What's Up in Baseball?

Thursday, January 20 2022 @ 07:21 PM EST

Contributed by: John Northey

Things are very quiet with labor issues  hanging over MLB.  So lets start a new area for covering any oddball topics as they are bleeding into the prospects.

With Labor issues things are at a standstill as owners and players wait to see who blinks. What I personally would like but won't happen...
I think that covers a lot of core issues.  I'm sure many will disagree with these, but it is fun to discuss.  My goal is a more fun game (more balls in play, more stolen bases) with players staying with their home team longer.  I loved Molitor as a Jay back in '93 but he was a Brewer and should've stayed that way IMO.  For current players - I hope Mike Trout never leaves Anaheim, Kershaw belongs in LA, Votto with the Reds, Freeman with Atlanta, Longoria being with someone other than Tampa still seems wrong to me.

Hall of Fame....
To be announced on January 25th - only 4 guys have any real shot - via 2022 BBHOF Tracker - Oritz at 83.8%, Bonds 77.5%, Clemens 76.3, Rolen 69.4%.  Two ex-Jays, but few really think of them that way I suspect.
Note: Curt Schilling (drove us nuts in the1993 World Series) dropped badly from over 70% last year to 60.1% so far this year - he asked to be removed from Hall of Fame ballot but was denied.  Seems a lot of writers (23 so far) decided 'fine, he can wait then'.  Another noteworthy one is ex-Jay Omar Vizquel who also has a drastic drop - from 46.4% last year to 11% right now - he has lost 43 votes so far (guys who voted for him last time who didn't this time) without a single gain.  Only 2 other returning players didn't gain a single voter - Andy Pettitte (down 8), and Tori Hunter (down 4).  Everyone returning lost at least one voter from their total, adding the most is a tie at 15 for Billy Wagner (up to 48%) and 15 for Andruw Jones (up to 49.1%) - both also lost voters though or they'd be over 50%.  Right now I'd bet on Ortiz getting in, but no one else.  A-Rod btw is at 41% (skip PED's and he'd be at 90%+ I suspect).

Jays on the ballot: Clemens 76.3% (final year), Rolen 69.4%, Buhrle 5.2%, Kent 30.6%, Vizquel 11%.  Canadian: Justin Morneau 1 vote, Child of ex-Jay: Prince Fielder 0 votes (feeling a bit old - I remember his dad coming up to the Jays in '85).

Trade Talk...
The Athletic had an article talking about the Jays and A's doing a deal where the teams writers discussed a potential deal.  The end was Jays getting Matt Chapman & Sean Manaea for Jordan Groshans, Kevin Smith, Otto Lopez, Bowden Francis, and Zach Logue - the A's writer feels they wouldn't have a spot for Kirk as their top prospect is a catcher as well.  Chapman would certain solve the 3B issue for 2 years, while Manaea is a LHP who would lock down the rotation in 2022, but is a free agent after that.  I could live with this deal.  Certainly would make the Jays the favorites in the AL East this year.

Jays hire a woman as a hitting coach in minors...
Jaime Vieira was hired to be a hitting coach - most likely in Dunedin.  The Athletic has a nice article about it.  As a teen in Georgetown she had to get spinal surgery which killed her softball career so she went into coaching and found she loved it.  Earned a degree in Sports Science with her key being a project analyzing swings and what muscles were used for the strongest swings.   She joined the Jays as an intern at first - always gotta start at the bottom - and as it was ending she applied for this job and got it.  I love the deep analysis she has done in muscles and how they work to improve ones swing.  Hopefully we see some good things in Dunedin this year.

MLB in Montreal...
MLB has said no to having Montreal get a chunk of Tampa's games - Rays owner: MLB nixing Montreal plan 'deflating'.  Sigh.  Hopefully the other rumor, that Montreal & Nashville are the favorites for expansion teams via Bob Nightengale, is true and why this was killed.  Ideally a new labor agreement would include expansion and realignment so the Jays & Expos could be in a division with teams like Detroit instead of sharing with the Yankees/Red Sox/Tampa.  One can dream.

I'm sure there is other baseball news out there.  Lets see everyone's opinions on this stuff and more.