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With all but two teams eliminated the chatter among general managers is picking up.  Most GM's say that after the season they take a few weeks to work through their needs and then identify possible trade matches with other teams.  The resulting discussions are being kicked off now to be continued at the general manager meetings to be held November 11-13 in Orlando.  And followed by the winter meetings, December 9-12.

Today Bob Elliott kicks off the rumour mill with catching news.

From the Sun:

The Jays also are attempting to acquire a catcher from the Los Angeles Angels.

Toronto has targeted either Chris Iannetta or Hank Conger, according to those familiar with the Jays’ plans.

Iannetta, 30, started 102 games for the Angels this season. The eight-year veteran hit .225 with 11 homers, 39 RBIs and had a .731 OPS. He threw out 20 of 84 attempted base-stealers (19%) was charged with five errors and six passed balls.

Conger, who turns 26 in January, hit .249 with seven homers, 21 RBIs and a .713 OPS. He threw out 15 of 47 base-runners (24%) made seven errors and had one passed ball in 60 starts.

The Jays’ former No. 1 pick, J.P. Arencibia, who turns 28 in January, hit .194 with 21 homers, 55 RBIs and a .592 OPS in 138 games. He also walked 18 times and 148 times for a .227 on-base mark. Arencibia was the best of the three throwing out runners (21-for-62, 25%) but had 11 errors and 13 passed balls.

Arencibia is eligible for salary arbitration next year after earning $505,600 in 2013.

Iannetta will earn $4.975 million next year, the second year of a $15.55 million, three-year deal, while Conger is not eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2015 season.



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92-93 - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#279940) #
I don't know anything about his defense, but Iannetta sure looks like an offensive upgrade. Conger's BB% ain't pretty though.
Chuck - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#279941) #
Something about that Angel catcher pipeline:

B. Molina
J. Molina (albeit via New York)
J. Mathis
M. Napoli (albeit for just 5 minutes)
Mike Green - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#279945) #
Conger has apparently improved his pitch-framing. 
whiterasta80 - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#279947) #
I'm fine with Ianetta however I don't think Conger is an upgrade over our in-house options.

And by in house options I mean AJ Jiminez and Mike Nickeas.
Hell I might even mean Michael Reeves.
Richard S.S. - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#279949) #
Apparently A.A.'s people know both well and are satisfied with either. Until we know as much why complain with insufficient information. It will be at least another few weeks before A.A. does anything.
John Northey - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#279950) #
AA seems to act fast each winter... lets check as memory can be off...not a full list but key trades and early ones.

2009: became GM Oct 3rd, first move (other than players becoming free agents) - Selected Sean Henn off waivers Oct 29th - Dec 13th Signed John Buck as a free agent (other minor FA signed before this), Dec 16th first trade, the Halladay one. Dec 23rd Traded Johermyn Chavez (minors) and Brandon League to the Seattle Mariners. Received Brandon Morrow.
2010: Nov 4th Traded player to be named or cash to the Colorado Rockies. Received Miguel Olivo.(to get draft pick), Nov 17th traded Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson to the Oakland Athletics. Received Rajai Davis.Dec 6th traded Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers. Received Brett Lawrie. Jan 21st Vernon Wells trade, Encarnacion lost on Nov 12th resigned Dec 16th
2011: Dec 3 Traded Brad Mills to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Received Jeff Mathis, Dec 6th Traded Nestor Molina (minors) to the Chicago White Sox. Received Sergio Santos. Jan 1st Traded Myles Jaye (minors) and Daniel Webb to the Chicago White Sox. Received Jason Frasor.
2012: Oct 21st Traded David Carpenter and John Farrell to the Boston Red Sox. Received Mike Aviles, Nov 3rd Traded Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes to the Cleveland Indians. Received Esmil Rogers, Nov 8th Signed Maicer Izturis as a free agent, Nov 19th Marlins trade & Cabrera signed, Dec 17th Mets trade.  Of note: purchased Jeremy Jeffress on Nov 8th, signed Neil Wagner on Nov 15th, Dec 11th signed Juan Perez among 7 signed that day

In the 2012/2013 offseason he did 24 granted free agency, 24 signed as a free agent (neat), selected 16 off waivers, lost 8 to waivers, did 5 trades, and 1 each of purchase/sold/released (Jeffress, Lars Anderson, David Cooper respectively). Wonder how this winter will go?  The numbers suggest nothing of significance until November with mid Nov to mid Dec being the 'wow' period (Halladay, Marlins, Dickey trades).

China fan - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#279952) #
As long as we're discussing catchers: what do the Jays do with JPA and Thole? After salary arbitration, JPA will be making $2-million to $3-million in 2014, and Thole would be making $1.25-million under his contract option for 2014. That's a lot of money for two marginal catchers, especially if the Jays acquire another catcher for a few million more. Logically the Jays should try to trade JPA and/or Thole and replace them with a superior catcher, but which team would take JPA or Thole after such a poor season, at the absolute nadir of their trade value? So a trade would really just be a salary dump, if anything. Would it make any sense to keep JPA on the team, as a back-up, just in case he remembers how to hit? Or even send him to Buffalo?
greenfrog - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#279953) #
It's funny - it wasn't that long ago that the Jays were viewed as having "enviable" depth at catcher: JP, d'Arnaud, Gomes, Jimenez, Perez, the Jays are trying to find a good-enough starting C on the trade market. I guess you can never have enough catching (although it might be possible to have too many relievers).
John Northey - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#279955) #
Back in 1992 the Jays had a lot of depth at catcher too - Carlos Delgado, Ed Sprague, Mike Maksudian (who hit well), Sandy/Angel Martinez (defensive wiz), Randy Knorr (hit well).  All looked like solid prospects or at least as guys who'd get shots but none ever played 80 games in a season at catcher with just Knorr and Martinez having any real catching career (backups).  After Pat Borders left post '94 the Jays in 1995 had 3 guys with OPS+ of 60 or less (including Lance Parrish), 1996 saw Charlie O'Brien brought in (not a good hitter, really a backup), then 1997 they got Benito Santiago but he was at his end (73 OPS+) before things got better in 1998 (Darrin Fletcher 92 OPS+ followed by 2 years over 100 then 2 collapse years) and Kevin Brown who had an 87 OPS+ in his only season with 50+ PA, and the Jays then kept getting 1/2 decent catchers year in/year out since (Mike Matheny, Alberto Castillo, Josh Phelps was a prospect catcher believe it or not, Ken Huckaby, Tom Wilson, Kevin Cash was developed, Greg Myers returned for a final blaze of glory, Gregg Zaun, Guillermo Quiroz super prospect/flop, Bengie Molina, Jason Phillips Rod Barajas, Raul Chavez, John Buck, Jose Molina, before J.P. Arencibia took over).  So between Pat Borders and JPA there was a whole pile of scrap heap pickups, a few decent free agents, and all Jay prospects who came up were no more than 50 game backups.  The Jays have had a real nightmare developing catchers.

