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As Gerry reported in the previous thread, one-time Chicago Cubs phenom Corey Patterson has inked a minor league contract with the Blue Jays.

Patterson retreats to second base after a foul ball during first inning action between the Orioles and Jays at the Dome May 30th.

Patterson leads off at third base after advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Julio Lugo.

Patterson comes in to score on a Nick Markakis single to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead.  Patterson enjoyed a two-hit afternoon but his run was the only one they would manage off Ricky Romero as the Jays went on to win 6-1.

The 31 year-old Patterson is hoping to extend his big league career to a 12th season with Toronto.  The third overall pick in the 1998 amateur draft out of a Georgia high school, Patterson made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2000 at the age of 20.  His first hit was a home run off former Jay Juan Acevedo, who was with Milwaukee at the time.  The 5-foot-10, 180 pound left-handed hitting outfielder was able to secure more playing time in 2002 and started to hit his stride in 2003 when he hit .298 and slugged .511 in 83 games with the Cubs.  However, his season was cut short by a knee injury and he was sorely missed in the Cubs NLCS loss to the Florida Marlins.  He hit 24 homers, drove in 72 runs, and stole 32 bases during 2004 but a horrible 2005 campaign in which he hit just .215 led to the Cubs trading him to Baltimore.

Patterson enjoyed a bounce-back campaign with the Orioles by hitting .276 with 16 homers, 53 RBI, and 45 stolen bases.  He stole another 37 bases with the O's in 2007 but he only hit eight homers as his slugging percentage fell below .400.  He returned to the National League in 2008 with Cincinnati to join former Cubs manager Dusty Baker but he hit just .205 in nearly 400 plate appearances with the Reds.  The 2009 campaign saw Patterson spend the majority of it in the minors as he had just 15 plate appearances each with Washington and Milwaukee.  He signed a minor-league deal with Seattle last December but he opted out of his contract at the end of March when he did not break camp with the M's.  So, it was back to the O's for Patterson for a second go-around in Baltimore.  The Atlanta native hit .269/.315/.406 with 16 doubles, one triple, eight homers, 32 RBI and stole 21 bases in 25 tries in 2010.

Eric Patterson, Corey's younger brother, as a member of the Oakland A's last season.  He also spent time with the Boston Red Sox in 2010.

Corey Patterson is expected to battle for a bench role with the Jays in 2011.  He's a career .253 hitter with 112 home runs and 205 stolen bases.

Jays Sign Corey Patterson To Minor League Deal | 54 comments | Create New Account
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Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 21 2010 @ 08:05 PM EST (#228015) #
I had Corey Patterson as a backup outfielder for the Blue Jays in MLB '09: The Show for the PS3.  He was a handy guy to have on my bench.  I fully endorse this signing by the real Blue Jays.
Dave Rutt - Tuesday, December 21 2010 @ 08:52 PM EST (#228016) #
Self-promotion: my roommates and I built Sandy Koufax' perfect game out of gingerbread.
TimberLee - Tuesday, December 21 2010 @ 09:38 PM EST (#228017) #

Re: Patterson - Sure, why not? It's a minor league deal and he's probably the best baserunner and outfielder the Jays have. He just doesn't get on base enough.

Re: Rutt - Just beautiful. Congratulations. I hope Mr. Koufax gets to see it.

brent - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 12:36 AM EST (#228020) #

I wonder if Patterson is going to be injury insurance or a platoon partner for Davis? Perhaps this means Bautista is more probable to end up at 3B. Maybe GM AA is deliberately constructing the roster to use more platoons- knowing how awesome they are? With a lot of bullpen arms leaving, maybe the team will not be carrying 13 pitchers with the extra guy in the pen.

I am happy to see another player with speed and a good glove coming to the organization. Let's hope Cito and Murph can get something out of his bat.

dan gordon - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 12:54 AM EST (#228021) #
Ugh.  An outfielder with a career OBP of .292.  Mediocre talents like Patterson are usually done by the time they're in their early 30's and he'll be 32 mid season.  He may stick around a bit because of defense/speed, but the more he plays, the worse the team's offense will be.   I just hope he doesn't play much, unless it's with Las Vegas. 
jerjapan - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:04 AM EST (#228023) #
Dave Rutt, that gingerbread perfect game is frickin' cool.

