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Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#246025) #
Napoli is coming off a fine season throwing out baserunners (for the first time in his career), and Texas pitchers did develop unexpectedly well.  You have to give him some credit for that too.  If he is in fact an above-average defensive catcher, he is arguably the best catcher in baseball (or right there with Brian McCann), even getting 500-550 PAs per year.  Which does come as a bit of a surprise. 
James W - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#246026) #
Game 5 was a gift from La Russa (and I guess credit to the crowd for the screw up that let Napoli face a lefty.) Way too many terrible sacrifice bunts and stolen base attempts. These two managers must be trying to see who can lose the series. I can't think of another explanation.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#246027) #
Apparently Pujols called a hit-and-run on one of the caught stealings in the 7th.  Personally, I have no problem with a manager allowing a veteran great power hitter having the authority to call a hit-and-run in that situation.  No one knows better than Pujols about his comfort level hitting against Ogando with a runner holding on first or going, and Pujols is familiar enough with the odds involved to make a better judgment than the manager.  The real quesiton is why he did not offer at the pitch.  He's a good enough hitter to try to foul it off, and with Craig running, he has to try.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#246028) #

The vastly underrated Jonah Keri has this terrific summary of lsst night's game 5:

The Top 21 Moments of a Crazy Game 5

Gerry - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#246029) #

The John Farrell era lives to fight another day.  The Blue Jays just issued a very short press release.

Due to the distraction caused by media speculation regarding our employee permission policy, the Toronto Blue Jays have amended their policy and will not grant permission for lateral moves.


John Northey - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#246030) #
Makes a lot of sense. Unless someone directly pushes to leave (for whatever reason) why encourage them to leave for a lateral move.

One wonders if any coaches will shuffle this winter, and if so who and why.
smcs - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#246031) #
Game 5 was a gift from La Russa (and I guess credit to the crowd for the screw up that let Napoli face a lefty.)

What a ridiculous excuse. La Russa looked a step behind all night. He used a pinch hitter to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Feliz was throwing nothing but heat, and Craig had been running on 2 straight foul balls. Just terrible. Leaving aside the alleged game of broken telephone, Octavio Dotel eats righties for dinner. Why is he intentionally walking any righty in any situation? What if he pitches to Cruz, walks Murphy and then pitches to Napoli? Yesterday, Magpie said he disliked La Russa because he constantly manages as if he is trying to look more clever than everyone else. That was on full display last night.
Thomas - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#246032) #
I don't think the amendment to policy really changes that much. If Farrell wants to leave, which is the only scenario in which he'd have left under the original policy, the Jays will still let him go. It would likely be counter-productive to retain a manager who has expressed a desire to leave, as you don't want to keep employees who are not 100% committed to the club, particularly in a leadership role. If Farrell wants to leave, I imagine the Jays will still let him go. This gives them more of an opportunity to demand compensation, but I don't think the Farrell issue is any more resolved today than it was yesterday. That will only happen once he absolutely rules himself out of the job or Boston appoints someone else.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#246033) #
LaRussa has in my opinion managed very well this post-season.  He used his bullpen to the hilt against Milwaukee, and then properly backed off early in the series.  Last night's game was definitely an off-night for him, with the Zep against Napoli matchup being the managerial equivalent of Rios' bobbling a ball over the fence. 

Like Magpie, I don't care for the late-inning matchup era which LaRussa help to usher in.  His fault last night was not following his own recipe in one of the clearest possible circumstances.

Geoff - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#246034) #
While an open door policy to people leaving the organization sounds good, it is impossible to maintain. How can your organization have any stability if other organizations can poach your guys any time they please, if they can only offer your guy something he really wants?

There was no way that could work. I understand the positives of having an open policy, such as everyone who is in the organization is doing so because they are happy and committed to the organization. And those that wish they were somewhere else are welcome to leave and be replaced by folks who want to be there. That sounds like a good ideal, but it can easily devolve into a horrible mess. Kind of like having an open marriage.

The main issue is stability. And what if you have some folks who are happy working with Farrell and want to be there to work with him and he leaves? And what are players to think, where they are working with an individual and rely on their presence, and that guy leaves? What would Shea Hillenbrand say to his fellow players in a clubhouse like that?

