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The Toronto Blue Jays weren't at their most memorable in 2002. I wouldn't even bring them up if it weren't for a few series they won in July. They lost the first game to the Red Sox in SkyDome on July 11th (10-3, with Pete Walker taking the loss), and then won the next three. On the 17th and 18th, Baltimore was in town, and the Jays took both games, and then beat the Orioles again in Baltimore on the 22nd and 24th. (What happened on the 23rd? Rainout?)

Here's why I bring that up.

Here were the Jays' winning pitchers in those games:

Jul 12 W5-0 Halladay(W,10-4)
Jul 13 W4-1 Carpenter(W,2-1)
Jul 14 W6-5 Escobar(W,5-4)

Jul 17 W7-1 Halladay(W,11-4)
Jul 18 W5-4 Carpenter(W,3-1) (S:Escobar)

Jul 22 W6-3 Halladay(W,12-4) (S:Escobar)
Jul 24 W5-2 Carpenter(W,4-1)

The Jays had Stieb, Clancy, and Leal in the early '80s. In the late '90s, they had Carpenter, Escobar, and Halladay. I remember watching one game in, oh, 1998, 2000, somewhere in there, where Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez were discussing the three of them, and Martinez said, "Carpenter's the most polished. Escobar has the best stuff." And Shulman said, "What about Halladay?" And the two of them just laughed at the notion of trying to describe Halladay's vast potential. Toronto's future, led by these three, was supposed to be bright.

This little stretch was the last hurrah for the three caballeros. That win on July 24th was Carpenter's last as a Blue Jay; he went on a losing streak after that, got hurt, and left the organization after the season. Escobar was a reliever that year; the Jays later turned him back into a starter. He pitched well for the Jays, moved on to the Angels, where he continued to pitch well, and retired after the 2009 season. Carpenter resurrected his career with the Cardinals, coming back from an injury that many didn't think he could come back from; he's been an excellent pitcher for the Cardinals (on and off) ever since. Roy Halladay became the best pitcher in baseball for the Jays, but eventually moved on.

So they're all gone now, and the Jays' future never arrived.

Carpenter and Halladay are still in the major leagues, though, still tremendous pitchers, and tonight they face each other in the deciding game of the NLDS. I hope they both win, and I hope Escobar gets the save, somehow.
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bpoz - Friday, October 07 2011 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#245572) #
Those 2 Halladay & Carpenter won Cy Youngs.

There is a standard there IMO that Steib & Key then Hentgen & Guzman achieved. It is my standard but others may disagree with.

I think Romero will join that club.
Matthew E - Friday, October 07 2011 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#245584) #
When the Jays cut ties with Carpenter after the '02 season, a whole lot of people were saying it was the smart thing to do, that it was basically unheard of for a pitcher to come back from his kind of injury, that the Jays just couldn't afford to take a chance on him at his price. And I didn't dispute that at the time, nor do I think that the benefit of hindsight makes it the wrong decision.

But I wanted them to hang on to him anyway. Good to see him coming up big in a big game like this. Baseball is good.

scottt - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 05:23 AM EDT (#245586) #
Carpenter didn't pitch well in the second game, but Lee couldn't hold the Cards and Dotel picked up the W.

E-Jax has been huge for the Cards and I wasn't surprised when he won game 4.

Though loss for Doc, but nobody should blame him.

Great postseason so far.
joeblow - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#245589) #
Mixed feelings seeing so many former Blue Jays in these playoffs. Some are stars and some are extras.

With Carpenter and Halladay, first lesson: don't give up too early on pitchers with this body type. It may take a while but if they are coachable (and you have good coaches), they can develop into studs. I hope McGowan is in this category. Another lesson is that when they do develop, do not get rid of them for anything. Especially not for monetary reasons.
Hodgie - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#245592) #
Third lesson, avoid revisionist history. Toronto did not give up on Carpenter. He was broken, with an injury that at the time was a death knell for pitchers and still they wanted to sign him to a minor league contract. The Halladay story has been retold a multitude of times and monetary reasons have never played a role in its re-telling.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#245598) #


Carpenter's and McGowan's medical histories should be compared before anyone gets too deep.   Toronto low-balled Carpenter.   A.A. would not do this (if he was cloned and taken back in time).

Spifficus - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#245599) #
Carpenter missed all of 2003 due to labrum surgery, which at the time was considered near-terminal for a pitcher. He certainly wasn't going to be offered arbitration after making $3.45M the year before (with the minimum they could offer being 80% of that). The minor league deal offer was understandable. Given the outlook for labrum surgeries at the time, the Jays front office shouldn't be villified; the St Louis front office should be applauded for taking the risk and seeing it through. In fact, it's Carpenter's success that provides some hope that pitchers can come back from labrum surgery with their stuff intact, and emboldens the Jays to take the chance with someone like McGowan.
Glevin - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#245600) #
Buster Olney reporting that the Red are listening to offers for Votto. He'd be a massive upgrade at 1B and slide right into the middle of the order and is, of course, a Toronto guy. (Reds want to save money and have Alonso who can only play 1B). Jays have a very deep system and Votto is the type of impact player who is worth trading prospects for. (he's also still only 27) Might be a fit.

