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Behind the fearsome bat of Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals tied the NLCS at 1 game apiece. Earlier in the day, the Nelson Cruz continued his attempt to pry the ďMr. OctoberĒ nickname away from Reggie Jackson with the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history. The Rangers now head to Detroit with a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.

If Iím Ron Roenicke, Iím rejigging my rotation so that Shaun Marcum doesnít get another start this series (and perhaps for the rest of the playoffs). He didnít look like the Marcum Toronto fans remembered or Milwaukee fans were treated to for four or five months last night. He did not locate well and didnít appear to be fooling any of the Cardinals hitters. This is Marcumís second bad start in a row that Iíve seen, as his appearance against the Diamondbacks was no better, and his September numbers were not strong at all. Some have speculating he may be fighting an injury, but whatever the case, Roenicke may be better served handing the ball to Chris Narveson in Game 6 and should have a very quick hook if he hands Marcum the ball again. Here is a thread for update playoff discussion.
Marcum's Misery | 48 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#245688) #

As long as Cruz doesn't start believing the hype .... the only more majestic home run I've  seen this postseason than Nellie's walkoff shot is the solo shot he hit a few innings earlier to tie the game. That the walkoff was  a grand slam is getting a little too much play given  that the Rangers would have celebrated just as hard if he'd dinked a single to right field, which would have also won the game.

Still, with three dingers in his last two contests, he IS starting to look more like the Cruz I thought would be the AL MVP this past March ....

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#245690) #
Marcum may indeed be tired.  His September outings were inconsistent rather than uniformly bad.  He had his best outing of the season probably on September 4, throwing 7 innings of 1 hit ball in Houston while walking one and striking out 8.  He then had two bad outings, followed by another very good 8 innings against the Cubs (a solo homer and not much else, while walking nobody and striking out 7), followed by another stinker in his last outing of the season on September 26.

This makes it three outings in a row where he isn't missing bats.  Although watching him, you wouldn't think that there was an injury problem. 

Paul D - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#245691) #

with the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history

Depends how you feel about Robin Ventura, although I guess the history books are with you.


greenfrog - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#245692) #
Marcum has been quite a bit better in the first half in his career (666 versus 753 OPS, 3.36 versus 4.20 ERA). Not sure how significant this is - I always felt that Marcum, while a very good starter, lacked the endurance of some of the playoff horses we've seen (both within individual games and over the course of a season). It could be that he's wearing down a bit. He's also had a few minor injuries here and there, so that could be a factor too.

I've always liked Cruz. He seemed to struggle a bit this year, but he's an imposing and talented hitter.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#245704) #
And how many people , just recently, are still taking out not trading Marcum?
bpoz - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#245705) #
I looked at N Cruz's age (31) & stats. I guess he is good and maybe he gets better but he took time to develop. So a comparison to Snider & Thames, is that reasonable.
92-93 - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#245709) #
I don't think anyone here has ever suggested the Marcum deal was a poor one from a value perspective.
Thomas - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#245710) #
Tony LaCava is reportedly among the six finalists for Baltimore's GM job. JP Ricciardi is one of the other finalists.

Apparently, things are picking up on the Epstein to Boston front.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#245712) #
I've always liked Cruz. He seemed to struggle a bit this year, but he's an imposing and talented hitter.

The interesting thing is, the Jays already have a hitter who is very similar in many ways.  Edwin Encarnacion.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#245713) #
Tony LaCava is reportedly among the six finalists for Baltimore's GM job. JP Ricciardi is one of the other finalists.

Apparently, things are picking up on the Epstein to Boston front.

You mean Epstein to Chicago?  He's already in Boston...

I'd love to see Ricciardi get the Orioles job.  I'm not sure if he'd take it.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#245715) #
I'm torn about the LaCava/O's situation. I would like him to get a shot at a GM job, but I'm sure he's a real asset to the Jays and would prefer him to stay until the Jays are perennial contenders once again. Plus, I don't want a rival AL East club poaching one of our premier front office guys (along with all the years of intel he's built up).
TamRa - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#245718) #
Selfishly - I want to keep LaCava

Humanly - I'm supportive of him getting a chance

But no - not the o's. not only because i don't want him in the dvision (even in the league given a choice) and I don't want to see him cursed with a no win situation.

Actually, as much as he fits the typical Baltimore mold, I don't want to see JP in that job either. I want to see him get a clean situation and stand or fail on his own merits. I'd support either for the Angels job.