I figured the policy with most clubs has been that they would be happy to give a guy an opportunity for promoted responsibility (and salary, presumably) with another organization even if he's under contract. But for other organizations to poach your manager, or hitting coach, or fielding coach, or baserunning coach, or equipment manager, just so he can take the same position in another spot? Unacceptable. If the guy figures it's time to negotiate an extension and raise, so be it. If he wants to take a page from Larry Brown and make his employers disgusted with him for his lack of dedication to the organization, so be it.

But there was no way they could leave the door open for people to come and go as they please. It does not foster commitment and stability. Like an open marriage, you might hope everyone is responsible and respectful. But in the end, someone will be hurt by the instability.

TamRa - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#246035) #
Hindsight alert:

If we'd been in any position to assume Napoli would step up to this degree as a catcher (and not just as a hitter) then one wonders if we could have traded JP for Francisco instead, with an eye towards having a more veteran (and more productive) catcher in place until d'Arnaud (or whoever) graduated?

another random thought - what does it say if "legendary" catcher Mike Soscia couldn't bring out the D in Napoli but somehow he found it in Texas?

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#246037) #
It says that Ron Washington is pretty good. And moreso, it says, as R-Dubya is fond of proclaiming, "That's the way baseball go."
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#246038) #
Or Joaquin Andujar's "youneverknow" or Fats Waller's "one never knows, do one?". This Bushism is my favourite:
"Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." --Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

Maybe seeing George in the crowd has been distracting LaRussa.  In a way, it's understandable.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#246039) #
John Lackey is going in for TJ surgery, and will miss 2012.  It has been a tough couple of months for Sox fans, and now this...
92-93 - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#246040) #
We laugh now, but in 2015 Lackey will probably win 15 games for the Red Sox for 500k.
Dewey - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#246041) #
What would Shea Hillenbrand say . . . ?

Whoah; now thereís a question to shiver timbers in the Front Office!
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#246042) #
Seriously, Lackey's disappearance from the Red Sox rotation is probably worth 1-2 games to them in the standings.  His FIP/xFIP of the last two years flatters him. 
92-93 - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#246043) #
It'll be worth even more than 1-2 games if it makes Cherington realize how badly they need another top-of-the-rotation starter to fit in with Lester & Beckett. There's only so much they can expect to get from Buchholz & Matsuzaka coming off injuries, so unless they plan on relying on Wakefield, Aceves, and the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots again they could be very active participants in the Sabathia, Wilson, Darvish, Oswalt, etc. sweepstakes.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#246044) #
Congratulations to Team Canada who won gold at the Pan-Am games.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#246045) #
unless they plan on relying on Wakefield, Aceves, and the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots again

Maybe there was more to the fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse story than I thought.  Does seem like a bit of a culture clash.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#246047) #
CC is the cream of the FA crop. Both NYY & Boston will compete for his services as well as some other teams that could afford his price tag maybe Atlanta & the Cubs.

Boston is a good club still, but they have a lot of pressure on them. They could be forced into risky moves that could back fire.
MatO - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#246048) #

and the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots again

I hope he doesn't suffer the same fate as the sometimes former lead guitarist of Yes.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#246049) #
Carsten Charles Sabathia (CC to his friends) is "listed" as being 6' 7" 290 pounds. He will turn 32 on July 21st 2012. After the 2010 season he had a meniscus tear in his right knee (his push off leg) and had arthroscopic surgery. While recovering he lost "25 pounds." By season's end of 2011 reports were he was back up to  "well over 300" pounds.

Is this guy just too big a risk for a 6 or 7 year contract going forward? Would you want to be paying this guy 20+ for his age 39 season?

To me - I'm just not interested, at the amount of money, and the number of years, that will be required to sign him. The risk is just WAY TOO much. Any team that signs him is acting mostly on pure desperation - or acting with the knowledge that blowing 40 to 60 million is just another cost of doing business.
BalzacChieftain - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#246050) #

If both get comparable deals for 6+ years, who'd you rather if you're an MLB GM?

Fat Prince @ 27 > Fat CC @ 32


vw_fan17 - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#246051) #
To me - I'm just not interested, at the amount of money, and the number of years, that will be required to sign him. The risk is just WAY TOO much.

