Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
In the last 32 seasons, the Blue Jays have lost 90 games exactly once.


That, of course, was the never-to-be-forgotten Season From Hell. The 2004 campaign started out with high expectations. The team was coming off an 86 win campaign. The cunning young GM had added some fairly legitimate major league starting pitchers (Miguel Batista, Ted Lilly and the returning prodigal, Pat Hentgen) as well as some help for the bullpen (Kerry Ligtenberg, Terry Adams, Justin Speier.) Oh, there was real optimism in the land.

As is well remembered, everything went sideways. Immediately. The Jays opened the year by getting swept, at home, by a team that had lost 119 games the year before. The season ended with Carlos Delgado, in his final game as a Blue Jay, standing in the on-deck circle. Broadcaster and former pitcher John Cerutti, just 44 years old, died of heart failure the same day, Along the way, Tom Cheek had been knocked out of the broadcast booth by the cancer that would take his life the following the year, and before 2004 was over organizational fixture Bobby Mattick and Opening Day hero Doug Ault were lost as well.

So never challenge worse.

The 2004 team, which went 67-94, is one of the just five Jays squads to lose 90 or more games, and the other four came from the expansion years 1977-1980. Unless the current squad manages to go at least 17-19 over the remaining six weeks, they'll join that sorry crew.

Not that this year's bunch actually reminds me of any of those squads. There was another Jays team just as bad as this year's group. They escaped losing 90 games solely because they were playing a shortened schedule. And it's that team that has my attention.

In 1995, when the teams came back from the strike, the Blue Jays thought they were still contenders. The strike had ended with the Jays sitting at 55-60 - but they they thought they were still pretty good, and they went out and got David Cone in the off-season. They thought they were going to contend in 1995.

They didn't. First of all, they didn't have anyone in place to take over behind the plate for Pat Borders - and catcher, you know, is kind of an important position. Randy Knorr and the ancient Lance Parrish were tried and found wanting; Gaston eventually turned to a kid from AA (Sandy Martinez) who couldn't hit at all but could at least provide reasonable defense. Joe Carter, who had been outstanding in 1994, went right off the cliff. One of two rookies counted on to play a key role, Shawn Green, was hitting .237 at the All-Star Break. The other rookie, Alex Gonzalez, wasn't doing a whole lot better. On the mound, Pat Hentgen and Juan Guzman, two bulwarks of the rotation the previous two seasons, were both lousy. By the end of July, the Jays were 10 games under .500, and Gord Ash pulled the plug. Not only did he trade David Cone - he traded him to a division rival.

What happened after that is one of the more shameful episodes in team history, and by far the biggest blot on Cito Gaston's otherwise distinguished service in the uniform. Because the players gave up. They were, to a man, shocked by the Cone trade. There is no doubt that they felt betrayed, that they had expected the front office to try to add some help. But still... they just gave up. Three key players: Roberto Alomar, Devon White, and Al Leiter were to become free agents at the end of the season, and the team didn't seem to know whether it wanted to bring them back, whether it wanted to reload, or whether it wanted to tear it all down and start rebuilding. Meanwhile, on the field, the team just gave up. They went 11-18 in August, and an appalling 7-21 in September.

So this is what I want to see - will this season, which also started with a fair bit of optimism in many quarters, but which went totally off the rails soon after the All-Star Break, turn out likewise.

I don't expect it to - I think the 1995 situation was unique in team history. I think it was the product of a bunch of veteran players, who experienced as much success as you can in the game, who felt acutely disappointed by how things had unfolded. While I say that they gave up, I don't say that they stopped trying. Not exactly. They were still professionals. But it was certainly not possible to convince that group that these games mattered in any way.That group had expected to play meaningful games in September and October. Anything less than that just wasn't the same. And certainly Cito Gaston (who may have shared his players' attitude) was not the man to convince them otherwise.

Whereas this year's group - all of them - have something to play for and something to prove. So I think they'll salvage a little dignity, pull themselves together, and win another 17 games. They might as well. For one thing, tanking to get a better draft pick? Please. That's one of those historically stupid ideas needs to be stamped out whenever it rears its ridiculous head. (And every time it comes back after you've stamped on it.)

