Monday, October 31, 2016

Hallowe'en Hangout

Since the writers are all on vacation right now, here's a thread to talk.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Party weekend part deux

A fresh thread to talk about how you're spending your weekend and whether or not you think the Cubs can pull this out.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Baseball Business

Life as a baseball fan used to be simple. You listened to the game on radio or sometimes you were able to catch the game on television ,usually Wednesdays and Saturdays or if you were lucky watched the game at the park. If you missed the live action, the only recourse was to read the recap and scan the box scores in the newspapers the next day. There was no fangraphs. Scouting reports from the minors were rare and you could care less on how the club allocated their payroll. The goal was to cheer the team on. Celebrate the wins, moan about the losses, then continue on with your day because all the information you could gather was limited and came from a very few sources.

Now, we not only know a players value, compared to an average replacement player, we have calculations to determine what dollar value he provides to the club. It's not only the dollars allocated to the current roster, but how future years of a contract, will affect the signing of young superstars within your own system. Budgets, revenue streams, current obligations, future obligations are to be considered as more seriously than the players who actually play for the team or might be needed by the team to succeed. Such are the intricacies of being a fan in 2016. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just more complex, rather than simple.

With all this in mind and while it's a subject that some wish to avoid, it does affect the Jays going forward. Edward Rogers tweeted  about an article showing how much the Jays playoff run was a hit for Rogers. In the article, Solutions Research Group reports that a staggering 2/3 of Canadians followed at least a part of the Jays postseason:
"The report also says team owner Rogers Communications “knocked it out of the park” from an advertising standpoint – with almost half (47%) of people recalling a sponsor or advertiser naming the media giant on an unaided basis. 
SRG says the number is “significantly above” the norm for unaided advertiser awareness for other major sports events."
Ever wonder how many people were streaming the game? I did. It seems that for every 5 people watching on television there's one person who's streaming the game.

Over at BJN, Stoeten delves into some of the numbers with some "very quick and very dirty math" to conclude
  "This is revenue being generated by the Blue Jays, or by Sportsnet, because of the Blue Jays. And it’s money being made on top of big growth at the gate, and from their portion of those national US TV deals that went into effect in 2013"
It is an important distinction. That the Blue Jays, specifically the revenue they generate for Rogers and the free advertising outlet they provide to make up to advertisers with the NHL product, are important for Rogers Media and it's holdings. The Jays should no longer feel the need to go, hat in hand, to the board, for budget increases. They should be welcomed with open arms.

The numbers speak for themselves. The Jays are a power house for Rogers both on and off the field.
It's time for Rogers to recognize this and provide the support necessary to maintain a consistent contender. It's a no brainer.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

If I had a (rocket launcher) BBWAA ballot, it would look something like this...

Part 1: The Mike Trout American League 

First, a word (or two or ten) about some of the advanced (read: nerd) stats I'll be looking at in these selections. Don't worry, there will be some "normal" stats as well, but I find the advanced stats can be really good separators between very good and great player seasons.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jays roster speculation 2017 Edition- Who's the back up to Russell, Russell, Russell?

There's change a blowin' in the winds. The Toronto Blue Jays have the most free agents of any MLB team. With only Grilli as a lock, to be picked up via the option, the Blue Jays team you grew to love and cherish in 2016, will look different in 2017.

The Wolf has mentioned that a review of the various player positions may be in order. So let's try this.

The Catcher.

Russell Martin starts the backend portion of his contract, earning 20 million in each of the next 3 years. He turns 34 before the start of the 2017 season and is likely to need some sort of knee surgery to fix his sauna injury. While the MRI, done at the time, indicated  no structural damage, it has been speculated that it has affected his offensive output. While his body is aging, his value is in his brain. There is no doubt that his receiving skills, his game calling, knowledge of his pitchers, make all the Jays pitchers better. Healthy, he's still one of the top catchers in the game today.

Josh Thole will be non-tendered and follow R.A Dickey. That's it. Nothing to see here. Let's move on.

Dioner Navarro is another free agent who made 4 million last year. What makes him interesting, from a Jays point of view, is his familiarity with the pitching staff, he's a switch hitter, Gibby seems to trust him and probably the cost of acquisition will be reasonable.