An alternative view: while some hitters get hurt, most of that is due to defensive issues (i.e. concussions, diving, etc). I think most will agree that pure DHs rarely miss significant time, unless there were already underlying issues. The biggest decline is usually age-related regression, except for a few notable cases where batters are dunn from one season to the next, as if they fell off a hill into hidden wells with only the chirping of o-rio(le)s to keep them company. For example, looking at the expected-DH-to-be, Mr. Fielder, one can expect that after age 35, he will probably not be a great hitter, but until age 32-34, one expects he will be healthy, and will hit quite well.

On the other hand, most starting pitchers get hurt some time during their career. I don't know the percentages, but, it seems, especially now, many pitchers miss a year or two and then come back and can still deliver good results. For example, Mr. Carpenter. Looking at Mr. CC: baseball reference has his WAR over the last 4 years as 7.1, 4.3, 5.0, 6.9. That averages out to 5.825. IIRC, 1 WAR = $5M (or is it different for starting pitchers)? So, that's an average of almost $30M/year. This past season, almost $35M in "performance". While I don't think the NYY will pay CCS an average of $35M over 6 years, maybe something like $140/6? That means, over 6 years, he needs a WAR total of 28. If he has a couple more 6.9's, he'll have paid for half his contract in 2 years. Then, 14 WAR over 4 years isn't that hard - EVEN if he misses a year due to injury, or seriously declines. Maybe something like 7, 7, 5, 1, 4, 4 or 7,7,5,4,3,2. In other words - in some ways, a longer contract IS averaging out the risk. The risk that they get NOTHING for their contract. If, on the other hand, they signed him for $30M for one year and he gets hurt in spring training and needs a year to recover, they've lost ALL of their investment (is it only the Jays, or do most teams self-insure these days?). 0 WAR for $30M is a VERY, VERY bad signing. On the other hand, if they sign him for $140/6, even he goes, say 0, 4, 7, 6, 5, 4 they'll have recovered 26 of the 28 WAR they paid for. Not great, but not a total disaster. The risk of not getting their contract's value probably goes up by signing him to a long-term deal, but it reduces the risk of getting nothing.. 

To say nothing of the risk of letting him go to a competitor. If the Jays were to sign CC, imagine this scenario.
Kyle Drabek: -0.3 WAR
Jo-Jo Reyes: -0.6 WAR

That's -0.9 WAR turned into +6.9 WAR (just for the sake of argument). That's +8 wins for the Jays. Probably worth $20M/year all by itself. Then, let's say the Yankees have to replace him with a 3 WAR pitcher (2 WAR isn't that hard to find, 3+ isn't easy). They lose 4 wins. So, instead of the Jays being 81-81, they go to 89-73. NYY goes from 97-65 to 93-69. Guess what - we're 4 games out of first place. Add in Brett Lawrie's boost (say 2 WAR more than this year), and we're breathing down the necks of the Yanks.

Plus, CCs WAR would have a "doubling" effect - his value to the Jays is not only the expected WAR, but also the expected LOST WAR to NYY. Let's go with my WAR projections from earlier: 7, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2. Assuming 3+ WAR pitchers are hard to find, what have we gained? +4, +4, +2, +1, 0, -1 = +10 WAR (over a "good" pitcher - someone we'd still have to find, add +4 to each season if we're comparing to Drabek/Reyes). What have the Yankees lost? -4, -4, -2, -1, 0, +1. Or -10 WAR. So, the cumulative effect would be +20 WAR for the Jays - +10WAR for the team, -10 WAR for the opposition. That's ON TOP OF a decent 3 WAR pitcher who would probably make $6-10M/year..

In one way, the Jays can't afford NOT to sign CC if they're serious about contention. CC + Fielder is probably enough to get us to the playoffs next year, or be in the chase until the last week. Not just because it improves our team drastically (it does), but also because it weakens the Yankees significantly.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#246052) #
Beeston seems to think that elite FAs won't go to a team that they think will not compete. So the Jays may not try or will have a very good sales pitch IMO.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#246053) #


I agree.  They agree .   When does his weight start effecting his ankles, his knees, his hips and, not least, his heart.   A.A. should not be interested unless, 3 Years plus 3-4 option years. 

Gerry - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#246054) #

No world series tonight, game 6 will be tomorrow and game 7 Friday.  I think the delay benefits St Louis, they could skip both Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson and bring back Carpenter on three days rest on Friday.


bpoz - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#246056) #
In his season ending statement AA said that he felt that the Jays were in a better position now than at the end of the 2010 season, mainly due to the increase in core players. He acknowledged that the 2011 team had a worse record.