Magpie - Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#245601) #
A.A. would not do this

One never knows. If Anthopoulos had a $50 million budget (a third of which was going to one player), he might have just as reluctant as Ricciardi to commit $3 million (of his remaining $33 million) to a pitcher who definitely would not pitch in 2003, if indeed he ever pitched again. One of the reasons the Jays have been able to carry McGowan (just as the early 90s Jays were able to carry Al Leiter until he got healthy) is because he hasn't been costing them a lot of money. Just the spot on the 40 man roster.
Magpie - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 06:29 AM EDT (#245602) #
Incidentally, I wish to register a complaint. It concerns this Meatloaf song that I have been unaccountably humming for the last two days. Sometimes, I shudder to say, where it could be overheard. By people. I hold you, Matthew, responsible for the grief and embarrassment this has caused me. Though it may take until the year 2525 (if man is still alive), I shall have vengeance...
Mike Green - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#245603) #
Stop right there, Magpie, before you go any further...
NDG - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#245607) #
As many have pointed, saying the Jays should have kept Carpenter is completely revisionist history.  The Jays couldn't offer arb but they did try to keep him.  They had zero leverage to be able to make him stay.  I was (is) a huge Carpenter fan but it was understandable that he left.  It was his decision.

92-93 - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#245610) #
Hengten was on PrimeTime with Darrin Fletcher and they ripped JP for his treatment of Carpenter. The players seem to think it was an affront to not offer him the MLB minimum. It was also interesting to hear Fletcher say he thought Doc would have had success working over the top with a 12-6 curveball, and that when Doc initially returned to the majors trying to cut and slide everything in the low 90s from a lowered arm angle he was perplexed.
Chuck - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#245611) #
I don't believe that offering Carpenter the MLB minimum was even an option given that he was arbitration eligible and coming off a 3MM paycheque. Offering Carpenter the league minimum became an option for other organizations once the Jays passed up going the arb route with him.
Spifficus - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#245612) #
After arb was declined and he was non-tendered, they were free to make that (or any other) offer, just like every other team. They chose the minor league offer route, which I think was reasonable given the injury.
Original Ryan - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#245613) #
Carpenter had been released by the Blue Jays in October of 2002. As far as I know, it was possible to re-sign him for any amount. Carp opted to go to St. Louis because they offered him a two-year major league contract, while the Blue Jays were only offering a one-year minor league contract.

Based on what I knew at the time, I thought that getting rid of Carpenter was perfectly justifiable. For what it's worth, Mike Sirotka had the same injury and was let go by the Jays around the same time. Sirotka signed with (I think) the Cubs, but he never pitched in a professional baseball game again.
Spifficus - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#245614) #
Thanks Ryan... For some reason i thought it had played out through the non-tender path, but if they were going to free up a 40 man slot anyway, why not do it in October instead of after the rule 5?
Chuck - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#245616) #

Carpenter had been released by the Blue Jays in October of 2002. As far as I know, it was possible to re-sign him for any amount.

I believe there is a waiting period, as per the current CBA, whereby a team not offering arbitration can only negotiate with the player in question quite a bit later, and not immediately thereafter. Or maybe I don't have this quite right. I don't know if a similar clause might have existed in the CBA in effect in 2002. The memory is muddled.

I certainly recall the Jays electing not to offer Carpenter arbitration and being in support of that position. Carpenter's post-surgery transformation was remarkable and nothing anyone could have reasonably anticipated. Really, he was a totally different pitcher afterwards. A much, much better pitcher.

Spifficus - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#245618) #
That's for service time free agents that weren't offered arbitration. A non-tender or release is free to renegotiate with that team right away. That May 1st rule was also done away with in the last CBA.
Chuck - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#245619) #
Thanks Spifficus.

I'm wondering if there are instances of non-service time FA's actually returning to their teams after not having been offered arbitration. I'm thinking that the hurt feelings and ill will would motivate the player to want to seek employment elsewhere.
Spifficus - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#245620) #
Sure, though you'll usually find it for injury reasons instead of performance. Can't think of any examples off the top of my head, though.
Original Ryan - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#245625) #
I'm also drawing a blank on instances of a guy being non-tendered and then being re-signed, but I know that it does happen sometimes. It effectively happened with Edwin Encarnacion this offseason, even though it was technically the Athletics that non-tendered him.
clark - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#245630) #
I just read a little article about Mark Biggs, this year's 8th round pick. Apparently he touches 95 and has a solid change up.

I was wondering if anybody knew what his signing bonus was. I find that gives a lot more context to a prospect. For example, reading here that Vega-Rosado got $200,000 tells more about him than his draft position.

Also, if anybody could tell me where that information is available that would be awesome.
Spifficus - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#245633) #
If I'm remembering right (always a dubious proposition), it was $600k, and he definitely adds to the stable of high upside arms.
hypobole - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#245634) #

Don't know if all the numbers on this site are correct, because I just googled it, but it also has Biggs at $600K.

Matthew E - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#245635) #
this Meatloaf song that I have been unaccountably humming for the last two days. Sometimes, I shudder to say, where it could be overheard. By people.

Then my work here is done!
dawgatc - Sunday, October 09 2011 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#245636) #
Would like to know if teams can follow their picks after they are drafted or do they go by what they did prior to the draft. Some of the jays picks are hard to fathom;none moreso than Andrew Chin .He was apparently looking at surgery when they picked him.The jays made him a low offer and he turned it down to go to Boston U.. Strange because why would they pick an injured guy just to give him an lowball offer and strange that he didn't take it .He can't pitch for about 2 years anyway so why not let someone else pay for your education.Also wonder how much scouts pay attention to signability.I imagine they talk about it all the time when pursuing a player but in Beede's situation it was mentioned that the Jays must not talk to prospects about numbers til they are drafted. Why not?? Seems silly that a player and a team can't talk about what they want prior to wasting a pick. what is the bad part of that???Can anyone enlighten me about the rules??
Chuck - Monday, October 10 2011 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#245639) #

this Meatloaf song that I have been unaccountably humming for the last two days. Sometimes, I shudder to say, where it could be overheard. By people.

Then my work here is done!

Try watching the documentary of the making of the album, where Jim Steinman illustrates how he wrote the ditty as a country song. And then just try to get the twangy version out of your head.


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