The World Series

Thumbnail image for Yankees.jpg
Thumbnail image for phillies.gifNow this is a Fall Classic: The Yankees and the Phillies. There are plenty of ball fans out there who despise these teams, but it’s hard to argue that this has the makings of a great World Series. The best from each league with two hostile environments and launching pads for stadiums.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how this one plays out – from my couch. This is the first year I haven’t worked any postseason games since 2006, but I’ve been having a blast spending time with my family and newborn son. Besides training for and completing the Chicago Marathon this month, Hayden has been keeping me plenty busy.

Just figured I’d throw a quick update on here since the blog and my twitter page has been pretty quiet as of late. Things will pick up after the World Series, when the offseason starts picking up steam. For now, I’ll leave you with some links to stories I’ve written over the past few weeks and my World Series prediction: Yankees in Six.

Blue Jays links:

Inbox: Who will fill the Jays rotation

Anthopoulos getting to know Jays

McDonald faces uncertain future

Inbox: Will Halladay stick around?

Anthopoulos hires assistant

Barajas in limbo as Jays reset

Jays continue to shake up front office

If you want to possibly be included in an upcoming Blue Jays inbox, send questions to bluejaysmailbag@gmail.com with your name and hometown. I’ll be aiming to do one of these each week throughout the offseason.

~JB

 

 

8 Comments

Thanks to Tony Viner for keeping the pressure on Paul Beeston to make the right decision. Finally, we have good team management and the right things being put into place to win. Not to win next year or possibly the year after, but sooner or later we will.

Fans need to be patient, it took us 8-10 years to get into this mess, we won’t get out of it in one season regardless of how much money is spent.

Now, let’s get rid of the WS and start the hot stove season…..

I am not as optimistic as you are. If they move Doc, I will be convinced that they have a realistic plan for moving forward over the next few years. If, on the other hand, Beeston wants to actually try and contend before his contract runs out in 3 years, I will be very worried. The key to success is patience and building through the draft. Beeston did it in the past, but he was here for a much longer time. Hopefully, his goal is to get the ship heading in the right direction, rather than reaching the destination. We all remember what happened to the titanic when the objective was to cross the Atlantic in record time. It will take years to fix this franchise so that is competitive on a regular basis. I hope they set the foundation now to let this happen.

burt-while I might be a bit optimistic, you’re way too negative. The moves made so far highlight a strong commitment to scouting and player development. In addition, Beeston’s already committed to going over slot to sign draftees, so I am optimistic the direction is there to strongly build the minor league system back to what it used to be-one of the best in baseball. I suspect when the draft ends this coming year we will start seeing some of the results of this commitment.

That being said, there are 3 ways to build the team, the draft, trades and signing of free agents. We do have a strong nucleus now in the most important area-starting pitching. Lind, Hill, Snider, Arencibia, Dopirak, Encarnacion and Ruiz potentially give us 7 guys in the lineup all capable of hitting 20-30 hr’s each and driving in 75-100 rbi’s.
We also have some trade chips which could be used and Doc might or might not be one of them to get some other pieces we need.
In addition, Beeston has already stated Rogers are prepared to grow the payroll to $150 million per year, so when the trade deadline comes this year, we could be in a very good position to pick up some other pieces when teams decide to dump salary and believe me, there will be more this year than ever before.
There is a strong financial commitment from Rogers to win, the right management team, a strong commitment to rebuilding the minor league system and a good nucleus to start with. Why wouldn’t we be optimistic about this team’s future now in comparison to what we faced last winter?

There are a few reasons why I am not overly optimistic. First, today’s team is the same as last winter’s team. Sure, changes will likely be made, but which ones? Second, Cito is still here. He has gone on the record as saying that there may be no room for players like Ruiz. This is because he has stated that he does not think LIND should be in the outfield. He also does not want to play him at first, favoring the veteran Overbay. That leaves Ruiz and Dopirak out of the picture — as far as Cito is concerned. Then, there are the other teams in the division which will be improved through young talent (Baltimore/Rays) or through free agency (Sox). I would feel much better if Beeston simply stated that they are going to re-build the team around their young players. I would also like to see a field manager who has experience working with young players. I guess that what I would like to see is more talk from the top indicating what they are going to do. Beeston knows full well how much cash is available. He would not have taken the job otherwise. Therefore, announce your strategy re-build or re-tool. If it is the former, I am cautiously optimistic because we do have some young players. If it is the latter, those players will not get a sniff for the forseeable future. I guess we will just have to wait and see what they actually do. Speculation is fine, but I remember when they brought JP in here stating that he was going to build through the draft just like in Oakland. How long did that last before he was forced to re-tool rather than re-build? The rest is history. Trust me, gs, if they say that they are committed to re-building and playing the kids, there will be no one more happier than me. I have lived through it once before, and would only be too happy to try it again!

