have given up on him.

On the other hand Cito Gaston is still very popular in Toronto so I see Cito managing for 2010 and then riding off into the sunset.  Cito could say he has had enough and quit, especially with a new GM in town, but if he wants to I see him staying for 2010.

Magpie - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#206322) #
Because Carpenter was arbitration-eligible after 2002, he would have been guaranteed close to $3 million in 2003, when it was doubtful whether he would ever be able to pitch again. The Blue Jays were still in extreme cost-cutting mode at the time, and that's why he was released. The Jays made him an offer as a free agent (it may have been a minor league deal, I'm not sure) - he decided to take the Cardinals offer, which amounted to a million dollars to (as it turned out) sit on their DL for all of 2003.

After which, Carpenter became a free agent again, re-signed with St.Louis for 2004, and gave them three outstanding seasons before breaking down again.

Carpenter has still started more games and pitched more innings for Toronto than he has for St. Louis. While he's now been a Cardinal for seven years, he has essentially completely missed three of them.
christaylor - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#206328) #
I'm not sure what to think of the ownership situation. There have been reports that the ownership is ready to spend up to $120M. If true, this is more than enough support from ownership -- all the Jays need from the team is a firm commitment to payroll and a good president to run the organization. There were flashes of this from 06-08 and I don't think that the death of Ted Rogers has changed things. By all reports Rogers wasn't particularly fond of the baseball team, in other words he was no George Steinbrenner.

I can even see how having a bean counter at the head of Rogers could be good thing for the Jays. Presumably, an accountant will be able to understand the sensitivity of attendance to putting at a winning team. They might not be willing to over-spend, but with a good baseball people at the top and an adequate budget this team ought to be able to compete. Unlinke many, I don't think the teams that finished in 3rd in the AL east year after year were that bad. The Jays didn't get any luck but if things had broken right anyone of those 3rd place teams in the decade before 08 could have made the playoffs. I don't think this organization can take a decade of losing to get the odd break through. Not that that'd necessarily would lead to the Expo route but we'd certainly have to get used to attendances in the 15,000 range, save for those games when the Yankees/Sox are in town.

This off-season will be telling, if as happen last season the Jays do little or nothing to improve the team, the Jays are going down the wrong path. However, if the money for Rolen and Rios gets reinvested in the team then there's some hope, despite how dire things look... if not then we as fans can look forward to watching a team that is in last place in the east.
TamRa - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#206356) #
Alex Anthopoulos was interviewed on the Fan today...the twom main points -

Jays will try hard to re-sign Scutaro

Henderson Alverez "may be our #1 prospect"

Matthew E - Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#206358) #
Aaron Hill just got his hundredth RBI. So with Lind, that makes two players in the lineup with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI. I went and looked up how many times the Jays have had two such players, and it turns out it isn't all that rare; the Jays have had seven such seasons.

However, in two of those seasons, they had *three* players with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI each. Without looking it up, can you name the five players involved (one of the players accomplished the feat in both years)?

zeppelinkm - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#206375) #
Carlos Delgado should be a common link. I know one year Delgado and Bautista both hit a whole bunch. And i'm sure there is a year where Delgado and Green hit a bunch together. Can't remember who the other big sluggers would be to make that 3rd pairing though...

I've taken care of the easy part... who was more in tune with the Jays during that period?

Maybe Canseco? I can't remember the years all these guys were together... ugh!

Mike Green - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#206376) #
Henderson Alvarez "may be our #1 prospect"

Sure.  It could be.  I somehow doubt that there will be a consensus #1 pick among the BB minor league crew. There are no Travis Sniders or Alex Rioses (i.e. one of the top 30 prospects in baseball). 

John Northey - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#206377) #
hrm.... without cheating...
1998: Canseco/Delgado/Green ?
1999: Delgado/Batista/Cruz Jr ?

Hrm.  I remember a year where the Jays had 4 guys with 20 HR by the break (Delgado/Batista/Cruz/Green iirc) so whatever year that was instead of 1999.  Pre-Delgado I can't imagine it happened as offense was a lot lower back then.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#206378) #
Got one, the other is soooo close.  Off by a year and one guy I list had 30 HR but not 100 RBI, while a different guy had 100 RBI and 30 HR.  Can anyone guess where and who I screwed up with?
James W - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#206380) #
The 2000 Jays were mentioned recently for having 7 20-HR guys, so I would assume it's that year.  I couldn't guess the players without looking though.
Timbuck2 - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#206389) #
Interesting fact:

Cito Gaston was the hitting coach for the Jays in 2000 and 2001.

I hope that even if they clean house they keep him and Brad Arnsberg on....

lexomatic - Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#206401) #
i'd say fullmer
TamRa - Thursday, September 24 2009 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#206408) #
Sure.  It could be.  I somehow doubt that there will be a consensus #1 pick among the BB minor league crew

I doubt there will be a consensus on the Jays top 10 anywhere. the candidates are all so relatively close together that i expect lists will be all over the place.

Complicating that is that neither Cecil or Zep are technically rookies but either or even both could potentially start 2009 in the minor and in that sense are sort of "prospects" (like Lind was for a couple of years)

I's day though, that it's probably between Stewart and Alverez who I rate #1 this year once I lay aside Cecil and Zep.

The big thing I'm waiting to see, besides where Alverez lands, is how high up the list Carlos Perez will land.

John Northey - Thursday, September 24 2009 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#206420) #
Bingo.  Brad Fuller with 32 HR and 104 RBI instead of Cruz Jr who was 31 HR but under 100 RBI in 2000.

Sigh.  I miss having a fun offense.  Although I don't miss Homer Bush and his 33 OPS+ at 2B.  Whats funny is that 2000 team had a 101 OPS+ and 98 ERA+ vs this years 100 and 98.
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