Thursday, November 30, 2017

Greg Zaun fired

Big news on the Blue Jays Sportsnet broadcast team Greg Zaun has been fired for inappropriate conduct towards female co-workers. In this day and age, Zaun should have known better. So many celebrities have fallen due to sexual misconduct from former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi to several NFL athletes being accused in recent years.

Many Jays fans will rejoice as Zaun was certainly opinionated and wasn't afraid to criticize even players on the Jays.

What do you think? Are you happy to see Greg Zaun off Sportsnet's broadcast team? Please comment below.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Hello All,

As previously discussed, yesterday was the anniversary of the Josh "Dosh" Donaldson trade. With only one more year of control, the Jays front office have to make a decision. Donaldson needs to be extended or traded but what is the best option. How much will it take to extend him in years and dollars? If it is a trade, who provides the best return and fills some of the many holes in the Jays roster?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Nothing to See here Mondays

Hello All,

Another day, another lack of baseball news. Kudos to MK for putting out a post on all those days when there's not much to talk about. Cause I got nothing.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar aka WTFJITH

Hello All,

That's right, once again it's Saturday night and I'm here to provide you with 1 or 2 of the same videos I post every weekend once the medicine (rum) starts to work. (See Estas Tonne and Deep Purple).

Friday, November 24, 2017

Off-Season Happenings, AA and the Braves, and the Trade Market

After an extremely compelling MLB playoffs, capped off with the second great World Series in two years, baseball news reports have shifted toward the end of season award voting and free agent rumors. A culmination of those rumors will lead to the start of the off-season each year, with the headline being the Winter Meetings held in Las Vegas from December 10th-14th. Vegas seems to be the real hotbed place in sports right now (with Houston being right there was well) with the Golden Knights getting off to a great start, Da Raiderz about to roll into town, and whispers about bringing an NBA team there as well. I'm not sure how feasible an MLB team would be, but Manfred has called it 'an option' and I doubt the MLB would like to be left in the dust behind the other big 4 sports. There is some food for thought though if they get plans going on a stadium anytime soon I would think it could be a serious possibility.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The 2018 BBWAA HoF Ballot

It's that time of year again. The 2018 BBWAA HoF Ballot is out now, and I know I said this last year, but once again it is way overcrowded (at least IMHO). There are 33 names on the ballot this year, which can be found here with some handy dandy stats on it. Depending on how big you like your HoF, you can probably make a case for 20ish of the 33 candidates. There's a catch though. There are only ten slots on each ballot. Yikes. Let's get into it after the jump, shall we?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The 40 man!

Hello again. A lot of you were good enough to share tweets and information about the changes made to the Blue Jays 40 man roster but I thought I'd accumulate all the details in one spot.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Free Agent Target: Lance Lynn

The big X factor heading into spring training for the Blue Jays will be the health of starter Aaron Sanchez. Sanchize had a disastrous 2017 campaign missing the bulk of the season with a troublesome blister on his middle finger. In his absence, Joe Biaghini pitched in his spot in the rotation. While I think Biaghini is a good pitcher, he is better suited for the bullpen. In several of his starts, Biaghini was inconsistent and rarely went more than five innings. The Blue Jays need to sign a free agent starter who is proven and reliable. Lance Lynn would be a perfect pitcher to target.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar aka WTFJITH

Hello All,

It's that time again, yup, you guessed it, YouTube Videos featuring my favorite music. And Tom W's and anyone else who would like to jump in.

Not a lot of baseball newsworthy things happening, unless anyone is interested in taking Brad Hand off the Padres...cough...hands.

As always, feel free to add anything in the comments that I likely have missed since I was cooking all day.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Another Day Just Like the Last

I am usually able to trick myself into thinking the off season is not as long as it feels and in a mere few months, the season will be ramping up. I am able to convince myself of this in August, not so much on a snowy November morning.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Shohei Ohtani (or is it Otani?!)

Image result for Shohei Ohtani.

The Roy Halladay service yesterday (expertly covered here by our very own Lunchbox) likely has a lot of us feeling a bit down remembering a great player, Blue Jay and human. I thought today some might want to focus on some baseball news. Except, well, there really isn't any. Rumours, discussions and the like are all taking place, as is the norm for this time of year but there was one piece of news which may be of interest to some.

The Twins released one of their international signings, Jelfry Marte, after apparently failing his physical. The money allotted to him, now goes back into their international signing pool, leading some to believe they might be making a push to obtain the services of one Shohei O. (I'm not spelling his last name until I get confirmation its one way or the other, or both!). In the link above, it does mention that rather than going after Shohei, they could also trade those funds to a team who, quite frankly, has a more realistic chance of actually landing the superstar.

