Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
As your bad day disappears
No longer wound up like a string
Before you had too much
Come back in focus again

These 2021 Blue Jays haven't exactly been a jigsaw falling into place, have they. All season long there have been those teasing moments where they seem to be finally putting it all together, usually followed by a few deflating losses that seem almost charming in their inventiveness.

Wait, I meant the opposite of charming.

Yet as it currently stands, this team is still somehow dawdling on the fringes of the wildcard race... though a serious surge forward (like winning 9 of the next 11) probably doesn't even guarantee much. Several remaining games against both the Orioles and Twins gives some pause for hope, but six more games against the infuriating Rays do not. The way I sees it, see... the upcoming A's series is the big one. Gotta at minimum win the series and gain a game, a sweep being ideal and perhaps a little greedy but hey who around here would complain. Besides, time is not on their side (sorry Mick Jagger).

Anyhow, on to my usual random observations...

Top of the Seventh

Up Off The Matz

It's been a wild season for Matz the former Metz pitcher (sorry couldn't resist) and I think the results have been probably better than most of us expected. Despite some mid-season struggles (and basically only pitching twice for a month because of COVID and then the All-Star break) Matz has been a reliable mid/back of the rotation starter. His biggest problems (beyond the dangerous virus of course) have been the Red Sox (1-1, 6.00 in 3 starts, 15 innings), the Astros (1-1, 6.75 in 2 starts, 9.1 innings with 16 hits!) and a disastrous start against the Nationals back in April. His steady August has been well documented, though it is strange how effective he's been while his strikeouts have greatly disappeared in July and August (just 6.5/9, compared to over one per inning every other month). I don't really have any conclusions, and a lot of the lack of August whiffs has to do with only 3 in 12 innings against the Tigers (against whom he was very good... baseball is a funny game).

It'll be interesting to see what his market is like come wintertime. Aside from a bad 2017 and his horrifyingly dreadful 2020, the season he's giving the Blue Jays is pretty close to what he usually is. I sort of figure the team will bring back one of their free agent lefties (ideally Captain Tightpants of course).

Markham Missiles

I think we were all a little concerned after Romano's first few outings of the season (I recall somebody commenting "is it possible we've misjudged this guy a late inning reliever on 14 innings in 2020?"). 3.2 innings with 4 hits and 5 walks surrendered... ain't great.

Since losing that game in Tampa Bay (his only loss of the season), he's walked 15 in 46.1. That's more reasonable. While July was a bit rough on him, in August he was masterful despite seemingly abandoning his slider for the most part (insert spin-rate, sticky stuff comment here). Now it seems Romano is up there just blasting the fastball by everybody, which seems to be working since nobody hits him hard anyway (32.5 hard hit percentage, versus the MLB average of 39.2 %). He still needs to throw the slider occasionally, at least to show batters it exists of course, and he is completely awful/indifferent at holding baserunners... but the Blue Jays may really have something here. Not an upper tier relief type like a Josh Hader, Liam Hendriks or whoever the heck the Yankees are using as a setup man (Loaisiga? Chad Green? Ughhhh damn Yankees)... but I think one positive development this season has been Romano proving he can be "that guy" in the biggest spots.

Plus he's so darn quirky to watch. He seems simultaneously half-awake and super intense... all the weird twisting of his torso he does, the ditched knee bend (which Vlad Jr. famously imitated)... and especially when he had the huge beard and would mutter to himself on the mound as he often does... he seemed less like a baseball player and more like a vagrant who wandered into the wrong building. As close to an automatic 9th inning guy the Blue Jays have had since Ken Giles before the elbow problems (I think he did the bending thing too!) Anyway...

Bo's Glow

The bat hasn't been great lately (you could say that about anybody on this team not named Gurriel or Kirk) but as the season has gone on I do think Bichette has improved defensively. I previously said it was more of a mental thing than a physical tools thing, and he seems to have gotten better at not dropping routine balls or trying to force plays that are not there. It does drive me a bit nuts though that he still loves rushing throws when he actually has an extra split second to at least set or better balance himself... and I'm sure Vlad's increased adeptness at scooping throws has saved Bichette at least half a dozen errors. Regardless, I'm more convinced now than I was in April that he can stay at shortstop at least a while longer, especially if he continues to improve with experience. Is Marcus Semien better over there? Very much so, but I don't think overall it's been enough of a difference to really matter in this particular weird, frustrating season.

