Tagged: Jose Bautista

Contract Demands Aside, Let’s Just Enjoy Watching Joey Bats This Season.

USA TODAY Sports Images

USA TODAY Sports Images

 

It’s been a few days since Jose Bautista’s shot across the bow at Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins regarding his contract negotiations or lack there of.

It also seems like many Blue Jays fans have had a few days to digest the take it or leave it extension demand and the 150 million or perhaps higher demand depending on who you want to believe.

As for Mark Shapiro saying they wouldn’t negotiate through the public or the media, I’m sure they can’t be overly disappointed that the 150 million number went public, for all we know they could have been the one’s that let it leak out to the media in the first place. After an off-season like this past winter Lord knows the Blue Jays management needs all the PR help they can get.

I don’t blame Jose Bautista for the stance he is taking with the contract negotiations, he is a smart guy, he knows that he has been paid way under his market value over the life of his contract and is looking to get paid what he deems he is worth. Will he get a five year deal like he is asking? I highly doubt it, I’m sure at most teams will offer him a four year deal with a team option on a fifth year, Even that to me would be generous for a player getting up there in age. If it were me the most I’d be willing to give would be three years with a option on a fourth year.

I also think that there will be a team out there willing to overpay on a contract to Bautista, but I can guarantee that it won’t be the Blue Jays that do it. I also believe that when the dollar amount of the demand went public the fan base turned from pro Bautista on the issue to pro Blue Jays management and when Bautista walks at the end of the year it will take most of the heat off of Shapiro and Atkins.

This is after all a business and the Blue Jays have a budget that they have to live within, regardless of whether or not you think Rogers should spend like the big market team that in reality they are. Giving Bautista 30 million a season may not be such a huge deal over the next couple of years, but once his decline sets in and the time comes to re-sign Josh Donaldson to a big money deal, paying Bautista 30 million a year won’t look nearly as good as it might have seemed at the time.

There is also an argument to be made and it may not be just me being paranoid but there is no guarantee that Rogers will keep a payroll as high as it has been the last few years, even though I’ve made plenty of arguments over the years that they should be high spenders. If the team doesn’t keep winning I could see Rogers pulling back the reigns on the money. It wouldn’t be the first time and quite honestly I have zero faith in Rogers as an ownership. It be a pretty easy out for Shapiro and Atkins to use the lack of payroll availability when they explain why they couldn’t re-sign both Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

All that aside, lets enjoy watching the Blue Jays go out and win another division and hopefully have a longer play-off run than this past season. Lets also remember a pissed off Jose Bautista is more fun to watch than a non pissed off Bautista.

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The Weekend Roundup

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Getty Images

 

A little less than 36 hours after Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins swapped Ben Revere for Drew Storen, Adkins made an appearance on MLB Network Radio’s Front Office show Sunday morning and had some interesting things to say about the futures of both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Atkins says that he has met with Encarnacion and plans to meet with Bautista within the next week. He also added that he wants to extend both Bautista and Encarnacion but haven’t made them any offers. Can’t say I’m overly surprised that Atkins would say that because he wouldn’t be winning himself any favors with the fan base, who seem to have been out for blood after a rather quiet off-season, I will consider this news when it comes out that offers are actually being offered across the table to them.

We still don’t totally know whether Aaron Sanchez will be back in the bullpen or used in the rotation as Atkins said that they want to be flexible and not paint themselves into a corner just in case of depth issues. He also didn’t commit to either Roberto Osuna or Storen as the Blue Jays’ closer when the season starts.

When it came to the R.A Dickey trade rumors that started to surface after the Storen trade late Friday night Atkins said that while they are willing to listen on anyone, they are not actively shopping Dickey. I would hope if they were that Dickey’s personal caddy  catcher Josh Thole goes with him, in a related note, Buster Olney (subscriber only) believes that he doubts the Jays would get an offer that would be good enough, claiming that there are better options out there in the Free Agency/trade market for starting pitching. Although according to a Jeff Blair tweet late Friday night it seems like there is interest in Dickey. I would find it really hard to fathom that the Blue Jays would be shopping Dickey with the shape of their starting rotation, the thought of letting a guy who pitches 200 innings get away almost seems absurd. For what Dickey makes compared to what the going rate is for starting pitching right now it’s almost safe to say that his deal is a bargain for the Blue Jays. I guess time will tell if there is anything more to this story other than rumor.