Never Challenge "Worse" | 53 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 04:46 AM EDT (#262639) #
You are assuming the Team wins 73+ games to avoid losing 90.   I am only hoping they win 63+ games to avoid losing 100 games, that's not a given.
Magpie - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 05:55 AM EDT (#262640) #
Not actually assuming anything, but I am confident they can at least go 7-29. They're not the 1962 Mets, and even they managed to win one game in four.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#262641) #
Amen, Magpie.  It is particularly bad for a young club to be demoralized. 

2012's pre-deadline period was odd.  The Encarnacion extension gave a positive message, which the Snider trade undid in spades (albeit that the trade did not seem to be motivated by giving up rather than a severe misjudgment).

Ron - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#262642) #
Tanking for a better pick is a stupid idea? Try telling that to Mariner fans who could have had a pitcher named Stephen Strasburg if they didn't win the final 3 games in 2008. Ichiro, Lopez, and Ibanez should have been parked on the bench.

Magpie - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#262643) #
Strasburg's certainly a nice player but whoops - is that ever the wrong draft year if you want to preach the virtue of tanking. At this point, the best player in that draft was the 23rd guy selected. You didn't need to tank for him. And really - right now we're a long, long, long way from knowing whether or not Ackley or Strasburg will have the better career. Making this distinctions with absolute confidence before they've even played a pro inning? Insanity.
scottt - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#262644) #
In any case, having a protected top 10 pick is not a bad thing if you are looking at adding a pitcher through free agency.

Does anything happen in Toronto when the rosters expand?

Oceanbound - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#262645) #
There's no reason to just cherry pick a year, especially a recent one. Here's a study about this very issue. According to the author's criteria, the chance of selecting a successful player when drafting in the top 5 is more than double the chance when drafting between 21-25. It seems especially important to pick in the top 10 if you want a really good player.
whiterasta80 - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#262647) #

And that was before the new draft caps, which should push the top talent back to the top of the draft.

That's not to say I want to tank wholeheartedly, but I would like to see us give the youth a bit of a run and under no circumstances do I want to see Joe-Bau back again.

Magpie - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#262648) #
the chance of selecting a successful player when drafting in the top 5 is more than double the chance when drafting between 21-25.

The work required to go from picking 21st to picking 5th isn't tanking. It's imitating the 1919 White Sox. Maybe people don't think that's shameful. I certainly do, and I could never, ever cheer for a team that did such a thing. A team that actually tried not to win? Begone. I want nothing, nothing to do with you. Ever.

And I'd point out that the White Sox ended up waiting 87 years to win a WS after their tank job. Instant karma's gonna get you.
neurolaw - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#262649) #
+1 Oceanbound

The chances of finding a good to excellent major league player in picks 1-10 (especially 1-5) is significantly higher than the rest of the draft. That study cited by oceanbound reiterates the point.

I am not saying tank the season.... but it sure would be nice to at least get something really positive out of this terrible season i.e. a top 5 draft pick.

BTW not to re-hash the debate in any way, but rather to highlight the significance of a top 10 pick - the last time the Jays had a top 10 pick Troy Tulowitzki was still on the board.... just saying.





Magpie - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#262650) #
the last time the Jays had a top 10 pick Troy Tulowitzki was still on the board

And if they'd only lost a few more games in 2004, they might not have missed out on Jeff Clement. Damn.
neurolaw - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#262651) #
"And if they'd only lost a few more games in 2004, they might not have missed out on Jeff Clement. Damn"

Magpie, you are just revising history with that comment to fit your narrative. Who knows who the Jays would have picked considering Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman were all top 10 picks.

What actually happened is someone with Tulowitzki's talent was available to the Jays and that is the point.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#262652) #
+1 oceanbound and neurolaw

You definitely do not want to tank in any way. You play every game hard and give it your all to win. At the same time, it could be a good thing for the Jays to end up with a pick in the #3-10 range.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." -F. Scott Fitzgerald
Original Ryan - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#262653) #
I'd rather see the team finish the season strong. If...

