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I just couldn't let this horrible finale settle without writing something quick... call it a funeral wake-take, if you will.

(shoutout to poster mathesond for inspiring the title and likewise reminding me how damn damn good that album is.)

The upcoming days after a franchise shaking catastrophic loss will not be ripe with takes for the timid. Plenty of headlines will surely flash organizational questions, roster construction guessing, trade deadline "what-ifs", or devolve into rudimentary conjecture how this 2022 Blue Jays team lacked the necessary grit, determination or intangible "whatevers" to succeed in the postseason. "They have too much fun!" "They don't take things seriously!" "Where's the heart?" "Why is your strawman asking questions constantly?" The only thing correct in any of those sentiments is how they got clowned in two straight games, at home, by a team that hadn't made the postseason since they employed John freaking Olerud fergawdsake. I'll get somewhat into that type of stuff later. For now... in the midst of my horrible, crushingly deep heartbreak I will attempt a brief objective overview of the 2022 Toronto Blue Jays.

Speaking of crushing! 2021! Yep, positive vibes here are not off to a good start.

A lot of this misfire is explained there, though. Missing the playoffs by a single game (never ever root for the Washington Nationals is the ultimate lesson) did seem to give the team an offseason attitude resembling "we've got something to prove now, watch the hell out", both from the players and the front office. Not to mention the huge boost playing in Toronto at long last late in that season, after multiple years of COVID restrictions, appeared to ignite those lads. It was a great source for optimism after such a last second defeat, with Vlad's now infamous quote surely fueling those sentiments. It wasn't a matter of desire, these dudes truly wanted to show us something special... and the high ambition of said untamed desire may have arguably been their very downfall. Feeling better already, eh. Eh? Yeah me neither.

I'll keep sorta trying.   

Many pointy darts will be haphazardly thrown at Ross Atkins in the upcoming months and some of them are richly deserved (his obtuseness towards glaring roster issues for one), but the big moves of the winter pre-lockout and post are not that bullseye. His 2021 team lost the Cy Young winner and a Top 3 MVP position player, and yet found a way to replace them with a better/more consistent pitcher and an absurdly elite defender at another glaring key infield position. Kikuchi clearly didn't work out as a fifth starter (no kidding) although I continue to like Drew Fairservice's idea of him becoming our modern version of Andrew Miller eventually. That would work for me. Regardless, overall the team did a good job to at least attempt replacing what they had lost... and mostly succeeded.

There was also that lockout thing that kinda happened for a while there. Remember that? No lie, considering the way it was looking, I was ready to walk away from MLB baseball as a fan and (very occasional) writer of the sport. I love the game dearly but the constant tinkering of MLB in their stubborn attempts to make it more commercially appealing, irritates me endlessly. Get off my lawn! Old man yells at cloud! And I'm not even old... but anyhow, I was very turned away by all of the winter *expletive* nonsense happening and was very ready just to not care at all about MLB in 2022... instead just focusing entirely on playing for my own local teams.

Then, they got a deal done! And... bingo. They reeled me back in. Almost instantly, too. It was surely helped by how these Blue Jays looked so exciting... chomping at the bit to take the league by storm, aided by their new replacements and additions. The night the season started, I was extremely sick and had to call in for my shift. I was okay enough to sorta watch from my couch and quickly witnessed a 7-0 deficit unfold, which wasn't encouraging. Then... these April Blue Jays rallied back to win the freaking game, and convincingly so. The Vlad Jr. promise seemed to be true... this team was real.

Obviously, we now know that it wasn't. Charlie Montoyo had to walk the plank after an especially dour team performance on the west coast, and while John Schneider clearly was able to awaken "something"... this team fell well, well short of the goal it had so clearly and loudly boasted for itself early in the Spring. There was some fun along the way as they fought and clinched their playoff spot, but alas those moments rarely linger. We all know the various frustrations that come from so intently watching even the very best over a hundred games... where even an android like Matt Chapman will make a tiny bundle of errors a season... but this 2022 Jays team sure made more than plenty of memorably fundamental mistakes to gloom upon their historical reputation. Perhaps those bungles didn't really matter in the overall picture of the conclusion, but it sure will shade the perception of a squad that disappointed in spectacularly tragic fashion.