Everyone else, go click on the link. 

85bluejay - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 07:19 AM EST (#228025) #

Patterson & Davis make for a very nice platoon & leadoff hitter - also both guys can survive in all 3 outfield spots

& the team will have a good base-stealer on the bench - This seems to signify that Bautista (if he stays) will man

3rd, so my man Alex Gordon is probably not coming. I know that the Rays who are good talent evaluators & needed

relief pitchers in the worse way let Abreu go but I'm hoping he gets a long look for a BP spot.

Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 08:43 AM EST (#228026) #
Patterson & Davis make for a very nice platoon & leadoff hitter

Patterson's career OBP against RHP is .300 (you don't want to know what it is against LHP). So maybe not.
92-93 - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 08:45 AM EST (#228027) #
I like the Patterson signing because I'm confident in Farrell's ability to use him appropriately if the team decides to break camp with him. However, if Clarence was still the manager of this team I'd be horrified about the potential of Patterson being on the roster. It's interesting that over his career Patterson is significantly better vs. RHP but if you look at his starts vs. right handed and left handed starters they are virtually identical.
Chuck - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 08:46 AM EST (#228028) #

Patterson & Davis make for a very nice platoon & leadoff hitter

As poor as most of the Blue Jays are at getting on base, Patterson is even worse. In 4000 MLB plate appearances, he has reached base just over 29% of the time (27% vs LHP, 30% vs RHP). He does bring some 4th outfielder type skills to the table: speed, defense, and a career 150 ISO. But not leadoff skills.

Chuck - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 08:59 AM EST (#228030) #
Okay, what Magpie said.
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 09:29 AM EST (#228031) #
As currently constructed, the Blue Jays have Bautista at 3B, Davis as a starting OF, and Patterson on the bench. I suspect this is not AA's ideal construction and I'm hopeful that he's working on a different 3B solution so that he can move Bautista to RF, Davis to the bench, and Patterson to AAA.

I think keeping Jose happy has to be taken seriously, and I don't think Jose will be thrilled to be the everyday third baseman. Here's one of his tweets from his very brief Twitter career - this was unsolicited:

I'll play wherever the team wants me to, but as i have said before: I think i'm more helpful to the team in RF
Ryan Day - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 09:38 AM EST (#228032) #
I'm confident in Farrell's ability to use him appropriately...

We really don't know anything about Farrell's managerial likes and dislikes. Even if he's an absolutely fantastic manager, he's bound to do a few things that drive people crazy. Maybe it'll be a LOOGY fixation, maybe he'll bunt too often, maybe he'll want to play fast guys who can't hit. It's going to be something.

It's probably irrelevant. I'd imagine Patterson is ticketed for Vegas, if he even makes it out of spring training. He's likely insurance if Davis or someone else doesn't work out; there'd be no reason to have Davis & Patterson on the same roster unless there's an injury, and even then it'd be bizarre. Last year, Anthopoulos brought in Speedy Guy Joey Gathright, who was released in spring training.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 10:27 AM EST (#228034) #
The gingerbread creation is great, Dave.  May I suggest that you and your roommates pay homage to Koufax's amazing 1965 World Series game when he could only throw fastballs next year .  The miracle of oil lasting 8 days has nothing on running on fastballs for 9 innings.  Your groundskeeper will however have to take a nibble from the left elbow of the gummi bear on the mound for verisimilitude.

Corey Patterson?  Deep, deep injury insurance, I guess.  If Davis, Mastroianni and Wells are all out of action at the same time and you need a centerfielder, who are you gonna call?

bpoz - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:08 AM EST (#228036) #
Very Nice Dave!! How long did it take to complete? Yearly family traditions for me become more valuable as I age.

