I understand a lot of the resistance from old-school baseball people and fans to advanced stats. I really do. Advanced stats can be confusing and, because of both their naming and the math that goes into them, intimidating. There’s also the problem that, dammit, I just want to talk baseball and not what somebody might theoretically do over the next so many years, especially considering this or that park factor.
Can’t we just talk about what happened last night?
Can’t we just talk about where our team is in the standings and how they got there?
If the above describes how you feel, I sympathize. I’m not in total agreement, but I do share your feelings to a certain degree. And I have good news — if you’re like me and seeking a middle ground, at least — there is an advanced stat just for you! Continue reading
I’ve been working on a post about how I’m ready for the trades to begin. About how I’m ready for the roster to turn over, for the team to officially give up the chase for the playoffs this year and start really rebuilding.
I was hoping the Jays would move people like Bautista, Buck, Overbay and Gonzalez.
Nothing against him personally, it’s just that I was hoping to see Johnny Mac on a daily basis again.
Well, I got my wish. Alex Gonzalez is gone. But, just like wishes granted that wish-granting monkey claw, the wish backfired. Johnny Mac isn’t going to get the daily start at shortstop.
Yunel Escobar is coming back. Not having more than basic cable means I don’t watch the ridiculously high amount of Braves games that I used to, so I don’t know much about him at all. General consensus seems to be that the Braves are selling low; that Escobar’s got a ton of talent — at the plate and in the field — but that he’s just having an off year.
Escobar’s also got the reputation of being a space cadet.
Alex Rios v2.0? If Toronto is to Escobar as Chicago is to Rios, I think we can all be pretty happy with this trade. (Except that we’re not going to see Johnny Mac on a daily basis.)
There were more parts to the trade!
Tim Collins is gone. The other two guys, I don’t really care about. I am sad to lose this great story though.
Collinsecum!!!1 no more.
So Brandon League has joined the ranks of the fallen along with Scott Rolen, Alex Rios, Rod Barajas, Marco (Stroodles) Scutaro and Roy Halladay.
I’m a bit out of the loop right now — not so much that I don’t know that the trade happened, but enough that I’ve got nothing useful to say about it. I guess spending 6+ hours on an airplane for what is supposed to be a two-hour flight will do that to you.
Ah, air travel during Canadian winters.
In honour of the fallen and in lieu of anything useful to say, I’ll give you an animated gif. I’m sure you’ve all seen it before, but it is definitely worth seeing again: The moment I called my favourite of the year, Stroodles stealing second on a walk…
And that’s that. We’ll probably be off until the new year. And when we’re back, we’re embracing building and we’re looking forward.
What’s so special about the teams celebrated at the recent Back 2 Back weekend? I mean other than the obvious fact that they were Blue Jays teams that won the World Series back-to-back?
According to the The 35th Street Review, every team since then to have won the World Series has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
It’s an interesting post, but my only beef is that it’s titled In Search of the Last Clean Champions and it fails to say that your Toronto Blue Jays are, in fact (to the best of anyone’s knowledge anyway) the last clean champions.
P.S. Also on that ChiSox blog, Drew of Ghostrunner fame prepares the Windy City for the Alex Rios era.
Addendum: Yes, our man Ed Sprague has admitted to using steroids, but if you take him at his word, he didn’t start using until 1996. And yes, the case may be the same for some other teams on that list (players starting use after the championship), but I’m not interested in doing the research to find when each and every one of these guys started using. I’m just to enjoy this until someone shatters my delsuion for reals.
Shipping Alex Rios to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for nothing is a win-win for both teams and, potentially, Rios himself.
The Jays are getting salary relief which, combined with the money saved on the Scott Rolen trade, could be used to significantly improve the team next year (I’m going to assume the Jays’ budget won’t be shrunk until and unless Rogers says otherwise.)
The White Sox get a fantastic defensive centrefielder who’s actually performing better at the plate than most give him credit for and they lose nothing in the process.
As for Rios, he’s not doing so badly, but the general consensus is that he “just doesn’t get it.” Maybe being traded for less than a bag of balls will wake him. If it doesn’t, Ozzie Guillen will be sure to wake him up. And if Rios does wake up, the ChiSox may have just pulled off one of the best heists in a long time.
So who’s the loser here? Why, it’s J.P. Ricciardi, of course.
Not that dumping Rios’ contract was necessarily a bad thing, but J.P. botched this situation before the trade deadline.
“We’ve been in trade discussion with Toronto before the deadline to try to get this guy,” Williams explained of how the whole thing came together. “And the way the waiver claim was made was to A: hopefully resurrect talks. B: in the event someone else claimed him, we didn’t want him going elsewhere because we targeted him not only as a guy who not only would help us in our quest for the division but future seasons as well.”
Chicago wanted Rios.
Chicago was willing to trade something for Rios before the deadline.
And J.P. got nothing except salary relief. Which is good, but it wouldn’ve been nice to get a little more.
By now you probably all know that Alex Rios had one of the most shittacular outings that a hitter can possibly have yesterday when he struck out five times.
In five at bats.
The Mockingbird breaks down the horrendous performance here.
Last night, after the game, the Jays Care Foundation held a fundraiser at the Royal Ontario Museum. The foundation does good work, like when it recently donated $1 million to a Boys and Girls Club in Scarborough. Good stuff.
Anyway, Rios attended the fundraiser. As he was leaving, someone apparently asked for his autograph and was rejected. Another fan in the area, apparently unhappy with Rios’s platinum sombrero (or Olympic Rings if you prefer) yelled at Rios, “the way you played today, Alex, you should be lucky somebody wants your autograph.”
You could make the argument that going after Rios like that at a fundraiser isn’t the best thing to do, but the way Rios responded, considering the fact that kids around were in the area, is about 100 times worse.
Just watch for yourself:
Whatever you think about how the main characters acted in the video, the thing I really take away from it is that, contrary to popular opinion, Rios really does care. He’s obviously frustrated and angry, I just hope he’s more upset with himself for his performance than the fact that he was getting heckled.
Either way, here’s hoping he takes that anger, channels it into his bat and demolishes Zack Greinke tonight. Fingers crossed.
(H/T to Mockingbird commentor Josh for the video)
UPDATE: Rios apologized.