For the Jays all-time top 5 in catching games Borders is the only one who was developed here. #1 Whitt was expansion draft, Fletcher was a free agent, as was Zaun while the Jays traded for Buck Martinez. JPA is close at 355 games caught while Martinez ended at 442.  Not a lot of luck developing there.

For comparison at 1B you have Delgado (developed), Upshaw (rule 5), Olerud (developed), Overbay (free agent), and Mayberry (purchased).  McGriff is just shy at 474 (trade but mainly developed by the Jays).  2B has 2 home grown (Hill and Hudson), 3B just one (Sprague although Gruber spent significant time in the Jays minors), SS has 2 (Fernandez & Gonzalez), LF 2 (Stewart and Johnson), CF 2 (Wells & Moseby), RF 3 (Barfield, Rios, Green), and DH one (Lind).  I guess Lind could move into the top 5 at 1B, like JPA at CA, but no others are really on that potential list among regulars or near regulars (Sierra and Pillar have some tiny potential of it in 4-5 years).

Funny - thought we'd see more home grown at those positions but 1B-2, 2B-2, 3B-1, SS-2, LF-2, CF-2, RF-3, CA-1, DH-1.  4 of the top 5 starting pitchers were home grown (Stieb, Halladay, Key, Hentgen with Clancy being the exception) with #6-12 all being home grown as well.  For games relieved just one of the top 5 is home grown (Frasor at the top) but Janssen can get there next year easily (12 games shy).
Richard S.S. - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#279956) #
Apparently the Jay's were interested in Brett Anderson of the A's. When healthy he's got better stuff than Morrow. Of course A.A. has come out about risk, health, injury issues. With that said I can't see Anderson being someone of interest any more.
92-93 - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#279957) #
It definitely makes sense to keep Arencibia in Buffalo and not to give him away for nothing if you don't need to free up money to do other things. I still think there are a few MLB GMs who'd be more than willing to part with a viable relief arm (or something of similar value) for Arencibia, though. JP is still a young catcher with tremendous power and all the necessary tools to become a better player and that should be the type of guy you want to take a chance on, especially if you finished near the bottom of the standings this year and don't have a young talent at C that needs the ABs.

"(although it might be possible to have too many relievers)"

I don't think it is, and certainly not with the group of guys the Jays currently have. I see Janssen, Delabar, Cecil, Santos, Loup, Wagner, McGowan and Perez, and at least 5 of those are unreliable injury risks. After that you're looking at minor league starters and depth arms. While I don't think the bullpen is an area that needs to be addressed, I wouldn't get too confident in the current corps and would always be looking to add more arms to the mix if I could. The last two seasons should have taught AA and the rest of us a lot about injuries and the need for quality depth up and down the roster.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#279958) #
It's obviously fine and desirable to have an abundance of quality relievers in the system. It isn't fine to make relief pitching such a priority that you sacrifice scarcer / more valuable resources at other positions to keep the bullpen tank topped up.

That's why Cleveland's GM traded for Gomes and Aviles. I'm sure he would have liked to keep Rogers, but strategically it made sense to move him.
Parker - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#279959) #
I wouldn't let Arencibia go for nothing, simply because the Jays' recent track record of dumping players who then become productive assets (or stars) for their new teams really concerns me. With the team's frightening issues at catcher they can't afford to throw anyone away unless they plan to sign Brian McCann and then clone him.

Arencibia cannot hit or receive pitches at a major league level. Whether he thinks so or not, he should be sent to Buffalo (or further down) to learn how to actually play baseball.

After what we've seen from the young guys the Jays brought up though (excepting Goins and possibly Pillar) I'm not sure the Jays minor league system is teaching ANYONE how to play baseball.
China fan - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#279979) #
"....I wouldn't get too confident in the current corps and would always be looking to add more arms to the mix if I could..."

A fair point, especially because of the injury risks, but what about the looming roster crunch that will almost-inevitably result from the surplus of good relievers who lack options? Adding another bullpen arm would compound the surplus and make it even more complicated for Anthopoulos to juggle the roster and keep the best hurlers. He's already in the position of being virtually forced to trade 2 or 3 of his relievers to avoid their loss on the waiver wire. Adding another arm would just mean that someone else would have to be traded too.

Here's the list of Jays relievers (or potential relievers) who are out of options: McGowan, Happ, Rogers, Redmond, Luis Perez, Lincoln, Jeffress. Most of those are useful guys to have; some have the potential to be excellent. You don't really want to give away any of them for nothing on waivers. Those 7 relievers without options are in addition, of course, to the core bullpen assets of Janssen, Santos, Loup, Delabar and Cecil. So there's 12 potential relievers already -- and then the Jays might additionally want to make room in the major-league bullpen for useful pitchers like Hutchison, Drabek, Jenkins, Wagner, Juan Perez, or even Stroman or Nolin. This latter group of 7 potential bullpen assets could all be stashed in the minors -- but what if they are demonstrably better than the next-best guy on the major-league bullpen? Do you demote the better player just because they have options?