AA spoke of strengthening his bench in a rather vague way. OK he always speaks that way, but this is a possible hint of what he meant.
Before these moves I thought AAA Vegas would be full in the OF with Mastro, Thames & Loewen. Now the OF may be crowed.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:14 AM EST (#228037) #

Dave, you gotta send that to Neyer or Stark or someone who can push it live nationally.

Patterson: if this signing matters a whit (not Whitt) to the Jays in October, it will have been a very, very bad year. 100-losses bad.

Thomas - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:20 AM EST (#228039) #
Dave, incredible. Very well done.
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:30 AM EST (#228040) #
Crazy theory: AA plans to flip Davis to one of the teams that missed out on Crawford, so Patterson is here to be a potential speedy defence guy off the bench (hopefully behind Mastroianni on the depth chart).
Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:33 AM EST (#228042) #
[Farrel's] bound to do a few things that drive people crazy.

Yep. Just you wait...
bpoz - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:40 AM EST (#228043) #
Good thinking JG. Both AA & J Bautista have a say in JB's long term future, so... AA probably is trying to get a handle on JB's value going forward if he intends to explore FA, and also what kind of extension he is looking for.
pooks137 - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:48 AM EST (#228044) #

Crazy theory: AA plans to flip Davis to one of the teams that missed out on Crawford, so Patterson is here to be a potential speedy defence guy off the bench (hopefully behind Mastroianni on the depth chart).

Interesting thought. I find it unlikely though given Davis was available for two AA relievers last month.  If any other teams out there do value him as Crawford-lite, you would think Oakland could have got a better return to begin with.

Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:58 AM EST (#228045) #
There really isn't an obvious leadoff hitter on this team. Neither Davis nor Patterson got on base often enough. Escobar is the most qualified, and has actually been an effective leadoff hitter - however Escobar looks even more like the conventional idea of a number 2 hitter, and that's where almost half of his career ABs have come. (My own notion of the ideal #2 hitter is someone like Lyle Overbay - a lefty bat to take advantage of the hole on the right side, with a bit of pop, but someone whose main offensive skill is also getting on base.)

We probably make too much of this stuff, though. Toronto won three straight division titles leading off Devon White, who was no one's idea of the ideal leadoff hitter (not that that's why White was leading off.)

And that's nothing - Bobby Cox won 99 games with Damaso Garcia (.302 OBP) at the top of the order. Damo made White look like Rickey Henderson...

Jimy Williams won 96 games in 1987, and for most of the year he actually had a very good leadoff hitter - Tony Fernandez (.379 OBP). So in late August he moved Fernandez to the 3 hole and put a rookie (Nelson Liriano) with a .310 OBP at the top of the order. That's how we roll...
Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 12:05 PM EST (#228046) #
If anyone's curious - the 1989 team started out with Lloyd Moseby leading off for Jimy Williams. Williams had just begun to take a look at Junior Felix when he got fired. Gaston stuck with Felix through the end of July, tried Fernandez for a couple of weeks, before turning back to Moseby for the final six weeks of the season...
Spifficus - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:01 PM EST (#228047) #
Sheer brilliance, Mr Rutt.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:22 PM EST (#228048) #
For those who fear a low OBP leadoff hitter...
Most common leadoff hitters by year...
1977: Steve Staggs: 339 OBP
1978: Rick Bosetti: 299 OBP
1979: Alfredo Griffin: 333 OBP
1980: Alfredo Griffin: 283 OBP
1981: Alfredo Griffin: 243 OBP
1982: Damaso Garcia: 338 OBP (Griffin moved to 9th)
1983: Damaso Garcia: 336 OBP
1984: Damaso Garcia: 310 OBP
1985: Damaso Garcia: 302 OBP
1986: Tony Fernandez: 338 OBP
1987: Tony Fernandez: 379 OBP
1988: Tony Fernandez: 335 OBP
1989: Junior Felix: 315 OBP
1990: Mookie Wilson: 300 OBP
1991: Devon White: 342 OBP
1992: Devon White: 303 OBP
1993: Devon White: 341 OBP
1994: Devon White: 313 OBP
1995: Devon White: 334 OBP
1996: Otis Nixon: 377 OBP
1997: Otis Nixon: 343 OBP
1998: Shannon Stewart: 377 OBP
1999: Shannon Stewart: 371 OBP
2000: Shannon Stewart: 363 OBP
2001: Shannon Stewart: 371 OBP
2002: Shannon Stewart: 371 OBP
2003: Reed Johnson: 353 OBP
2004: Reed Johnson: 320 OBP
2005: Russ Adams: 325 OBP
2006: Reed Johnson: 390 OBP
2007: Alex Rios: 354 OBP
2008: Joe Inglett: 355 OBP
2009: Marco Scuaro: 379 OBP
2010: Fred Lewis: 332 OBP