To end off our weekend roundup, Blue Jays play-by-play man Buck Martinez is releasing his newest book called “Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better” It is published by Harper Collins and due out March 15th. The book is described as;

In the spirit of Moneyball, the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays offers cutting insights on baseball

Buck Martinez has been in and around professional baseball for nearly fifty years as a player, manager and broadcaster. Currently the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays, Martinez has witnessed enormous change in the game he loves, as it has morphed from a grassroots pastime to big business. Not all of the change has been for the better, and today’s fans struggle to connect to their on-the-field heroes as loyalty to club and player wavers and free agency constantly changes the face of every team’s roster.

In Change Up, Martinez offers his unique insights into how Major League Baseball might reconnect with its fanbase, how the clubs might train and prepare their players for their time in “The Show,” and how players might approach the sport in a time of sagging fan interest. Martinez isn’t shy with his opinions, whether they be on pitch count, how to develop players through the minor-league system, and even if there should be a minor-league system at all. Always entertaining, ever insightful, Martinez shares brilliant insights and inside pitches about summer’s favourite game.

 

Friday Musings

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays released their ALCS roster ahead of tonight’s ALCS opener in Kansas City, not surprisingly there are no changes from the roster that defeated the Texas. Aaron Loup is back with the team after dealing with a personal matter that left him away from the team for games four and five of the division series. I honestly didn’t expect any changes to be made to the roster, although there had been rumblings that the Blue Jays could drop Ezequiel Carrera and add Josh Thole so Dioner Navarro could be used more as a pinch hitter than Russell Martin’s back-up. With the current roster set-up it also means that Dalton Pompey is probably only going to be used as a pinch runner during the ALCS.

START TIMES ANNOUNCED

Not surprisingly, with the Mets and Cubs in the NLCS that the days where there are both ALCS and NLCS games scheduled that the Blue Jays-Royals games are getting stuck on the 4:07 pm starts again, If the series does get to games six and seven, those games will have an 8:07 pm first pitch. Just like the ALDS start times, the US Networks would rather have the non Blue Jay games in Prime Time only because only the US TV numbers matter, the numbers that Sportsnet draws for these playoff games, as great as they have been, doesn’t mean anything to Fox/FS1.

RANKING BAUTISTA’S HOME RUN

One of the bigger discussions that have taken place since Jose Bautista’s three run shot in Game Five has been just where does it place when it comes to biggest home runs in Blue Jays history. Nothing will ever top the Joe Carter home run in 1993, but I think that you can argue that the Bautista home run could be ranked as the second biggest home run in Franchise history ahead of Roberto Alomar’s home run in the 1992 ALCS. Bautista’s home run came in a win or go home game, and it was also a game winner. Alomar’s home run in 92 was only in game four and it only tied the game. Some have mentioned the Ed Sprague home run in game two of the 1992 World Series should be even ahead of Joey Bats homer but Sprague’s homerun was only the Blue Jays first win of that series.

SERIES PREDICTION

The Blue Jays have the better starting pitching and the better offence. The two teams the defensively are about even, and the Royals have the advantage in the bullpen, but don’t discount the Blue Jays pen who, outside of starter David Price, have allowed only 2 runs, both off of LaTroy Hawkins, have been excellent in the playoffs. Not having Brett Cecil hurts but Aaron Loup hasn’t pitched bad when he’s been called upon in the playoffs.  The more interesting thing to watch in this series will be if any of the nastiness that happened during the four game series in Toronto just after the trade deadline carries over into the ALCS, I would think it won’t but all it takes is an Edison Volquez inside pitch getting close to Josh Donaldson’s head and all bets are off. I’m picking the Blue Jays in six.

Bautista Blasts Blue Jays’ To ALCS Berth

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Game Five of the Blue Jays ALDS series with Texas will go down as a game for the ages and like the Joe Carter walk-off game in the 1993 World Series, it’ll go down as a game that you will remember where you were when the game happened. It will also be a game that we will be telling our grand kids about someday.

It was only fitting for the Franchise’s best player to get the Franchise’s biggest home run in 22 years. Jose Bautista, who came through in the biggest moment of his career with his go ahead three run home run in the bottom of the seventh made sure to savor the moment as he pimped the hell out of it with the most epic bat flip ever.

Bautista’s homer was a part of one of the craziest innings perhaps ever. It all started in the top of the seventh with a runner of third and two outs Russell Martin’s throw back to Aaron Sanchez hit Sin-Shoo Choo’s bat and ricocheted towards third base, Home plate Dale Scott immediately ruled the play dead as Rougned Odor  scampered across the plate from third. Texas manager Jeff Bannister came out to argue that the ball should have been considered live. The umpires converged and ruled that the play was live and indeed the runner was awarded home, and at the time the go ahead run. Some of the fans started throwing stuff on the field and according to PA announcer Tim Langton things got real close to being called a forfeit.