So, with all of those above names in the potential mix, I'm not sure if it makes sense to trade JPA for a reliever -- unless the Jays are simultaneously trading several of their existing pitchers, which might actually happen.
Wildrose - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#279986) #
So, with all of those above names in the potential mix, I'm not sure if it makes sense to trade JPA for a reliever -- unless the Jays are simultaneously trading several of their existing pitchers, which might actually happen.

I agree, to clarify though, Loup still has options. It would be really tough to send him down however given that he is a lefty and fairly solid. It's almost a liability for a player to still have minor league options. Poor Neil Wagner, he's pretty good and probably could make the roster of half the teams in the majors, but will likely be waiting down in Buffalo for somebody to get hurt.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#279989) #
With LA's signing of Alexander Guerrero, it is presumably more likely that Mark Ellis will be available on the free agent market.  He'd make a nice fit with Kawasaki/Goins at second base.  If you can give him 400 PAs, mostly against LHP, he would be a useful addition.  With Kawasaki/Goins also able to play shortstop, you would have a decent middle infield setup. 
John Northey - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#279990) #
Ellis is a low 90's OPS+ guy the past couple of years, makes just shy of $6 mil if the Dodgers pick up his option.  He is a positive defensively with a 7.8 UZR/150 last year and 9.1 lifetime, both very good figures.  Being a RH hitter mixed with Goins/Kawasaki both being LH would work nicely in a sorta platoon (Ellis would be given more playing time) with the other 2 being able to cover SS.  He has experience at 3B and SS and 1B but under 150 innings between the 3 positions other than 2B lifetime so he really is limited to 2B mainly.

Ellis wouldn't be a bad pickup, but should be more of a plan B given his age (entering age 37 season) and mediocre hitting (94 OPS+ lifetime) although it would be a drastic improvement over Izturis/Bonifacio/Kawasaki/Goins.
Beyonder - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#279991) #
Buster Olney tweets: "Royals ready to talk about Billy Butler deal for teams that would take on DH owed $8 million in '14, $12m in 2015."

That could be money well spent if you got rid of Lind in the process. Don't have a real sense though on what the asking price would be.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#279992) #
Ellis has had almost 75% of his at-bats against RHPs, and he has a significant platoon split.  The option is mutual, but it is not clear whether it will be exercised.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#279993) #
If KC would do a one-for-one deal (Lind for Butler) I'd do it in a second (they could dump Lind for $2 mil or keep for $7 mil).  Butler has a lifetime 122 OPS+, played all 162 games last year, 158+ for 5 straight years.  Appears slow as dirt (led league in GIDP) but should be OK on a team with speed like the Jays.  Probably would see the HR numbers jump here.  He is entering his age 28 season so still in prime years.  Yeah, that'd be easy to do on the Jays side.

Paul D - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#279994) #
A 94 OPS+ for a second baseman is really good. (Granted you have discount it if he's in a platoon).
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#279995) #
Butler has led the league twice in GIDP over the last 4 years.  He does reach base, and he will hit a home run every 10-14 days, but he just isn't that valuable.  He actually has done less to help his team win than Mark Ellis has...

He is a better hitter than Adam Lind, but paying all that money for him in 2015 is not a great idea.

Beyonder - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#279996) #
I expect the price is higher than Lind, but Butler would be an excellent buy low target if KC is finding his salary oppressive. Even in a down year his OBP was 374. His slugging percentage dipped to .412, but I expect that was an aberation and should return to his normal range (450-500).
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#279997) #
I'd like Butler alot better if he hit lefthanded and could slide between EE and Joey. Unfortunately as another righty I don't think he's the right fit for us. Sad as I'd kill for that .370s obp year in year out.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#279998) #
You can't forget the 23 double plays he grounds into.  In the end, he's an average player and to spend $12 million for that is no bargain.

A propos of nothing, the October 22 birthday team looks awfully good to me.  An outfield of Gerald Young, Harry Walker and Ichiro, an infield of Foxx, Cano, Lou Klein and Sam Boehne, and some combination of Bill Carrigan, Michael Barrett and Jamie Quirk behind the plate.  The rotation is Wilbur Wood, Johnny Morrison, Kid Carsey, Jumbo Elliott and Oscar Jones.  Cecil Upshaw closes with Frank DiPino, Darren O'Day, Eli Whiteside and Hector Carrasco providing balanced if not great bullpen support. 

John Northey - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#279999) #
Checking FanGraphs they list Butler as being worth $12.9 in 2012, $7.1 last year.  In his full seasons (2009 and up) he ranged between $5.8 to $12.9 million.  So at $20.5 mil for 2 years you need him to be at the upper range of that assuming the value of a win hasn't gone up much although with the way things are going in MLB it probably has jumped again.  On a dollars per WAR I'd suspect Butler would be break even. If he flopped in 2014 his 2015 option can be refused for $1 mil so the spread between him and Lind is about $1 mil if you assume the Jays pick up Lind's option.  Given Butler can play everyday and has a more consistent track record I'd go with him while the Royals, if they are in pure cost cutting mode, might just let Lind go for $2 mil and pocket $7 mil (cost of Butler + letting him go next winter = $9 mil) or keep Lind and let him go next winter saving $1 mil vs doing that with Butler. 
Beyonder - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#280000) #
I ask this as an open question that I don't have a considered view on, but is it really fair to criticize a DH for failing to provide the same type of value that a position player does? I'm assuming Mike, that the measures of value that you are referring to are measures that take into account defensive contribution?