A.J. Jimenez is out of options. Another "catcher of the future" who hasn't panned out. Something to keep in mind, catching is very complex position. Catchers in general tend to develop later than any other player on the team and with Martin's workload being a topic of discussion, perhaps a younger back up, under Russell's tutelage and mentorship might be a good thing.

Reese McGuire is 21 and was one of the Pirates top 10 prospects when Toronto acquired him in the Liriano trade. Regarded as an excellent defensive catcher he'll probably settle into AA New Hampshire. From what I've read on the Pittsburgh blogs, McGuire is the one that got away and should never have been traded. They're pissed off.

Max Pentacost was regarded as the 10th best catching prospect in baseball, as of January 2015. In February 2015 he underwent shoulder surgery, spent 2015 rehabbing. Because he wasn't cleared to resume his catching, his 2016 was spent DHing, first at Lansing, then was bumped upped to Dunedin. Still a long way off, if he sticks at the catcher position.

So that where it sits. Russell will be the main catcher, most likely with a slightly reduced work load. The back up catcher will either be Jimenez, a catcher acquired by trade or a free agent yet to be signed. And that's when the argument started in the comment section. Who will be the back up catcher to Martin? Keep in mind, the Jays are paying 20 million per year, for the next 3 years for Russell and that means they won't be going long term or hefty price for a back up .

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Yadda Yadda Yadda

I went looking for video of the complete press conference Ross Atkins did yesterday with no luck. So those of us who couldn't watch live are dependent on other people's impressions of the event.

Atkins has a bunch of negotiations to make in the next few weeks, and then in the next few months. Yet people are mad he won't pre-empt those negotiations to satisfy their desire to play armchair GM.

As an added bonus, Blair is talking sense for once. So is Simmons (via RADAR). Up is down. Black is white.

I hate this time of year.

Anyway, you can do your endless speculation in this post.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Glass Half Empty

Honestly, I think the team has a lot of potential. But for fun let's discuss some reasons why your 2017 Toronto Blue Jays will fail to make the postseason. Take these points with several grains of salt.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Your turn to be the President and General Manager

Within 24 hours of the Blue Jay's season ending, there was an explosion of media opinions wondering " what's next for the Jays?" Unlike previous years, when there were obvious holes to fill like obtaining starting pitching, shoring up the bullpen, who's gonna play left field, the questions in this off season are different.

  Shapiro has said no decision about re-signing Bautista or Encarnacion can be made until the budget is set. At BJN, Stoeten ponders, among other things, the changes at Rogers, the revenue and content produced by Rogers Media division and what it all means for the Jays going forward. I want your opinions on what you think will happen to the budget going forward.

  Dave Cameron at Fangraphs has already produced at lot of talk in the previous comment section about a Jays rebuild. The Jays are getting older. More injury prone? Do you think that the Jays need to get younger? Should they be rebuilding?

  Jeff Sullivan at the very same Fangraphs makes his case against the idea of a rebuild. Experts from the same ilk, with well thought out opposing viewpoints. The starting pitching excelled and is still intact. The bullpen gave up zero runs in the ALCS. Do you think that the Jays can make a run to the playoffs without rebuilding? What is needed to remain playoff contenders?

 Fidlin in the Sun try's to understand who to re-sign and who to say goodbye to. Who should be the back up catcher? Who's going to be the first baseman if you don't or can't re-sign EE? Do you think starting pitching should be traded to acquire outfield offence?

 The commenters here at JITH know their stuff. Time to put your collective brain power to work. What's your opinion? You be the president and do what's best to get the Jay's to the World Series in 2017.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's all over! And it's been a hell of a ride.

Cartoon Mushroom House

So it's been quite a year and it's all over!( this time for realises ).

Let's take a little look back before we look forward.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ALCS Game 5

Backs against the wall. Estrada on the bump. Rookie Merritt ripe for the taking. Let's do this!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ALCS Game 4

Backs against the wall. Sanchez on the bump. Kluber ripe for the taking on short rest. Let's do this!

