Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dis dat and d’udder t'ing…

Rod Barajas? Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley (be sure to check out his take on The Ryan Howard Situation) assesses the Jays inking Barajas thusly:

“Hah! You got Barajas! His unremarkable tenure in Philly aside, he was part of the reason why our catching corps was even close to league-average offensively. But I'm expecting more out of our Ruiz/Coste tandem in '08.”

I think that qualifies as an endorsement of sorts. The good news is that he had a career high in OBP in 2007 at .352; the bad news is that (1) it brings his career OBP up to a lofty .288 and (2) guys who bat in the No. 8 hole in a NL lineup are walked quite frequently. Barajas has enjoyed one other season of a .300 plus OBP but I think it’s still safe to expect that he’ll be a bit of an upgrade on Sal Fasano.

Why?

What he lacks in on base skills he makes up for somewhat in power. Barajas hit 47 HR over 1112 AB over three seasons with the Texas Rangers. It wasn’t a fluke of the home park either as he clubbed 26 of them on the road. He’s solid defensively with a decent arm but stolen bases against the Blue Jays are more due to the pitching staff. Benji Molina threw out over 30% of potential base thieves the year before and after his tenure in Canada where he fell below 20% in that regard.

I like it a lot better than Jason Phillips and Sal Fasano at any rate (or so I keep telling myself ... serenity now). Heck, hopefully Robinzon Diaz will make the Fasano/Barajas point moot.

I’m giving J.P. Ricciardi (a half) thumbs up in addressing the Jays depth problem. I can’t see the Jays giving over 1300 AB to players hitting around replacement level or worse. I didn’t mind seeing Adam Lind as part of that because if you’re going to stick that level of talent into the lineup, do it with those who will get something good from it--such as major league experience for a promising prospect.

Once again, I find myself becoming cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season. I’ll have more to say about that in the coming months on THT, MSN and here.

No way Jose…

I do not know if Magglio Ordonez did or did not use anabolic steroids or human growth hormone. Jose Canseco’s second book “Vindicated” means very little. Yes, he was correct more often than not in his original book but his attempted blackmail of Ordonez is low--even by Canseco’s tawdry standards. Canseco is stooping to David Samson-level low. It is one thing to try to vindicate slights you felt you received while in the game, quite another to try to extort someone in MLB while doing so.

Sadly, Ordonez’s refusing to sue this skunk of a human being will cause some to wonder if he is afraid of what might come out over the course of investigating the matter. His first co-author/ghostwriter/guy-to-spell-the-big-words for him opted out of this book project since Canseco will be tabbing Alex Rodriguez but lacking any hard evidence regarding that particular claim. I liked the line in Jon Heyman's article on the subject: "One former associate of Canseco's insisted he's not that smart, saying of him, 'He's a moron of the highest order. If he could have majored in moronics, he would have gone to college'.''

Heh.

Folks should appreciate that Jose Canseco’s efforts led to more stringent testing in MLB. (I don’t like any situation where somebody has to choose between using potentially toxic black market drugs manufactured under less-than-sterile conditions and giving up their dream.) Nevertheless, he’s undermining all the positive things he did with this male bovine biological by-product.

Catching up (again)…

I haven’t posted my last few THT and MSN columns of late. Here is what you missed (lucky you):

  • Striped Delight: more whining about the Hall of Fame vote by the BBWAA with a focus on the lack of love among the 1980’s Tigers--especially Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker.
    Grumpy Old Men: again, more whining about the HOF vote. I compare the careers of Jim Rice and Albert Belle. I will be re-visiting this next Friday at THT.
  • The Pujols Awards: week 2: The second instalment of the new THT reader-interactive feature honouring the heroes and zeros of a given week. Among the honourees are Pat Gillick, J.P. Ricciardi, John Gibbons, Elijah Dukes and others.
  • The Pujols Awards: week 3: Nominations are starting to come in--I haven’t closed the ‘polls’ for this Wednesday’s edition so if you want to nominate someone for an “Albert” or a “Luis” drop me a line. This edition saw both the U.S. Government and Roger Clemens take some blasts from readers.
  • Myth-busting: Here I discuss why Bud Selig was given yet another contract extension. Believe it or not, Bud earns far more than most players in MLB. As I mention in the piece, maybe it is time for a salary cap on major league executives.
  • If you’re wondering about yesterday’s THT column (or lack thereof) it got tangled up in the machinery and was a no-go on the site. However, the post just below this one is what it was supposed to be--a comparison between Bobby Doerr and Joe Gordon based on one article in a series of them by Ben Feldman of The Bleacher Report that dealt with The Best 11 Second Basemen of All Time.

Family Values...

Since we’re goin’ all retro today the good folks at “Déjà View” requested an opportunity to do a classic sign off on behalf of my good friends at Drunk Jays Fans. I guess they (DV not DJF) know that I’m a big fan of the original Addams Family (with John Astin and Carolyn Jones) since they told me there would be an Addams Family theme to the festivities.

So, here we go …

Da Da Da Dum (snap snap)
Da Da Da Dum (snap snap)
Da Da Da Dum
Da Da Da Dum
Da Da Da Dum (snap snap)

He’s geeky and he’s hokey,
Far too verbose--not okay.
Knows dick-all 'bout the Blue Jays.
But he’ll give his best regards.

His blog’s a mausoleum.
His posts--nobody reads 'em.
It makes him want to screa-um.
But he’ll give his best regards.

Da Da Da Dum (snap snap) … weak
Da Da Da Dum (snap snap) … geek
Da Da Da Dum
Da Da Da Dum
Da Da Da Dum (snap snap) … he reeks

So take your mouse and backspace.
Thank God he’s not on MySpace.
His whole blog is in bad taste.
But. He’ll. Give. His. Best. Regards. (snap snap)

Errr … did Dustin send you?

Best Regards

John

1 comment:

Bill B. said...

It wasn't exactly an endorsement, just the recognition that he was part of the reason why our catching corps didn't stink.

He has a .288 career OBP but somehow put up a .352 OBP last season with the Phillies. Obviously an aberration, but helpful to the Phillies nonetheless.

Give him 125 AB, he's not so bad. Give him 450, and you're begging for the end of his contract.