In true realism, the 2022 Blue Jays lost because... they lost. That's it. That's all. It's baseball.

Baseball is nasty, unforgiving and cruel. It f***ing happens. My hardball team blew a comfy 8-1 lead in our elimination playoff and got walked off 10-9, on my birthday no less. Yep.... which is why I'm drunk while writing this godsmnasssdfljit Ihatesssbasebsmall FIVE DOLLARS GET OUTTSHERE

Was the season a success? Some may argue 'yes'. They made the playoffs! It's better than the Riccardi years! (sorry for the sarcasm, Mags). Honestly, in my opinion... hell no was this a success. You fell well short of your publicly boasted goals and got totally embarrassed in the postseason, like Grandpa Simpson when his pants keep falling down. To be honest, I would've said it was a success (slight) if they got swept in Seattle but both games were competitive... instead of whatever the **** that was. Now you're the team that let that happen to you. It might not be fair, but it's on the resume now. It can't be waved off like a dollar store Jedi mind trick. 

Better baseball writers than I (and there are surely countless) will perhaps ponder if this Jays team was lacking "it"... although what is "it" exactly? The will to win? A knack in key moments? That gritty leadership to keep everything together? I've played on enough teams to know talent isn't everything... often times true championship chemistry leans on that high end talent but also involves a certain and precise mix of people at the right time to achieve the ultimate goal (and I do suspect the Jays will soon shake up that mix). But also... who the hell knows. I definitely don't. Neither do the Blue Jays, or If particular batted balls hit a different fraction off a bat... neither do the Mariners. Which is what makes this sad loss hardest for me.... JP Crawford's batted ball hangs a half second more in the air... or if there was only one out on that play... different game, different conversation perhaps.

This game is cruel, man. It picks few favourites, and delights in the hearts it rips from chests. Yet, we continue to return to it. Patrons blindly desiring a convoy towards fire. I hope to see you all there in the flames again soon, once my burnt heart rebuilds itself yet again...

Trigger Cut/Wounded-Kite at :22 | 37 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#423572) #
To soon.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#423573) #
Bart Simpson once said that showbusiness is a hideous bitch-goddess.

I guess the same thing can be said about baseball.

Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#423575) #
All dressed up in my Frances Farmer Hallowe'en costume.
Nigel - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#423579) #
Crap does happen and the best team often loses. But your warts are always always exposed. No team ever gets a free pass. The choices a team makes are always tested. It’s why I love baseball so much.
uglyone - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#423583) #
It's hard to blame bad luck when names like Castillo, Bass, Tapia played such key roles.

There were choices made.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#423584) #
Pretty disappointed after the tease. If we'd fallen behind 1-0 early and it stayed that way, it would have been understandable. This mess of a comeback, 2 or 3 almost-caught balls, crazy ball-strike-check swing calls by the umpires, etc..

For now, all I can say is "Go Leafs Go" and hopefully management will smarten up in the offseason.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#423585) #
My thoughts on the post-season and season in brief, with more to follow at the end of the week. First, the post-season:

- both Manoah and Schneider were jumpy, leading to some bad decisions; they both get passes from me due to inexperience
- some of the run prevention issues that plagued the club during the season bit them again during the playoffs
- the offense was very good, but not quite as good as I expected; adaptation to the lower run-scoring environment was a challenge during the season and we saw evidence of it again Game 1
- they were the better club of the two, but would not have been facing the Astros. That isn't good enough.