He mentioned that there is still time to decide on EE's 2012 option. Overall I think that his statement can be considered moderately positive. He felt that he would have a more clear plan & strategy by the end of the month. He said that they are evaluating FAs but also that the farm had a lot of success as well as the 2010 & 2011 draft being potentially good.

He mentioned that he did not know how to get 10 more wins over the 2010 85 win season.

I am not sure if I am reading more into what he said or not.

John Northey - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#246057) #
Beeston did bring Clemens here once...

There are some big variables. If the Jays win the posting process for Darvish they suddenly are looked at as a serious team. If the Jays do a trade for a true ace (Felix Hernandez for example) or MVP caliber slugger (Votto) then they also become serious and a more tempting destination.

Odds are a Fielder/Pujols/CC won't be step one this winter. Odds are something else will be and that step will tell the top free agents (and fans) if the Jays are or are not contenders in 2012.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#246059) #

On Yu know who - I'd bet my years supply of single malt that the Jay's WON'T win the bid.

The Yanks NEED him, Boston MUST have him, the Cubs will make a BIG splash, Texas calls, the O's have money - you get the idea. The bid on Yu will be OVER $60,000,000 - I'm sure of it. On top of that it'll take a MINIMUM of $15,000,000 over each of 5 to 7 years to get him to sign. Remember, he's 25 next year - he can go back to Japan and after another stellar season come on back for another crack at it if he's not offered enough.

Over 6 years he works out to $150,000,000 or $25,000,000 per year - SOMEONE will pay that. Would you rather have 32 year old Senior CC for an average of $18,000,000 or a 25 year old otherworldly monster for 7 million more? Neither are worth it, both have risks, but someone will pay it. Not AA - not this off-season.

Gerry - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#246060) #
Kevin Gray, who has excellent New Hampshire contacts, tweets that New Hampshire's Chris Carpenter will start game 7, if required.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#246061) #
The general rule with posting is whatever you post you pay also to the player (with some exceptions). Thus if you spend $60 mil to get Darvish here then it'll be another $60 over 5 at least. $120 over 5 years is a lot to guarantee for a guy who may or may not adjust well to MLB. $60 mil total would be fine, but going over $20 mil a year is a very big risk as if he is less than a #1/2 guy he won't be close to being worth it. If that is what it takes to get him, then other teams can go nuts.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#246062) #

Carpenter has only started on three days rest once in his career and got drilled. On the other hand, though Ron Wash insists that Matty harrison would still start a Game 7, it would be possible to bring back Derek Holland on full rest in that situation, too ....

Hard to guess if the day off will benefit either team, until we all agree in hindsight that it obviously benefitted whoever won ....

TamRa - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 02:23 AM EDT (#246063) #
I think it's enough to win the bid on Darvish if for no other reason than to keep him out of NY and Boston, signing him is not necessary for that.

There was a bit on MLBTR the other day which said that the consensus on Dice-K was that a bid of ~$30 mil would get him and that the Boston offer came out of left field.

It's not impossible you could win the bid on Darvish for something like $40 mil

But if you don't care if YOU sign him, only that others don't, throw out the $60 and then low-ball Darvish and whatever happens happens.

If you presume a $40 mil posting fee, and a $12-15 per year annual salary, you'd be looking at $100-125 in spending combined for five years.

If you account for intangible things like the value of not having him on a rival team, potential marketing, and so forth - you can probably work with that if you think he's a top of the rotation sort of guy.


bpoz - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#246065) #
What is the scouting report on Yu Darvish?
MatO - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#246067) #
On a related note.  Rogers has reported a profit of $491M for the 3rd quarter of 2011 and $1.236B for the 9 months ended Sept. 30.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#246070) #
If they don't spend a chunk of that cash, maybe there will be a "don't Occupy" movement. 
jgadfly - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#246074) #
Great line, Mike !
Mick Doherty - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#246078) #

Don't Occupy Rogers Centre?

You really want the MSM calling y'all Toronto's DORCs?