Seventh Inning Stretch

Just something completely fun and pointless I've thought about. Since the team has used so many players (especially pitchers) this season, surely there might be some overlap in jersey numbers right? And since I am rather obsessive over that stuff (in my hardball league I scare/astonish people by remembering what numbers they used to wear a decade ago) lets check out those overlaps, and perhaps some other notable notes worthy of notation.

14 -- Tanner Roark, Corey Dickerson

To be honest, I'd completely forgotten Roark even pitched for this team. He wasn't as bad as you think, but after last year and his terrible one starting appearance we were all ready for anybody better. Ah... those truly were more innocent days...

28 -- Jared Hoying, Joakim Soria

Hoying is another guy you would've missed had you blinked for a weekend. Can't even remember why he was around at all (Springer must've still been hurt... was this when Hernandez had COVID also?). Anyway, Hoying is kind of a fun story considering he was playing rec softball like a month earlier or something. I recall his swing being appropriately loopy.

44 -- Rowdy Tellez, Connor Overton

Tellez has cooled in Milwaukee somewhat, but still seems to be getting semi-regular at bats. Between him and Daniel Vogelbach (just off the IL) I dunno about the Brewers first base situation but I'm sure they'd dominate a tag team wrestling match.

52 -- Tayler Saucedo, Brad Hand

I'll write more about Hand later.

54 -- Joel Payamps, Tayler Saucedo

Saucedo is the only guy on the 2021 Blue Jays not just to wear two different numbers, but also share those two numbers with now departed players! Also for some reason, saying Saucedo reminds me of that Phil Collins song (yep, you're welcome for that).

60 -- Ty Tice, Kirby Snead

The really short righty pitcher and the not so short(?) lefty pitcher with serious 70s southern rock hair.

66 -- Patrick Murphy, Kevin Smith

Speaking of pairs, this duo must have the most common names to play for the team (among English names of course). I've met many people named Patrick or with a last name Murphy, and there's already a way more famous Kevin Smith in the world (frankly I'm surprised there haven't been more jokes about that, and I really only like a few of those movies).

As far as notable numbers not worn this season... until Jarrod Dyson came along nobody had borrowed Tony Fernandez's #1 (which... I'd argue maybe should be/should have been retired. This isn't the Leafs pre-2010s and I'm not super huge on "honouring" numbers for great players). #19 remains vacant (I think Alen Hanson was the last to wear it, literary for just a game and people freaked out) as does #20 among players (Luis Rivera wears it, surrendering his old #4 to George Springer). Montoyo wears #25 (Ah Carlos' old number... it does seem fitting Charlie has that one). Nobody has worn #45 or #46 (maybe Baker gets it?) or #53 or #55 (unless it's a coach I'm forgetting about). Even though the team has used 16(!) numbers higher than #55 this season, I'm stopping here. This could genuinely be it's own article if I keep going, and it's time to get back to the show.

Bottom of the Seventh

The Adventures of Teo (And Friends)

Overall, Teoscar Hernandez has had an encouraging year and his development at the plate seems very real. His glove is what it is but the horrific miscues have been less frequent than before.

What is baffling me though are some of his decisions on the basepaths, even just last night on Grichuk's go ahead sac fly. That was way too shallow to advance to third, and just drawing the throw while trying is so risky in case the run doesn't score in time. He must lead the team in rundowns gotten into... he is insane sometimes out there. Now sure, Jose Bautista also ran the bases like he was an Nintendo commando trying to speed run Contra or Super C... but Jose was also an extremely intelligent runner. His hyper-aggressiveness would get the better of him on occasion (and we'd likewise groan), but I'm very confident Bautista was far more of a positive than a negative in that aspect.

Granted, none of the young guys particularly impress me with their baserunning smarts anyway. Gurriel Jr. has some crafty slides but is way slower than you'd expect a guy as lanky as him would be (and I think he tends to overestimate himself). Bichette has gotten better, and Guerrero Jr. usually has the right idea but not really those particular tools to excel at it. Gotta start learning from these mistakes eventually though, especially when by far the best baserunner on the team keeps hurting his ankles, quads and knees.

The Bullpen That Almost Was But Then Wasn't

I'll go one by one here and quickly because... I've got a lot of "swell farewell" to spread.