I don't draw any particular lessons from the post-season, save for those visible already from the season.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#423592) #
Next the season:

- on the run prevention side, the pitching was a disappointment despite Manoah, Gausman and Stripling being excellent, and the bullpen being absolutely fine (I don't agree with the criticisms here and attribute the post-season collapse in Game 2 to Schneider's uncharacteristically bad decisions). The #4-#7 starters were terrible and that is on the FO and Pete Walker.
- the positioning of both infield and outfield was overdone, and I think that it didn't help the confidence of pitchers who were struggling. Kikuchi and White are both better than they showed
- Pete Walker didn't have a good year, for whatever reason. You would have thought that he might have been a moderating influence on Schneider during the post-season but he wasn't. And of course, he bears some responsibility for the underperformance of the staff this year (as he received credit when they had better years previously)
- on offense, there's a fine line between confidence/swagger and arrogance. Arrogance doesn't help and prevents necessary adaptation to changed circumstances. Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen are examples of players on the right side of the line. Not everyone needs to be able to bunt and hit-and-run, but more players do. If you stop learning, you stagnate.
- and yes, they do need an effective left-handed bat in the lineup and Raimel Tapia is not that; Addison Barger might be one but the club should get somebody in the off-season (there's no harm in having Barger, Biggio and a left-handed hitting outfielder who can hit on your roster)
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#423595) #
"It's hard to blame bad luck when names like Castillo, Bass, Tapia played such key roles.

There were choices made."

It's not bad luck. It's reality when you have an offence built around big game duds like Vladdy who don't deliver.

Mike,the Jays need to aim higher. This team needs a LHB good enough to hit top 4 in the line up. Nimmo would be at the bottom of a list of LHH if I was GM.
Eephus - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#423596) #
Bart Simpson once said that showbusiness is a hideous bitch-goddess.

I guess the same thing can be said about baseball.

Seems quite fitting. Yesterday's game was indeed the embodiment of Ralph Wiggum's heart slowly being ripped in two.

I'm not particularly interested where the team goes from here at the current moment. They've got some big decisions to make, the pressure will be seriously on, and we'll cross those streets once they come. Whether those decisions will be the correct ones... I find myself not entirely confident in that. Mike's point about the confidence/arrogance line is a good one: you can have swagger no doubt (and this team sure had an abundance) but when the real big moments hit, all the boasting or swagger in the world won't do you a lick of good. We've now seen Exhibit A of that.

As for the rest of the playoffs... for the second year in a row I'm feeling a very hard "meh". With Toronto excised from the party so soon, I guess my other rooting interest would've been the Cardinals (which is blasphemy for me as a Reds fan... what a fun year that was) just for Yadier Molina and Pujols to have one last hurrah... but they're out too so I guess not. Cleveland? Ewww. Houston? Don't feel good about that one. Seattle? Get lost. Dodgers? Too easy. Hard spiritual "no" to the Yankees, Atlanta and the Phillies. Am I really going to have to root for the winner of Mets-Padres? Geezus... at least the Raptors start soon.   

Paul D - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#423597) #
While I agree that I left handed hitter would be nice, the Jays had one of the best offences in baseball. Focusing on the hitting side this offseason would be a serious mistake
bpoz - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#423598) #
The 40 man roster is 43 with 3 on the 60 day IL. Ryu, Saucedo and Capra. Phelps is a FA.

8 players should be removed to bring it to 35 IMO. Zimmer, JBJ, Phelps and Lawrence are 4 that are probably removed. There are many that have questionable value because they are no longer prospects IMO and should be easily replaceable by similar players that don't need a 40 man spot.

What can Hatch, Kay and Thornton do? Keep 1 RH & 1 LH. M White & T Saucedo can stay because they have had some recent success in mop up roles. Ryu goes back on the 60 day IP when he can (ST I suppose).