The call was the right call but what confused everyone was Scott calling the play dead, if he doesn’t call the play dead the crowd doesn’t go full on stupid on the play. The umpires were right to review the play and check the rules with New York after John Gibbons requested that they review it. Gibbons was probably right to play the game under protest. In all honesty it would have been interesting to see how they would have ruled on it had it gotten to that, chances are if the Blue Jays had lost and that play had been the deciding factor chances are the umpires would have needed a police escort out of town.

The Blue Jays were able to take advantage of three straight Texas errors in the bottom of the seventh to load the bases before Josh Donaldson hit a popup that just eluded Odor’s glove to tie the game at three. And then with runners at first and third Bautista hit the three run homer that was the dagger in the Rangers season. Before Edwin Encarnacion got a chance to hit Sam Dyson walked towards home plate and then yelled at Encarnacion which ended up clearing the benches. The inning would finally end when with two runners on Troy Tulowitzki would pop out but Dyson headed Tulowitzki’s way standing at home plate and it looked to me like Dyson actually made contact with Tulowitzki and yet again the benches emptied. When it was finally over the seventh inning had produced five runs between the two teams and had lasted 53 minutes.

Lost in all of this was the start by Marcus Stroman who gave the Blue Jays just what they needed as he went six innings while allowing two runs, before turning it over to Aaron Sanchez who worked the seventh and left with two on and one out in the eighth. With the tying run at the plate Roberto Osuna came on to strikeout Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus to end the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout to Will Venable to end it.

Also lost in this game was Ryan Goins run saving play in the top of the sixth to steal a base hit from Andrus, if that ball gets through its a 3-1 game for Texas. The play was made even bigger when Encarnacion hit his game tying blast in the bottom of the half of the inning.

The Blue Jays will now face off against the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, and for many Blue Jays fans this is the one match-up that they’ve been looking forward to since their memorable four game series just after the trade deadline.

Blue Jays Drop Playoff Opener; Post Game Thoughts

Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

The first playoff game in 22 years didn’t go as planned for the Blue Jays as they dropped their opening game of the Division series 5-3.

The biggest storylines to come out of the game were the injuries. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre left in the third inning with lower back stiffness, and on the Blue Jays side Josh Donaldson left after taking a knee to the head sliding into second base to break up a double play and then Jose Bautista left in the top of the ninth with a mild cramp in one of his hamstrings. The good news for the Blue Jays is that Donaldson passed a concussion test and should be able to go in game two, Bautista is also expected to go tomorrow as well.

The other storyline that the Toronto media talked to death about was David Price pitching on 11 days of rest. Greg Zaun went on and on about it saying in his mind that was the reason that Price didn’t pitch all that well. Price said afterwards that the 11 day rest didn’t have anything to do with it. Price said he just didn’t pitch good enough. To be totally honest it was the bottom of the line-up that did the damage as Robinson Chirinos had a two run home run in the fifth making it a 4-1 game for Texas, Rougned Odor was also a pain in the side for the Blue Jays as he was hit twice by a pitch and in the seventh hit a frozen rope to right field for a solo shot making it a 5-3 game.

On the positive side of things, Aaron Sanchez pitched a scoreless ninth inning and looked better than he had in the last couple of weeks. Brett Cecil also had a scoreless eighth inning walking a batter and striking out one. Jose Bautista would hit his first ever post season home run in the sixth of Rangers reliever Keone Kela.

For as much as I’ve been annoyed by Buck and Pat during the season I must say the Fox crew doing the game made me almost wish that Buck and Pat were doing the game. I didn’t care for Harold Reynolds go on and on about the turf causing Adrian Beltre’s injury when after a inning or two they realized it was an awkward slide into second base that was most likely the main cause. And if it wasn’t the turf it was the lights after they claimed that Ben Revere lost a ball in the lights when in the end it looked like he just misplayed the ball.  The camera angle looked off, and I wasn’t overly impressed with Kenny Albert doing the play by play.

Pete Rose who is doing TV work for Fox made himself looking like a complete ass after criticising both Donaldson and Bautista leaving with injuries. Guess Rose has never heard of concussion protocols that are in place. As for Bautista’s injury if the guy couldn’t run like he should be able to then the smart thing to do is to get him out of the game. It made Rose look foolish.

 

The Wait Is Over! The Blue Jays Are Headed To The Post Season!

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It’s been 22 years since Joe Carter’s touch em all home run in 1993, and for the first time since then the Toronto Blue Jays After technically clinching a playoff spot late last night thanks to some people doing some mathematical equations, the Blue Jays celebrated in style this afternoon by winning a slug-fest over Tampa Bay 10-8.