Brad Hand -- I wish Riley Adams the best of course. Geez though, that did not go well. The rough first appearance, the 4 pitch walkoff walk in Seattle (I honestly in the moment didn't predict he'd do that... I thought Kelenic would poke a blooper the other way. Ah... this season), or basically repaying that money he owed his old Nationals teammates. Someone will throw a minor league deal at Hand I'm sure, lefties always wander the league long past expiry and chances are fruitful... but he'll have to rediscover something (anything!) that actually works.

Rafael Dolis -- I never disliked Dolis as much as many others did (and he was genuinely good last year) but I get how infuriating and not fun he was to watch. I once went to the store around the corner when he started an inning, came back and he'd just gotten his first strike on the second batter (after walking the first, of course). Seems like a guy with stuff moving too much and he had no clue how to throw it for strikes.

Julian Merryweather -- Like everyone, I was seriously impressed for about three minutes. No, I don't think you can rely on him either.

David Phelps -- See Merryweather, except it was more like nine minutes.

Trent Thornton -- Try him again as a starter in AAA? Get cooler glasses? Don't throw so many straight crappy fastballs? Everyone seems to really hate him these days so like many of us, he needs a place to hide for a while.

Tyler Chatwood -- The Giants were much smarter than us and ditched him after two awful games. A reason they're definitely going to the playoffs.

Jacob Barnes -- Well... he's probably glad to not be a Met anymore. I know I'm glad he's not a Blue Jay anymore.

Patrick Murphy -- Kinda wished he'd been better, I liked watching him pitch until he released the ball from his hand.

T.J. Zeuch -- I don't even believe he struck out eight guys this season. Feels like six too many. Future Orioles or Pirates opening day starter T.J. Zeuch.

All right, I've been mean enough. Actually wait, one more target...

The Charlie Problem

Likeable guy? Sure. Seems to have his players play hard for him, even after all the deflating losses and crazy moving around different home stadiums this season? Sure again (and that adversity might just save his job for the winter at least). Does he put his team in the best position to win every night? Yeeeeeeahhh about that.

I'm not going to list off every baffling in-game decision he's made, aside from the Valera for Kirk bunting thing which breaks the spectrum of stupid. Lets agree, he makes some consistently terrible decisions, many that don't make any sense what-so-freaking-ever. Every manager has "his guys" where for whatever reason they play way more than they should, but Valera as an example hasn't really done anything to earn that type of faith at all. He's not a young piece, his switch hitting isn't useful because he can't hit from either side, oh and also he ISN'T A GOOD BUNTER EITHER SO STOP FREAKING ASKING HIM TO DO IT.

I don't want to rant forever, so what frustrates me most is Montoyo repeats the same mistakes over and over again, and frankly oftentimes so does his team. It's hard to conclude whether their success is because of him or in spite of him, we'll never know really (at least for 2021). I know I've seen enough to at least speculate a conclusion though.

Around The League

Playoff races! Excitement! Oh... basically every division is pretty much settled except the NL West, the AL West if you're generous (I'm not) or the awful NL East (the spiraling Mets aren't even completely out of it yet). But wildcards! Okay that's somewhat better.

We've been following/obsessing/lamenting the Blue Jays fading chances fairly constantly, as it seems the two AL Wildcard spots are going to fall to one duo of the threesome A's, Red Sox or Yankees. Gross. The Mariners are still in there too, somehow (ughhhhh), are still ahead of Toronto (double ughhhhhh) and at the very least are positioned to be serious spoilers for someone (they play the A's seven more times, the Red Sox three). They also play the 45-90 Arizona Diamondbacks six times, because everything is great!

The Diamondbacks beat the Padres earlier today, which is good news for my Cincinnati Reds who are tangoing with San Diego for that second NL Wildcard (the first will almost certainly go to whichever of the Dodgers or Giants lose the division). The Reds have hit their stride since a 1-5 run out of the All-Star break which left them at 49-47. They went 22-12 for the next 32 games (much helped by Joey Votto's super cool run of eight home runs in six games) and their offense ranks among the best in most NL categories. As for the Padres, they've lost 14 of their last 19 and while they employ several good everyday players (the electric Tatis Jr, Machado, Cronenworth, outfielder Trent Grisham), some middling offensive performance from supporting pieces like Ha-Seong Kim, catcher Victor Caratini (playing for the often injured Austin Nola) and deadline pickup Adam Frazier (who has been completely terrible) have brought the Padres overall offensive production closer to middle of the pack than top of the shop.