TamRa - Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#245719) #
and by the way, I don't see how Byrnes wouldn't be right close to the top of the list for every opening. i though he did pretty well in Arizona.

Thomas - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#245721) #
You mean Epstein to Chicago? He's already in Boston...

That is precisely what I meant...

Gerry - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#245727) #
Travis d'Arnaud has left team USA at the world cup due to a thumb injury.  I am not sure how serious it is yet.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#245728) #
Ack.  Arencibia's thumb injury threw a wrench into his season, and now this.  Catching prospects are definitely a breed apart.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#245729) #
Heard on the radio that Epstein has signed a 5 year deal with the Cubs. Checking online you can see follow up here at ESPN.

Good news for the Jays imo. We all (who were around back then) remember how the Jays shifted from Gillick (who 'retired') to Gord Ash during the 1994 season. Supposed to be seamless as Ash was trained by Gillick and was there for the big years. Didn't turn out so well.

When it comes to who is running opposing teams I'll take the devil we DON'T know over the one we do. The Sox this year had some bad luck with injuries and the like in September. Most measures say if they had any luck at all they'd have been up there with the Yankees. Epstein has been with the Sox since the winter of 2002. The Sox wins those years (2003-2011) are 95-98-95-86-96-95-95-89-90. This is not a weak team and Epstein is an excellent GM. Meanwhile Francona has been the manager from 2004 to today so just remove that first 95 from his record.

Again, this is a good thing for the Jays/Rays/Yankees/Orioles. The Red Sox are weaker today than they were at the end of September. On September 1st no one would've bought the idea of the Sox losing Epstein and Francona - but one bad month and bye bye.
lexomatic - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#245732) #
Think about the appeal to Epstein: has already won a WS with Boston, breaking the curse, and isn't the Cubs streak the longest in professional sports now?
That might be enough to guarantee him a spot in the HOF as a builder.

bpoz - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#245733) #
Remember when we had Raul Chavez in our system at AAA. He got a decent amount of playing time in the Majors in 2009 due to injury but not in 2010. How hard is it to pick up someone like him mid season if they are not with your organization eg R Chavez either on or off your 40 man? SF was faced with the injury to B Posey this year, they probably did something, and most likely reasonably big to deal with his loss.

I recently mentioned N Cruz as a late bloomer and then used Snider & Thames as a comparison. Both are too young to be considered late bloomers. But so far they have shown similar low BB numbers and good power at times. I don't know if Cruz got his opportunity due to his defense and then just developed into an offensive force.
We got Devo in his late 20s because something was not good enough.

On to SPs. We have our uncertain guys, Morrow & Cecil, but an easy, convenient comparison are M Harrison, R Porcello, Fister & CJ Wilson as guys that were not immediate successes. Well Cecil could have been an immediate success due to his V good 1st full year.

Going forward, I don't know how AA would tap into this potential source of talent.
I think JoJo Reyes just had his best year in the Majors so I congratulate him for that. Carlos V may also have had one of his best years.

I guess you are always uncertain, maybe it is luck. And the NYY have it.

I don't know about A Hill, maybe he becomes A Gonzales. Don't know about Lind either.
uglyone - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#245734) #
Just to go beyond Marcum, for interest's sake......Ex-Jay Playoff Performances:

SP R.Halladay: 2gs, 8.0ip/gs, 1-1, 0.69whip, 2.25era
SP C.Carpenter: 2gs, 6.0ip/gs, 1-0, 0.92whip, 3.00era
SP A.Burnett: 1gs, 5.2ip/gs, 1-0, 1.41whip, 1.59era
SP E.Jackson: 2gs, 5.1ip/gs, 1-0, 1.35whip, 3.48era
SP S.Marcum: 2gs, 4.1ip/gs, 0-2, 2.08whip, 12.46era

RP O.Dotel: 4gms, 3.2ip, 0sv, 1hd, 0.55whip, 2.45era
RP M.Rzepczynski: 5gms, 2.0ip, 0sv, 2hd, 2.00whip, 13.50era

