Happy Holidays

Just tossing up a short note to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Or, a Merry Christmahannakwanzukah! Or, Happy Festivus! Whatever you’re celebrating this time of year, have a blast. I’m heading home to Chicago with Mrs. Bastian for the holiday and will be back next week. Until then…

~Jordan Bastian

40 Comments

welikeroy.
The Jays have no money so I don’t see any problem with picking up guys like Rutz,who knows what he can do,just maybe all he needs is a chance.
The Jays have spent a lot of money on hasbeens with no results,at least this guy is not a hasbeen,Also if he doesn’t work out I for one will not bash you,also keep up the good work on your site.MERRY CHRISTMAS.

garry,
Ya, he is kind of a never was. If you look at it that way. Even if Ruiz does play outstanding for us, just supposing here. He is from the Bronx, so it would probably be another player that we’d lose to the Yankees. Thanks for checking out the site. Merry Christmas.

Yanks land Tiexera.

Some time ago, I posted the Yanks could sign CC, AJ, Tiexiera, Manny and still have a lower payroll than last year. Well they are 3/4 of the way there and I’d expect them to aggressively go after Manny as well.

Clearly, something needs to be done about this-that is assuming baseball wants more than just the Yanks, Sox Mets and Angels.

I know what you are saying about “Yanks-Sox-Mets-Angels”, but I don’t remember any of them being in the World Series last year. And I hope none of them are this year either.
Happy Holidays, Jordan. Enjoy Chicago and stay warm!

the yankees just keep making themselves unstoppable.
Is anyone else out there in agreement that this is rediculous!!!baseball is going to have to go under a salary cap,or its gonna start losing teams!

Gustavo Chacin was signed to a minor league contract by The Washington Capitals. I wonder if they also took Chacin’s perfume.

If Torie was still with the Yankees I would say the ship has sunk for the Jays but he is not,all the talent in the world wont make you a winner in baseball without the right manager,the Yankees don’t have but the Jays do his name is the mighty Cito.

The economic situation is starting to take it’s toll on baseball.
The first shoe to drop was The Chicago Tribune, majority shareholders of the Cubs filed for chapter 11. I expect the Cubs will get sold soon, but debt financing of sport franchise sales is no longer available-so whoever buys them is going to have to write a check and time will tell whether that happens or not.
The second shoe to drop was John Moores, majority owner of the San Diego Padres announcing the sale of the team and dumping players to lower salary cost.
The third was Fred Wilpon (majority owner of the Mets) who’s company Sterling Equity reported losing over $300 million in the Madoff Security scam. At the moment, he’s stating it will have no impact on the Mets-but stay tuned-cause that story is a long way from over.
The fourth is The New York Times, who are bleeding badly announcing today they will be selling their 17.5% shareholding in The Boston Red Sox. I expect this sale will be pressed real soon because The NY Times are struggling to survive.
Our Jays are taking a double hit, with the C$ tanking and major sponsors such as GM under serious pressure. At tmes like this, Jays fans are fortunate to have a solid owner like Rogers and little to no debt load.
As 2009 rolls on, more teams are going to struggle because advertising revenue could drop 40-50%. As that situation materializes, they will start unloading player contracts. In addition, free agents will be significantly lower cost than they are now.
If the Jays unload the high priced contracts of Wells, Rolen, Ryan, Overbay and Halliday now, they could take $54 million of payroll off the books for 2009. That could be a great position to be in next winter to pick up high quality players at fire sale prices.
Of course this takes good management and a plan-which eliminates JP Ricarrdi, since he’s still thinking about signing Lowe. The point is with the moves the Yanks have made, we will not be contendors in 2009, so why hang onto these guys. They weren’t good enough to win in the first place and if we dump them now, we’ll get prospects and the opportunity to replace the ones we need next winter on a 50% discount sale.
That could put us in a similar position next winter that the Yanks are in now,since we would have dumped close to $65 million in contracts (including AJ). Give our young guns a year to see who are keepers, get Marcum and McGowan back to go with Litsch and Purcey and hopefully either Romero or Cecil, and be ready willing and able to pick up the guys we really need to contend in 2010.
Come on Paul Beeston, put the for sale sign up and lets play ball.

