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And on no account will I tolerate Boston-St.Louis. Enough is enough, I say.

Me, ten days ago. That worked out well.

At least I don't have to watch Prince Fielder play baseball for another six months. I already knew he was an awful defensive player, one of the worst I've ever seen. And a bad baserunner, too - still, there's nothing quite like having it rubbed in your face for ten days. It's as if he was on a mission to prove these things, beyond a shadow of a doubt, until we all cried "Mercy."

I get the impression that a lot of Blue Jays fans are - how can I put this - not feeling all warm and fuzzy about John Farrell's successful season. We went into the season looking foward to a delicious meal of schadenfreude. And then - not only was it snatched away from us, but a generous serving of crow seems to have taken its place. Bitter, and hard to digest. Farrell is, of course, the same guy we watched here for two years. But obviously, Boston is a far better fit for him and he's a far better fit for Boston than Bobby Valentine. Farrell understands the Red Sox culture and how to fit himself into it. Valentine tried to remake it, for no good reason whatsoever. Had the team been struggling before he arrived? No. They'd had a bad month. That's all. You can't change the culture of a 90 win team. You just can't. The players won't allow it. They will resist, and then you'll be screwed.

I still don't think much of Farrell as an in-game manager, and the Red Sox improvement this season was largely a matter of a) numerous mid-level pickups working out better than anyone would have dreamed, and b) good players recovering their health. There were a few good players recovering their form as well - Lester and Buchholz come quickly to mind - and it's not unreasonable that the return as manager of the pitching coach who had helped them develop into fine major leaguers didn't exactly hurt.

At any rate, it's beyond dispute that Farrell (unlike his counterpart in the Detroit dugout)  recognized that a short series is a very different creature from the six month regular season.  Leyland kept losing games with his seventh best pitcher on the mound. So far, Farrell has called for his best reliever in the eight inning three times, and Uehara delivered each time. Farrell pulled a struggling regular from the lineup, and subbed in a 20 year old kid with 44 at bats in the majors. That worked out nicely as well. Leyland needed to do that too, but he couldn't.  Leyland was unwilling to adjust to the fact that Miguel Cabrera was too crippled to field his position or run the bases. Cabrera might have been able to help the team as a DH, but that would have meant making either Fielder or Victor Martinez sit down. Well, Leyland gets to watch the rest of the way.
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Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#279964) #
The Red Sox were also the better club. 

The more interesting series was in the NL.  I had thought that Clayton Kershaw was the class of the league and would match up well with whoever he faced in the NL at least.  Wrong.  Kudos to Cardinal management for handling Wacha's development this year with both wisdom and courage.  It is getting near 100 years since Branch Rickey left the Cardinal organization and sometimes I feel that his influence is still present, even more so than with for the Dodgers. 

hypobole - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#279983) #
"It is getting near 100 years since Branch Rickey left the Cardinal organization"

I think your math is a little off, Mike, unless one considers the Jays to have won near 100 games this past season. Rickey left the Cards after the 1942 season.

On the other hand, I agree with your sentiment concerning Rickey's lingering legacy with the Cards organization. If there is a club AA and the Jays should be trying to emulate, it's St. Louis. Unfortunately, the strong scouting staff and even more importantly, the player development system they've built up over the years is not something that can be duplicated quickly, if at all.

On the other hand, their belief in analytics (which started with Rickey in the 1930's)is something any team can copy, but is an area where I feel the Jays seem to behind the curve.
Lugnut Fan - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#279984) #
Had Bruce Rondon been available out of the Tiger pen, one wonders if the ALCS would have turned out different.  I don't think the Papi slam happens in game 2 or the Victorino slam in game 6.  There may not have even been a need for a game 6.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#279988) #
Fair enough, hypobole.  The Jays did win 100 games in 2014 though, didn't they? :)
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#280003) #
The Detroit Bullpen crushed any hope they had getting to the World Series. Boston's contributions to that were minimal.

I just re-watch the 92 and 93 Series at this time of year. Much better baseball.
jerjapan - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#280006) #
The Detroit Bullpen crushed any hope they had getting to the World Series.

