Friday, November 27, 2009

Chill, baby. Chill.

It was something else to see the diversity of reactions to yesterday's signing of Alex (Not Alex) Gonzalez. (Wait a second. Didn't I do this bit yesterday? Nevermind.)

We don't mind the Gonzo signing because we actually think that he can provide plus defense and near league average offense. It might be a step down from what we got from Marco Scutaro last year, but then again, who the hell knows what Scoots would do next year in Toronto?

Sure, it would be nice to have someone who promises huge numbers at short, and third, and catcher, and first, and off the bench. But these days, we're thinking that some fans have to just calm the fuck down over the perceived weaknesses in the lineup. Every lineup if going to end up having its holes, and if Alex Gonzalez ends up as a .700 OPS, plus defender hitting 8th or 9th, it doesn't immediately make this team a 100 loss nightmare.

Cripes, the vaunted '92 Jays had four regulars (Borders, Gruber, Manny Lee and Devo) who posted an OPS under .700, and the offensively monstrous '93 Jays had two regulars (Borders and Sprague) and two players with 200 ABs (Henderson and Darnell Coles) who OPSed under .700. So a few weak spots in the lineup doesn't necessarily mean that the team is headed directly in the crapper.

(Although we still would have rather taken our chances with J.J. Hardy. But that's neither here nor there.)

Okay, fine. We're calling it here: The Jays, as they stand today, are an 83-win team. So stop putting on the poor mouth.

Travis Snider - No free rides, and no second helpings at the buffet
The first thing we thought when we heard Alex Anthopoulos say that Sniderman had to earn his way onto the roster was: "How much weight has he put on this off season?"

The Doctor is in
Big ups to my good friend and fellow blogger Devin on his Ph.D. defense yesterday. (Schelling? Who the hell writes on Schelling?) He's a cool cat and the epitome of a San Francisco Bay Area Liberal, and we love the guy for it. Also, he's an A's fan, which we totally respect. If you're so inclined, his smartypants scribblings can be found over here.

Friday Rock Out - Grandaddy, "Elevate Myself"
And in the new doctor's honour, who else could rock us into the weekend but the pride of Modesto?

24 comments:

Torgen said...

I think you've forgotten what league average offense looks like.

eyebleaf said...

Every lineup if going to end up having its holes, and if Alex Gonzalez ends up as a .700 OPS, plus defender hitting 8th or 9th, it doesn't immediately make this team a 100 loss nightmare.

Cripes, the vaunted '92 Jays had four regulars (Borders, Gruber, Manny Lee and Devo) who posted an OPS under .700, and the offensively monstrous '93 Jays had two regulars (Borders and Sprague) and two players with 200 ABs (Henderson and Darnell Coles) who OPSed under .700. So a few weak spots in the lineup doesn't necessarily mean that the team is headed directly in the crapper.


I'm interested to see how the haters respond to the above. I'm sure they'll find a way.

As I wrote over at GoF, AA has made it clear: the Mac and Gonzo signings are about defence, period. So why stress over the OPS's these guys are going to put up? I won't do it.

But I'm with you: 700 OPS!!!!1 (From Gonzalez, b/c it's certainly not possible for Mac to accomplish that feat.)

Peter D said...

I don't know if it's my homerism, but I like Alex Gonzalez a lot better now that he's a Blue Jay :)

At the end of the day there really is no downside to the Mac and Gongshow signings as the team didn't have to give up anything to get them. However, it's just frustrating that we are still waiting for acquisitions of actual pieces of the teams future.

Drew - LtB said...

Congrats to your friend on his PhD defense, but now my afternoon is shot reading the glossary of terms from Infinite Jest. Dammit.

Tao of Stieb said...

Okay, league average OPS is what... a .740? .750?

Last year, there were 20 SS's who qualified. Depending on where you want to place your marker to determine the mean, you have Stephen Drew (.748) or Alexei Ramirez (.721).

I think that Gonzalez can put numbers up somewhere in that range.

Tao of Stieb said...

@Drew

It's Friday. What else were you going to do?

Torgen said...

It's a pretty big jump from .620 to .740.