- Romero turned things around
- Morrow showed that his pre-DL starts weren't a fluke
- Rasmus broke out of his slump
- Encarnacion continued to crush the baseball
- Lind hit like a competent major leaguer
- Lawrie had a few healthy weeks in the majors
- Bautista came back (again) with any lingering issues with his wrist
- Alvarez strung together a few good starts
- Happ, Lyon, Carpenter, Lincoln and Delabar justified the price paid to acquire them
- Guys like Sierra, Gose and Hechavarria had some good at-bats against major league pitching

...over the next 36 games, those would be encouraging signs heading into 2013 and a possible indication that next year won't be another write-off. To me, seeing something positive from the current major leaguers would be worth more than a higher draft pick.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#262654) #
Even more to the point, according to what Law has written the vast majority of the people in the room said Tulowitski and Ricciardi ignored them, based on having watched Romero on a total of one occasion, as he had ignored Chris Buckley and Tim Wilken in his 2002 draft fiasco.
hypobole - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#262655) #
The sad part of this slide is that in no way shape or form are the Jays trying to tank. Farrell is putting out the line-up he believes gives the Jays the best chance to win each day. He seemed to think testing Wieter's arm 3 times last night would increase their chances of winning the ballgame.

The Astros, Cubs, Marlins and Brewers sold off present pieces for future pieces, with full knowledge it would probably result in fewer wins this year. The Jays did the opposite, not only keeping all their FA's-to-be with any value, but actually trading prospects for immediate help.
China fan - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#262657) #
"....He seemed to think testing Wieter's arm 3 times last night would increase their chances of winning...."

At least one or two of those incidents weren't actually SB attempts, but missed hit-and-run plays where the hitter missed the signal, according to some of the game commentary last night. But that just confirms the same point: Farrell was trying everything possible to win.

I agree with Magpie that the Jays should not deliberately tank. But I think it's quite possible that some of the Jays have subconsciously absorbed the losing atmosphere and aren't focusing or concentrating as much as they would if the team was winning. Farrell last night was loudly complaining about the sloppiness of the team -- including an easy ground ball that Escobar totally whiffed (although Farrell didn't specifically reference that play). It can't be complete coincidence that the team is looking sloppy and apathetic when they realize that the season is over. I wonder if that's one explanation for the poor hitting by Rasmus, Johnson, Escobar etc. (Although someone like Encarnacion is continuing to hit as strongly as ever.)

The ever-candid Dirk Hayhurst made a very interesting comment on Twitter today, which I tend to agree with:

"I don't think guys ever completely give up, or stop wanting to win, but you can get a into a rhythm of apathy when losing late in the season."
greenfrog - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#262658) #
I'd rather see the team finish the season strong.

Well, the Jays finished strong (16-10 in September) in 2008, giving them 86 wins for the year. Inspirational I guess, but unfortunately that allowed the Cardinals to pick Shelby Miller at #19. The Jays were reportedly in on Miller, but had to settle for Chad Jenkins at #20 instead.
smcs - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#262659) #
Tanking in the MLB draft is kind of stupid because 1 player matters so much less than in, say, the NBA, where there are maybe 10 legitimate franchise guys, who guarantee their team a shot at a title, and because the draft is so freaking long. There isn't such a thing as a franchise-crippling draft mistake in MLB. Even if the Mariners and Nationals just traded Strasburg and Ackley, the Nationals would still be the better team. It's such a long process to build a contender in baseball that tanking for just one season doesn't really get you anywhere -- it has to be a committed 5 year tanking plan. And even then, it might not work. The Rays sucked for years, and they got bad luck with their high picks or they drafted bad players (Brazelton, Baldelli, Hamilton, Young, Townsend, Beckham), but then they hit on Longoria and Price, plus a bunch of later round guys (Crawford, Jennings, Moore, Shields).
greenfrog - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#262660) #
smcs, I basically agree but it should be noted that the new CBA has changed things a bit. Having a top-three pick allows you to select a great player *and* save significant money to spend on subsequent picks, allowing you to select a tough sign later (the Astros did this this year with Correa and McCullers). So having a high pick and the high slot amount that goes with it can mean getting two or three very good players instead of one.
hypobole - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#262662) #
You're right CF, the Visquel steal attempt was almost assuredly a missed hit and run, although using that strategy when the player attempting the "hit" part has the worst swinging strike % on the team is questionable to say the least.
smcs - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#262663) #
smcs, I basically agree but it should be noted that the new CBA has changed things a bit.