I for one can only assume that the Jays front office will poo poo the idea and Alex "AA" Anthopoulos will find a way to ninja trade/sign Shohei and do so with very little in the way of funds or prospects.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Roy Halladay's Celebration of Life

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

From Sportsnet:

Watch live coverage of the ceremony on Sportsnet and right here on beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT. Host Jamie Campbell will be joined by Gregg Zaun, Jeff Blair and Jerry Howarth while Hazel Mae and Shi Davidi will be reporting from the ceremony in Florida.

The Celebration of Life will be held at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, where he had been working as a mental strength coach to young Phillies prospects.

I thought this thread could serve as a vehicle to share your thoughts of the service as it airs.  Also feel free to share your top Roy Halladay moment, if you haven't already done so.  Unrelated baseball discussion could continue on the previous thread.


From Shi Davidi:  Dear Blue Jays: Don't wait, retire Halladay's number immediately

Earlier today:  Cole Hamels talks Roy Halladay

Free 'The Athletic' links on Doc: 

Article on Doc's work as a mental strength coach:  Roy Halladay will have lasting impact on young Phils

In closing... may he never be forgotten on this site.  A tribute video of highlights:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Random thoughts on Roy Halladay's passing

Having been out of town for the past week, I've had plenty of time to mull over my thoughts about the passing of Roy Halladay but haven't had the opportunity to fully articulate these thoughts onto paper, so-to-speak, since I only brought my Blackberry with me to D.C.

After some reflection, I must say that I've been feeling more than a little skeeved out with Doc's death. Perhaps it'll help to put things in perspective by laying out a little background history of my baseball fandom to explain why I feel so.

My earliest memory of watching baseball was during the 1971 World Series when my father told me that this Roberto Clemente fella was someone I needed to watch as he did everything so well. I was six years old and I remember bits and parts of watching this series where the great Clemente was named the MVP for the victorious Pirates, but I didn't really understand baseball or what made Clemente so special back then. It was, of course, the next year that Clemente passed away in a plane crash at the age of 38.

It was in 1975 that I truly became a fan of baseball and I'd hear my father rave about this catcher for the Yankees, and I became a huge fan of Thurman Munson, especially during his MVP season in 1976 and the three post-season appearances in a row from '76 to '78. I started a scrapbook collection with newspaper/magazine articles, box scores and photos of Munson in 1976 that lasted until his death on August 2, 1979. I still have the three scrapbooks covering four seasons in a box at home.

In my lifetime, there have been four players in particular that I had special father-son bonding moments. I grew up with my father highlighting two players that I just had to watch (Clemente and Munson), and I went on to take my youngest Things to ballgames where I'd highlight two players in particular that they just had to watch and emulate. One was Doc, who was the pitcher for Thing 3's first (and second and third) ballgame - that first ballgame was the May 12, 2009 game where Halladay dominated against A.J. Burnett in the latter's return to the Rogers Centre as a Yankee. The other is a recently-retired Jay who is now enjoying life fishing on a lake, a player that I took my two Things to several games and helped them understand what they were seeing was special.

So, you can see by now where I'm going with this and why Doc's passing has me feeling rather unsettled. Three of the four players that I've had special father-son bonding moments in baseball have passed away in the same manner.  It leaves a sickening feeling in my stomach.  A coincidence or ... holy shit, what?

Pass the tinfoil hat, please.  *tosses salt over shoulder*  *rubs rabbit foot*  *spits on an image of Cheeto's face*

(The only other major baseball-related father-son moment I've had was when we saw my dad's favourite player from his youth at a book signing in San Francisco for Mickey Mantle's "The Mick", but this took place perhaps twenty years after Mantle's retirement. I still have the signed copy of the book here at home.)

I've seen Doc pitch in person perhaps 25-30 times and my three favourite memories of these games: 

1. The A.J. Burnett return to Rogers Centre. I've already mentioned this one as it was made more special by this being Thing 3's first MLB game. I also particularly enjoyed this image from this game:

There's so much to take in from this image.
  • The screaming fans. 
  • The usher dressed in yellow, glancing back to see what's happening on the field.
  • Burnett giving a glance to his mentor, Doc, while walking off after getting the hook. 
  • Doc's teammates giving him space on the bench with a look of fear and reverence ('better not fuck with him') on their faces. 
  • And there's Doc sitting as cool as a cucumber with a smirk on his face, showing who's the boss out there. 
2. Doc whipping the Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 17, 2003.  Boxscore here.   I had bought tickets to this game a couple months prior but I didn't expect Doc to be pitching as this was two days after the All-Star game, but as it turned out, he didn't pitch in the ASG so he was available to go while I was there in attendance. A complete-game for Doc as he won his 14th straight decision in out-dueling Derek Lowe who had won 7 straight decisions himself.