3B R.Roberts: 20ab, 2hr, 6rbi, 0/1sb, .350avg, .350obp, .700slg, 1.050ops
2B A.Hill: 18ab, 1hr, 1rbi, 0/0sb, .278avg, .435obp, .444slg, .879ops
C M.Napoli: 25ab, 1hr, 4rbi, 1/1sb, .280avg, .333obp, .400slg, .733ops
DH M.Young: 27ab, 0hr, 0rbi, 0/0sb, .111avg, .172obp, .111slg, .284ops
1B L.Overbay: 4ab, 0hr, 0rbi, 0/0sb, .000avg, .000obp, .000slg, .000ops
SS J.McDonald: 2ab, 0hr, 0rbi, 0/0sb, .000avg, .000obp, .000slg, .000ops
ramone - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#245736) #
A nice little blurb from BA today on their breakdown of every team's talent in their top 20 league lists:

"After back-to-back years with multiple extra picks in the draft, Toronto now has one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, with talent well-distributed between the upper and lower levels. The group of prospects that miss the cut for the top 30 in the 2012 Prospect Handbook could probably challenge some teams' 11-30 talent. General manager Alex Anthopoulos has made a bevy of shrewd moves, and it's easy to envision the Jays soon joining the Rays to make the AL East a four-team dogfight every year."
bpoz - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#245738) #
Should be a nice move for the Cubs.

Boston's record with Epstein is very good, but before Epstein it was maybe just OK, I checked 2001-1995.
But ownership also changed in Boston. I do not know when, Yawky to J Henry.

A Friedman needs to leave TB & J Madden. When? And they must be thinking about it. If the Boston owners are not meddlers maybe Gillick would be interested.
uglyone - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#245740) #
A nice little blurb from BA today on their breakdown of every team's talent in their top 20 league lists:

great showing on the BA league lists for sure.

Overall, 16 Jays' prospects showed up on their league top-20 lists, with one guy (Hutch) showing up on two of them.

Moreover, 6 Jays' prospects showed up in their league top-5s (#1 Lawre, #1 Nicolino, #2 D'Arnaud, #3 Gose, #3 Marisnick, #4 Syndergaard), while 3 more showed up in their league top-10s (#8 Cardona, #10 Alvarez, #10 Jimenez).

prettay, prettay good.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#245742) #
I want to see who Boston hires before deciding whether the Francona and Epstein departures amount to a downgrade. Who knows? Bringing in some fresh talent could help reinvigorate the Red Sox. I think some degree of change can be a good thing for both individuals and organizations, and both Tito and Theo had been with Boston for a long time (about eight and nine years, respectively).
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#245743) #
Also, two Jays (Drabek, Molina) made BA's "just-missed" list, which included writeups for one player in each league who just missed the top-20 cut.

The great thing is that the Jays should end up adding more talent next summer, as they will likely have several extra picks in the first and supplemental rounds of the 2012 draft.

All in all, the system looks to be in very good shape, but AA shouldn't rest on his laurels - still a lot of work to be done before the big club is a perennial contender.
Thomas - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#245744) #
I want to see who Boston hires before deciding whether the Francona and Epstein departures amount to a downgrade

Boston will hire Ben Cherington as GM. It shouldn't be much of a downgrade, if any. (Although, as Matthew said, you probably take the Devil You Don't in this situation, but there is little evidence to suggest Cherington will change the organizational philosophy in any meaningful way. I don't think Boston will skip a beat.)
John Northey - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#245746) #
Well, as I mentioned, Gord Ash shouldn't have changed a thing here. Now, we did get an ownership change and a dollar crash but I doubt anyone was impressed by Ash's trades or free agent signings (outside of Clemens as a FA of course which was more Beeston). My point being, just because someone is well thought of and the logical successor doesn't make it the right move. Boston has been very, very good for a long time (as have the Yankees) and anything to disrupt the front offices of those teams has to be viewed as a positive.
Jonny German - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#245748) #
I'm sure I'm not alone in having been very disappointed when it turned out Ricciardi was not in fact a clone of Billy Beane. And in being highly skeptical when AA was promoted to GM, expecting him to have the same flaws as JP.
Thomas - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#245753) #
I agree Cherington may not come as advertised. That's always a risk. As I said, from the outside, you take the Devil You Don't over the Devil You Do. However, as a Jays fan, would you rather Boston went outside the organization to hire a new GM? If they weren't going to land Andrew Friedman or Billy Beane (and a couple of other names, perhaps, like Jon Daniels where there are no rumours to suggest they'd leave), I think I would.

It's tough to make a meaningful distinction between, say, LaCava or Forst and Cherington right now, but if they went outside they might hire someone with a less well-regarded resume, at least from an analytical/sabermetric/objective (however you best want to characterize that) perspective.