San Diego has the far superior bullpen (the Reds pen has been arguably worse than the Blue Jays... they'd pillage for a Jordan Romano, hell even a Trent Thornton) but the Padres rotation is fairly thin behind Joe Musgrove (he's been real good), Yu Darvish and an improving Blake Snell. The Reds have sorted out Luis Castillo, still have Sonny Gray, Wade Miley's ERA is miraculously still hovering near 3, Tyler Mahle might be the best NL Central starter you know nothing about and mid-season callup Vladimir Gutierrez has given Cincinnati almost 100 very effective innings.

The two teams don't play each other again, although the Cardinals are sneaking back into the picture just 2.5 back as well (they always find a way...) and both the Reds and Padres have one more series with them apiece. All this just for a chance to play one game and get stomped by the Dodgers!

Perhaps... but it could also be the Giants and they're way more beatable right? Not positive about that one... they're an excellent team in their own right, with all these veteran players continuing to combine harmoniously for career years in their early-mid 30s. San Francisco has a bunch of position players that Gabe Kapler can mix and switch around, while Kevin Gausman or Logan Webb have been stellar enough that even your elite offense or explosive young stars might not have a fun time in a one game take all.

It's exciting stuff, a fun part of the year and just as long as the dumb St. Louis Cardinals don't do their Cardinals thing and sneak past both the Reds and fun Padres... should be quite a race. See ya all next time soon, hopefully some big wins put the Bluebirds within similar conversations.  

Off Day Blues Vol. 7 | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#406085) #
Good stuff Eephus.

I was watching Bo make some plays last night and I thought he has really settled down at short, as you write. It was back in April and May that some were suggesting he and Semien trade places.

Also, good comments on Romano. I think his deep set eyes give him the intense look, plus he seems to be in a trance of sorts when he is on the mound. Closers are a different breed.
Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#406087) #
When Bichette was coming up, a lot of people assumed he wouldn't be able to stay at short, that he'd have to move to second base. This is usually what people say when a player's arm isn't strong enough for shortstop. So it was for Roberto Alomar, so it was for Russ Adams (which didn't stop the Ricciardi Jays from playing him there anyway.) I figured they must be thinking the same thing about Bichette.

But Bichette definitely has enough arm for shortstop. He makes overly aggressive young player mistakes, but he'll grow out of that. What were they worried about? I ask in all humility!
uglyone - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#406089) #
As always for my own amusement.....

Batting order via 2yr stats:

1. CF Springer .272babip, 149wrc+
2. 1B Guerrero .306babip, 151wrc+
3. RF Teoscar .357babip, 131wrc+
4. C Kirk .296babip, 120wrc+
5. 2B Semien .281babip, 119wrc+
6. SS Bichette .333babip, 116wrc+
7. LF Gurriel .32ebabip, 111wrc+
8. 3B Biggio .294babip, 102wrc+
9. DH Dickerson .304babip, 99wrc+

B. IF Espinal .338babip, 96wrc+
B. OF Grichuk .275babip, 95wrc+
B. C Jansen .195babip, 79wrc+
B. OF Polanco .240babip, 62wrc+

X. C McGuire .291babip, 64wrc+
X. IF Smith .143babip, 49wrc+
X. IF Valera .239babip, 45wrc+
X. OF Palacios .280babip, 44wrc+
X. OF Dyson .265babip, 41wrc+

And by projections:

1. CF Springer 134
2. 1B Guerrero 147
3. 2B Semien 119
4. SS Bichette 118
5. RF Teoscar 115
6. C Kirk 113
7. LF Gurriel 106
8. DH Dickerson 103
9. 3B Biggio 100

B. OF Grichuk 100
B. C Jansen 97
B. IF Valera 92
B. IF Espinal 82

X. IF Smith 82
X. OF Polanco 82
X. C McGuire 79
X. OF Palacios 74
X. OF Dyson 64
Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#406091) #
I recall somebody commenting "is it possible we've misjudged this guy..."