I am excited about the leadership at the top of the team and the moves so far. And I am one of Cito’s biggest fans, BUT I agree that he may not be the best manager to lead a young team. ’92&’93 had a lot of experienced home grown talent and even free agents. That seemed to suit Cito more than what he had to deal with this year – even tho he got a lot out of the young pitchers. Maybe a promotion to front office position and bring in a “communicator” or whatever they call them these days. I’m with you, GS, let’s get the WS over with and get on to the hot stove and see what our new young GM can do.

Last evening I listened to Bob McCowan and his three guests try to make sense of the Jays’ decision to bring back Cito for one year with a bonus consultant job to follow. Needless to say, all four of them were at a loss for words. The two things that they agreed upon was that this was not Antho’s decison, but Paul Beeston’s decision, and that the only one who benefited from this deal was Cito. This is exactly the type of short-sighted nepatism that (most) fans hate. I was listening to some commentary south of the border and they were describing the Jays’ front-office shake-up over the last two months as commical. In fact, they actually stated that they liked the re-investing in scouting, but Beeston’s decision to re-hire himself (despite his reputation) made the Jays appear like the laughing stock of the league. I have no idea if the fellow is right or not — none of us do. However, I wish that we did not have a lame-duck manager for the next year. What does this say to Roy about the future — he is obviously gone to the highest bidder at the winter meetings. What does this say to the fans who have to watch Overbay and some other under-achieving veterans play next year, while our young kids sit? Oh well, when fans refuse to show up to the games, and many of us will, they might realize that it is THE FANS THAT SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR THEIR LOYALTY – NOT THE FIELD MANAGER. Did you hear that? Oh, it’s PAT GILLICK knocking on the door. Come on in Pat and join the re-union party! What can we do for you at the fans’ expense?

To be frank, who cares what McCown, his guests and some US media reporter says, they aren’t privy to all information, have limited baseball knowledge and don’t know what the overall plan is.
Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe the 4 year consultant contract with Cito prepares the route for him to be graciously moved out of field management if the right candidate becomes available throughout the year and still treat him with the respect he deserves at the same time. Remember, Cito is loved by most of the fan base because he delivered championships and the fans will never forget that. In addition, that consultant contract ensures he’s not just a lame duck manager, since he will remain with the organization after he leaves the job.
I thought it was a brilliant solution to a difficult problem.

Beeston staying at President, imo, is probably the best news this organization has had since he left. He has an impeccable reputation though out baseball for his past tenure here and the work he did at the league level. He has the trust of senior Rogers management and what appears to be an open commitment to wind the salary budget up to $150 mill per year when he thinks its the right thing to do. He has already made significant changes to this organization that bode well for the future. Tell me, what is there about any of that you don’t like?

You’re now confusing me on your Halladay stance. In your recent posts you express concern that we won’t trade him and now in this post you express concern we will-so what is your real stance here?

I like the moves they just made, I have not been an Arnsburg fan since both Halladay and Marcum said in interviews that Sal Bando fixed their problems. In addition, in every interview I’ve seen from Burnett, he continually states it’s Halladay who changed his mental approach to pitching with no mention of Arnsburg. All of us fans knew at the end of last season that Richmond needed to develop a pitch to get left handers out. It was Arnsburg’s responsibility to do that-didn’t happen.
I also have felt for some time that something Arnsburg is doing or not doing is what led to the massive amount of pitcher’s injuries we’ve had under his watch-similar to his tenure in Florida. I’d bet no other team in MLB has had the pitching injuries (and serious ones) we’ve had in the last 3-4 years.
The final straw for me on Arnsburg though, was the player unrest, with Arnsburg right at the center of it. No one coach is an island, teams win from communication and Arnsburg continually tried to run his own show. I’m glad he’s gone.

To be frank Burt, I suggest you just sit back, be patient and watch the other moves to be made. If you spent some time researching some of the backgrounds of the coaches we now have (as I have), instead of just getting your information from sportscasters who know little about the game, I think you’d soon realize the right guys are probably in the right spots and the team is stronger as a result of the moves, not weaker.
In addition, Alex has handled all these moves in an extreme professional manner not the circus we had with JP.
Personally, I have full faith in Beeston and as a result Alex and am optimistic on the Jays future, which I haven’t been for a long time. Maybe instead of continually looking at the glass have empty, look at it half full and wait for the other shoes to drop.

First, let me be clear that I have not changed my stance on Halladay. He has to go. The only reason I mentioned it in my earlier post is because there are some fans who still feel that Roy should stay. Now, that is next to impossible, unless we are willing to let him walk for nothing. Second, could you be wrong? The reason that sports personalities, like McCowan, have guests on their show is to bring informed informed insights into situations and issues that otherwise the general public would have no access to. Mr. Law is a highly-respected journalist for ESPN. He was simply expressing what other owners and general managers had expressed to him regarding the blue Jays’ situation. Common sense would dictate that these folks might know a thing or two more than the average joe (a.k.a. myself) since it is essentially their job to do the research and know — not simply to express an opinion like you and I. Why are your sources any more reliable than McCowan’s? The bottom line is that we are both trying to discern what is happening — and neither of us know. What you call brilliant moves, I call compromise. As you point out, only time will tell whether the glass if half-empty or half-full :-).

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