Just wishing everyone here a safe and happy holidays!

And a “MERRY CHRISTMAS” to you too enigma.

Although, this Christmas Greeting is a long ways away from baseball, it also is one of the cutest Christmas greetings, I’ve ever seen. Happy holidays to all. I hope everyone enjoys.
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/obama-family-sends-christmas-cheer/

I want to wish everyone all the very best life has to offer . Have a happy , healthy and safe holiday . Take care all ..Kate

With the signing of Tiexera, we can now start to see how much JP’s narrow-minded, save his own job at all costs mentality, has hurt the Jays. As it stands, the Jays are now looking at a sandwich pick and a 3rd rounder for an 18-game winner who led the american league in strike-outs. If the Yanks sign Manny, make the aforementioned pick a 4th round pick. This is absolutely ridiculous. The Yankees were very clear about their intentions to sign AJ even before last season was over. I know that AJ was not pitching lights-out at the trade deadline, but he could have commanded at least a one first-round draft pick that was already playing for some other organization’s class A or Class AA team. We effectively loose AJ for nothing, while keeping JP around. Now think about it from the Yank’s perspective. They have the top 3 free-agents already. They may still sign Manny. In terms of development, the miss this year’s draft — big deal! Their farm system will still be strong, even with one missed year. The problem here is that the future looks terrible for the Jays. The yanks are destined to finish 1 or 2 not just next year, but for the next 5-10 years. This leaves Boston and the Rays fighting for the wildcard, and the Jays and the O’s fighting to stay out of the basement. Given the the O’s understand that they need to rebuild, and have started, my guess is the that Jays will not get a sniff at the play-offs for years to come, unless they rebuild in a hurrry. If they fail to re-build, while these other teams are stocking up on free agents, they will miss their opportunity in the future to sneak into a play-off position if 2 of the 3 better teams in the division stumble down the road. The long and short of it is that I think Toronto may end up loosing its baseball team because it cannot compete monetarily, at the major league level, at the minor league level, at the general-manager level, or in terms of scouting.
This franchise is on the highway to destruction, if it does not come up with a strategy to be competitive from within by developing top-notch talent. And yes, merry Christmas!

Burt
JB’s heading of “Fantastic Four: Jays Ink Quartet To Minor Contracts” pretty much tells the tale of our franchise and spells nothing, but ,”more of the same for 2009.”
How many of these re-treats has JP signed over the years and how many have actually worked out? I’m not sure how many were signed ( probably 4-5 each year), what I do know is NOT A SINGLE ONE has ever worked out. And yet he continues to piss away resources and playing slots year after year, instead of focusing on finding, signing and developing quality minor leaguers.
We have 3 catching prospects (Arrencibia, Thigpen and Jeroloman) in the high minors. We have more high quality catching prospects including Joel Collins and Johnathon Jaspe in the lower minor league system. We are overloaded with catching prospects. Why sign has beens to clog up the system? It’s stupidity.
I think JP has missed his calling. He should become a junk yard dealer, buying accident damaged vehicles, tear them down and selling them for parts.
And anyone saying its ok, its just depth in our minor league system is forgetting what a minor league system is for-its for the development of players for the big club-not some junk yard dog collection of old has beens filling up playing spots.
Instead of wasting money on these has beens, spend it on signing draft picks and non-draft signings. DUH.

gsjays:
I agree with your comments. However, my worry is that JP is planning to move some of our high-end catching (and other prospects) to bolster the rotation, or acquire a bat. Having decent veterans on your bench, especially around the trade deadline, can sometimes be useful to complete a trade with a contender (e.g., the Arrcardo deal – but different situation). However, as you point out, these “creative” signings, as JP likes to call them, have not worked out in the past. Perhaps he is just trying to look like he is doing something; this would be the best-case scenario until he leaves and the real team architect replaces him! As for signing bonuses for draft choices — it won’t cost us much to sign the 3rd (or perhaps 4th) rounder that we get for Burnett! That said, JP still has time to sign someone else; so we may loose the pick anyway!