Maybe. The draft and individual team boards are fluid enough that I think it doesn't really matter. The Jays wanted to draft Matt Smoral, and they didn't particularly care where they got him. Drafting him, and doubling his slot value, if I remember correctly, means that the Jays couldn't potentially overpay another player after the 10th round. They had a dollar value assigned to Smoral and saw what they could or could not get. Would they have been better served to draft a lower-ceiling player for below slot and roll the savings into a slightly better player with the next pick? I don't know. In the end, it still comes down to being able to draft well, and I don't think an overall draft is altered significantly by moving up or down 1 or 2 spots in the order. It might affect the 1st pick, but if you're committed, like the Astros, to drafting a lesser player 1st to draft better players 41st -- without knowing that McCullers would be there -- then is the tanking justified?
Moe - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#262664) #
I can't believe we have this argument again. But I guess that's what a losing season brings. Anyways, I maintain that for the overall health on the Jays, it would be better if they had a strong finish. It helps attracting players in the off-season, makes it easier to sell tickets and ask Rogers for money.

As others said, any one player matters much less in baseball than in basketball where tanking for a draft pick is so prevalent that the NBA runs a lottery to discourage it. Even a number 1 pick in baseball has a good chance of not working out. Yes, some seasons you have a Harper or Strasburg (clear no.1 and almost ready for the majors) but that is rare. In most years, there are 3-5 players that could all go number 1 and have maybe a 50:50 shot of becoming an all-star. And that's the no. 1 pick which the Jays won't get.

As for the draft budget argument, you can only hope for substantial savings with the first 3 picks, maybe 4. No. 5 has a slot of 3.5m, no. 7 of  3m and no. 10 of 2.7m -- not much of a difference between 5 and 10 and not enough to sign a second big deal like Houston did this year.  However, in order to pick 3rd, the Jays have to make up 5 games in the loss column. That's some serious tanking and the Twins have a pretty bad team, much worse than the Jays. So that's not happening.

Given that top 3 is out of the question, let's hope for a strong finish and enough with the talk about tanking for the draft. If you care for that, go follow the Raptors.


greenfrog - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#262665) #
The O's drafted Machado in 2010 (#3 overall) and Bundy in 2011 (#4 overall).

The Jays, on the other hand, drafted McGuire (#11 in 2010) and Beede (#21 in 2011), who opted for college, allowing the Jays to select Stroman at #22 in 2012.

As promising an RP as Stroman is, I think it's safe to say which draft currently looks better. Draft position matters.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#262666) #
which draft currently looks better

which team's first selections look better, I mean
Moe - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#262667) #
The O's drafted Machado in 2010 (#3 overall) and Bundy in 2011 (#4 overall).

The Jays, on the other hand, drafted McGuire (#11 in 2010) and Beede (#21 in 2011), who opted for college, allowing the Jays to select Stroman at #22 in 2012.


As promising an RP as Stroman is, I think it's safe to say which draft currently looks better. Draft position matters.



We can all play that cherry picking game. Trout was picked 25th and Votto 44th. On the other hand, in 2009 the Padres paid 6.7m for Tate (#3) and the Pirates picked Tony Sanchez at 4.

Obviously, the odds are better the higher you pick, but even at 3 they are not as good as some here seem to think (and the Jays won't slide past the Twins) so tanking doesn't pay once you factor in the costs.

Ron - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#262668) #
"Strasburg's certainly a nice player but whoops - is that ever the wrong draft year if you want to preach the virtue of tanking. At this point, the best player in that draft was the 23rd guy selected. You didn't need to tank for him. And really - right now we're a long, long, long way from knowing whether or not Ackley or Strasburg will have the better career. Making this distinctions with absolute confidence before they've even played a pro inning? Insanity."