So, pre-Shannon Stewart we saw 2 seasons with a 350+ OBP vs 3 sub-300's. Post Stewart we've had 5 over 350 and 3 in the 320-332 range. The record for a regular leadoff hitter in Toronto? 390 by Reed Johnson in 2006 (87 wins, one of the best-post WS seasons). Funny to think that in the big 1983-1993 years when hope was high every year we saw OBP's sub 350 in all but one year (1987) with 5 in the 300-315 range. I could just imagine how heads would explode here if the Jays did that again while pushing for the playoffs.
Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:42 PM EST (#228049) #
Well, the age of the great leadoff hitters has come and gone. These things, like so much else, seem to go in cycles. After a long drought, some very good ones - Rose, Brock - emerged in the mid-1960s. They were followed by some of the greatest ever at the end of the 1970s - Raines, Molitor, and the greatest leadoff man ever, Rickey Henderson himself.

But now? Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to who was the best leadoff man in baseball last season?

Maybe this will help. Production out of the #1 spot in the order in 2010 (they're ranked by On-Base Percentage):

RK    TEAM           GP    AB     R    H     2B   3B   HR    TB RBI    BAVG    OBP   SLG    OPS        Players (20+ games)

1    Arizona    162    663   105   190   45    5   25   320   71   .287   .368   .483   .851        Johnson 64, Drew 45, Young 37
2    Milwaukee    162    667   114   176   32    4   28   300   81   .264   .361   .450   .810        Weeks 155
3    Seattle    162    681    74   214   30    3    6   268   43   .314   .360   .394   .753        Suzuki 162
4    NY Yankees    162    697   128   198   34    3   10   268   72   .284   .358   .385   .743        Jeter 137, Gardner 25
5    LA Dodgers    162    676   113   195   39   11   12   292   62   .288   .353   .432   .785        Furcal 82, Podsednik 35
6    Tampa Bay    162    654   109   163   38    4   13   248   63   .249   .350   .379   .730        Jaso 45, Bartlett 44, Upton 37, Zobrist 26
7    Detroit    162    708   117   208   40   11    6   288   55   .294   .345   .407   .752        Jackson 140
8    Florida    162    674   118   177   34    6   11   256   47   .263   .336   .380   .716        Coghlan 76, Maybin 32, Bonifacio 26, Ramirez 25
9    Atlanta    162    697   108   198   32    7   19   301   59   .284   .336   .432   .768        Infante 66, Prado 66
10    Chicago Sox   162    668    97   180   18    3    1   207   48   .269   .333   .310   .643        Pierre 156
11    Philadelphia  162    689   106   178   30   11   20   290   85   .258   .332   .421   .752        Victorino 82, Rollins 72
12    Oakland    162    684   107   187   34    5   12   267   65   .273   .331   .390   .721        Crisp 73, Davis 56, Pennington 26
13    Houston    162    658    97   170   29    6    3   220   46   .258   .331   .334   .665        Bourn 131, Bourgeois 21
14    Colorado    162    706   114   195   29   11   18   300   68   .276   .330   .425   .755        Gonzalez 44, Fowler 43, Young 42
15    Minnesota    162    677   92   176   27   10    5   238   61   .260   .328   .352   .680        Span 151
16    NY Mets    162    708    99   204   34   14   14   308   71   .288   .326   .435   .761        Reyes 110, Pagan 43
17    LA Angels    162    670    99   176   34    5   11   253   47   .263   .325   .378   .703        Aybar 95, Abreu 20
18    Kansas City   162    684    86   181   31    9   10   260   63   .265   .323   .380   .703        Podsednik 65, Blanco 40, DeJesus 33
19    Pittsburgh    162    647    93   161   43    4   17   263   66   .249   .320   .406   .727        McCutchen 82, Iwamura 35, Tabata 33
20    Baltimore     162    678    84   180   35    0   10   245   46   .265   .320   .361   .681        Roberts 58, Patterson 54, Lugo 20
21    Texas    162    682   100   172   19    2    1   198   42   .252   .320   .290   .610        Andrus 134
22    Boston    162    718   103   190   41    0   11   264   57   .265   .318   .368   .686        Scutaro 134
23    San Francisco 162    683   107   174   46   10   24   312   84   .255   .317   .457   .774        Torres 104, Rowand 39
24    Chicago Cubs  162    678    81   170   30    5   12   246   56   .251   .316   .363   .679        Theriot 56, Fukudome 47, Colvin 24
25    Toronto    162    671   102   163   38    6   15   258   54   .243   .313   .385   .698        Lewis 101
26    St. Louis    162    689    96   166   33    1   11   234   53   .241   .306   .340   .646        Shumaker 71, Lopez 65
27    Cincinnati    162    698   106   170   32    7   16   264   65   .244   .306   .378   .684        Phillips 72, Cabrera 42, Stubbs 32
28    San Diego    162    672    86   159   14    3   10   209   63   .237   .306   .311   .617        Hairston 48, Venable 29, Gwynn 28, Eckstein 22
29    Washington    162    666    82   158   20    9    5   211   43   .237   .300   .317   .617        Morgan 104
30    Cleveland    162    698    83   171   27    5    4   220   42   .245   .294   .315   .609        Brantley 60, Crowe 59, Cabrera 35