Best.
Burt

Burt
I have no problem with us trading Jeroloman and Thigpen for pieces we need. Arrencibia, Jaspe and possibly Collins are the keepers and if he trades either one of these he should be strung up.
However, if we trade Thigpen and Jeroloman, the trades should reflect our future needs, meaning trading for prospects, not some more 35yr old + guys with declining skills.
We still have the need for an upgrade at short stop, 3rd base and at lead off, with the hope one of our 1st baseman prospects break out with a banner years in 2009 and fills that need in 2010. I expect by 2010, our in house starters will be fine-with both Marcum and McGowan back and Romero, Cecil and Mills all having another year of experience.
I would be really disappointed to see any trades made simply to help us look “more competitive” for 2009 if it took away any future. And with JP still at the helm, that’s my biggest concern.
In terms of trade deadline veteran guys to move, we already have a boatload with Rolen, Overbay, Wells, Barajas, Downs, Ryan and Halliday all needed to be moved. The sooner we start trading this group the sooner we compete again-although I would not want JP doing these trades unless Beeston is part of every single phone call and discussion.
Where the extra cash used for signings can really make a difference is in the non-drafted areas, like Latin America. In July Oakland ( Billy Bean) signed this 16 year old Dominican kid-Michel Inoa and gave him a huge bonus (4.25 million), which is probably why he signed with Oakland. Of course, it also helped that Bean himself visited the kids parents a number of times to assure then, he’d take good care of their son.
The kid was clocked at 94 mph, at 16, if you can imagine, so he could be something really special. We have signed two kids out of here in the last few years, but the money we’re spending doesn’t get us the best prospects. Oakland has subsequently signed 4 more players from the Latin region.
Another 5-7 million per year spent here could really have impact, instead of pissing it away on these has beens JP has been signing.

okay, you guys are depressing me, its new years, a new year, maybe something miraculous happens and we win. one can only hope. happy new years, from the West Coast.

does anyone no why mighty joe inglett is not in the projected line up. He was great at lead off and had overall a consistent great batting average not to mention his fielding was pretty decent. I dont feel that Scutaro is your best chpoice for leadoff.

Inglett doesn’t project to the starting line-up because Aaron Hill will be back. Scutero is the leadoff hitter by default. The only other option there is Rios, but the Jays seem to think that he will be a power hitter so they insist on keeping him in the middle of the order.

GS,
I agree that JP has made many poor “creative” signings, but to say “NOT A SINGLE ONE has ever worked out” is a bit of a stretch. Yes, there is a lot of evidence in your favour… Ohka, Thompson, Zambrano, Benitez, etc. However there are a few that have worked out… Scutero & Inglett for example. I agree that I will be pretty shocked to see any of the quote: Fantasic Four, in the Jays line-up on opening day. Clement is also unlikely to make the team.

Andrew
We traded Kristian Bell and Graham Godfrey to Oakland for Scutaro-one of the better trades JP has done. But you’re right about Inglett-I forgot about him, he has got to be the only one.

Does anyone else have the feeling this team is like the misfits in the movie ( I can’t recall the title) where Charlie Sheen plays the character ,Wild Thing . JP is stuck on stupid and like I said several postings ago , I don’t want him doing any trades . Heaven knows what the Jays would get in return .

Happy New Year everyone ….take care

Baseball Moment of the Year ( By Tom Verducci-Inside Baseball)

The last grand moment of the baseball cathedral that was Yankee Stadium belonged to the public redemption of a crack addict, a formerly pitiable lost soul named Josh Hamilton, who found family, God, health and success, in that order, when after eight shots at rehabilitation he finally stopped trying to score his next blow.