I'm pretty sure that was me!
Petey Baseball - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#406093) #
Great job as always, Eephus.
Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#406094) #
Just boggled by the fact that our manager thinks Valera is the guy you pinch hit WITH and not the guy you pinch hit FOR.

Even more boggling is the grim truth that Valera has been one of the team's better pinch hitters.

Pinch hitting is not one of the strengths of the 2021 Jays. How bad has it been? Very bad indeed:

    AB    H    HR    RBI    BAVG             
Corey Dickerson     3    2    0    1    0.667
Alejandro Kirk    5    3    0    2    0.600
Reese McGuire     6    2    0    0    0.333
Breyvic Valera     6    2    0    0    0.333
Santiago Espinal   11    2    0    0    0.182
Rowdy Tellez     12    2    0    0    0.167
Joe Panik     7    0    0    0    0.000
Riley Adams    4    0    0    0    0.000
Randal Grichuk    4    0    0    0    0.000
Lourdes Gurriel     3    0    0    0    0.000
Danny Jansen    3    0    0    0    0.000
Cavan Biggio     2    0    0    0    0.000
Jonathan Davis     2    0    0    0    0.000
Teoscar Hernandez   1    0    0    0    0.000
Jared Hoying     1    0    0    0    0.000
Otto Lopez    1    0    0    0    0.000
Josh Palacios     1    0    0    0    0.000
Kevin Smith    1    0    0    0    0.000
It's a tough job and all, but yikes.
Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#406105) #
You may be wondering why on earth Jonathan Davis was pinch-hitting (I know I was.) On one occasion, it was the ninth inning and the Jays were ahead 11-2; on the other it was the bottom of the eighth and they had a 10-1 lead.
grjas - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#406111) #
ď he seemed less like a baseball player and more like a vagrant who wandered into the wrong building. Ē

My laugh for the day. Thx. One more reason he Ďs fun to watch.
Nigel - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#406112) #
That was an excellent read. Thank you.

On the baserunning, I agree that Hernandez and Gurriel make some really head scratching decisions. I actually think that Bo and Vladdy are both excellent baserunners (from a decision making perspective - Vladdy in particular).

On the Charlie problem, I can't decide whether the team is reflective of Charlie or that my perception of Charlie is based on the team's performance. Both are possible and the likely answer is a bit of both. The fact that he's a nice guy and his team seems generally enthused and well prepared to play shouldn't be undersold - that's all part of a manager's job that we can't see. It's also important, at least one manager (with one M mind you:)) in Jays' history got run out of town by the players for being a particularly difficult guy to be around. But Charlie (and the team) remind me of the guy in an industrial control room who, when the alarm goes off, starts flipping every switch he can think of without regard to consequence. It smells of panic and being out of control when a cooler head would be far better. Someone on yesterday's thread said it was overmanaging and that's a fair comment too. I suspect he survives to manage again next year but I think it will be a close call.
scottt - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#406114) #
I'll start with the "Likeable" epithet which I find problematic.
It seems to follow some sort of "I'm not racist" trope.

Charlie Montoyo is not likeable.
He's an annoying little guy.
John Gibbons was likeable--which is why he was not replaced on the spot.
He had no major league coaching experience when he was lifted from the Metz.
He got hired as a bullpen catcher and then as a first base coach--because he was an old roommate of

He seemed to  make decisions based solely on his judgment.
He did not understand new trends like shifting or old trends for that matter.
He lost the club house on several occasion.
He got into physical fights with some of his players and he could not get the best team in baseball to the World Series.

Montoyo won several championship in the Rays organization.
He coached in the World Baseball Classics and the Futures Games.
He won International Manager of the Year twice.
He was nominated for Manager of the Year last year.
He's well versed in all the latest strategies of the game.
He's experienced in player development.
He's bilingual.
And he's not likeable.
His job is not to make you happy.

The "Charlie problem" is a "Toronto Fan Problem".
scottt - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#406115) #
Valera is a replacement player. He's here because both the regular, Biggio, and the utility player, Espinal are injured.
What's the alternative? Otto Lopez has played a handful of games at 3B back in 2017 and he wasn't very good there.
Could Smith start every day?
Smith has looked totally overmatched.
He's hitting .130 while striking out 30% of the time.
Smith has power, but has a history of not being able to make adjustments.
I'm sure they're working with him while he's sharing the spot with Valera.
Valera is hitting .224. That's not great, but that's serviceable in the 9th spot.
They just need him to get on base and give the top of the lineup a chance.
Should he bunt?
Valera strikes out at a career 12% but only 6% so far this year.
What he doesn't do is hit fly balls. (17%)
So while Smith is likely to strike out or hit a fly ball, Valera is likely to hit a ground ball or a liner.
If nothing else, bunting keeps him out of the double play and the top of the lineup gets a chance with runners on base.

