Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Return of the Mac

Bastian tweets that the Jays are ready to announce the re-signing of team mascot John McDonald as soon as today. Jays co-mascot Ace could not be reached for comment.

What does this mean? Another season of Prime Ministerial punnery, pugnacious pinch-running, and picktacular playmaking in the field. (Also, alliteration. Always alliteration.)

Don't get us wrong, we really like Johnny Mac, and it is worth noting that he had a career high four homers in just 151 at bats, and his slugging percentage reached dizzying new heights (.384). But on the other side, he is one of four or five players that we envision as the 25th man on the roster, and we're a tad bit worried that all of those guys are going to make the team.

Also, what's this mean for Mike McCoy? Is there only room for one Mac on the roster? Too much mackin'?

The Halladay Sweepstakes, part XXXIV
So today, it is the Red Sox, who allegedly want to get this wrapped up before the winter meetings. Also, the Angels, although that report sorta looks like horseshit.

Yorvit? Our Vit!
Torrealba catching for the Jays? Meh. Could happen. He's no Miguel Olivo.


Herbie Hancock said...

I thought that Johnny Mac wouldn't be back after the way Gaston pretty much left him for dead, so this news is a bit of a surprise. Sure, Scutaro did a remarkable Littlest Hobo impression and saved a few wins from the equivalent of a three alarm blaze in Cheektowaga numerous times, but even Cito rolled out a less than healthy Scutario at Johnny Mac's expense.

My rationale for the extension is that Doc's departure is a forgone conclusion, if it wasn't already, and that AA realizes that with a young pitching squad middle infielder defence should be held to a premium at the cost of having a bit of an offensive black hole bat ninth. Guess AA thinks the batting pop of Lind, Hill, whomever is at first, the unknown DH, Snider, and perhaps a risen from the dead Wells should be enough to paper over Johnny Mac's less than thunderous bat.

Before I forget, Rockit.

Darren Priest said...

If McCoy has questionable D, I suppose Johnny Mac will just continue to be a defensive sub like he was last year.

Somewhere, Craig Grebek is either smiling or muttering, "Fuck that guy."

The Ack said...

re: Mac...$1.5M for a defensive sub who will get 100 AB? What? There's no way the salary can be justified, unless he plays every day. In which case, we're Fucked.

I think if AA can squeeze Buchholz, Kelly, and another prospect from the Sox....and that's the best offer...oh boy. How do you turn that down?

I can't see anything the Angels or Dodgers (unless they dangle Kershaw, which they wouldn't) can do to match that, so that just leaves the Yankees...

Basically, I'm preparing myself for the worst...

Tao of Stieb said...

I don't know if I can handle Buchholz. I spent the last couple of years telling my good pal the Red Sox fan that he didn't impress me much, mostly to antagonize him.

Now what the fuck am I supposed to do?

The Ack said...

I think you would have to roll with a "Boy, has he ever matured. I remember when Halladay came back up for good. The transformation was amazing!" approach.

That, or pray that someone else ponies up a big offer.

(For the record, my absolute worst case scenario is any NYY deal involving Joba. Therapy time.)

Unknown said...

I'd like to see Mac splitting time at short with McCoy. Then over the course of the year both Mac and Butterfield turn McCoy into a competent defensive player.

The Blue Jay a day interview that Wilner did with Johnny Mac is great, and talks about the possibility of this very sort of scenario. If you haven't listened to it, you should. If you can find it anyway, seems to be gone off the site.

Callum said...

Unknown said...

I'm cool with Johnny Mac as the full-time SS for next year. Best to distract the fans with his defense and hopefully they will forget his low to mid 200's batting average.

$1.5 million is a half-decent price, but if Cito benches him for most of the games it will be a total wash.

The Ack said...

Seriously, I'm not pickin' fights, and I really do like Johnny Mac...but how can anyone be cool with him being a full-time SS? He hasn't been a full-time player in how many years? On what other team would this even be possible?

I'm confused.

Dane lorg said...