In October 2005 an emaciated, strung-out Hamilton, who had lost 50 pounds and been banned from baseball, showed up on his grandmother’s doorstep so high he wasn’t even sure what narcotic he had mixed with a prescription anxiety drug.

Thirty-three months later the same Hamilton, at least by name, but not body and soul, put on the greatest show ever in the All-Star Home Run Derby.

In the first round Hamilton, a left-handed-hitting Rangers outfielder, smashed a record 28 homers. The quantity and the length of them were freakish, far beyond anything sluggers such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. had ever done. In one stretch Hamilton blasted 13 consecutive home runs, and 22 in 25 swings. Five balls landed in the upper deck. Three sailed more than 500 feet. With every shot the crowd grew louder.

“Put it this way,” Hamilton recalls. “When they first started chanting my name, on the next pitch I hit the farthest ball of the night.” That shot carried 518 feet to the back section of the upper deck in right field.

“Obviously, the adrenaline was going,” he says. “The last year of Yankee Stadium and my family there for the first time, experiencing that with me. Growing up in the backyard, you’re always in Yankee Stadium. Just to be there in that atmosphere was amazing.”

Hamilton, 27, didn’t win the competition — fatigued, he lost in the final round to the Twins’ Justin Morneau — but he won the night.

To the long list of home run moments in the ballpark’s 86-year history, including Babe Ruth’s blast to open the place, the 61st by Roger Maris, the 500th by Mickey Mantle and the World Series walk-off by Derek Jeter, Hamilton, the recovering addict from Raleigh, provided the last shot.

His recovery can never be complete, but that night gave his story and his message a higher platform. “It’s amazing how many people I’ve heard from who have their own addiction problems,” Hamilton said. “For me to come through it as a responsible man and husband, I guess, is something that gives hope.”

Hamilton has started a ministry, written a book and on Dec. 11 visited with President Bush as part of a meeting on drug-use reduction. The White House was a long way from his grandmother’s doorstep.

“I’ll leave you with something President Bush told me,” he says. “There are some good days and there are some bad days, but every day is a joyous day. I like that.”

The Atlanta Falcons are in the playoffs! So maybe the baseball Gods will shine upon us and get us in the playoffs.

So again on Joe Inglett. Still dont understand why he would be a shoe in for the lead off spot. Compare his stats with scoots and theres no contest in the lead off spot not to mention batting average consistency. Does anyone think they will at least platoon them. Im pretty sure he can man shortstop unless Im wrong. Even then if he cant move hill over to SS and plug him in at second. You gotts use his bat.

The Jays have been adiment that the wont move Hill back to SS. So that leaves Inglett on the bench. Don’t forget that Inglett played way over his head last year (or at least what the scouts predicted what his ceiling would be). He needs another year or 2 to prove that he’s for real. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Inglett’s, but he isn’t a high level prospect and has made the bigs based on grit.

GSumner…

You mentioned President Bush on here, oh no! LOL!! Death taxes and a Bush in office screwing things up, gurantees in life! lol.

If Hamilton continues too play the way he is capable of, there will be a movie about his life. A great story is Hamilton. Mourneau won of course but Hamilton stole the show. Who isn’t rooting for Josh Hamilton? Not only in baseball but life…. great story!

Is this J.P.’s swang song in 2009???

Bosox
Happy New Year to you. Bush-You have to be kidding-the guys’s been a disaster, but he was in the article-maybe because he used to be such a lush.

What I am hoping happens here is Beeston takes the job as President instead of finding someone else. I’m sure who ever that President is will figure out the reason we’re in the mess we’re in is because of the disaster drafts in the first 5 years of JP and a number of really bad contracts signed in the last couple of years. The “money Ball concept” of drafting college kids, produces some nice players-but few with high ceilings-sense they’re all so well scouted.
Even Bean has realized that and is spending more time and money signing 16 year olds from Lating America.
With the C$ at the level it’s at, we cannot compete with Boston and NY by signing free agents. We need to build a strong minor league system and JP has proven he doesn’t know how to do that.
When the new President figures that out-I can’t imagine anyone keeping him.