Ash was different than Gillick in terms of background and there was also the variable of the ownership change, as you indicated. I don't think that situation is really comparable.

Chuck - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#245754) #
Henry to Cherington: Here's 160 million bucks. Try to win me 92 games.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#245756) #
92? Whatever gets you in. The only number Sawx Nation cares about these days is 11 -- 3+4+4 ...
bpoz - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#245757) #
Gord Ash inherited a recent WS Champ. So his starting point was different. The 1994 season ended early so an ageing team got older. Henke left after 1992 and Ward was injured by 1995.
If Ash had major budget restrictions then his job to keep the Jays on top was harder. Cito loved some of his veterans.
The C$ crashed as mentioned. So Ash could have HAD to go cheaper, but I am not sure.
Guzman, Hentgen & Timlin were"definitely" affordable as was 1 position player Sprague. I don't know if Derek Bell was still ours. Cone was a tradeable asset. Ash went all prospects for him, which was risky. Stottlemire may have been affordable.
Once the WS champ was no longer good he did have Delgado, Green & A Gon1 and maybe others to help rebuild.
After 94,95,96 he would have seen age & injuries take away a lot. In 96 he had 2 of the best SPs in Hentgen & Guzman.
Beeston got R Clemens who rebounded fantastically. Ash was stuck in something with no clear direction.

OK. I may have put a spin on this that is inaccurate. I did live through it though.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#245762) #

Letting Tom Henke leave was Mistake #1. shows he was effective for 3 more years before retiring. Tom Henke as a Jay in 93, 94 and 95.  Does Duane Ward still get hurt when he did, after 93?

What was Mistake #2?

bpoz - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#245763) #
I don't know mistake #2. But getting fleeced my Kenny Williams in the M Sirotka deal was probably his last mistake.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#245764) #
The collapse of the Jays post-1993 can be traced to multiple events.

Free Agents...
Should've kept: Henke, Key, Alomar, Fernandez, Stottlemyre (ERA+ 107 for 180+IP for the first 4 years after he left)
Should've dumped: Carter
Did right thing: Winfield, Molitor (one solid year was all he had left)

What was Ash thinking?: Olerud, Green, Clemens, Wells, Cone, Wilson & 5 others for Plesac/Garcia/Merced, Woody Williams for Joey Hamilton, Young for Loaiza
Good trades: Quantrill, Cruz Jr, Plesac for Batista

Ugh. So many 'what were they thinking' trades. Soooo many. So sad. Such a waste of so much young talent. In 1998 the Jays had a really good team with Delgado/Grebeck/AGone1/Fernandez infield, Green/Stewart/Cruz outfield, Canseco DH but wasted time with Sprague. The rotation had Clemens/Hentgen (off year)/Williams/Carpenter (getting good)/Guzman/Escobar but wasted starts on Hanson. Then they lost Canseco, Clemens, Williams while adding Batista (A-Gon injured-was big improvement), Hamilton (ugh), Wells, Halladay (18 starts, 18 relief), Homer Bush (one good year, played instead of 123 OPS+ Grebeck for 3 months when both healthy). How did Ash respond? The Green/Mondesi trade and an assortment of other panic moves. Sigh. The one chance the Jays had in the 1994-2001 period and Ash blew it big time.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#245765) #
"Tom Henke as a Jay in 93, 94 and 95. Does Duane Ward still get hurt when he did, after 93?"

Probably. Ward pitched *fewer* games and innings as a closer in '93 than he did as the setup guy. He was in the top-10 in games for six straight years - he was probably headed for an arm injury one way or another.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 13 2011 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#245767) #
You people are not much fun.   Mistake #2 was letting Jimmy Key leave.  He was good 3 of the next 4 years and wasn't going to cost a lot.   It's possible the Organization was leary of signing contracts with 33 - 34 year old pitchers.   What was Mistake #3.
TamRa - Thursday, October 13 2011 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#245768) #
If you give me a chance to change three things, a couple of them are Gillick.

I'd have kept Cone through until at least the late 90's, and I'd have re-signed Key and Alomar through the rest of their career.

There would have been a couple of other things i couldn't have done because of that (sign Stewart, extend Carter for so much) - but the combination of those three and the other things they prevented me doing would have made a HUGE difference.