No kidding.  Still can't believe we couldn't trade Oliver and Jansenn or some similar combo to the Tigers for a prospect. 
92-93 - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#280007) #
I was more perplexed by holding on to Rajai Davis without a contract extension.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#280012) #
Well, it takes two to tango and I suspect the Tigers tried to get relievers (such as Oliver) on the cheap and the Jays decided it wasn't a precedent they wanted to set.  Low level prospects with no hope of reaching have no value to the Jays unless being traded for other low level prospects with no hope (ie: exchanging positions so as to fill a need at a low end team).  I am surprised someone didn't make at least a 1/2 decent offer that the Jays would go for with Oliver as it was expected to be his last season no matter what.  Perhaps some clubs in contention felt they had the arms and just needed to give them time or something.  Ah well.

As I've said a few times, this will be an interesting winter as the Jays have too many relievers and not enough slots for them (baring a big injury bug in spring).  A few trades with relievers thrown in could happen quite easily, especially if the Jays get guys with options or are pre-option years.
Parker - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#280017) #
I fear the reason the Jays couldn't pull the trigger on a deal to move a reliever is because of their demonstrated valuation of relievers. If they're willing to give up actual assets to bring in relievers, they probably expect the rest of the league to pay in kind. Perhaps AA set his sights too high.

I think they held on to Davis because they simply refused to admit they were throwing in the towel on the season. As late as July the official word from the team was that one winning streak would put them right back in the thick of the division race.
Parker - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#280019) #
Another factor that could cause the Jays to have an unrealistic view of the value of their relievers is that the rest of the league knows that Toronto is going to have to dump some guys who are out of options anyway; as the team gets closer and closer to the point of losing guys on waivers or having to demote the wrong players simply because of option years remaining, the asking price will have to come down if the Jays want to get any return on some of these "assets".

It wouldn't surprise me at all to find that several teams had made plays for various Blue Jay relievers, but balked (or laughed) at the asking price.

The audacity of the team's front office is starting to really bother me. The organization seems to have some belief that they can turn relievers into starters despite the previous organzations's inability (or unwillingness) to do so. The Jays must believe they have some kind of special talent for converting relievers, because they will often give up non-relievers to acquire these guys. Brandon League, Esmil Rogers, and Brad Lincoln were all acquired with the idea of converting them to starters, and none have experienced any sustained success. Since the team seems unable even to develop its own prospects, I am very confused as to the source of this confidence in the ability to do what other teams (with successful player development records) have failed or refused to do themselves.

Sorry for the double post.
92-93 - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#280020) #
Brandon League was drafted by the Jays, but ya, AA's fetish for relievers is alarming, especially when it manifests itself in poor roster construction.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#280022) #
I think the short bench this year was an issue, but that was also an issue due to lack of internal options to call up who would've helped. Even in September with potentially a 40 man roster the Jays still had less than 15 hitters on the roster at all times (might have cracked 15 by the end but many were DL candidates).  Hopefully AA will work harder on getting some decent hitters this winter to stash in AAA/AA who can play 3B/1B/OF and find a couple of catchers (ideally one who can hit but poor field, and a great field no hit to split time and then call up whichever type is needed when a catcher goes down).  The Jays have a strong need for backups at 3B and CF/LF/RF given the incumbents just don't make it through a season in one piece.  The 3 kids should eat up time in AAA (if none are up) and are easy call ups if needed.  3B/1B/CA though are harder with one top prospect behind the plate ideally left in AAA, thus a need for 2 or more vets to be stashed (1 in AAA and 1 or 2 in AA) in case of emergency.

The 1000 reliever shuffle should hopefully be reduced with the (roughly) 15 guys who probably deserve a shot at the ML pen this year thus covering the ML and AAA with spare parts to be released/traded/whatever.  This winter will be AA's hardest to date as he needs this team to contend and the holes are obvious but hard to fill.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#280027) #

It seems that John Lott and Shi Davidi have co-authored a book about the Jays season.  They obviously started on it hoping for a world series and ended with a lot less.  I believe it is called Great Expectations and it will be out November 1.

These kind of books can be either a diary of the season with little new news or a more in depth look with lots of background info.  Given how tight with information the Jays usually are, I expect it to be a diary style but hope it will have new information.

Wildrose - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#280028) #
Thanks, anything by these two is worth reading in my opinion.

I've put a hold on in in my local library when it comes out.

Search under Davidi, apparently there is another John Lott who is a a rather prolific writer on the far right of the American political spectrum.

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