I'm not ok w/ Mac but I think things like not signing draft picks & Cito's continued employment just have me uhh...'grinning & bearing it'?
Cito & J-Mac are fairly fucking ridiculous but I have become a mere dry husk of a man. I can withstand anything! Bring it on Anthopolous! Bring it on Beeston!

Bring it on 2010!

Unknown said...

Ack, two months ago if the Jays said that McDonald would be the full-time SS moving forward, I would have lost it.

Maybe I've just been hypnotized by all the AA "building" talk, but I understand this is only a short-term solution and hopefully it will give McCoy a chance to develop and maybe grow into the role eventually.

Mattt said...

I'm ok with JMac as our full time shortstop. He's cheap and 2010 has already been written off, so what's not to like?

Peter DeMarco said...

A few thoughts:
- Am I missing something with Casey Kelly? Is it because he's both a mediocre pitcher and hitter that scouts love him so much?
- The John MacDonald signing leads me to believe that McCoy will most likely start the season in AAA.
- Also, the John MacDonald signing leads me to believe that the Jays will sign Reed Johnson, because it's obvious that management would rather cater to the ignorant fan than try to win.
- Torrealba? Seriously? What's the point?
- Shouldn't the Jays wait until they see what prospects they can get before signing the stop gap players?

Peter DeMarco said...

"hopefully it will give McCoy a chance to develop and maybe grow into the role eventually."

Good Lord, would people please calm down their love for a guy that will never be greater than a utility infielder.

REAN said...

'Shouldn't the Jays wait until they see what prospects they can get before signing the stop gap players?'

Good point - kind of makes you wonder if the Halladay trade is as inevitable as we all believe...

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Another season of Prime Ministerial punnery, pugnacious pinch-running, and picktacular playmaking in the field.


I am not OK with Mac as our starting shortstop. But I guess that's "building!!!1" for you.

And there's no such thing as too much mackin'.

If Doc becomes a Red Sox, a part of me will most certainly die.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Also, I want Doc to win a World Series. But that will change if he goes to Boston. I can never, under any circumstances, root for that franchise.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

One more: "A look at Red Sox prospect Casey Kelly"

The Ack said...

See, that's where you're losing me a little, Peter D. You are (understandably) not particularly high on guys like McCoy and Dopirak, whose strong minor league stats you do not believe will translate to MLB success.

But now you don't see the upside in Kelly, who is universally viewed as a high-ceiling top (pitching) prospect, because his stats aren't there yet?

Darren Priest said...

According to Blair on PTS the other night, the Jays might just keep Halladay until the 2010 trade deadline.

Is this what it's like when you separate from your wife, but neither of you can afford to move out, so you end up being roommates?

Darren Priest said...

Oh, and I'd like to suggest a song for AA to use in his pitch to free agents.

Tao of Stieb said...

That's exactly what it is like, Darren.

I lived with my ex for two and a half weeks after we'd broken up. It was not fun...but it was less excruciating than the Halladay Long Goodbye.

The Ack said...

I read through the comments on the MLBTR thread, and I'm going to steal the best quote of 'em all:

"This prospect porn is getting out of hand"

What the fuck is this nonsense? "We can't give up Casey Kelly! He could help us win as soon as 2012 with a rotation spot!"

Uh, how about taking the sure thing - one of the game's truly great players - and winning now as well as in 2012? I can understand how cost-conscious smaller markets can overvalue their prospects - but Boston? FUCK. Payroll isn't an issue, and next year they'll all be fawning over the next great Sox prospect.

/end of rant.

Tao of Stieb said...


(Slow clapping)

I say. Well put, sir.

Herbie Hancock said...

@The Ack

It's almost as if they want to be architects of an 8 year dynasty, completely ignoring the Stienbrenner printing press that will outprint anyone's ability to use money.

If the Wankees have actually demonstrated much of anything, it's that being able to spend on players in their prime such as Teixeira and Sabbathia is a much easier way to build a dynasty than nurturing as many prospects as you can. I completely agree with what you say, it makes no sense for Sawx fans to fawn over uncertainty when they could have one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Tao of Stieb said...