Zulueta & Barger could be ready for a promotion after some time in AAA. Barger seems to be way ahead of all the other impact position players. I also add Orelvis and Gabriel Martinez. Orvelis had his well documented issues. Gabriel dominated A & A+ so he should get to AA soon. But both Martinez prospects cannot hit at the ML level now so would they really be picked in the rule 5 draft?
Petey Baseball - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#423599) #
I need a break. See you all in spring training. With the new rule changes and schedule balancing it's a breath of fresh air into the league and the game as a whole.
grjas - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#423603) #
We’ll said Petey. I’m tired of the players’ hype, dancing and swagger, Atkinsk constant take that everything’s exceptional and then seeing the worst at home collapse in baseball playoff history. Also tired of TO sports fans always blaming the hated suits every time a team loses instead of the ones making big bucks playing a kids game.

Maybe new rules will bring the fun back. We’ll see.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#423604) #
While I agree that I left handed hitter would be nice, the Jays had one of the best offences in baseball. Focusing on the hitting side this offseason would be a serious mistake

Some would say, if you're already one of the best, that's the area to focus on so it becomes the clear #1. I.e. Adding an elite hitter in place of Tapia (since Gurriel / Hernandez / Springer seem to get hurt for significant stretches every year) would make this a longer-sequence offense that could easily score 50-100 more runs.

But that's if there are no glaring holes on the pitching side, and we have those too.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#423606) #
Best offense in baseball during the regular season is not what we are saying needs to be addressed. They need a left handed hitter for the playoffs or during the season against very good bullpens and starters. They sucked then.

Watch what Houston does to Castillo next week with their LHH and you will see what Toronto is missing. If the Jays can’t get someone like Tucker or Alvarez then there isn’t much point.
bpoz - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#423618) #
Good point dalimon5.
John Northey - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#423621) #
The 40 man will have lots of tough choices I'm sure, but really if a guy is marginal for the 40 man odds are he isn't going to be a big help with obvious exceptions (Romano was one, and the Jays used to do really well in the pre-analytics days on rule 5's). 
So a quick summary of marginal guys....
Easily replaced: Casey Lawrence
Free agent: Ross Stripling, David Phelps (probably retiring), Jackie Bradley Jr.
Out of options and unlikely to make the big team so why not dump now: Julian Merryweather, Nate Pearson (not likely to be dumped, but is getting closer)

So there are 11-12 slots that can be cleared (from the 43 in use including 60 day IL guys) at minimal risk to the Jays.  I don't believe they'll dump Pearson but he certainly is on the edge right now.  The rule for newbies is 5 years after being drafted/signed if they are 18 or younger when signed, 19 or older is 4 years. So I think that means guys from the 2018 draft (high schoolers) and 2019 (college) are now needing to be added.  2018 has nothing much (Adam Kloffenstein? Not that good though) outside of Addison Barger IMO.  2019's college kids include Tanner Morris but not much else that jumps out at me (well, Alek Manoah of course but he is on the roster obviously).  I'm certain I'm missing some obvious guys that need to be added.  2020 messed up a lot of guys and makes it a lot harder on teams I'm sure.

Smithers - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#423622) #
Just wanted to chime in with a few of my thoughts on the playoffs and season in general.  If nothing else, this year's Jays were able to recaptivate my interest in their exploits.  I'd say that for the first time in more than  5 years I watched more than half of the games.  Manoah, Bo, Vladdy, Lourdes and Teoscar are just a likeable bunch who seem to have genuine affection for each other and more often than not it made for great TV.  Having Dan Shulman call most games was a pleasure, having the team back in Toronto with new field -access cameras, Hazel Mae and the post-win ice buckets made it seem like there was a greater connection to the players than I recall in years past.  Compared to most MLB cities, Toronto seems like a market that shouldn't have a hard time retaining its own top-end home grown stars as well as attracting more high-end free agent talent - even the odd Boras client.

As for the quick flameout in the wild card round, count me amongst those who prefer my teams to get eliminated in this manner.  As a born and raised Vancouver Canucks fan I've had the misfortune of following three long playoff runs in my time that ended in the Stanley Cup finals.  Losing in game 7 of the finals like 1994 and 2010 hurts like a sonofabitch and is especially disheartening, in case any Leafs fans around here were curious.  Give me two in the head instead of the potentially 10 in the chest (max number of losses the new MLB playoff format offers a team in a single postseason). 