WPA suggest that having Valera in the lineup changes the odds of winning by 0.0% while having Smith there is negative -0.2%.

The real problem is that the guys at the top of the lineup are hitting .266 (Springer) and .267 (Semien).
So, focusing on turning the lineup has not been working lately.

Kasi - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#406116) #
Canít really argue with the last two posts. My only real issue here is how this team doesnít seem to adjust but I waffle on where to put the blame. Most on field usage things seem to come down to results based thinking and itís not like most of the time there have been a lot of good options.
scottt - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#406117) #
Watching the Boston-Tampa on Bally Sports Sun?
It's even more frustrating than watching the Jays game.
McClanahan is not fooling many people tonight.
Bad off day with Oakland winning already.

John Northey - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#406118) #
An FYI: the owners sent a proposal to the players and they didn't like it much it seems. Free agency at age 29 1/2 for everyone, a $1 billion pool to be distributed to arbitration eligible players (tied to revenue for the future), the luxury tax set at $180 mil, with a minimum of $100 mil for payrolls.

Some interesting things there. The players, imo, should come back with an age 25.5 for full free agency, with a goal of somewhere inbetween - perhaps an age 27 for guys signed out of high school/IFA, age 29 for college kids. A pool with automatic payments to players based on service time and some accepted measure of value would be good for guys before those magic ages (be it WAR from one of the sites, or some other measure of value). I love the idea of getting away from service time for free agency as then I bet Vlad would've been up at 19 and maybe would've gotten fitter before 2020 instead of 2021. Who knows? I miss seeing prospects called up in September to get their feet wet - I also would love to see the September rosters being larger (30-35) so space is there for those kids or have a traveling bench squad or something and only activate 26 per game ala hockey.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#406119) #
A roster of minimum contracts effectively makes the payroll floor roughly $15 million. Jeff Passan was on the radio yesterday and he made the observation that a sizeable floor would inevitably lead to a cap. I tend to agree. (Salary caps are bad.)
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#406120) #
Detroit has done Toronto no favours. Too bad, I was down for some Baddoo-bie Brothers tunes!
bpoz - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#406121) #
Thanks Eephus.

The pen is a glaring problem. Atkins has said it is his top priority for the off season I believe. It will be interesting how he approaches solving this problem.

uglyone - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#406123) #
"(Salary caps are bad.)"

Counterpoint - salary caps are good, for players and owners.
Magpie - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#406125) #
salary caps are good, for players

Naturally, I am keen to hear why the players should be happy to have their salaries abitrarily suppressed.
uglyone - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#406126) #
Because a cap will actually increase most player salaries.
uglyone - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#406127) #
Last time I checked, MLB players earn a lower share of league revenue than the players on the capped leagues.

What's worse - while under a cap arrangement the owners' books get opened for an honest accounting of revenue, in MLB we can only rely on unreliable estimates or self-reporting by owners (like the jays' laughable self-reporting fudging the TV figures).
85bluejay - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#406128) #
I don't think you can make a blanket statement - it depends on what the floor and ceiling cap numbers are - I'd like to see it based on some percentage of revenue.
92-93 - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#406129) #
What the heck are you getting at, scottt? That Jays fans who don't like Montoyo as a manager are racists? Because that is absolutely absurd.