The morning after the night before.

Well that's a deep hole that the Jays have dug themselves into. What started out, with conditions as promising as could be, Bauer bleeding all over his uniform and the field. The Jays and the band formerly known as the Kraken, are in the position that precisely one team in 115 years has overcome. Only one team in baseball, has come back from an 0 an and 3 record, in a 7 game series, to win the final 4 games, that team, the 2004 BoSox. Not only that, but according to Cathal Kelly , "In more than 80 per cent of series in which a team goes down three-games-to-none, they are swept."

There's no way to sugar coat it, it doesn't look good for the home nine. Analysis of what's going wrong will certainly point to the bats going cold, or Clevelands pitching with the bullpen and Miller dominating or the lack of an effective two strike approach or the manager failing to take advantage of a wounded pitcher or expectations of 4th outfielders to produce like stars or hidden injuries or aging superstars that are past their prime. Lots of stories, lots of narratives and perhaps an opportunity lost.

Before the post mortem, there's still a game to play. The Jays send the AL's ERA Champ, Sanchez, to the bump. That's good. The Clevelands send the guy who's already won the first game in this series, Kluber. That's not so good. But the Jays have beaten Kluber already this year and it is baseball, where nothing surprises me. So let's win this one, hand the ball to Acestrada, win that one, and try to be the second team to come back from an 0-3 hole.

For those who require a Zen moment, may I refer you to a way to relieve your stress, with the Gibby White Noise Machine.

Monday, October 17, 2016

ALCS Game 3

It's the return of the Stro Show! Cut up Bauer.

Offence, where art thou? You are our only hope!

Surviving September Baseball: The Conclusion (More Lies)

Part 4:

Quest For The Holy Grail.. OR.. Jane And Ted's Not So Excellent Adventure (False Advertising)

Summing Up Our Playoff History To This Point

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

NLCS Game 1

Lester vs Maeda. Have at it.

ALCS Game 2

JA is Happ-iness
Tomlin is toast
The offence comes back
And we will boast

Party Weekend!

So last night didn't go as planned. But hey, it's only one game and we're in the ALCS!

Today's challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a poem in any style about the playoffs.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Off Day Discussion Points

Most of these conversations would more aptly be discussed in the off-season but with the break in the schedule I thought we could spitball about some things.
Most notably, the giant brass balls on three Jays who decided to gamble on themselves instead of taking some guaranteed dollars.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday: Jays News and Views.

  Stoeten at BJN posts about the TV ratings for Sunday's game 3 of the ALDS. Aaaand they're massive. 4.73 million average audience, a peak of 7.03 million and 10 million watching at some point of the broadcast. That's a lot of eyes, over a quarter of the country, reminiscent of September 2015 when Sportsnet was the number 2 network in Canada, largely because of your Blue Jays. I'm not sure if I agree, that this might increase the chances that Edwin or Jose gets signed by the Jays, but you can be damn sure that payroll won't be going down in 2017. Laurence would be shipping Eddie Rogers to Vodafone if that happened. It also suggests that it'd be hard for the Jays to be considered a "small market team" by anyone. No more 31 million dollar handouts from MLB.

  Joanna writes about Clevelands racist/clown mascot at Hum and Chuck. She links Pedro doing this. Un-fucking-believable. In her piece we find out why Jerry Howarth won't use Cleveland's nickname and how Jamie Campbell will follow suit. I'm not one to get into the politics of everything but even I agree, the time for this shit to die, is long over due. Digging the Viking video with the throat singing at the end of her post. Head over and give it a look.

 Officially, Estrada has been named Game 1 starter. Unofficially, according to a CP article at Sportsnet, Stroman game 2, Happ Game 3,Dickey game 4, errr, Sanchez game 4. Devon Travis is expected to be ready to go for game 1 and Liriano available on Saturday, after his league mandated, concussion protocol, DL time has elapsed. Going to be fun with guessing the playoff roster. Will Pompey be on it? Will Uncle Loupy's wild ride be replaced by Liriano? Will the cold in Cleveland cause for a Gibby's Mumu sighting? Curious times need answers.