As for the manager, despite the follies yesterday I fully expect the interim label to be removed and John Schneider to be back in charge next season with a slightly reworked staff.  Dude just looks like a manager out there and seems to command the respect of the team, many of whom grew up in the system with him.   Wouldn't be great optics and probably have more than a few pissed players if he was let go after dedicating 20 years to the organization.

There's got to be some roster churn this offseason - I suspect it will be more minor than major, and accompany another modest bump in the payroll.  If Moreno can be turned into a lefty power-hitting CF or a front line starter who can consistently throw triple digits,  I'd be okay with trading him and ending the three catcher experiment.  Otherwise, keep all of them and use Moreno as a super-utility C/3B/LF/2B.  Not the worst way to break him in to the majors gently, my dream is he'll become a sort of Tony Phillips v2.0 that also plays catcher.  I liked the versatility of lots of the Jays this year, just wish that instead of JBJ, Zimmer and Tapia we had Aaron Judge out there hitting 62.  That would have made all the difference this season in my mind (or at least my daydreams).

I too am looking forward to the onset of the pitch clock, limiting shifts and the promise of faster games.  I don't know how it'll all shake out at the start with the limits on throws to first and stepping out of the box, probably lots of automatic balls and strikes getting added to counts in April.  I like the thought of stolen bases returning to prominence in the game too.  It will at least limit my judicious use of the 30 second skip button while watching the games this year, Kikuchi for one sure seemed to drag innings out on the mound when he was a starter.  If Stripling has pitched his last game in blue, the thing I'll miss most is his efficiency.  More Mark Buehrle clones please! 

For 2023 I'm looking forward to seeing the new renovations at the Skydome.   I still feel Rogers is a terrible owner and I've found their handling of the TV rights has been especially irksome over the years.  From petty things like SN1 debuting midseason years ago, to never properly reimbursing the team in their corporate accounting shell game, a team owned by an individual rather than a business just wouldn't have to go thru these same hoops.  If we have the richest owners with the highest TV viewership of any team (on a network with the same owner), there's no reason we can't spend like the Mets, Dodgers and Yankees.

Bring on spring training!  Until then I'll have the Jays in 30 on my PVR of that one Friday evening post-ASG when the most magical beatdown went down in Beantown.   That's how I prefer to remember the Jays 2022 season.
bpoz - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#423623) #
Well said and sensible Smithers.
electric carrot - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#423624) #
I more or less agree entirely with Smithers. This team is more fun than many in a long time I think. I don't understand the recalcitrant attitude towards Vlad in particular. He had an off year for him and like all here I would love for him to regain his pitch selection discipline. Aside from that -- keep celebrating man! Celebrate your exploits and your life! You're young and you'll never be 24 again. Don't let the grumpy old men get you down Vlad!

I think this team does need to mature a little with their play on the field -- pitching discipline chief among them. But I will note that the defense from Vlad and a few of the other young turks actually got better. So let's hope for a similar step forward on the pitch selection side. It seems possible and in Vlad's case was actually a big feature of his game last year.

Aside from that in the offseason -- we need starters -- really really good starters; middle of the pack starters; spot starters; #4 or 5 level starters. Atkins, get us more starters! The bullpen will be a lot better once we have great starters -- and the hitting and defense only needs to mature more. And like the rest of us the team will be exactly one year older this time next year. That should do the job.

Magpie - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#423629) #
Well said and sensible Smithers.

Indeed. Mind you, the older one gets - and I'm really old - the easier it is to let it go and move on. By midnight, I was done with baseball and getting ready for the Japanese Grand Prix. And the Leafs start their season on Wednesday, and if I can look forward to that I have obviously reached a state of equanimity that the rest of you can only envy.