While its still early, you would struggle to find any reasonable person that thinks Ackley is going to have a better career than Strasburg. Trout has been amazing so far but if the draft were to take place again, I dont think hes a lock to go number 1. I think at least half of the teams would still rather have Strasburg.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#262669) #
To me, citing Trout or Votto sounds more like cherry-picking than does citing players like Machado or Bundy. Here's a quote from a 2009 fangraphs article:

Ive gone back and researched the draft from the past decade, similarly to what Victor Wang has done, only using WAR. In my research Ive listed out the total WAR for each first round draft pick during their cost-controlled years to see what sort of surplus value they have. Well say a win on the free agent market is worth todays rate, $4.4 million. I know were looking at six years, so just forget inflation for a moment. The picks were worth -

Picks 1 though 5 on average gave their teams $32M of production.
Picks 6 through 10, $22.4M
11-15, $17.6M
16-20, $18.9M
21-30 $6.6M


http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-first-round-draft-picks-overpaid/

I'll take the early picks, thanks.
China fan - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#262670) #
Although it also suggests that it's better to pick 16th to 20th, rather than 11th to 15th....
dan gordon - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#262671) #
I see Rogers bought The Score for $167 million.  Got me thinking about their finances.  If they spent an extra $50 million on payroll annually, compared to what they're paying now, what would it do to them?  Rogers has approx 500 million shares outstanding, so the extra payroll would cost them 10 cents per share.  Now, most people would figure that by spending that much more, they would have a better team, and draw more fans, but for now, let's just say they don't get ANY more fans, so they have to absorb that full 10 cents per share.  The stock is currently trading at an earnings per share multiple of 14 times the current year's earnings, and 12 times the estimated earnings next year.  That would make the 10 cents per share extra payroll cost about a $1.20 to $1.40 hit to the share price.  With the stock currently trading at about $40 a share, that's a pretty small hit.  Heck, the share price can fluctuate that much in a single day.  And likely, they would draw more fans and the hit wouldn't be the full $50 million.   If it was half that, we're talking somewhere around 60-70 cents difference in the share price.
Moe - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#262672) #
To me, citing Trout or Votto sounds more like cherry-picking than does citing players like Machado or Bundy.

I did say that the odds are better, which is why you have the higher value. However, it is still a crapshoot, even at 3 -- and the Jays won't draft 3rd. So tanking is a bad idea.


Moe - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#262674) #
That would make the 10 cents per share extra payroll cost about a $1.20 to $1.40 hit to the share price.  With the stock currently trading at about $40 a share, that's a pretty small hit.  Heck, the share price can fluctuate that much in a single day.

But that's not how it works. Rogers has a fiduciary obligation towards its shareholders and a 3% permanent drop in the shareprice (different from the daily fluctuations) would violate these obligations. The only way spending 50m more on the payroll is justifiable is if that increases revenue by more than 50m. Which it might considering that Rogers gets the entire revenue stream generated by the Jays (tickets, concessions, TV, Radio etc).

And this is why sports teams should not have a corporate ownership.  


hypobole - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#262675) #
Tanking with this team is a bad idea, but tanking at times is the right thing to do. Teams like the Astros, with no hope for the next few years, trading players with value who won't be around when the team finally is strong enough to contend for prospects that may be, is the only logical course of action.

The only other form of tanking that makes sense is when youngsters are given playing time in place of vets who will no longer be around. Both of these courses of action are management driven, and in both cases, the players who do see the field are still expected to perform to the best of their abilities.
neurolaw - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#262679) #
No one has said to tank the season. The injuries combined with rushing of prospects have left the Jays trotting a team out that simply won't win a lot of games from here on out. The FO has also tried to make it clear that they are not trying to lose games. Yet the Jays are in the midst of a 7 game losing streak and in reality are much closer in talent right now to the crappy teams than they are the to the good teams.

So where does that leave things. Well for starters a chance to get a really high draft pick and by my counts at least a top 5 pick. And yes drafts are crap shoots, and yes there are hidden gems throughout the rounds but simply put a consensus top 5 talent has a much higher probability of being a successful player and an elite player and its not even close.

This season has been horrible. And I want the Jays to try as hard as they can, but honestly with every mounting loss I will be keeping my eye on the draft pick standings.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#262680) #

OK, just one small thing, Toronto Blue Jays have never-ever effected on the bottom line.   I remember Paul Beeston, Ted Rogers, Tony Viner, Nadir Mohamed and Keith Pelley mentioning something similar over the years.  I remember it being discussed on this site, more than once, in the past four years.  