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#280001) #
It is not criticism.  It's a cold-hearted assessment of value.  David Ortiz has had a great run in his 30s and has been a better hitter than Dustin Pedroia, but a lesser player.  Ideally, you'd like to spend noticeably less for Ortiz than Pedroia.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#280002) #
I think with a DH, as with all positions, you have to take into consideration A) what does it cost to get production from that slot and B) what options are there that are league minimum (scrap heap, minor leaguers) vs expensive (free agent or trade). 

I think most would agree that David Ortiz is the top of the class for DH's right now and he's averaged about $13 mil a year since 2006 in salary, made $14 last year but $11 in 2014 (might be $15 mil).  FanGraphs has his peak value at $25.5 in 2007, $19 mil last year, a basement of $100k in 2009 (794 OPS in 150 games).  That gives you a range.  In 2007 his OPS was 1067, in 2013 it was 959.  So for a DH to be extremely valuable you need an OPS of 900+. 

Butler is projected to be in the mid 800's which is decent but not 'wow' level.  Lind is projected to be right around 800.  We all know any LHP can get Lind out, Butler doesn't have that weakness.  That is a big plus.  For a DH the Jays options right now are Lind at $7 mil, or $2 mil to lose him and let others rotate in and out of the DH slot, or release Lind and put EE at DH and find a new 1B.  So the Jays need to decide what option makes the most sense based on who is available and what they'd cost.  If the Royals want a top prospect I'd say 'heck no'. If they want JPA and Lind I'd probably go 'sure', or if they wanted a couple relievers other than the core (Janssen/Cecil/Delabar/Loup/Santos).  Ideally any deal would take Lind away though as otherwise he has nowhere to play.

92-93 - Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#280005) #
"He's already in the position of being virtually forced to trade 2 or 3 of his relievers to avoid their loss on the waiver wire."

I really don't see this as an issue. If by some miracle you get through 6 weeks of pitchers spring training and everybody is intact, you move the extra arms for whatever you can get. If nobody is willing to offer you even a Double-A arm of comparable talent with options, then the player you're potentially losing to waivers is value-less anyway. Jeremy Jefress & Brad Lincoln aren't going to prevent me from acquiring an arm I like, that's for sure. That being said I do expect several of their existing pitchers to be included in various trades this winter, as you suggest. This will sort itself out easily.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#280032) #
DeMarlo Hale is interviewing for the Nationals manager job.

It seems like Hale is on the short list for every managerial job, so who knows if this will go anywhere.
Beyonder - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#280034) #
In perfect timing for any discussion about how much the front office should spend this offseason, here is a link to a Bloomberg piece valuing each of the MLB teams. Jays ranked 12th in baseball, with a value of 950 million. Revenues this past year of 210 million.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 23 2013 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#280036) #
Those revenues seem low to me.  Only the Yankees get more eyeballs on each game than the Jays for local TV (over 500k viewers on average for the Jays, US measures households but none were over 200k and the average household is just over 2 people) and that was with a last place team.  What is funny is that with 1/2 a million viewers per game for 2 years running (a rate all but the Yankees can only dream of) the Jays are listed as 22nd in media revenue at $65 million while the Mets, on what is viewed as a below market contract, are getting $120 million.  Something is fishy there.  Add another $20 million (SF Giants territory) and you are getting a bit more real, but I'd suspect $40 mil is closer to the truth and if they start winning increasing it by $60-80 mil (vs current $65) should be a reasonable estimate (NY Mets territory - $120+ mil).  Makes more sense than the Jays being $1 mil behind the Cincinnati Reds for media revenue.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 03:40 AM EDT (#280038) #
Every post gets hijacked for something else.

How about Jose Bautista for Brandon Phillips? That's a deal I would make.
JB21 - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#280042) #
Are the Reds paying all of Phillips salary? Are the Jays also getting a couple top prospects? Phillips had an OP% of .310 this year, and slugged under .400. He's a below average offensive player and is getting up in age at a position that is notorious for cutting careers short. His only value right now is defense and I suspect that declines sharply over the remainder of his huge contract.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#280048) #
The Blomberg numbers are a joke ( and yes it's pertinent because you need the revenue to take on a contract like Phillips).

They have concession revenue at $ 12 million/year. That means every fan spends an average of 48 cents at the ball park on concessions. With $ 7 dollar beers and $ 5 dollar hotdogs, and given the long lines to buy such items I'm very skeptical.

They have ticket revenue at only $ 44 million last year, meaning each fan on average payed  only $ 17 dollars to attend games. They have 31,000 tickets in the lower bowl ( 220 and 100 sections) and 18,000 in the upper loges ( 500 section).

The cheapest ticket in the lower bowl starts at $ 23 dollars a game ( section 239) and that's a discounted season ticket not a higher priced walk up price ( and there's not a large inventory of these type of seats) and moves up from there. Essentially season tickets range from $ 38 dollars down the line to $ 53 behind the plate in the 100 section's.

To get only $ 44 million in ticket revenue,  Blomberg is claiming all tickets are season tickets, not walk up, and that the upper bowls are totally full, and the lower loges only 30-40 % occupied. The games I've been to it's reversed. If there's 30,000 in attendance most are in the lower sections, it looks to be 70-80 % occupied and about 5000-6000 in the uppers. Rarely are the 500's full unless it's a sellout.

The Blue Jay's claim an average price of $25 dollars ticket ( you can see this if you factor in all those lower price upper tickets) , at that price with over 2.5 million fans you get 63 million in gate revenue, not 44 million. My guess is that it is probably higher though since they sell more inventory of the higher priced tickets in general.

I have to go to work and I haven't even touched on the ludicrous media rights valuations. 