It was not always thus. I was about the same age as Eephus back in October 1987, although I was somewhat distracted by developments on the home front at that very moment. But I surely do remember 1985. I don't remember anger, just a sort of numb, shell-shocked disbelief. We're not going to the World Series? Why? Why?
Mike Green - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#423631) #
I'll see your equanimity towards the Leafs and raise it to benign indifference, Magpie.

Say this for Anthopoulos- he did pretty well last year at the deadline too.
Magpie - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#423634) #
Benign indifference, I submit, is cheating! You still have to care! Emotional investment without actual consequences is the whole point of being a sports fan.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#423641) #
It's a feeling, Magpie, not a choice. And a long-standing one. As the great Levi Stubbs sang, I can't help myself.

The Leafs lost my interest a long time ago. But baseball, well it's going strong in the 7th decade and I don't think that's going to change.
Magpie - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#423643) #
The Leafs lost my interest a long time ago.

To tell you the truth, hockey lost my interest a long time ago, the game itself, completely. It's only come back these last few years. An exciting hometown team probably helped. But it was also the one sport I was actually fairly good at in my youth, and it pleases me that I can enjoy it again.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#423646) #
I was pretty awful. Goal line, blue line, red line- I tripped over them all. It's a wonder that they didn't strip me of my citizenship.
Magpie - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#423647) #
Well, I wasn't much better until I put on the big pads, grabbed the big stick, and stopped skating around the rink.
John Northey - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#423649) #
In my 50's so I've learned what matters (family) and what is just fun (baseball). My daughter took it a lot harder than me - she was really into it this year - I see this year as her 1987. That year was so painful - the team making the playoffs in 1985 was fun ala 2020. But '87 really hurt as it felt like a dead on lock in that final week then they lost and lost and lost. Gillick probably should've done big trades that winter and flipped the team over but the core looked so good still he wasn't ready for that. In the end we did get 2 WS wins - 2 more than Seattle has. Lets hope within the next 5 years we get a win again.

A few years ago watching the Raptors win it all with my teen daughter was fantastic fun. She now is captain of her high school team, was the star shortstop on her softball team, and will be playing center on her hockey team in a few weeks. Sports are tons of fun, but I'm far more into her games than the Jays or any other pro sports. FYI: my Dad was a great athlete in his day and still can break par in golf at 88. Sadly I have none of that, only sport I did well in was bowling.
John Northey - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#423650) #
As a stats person I just had to check the odds of going x years without a title with 30 teams (assuming equal ability to win for everyone)

5 years: 84% chance of not winning
10 years: 71%
25 years: 43%
50 years: 18%
75 years: 8%
100 years: 3% (1 team likely to have that long a break without winning)
150 years: 1%

So basically odds are someone will have a WS drought like the Cubs had from 1908 to 2016. Lets hope it isn't the Jays.
soupman - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#423657) #
the yankees have an all-time .570% W-L. put another way: what is being celebrated here as a triumph of the genius of shapiro/atkins, is a slightly below average yankees season. those rings aren't as incidental as many want to believe.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 09 2022 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#423661) #
Nobody has equated Shapiro with genius. Seems odd that you question his track record against the NYY all time record going back to before Shapiro was even born. Also flies in the face of your other post in the other thread where you heap praise on AA. Care to compare the W-L records between Shapiro Jays and AA Jays?

AA took a big chance twice. First time he failed miserably and 2nd time it worked. He didn’t get respect from everyone until he went to Atlanta, took a really good team and made them better. This season he’s even more impressive because he lost his best or 3nd best player and has been able to adjust.