(and by the by, Beeston mentioned in the interview with Griffin that Key left because he (Beeston) wouldn't come off the "no more than 3 years" rule)

bpoz - Thursday, October 13 2011 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#245772) #
I agree #2 should have kept Key. Guzman, Hentgen & Key is pretty deep. Stottlemire as #4 SP. On the horizon in the late 90s Carpenter, Halladay & Escobar could have been a smoothe transition. Timlin would become a good setup man soon too.

Leiter, Hanson & Hamilton as replacements were #4s & #5s. Woody Williams really shocked me with the good career he had.

I still have the feeling that the Jays went cheap, got bad, so the fans left and then Ash was pulling desperate moves.
John Northey - Thursday, October 13 2011 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#245781) #
bpoz - the last point is dead on. All other issues could've been dealt with after 1998 gave them a solid base. However, Ash panicked big time and blew it. First Johnson being caught lying and Ash holding onto him far to long, then panicking in spring and being stuck with Fregosi. Then Clemens insisting on a trade and Ash going with a direct replacement (Wells) and poor everyday player (Bush) to try to fill that hole created by Alomar leaving then Garcia not being adequate. Mix in a few more panic trades as Green decided he wanted to go to LA and Ash trying for an expensive direct replacement and we were looking at disaster. Challenge trades normally have winners and losers and Ash was a regular loser of those.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, October 13 2011 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#245791) #
Ash had no idea what he was doing.  People bag on Ricciardi a lot, but he was genius squared compared to our Dr. Evil.
Magpie - Friday, October 14 2011 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#245792) #
Most of the mistakes people are talking about were made by Pat Gillick. After the 1992 WS, Gillick was the one who let Jimmy Key, David Cone, and Tom Henke leave as free agents (he brought in Dave Stewart.) Gillick also let his shortstop, left-fielder and DH leave as free agents (he replaced the DH at least). And he traded his third baseman for a mediocre middle reliever. It's still somewhat miraculous to me that they actually repeated in 1993.

Still, almost the very first thing Ash did when he started running the show after the 1994 season was clearly a mistake. In April 1995, he traded three prospects to get David Cone back. It's not that the prospects would amount to much of anything - most prospects don't. It's just that Ash so seriously misjudged his own team as to believe that they were still capable of contending.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 14 2011 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#245793) #
This site: lets you work out who to keep, and who not to keep to your heart's desire.
bpoz - Friday, October 14 2011 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#245796) #
Great site Richard SS, thanks.

Thanks also to Magpie for pointing out my mistake to me. I checked the site R SS provided for proof. It is true & I am stunned that it was Gillick. So Cone replaced by Stewart, Ok by me Stewart was able to win big games in his career. Key also could win big games, he never got flustered IMO.

I believe big game winning pitchers do exist. I wish I could prove it. I would then try to get a few on the Jays.

I will have to review the Minor league playoffs to see who came up big. Jenkins did it once for NH I believe.
John Northey - Friday, October 14 2011 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#245798) #
The biggest early Ash mistake, imo, was thinking that salaries would come down in 1995 thus held off on signing Alomar to an extension (widely known at the time - I recall an Ash interview where he said as much). Imagine if Alomar stuck around for 1996-1998 (a 3 year extention) - might have stopped the silly deal for Merced & Garcia, might have added the handful of wins needed in 1998 to shift the team from also ran to contender. If resigned after 1998 then we might not have had the painful Homer Bush years. Of course, then in the early 2000's we'd have seen Alomar's decline too.

However, Ash regularly misjudged his teams talent. In 1998 he kept guys around who clearly were no longer any good until mid-season then after dumping and playing kids the team took off. Sigh. At least he kept the guys around who drafted well.

Mike Green - Sunday, October 16 2011 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#245837) #
Score one for Thomas. 

I wish the best for Marcum, and it's a shame to see him get beat up on the big stage.
bpoz - Monday, October 17 2011 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#245850) #
When the White Sox won the WS Ozzie G did not use his pen much, hardly at all IMO. LaRussa on the other hand...

2 different routes, huh?
Magpie - Monday, October 17 2011 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#245855) #
When the White Sox won the WS Ozzie G did not use his pen much, hardly at all IMO.

Sort of. The 2005 Sox had a great bullpen, and they played a key role in the opening sweep of the Red Sox (especially the brilliant work by El Duque.) Then, after losing the opener to the Angels, the Sox got four straight CG wins from their starters. The WS sweep was back to normal. Jenks and Cotts appeared in all four games, Politte in three of them.
Marcum's Misery | 48 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.