Paul D - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#280050) #
Wildrose, if I'm reading you right, what you're saying is that the Jays will be signing both Cano and Tanaka. I'll take it.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#280057) #
Wildrose, if I'm reading you right, what you're saying is that the Jays will be signing both Cano and Tanaka. I'll take it.

 I'm not saying that at all, I'm saying Blomberg is understating the Blue Jay revenue picture by a substantial margin and the team has the revenue to explore several options. I think Tanaka will be a Yankee since the posting fee will not count against the luxury tax. I guess I'm tired of primarily American entities constantly misunderstanding and downgrading the Canadian baseball marketplace.
John Northey - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#280058) #
As I said, it is clear they are discounting the Jays media potential.  Imagine if the Dodgers had all of California to themselves.  No Padres, Angels, Giants, or A's.  Even if they couldn't sell TV rights to any neighboring states how much do you think their rights fees would jump?  And they are already sky high at $7 billion for 25 years - or $280 mil a year - but of course it would be going from a lower total to a higher over the years.  Now, if you go at a 3% rate of inflation over the deal you get $191 million year one up to $388 million in year 25 to get to $7 billion.  At 5% you would start at $146 million and climb to $470 million which would be the biggest annual increase I'd think they'd consider.  MLB was using 4% so year one would be $168 million by their accounting.

So, using the Dodgers as an example you'd have the Jays TV rights being worth $100 million more than the estimate from Blomberg.  I think that would be more reasonable, especially if the Jays start winning again.  In which case the Jays have $300+ million in revenue and no reason not to be signing anyone they really want.

FYI: I wouldn't be in favor of Cano unless it was a short term (3-5 year) deal.  No way would I touch a 10 year for a guy on the wrong side of 30.

92-93 - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#280059) #
"They have concession revenue at $ 12 million/year. That means every fan spends an average of 48 cents at the ball park on concessions."

I think you missed a zero somewhere in your calculations. 2.5 million fans at 48 cents isn't 12m.
Paul D - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#280061) #
I'm not saying that at all, I'm saying Blomberg is understating the Blue Jay revenue picture by a substantial margin and the team has the revenue to explore several options.

Sorry, my post was meant to be in jest. I realize that you're not saying that.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#280062) #
I'm not saying that at all, I'm saying Blomberg is understating the Blue Jay revenue picture by a substantial margin and the team has the revenue to explore several options.

That's what happens when you take a DH and make him Mayor of your city. :)

I suppose that Adam Lind might not look too bad here, mind you...he's a good bet to do a better job of that than Rob Ford hitting a 95 mph heater.
Beyonder - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#280063) #
Kudos to Rogers then for parlaying their 137 million dollar investment in 2000 into a multi-billion dollar property. Why don't they just buy the Tampa Bay rays and use them as their farm team?

BTW, Forbes valued the Franchise at 337 million in 2011.
Ryan Day - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#280064) #
Imagine if the Dodgers had all of California to themselves. ... how much do you think their rights fees would jump?

I don't think this is a great comparison, because you really can't compare Canada to California, or the Jays to the Dodgers.

The Blue Jays might have a potential audience of 35 million or so, but a significant portion of that has no interest in baseball at all. There's a reason why Rogers regularly replaces Blue Jays broadcasts with OHL games or their ilk. Baseball is much more culturally ingrained in California; there's a reason why they have so many baseball teams in the first place.

And the Dodgers are an iconic team. They've got history, and tradition; Dodgers fans can go back generations. If you got rid of all the California teams but San Diego, the Padres would not likely become as popular as the Dodgers.
Beyonder - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#280065) #
"There's a reason why Rogers regularly replaces Blue Jays broadcasts with OHL games or their ilk. Baseball is much more culturally ingrained in California; there's a reason why they have so many baseball teams in the first place."

Agreed. It is for the same reason that we watch the same five commercials on loop during blue jays games (one of which is typically for Rogers something-or-other).
Paul D - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#280066) #
Sure, but the Jays also have the second highest television ratings of any team, so they're certainly doing pretty well ratings wise, relative to the rest of the league.
John Northey - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#280067) #
I think Paul D has the right call - Rogers putting on hockey over the Jays would have to do with the games they feel will do worse than hockey which would drop to 0 if the Jays actually were in contention.  Remember, this team dropped out of sight early, had a big 11 game winning streak that got them into the papers and then crashed and burned again.  Despite that pattern they still increased viewership and are getting 500k+ viewers per game for 2 straight years.  That is a level all other teams other than the Yankees only dream of reaching.  The Jays have shown (back in the 80's and 90's) that when winning the viewership reaches Hockey Night in Canada levels (over 1 million viewers) except on a heck of a lot more nights.  It is just nutty to say that isn't profitable to a crazy degree.  Especially when if the Jays are winning Rogers gets every penny extra made due to the games being on their TV station (and radio and phones and ...).  Yeah, a few years back the Jays had troubles as the team sucked and fans knew it thus ratings dropped to the 100-150k level (iirc) which still is better than many US based teams.

Don't forget - kids today have parents who grew up Jay fans during that great first era (such as myself) and they take kids to games and watch games and buy merchandise.  As time goes by the Jays are getting more and more established.  Not to Dodger level I admit, but certainly better than the Padres (who have yet to win it all). 

Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#280068) #
Baseball is much more culturally ingrained in California; there's a reason why they have so many baseball teams in the first place.

I don't know that cultural factors were key.  Babe Ruth played in Toronto a long, long time ago, and there was a proud minor league history.  Major league baseball did not arrive in California until the 1960s, although the PCL was at one point a minor league with many players who could have been major leaguers.  Weather is certainly important.  Baseball is huge at the high school and university level in California, and weather undoubtedly plays an important part. 