Shapiro has had a ton of success and came to Toronto as one of the most respected in the game. They’re both at a point now where they are highly respected but so far since the GM change you have to say AA has delivered and done the better job, imho only because he has performed very well in the last 12 months while Shapiro’s team has struggled to make or excel in the playoffs.
John Northey - Monday, October 10 2022 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#423662) #
Excellent way of putting it dalimon5. AA has done a great job in Atlanta. He was a solid GM here, but his last draft not one player signed produced a single WAR yet, 2014's best are Jordan Romano and Lane Thomas. The 3 most expensive were Jeff Hoffman (traded and flopped), Max Pentecost (didn't reach), and Sean Reid-Foley (negative WAR). 2013 was a LOT better though, Matthew Boyd, Kendall Graveman, and Danny Jansen all solid ML players (5+ WAR so far), plus role players Tim Mayza & Rowdy Tellez. 2012 had his best pick in Marcus Stroman (20 WAR), plus Ryan Borucki. 2011's best was Kevin Pillar (16 WAR), Joe Musgrove (11), Anthony DeSclafani (10), Daniel Norris (5.5), Jon Berti (5.4) - helped to have 5 bonus picks that year, but impressive none-the-less. 2010 was his first with Noah Syndergaard (17), Aaron Sanchez (8), Sam Dyson (6), and Danny Barnes (1). His #1 pick was a flop (Deck McGuire) with 20 WAR guy Yasmani Grandal picked right after him and Chris Sale after that (45.5). Ugh. That hurts.

Atkin's first was 2016 with Bo Bichette (13), Cavan Biggio (6), and Zach Jackson (1) - nice start, 2017 a total flop (none got 1 WAR), 2018 a flop so far (I like Vinny Capra, 301/395/455 this year as a SS/3B with his first call up for 7 PA). Jordan Groshans getting his shot elsewhere, but this group is just now needing to be put on the 40 man so at this point anything they've produced is bonus. Same for 2019 where Alek Manoah is the only one to reach (and wow at 9 WAR). 2020 hasn't had any reach but Austin Martin was useful getting Berrios even if he looks like a flop now (sub 700 OPS, counting a lot on HBP). Nick Frasso was part of the White trade (ouch right now), Trent Palmer is promising, CJ Van Eyk hasn't shown anything yet (surgery), Zach Britton has shown some promise but is a long ways from being useful (238/383/444 between A+/AA). 2021 has a potential star in Ricky Tiedemann but we're aways away from knowing the results of that draft, or of 2022's.

Overall I have no problem with Atkin's drafts. Bo, Biggio, and Manoah are 3 pretty nice gets, and just his first 2-3 drafts are really able to be judged imo at this point. If Tiedemann is a star then he has gotten all I ask for - 1 star every 2-3 years, 1 or 2 regulars a year. You do that and you've been very successful. Compare to Ricciardi's nightmares (Hill, Lind, Marcum, Romano, Gomes is about it for his impact players and he had a few top 10 picks iirc) or Ash's post first round drafts (for years he had great first picks and nothing else outside of dumb luck with Orlando Hudson).
soupman - Monday, October 10 2022 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#423663) #
i think the reply you refer to is one that really has nothing to do with my thoughts about shapiro. i prefer to view threads with the nested comment setting because it helps me avoid such confusions.

AA's team is better this year because Strider was in the CY conversation as a 2020 4th rounder (ie. a guy he and his people drafted); and Harris is a 2019 3rd rounds (same story). also worth recalling that the previous GM's malfeasance hampered AA's ability to sign international picks (another thing he did well here).

after his first year, AA's teams increased attendance (and attention and excitement) for the team to levels not seen since before the strike. as i indicate elsewhere, i don't have a fundamental problem with the current FO - i think i understand how and why they do what they do. with the changes in the league, it has a better chance of working than in the past when the team has taken similar paths. it could be worse, but it could also be better. i think AA is (and was) a top 5 GM in baseball, i merely think Shapiro and Atkins are a tier or two below that.

so, i'm not calling for them to be fired or heaping scorn on them - in fact, i think the jays are well-positioned to continue to perform at or around this level for the next 2-3 years without doing much.

on the other hand, AA has had a division winner every year he's been in a FO since 2015. The team he inherited won 72 games the year before he helmed it to the division, but it's hard to call the 'his' team; however, I think the last 3 years that criticism can't be levelled and he's shown that he is versatile and not merely a risk/reward guy or that he had "emptied the cupboard" here in 2015. also, his teams are doing this in what in what is probably the second (or third at worst) toughest division.

bpoz - Monday, October 10 2022 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#423665) #
Thanks John N for the reminder to me that family life is very important. Congratulations to your daughter's success in sports.