The whole prospect porn phenomenon is a part of the Cult of the General Manager.

For those of us who are well past the point of ever hoping to play baseball, there is the vague notion that if the chuckleheads in charge would just give us the reins, we'd be able to turn everything around.

Want evidence? Just check out our list of the top 20 organizational prospects, 19 of whom we've never actually seen play!

But trust us, they are awesome!

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

You guys are on fire today:

the Halladay Long Goodbye
Prospect porn phenomenon
the Cult of the General Manager

And it's official, J-Mac has re-signed, clearly sending a message to Roy Halladay that the Jays are ALL BUSINESS.

Darren Priest said...

So now that J-Mac knows where he's playing, I can only assume he'll celebrate by making it rain at the Upper Brass?

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

While "Gangsta Nation" by Westside Connection plays on the speakers. Still can't believe Mac comes up to the plate to that.

Because we can all picture Mac doing the crip walk.

Herbie Hancock said...

It's official now? Let the building commence!?!?

To be honest AA could also describe his plan as Bildung, the German term that kind of translates as education and spiritual formation. I mean if a few years of suffering is in the plans, that should season at least the heartiest of baseball souls at the Rogers centre, though being able to acutely pick out crap on a baseball diamond through a few seasons of listless drifting seems to be a too painful way to enlighten the Jays fan.

Also, some would too easily focus on the 'dung' rather than the 'Bil'…it's a term that would be too rife for ridicule in the Jays context.

Anonymous said...

@ D Priest, thanks for making me laugh.

No doubt Johnny Mac will celebrate by making it rain Canadian Tire bills at the Brass Rail, cuz them fine honeys nowadays are into home renovations as well as tucking fivers into their g-strings. Surely he'll pour a forty ounce out on the street as a sign of respect for soon to be departed shortstop homey Marco S.

Get ready for some .220 from the 9 spot y'all, cuz if Mac's bat is a glock it be rusty and misfirin yo!

Peter DeMarco said...


There are many things I consider when evaluating prospects/minor leaguers, while I may not be an expert, these include:

- PCL stats are often inflated, so for McCoy when I look at his non PCL stats, I want to throw up in my mouth.
- Pedigree, if a player was high round draft pick, he gets bonus points.
- The age of a player, if a guy is 18-20, often you don't know what you will get, regardless of scouting reports (the exception is when a player that young is already succeeding at a high level). As well, if a player is 25 and up, I take minor league success with a grain of salt.
- The league level, if a player is in A ball his success may not translate the same in higher levels, however, if he is struggling at a low level, that is not a good sign.
- The number of organizations a player has been with. McCoy is now in his forth organization, not a good sign.
- K/BB ratio. A tell tale sign for a player that will fail in the majors is a poor minor league K/BB ratio. This is my biggest concern with Dopirak and Brandon Wood.
- there are a few others but I'll stop here.

- Both Dopirak and McCoy get a strike for their age and number of organizations
- McCoy gets a strike for PCL numbers vs. non PCL
- Dopirak gets a strike for his K/BB ratio
- Casey Kelly gets a strike for his age and minor league results at a low level.

I guess to make a long story even longer, Kelly may turn out to be great, but he should not be the sticking point in any deal since he's anything but a sure thing at this point.

Anonymous said...

The 'stache is back. Jays have signed Fasano as a minor league manager. Not sure if this balances out the Johnny Mac news.

Tao of Stieb said...

On PCL stats: What effect does the PCL have on OBP? Because that is the most compelling stat that I see in McCoy's package.

Also, I think it is somewhat of an oversimplification that the PCL totally inflates offensive numbers. I think it does, to some extent, but I constantly hear people completely writing off guys because they are in that league.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Like Randy Ruiz. That guy couldn't hit for shit in the bigs when he finally got his shot. It's no wonder he sat on the bench while Kevin Millar raked.

Randy Ruiz's OPS in 33 games: 1.019

We'll never know unless we give 'em a chance. What better time than when BUILDING(!!!1)?

Peter DeMarco said...