All Baseball Related Revenue earned by a Club (tickets, concessions, souvenirs, TV revenues, et al) must be reported to MLB.   This year, as far as I can tell, has average ticket price at just under $25.00, per seat sold ($40.0 MM - $50.0 MM).  The TV package gives the Team $35.0 MM per year (which I believe is very low) for broadcast rights.  Usually concessions, per person, exceed average ticket prices - sometimes 2x - 3x ($60.00 MM - $150.00 MM).   I don't know what value the Team receives souvenirs and other BRR, but I think it excceds $20.0 MM.   (All figures are approximate.)  You also have to pay all Expenses (over and above Team Salary) with this money.

My thought is, to raise Salaries, pay more (reported) for TV Broadcast Rights.   It might not be the 20 years, $3.0 Billion ($150.00MM / year) like some Teams are getting, but something like $55.0 MM - $75.0 MM / year is fair market value. 

The Team is headed for a low single-digit draft pick, which can be a good thing.   I believe Brandon Morrow will be at least as good as he was pre-injury, going forward.   Jose Bautista must be shut down, for the season, because I don't think he'll heal well enough (without risking more damage) to return this season.   Brett Lawrie should be able to return, but a long talk with Farrell and A.A. is a must.   The team needs Lawrie to play more than 130 games per year, and not conceal injuries.   And that's as much as I want to put on my wish list.

Through the last home game, 19 August vs Texas, Toronto's attendance thus far is 1,683,375.   With home games verses Tampa (4 G), 30 Aug. - 2 Sep.; Balitimore (3) 03 - 05 Sep.; Seattle (3) 11 - 13 Sep.; Boston (3) 14 - 16 Sep.; New York (4) 27 - 30 Sep. and Minnesota (3) 01- 03 Oct.; Toronto's attendance should easily exceeed two million tickets sold.

 

Richard S.S. - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#262687) #
On July 28th, our last time in contention at 51 - 49, life was good.   Since then, to the rainout in Baltimore, the Team has gone 5 - 21, and life is not so bright.   They have 36 games remaining, being on the pace to win 6-7 more, losing another 29-30 games.  Can Morrow make a difference?   If so, how many games difference?    Was Adam lind's return enough to make a difference?   We will see.
TamRa - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 04:29 AM EDT (#262689) #
I'd rather see the team finish the season strong. If...

- Romero turned things around

- Morrow showed that his pre-DL starts weren't a fluke
- Rasmus broke out of his slump
- Encarnacion continued to crush the baseball
- Lind hit like a competent major leaguer
- Lawrie had a few healthy weeks in the majors
- Bautista came back (again) with any lingering issues with his wrist
- Alvarez strung together a few good starts
- Happ, Lyon, Carpenter, Lincoln and Delabar justified the price paid to acquire them
- Guys like Sierra, Gose and Hechavarria had some good at-bats against major league pitching

...over the next 36 games, those would be encouraging signs heading into 2013 and a possible indication that next year won't be another write-off. To me, seeing something positive from the current major leaguers would be worth more than a higher draft pick.


+1
--------------------------------------


Well, the Jays finished strong (16-10 in September) in 2008, giving them 86 wins for the year. Inspirational I guess, but unfortunately that allowed the Cardinals to pick Shelby Miller at #19. The Jays were reportedly in on Miller, but had to settle for Chad Jenkins at #20 instead.

Well no, not "had to" - there was always this guy named Mike Trout still on the board...



greenfrog - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#262691) #
Right, Mike Trout, Joey Votto and Albert Pujols as the stock answer to anyone who claims that draft position matters. Never fails. Usually the word "crapshoot" gets thrown in somewhere for good measure.
greenfrog - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#262692) #
I think one reason some people are comfortable with picking later in the draft is because they're used to the extra picks of recent seasons. But the Jays no longer have any supplemental picks - i.e., the kind used to select Sanchez, Syndergaard, Smoral, Alford, Nay, Gonzalez, Anderson, Smith Jr., plus Woj and Musgrove (used to acquire J.A. Happ).

In effect, in addition to their first-round picks under AA (McGuire, Beede, Davis, Stroman), the Jays have been adding high-upside/over-slot prospects in bulk, at least a couple of whom have significantly bolstered the farm system.

Take away all those supplemental picks (as is about to happen to Toronto), and the farm system would look quite different. Having a high pick (and slot allocation) in 2013 is unlikely to be a game-changer for the team, but I think you need to look for every advantage you can find under the new CBA.