Success in the AL East used to be very hard because of NYY and Boston. Then TB showed up.

IMO the Jays will never outspend NYY/Boston or out cheap TB. Certainly not on a regular basis. In 2019 our playing roster may have been cheaper than TB's. In 2020/21 our payroll was probably higher than Boston.

AA got ownership to increase payroll in 2013 which was good. Except paying extra for players on long term contracts can cripple a team like the Jays in parts of that contract. For example Tulo, Martin and Ryu (Shapiro/Atkins). AA may have learned because the long term contracts to young Acuna and a couple other young players were team friendly. C Morton is getting payed a lot (highest pay of his career), but it is not really very long. Atlanta has had injuries to good but inexpensive pitchers like I Anderson and M Sokora. AA is dealing well with that acquiring Iglesias but no WS championship yet this year. IMO AA has learned how to manage a good (Atlanta) budget. IMO NYM & Philadelphia will outspend Atlanta and soon Washington may as well.

Shapiro was very experienced when he got here. He took the successful 2015 AA team and had good 2016 results. Not so good in 2017 and worse in 2018 when the decision was made to rebuild at the trade deadline.

Shapiro is getting a good budget now and the spending is his responsibility. His budget history is 2019 cheap playing roster, more expensive in 2020, Ryu, Roark, C Anderson. And more expensive in 2021 with Springer (long term) and Semen short term. The 2022 expensive long term commitment to Gausman did not hurt this year. 2022 had 3 $20+mil players. Will 2023 get more expensive? For sure if Arb is expensive.

The GMs in KC, Texas and Detroit were fired this year due to failure and a very long rebuild. Not much revenue if the team loses and more revenue if the team wins. The LAA GM fired the year before because of failure.

Shapiro/Atkins & probably AA know spending/revenue and wins/losses are related.

bpoz - Monday, October 10 2022 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#423679) #
Just listened to a random interview with Ricky Tiedemann. He is 19 and I am 70 years old.

Sorry if anyone expects wisdom from me!! This kid has dreams and ambitions but was humble.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#423688) #
When da Box prospect list comes out I expect the philosophy "1/3 will advance, decline and stay the same".

Being more interested in the advanced group, I was wondering who made the "most outstanding" advancement and what it could mean. I am not talking about moving from #20 to #5 OR making the top 100 list.

A good example is Tiedemann because he dominated 3 levels. Barger was similar. Both made fantastic advancements.

I want to bring Max Castillo into the discussion. He just turned 23 in May. Has played 7 seasons in our system, not counting 2020. In 2021 102 IP in AA which were decent but not dominating. In 2022 29 IP AA where he mastered/dominated. Then blew through AAA and got promoted to the Jays and did quite well IMO. I am sure this is not a trajectory that is common but could be a guideline. His stuff is not overpowering but was good enough in the Majors for a nice role on a pitching staff. However he was terrible for KC in AAA and the majors. More ML experience and an uptick in velo is probably needed. And what ever else.

Tiedemann and Zulueta do have dominant stuff so their ceiling should be higher than Max. The quality of their 2023 minor league performance will determine how they rise.

I believe that getting to the majors fast or at a young age is a sign that the player is probably good. For example Bobby Whitt Jr was up at age 21 (HS draft) with just 1 full minor league season. Manoah (college pick) was older when he got to the majors never had a full minor league season. Both players qualify as very fast to the majors IMO.

I have a list of fast candidates. That list is weird. For example Brian Baggett 20IP but has progressed only to Dunedin. 27 next year makes him old for every league in the minors.

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