Dewey - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#246094) #
If Rick Sutcliffe isnít the most annoying Ďcolour maní in existence, I donít know who is.  For the sixth straight game heís caused me to have the mute button on for almost the entire broadcast.  
QuasiGuru - Thursday, October 27 2011 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#246097) #
Yup.  Actually choosing to listen to Buck and McCarver.  Scary
Mike D - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#246098) #
Un.  Believable.
dawgatc - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#246101) #
Sutcliffe may be the lousiest colour man ever but I believe if given the chance he could be the lousiest manager in baseball also. An uncanny combination of arrogance and stupidity.Turn off the sound.
Chuck - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#246102) #
Funny thread. I instinctively land on one of the SN channels for the WS games, hear Sutcliffe, think "oh yeah", and then flip to Fox because McCarver and Buck are actually easier to take. I guess I prefer guillotine to electrocution.
BlueJayWay - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#246103) #
So, um....yeah.  I have no rooting interest in either team, but holy crap.  Craziest WS game ever?  Game 7 tonight?  Yes please.
Mike Green - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#246104) #
In the battle of the most exciting World Series games of my lifetime (the other being Game 6 of the 1975 Series), this one has a couple of points in its favour, as does the 1975 game.  The 9th and 10th inning comebacks easily trump Carbo's homer in the 8th to tie the 1975 game for excitement.  There was, however, no great defensive play like Evans' terrific catch to rob Joe Morgan of a homer in the 10th, and Freese's homer did not hit the foul pole as Fisk's did, so we do not have equivalent iconic image of Fisk waving (although Cruz' desperate lunge in the 9th does capture a bit of that).

One thing is for sure.  Baseball in St. Louis has had a good run since Branch Rickey arrived almost a century ago.  There is every chance that the run will continue indefinitely, with this game being talked about for decades. 

Hodgie - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#246106) #
I imagine I am probably in the minority but the excitement of the last 3 innings did little to over-shadow the horrific display of baseball leading up to that point. The truly horrific defence, base running and managerial gaffes engendered only a gruesome curiosity similar to that of a 100 car pile up on the 401. Dramatic, yes. One of the greatest games of my lifetime? Exactly the opposite.
Gerry - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#246108) #
And don't forget the last day of the regular season.   The run of baseball from that day through today is one of the most exciting ever.
AWeb - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#246110) #

It was the Voldemort of games (yes, I'm quoting the Harry Potter novels) : ...great things - terrible, yes, but great!

The only more fitting conclusion to the game would have been if Beltre caught that Lohse bunt and turned a triple play. As I saw noted elsewhere, Lohse was a pitcher pinch-hitting for a pitcher who pinch-hit for the pitcher. All in that one plate appearance.  NL-style games seem increasingly stupid as the years pass, as teams seemingly refuse to let pitchers dedicate the time to become reasonable hitters (DHs in the minors now). Is pitching really a full-time job on the off days, such that they can't train a few different muscles and reflexes? Also, Managers need to let any hitter, no matter how bad, swing away once the corners actually get closer than the pitcher's mound.

Magpie - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#246111) #
I kept waiting for Graham Chapman to show up and halt the proceedings. "Stop this! It's getting silly..."
Magpie - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#246112) #
The run of baseball from that day through today is one of the most exciting ever.

Since 1986, maybe? It's been remarkable.

And what is it about Game Six? The Speizio-Glaus exploits in 2002. The Fisk homer in 1975. Mookie and Buckner in 1986 (not to mention the absolutely epic Mets-Astros Game six in the NLCS that year...)
Gerry - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#246113) #
Ken Rosenthal is tweeting that Jerry DiPoto is getting the Angels GM job.  This could be bad news for the Jays.  DiPoto was a frontrunner for the Orioles job with LaCava close behind.  With DiPoto gone, LaCava is now one of the favourites for Baltimore.
Gerry - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#246114) #

I did not know this:

Of the last nine seven-game World Series, the team that won Game 6 has won it eight times. Home teams have won the last eight Game 7s.


St Louis would be the favourite tonight. 

AWeb - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#246115) #

On the game 6 front...throw in the Jays's exploits in the World Series too. BBref had a post up yesterday that had 1992 game 6 as (by one particular measure involving leverage indexes), the most exciting game 6 ever. And 1993 was on the list too. Last night though, might be the new champion.

TamRa - Friday, October 28 2011 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#246123) #
also, someone (Wilner?) tweeted on the night of the third game that of the last 11 series that were 1-1 after 2 games, the team that won the third game has won the series 10 times.
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