Based on that, I really think you'd have to nominate Rickie Weeks of the Brewers as the best leadoff man in the game last year. Who knew?

Derek Jeter may have been having the worst year of his life, but as you can see, the Yankees had one of the better leadoff situations in the majors. What's especially fascinating is the contrast with Seattle. Suzuki's numbers are a shade better than those of the Jeter-Gardner duo. But the Yankees leadoff hitters scored a whopping 54 more runs. Which nicely demonstrates the difference between the best offense in the majors last season and the worst offense seen anywhere within living memory....
Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:45 PM EST (#228050) #
The actual OBP of the leadoff hitter is just one side of the issue. Another side is, who benefits most from having specifically the #2 hitter (Escobar? other?) behind them? Also, who gets harmed least by not having anyone on base for them?

On paper I think Davis/Escobar/Snider/Bautista is a lineup that makes sense, possibly as the 9123 hitters. Not least because it protects Snider. Not least because nobody is ever going to walk Davis with two outs this way. And so on...

Jonny German - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:56 PM EST (#228051) #
Hmmm... Freddy Lew put up a .267/.337/.423 line in 467 plate appearances as Toronto's leadoff man, but the team line was .243/.313/.385 in 671 plate appearances.

Them's some extreme bad backups!

I'm no great fan of his (blame Jerry Howarth), but shouldn't Suzuki be counted as one of the greatest leadoff hitters ever? I guess it depends to some degree on how much credit you give him for his years in the JPL.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:58 PM EST (#228052) #
In 1987 we lost to Detroit with 96 wins!! OUCH.

Some experts say that since the leadoff hitter only bats 1st in the 1st inning, it may not be so important who bats 1st.

That said Mastro looks good as a leadoff hitter. I hope he gets a ton of ABs in Vegas.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 01:58 PM EST (#228053) #
Captain Superficial says: Thirteen teams with an OPS below .700 from the leadoff spot. Not exactly a golden age.

On the bright side, major-league leadoff hitters were 880/1162 stealing bases, or 75.6%. That would have beat the breakeven point in the steroid era, right? Slash and burn. (AL leadoff men were 457/587, or 77.9%.)

Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 02:15 PM EST (#228054) #
The actual OBP of the leadoff hitter is just one side of the issue.

Of course, but I had to sort them somehow!

I figure a leadoff man's job is to: a) get on base, so that he can b) score runs. It actually would have been pretty nifty to rank them by runs scored - the Jeter/Gardner combo would be in 1st place, and Suzuki would have been 30th. And New York/Seattle are probably the two most similar teams in terms of what they got from their leadoff hitters....
Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 02:17 PM EST (#228055) #
That wasn't about your post! It was in response to the list of low historical Jays OBPs. Ranking by OBP makes plenty of sense.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 02:25 PM EST (#228056) #
Should Ichiro be considered one of the greatest leadoff hitters ever?  Among the post-war leadoff hitters, he's behind Rickey, Raines, Biggio, Rose and probably Molitor. 

Speaking of leadoff hitters, does anyone know why Ashburn retired at age 35 having hit .300 with a .424 OBP for the Mets in 1962?  I presume that it was an injury because I cannot imagine why a contender would not have wanted him (in 2010, the possibility that the Mets could not have obtained something for him at the deadline in 1962 seems small). 

Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 02:30 PM EST (#228057) #
how much credit you give him for his years in the JPL.

Did he actually lead off in Japan? I don't even know...

Greatest leadoff hitters ever? Off the top of my head...

1. Henderson
2. Hamilton (Billy! - not Josh)
3. Raines
4. Boggs
5. Rose
6. Biggio
7. Carey
8. Brock
9. Suzuki
10. Bonds (Bobby!)

I'm sure there are plenty of other guys who just aren't coming to mind... uh... Richie Ashburn! Pee Wee Reese! Earle Combs! And there are other guys who would probably have made wonderful leadoff hitters, but they simply didn't hit there very often - Carew, Appling, R.Alomar, J.Robinson, E.Collins...
Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 02:33 PM EST (#228058) #
why Ashburn retired at age 35 having hit .300 with a .424 OBP for the Mets in 1962

He hated - absolutely hated - being a Met. Losing 120 games simply made him go crazy 120 times. After the season, he was offered the job of broadcasting the Phillies games. He jumped at it, and stayed in the booth for the rest of his life.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 04:38 PM EST (#228071) #
I have Suzuki ahead of Brock and Carey.  I always forget about Boggs, perhaps because he moved to the 3 slot early in 1987 and had spent most of 1985 in the 2 slot, and he is one of the slowest leadoff hitters ever.  None of these other guys ever led the league in grounding into DPs.  Still, he did lead the league in OBP 5 years running and that is, as the commercial used to go, Job 1. 
Magpie - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 04:51 PM EST (#228073) #
I have Suzuki ahead of Brock and Carey.

You're probably right. But now I'm coming around to liking Richie Ashburn over all three of them!

I know I've actually compared Suzuki to Ty Freakin' Cobb in the past, but his game really does have a lot in common with Ashburn's, no? At the plate, all they do is hit singles - but Suzuki hits more than anyone who ever lived. While Ashburn doesn't quite match that, he actually manages to get on base a little more often anyway. Both of them are outstanding baserunners. Both of them are utterly sensational outfielders...
92-93 - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 06:24 PM EST (#228078) #
What does Jerry Howarth have against Ichiro?
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 07:29 PM EST (#228079) #
Jerry Howarth LOVES Ichiro. Or rather, THE GREAT ICHIRO. Who plays at PRETTY SAFECO FIELD. Who could hit 40 homers every year if he was batting cleanup, but since he bats leadoff he chooses instead to put up great batting averages.