I was curious about the history of the California League and ran into this list of teams from the 1906-1909 incarnation of the league:

  • Alameda Grays/Alameda Encinals 1906-08
  • Fresno Tigers/Raisin Growers 1908-09
  • Oakland Commuters 1906-09
  • Sacramento Cordovas/Sacramento Senators 1906-08
  • San Francisco Orphans 1906-09
  • San Jose Prune Pickers/Santa Cruz Sand Crabs 1908-09
  • Stockton Millers 1906-09
Can you imagine?  A club called the Orphans after the earthquake and fire of 1906?
Wildrose - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#280069) #
This is what happens when you're running out the door.

My view on the concessions may be a little jaded. Usually the games I go to involve bringing along teenagers and the brother in law . I'm lucky to get out of there without spending $ 10-15 bucks a head.

The $ 4.80 still seems a little on the light side, what do others experience?
Wildrose - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#280070) #
Somehow I don't see Mayor Ford establishing a multi billion dollar media empire, although every time I do line up for a beer at the game he ( or someone that looks just like him ) is in the line. Go figure...
Ryan Day - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#280071) #
Don't get me wrong - Rogers is in a very good position, and has no excuse for crying poor. It's just not in quite as good a position as one of the most storied franchises in MLB located in a densely populated, baseball-crazed state.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#280072) #
The Dodgers are in an interesting media situation.

They are trying to establish a Dodgers centric new RSN in the LA basin. They hope to get into about 6.5 million homes and garner about $ 4 bucks per subscriber per month. As a comparison Sports net has 9.3 subscribers here in Canada. That's over $ 300 million in carriage fees alone per year, lots of money , thus the high media payments. A lot of people aren't very happy with having to pay for this new RSN just to see the Dodgers.
smcs - Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#280076) #
Babe Ruth played in Toronto a long, long time ago, and there was a proud minor league history.

So proud that it's likely Conn Smythe named his hockey team after the successful baseball team.
Wildrose - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#280082) #
You're preaching to the converted John regarding the hugely understated Jays media rights.

In fact the Jays more than likely when they announce their 2013 viewership numbers will be the highest rated baseball franchise in the game.

The Yankees previously held this mantle but unlike the locals have suffered massive erosion with their Yes network viewership.

This from the New York Times;

Yet a staggering 111,000 viewers disappeared from the Yankees’ telecasts for each game on the YES Network, leaving an average of 244,000 devoted souls to watch. That 31.2 percent plunge suggests deep dissatisfaction with a team that played most of the season without many of its stars and fielded lineups filled with the likes of Zoilo Almonte, Luis Cruz, David Huff and Brennan Boesch.

A look at Yankees viewership since 2007 shows a troubling trend that did not start with this year’s disappointing finish. There were 454,000 viewers six years ago, but 210,000 — nearly half — have since departed.

Now I think the writer may be confusing viewers with households ( even if he is the common conversion rate I've seen is about 1.3-1.4 to get from households to actual viewers), but despite this the Jays will most likely come in at the 500,000 range. I track these numbers through the year and they were in the 600,000-700,000 range until late August/ September when they tanked. This certainly shows Rogers though , that selling hope does have some tangible bottom line value.

Bloomberg has the Jays at $65 million, the Yankees at 150 million for it's media rights. There seems to be a certain disconnect.The odd thing is that YES has spun off 49% of it's network to Fox for 1.5 billion , diluting the Yankees ownership value.

As Canadians we have a tendency to downgrade our achievements. For me the numbers are very clear, Rogers is extremely successful in marketing their brand across Canada ( over 50% of the viewers are from outside the greater GTA area) and they should be applauded for their efforts, but we as fans also can be expected to demand that some of that revenue be plowed back into the franchise.


Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#280083) #
I agree, Wildrose.  I think it is important to reiterate that the blackout for the "local" market in the case of the Blue Jays extends to Canada.  It is not about protecting attendance (Buffalonians can watch the Jays live on but rather television rights (Vancouverites cannot). 

John and I have been on about this for several years now.  The club was crying poor a couple of years ago because of the mediocre attendance, but really ought to have been spending more in light of the imputed media revenues.

Wildrose - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#280084) #
Incidentally Rogers released it's third quarter results yesterday. Rogers media division ( which the Jays and SportsNet are part of ) saw it's revenue rise by 48 million this past quarter and saw profits of 55 million in this sector.

Hopefully the bean counters understand by improving their on-field product even more, they can further drive revenue and profit growth. You have to be a pretty die hard fan to watch the current motley crew they put out on the field this past season, imagine how they'd do if they actually started winning ?

Wildrose - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#280085) #
I agree, Wildrose.  I think it is important to reiterate that the blackout for the "local" market in the case of the Blue Jays extends to Canada.  It is not about protecting attendance (Buffalonians can watch the Jays live on but rather television rights (Vancouverites cannot).

Yes, a few short years ago they often showed many Red Sox games on SN East and Mariner games on SN Pacific, that has been substantially reduced. They spun off games to CBC and even arch rival TSN, all that has stopped. There's money to be made in this frigid North Land baby. I note that unlike many of the American RSN networks which have commercials for local car dealerships, tire stores, furniture outlets and so on, SportsNet can go with the big ticket National TV advertisers which pay big bucks to have their products placed nationally.
92-93 - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#280086) #
"I think it is important to reiterate that the blackout for the "local" market in the case of the Blue Jays extends to Canada."

I'm not so sure this is true anymore. At the very least I can say it wasn't true for me; I was able to watch Jays game on MLB.TV in Toronto all season.
Beyonder - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#280087) #
That was my experience also 92-93, although I also live in Toronto. This is conjecture, but I suspect that the blackout was only waived in areas of the country that have Rogers cable where you can use Rogers anyplace TV to stream games over the internet anyway. Can anyone confirm or deny? The Jays get a chunk of revenue from the proceeds of subscriptions, so there's something a bit unfair about blacking out the Jays games.
Wildrose - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#280088) #
Is there any commercials on when you watch the Jays?
Paul D - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#280090) # stopped working for me about half way through the season, as I"m not a Rogers cable customer. I think if you're with Rogers you can stream the games.
John Northey - Friday, October 25 2013 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#280092) #
One thing of note is it is in the Jays best interests if MLB thinks their media revenue is low as the lower it is the better off they are in profit sharing with the other clubs. Thus keeping most Sportsnet revenue in Rogers is a good thing for them rather than shuffling it to the Jays directly.  Better to do it indirectly (Jays operate at a loss, money from owners sent in to keep them going but less than the extra profits from Sportsnet). 