The Blue Jays had a celebration in the clubhouse after the game, it wasn’t a super crazy type of celebration like you usually see when teams win something, the bigger celebration will happen when the Blue Jays are able to clinch the division. The division lead stands at four with eight games left.

Today’s win made the playoff clinching feel a little more real, seeing the celebration in the clubhouse it makes it feel like it’s more than just a dream, the dream the Blue Jay fans have allowed themselves to take part in since Alex Anthopoulos made the moves at the trade deadline. At the time of the deadline I think most Blue Jays fans thought realistically that the Wild Card was probably going to be the Jays shot at the postseason. At the time the Yankees were in first place eight games ahead of the Blue Jays.

This Blue Jays club gelled quickly and went on an 11 game win streak in early August and made up the eight game gap within two weeks. It should also be noted that many of us thought that if the Jays were to get back into the division picture it would be those thirteen games against the Yankees. The Blue Jays went 9-4 against the Yankees in those 13 games.

I’m happy for the fan base that had to endure 22 years of mediocrity, some of those years down right ugly, they had to endure some really crappy ownership. The 22 years without having meaningful September baseball. I’m happy for the three Blue Jays that were a part of this team pre 2012, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Cecil. We won’t have to say anymore that we have wasted the productive years of their careers. Cecil, who came up as a starter showed a ton of promise and then struggled to stay in the big leagues and then resurrected his career in the bullpen and has become one of the Blue Jays best relievers.

I’m happy for John Gibbons, he was wrongly run out of town by then GM J.P Riccardi in 2008, and then took a ton of crap from of the fan base when AA brought him back in the fall of 2012, and when things quickly fell apart in 2013 the calls for his head, even early this season when it looked like things were headed for a downward spiral in late May there calls for Gibby to be let go. It was nice to see him in the postgame press conference seeing him with his small glass of champagne and being finally able to celebrate a victory.

I’m happy for Alex Anthopoulos who over the past couple of years had taken a lot of crap for not making moves at the deadline. Let’s not forget that AA was the one that took over the unenviable task of rebuilding the farm system that J.P Riccardi had left rather bare, he also made some great trades to restock the system and shed some rather large contracts along the way. He also did a great job of drafting and developing prospects. It was because of the development of these young prospects that the Jays were able to make the moves that they did at the deadline.

To clinch a postseason spot is nice, but the division is this teams main goal. When they do clinch the division it should be fun to see what this team does for an encore!

October baseball is going to be a real thing for the first time in 22 years, buckle up and enjoy it, it’s gonna be fun!

Blue Jays 4 Yankees 2; David Freaking Price!

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Alex Anthopoulos acquired David Price for games just like tonight.  And like every other start since he became a Blue Jay he did not disappoint. Price was dominant as he pitched seven shutout innings he allowed only two hits walking one while striking out seven. The only inning that the Yankees threatened when Price pitched was the third inning when Price escaped a bases loaded one out jam by striking out Alex Rodriguez and getting Brian McCann to pop out.

The Blue Jays were able to take advantage of Adam Warren and his Yankee teammates miscues in the first inning as they plated three runs in the first inning. Ben Revere led off the inning with a single, Josh Donaldson was hit with a pitch, Jose Bautista would hit a single to plate Revere, Donaldson and Bautista would move up on a wild pitch. Donaldson would score on a Encarnacion ground out. Justin Smoak would hit a double which would cash in Bautista. The Blue Jays offence would stay quiet until the seventh when they would add a run on a Russell Martin Sac Fly.

John Gibbons wasn’t messing around tonight as he pulled Aaron Sanchez after allowing the first two hitters to reach in the eighth inning. Brett Cecil was brilliant yet again, after allowing a single to Jacoby Ellsbury he struck out Brett Gardner, Rodriguez and McCann. I thought with the lefty heavy lineup that Gibby would have started the inning with Cecil. It does bring up the question though, is it time to re-evaluate Sanchez’s role in the bullpen? He may have gotten slightly unlucky on the groundball up the middle, but walking the first hitter he faced and then falling behind to Ackley didn’t help. With the way Mark Lowe has been pitching it is time to move him into higher leverage situations.

Roberto Osuna had a bounce back effort even though he did allow a home run in the ninth. I wouldn’t be to worried about it unlike some of the media members in Toronto that seemed to be awfully worried about the amount of home runs that Osuna has allowed. There have only been the two home runs that cost the Jays the lead , the other home runs didn’t matter to the outcome of the game.