John Gibbons was likeable for many (most?), while John Farrell was not. Montoyo is quite likeable too, and a terrible tactician. Not everything is about race.
Nigel - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#406130) #
Agree - you can't make a blanket statement about the collective benefit or not to the players or owners in a salary cap world. Even more specifically as to the players, the history in other sports is that there are usually classes of players that are winners and classes of players that are losers in a salary cap world. Each sport is different of course depending on the strength of each class within the players union.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#406131) #
At least, cap systems should be less restrictive. Teams look for loopholes to exploit. Instead of encouraging that, add creative market options if owners are willing to spend.
grjas - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#406132) #
Despite the frustration of August, it is nice to have meaningful games being played in September which hasnít happened all that often in the last 30 years. Now a wipeout weekend would sink that ship pretty quickly, but hopefully they can, at the very least, stay competitive for a spot long into the month.
John Northey - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#406133) #
The reasons for players in MLB getting a lower estimated percentage of revenues (due to MLB not opening their books it is hard to know for sure) is because of very poor negotiating by the players union. Under Miller they were strong, under Fehr they were reasonably smart, under their current guy they are taken to the cleaners. Last negotiation they barely budged the minimum salary which helps the most players while not addressing the bigger issues (arbitration, free agency, luxury tax level - it should be much, much higher than it is as right now it clearly is limiting multiple teams but when it was created it was the Yankee tax as they were the only team in danger of hitting it).

No question the union needs better leadership. They should be pushing to get rid of the luxury tax or at least moving it up to $250 mil or something like that. They need to increase the minimum salary drastically (at least to $1 mil) and push for either larger rosters or 2 more teams - more jobs for players. I'm still in shock the owners went to 26 man rosters (equivalent of adding another team) without demanding serious concessions from players. Right now with the pathetic leadership the players have a salary cap based on league revenue might be best - at least then they'd know how much they are getting. As a person who loves free enterprise though I hate the idea. Teams should be able to jump payroll in contending years, drop in non-contending. Sadly too many drop in non-contending and keep it down after.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#406137) #
Eastern Time

7:07 - Oakland (Sean Manaea) vs. Toronto (Alek Manoah)
7:05 - Baltimore (John Means) vs. NY Yankees (Nestor Cortes Jr.)
7:10 - Cleveland (Cal Quantrill) vs. Boston (Nathan Eovaldi)
7:10 - Detroit (Tyler Alexander) vs. Cincinnati (Vladimir Gutierrez)
9:40 - Seattle (TBA) vs. Arizona (Madison Bumgarner)
9:45 - LA Dodgers (David Price) vs. San Francisco (TBA)
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#406138) #
Considering the Jays were life and death to beat a crappy Baltimore team, I'm kind of apprehensive about the upcoming games against Oakland and the Yankees.
jerjapan - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#406142) #
Great post John.  I think part of the problem is that the players union has sort of lost sight of the moral purpose of unions - that better leadership you talk about comes from a moral purpose, and if the MLB guys keep selling out their minor league brethren, they lose that?  What do you think? 

These aren't the days of Curt Flood, that's for sure.     
greenfrog - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#406143) #
The Jays are going to need Springer to hit well in September if theyíre to have any hope of staying in the race.

Itís kind of crazy that we have Grichuk on a five-year contract and Ray and Semien on one-year contracts (with Rayís AAV significantly less than Grichukís). The former has 0.5 WAR in almost 500 PA while the latter are Cy Young and MVP shortlist candidates.
Nigel - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#406144) #
You have to be very careful in labeling the current CA as the result of "poor negotiating" by the union. Just like a capped system, the current system benefits some classes of union membership and hurts others. There is a group of players who would view the current CA as an excellent contract that has benefitted them in a manner that other structures wouldn't to the same degree. Those players and, more importantly, their agents may well have provided the direction for the settlement of the previous contract. Maybe it is the result of poor negotiating, I don't know? My only point is that all systems generally benefit some elements of the membership at the cost of impacts to other groups.
uglyone - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#406147) #
Eh, negotiating skill aside, a cap has the benefit of getting players a larger share of revenue AND being just flat out fair - and fixes owner costs as a percentage which is a huge boon to franchise values, league health, and resulting even greater revenue for everyone to share in.
jerjapan - Friday, September 03 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#406149) #
except the minor leaguers
John Northey - Saturday, September 04 2021 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#406232) #
The problem for minor leaguers is they aren't part of the union, or of any union thus are 100% at the mercy of MLB owners who don't care. Sad really - I think teams would be well served to give their minor leaguers better stability (say, a hotel type place to live during the season where they would be close to each other rather than hunting for rentals that they lose when they are promoted, then having to dump the place if promoted/demoted) and better food and training (proper training makes a world of difference - just look at Olympic athletes).
bpoz - Saturday, September 04 2021 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#406237) #
Excellent point John N.
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