Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Pre-Canada Day Tweetbag

It's Canada Day, goddamnit! Time to get yo draaaank on and feel vaguely superior because, you know...we're not Americans. (With due apologies to our American readers. Sometimes, our patriotism comes at your expense. Though your loyal blogger is not of that sort.)

Wave a flag, raise a brew, and let's get on with it. Tweetbag into the weekend!

First up, asks: Who's next year's backup catcher? Hard to dislike 2011's Molina, but is 2012 a younger guy's turn? What's your Canada Day beer?

There's a question, we suppose, as to whether is José Molina will break down physically by next year to the point where his best attributes (notably, that smile, his great haircut and his well groomed facial hair) will fall into question. Molina has been perfectly serviceable, and we think he's been a good mentor to J.P. Arencibia, though really, how the hell would we know such a thing?

There's a question as to whether if Travis d'Arnaud will be ready by next year, or if Brian Jeroloman might be the catch-and-throw guy in 2012 or 2013, and whether if the Jays are ready to go with two younger catchers. We don't think that such a thing will send the rotation into freefall, given that Arencibia has already shown some impressive growth in his defensive and game calling abilities. If it were Molina, we'd be fine with that, but if one of the youngsters is ready, then we'd be happy to see the (stop us before we say it) Catcher of the Fut...Urgh. Just barfed in the wastebasket.

Speaking of which: Beer choices! We were going to rock the Kronnenbourg 1667 for Canada Day (Mais oui!), but given that we should show some damn patriotism, we'll be scarfing back some Propeller Best Bitter (Halifax! What up!) and some other local Ontario beer that we can't remember, but that we picked up in Merrickville a few weeks ago. We'll tweet the name later.


asks: Does the warm reception Doc's sure to get hold throughout Saturday's game? Should it?

Oh sure. Why not. It should be fun for people to see Doc again, and get to appreciate what he brought to the team for lo, those many individually glorious years.

(Though, if Toronto fans seem so determined to boo every cat who comes back, why would they heap scorn on Lyle Overbay? Especially since his worst crime against the franchise was, you know, being Lyle Overbay...Meanwhile, Halladay pretty much engineered his exit and limited the Jays' potential for maximizing their return by insisting on essentially one destination...But nevermind that.)

Here's what we suggest: Get misty-eyed in the first inning when you see Roy in another team's uni, standing on the Rogers Centre mound. And then, when the Jays light him up for ten runs (it could happen!), hit your feet and root root root for the home team. Halladay was a special player, and deserves a nice ovation. But let's not lose track of where our allegiances lie.

And another thing! asks: Best guess: DFAd or traded (or neither) by July 31: Rivera? Patterson? EE? Nix? Hill (gasp)?

Is this sorta like that Fuck/Marry/Kill game? (And BTW, doesn't that game end up in a pretty grim place? Like, couldn't it be Fuck/Marry/Completely Ignore? Just to be more civilized?)

To the point, though. We'll call this game "Here/Released/Elsewhere", and we'll extend the timeframe to August 31, because some of these sorts of players probably only get dealt after the deadline, and closer to September 1st. And here it is:

Hill - Here
Nix - Released
EE - Here
Rivera - Elsewhere
Patterson - Elsewhere

Another! asks: do you think Davis's faith issues were really a problem, or using it as a crutch?

(For those who are wondering about this question, there's this article from John Lott at the Post that is a fairly intriguing look into Rajai's headspace.) I'm not even particularly sure that what Davis had was a "faith" issue per se, but that's how he's defining it, so who are we to judge? ("Crutch" sounds pretty harsh here.) Suffice to say, Davis is going through stuff, and it is taking away from his ability to perform his duties on the field. That's all we really care about.

However it is that he thinks he's going to make amends or adjust his behaviour in order to get back on track, that's his deal. We just expect him to perform.

Onward! asks: seeing Thames hit his 1st big league HR live last night was a thing of beauty. What kind of player can Thames be for the Jays?

The more we see of Thames, the more we like. We don't figure him to really be a right fielder, so the sooner the Jays can move him back to left, the better. Is he above the Mencherson Line(TM)? Certainly. We see him as an .800 OPS guy, maybe contributing along the lines of the later-era Shannon Stewart. (After he stopped running.) And you know, that's not half bad.

Last one! asks: Isn't doing the same thing over & over expecting a diff. response textbook insane? (re: starting Aaron Hill)

Hill's actually looked as though he's stopped swinging for the fences, and he's still playing good defense, so we're not sure that replacing him with Johnny Mac or Jason Nix at this point makes sense. Hill's never going to be a great on base guy, and dialing back the home run swings in favour of some singles and doubles might lead him into a .320 OBP/.400 SLG territory that could be okay at the bottom of your lineup. We just have to adjust our mindset and not think of him as a Silver Slugger who's having a bad year. He's an okay hitter who had one great year.

Okay! That's it! And of course, it only took us all day to get around to this. That's okay. You'll have all weekend to comment!

Have a great Canada Day weekend, and we'll see you back


The Ack said...

Rajai is a bit of a different dude, isn't he?

Yes, I think I'll be around for one this weekend. Hopefully more, but just hold me to one.


Anonymous said...

I haven't figured out the Twitter yet so my question is this: How does Travis Snider go from (in my brain at least and not in AA's brain) "Failure Four A Guy" to "Centrefielder of the Big League Club"? ... in a span of 3 weeks?

Darrell said...

Your are right about Hill. Adjust your expectations and see him as a plus defender who will occasionally contribute with the bat near the bottom of the lineup (did I just describe JMac?) and it' ok. There is no one else in the system that is better at this point.

blandy12 said...

I didn't mean for crutch to be harsh. You just see how often players use the term dealing with issues in faith when they struggle. Has a player ever admitted he was having a faith crisis in the middle of a 20-game hit streak?
I just think it is too easy for a player to blame it on "faith" or whatever, instead of just saying he sucks momentarily, needs to get his head in the right place and keep plugging away.
I like Rajai and what he brings to the table, but maybe it's a bit of a cop-out to blame his struggles on faith. Just my thoughts.

Steve said...

If you're looking for a good Ontario beer for your Canada Day, see if you can pick up some StoneHammer. It's brewed in Guelph, and it matters not which kind you find. It's great stuff.

I'm off to perhaps enjoy one now as I try to think up a decent question to throw into the tweetbag one of these days.

Steve said...

Here's a question. Since you say that EE will still be here when September hits, is there a specific reason? Will his bat turn around? Will he suddenly learn how to throw? Is it simply impossible for the Jays to let him go?

@dwbudd said...

Agree that Jayson Nix should be given his unconditional release; immediately - sooner if possible.

At the plate, he's basically a zero. In the field, well, he's better than E-5.

Also agree with the comment on Aaron Hill. His production is somewhere along the lines of what a middle infielder was good for before Ripken and the arrival of PEDs (e.g., Miguel Tejada). If Hill can get his OBP clear of .300 and hit the occasional double, that's OK from a bottom of the order, up-the-middle defender with a good glove.

BTW, what he does is MUCH more than John McDonald. Hill will be over the Mendoza line, and Mac will battle it. Last year (a poor one for AH), he hit .205 (which is poor), but still managed 26 home runs and a .665 OPS.

In his CAREER (2000 ABs), McDonald has hit 21 home runs, with a career OPS of .600. So Hill's worst year is still better than what one would expect from McDonald, so I really don't see how anyone could argue with a straight face that Hill should be benched so that John McDonald can get more plate appearances.