3. The first time I got to see Doc in person - a two-hit shutout of the Colorado Rockies on June 7, 2002.  Boxscore here.  Bonus - got to see Larry Walker in person, as well.

Another favourite memory was watching Doc as a fuzzy-cheeked rookie toss a near no-hitter in his second MLB start. This video is fascinating to break down - the fresh young face, the overhand pitching motion, a different uniform number, etc.

Life really can be unfair sometimes. Brandy only got to have four years with him being home for more than half of the year. Doc won't get to see his son Braden toeing the rubber in the big leagues in a few years, nor would he get to see both Braden and Ryan grow up into adulthood. Meanwhile, plenty of asshats and pieces of human excrement out there continue to live.

While in D.C., I had a conversation with some baseball friends about Doc's passing and why he meant so much to a lot of people, why this hurt more to more people than the passings of, to give some examples, Yordano Ventura, Jose Fernandez and Oscar Tavares.  The best comparison I could give was to imagine if something had happened to Frank Howard a short time after his retirement and the Senators still being important in town - he's that well-liked in D.C.  (Another comparison would be Ryan Zimmerman for the Nationals, though he's not on the same level)  It's impossible to quantify the impact that Doc had on a lot of people -- so many ballplayers, members of the media and non-baseball people revere him for things he's done beyond performing on a mound; the loss just cannot be measured on so many fronts.

Thanks for the memories, Doc. You did your best to make the Blue Jays relevant throughout the aughts and thank you for being not just a legendary ballplayer but also an even more legendary human being.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar!

Image result for Remembrance Day,
Hello All!

Sorry for the break in posts. I'll do my best to have something up every day going forward. Not a whole lot going on baseball wise, or rather Jays related and to be honest, after the Halladay news, I may have checked out a bit.

But I'm back now and would like to talk about...yeah, I still have nothing. Stanton is getting traded to.....! Not the Jays. Sad face but probably for the best. Link here.

Haven't been too locked into the baseball news for a couple days so anyone who wants to post some links to interesting stuff, feel free.

Also, its Saturday night! And you know what that means....ok maybe you don't. Here's a hint:

It's also Remembrance Day, lest we forget.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Free Agent Target: Alex Avlla

Last season the Blue Jays played 5 different catchers: Russell Martin, Jarrot Saltalamacchia, Miguel Montero, Luke Maille and Raffy Lopez. It is imperative that the Blue Jays have a reliable backup catcher. Russell Martin will turn 35 years old next year. While he will still play most of the games, the Jays backup catcher can be expected to play 50-100 games depending on if Martin is healthy. The catcher is such an important position because the pitcher relies on the catcher to call the right pitch and to help him when he needs it. Alex Avila would be a good backup catcher for the Jays to target

Why the Jays should sign Alex Avila


Two big issue the Blue Jays had last season was throwing out base runners and wild pitches. Avila has proven to be capable in both categories. Last season he allowed 5 passed balls and 16 wild pitches. He threw out 31% of the runners who tried to steal on him. A lot factors into being able to throw out a base runner from pitch selection to said pitch being executed properly. Also, how fast a pitcher is to the plate can create problems throwing out base runners.


Alex Avila made $2M this past season and with a raise the Blue Jays can get him for around 8-10M. For a backup catcher that is a reasonable price on such an important position.


As mentioned above, the Blue Jays backup catcher will be expected to play at least 50 games this season. Avila has been in the league for nine seasons whereas Luke Maile has 2 seasons where he's been with the Major league club full time. Raffy Lopez will be entering just his second full season as catcher.

Cons of signing him

Best days behind him?

Statistically, Alex Avila had his best year in 2014 when he led the AL in throwing out base runners (36) and double plays turned as a catcher (9). He also ranked 4th in putouts by a catcher (883). Offensively, his numbers last year were slightly better than would be expected based on previous seasons. Avila has never been a big power hitter and he will strike out about a third of the time. However, Avila also drew a respectable 62 walks.

The Blue Jays are at a critical point in their contending window and perhaps it might be better to have a veteran presence backing up Russell Martin. I'm not saying that Maile or Lopez aren't capable of being Martin's backup. I just think the time is now to win the World Series.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Our Condolences to Doc Halladay

Upon hearing the recent news of Doc's tragic death, I thought we should have a specific post to grieve, discuss and remember a player we all loved. You will be missed Doc.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Free Agent Target: Lorenzo Cain

The World Series is over and it is time to shift focus on the offseason. This will be the first in a series of posts on free agents I think the Blue Jays should target. Toronto does not have a need at every position, so I will be focusing on where the Jays should add. Today I start with Lorenzo Cain of the Royals

Pros of signing Lorenzo Cain

Speed kills

Lorenzo Cain has the ability to steal bases and get on base. Far too often this season, the Jays were trying to hit the long ball. With Lorenzo Cain at the top of the lineup, the Blue Jays can use the hit and run or score multiple runs on a HR. I would use whoever is hottest between Pillar and Cain at the top of the lineup and put the other player in the 9th hole. This way there will be speed at the top and bottom of the lineup.