Tao, you are completely right that it's not fair to right someone off because they play in that league. However, if they have a long history of mediocrity in other leagues, then succeed in the PCL, to me that is a red flag. Especially when his affiliate team releases him.

My concern with Wood is that he's continually failed at the major league level, so I start to doubt his PCL success.

As for OBP, McCoy's batting average was inflated from both a high BABIP and the PCL league, which increases an OBP.

Tell me this, how often have the Blue Jays claimed a player off waivers who then went on to become an above average player?

Scott Downs is the only one that comes to my mind.

Tony Viner said...

Peter D:

You are fooling yourself if you believe the PCL effect raises batting average (and therefore OBP). The effect refers to power numbers, as many ballparks are way above sea level and most are tiny. The smaller parks would make it tougher to hit for a high average, dipshit. And don't tell me the pitching is of lower quality either, as many top tier teams have their AAA affiliates in the PCL, and hence, their top pitching prospects.

You are clearly not very smart, and definitely not handsome, like me, for if you were, you wouldn't rely on a cute little baby to represent your likeness. And don't compare that to the fact that I don't utilize a profile picture. Everybody knows how handsome I am.

Johnny Mac, on the other hand, is quite handsome, and a great mentor for our young infielders, including the 29 year old McCoy, who will be splitting time at SS with Mac until he proves that his OBP and speed translate into MLB success. Which they will. I have already instructed Mac and Butterfield to proceed with my plan that will teach McCoy to become a plus defender (which he is already, according to his +7 defence from 2009).

Can you afford not to believe a man as smart, and as ridiculously handsome as I am? No, you can't.


Handsome Tony Viner

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Our man Tony

Anonymous said...

Handsome Tony likes cock in his mouth

Gil Fisher said...

I like your tie, Tony.

Tony Viner said...

Thank you , Gil, it was a gift from your lovely mother. I cannot deny her taste and high class eye!

Tell her I miss those warm summer nights in the Hamptons!

Tom Dakers said...

No its me that loves the cock in there mouth action. Plus I cant spel or write for shit.

Twitchy said...

You can't blame Wood for doing poorly in his limited MLB time. He's usually spending his time on the bench while managerial favourite Maicer Izturis plays SS/3B.

And before you tell me about Scoscia's legendary coaching/evaluating abilities, he pinch hits GMJ for Mike Napoli, and in other games he pinch hits Mathis with GMJ so that lead glove defender Mike Napoli can be used as a defensive replacement.

I like McDonald but this is pretty big overpayment for a utility guy who's essentially replacement level. I hope they don't complain about having no cash to spend in FA if they can drop 1.5 on McDonald.

Jay Hill said...

Begin Dream.

AP - Toronto - Vernon Wells today has shocked the MLB players union by accepting a new renegotiated contract with the Toronto Blue Jays beginning in 2010. The new deal will pay him $5 million dollars per season, plus performance incetives and will run through 2014.

What happened to the old contract you ask? Paul Beeston, Jays CEO, and wunderkind GM Alex Anthopolous have worked a deal with Wells where the remainder of his 'albatross' contract are paid into an annuity at $1.5 million per year until the balance is cleared off the books.

Financial analysts applaud this deal as groundbreaking, as this will see that the Wells family is well looked after for the next 5 generations. In addition, the Toronto Blue Jays will have new financial flexibility be able to cut 3 years off their rebuilding process and be ready to compete by 2011. At press time, the agent for soon to be departed Roy Halladay would only state 'Roy finds this all very interesting'.


Darren Priest said...

Interesting dream, Swagman. When I dream about the Jays, I am usually sitting in some sort of crimson-curtained parlour and then Craig Grebek steps from behind a curtain and starts talking backwards.

The Ack said...

That's the second Craig Grebek reference in the last little while, Priesty.

I'm starting to wonder....

Darren Priest said...

And apparently, I've been spelling Grebeck wrong. Yeah, I'm always enamoured of guys who are physically small but manage to have long careers in major sports -- not that I want to build a team of Grebecks and Ecksteins. I'm not that enamoured!