Jays From the Couch brings you the latest news and links about the Toronto Blue Jays. This edition looks at decisions and judgement.
*Megan Reeves of the Tampa Bay Times tells us that the outlook for a future agreement between the Blue Jays and the city of Dunedin looks promising. New president, Mark Shapiro, does not give the impression that he’s one for sentimentality, but he recognizes the historical relationship as the foundation for talks moving forward. Essentially, it comes down to financing as to whether this agreement will officially go through. Shapiro says that the city has put together a plan that would look to accommodate what the club is looking for. This is good news since, based on Shapiro’s focus on training, health, etc there would be a lot of work needed to meet those accommodations.
*At the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott does some pot stirring when he explores the de-Canadification of the Blue Jays. With B.C’s Stephen Brooks (the latest Canadian to leave the organization), Elliott says that Canada’s only team is on a sad trend of hiring Americans to run the organization. Shapiro would likely said that an employee’s nationality doesn’t play into decisions. But, perhaps the issue is that when it comes to running the only franchise in Canada, perhaps at least some consideration should be given. Perhaps, Elliott is right to stir that pot.
*Over at Hum and Chuck, Joanna offers a good argument against the new slide rule. Actually, she agrees with Buck Martinez in that the umpires should determine if the slide was dirty and then punish accordingly. She brings it up because of a tweet by Jason Stark that suggests that the Blue Jays are the ONLY club to have an issue with the rule:
It is. That's why I didn't explore the Bautista play in the column. Other than the Blue Jays, everyone agrees w/ it https://t.co/w5ZCbUAUeD
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 14, 2016
Like, Joanna, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree. As pointed out in the last edition of our Morning News, Joe Girardi of that Yankees has contacted Joe Torre to discuss his complaints about the rule. To pain the Blue Jays as the only detractors is just not accurate.
*Over at BP Toronto, Joshua Howsam offers a bit of “calm the heck down” for Blue Jays fans who are dumping all over the job John Gibbons has done in managing the bullpen. In the small sample size of 10 games that feels like much more because it is early and all we have to go on, the Blue Jays have lost quite a few games late in the game, some of which have come down to questionable bullpen usage. Howsam cites the insertion of Jesse Chavez against the Red Sox that resulted in a Brock Holt grand slam as an example of the maddening decision making. But, the whole point of the piece is that a manager takes into account things that we are just not privy to. For example, Howsam uses comments from Brett Cecil about needing to be warmed up properly; not too early or late. This means that when a situation presents itself, Gibby can’t just go to the guy that might make the most sense in that moment. He may not be ready for that moment. Think back to when Franklin Morales was warming up in a spot that made sense for him, but didn’t come into the game. We found out later that his shoulder was not right. But, in the moment, we question why he doesn’t come into the game. Howsam point out the financial aspect of these decisions and how they have to be (and are) taken into account by some managers.
Around the league:
*Over at MLB Reports, we get a list of all of the Tommy John surgeries listed by year. You might recall that former Blue Jay, Felix Doubront has fallen victim to the plague of MLB. Thus far in 2016, there are 7 players who have gone under the knife. There were 30 last year, 29 in 2014 and 25 in 2013. In 2010, there were 11. The automatic conclusion might lead you to think that it’s getting worse. But, keep in mind that if you go back even further, you see that in 2004 there were 33 surgeries. 2003 saw 29.
*Speaking of the surgery, Hunter Stokes explores whether the Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka are correct in how they’ve handled the pricey Japanese arm. Rather than having Tanaka undergo TJ surgery, they’ve opted to get the most out of him while holding him back. So, they cut down his workload every year. By removing 8 starts or so, they are hoping to avoid having him miss a full season (or more) due to the operation and risk him returning at less than his best. The problem is (as Stokes suggests) that in taking this route, they’re actually getting less than 100% of Tanaka anyway. If you add up his truncated workload and time missed to rest inflammation, etc the total time missed would be equal to (or more than) the year he’d miss form the surgery.
*At NBC’s Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra runs down the “bad blood” that is developing between the Red Sox and Pablo Sandoval. The team doesn’t want him playing. That’s pretty much the issue with the whole “going on the DL” debacle that is taking place. Calcaterra suggests that, at this point, with Brock Holt and Travis Shaw playing well, the club might look to send The Panda to anyone who will take him for whatever they are willing to part with. It is an interesting situation, but if it’s one thing we’ve seen, the Red Sox have an impressive ability to unload any of their financial mistakes.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.