Right now though I would love to see AA get the authority to go after anyone he wants with the only parameter being to keep flexibility for the future (ie: no 10 year contracts).  See if players would go for a rolling deal (5 years locked up, options that trigger on playing time for years 6-10 so they always have 5 years locked in if they stay healthy perhaps.  Go after players who other clubs might want to dump ala the Marlins last winter.

So who is expensive and might be dumped?  Teams that sucked and not in the AL are Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Brewers, Cubs, Padres, Giants, Rockies.  Phillies & Cubs & Giants seem not to be cutting back, so that leaves the Mets, Marlins, Brewers, Padres and Rockies.  David Wright is the only Met still there making over $4 million but no one thinks he'll be traded.  Marlins highest paid player in 2013 was Adeiny Hechavarria - nuff said.  Rockies have Jorge De La Rosa ($11 mil team option) who had a great comeback year last year (127 ERA+ after a 51 over just 3 starts the year before), Michael Cuddyer makes $10.5 in the last year of his contract after a 137 OPS+ year in RF, lifetime 113 so he might be nice in LF here if the kids aren't ready.  Troy Tulowitzki isn't going anywhere, and Carlos Gonzalez at $10.5 and signed for 4 years is a bargain thus not likely.  No really good matches as De La Rosa would be nice but I can't see being available for cheap. there is an interesting one.  They probably want to dump Ryan Braun after the nightmares last year, he plays LF and was at 3B as a rookie years ago. Massive long term contract (through 2020) for $117 guaranteed.  Would the Jays go for a 2nd PED scandal guy for LF?  Rickie Weeks is a 2B (big need) for $11 mil  plus team option in 2015 ($11.5) but just an 80 OPS+ last year vs 103 career.  Aramis Ramirez is at 3B entering age 36 season for $16 mil plus $4 mil buyout (mutual option for 2015) but is at 3B (move Lawrie to 2B) lifetime 126 OPS+, 125 last year after 2 years of 136.  Kyle Lohse makes $11 mil for 2014 and 2015 with a 98 ERA+ lifetime but a 120 over the past 3 years combined while throwing 188+ IP each year.  Get Lohse and Ramirez and Braun and there go 3 of the big issues but also there goes about $40 mil next year and a lot more after that for Braun while taking a lot of risk on - but odds are Milwaukee would pay a chunk of Braun's contract in any trade.
Paul D - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#280103) #
One potential positive to how last night's game ended - maybe Kolten Wong becomes available in trade. 
Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#280104) #
I am sure that somebody has written about the obstruction call in Saturday's game at great length, but I must have missed it. 

For me, it brought to mind something Bill James wrote several decades ago.  James pointed out that every time a catcher blocks the plate he is in breach of the obstruction rule, but that the rule is uniformly not enforced.  This situation, he wrote, can lead to no good, with the prospect of the rule being randomly enforced in a key situation.  To see the rule enforced in an unintentional obstruction situation is, to my mind, bizarre.  I might add that given the totality of the rules, I would have thought that the act of fielding a ball includes diving for it and getting up afterward, and that Middlebrooks' efforts were the farthest thing from flagrant and violent conduct proscribed by the rules.   Middlebrooks' primary purpose was pretty clearly to field the ball, whereas a catcher's primary purpose in the play at the plate is to block the baserunner and then to catch the ball when it arrives.

Pedroia's original snare and throw was, by the way, a thing of beauty.  This was a game that, by rights, ought to have gone to extra innings. 

Paul D - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#280105) #
MIke, there's been a lot written about the obstruction rule over the past 28 hours, and most of what I've learned I've learned from primer, but one thing seems clear to me - intent is irrelevant. I agree that Middlebrooks wasn't trying to obstruct Craig, but that doesn't matter, Craig was obstructed, and it seems that the call was correct.
CeeBee - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#280106) #
If Middlebrook had not lifted his feet he might have got away with it. Even if he didn't do it on purpose it made it look like it. It was the right call but one that is seldom made.
92-93 - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#280107) #
"Is there any commercials on when you watch the Jays?"

I don't believe there were, but I could be remembering incorrectly.
Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#280109) #
I agree that under a literal reading of the rule (without reference to the commentary), Middlebrooks obstructed Craig.  I also know that about 90% of the time on the play at the plate, there is intentional obstruction and it is not called.  This is far, far worse.  Are the umpires now going to do away with the "vicinity rule" and not call a DP if the second baseman's foot is 1 cm. away from the bag when he pivots?  Somehow I don't think so. 
Thomas - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#280111) #

I might add that given the totality of the rules, I would have thought that the act of fielding a ball includes diving for it and getting up afterward, and that Middlebrooks' efforts were the farthest thing from flagrant and violent conduct proscribed by the rules.

This is a little misleading, as at no point does the interference rule talk about "flagrant and violent" conduct. The obstruction rule is not about penalizing "flagrant and violent" conduct, but about awarding a baserunner a base that he otherwise would have reached safely had a fielder not interfered with his established path to the base while not making an attempt to catch the ball. That is clearly what Middlebrooks did, even if it was unintentionally. Once the ball was by him, he was no longer making an attempt to catch the ball.