Again, I am not advocating tanking in any way. I want all the good outcomes mentioned above. But other things being equal, I would also prefer a high pick next year.
Moe - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#262694) #
greenfrog, no one is advocating that picking later is better than picking earlier. However, the question is whether it is worthwhile for the Jays to deliberately lose a few more games over the rest of the season and draft higher vs. doing as well as possible and just maybe end the season on a high note.

The gain to tanking is very clear, the Jays draft 5th vs. 10th or 12th. How valuable is that.? I would argue it has some value but not as much as one would think. Yes, on average, a player drafted 5th will be better than drafted 10th but if you go to baseball reference and look at all 5th picks vs all 10th picks you see that the gap is not that big
http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?overall_pick=5&draft_type=junreg&
http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?overall_pick=10&draft_type=junreg&

Moreover, only the top 3 have such a high slot value that one can hope for some savings to be used later. Maybe having a protected pick would be good (top 10) but I'm not holding my breath.


Now, what is the cost of tanking? Many casual fans will remember this season as a complete disaster and not turn on early next season and/or not buy tickets in the off-season. It will make it harder for AA to argue that the Rogers should give some more money. Now think about what were to happen if the Jays have a few successful home-stands down the road. Fans will feel better about the season and will be more hopeful for next season. I think that is worth more than drafting 5th.

Oceanbound - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#262695) #
Nobody has said in any way that the team should deliberately lose games. I think some of us would just not exactly be heartbroken if the team lost a few more games down the stretch. A high pick would be great for wiping away the tears.

Most fans have probably written off this season as a failure already, I seriously doubt that some home wins are going to change much in that regard. As for fans feeling more optimistic, that can easily be done by, you know, making some roster changes in the offseason. And if what happens in the rest of the season influences Rogers in winter, then god help us all.
Original Ryan - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#262696) #
The gain to tanking is very clear, the Jays draft 5th vs. 10th or 12th. How valuable is that.? I would argue it has some value but not as much as one would think.

I'd also add that there isn't a universal ranking of players, and it's possible the guy the Blue Jays would take at 5th or 6th will still be available a few spots later.

bpoz - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#262697) #
I thought AA knew how to get talent.

The way I saw it. He added scouting & has the ability to talk. Morrow, Escobar, Rasmus, Lawrie & Gose seemed like the type of players that have a lot of talent. True we gave up a lot for them. All were unproven except Escobar.

I am sure he will continue to get high level talent somehow. Getting the draft pick for that catcher we had for an hour or two was brilliant IMO. His IFAs look good too.

I have faith in his ability to get talent. I do not blame him for the injuries and am not suggesting that anyone does blame him. IMO the offense has been EE, Cooper & Sierra recently and now Cooper is hurt.


Beyonder - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#262698) #
Moe raises a good point about protection, which made me think about a slightly different point about draft strategy and the new CBA. The way the CBA is structured, if you intend to sign free agents, there is an incentive to do it all in one year because the penalty for signing a qualified free agent is your "best available pick" (unless it is top ten protected).

So if the Jays end up with a top ten pick, its first rounder will be protected and the penalty for signing say, Brandon Mcarthy, would then be its second round pick. Then the penalty for signing a subsequent free agent would be a third rounder, and so on and so forth. There's effectively a bulk discount for signing free agents.
greenfrog - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#262699) #
I'd also add that there isn't a universal ranking of players, and it's possible the guy the Blue Jays would take at 5th or 6th will still be available a few spots later.

That logic cuts both ways. For example, it's possible that the Jays' second- or third-favourite player in the draft will be around at #5 or 6, but not at #10 or 11.
Gerry - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#262702) #

Buster Olney is saying that the Red Sox almost got John Farrell to be their manager for 2012 last off-season before the Jays pulled him back.  I have seen this report previously, I am not sure if it was Olney reporting it or not.  The Jays changed their policy at the time to disallow lateral moves.

Here are a few points:

This would not have been a Jays-Red Sox only discussion.  John Farrell must have been OK with returning to Boston.  If he was OK with it last winter, I assume he would be OK with it this winter.

Bobby V is on shaky ground in Boston and there is a better than even chance he will be fired.