Tao of Stieb said...

The Bill James prediction in Fangraphs has him at .692. He did .793 with the Reds in 07, and was better away from home.

I don't think it is beyond the realm of the possible that he post something between .700 and .750.

Torgen said...

Bill James projections always overestimate offense.
A league average bat is 2 wins above replacement. Add in 1.5 wins for his above average glove and 0.75 wins for the positional adustment, and you're saying he will be 4.25 wins above replacement. His career best year, he almost made it to 3.

Tao of Stieb said...

Okay fine. I'm wrong. Let's all just fucking blow the world up, because everything is so fucking terrible.

Anonymous said...

Torgen likes to spout things he reads on other sites as though they're fact, without considering the alternatives - don't mind him.

Anonymous said...

With both McDonald and Gonzalez both signed, it'd seem like they're gonna let Scutaro go. But as it was pointed out before, the Jays will get the 2 picks for Scutaro only if they offer him arbitration... anyone here think Scutaro might actually accept arbitration?

I'd think he'll likely reject it as someone out there will likely be interested in signing him for 2 years... but if he were to accept it... that certainly would throw a big kink in AA's plans, no?

eyebleaf said...

@ Anon: Read Will Hill's piece over at TSN. If Scoots accepts arbitration, he's grabbing an outfielders glove and shagging fly balls. AA HAS THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING!!!1 HE'S A GENIUS!!!!1

Building!!!!1

Damo Suzuki said...

Schelling? Sure he didn't wear corn-rows and right a 300 plus page tract on the Phenomenology of Jet Skiing, but he was a moderately important post-Kantian German Idealist. One criticism you can level at Schelling is that he unfortunately educated himself in public, in that he constantly revised his ideas.

Of course, the 'corn-rows and Phenomenology of Jet Skiing' standard has yet to be met by any philosopher (Socrates might have been game, if Jet Skis and Corn Rows were readily available in Ancient Greece), but maybe that's what philosophy is sorely waiting for?

Before I forget, 'Paperhouse!'

Mark said...

It's a solid deal for a stopgap. He's got enough upside to be a plus defender with a 695-700 OPS bat, which would rank around 8th in the AL for SS by OPS. Factor in the defense and you got yourself a pretty good player.

Hell, even if Gonzales is just a one win player it's still a damn good deal. He'd provide 4+ mil of value on a 2 mil contract. Even if he's as bad as he was last year, he'd still be worth the contract.

Complain about signing McDonald all you want (and I encourage everyone to do so!), but there's just no reason to bitch about this deal considering the Jays aren't contending.

Mark said...

Ok, when I said pretty good player... I meant pretty good stopgap. Sorry about the confusion.

Sir Philip Sidney said...

Well, Tao, it's good to know there are still people like your pal Devin who are willing to spend tens of thousands getting a Ph.D. in writers most people have never heard of. Including me!

The day that stops, the terrorists have won!

Steve G. said...

Cripes, the vaunted '92 Jays had four regulars (Borders, Gruber, Manny Lee and Devo) who posted an OPS under .700, and the offensively monstrous '93 Jays had two regulars (Borders and Sprague) and two players with 200 ABs (Henderson and Darnell Coles) who OPSed under .700. So a few weak spots in the lineup doesn't necessarily mean that the team is headed directly in the crapper.

I was going to quibble and say that the offensive environments had really changed from this era to that past era... But then I looked at the numbers, and they haven't really that much. About a difference of 0.1 run per game.

A weak spot in the lineup doesn't matter so much if you're incredible somewhere else, I just don't see where the Jays are incredible. Lind is a plus, but not a superstar, and isn't Snider the only prospect / young player with a chance of being one? Hill is a useful, above-average player, but his OBP and slugging split scare me a bit.

Gil Fisher said...

Where's Ack the Slack?

eyebleaf said...

I second Gil's motion.

The Ack said...

Fuck you!

Uh, I mean, coming...

Gil Fisher said...

was that addressed at me, or was you're wife calling?

Anonymous said...

Definitely not your wife. Her mouth was full at the time with my kielbasa.

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