Congratulations to Cito Gaston on the NLBM award. I can’t imagine anyone assoicated with The Jays more deserving of an award.

hey guys, spring training tickets go on sale tomorrow. how exciting. not long now.

yahoo is saying that michael young is on the block.if the jays were seriously interested in furcal,that should be jumping all over young.and he is secured for the next 5 years,at roughly the same price furcal got for 4!!

I agree. They never should have traded him away to begin with. What a terrible deal that was.

Yep, Young is secured for a lifetime with that contract of 5 years at $16 million per year. No way he’s a Blue Jay.

It looks like the feds are moving ahead on Roger. I for one hope they nail him and send him to jail.

WASHINGTON — Nearly a year after Roger Clemens told Congress he did not use performance-enhancing drugs, a federal grand jury is being asked to determine whether he should be indicted on charges of lying under oath. The grand-jury probe was confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday by two people who were briefed on the matter. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret.

Congress asked the Justice Department to look into whether the seven-time Cy Young Award winner lied last February, when he testified under oath at a deposition and a public House hearing that he never took illegal performance enhancers.

By the way, not that it matters, but Rafael Furcal’s deal is 3 years totalling $33 million while Young’s is 5 years and $80 million .

Young is an excellent player, but even his acquisition will not make a substantial difference to this ball club at least for another couple of years. Hopefully, the Jays will perform extremely poorly, thus prompting Doc to ask for a trade. Then we can start to re-build from the ground up. Unfortunately, we will be stuck with a few bad signings for a few years to come; unless, of course, we are fortunate enough that some other team panics around the trade deadline and seeks to acquire one or more of our guys, basically for their salary and a throw-in.

Looks like Zaunie has signed with the Orioles for 1 year . I guess we will see him atleast 18 times over the course of next year . …Good Luck Zaun

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — Some baseball owners say it may be time to reconsider a salary cap after the New York Yankees spent nearly a half-billion dollars on free agents during a recession that may cause some teams to retrench.

“I would ask, if it’s such a bad idea, what sport doesn’t have a salary cap other than us?” Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said Wednesday.

A salary cap isn’t on the agenda of the major league owners meetings this week. But it could become an issue when the present collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2011 season — especially if the economy worsens.

“I think there’s a lot of owners that would like to have that right now,” Oakland owner Lew Wolff said. “I think the parity is what we’re looking for, and the more ways you can get to parity the better. I think it’s pretty good now, but I think it could be better.

Josh Towers gets a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals,with an invite to Spring Training,Good for Towers and good luck to him.
Also it would only cost 62 mil. for 5 years for Young to come to Toronto,so why not go and get him if they can.Also pick up Manny and this team will rock.
Young and Manny will draw in the fans and pay for themselvs.

SAN DIEGO — The Padres addressed one of their biggest offseason needs Thursday by signing veteran infielder David Eckstein to a one-year contract worth $850,000.
Eckstein, who will turn 34 on Tuesday, is an eight-year Major League veteran who split time last season between Toronto and Arizona. He can earn an additional $150,000 in incentives.

**And JP paid him how much in 2008? hmmmmm

Brian McNamee predicts he will see Roger Clemens in uniform again – but this time his old boss won’t be wearing pinstripes. McNamee says the Rocket’s 2009 uniform will be an orange jumpsuit, with a serial number across the chest. In a video on the Web site Sportsimproper.com, McNamee tells host Mai Tran he believes Clemens will be sent to prison for his repeated denials of steroid use during the Feb. 13, 2008 congressional hearing on the Mitchell Report. “Let me ask you this,” Tran asked McNamee. “Do you foresee seeing Roger Clemens in a uniform next year?” “He’ll probably be wearing a uniform, but it will be one of those orange jumpsuits with a serial number on it,” McNamee replied. “Sounds like a prison uniform to me,” Tran said. McNamee told Tran that he was informed that the evidence that federal investigators have been compiling against Clemens is “overwhelming.”

New York Daily News

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