Cain is a great defender. He committed just 7 errors all of last season. He also has a strong arm.  Lorenzo Cain has a strong chance to win his first gold glove this season. He committed the 3rd fewest errors in the AL  (7), had the most putouts as a CF (430) and was 5th in the AL in outfield assists (5). I see him replacing Joey Bats in RF on most nights and when Kevin Pillar needs a rest, he can shift to CF.


Cain played 155 games last season and 2 seasons before that he appeared in 133 games. Given the Jays luck with injuries, it is important to target free agents with few injuries in the past. Injuries will happen and I'm not saying that Cain might not get injured if the Jays signed him but history suggests that is less likely.

Cons of signing Lorenzo Cain


Historically, Lorenzo Cain has a high strike out rate. In 2017, Cain struck out 100 times in 584 AB. For a player who would likely be batting leadoff if the Jays were to sign him, this is not a good thing. You want your lead-off hitter to get on base most of the time.

Price it will take to sign him

Last season, Lorenzo Cain made $11M. Given who else is on the market and the needs of other teams it is likely the Jays will have to offer him a minimum of $20M. Bautista signed for $18M last season and Joeybats wasn't exactly in high demand.

Is Cain worth the price when you already have Pillar in CF and potentially minor leaguers such as Toescar Hernandez who could make the roster with a strong spring training? To me, it's worth the risk. Provided Cain is willing to accept a position change, having him at the top of the order will provide more opportunities for bigger innings. Also, having two speedy outfielders with strong arms can really limit the extra bases the Jays give up and help pitchers get out of trouble faster.

What do you think? Please comment below

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2017 NL Awards and full season All-Stars

2017 NL Awards:

Hello. I'm back with more baseball content goodness to help chip away at the emptiness of the early portion of the baseball offseason (before it gets fired up, which is coming soon despite any withdrawal symptoms you may be currently experiencing). This time we're looking at the Senior Circuit and who I think should take home the individual hardware for the just concluded 2017 season. Join me after the jump won't you?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar!

Hello Friends,

(I wonder how do I put a gif in a post...)

As you know I'm taking over some of the writing duties here in our little community and you also may have noticed I'm not exactly Mr. Stats. I guess if I'm Mr. anything, I'd be Mr. Wolf.

Or Mr. Gif

(Ah-ha! Figured it out!)

I won't be writing a lot on advanced metrics. I like to think of myself as 50% eye test, 50% stats and 50% talking out of my ass. During this slow, long, dark, dreary thing we call the "off-season", there may not always be fun and exciting things to talk about, baseball wise, so hopefully we can come up with a few regular items to keep ourselves busy. For Saturday nights, while we have had "Party Weekends" in the past, which typically end up with me and Tom W swapping Youtube links to our favorite music, I thought I would assert my authority (which is precisely none) and name it "Saturday Night Spanish Guitar!", for obvious reasons.

This of course in no way binds us to posting or talking music, just some fun for anyone who wants to drop in and discuss music, baseball, basketball, hockey etc. I would like to stay away from talking about the weather. Did that with RADAR once and now I know what "Altostratus Clouds are", like I have space in there for that kind of knowledge.

As always, any suggestions are welcome for topics/posts/guest writers are welcome. Thanks for reading.

Oh yeah, one more thing...

Friday, November 3, 2017

2017 AL Awards and full season All-Stars

2017 AL Awards:

Hello again my JITH friends. What a season we just witnessed, even if it didn't go according to plan for our beloved Blue Jays. The pennant races didn't have much in the way of suspense, but the postseason...Oh my! Four of the seven series went the distance, with more than enough drama for baseball die-hards and casual fans alike.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Changing of the Guard

So now that the World Series is over and the calendar has clicked over to November, it's time for me to step back from JITH for a while. My mom's health has accelerated my need to generate a great deal of income quickly. I also need to be available for my parents right now as well. So I can't

The good news is that Wolf is stepping up to run things in my absence and I'm trusting the other three writers with admin privileges - RADAR, Smasher, and Bill - will be there to provide advice and guidance. We're still working out how we'll handle writer communication but I will email all the writers once it's been settled.

The mods will also be here to help handle things if they get out of hand but with no games I'm suspecting it'll be fine. Well, until we miss out on a big free agent. :)

Take care, you awesome people.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

World Series Game 7

Here it is, what you all wanted. The final game of baseball for 2017.

Vin Scully vs #HoustonStrong.

Darvish vs McCullers Jr.

Winner takes all.