Assuming the Red Sox are still interested in Farrell, the Jays would have to decide whether to allow Farrell to move to the RedSox this winter.  The Jays decision would be based on how happy they are with Farrell as a manager.  We all know some of the on-field challenges Farrell has had but the off-field matters are just as important, if not more important than the on-field ones.

It is very hard for us to know how Farrell is managing and motivating his players.  However it is not hard to say that in 2012 there are only a couple of players who are exceeding expectations and the team as a whole is not exceeding expectations.

I would say, in my own opinion, that there is a good chance that Farrell will be traded to the RedSox in the off-season.  If he wants to go, the Jays would have to really want him to keep him.  I think Farrell and the Jays might be jointly frustrated enough by the 2012 season to part ways.

TamRa - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#262704) #
Right, Mike Trout, Joey Votto and Albert Pujols as the stock answer to anyone who claims that draft position matters. Never fails. Usually the word "crapshoot" gets thrown in somewhere for good measure.

May be.
but that was not MY point.

You said they HAD TO settle for Jenkins.

they didn't.

I have purposely NOT engaged the other discussion, and have no interest in doing so.

I will point out, however, as a general point, that no real "tanking" is necessary to stay in the protected picks, just continue to play about .400 ball the rest of the year (assuming the teams near us in the standings do not spike in either direction...and even then it wouldtake 3 or 4o of them doing notably worse.)


Ryan Day - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#262705) #
The Jays don't have a lot of control over their record at this point. Bautista and Lawrie are probably done for the year. Arencibia might play for a week or two, but I wouldn't expect much after months off & a hand injury. Adam Lind may or may not be any good; Cooper wasn't inspiring, but at least he seemed reliable. Getting Morrow back helps, but Romero and Alvarez are still wildly erratic. Rasmus might break out of his slump, but Escobar and Johnson look hopeless at this point.

Funny enough, playing the kids could make the team better. Gose & Hechavarria might not hit any better than Vizquel & McCoy, but at least they'd offer a defensive upgrade.
electric carrot - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#262706) #
If he wants to go, the Jays would have to really want him to keep him.

If I'm AA even if I don't think Farrell is the best manager I do not let the Sox get him. He has a lot of insight into the Jays squad and I think the Sox would have a big advantage when facing the Jays.

Ozzie was traded but to the National League and that I think limits the damage considerably.


greenfrog - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#262707) #
Does any team *have* to take a particular player in the draft? Of course not.

The Jays obviously had Jenkins at the top of their draft board when their pick came around. They reportedly had Miller ranked higher on their list (barring a Keith Law-like insider disclosure, we may never know if this is true). They went with BPA (whether that was best player available, best pitcher available, or whatever) when it was their turn. BPA happened to be Jenkins because they finished strong and ended up with 86 wins.

This example doesn't prove much - St. Louis could have taken Jenkins and the Jays Miller instead of vice versa. But it's nice to have the choice, instead of hoping the other team chooses the guy you want less.
Bid - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#262709) #
Oh, Gerry, I hope you're right about Farrell being Red Sox-bound. Do you suppose they might manage a three-way trade? Who might the Sox send to ESPN so we ended up with Tito? 
vw_fan17 - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#262713) #
Right, Mike Trout, Joey Votto and Albert Pujols as the stock answer to anyone who claims that draft position matters. Never fails. Usually the word "crapshoot" gets thrown in somewhere for good measure.

Don't forget Mike Piazza.. :-)
Hodgie - Monday, August 27 2012 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#262714) #
For me, the process for determining whether to retain Farrell is not that much different than evaluating young prospects. Unless I am mistaken, these two seasons are Farrell's only seasons as a manager at any level. Has he shown growth over his two seasons or do people believe that he has established how he will manage for the rest of his career? From my admittedly obscured vantage point, I see an intelligent individual that shows enough introspection that I believe will allow him to continue to grow. If he is as well liked in the clubhouse as it appears he is, I am willing to ride out the development curve if that growth is observed. This season has been a difficult one to assess given the injury and roster construction issues the team has faced. However, before the spat of injuries it appeared to this fan that the whole of the team's early success was greater than the sum of it's parts.
Never Challenge "Worse" | 53 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.