Nobody can look at that play and not think that Craig wouldn't have been safe if he hadn't tripped over Middlebrooks's legs. Bringing intention into the rule would unnecessarily complicate it and create a Pandora's box where fielders dive into the baselines or expected baselines after balls that come anywhere near the vicinity of the bag and then leave it to the umpier to assess whether they intentionally intended to impede the runner.

Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#280112) #
The rule doesn't say "catching the ball".  It says "fielding the ball".  Is getting up from a dive to catch a ball part of "fielding the ball"?  I think that it pretty clearly is, a lot more than a catcher sticking his leg in front of the plate while stretching away from the plate to catch an incoming throw...The umpires confused timing (any obstruction whether intentional or not before the ball is received is part of fielding the ball and therefore is permissible) with purpose (actual incidental acts to catching a ball after the ball is received or past without intention to interfere are not part of fielding the ball and therefore not permissible).  When you add in the commentary that speaks of flagrant and obvious violations, I think that it ought to have been a pretty clear call.

Paul D - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#280113) #
Mike, I'm not totally clear on what you're saying. Are you saying that it was the wrong call, based on the rules as written, or that the rules aren't written are rarely enforced for obstruction, and as such, the call shouldn't have been made?
Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#280114) #
Both.  A literal reading of the rule would allow that "fielding the ball" includes getting up from a dive to catch the ball.  I will concede that it is possible to take a different view of this, but to do so, when intentional obstruction is routinely not called in the context of the play at the plate, is taking literal reading to an extreme.
John Northey - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#280115) #
Seems a clear call - the umps had it right.  You don't see it accepted anywhere but at the plate and that is sort of a 'grandfather' rule - ie: it has been that way forever thus is left that way.  I suspect an ump would call interference though on a catcher if he blocked it and the ball didn't get to him until a few seconds after the runner (cannot think of any cases where that happens though as catchers just move out of the way not wanting to get hurt for no reason).

Trying to think of anytime I've seen a fielder fall and the runner trip on him or get slowed down by him.  Cannot think of any offhand.  It would be useful to find cases of that though and see how the umps ruled in those cases.

John Northey - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#280116) #
Thinking a bit more - it does happen at 2B fairly often with stolen bases if the throw goes into CF but normally the runner just stays there if they are tangled at all and rarely would he have a real shot at 3B anyways as the CF is already running in on the play and would have a good shot at 3B unless it was a very wild throw in which case the runner probably gets to 3B unless the 2B/SS physically holds him there or he has a last name of 'Fielder' or 'Molina'.
Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#280117) #
I imagine that obstruction may have been called on the play at second base when a throw gets past after a stolen base attempt, but I don't recall ever seeing it.  It might be my less-than-perfect memory. 
Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#280118) #
Incidentally, if the runner stays at second because they are tangled (after the ball is past), the obstruction rule would normally require the umpire to make a judgment (if the Middlebrooks/Craig rule was uniformly applied) about whether the runner would have advanced.  If you've got a fast runner, it ought usually to be a no-brainer...
Thomas - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#280119) #

I don't view the call/non-call of obstruction on plays at the plate as particularly relevant to the debate of whether the umpires got it right or wrong in the instant case. I'm not convinced by an argument that asserts that because catchers may impede runners attempting to reach home plate, fielders at the bases should also be able to impede runners, intentionally or otherwise.

Also, to play devil's advocate, who is to say that Middlebrooks didn't intentionally obstruct Craig once he was down on the ground? I don't believe he did, but I wouldn't say that an interpretation that said Middlebrooks raised his legs to block Craig's path was unreasonable, given which side of the base he knew Craig would be running from after the slide.

Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#280120) #
I guess we have to agree to disagree.  I'll tell you this much; there is no way that Joyce makes that call if the game is in Boston...
92-93 - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#280124) #
That sounds pretty unfair to Mr. Joyce, considering the infamous Gallaraga perfect game call happened in Detroit. Here we have the umps getting a call right in real time with the majority of people around baseball in agreement, but there's still a faction determined to explain why they're wrong. It's remarkable.
Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#280125) #
That's a good point, 92-93.  I had forgotten about the Gallaraga call.  Maybe he would have made the call in Boston anyways.

Anyways, if Joyce's interpretation of the rule is correct and the way that MLB wants umpires to uniformly call games, with the proviso that catchers are entitled to still block the plate to their hearts content, that's fine.  I'll be watching next year to see how many times the rule is enforced and how many times it is not, particularly on the throw to second base that gets by.  The common situation for obstruction to be called is in the rundown where assignments are unclear and a player not fielding the ball gets in the way of the runner. 

smcs - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#280126) #
I think that there just aren't that many times where a runner would be obstructed, but still attempt to take the next base. If Craig had gotten up after tripping over Middlebrooks, and stayed at 3B, Joyce still would have called obstruction (he called it when Craig was on the ground (GIF)), but Craig probably would not have been given home plate.
Thomas - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#280127) #

Mike, I'm not sure what watching to see whether obstruction is or is not called on wild throws into centre field next year will reveal about whether Joyce should have called obstruction or not on this play. On many of those plays the runner does not attempt to advance to the next base after possibly being obstructed by the fielder attempting to catch the throw.

If you want to suggest that Joyce wouldn't have awarded Craig home plate if he had fallen over Middlebrooks and immediately dived back to third base, I think that's a reasonable suggestion. That would have been a more controversial decision. 

However, in attempting to score Craig left no doubt in DeMuth's mind that he would have been safe but for the obstruction. If we see a situation where a runner is thrown out at third by a few feet after falling over a prone shortstop who has dove into his basepath attempting to stop a wild throw, then we'll have a comparable situation.

Mike Green - Monday, October 28 2013 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#280128) #
I see that obstruction was called (at least) once this year in a non-rundown situation, although the shortstop pretty much literally sat on the baserunner after attempting to catch a pick-off attempt.  It was labelled "interference" for video purposes.

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