Breaking 100 mill, and who's the 5th man?

Thursday, January 31, 2008  |  by 

A $100 million dollar payroll is really not a huge deal, but when it comes to the Blue Jays - it is.

If the team agrees to the purposed Rios deal, it will send the 2008 payroll to over $100 million for the first time in franchise history. It’s no big surprise though, with the amount of monster contracts that are signed these days, and inflation over the years. Compared to the Yankees $216 million payroll, $100 million doesn’t really seem like that much.

Onto more pressing issues; the big question these past few weeks has been “Who will be the 5th starter?”. We already know the first four starters will be Halladay, Burnett, Marcum and McGowan - but who will join the starting rotation?

It seems to be the battle between Litsch, Janssen and Chacin. At this point, it seems like a tossup between Litsch and Janssen. I don’t know how Janssen will transition from the bullpen back to the starting rotation. I think he’s better as a setup man, but I can see why management wants to move him into a starting role. Though, I like Litsch; his 7-9 record last season was impressive for a rookie, and I think given the chance - he could pitch some great baseball this year. I don’t think there’s any chance they’ll hand the spot to Chacin; he’s prone to injury, and is a spotty pitcher at best. I’d keep him on the roster until someone else goes on the DL.

Mad props to the guys at the Drunk Jays Fans for giving me a shout out in their latest post. These guys are hilarious, and despite the massive quantities of liquor they consume before, during and after Jays games, their posts are quite insightful. Nothing like a mickey of Screech to make the Jays games more interesting!

“Haha, Just Joking”; Barajas makes it official this time

Sunday, January 27, 2008  |  by 

Remember that chick that you dated in high school who one day told you she was “saving it for marriage”; so you dumped her ass, and then ended up banging her a year later anyway?

Well, think of that as what happened to the Blue Jays with Rod Barajas last year. Barajas promised the Jays he would be their starting catcher … then got cold feet, and decided he was waiting to find the right person.

Well, the Jays made him their bitch yesterday, by signing him to a 1 year $1.2 million dollar contract. The original offer last year was for 2 years, and $5.25 million. In 2007, he was offered the starting catcher’s role, but he will now be demoted to backup for old man Zaun in 2008. For some reason, it seems like Ricciardi has a boner for Barajas - so his second attempt at signing him worked after a little more convincing. And some flowers, and come candy, and a diamond necklace.

Just goes to show you, that players (and girls) eventually will give it up if they get desperate enough.

Stating the Obvious

Heath Ledger is dead, the earth is round, and Lindsay Lohan is a crackhead; three fairly obvious statements. Let’s add another to that group; the Yankees have the highest payroll in the MLB.

Numbers were released yesterday, and the Yankees payroll will top $218 million this season. The Red Sox come in a distant second, and are on track to spend $155 million. Then it’s the Dodgers, Mets, and Cubs. So where do the lonely Blue Jays place? Well, good old Teddy Rogers’ pocketbook for the Jays this season is a mere $95 million, good enough for 15th place in the spending spree.

This is both good AND bad news. Good, in that you can’t necessarily BUY a winning team in the MLB. Bad, in that that you can’t spend nothing and expect to do well (cough, cough Devil Rays). I agree that it’s unfair that the Yankees get to sign whoever the hell they want, and give them as much money as they possibly can; but until there’s a salary cap, it’s not going to change anytime soon. It seems like in order to establish a good franchise, you have to be in the middle of the pack when it comes to spending, but also have a great farm system to develop young talent that can pay off in the future.

With the Yankees, it seems like they just buy talent instead of developing it; but that is just another bullet point on the list of “Why to Hate the Yankees”. Obviously, I’d like to see the Jays spend some more money, but that doesn’t always necessarily mean more talent (Glaus, Clayton, Towers, do I need to go on?).

Offseason Woes

Tuesday, January 22, 2008  |  by 

Only 68 days till the first pitch of the Blue Jays regular season in 2008, and it can’t come any sooner. Ha, that’s what she said.

It feels like I’m trying to scrounge up any news at all during this off-season; and I’m not quite sure how I made it in previous off-seasons. For some reason, this one seems really long. Maybe it’s the anticipation of the “new-look” Jays with Scutaro, Eckstein, and Rolen. Or maybe it’s just that I need something to look forward these days other than Britney Spears rehab reports, or Lindsay Lohan white pony sightings.

On February 15th, single-game tickets go on sale for the 2008 season; I’m hoping to get some for opening day, but I’m afraid that it might be sold out before I even type in the web address the day of. Honestly, I don’t even care if it’s in the 500’s, I’d just love to be there opening day to enjoy the atmosphere and all the activities. Plus, I’d like to see the Jays embarrass the World Series champs, so that’d be a bonus too. We’ll see what happens.

Give Rios Whatever the Hell he Wants!

Monday, January 21, 2008  |  by 

And then there was one ...

Alex Rios is the only remaining player on the Blue Jays roster that is arbitration eligible in 2008. So what the hell does that mean? Well, if the player and club can't agree on a salary, then it goes to court ... and most often favors what the player wants. Talks between management and Rios' agent were less than productive; apparently the two sides have a $1 million price tag between them.