Likewise Derek Jeter. Who exudes professionalism (nevermind about that Hucakby incident).
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 07:34 PM EST (#228080) #
I just realized that post could give the wrong impression of what I think of Jerry Howarth. In fact, I quite like him and think he is very good at what he does. But he does tend to fawn over certain players and propagate some silly myths.
TimberLee - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 08:41 PM EST (#228081) #
I don't think it has been noted here yet that Baseball Think Factory has a link to Dave's gingerbread creation, with several favourable comments.
Dave Rutt - Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 09:22 PM EST (#228082) #
Thanks for the kind words everybody. I've experienced my first small taste of internet fame - previously, a good day for my blog was 25 hits. Today: over 2000. I've basically sat here all day, refreshing my stats page in awe. And despite links from Baseball Think Factory, BBRef and Huffington Post among others, the biggest referrer has been, yep, Da Box. You guys are the best!
dan gordon - Thursday, December 23 2010 @ 02:57 AM EST (#228084) #
Off topic, but I thought some might be interested.  For those who hadn't heard, Andrew Gallo, the man who killed Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart and 2 other people, and seriously injured another, while driving with nearly 3 times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, while on probation for another felony drunk driving offense, was convicted of 3 counts of murder in September and was sentenced today to 51 years to life in prison.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 23 2010 @ 03:06 PM EST (#228086) #
Re Dave Rutt:

You can name your field, Rutt Stadium on Gingerbread (a pun on Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field and the Ballpark in Arlington). Just kidding. Still it was a very nice recreation to say the least.

Re Magpie:

Anyway, I was checking Craig Biggio's statistics. If Brett Lawrie is as athletics as quoted to play RF, 2B and C, it may be fruitful to compare Brett with one of the best lead-off hitter who played similar multiple positions.
perlhack - Thursday, December 23 2010 @ 04:56 PM EST (#228087) #
"...the man who killed Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart and 2 other people, and seriously injured another, while driving with nearly 3 times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, while on probation for another felony drunk driving offense, was convicted of 3 counts of murder in September and was sentenced today to 51 years to life in prison"

In California, a (relatively) famous person is killed by a (relatively) unknown person via vehicular manslaughter. That unknown man had multiple previous DUI infractions, and was sentenced to 51+ years in prison.

In Ontario, a (relatively) unknown schoolteacher is killed by a (relatively) famous person via vehicular manslaughter. That famous man had multiple previous DUI infractions, and was sentenced to two years house arrest and two years probation.

I realize these are different jurisdictions, but the similarity of the infractions and the dissimilarity of the punishments is quite striking.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 23 2010 @ 06:20 PM EST (#228090) #

Yes, and there is also the case of Craig Mactavish, former NHL player.  He was convicted of vehicular homocide after killing a young woman while driving drunk.  He served 1 year in jail.  That one happened in Massachusetts. 

Obviously, the main difference in the Adenhart case was the previous history of drunk driving, plus the devastation caused by the accident - he got 15 to life for each of the 3 murders counts, plus 6 more years for the other offenses including causing great bodily harm (the 4th victim suffered an "internal decapitation" and almost died) and hit-and-run.  The sentences were added together to get the 51 years.  Apparently, as part of his previous conviction, Gallo had signed a form indicating that he understood that he could be charged with murder if he killed somebody while driving drunk.  There is a specific law in California known as the Watson law which is the basis for the charge of murder in the most egregious DUI cases.

I for one, think the sentence he got is deserved.  I would like to see more jurisdictions take a harder stance on repeat DUI offenders.

Richard S.S. - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 05:17 AM EST (#228094) #
The reason we are seeing nothing happening is because Alex Anthopoulos is trying orchestrate ( to arrange or manipulate, esp. by means of clever or thorough planning or maneuvering - some multi-team mega-deal to make this team better, something he said he likes to do.   Chances are it will be weeks before anything happens, so lets start talking about our players or positions or needs or something interesting.   MERRY CHRISTMAS.
MatO - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 09:47 AM EST (#228096) #
In no way can it atone for what he did but to Mactavish's credit he hasn't repeated his offense, he's become a spokesman against drunk driving and also befriended the parents of the young woman that he killed.
bpoz - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 10:14 AM EST (#228097) #
Merry Christmas Richard SS and everyone else.

I want to see how our current management breaks in position playing rookies that are promising like JPA. I hope he gets a lot of playing time and about 500 ABs maybe at catcher and another position. I assume good SP rookies like K Drabek get a regular turn in the rotation when they are deemed ready. I figure somehow a spot (5th) is forced open for them.

