Tag Archives: The Plan

Don’t do it

Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees! The New Yorks pitching staff is weak and their position players are getting old! The time for the Jays to strike is now!

NO.

Sensing weakness in one of the teams the Jays have to overcome to make the playoffs, I can understand how it would be tempting for some to think that this is an opportunity for Toronto to go for it. Tempting, yes. Practical? No.

Alex Anthopoulos has a plan in place. The Plan. It’s pretty simple, really: Stock up on young talent to create sustained success down the road. He’s off to a good start and, with like a trillion picks in the first few rounds of the next draft, the farm could be turning into one of those mega Monsanto monster things pretty soon. Except, you know, not evil.

The Plan is in place and it’s a good thing. It shouldn’t be deviated from just because the Yankees lack a bit of depth in their starting rotation. Especially when you think about the other teams the Jays have to overcome. The Rays are weakened, but will still be a strong team. The Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the two best non-pitchers available this off-season.

In other words, if the Jays make a move to try and capitalize on how the Yankees are perceived to be slipping, there’s a decent chance they still end up missing the playoffs.

This is not the year. Let Snider develop. Let Arencibia learn how to catch in the bigs. Hope that Hill and Lind can find their swings again and that Lind can get his big-boy glove going at first base. Let Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Drabek and all the other pitchers develop some more.

Do all that for at least one year. If it works out, then I can get behind making some big signings and/or trades to go for a playoff spot.

And hey, if you wait a year, there might even be an extra playoff spot to help you get to the post-season.

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Carpe diem

There are a lot of rumours about the Blue Jays floating around. Among the players that the many rumours have coming to Toronto are Dan Uggla, Manny Ramirez and Zack Greinke.

Some are quick to point out that Alex Anthopoulos is incredibly thorough and has probably contacted everybody about everything because that’s what he does. Maybe that’s all it is. Maybe AA is sticking to the plan and exercising due diligence in the bargain hunting, looking for another deal like the one that made Yunel Escobar a Jay.

Maybe, but maybe there’s more to it than that.

If you’re a Toronto sports fan, there’s not much to be happy about right now. The Leafs stink. The Raptors stink. TFC couldn’t put together a team that could make the playoffs despite hosting the upcoming MLS Cup. The Argos, well, they’re doing OK, but this ain’t Saskatchewan so they don’t count.

If you’re a bigshot at Rogers, you’re probably pretty good at making money. You’re probably looking at the Blue Jays and the relatively disappointing attendance figures at the SkyDome. And you’re probably looking at the failings of the city’s other sporting franchises and seeing a pretty good opportunity to generate interest in the team that you own and MLSE doesn’t.

If you’re AA and you’ve got some suits telling you to make moves to get people interested in the team and hopefully sell more tickets (and drive TV ratings higher and sell more jerseys, etc…) you’re probably looking at your situation and seeing that you’re in a pretty good place. The squad you’ve got is pretty good already and there are good pieces available. A few of those pieces (Uggla and Greinke specifically) are available via trade, so you’re not losing draft picks. And speaking of draft picks, you’ve got a tonne of those likely headed your way because of the Type A and B free agents you’re about to let walk. Basically, you can upgrade your team without really hindering The Plan.

(As for Manny, do you really think the Pale Hose are going to offer him arbitration?)

If you’re me, you’re just wanting to get a post up on the blog and you’re stringing together this crap hoping it makes sense.

But, it’s true that there’s a gaping hole for Toronto’s sporting affection right now. The overachieving 2010 Jays seemed to have made some inroads toward filling the gap. An offseason addition of Uggla and/or Greinke and/or Manny seems like just the kind of thing that would put baseball over the top in this town again.

Are they good moves to make? In the long-term, it all depends what it’s going to cost you. Too many prospects and maybe not. But in the short-term, if you really just want to generate even more interest in the big league club while letting the scouts restock the minors, yeah, it’s the right thing to do.

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It looks like The Plan is going to affect Doctor Moose

I listened to Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos explain the plan for the team (you can listen here if you’re so inclined) and here’s what I took from it: The man can talk. And I don’t mean in the he-gives-long-answers-to-simple-questions way (even though he does).

No, I mean he can talk in the isn’t-this-pile-of-crap-awesome way and be convincing about it.

Listening to him explain The Plan, I felt excited. Thinking back on what he said, I’m not so excited.

I won’t go into a full recap of The Plan, as others have already done a great of it — check the Jays links to the right if you’re interested — but there are two main points I want to address:

1. The team is going to suck for a while longer.

2. Roy Halladay is going to be shipped out of town.

By themselves, neither of these points would make me very happy; together, I think I can live with them.

If Anthopoulos is resigned to the fact that Doc’s “timetable for winning is different” than the team’s, he’s not going to let Doc walk as a free agent. Anthopoulos is going to have to trade him. While that will be painful for myself and every Jays fan, it will be good, for fans at least, in both the long and the short-term.

In the long-term, the return Toronto gets from trading Doc should mean that the team will complete its “building” phase and be competitive again much quicker. In the short-term, trading Doc will give Blue Jays fans something to cheer for while the Jays are rebuilding.

I’d prefer it if Halladay didn’t go to the Yankees or the Red Sox, but even if he does, I’ll be hoping for him to win. Doc is the best pitcher in the game and has given everything he’s got to Toronto for, let’s be honest, longer than the team has deserved. The man deserves to play for a winner.

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Hoping The Plan doesn’t affect Doctor Moose

Right now it’s Saturday morning. The general managers meetings begin on Tuesday in Chicago. As of yet, Anthopoulos and Beeston have not yet unveiled The Plan. This concerns me.

Look, I know that the general managers meetings are not like the winter meetings. Free agents aren’t available yet and trades are typically not done at this time. But you can’t tell me that, at the very least, some laying-the-groundwork type of discussions don’t take place at these meetings, and how can the groundwork be laid if the team doesn’t know where they want the road to go?

The Plan could be announced any time between now and the start of the meetings, and I hope that it is. After the awful season this team put out, the off-season hasn’t been much better yet. I’m not going to pull crap like this idiot, but I could use some encouraging news.

UPDATE: Immediately after posting this, @MLBastian tweeted (twittered? twitted?) Anthopoulos will be speaking to the media later today. The plan may be unveiled. It may not be. Nobody knows. Or, more correctly, I don’t know.

Catching up after the Cito depression

Phillies win

Why are people congratulating the Yankees? Did advertising lie to me again?

• Ever wonder how Roy Halladay got to be so awesome? Turns out it has nothing to hard work and dedication. It’s because he is a moose.

Dave LaRoche, pitching coach for the Las Vegas 51s, has a wife. His wife writes a column for the Fort Scott Tribune. The Jays’ recent coaching shakeup inspired this column of hers. It’s not particularly well written, and it does devolve into religious pap near the end, but if you’re one of those people who think that those involved with sports teams are not normal people it might be worth looking at.

• Some twerp over at Bleacher Report is already talking about how Doctor Moose will lead the Yankees to a repeat next year.

• I know its old news now, but Vernon Wells is having his wrist worked on again. Upon hearing the news, my reaction was “right, that’s why he sucked so hard this year.” But I was being stupid. If the wrist was the problem, why was his OPS 146 points higher on the road? Maybe all the booing goes straight to his wrist?

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