Alex wants $5.65, the Jays want to give him $4.35. Now, the Blue Jays have until the end of February to lock this up, but I hope they just get this over with. Rios is the future of the Blue Jays, he's a two-time all star, and was one of a FEW players on the team last year that actually lived up to expectations.

Some may see Rios at the cheap man's Vernon Wells, but I think Alex has finally come into his own as a franchise player for the Blue Jays. So give him whatever the hell he wants, dammit!

Jays hope for more ups and Downs in ‘08

Friday, January 18, 2008  |  by 

Friday, the Jays announced the re-signing of reliever Scott downs to a 3 year, 10 million dollar contract. He was badass in the bullpen, with a 2.17 ERA in 87 appearances in ’07. Badass, indeed. The Jays also inked new contracts for newbie Mark Scutaro, along with Gustavo Chacin, Jason Frasor, and Brian Tallet.

Out of all of those names, the most useless is Chacin - he only made 5 starts in total last year, then blew out his shoulder and never came back. Though, I’m sure he spent that time perfecting his cologne so it didn’t smell like “child predator”.

Frasor was also pretty lame in ‘07; if you remember, he was the Jays fill-in closer for about 5 games, until the bullpen imploded into Sucksville. Though, I’m sure he’ll be okay when used sparingly - king of like cumin. The spice, you sickos.

Hmm, maybe that’s the perfect ingredient to go in Chacin cologne …

Jays are Rolen with a new third basemen

Monday, January 14, 2008  |  by 

I credit myself with the clever headline. Today the Jays traded Troy “On the Sauce” Glaus to St. Louis for Scott Rolen. Their stats are pretty much identical, with Glaus having slightly more homeruns.

It’s apparently a win/win trade for both teams; Glaus moves south and to a natural turf field that would favour his nagging ankle, and Rolen leaves behind problems between himself and manager Tony LaRussa.

I’m in favour of this trade mostly because it ships out a liability in Glaus. In ’06 he was a great asset to the team, but in ’07 he was a liability. And with the HGH speculation and his name in the Mitchell report, he’s better off heading to St. Louis.

Rolen on the other also comes with a few question marks. He missed the last part of the season with a shoulder injury. Also, his issues with management (mostly Tony LaRussa) make me curious if we might have another “Hillend-gate” on our hands. Although his seven Gold Gloves add some solid defence to the Jays infield.

At this point, the Jays don’t really have that much to lose with Glaus. It’s only a few years before his body is kaput anyway, so may as well ship him out while we can get something for him.

Adios Glaus-y!

Eckstein vs. McDonald

Saturday, January 12, 2008  |  by 

I realize it’s been a few weeks since the David Eckstein signing, but I decided to finally put my thoughts to pen & paper (and by that, I mean keyboard).

A lot of Jays fans did not see this Eckstein move coming; while we were all distracted with the Rios trade rumours, JP completely blindsided us by picking up the Cardinals shortstop. Another reason why this was so strange, was because Prime Minister of Defense John McDonald had just been signed to a 2 year 3.8 million dollar contract.

When it comes to defense it doesn’t get any better than John McDonald, but his offensive qualities were a little lacking this past season. David Eckstein is a bit of an upgrade, but not by much. Eckstein did have a career year in ’07, but if history proves itself, those numbers will most likely drop off.

So why sign Eckstein? I think J.P. might look at trading McDonald midseason in ’08. That way, he can build up his worth, and the Jays can get the most value for the SS. Other than that, it doesn’t make sense to sign a slighty better shortstop to your team.

Personally, I think the job should go to J-Mac. He’s proved himself time and time again, and he doesn’t deserve to be one-upped again (remember Royce Clayton? Yeah, me neither).

Rocket Fuel

Thursday, January 10, 2008  |  by 

Well here we are a mere 83 days away from opening day for the Jays in ’08 - and I wish it would really hurry up and get here. News around camp has been next to nil ever since the Rios/Lincesum rumours, and even small tidbits these days seem like huge developments.

With most people’s focus on the Clemens vs. McNamee saga, baseball is getting a pretty bad rap these days. In fact, only one - just one player was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year; Rich Gossage. He never played for the Jays anyway, so who cares.

As far as the whole Clemens drama goes, this thing keeps getting more effed up by the day. At his press conference on Monday, Clemens played a phone call between himself and McNamee in which McNamee sounded very apologetic, but never admitted anything. Now apparently there is word of ANOTHER phone call out there which makes Roger Clemens sound like an ass. Well, that’s probably not too difficult to find anyway.

I guess it’s all good drama for the buildup of the 2008 baseball season, but if Clemens decides to come back this season, he will undoubtedly be booed out of every visiting ballpark. When it comes to this issue, I’m pretty much on the fence; I believe that Clemens did in fact use performance enhancing drugs, but if he is in fact guilty, why would he go to such lengths to prove his innocence? He just seems like the kind of jerk who would do it anyway; “I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Hall of Fame”, as he said in his press conference.

Way to win over the public, Roger.

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