I want to see what 5 good starters can accomplish in a whole year. Hopefully no Innings limit this year.

Looks like a fair amount of HR power in the current line up. Many 20 HR guys possible.
I think the guy in front of J Bautista will see a lot of good pitches to hit, assuming J Bautista is V good again this year.
JohnL - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 01:32 PM EST (#228099) #
The great gingerbread game is now up on the Toronto Star website here. Soon, Cooperstown...
subculture - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 01:35 PM EST (#228100) #

Happy holidays bauxites!

I'm curious that (unless I missed it) no-one has posted any thoughts about if AA considered or bid on Nishioka, who signed with the Twins for what appears to be a 'reasonable' sum, especially considering the signing team was not going to lose any draft picks as compensation.  I haven't seen any stats for him, but if it's the same guy I am thinking of from watching the WBC games extensively (and I'm pretty sure it is), he was an impressive player with a lot of tools and discipline just entering his prime years.  I would think that he would be a solid above-average 2b with potential lead-off ability, and would consider moving Hill to 3b to make this happen.  He also seems like a good team-guy with a sense of humour, and though the GTA does not have a large Japanese community, there is a large Asian community that would likely follow him with interest (I would).

The Twins signed Nishioka to a three-year, $9.25 million contract with a club option for 2014. He’ll be paid $3 million in each of the next three seasons. The option for 2014 is worth $4 million and contains a $250,000 buyout. The Twins secured exclusive negotiating rights with Nishioka by submitting a winning bid of $5,329,000, so they spent right around $15 million (or $14.829 million, to be exact) in order to sign him.

While Nishioka played shortstop in Japan, there has been speculation that he could be moved to second base stateside. The 26-year-old infielder told reporters (with a dose of humor) that he does not have a preference.

TamRa - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 04:42 PM EST (#228102) #
Re Nishioka

I actually did a blog post recommending him - I was very enthusiastic and at the time, a $5 mil a year investment would have been fine with me because i saw him as an answer to the lead-off problem.

But more and more before the deadline I kept hearing Kaz Matsui comps and if true, then that would have made an underwhelming lead-off hitter

Still, what we have right now is underwhelming too so i hope there is something better coming. Nishioka should hit as well or better than Davis, and he's younger.
Mike Green - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 05:35 PM EST (#228103) #
The Christmas Mornings (all born Dec 25):

C -  Quincy Trouppe (Negro League great)
1B- Walter Holke
2B- Nellie Fox
SS- Joe Quinn
3B- Gene Robertson
LF- Rickey Henderson
CF- Willy Taveras
RF- Ben Chapman
IF-  Manny Trillo
IF-  Morrie Rath
IF-  Frank Ellerbe
OF-Jo-Jo Moore
OF-Red Barnes
C- Chris Krug

SP- Pud Galvin
SP- Ned Garver
SP- Ted Lewis
SP- George Haddock (who joins Lip Pike, Steve Trout, Dizzy Trout, Tim Salmon and others on the real Fish club)
SP-  Lloyd Brown

RP- Hideki Okajima
RP- Erik Hiljus
RP- Jack Hamilton
RP- Charlie Lea
RP- Alex Jones
RP- Charlie Beamon

Pitching Coach- Bruce Walton

CeeBee - Friday, December 24 2010 @ 07:48 PM EST (#228104) #
The Boxing Day Leftovers

C- Carleton Fisk
1B- Chris Chambliss
2B- Wayne Causey
3B- Jeff King
SS- Ozzie Smith
OF- George Tebeau
OF- Lee King
OF- Jeff Stone
OF/P- Dick Burns

C- Dave Rader
C/1B- John Henry
IF- Omar Infante
IF- Doc Farrell
IF- Mario Mendoza

SP- Ray Sadecki
SP- Al Jackson
SP- Herm Pillette
SP- Al Milnar
SP- Dustin Mosely
RP- Storm Davis
RP- Mike Willis
RP- Pug Cavet
CL- Stu Miller
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