  Interesting tidbit from the Sun article about Pompey at the end of the page.
"Behind the Chicago Cubs’ 57 victories at Wrigley Field, the Indians tied the Los Angeles Dodgers and Rangers for the second-most home wins in baseball this season with 53. Cleveland held an impressive plus-105 run differential at Progressive Field, but were minus-four on the road. The Blue Jays were plus-38 at the Rogers Centre and an impressive plus-55 away from home."

  CBS has 3 writers picking Cleveland taking the series, with 2 taking the Jays. Defense should be prominent during the series, with the two top run prevention teams in the AL battling it out. How do you defend a homerun anyways? Unleash the Kraken. Defends this, ya fucking racists.

  While we're at it, what does your ALCS playoff roster look like?

 With the Jays on fire so far in October, let's hope none of them wanders down to the Cuyahoga River.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Note: Since we have a few days before the next series, it seems as good a time as any to post this. I wrote this post exactly a week ago in long hand. It's my usual writing style but I don't use it for blogging because of the extra time. It allows my thoughts to flow freely and I get a chance to do an edit when I type it. This one did get a second pass but nothing really changed except to add in some updates and to say that I really love you all and greatly appreciate your support during this trying time.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2016 ALDS Game 3

The boo birds better be out in force tonight for Odor.

Sanchez vs Lewis. Tonight we can shut this puppy down with another stellar performance from the offence.

If this is your first time here, welcome! Check out the commenting guidelines before you post.

2016 NLDS postponed Game 2

Discuss the postponed Dodgers/Nats game and lead up to tonight's game here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

2016 NLDS Game 1

Talk about the NL playoff games here.

2016 ALDS Game 2

Well, that was fun!

Happ vs Darvish. Go JA! Go 2015ish offence! Let's silence those bloodthirsty fans again.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

2016 ALDS Game 1

Estrada vs Hamels. Time to do this again:

Preparing to crush the Rangers again discussion thread

The place to discuss last night's NL Wild Card game, today's Game 1s, and anything in between. Game threat up at 3pm.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Celebration/angst/smacktalk thread

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

A post that doesn't have 3000 comments to talk about last night's game and tomorrow's game and everything in between.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wild Card Game Threat

Blue Jays vs Orioles

Tonight Tillman gets his Tits lit.

Lets pump these Shit birds.

Lets win this one for Toronto.
Lets win it for Canada.
Let's win it for Blue Jay fans all over the globe.
And let's win it for MK who brought us all together and who has worked tirelessly to keep us together. She deserves all the love and a sweet, sweet victory tonight.
From all of us here MK, thoughts and prayers for you and your mom.

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  Jaysssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

This is your Game Threat

Wild Card Preview

So it all comes down to this, the battle of the birds.

The oriole is a small, shitty, Icterid blackbird. The meaning of the name is "Jaundiced ones".
A little quick research reveals that Predation is the most common source of it's mortality, and of those predators one of the most common oriole killers is the fierce Blue Jay.

You can't make this shit up.

The Blank Page

Monday, October 3, 2016

Celebrate Your Wild Card Jays

It's been a long taxing season. One that has been filled with many highs and lows. The Jays got out in front midway through the season and it looked like they would coast to the AL East pennant. Somewhere along the way the bats cooled dramatically and it became a dog fight down the stretch.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Some Small Stuff

Celebration Thread...or If You Pull My Sweater....

We Won?

Shut The Fuck Up Donnie!

Wow ..what a conclusion to this season. The angst ...the swears ....a shitty September...still though ...two of three ...and shoulda swept?

Celebrate my brethren feels good.

This post is for what you must.

2016 Game 162 - Jays vs Sux

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Here it is, the final game. Fly high, Jays. Make that pinball machine ballpark your own.

Sanchez vs Price. Setting intention for good Aaron, shutdown bullpen, and explosive 2015-esque offence.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

2016 Game 161 - Jays vs Sux

Time to fuck up this bullshit/horseshoe-up-their-asses/Farrell-Ball team.

Happ vs Rodriguez. Setting intention for good JA, shutdown bullpen, and explosive 2015-esque offence.